Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Caring for Horses during Hurricane Sandy

When we got to the barn this morning Bambury and Bali were looking out at the rain, thinking, "Is this rain ever going to let up?" I looked at the poop behind them and thought, "Is this rain ever going to let up?"

For the second day in a row I got to scoop poop. I'm grateful not to be doing the horses alone, though, as Amanda has been with me.

Amanda filled the water buckets and the hay racks, as well as cleaned hooves and brushed the horses in the same time it took me to finish mucking and laying down new sawdust.

Coda stayed inside the whole time. She usually spends her mornings chasing deer off the farm, but she hates to get wet. Here she is thinking to herself, "Is this rain ever going to let up?"

Thank heavens, the answer is 'Yes!' The rain is light and the wind has died down this morning. We had a few minor power fluctuations, but we're dry and warm today. It could have been much worse!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hunkering Down with Pretzels

So, the entire east coast is battening the hatches and getting ready to wait out the storm (hurricane Sandy). It is raining here in Baltimore, but the winds have yet to pick up. Which is good, as we still have power! So, last night Amanda and I made the best of things by making pretzels. I had bought a package of Auntie Anne's bake-at-home pretzels, which we found in the pantry. They were surprisingly easy to make and turned out delicious. Just the perfect thing to eat while we cozied up to the fireplace and watched Toy Story and waited for the storm to roll in!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stone House at Cold Saturday

Miss Carol's niece, Robin, and her husband are staying at the old stone house adjacent to Cold Saturday Farm while they build a house on Miss Alice's property. They held an open house for their friends and relatives (and friends of relatives, too)! It was built around 1740, and has certainly held up well!

The view of the cabin and pond from their front porch was spectacular. You got a sense of how special it was for Miss Carol and her siblings, growing up at Cold Saturday Farm. In the winter they went ice skating on the pond and warmed up by the fireplace in the log cabin.

We visited the horse barn, where I found a cute little donkey friend!

We drove the mini down to the cabin, which was just as cute as the stone house. It makes a great guest cottage!

Miss Alice was game to ride in the back seat of my Mini Cooper. Getting in was not a big problem, but it was a little tricky getting her out of it!

Robin (right) has lots of friends that not only ride horses like she does, but also like to dress up in period costumes. This couple not only raise Friesian horses, but also dressed up in Medieval garb!

Jeb Stuart and his wife also dropped by, fresh from a Civil War battle. It really gave the party a festive flair!

Last, but not least, we stopped by to see the Orchard Barn, which has been newly renovated for wedding receptions. It seemed like the perfect location for a nice contra-dance wedding. I'll have to keep that in mind just in case we should happen to have another one!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

I hiked the Appalachian trail today with Jenny and Suzanne. It was a beautiful fall day, and so much fun.

We went to Pine Grove Furnace state park in Pennsylvania to do it. Much of the trail is narrow and you have to walk single file. There was still plenty of fall color left on some of the trees.

We crossed a few streams, some of them even had bridges over them!

Sometimes the trail widened up and we were able to walk three abreast, which was even better for conversation. In the two hour hike we didn't run short of subjects to talk about!
I learned that much of the trail is marked by white marks (blazes) on trees and posts. However, sometimes, you really had no idea which way to go. Fortunately for us, Suzanne had brought a map which cleared things right up!

We hiked about 6 miles on the trail, which is actually 2,184 miles long, and covers 14 states!

Afterwards we stopped by camp El Wa Ho, near Gettysburg, which is the new girl's camp the church has purchased. Suzanne is looking for some good overnight hikes for the fourth year girls.

We might do another 6 miles next week in the same area. After all, we only have 2,178 more miles to go if we want to hike the whole trail!

Missionary Polenta

Tuesday night we had the sister missionaries over for dinner. It was nice getting to know Sisters Bishop and Montes a little better! We served Cheese and Basil Polenta with tomatoes on top. It was a favorite dish of the Nuttalls as they served (literally) the missionaries in Cameroon. It was delicious! We did not give any to Coda, but she might have had a grape or two from the fruit salad!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Amanda Serves!

Saturday night Ed and I took the opportunity to go to the Outback where Amanda is working as a server. It was a good excuse to break our diet for the day! We had the four-course special that even included a slice of carrot cake for dessert. I chose the broccoli instead of the potato, to make me feel like I was making some sort of effort to not overeat, but who was I kidding?

Amanda is enjoying her new job and is doing a great job at it! She has also learned a little about wallbies! (What they look like, not what they taste like!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall is Here!

Everywhere you look there are falling leaves! It is so beautiful. My car got to sit on a bed of them when I went visiting teaching at Mary's house yesterday!

Amanda, Ed and I (oh, and Coda, too) took a walk this afternoon. Every step was crunchy with all the leaves underfoot! I love fall and hope it never leaves! (Did you get the pun?)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If the Savior Stood Beside Me

Last night was the Stake Primary Leadership training. As the stake Primary music leader, I had asked Ella, to sing If the Savior Stood Beside Me at the meeting. Ella's mom is in the Pearl Strings, and Ella, herself is an honorary Pearl String member, as she usually sings a song with us when we perform. She even wore her pearls last night! Her mom took this video of us as we practiced before the program. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trees and Shadows

We had three new trees delivered today. Do you think three 15 foot trees (an oak, a linden and a redbud) make up for the loss of one 40 foot mulberry? I think not, but perhaps in 40 years I'll feel differently.

I enjoyed this picture of our (Suzanne and me) dogs during our walk this morning. The shadow emphasizes the contrast between black and white!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monthly Diet Winners

Ed was the September winner of our family diet! To date he has lost 15 pounds! As winner, he was entitled to a dinner for two! Happily, Amanda is out of town today, and I was the lucky person chosen to accompany him to celebrate a good month of losing weight! We chose the Japanese Steakhouse right here in downtown Eldersburg!

I haven't lost as much weight as Ed, but am very happy with my 10 pound loss! Here's to another 10 pounds!

Friday, October 12, 2012

You Can't Hike in Slippers!

Suzanne called me this morning to tell me she'd be a little late for our walk. It turns out she got half way to my house and looked down at her feet. She had slippers on! So, she had to turn around and go back for a pair of shoes!

It was a good thing! We did an hour and a half along the fire road. The dogs had a wonderful time running in the leaves. We also had a wonderful time, although at a somewhat slower pace than Coda and Harper!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Band in the Basement

Today, like every other Thursday morning, was Pearl Strings practice. We started our Christmas music last week. A week ago I thought we might not be ready by Christmas, but this week I'm very encouraged!

Our newest band member is Jen. She is also teacher's pet for the week. She started taking guitar lessons this summer and has been practicing every day since. I just want to say, that practicing REALLY makes a difference! She's fantastic! This band is great, because the ladies all practice (although not generally the same week). The sky's the limit when you practice! Look at me! I'm playing the Dobro (sort of). I'm going to need to take the Dobro out to the woodshed this week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

German Bread

Amanda has had a hankering for some good German bread for quite a while. So, today we tried out the Old World Deli in Randallstown. They not only had some dense bread with pumpkin seeds in it, but also a host of other German products! It was like a mini trip to Europe! We bought some bread, as well as a few other items. I'm hoping Amanda has a delicious recipe in mind with which to use her new vanilla sugar!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Are You Done Yet?

Ed and I took Coda walking on the fire road this morning. She came home covered with tiny, green, sticky burrs, as she is wont to do in the fall! We spent a good deal of time cleaning her up. She really hates being turned upside down for the brushing, but seems to realize we're just trying to help, so she tolerates it as long as she can. But you can sense the desperation behind the smile. She seems to be asking, "Are you EVER going to be finished?"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Water Dogs

Suzanne and I have been taking the dogs for a walk in the morning, and today we ended up at the water's edge. We've always wanted to know if we could coax Coda into the water. It looks like the answer is 'No!' Harper loved the water and was happily fetching sticks for Suzanne. We tried our best to get Coda to follow but she would only go about knee deep! This proves she has no Schipperke (Belgian boat dog) in her!

I got a great picture of Harper shaking the water off, much to Suzanne and Coda's delight!

Bells with Friends and Family

Amanda subbed for me in bell choir last week, and did so well I was glad they didn't make her take my spot altogether! She was able to come again this week, as we had a few people missing. This time she played the big bells with Chris! Amanda commented on how many subcultures there are in the world that you know nothing about until you get invited in. Some of them (like ringing bells) are a lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When it Rains it Pours

If it's going to rain it might as well do it! And that is what it did this morning. It came down in sheets! I went outside after it let up, just to get a picture of our little river. I love watching the water fill up my little rock-lined stream bed on it's way to Miss Carol's pond!