Saturday, April 30, 2016

Subaru Customer Service

They kept their word. When we went to the Subaru dealer a few weeks ago for a first check up on our 2016 Forester, we received a letter in the mail that a feature on the car had to be reprogrammed. That meant another visit to the shop - quite annoying! So we asked to see if they had by chance reprogrammed it the day before hoping to avoid another visit to the shop which is in Alexandria. Well, they had not. But as a good will gesture, Subaru customer service said they would pay for a tank of gas for the inconvenience of a return visit. I just needed to send them the service document and the gas receipt. So I sent them the documents via email, received a response that they were received, and a follow up notice that a check was on the way. The check arrived and was promptly deposited. All we have to say is that we are very impressed with Subaru customer service from the time we bought the car here last October. This is our third Subaru and we have never been disappointed. Thanks!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing

Having company from out of town gives us an excuse to see and do things we may not typically do. So we looked at the Senate and a House hearings to see if there might be an interesting topic to hear. Really the idea is to go to the office building and see how the hearings feel and sound apart from the news or CSpan. The armed services committee hearing was scheduled for this morning at 9:30 AM. Because the weather has been so uncooperative this week, we drove over and found parking near the Hart Office Building. After passing through the magnetometer, we headed to the second floor to the hearing room. It obviously wasn't as busy as the major appointment hearings we have attended, but was interesting all the same. Things always look different when you see things up close and personal. For a lot of reasons we just are not impressed by any of it - but still is a great way to spend time with our visitors. Since we had a full schedule of things to do, we left after an hour and found our way to our favorite breakfast spot. So far, so good! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Eastern Market Last Minute Items

Whenever we have guests, my husband especially wants everything to be just perfect. He is more of the food and housekeeping priority setter, while I am more the floral arrangement and activity planner. So yesterday we made last minute grocery and flower selections. Unfortunately, there were no strawberries at the grocery store, which would make the fruit tray unbearable. So on this very rainy morning we took our daily walk to Eastern Market to pick up the fruit, and also the petit b'asque cheese we love. The prices are ridiculous, but given the situation, we didn't have much of a choice. And of course, we brought our own non disposable go to bag to carry the items back home. So now we have finally done all the housekeeping and planned an itinerary for our guests from Milwaukee to select from. It's nice to have out of town guests. It's an incentive to clean everything more than usual.  But it's also so nice to see our friends that we've known for so many years. I hope we have at least one day without rain? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Your Federal Retirement Benefits

We moved to DC almost ten years ago and when we did, I restarted my career at the Library of Congress after thirty years in health care. It was a very different experience from what I was used to in so many ways. In February I decided it was time to quit - I just didn't want to work anymore and be on someone else's schedule. We planned for this day to make it possible, and I worked part time for the last two years so the idea became even more appealing. But since that day, it hadn't felt real because all the paperwork was in limbo - until this week. I received my official booklet with all the details and phone numbers. Luckily most of the transactions can be done on line. But now it feels like it is really real! I'm supposed to get my first pension check next month. One of the biggest, and frankly unplanned benefits, is healthcare coverage. If nothing else, working the last ten years in the federal government was worth it just for that. You don't get any special healthcare deal in the private sector even after working in healthcare most of my working years. Even with insurance any medical visit or emergency is expensive. So in the end, it was a good move for a lot of reasons. And getting the official booklet was a great reminder. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Reagan's 1962 Willy's Jeep on the Mall

Last weekend it was President Taft's 1909 Steam Car, and this weekend it was President Reagan's Jeep. Cars at the Capital celebrates the historic vehicle association's love affair with the automobile. One unexpectedly comes upon the vehicle in the glass box in the middle of the national mall in front of the national gallery of art on one side and the Smithsonian and air and space museums on the other. Apparently this vehicle was driven regularly by Reagan while at the ranch in California. It is said he rode his horse in the morning and drove the jeep in the afternoon. I'm not sure when these vehicle displays started, but have only noticed them in the last two weeks. I wonder if someone stands guard over them when the sun goes down? I'm sure getting them here and hauling them back is no small affair. This is another reason we like living around this neighborhood. You never know what you are going to run in to next. A bit more exciting than living in a suburban Midwest neighborhood. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Well, I'll give it a try! I started an Esty shop almost four years ago. It's called LITDigitalPaintings. It is a wonderful way to promote and create my digital art. I do a lot of pet portraits, but also most any custom request. I've had commissions from all over the US and around the world. Etsy Recently introduced the opportunity to showcase your products on a website called Pattern. I have a website I created on WordPress, but I find it difficult to maneuver around, so the updates are limited. But since I have a Wordpress domain, I was able to use it for my Etsy website rather than an Etsy domain. It took a bit of doing, and the folks at Wordpress were great to work with. So I finally found a theme I liked, did a bit of tweaking, and launched the website yesterday - It's a free trial for a month, and then $15 per month. It's almost a full time job maintaining all the social media updates that are already in place. I need more time to actually paint the commissions when I get them! But exposure is the key and this is another route. Let's see how it goes. Why don't you check it out and give me some feedback? I would really appreciate it! 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The YLiving Dauphin Spare Foldable Chair

When you live in a tiny space that has one big room, you need to be creative. The room is a living room, bedroom, dining room, and exercise room all in one. It is also our guest room whenever we have visitors. There is enough seating for three people comfortably, but if a fourth person arrives, it is workable, but not necessarily pleasant. A dining room chair can serve the purpose, but it has no arms. The ottomens in front of the couch work too, but there are no backs. So I searched for an armchair that was not space occupying, and could be rolled in and out of the closet as needed so as not to clutter up the already reasonably spaced furniture needed for every day use. I found a padded seat and cloth back number that not only rolls but folds up too. It's from YLiving made by Dauphin. I ordered it on line in the fabric color of choice and it arrived this week. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture, but it definitely serves the purpose. So what happens if we have more than four people in this room? I guess the dining room chairs and footrests will do. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Planes Overhead Along the GW Parkway and Potomac River

Whenever we flew into Washington DC before we moved here, it was usually along the Potomac River by Mount Vernon and rarely along the national mall where all the familiar monuments are. And if we ever went that way, we were always on the wrong side of the plane to see anything. It is quite interesting to see things from above to get a different perspective. Yesterday we were traveling along the GW Parkway to American Plant to buy a couple tomato plants. Every few minutes was another plane in the sky heading to Reagan airport along the Potomac River and the national mall. Each of the photos is thirteen different planes that I happened to see on the way out by the Washington monument through Arlington, and on the way back by Georgetown, the other side of Arlington, and the Watergate. I'm always looking up anyway to see if I can catch an eagle flying around. No luck! I suppose a lot of folks like to visit DC. We did quite frequently before we moved here. The only thing in common with Milwaukee is that the airport there was the same distance from our house as it is here. But the scenery in between is quite different.