Thanksgiving Day on the Severn River

Our Thanksgiving road trip started with a an almost serious incident.

The red sled has a busted light and a cracked bumper.

About 5 miles away from home a deer hit Sug’s car and broke a headlight.  Fortunately no one was hurt and her car still ran. Whew!

We stayed overnight near Annapolis, Maryland’s capital.

We had a beautiful time at our AirBnB on the Severn River in Maryland.

Charlie and I walked down the road at our hostess’s suggestion to see the sun rise above the horizon.

The weather was cold so we didn’t actually get on the water but the sunrise was stunning.

Looking southward on the Severn River about 8 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay.

The view from the deck of our accommodations was calm and serene this morning.

Every house has its own boat dock.

We enjoyed coffee with our hosts’ parents and found ourselves simpatico in many areas.

The Severn River, tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.

We would certainly stay here again in warmer weather.

How was your holiday?


Trip to England: Buckingham Palace and Gardens

We were in London 2 months ago.

Queen Elizabeth’s cypher — ER — Elizabeth Regina.

At that time the weather was beautiful and the gardens were still in bloom.

2 cappuccini and a bite to eat were welcome after the palace tour.

Charlie and I visited Buckingham Palace. I had purchased the tickets in advance over the internet.

Geese roam across the 5-acre lawn at the back of the palace.

Photos were not permitted inside the palace although a book with lovely photos was available for purchase.

The white awning is a cafe where the food is catered by the same team that caters the Queen’s garden parties.

We were able to take photos in the cafe attached out back where the Queen has her garden parties on the five-acre lawn.

We were requested to stay on the path in the private garden.

We were also signed up for the garden tour that took us into the Queen’s private garden where photos were also frowned upon.

We were not permitted to walk on the lawn but one of our guides walked down by the large vase to give us a perspective of scale.

The rose garden was lovely and in full bloom even in September. Each bed was limited to one color of rose as it had been originally designed.

The rose garden has beds of roses set off by lots of lawn and mature trees.

The urn in the middle is about 15-feet tall.

The small summer house is covered in wisteria in spring.

Our guide was very informative about all the details of the garden.

Loads of people were hanging out at the Victoria Monument across from Buckingham Palace.

When we were finished the garden tour we walked around the block to the front of the building outside the gates.

The gates are large enough for limos, carriages, and horse guards to come ad go.

The Queen’s cipher on the gates is spectacular.

Geraniums, salvia, and dusty miller in the park across from the palace.

Also colossal are the gardens and fountain across the road from the gates.

The front of Buckingham Palace from the Victoria Monument across the street.

Buckingham Palace is only open to the public in August and September while the Queen is away which is the reason we moved our trip from October to September.  I’m glad we did.

Is your house your palace?

From Souvenir to Christmas Ornament

I bought some handmade boats while we on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay last summer.

The top boat with the blue hull is a crab scrape which I’ll keep for Charlie and me.

Silhouettes of local crab boats and scrapes were made by a young man with certain physical challenges on the island.  I bought one everyone in the family one for Christmas ornaments this year.

We had some tiny screw-eyes on hand.

To transform these boats into ornaments we need to be able to hang them. My idea was to screw a tiny screw-eye into the top of each one then just add a Christmas tree hanger hook.

The green boat is balances on an iron rod.

In order to determine exactly where the eye should be placed Charlie balanced the boat on a round pole and put the eye right above the fulcrum point.

Since these are handmade, the position for the eyes was slightly different on each one.

He made a starter hole with a machined screw gimlet then inserted and twiled in the screw-eye.

Each boat is unique and all are ready to hang.

When the boats are hung we’re hoping they’ll either hang flat or with the bow a little more up in the air.

I’m the gift buyer and wrapper in our family.

One step closer to mailing out Christmas gifts.

Do you collect gifts all year or buy everything at the last minute?

List, 2018: November Plans

I’ve written out a calendar for the next two months so I can plan our holidays and get some projects completed.

I’ve been crossing off each day and trying to make time for important and fun things.

I’ve been working on Christmas gifts and party planning.

Top Secret!!!!


Sug and I are planning to make cookies.

This gingerbread batter was very sticky.

We’re going to re-make the polar bears that didn’t turn out too well last year.  I found a different recipe which I hope will be easier to manage.

Here’s the entire pit kit.

Charlie has received a fire pit kit which I’m hoping we will be able to use this month.

The hole from the old pit is filled in.

Thus far he has leveled the area where the makeshift pit was.


We have no entertainment planned for November. We’ll be busy at choir rehearsals and other services for which Charlie is playing the piano/organ.


If Charlie gets his fire pit built we’d like to have some friends over for a warm dinner of soup and toasted marshmallows around the fire.

I hope our fire pit is as neat as the photo.

I’m working on a guest list of hearty, outdoorsy friends.

Exterior Outsourcing

Our Thanksgiving destination is the shores of the Severn River.

We’re planning to go away for Thanksgiving.

We’ll be cutting all sorts of greens for advents wreaths, door swags, and indoor decorations.

On Black Friday Sug and I are headed to the farm where I work to cut greenery.

Using this wreath as a prototype.

The next day we’re going to work on Advent wreaths.  We had a good practice session last year.  Hopefully we learned a thing or two about what plants to use and how to decorate them.

Extreme Terminus

Hoping our carpenter starts the railing project on our master deck.

The roof of the conservatory is also the deck of the second floor porch. Exterior it is.

Are you having a traditional Thanksgiving?

A Short Thanksgiving Getaway

An article came up on my computer screen called 20 Thanksgiving Getaways that will make your long weekend a real vacation.

Annapolis harbor

Annapolis Maryland, about 45 minutes from our house, was on the list.

Last summer we all visited Smith Island also in Maryland.

Sug, Charlie, and I have been world-traveling recently but the 3 of us had not taken a road trip like our visit to the Statue of Liberty or Smith Island for a while.

I’ll be saving this year’s turkey for a party later in the season.

I asked Sug if she’d like to have Thanksgiving dinner in Annapolis with us.  At first, that’s all it was, an early dinner in a nice restaurant on the Severn River in the state capital.  Since I’m not a fan of turkey I chose a restaurant with a wider menu.  My guess is that none of the three of us will order turkey.

Maryland has a myriad of rivers that feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Then I checked my AirBnB app and found a room on the Severn River with major water views. This will be the perfect one-night place to stay about halfway between our house and Annapolis.

If the weather is mild I can be found enjoying this view.

Naturally we’re hoping for good weather so we can sit out on the terrace and watch the boats go up and down the river as well as tour around the harbor in-town near the U.S. Naval Academy.

Perhaps we’ll have time to drop into the Naval Academy.

I’ve been to Annapolis many times in my life but I still enjoy a day there.

Where’s your close-to-home road trip destination?

List, 2018: October Progress

The question is: Did anything get done in October? I had very specific plans.


Charlie brought down 5 boxes of books, mostly children’s books, from the attic. My goal to donate at least 50 to a rummage sale was not accomplished.

There are some very good books in this pile.

The only thing I did was to salvage my baby book from the pile.  How pathetic!  I must simply box them and deliver them.

I planned to stain the interior doors that have not yet been stained. This just never happened. Again — pathetic!!

I forgot about the door above the the mudroom doors. It will get stained, too.

Finally the door to the entrance of the laundry did not get hung.

The door will block this view.

Consequently I did not make any progress on my 101 in 1001 list.


Entertainment is the area where I did have a lot of success.

Charlie and I have went to see the newest remake of A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

Loved Gaga in this film.

I thought the film and the music were very good. Bradley Cooper played his part well and can actually sing also.

Charlie and I saw Les Mis in London.

Sug and I went to going to see a touring company production Les Miserables. This production was not as good as the other two I had seen.  The turntable on the stage had been omitted and I felt it hurt the performance.

Then Charlie and I went headed to the Baltimore Symphony to see hear Tony DeSare playing the piano and singing.

Tony Desare

He was loads of fun and could really, really play the piano. So much fun.


We did host a costume party in October.

Part of the travel-themed mantel.

The invitation suggested guests come in an international costume.

Charlie wore his Chinese shirt made famous on my Chinese Charlie Chest

There were lots of ladies in kimonos.

Exterior Outsourcing

The three of us have joined a choir for Christmas comprised of members from a number of churches in our area.

We’ll sing our hearts out.

We have been rehearsing and listening to our audio files so we’ll be ready for our performance early in December.

Extreme Terminus

Finally the most successful task was Sug’s trip to Guatemala where she painted classrooms and built a swingset.

The construction of the swingset was finished in the rain.

Sug is planning to spend more and more time in Guatemala working to improve the mission school near Antigua.

While we didn’t actually get a lot of projects completed last month we did have loads of fun.  So much fun in fact that I’m making a master calendar so we can plan some more get-togethers.

Do you prefer intimate gatherings or large ones?

Trip to England: Speaking the Language

We had some fun in England figuring out what people were trying to tell us.

We did take away breakfast sandwiches from Paul before boarding the morning subway.

“Take away” is “carry out” as in food.  We usually “ate in” at restaurants because we did a lot of walking and needed to rest.

A proper fringe.

Fringe is bangs.  I had my hairdresser trim up my fringe.

A detour sign in London.

Diversion is a detour, specifically for traffic.

Thankfully we didn’t have a car so a parking suspension meant nothing to us.

Parking suspension means no parking or parking is prohibited.

Vehicle recovery of a black cab.

Free vehicle recovery, as far as I can tell, means road service for one’s car if it breaks down.

The white line denotes the “gap” which should always be on one’s mind so as not to fall in.

“Mind the gap” is the much repeated phrase which means to “watch your step” when exiting the subway, I mean underground or tube.

Busking is prohibited on the south bank of the Thames near the Globe Theatre.

Busker (a person who busks) or busking is an art form that is practised by professional artists, amateur performers and those who are just starting out. Buskers put a lot of thought and effort into their act, they give a performance, entertain the public and receive tips in return. Generally busking is well-received and legal except where posted.

Belle Helene — Poached pears, vanilla gelato, and dark chocolate.

“What do you fancy?” is asked when we might say “What would you like?” In London we fancied crepes everyday.

We were admonished on the underground “say it” if we “see it”.

“See it. Say it. Sorted.” is like our American phrase “If you see something, say something”.   People are encouraged to say something to an official if they see something unusual and the authorities will sort it out.

What phrase do you find unique to a region or country?