Thursday, June 30, 2016

Last Mow

Ed mowed the lawn for the last time today. We're having a lawn service mow for us till the house closes at the end of July. He'll miss his John Deere! It's found a new (and old) home, however with the new homeowners who will be buying it when we move.

Some of Ed's Friends

Bill Toth was nice enough to throw a goodbye party for Ed last night. He had a lot of friends come wish him well as we move to Utah. They said some really nice things about how much they enjoyed working with and for Ed. They also talked enough about business that I think Ed was a little happy he wasn't in the throes of that rat race anymore. Every day is Saturday to Ed! (Except for Sunday!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cleaning Up

We are about ready for the movers to come. So, we took some time to do other things besides pack today. In an effort to clean out my cupboards, I made desserts from mixes left in the pantry. I thought we could share them at our goodbye party on Sunday. I also used the eggs I won at Weight Watchers!

We followed up the cooking with a serious car wash. Did I mention it rained last night? Driving up a grass and dirt hillside in a downpour was hard on the cars. (We had to take both cars for all our equipment.) My car got the worst of it, being so low to the ground.

It was a perfect excuse to clean and vacuum our cars and get them ready for the big drive across country in 2 weeks!

Taylor/Strand Wedding

Last night the Pearl Strings played for the wedding of Jen's (our bandmate) son, Josh. It was a very cool location in an old barn outside Mt. Airy. Reagan was at girls' camp, so Ed filled in for us on the bass!

Helen and I played prelude and the wedding processional music. I'll miss playing with Helen! She played violin for all this, although she was a viola player when we met. She's been playing with the band so long she is just as comfortable on the violin now as the viola!

There was some very heavy rain on the way over, but it stopped raining in time for everyone to enjoy the ceremony and the cool breeze that lowered the temperature to a comfortable level!

Congratulations to Josh and Jen. They looked so happy! Good luck to the Taylor family with two Jens in the family now!

Last Night at Book Club

Monday night was my last night at the Book it Sisters Book Club. Anna (in orange) hosted it and we talked about Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. It was a hard book to read, as the subject matter is so painful. It is horrible hearing how inhumanely slaves were treated, not to mention that they were slaves at all! 

It was fun meeting with these ladies for the past year and a half! We've read 25 books, and shared 25 meals together! During that time we've laughed and cried and shared our own stories with one another. That's what book club is really about!

For our review of Twelve Years a Slave, see:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Does Your Weight Watcher Leader have Chickens?

Every month we have a drawing at the end of Weight Watchers for various giveaways. This week I was the really happy winner of a dozen eggs from Deb's chickens! They are a beautiful assortment of colors. I almost hate to crack them! Since next week is my last meeting with this group of ladies, it felt like a memorable way to remember a wonderful weight loss journey we've taken together!

Sykesville Freedom Festival

This is our seventh summer in Sykesville, and the first time we've made it over to the Sykesville Freedom Fire Department Carnaval! On Friday we dropped by to check out the Festival.  It was fun to see how they fit all that excitement on an empty field!

We passed on the rides, but had a sampling of the food, including these funnel cakes that were even better the next day! They were much larger than we expected, and we enjoyed the leftovers on Saturday!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Penultimate Gig

The Pearl Strings had their second to last gig yesterday at Springfield Hospital. It was a fun warm-up to our last gig in the Bush backyard on July 3rd at 6 p.m. (Everyone welcome to come!)

We played:

Sloop John B
I Got the Sun in the Morning
Tell Me True
Carpool Lane
Ash Grove
Happy Place
Mr. Sandman
Morning Bird – Forest Sun
Celtic Hymn Medley
Blue Skies
Homeward Bound

Two of our favorite songs, Carpool Lane and Happy Place were written by band members, Judy and Jen.

Afterwards we met at Panera, our favorite place to rehash our glory! (or talk about our mistakes). We missed Helen, who had to go home and clean house for company coming!

Reagan brought her kids, as it was summer and school is out! They were good as gold at sat at their own table. I wonder what they were talking about!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sassy Caps and Sassy Ladies

Our Relief Society is making Sassy caps for cancer patients, and since I missed the first two training sessions, Beverly had a special evening just to show me how to make one. I didn't quite finish, but loved making it, because you could visit at the same time as knit! It was especially fun, because Kaylene and Mickey dropped by to make caps, as well. They were old pros and were able to share some tips with me as we knitted. I'm glad I'm going to be taking a new skill with me to Utah!

Thanks, Beverly, for all your hard work!

Dinner with the Flynns

It was fun meeting the Flynns for dinner last night at Shannons in Ellicott City. Debra was Ed's admin, and we appreciate it that they make an attempt to stay in contact with us still! They are also looking forward to retiring this year. Debra has 28 more days, but who's counting? We think with their nice beach house in Delaware, they're going to be very content!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Primary Presidency Dinner

The entire Primary Presidency was released two weeks ago, so we went out to dinner with our husbands for a last hurrah!

We enjoyed the Asian Fusion food at Zen Garden in Ellicott City, but missed Heather, who couldn't come with us. The waitress thought Ed and I were Mom and Dad, and that Reagan and Tara were our daughters! We felt as young as them till we realized we were the Rocky and Bullwinkle generation and they were the Ducktails generation!

We stopped for dessert in downtown Sykesville on the way home. They had a big wing-ding going on to celebrate being voted the coolest small town in America 2016! Unfortunately, the party was as small as the town, and the epicurean delights were limited to hot dogs and fries! No ice cream for us!

Friendship Goes to the Dump

The Stangers dropped by this morning with their trailer and took a giant load of Bush junk to the dump for us! We really appreciated it, as the garbage men will only take what fits in the can each week! Every load of things we take out of the house makes us feel lighter and lighter!

We had hardened up about 20 cans of paint to make them safe for the landfill.

I emptied all the music out of our California Closet in the hallway. It filled about 20 boxes

Then the fun began! Ed disassembeld the entire shelf system to get it ready to pack in the moving van!

On a happy note, we sold our house today! We can move to Utah without worrying about selling the house!

Samsung Pay

In our attempt to be the hippest grandparents ever, we are trying new things every day. Yesterday it was Samsung Pay. You pay with your cell phone. It was pretty cool and worked great at both Home Depot and Walmart. What will they think of next?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Home Again, Home Again

We had a few hours this morning to walk around Boston Garden and Boston Common before our train. It was windy, but clear, and we enjoyed just wandering around for a while before we left.

We stopped by to see the mother duck and her 8 little ducklings who became famous after a children's story (Make Way for Ducklings) by Robert McClosky immortalized their perilous journey across the street in downtown Boston.

The frogs stand sentinel over the frog pond, that now is more of a children's fountain. In earlier days it was used to dunk witches!

We gave a little tip to the wonderful erhu player who has serenaded us every day as we left our apartment and in the afternoon when we returned home. We stopped to talk with him, but wouldn't you know it, he didn't speak a lick of English!

Our train left at 11:15, so about 10 we promenaded down our street, Commonwealth Avenue to the train station. We got there with an hour to spare.

It is amazing not to have to go through security to travel! No lines, no turnstiles, no bag check. You just board the train and they check your tickets later!

In 7 short hours, after three crossword puzzles, a few games and a bit of reading, and we were back in Baltimore!

Coda had a fun time at the Hess House, but was still happy to see us when we picked her up!  We were happy to see her, as well!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Boston Birthday for Ed

Today was Ed's Boston birthday. I hope he had a nice day. I gave him a present and a card written on the back of a chocolate wrapper!

We started out with church at the Cambridge 2nd ward, a short walk from our apartment.

 We had lunch at Regina Pizzeria in the North End. Thanks for the recommendation from Elisa Beckman, who lives with her family outside Boston! It was delicious, and we have leftovers for our train ride home tomorrow!

We also had to stop at Mike's Pastry for dessert, as we've seen everyone with boxes from Mike's all over Boston. It was okay, but I think we erred by not getting the specialty cannelloni. Brownies and eclairs were not their specialty!

 We enjoyed walking along the harbor, which was like Baltimore's inner harbor on steroids!

We might have taken the Harbor cruise, but we only got a two day Go Boston card, which was not valid today. So we just watched, instead.

This big flag waving in the wind reminded us that  Boston is really one of the seats of liberty in the US.

We enjoyed seeing some great bagpipers busking in a square by Quincy market!

After resting for a few hours in the afternoon, we went out for a light and yummy salad dinner at Sweetgreens. It was located right at the end of the Boston Marathon. You can see a yellow line in the road outside our window that marks the end of the marathon.

We had a relaxing last day of our trip, with a mere 20,000 steps! And hopefully, Ed had a memorable birthday!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Charles River, Harvard and Fenway Park

We started this morning by crossing the Charles river to catch a river cruise.

The River cruise left from the Cambridge Mall and was a narrated tour of the sights along the river.

We couldn't hear much of the narration, as people were talking and the loudspeaker was echoing, but we met some interesting people on the boat. There were several teams of dragon boat racers, all made up of teams of breast cancer survivors. The Wonder Broads, from Canada explained to us a little about the races. I would like to be the drummer on the boat! Other teams were the Wellness Warriors and Dragon Rays. The motto of the Wonder Broads was Courage, Commitment and Comraderie. I thought that was wonderful!

We walked from Canal Park to Harvard University. Our Go Boston card included the cost of entrance to the Harvard Natural History Museum. We thought we'd check it out for Brittany.

It was impressive in size and scope. It had lots of animals in the Africa room, but they were all in glass boxes, rather than displayed in natural habitats.

We then crossed the river to the Harvard Business School, where Ed spent 9 weeks in 2005. It was fun seeing where he lived, ate and took classes for an Advanced Management Program.

Then it started to rain, and rather than walk three miles in the rain with no umbrellas (which we left in our apartment), I downloaded the Uber app and we took our first ride in an  Uber car!

The driver (here is his Dodge neon), was a BYU graduate from Utah who served a mission to South Africa around the same time as Brittany (Cape Town). His name was James Jones and he sings in an a capella group called Vocalosity. We're going to have to go see them perform sometime!

At Fenway park we bought some hot dogs while we waited for our tour of the park. They really got us in the mood for baseball!

We enjoyed seeing the baseball stadium and hearing stories about it. I enjoyed it much more than seeing a game, as it was only an hour long and we got to keep moving!

By the time we finally got back to our apartment we had another day with 22,000 steps! We thought we would take it easy tonight and rest up for tomorrow!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Freedom Trail and More

Ed and I downloaded an app for the Freedom trail and listened to the narration on our phones as we walked around Boston today. The Old North Church (behind us) was one of the many historical sites we visited along the way.

The trail is well marked, and it was fun following the red brick line throughout the city. We also took a hop on hop off bus tour, but even with that we ended up with 22,000 steps today!

We had clam chowda and lobster bisque for lunch in the Quincy market.

I faced off against the symbol of the Democratic party here in front of the Old City Hall. I couldn't get into the spirit of it, however, because I have no horse in the race this election year!

The Freedom trail ends when you cross the river to get to Bunker Hill.

Although our dogs were barking, we mustered up the strength to climb the 294 steps to the top of the obelisk.

We were rewarded with an expansive (if somewhat obstructed) view of the city!

After coming down from Bunker Hill we visited the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides). She was in drydock for renovations, but looked pretty good for being over 200 years old!

Before going back to rest up in our apartment, we stopped off in Boston Garden and rode the beautiful swan boat. It was a relaxing respite after a long day on our feet!

In the evening we mustered up the energy to go to the Prudential Tower for another view of the city. Boston Common, to the left of the Hancock Tower is a half a block from our townhouse. We love the location.

Our final treat of the day was stopping in to see and sit in a Tesla. Ed has been talking about getting in line for a Tesla 3 when it is released next year. Visiting the show room made us think that might not be a bad idea! They were beautiful!