Sunday, August 20, 2017

Empty Streets on Sunday in August

Sunday morning is usually very quiet in town. But if you add the month of August in to the mix it is more than quiet. As usual we took our morning walk. When it is too hot to take the national mall route, we prefer the air conditioned union station. I like the national mall scenery much more - especially the gardens around all the Smithsonian buildings. Today just seemed eerily silent... past the Supreme Court and Capitol, the senate office buildings, through the park down to Massachusetts Avenue in front of Union Station. Inside the station was the same. Most of the retail shops and restaurants weren't open yet, and the lines boarding the trains were not snaking all across the terminal. Pennsylvania Avenue looked odd too, and the closer we got back to our neighborhood, there wasn't a vehicle in sight. Things change dramatically when Monday rolls around, and the congestion and lack of street parking gets to be quite annoying. So we should enjoy the silence. But since I am not a person of extremes, I much prefer the same pace every day. I don't think that will ever happen in this city.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

All good things must come to an end. When you watch as much television as we do, it becomes more and more difficult to say goodbye! There are a lot of series that have come and gone, and all the characters become our good friends. The shows fall in to a couple of different categories: on for only one season, on for several seasons, something my husband prefers to something I like much more - to something we both love. Some of them we are not sure either one of us will like, and then it becomes one of our favorites. We love most Masterpiece productions, but now we watch FX and AMC, among others. Last weekend TURN ended after a few seasons. I love history, and liked the British Majors in the show. It was sad to see them go, and it won't be back. I've since read about some of the more obscure players in the storyline. My husband didn't care for it. But with each season of Fargo, he is entranced - so much so that we actually stopped in Fargo, North Dakota to visit the authentic woodchipper from the original movie. I really liked Taboo and Tom Hardy - he didn't care for it.  But we both loved the British Bake off  and My Mother and Other Strangers. Then there are The Durrells of Corfu, Victoria, Poldark, Feud, Mercy Street, Dickensian, and the Tunnel. We have recognized many of the same actors in several shows. Aside from these are all the HGTV and home improvement series and of course Project Runway! Somehow one associates with the character or the story line and doesn't want it to end. Luckily something better usually comes along. But when it ends, it's a very sad thing indeed. (All photos were taken from the Internet)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kitchen Clean Up and Reorganization

The bathroom renovation will not be done until next week. But we just completed some minor updates to the kitchen in our tiny condo - backsplash, faucet, and a light fixture with a dimmer switch. The entire floor of the unit was resurfaced with ceramic tile that looks like wood, except we left the kitchen floor as is. Yesterday we cleaned up the windows inside and out, and polished up the appliances. The wood cabinets do need some touching up, but that's not happening in this phase. So the next best thing is to clean out the cabinets, clean up the surfaces on the inside, and throw out whatever is no longer needed. This is the beginning of another great purge since we moved here from the Midwest eleven years ago. Things have a way of accumulating regardless of where you live and the size of the house. So we intend to go room by room and toss anything that we haven't used within the last year or two, and organize things in a way that makes sense. For those items that still have a life - just not with us - we will donate to a few folks who are happy to take them off our hands. I've got plenty of Grip Premium liner to cover all the shelves. I am hoping we can keep things tidy and neat for another eleven years.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Guardian ShowerGuard

When we renovated our bathroom in our Midwest home about 15 years ago, we had a glass shower door that became cloudy and ugly. It was also surrounded by gold trim, which looked good at the time, but certainly not a preference today. So when we remodeled our very outdated bathroom here in our tiny condo this month, our choices were more limited. But we knew we wanted to yank out the tub and have a clear glass shower door to not only brighten up the closet sized space, but make it appear a little bigger. Our vanity, sink, faucet and storage cabinet are not yet in, but the shower door was delivered yesterday. ABC Glass and Mirror installed the door and did a nice job. We thought we would be able to open it both in and out, but in order to minimize the water escaping, we had to decide to make it open out only. We decided not to have a towel bar, although on second thought I wish we did. We did however, have two hooks put on the top - rather than built in - of the stationary glass door so as to hang a towel or bathrobe or anything else that needed to be handy after a shower. We haven't tried out the new place yet because it isn't done yet. We still need to register the door for a limited lifetime warranty. It certainly beats the ugly shower curtain and just looks a whole lot neater. Now we just need to find a suitable squeegie!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Uniqlo at Union Station

When it is really hot outside - or really cold - we take our walk at Union Station. It is three levels of air conditioning and allows us to stay in the neighborhood to continue our morning routine.  We just need to get there and back, which is about 8 blocks away from our house. There are a lot of retail shops on every floor of the large building, and many have opened and closed over the years. We wondered what would be going in the blocked off space in the lower level food court area a few weeks ago. A new Samsung shop just opened there. On the third floor, a Legal Seafood is going in; on the first floor, a Cava restaurant is being built. On the other side of the main terminal floor a large space stood empty for quite some time. We noticed a lot of activity going on lately, but all the windows were covered. There was no signage to signal what it would be. So today when we walked by the space, there were banners in the window that this space would be a Uniqlo store that is opening in the fall of this year. We were not familiar with this brand, and looked it up when we got home. It is a Japanese label with very clean and trendy lines, with reasonable prices. My understanding is there are also stores in Virginia and downtown DC. I don't think it's a destination for me or my husband. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Backsplash For A Kitchen Update

We started a bathroom renovation in our 1890's condo unit about six weeks ago. All the major work is done and we are now waiting on the vanity, sink, storage cabinet, and glass shower door. The entire floor of the 500 square foot unit was also redone in ceramic tile that looks like wood. We don't want to have to worry about water issues in any of the rooms! So now we are just making minor updates on items that have been on the list of "to do's" since we moved here eleven years ago. The tiny kitchen space always needed a backsplash of some sort, so we decided on a tile that went with the existing black countertop. It's not quite done, but it already looks so much nicer than the old plain wall. We never liked the track lights with lightbulbs that we couldn't figure out how to change, so we will be replacing that with a chandelier to match the backsplash - along with a dimmer switch that will allow for some control over the poor lighting in the unit. And since the faucet drips, we thought a replacement was in order, and the Delta black rubber design looked right for the space. We haven't decided on a table for the tiny place so for now we will keep the existing drop leaf and keep our eyes open for something less intrusive. When we lived in Wisconsin we renovated every room to our satisfaction. We are somewhat limited here, didn't use a designer, and relied on our best instincts, and are so far happy with the results. Soon it will all look like it was always that way. We are both anxious for the day!

Monday, August 14, 2017

An Amateur Animal or Insect Behavioralist

I am sure I drive my husband crazy with my constantly taking photographs. The iPhone was the best thing that ever happened to someone like me! I have always loved taking photos. I had the original Swinger instant camera, the first Sony movie camera, and the first digital camera with floppy disks, along with all the standard regular cameras out there. I couldn't wait to have the film developed. So take this love of photography and match that with animal and insect observation, who knows what might happen? I watched a firefly so long one time On our patio garden that he finally jumped on my arm and we had quite a chat! When we walk on the mall even the mundane squirrel, bird, hawk, pigeon or crow get my attention. This morning as we were walking through the US Botanic Garden steps by Bartholdi Fountain, we saw a bunch of ants running around for the first time this summer. It is so intriguing to watch what they are doing, who is carrying what, the direction they are moving, etc. And whenever I see ants I am reminded of my FSU biology professor whose life work is fire ants, but was also my mentor. I can still see him leaning over his microscope when I would visit his office to lament over some unfortunate circumstance. Following the ants we passed by a few bees on our way through the garden. Maybe I missed my true calling. But if it had became work, I probably wouldn't like it as much.