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.

Friday, September 10, 2010

June Gets a Uke

The next best thing to buying a musical instrument is helping my friends buy musical instruments! June, my visiting teaching partner, has a beautiful voice. She learned all the old songs from her grandfather, who played the mandolin. We took his old mandolin to a shop today where we found out it would be cheaper to buy a new mandolin than fix up the old one. So, she bought a ukeulele instead! When we got home I taught her to play 'He's Got the Whole World in His Hands!'

Mike Check

The Black Eyed Susans had their first practice with microphones yesterday. Tricia couldn't make it, so we had Lynsey, Kaylene's daughter play the bass! I hope Tricia doesn't read this, because I want to say that Lynsey just picked it up and played like she'd been doing it her whole life! The schools were out yesterday for Rosh Hashanna! It's a different world out here in the East!

Amanda and Joanie (Mary's daughter) played their fiddle song for us. They'll also be performing at our gig next Saturday night. All the girls did so well that we invited them to lunch with us at Chili's after practice.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kayak Adventure

I've been dying to go kayaking all summer. We finally had a chance to go today. We rented kayaks at Piney Run, a lake owned by Carroll County, which is, coincidentally, the county we live in! The weather was perfect today, and we enjoyed paddling around the lake, checking out the flora and fauna.

So, my wishes were finally fulfilled! I was happy that Ed and Amanda also enjoyed kayaking. (I let them beat me in the kayak races just so they would like it!)

Other than the fact that the boat hurt Ed's back, and I got seasick by the end of the hour, everything was great!

Amanda gave me a lily that I suspect she might have decapitated with her oar. It makes a lovely table decoration, as well as a memory of a lovely outing at the end the summer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Patapsco River Walk

We went for a walk yesterday in the Patapsco State Park near our house. It was such a beautiful day--not too hot, not too cold! We got to see the McKeldin Rapids (not too rapid either)! We've been working so hard on the house this summer that it was nice to just get out and go somewhere. We stopped at Panera's (my new favorite restaurant) to pick up sandwiches for our picnic lunch. Then we came home and watched a movie about a computer that was trying to take over the world (okay, at least the USA). It was called Eagle Eye. If you like car chase scenes, you'll love this movie! If you like megalomanica computers, you might enjoy the plot, as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Discharged from Therapy!

I went to my last therapy visit today. This is me showing off how I can lift my hands over my head. I thought they were both straight, but I see the left arm is bent. That's my bad shoulder! I guess I'm not 100 percent, yet. I still have to do exercises at home. I've made really great progress and can now curl my hair and put on my seat belt without pain. The one action that's still tough is internal rotation. You can see in this picture how I can put my right hand high up behind my back. My left arm will only go up to the small of my back. This looks pretty bad, till you consider that a month ago I couldn't put my left hand behind my back even a few inches. The good news is that This motion is not something I use much in real life, so I'm not in much discomfort!

It will be nice not to have to go to therapy anymore. I'll miss the nice therapist, but not the mean one!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Horsey Ride

We went down to Miss Carol's barn yesterday to show Jon the horses. I didn't know Lenny lets Coda ride on Coco's back. What a great puppy! She'd make a great circus dog.
John brushed up his horse care skills, just in case he ends up getting a horse for his daughter, Amelia (3 years old). Here he is with Bali Ha'i!


We went to the Peabody Library and the Walters Art Museum yesterday. Amanda didn't know what to do with the card catalog. As you can see, it's truly a museum piece.

It was fun having Uncle Jon stop by to give us an excuse to do something fun. The Walters Art Museum is in a large (very large) old mansion. It's amazing that such a great museum is free to the public. We saw a couple of floors, and then ran out of time.
Jon wanted to take this very cool mosaic map of the world home with him. I learned what a Byzantine was. Now I've developed the urge to go to Istanbul (not Constantinople) and see the Hagia Sophia!

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.