Saturday, September 30, 2017

Union Station Breakfast Spots

When it is really hot outside, we take our morning walk in the air conditioned Union Station. Once in awhile we will also head there in sub zero and high wind scenarios. Luckily that doesn't happen that often. While we are there we sometimes stop for breakfast. Then we don't have to think about cooking or preparing something when we get home. There are a lot of options in Union Station. But we generally prefer sitting somewhere to grab and go. Over the past year we have tried Johnny Rockets and Thunder Grill. We stopped at Au Bon Pain and picked up pastry. In the last two weeks we tried Le Pain Quotidien and Einstein Bagels. We have also been to Shake Shack for hamburgers and a few other spots when we have ventured over for the rare dinner. I can't say any of these places are anything special. But most people are there for something quick while on the way to somewhere. The most fun is the people watching. When you go there as often as we do you begin to see familiar faces. You could say it's a nice diversion - in more ways than one. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Marco Polo and the Global Silk Roads With Lilya Pavlovic-Dear

Since I retired from the Library of Congress over a year ago, my husband and I continue to go to the programs there. Usually we are in the Middle Eastern Division for all things Persian. Yesterday we were going to go to an astrobiology lecture on "what is life?" but decided instead to go to a program about Marco Polo. It was in the Jefferson Building where I used to work and is literally just two blocks away. We were intrigued by the subject matter because it also involved a film. The presenter was an Italian artist - Lilya Pavlovic-Dear - who essentially was showcasing her renderings of the sights of the Silk Road from Italy to China, complete with associated music in each section. She started the session off with a brief history and slides. Afterwards there were treasures from the European, Asian, and Midfle Eastern Divisions on display reflecting Marco Polo and the time period. It was one of the better attended programs we have seen. We like having the opportunity to check out the lectures given by the Library and there are more scheduled at this time of the year. Between those and the congressional hearings, there is usually something of interest to attend.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sweet Autumn Clematis Vine All Over Town

When we looked for vines to grow on our small garden patio fence several years ago, we found the tiny white flowering clematis. We had something similar to that in the Midwest. It covered a fence in front of the house and looked like snow when it bloomed in the fall months. I actually thought it was something very unique and different. When we drive along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, there are so many of these vines along the road that they look like weeds.We cut the thing back almost to the ground every year because otherwise it would take over the yard. So this morning on our walk we decided to take the neighborhood route rather than head to the national mall. And there they were - tiny white flowering vines all over the place. Some were in much better shape than others. Some were neat and orderly while others were left to their own devices. I can't say I noticed any fragrance as we passed by them. It does make a nice splash when everything else is starting to fade. I'm glad we have another kind of vine on the opposite side of our fence. It has tiny yellow flowers, blooms in the spring, and the vine has leaves that stay on through winter. So if the idea was to have something in bloom all year round, we may have done just that with the help of the perennials and annuals. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wifi Extender for Apple TV?

We are trying to figure out how we can make the best use out of our tv in a room that we don't frequent that often. We used to have basic Comcast service connected to it, but discontinued it because it was used once or twice a year and not worth the monthly fee. Any room DVR doesn't interest me either. So I came to the conclusion that just having a stronger wifi signal to that room would allow for Apple TV to work, and then we could just mirror whatever was on our iPads. So we went to Best Buy to find out our options. Because I didn't know what make of modem we had, or know enough about wifi extenders, and they didn't have the new Apple TV version, we left. We just had Best Buy set up a new LG Oled tv a few months ago with Apple TV. I'm thinking we may just call the tech back and ask him what we specifically need to do. I'm not even sure this idea will work. If nothing else we do need an extender just so the wifi signal is strong. Having the Apple TV option would be a bonus. I just wish I knew more about this stuff. Or maybe we don't do anything at all. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Homephile Clear Glass Oil and Vinegar Cruet Set with Iron Caddy

My husband basically rules in the kitchen. I can cook, but haven't for so long that I probably have forgotten everything I know. I always needed to use recipes and followed them by the book. My husband just throws things together and the end result always come out perfect! And, he loves to cook; I, on the other hand, don't care to. So when we get things for the kitchen, he is in charge. He's been wanting an oil and vinegar cruet set for a long time. And since we had a bumper crop of little peppers in the patio garden this year, it was about time to do something about it. I found a Homephile simple glass cruet set on Amazon. It came with an iron caddy and would go really well in the just upgraded kitchen. He was so excited to fill the containers with our best vinegar and oil, and lovingly added the various colored peppers in to the oil. Then a bit of French seasonings were sprinkled in to finish it off. We probably will never use the contents, but it looks nice on the table. And since he no longer likes the color of the table or kitchen cabinets, they are going to be repainted in a color of his choosing - grey. Let's hope it all works out.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Swapping a Mirror - Replaced With a Kohler

We have a Wisconsin connection to Kohler. We lived in Wisconsin for thirty years and visited the Kohler bathroom showroom a couple of times. Our Wisconsin home was renovated using Kohler products. We just completed a bathroom renovation in our eleven year old tiny condo here on Capitol Hill, and had a Kohler toilet and medicine cabinet installed. We also have a small studio apartment across the hall. That apartment was overhauled by someone else right before we bought it seven years ago. The bathroom did not have a medicine cabinet. To cut costs, it just had a large hanging mirror above the sink. Since the bathroom is also small, it needs whatever storage space that can be provided. So we decided to update the area in that apartment by having another same, but larger Kohler medicine cabinet hung there. Since it is a solid brick wall, the cabinet could not be recessed, but all in all it fit the area nicely and has mirrored sides. So instead of getting rid of the hanging mirror that was originally there, we decided to move it to the other unit and put it at the end of the dark hallway. It would add a bit of dimension to the space, and brighten it up as well. So now we have clean and sleek Kohler medicine cabinets in each apartment. It's amazing what is exciting when you live in a tiny place.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Gripper Non-Slip Chair Cushion by KlearVu

After finishing a complete bathroom and minor kitchen renovation in our tiny 500 square foot condo, it seemed like a good idea to replace the existing green colored chair cushions with something updated that better matched the new backsplash. So I started looking around for a cushion in a neutral palette, with no ties, and a thin pad with no buttons. I found a striped item that seemed to fit the bill, given that the table wood and cabinets were in the original brown shade. They arrived last week and fit in nicely. However, ever since we had the backsplash done, my husband has not been happy with the old cabinet color as well as the chips that go along with eleven years of wear and tear. He has been talking about changing it up to a more modern grey color. And if he even talks about things like this, it really means he wants it done. It doesn't happen very often, but I could tell he really didn't like the way it looked. The kitchen table also has scratches and chips, so it will get a fresh coat of the same color paint. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it works out. The only problem is - I'm not sure the cushions will match.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Flu Shots at Safeway

Having a flu shot was mandatory when I worked in health care for thirty years. And for the last ten years, I used to get flu shots when I worked at the Library of Congress because it's just a good idea. But now that I am retired, last year we both got our flu shots at the Safeway across the street from the Subaru dealership in Alexandria.We thought it would be a good idea to get the shot while we were waiting for our car to get serviced. It's a lot easier than trying to get it at the primary care clinic we go to. Everything there is a royal pain. We will do anything to stay as far away from there as possible! But the bonus of going to Safeway is two coupons for 10 per cent off up to $200 at Safeway that expire the next year. You don't get that at the clinic. So today after breakfast at our favorite McLean place, we went across the street to the Safeway we typically go to for our groceries. It was relatively quiet and we stopped by the pharmacy to get our flu shots for this year. We didn't have to wait very long in a separate area that looks like a doctor's office - complete with an exam room - even though he was the only one on duty. The pharmacist was really nice and he gave the best flu shots! And we got our coupons for 10 per cent off. We saved them for when we have mega grocery shopping, and have until June 2018 to use them. So we gladly saved the trip we were going to take next week. It's just one of those necessary evils.