Welcome to my blog!
I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Apparently the owner of the Chinese Dragon take-away food store on the corner of Rhode Island and First Street in our neighborhood got some money from the city government's facade improvement program (that is, from us taxpayers) to improve his store front. Previously, this was just block letters and there was not a little dragon logo over the store windows. I think the front wall was also repainted yellow and the windows have also been washed too so the whole effect is to make this place look a lot smarter. You would never know it but this food establishment was the scene of some drug related shootings back when we had a serious crack cocaine problem in the 'hood. I think someone was even killed right in front of this place, shot to death on the sidewalk. Back then, this corner was a thriving drug market, thanks to the Washington Post for putting the corner on a map of drug dealing locations they routinely printed (to help suburbanites find inner city drug markets). Today, however, the neighboring store is a more up-market grocery and wine store than what used to be there -- a liquor store -- and the Chinese Dragon has also gotten fixed up. I've never bought anything to eat from here as I don't "eat on the street" nor have I thought to go in and see what that's there but maybe I should try it. Does a cleaned up facade mean the food might be more appealing? Some people think so as two people have given positive reviews of this Chinese Dragon here on Yelp.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Jesus and Wise Men figurines freshly painted or maybe even new, it was hard to tell. We're glad there is such a display on the White House grounds and there was quite a crowd around it. So, have you seen Jesus lately?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
get me out of the drilling and digging noises" where I grinched about the machinery, dirt and noise but this street work is just going on too long.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I can spend more than a few hours in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC searching out and staring at all the Madonna paintings and statues. Not only are they hundreds of years old and created by very famous Renaissance artists, but you just know that millions of people have also gazed on them and thought about the contents. Their colors and textures are extraordinary and you can't help wondering what woman and child or person sat and posed for the artist so he or she could create these icons. Of course, not everyone knows the stories of Advent and the birth of Jesus but of the several billion Christians in the world, I would hope that a few of us can gaze on these visual treats and have it enhance our faith. For others, at the least they can appreciate the art's antiquity and value or perhaps catch a glimmer of what they mean. I am very glad that one is allowed to take photos inside the Gallery as I now have my own images of these priceless works to use in a blog like this or to insert inside an email or print out for myself or whatever. With electronic text and images, there are miracles we can experience every day!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
- Condemned Gingerbread House (thejourneymom.com)
Friday, December 17, 2010
|Wreaths on 16th Street|
|Snow on K Street|
|Snow on 16th St|
- Winter Solstice (socyberty.com)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
DC Metrobus keep on not running enough buses to pick up passengers on time IN THE MORNING? It wasn't raining. It wasn't snowing. The traffic wasn't even heavy. It's not like this isn't a busy route as there's usually at least half a dozen passengers at this G8 stop every day and the bus fills up. And why the no-fare or broken fare machine? On reflection, at least once a week I get on a bus and the fare machine is broken or not working or the driver just waves us past. How can WMATA make any money this way? Just what is going on?
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Well, the food and service were pretty good and friendly but the dirty menu (splats of lettuce and some dried up sauce) and the place mats were stained with dried up old food somewhat detracted from what could have been a super lunch experience downtown. Well, it was Sunday and maybe they hadn't got to these chores? Plus I had a very well mixed martini so I didn't complain too much other than to point out the menu problem to the nice and friendly waitress who took it away immediately saying "sorry." The tomato cheddar soup was hot and not too spicy, and the crispy pita bread and hummus was fresh enough so it's not the food that's the problem at the place, but the cleanliness. Oh, did I forget to say too that some of the knives in the place settings looked a bit grimy?. Fortunately, I didn't have to cut up anything but it certainly made me check the spoon before dipping it. I'm glad to give thanks for the means to eat out but really I do expect more hygienic practices.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Time to Stop and Stare
What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep, or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
-- William Henry Davies 1871 - 1940
I remember learning this at age 7 when we had to memorize some poem for some English literature study we did while being home schooled. Of course, that was back when my mind was blotting paper soaking up new things avidly, not like it is now when the Random Access Memory program occasionally fails due to the Information Uptake plugin software being "overloaded." Or at least, that's how it now feels when I have to learn some new text -- it's just too hard to do. But at the least, all the words I've taken in, have had an effect and have lead me to action. So it's just as well I read the Bible then or I'd probably be a real mess by now.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
de-hoarding the garage. About two hours later we were ravenous and I served this Winter Stew with a little bread, and it was delishus! Thank God for leftover vegetables, bits of beef and spices!
|Hoard for Removal|
|De-hoarded garage space|
Thursday, December 2, 2010
celebratory event in the very grand Caucus Room of the U.S. House Cannon building. The five of us have been called several things along the way as we have lobbied for disability accessible technology policy over the last five years, but this one is the most interesting moniker! I consider it a great honor to have been called out like this in a public venue where there were almost 200 people, including a senator, the chairman of the FCC, several administration appointees and no end of other highly influential Washington DC people! At another event we were referred to as "the COAT People" as our coalition's acronym is COAT. That one made us all laugh, particularly as it was said in a very matter-of-fact tone by a private sector attorney -- that we all loved to work with -- at another public event. Our legislation was signed by the President in October. Learn more about COAT here.
- Rep. Ed Markey: Building Online Ramps to Equal Access (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bill to make Web, mobile more accessible to disabled clears Congress (zdnet.com)
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Right in the middle of Seoul, Korea I visited what used to be the sacred shrine of a Chosun dynasty king from the fifteenth century who was buried in a tomb on the top of the hill. Standing next to his tomb are several stone figures of revered administrators as his dynasty was known for organizing the Korean culture and establishing stability in the kingdom. I don't think it likely that we would find such a memorial in Washington, DC to "administration" as it is our bent to make fun of federal employees and the federal government but maybe there is something here in terms of respect for God-given government which does in fact made our world safer and more stable. I also visited the nearby Buddhist shrine where the the royal family would perform ritual services for their ancestors, such as this king. Of course, off in the background is modern-day Seoul, with residential apartment towers and office buildings scattered over the hillsides which once were agricultural lands owned by the king and the traditional administrative families, who lived in pavilions amid the plum trees, I was told. It looks very different today but this city of over 10 million people seems to be well-run and organized, and the people that these stone figures may commemorate may be proud of their reach into a bustling 21st century world.
- Seoul 2 - Seoul, Korea Rep. (travelpod.com)
Monday, November 1, 2010
This morning on my way to catch the #G8 bus to work I looked down on the sidewalk and saw the remains of Halloween candy scattered about. Of course this was just the empty wrappers of Milk Duds and Snickers, and a candy carrying bag and not the chocolates or candy that the kids had gobbled up already. At first I was kind of annoyed that the neighborhood streets were littered with more than leaves and nuts and other seasonal debris until I realized that these wrappers were seasonal debris and paper wrappers are just leaves and nuts in different form. So then I thought how great it was that kids could freely walk about in our neighborhood and knock on the doors of strangers and ask for tricks and treats and only get treats. In fact I can easily recall when it was not safe for most of the neighborhood kids to go out on Halloween as the drug sellers and buyers were messing up the streets too much, leaving their litter of little crackie baggies and cigarette lighters and occasional needles and condoms. But that was over ten years ago and seems like ages ago. And so it's a good thing -- that children go out and do this. I also felt sad that I wasn't at our house to give out candy this year as I had to go out of town unexpectedly. I rather enjoy putting on a witch hat and cloak and opening the door and seeing all the angels, princesses, Spidermen, Supermen, bumble bees and spooky characters that ask for candy each year. So this year we ended up giving all our candy to my neighbor to give away for us. Thank God for little kids knocking on strangers' doors and wearing strange costumes!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
- Rhubarb Cake (thehappyhousewife.com)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
|Typical canal houses|
|View of windmill from canal|
|Bicycles on bridge|
|Last windmill in Amsterdam|
Friday, October 22, 2010
I thought they'd stopped using those wacky "mobile lounges" at Dulles airport a while ago but no, it turns out, they are still in operation. Coming back recently from Europe, we were herded into these diesel cars that lurch along the edges of the runways and take you from your plane to the terminal, or vice versa. And it was on this trip that I first heard the term "mobile lounges" used by the flight attendant when she announced how we'd get to the terminal. So that's what they are, I said to myself, "mobile lounges," who knew! From the two crazy chimneys to the square windows and high rise wheels, these have got to be the goofiest looking transport vehicles in use at any airport!
Watch YouTube video of a mobile lounge ride.
Watch YouTube video of mobile lounges on runway.
While there are cars in Amsterdam the 740,000 city residents pedal around on bikes or take trams to get around.but it seems like bikes dominate. You can't go down any street or alley or go over any canal bridge without practically tripping over a bike locked to a fence or pole. While you're avoiding these, at least a dozen bikes will whiz by you, the users pedalling madly over the cobblestones or transporting any type of good on a front or back bike rack, or on both ends. We saw more than a few parents with children perched on the handlebars and great loads of books and boxes and other material carried along on the back of the bike. There is even a parking lot for about 9,000 bikes at the train station since commuters leave their bike at the station when they leave Amsterdam to work elsewhere. It turns out that at their destination they may have another bike that they use to go from the train station to the job. It was certainly eye opening to see so much day to day business carried on by bike. And it didn't look one bit like DC at all!
Image via Wikipedia