I can hardly believe that over half of our summer vacation is gone... I guess I should say "my" summer vacation, since Keith is still busy with his Exegesis class (that's historical/cultural/literary study of the Bible, basically).
I don't really have too many pictures of our summer activities, since I have been too busy doing things to take pictures. I really have to discipline myself in that regard, or I will regret it later. Anyhoo, here's what's been going on...
I've been working with Julia, one of our pastors, to plan worship services for our church. We've been meeting most weeks that I've been here to plan. I've also been leading vocally in church, and encouraging others to do so as well. This is new for our church (vocal leadership, that is), and it has been well received and helpful to the congregation.
The garden is flourishing! The herbs have doubled in size, and I've harvested kale and lettuce several times already. The zucchini plants... 4 of them... are huge!!! There's tons of flowers. This is actually very exciting to me. The tomatoes and peppers are looking great too.
We went to Boston! It was GREAT to reconnect with many friends and enjoy the delights of BEMF (Boston Early Music Festival). I played a little concert at the ungodly hour of 9:00 a.m. (and this was 2 days after arriving from the west coast!) which was really quite well attended, considering. I really enjoyed preparing the music, since I had the opportunity to play great music with some really talented people. It was over too quickly!
Another highlight of the time in Boston was the BEMF opera, in which my friend, Tess had a role. She was superb! Many others were too, but we had eyes only for her. The whole production was eye and ear candy. Yay for French Baroque operas!
After spending 6 days in Boston, we went to Connecticut to spend some time with Bob and Gerry, Keith's aunt and uncle, and many cousins. Keith's daddy drove out to meet us there. We ate lots of good food, had good family time, went to the Mark Twain house/museum in Hartford, and I played with the kitties, even though I really shouldn't, since I'm allergic. When I got out my viol to play for everyone, I definitely had a captive audience with Bailey the cat... reminds me of Indiana... he used to try to climb on my lap when I played cello. I also made a very successful cherry pie! Everyone said it was the best ever. I picked the cherries at cousin Cathy's house. They were delicious, and perfect for pie!
When we returned to Seattle, Keith worked on a project in Dad's wood shop... a special bench for practicing cello/viol with drawers for accessories and slots for music I am working on. I don't have pictures at present, but I'll get some soon! Good for Keith, he used recycled wood (old shelves). Yes, I am a tree-hugger.
I've also been doing some stuff around the house. Last week there was a very large quantity of strawberry jam. My friend, AnnaMarie and I picked 7 gallons of strawberries, and made most of them into jam, syrup, and preserves. Unfortunately, my beautiful soup pot got ruined in the process. :( Hopefully the warranty will cover it. Tomorrow's project is ginger ale!
Last weekend we went to Jane and Allen's wedding. Dad and I provided music (mostly hymns on treble viol and baroque guitar). There are many pictures of us playing, but I don't have any. I do, however, have pictures of the bride playing badminton at the reception. The day after, we went canoeing down the Skykomish river between Sultan and Monroe with my family.
Yesterday we went hiking with Matt and AnnaMarie, friends from church. We forgot our cameras, hence no pictures, but that's not all we forgot... Keith left his boots behind. Thus we hiked 11 km with Keith wearing my outer socks and his birkenstocks, and me wearing hiking boots and hiking sock liners. As a result, I have some spectacular blisters on my heels, and Keith (and my socks) escaped unscathed... even though we were hiking on snow and mud much of the time!
What's next? We are going to North/South Dakota and Iowa next week to see Keith's family and meet our new niece and goddaughter, Elizabeth! Here she is with Sarah and Nate, her proud parents.
Then we're on to England, France, and Germany to see friends and go to a wedding! My parents and Rebecca (Keith's sister) are going too. We're going to London, Derbyshire (taking a walking tour!), Paris, Dieulefit (southern France), the Mosel region in Germany, Wernigerode, and Kassel. Looking forward to it!
I hope everyone is having a lovely summer. :)