Monday, February 27, 2012

Who's Got a Red Face?

I've been taking Coda for a run on Monday mornings. She loves it so much, that it makes me feel guilty when I get dressed in my gym clothes and go to the gym instead of taking her out. Her only consolation is that she gets peanut butter when she gets left in the mud room. It's a toss up which one she likes more--running or peanut butter.

We've been running up and down Tally Ho Court three times. Since nobody lives here yet, it feels like a private track. Soon we'll have the earth movers to deal with, but in the meantime, it's just me and Coda. I hate it, but Coda loves it! I keep waiting for an endorphin to kick in, but I don't think it's ever going to happen!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flying Avocado

Ed and I ate lunch at the Flying Avocado in Owings Mills yesterday. My hairdresser recommended it, and she has never steered us wrong! Look at the very berry chicken salad I got! It had lots of chewing pleasure in it! They also had a few vegan dishes, so we could take John next time he and Brittany come to visit us!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Soldier's Delight

Ed had a day off work last Friday, which gave us the opportunity to finally explore a walking trail not far from our house. The area is called Soldier's Delight, and the specific trail was the Serpentine trail. I thought maybe it would be because of the snakes, but apparently, there is a rock called serpentine. Fortunately, for recreationists like ourselves, the area has the rock, not the serpents. It is the closest thing that Maryland has to walking in the west. They are actually called Serpentine barrens, because of the dearth of trees. We felt right at home.

Hold Still!

I have to renew my passport this year so we can go to Germany this summer to pick up Amanda from her mission. I thought it might be fun to take my own passport picture. But, look I couldn't hold still! I had to fix my hair. You can't smile anymore, so this photo was also unsuitable because of my somewhat pleasant expression. I took a few more pictures and I think it came out fine in the end. They give you very explicit instructions online about how to crop the picture, and with Photoshop that was pretty easy. Let's see if it's accepted by the Passport agency!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Popovers, Beef Stew and Company

I had the sister missionaries over to dinner tonight, as well as Miss Carol. I had made some beef stew and thought I'd go all out and make popovers too. Boy, are they easy and delicious! Ed is out of town and I'm sorry to say they're all gone!

We had a lovely dinner, and Miss Carol told some stories and asked a lot of questions. She knows quite a bit about what missionaries do, as she reads Amanda's emails. She has talked to so many of her friends about what Mormons believe, and she decided to go right to the source and ask us a few direct questions. We were happy to oblige her!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dancing in the Kitchen

We had a fitness night in Relief Society, and Lola taught us how to get exercise while we're working around the house. We practiced doing household chores while dancing to Nigerian music! It was quite fun. Now, the trick is to get yourself moving when you're home alone with no friends to motivate you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dulcimer Delight

Brittany has been practicing the dulcimer a lot lately, and Skyped us tonight to give us a little mini-concert. We loved it, of course. She sounded great! And look how proud she is of herself! She and John are making beautiful music together, and plan to put out a murder ballad CD one of these days. I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flowers and Dinner

I went to the movies this afternoon with Miss Carol and her sister, Alice. We wanted to see the Iron Lady, but she left the theater this week, so we decided on Big Miracle instead. It was based on a true story about how millions of dollars were spent to save some gray whales stuck in the ice in Alaska. It was somewhat heartwarming, if you take out the strident Greenpeace girl, the exorbitant cost of the endeavor, and forget that the whales were not an endangered species, and that the Eskimos were perfectly willing to eat them if they couldn't get free.

I just had time to give Crystal her third guitar lesson today before I started dinner. She's doing great, and now knows 2 of the 10 songs I know. I don't think I'll be able to keep ahead of her!

Ed bought me a rainbow bouquet of flowers for Valentine's day. It came complete with chocolate, bath salts and a teddy bear! It is the perfect gift to brighten up February, which, despite being the shortest month of the year, often seems interminable!
I made Mediterranean Sea Bass for our Valentine's dinner, complete with leeks. I had never bought a leek before, but Lissy (my Germany Skype buddy) taught me TWO words for leek in German: Porree and Lauch. I thought that was a sign, so I bought some. We topped it off with  lime and rosemary butternut squash and garlic bread. It was so delicious, it was almost like going out to eat!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Work and Play

Ed built me some great new shelves in the basement yesterday! They were designed (by me) for the purpose of holding our sound equipment and musical instruments. Here he is after the work is done (holding my design in his hand). After finishing his carpentry work, he cleaned up to take me to the Chocolate Ball.
The ball is a fund raiser for the Carroll County public schools/ The theme was "An Evening in Paris." I'm on the Rose Ball (for the stake) committee again this year. I'm wondering if we could get some cool ice art like this!

The band was great if you wanted to dance. The  volume was loud enough to make us hoarse after trying to visit with members at our table. And just in case any members of the Pearl Strings are reading, what do you think about these outfits? I think we might also possibly look great in berets!

Ward Temple Night

Friday night was ward temple night, as part of ward conference. I got this very cool picture of Ed walking towards the temple. It was nice meeting with members of our ward at the temple. I also got lots of inspiration on things I had been thinking about. It was also fun seeing friends in the Columbia 2nd ward, especially Kim, who went for the first time two weeks ago!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Soup and a Movie

We had movie morning at my house today. Except for Alisa, the ladies in the band had never seen A Mighty Wind before. It seems like that movie should be de rigueur for any aspiring folk musician. We got some good laughs out of it, and we enjoyed some great music. Afterwards I fed them all a bowl of potato soup. I have to thank Lynne Wride for the soup recipe. Since she was a founding member of my first band, it seemed fitting that I would pass it on and serve my latest band some of her famous soup!

Constant Contact

My mother and I hadn't Skyped for several months, so it was nice to see her face again on Saturday. I'm grateful so many friends have been dropping by to see her. When I called yesterday she had two friends drop by to visit. Afterwards she told me a very interesting true story about true love. The moral of the story is "Don't try to stand in the way of true love." If you want to hear the rest of it, you'll have to call her.

Crystal is working the night shift this week, but still managed to work in her Skype guitar lesson with me. She's so quick. She had Blue Skies mastered, so we went on to Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy. It was so fun. Pretty soon she'll know all my songs and I'll have nothing left to teach her!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valiant 10 Class is Smart

I subbed in Primary again today, this time in my own ward. I taught the 10 year olds (Valiant). No offensive to the Sunbeams I taught a few months ago, but the Valiant kids are REALLY smart! They could teach the lesson themselves. It was fun teaching them. There were 2 girls, Celeste and Eden (right to left) and 2 boys, Connor and Andrew. Here they are sitting in singing time. Look how reverent they are! I'm glad Sister Dogbe was sick so I could get to know her class better!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow at Last!

I know this is nothing compared to the blizzard Denver experienced yesterday, but we were happy to get a little snow today. Coda had forgotten what it looked like! It's been a mild winter in Maryland! We're feeling sorry for Amanda in the deep freeze in Germany. Maryland's loss was Europe's gain, apparently!

Coda Cuddle

We're trying to teach Coda a new trick: how to cuddle. It's not as if we want her to be a cat, but maybe she could warm us up a little on a cold day. I got her to cuddle with me for about 15 minutes yesterday. Here I demonstrated for Ed how well she is doing! The question is, does it look like she's sitting peacefully because she wants to, or because she knows I've got her pinned! Either way, I was happy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Love Skype

Ed Skyped me from Australia every day this week. He's there on business, and there he is in front of the window in his hotel room in Sydney. It's almost like being there! I look forward to seeing him live tomorrow!

I also enjoy Skyping Lissy, my German Skype pen-Pal on Mondays. She is so fun and interesting to talk to. I like to think it is helping me with my German. It has definitely helped my comprehension, but speaking is another story!

Crystal Skyped me from Idaho this week and I even gave her a guitar lesson on Skype. It was so much fun! She learned how to play Blue Skies!

It would have been so great to have had Skype when Ed was out of town and I was home alone with little children. They would have enjoyed seeing their dad, and I would have had an adult to talk with! Better late than never, however! This is a great day to be alive!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pearl Strings Practice

We have some new member to the Pearl Strings this year. From left to right are June, Helen, Alisa, Barb R., LuRayne, Barb K. and Judy. That's a lot of Barbs! Barb R. and LuRayne are a great addition to the band, bringing new enthusiasm, as well as a strange harmonica-like flute instrument which I forgot the name of. Also in the picture are JoJo peeking over the stand and Kate in her Mom's arms. They're being raised on great music!

Our favorite song we worked on today was the Buffalo Gals Undergarments song! You can see the Gabardine Sisters perform it here

My friend, Ann is the  Gabardine Sister on the left, and the lyrics were written by her friend, Joyce, the Gabardine Sister in the black dress! I hope we can do the song as well as they did!