Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Swapping Pillows Is All It Takes

When we moved to DC eleven years ago, we bought a tiny one bedroom 500 square foot condo. Four years later, we bought a studio apartment across the hall, so we have almost 1000 square feet of living space. This arrangement sounds odd, but it actually works out really well. You could say we have two of everything, including two living room spaces, two bathrooms, two kitchens. One side has a private patio; the other side has a tiny monk's room, a Murphy bed, and a great street view. When we got the couch for the living room in the studio apartment, it came with two pillows that matched the fabric. But, they were not very comfortable amd the feathers were driving us crazy. We recently added a new kitchen backsplash to the other unit, and wanted to jazz up the pillows on the black leather sofa there. I looked and looked for something that went better with the new decor. Then it dawned on me that the uncomfortable feather pillows from the studio side would work much better on the other side, and the cushy larger pillows on the other side would do nicely in the studio. I suppose that's the one thing that makes the two sides work. Since the color schemes are the same, the furniture can be swapped back and forth. Which unit do we like more? We couldn't have one without the other. And every square foot is used.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Yards Park on the Anacostia

It has been awhile since we last walked along the southeast river walk by Yards Park. We usually take the concrete jungle National Mall route - unless it is so hot - then we go to the air conditioned union station. My husband likes to mix it up more and I prefer a routine path, so we diverted this morning to the Anacostia River. When we first moved here eleven years ago there was really nothing there except what was the new Department of Transportation. But once the Nationals Stadium was built, it's been cranes overhead ever since. It is supposed to become one of - if not THE - most populated areas in DC. The number of apartments, condos, single family homes, hotels and restaurants is unbelievable. It was sad to see the poor slugs walking to work on a Monday morning, but I did enough of that for over forty years so I didn't feel too bad about it. We spent most of the walk along the river rather than the noise and congestion of the construction. It was quite tranquil in spite of it all. The area must be packed for all the games and night life. We much prefer our more suburban feel neighborhood to the high rise metal and windows. But, to each his own. If you get bored with one, you can simply walk over to the other.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Brilliant Wireless Remote Control LED Puck Lights

I have always wanted additional lighting on the TV surround cabinet and over the kitchen sink in our tiny condo. After researching the subject, last week we received six undercounter puck lights with a remote control from Amazon through London Johnson. We really like them so far. We also put one each in two dark closets we have, and it's just what is needed to finally see what is inside. Since they work nicely, we decided to get two more for above the kitchen sink in our other unit, and for the entryway hall where we hang coats and store shoes. Yesterday they arrived and I put the lights up using the 3M sticky tape that comes with them. It's just enough light to create a certain ambiance, and comes in very handy. We probably won't use them that frequently, but they are exactly what we needed. Yes, they are battery operated, but hey are also wireless, can be dimmed, and can also be set on a timer for four different options. The tiny remote control works from about 15 feet away, barring any obstructions. The owner of the business is also very responsive and sent a message asking if we had any questions or issues with his product. We would highly recommend the lights. Now let's just hope they stick! If they don't, tiny screws are also included in the package if you want to take that route. But I think I would use industrial strength Velcro if it comes to that.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dear Flower Moves to the Patio Garden

We moved to DC eleven years ago. One of the first things we got for the kitchen table was a flower that we planted in a pot. It has survived all this time with several saves by cutting it back and keeping a close eye on it. My husband likes to have one flower rather than several, and tends to it - and the garden - with loving care. Last month we did a bit of renovation that included putting in a new backsplash in the kitchen. We have also been trying to update the place and continue to make it look clean, without a lot of peripheral stuff lying about. The flower has become a bit unwieldy for the small table and space, so we decided to finally move it outside to the patio garden. We have seen these plants out at the Smithsonian castle gardens, so that gave us hope that it will be able to survive the winter. So we found the perfect spot for it next to the mums and the impatiens, in the full sun. The kitchen table now looks less cluttered, and the flower - though it will be missed - will continue to get a lot of attention. So when I get bouquets of cut flowers for the wall vase, I will put a couple of them in a small table vase. It just makes the house look more cheerful.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Early Signs of Fall are in the Air

It seems like it was just summer... and this summer was memorable in more ways than one. We started it off in June with a cross country road trip to the great Pacific west coast. We drove to Oregon and back and saw some remarkable things - including the woodchipper in Fargo, North Dakota. In July we had six weeks of remodeling and renovation disruption. We decided it was time to redo the bathroom and are so happy with the end result. Luckily we had another unit across the hall to retreat to during the mess. Last month my 94 year old mom fell and broke her hip which necessitated an emergency trip to Florida, surgery, and rehab. A week or so after we left Florida, the horrible hurricane Irma was heading to the Tampa Bay Area. My mother needed to be evacuated from one rehab to another. Luckily she survived the disaster, her house didn't get damaged, and she should be back at the old rehab today, and hopefully home soon. So the last time we walked through the Botanic garden, the flowers and leaves were changing from summer to fall. Where does the time go? I think we have all heard that question before.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

LLBean Mittens

Last winter was very cold. And when you walk every morning, you need to wear whatever keeps you warm. Both my husband and I are huge LLBean fans. Most, if not all, of the clothes we wear for our concrete jungle walks are from there. I have a longer length waterproof down coat with a hood, and a three in one raincoat with a down lining that can be removed or worn by itself, depending on the temp. Of course, there are waterproof walking shoes, boots, and lumberjack hats. These garments are all great for road trips too. We even have hand and foot warmers when it's really disgusting outside. We also have gloves. But the one thing we didn't have was mittens. I looked for some at the end of the season last year, but none were to be had. So I thought I would get a head start this year and see what was available. We went to the store in McLean, but the mittens has not arrived yet. So I went online and there they were, with a 25% discount. So I ordered up a pair for both of us. They arrived last week - mine are purple, and my husband's are grey. I can't say I am looking forward to winter - that's the main reason we left the Midwest. But at least we are better prepared.