Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Names that Turn In to Verbs

It’s funny how names can have different meanings. Apparently a first name has a specific definition and sometimes it is chosen based on what that definition is. I’m still not sure how or why my first name was selected. Over the years, and under specific circumstances, we have come to understand the definition of a name changing because of a specific occurrence. In other words, the name becomes a verb and it is changed to reflect that. As an example, someone was carrying on about how wonderful they were until someone else let them have it - stopping the aggrandizement immediately. The term for that is called “Jessie’d.” Another example: every time this person said or did anything, the boss either ignored or berated him. The term for that is “Dingshin’d.” And finally, when someone pretends to be doing something knowing full well they are seen and they know they are seen is called “Ardie’d.” We saw someone - who we didn’t care for - driving towards us, they knew they were driving towards us, and pretended they were looking in the rear view mirror as we passed. Then it happened again on the next street! So whenever these situations arise - and they have - we use the names as verbs and we totally understand what that means. I hope if someone is using my name like that it’s for a good thing! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Cafe Deluxe and Crate and Barrel

We went there many, many times. Whenever we had out of town guests we would take them to Cafe Deluxe either at Tysons or near the Cathedral. They had great breakfast/brunch and lunches. There was also covered parking which made it even more convenient. We always looked forward to going, but stopped a couple years back because of the prices and the seating. So when we drove over to Crate and Barrel today to see if we could find a casserole dish, it was really sad to see that the Cafe Deluxe in Tysons was closed. It was all papered up and the sign disappeared. Really we weren’t surprised, but saddened to see something we once liked gone. We didn’t find a casserole dish either. We wanted something clear and with a cover. I saw something in Giant that might do and may end up with that the next time we go grocery shopping. But I did find a fake succulent plant that will take the place of some ivy that just never thrives on the bookshelf in the living room. It’s no use trying to keep a live plant there so it will finally be replaced. The good thing is to mix it up - the live plant is on the top of the TV cabinet and the fakes are on the bookshelf. There’s nothing worse than a dying plant or restaurant. 

Monday, June 28, 2021


Another week, another photo challenge. I thought I might have made a bit of an impression last week with my macro photo of my charm bracelet with the New England charms and the whale with the hinged jaw, but I didn’t.  I did get more comments on that photo than my usual entries, but I can’t compete with the real photographers out there. I’m using my iPhone for all my photos, while most of the others have equipment and use terms I have never heard of. The weekly challenge has made me a better picture taker. I even have an app that I’ve used for things that I can’t do with just an iPhone. Last week’s subject was “just breathe.” I thought about using our stethoscope, but that was too literal. So we went in to town and searched for images that make me feel calm. The Capitol reflecting pool is a place that we have frequented over the almost 15 years of living in the DC area. We have witnessed many events there, but I most like it when we just sit there and observe our surroundings. Since the sun was overhead we couldn’t get our shadows on the water. So we moved along to the next best things- the pond next to the American Indian Museum. It was surreal in the light and the pastel and watercolor effect on the water were enchanting. I could sit there all day and it’s just mesmerizing. Of course, we had to visit the gardens down by the Smithsonian Castle where the flowers are simply captivating, and a few good photos emerged from there too. It was a nice challenge because it was really left up to your personal preference rather than a specific technical technique. I’m sure my image this week won’t get much attention. But it doesn’t matter because both my husband and I really liked it. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The International Dinner

Making dinner can be a pain in the neck. My husband is the cook in the house snd I think whatever he makes is delicious. It is really! At least once a week we pick up dinner and order enough to last at least two nights
so as not to have to think about what to make. So last night we had an interesting combination of food - from all over the place. We had pierogi the other day. On top of those we poured the leftover spaghetti sauce. A couple of days ago we ordered Moby Dick kabobs, bread and yogurt, and had leftover chicken. Last week when we went grocery shopping we picked up a new brand of rice. The red wine we drink every night always tastes good with whatever we are eating. When I was looking at the plate it became obvious that this was indeed a very international dinner. The countries represented were Mexico (rice), Iran (chicken kabob, flat bread and yogurt), Poland (pierogi), Argentina (wine), and Italy (spaghetti sauce). Topped off with a salad and it was delicious! We were going to make vegetables but realized that the rice had both corn and beans. The best part was that it was simple to make. All we needed was the microwave. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Covid Vaccination Plea

My husband snd I have about had it with the pandemic. Since vaccinations have proven to be one of the best methods to mitigate the spread, we are confounded as to why it has become such a political issue. Health issues shouldn’t be political. And just as we thought things were finally beginning to get back to normal it sounds like it’s just starting all over again. It’s like a dark cloud hanging over us every day. So we decided it was time to start writing letters to everyone - CNN, the president, the former president, the Vice President, the speaker of the house, the senate minority leader, the senate majority leader, a Virginia state senator, and the house minority leader. We were able to correspond with 8 of the 9 and received either a “thank you for submitting” and/or an email. Our message was simple: 

Enhance COVID vaccination and accelerate the end of the pandemic 

Vaccination is one of the best measures to combat the spread of COVID. In view of the fact that vaccination has become a political issue, a logical approach to address this is:

A MUTUAL EFFORT be considered by President Biden and former President Trump in the form of a public health announcement. 

This could be an amazingly historic event - one can only imagine the impact it could have. 

Thank you for your consideration.

I’m sure nothing will come of it which is sad indeed. But I feel like we did our civic duty. It’s just not going to get any better without a coordinated message. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

In Search of Nips Chocolate Parfait

My husband is a cookie and candy monster. He keeps candy in the car and in his pockets. His favorite bits are Werther’s, Nips, and Bali’s Best. I usually order Nips snd Bali’s on Amazon; Werther’s we get at the grocery store. The last time I ordered Nips I was not able to find the usual 12 boxes that I’ve purchased fourteen times before. So I selected another option and obviously didn’t read the small print. The total was $13.99, and only when the package was delivered that we realized that there were only three boxes - which meant that each box was over $4 apiece! Now we know inflation is starting to affect just about everything. But that was ridiculous! So I went back on Amazon and saw that the twelve boxes option was once again available for $28.95. I was going to order it but decided to check out Giant to see if they had Nips. At the grocery store today we went over to the candy aisle and there they were - Nips chocolate parfait! My husband did not believe they could be found in Giant. The candy was not only there, it was on sale for $1.99 from $2.39 for a forty cents savings. So I got six boxes. I would have taken twelve but my husband didn’t want to look too greedy. So what we learned was that Amazon still has the twelve box option at the same price it always was, but that Giant also has Nips and it was even on sale. I don’t think the sale made up for the exorbitant price we paid for those three boxes that were shipped all the way from California. That just goes to show you that it’s always worth shopping around - even for candy. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Parking Backwards

The only time I got a ticket for parking was in the Midwest. Having grown up in a southern state, one could park in either direction along the curb. In other words, the front of one car could be parked in tandem with the front of another car. Essentially you can pull in to a parking space driving in from either direction. I don’t remember exactly when or where it happened, but I got a ticket for doing it. Well, that never happened again. When we moved to Capitol Hill almost 15 years ago we had to street park. But you could only park in one direction along the curb. There were plenty of other reasons to get parking tickets there. Since we had resident parking stickers we were spared. So when we moved to northern Virginia a couple of years ago I noticed an interesting thing - people parking their cars in either direction. I must say it does look odd but apparently it is all legal. I’m guessing the state of Virginia allows this way of parking, but I don’t think I’m going to test it out myself. That just goes to show you that states do things differently and sometimes you find out the hard way. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Tysons Corner Center

It was a cold and rainy morning. Rather than walk in our condo underground parking structure like we used to do in the winter, we decided it was time to take a ride over to Tysons Corner Center. We haven’t been in the mall for fifteen months or more. We used to go there and Tysons Galleria alternately whenever the weather was foul, too hot, too cold, too snowy, or too rainy. Since the shop hours have changed our usual entryway near Bloomingdale’s wasn’t yet open. So we found parking near the entrance for the morning walkers. It was decidedly dark and very unpleasant driving through the lot. In spite of the fact that the mall wasn’t yet open, the parking was rather full. The first floor food court was the first section to walk through. It seemed like about half of the people milling around wore masks. Even though we are both vaccinated we also wore masks and most of the stores required them before entering. I was surprised that more of the stores hadn’t closed for good. It was nice too see some semblance of normalcy, but it didn’t quite feel that way. Once the mall officially opened the Apple store had a lot of customers, as always. By the time we left it got a lot busier, but I was happy to leave. Everything looks so artificial. I’m still not interested in a lot of material things snd if necessary prefer to buy in on line. At least there is now another option for walking. But nothing beats the outdoors for that. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Old Town Alexandria “Other” Photos

Every week I upload a photo on the 52Frames website for a photo challenge. One of the recent subjects was for “doors.” That subject matter always takes us to Old Town Alexandria. The variety, shapes, and sizes of the 1700’s doors are spectacular. Rather than choosing an obvious Old Town door, I ended up submitting a door that had a “beware of the cat” sign on it. The door lead to a very long skinny alleyway that would spook even the bravest of souls. But there were many photos that I took on that very hot and humid day that I didn’t even come close to choosing. Some of them are other door pictures that just didn’t look very good, or were interesting sights of foliage or other such things. These images didn’t even go through the photo editing phase. Oftentimes I think that maybe I didn’t pick the best shot, even after getting feedback on Instagram and my business Facebook page. In the end it’s a hobby that takes us out of the house and gives us an excuse to go somewhere. Over the last year it’s just what we needed.