Friday, January 29, 2010

The Sun Came out in Sykesville

I went to Maryland this week to meet with some general contractors and kitchen cabinet makers. The realtor let me borrow a house key for a few days. I thought it was great to take this picture of the house with the blue sky behind it. It reminded me of Colorado, except the grass is green (in January!). It's been a lot of fun trying to decide how to arrange the new kitchen. The main thing I came back with after the trip was the realization that this is going to take a lot longer than I had planned. We can't even order the new cabinets till we take out the old ones and rework some of the plumbing in a wall we're removing. And, with no fridge and microwave, we're not sure how we're going to be eating!

We visited our new ward at church and met the entire bishopic Wednesday night. It is as large as our Broomfield ward, and seems to enjoy a relatively high activity rate. They, like Broomfield have a wide range of ages and economic situations. Unlike Broomfield, they draw from an area encompassing three counties! Our house is about 12 minutes from the church building. No more leaving for church 5 minutes before we have to be there!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

World's Greatest Ward Choir

We had a great turn-out for our ward choir pictures and my last practice! What a beautiful bunch. Not everyone was able to make it, but it was enough to fill up every available chair we had in our house. It has been a great 5 years for me as choir director. This has been one of the most fun things I've ever done. I never thought I'd be able to direct a choir. And it turns out I'm not very skilled at the actual conducting. But apparently, my brownies, and the love that went with them, helped the choir overlook my deficiencies, and we've had a great time together. Thanks to all the faithful choir members in the Broomfield Third Ward!

I turned over my baton to Leslie today. May she wave it with joy!

Ward Choir singing to Lisa

The ward choir recorded a special song for Lisa, who is in the hospital. We hope to have her back with us soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Goodby Giant Green Plant!

Lori did me two huge favors this week. One was to help me bring a very heavy filing cabinet up out of the basement. And the second was to offer a home to my giant green plant! I adopted it after it took over Elenore's entire living room. We can't move it to Baltimore, so we're glad Lori has offered it a new home.

We're now getting seriously into the business of moving. We'll close on our new house the middle of February, and we have to move out of this one before then. I've finished cleaning and sorting the basement. I plan on moving on to the garage today. I feel so sorry for my poor trash collectors. I'm asking them to move mountains!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Amanda's Birthday

We celebrated Amanda's birthday (belatedly) last night by going out to dinner at the Outback. Amanda had come down to Denver to sing in a Met competition. It was a little unnerving for her, but one of the judges gave her his card and said to apply to his school in Tennessee when she's choosing graduate schools. That was a bright spot in her experience. It was nice for me that she came home on Thursday night, as it gets a little lonely around here with Ed being gone all week. We gave her some nice presents and lots of love. We'll miss seeing her as much when we move to Baltimore. But, we'll be back frequently for her senior recital, the school opera, and her graduation in May. I'm hoping Verlene and Barbara are looking forward to hosting me this spring!

Last Bookies (for now)

The Highland Bookies met in Larspur Wednesday night to review The Guernsey Literary Club and Potato Peel Pie Society. Everyone gave it an A. That's a rare book that scores so high with such a finicky bunch as the Bookies! We liked everything about it. I read it 6 months ago, so had forgotten most of the plot. I guess I'll just read it again, and it will feel like the very first time. Diane made a great Potato soup to match the theme. Sheryl's foot is healing well from her break, and she was walking with only one crutch and no boot cast. Everything was perfect until they started planning the next meeting in February. That's when I started to cry. I won't be here! It felt very lonely. They said they'd Skype me. That might be fun except for the part where I sit and watch them sipping tea and eating their always tasty suppers. And what if they leave me alone on the table while they all go in the other room? I'm looking forward to being back together with them in October for our annual Steamboat Springs Literary Sojourn.

Meanwhile, we'll be reading The Help by Kathryn Stocket for February. Hopefully, moving won't slow me down on my reading!

Things are looking up!

Ed is home for the weekend, wearing his new Baltimore Ravens jersey. How quickly his loyalty (to the Denver Broncos) is changed! It makes it easy to give up on the Broncos when they have a season like the one they just finished.

We're feeling more positive this weekend. We haven't signed the contract for our new house yet, but everything looks good. There are just a few details we need to work out with the builder. Ed will meet with him next week, and hopefully, we'll be able to finish the contract. We also got a new appraisal on our current home that significantly brightened our view of the future.

I cleaned and sorted one of the storage rooms this week. Just two more to go, then the basement will be ready to pack. We're hoping to close on the new house February 10th, so we don't have much time left to get everything done.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Back in Baltimore

I feel bad that I've written nothing during the holidays. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time, and enjoyed having Ed, Brittany and Amanda all home. I'm not sure what we did during that time, but some of it included Beatles Rock band, and other times crossword puzzles from my new book.

I know how Ed spent the last four days of our holiday--reviewing and appealing our appraisals on our home in Broomfield. He has sent his treatise in, and one of the appraisers has already called to come over and re-measure the house. He admitted he made some mistakes, and that he was under some pressure to try to go low on the house. I think he is no longer under that pressure, and he seems willing to correct his mistakes. He was so impressed with Ed's evaluation that he told him he should start a business of evaluating appraisals.

In the meantime, Ed looked at a house on Wednesday that had just come back on the market after having been under contract for 6 months. The people were unable to get a loan, and the builders decided to find new buyers. We're hoping to be those new buyers.  I got a flight to Baltimore with about three hours notice, as we thought we should act quickly if we want this house. Here is a picture of the house. It's on Oakland Road in Sykesville. We think it is very beautiful on the outside. The inside has lots of square footage, which we like. We'd like to upgrade the kitchen if we bought it. Although the house has never been lived in, it seems to have been outfitted inexpensively in the kitchen area. This house has a strange history. It was built as the first house of 10 in a small subdivision. The other houses haven't been built yet, but the new builder is planning on putting in the road and dividing the lots this year. It is close to Liberty Reservoir, which is the water supply for Baltimore and Carroll counties. It has two family rooms. We think we'd make the living room into a study and the study into a music room. It could work out just great for us.

So, we'll just wait and see and pray that whatever happens, in the end we'll find something that will be the best choice for us.