Thursday, September 30, 2010

Walkin' in Sunshine

What is it about going for a walk that gets the conversation flowing so well? Lori and Robin and I did the big loop around the rec center this morning and I've almost caught up on the past 5 months in Broomfield. I thought I had been in Maryland long enough to become an easterner, but Denver still has a mighty pull on me. There's nothing like a walk on a sunny fall day in the Mile Hi City!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Judds for Dinner

Last night we had old (former, not ancient) friends drop by for dinner. Carol (Chilberg) Judd grew up with me in Billings. She also met her husband, Dennis, after she moved in with me second semester of freshman year at BYU. They have a son and daughter in our ward in Baltimore, so it was nice that they could combine a trip to see Andrew with a visit with us. Carol is into so many things! One of her current hobbies is searching for old sea glass, of which there is very little in Vernal Utah. Maybe we'll be seeing a lot of them!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Markets and Graves

We saw the old and the new yesterday. We went to Wegmans Grocery store, which people have been telling us about since before we moved to Baltimore. It is the largest grocery story I've ever been in! It is about 1/2 hour from our house, so we won't be going often. Ed and Amanda are perusing the sushi bar in this picture.

The other extreme was a visit to the Lexington Market in downtown Baltimore. It's a series of indoor stands that feels exactly like a trip to Mexico. Ed Melzer is checking the fish here.

We ate lunch at the world renowned G&M Restaurant, where we filled up on crab cakes. Mom and Ed are leaving tomorrow, and we were happy they were finally able to taste Baltimore's most famous food.
We've seen Ft. McHenry from the Inner Harbor and the harbor cruise, so we thought we should drop by and see it in person yesterday. We had a stiff breeze while we were over there, so we were easily able to get a picture of the Star Spangled Banner that inspired our national anthem.

After our visit to the Lexington market we walked to Edgar Alan Poe's grave a few blocks away. The cemetery at Westminster church also had graves of many other famous Baltimoreans, including Mr. McHenry (after whom the fort was named).  It was such a great, gray day that Amanda practically fades into the stones in this picture.

We also stopped by the locked cemetery of St. Paul's church. I'm going to do some investigating sometime to see if there are any Jones bones there. Our ancestors attended that congregation for about 100 years before moving on to Pennsylvania.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jeep Ride

Butch Maisel stopped by Saturday to show Ed Melzer how he had mounted his uniform for display along with a picture of him when he was in the army.

Sunday after church, Butch surprised Ed by stopping by with his friend Pete, who owns a WW II jeep. They took Ed for a spin around the block. It had been 66 years since he had been in one of those!

They dressed up in uniforms of the period, and even brought Ed a jacket to wear. Even the jeep was outfitted with all the accouterments of the period, including a camouflage net!

It wasn't easy squeezing into the jeep. Pete even brought his faithful dog along for the ride!


We went to the National Arboretum on Saturday, where we took the tram tour, which gives an overview of your tax dollars at work. We ate a  picnic lunch in the grove of State Trees, where we found Montana's Ponderosa Pine, as well as Utah's Blue Spruce. 

I like this shot of the columns moved from the old capital building.
There were a bunch of people dressed up in Victorian clothing just for the fun of it. What could be more fun than wearing a helmet with a pointy top!

Volunteers served up lemon cookies and lemonade in the herb garden. It was the next best thing to a trip to Sam's Club!

We finished up the visit at the Bonsai exhibit. The trees were so cute that I wanted to put one in my pocket and take it home with me!
The carp at the visitor's center look like they're saying, "Feed me! Feed me! We were sorry we had nothing to offer!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dinner Birthday Cruise

In the evening we went on a cruise of theChesapeake bay. Our boat is behind Ed and Amanda here. It was such a beautiful day--hot with a light breeze.
We celebrated Mom's birthday somewhat belatedly. The singing wait staff sang Happy Birthday to her and the other celebrants. Being the off season, we even got a window table. Aside from three birthday and two anniversary parties, most of our fellow cruisers were beer-swilling businessmen on a retreat! None of them got up during the dancing!
John spent some time at the helm swapping stories with the pilot. I learned that ships and planes have a green light on their right and a red light on their left. That bit of knowledge just might come in useful someday! The nicest part of the cruise was sitting on the deck after dinner just enjoying the view of the lights and the full moon.

Acquarium and Lighthouse

We ran through the National Aquarium yesterday so we could hit the dolphin show on time. This was the only fish we saw, but it was a good one! (Notice the green eel in the background!)

After the dolphin show, complete with it's "Save the Big Blue Planet" indoctrination session, we had time to dally with the jelly fish. They are so beautiful, I can't understand how they could hurt a fly!

We walked over to the Seven Knoll Lighthouse, which is also on the Inner Harbor. Look who showed up--Uncle Jon! He couldn't stand it that Mom and Ed are endearing themselves with us, so he flew in for the day! He has now visited us four times!
The lighthouse had been moved from it's previous location in the middle of the harbor. The keepers didn't even have a patch of grass--just a house on stilts. Mom is taking our picture from the park bench where they waited while those of us under 80 went in the lighthouse.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Military Items

We went over to the Maisels tonight to see Butch's museum. Ed Melzer had brought along some WW II items (including this flag and Ed's uniform) to donate to the museum. It was interesting hearing Ed tell about his war experiences.
We got another private tour of the museum. Ed's can opener was a special hit with Butch, as it was a larger size than any one he had ever seen. It was unique, just like Ed!

Down by the Reservoir

Mom and Ed worked in the morning (Mom on Ed's history, and Ed on name extraction). Amanda had to sing for a funeral, and I played for her. So, when we got home we went for a short walk in the woods by our house. Then, we went up to Westminster to try out BJ's which is a warehouse club like Sam's Club or Costco. That was surprisingly fun, judging by the amount of money I spent!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day at the Mall

We went to the Library of Congress yesterday. It is such a beautiful building. It rivals any of your fancy European buildings, and the paintings are so colorful and vibrant. We enjoyed the Bibles and the American history. I loved the South American artifacts. We had some good laughs with Bob Hope, who also has his own exhibit.

Ed (the Younger) dropped us off at the World War II monument, then parked the car. He ended up getting a little more exercise than the rest of us. Mom and Ed (the Elder) did really well, though, and walked all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial. They held down a park bench while Ed and I climbed to the top.

We were also able to visit the FDR memorial on the way to the car. It is very beautiful with lots of water and shade. It was a lucky thing for FDR that he got his shrine in 1997 when his star was still shining. Today people are starting to suspect FDR prolonged the depression with his make-work projects.

 When we got home Miss Carol took us all out for liver and onions in Westminster. It's the Monday special. Ed (the Elder) happily ate a plateful. Fortunately, they also had other menu choices for the rest of us.

Amanda was able to join us for dinner, as well as Lenny (who takes care of the horses),  Kay (his fiancee)  and Peggy (Lenny's mother). Bullocks, where we ate, apparently grows its own beef. It was fresh off the hooves!

Farm Visit

Sunday we took Mom and Ed over to Cold Saturday Farm after church. Miss Carol took us down to the barns. Mom said it was a much fancier farm than the one she grew up on. Green grass has a tendency to make a place look nice. It's hard for western farms to compete with that!

Coda and the two pug dogs raced around in circles like maniacs. It tired us out just watching them! We invited Miss Carol up to our house for a hearty bowl of beef stew afterwards. Amanda did a repeat performance of The Lord's Prayer after dinner. She'll be singing it again tomorrow at a funeral. It really is beautiful.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Fest and First Gig

Our ward party last night turned out great. It was a long day for Mom and Ed, who ended up washing my pans at 9 p.m. We started out by picking up hay from Miss Carol for the hay ride. Ed Melzer went along on the trail run pulled by the Weatherbee's tractor.
It's surprisingly fun to be towed around on a bale of hay. The kids couldn't get enough of it. When Gordon could no longer see to drive the tractor he finally shut the ride down.

He also shut the ride down during the great entertainment by the Black Eyed Susans. The crowd loved us!
We were joined by the crowd stealing CTR 5 class (and their teachers, the Scheufeles) for the Baby Bumblebee song.

Amanda and Joan Halsey did a set of fiddle tunes, much to the enjoyement of the crowd!

Our daughters joined us on The Water is Wide/Cross the Wide Missouri. This was crucial in helping us sing in tune!

Rachel Grastorf joined us on the guitar on She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain. She bought some lessons from me during a service auction, and she learned so fast I invited her to join us!

Amanda led us in three different square dances. I got this great picture of Amy Gadberry enjoying a good swing with Lynsey Stephens.

We had pumpkin frisbee golf, giant soccer ball soccer, parachute games and dangling donuts. To finish off a great day, my chili won second place! Everyone was having so much fun that we had to kick them off the games and send them home when it got to dark to see. I'd say that's a good party!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mom and Ed Arrive

Ed Melzer drove all the way from Utah to see our new house! I think he let Mom drive 75 of the miles! considering he is turning 89 years old in another month, we're very grateful for their safe arrival this afternoon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Makin' Hats

The Black Eyed Susans have their first gig Saturday night at the Eldersburg Ward Fall Festival! We stayed after practice today today to make ourselves matching hats! I hope we can play with them on!

The Black Eyed Susan is the State Flower of Maryland, and also makes a great looking hat accouterment! Look at Kaylene's masterful design!

Here are Judy, Carrie, Kaylene and Mary modeling our new millinery. We think we look so cute that it is highly unlikely that anyone might notice any untoward notes!

I got a little crazy and used three words I had to look up for this posting. (I was originally so far off on the spelling of "millinery" that wouldn't even give me a break and suggest another spelling.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Defender's Day

Saturday we celebrated Defender's Day at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. Carrie, who has been going for 10 years now, invited us, as well as a few other friends. After we ate our Chipotle burrito picnic, we munched our way through the homemade brownies and cookies everyone else had brought.

The Naval Academy band played, and Francis Scott Key was there! He talked about how emotional it was watching Baltimore defend itself from those nasty Brits in 1814. 

Amanda also came and invited some friends (happily, she has some!). We enjoyed the 1812 overture, complete with canons as well as a great fireworks show o'er the ramparts at the end of the program.