Thursday, March 31, 2011


Baseball is big in my family. My brother was drafted by the Orioles and played a little minor league ball as a left handed pitcher- and is named in the baseball Hall of Fame! I went to more baseball games than most while growing up. Baseball seems to be making a comeback. My grandson is on the Capitol Hill little league team. Yesterday he and his Mom went to the Nationals pre opening game activities to visit with the players and get some autographs. My Dad and brother went to all the Spring training games in Florida... the Cardinals were based in St. Petersburg. Opening day rarely has decent baseball temperatures, and today was no different. It was in the 40's and drizzly. Up north, there is now a covered stadium- so at least if it snows, the inhabitants are not affected. A colleague at work said that they used to get the day off from school to attend opening day ceremonies. Some things never change.
Casey Stengel-
we have an autographed ball to go along with this picture!

My brother and a Cardinal player from the 60's-
anyone know who it is?

My brother and a Mets player from the 60's-
don't know this one either

My grandson and Strasburg
of the Nationals from yesterday


I can't help but continue to share cherry blossom adventures. While walking home on Sunday we came across the absolute perfect dress for the season! We were so impressed by the outfits that we asked the parents if it was okay to take the picture. The faces were angelic, but are hidden to protect the innocent. The combination of hats, stockings, and coats was remarkable, and blended in with the various shades of cherry blossom pink.
Absolutely precious!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Both my husband and I had an appointment with different doctors at the same place this morning. It's only a few blocks away, so it is convenient. Both of us were health care professionals in our previous careers, and I have had MANY prescription adjustments, and about every test known to mankind. So I am frankly sick and tired of seeing the doctor and having anything to do with health care. Since we moved, we have had three different primary care physicians. We stay put- they don't. I was delinquent in making a six month appointment and was admonished for that, particularly because I'm having a couple medications adjusted and need blood work drawn. My visit was uneventful, though neither one of us can understand how a patient gets examined fully clothed! My husband, on the other hand, is perplexed by the approach, attitude, and actual examination.... some of the staff are really mean, and act like they don't want to be there. His physician listens to his kidney instead of his lungs, and pushes so hard on his neck vessels that he could cause a stroke just by doing that maneuver. His blood pressure is not only taken with his shirt on, but the stethoscope is placed no where near the artery. But, we figure if we really need something, we would see a specialist, or drive directly to the emergency room. He wondered if he mentioned the fact that he was a physician to the staff would make a difference. I don't think so. He was so used to being coddled and loved in the place that he worked, and deservedly so by the way. This whole experience takes some getting used to. Did anyone ever hear about customer service? The dentist, on the other hand, is wonderful! The dentist back home was not!

Monday, March 28, 2011


There is nothing that can replace the monuments against the backdrop of the cherry blossoms. But the natural beauty of the National Arboretum comes in a close second, and it is not as "touristy" as the Tidal Basin. There are even columns that were transported from the Capitol Building appearing like something from an ancient time. It reminds us of the Chicago Botanical Garden... but this is much closer to get to, and frequently visited throughout the year to witness the changing seasons.
A beautiful view

Wonder where these came from?

A great place to put up your feet

First cherry tree on the path through the park

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I didn't think that we would get a chance to visit the cherry blossoms because they were predicting SNOW today. And, by this time of the year, I have about had it with that stuff. We ended up with a light dusting overnight. But by the early afternoon, it was nice enough to take a walk. The scenery was beautiful, the crowds were reasonable, and it was a very pleasant experience. Now the sun is blazing with brilliant blue skies. So sorry it's Sunday! I'd like another day off.
It feels like a fairyland

Saturday, March 26, 2011


It was sunny but quite cold today. This little fellow found a spot in our garden out of the wind and would not move. I don't particularly care for mourning doves, but there was something about this one that I could not resist taking his picture. I think he was pretty young- he didn't even flinch when he saw me.

All fluffed up trying to stay warm

Friday, March 25, 2011


This is not an unusual sight. However, I think most people probably deserve the consequences. Based on our observations about following signs and taking responsibility for one's actions, it does not surprise us to think that folks feel they can just park their cars wherever, and for unlimited periods of time. Well, there are hoards of parking police people who go around and check for these discretions. After all, it is a way to enhance revenue for the city. Thank goodness we have never been on the receiving end. We used to have a 2 car garage and enough room on the driveway for 4 or 5 more cars. We never needed to pay that much attention to parking signs and restrictions. But now we have street parking, a parking sticker on the car windshield, and a parking permit to give to guests when they need a space during a visit. You would not believe how many people park their car, go to work, and then every two hours, move their car around the neighborhood. It is, by the way, illegal to give away or sell your personal parking permit. Not sure how it is enforced. Before we moved here, we would always visit the police station a few blocks away, and get a special voucher for the time period we would be in town visiting. Parking can be tricky, but it is usually reasonable if one follows the rules. Wish everyone did!
You really do need to read the signs- or you'll get the boot

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Another birthday is coming up on Saturday. And the gift arrived earlier than expected. And it was delicious! My husband's philosophy is that if you can't eat it, don't bother sending it; or better yet, don't send anything at all. We have no room for "stuff" in this small place, and he has long since graduated from college and does not need contributions made to that fund. The bulbs/flowers that are so lovingly cared for in the public corner garden by the house are also in full bloom, making for a festive occasion. It is Spring, but it's only in the 40's. The poor cherry blossoms will be freezing over the next few days. The festival starts next week. It has been rare that one can actually experience the beauty without winter coats. That was true before we moved here and remains the same now.

Spring is on the way

And brings with it a special birthday.....Delicious! All the way from California

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


A few weeks back, we saw the famous cupcake place in Georgetown. Last week we saw the Big Cheese Truck parked along First Street. Today was another cupcake truck parked for curbside service. It attracts customers like flies to honey. When I was walking home after work, a "Tasty Kabob" truck was rolling by. I don't think we will ever try one of them, but the colorful vehicles are constantly circulating around the neighborhood. Someone obviously is trying them, time and time again. I was told the going price for a cupcake was$3.00. How does that sound to you?
The line just started to gather... House Office Building in the background

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


We had the Great Circus Parade up north. The circus wagons and animals all headed by train to the lakefront from Baraboo. My Dad really liked the circus when it came to town back in the 1920's and 30's! We grew up near Sarasota, Florida, where we visited the Ringling Museums and mansion. One does not expect to see elephants and clowns in his back yard. Well, there they were today... just two blocks down the street. A few elephants, clowns, and assorted animals made their way through Capitol Hill, down Independence Avenue to the Verizon Center. It brings back a lot of memories. Wonder how long it will last?

Elephants loading off the train by the freeway

Waiting to get in line

Quite a sight to view from your living room!

Always poised to perfection

A crowd favorite

Aww, aren't they cute?

Teddy had the day off from baseball camp

Save the best for last

Monday, March 21, 2011


This is a beautiful time of the year. My friend tells me that the Star Magnolia by the Library of Congress Jefferson Building is the first to bloom on Capitol Hill every spring. But if you have allergies, it can be rather painful. Luckily, I don't seem to have whatever everyone else does. My husband, on the other hand, does. We don't remember having this phenomenon up north. And as we look at the beautiful blooms and flowers around the neighborhood, we are reminded of another splendid holiday. We would like to wish a Happy New Year to all of our Persian family, friends and everyone else in between!

The Jefferson Building

Along Independence Avenue

The Jefferson Building

A bee's delight!


Sunday, March 20, 2011


The weatherman said to get there by 7:30 PM. It was supposed to be the biggest moon in 18 years. Because it was a bit chilly, we drove over to the front of the reflecting pool and sat in the car for about an hour, waiting for the moon to make it's grand entrance. The woman from Maryland, who parked in front of us, was putting money in the parking meter. We told her we didn't think it was necessary. She had an FSU sticker in the window... we chatted a bit about her daughter who went to FSU. I went there too! Her husband had already gone out before her to set up all his camera equipment to get the perfect shot. So we waited for awhile, and waited a while longer. It was worth the wait.
Who do you suppose got the best shot?

We did!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It is warm enough (this weekend anyway) to plant a couple things in the back patio garden. It faces the south side and has east/west exposure. The birds have already returned to their drinking hole at the little solar controlled bubbling birdbath. Our favorite place to get just about anything for the garden is right near the house. We picked up a few perennials, and looked around at the always interesting garden ornaments, plants, and flowers for both inside and outside. We went to a place called the Secret Garden up north, and Ginkgo's has the same vibe. The folks there are really nice, and very helpful. Plus, it's in the neighborhood. We're so happy to have a patio/garden here - it's just big enough to take advantage of the 4 seasons, while also expanding our tiny living space. You never think when you move that you're going to find what you were used to, but in this instance, we definitely did.
A great place for all gardening needs-
right in the neighborhood

What hummingbird could resist?

A very inviting arrangement

A birdhouse to match any decor

Friday, March 18, 2011


Would you like to have a grilled cheese sandwich? Or perhaps macaroni and cheese. Or maybe a lobster sandwich. And of course, there are always the cupcakes. Any time we walk around the neighborhood, one or more of these vendors on wheels are popping up. I know of several people who track their favorite truck path on twitter, so they know not only the location, but the "hours of operation," whether there is a long line or not, and what's on the menu. We haven't tried one ourselves, but hear about how fast and easy this is in a fast and not so easy place.
I'll have a tomato soup with that grilled cheese

There actually is a line of people standing on the other side of the truck

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It was a little warmer over the last couple days, and due to be really nice by Friday. Impatient as I am to get my garden going, I wanted to plant the seeds from Monticello. I'm sure there are ten times more seeds in those packs than this little garden can handle. But I also know that only a few strong ones really make it past the infant stage. So, rather than just scattering the seeds around and hoping for the best, I made little "plots" of the same kind of seed, saved the envelopes they came in, covered the envelopes in plastic, and stuck them in the ground to remind me where I put them all. Let's hope for some really pretty Thomas Jefferson plants. and flowers... it's fun to think that the guy actually walked around this neighborhood! The growing season was so short up North- it's still snow covered there now. But everyone here has allergies. We were told that if you never had allergies before you moved here, you will definitely have them within 5 years. Everything does grow beautifully here, but there is a price to pay.
Hoping for a 10-20 foot vine out of this one!
(back there by the fence)

Monday, March 14, 2011


We have three types of police patrolling the streets in our neighborhood. Everywhere you look, there is a police presence. There are the city police, the capitol police, and the metro police. They are in cars, on bikes, and on horses. It does pay to be close to the Capitol building. But it can also be noisy when the sirens are on full blast. We used to see a police car once in awhile in the old neighborhood, and rarely was the siren going.
South Capitol, North Capitol, and East Capitol Streets
have the best views of a beautiful building
that deserves to be protected.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


It was sunny and bright today so we took a walk to the mall. We heard music, and by virtue of elimination, figured out it was the St. Patrick's Day parade. You never know what you will stumble across on a Sunday afternoon. I'm not Irish, but I have a lot of cousins who are.

Irish pride
The Archives in the background
Bolivia wants to join in on the fun!

An Irish Jig or two

Irish Terrier Club

Saturday, March 12, 2011


For some reason, we were not able to find the current March edition of the Hill Rag. We love the cover artwork. It is usually available around the first of the month. My husband, on his daily walk, searched high and low for it, and finally found one way out past Union Station, which really isn't that far away. Glad he was able to track it down. It reminds us that spring is definitely in the air.
Free art!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I arrived at work this morning at 8AM. By 9:30, the fire alarm went off, so everyone had to evacuate the building. We just went through this not too long ago. Once you get to your designated place and sign in, you are free to wander about until the "all clear" is communicated. We went to the building across the street, because it was still quite cold outside. By around 1100, we arrived back at the work station. So, there were about 3500 employees (maybe more, but it is a Friday, and less people are in the building... supposedly there are ~5000 employees all told....); assume an average $20.00 per hour wage; for one and one half hours of down time. How much did that cost us in non-productive time and money? Because there was an actual fire that needed to be extinguished... could it have been prevented? Usually in this neighborhood, people don't proactively fix things. They wait until it breaks. And even if you do something proactively, your neighbor doesn't, so you rarely benefit from being on top of things. When we moved to the "other" building, someone asked why that building never has fire alarms and ours always does. Someone quipped that the people in THAT building are more important. I guess that is all relative.
Employees exiting the building, the fire trucks just arrived...
Another $100,000+ wasted

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The city is sending notices that sandbags are available to pick up in light of the rainstorms and flooding that are expected all day and into the evening. Luckily, we do live on a hill, and the water usually runs away from us. We do check the gutters around the back yard to make sure the leaves have not clogged it up. We also lived on a hill "up north" and never had any incidents with flooded basements. But water seems to be a general problem in this neighborhood...... on another note, the "fear" of a government shut down is generating a lot of rumors. Management is attempting to address the issues and prepare for the inevitable. The last item heard was an 8 week furlough as a result of a hugely decreased appropriation. It will be interesting to see what happens next. The weather really does reflect the mood of the neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


There are a lot of stray cats in the neighborhood. Some get really good treatment. Check this one out. Not only does he have an igloo, but also blankets & pillows, and food and water bowls. He's also protected inside the property line by the iron yard fence. I wonder how many others critters try to take over when he is away? I much prefer dogs, but this is quite the scene. Thanks, M, for taking and sharing the picture!
A palace to be had! I wonder how he earns his keep?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I was walking home for lunch today and happened upon an unusual sight - a horse in front of a restaurant that is frequented by a lot of folks who work on Capitol Hill. The restaurant just went through a major renovation. And it is called Bullfeathers, after Teddy Roosevelt, who used the term routinely. Maybe this is a way to celebrate the re-opening and get some attention. I asked three people why the horse was there- no one seemed to know. But everyone was taking turns having their picture taken with him. There was a sign posted in front that said Clyde would be there from 1-2 PM, and that a Busch product, in a bottle, would be available for $3.00 for lunch. The closest I got to a horse back home was at the state fair.

One admirer of many

Just like in the ads- check out those feet

What a pretty face!