Friday, August 31, 2018

Union Station Labor Day Weekend Begins

We usually walk to the air conditioned Union Station when it is too hot. To get there today we needed to pass through the blocked off streets around the Capitol Building set up for Senator McCain’s funeral services. I always ponder what the business is for people coming and going to and from the trains. Some are obviously dressed for work with suits and business attire and hanging identification tags. Others are tourists and visitors getting ready to spend a few days in the city while others are heading back home just having finished theirs. Suitcases come in all shapes and sizes. There are always those running late and scurrying through the place. The food court on the lower level has something for everyone. There are shops and restaurants on the upper level. The main terminal, ticketing, arrival and departure gates are all on the main level with metro stations accessible on the west end. A lot of people have made their way to this destination over the years. It’s within walking distance from our house with a lot of things going on in between. So I hope everyone coming and going has a safe weekend ahead. It is quite a scene to observe. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Washington Hospital Center Eye Appointments

It’s that time of year again. Our eye appointments were scheduled for this afternoon. Every time we go I think something will need to get done - there’s been a lot of cataract surgery going on lately. My husband has glaucoma checks, and has had laser surgery on both eyes. I keep thinking I will flunk the peripheral vision test - and miss a lot of clicks. But getting to and from Washington Hospital Center is always a trick and we leave almost an hour before to travel just a couple of miles. We always schedule our visits for the first appointment after lunch. That way we avoid rush hour traffic both ways and are the first to be seen. The direct route to the physician office building on the main hospital campus was finally reopened after several years of construction. The parking structure was jammed with vehicles leaving (for lunch) and clogging up the lot. What was nice is all the office staff seemed to be in good spirits. But the best news was that everything is “stable.” So we are good for another six months. On the way home the neighborhood keeps changing. A good chunk of North Capitol Street was repaved and lines repainted, there was construction galore, but we actually made good time getting back home. We both wore our stylish sunglasses that fit over our regular glasses and I can actually see clearly already. So all in all it was an uneventful visit and it took less than three hours. Let’s hope it goes that way the next time. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Milkweed Bugs and Plants in the US Botanic Garden

We walk through the US Botanic Garden whenever we can. There is always something of interest to see. The Bartholdi fountain is lovely and the vegetable garden is wonderful! My husband would love to pick off a few of the peppers. The garden underwent a major transformation last year and this year it is obvious the changes that were made. It’s just a pleasant place to pass through. And for those who don’t have a yard to sit in, this is the perfect spot as there are separate seating places arranged throughout - and they are regularly occupied. And of course you can watch the fireworks on the fourth. The last time we walked by something caught my eye. On the milkweed plant were many milkweed bugs. Of course I didn’t know it at the time - I had to look it up - orange and black bugs. Apparently this is the time of year they show up, don’t last very long, and don’t particularly do much harm. But there they were in all stages of growth. Bugs aren’t my favorite thing - I prefer furry and feathered creatures much more. But it is fascinating to think about the world of insects - sometimes. And they were in such a lovely backdrop. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

USPS Informed Delivery

We got a property tax bill for one unit more than a week ago, but never received the tax bill for the other unit. But when I looked it up on line, both bills were noted. Which makes me wonder what other mail we never receive. Since we moved here twelve years ago there have been several instances of lost mail that are never accounted for. And more times than not someone in our building leaves mail by our door because it was delivered to the wrong person. On the “Next Door” app that covers our neighborhood zip code, the comments keep growing about this same subject of lousy mail service. But someone suggested they used USPS Informed Delivery that tracks your mail and shows what is supposed to be delivered. But even with the service, the problem is rarely solved if there is an issue. So I decided to sign up for informed delivery. You get an email in the morning if mail is expected, with a picture of the envelope or subject. Yesterday it was 1-800 flowers, and two other junk items. The actual mail was three pieces - all junk - but two out of three were “correct.”  It also shows package delivery. And you can use the app for other functions like “hold mail” and “buy stamps.” I think the only thing keeping USPS alive is the competition of all the other delivery methods. In the meantime we are still waiting for our property tax bill, an no app is going to fix that. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Redbubble Supreme Court and Cherry Blossoms Greeting Card

It’s always a treat to get a notice from one of my digitalart vendor websites that a sale was made. What I find most curious is the image that was selected as well as the product it will be made in to. German Shepherd ties have been purchased from Zazzle; Iranian scenes from Fine Art America/Pixels; bulldog and black lab images on T-shirt’s from Amazon Merch; custom orders from Etsy for pet memorial portraits; and American Eskie stickers from Redbubble. And people from all over the world are customers! This time the notice came from Redbubble for a Supreme Court and cherry blossoms image that I painted a few years ago. The images can be made to order on a variety of products from T-shirt’s to coffee mugs. But this time it was for a greeting card. Then I wonder who purchased it, why, and where it will be sent? But more importantly it always humbles me to think someone likes something I made - out of literally millions of images available - enough to purchase it. I can tell you the profit on these items is pennies, but the positive vibe I get is worth so much more! So to the person who bought this greeting card? Thank you so much for noticing! 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Happy Anniversary Subaru Forester

Time flies. Yesterday we got an email from Beyer Subaru in Alexandria reminding us that it’s been three years since we rolled out of their parking lot with our new Forester. It was also a hint to schedule service. This was our third Subaru - we had an Outback and another Forester. The later we kept for thirteen years! We moved to DC from the Midwest in that car, and hauled our sweet Borzoi Tatiana around town in the back trunk space. For the most part we like Subaru. They rewarded us for liking them by sending us a surprise piece of very expensive weekender luggage on the purchase of a third Subaru vehicle. We traveled to California and back the first year and to Washington state and back the second. This year it seems we have been in the service department more than for the usual check ups for a cracked windshield, and then for the dreaded check engine light that took two visits to figure out. But we can’t really complain about the overall service and customer satisfaction. Probably the only things we really don’t like about this Forester are the pretty useless navigation system, it’s a royal pain to reset the clock when daylight savings rolls around, and it doesn’t have audible sounds when parallel parking if you are going to hit something - although the back up camera helps. It’s been fairly reliable otherwise and the check engine light hasn’t triggered back on for a month now. We really like the eyesight system and all the safety features. We aren’t currently in the market for a new car but would love one that self parks. But when you need to park on the street having a new car is always risky. So, happy anniversary to our Forester. Thanks for the reminder.