Friday, October 31, 2008

weird object friday-halloween style

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM-Do you consider this a trick or a treat?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are you ready for some football

Well the day didn't end up like I imagined, but it was a great day nonetheless. My daughter was supposed to be my football buddy, but she got called in on a client emergency. My friend, Karen, who is also a Raven fanatic, was kind enough to go with us.
The Ravens start every game with an honor guard. They have the same gentleman sing the National Anthem every week. Today they had a satellite hookup with a Maryland National Guard unit serving in Irag. The Guard did a flyover and the unit in Irag said a few words. Karen and I were all teared up. It was a very touching presentation.
Next, come the fireworks. The opposing team first comes out and then the Ravens are welcomed onto the field with blazing fires and fireworks. Quite a production. It was a great game. The defense has always been good, but this year we even have an offense.
Lets go, Flacco!

Tomorrow, Sean heads back to Austin, but today he is all ours.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

rainy, but perfect

Today it is pouring in Westminster, but I love that kind of day in the Fall. It is a nice day to stay in and cook. Sean is home for the weekend. I woke up this morning to an argument downstairs between Sean and Niki. I couldn't wait when they were kids for them to grow up and stop the fighting. Our family has always been very vocal. They both, along with their father, would have been great members of a debate club. I loved the noise this time though--the intelligent back and forth sparring. I really miss Sean being home. I know his sister does too.
I am a good cook but not a good baker. I did give it my best shot though. A pumpkin cake. The rain outside and the warmth inside made for a great day. Sean's favorite meal is sour beef. That has been simmering on the stove all day. Ah, the delicious aroma of ginger, cinnamon and clove. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Friday, October 24, 2008

happy weird object friday

Could it be a Raven-0-lantern. This jack-o-lanterns combines two of my favorite Fall things--pumpkins and football. Hope it brings us luck on Sunday. Sean is coming home from Austin for the Ravens game. Bob, Niki, Sean and I are ready to say "Who let the dogs out". Go Ravens!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Charles and I had a great weekend. We headed down to Salisbury to the Autumn Wine Festival. I am always in search of a good new ice wine and I like to find the small out of the way wineries that you can't purchase at the local liquor store. Success. Three new ice wines from small Eastern Shore wineries. It was a nice afternoon. Wine tasting, nice food, and good jazz. We even ran into two old neighbors.

Friday, October 17, 2008

weird object friday

My brother, Bob, recently brought me back this wonderful souvenir from his recent trip. I even have him thinking about weird objects.

It looks like a necklace and is beautifully colored. But, the most beautiful thing about it, is it's sound...

The Ocarina is an ancient flute like wind instrument. Bob purchased it from a young boy selling souvenirs while visiting Peru. And it is my new best friend, one whistle and the dogs respond right away.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random thoughts

Puppy progress. Since Bailey has come into our lives, she has been hesitant to have anyone hold her. She occasionally lets you pet her, but only on her terms. She will come up and settle next to you, but don't reach out, she will jump. The vet thinks it is because she lost her mother so early. Well, for the past week or two she has liked being held and petted late at night. Niki has been patient with her and it is really paying off. I love this season. I trimmed back the front yard, and the remaining Autumn flowers ...

..have had lots of visitors.
This little flowerbed welcomes bees, moths, grasshoppers and crickets.Charles and I had to take the RV for servicing. The trip to the dealer takes us through the beautiful Carroll County countryside. The colors are out and there is a nice crisp feeling to the air.

My daughter Niki has a small tattoo on her hip. It is a little shamrock. Our last name is Irish and it was a strong personal statement for her. She had it done about 8 years ago. My mom loved lilacs and Niki wanted to add a couple of lilac petals around the shamrock in remembrance.We have talked about this for six years.

So when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she decided it was time to go for the lilacs. I wanted to have a lilac too, but never had the nerve. So I took her to Little Vinnie's, a shop we knew that was sanitary and had talented artists.Chris created a design, but I am the one that ended up with the tattoo. Niki's artist had a bad day with a difficult client and they decided to put it off.

It was not a comfortable procedure, but not too bad. It takes a couple of weeks to heal. The picture doesn't do the coloring justice and it is still swollen, but I am happy with it. I know it sounds silly to a lot of people, but it is a nice reminder for me of my mom. The tattoo may be on my ankle but the remembrance leads straight to my heart.
And lastly, but certainly not leastly: If you all could keep my cousin, Kathy, in your prayers. She is in Johns Hopkins and could use some positive energy. Thank you all. Gerry

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Niki!

Today is my daughter's 27th birthday. Niki is a daughter to be proud of. She is independent, kind, intelligent, liberal minded, and fiesty. She has brought our family a lot of joy and happiness. You always have to stay on your toes when she is around. My birthday wish for her is a lifetime of happiness. All those candles really lit up the room, but she had enough air to blow them all out in one breath. Wonder what she wished for?
She spent the afternoon at the Ravens game with friends. Too bad they couldn't deliver a win for her birthday, but it was a good game.
Friends and family then arrived at our house for her requested birthday dinner of pot roast.
... and we had enough hands to close up the pool for the winter.

Doggie update: Bailey is growing up. She is losing that puppy look, although, she is still a bundle of energy. She and the other dogs are the best of friends. The three of them run around the yard until they are ready to drop.
That is when you usually will see Riley enjoying the sun and a good chew. Hope everyone had as good a weekend as we did!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's been a busy month

The beginning of the month started out with a trip to Austin. My son tore him labrum and needed shoulder surgery. Erin my son's fiance has a new job and didn't have the time off so I offered to go down. I had never flown by myself. On previous flights my brother has always been with me, so I was a little trepidatous. The flight was a bit bumpy but uneventful. I even rented a car by myself for the first time. The night before surgery, I took Sean and Erin to a local chain called Chuy's, their favorite restaurant. It has the best Tex-Mex food I have ever tasted and the decor could make a weird object participant green with envy.
The surgery was more difficult than the doctor anticipated. The tear was larger. Sean is now the proud owner of four anchors in his shoulder. They evidently hold everything in place while it heals. He already has one in his knee from a torn ACL. Erin says he is slowly becoming a bionic man.

But a few days later, we went to celebrate his recovery at Cheesecake Factory.I had never been. But it was worth the trip.

When your child lives far away from you, you worry a little more about them. Seeing them again reassures you that they are strong and happy and are doing fine. I flew home at the tail end of Hurricane Ike. The pilot had to detour and it was very turbulent. If this had been my first flight, I wouldn't be flying again. We weren't allowed to get out of our seats or take off the seat belts. But I made it home safely being welcomed at the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport by my husband and the Baltimore Crab. I considered adding this to the weird object gallery, but Margaret beat me to it with her crab object.
NEXT, My daughter works for a wonderful organization called The Sheridan Patterson Center. She is a social worker and they work with higher risk foster children and their foster and biological families. They had their first swim-a-thon as a fundraiser. They take a holistic approach and provide a tremendous amount of alternative training and therapy. The suggest and teach healthier eating, aromatherapy, and meditating along with the traditional therapies.

So, Mom was enlisted to help at the ticket and registration table. It was held at a YMCA that was built on the old Memorial Stadium site. Itwas not like any Y I have ever been in. It was truly a neighborhood resource. Beside the pool, they had a basketball court, fitness equipment and many meeting areas that could be used. You could see that it was heavily utilized by the neighborhood children. I wish I lived closer to it.

The teams really had a good time--as did the volunteers and employees.
They had a VIP dinner at the end of the day for their sponsors. They are a wonderful organizaton and I am glad my daughter is involved with them.

Then, Margaret and I headed to Ocean City, MD, for an office weekend. Nine of us in two rooms on the beach. It really was fun. I am a Wildwood girl, so Ocean City was new for me. The beach is shorter and the riptides were horrible but the waves were exciting to watch.But there was a storm heading up the coast and the waves, I was told, were fiercer than usual. Surfers were everywhere. I waded in the water and even that was exhausting. You were fighting not to be pulled further into the water.On the beach, we did see some sand sculptures. Margaret says this particular artist is always there and usually does religous themes.

On the last night, we headed to a local crab house...

...and made a new friend, although he didn't have much to say---a perfect man.

It was a nice weekend and a great experience to get out of the office and just be friends.