Sunday, July 22, 2018

Cole Haan Nike Air Rain Shoes and Gorilla Glue

I always got compliments on my Cole Haan Nike Air rain shoes. And when you wear a size 11 shoe, it’s a rare thing to find a pair that fit and are comfortable, nevermind get a compliment. As a child, having big feet seemed to be noticed by everyone, and not in a good way! I’ve had these shoes for a very long time and am so sorry they are starting to fall apart. I’ve already used gorilla glue on one of the shoes - it is separating at the toe end from the bottom. So yesterday I wore them for the first time in awhile because of the stretch of rain we are having, and noticed that the same problem has reoccurred. When I got home I found the gorilla glue again, added a couple of drops to the problem area, taped the sides together, and left them to “cure” overnight. Today they looked okay - and then I saw the bottom of the shoe. It’s stating to crack open. So all may be for naught. Maybe these will last another couple of wears. I just know I’ll never find anything like them again. I know shoes come in bigger sizes these days - at least now I have more options. It used to be “what have you got in my size?” whenever I went shoe hunting because anything I liked was a no go. But my question is - now that I found these, why is it just one shoe that seems to have the problem? 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Harris Teeter Twist and Store Container vs Container Store

Having two LG tiny washer/dryer combo units in each apartment, we have to use a high efficiency laundry detergent. Otherwise the “regular” kind will ruin the machine. Last year we got a really nice hard plastic kitchen container that has a clasp at the Container Store to keep the washing powder in along with the scoop. It was just neater and easier to handle because the tops on the Tide box don’t work very well once they are open. That plastic container was put on the kitchen shelf in the unit where the washer/dryer is in the kitchen. The washer/dryer in the other unit sits in a tiny closet under the archaic HVAC system. Any time there is a water leak, all the items sitting on the shelves above it get wet. That leaves a soggy mess for anything cardboard. So while grocery shopping today we looked for a plastic container and we found a similar style for $20! Rather than get that, we decided the $2.99 two container twist and store Harris Teeter brand would do the job. So we poured the remaining Tide in the two containers and they fit nicely on the shelf, won’t spill, and will stay dry. I’m not sure why it took us so long to finally do this minor improvement. But we feel like we accomplished a major feat. How we miss our combination mud room, huge laundry room with its own sink on the main living level of our old home in the Midwest. That’s what urban living in an 1890’s condo unit does for you. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Gardens - and Stairs - in the Neighborhood

We have had a delightful reprieve in the weather. And when it’s still too hot to walk the Mall, but not hot enough to necessitate walking in the air conditioned Union Station, we venture out in our own neighborhood on Capitol Hill. Since we had an appointment at noon somewhere, we sort of circled the wagons around our house and walked up and down the shady parts of the street. Having just driven through Alexandria I am always taken by the quaintness of the area, but also know how impractical these very old townhouse/row houses are. When we downsized from our two story house in the Midwest I knew I never wanted to see a staircase again. Our tiny condo unit is on the first floor and is just one floor. The idea of crawling up stairs at our age is daunting! Whenever I see a lot of steps to just get in to the house it makes me wonder how people put up with it - unless they have an alley in the back that gets them inside without steps. And some of them don’t even have stair rails to grab on to! Regardless, as an outsider looking at the gardens and steps on the front side of the rowhouses is simply lovely. Each one is distinctively different. It’s just not something I would want to live in, but I certainly enjoy the views. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Portrait Gallery and Cosi

With low humidities we dared to venture on another “tourist” visit by foot. This time it would be to the National Portrait Gallery. Past adventures have included Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Renwick Gallery, and the C├ęzanne exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Now I am compiling a check off list of possible options. The idea is to do something different once a week and get to know the city more after having lived here twelve years. Depending on the weather and the distance the mini visits can include metro rides, which my husband loves and I don’t. And when possible we try to mix in breakfast or lunch based on our mood and location. So we walked up to eighth street and turned down by the Navy Memorial off Pennsylvania Avenue, past our grandson’s old school before they moved to Virginia, and on to the Portrait Gallery - taking care to stay under the shade. The plan was to catch the bus back home so we wouldn’t be completely exhausted. It seemed rather quiet in front of the building and we realized why - the place doesn’t open until 1130! That was a huge disappointment. I didn’t even bother to look before we left because everything on the Mall opens at 1000. So we turned around and started looking for a breakfast stop. Nothing appealed to us until we reached Cosi by the court house. So we stopped in just to have something. So we ended up walking about three miles - more than usual which is about 2.5. It will be difficult to get my husband to head that way again. He wasn’t too keen about it to begin with. We’ve been there before, but he just wasn’t in the mood. Maybe a spin on the merry go round on the Mall will be next? He likes that option even less. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Whole Foods in Alexandria

We have been waiting impatiently for the new Whole Foods store to open up in our neighborhood. It will be about two blocks away from us near the Navy Yard/ Yards Park. We usually don’t go to Whole Foods for groceries. But since we became Amazon Prime members it made sense to give it a try. We went to the store in Alexandria after lunch today. We were there about ten years ago to buy a head of cabbage and never went back. But now we have an incentive. The store in our neighborhood will be ten years newer, so I’m sure it will be ten times nicer. Whole Foods has a lot of brands we aren’t familiar with and we generally don’t care for organic or gluten free foodstuffs. We were more interested to see the fruit, the bread, and the cheese. I think the fruit and cheese were great - especially since they had our favorite P’tit basque. We haven’t bought flowers for awhile hoping our garden would substitute. But that hasn’t happened this year so we got a nice bunch. The olive bar was fine but the bread didn’t win us over. I can see this might be a good place to pick up things in between our regular shopping at Harris Teeter or Safeway. But perhaps the new store will have more appeal. I like the idea of getting discounts on groceries, and the cherries we picked up were a real deal. Let’s hope they taste as good as they look! At the register you scan for additional savings using the iPhone app. If we like it enough we may one day buy a cart to drag around and haul the goods. I found the perfect one on Amazon of course. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Olivier Salad - Found!

Last Friday we went to Alborz restaurant in Tyson’s for lunch. I wanted to get the Olivier salad. It’s basically a potato salad with eggs, chicken, peas, etc.  My husband doesn’t care for anything “mixed up” unless he does the mixing up himself. So we asked for an order of Olivier salad  “to go” instead.  Invariably we end up taking home most of the lunch because we just don’t eat that much. So we also asked for his preferred kabob “to go” as well since he would only take a bite or two and then we would just split my order - which ended up being too much as well. So the waiter brought out all the “to go’s,” and what was left of my order. We didn’t check the bags to see if everything was there. When we got home, my husband said they forgot the Olivier salad as he unpacked the bags. I was a little perturbed because I was really looking forward to having it for dinner! I also remembered hearing something perhaps fall out of the bag when we were driving home - as everything was on the floor in the back seat. So my husband checked the car to see if the salad may have been displaced and somehow was left in the car. He returned empty handed. I was bemoaning not having that salad all weekend. Yesterday we went for a ride with three people and I ended up in the back seat. And wouldn’t you know - what was in plain view? The Olivier salad was sitting on the floor under the front passenger seat. So, after cursing the restaurant for getting our order wrong, it was rather embarrassing. Unfortunately by that time it was inedible. Next time I’ll order the salad for lunch and take the rest home. At least I’ll have a chance to have tasted it in the event it gets lost again. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Prince Poppycock - Two Degrees of Separation

If you talk to someone long enough, it is possible to find a connection - you know the “Kevin Bacon” story about degrees of separation. The senator who lives down the street from us has a daughter in law who is best friends with my Florida high school classmate; a colleague at the Library of Congress was connected to the Chinese president via his wife’s family; another colleague at the Library was best friends with the brother of our Niece’s uncle who lives on the other side of the planet. They had a family reunion in Italy when my niece found out she worked at the Library. I contacted her and she said she was the one! Recently I was at a small get together when another connection was made, but I don’t remember how the subject came up. I think I may have mentioned if anyone was watching the new season of America’s Got Talent. That’s when an acquaintance who lives in our building said she knows Prince Poppycock - except she knew him by his real name and still keeps in touch. He is the son of a family she was the nanny to several years back. The Prince ended up fourth in the top four of the 2010 season - singing opera and creating lavish stage productions. So now I know him through her - the closest connection yet. So it’s always fun to hear about these sorts of things. You just need to keep your ears open and maybe just bring up the right subject matter. (Photos from the internet)