Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trunk or Treat

Guess who this is, all dressed up for Halloween! Crystal made this costume last year (with a significant amount of help from Judy). I'm sure she is glad her father dusted it off for the ward trunk-or-treat!

It is a Nacho Libre costume. We named him the Denominator. Notice the division sign on his chest!

I dressed up as a banana. We made quite the couple! We had two trick-or-treaters tonight. It was a sad night! But, the good news was that the boys that came to our house knew our dog. They were so excited to be reunited with Coda. They were the family that picked her up when she briefly ran away from home a few weeks ago.

Brother Bloom, in our ward, did a pumpkin head carving of Brother Murdock. It is incredibly lifelike. Brother Bloom (the carver) is a dental student. I'd say that if that doesn't work out for him, he has a definite future in pumpkin heads!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Amanda's Mission Call

Amanda has received a great blessing. She's been called to serve in the Germany Berlin mission and will report to the MTC January 19th! She is overwhelmed by the call. It is exactly what she hoped for but didn't dare to ask for! We are so happy for her!

Thanks for all your votes. It was fun for us seeing where people guessed. She got more votes for Germany than any other country! Twelve people got it right! Coincidentally, I was one of them!

Band Practice

It was nice to have full group at band practice yesterday. Kaylene brought her friend, Lesly to pump up the numbers. We appreciated her singing along. We're hoping if we practice every week we'll have something ready for the Senior Center by the middle of December. I like Mary holding the new Christmas folder up in the picture. If you look carefully you can see Carrie's bandage on the top of her head! She played through the pain!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Who's Been Eating the Hydrangeas?

Remember when I said we never see any deer at our house?. Cancel that! With the onset of fall, they're coming down in droves from the mountains! Well, there really aren't any mountains, but they're branching out from the reservoir. I guess they don't have as much good food by the lake, so they've moved into my garden. I try to tell myself they're just helping me cut back the hydrangeas, but I really wish they would go eat someone else's flowers! We're going to get an invisible fence for the dog and hope she spends enough time outside to frighten the deer off!


This is the day we've been waiting for (okay, just one of the days we've been waiting for!) They started realigning our driveway to the new road! We can no longer get out of our house by driving down our driveway! We can always leave by driving on the grass. That seems to be a way of life for people in Maryland, so when in Rome...

We're hoping to have the driveway done by this weekend. Sadly, it's supposed to rain off and on this week. We might be leaving some ruts in the grass!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three Girls on the Fire Road

Mary and Joanie and I walked the fire road this afternoon. It's so beautiful that it makes you want to pick up every leaf off the ground and bring them all home and press them in a book of forever memories.

I snapped a picture of Joanie sitting on a log. 

Then, she took the camera and took a nice picture of Mary and me in the leaves and trees!
Fall is definitely my favorite time of year!

Coda's Hitchhikers

Ed and I took Coda for a walk on the fire road yesterday. She picked up a bunch of hitchhikers-little gummy plant seeds as we walked through a thicket. This picture doesn't quite do them justice. She was shoulder deep in them! She was so upset that she rolled franticly  in the dirt to get them off. We calmed her down and spent about 10 minutes cleaning her up. Then, to make her really happy, we gave her a bath when we got home!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Walking the Dog

Coda and I have been going for a walk every morning. It's been good for both of us.The trees are turning, and the air is crisp and cool.

Coda is learning to not pull on her leash, but she has a hard time passing a dog or a person. She expects everyone to love her and if they don't stop and fawn over her she goes crazy. She also goes crazy when they do! We still have some work to do on the leash training!


Who knew cars had resonators? I thought only banjos had them! Amanda's car flunked the Maryland state inspection, which is required prior to registering a new vehicle from out of state. It had pinhole leaks in the resonator, which is apparently part of the muffler. I think it's just a racket to soak the Bushes for more money. Here is a picture of the offending muffler. You be the judge!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visiting Teaching Luncheon

We had the loveliest luncheon today for our visiting teaching ladies. June (my companion) is in the front on the left. Clockwise, are Carol, Mary, Judy and Barbara. This picture makes it look like a sun-drenched afternoon. It was a crisp fall day--the best kind. Maybe it was the company that made it so special.

The menu included tortilla soup and strawberry spinach salad, followed up with June's turtle brownies. Does it get an better than that? I had an adventure cooking everything outside on the barbecue. We lost electricity at 4 a.m. and didn't get it back till one hour before the luncheon started! Thank heavens Amanda was home to help me get ready!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Amanda's Mission Papers

Original picture
Big head picture
Amanda submitted her mission papers, and we're now waiting to see where she'll go. We got an email from the Stake President yesterday saying she needed a new picture with a solid background, and only shoulders and head. So, we took a new picture and sent it in yesterday. So, hopefully, in about 2 or three weeks she'll be getting a mission call!

Red Oak

I thought I'd post this pretty picture of a tree I looked at yesterday. We need to replace three trees that were felled in the spring, and I'm thinking this red oak might be a colorful addition to our back yard.

I realize I haven't posted for almost a week. It's because I'm resting up from my big trips. It takes a while to regroup. I don't like to write negative things in my blog, but here goes: I'm a bad mother. I forgot to email Crystal on her mission yesterday! I have lots of directions where I can cast blame, such as "who has pday on Friday?" but we (Ed and I) just forgot. Ed might be excused as his work is experiencing a major calamity right now. My chief excuses are the driveway realignment contractors stopping by yesterday, as well as the invisible fence company. The real problem is that I'm just a bad mother! To add insult to injury, the dog threw up three times this morning (so far)! Other than that, everything is great!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Epcot and the Animal Kingdom

We had a great time at Epcot Thursday afternoon.  It was like a trip around the world! It was fun, as we had been to so many of the countries they featured. It also gave us a little wanderlust, wondering when we would get to see the countries we haven't visited yet.

Saturday we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom. Ed reluctantly rode the big roller coaster, Expedition Everest, and had so much fun that he wanted to ride again. We had our picture taken in front of Mount Everest and a Tibetan temple.

We enjoyed the Festival of the Lion King Show, which had great costumes, singing and acrobatics!

We flew home Saturday afternoon, and our feet thanked us for the reprieve!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happiest Place on Earth

Ed and I went to the Happiest Place on Earth today. Ed had a convention in Orlando, so I tagged along and we spent the day in Disney World. It is enough like Disneyland to make us feel at home, and enough different (from the Disneyland of 10 years ago) to make it interesting. 

It was all decked out for Halloween. The theme seemed to fit right in to the Cinderella story. We liked the Monsters Inc. Laugh exhibit so much that we went twice. The second time I got to be on camera. They asked me some questions, and I was very good! The show is different every time, but it helped to have seen the show once before my big camera moment! They have cartoon characters interacting with the audience. I don't know how they do it. Ed laughed with me or at me, I'm not sure which.
For Ed this is a working vacation. Here he is, freshly soaked from Splash Mountain, answering some emails. He had to go back to the convention at 5. I'm going to go for a dip in the pool!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Coda's Tricks

I thought you might enjoy seeing Amanda put Coda through her tricks. She's only 4 months old. We think she's a genius dog!

Publish Post

Greater Heights

I got back to Maryland yesterday after a great trip to Colorado. Amanda must have missed me, as she  invited me to go for a walk with her and the dog this morning. We walked out to the dam at Liberty Reservoir. It took some convincing to get the dog to join Amanda on this rocky ledge.

On a side note, Amanda told me her joy in greeting me yesterday was significantly decreased after I waited for her on the wrong level (the departure level) of the airport. To make matters worse, my cell phone wasn't working! Coda, who was also in the car held no grudge!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some of the Books I Read

I decided to leave all my signed copies of the books I read for the Literary Sojourn with Verlene. She's an avid reader, and I'm having a problem fitting everything into my suitcase for the return flight home tomorrow. I'll just have Verlene send them back to me as she finishes them. All but one of the books is a good read. Don't read the book on the bottom of the stack! It's a real downer!

Dinner with the Siskas

Guess who was happy to see me again--Brandy! She'll always remember how much fun she had when she spent Christmas with the Bush family. I look forward to the time when she can visit us in Maryland and visit her dog cousin, Coda. I think they'd get along great.

Paul made a great spaghetti dinner for us tonight and even did the dishes. Verlene and I both have the same model camera, so we ended up playing Top Model tonight. We used each other for guinea pigs in our attempt to capture the beautiful sunset view from the back deck.
I took a nice picture of Verlene.
She took a nice picture of me.
Paul got caught in the crossfire.


I watched the afternoon session of conference with Verlene today. She watched some of it with her eyes closed.


The aspens were in full color (yellow) this weekend, and we really enjoyed the view on the ride home from Steamboat. Nora was nice enough to take me over to Verlene's house after we got home.

On the Road Again

We're on the way back to Denver this morning. It's such a beautiful day that it almost makes us want to live in the mountains. We have three more hours to talk with one another before the weekend comes to an end.

Happy Readers

Sheryl and Diane are ready for our 10 minute walk to the Sheraton. It couldn't have been a nicer day for it. We used to stay at a condo right next to the hotel, but we're now staying at a really fancy condo for a little bit more money that has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms! We decided it is worth the walk.

 Nora and I had a little time to work on a crossword puzzle together before the luncheon. Nora is a genius at crosswords. Together we're unstoppable!

We sat with Tania and Marcia at the luncheon. Marcia was nice enough to stop by at Sheryl's house and pick up Sheryl's ticket, which she left at home. Marcia moved to Centennial after I left, and she's a professional organist and pianist. Despite her superior skills, I liked her very much!
We enjoyed the author presentations very much. We learned that we really invent ourselves and that there is really little difference between what we imagine happened and what really happened. Sometimes we remember our experiences different than they really were, but they, nevertheless, become a part of who we are.

We heard from a few authors from other countries. As immigrants they have a unique opportunity to view their old culture retrospectively from new eyes. They also see different things in their new country that natives might not notice, as they're too close to it. Going to Sojourn always makes me wish I could write a book. It might be easier just to keep blogging!

All Dressed Up

Here I am, all dressed up for Sojourn. I'm wearing a new necklace made by my friend, Leslie. Nora, who acted as my personal shopper Friday, helped me find this purple sweater to go with it.

If you'd like to see some of Leslie's designs (or buy them), here is her website:

The Bookies were annoyed that I posted the Literary Sojourn website. They figured with my thousands of readers, that would make getting tickets for Sojourn even more difficult next year. Hopefully, after I post Leslie's website there will still be plenty of jewelry to go around!

Cantina Dinner

Friday night we had a great dinner at Cantina, a new Mexican restaurant in Steamboat Springs. It had a creative menu combining traditional favorites with a new twist. The ladies insisted I add it to my blog, but I think they just liked the picture the waiter took for us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Steamboat Sojourn

What a beautiful fall day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado! This is the 10th year that the Highland Bookies have attended the Literary Sojourn sponsored by the city library. It is only the 7th time I've attended. It was hard to go in the early years when it fell on Crystal's birthday. This year there are only four of us: me, Sheryl, Nora and Diane. We wish Ann, Martha and Jan could have come. One of the problems is that you have to buy tickets months in advance. Diane came without a ticket this year, but we stopped by the library yesterday and found a bulletin board with a few names of people who had extra tickets. She scored! We made a few phone calls and were able to get a ticket 15 minutes later.

We enjoyed walking along the river yesterday but, as always, ended up going down Main Street and perusing the stores. We have several favorites, and they never disappoint us. Everyone but Nora has found a few treasures!

If you're interested in what a literary sojourn is, here is the link to their website: As much as we enjoy the sojourn, it's really about getting together with friends and enjoying one another. We also squeezed in time to talk about the books last night. We liked all the authors but one. Just in case this writer is reading my blog I won't say who he is!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Poppin' Good Time

I spent last night with Barbara and Kent. She got up early this morning to make popcorn for those of her students that achieved their reading goal for the week. So many of them are reading that she had to make three batches!

Last night we walked around the neighborhood as it grew dark while we sang songs that we hadn't sung for 30 years. Our favorite song was Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You, which we had learned  off an old Victrola in the basement of our grandma's house.  Fortunately, nobody opened their window and threw shoes at us.

Band Reunion

The Twisted Sisters got together for lunch yesterday--just to catch up on the last 4 months. It is great for me to have special friends to meet with when I return to Denver. Robin had 2 weddings this summer, Kenna and Marcia (the baby of the band) both have their oldest child graduating from high school this year, and Lori became a grandmother last week!

I forgot to take a picture, but this is what we looked like in my upgraded rental car. Budget always saves me a Caddy because I'm Ed's wife!