Sunday, October 23, 2005


The plan was to join Shannon's vet school classmates Ally and Kim and their significant others, Mike and Johnny, for camping near Ally's house in central Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the plan, and the people involved, were flexible, as it was rainy and cold most of the weekend. We drove up Saturday morning, piled in Ally's truck, and toured the valley in which she lives and works (as a farm vet.) The leaves at that higher elevation were beautiful, and it was interesting seeing the farms, many of which Ally visits regularly. There are a number of Amish farmers in the area, and their pride in their farms is evident. We visited Ally's show calf, Valentine, at the farm where she will someday earn her keep as a dairy cow.

After a stop at a local winery and the Whitehall market (part 7-11, part Amish market,) we returned to Ally's for sloppy joes, whoopie pies, and dog cuddling. Ally and Mike have three dogs between them (Girl, Jake, and Dempsey.) Kim and Johnny brought Daisy, and of course Sandy accompanies us anywhere where there might be squirrels. The wonderful men built a bonfire in the rain, and made a dinner of "mountain pies" (see Mark's ode below) while the girls carved pumpkins and sipped warm spiced apple wine from the winery. Mark and I "roughed it" on an air mattress on the living room floor, and Sandy took one of the (many) dog beds in the living room.

On Sunday, we woke up to sunny weather and French toast. Kim and Johnny had to hit the road for a long drive to Ohio. Ally and Mike drove us a short distance to a gorgeous spot to go hiking with the dogs. The views were breathtaking, or maybe it was just us being out of shape and hiking uphill. The dogs, including 12-year old Girl, put our endurance to shame. Ally and Mike will be married next September in "Big Valley," and we can't wait for that excuse to go back! -S
Perhaps the most life-changing introduction for me was how to make a "mountain pie". This requires a special (very manly) tool and an open flame (as all great cooking does). Basically you have two small skillets the size of a slice of bread on a hinge at the end of two long handles, so that while closed it makes a little pocket or oven that can be placed in the hot coals of a campfire from a safe distance. Two pieces of bread are liberally buttered and filled with any of a multitude of different fillings, including pizza makings, ham and cheese, sloppy joe mix, etc. It can even be used for a dessert, by filling the bread with pie filling, or our personal favourite, a marshmallow and a dark chocolate bar. The only limiting factor in our case was that we only had one of these "mountain pie makers" for 6 people and 5 dogs. And there was some debate as to whether it was considered "proper" to open the handles to 'peek' while the pie was cooking to check on its progress, or whether you should "just know" when it is done. We are already beginning our search for our own pie maker, so that we may return next year, better equipped. (plus, in the mean time, it may give a viable reason for starting a fire in the yard.) -M

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sandy gets her license

Recently, Sandy's dog license came in the mail. She mistook it for a license to drive, and immediately hopped in the Miata. She had perfected parallel parking and was singing along to the radio when we found her.

Anniversary v1.0

We were up early Sunday the 25th of Sept. for a convertible ride to church, except we had the top up (only the 2nd time) and we took Sandy to the Popes to stay for the day, then we met them at Grump's for eggs benedict. After church we went downtown for the 12:30 sail on Woodwind. There was a great wind and the sun came out by the end.
I received a call from the guy that I had delivered a boat to on Saturday, saying he was missing a piece. I knew the highest probability was that it was still in my jeep. So after the sail it was a drive back home, and then a nice convertible ride (top down this time) to Severna park to give him the final mast section that he needed. And a nice convertible ride back to the B&B for some relaxing before dinner.
One thing I always wanted to do was take off from my wedding on a beautiful evening in a convertible on the way to a honeymoon. Well the real thing worked out much better, with the sunset, moon, and classic Rolls, but this Sunday, we got to take a nice convertible ride on a beautiful evening to our anniversary. Really it worked out much better this way.
Dinner at Cafe Normandie was exquisite. Starting off with a "french martini" (with chambord) French onion soup, veal with mushrooms, it was really, really good. And we could walk there and back.
The B&B is wonderful and we had a relaxing morning and great breakfast as usual. After another convertible ride we headed to the beach to launch the catamaran and sail it around to the ramp to pull it out for the winter. It was pretty windy and a fast ride, we didn't stay out long, the water is getting cool fast. We spent the rest of the day putting away boats and stuff which now crowds our house.
It was a very restful weekend.