Saturday, April 29, 2017

Moby Dick Birthday Surprise

We love Persian food and we love Moby Dick. We were first introduced to Moby Dick by our son even before we moved to DC. Before that, we always went to Reza's whenever we were near Chicago when we lived in the Midwest. Since our son and family moved to Virginia a couple of years ago, they miss the old establishment. So it was a no brainer when we decided to take the four hour trip to visit them and bring a whole Moby Dick spread. So after stopping for breakfast at McLean Family Restaurant, we stopped at the Moby Dick and ordered up a feast. We studied the menu before we got there to make sure we had all the bases covered. We also brought along our LLBean cooler and ice to put some of it in after it cooled down. Then at the half way point we stopped to pick up a bag of ice to make sure everything would cool down, and wrapped it all in a very old poncho to stay dry. Needless to say it was a big surprise and everyone loved it - including us. Luckily we can get it anytime. But for them, it was a fun surprise.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Chicagoland Eskie Rescue Auction

This must be at least the third year that I participated. The Chicagoland Eskie Rescue Auction began on April 26 and goes through April 30. I'm not sure exactly how I got involved. But I think it has something to do with the fact that I painted a digital pet portrait for someone who has an American Eskimo pooch, and it went from there. We also used to visit Chicago routinely when we lived in the Midwest, so I feel like I have a connection to the location! So I get contacted long before the event to see if I would be interested, and I am. It allows for good exposure to a broader audience, and it is fun to see how much someone will bid on something that I create. Then I work with the individual who made the highest bid, and the competed digital artwork is sent to the buyer via email in jpeg format. It's also tax deductible, but that doesn't really matter so much. I have now done several Eskie portraits and each one is different. So now I'll wait and see what happens this year.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Firstime Manufactory Steel Whisper Wall Clock

We first saw it in Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was a wall clock that grabbed my husband's attention. We weren't exactly looking for one, but I was thinking about getting a wall clock for the new tiny bedroom we made out of a seventy by seventy inch closet space in our studio condo. I always know when my husband likes something, so we asked if there was one available in the store. Of course, there wasn't. So we came home and I ordered it on line through Amazon. It arrived yesterday and we hung it up at the foot of the bed. It uses one AA battery and makes no sound at all even with a sweeping second hand. The funny thing is that the company it comes from resides in a neighborhood where we used to live in the Midwest, but of course, was actually made in China like almost everything else we buy these days. It reminds me of the time when everything was made in Japan. As for the clock? We think it's a great addition.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Capitol Building is Getting Harder to Walk By

When we moved here ten years ago from the Midwest, we immediately started taking walks in our new neighborhood. The most frequent destination was the National Mall and the surrounding well known landmarks and monuments. Probably the building that has been walked by and visited the most is the Capitol building. When I worked at the Library of Congress, I was able to take behind the scene tours of the new visitor center that was being built. I used to take walks over to the Capitol through the underground tunnels on my afternoon breaks. Whenever we have visitors from out of town, we take them to see the structure and the contents within it. We have taken many guided tours there! During the summer months we like to sit on the west steps and listen to the free concerts. I have taken hundreds of photos of the Capitol building in all seasons, times of the day, and various holidays. Since I retired last year, I now take daily walks with my husband and the Capitol is usually our first landmark. Over the last several months it is getting increasingly difficult to walk there. Today we were told by the police if we didn't have business there, we needed to walk around. Oftentimes the streets are blocked off for motarcades and we can't pass through. We may have to start waking in a different direction. It's getting harder and harder to live in DC. But we aren't tourists! We live here! It doesn't seem to make any difference.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ginkgo Gardens Tomato Plants

It's that time of year again. Although it doesn't feel like it today with almost cold, dreary and cloudy skies, the planting season - for us - has begun. We used to have a large garden for vegetable growing in the Midwest.  But since we moved to DC, we at least have a patio with a garden space, and enough room for a couple of tomato plants, and more to my liking - cucumbers. We went to Gingko Gardens in the neighborhood for a house plant last week, and while there my husband found exactly what he was looking for - two tomato plants. They didn't have any cucumber plants so we will need to find them elsewhere. He was eager to plant them immediately and the wait now begins for usually large plants and a fairly good sized crop. Things have been sketchy the last couple of summers with unusual heat, and no tomatoes. So we are hoping we have better luck this year. It's always fun to have a couple of things in the garden. It's even better when they actually produce something edible!

Capitol Hill Morning Walk

We usually walk to the National Mall every morning until it gets too hot. Then we head to Union Station and walk around the three stories of air conditioned space. Today was quite dreary and cold so we headed in another direction in the neighborhood. We wanted to see if the flowers were sprouting and blooming. What was very noticeable was the lack of people! Spring break is over and everyone must be back to work. The streets and sidewalks were very empty compared to the hullabaloo near the museums and landmarks this time of year. One thing is always certain though - there was some sort of construction going on in every block. It's the best lighting for photos, and there was plenty to capture - flowers and flowers and more flowers. They are just so pretty and photograph well in the late morning. It ended up being an hour and a half jaunt - longer than usual. But it was well worth it.