Thursday, March 30, 2017

Five Guys Burgers

While hunting for a wall mirror for our converted 70x75 inch closet bedroom, or monk's room, we found ourselves in Bethesda. We haven't had any success finding what we want, but we are not sure what we are looking for. Perhaps once the throw blanket and pillow arrive, we will have a better idea! Anyway, it was getting past lunch time and we thought we should stop somewhere for a bite to eat before we headed home. We passed by a Five Guys burger place and decided to give it a go. We have been to Five Guys at least two times in the past ten years, and there must be a reason why we don't frequent the place. If you really like a juicy, messy burger with the works and more French friends than two people can handle, this is your destination. You also need about ten napkins to stay clean. We ended up taking home a bag filled with leftover French fries that we reheated for dinner. I'm glad we tried it again, but we much prefer something a little less messy and in a smaller quantity. Would be go back again? Maybe in another ten years.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bethesda Mcdotpark Parking Meter

It's been centuries since we used a parking meter the way it was originally intended. Neither my husband nor I keep change on us anymore. We do use the parkmobile app, but of course it is not universally used in every city. So when we were in Bethesda today looking for a mirror for our new tiny closet bedroom, it was impossible to find parking - except at a very expensive parking structure or a parking meter. We slipped in to a parking space and started reading the directions. Obviously there are multiple ways to pay these days - with coins, with a scanner, with a credit card, using the website, with the mcdotpark app, or by calling. So we went ahead and used our credit card. You could increase or decrease the allotted time, and then ok the transaction. Since we didn't know how long we would be, and then maybe get lunch on the way out, we left it at two hours for $3.50. We ended up using about an hour, but we did learn that whatever the parking meter is, there will always be a way to pay for it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Senate Foreign Relations Hearing at the Dirksen Building

It has been awhile since we went to a Senate or House hearing. So today there was a subject of interest to my husband about Iran. So rather than take our usual morning walk to the national mall, we wandered over to the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Along the way were spring crowds that are somewhat overwhelming. Among the huge school groups, tourists, and lobbyists it's difficult to maneuver the sidewalks. And the lines waiting to get in to the buildings are worse than usual. Security is enhanced with less entrances, so everything gets balled up. Once inside, we headed to the fourth floor and took a seat in the rear. The meeting room was also unusually busy with the press, tourists and students alike. Many were taking notes for school assignments. We always find these sessions interesting, and my husband really enjoys the whole political scene. I go along for the ride and it is fun to see who all shows up. We luckily beat out the storms and rain and decided to have lunch at home rather than the cafeteria, although a tuna fish sandwich is always all right by me. This is one of the many reasons we like where we live. There is always something to do.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Martin's Tavern in Georgetown

We wanted to check out a couple of furniture shops and Restoration Hardware in Georgetown, and we thought a Monday morning would be the best day and time to check them out. We are turning our 70x75 inch closet in to a tiny bedroom, and are looking for accessories like throws, mirrors, and tiny tables. Avoiding a hassle is my aim in life, so we found a two hour parking spot just two blocks away from Martin's Tavern. I don't recall how we stumbled upon it in the first place, but it's been at least five years since we've been to this restaurant. Starting out the excursion with breakfast was a great idea. So we settled in to a booth, and the French onion soup was served, followed by French toast and eggs. The place has been around since 1933 and is on Wisconsin Avenue. It is noted as the site where John Kennedy proposed to Jackie, and was a favorite of several past presidents. We thoroughly enjoyed it as it was not packed at this time of the day. I'm not sure when we will go back, but we were glad we made the trek. As for the furniture excursion? It was sort of a bust - which is why we think we haven't been there in five years.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cherry Blossoms, Flowers and Birds

We walk every morning. And this morning was no exception. I was hoping it would be a bit warmer,  but NO! On came the winter jacket and gloves, and cloudy skies. I am one of those people who thrives on sunshine, even if the temps are frigid. But one thing is finally certain - spring is in the air. As we walked by the Capitol building, a lovey cherry tree framed the historic structure. In the Hirshhorn garden, a sparrow was bringing additional building material to the birdhouse strategically located along the walking path. The robins were hiding in the tree branch alcoves. Some of the cherry trees on the mall survived the cold snap of last week. And in the US Botanic Garden, the bulb plants were in full bloom. I remember watching the birds as a small child out in the backyard. So whenever I see one I still like to observe - especially when I hear the distinct chirp of the cardinal. I am hoping it will finally warm up this week. It's so much easier heading out the door without all that additional bulky clothing. Something to look forward to.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Container Store Inter Metro Shelving

We live in a very tiny space. One of our closets in the studio apartment is 76x70 inches, and we are going to turn it in to a bedroom! The 76 inch wall allows for a twin size mattress to snugly fit. And if you don't want to use the Murphy bed in the main living area, this arrangement allows for another option. But in order to do that, we needed to find homes for all the junk that's been piled in there - off season clothes, my printing equipment, and assorted home supplies. Step one was to find a clothes rack that would fit behind our bedroom door, which was a challenge because it's just 18x24 inches max. But I found a nice sturdy Inter Metro Shelving rack at the Container Store, with a really great salesperson who helped us find the components we needed. So when we got home we put it together without too much effort and hauled away the clothes. The clothes rack fits perfectly in the space. Step two is to go through all the clothes again, and purge what we haven't worn within the last two years. I still need to switch out the stuff on the rack to the back of the existing closet so the everyday stuff is out front and easy to access. Step three is organizing the "closet bedroom" so it is pleasant enough - mirror for the wall, tiny stand for the bedside, pretty duvet cover. It's a challenge to make almost 500 square feet functional. Adding on a tiny bedroom to enhance our living space? Priceless!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Rubber Nibs

I've been painting portraits with my ipad over the last several years. After trying a few different products, I settled on the Wacom Bamboo Stylus as the "paintbrush" because it has just the right weight and feels good to use. I have two of these devices and keep them in a pencil box case we got when we were in Iran in 1996. The end of the Stylus has a rubber tip - or nib - that eventually runs its course. They can easily be replaced with either soft or hard rubber tips. I ordered them on Amazon a couple of years ago, and when I tried to reorder the same thing, it said they were no longer available. That always frightens the heck out of me especially when I really like a product I'm using. Well, it turns out the place I got them from must not have them anymore based on the last order. But when I searched just on the product name and number, a New York City Camera store called Adorama shipped the small packages to me. It says it's more than a camera store and it must be to have this sort of thing. Anyway, the rubber nibs arrived this week and I'm good to go for another few years - I hope!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Capitol Hill Dental Group

Most people hate going to the dentist. I hate it more than most people because I had TMJ surgery thirty five years ago. Keeping my mouth open for extended periods of time can be brutal, especially if additional pressure is applied. Grinding teeth at night necessitates wearing a night guard - and even then I wake up with sore joints. Luckily I have not had too many problems since having surgery, but I dread seeing the dentist all the same. I take aspirin prophylactically to avoid the for certain ache afterward. I always ask for an experienced hygienist, and usually get one. Since I chomped down on a peach pit last summer, my bite is a bit off and one side is more sensitive than it should be. So yesterday I made my way about a block down the street for my appointment to Capitol Hill dental group. We have been going there since we moved to DC because it is so convenient. No X-rays were needed on this visit, just a routine six months check. Even with basic health and dental insurance with additional dental coverage the expenses are rediculous. The charge was $192. I paid $34 and the rest will be billed to insurance. Since it is the beginnnig of the year, I know we haven't fulfilled the deductible. But don't you think the toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss are worth that much?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fragers Garden Gloves

The other day we cleaned out the shed on the patio. When you live in a small space, every inch counts. And we use just about every inch of our tiny condo living area. But things and junk still continue to accumulate no matter where you live. So it was time to give the heave ho to whatever we hadn't touched in over the last two years. That included painting materials and plastic covers, and ripped garden gloves. But unfortunately, some things need to be replaced. So on our morning walk we headed in the opposite direction that we normally take to Fragers hardware store. It's about twelve blocks away and a decent enough walk - but now we had a specific purpose. So we wandered about and found a huge selection and picked out a pair like the ones we had. They needed to be thick enough not to get stuck by Rose bush thorns, and strong enough to withstand digging in the dirt. Now we need to get cracking on the in door closets. There is stuff in there we haven't used for even longer periods of time. We just need to find the energy to do it!