Saturday, September 27, 2014

Polka and Popcorn

We're trying to teach the entire Eldersburg ward how to Polka in preparation for our Polka Races at the Fall Festival.

Thank heavens for the Activity Day girls who encouraged their parents to come out for their first polka lesson last night! We taught three kinds of polka. One with both partners facing straight ahead, one with one partner dancing backwards, and the most fun of all spinning 180 degrees after each three-step!

To mix it up we did a Paul Jones mixer to change partners. It was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time!

We had more than one person go down on the floor in the evening, but, happily, no one was seriously injured. They all lived to dance another day!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Carol Hackney Funeral

Miss Carol passed away in August, and her family came together from all over the country today to celebrate her life. She was 86 years old, and her obituary can be found in the Baltimore Sun at,0,4201266.story.

I picked up our neighbor Robley, and we met Ed at St. John's Episcopal Church in Reisterstwon, where Carol attended.

The service was great, and if Miss Carol were still here she would have enjoyed it immensely. We heard some personal stories from her family, as well as her pastor who knew her well.

Her niece, Julia led us in some great singing of Will the Circle be Unbroken, Angel Band, and Shall we Gather at the River. She had also written a beautiful song called Cold Saturday, after the stately family home Carol was raised in.

Her ashes were interred in the beautiful churchyard next to her parents. It's a lovely place for family and friends to stop by and enjoy the surroundings as we think of the good times we all shared with Carol.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Last Day to Play

Verlene was up at the crack of dawn working in her cabbage patch this morning. She is transplanting 8 cabbages from pots to the ground. The race is on to see if she gets to eat one before the first frost!

She also has a nice herb garden, which she can move inside when the weather gets bad. I don't know when she turned into a gardener!

I used the time to see if I could fix her TV, which had been out all week. I couldn't, but Ed could. Over the phone he gave me some solid advice (re-scan the channels), which worked perfectly! I felt like a TV heroine!

Verlene was so happy she took Crystal and me out to breakfast to thank me. I was happy to get one last Village Inn pancake before returning to Maryland!

Back home again, Crystal took some time to give Brandy a good scratch. She couldn't have found a more appreciative recipient.

We had planned to do some sun painting this morning, but the weather didn't cooperate with us --it rained! We had to settle for make Christmas balls with wrapping paper scraps. That was a fun and easy project.

We finished early enough that we had time for shopping. As you can see, we were all successful. If I were smart enough to bring home nothing but memories, I'd have a much easier time packing my suitcase tomorrow!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Down from the Mountains

We had a beautiful drive home this morning from Steamboat Springs. Every year we say the aspens are more beautiful than ever before. This year was no exception. The color was spectacular--yellow with red tips. You can see the rabbit ears on the top of the peak here as we drove over Rabbit Ears Pass.

I got to Barbara's house in time to help chop up the salad for dinner. We also had time to visit while we waited for Kent to get home from church. Verlene and Crystal also joined us.

Crystal brought her famous and delicious apple pie! That girl knows pie!

After dinner Barbara and I took a long walk around the neighborhood. It was nice to have the beautiful view of the mountains as a backdrop.

I came home to Verlene's house and helped her learn how to thread her new sewing machine. She said it was a cheap sewing machine, but it had a million dollar feature--a needle threader! It goes through the hole, grabs the thread and pulls it back through. I have to get one of those! I spend more time trying to thread the needle than I do sewing the actual project!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Literary Sojourn in Steamboat

I got up early and went for a walk this morning. I missed Martha, who was always great to walk in the morning, but she is home getting ready for her daughter's wedding.

We also missed Sheryl, who broke her wrist a week before Sojourn. We didn't only miss her bubbly personality, but she used to bring a lot of snacks. We're not exactly starving, but we could use a little variety!

We had a little free time before our bruncheon, so we explored the cute riverfront right next to our condo. Steamboat has done a great job of landscaping!

We enjoyed all the speakers this year. Our favorite novelist and speaker was Anthony Doerr. His novel, All the Light We Cannot See was my favorite.

Tonight we had time to call Anne, Sheryl and Martha on the phone. It was so fun talking to them, and we have great hopes that next year we'll all be able to come to Sojourn together. Next year in Steamboat!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Up to the Mountains

Crystal and I met for breakfast early this morning. It was really dinner for her, as she had worked all night, but she had the skillet anyway. We went to Village Inn, because I miss their pancakes so much in Maryland. They did not disappoint!

Diane picked me up at Crystal's house and we drove to Highlands Ranch where we picked up Nora. She showed us her new house and her new exercise regime-hula hoop! She's turned into a real swinger!

We had a beautiful ride up to Steamboat Springs, complete with s stop at the factory outlet mall. In the afternoon we took a hike up to Fish Creek Falls. The weather was so perfect, in the high 70s and clear skies! I talked Diane and Nora into risking their lives by climbing into the river for this picture of us at the falls. It was so worth it!

We went to dinner at a new restaurant down by the river called Eureka! We all got the chicken Carbonara, which was delicious. We walked around the shopping area afterwards. The warm weather contrasted so much from last year when we had 8 inches of snow.

We took a test tonight to see who had read the most books off the BBC 100 best books. Nora was top dog with 50! Diane followed closely behind with 45. I brought up the rear with a measly 37. It's fun to hang out with smart people! I'll have to start reading my way down the list to catch up with them!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back in the Rockies

I flew to Denver yesterday to spend the weekend in Steamboat with the Highland Bookies. I am lucky to have lots of people I love here. This morning I went over to Crystal's house to see her new apartment. She has a nice new place and has fixed it up really cute.

She's been working on an afghan in her spare time. She had 80 squares finished, each unique in beautiful colors of yarn. I wonder if it will be done by the time I come out for Sojourn next year!

I went up to Broomfield to meet with the Twisted Sisters. They are still twisted, but doing a great of adapting to changing circumstances. We met at Robin's house and Janna drove us up to Old Town Lousiville where we ate at a cute restaurant called The Huckleberry.

A lot has happened in a year, and one afternoon wasn't quite enough to hear all the stories. We had to talk really fast to get as much in as possible.

Afterwards we went over to see Kenna's brand new kitchen. It was beautiful. She opened it up to the living room and now has a mountain view when she's cooking. Notice Robin's boot in the picture. She had foot surgery, which made it so I couldn't complain much about my little pinched nerve in my foot.

I spent the night at my sister, Verlene's, house, and we spent a good deal of time at the computer. Verlene has now been thoroughly trained on her new Silhouette machine. I'm expecting great things from her!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book It Sisters and the Husband's Secret

Denise hosted book club tonight, and we reviewed The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. We enjoyed the book and enjoyed discussing the dilemma. We don't know the answers, but we like to talk about the ramifications.

Denise's husband has a secret, too. He likes to pour over recipes online! It worked to our benefit, as he make peach and berry cobbler for dessert for us! It was delicious. Our only moral dilemma was whether to eat it with ice cream or not! (We did!) It felt like a long time since we'd been together, so we really enjoyed catching up from the summer!

To read our review, visit our blog at

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back on the Bike

I started the day at the podiatrist, where I got a cortisone shot for a painful condition (Morton's Neuroma)  in my left foot that made walking seriously difficult. Ed suggested we ride bikes instead of walking today!

We went up to Towson to ride the Northern Central Railroad trail again. Last time we blew a spoke after 5 miles, but this time we had no problems. It was a beautiful day in the 70's and no humidity. The trail is shaded all the way by trees, making it the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

We biked 10 miles, then turned around and stopped at the 8 mile marker in Monkton for lunch. By then my rear end was ready for a rest!

The little general store had a surprisingly upscale menu. We enjoyed the red quesadillas!

Afterwards we stopped at the much-vaunted Amish Market, which I had been hoping to visit since we moved here. Ed didn't think there would be much that could interest him there, but he humored me.

We enjoyed seeing rainbow cake just like Amanda had in Germany.

It turned out there was something that interested Ed--chocolate eclaires! Any benefit we might have gained from riding our bikes 20 miles was quickly erased! It was a good trade-off!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Night at the Museum

Ed and I were treated to a night at the National Air and Space Museum last night. It was sponsored by the Goddard Space Flight Center and the Maryland Space Business Roundtable. It was fun being able to wander around the museum with no big crowds of tourists. The majority of the crowd was hanging around the buffet table, which was very delicious.

Afterwards we sat through a presentation in the IMAX theater. It was called: "Vital Signs: Taking the Pulse of our Planet." It was a grim picture of the future. It turns out our beloved earth is on life support, and anyone who would tell you differently isn't as smart as the very self-assured scientists who presented last night. They told us to go home and warn our neighbors. You have now been warned!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A German Day

I got up early and went for a walk in the woods with Coda. Suzanne is out of town, so we had to go it alone. I entertained myself by practicing my German presentation due in the afternoon. Fortunately, we didn't pass anyone else who might have thought I was crazy.

We had Stammtisch (German Club) at the Senior Center in the morning. We practiced some songs for Oktoberfest. They were great singers! Tony had brought Trivial Pursuit in German, and we really enjoyed playing that. We thought we were really smart, till he told us we were playing with the kids' cards!

For my German Business class at McDaniel's college I got to give my first PowerPoint presentation. It was on Schleswig-Holstein, one of the states of Germany.

We had fun singing along with the accordion on the state song! The other students might have sung even better had I not been blocking out half the words! I can see where I could make some improvements next time!

Saturday Work and Fun

Saturday Ed gave Coda her semiannual bath. She doesn't look very happy about it, but she is so good about it. Ed loves that little doggy!

Afterwards Ed and I went to Sam's Club, our favorite Saturday activity. In addition to the free food handouts, we enjoyed looking at the Christmas decorations. Never too early for Christmas!

In the evening we had Big Bush Basement Band. We're working on Will the Circle Be Unbroken and Si Bheag, Si Mhor. We had the most trouble with the latter, and not just because of the spelling! We're hoping to be ready with new song for the Fall Festival in October.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall Festival

The High Priests are in charge of the Fall Festival again. I now have 5 years of posters! I thought this one turned out very pretty! A good poster should be a prelude to a great party.

We're moving the party to the church this year, but it will still be outdoors., It's a month later than usual. Maybe it won't threaten to rain in October!

Harmonicas and Ukuleles

Activity Days started up this Wednesday, and I had planned on teaching the girls how to play the harmonica and ukulele. That turned out to be a little ambitious for 10 girls between the ages of 8 and 12. However, they did surprisingly well. A few of them stayed after to jam. They have O Susanna down pat!

Hopefully by October 11 we'll have a good enough group to play for the Fall Festival!