Creating Life at the Villa Coro di Rane

This blog is about being in the moment - creating life one instant at a time, whether in the flesh or on paper.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Monday, December 27, is the anniversary of Heather & Dudley's first wedding. Since we were planning to drive Tara and Chris to Pulaski that day to see the house on Frog Level Court, we babysat Sunday night so that H & D could celebrate a day early. Ken was sick, so he sat it out. Tara, Chris, and I had a great time playing games and reading Nicholas' favorite new book, Walter, the Farting Dog. Tara and Nicholas painted their faces, too, with the set Andy gave Nicholas for Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Nicholas and I got together for an afternoon to build a gingerbread house. He helped me add water to the confectioner's sugar to make icing...

and then he beat the mixture. We didn't have time to finish the decorating, so that we'll have to save that for another afternoon. Then we'll get to eat the house!

He demonstrated one of his moves for me before leaving for Tae Kwon Do. He can also count to 10 in Korean! And, of course, he can also do it in Spanish and English.
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Monday, December 20, 2010


Heather, Dudley, and Nicholas came over on Sunday for dinner (pizza!) to see the Christmas lights in Reston Town Center and to check out the skating rink. The third shot below shows them with the tree and the almost-full moon just barely visible in the upper right. Nicholas loved the ice rink and was ready to strap on skates.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010


Saturday morning, December 18, and there's ice on the lake.

The pansies finally gave up the ghost, after hanging in through earlier freezes. The thermometer in the back registers 30 degrees, although in a different spot it showed just 22.

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Friday, December 17, 2010


The first snow came even earlier this year: 2-3 inches on December 17. Last year it came on December 19th, but brought us about 20 inches. 2-3 is definitely better. It was great to watch and enjoy it without worrying about fighting rush hour traffic!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Heather and Dudley had a formal military Christmas party on the 11th. It was hosted by the artillery division and was a traditional celebration of the feast of St. Barbara. Ken and I had a chance to babysit, which we hadn't done since before Thanksgiving. Nicholas hadn't been feeling well that day, so we kept the evening low-key. We took a break from watching the "Metal Monsters" video - who knew I would ever be watching a video about how machines operate at a scrap metal plant! - to take this photo of the boys in their Santa caps.

Heather and Dudley looked splendid in their formal attire. I'm very proud of my beautiful daughter and her handsome officer and gentleman. My other beautiful daughter will be home for Christmas, so I'll be able to post photos of both of them very shortly.
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For those of you who don't know, our family traditionally names inanimate objects that are part of our daily lives. Accordingly, my car, a Toyota Rav4, is named Ravi (short for Ravi Chan's Car, which Andy appropriately dubbed him). Recently, Ravi's alarm system suddenly began going off at random and locking doors at will. When this happened, the engine also wouldn't start. The first several times it happened while I was inside the car, I would just have to press the unlock button on the key fob, and the engine would start. Last week, however, that system didn't work and I had to get a jump. We thought the battery was at fault. I waited to try it again until Ken was here to help. We jumped the car, put the cables back into Ravi, and drove to get the battery checked. Turned out, it was fine.

When we got home, I turned off the engine, opened the door to get out, and it was locked. The engine also wouldn't start and the cables were inside the car! In addition, I had forgotten to bring my cell phone with me. Totally trapped by a Rogue Rav! After about 10 minutes of trying to figure it out, Ken decided to disconnect the battery completely. He waited about 5 minutes - long enough for the car to reset - then reconnected the battery, and --- Open Sesame! The door opened and with great relief, I got out of the car and walked slowly away. We went early next morning to get the system checked out. Turned out to be a very simple fix, and the mechanic told me about a remote start feature on the fob that I hadn't known about, even after 2 years of owning the car. Ravi and I are now back on speaking terms, and I'm having a ball starting the car from the doorway of my house so that it can warm up while I get all my outer gear on. A discovery just in time for the arctic blasts we have been getting.