Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stop Here on Red

Just this week I read somewhere again that DC has the worst accident record in the country. A lot of reasons were given. Even though it is considered a big city comparable to NY and Philly, people around here tend to keep their cars rather than rely solely on public or private transportation alone. Case in point: Because of the narrow streets, buses have a hard time making a turn at a corner if there are cars waiting in the opposite direction...most drivers need to pull back to make space for the bus to enter. In order to avoid that maneuver, it is clearly marked with signs and pointed arrows that cars need to stop at the white line, several feet before reaching the intersection. We happen to have two of these instructions near our house, and neither one was being observed today.  I think the best reason someone gave as to why the accident rates were so high here is because people's just don't think they need to obey the signs, or red lights... The rules don't apply to them. It almost makes us think the Midwest mindset is nerdy to obey the law. But we just can't help it - that's us in the last photo, behind the white line. We haven't had any accidents since we moved.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Trumpet Vines on Canal Road and Beyond

We had a trumpet vine growing on the north side of our Milwaukee house and were thrilled when one or two orange trumpets actually blossomed. I thought it was an exotic plant. All along Canal Street on the way to Georgetown - and probably everywhere else in the city - are all kinds of vegetation and greenery. It is so dense and lush it feels like being in a jungle. And wouldn't you know, the exotic trumpet vine that I thought was so unusual is growing like a weed all along the way. It is somewhat past the height of the blooming season, but you get the idea. I guess the trumpet vine loves the climate here, along with any other plant. Continuing on Canal Road to the Whitehurst Freeway affords a great view of Arlington and the Bridge. Eventually the path leads to the Potomac River with the Watergate complex and the Kennedy Center in full view, and the Washington Monument peeking out just behind. And those trumpet vines are with us all the way. And to think we paid for this weed? I'd like to think it is still considered an exotic plant - in Milwaukee. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cafe Siciliano Great Falls

We have tried a few Italian restaurants in and around DC since we moved here but have been unable to find one that reminds us of the place we frequented in Milwaukee. Palermo Villa was so good we had a surprise birthday party planned there complete with goldfish in long stemmed fish bowls. Sometimes you just want to have simple pasta dishes like lasagne that don't cost an arm and a leg. After searching for a place to stop and dine with visiting friends near Great Falls Park, we found Great Falls Tavern. We've been back a few times for Friday afternoon lunch. I noticed Cafe Siciliano right across from it, so we decided to try it out. We are so glad we did. Most of the folks were outside dining, but we preferred being inside. The dining room is quite small, but the service was great, and the food was even better. Many customers were stopping in for take out. Although it takes awhile to get there from here, it is a very pleasant ride. Along the way we saw several deer along the route in the dusk hours  - just like in our yard in Milwaukee. We definitely would come back - I just wish it was closer to home!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life Gear Glow Blue

The little flashlight bulb burned out the other day.  That necessitated a prompt replacement because a small flashlight is a necessity in our small house to see all the small crevices and such. We needed to visit Staples to replace my printer's ink supply anyway - the one used to print my dog and cat portraits that hang on my gallery wall at the Wagtime Shop. It's probably the only thing we use the printer for! We thought there would be plenty of selections at Staples for a flashlight. Well, this Life Gear Glow stick was about the only thing they had. And because we weren't planning to run around in search of a more traditional light, we got this one. It turns out it does have a battery replacement, and it glows blue, and it flashes, and it even has a whistle. Oh, and it also shines a light. I'm not sure when we might use the whistle, but it is amazing what you can get for $4.99. It's hard to find something that does just one thing. Obviously, someone thought this was a good idea. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Greetings From Minnesota

We always went to the State Fair in Wisconsin. We loved the corn on the cob, the carnival atmosphere of the midway, and best of all the animals. Since I did not grow up anywhere near a farm, I really liked seeing the cows, horses, bunnies, goats, and sheep up close. Ours also had pig races. It was always held in August, so it was always warm and the last event before school started. Of course, cheese and cream puffs were unavoidable in the dairy state food selections. A postcard arrived yesterday in the mail from a friend of ours, who hails from Minnesota. She happens the be visiting there now for a couple of weeks. It is unusual to get any kind of handwritten mail these days, but I wasn't surprised to see that this card was from her. And where do you think she was? At the Minnesota State Fair, checking out all the above. Either we missed them, or we just aren't paying attention, but I'm hard pressed to find anything quite like it here.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Can I Borrow Your Cane?

Don't walk around without shoes...I've been told that for most of my life. In fact, I never wear open toed shoes any more. I'm too afraid I will run in to something. Well, I didn't have my shoes on last evening at home and of course one toe got caught on something.  That's why they call it an accident. But I did the same thing last year at about this time. Except it was at a friend's house while we were visiting in Milwaukee - in the middle of the night. I know the routine so well...get the ice on right away, put the foot up, tape the two toes together to immobilize, and take some aspirin. When I woke up this morning it was very difficult to walk, but I felt good enough otherwise to get to work. My husband drove me two blocks and I limped to my office. I called health services and they so kindly paid a visit, wrapped my foot with an ace, brought an ice bag, and fitted me with a cane. I didn't move all morning from my desk and left in the afternoon having completed a priority project. I know it's going to take awhile to heal - just in time for the long Labor Day weekend. Should I tell you about the finger that got smashed in the window four years ago? Or the hand in the snowblower that needed surgery, pins, and splints? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Special Delivery From Our House to Yours

As is with most vegetable gardens, the bounty exceeds the consumption rate towards the end of the growing season. That really is not the case with us because our garden is quite small compared to most. But we wanted to be good neighbors and share the wealth with our family members down the street. So we put a few of our favorite and fresh samples on a little plate, covered it with Saran Wrap, and walked a few houses down the street. We knew the inhabitants would be off doing errands, but that wasn't a problem since we have the key. And we used it, entered in to the kitchen, and placed the delightful platter in the front window that overlooks the fish pond. What a wonderful view, but what an even more wonderful surprise - or so we hope! If we still lived in Wisconsin, we would have had a garden and some surplus product. But we sure would not have been able to walk down the street to share it with family members. That's one of the reasons we moved to DC, and it's turned out to be a good one. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Have A Dream Fiftieth Anniversary

If you live in Washington, DC, you can't help but notice the historical events that surround you here. And so it was today when we headed out to the Mall to see the MLK anniversary remembrance and celebration. Walking all the way to the Lincoln Memorial would be a long haul, so we took the metro from Capitol South to the Smithsonian. Once we emerged on to the Mall, it was as colorful as expected. We planted ourselves unintentionally along Independence Avenue by the Lincoln Memorial awaiting the "parade" of dignitaries that would pass our way past the MLK Memorial following the speeches. We heard the speeches but could not see anything from our place. The day could not have been brighter or more pleasant. Walking home it felt like we had been there all day, and my legs were exhausted from standing and walking four hours. But I can say I was there, which is the reason we went. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Etsy Shop LIT Digital Paintings One Year Anniversary

A year ago I finally decided to open an Etsy Shop. I had been toying around with the idea for quite some time. It may or may not have happened if I still lived in Milwaukee. All I know is that when the IPad arrived on the scene however many years ago, I rediscovered my love for art. I used to watercolor and pastel and ink things since I was small. Now I create hand drawn paintings using my iPad as the canvas and my stylus as the brush. I have had a lot of positive feedback on my work. What I really like the most is to know that a piece of art that I created is hanging in someone's home. What's so cool about digital art is that the jpeg image can be used on a variety of products, including coffee mugs. The options are limitless. The digital art also inspired me to write and illustrate two children's books that were published through StoryChimes available in ITunes.  A Tiny Fish Tale is also available on Amazon. Please stop by my shop and have a look. I particularly enjoy doing custom dog portraits, although anything is an option! Happy Anniversary! If you asked me if I thought I would be doing this five years ago, I wouldn't know what you were talking about.