Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brown Dog

The Storm

Our connection to the Midwest continues. It seems that any storm that originates in Chicago follows a path to DC. Most often, when it crosses the mountains it subsides. But with the heat and weird weather we have been having these days, we expereinced the most unusual chain of events last evening. Growing up in Florida, I have been in hurricanes. And obviously in the Midwest, we had many snow storms. But since we moved to DC, we have had an earthquake, a snowstorm with 2 feet of snow that paralyzed the city, and a hurricane. In Milwaukee we experienced a wind sheer that took out most of the trees in the neighbohood. One of the huge branches landed on the power lines and pulled them away from the house. We were without electricity for several days. Last night, my husband brought in the cushions from the patio because rain was predicted. As soon as he came in, we heard this unbelievable wind and it felt like the house would be blown away. Sheets of water were pouring from the roof. Rain was hitting the windows so hard we could not see out of them. I was thinking Noah's Ark and The Wizard of Oz. Luckily the patio is in a protected area, and the umbrella didn't take off. We listened to the news that close to one million folks were without power around us. Luckily, we were spared. Today we took a ride around town and things are a mess. No operating tafffic lights meant car accidents in Virginia, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival was canceled today becasue half the tents blew away, and there were downed trees all along the Mall. And the temperature is climbing. Let's hope this is the last of it.
A large tree fell in the Lyndon Johnson Memorial Grove along the GW Parkway

All the traffic lights are out- this one resulted in a 4 car crash

The workers are observing the accident from the metro work site

A welcome sight with 1 Million without power

A huge tree down by the Lincoln Memorial

Fallen branches along the Smithsonian Buildings placed in the cart

By the Air and Space Museum
Our neighborhood

Friday, June 29, 2012


Dallas really does not have much to do with either DC or Milwaukee. But now that the TV show returned to prime time, it does. The only reason there is a connection is beacuse we faithfully watched all 13 seasons of the original episodes. I couldn't wait until Friday evening to get home from work, have dinner, and settle in to a comfortable spot and watch the show. We oftentimes scheduled activities around having to be home in time to watch. Obviously those were the days before VCR's and streaming. How things have changed. But what hasn't is the fun watching this rediculous show and that they key players are still around and kicking. It also reminds us of another time, just like certain songs and music does. It's not so much the show but what was going on around us that brings back the memories. But it's still fun to watch so many years later, even if it is on a Wednesday.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court Health Care Decision

As I was unable to attend the event because I had to work, my husband diligently took some photos in front of the Supreme Court this morning while on his daily walk. He walks with me from our house to work, which is 2 blocks down the street to the Library of Congress, and then he continues on past the Capitol near to the Washington Monument and back. He's been walking just about every morning since he retired. But the landscape changed from Milwaukee and Grant Park and Lake Michigan, to the sidewalks of the Capitol City. Today was a great example of actually being a part of living history. He generally passes behind the Supreme Court. But the activity was well on it's way this morning, and he promised to pass by the front. I'm not sure exactly what the decision will mean to us. But I have a feeling we won't get any breaks. We both spent our careers in health care, and have never seen spending decrease for anything. Luckily I don't have to deal with that anymore in the work setting, but as a comsumer, we all will have to- whatever that eventually means.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Navy Memorial

Along Pennsylvania Avenue across from the Archives is the Navy Memorial. It's not as obvious as some of the others, but a lot of folks do stop by and seem to be enchanted by the low key nature of it all. It is really a very pleasant area to sit, relax, and exjoy the crowds as they pass by. My mother was in the Navy during WWII, so it has some meaning. But the Women in the Military Exhibit is at Arlington. We once joined some friends for dinner at a restaurant located right next to this place. The view was wonderful, but the food was awful. Right up the street is the Spy Museum and the Portrait Gallery. And all along the Avenue are statues related to Civil War Generals and war time events. When we visited another country awhile back, we were struck by the fact that the memorials and statues were focused on poets and storytellers rather than warriors and statesmen. Interesting....
Scenes from WWII

Capturing some sort of action

The "P" coat - I had one in college
The ship mast

This place better have a water feature

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Michael Craig Men's Grooming

My husband used to go to Joe the Barber on Oakland Avenue in Milwaukee for a haircut. It was nothing special, but easy to get to and reasonably priced. When we moved here, he's tried a few different places. The first shop was a few blocks away near Union Station. It was okay, but some times he would come home with uneven sideburns. Our grandson goes to the barber shop near the marine barracks for a "high and tight" cut, but my husband isn't in to that style. He then tried a place that's been around since the 70's, and the haircut was actually quite nice and short. But once in awhile he would come home with a nick or a cut. The master barber didn't wear glasses and probably needed to. Last year while we were filling up the car with gas, I noticed a new haircut place that looked really nice. I put the name in my IPhone so we could look it up. I did, and my husband didn't seem too interested. But, the last haircut did him in, and he was searching for something a little more upscale. So this week he tried Michael Craig's on Pennsylvania Avenue and liked it a lot. It wasn't so much the haircut, but the treatment he got from the stylist. They must know about customer service because the experience won him over. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. And he deserves it! (Photos from the Michael Craig website)
It was a very pleasant experience

He liked the stylist and the place

It was worth the switch

A Hidden Treasure

It's not every day that I come home from work and all the meaningful elements collide in such a positive way. The weather was just perfect, the day went well, and we both felt like sitting outside for a glass of wine on the patio. It's not at all unusual to have a glass of wine in the evening with dinner. But in this town, living in a condo does not necessarily mean there is a place to sit outside. Even though the actual living square footage is significantly less than what we were used to in Milwaukee, ours is one of the few units that has outdoor space. It is really a treasure, and not taken lightly. It is one of the few requirements we had in mind when we moved. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and enjoy the weather, and the garden, and have some extra space for storage. And a place to grow the vegetables. Not bad for an urban place, and it reminds me of suburbia.
A delight beyond words

In acrylic glasses

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Capitol Fourth of July Celebation

We usually are not in town on the fourth of July, but this year we will be. We attended the Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol in May, but as soon as we arrived the crowd was asked to leave because of severe thunderstorms. We also attend a few of the Army Band concerts on the Capitol steps on Friday evenings throughout the summer. And again on Labor Day, there is also another concert. Memorial Day is a somber event, while Labor Day marks the end of summer- another somber event. A Capitol Fourth Concert is packed with visitors, tourists, and residents alike and has its share of "celebrities." And of course the fireworks display is spectacular with cannons and all.
Broadway stars Matthew Broderick, Megan Hilty and Kelli O'Hara will be among the performers for this year's A Capitol Fourth, to be broadcast live by PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, on July 4 from 8pm to 9:30pm ET (check local listings), according to reports. Dancing with the Stars' Tom Bergeron will host the event, which will also feature American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, The Voice winner Javier Colon; country singer Josh Turner, pop singer Russell Watson, R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; the National Symphony Orchestra; and a tribute to Team USA honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, featuring composer John Williams.(from Theater Mania)

Usually there is a dress rehearsal the evening before, and it is more low key and less crowded, but not everyone shows up. Since none of the "stars" are a must-see, it hardly matters. The weather oftentimes dictates which one we go to. It really is quite a sight to see the monuments and the fireworks with the 1812 Overture playing. We could watch it on TV like everyone else, but there is something about having a front row seat to the event, even though our seat is usually way far in the back.
Setting up for the celebration

A lot yet to be done

Either guarding all the junk or directing it somehow

It's really busy this time of year

Fencing is put up all around the grounds to keep pedestrian traffic in check

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Boy of Summer

Civil War Generals Scott, Meade, and Grant

Walking along Pennsylvania Avenue on the way to the White House are statues commemorating the Civil war. I suppose there are similar statues located in a lot of towns across the country. There are several in Alexandria along Washington Avenue, and many more in Richmond in a distinctly southern persuasion. And obviously, as one travels away from the city in any direction, all the battlefields are dotted with even more representations. I know the stance of the horse has some meaning, but don't remember what. We spent many vacations traveling up and down the eastern seaboard looking at these things. In Milwaukee I belonged to the Civil War Round Table, and attended monthly meetings about all kinds of subject matter. It's a good thing to be reminded of our history, and in this town, history is everywhere. We probably walk the same places many of these folks did- which makes it even more interesting.
Winfield Scott

A lot of history has walked along this path

Grand Army of the Republic

General Meade

General and President Grant

From the side- a lot of photos are taken on this spot

Friday, June 22, 2012

Staking the Tomato Plant

With all the heat, the vegetables in the garden are thriving- especially the tomatoes. We have two growing on our little patio garden. One plant is already staked, and the other one has outgrown the traditional silver round model. We tied some string to the fence to give the plant more support, but it looked bad and wasn't really doing the job. So we decided to get another assist device for tomato plant number 2. These supports are nice because they can be adjusted as the plant grows, blend in with the rest of the greenery, and are easy to store (even though we had a larger shed built this spring to accommodate these types of things along with our luggage and cushions for the seats on the patio). The garden has a southern exposure, and gets direct sunlight through 3PM. Then it's shady and very comfortable to sit outside later in the afternoon. As for all the vegetables, the cucumbers are also doing well, but I'm not so sure about the eggplant. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables from the garden-and we enjoyed one in Milwaukee as well on a much bigger scale, but with a much shorter growing season.
It works very well
This plant outgrew it's cage

First sign of success

The cucumber is crawling along
Plant number one was already staked

Plenty of room to grow

The second cucumber is heading toward the trellis