Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Looking For A Long Lost Childhood Friend

My brother asked me at Christmas dinner if I ever heard from my friend from Waterford, Connecticut. We were pretty close in those kindergarden days. We were together all the time. But then we moved to Florida and lost touch. This wasn't the first time I have thought about her. I've googled her name a few times and always came up empty handed. But lately, old newspaper stories and announcements are getting digitized, and engagements and weddings are starting to show up. Unexpectedly today, her name was found in a wedding announcement - in Waterford. It took place about the same time mine did, and that's about all I could find out about her. So I checked her husband's name, education, job, etc and got a lead on where he works and an email address. Who knows what may have passed between them after all these years. But I thought it would be interesting to see if he might know anything about the mystery. I'll probably never hear anything from him, but then again maybe I will. She would have been my first real friend, and I just can't seem to forget it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Globes of the Library of Congress

There they are. All appear to be taller, but thankfully not thinner, than me. I pass by them every day on my afternoon walk. One of them is from the sixties, another from the nineties, and two are from the seventeenth century. One is located on the lower level near the maps section, another on the second floor overlooking the foyer, and the two of spectacular significance are on the sixth floor. Because I am not an expert on globe matters, I've added the accurate information about them that is provided by the Library of Congress. I am struck by the architecture that surrounds and enhances them. Every time I get into the car and set what used to be a Nuvi and now google maps to a destination unknown, I am amazed by the technology. I wonder what these globe makers would have thought about all that?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Seeing is Believing

At this time of the year, it is not unusual to pass by shrubs along the street and hear a bunch of birds chirping wildly only to become silent when you actually reach it. I've never been able to see any activity inside the greenery, I just hear it - until yesterday. It was a beautiful day in comparison to what we have been experiencing lately. The sun was out and it was in the low forties. It must have been the perfect temperature, time of day, and path along Pennsylvania Avenue we took when we came upon them. But this time, all the feathered friends were perched on the top, sides and ground around the shrubs, and not moving at all even when we approached them. It was almost as if they were taunting us to even try to make them move. I like animals, and birds. I even had a few parakeets growing up. One was named Ringo, said his name, rode in a Barbie car, and flew on demand. Here, these little creatures often stop by our little patio for a drink and a swim. In Milwaukee we lived on an acre, had deer, possum, skunks, rabbits, etc. and a huge Russian Wolfhound. So for the first time I actually saw who and what was making all that noise, and imagining what must goes on behind closed doors.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hawk N Dove Revisited

At the first of the year, I wrote an entry about Hawk N Dove, and that it looked like it was going to open soon. There it sits on Pennsylvania Avenue in between Tune Inn and a liquor store. Last weekend when we met our friend for dinner, she said that she walked by the place and there was a sign saying it would be opening last week? Today when we walked by, there were indeed signs in the window, but there was not a date on exactly when, but perhaps it will be this Wednesday? Or maybe it was this afternoon at 4 PM? Weekend brunch is set to start on February 10? I saw a want ad on line for wait staff early in January that gave me the heads up. The menu was also hanging on the window today. I'm sorry to say that it's not like what it was, if you were hoping for something Ike that. It's all looking, sounding, and feeling like everything else on Eighth Street. Bullfeathers near our house is nothing like it was either. We used to go there every week and now we barely go twice a year. Yes, we will give it a shot sometime down the road, but I have a feeling we might be disappointed.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Comcast Service

For whatever reason, the cable TV went out. I really dread whenever this happens because it usually means a ruined afternoon on the phone with the service desk. We put off calling until this afternoon. Before that we had unplugged and re plugged every connection we could think of and nothing helped. So, we tried not once, twice, three, but four times to finally talk to someone at Comcast who really knew what to do. And he really knew what to do. He was very patient and actually fun to talk to as we crawled around, behind, and in front of the TV and trying to figure out which one of the two remote controls was required. TV cabinets are great until it comes time to get at the back of them. We didn't remember that there was actually a digital adapter/box buried behind the TV and thought the remote sensor was the culprit. We were finally able to reboot the program channels - who knew you needed to use the volume up and down buttons - and got everything synced back to channel 3 or channel 4. The guy was so convinced that simple motion was all we needed to do, he even offered to call back in 15 minutes to make sure we were out of the woods. He was right, but we never got the phone call back. There is nothing more satisfying than to be successful in this type of endeavor, but I'm still annoyed it took so long and robbed me of my Saturday afternoon free time.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Angel Food Cake or Chocolate Chip Cookies?

I am an avid angel food cake lover. I've liked it since I was a kid. And now as an oldster, it's great for an after dinner treat. But for some reason, for the last couple of months, it has not been available either at Harris Teeter or Safeway. The folks at both these places always know what the question is before my husband even asks it... "Do you have any angel food cake?" And they have no explanation as to why it has disappeared and can't say if it will ever return. So in the meantime I have had to resort to other options. Just one cookie will do the trick, and I've robbed my husband's supply of LU Cinnamon Sugar Spice. Then our grandson brought over a plate full of homemade chocolate chip cookies with a dash of salt on the top. And I suppose over the holidays there were a lot of other unhealthy alternatives. In Milwaukee I would not have experienced the grandson option, because he wouldn't have been able to just trot down the street one evening and drop them off. At the Sendik's grocery store there, a delicious strawberry flavored angel food cake was available. I haven't seen anything like that here. In the end, I still prefer the angel food cake, and was surprised and happy this week when it showed up out of nowhere.

Playful Retriever

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Reason We Left Milwaukee

We woke up this morning to something I dislike immensely and was one of the top reasons we left Milwaukee. Don't be fooled by the appearance of white and fluffy. I know we don't have it as bad as other places. But not everyone has had their hand in a snowblower, needed surgery for crushed and sliced fingers, and six months of physical therapy. Not to mention the dreams that lasted forever reliving the stupid accident of using an arm instead of a stick to unclog the packed ice. I can admit that it may LOOK pretty if you never have to venture outside. But since that is not the case, and won't be in the near future, I sometimes wish we moved further south.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fine Art America

I love to draw and sketch on my IPad. So much so that I have an Etsy Shop called LITDigitalPaintings where I have had some luck to create custom dog portraits all the way from Australia, California, and Oregon. I've recently added a few sketches called the Iran Travelogue of quirky scenes we encountered on our visit there a couple years ago. But the end product from the Etsy Shop is a jpeg image. Last week I decided to give Fine Art America a try. This site gives folks an opportunity to purchase the images framed, on canvas, posters, acrylics, as greeting cards - you name it - in a variety of sizes and styles. It's a great way to showcase a portfolio and have a professional product delivered for either the digital paintings I create or the photographs I really like. You can also use a ready made personal website that mirrors the content on the general website. It's fun to see who views the images from just about anywhere worldwide. So if you are looking for an alternate way to get your hands on art, give Fine Art a looksy. From an artist's perspective, it's a great way to market designs and images that may otherwise go unnoticed. But I wouldn't give up my day job - which is why I went in to Nursing in the 70's and had a healthy 30 year career in Wisconsin. Now I'm a Federal employee... glad to live in a city and have a hobby with a lot of great options to inspire both digital art and photography.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hunan Dynasty

We have gone to Hunan Dynasty since we started visiting and living on Capitol Hill. You could call it a traditional mainstay and has been in the same location on Pennsylvania Avenue for years. The pictures on the wall with all the dignitaries prove it. We had not been there for quite some time. Because we were rather fenced and boxed in over inauguration weekend we knew if we moved the car we would never find another space as we do not have a garage - something I really miss. We had a two car garage in Milwaukee and never had parking issues. So it was time to make the rounds at Hunan. I couldn't believe how quiet it was given all the neighborhood activity. We always get the same thing on the menu which can be bad and good. My husband always comments about the lack of salad and bread but loves the won ton soup. In the end it was "okay." The service is good, the fried rice fair, the platter not so hot, and the fish tank was eye candy. The Harris Teeter egg rolls are better. I need to find out what we should order. Any ideas?

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Inauguration,the Mall Grass, and a View From the Couch

We decided to stay inside today after spending the last two days wandering around the Mall, the White House, and Pennsylvania Avenue. Over the last several months, the grass on the Mall was totally replaced and a new watering system was installed. So to protect this huge investment, a protective floor was put in place to preserve it. Yesterday we saw the practice run of the truck that will be taping the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue. My friend made it in plenty of time to the airport because there was absolutely no traffic on the freeway - but there were loads of pedestrians crossing overhead to get to the swearing in ceremony. There was more than typical foot traffic in front of our house this morning, but nothing compared to four years ago. Back then, we ended up standing like freezing packed sardines by the Washington Monument. We had a front row seat in our living room today, stayed warm and actually saw what was going on. It feels weird to know all of this is happening just two blocks away. Today I feel like I'm living more in Milwaukee than Washington DC. I had this urge to walk over to see the parade, but the route to reach it would take us forever to get there on time. So I'll just enjoy the rest of the day off and watch it from my couch.