Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I rode out with Miss Carol this morning to buy some peaches and tomatoes at a fruit stand. We stopped by to visit her sister, who lives on 75 acres on a farm a little north of here. We found these berries. I didn't know what they were, but Miss Carol told me. They were a little (okay a LOT) bitter. Can you guess what they are? I'll bet they'd make good jam if you added a ton of sugar!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Amanda's Vision

Amanda was able to drive herself to the eye doctor's the day after her lasik surgery! it's pretty amazing to see without contacts or glasses. I almost wish someone would stick a knife in my eyes, too!

Temple Work

Ed and I did an early morning session at the Washington DC temple Saturday. We changed clothes afterwards and stayed for another two hours to weed the gardens with 50 people from our stake. I think I might have gotten a little over-zealous and pulled a couple of good plants. The gardens were in pretty good shape , and I just wanted to make a difference! Oops!

Poster Week

I got to be on the publicity committee for the stake women's conference this month. I thought the posters turned out nice with a silk flower on them.

It's fun to try to think of things to stick on my posters. I was able to borrow some hay from Miss Carol for the ward publicity poster for our Fall Festival. It was a week of advertising last week. Notice the little flowers in the bottom left hand corner of this poster. The Black-Eyed Susans will have their debut performance at the Ward Fall Festival September 18th!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ed and Coda Nap

I was Skyping Barbara tonight, celebrating Abby's safe arrival in Norway. Amanda came in and told me I had to run in and see Ed sleeping on the couch with the dog. The TV was on, but neither Ed nor Coda was aware of it. They didn't even wake up when I took this picture. Don't they look sweet? It's nice to have a dog to cuddle with!


Dr. Burgos said Amanda's eyes are finally ready for surgery! And to make it even better, they can fit her in the schedule for this Friday! Just think, in two days she can throw her glasses away!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Contractor BBQ

Saturday we had a BBQ to celebrate the end of our kitchen remodel. We had Henry, Todd and Roberto (from One Source Contracting) there, as well as Julie and Ron (our Realtor). We were sad not to have Alex and Billy Ray with us, as they did so much of the work. It was fun to show Ron the changes we had made to the house since we moved in 6 months ago. (Was it only 6 months?) We stuffed ourselves silly, said how happy we were to have finished, and then we handed Todd a layout of our ideas for finishing the basement. Maybe sometime next year we'll have the energy to start phase 2!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Boot

Amanda got her small boot yesterday. She's really happy, but we're a little sad because we'll no longer be able to tell where she is in the house by the sound of her thunking! Can you tell from this picture which one of her legs has atrophied?

Guest Fiddlers

Amanda has been giving Joanie Halsey violin lessons on Thursdays during our Black-Eyed Susan practice. I'm sad school is starting and we'll no longer be able to have them join us for a number or two at the end of their lesson. A couple of good fiddlers really bring the band up to a different level!

It's Curtains!

I sewed these valances for the kitchen a few weeks ago. It took several trips to the fabric store (special order, trim, backing) and a lot of help from Ed to get them mounted. I had found a picture of some curtains I liked, and tried to figure out how to sew them. I finally found a pattern online and ordered it. The secret is to scallop the TOP edges. Then, when you hang them on the rods they drape soft and pretty. I think they turned out really nice.

Mary Poppins

Wednesday night we went to the Kennedy Center with Miss Carol to see Mary Poppins. We asked the guy behind us to take our picture. He had one chance to get this nice shot of us before the usher told us no picture taking was allowed. I pointed out that we weren't doing anything wrong. It was that guy in the row behind us!

The Kennedy Center was very beautiful, if somewhat stark. It had the feel of something built in the 60s. Fortunately it had a lot of leg space, so we loved it. Mary Poppins was a lot of fun. The singing and dancing were great. The plot was somewhat changed (no suffragettes, and more introspection on what it means to be the wife of a self-important man). And there was no fidelity fiduciary song! Despite the lack of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, it was still very entertaining. I liked the Greek statues that came alive in the park. It was also fun seeing Mary Poppins fly out with her umbrella. I wish I could do that!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Puppies on a Porch

Amanda and Janet, with Coda and Tracer. It's a perfect picture of a summer afternoon in Maryland! Janet has to go back to work next week. Where did summer go?

Three Black Dogs of Undetermined Origin

The Maisels got a puppy a few weeks before we did. Amanda and I took Coda across the street for a visit. Utah, their 'mature' dog took it all in stride. Tracer and Coda were more interested in playing. Fortunately, nobody lost an ear.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh, Deer!

When Mickey and I returned from lunch and shopping today, she parked the car in my driveway, where we saw a little baby deer right in front of us. By the time I got my camera out, the mother deer had also wandered into the shot. You can see Amanda's car parked to the left. They were so beautiful. I was sad that they didn't stay longer.

Service With a Smile

The Relief Society had a Service Auction last week, and I was lucky enough to win Mickey Shepherd's offer to take someone (me, in this case) out to lunch and to a store that sells items from all over the world. If that wasn't enough, the store also had a 75 percent off sale! I saved $169, and got a head start on my Christmas shopping, too! If you want to check the store out, they have a website at http://www.serrv.org/. We stopped for lunch at a fun Mexican buffet, and got home about 4 p.m., just in time to make dinner for the missionaries. The lovely ride in the country left us plenty of time to just visit, which was a major part of the fun.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eli's Comin'

My nephew Eli stopped by last night (the second relative to visit us in Maryland)! He's turned out to be such a big, strong, handsome and well-informed college graduate! Hold your hearts, girls!

We took him to see the fire road. Unfortunately, it was completely grown over with vegetation, and it took us 45 minutes just to find it! We walked down to the reservoir and back. Amanda was pretty brave to walk with her big black boot on such rough terrain. She had to carry the dog half the time, as the grass was over poor Coda's head!

On the way home we took the short cut, climbing the fence to get through Miss Carol's farm. While Eli and Amanda took a short tour of the the old farmhouse, I sat outside with Coda and took pictures of yellow butterflies.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Coda's New Bed

Coda loves and appreciates all the attention we lavish on her. Look how much she likes the new cushion in her kennel!

Fun at Band Practice

Kaylene, who in addition to her rapier sense of humor, also appears to have a talent for picture-taking. I think these pictures she took show how much fun we had at band practice yesterday. I like this picture of me with the banjo and the semi-pained expression!

The picture of Mary and her dad makes Mary look like a maniac. It's apparent she's on the edge!

We were lucky Tricia (on the bass) gave up her big school board meeting to come to band practice. She has her priorities right!

Carrie is playing autoharp on Arkansas Traveler. The chords just change too fast for the guitar. The autoharp sounded great except we decided we didn't have time to tune it. We just pretended her chords matched ours.

Kaylene, (left) and Cindy play  ukelele and parlor (small) guitar. Kaylene proved particularly useful on the Baby Bumblebee song, as she knew all the words. We're planning on having some children join us, dress up as bees and sing along with us.

Coda joined us for the entire practice, sitting nicely in her new doggie bed. She really likes folk music! After practice Cindy took the dog and Amanda out for an obedience lesson. I spent the rest of the day humming Polly Wolly Doodle and smiling.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Coda Meets the Horses

After working so hard this morning we took a little break to play with the dog. She was excited to find the horses standing by our fence. The horses have gotten to know Amanda. Here she is with Mr. Genes, Bali and Coco. Coda is cautious but interested.

Amanda held up the Coda to get a better look at Coco, who seemed equally interested, and not quite as nervous as the little puppy.

Mud Room

We finished the new mudroom, adding a bench and cubbies, as well as a closet on the left for our shelf-reliance food storage shelves. It has also become Coda's room. It's very nice and has two windows in the front so she can look outside and see if anything is going on.
We found a nice bench cushion at Home Depot, and it's the perfect place to sit and rest (or play with the dog) when you get home.

A Clean Garage is Good for the Soul

I've been bothered for a few months now by the amount of dead flies on the garage window sills. I'm happy to say they've been swept away! I feel like I have a new lease on life! With the contractors moving out the majority of their tools last week we've been able to reclaim valuable real estate in our garage. It feels good to have things a little bit organized.

One of the nice things about our new garage is all the light it has. It has three windows in the front, and three more in the back. One of the bad things about the garage is the amount of insects that enjoy our windows! They live (or rather die) to regret it!

We're hoping someday Amanda could park in the garage, but for now, it's reserved for our giant lawnmower, as well as a snowblower and another lawn implements. We're hoping someday to get a shed for the tools and bikes.

A Long Day

Amanda and Coda fell asleep on the couch together. I couldn't resist taking their picture--and blogging it!

Monday, August 2, 2010

What Breed is Coda?

We were planning on having Coda DNA tested, but Amanda found out that the sites that promise to test your dog are a just a way of getting us to fork over $59 hard earned dollars for a bogus list of our dog's heritage. So, we'll just have to ask our vet what he thinks. My friend Cindy says she sees some Border Collie in her. We're going to go with that. We don't see any Cocker Spaniel in her at all, (as billed by the shelter where we got her). Either way, she's awfully cute and now everyone wants to be our friend. I took her for a walk today and I was suddenly very popular!

I tried to take a video of her doing her cute things today, but wouldn't you know it, she was embarrassingly disobedient on every video! I'll try again tomorrow!