Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nuttall Day

After returning from St. George yesterday, we went over to Brittany and John's house.

Their new apartment is much more comfortable than their old one. It's nice to see the attractive way they have fixed it up.

Even the cats have settled in nicely. Skimbleshanks looked so cute in the little bow tie Crystal crocheted for him.

John's parents, who returned from their two year mission to Camaroon last week, invited us to dinner. His mom looks so tiny in their gigantic kitchen. But, she cooks a mean polenta! We enjoyed the meal as much as the company. We got a few hints on what to see if we go to China next summer.

John's brother Tim and his family were also there. He's been marshalling his parents around all week helping them get re-settled and making them update all their electronic devices. Life was much simpler in Africa!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Custard and Music

After the funeral we went over to Annette's beautiful, new house in St. George. It was a perfect vacation home for her family. They took the kids over to the pool.

Barbara and Verlene joined Crystal, Grandma and me for a visit to Nielsen's Frozen Custard. Notice the small empty cups on the table. We might be breaking training, but we did keep the calorie count somewhat reasonable!

We went back over to Joan's house, where Nadji showed us the authentic Indian clothes he was making for his doll. He wants to be a museum curator and set up dioramas. He's got a great start!

Joan lent us instruments so Barbara, Crystal and I could join in on their family band. She has such talented children. It was fun to play with them!

Judea, my niece the gifted film director, took a picture of the band. She has been sick for a few years, and we're hoping she'll be able to return to health soon so she can do all the many things she'd like to do!

Tender Farewell

Yesterday was my nephew, Kurt's funeral. It was a sad day, but comforting and moving day, as well. The circumstances of his death have unfolded as a sad tale of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the family found out more about what really happened, they learned that Kurt had spent the afternoon Friday at his son's birthday party. Afterwards the son and Kurt went over to Kurt's apartment to wash the truck. Jackson didn't leave till about midnight, at which time Kurt ran into an acquaintance in the parking lot. She was talking with him when a friend of hers drove up, distraught over a breakup with her boyfriend. They asked Kurt if he would go along with them for a drive. The police say Kurt was not intoxicated, but the women were. He tried at some point on the drive to wrest the keys from the driver, but was unsuccessful. He had his seat belt on in the backseat of the car when it tumbled over the edge of a cliff. The girl that survived was the owner of the car, but not the driver. She was disoriented, but at around 5 a.m. she heard a phone ring. It helped her locate Kurt's cellphone and call 911. It turned out that it was not a phone call, but Kurt's alarm, waking him up for his 20 mile run, training for a marathon this week. A friend of his will be running in his honor instead. The obituary, at, describes the man of integrity we knew Kurt to be.

Annette has two surviving sons and two daughters, as well. They were a tremendous help to her and Kent through this difficult time. Tyler, standing next to his brother's casket, delivered a beautiful address at the funeral. It was heartwarming and beautiful, showing his deep love for his brother, as well as the hope of seeing him again someday.

Kurt's younger brother, Spencer, dedicated the grave, and shared his sorrow with Tyler at the cemetery.

My sisters, Verlene and Barbara, flew out from Denver. The Brady ladies found a shady spot for a picture. They are: Grandma, Verlene, Judea, Joan, Sara, Judy, Barbara and Crystal. Sara is my brother Jon's wife, from Salt Lake City, and my sister Joan and her family live in St. George.

Joan's kids still fit on one bench, but just barely. Mason (left on bottom) just returned a week ago from his mission to Mexico City. It was wonderful to talk with him and hear all about his mission. It was wonderful to be together with so much of our family and enjoy one another's company.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Curds, Kids and Kin

I forgot how good (and squeaky) fresh cheese curds were till we stopped at the cheese factory in Beaver on the way to St. George yesterday! We debated over whether to stop for Dairy Queen or fresh cheese. When we found out a small blizzard was 600 calories, we opted for the cheese. Five Ritz crackers was 80 calories, and 8 cheese curds was 120. It was a far better deal than ice cream.

We met at a park for dinner with some of my siblings as well as Annette's family. Annette has had the most incredible community support through this trial. Her hair dresser drove 3 1/2 hours yesterday just to do Annette's hair today. She didn't tell her she was coming--she just knew she was needed and showed up!

My brother Jon's daughters didn't really want their pictures taken, but I think they're pretty cute, anyway! I'm sad to say they are my mother's favorite grandchildren at the moment. You just can't compete with cute!

We stopped by at my sister, Joan's, house to see her new organ. It has full foot pedals and plays any number of organ types through a computer. Joan's house was bursting with guitars, accodions, violins, etc. She has (I know this is hard to believe) WAY more musical instruments than I own! And between her and her seven children, they give them a good workout!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walking With Cows

I flew out to Utah yesterday on short notice. I felt I'd like to be there with my family to attend the funeral of my nephew, Kurt. I enjoyed visiting with my brother, Jon and his family, as well as Crystal, Brittany and Grandma last night.

This morning Crystal and I enjoyed a beautiful walk in the Salem cow pasture walking trail.

We're driving to St. George this afternoon for the funeral tomorrow. My sister, Annette, has been through an unbelievable ordeal, but she and her family have also had many small miracles and tender mercies along the way. It will be comforting to be there with them, and hope to be able to share our love with them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Coda's New Friend

Suzanne brought her dog, Harper, over yesterday to go for a walk with Coda and me. They had a good romp in the back yard before we started out.

I thought Harper's good example of staying close to her master would be good for Coda. It was working swimmingly for the first 20 minutes. Then, Coda saw something really interesting (most likely a deer) and she took off into the woods. We called her for about 5 minutes, and she finally materialized on the road about 50 feet behind us. I was relieved and annoyed at the same time!

She paid for her sins, however. She came out covered with little burrs sticking to her fur. She hates them and rolls in the vegetation to get them off. This only increases the amount. We're going to try again today. I haven't decided whether to let her have fun or not!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crab Fest at Virginia's

On Sunday afternoon we were invited to a crab fest at our neighbor, Virginia's house. It was fun to meet her children, grandchildren and friends. She is a very interesting woman, who has sky dived, hang glided, and hot air ballooned. She tries to think up some risky behavior for her big birthdays. She wants to drive a  car for her 90th birthday, which is really risky, considering she is legally blind!

They moved the party to the garage, as it was a little breezy on the porch. It is finally starting to feel like autumn. The men enjoyed having the football game on during the crab eating. Virginia is lucky to have two sons and a daughter, all living close by. She is also fortunate to have good friends that take her shopping and help her out when she needs it. We are fortunate to have her for a neighbor!

Fall Festival

The Eldersburg Ward Fall Festival was a complete success, despite some inclement weather. There was a lot of very tasty chili. I forgot to take the macaroni and cheese for the kids, but, hopefully they were able to fill up on pie to make up for it.

Two small rain showers passed over during the party, neither of which was big enough to chase people off. The fact that it was sunny during the rain, as well as the rainbow behind us, gave us hope that we would be able to keep partying. The satellite weather radar even showed one big cell pass over and split open in the center right over the Weatherbee's house! It was a miracle!

The Pearl Strings played several songs, to a very enthusiastic crowd, generously supported by members of the Black Eyed Susans. Sorry that Barb, our bass player, got cut off in the video! If any blog followers have a picture of the entire band I would love it!

The tuba/accordion number was a big hit, as well as the contra dancing Amanda led afterwards. We ended up the evening with the beautiful Lover's Waltz. By 10 p.m. the equipment was back in our home, the hay back in the barn, and an exhausted Ed and Judy were in bed!

Pedicure and Dominoes

Annette and Kent went to Lancaster, PA on Friday, so Mom, Amanda and I decided to relax and pamper ourselves.  We took Grandma out for her first pedicure! It was a treat for all of us. Grandma said it's too bad she found out about pedicures, because she thinks she might need to go get another one...and another one....

For our last evening together we made stamped dominoes. Even Kent got into the act.

Because I know Verlene loves this craft so much, I thought I post a picture of the dominoes Annette and Kent stamped. It was a fun way to end a great visit!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Downtown and Back at the Farm

We couldn't have had nicer weather yesterday for our visit to Baltimore. Amanda didn't have to work till 3, so she was able to go with us.

The aquarium is undergoing extensive renovations, but at least was open. They don't have an official dolphin show anymore, but we got to see them in training, which was just as good.

The aquarium also has birds. These two sun conures were so pretty together!

We stopped by at Ft. McHenry afterwards. It is so great to see the exhibits and reflect on the events around the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Mom and I sat on a park bench while the others went through the fort. Look the Star Spangled Banner is waving in the background!

After we got home we went next door to see the horses. Kent held Coco while Lenny hosed her down. She had a little swelling in her hooves. I put the halter on all by myself!

Annette and Kent had a tour of Miss Carol's 230 year old farmhouse. It, also, looks great for its age!

Mom went to bell choir with me. Mickey, who is experienced played all last year and invited Tricia and I to join the choir with her. It is so fun, if not a little scarey! I sometimes ring the wrong bell. But I try to do it in time with the music!

We finished off the day by going out to Salerno's for crabs. It was dollar crab day!

We invited June to come with us. It's nice to have a Baltimore native with us when we're eating crabs. There is a little learning curve!

We celebrated Mom's birthday while we were at Salerno's. It was her first time eating crabs like that, and she only got a couple in the time it took the rest of us to pack away 5 or 6. It wasn't very nice of us to make her go home hungry from her birthday supper. We picked up some Berger cookies on the way home to help fill her up!

Band and Dam

Wednesday was band practice leading up to our big gig on Saturday at the ward Fall Festival. We had an audience of two--Kate (in front) and Grandma, behind the camera. They were both very appreciative! We are playing a lot of our music from the spring, and are happy that we haven't lost it! It is so nice to have a repertoire to draw from. Our one additional member is Jen, (in the hot pink). We're so happy she joined. She's another member with a golden voice!

Annette and Kent went to Harper's Ferry for the day, so I took Grandma over to Liberty dam for the afternoon. We went for a nice walk down a gentle path followed by a climb up about 100 steps! I was proud of Grandma still being able to do that!!

After dinner Annette, Kent and Grandma practiced bells with me. We went through several of the songs for my choir. It was fun and they did great. If we only lived closer we could have our own family bell choir!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Washout in Baltimore

Yesterday Annette took a walk in the rain with Coda and me. We got a little exercise and just enough water to feel invigorated. It was a harbinger of things to come later.

We saw the Peabody Library in the afternoon. But, it was about the ONLY thing we saw in Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum was closed, unbeknownst to us. They close on Monday and Tuesday now. The Catholic Basilica was closed for renovations, but we were able to see the Crypts. The Enoch Pratt Free Library was open, as well as Poe's grave. Amanda and Annette saw several of the bathrooms in the few places that were open. (To be polite I'm not saying why.) Then, it started to pour rain so heavy that the windshield wipers made no difference on the car. We decided to get out of Dodge (Baltimore). We finished up the day with a tour of beautiful downtown Sykesville.

On a brighter note, we now have a tuba player in our ward! Amanda and Matt practiced for a number at the ward Fall Festival coming up this Saturday! They're going to be a surprise hit in the entertainment! Their rendition of the Veggietales Theme Song makes you smile so wide it hurts your lips!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Mom, Annette and Kent are out from Utah! It's so nice to show them around Maryland. So, naturally, we started in Pennsylvania! Gettysburg is one of my favorite places. Annette said the canons reminded her of the ones we had next door to us when we were kids in Poplar, Montana. We were to old to climb on them now, however.

We enjoyed the movie and the Cyclerama presentations at the visitors center (note grandma on the left).

At Little Round Top we met some re-enactors fresh off their weekend at Antietam. It was 150 years since the battle of Antietam. Next year there will be 30,000 soldiers back to re-enact the battle of Gettysburg! It is nice they help keep the memory alive. We're doing our best by learning a little more about it each time we visit!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Last Day at the Barn

Lenny is back now, so today was our last day to feed the horses. It was a fun 10 days. Amanda went down with me everyday (at 7:30 a.m., and 4:30 p.m.), and when Ed was home he went down with us, too. Today Amanda is in New York, so Ed and I were alone on barn duty. Bali thought she'd leave us one last present in her stall. We cleaned it up to leave it nice for Lenny tomorrow.

Coda went to the barn everyday, regardless of who was on barn duty. She loved every minute of it! One day we couldn't find her and it turned out she was in Miss Carol's house eating the cat's food! It's apparently much better than that dry dog food she gets at our house!

Last Day for Shave Ice

Last night was our last chance to get one last Hawaiian Shave Ice before the store closes for the season. We couldn't resist stopping by one last time. Ed had the grape snow shake, and I had the peach. Since we're on a diet, we both had smalls. They were delicious! Can't wait till next April so we can have another one!