Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Tiny Screen - Thank Goodness for TV Watching Options

We have two tiny apartments across the hall from each other. It makes for totally separate quarters when we have guests. Otherwise, one side is for living during the day, has a Murphy bed, and faces the front of the building; the other side has a separate bedroom for sleeping, a private patio and garden, and faces the rear of the building. That's all a good thing until it comes to TV watching. All of the Xfinity setup is on the side where we usually live and where the guests stay - with the big TV, so that means that the wifi signal doesn't always work so well across the hallway for us. And because it is a totally separate address, it requires two totally different set ups and all the additional expenses associated with it. Because we only used the tv on the "other side" when we had guests, we decided to eliminate the Xfinity box and service on that side, and live with the consequences. Our grandson was visiting with us the last two weeks, and he ultimately enjoyed the guest quarters with the full range of tv and Internet services along with the big screen. Luckily, I recently figured out that we could also watch live or saved tv on my iPad using the Xfinity apps. Using the iPad was okay, but too small and clunky. So I dragged out my laptop, put it on the laptop stand, and set it up for the same purpose. After two weeks we finally got used to sitting on the couch looking at the laptop a short distance in front of us. One of these days I will figure out how to get whatever is on my iPad on to the tv screen. But for now, this happens to work. Luckily we don't need to use it that often!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Profoot Toe Bandages

We should have taken one when we had the opportunity. Our neighbor offered a toe sleeve to my husband when we were visiting in Milwaukee. His left big toe was losing a nail, and it was uncomfortable for walking, as one can imagine. He stuck with a bandaid, but that didn't offer any cushion or staying power. So when we came back to DC, we searched for toe sleeves. We know they exist here because this same neighbor needed to find some when they were visiting us here. We looked high and low - at Walgreens's, CVS, and Safeway. We didn't get to Harris Teeter, which is where I think she found them. So as a last ditch effort, we stopped at a Rite Aid located across from the brunch place we visit every Saturday in McLean. I don't think they were the same sleeves that she totally loves, but were called toe bandages that require you to "cut to fit." So when we got home we tried them out. My husband says he thought it worked. I tried it a few days later and it kept falling off - but I wasn't wearing shoes, which I think is a requirement. Anyway, it's another option in case we ever need it again. I think I'd still like to try the toe sleeve - whatever that is. Or maybe a bandaid actually is the best thing? 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Polska and Mrs. T's Pierogi and Chocolate

Mrs. T's pierogi come from Pennsylvania and Polska pierogi come from California. We always liked Mrs. T's - especially the potato with feta and spinach. My husband also adds onions to the mix and they are delicious! Of course, nothing could ever replace my mom's original hand made and time consuming pierogi that we always had at Christmas. But while we were at Safeway, I noticed another brand called Polska foods. The saurkraut, cabbage, and mushroom item looked quite promising - and it was. My husband added a bit of ham bits to that mix. Because they were so good, we got another package along with the potato and cheese version. Why am I dreaming of pierogi? Today, we went out to lunch with a good friend who just returned from a trip to Poland, Italy and England. And she brought with her a Polish chocolate/orange treat as a keepsake for us. Because it is written in Polish, I can't read the brand. All I can say is that they too were delicious. It's hard to believe Polish was my first language. That sure didn't last very long. But the craving to eat polish food luckily never disappeared. Thank goodness for frozen food because it's tough to find a polish restaurant here in DC. Milwaukee and Chicago were much different - but we don't live there anymore. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jury Duty AGAIN!

I think I served on Jury duty one time in the thirty years we lived in Wisconsin. We have lived in DC for ten years, and I just received notice for jury duty for the FOURTH time. It is beyond annoying to have to do this duty so often. I'm not sure what that says about the affairs of this town. The only thing different about it this time is that I am retired and will be compensated "handsomely" for spending however many days doing this. If it isn't me, my husband gets called as many times. So essentially you could say that we are at the courthouse every year between the two of us. Now you can register on line before you go. Luckily we now have iPads and iPhones to keep us occupied. The last time I spent the entire time doing a cat custom digital portrait. But I actually didn't mind missing work and do that instead. But since I am retired that is the last place I  want to be - iPad or not. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Damaged Downspout Repair after a Hail Storm

After a wild rain and hail storm last week, the neighborhood sustained a lot of damage. Many trees fell down, and a large chunk of the downspout that sits in the yard of our 1897 building broke off. We reported the damage to the board and the building manager. The next day, we were asked to keep our patio gate open so an evaluation could be made. Yesterday, a crew showed up in the terribly hot and humid weather to repair the damage. But to get there, a ladder that extends to five floors was required. It was too scarey to watch. I won't even go up a few steps - never mind five stories! And as usual, my husband offered the crew cold drinks and cookies. This is one of the first times that we were impressed with the immediate response of both the building management but also the work crew. Now we are hoping that the thing works like it is supposed to. The people who do this kind of work must have an acrobat or high wire act mentality. There's always plenty of work for them to do in an old neighborhood like this. I keep telling myself it's just so charming. Did I tell you about the huge tree that pulled down the electric wires when we lived in Milwaukee? We were without power for about a week. At least here our wires are underground, and we are forever thankful! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Amazon Saves the Day - USPS Doesn't

We really dislike the postal service. Delivery is sketchy at best. There are at least two instances that our building did not receive mail delivery. We complained, and it really doesn't make any difference. On the other hand, we rarely, if ever, have issues with UPS. In fact, we wrote letters of commendation for a particular UPS delivery person in our neighborhood. He not only enters the building, but goes to the specific unit to deliver a package rather than leave it in the common mail area. But I really want to extend cudos to Amazon. We were expecting a package on Sunday when we received notice that it wasn't delivered because no one was at home. We were not only at home, we saw no truck, and there was no notice left to reschedule. So I contacted Amazon to complain about the USPS service in this area, and they shouldn't use USPS for delivery. Within an hour, we received a response from Amazon in the most customer friendly terms, and that they would credit our shipping cost for the inconvenience. We also rescheduled our package delivery for the next day - before 11 AM. Did it arrive before 11 AM? Of course not. It did, however, arrive with the rest of the mail in the afternoon.  All I can say is one company is quite successful while the other continues to make excuses for terrible service. I don't know if it's because we live in DC because we never had issues with the post office in Milwaukee regardless of the ice, sleet, blizzards, and snow. All I know is Amazon is wonderful, and they stand by their customers. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Walking the Air Conditioned Halls of the LOC and the CVC

It is just dreadful outside and the week ahead looks about the same. We usually walk every morning for about three miles, but even if we got up early it wouldn't make any difference. On Saturday evening we drove out to Tysons Galleria mall and strolled a bit. Today we decided to walk the two blocks to the Library of Congress, then spend the rest of the time walking through the underground tunnels to the Capitol Visitor Center. So we entered at the corner of the building that I always went in for ten years as an employee of the library - now retired! The magnetometer and police are familiar, as are all the hallways. It was such a pleasure to walk in air conditioning rather than sweating to pieces. The Capitol Visitor Center was very busy, but the hallways and tunnels to and from were not. It's not something everyone would really know about, but I walked through there so many times before! We also passed through a few new and old exhibits - including the "America Reads" section that hosts the favorite books everyone likes to peruse. Several of my best selections were showcased. In the end we didn't quite reach the three mile average, but we got in a few staircases instead. I saw a couple of my past colleagues and was happy to know I could keep heading for the exit when we were done. It's nice to have this option in the heat - another reason my husband will probably never leave this town.