Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Registration and Residential Parking Renewal Notice

It’s that time of year again. For the privilege of parking on the street we need to cough up money for registering the car and getting a parking permit sticker. The option is to get a one or two year permit. We usually opt for two years just to avoid the hassle of removing the existing sticker and replacing it with a new one. I really miss our driveway, parking slab, and two car garage that we had in the Midwest. I never had to worry about finding a place to park, or having to leave the two cars we had on the street and in the elements. But things are different in the concrete jungle. At least we only have one car to deal with here. Fortunately the parking issue is usually on Tuesday - Thursday because a lot of the congestion is due to congressional staff who are only in the neighborhood during the week. There are five congress people who live in our building. They live here Tuesday - Thursday. You can set your clock by it. I suppose you could get by living here without a car, but we just aren’t ready for that step yet. So for as long as we do enjoy driving, we will need to keep renewing our registration. So we got our scraper out, removed the old sticker, and secured the new one on that expires in 2020. Who knows what will be going on then?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Bandolier IPhone 8 Plus Case and Carrier Strap

When I got my iPhone 6Plus a few years ago I was still working and needed a carrying case for it because I didn’t have pockets and needed my phone with me. I found one that worked well that also had pockets for money, etc. Now that I am retired I still need a carrying case for my new iPhone 8Plus. My old case fit the new phone, but it was taped together from solid use, the hinge was broken, thread was raveling, and anytime I wanted to take a photo I had to remove the phone first before I could take the picture. So I searched around for something that might work to meet my usual needs and found the Bandolier leather case and carry strap. What I liked about it was that it covered the phone - but left the front open - and had a long enough adjustable strap to carry it cross body. So when I wanted to take a photo - which is all the time - I just had to grab it and shoot. Since I am very careful with my phone I didn’t see the “no front” cover design as an issue. I’m sure some people are worried about scratching or breaking the glass. When I’m not using it on its’ own, you can unclip the strap from the phone. And though I don’t have a wireless charger, this case is supposed to work without having to remove the it. So far I’ve had it a couple of weeks and it is working out well. I gave my husband the Otterbox case I initially got for my new phone to put on the iPhone 6Plus that he inherited from me. So depending on what you use your phone for this case works very well. I suppose I could carry it around the house all day if I had to. But for now, that’s not necessary. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Drip, Drip, Drip - Not a Good Sign

Sometimes I really miss our Midwest home. At least if anything was wrong with it, it was our doing or we felt completely responsible for it. And we had the best handy man around to fix whatever it was. And he was there more often than one would think. But when you live in a shared space with strangers and other people who rent or don’t care about their space, you can feel quite helpless. And so goes the debate about owning a single family or condo unit, or renting all together. Last night my husband was in the kitchen and heard water dripping above his head so naturally we expected it to be coming from the apartment above us. After several phone calls and to make a very long story short, the problem ended up being a toilet overflowing in the apartment not above us, but one over from above us. Of course neither homeowner was home - which is always an issue here - especially on weekends in this town. And of course, these problems always occur on the weekends. In the end the problem was identified and curtailed, but we don’t feel the same about our kitchen. It’s not a pleasant sight to watch water dripping and sloshing from the light fixture and seeing the ceiling turn brown. It will take awhile to get over it. In the meantime, no one can put a price on the psychological distress this situation causes. It wasn’t the first time it has happened and won’t be the last. The sad thing is that it could have been prevented. But what makes it even more upsetting is that the person who lives there probably doesn’t even care - we haven’t heard from anyone yet. And I don’t think that matters wherever you live. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Gardens and Seating Options

When the temps get warmer, but not really hot and humid, we prefer to walk under the shady trees in the neighborhood rather than the concrete jungle of the National Mall. When it gets really hot, Union Station is the place to wander as it is air conditioned. Getting to and from can be grueling, but we always have a water bottle on hand. So today we walked all the way to H street and followed the shade all the way. The neighborhood is always changing and it’s fun to see what is new on the walkabout. Usually cats sit in the front windows, but a cute little pooch was perched on the window ledge inside the house and smiling back. One of the patio doors looked like something from inside the house with glass insets. There were several patio seating options to be found. Some of them were obviously much nicer than others. Unfortunately many of the garden spots have blue garbage containers nearby. That sort of ruins the ambiance and charm. The hydrangea plants were all different colors in full bloom. It is a very quirky and eclectic neighborhood which is why we like it. There is a lot to be said about all of these old places. On days like this we really like it. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

In the Neighborhood

Usually when we take our morning walk we head towards the national mall and Smithsonian buildings. But when it gets too hot, we prefer to stay in the shade and away from the concrete jungle. Since today was warm, but not blistering, we decided a stroll through the neighborhood and it was the best if we stayed on the shady side of the street. The goal of the walk was to end up at Ted’s Bulletin for breakfast. With school out or almost out we weren’t sure if it was going to be too busy. The best time is to arrive after breakfast and before lunch. So before we went there we walked straight up third street to H where there is tons of construction going on like it seems to be everywhere else. Within two blocks are Giant and Whole Foods grocery stores. The red streetcar buzzed by past the myriad of restaurants and apartment buildings. But it’s still too urban for my taste - I much prefer the charm of Capitol Hill but also know a lot of that charm is in your head when you’re dealing with 100 plus year old structures. Someone had balloons tied to a fence in front of their house announcing twins. We passed through Eastern Market on the way to Ted’s. It was busier than usual but we were earlier than usual. We have been there often enough that the wait staff know us. Now we need to decide what we want to do for the rest of the summer. We just don’t have a plan just yet - except to walk in the neighborhood. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our Mama Eugenia and Brix American Bistro

Last week we went to Great Falls Park in Virginia to see the angry Potomac River after weeks of rain. Afterwards we thought we would try a Greek place that we had seen earlier in the month. So we drove to the little shopping mall strip and went in to Brix for lunch. It was very good - the environment was pleasant with an outdoor garden area and the food was good - especially the Greek salad. But something was telling me that this wasn’t the restaurant we intended to go to because I wasn’t seeing Mama Eugenia anywhere - or souvlaki. Wouldn’t you know that we went in to the wrong door! The restaurants are right next to each other and we just went in the first place under the canopy. We weren’t sorry we went there, but I was disappointed that it wasn’t the one we thought it was. So we decided to go again today - just for the ride - and to try Our Mama Eugenia. And we are so glad we did! The food and service was excellent - we even got in to a discussion about Spain since our waiter was from there. As usual we have enough leftovers for dinner tonight, and without having wine for lunch, it’s always a better deal. So now we found two more places to dine out. It’s a bit of a drive but well worth it.