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!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jewels on the Mall

Hope Diamond
Don Pedro Crystal
We visited the Museum of Natural History recently.  It's on Constitution Avenue North West at 10th Street NW and quite easy to find and get to. Better to get there by bus or taxi as I could see no parking whatsoever.  We took a look at the Hope Diamond and all the other crystals and gems there, among other things (such as bees, butterflies, mummies, grasshoppers, cave men). Apparently these crystals and gemstones -- I learned that gems are merely cut and polished crystals! -- are worth millions of dollars, naturally, but maybe they are better off behind glass. There's stories associated with all of them but I just don't remember.  I just photographed the ones that caught my attention.This museum is one of the Smithsonian museums and very interesting. There's a cafe there too, where we had a snack and some quite decent coffee.





Saturday, September 6, 2014

Stressed Out in #Bloomingdaledc by The Public Works

Detour sign instead of tree
Huge concrete truck lumbers onto quite side street
Large sheets of metal covering up huge holes
Lately, I've been feeling quite stressed out by all the public works in the neighborhood. I can't figure out if it's all the water tunnel dig, or gas pipes being moved, or other utility work, but it's all becoming a bit of a nightmare.  And, it's not just the bright orange and yellow plastic things -- signs, pipes, vehicles, worker jackets but it's all the big lumbering vehicles and the ever-changing lanes and roads and alleys being worked in, or the increase in heavy service trucks.
Steel plates & graffited toilets & orange cones
Huge equipment, mysterious yellow barrels
And for another thing, it seems like every time I leave the house during the day I encounter some kind of blockage:  this might be a slow-down due to having to drive more carefully over the large metal plates that are mysteriously appearing in some alleys and roadways (and what huge holes lurk underneath them); it might be a temporary "road closed" sign forbidding me to enter a street I used to routinely use;  or it might be some giant concrete carrier or truck blocking the road, trying to turn a corner or grinding its gears going over the speed humps of our quiet residential street. Some of them are even 18-wheelers (yes, I've counted them) who seem to have got lost in the "Bryant Street Detour" and are attempting to get somewhere. Who knows what an 18-wheel behemoth is doing driving westbound on Adams Street for instance, or why another two-tonner is attempting a U turn on First street.
 
giant coils of yellow plastic pipe & orange cones

I want to also mention the increasing number of helicopter flights by police, park police, news stations and others (that I have been unable to identify their origin). Their noisy circling over all the development is adding to the nervous tension that I now feel as I try for some peace in the garden or on the deck. I'm sorry to say I just give them the one-finger salute as they disturb the rose pruning.

Diggers and drillers and more ORANGE things
Oh no, another street closed!
Maybe it's also the sight of the large blue toilets that the road crews must have that now also have graffiti on them, or maybe it's all those orange cones and orange nets and signs taped onto trees, but I'm finding it all GETTING ON MY NERVES. Did I mention all the added dust and litter -- since street sweeping has been suspended -- and grit and grime?  Did I mention the 2 a.m. drilling digging sounds from McMillan site?  This Bloomingdale neighborhood is no longer the quiet outpost it used to be. We're living in the middle of a giant department of public works project and it's exhausting.
Cranes looming over

More heavy equipment blocking quite residential street

Workers in orange, yellow with STOP/SLOW signs