Thursday, October 29, 2009

Phabulous Pho

Pho Real. Seriously, that's the name of my very phavorite pho place. Okay, I promise I'll stop with the phoolishness now. Oops, that was a PHAIL. I'm having way too much phun here.

Pho Real is located in the shopping center at the corner of Briggs Chaney and Old Columbia Pike in the outer reaches of Silver Spring. It is very attractively decorated and very clean, and the broth is always fresh and delicious, and never greasy. They serve it with basil, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, and lime, which you can add as you see fit, along with the red chile sauces. I usually skip those because I like tasting the combination of basil, jalapeno, and lime with the broth without the distraction of hotness. I always put the bean sprouts in first so that they'll become as soft as the noodles. The summer rolls at Pho Real are also excellent.

And here's one more photo phor you. On the way there today, I spotted this cute out building on Briggs Chaney Road. I think it looks rather nice against the phall pholiage.

Monday, October 26, 2009

sad start to the day

As much as I complain about the deer eating stuff in my back yard, I still think they are beautiful and I do enjoy seeing them and I am slightly attached to them because they visit us so often. But I also wish they weren't so bold because in my area they are constantly being hit by cars. I guess they aren't that bright and just don't know any better, so they get scared and bolt out into the road in a state of panic.

This morning I pulled up to my house ready to begin a day of painting, and there was a deer that looked like it had just been hit lying right in the middle of my driveway at the edge of the road. It must have suffered a concussion because there wasn't any blood or broken bones. She was really pretty - her stomach was so clean and white. Anyway the sight of that pretty much ruined my morning. I called animal control and was told that they would pick her up within 48 hours.

I took the recycling out to the curb and as I got closer I couldn't bring myself to look at her. I noticed that there was no smell yet. I went inside and took a picture from the second floor, but I've decided not to post it - that wouldn't be right somehow. I kept thinking about her lying out there in the driveway and about how the animal control people might not come for another day or so, and since I was still wearing the rubber gloves I had put on to stain the threshold, and since she didn't smell at all, I decided to go out and move her over to the side of the driveway.

So when I went out there to move her, she was gone. I figured that animal control must have already been in the area. But then about an hour later when I was inside painting my foyer, animal control came and knocked on the door, wanting to know where the deer in my driveway was. At first he didn't believe me, so I showed him the picture I'd taken.

I guess someone saw that the deer was "fresh" and saw an opportunity to have a couple of months' worth of free meat or something. I felt a little less sad after thinking that something useful might have happened as a result of "my" deer getting killed. I wonder what the animal control people do with all those deer that they pick up every day? The guy who came to my house had two deer that he'd already picked up today.

This deer situation has been getting worse and worse over the past ten years or so. I hope the powers that be will eventually come up with a solution that is both intelligent and humane. As long as they continue to develop every possible inch of space, it's going to continue to be a problem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

random observances

The sky was so beautiful today. I'm SO glad it's not raining anymore. Now if it would only warm up enough for me to go to the beach one last time!

This bird was just sitting there on the top of the cedar tree. He was big and fluffy and light gray. I have no idea what kind of bird he is.

This is the worlds tallest stump. It's been like that for two years.

These balls are looking out the window and wondering how much longer they'll have to wait to assume their proper place in the world.

Another beautiful fall sky. I can't believe the leaves are changing already!

P.S. Don't forget to vote for your favorite moulding!

Monday, October 19, 2009

while the cat's away.....

Cyndy will play..... this time with power tools! (cross-posted at foamcorefantasy)Usually I avoid these things like the plague because they can be very dangerous to your hands and I need my hands. But I decided to save a whole lot of decision-making time by constructing a few mockups of potential moulding for our kitchen cabinets.

We were planning to use a copy of the original crown moulding from our old house to go around the tops of all the cabinets. Doug really want to use it in the kitchen for sentimental reasons. But the other day, he got started putting it up and we realized it didn't look good because the recessed lights cause the moulding to completely cast a shadow upon itself. So we'll just use it somewhere else instead. There are plenty of places it could go.

I remembered the experience with making the vent pipe covering and decided to get things moving by doing a sample of what I had in mind myself. That way when Doug gets back from his trip it won't take as long to get it done because all of the discussions will have already taken place.

My original idea was just to use a piece of half-round. It would look neat and clean and simple. But the sizes I bought were not big enough to look right so I ended up splitting a wooden closet rod in half. That one was so easy to make that I decided to get fancy and play around with the other sizes of half round. The second one I made is a flat trim board with small half-round beads on the top and bottom. Then just for laughs, I made another one that was three pieces of half-round attached to a trim board.

After the glue was dry I cut them with the miter saw and glued the two mitered ends together on each one. I couldn't find the staple gun or the finish nailer so I just used glue to put them together. I primed and painted them last night and this morning I put them up to see how they'd look.






#3 - that's just silly!

#2 on the left, #1 on the right

different angle - #2 on the left, #1 on the right
When I first made #3 I was laughing because I thought it looked like Lincoln Logs, if you're old enough to know what I'm talking about. Then yesterday as I was driving home from my gig, I saw this and it just made me feel like mocking #3 even more.

If you think they all look bad, please don't hesitate to tell me, because the other option is to go with no trim at all. Except that then the stupid outlets for Doug's recessed rope lighting will show.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Posting from Panera

So yesterday was my first day off from EVERYTHING in over two weeks and the weather was just wonderful in honor of the occasion. I'm pretty much not a rain type person, but it did cause this rose bush to look rather delightful.

The internet is not working, but at least I have heat. Hopefully the oil truck will show up before it runs out. Meanwhile, I'm keeping the thermostat set to 55 degrees. That feels really nice.

I have a test I'm supposed to take for an online course I'm taking, but I'm not used to being able to think with a bunch of loud inane conversations happening all around me. Maybe it will be quieter in here tomorrow and I can do it then. I'm not in the mood right now.

Apparently Panera is the big hangout for the Leisure World crowd. There's this old couple in front of me looking out the window and giving each other a non-stop commentary about the various goings on out in the parking lot. "Let's see if that idiot can back out of his space without hitting anyone." "Oh look, she's putting on her seat belt." Most of their comments were really smug and obnoxious and completely unnecessary and unfortunately they were irritating me so much that I was not able to ignore them. It was almost like the senior citizen version of Mystery Science Theater. I sure hope I don't become that bored, obnoxious, and smug when I get old. I'll probably become one of those silent types, rocking in my chair out on the back porch looking at the herds of deer running through. I hope I won't be compelled to say "look, a deer" to anyone who will listen, although I think I've shown telltake signs of that behavior already. I'll just have to watch myself.

I'm not really feeling this posting from Panera thing so I'm probably going to make myself scare for the next week or so. Unless the secret project I'm about to go work on ends up being photo-worthy.

I hope this weekend of wetness passes quickly for all of you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

like a deer in the headlights


They sure are pretty. But they don't respect me and they're not afraid of me or my car. They eat my apples and they sleep lying down right in the middle of my back yard at night. I don't know if you can make them out in the picture below, but there are two pairs of eyes there, glowing in the dark. If you click on the picture you'll see that they are relaxing in the grass. Don't bother getting up, it's just me flashing my camera at you in the dark. I hope I'll be able to grow something besides grass after I move back in. Sheesh!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Flowers

The other day Doug ran out of gas right next to the Heyser Farms orchard way out here on New Hampshire Avenue in Cloverly. I was already working over at the house when he called, so I grabbed the gas can that I use for the lawn mower and went to rescue him. I've only ever driven by there before, but since I was parked there for a minute I decided to get a few shots.

It looks like they have a cutting garden in addition to some very loaded apple trees.

It also looks like they just dump their unsold produce into a compost pile of sorts. There was a very strong apple cider vinegar smell. If you click on the picture you'll see that there are all kinds of vegetables there in addition to the apples. It's a very colorful compost pile!

In other news, today is day six of thirteen straight days of gigs. I am very grateful to be working so much this month doing what I love, instead of working so much on the house . Well I'm still working on the house every day, so nevermind. Anyway, I'm happy to be employed. And we are making good progress over there right now. Slow, but good.