prosodic: (Charlie Brown tree)
It didn't become real to me until we pulled up to a guard shack and a member of the Secret Service checked our IDs. That's when my stomach dropped. Once he checked our IDs against the guest list, he directed us to the parking lot. From there, we boarded a shuttle bus. In a short while, we were here.

We were given a ticket with our names on it to hand to the official White House photographer. (This is why you'll see no photo here of us with the Bidens - we have to wait until it's processed and emailed to us...48 hours.) At that point, we ended up in a line that snaked around the wrap-around porch. There was Christmas music and a beverage station set up serving hot cider. The Red Cross was there with blank holiday cards that we could fill out for the deployed troops.

We seemed to be in line for ages. At one point, I snuck into the house to find the restroom (I wasn't the only one). The restroom was incredibly posh, as you'd probably expect. The paper towels even had the Vice President's seal on them.

We moved up and up and up through the line. At one point, I came around a corner and saw Jill Biden. Someone was obstructing my view of Joe, but then that person moved and there he was. I might have had a mild freak out at that moment.

Next thing I know, someone is taking our ticket. Someone else offered to take my purse. We heard our names announced, "MSgt. Lance Johnson and Mrs. Karyn Johnson." Jill Biden reached out and took my hand and thanked me for coming. Then Joe, the man himself, approached me and came so close that we were almost nose to nose. He thanked me for coming. He looked at Lance and said, "Hey Buddy! Good to see you! Thank you for your service." Next thing I know, his arm is around my waist and he pulled me close for a photo. I remember being kind of stiff and thinking that I probably looked awkward and tense, but it was too late. The camera clicked and we were shuffled off (someone handed me my purse as we left). Lance told me later that he wasn't prepared either. I can't wait to see what this photo will look like. We're probably going to look awkward as hell, but everyone we talked to had a similar experience.

Once we moved into the reception area, my legs started shaking. So badly that I almost had to sit down. I ran into another spouse that I know from Lance's squadron. We made a little small talk and she indicated that the breakfast buffet was in the adjoining room.

Coffee! Blessed coffee. Quiche, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, pastries. A separate table with platters of assorted cookies. Servers with trays of mimosas and bloody marys...other servers coming around with tiny sausage biscuit sliders and tiny grilled cheese sandwiches.

We stayed for a bit and talked to Lance's co-workers. I had 3 mimosas and may have accidentally spilled some of the third one on the Bidens' beautiful hardwood floor. We were only supposed to stay for an hour - every attendee had a scheduled time to be there and our scheduled time was 9:30 to 10:30. But we ended up staying for 2 hours.

When we finally decided to leave, the shuttle bus was waiting. We were handed a parting gift:

Awesome glasses, but I kind of wished I had gotten what was passed out to the kids. All the kids who attended got a plush version of Champ, the Bidens' German Shepherd. Super cute.

I consider the day a success. I was not rendered incapable of coherent speech. I did not trip, burp, cough, sneeze, or drool in front of the Vice President. Lance admitted to me that he was also worried about making an ass of himself, but thankfully we didn't really have time for that. It happened so fast.
prosodic: (my sweet rose)
Ever since we moved here, I have been searching for good walking trails. Preferably wide trails that are paved, gravel, or planked. Reece and Blitz picked up about half a dozen ticks between them at Flag Ponds. The trails there were too narrow with too much tall grass along the sides. King's Landing here in Huntingtown didn't have much of a trail. American Chestnut Land Trust trails are also too narrow and difficult to navigate with dogs. Dunkirk District Park has some paved jogging paths, but they're not particularly scenic and the main attraction there (for us, anyway) is the dog park. I have only walked the dogs around those paths to cool them down after a game of fetch.

Today, I drove to Chesapeake Beach. Honestly, I don't know what took me so long to drive there. It's about 6 miles away and getting there couldn't be easier. I didn't even need my GPS. Anyway, I thought I'd try the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, which spans 39 miles through 3 counties. Obviously, we aren't ambitious enough to walk the entire thing, but I covered probably 2 miles today with the dogs. Had I gone earlier in the day when it wasn't so close to lunchtime, we would've walked a few more miles.

The trail is a boardwalk where it goes over Fishing Creek (a small channel off of Chesapeake Bay) and it is paved when it's on land. It's also wide and goes through a lot of very nice scenery. I imagine there is good wildlife watching, too, if one happens to be there at the right time. I wasn't, or maybe I was distracted too much by the dogs to notice. All I really saw was a grasshopper on the trail. No turtles, birds, fish, or frogs.

The trail was kind of hard to find. I heard it was near the water park, so I aimed the car in that direction, turned down the road that runs alongside the water park, and found a sign for the trail next to an apartment complex. I parked at the "Tot Lot" - a public playground right next to the apartments. I asked, and I was told I could leave the car there without problems. One of the mothers at the playground told me there was a different parking area I could use specifically for the trail, but I never did find it. All the parking right by the trail entrance was permit only. No matter...where I parked was only a short walk from where the trail started.

Anyway, here are the photos I took during our walk. I love, love, LOVE this trail and I'm so sad I didn't find it sooner. I will be coming here a lot with the dogs. And Lance is looking for good places to jog. This fits the bill nicely.

The beginning of our walk

Fishing Creek from an area called the Forest Canopy

Looking back toward the Chesapeake Beach town center

Where Fishing Creek meets Chesapeake Bay
prosodic: (Waterhouse2)
Here's a picture I took on Sunday of one of the many barns in Calvert County, Maryland. I look forward to snapping many more barn photos, and photos of churches, too. The churches here are old and cool - many of them surrounded by old gravestones.


Dec. 1st, 2011 12:34 pm
prosodic: (Blitz)
All you iPhone folks have had Hipstamatic and Instagram and other cool phone apps for awhile. I've been looking for something similar for my Android phone.


Blitz is a perfect test subject. I have 5 different cameras on this app (inspired by Japanese toy cameras, Lomos, Holgas, Polaroids and Dianas), but each time I take a photo with any of these cameras, it comes out a bit different each time. I'll figure it out eventually. Each of these cameras have various settings, so it seems like I can achieve a different effect with every photo. I can't wait to experiment more with this! I think I can take some pretty amazing landscape pictures during our travels next month.

prosodic: (Default)
Lance is getting my old computer ready to give to his mom, which means he has to wipe the hard drive. Which means I had to get the files that I wanted off of it.

So I'm looking through old pictures.

I found one that I really like...the light in it is pretty amazing, I think. I'm pretty sure that's what I was trying to capture when I took it.

prosodic: (bridge)
From my new camera

I shot this photo of Rich and Kathy's son Beckett. I just love this. They're posting it to their blog, but I just wanted to post it here, because it's too cute.

Lance took this shot...trying to get Reece giving me a hug. But she jumped out of the shot right before the shutter clicked.

So far...when the camera actually takes clear photos, they are gorgeous. Most of them have come out fuzzy. I think this is entirely my fault though, because I'm not used to it yet and I'm still figuring out all the bells and whistles.
prosodic: (Default)

Mmmmm...Beggin' Chews! Tastes like bacon. BACON!!!

Reece finally rips off the paper after a little help from Mommy.

Froggie! I kills it!

prosodic: (Default)

See why I can't pull out of my driveway?

This is the wreath I have on the door. Not so cute now, really.

Boot? What boot? I don't see any boot.

prosodic: (The Missal - Waterhouse)

My view of Mt. Rainier from the Green River Trail last weekend

My mantel - decorated for fall (and I just realized that you can see where Reece left dirty paw prints on the carpet)

prosodic: (home sweet home)

Mom found this scarecrow giving a German welcome.

She also found this duo, which I hung on the front door.

The begonia I bought yesterday with the pot I bought for it. I re-potted it right after I brought it home.

My new pot of mums, plus the two garden stones I bought at the Kent Farmers' Market.

My roses are doing really well right now.

prosodic: (Default)
Lance said that we don't have any good pictures of me and Munchy together, so he took one a few days ago and then I tried to get a few more myself yesterday, with limited success.

The first picture is me pre-haircut and highlights.

I kept trying to get a picture of Reece and I. She kept trying to lick my face as soon as I clicked the shutter.
Thirsty Puppy Thirsty Puppy
Reece drinks the water dripping from my hanging basket.

Reece likes That '70s Show. She would probably like it better from the couch.

My highlights.

Another shot of my highlights.

prosodic: (snowflake)
I just uploaded some photos that have accumulated on my camera over the past 2 months. I posted the final ones from Germany on [ profile] itinerantwriter. Here are the pictures from Christmas Day.


Our tree. We had to get new lights, since the ones we had previously had European plugs. Unfortunately, we bought the lights about 4 days before Christmas, so nearly everyone was sold out, and we had to get white lights, which are MY favorite. Lance prefers colored lights (which we've had on our tree every Christmas since we got married, so hey, I think it's my turn to have the lights I want). He can't be too upset though...these lights could be configured 16 different ways. He wanted to set it to a seizure-inducing blink - something akin to having strobe lights from a disco on your tree - but I insisted on it being a slow, subtle twinkle. Also, we had no tree topper this year, as the bow we used before had seen better days and was tossed out last year after we took down the tree. At Lance's office Christmas party, I won this snowman decoration in a raffle, which just so happened to fit quite nicely on top of the tree. I don't think it's sturdy enough to make it beyond this year though...being packed up and put in storage will almost surely crush it.

I know I mentioned it before, but Lance and I had this thing where we would buy an ornament from every place we traveled together. So our tree is a big souvenir of all our European travels. It's fun to unwrap the older ones and reminisce about our trips to Prague, Paris, Brugge...but it was also fun to hang the newer ones on the tree: the wooden Santa from Estonia, the wooden bell from Finland, the handpainted glass bulb from Neuschwanstein, the commemorative Hans Christian Anderson ornament from Denmark, the faux Faberge egg from Russia...


Here I am holding the 4 Home Depot gift cards we received. We thought it was pretty funny, actually. And of course they will be put to good use.


The entire point of this picture was that it was snowing. I wanted to get a shot of Lance watching the snow. Alas, you cannot see snow in this picture. Damn.


So here we are. Proof that it did indeed snow here on Christmas Day. By the time it was over, we had a light dusting in our backyard. Unfortunately, it didn't stick around long.


Feb. 12th, 2007 02:25 pm
prosodic: (melancholy)
I love it when it rains while the sun is out.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
prosodic: (cool karyn)
I got an unexpected, mysterious package in the mail today. Want to see what was in it?

Let's open up the envelope, shall we? )


prosodic: (Default)

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