Monday, November 29, 2010

One Last Dog Hug

Brittany flew back to Utah yesterday, but not before giving Coda one last hug. Coda is going to miss all the excitement of the holidays. It's been fun having Ed and Brittany both home every day. In three short weeks we can do it all over again!

To tell the truth, I'm going to miss it, too--the excitement, as well as the hugging!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Amanda Goes to the Temple

Yesterday we took Amanda to the temple in Washington DC, in preparation for her leaving on her mission in January. It was nice to have Brittany home to go with her. It was a nicer way to spend Black Friday than fighting the crowds at the shopping mall.

Carol (from Greeley) and Randy and Sharon (from NYC) were also able to go with us. Amanda had a great opportunity in Germany two years ago to discuss the gospel with Randy while he was investigating the church. It was like completing the circle for him to be here to go to the temple with us as Amanda prepares to return to Germany to serve a full time mission.

Friday, November 26, 2010


We had a Happy Thanksgiving with friends and family yesterday. Brittany was "home" from Utah, and Amanda had one friend from Colorado, two from New York, and two from Maryland join us. I like this picture of Ed doing his favorite thing (that he does once a year)--carving the turkey. After 29 years he's gotten pretty good at it!

Here are Randy, Sharon, Brittany, Ed, Channel, Marcia, Amanda and Carol--just before digging in! After dinner we had some singing and dancing, literally!

Marcia did a jig for us, and Amanda and Sharon sang for us. Brittany played piano and cello, and Amanda played a little harp. We all sang some Christmas songs, and I even had the chance to pull out the banjo!

It would have been perfect if Crystal could have been with us, as well! We hope she had a savory Salvadoran feast yesterday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Invisible Training

We got an Invisible Fence installed for Coda on Monday. Here is Ed, training her not to go beyond the flags. She has rubber tips on the collar now, so she gets only a beep to correct her. On Thanksgiving Day we get to take the tips off and see if the shock will keep her from crossing the invisible line!

I was feeling sorry for her having to wear that collar, but Amanda pointed out she has a lot to gain--a whole big yard to run in. She really loves running in the yard. Unfortunately, she also loves running into the street if something over there piques her interest!

Anniversary Dinner

Ed and I went out with Amanda Saturday night to celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary, which was actually on Sunday. We enjoyed the leftovers on Sunday. You can see these are pretty large cuts of Prime Rib!

It's been a great 29 years together, and we're very grateful for all the blessings we have enjoyed over the years. We are proud of our daughters and their ability to make good choices in their lives. We're happy to have good friends and supportive family. We're grateful for the gospel, which grounds us. We're grateful for one another and the opportunity to enjoy the journey together.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Poster

Nobody should enjoy making posters as much as I do! I had fun with this one for the ward Christmas party. I made a globe out of paper mache, so it sticks out in the front. It remains to be seen if the globe can survive 3 weeks of abuse in the church lobby!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sea Glass Hunting

Carol, my friend from Billings came to town to see her new grandbaby. Who ever thought two girls from Billings would meet in Baltimore? Carol and her husband Dennis have a hobby of picking up sea glass. This is just broken bottles that have been worn down and washed ashore. They taught me how to look for really good pieces of glass (color, erosion, size).

I got some real treasures, as you can see in these pictures.  The left dish is from Sandy Point and the right from Terrapin Park, two parks that anchor both sides of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge by Annapolis. Treasure or trash? You be the judge!

We took our picture by two giant penguins at Sandy Point. They apparently have a parade of lights during the holidays, and we got a little sneak preview today!


Claudia Comes to Town

Last night Crystal's friend, Claudia came all the way from El Salvador with a special delivery package from Crystal! It was great to get the package, but even greater to meet someone who saw Crystal just last week! We asked Claudia what Crystal was like as a missionary. Apparently, she is very talkative in Spanish! And, according to Claudia, her Spanish is cien por ciento (100%)! 

Claudia's brother-in-law drove her all the way from Virginia to see us! Coda, was also eager to meet Claudia, and posed on her lap for this picture!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ed Back From Down Under

Ed got home from Australia late last night. It was a long trip, but flying first class sure helps take some of the sting out of it! Here he is this morning, all refreshed after a good night's sleep. Look how nice he is to Coda. He removed her cone of shame just to get some nice hugs in! 

We missed Ed last week. To fill in the void, Amanda and I spent the week with Percy Jackson and his Olympian friends. Amanda read all five books and I just finished book three. They've been a fun romp, as well as educational. I already was able to get two names in the crossword puzzles that I otherwise would have missed. Knowledge of mythology creatures is key in solving crosswords. (That, along with sports heroes with three letter surnames.)

Hobby Lobby at Last!

Yesterday I sent an urgent text to Carrie, which said, "I heard there's a new Hobby Lobby in Columbia." She answered back immediately,  "Where are you right now? I'll meet you and we'll go." It's nice to have a friend who will drop anything for a trip to the world's greatest craft store. Up till last month there was no Hobby Lobby in the entire state of Maryland. Amanda told me she had a friend who just started working at a new one in Columbia. It was the one store I really missed from Colorado. Michael's and Joanne's are just not a good substitute!

It was a successful day. Carrie and I both found some real treasures!

Spay day

Poor Coda went to the vet yesterday to get spayed. She was all excited to go, and I felt sorry for her. This is a before picture.

This is an after picture with her cone of shame! She's supposed to wear it for 10 days. She mustn't jump on beds or run off leash in the back yard for 10 days. She should not roughhouse and play tug of war or roll over for 10 days! What's the point of having a dog if you can't have any fun with them? 

The cone makes her run into walls and people's legs. She's not hungry and not peppy. Poor Coda! What have we done to you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black Eyed Susan Publicity Shot

The Black Eyed Susans took a little time out of practice to take a publicity shot for our gig in December. I think this picture says it all. Mary is possessed. Cindy is vehement. Carry is enthusiastic. Kaylene is perky. Tricia is focused, and Judy just doesn't know what's going on!

Pampered Chef Party

Nothing like going to a cooking party to make you realize how little cooking you actually do! I enjoyed last night's demonstration by Sandy of the Turkey Cranberry Braid. I  thought, "I should make that someday!"

Kaylene, who always is happy to have her picture taken, poses with Suzanne and Lynsey. 

I bought an ice cream scoop--something really designed to improve my culinary skills!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Can Dogs Get Carsick?

Have you ever asked yourself the question, "Can dogs get carsick?" I have! Now I know from first hand experience that the answer is yes! We took Coda along to drop Ed off at the airport this afternoon. On the way back Coda sat by herself in the back seat of the car. The windy road through Patapsco State park can be hard on humans in the back seat. When I heard Coda munching away on something I turned to see what she was eating. It was reruns of breakfast! Poor Coda! Poor Judy! Here she is s back home getting a breath of fresh air while Mommy cleans the car out!

Canasta Caliente

One of the great desires of my life has been to learn how to play Canasta. Thanks to our Relief Society Service auction in August, that desire has now been fulfilled. I bought a card night at the auction, and the Rhees's came over last night to deliver that service. They are experts, so we played boys against the girls. I'm happy to say the girls won by 10 points (out of 3000 each). That is some pretty stiff competition. 

I think we're going to have invest in our own deck of Canasta cards. The outside of the box says "Canasta Caliente is the hot, hot, hot rummy game with Latin flair and a Bossa Nova beat!" Who wouldn't want to own a deck of cards like that?

It was also fun getting to know Camie and Rhett! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Trees

Village Gardeners delivered 4 new trees for our copse today. They had to bring them down our imaginary driveway, but they've now been successfully planted. 

We got a red maple, a sweet gum, a river birch and a dogwood. Now we'll just sit around and wait till spring to see them bloom! 

...and an Oak Leaf in a Pine Tree!

Yesterday on our walk Coda and I came across this pine tree all decked out in fallen oak leaves. It looked like someone might have decorated it that way on purpose. It really got me in the mood for Christmas!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Driveway, Please!

So, 10 days ago they tore up our driveway. We've been accessing our garage by driving on our grass. They finally started our new driveway yesterday, and guess what! It is raining today and tomorrow! So, it looks like we'll go another weekend without a driveway! We have to go out this morning. We'll just make bigger ruts in our poor grass today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mist on the Water

Coda and I went for a walk to the lake this morning. The mist on the water was so beautiful that I took the opportunity to learn how to use the timer on my cell phone to take a picture. My brother David's self-cell phone shots were my inspiration.

We're trying to train Coda to not pull on a leash. We give her tiny pieces of lunch meat as a reward for good behavior. Ed says there's not enough ham in the world to subdue this dog! I, however, remain cautiously optimistic!