Friday, August 26, 2005

Crappie Fishing

Last night was awesome. Jonathan and I have been going about once a week to Tuckertown Lake to fish for crappie, largemouth bass, and catfish. We've never gotten crappie, but we did get a big largemouth bass that Jonathan cooked into a great dish. But catfish was what we really wanted. We were jug and line fishing.
Last night we decided to leave at 6:30 and do some more night fishing. We caught up our bait (that's the fun, easy part!), then set our jugs. You get plastic jugs, put a light stick in, and tie about 10 feet of fishing line w/ a hook on it. Then you choose your bait. We used cutbait, chicken livers, catfish bait, and minnows. Only our catfish bait caught a HUGE catfish!!!! It was awesome! But it's always the last jug we get! It was so obvious, we had to chase that thing all over.
While we were waiting for the jugs, we tried for crappie. Besides my inadequacy with the boat motor, we did good. Jonathan caught 3 keeping size crappies, and I caught one non-keeper.
I'll post the pic of the catfish when I download it. Then we'll have a fry up!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Lauren & Ariel's Wedding in Baltimore

So, this weekend we spent in Baltimore for my cousin's wedding. It was an 8 hour drive, but we had fun together. We arrived 3 hours before the rehearsal dinner and toured the Baltimore harbor, specifically submarine Torsk and the ship Cheseapeake. It was really hot, but interesting. I cannot imagine living on a submarine, it would be SO cramped and stinky!
The rehearsal dinner was upstairs at Oliver's Brew Pub. It was decorated so nicely and everyone had a wonderful time. Ariel's family were so friendly and very Jewish. His grandmother Eleanor especially reminded us of Yenta, the way she talked and her accent! They really loved Lauren & it was a joyful occasion.
We attended the rehearsal afterward. It was at Beth Am Synagogue and get this - all the men inside had to wear yarmulkes! We agreed not to tell Carter, Noah & Jay so they could be surprised at the wedding. :)
The following morning Jonathan & I picked up my siblings and headed to the harbor again. We got some Dunkin Donuts, walked a lot, and just hung. We got some good seafood at Phillip's, we were trying for the Rusty Scupper Sunday jazz brunch, but with all my siblings, it was too steep. Ah well. We had crab legs & steamed mussels.
The hilarious part was that because of checkouts times, all 12 of us had to get ready for the wedding in one room (Graydons, Wilsons, Jay)! We actually got there on time. The wedding was beautiful. The rabbi would sang blessings in Hebrew - any Herbrew he said in a song-like way. It was so cool. It was a Herbrew/English wedding.
The reception was at an old and very elegant hotel- The Belvedere in one of their little restaurants called Truffles. There was a dance floor in the middle, tray-passed hors d'ouvres, a table of appetizers, a full sit-down meal and (the best part) a full bar!!! We sat across from a very nice couple, Vince & Amy, and Vince was from a town between Danville & Lynchburg.
Jonathan and I danced, and it was so romantic!!! We stayed til quarter past seven, but had to go to drive home because Monday was school! We made great timing and got home about 3:15. Monday was a rough day energy-wise, but we're all caught up now and havin' fun on the new schedule! Enjoy the pics!

Jonathan & Denise on The Chesapeake (dreaming of owning our own boat!)

My family & Jay, The Chesapeake behind them, touring Baltimore Harbor.

Stuart singing Man of Constant Sorrows. Jay looking normal.

Lauren circles Ariel seven times, signifying the house they're building together.

The Chair Dance after dancing The Hora! (no handkerchiefs, sadly) Did the Rabbi Dance?????

Mary & The Boys - all wearing yarmulkes! Funny to see!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Couples Cookout & Seth & Karen Visit!

Ok this weekend was the Couples Cookout and it was fabulous! Things worked out perfectly. My husband helped me get everything ready, even down to skewering fruits onto a pineapple to look pretty!!!! I couldn't have done it without his help! The best part of the weekend was Seth, Karen & Katrina's visit! They came near 5 on Sunday and stayed til 3 on Monday! We had terrific fellowship and I played and played with my most favorite niece!!!! I can't wait to have a little girl! Everyone except one couple we invited came to the cookout. Our backyard patio actually felt really squished to me! I made raspberry margaritas for the ladies and they turned out great. The cheese fondue w/ pumpernickel, rye, granny smith apples, cauliflower and celery also was yummy. The coffee punch went quickly, Caroyln brought some delicious deviled eggs, Joe's hoemmade salsa rocked, and Jonathan's chocolate chocolate chip cookies were chewy and great. So everything went beautifully. I only wish we'd started earlier so it could've been longer. :)
Monday morning about 7:30 I heard little Katrina noises outside our door and so I hurried with my morning routine so I could go play with her! Karen was able to get in a little nap while Katrina and I played like little girls. :) I made the king pieces in chess be Humpty Dumpty. :) During Katrina's nap time Karen and I went up to Starbucks for girl time! We were probably gone an hour, we just sat outside and talked and talked and shared our lives. It couldn't have been more rich and profitable to our spirits. I love my sister so much and being able to share the experience of married life with her is a blessing untold (motherhood someday too). After our time together we got back home and Seth & Jonathan had been playing with Katrina for a bit. We took over while they took a ride in the Mustang!! Their time to leave came all too quickly, but it was such a great visit! Here are some darling shots of Katrina!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Visit to Bakersville

Ok this weekend was absolutely fabulous. Jonathan and I had already planned to go up to the mountains to visit his grandparents in Bakersville during the Gem Festival. But he decided it would be fun to go camping Friday night along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We looked on the map and online and decided on Crabtree Meadows, about 30 minutes from his grandparents. It looked fun!
We left Friday around 1:30 with a Starbucks Mocha Valencia and Bruegger's Smoked Salmon bagel to start us off. We were driving the Mustang because it's so fun to take on the BRP through the curves & it gets better gas mileage! The drive was lovely, very sunny out and perfect temperature. We of course stopped at any lookout that intrigued us and got some fun shots!
We arrived at the campsite at 5:30, picked a perfect one close to the restroom, still in the woods, and right at the head of the trail to the waterfall! It has rained, so all the downed wood was wet and the camp store was closed! So we were able to head up the road 8 miles to a Wal-Mart to get charcoal and lighter fluid, plus a sweatshirt (for me), baked beans, and chocolate!
Back at the site Jonathan got a great fire going in under an hour. The smoking charcoal dried the wood the I'd gathered, so by about 7 we were roasting brats, s'mores, and baked beans. I liked munching on vanilla wafers (my husband, like my dad, is a graham crackers s'more maker!). Lots! We also drank Cheery Coke & CVDP. Ahhhhhh!
Though we'd planned to walk to the falls that night, it got dark too quick w/our running around, so we just sat outside talking - it was sooo fun! Amazing after a year, 3 months, and 12 days, there's still so much to converse about and it's still such a fun experience! *smiles happily* We hit the sack near 10 and got up near 7.
Brakfast was Jonathan's idea! Egg McMuffins! He poached the eggs, toasted the engligh muffins, & cooked the bacon! We also had cheese grits, a banana, & o.j. Then we packed up the site and at 8 headed to the Crabtree Falls! We knew we'd be the first ones there!
The trail was 1.3 miles and eeasy! Jonathan was like, "Doesn't this remind you of the AT?" and I said no, b/c it wasn't up-and-down enough. But if I'd had a pack, at points it would have reminded me. At the first overlook to the falls, we tried to step out and a copperhead angrily let us know we'd intruded on his sunbathing!!! After that I kept saying "Watch for snakes" but that was silly! We made our way to the falls and it was GORGEOUS! It's unique because it doesn't have a pool so to say (the pool the falls goes into is about 15 x 4). Then it's just little falls all the way down to the French Broad River. We climbed right up to the falls & Jonathan got an awesome shot! We got really wet, but were so invigorated by the beauty and fun!
After all that we headed to his grandparents. Jonathan worked w/Grandpa Skillen while Grandma and I talked. We had lunch then headed to the gem fesitival. The gems, fossils, geodes, etc were magnificent. I liked the finished gems best - reminded me of when Susi and I were discussing our favorite colors. Gems came up and she commented that she loved every color, if true enough. Gems colors are so true, I felt the same way. All that beauty before me left me so amazed. Jonathan defintely wanted to buy me something. We both can spot something that's so me yet I was happy w/ very inexpensive jewelry. Jonathan found something Very Delicate and Beautiful that I would never buy for myself and we loved it's simple beauty. Diamond-Shaped Emeralds and Diamonds in a slim strand/line on a thin silver necklace. We decided to keep it in mind, but I couldn't imagine getting something so nice.
We enjoyed the entire time and Grandpa bought some really gorgeous and expensive things for grandma! He kept saying he was impressed I wasn't making Jonathan buy things! Actually, I did want popcorn! :)
Jonathan got me a heart-shaped tigerstone to carry with me or put somewhere to remember him!!! I love stuff like that!!! I still carry a penny in my purse imprinted w/ "Montgomery Zoo" that Jonathan squished for me when we visited w/my family while we were just courting!
After the festival we made dinner for them: Jonathan's Famous Rotisserie Chicken, sweet potatoes, organic basmati rice, and broccoli. That was fun!
Then that night, Jonathan surprised me by coming up to me and putting around my neck that Beautiful necklace we'd loved!!! What a guy!
Sunday we visited their church, had a good lunch at the Golf Course, and hung out til 2:50. Then we headed home the pretty way! It was very rainy, foggy, and we drove in clouds the entire time in the mountains. We tried to go to Mount Mitchell, and we did, but the rain was very cold and hard and you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you! So we didn't hike it! :( But we had a fun drive down together!
Getting home is always a blessing - you're grateful for your travels, but even more grateful for your home! I got all the smoke-smelling clothes washed and we watched On the Waterfront - I really like that movie! Then bed. What a great weekend.