Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring WAS Here

Two days ago we were walking through the beautiful Smithsonian and botanical gardens. The wind had finally died down after weeks of unrelentless storms and unpleasant weather. It was a beautiful sight to see. All the daffodils were in bloom and the flowering trees were about to open. The sun was brilliant and warm and it felt so good to be outside. Today is the first day of spring and we are expecting a winter storm with more snow accumulation than we have had all winter. Today is again rainy and dreary and cold. And because I have a cold and still a very stiff knee that was just diagnosed with arthritis last week, we didn’t take our usual morning walk. I really miss having our routine and being held captive with minor but aggravating irritations is not appreciated. So I’ll go back and look at the photos from two days ago and pretend that spring is really here. If I look out the window it tells a whole other story. Winter was one of the reasons we left the Midwest. I feel like I’m living there again. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Vicks NyQuil

We were just talking about it the other day. No one seems to get colds anymore. Neither my husband nor I can remember the last time we had one. And, every fall we get a flu shot just to be on the safe side. When we worked in healthcare it was a requirement to get one. When I worked at the Library of Congress I got one because it was the smart thing to do. So last week when I went to the prompt care clinic, I had a feeling that we would get something out if it. The place is filled with germs with sick people coughing, and kooties flying around all over. I was just there for a sore knee which turned out to be my first bout with arthritis and a flare up. Three days later the sore throat, sneezing, and runny nose started. My husband swears it’s allergies, but I don’t think so. Because I’ve been taking aspirin for my knee, I probably didn’t notice the slight temp. So last night I dragged out the NyQuil. The expiration date is 2016, so it’s been sitting there for quite awhile. I took it anyway before going to bed and slept a good few hours. This morning I still have a sore throat, congestion, sneezing, and tired feeling. It wouldn’t be so bad but I’ve been dealing with this knee for about a month and would love to start feeling normal again. I’m beginning to wonder if that’s ever going to happen. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

L’Occitane en Provence Skin Cream

I got a lovely box of L’Occitane cream products for Christmas. There was a big jar of body cream; a tube of foot cream; a tube of hand cream; and two soaps for the bath. I usually use whatever cream or lotion I find in the grocery store - Vaseline Intensive Care or Aveeno. Lately I have been keeping all the sample size Neutrogena products from the hotels we stay at and put them in the guest basket in the monk’s room for visitors. Especially during the dry winter months my skin gets quite flakey and dry. Since I got the L’Occitane products I thought I would give them a try. So I’ve been using the body lotion on my legs after a shower. And every evening I was using the foot cream - it’s already gone. I did notice a big difference on my heels. They were smooth and silky - very rare this time of year. I’ve replaced it with neutrogena lotion since my supply ran out and it feels like water compared to the whipped body and thick foot creams. So I am now a believer in the L’Occitane brand. My husband thinks all of this is nonsense and he is probably right. But it really is a thicker and creamier product than the bottled lotions. And it smells really nice too. So I ordered replacements on Amazon and am looking forward to using the product again. It’s probably all in my head, but that’s how it all works. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Merch by Amazon - LITs Pooches, Kitties and Other Sweet Faces

I’ve been creating digitalart custom pet portraits for the last several years. I have an Etsy shop online, and several others. After updating my Zazzle shop over the last couple of weeks I researched what other sites might be worth exploring and came across Merch by Amazon. I’ve always wanted to get connected to Amazon, but custom pet portraits is not an option. But uploading my artwork to sell on a T-shirt is. This site requires an invitation and approval before it can be used - unlike the others that you just open a shop. So I requested an invitation and filled in the application. I then received an email that the application was approved and I could start uploading ten items only as a prelim step. Additional images can be added only after the current ones sell within a 120day period. The problem for me is that everything I do is on the iPad. I don’t have a desktop or laptop with photoshop or other artist software. I use sketchbook pro. So I first had to eliminate the “white background” on the images and make them transparent. Then I needed to resize the images to the specifications and be sure they were in png format. I figured out how to do all of that and it was terribly time consuming. So I finally uploaded several images and had to configure the product, add product details, come up with titles, descriptions, bullet points, and everything else, and review the detail page. After feeling somewhat confident I finally sent one design off to go live. I got a message that it needed to be reviewed first. Then I got the email notice that the new product was live on Amazon. If nothing else, it was exciting to see my creation on that website. So I tweeted about it, put in on pinterest, added it to my Facebook page, posted it to Instagram and am writing about it on my blog. I am hoping someone out there sees it and likes it! It’s from LITs Pooches, Kitties and Other Sweet Faces. I’m only allowed one item per day, so please check back! It was quite an ordeal, but I’m just so pleased I was able to do it! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Apple TV and Acorn App

We decided to get Apple TV last year when we got our new LG TV. I thought the mirroring capability from the iPad might be handy, but we only used it a few times. I really wasn’t interested in any new subscription service since our cable bill is already bad enough. Then we learned about Acorn TV and decided to get a free week trial. For whatever reason I couldn’t find the app on Apple TV. I downloaded it on my iPad and iPhone. We tried to mirror the programs and it just wasn’t crisp or clear enough and streamed poorly. I tried to access the programming from the acorn website and mirror it. That didn’t work either. I knew there had to be a way to make it work and kept finding information about the right kind of Apple TV, etc. I searched on the acorn tv web site and found general Q and A’s. In the meantime we lost the signal to Apple TV so I had to search about how to reboot it. It’s been so long since we used it last that I had to find my notes about accessing it. It was getting quite frustrating so I put it all away for the night and tried again the next morning. I was finally able to find the acorn app on Apple TV and voila! Now I had to figure out how to get closed captioned working because it’s impossible to understand all things English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish! So now we’ve had a free week trial and love every episode of season 8 Doc Martin and all the new Midsomer Murders. There is so much great content available we almost forgot we still have cable. I just tried to update the subscription on the app to annual vs month to month and am not sure it went through. Let’s hope we don’t get charged twice for this programming. I have a feeling there will be a glitch. (Photos are from the acorn app) 


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MedStar Prompt Care

For the last three weeks my right knee has not been right. The first two weeks I hobbled along hoping it would go away. It didn’t. Then I started taking aspirin two times per day for another week. It didn’t help much. The pain is now in both my knee and my hip. So I called my doctor’s office to see if I could get in. Forget it. They recommended that we go to the Prompt Care service across the street. So we walked in and took our place in line at this urgent care clinic. Having never used it we didn’t realize you could book a time on line, but also once you are there, you can leave and they will text you thirty minutes before your appointment. So we went back home and waited to get notified. We did, and there was going to be a thirty minute delay. So we could at least plan accordingly. When we got back to the clinic, the place was packed with patients. I was called back to the exam room within a few minutes, but ended up waiting another forty five minutes. The staff acted like they didn’t want to be there, but the nurse practitioner was on point. The exam took all of five minutes and I left with a referral to see a sports medicine physician - who was there - but was booked for the day. So we made an appointment for Friday at his Chevy Chase location to take the next step. Now I have a bandage wrapped on my knee, waiting for an inflammatory drug to arrive from Express Scripts, keeping my leg elevated, and stopping our 2 1/2 mile walks every day. Both my husband and I were health care practitioners - he a surgeon and me a nurse. Things have changed since we both retired. It’s times like this when we miss our dear colleagues and friends. That’s when you want to see a friendly face and be taken care of like we always did. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Beyer Subaru Brake Light Fix

When we were driving home on Sunday evening a gentleman beeped his horn and pulled up next to us. He told us our right brake light was out. Who knows how long that was going on? So yesterday we drove our Forester to Beyer Subaru in Alexandria to get it checked. There is a new service area there that requires no appointment. We have used it before for oil and filter changes and hoped this issue could also be addressed. When we reached the desk the staff were very welcoming and said it would not take long and asked if we also wanted the complimentary car wash and vacuum. So we waited about thirty minutes and it was done. Changing the clock due to daylight savings is a real chore on this car so I asked if they wouldn’t mind doing that as well - and they did. So while it is a pain in the neck to deal with this junk, it was a painless experience. How does one know when a brake light is out? The automated warning system doesn’t include that on the list of monthly car check updates. Maybe it should. (Photos taken from the internet)