Friday, April 30, 2010

Jon Visit

It was so great yesterday to have Jon visit--my first sibling to drop by! It doesn't hurt that he's a pilot and by virtue of flying a lot, he eventually had an overnight in Baltimore. Ed and I picked him up for lunch and took him out for crab cakes. (I think they're starting to grow on me a little.) Then, Jon and I walked off the meal by taking a turn around Liberty Reservoir. Jon (have pick, will travel) played a little Day Tripper for me that he's learning in his guitar lesson. We finished up a fun day by playing guitar and banjo together. We heard it snowed in Salt Lake. We were glad the weather was perfect here yesterday.

Art in the Woods

Janet and I went for a walk in the forest Tuesday afternoon and we almost stumbled on Suzanne, Janet's neighbor, who was drawing a picture of the mayapple in the woods. Suzanne is an artist, and in addition to doing great pictures of people, also enjoys plants. She's practically a part of the landscape, all curled up in the vegetation with her oil paints. Suzanne is also the neighbor that made us the apple pie!

Monday, April 26, 2010

National Arboretum

On Saturday afternoon my neighbor Janet took me and Suzanne (other neighbor) to the National Arboretum. Here we are in the Azalea Garden, which was also full of rhododendrons. There were all colors and shades of them. It was beautiful and free! If you go to their website you can see what will be in bloom when you come to visit us.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nature Walk

Janet took me for a walk in the woods yesterdy afternoon. It was a nice change after spending the day looking at granite and faucets for the kitchen. This woods is behind Janet's house.

This mayapple has a pretty flower. It also has a little apple growing underneath the leaves.

The jack-in-the pulpit has a little preacher under the canopy.

The fiddlehead fern opens up with a scrolled top, before the leaves emerge.

Janet's dog, Utah, accompanied us. As Utah is getting old (unlike Janet and me), he gave us an excuse to walk slowly and enjoy the excursion.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Choir Sings on

Sunday I went to church in Broomfield. It felt good to be "home" again. I was excited that the choir was singing. I took a picture during their practice (there were more for the actual performance). They sounded so beautiful singing Behold the Wounds in Jesus' Hands. I miss the choir, and I've missed having music in our Sacrament meeting. It adds so much to the meeting. I was glad the Broomfield choir is carrying on the proud musical tradition. It was also fun seeing old friends. I know we should go to church for the spiritual aspect of it, but having close friends there really adds to the experience. I miss that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rave Reviews

Here are some of Amanda's friends gathered before the opera last night. She played the lead role in the University of Northern Colorado's presentation of Suor Angelica by Puccini. Verlene brought the synopsis with her, which Brittany read aloud to us all. It's a bit of a downer. (Nun kills herself to be with her (also dead) son who died in the neglectful care of self-righteous relatives). We were prepared for the worst, but we had no idea what we were in store for.

We were so moved by her powerful, yet tender performance. The music was so beautiful, and Amanda's voice seemed made for that role. At one point her singing brought about the spontaneous clapping of the audience. When she learned of the death of her son her anguish was so real that it brought tears to our eyes. When she cradled her infant (in the form of her headpiece) in her arms we wept. The people behind us, not knowing that we were the proud FOA (friends of Amanda), commented afterwards on how wonderful she was. It took us by surprise how much we enjoyed the opera. We hadn't expected to be so caught up in the story and so moved by the music and the acting. Bravo, Amanda!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gone to the Dogs

I'm staying with Lori tonight, and I want her to know that I'm having fun with Champ and Taz. Don't worry. I won't let them up on the bed with me! They're so cute, though. I think maybe the Bushes need to get a dog!

Twisted Lunch

It was so fun to go out to lunch with the Twisted Sisters today. We missed Robin, who was at Amy's wedding shower in Utah. I guess that's important, too! We're posing in front of my red hot Cadillac from Budget. Those Budget people are so nice to me! That is a nice perk from having a husband who is an Optimum member. It was fun telling my therapist (physical, not mental) in Maryland that I was going to go out to lunch with my band when I got to Denver. It made me feel cool.

Mother of the Bride

My friend Mary took me shopping with her to pick out an outfit to wear at her daughter's wedding next month. Do you like the hat we found? It was the perfect ocean blue to match the decorations. People dress a little different here in Maryland! We maybe didn't really buy that hat, but I liked it a lot!

It was my first visit to the mall in Owings Mills. The mall was great, because it had a Macy's, but it was sad because it is a dying mall and was less than 50 percent occupied. I might have to try another mall.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Liberty Reservoir Dam

It was such a beautiful day today that Ed and I decided to go for a walk after church. We walked to the dam of Liberty Reservoir. Although we live right next to the reservoir, we had to drive about 5 miles to get to the dam road. It is paved all along the walk. When the dam was built in 1953 (same age as me!) they used to let people walk out and look at it. Now you have to walk 1.6 miles one way just to get to the old parking lot. And even after you get there they have a lot of fences to keep you from really enjoying the view. It was beautiful, anyway, and not at all crowded, so we really enjoyed the walk.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Down With the Maple

This is a sad situation, but the maple behind our house had to go. It was good because the builder had to pay to have it taken out. The county said it was too close to the house, and it was, but it was a beautiful tree. Watching the destruction of it was pretty absorbing. You might enjoy watching this video.

Here's the "before" view from our kitchen door.

Goodbye tree!

Here's another video that shows how they clean up the tree after it is pushed over.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ed Mows!

Ed came home a little early yesterday to mow the yard, only to find out Lennie had beat him to it. Fortunately, Lennie had left the back yard unmown, so Ed was able to take his new riding mower for a spin. He loved it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bennett-Kelly Farm

Miss Carol gave me a tour of her farm this afternoon. I loved it. It is so beautiful. These are the maple trees she planted in 1976. They're on our property, technically, as is the farm driveway. We told Miss Carol she could still use it (since it is an easment to her property).
The house is 200 years old, with two additions. It had some beautiful woodwork in it. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also in preservation, and can never be subdivided. It is only 10 acres now, but used to be huge.
Miss Carol has 4 Morgan horses, one of which is a World Champion. She is also a leading expert on Angus cattle, having spent many years raising and judging them. She filled me with lots of stories of visiting the Eisenhower ranch, Jimmy Cagney's ranch, and having Thanksgiving with her father's college buddy, Adlai Stevenson. (They didn't vote for him, despite their close friendship!) She is truly living history, and it was a pleasure to spend a beautiful afternoon with her. You can see a picture of her mother over the couch on the left.
She has a beautiful old barn for the horses. They are retired now and very spoiled. They get lots of apples, carrots and love.

Here are three of her four horses. Their names are Coco Chanel, Designer Genes, Bali Ha'i and Bamberry Cross. It was beautiful watching them run in the pasture. 
And, last but not least, here are Piper Laurie and Katie siting on the mounting block in front of the old house. They might be a little spoiled (loved), too, but are very good dogs!

Lennie Mows

We live next door to an historic farm that was built in 1780. Miss Hackney, the owner is the same age as my mother. Her hired hand, Lennie, volunteered to cut our grass for us. Ed has been hoping to do it all week, but he never gets home in time. You can see the grass was about a foot tall by the time Lennie came over this afternoon. What kind of neighbors spend two hours mowing your lawn for you? Good ones, don't you think?

Here is a view of the side of our house from the 200 year old maple tree at the end of Miss Carol's driveway.

Birds In our Copse

Our little copse is full of birds, and my little camera mic doesn't do them justice, but here is a sample of what we wake up to. This video was taken from our driveway overlooking the copse behind our house.

Misery at the MVA

I spent the better (longer) part of my day at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration yesterday. I want to say that the state of Maryland is much less friendly to newcomers than it's people. I'm hoping we've jumped through enough hoops now to have passed the worthiness test. We were spoiled in Broomfield when it comes to registering vehicles. (Nice clerks, no lines, chairs...) Well, yesterday I stood in line 1/2 hour yesterday just to pass the dragon lady. If you have the correct paperwork she gives you a number. Then, I sat in a chair for an hour and a half. It was 85 degrees outside and about 55 inside. I wasn't prepared for the over-airconditioned comfort. The numbers start with different letters just to confuse you and make you think they are orderly. It was frustrating watching a guy that was quite a ways behind me in the dragon lady line go 1/2 hour before me. We both had cars to register and both went to the same window. He was H5 and I was C24. I think they save "C" for the people with the bad attitude. The dragon lady knew my heart. When I finally got to the window I was forced to stand directly under an airconditoining vent for 1/2 hour while she clicked away. To add insult to injury, they charged me 3% tax on the book value of both vehicles, because Colorado had only charged me 3% when I bought them, and Maryland tax is 6%. She didn't care that I really paid 8.25% with the county taxes in Colorado. By the time I got out of there ($1700 poorer), I would have paid any price to be free.

On a happier note, I paid a little extra to get "Treasure the Chesapeake" plates. They look very cool and have a bird and a crab on them.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Our Easter tulips made it feel like a special day. We watched conference on TV and then wandered aimlessly around the yard. It's a big yard, and allows for a lot of aimlessness. We missed having Amanda over to watch conference with us. We were a little discombobulated, having to watch conference at noon and 4 p.m. It's just not right! We took the pie pan back to the neighbors this afternoon. They showed us the stage setting they're creating for the high school musical--High School Musical Two. It looked very cool. It could be fun to go see it. Maybe I should watch the movie first!

I dusted off the banjo and played a little this afternoon. I was happy I still haven't lost the magic!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Snake in the Grass

Ed walked right over this snake, after which it started to move, and scared me to death. I decided to take a different path through the forest. Ed poked it with a stick a little. I thought he was very brave. I imagine he (the snake) is not poisonous, but who wants to take chances?

Wild Daffodils

Ed came home early from work yesterday, and we enjoyed a walk around the reservoir. There were wild daffodils along the path. Rumor is that the deer don't like to eat the daffodils, which was nice. Maybe we should plant some by our house. I have never seen the deer at our house, just their hoofprints in our copse. But yesterday afternoon we saw four of them hopping over the fence into our neighbors farm.

Fern Gully Revisited

Ed and I went for a walk along our new road yesterday. Here's a picture of the destruction our development is causing. I found out that for every acre of trees removed, the developer has to plant an acre of trees somewhere else in Maryland. It can be on private or public land. It just has to be a place where someone wants trees. When you drive along the roads here you often see big fields full of newly planted trees. They have little white cylinders around them to protect them from the deer. Apparently, the deer love young seedlings. It makes me happy that we're not destroying the planet here in Maryland.

Poor House in Westminster

I took this picture for Mom, as it reminded me of the poorhouse she lived in as a child. Not that they were indigent, but the county no longer used the poorhouse for the indigent. It looks like poorhouses were common in the early days. I had a picnic lunch in Westminster (MD not CO), overlooking the cemetery and the old Almshouse (in the background). I didn't have time to go home between doctor appointments. Thankfully, it was a nice day. I passed my mammogram, and the ortho gave me a cortisone shot and told me I had inflamation of the tendons surrounding the rotator cuff. It's like tennis elbow of the shoulder! I get to start with a physical therapist on Monday, and in 6-8 weeks it will be like brand new! (I'll keep my fingers crossed).