Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Don and I were reminiscing tonight about how much fun it used to be when the kids dressed up for Trick or Treat. I had as much fun as they did because I loved sewing their costumes. Some years I would make costumes for all three of them.
Here are some pictures from the past. I made Katherine's princess dress. She was a princess for several years. This happened to be the purple princess year.

And here is a picture of Daniel (yes, that is Daniel) and Peter. Daniel was an old lady and Peter was a hippie. Daniel enjoyed dressing up the most. He wasn't afraid to go all out. I think Peter put up with it in order to get the candy.

It's just not the same now. I tried dressing Riley up last year. He was a banana. He let me know in no uncertain terms that he likes eating bananas much more than dressing up as one.

I guess I'll have to wait until I have grandchildren.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Living in the same town with another person who has the same name can be dangerous. It can also be expensive if you aren't careful. There is one such woman who lives in Bainbridge. Her name is Marianne Richards, and she is not me.

I first found this out about 15 years ago when I went to the dermatologist to have a wart removed from my foot. When the doctor entered the examination room, she began looking at my nose, asking me how things were healing. Imagine my surprise. I said, I didn't have anything taken off my nose. She looked at me, then looked at the chart. She asked me if my name was Marianne Richards. I said yes. She asked me if I lived on such and such street. I said no. She left the room and came back with a new chart. This is why doctors now ask you your birth date before they attempt to do anything to you.

The next encounter I had with my alias was a phone call from a collection agency. They told me I owed thousands of dollars, and I had been turned over to collections. I was sure I didn't owe any money, and told them they had the wrong number. They asked me if my name was Marianne Richards. I said it was. Then I remembered the other incident. I told them there was another Marianne Richards who lived in my town. I told them to call her. That was the end of that.

This week I had episode number three. I got a call from the Revenue Group at the Cleveland Clinic. That's a fancy name for "collections". They told me I owed them money dating back to 2007. They gave me dates and amounts. I told them I was pretty sure I didn't owe them money because I hadn't gotten a bill. When I looked up the dates of service on my calendar, I saw that I was at a golf outing the one day. Upon checking further (i.e. sitting on the phone for half a day two days in a row), I found out they had me mixed up with none other guessed it.

I've never met the other woman. But I do know two things about her. She had some work done on her nose, and she doesn't pay her bills!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cozy Cave or Jail Cell?

I guess I'll never know if Riley really likes his crate. It's a small crate--just big enough for him to stand up and turn around in. He doesn't go in his crate during the day any more unless someone is running the vacuum cleaner or playing corn hole on the deck. However, he sleeps in his cozy cave every night.

 Dog experts say that crate training a dog is a very good thing to do. Your life is made much easier if your dog is comfortable in a small space. After having an extremely claustrophobic dog (Stoli) who felt penned up just by being in the house, I was all for it. No matter what the experts say, though, I still feel like I'm ushering him into a cell at the end of the day.

Riley will obey any dreadful command for a morsel of food, so getting him into his crate is a breeze. It seems almost criminal to offer him a third of a puppy biscuit in exchange for hours of cooped-updom.

He doesn't complain once he's in there, but he sure knows when it's 6:30 a.m. Just like a rooster, he lets out a very loud yowl that makes you think someone is stabbing him with a knife. I never have to worry about oversleeping. On the occasional night when I really need to sleep in the next morning, Riley is allowed the luxury of snoozing in our bedroom.

You would think he'd love being sprawled out on the carpet, but he chooses to sleep under the bench at the foot of the bed. The bench is only a little larger than his crate, but there is a roof over his head. He is very content to stay there all night long. And he doesn't get up until we do. So I'm wondering: does he really still need to sleep in his crate?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apple Picking Team

Photo by Cherrie
Here I go stealing pictures from Facebook again. (Sorry Cherrie)...I know you are probably reading this. I'll give you credit for the picture.
Daniel and Lily went apple picking when they were home on fall break. This picture was so cute, I had to steal it. You can't go to jail for stealing pictures from Facebook, can you?

I know Cherrie won't report me because she is Lily's mom. She makes the best Chicken Pot Pie (according to Daniel). I'm trying to get the recipe because it is one of two dishes Daniel wants to learn to make before he is forced to cook next year. Cherrie is a good cook --she doesn't use recipes. I'm hoping she will write down the steps next time she makes it because I am a bad cook. I need recipes (with details).

We are still eating the apples that Daniel and Lily picked. They are so much better than the grocery store variety. They are fresh and crisp, and they were picked with love.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Healthy and Yummy

I do love muffins with my tea. When I found this recipe about a year ago, it looked reasonably healthy. I've made them several times. They are yummy and they freeze well.

Bran Muffins with Pineapple

1 cup raisins
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. course salt
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12 cup muffin pans with 18 paper liners. Soak raisins in 1 cup hot water until soft (10 min); drain raisins. In medium bowl, combine bran, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, brown sugar, molasses, butter, egg and raisins. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in pineapple. Divide batter evenly among muffin liners. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes, rotating pans half-way through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Girl Scout at Heart

What I loved most about Girl Scouts was earning badges. I loved checking off the steps needed to complete the award and the satisfaction that came with sewing another badge onto my Girl Scout sash.

When I came across the book, You Can Do It! by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, I was intrigued. I quickly added it to my collection. It is a "Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls". The book was published in 2005 after the author died on United Airlines Flight 93. She was flying home from her grandmother's funeral when terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001. Lauren's sisters finished the book for her and had it published.

I love this book because it is just like my Girl Scout Handbook. It lists the badges you can earn along with the steps to earning them. When you complete the badge requirements, there is a sticker in the back of the book that can be affixed to the pages of the accompanying You Can Do It Workbook.  There are 60 badges to earn in the book plus a couple of extra credit and make your own badges. Here are a few of my favorites:

No. 13 Be an author (writing)
No. 15 Take a (really good) picture (photography)
No. 18 Redo a room (decorating)
No. 20 Sew fabulous (sewing)
No. 27 Get well-read (book lover)
No. 28 Dine in (cooking)
No. 41 Eat it (nutrition)
No. 51 Organize it (organizing)
No. 58 Make love last (strengthening your relationship)

I had put this book aside for such a time as this (when I had more time on my hands). So now is the time to get going on my badges. My first badge is going to be No. 20 Sew Fabulous. The project is a surprise gift for a member of my family. Shhhh.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Katherine's 22nd Birthday

Katherine came home for her Fall Break this weekend, so we celebrated her birthday a little early. One of the things Katherine loves is a good restaurant (with especially good bread). Don wanted to go somewhere downtown on 4th Street, so I did a little research and found Pickwick and Frolic restaurant which is connected to Hilarities comedy club. I found out that Pickwick and Frolic was named after Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers which were published in serial form after he died.

We were not disappointed with our dinner. The food was wonderful. Katherine especially enjoyed the appetizer of Hearth Oven Fried Breads & Spreads. This was followed by a Margherita Pizza. She definitely had her fill of bread for the day. Peter and I had salads while Don enjoyed a juicy steak.

I lugged my camera all the way there, so I had Don take a picture of me with Katherine. Then I took one of Don and Katherine. Peter didn't want to be in the picture.
 Happy Birthday, Katherine, our beautiful daughter! We love you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Potty Peeves

I would rather let my bladder explode than use a port-a-potty. Of all the public restrooms, port-a-potties are the worst. I'm not a fan of regular public restrooms either, but I will use them in an  pinch.

Rules for using public restrooms:

1. Always use the first stall. According to research, it is the least used.

2. Carry your own toilet paper. The toilet paper in there gets lots of splashes from the flushes.

3. Never put your purse on the floor!!!

4. Carry your own toilet seat cleaning kit. (This hasn't been invented yet, but I might be the one to do it.)

5. Get out of the way when you flush, or close the lid before you do it.

6. Use a paper towel to open the bathroom door when you leave (after you've washed your hands). Drop the paper towel on the floor by the door if the restroom does not have a garbage can right there. They will eventually put one there if paper towels keep piling up.

What irks me most in public restrooms is automatic flushing toilets. They flush whenever they feel like it, and the water shoots 3 feet in the air. It is difficult to get out of the way. The flush also leaves water particles all over the toilet seat for the next person. Oh, the germs!

My worst public restroom experience was in Paris during the summer of 1990. I was six months pregnant with Daniel. Being pregnant exponentially increases the number of times one needs to use the potty. Don and I were casually enjoying lunch at the sidewalk cafe when I needed to go. I left the table and made my way to the ladies room. I knew enough French to go in the correct door. Once I was in, I thought I had made a mistake. Upon entering the stall, all I found was a hole in the floor. I literally stood there with my mouth wide open not knowing what to do. After about two minutes, I left the ladies room, returned to the table, and told Don I still had to go. After leaving the French cafe in a hurry, we found a Burger King with a normal bathroom. We picked up a map of all the Burger Kings in Paris. From that point on, we timed and planned our touring excursions so that we'd end up at a Burger King when I was likely to need a potty break.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Money Jar

Here's proof that saving your pennies adds up. We have a coin bank in the kitchen where all of us deposit our extra change. Some of us put more in than others. We have filled the jar twice. Last Thanksgiving, when the jar was full, we split the cash five ways. Everyone was happy. I marked the date on the bottom of the jar when we started over so I would know how long it took to fill it. The date was November 24, 2009. It took about 11 months to get the jar full.

This particular jar also adds the money for you as you put it in. This way, you always know how much cash has been collected. We can't fit another coin inside the jar, and the total says we have almost $150.00.

The jar will sit there until the whole family is home for Thanksgiving. Then we will take a vote to see how the money will be used. One person wants to buy a new printer. Another one wants to give it to someone who really needs $150. Another person thinks we should have a drawing - winner takes all.
I guess I'll just have to wait. In the meantime, save those pennies (nickels, dimes, and quarters too). They do add up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Literary Cooking Class was last night at Loretta Paganini's School of Cooking. This time Loretta's daughter, Stephanie was the instructor. Stephanie demonstrated how to make Tomato Bisque Soup, Roast Beef Sandwiches on Sour Dough Bread, Sweet Potato Chips and Lemon Cake with Chocolate Frosting. We all ate what she made. It was great. We didn't even have to get our hands dirty.
The point of the class was to read the book, discuss it, and then eat food that had some sort of tie-in with the book. I went to the class with my sister-in-law, Pam, and Don's cousin, Carol. We love hanging out together, especially when it involves food.

When we went around the room to introduce ourselves, each person had to say if they liked the book or did not like the book. Ninety percent of the people did not like the book. So if you haven't read it yet, DON'T! Like the title, the book was very strange. The main character, Rose, and her brother, Joseph, had magical powers they were born with. When Rose tasted food, she could tell how the person who prepared the food was feeling. Joseph could mold himself into furniture and disappear. Now you see why no one liked the book.

Fortunately, the food was great...especially the lemon cake! I think I'll choose my own books from now on.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Walking and Talking

Once a week, I meet my friend Becky at a park and we walk almost 2 miles. Two miles goes by pretty fast when you are talking to a friend. I think I could walk ten miles easily if I just had someone to talk to the whole time.

Of course, I bring Riley. You'd think he'd be thrilled to go, but as I mentioned before, he doesn't like riding in the car. I have to sneak up on him and capture him to get him in the car. He loves the walk, just not the "getting there" part. Riley is a very nice walking companion, but when I talk to him, he doesn't talk back. He also walks a bit faster than I want to go.

Becky and I had been talking about bringing a camera one of these days to capture the pretty stillness of the morning. I finally remembered to bring mine today. It was cloudy and about to rain, but the fall colors were in full bloom, and the lake was very still and glass-like. There is usually a fisherman in a boat on the lake, and this morning was no exception.

Becky and I are in no condition to get our picture taken first thing in the morning. We both just roll out of bed and go. That's how you know the person is a true friend. You can get together without taking a shower or combing your hair. Not to mention without brushing your teeth or putting make-up on. Well, I do brush my teeth most of the time.

So here's a picture of us when we look half-way decent. Becky is my friend and former co-worker at the library. She is still there, and she's still mad at me for leaving :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Was Noah Thinking?

Genesis 7 says:  The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven [a] of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."

Noah did what God told him. That's why we have pesky mosquitoes and pesky flies. They must have been part of the unclean animal group.

Why am I thinking about this? I was working on the addendum to our will. It is a section where I can specify who gets what out of my personal belongings upon my demise. The paper was sitting out on the counter, and Daniel saw it. He's the kind of person who notices these things.

So later in the day, he said, "Mom, when you die, there's only one thing I want."
"Really?" I asked, "and what might that be?" I was thinking he'd want the Beaver Creek condo.
He said, "I just want that fly swatter cover you have hanging in the laundry room."
I about fell off my chair. I have had that thing for 24 years. Don's mom gave it to me. I guess Daniel gets the biggest kick out of it. I told him I'd write that down in the will. He's so easy to please.

Something tells me Katherine's going to want the diamonds.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So I sat in the house
All this cold, cold, wet day.

Well, I could have sat on the couch this whole day. It was one of those days. It was dreary and rainy, and I didn't feel so well. But instead of moping around, I tried to think about what I was thankful for.

A Few Simple Things I Was Thankful for Today

33 Chilean miners are celebrating light and life.
Rain watered my plants so I didn't have to drag 3 wagon loads of water to the end of my driveway.
Dolores cleaned my house.
My friend Leslie was able to walk to the corner and back.
Daniel is coming home for his fall break.
I ate Chipotle for lunch.
Someone read my blog.
Michele cut my hair.
I drank Chamomile tea.
A prayer was answered.
Dr. Suess had such a way with words.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

College Dollars at Work

Facebook is great for keeping up with my hard-working college children. We can say hello and comment on each other's pages. Once in awhile I'll see what they are up to in photos. Usually they are tagged in someone else's photo album, so they are unaware that their picture is floating around until it is too late.

I saw one such picture today. It was of Daniel out having a good time. If I didn't know that he was usually otherwise studying his little tushy off, I'd be concerned. But I know he is a very hard worker and he just needed to blow off a little steam.

Here he is zooming around a go-cart track, not looking where he is going. I hope he doesn't drive his car in the same fashion. I am glad to see he has protective eye glasses on, but where is the helmet???? This looks more dangerous than snowboarding.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fearless Bread

I've mentioned before that I have a fear of dough. Never have I been able to make a nice dough until today. My first nice, round, soft and squishy as a baby's behind mound of dough was produced at Loretta Paganini's School of Cooking. I took her class called "Fearless Bread". This class was for all dough-fearing people like myself. I was so surprised to run into my good friend Celeste at the class. She doesn't have a fear of dough, but she just wanted to have some fun. Or maybe she needed to get some frustrations out.

Here are a couple of my creations from the day. Don't mind the chunk missing on the left-hand side of the braided bread. I just had to try a piece.

I will share the secrets I learned today with you. The first secret I learned is that the recipes they hand out at these classes are missing quite a few details. If I hadn't been writing like a fiend, I would still be afraid of dough.


1.  Keep your kitchen warm. If it is summer, turn off your air conditioner. If it is winter, put a big pot of soup on the stove.
2.  Use dry, fresh yeast. Do not use the yeast that comes in those three-packs you find in the grocery store. Sam's club has some nice fresh yeast.
3.  There are three steps to making the dough. a) proof the yeast  b) make a starter (or sponge)  c) make the dough.
4.  Use bread flour with a high protein content. King Arthur, Fowler's Mill and a flour made in Manatoba, Canada are good choices.
5.  You cannot knead too much. You will die before you do.
6.  The water when proofing the yeast should be between 95 and 110 degrees.  120 degrees will kill the yeast.
7.  When kneading, push out, not down toward the work surface.
8.  Yeast has an easier time rising in a ceramic or glass bowl. Don't use plastic or metal.
9.  Never cut your bread immediately after it comes out of the oven. It is still cooking and must sit at least 20 minutes before serving.


Proof Yeast:  Pour 1 cup warm water in a bowl. Add 1 t. dry yeast and 1 t. sugar. Stir and make sure you see bubbles. If you don't see bubbles, something is wrong.

Make the Starter or Sponge: Add 1 1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture. Stir it up. Add a little more flour if needed. It should look kind of spongy. Cover and let this rest for 10 minutes. If you don't use the starter right away, cover and put in fridge or it will outgrow your kitchen.

Make the Dough: Pour 2 c. flour onto a work surface. Make a large well in the center and a small well off to the side. In the small well, put 1 t. salt. In the large well, pour the starter. Pour 1 T. olive oil over the starter. Incorporate the flour with the starter and salt using a dough scraper. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Place the ball in a warm, oiled ceramic bowl. Cover and place in a warm spot (microwave oven is good) until it is doubled in size. Punch it down. Allow to rise again. Punch dough down again and divide in two. Form into two free form loaves. Allow dough to double in bulk. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place dough on cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

There you have it. Not scary at all. Happy baking.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Liver & Onions

Celebrating Donna's 85th Birthday!
Don can attest to the fact that I am not very good at making liver and onions. When we first got married, I tried to make it for him because he said it was a dish he liked as a kid. I couldn't imagine why anyone would like such a thing. But I made it, and it turned out absolutely awful. I didn't try it again.

Apparently not too many people make liver and onions any more. Once a standard dish, it has all but disappeared from restaurant menus. Once a year, however, a restaurant in Concord called John Palmer's has liver and onions on the menu. It is by special request for my mother-in-law, Donna.

Don's brother, Dave, and his wife Pam are regular patrons at John Palmer's, so the chef was happy to prepare the dish again last night for Donna's 85th birthday. She might have been the only one in the restaurant having liver and onions last night, but she enjoyed it thoroughly. She doesn't usually eat much, but we practically had to roll her out of her chair last night.

Don had his chance to eat liver and onions. I'm sure the chef would have prepared an extra portion for him. He must not have been in the mood, because he ordered the wild boar instead.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Joy of Cleaning and Organizing

I walked into Peter's room yesterday morning to get the sheets from his bed. That's all I was going to do. All of the sudden I was bit by the cleaning and organizing bug. I went into a frenzy, and didn't stop until 2:30 in the afternoon.

It truly brings me joy to clean and organize. I love to sort through things and get rid of the non-essential items. This is tricky when doing it for another person. I didn't get rid of anything Peter owned unless it was clearly trash. I made a pile in another room for him to go through and let me know what he wanted to keep and what he didn't want anymore.

Mostly, I sorted and grouped. I put all his golf books together and all his golf balls together. Because of the librarian in me, I organized his books into fiction and non-fiction. I didn't go so far as to put them in alphabetical order by author. At least not in a teenage boy's room.

I left his bulletin board intact, but I replaced a bulky coat rack behind his door with a strip of wood with hooks I found at Target. I replaced the photo of him from when he was four years old with some current pictures.

It was fun. I know it won't stay this way for long, but it gave me great satisfaction. Anyone out there need someone to come over and clean and organize?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Same Old Song

For the past 13 years I have been waking up to songs on The Big Chill soundtrack. I'm surprised the CD hasn't permanently melted into my alarm clock CD player.

Right now, the alarm is programmed to wake me up to song number 3: "It's The Same Old Song" by The Four Tops. I usually don't get past "You're sweet as a honeybee" before I turn it off. If I hit the snooze button, it goes on to say, "but like a honeybee stings, you've gone and left my heart in pain". And if I'm really tired that morning, I'll hit the snooze again to wake up to "all you left is our favorite song, the one we used to dance to all night long".

This CD has some great songs on it. "Wouldn't it be Nice" by the Beach Boys, "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge, and "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye are some of them.

According to an article I read recently about keeping your brain from turning to mush, one of the things you should do is wake up to different sounds in the morning. If you hear the same old buzz or the same old song every day, your mind gets used to it.

So to challenge my brain, I'm going to switch to song number 1: "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It will exercise my brain before I even get out of bed. I am sure Don will appreciate the stimulation as well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Which Button Do I Press?

I've never been much of a TV watcher. Even when I was a kid, I'd rather be doing something else like sewing, reading, or riding my bike. The only reason I turn on the TV now is to watch some of the cooking shows on Food Network. They soothe and relax me. And when I watch them, I do it on the tiny little TV in our guest room. I like that TV because it only has one remote control, and there aren't any contraptions hooked up to it. Basically, I know how to turn it on and off.

Last week, I got in the mood to watch a Jazzercise DVD that Don got me last Christmas. It is still in the wrapping. Well, I was going to do more than just watch it. I was going to exercise along with the Jazzercise class. The problem was, I didn't know how to operate the DVD player. There were four remote controls in our family room, and I didn't know which one to press. I know this is pathetic, but it is true. I kind of knew how to do it once a few years ago, but I forgot.

I was waiting for an opportune time to ask either Don or Peter to show me how to do it. On Saturday, Peter got dressed for homecoming about an hour early, and he was walking around the house with nothing to occupy his time. "Aha!" I said. "How about showing me how to operate the DVD player so I can watch my Jazzercise DVD."

He rolled his eyes. I know what he was thinking:  how could anyone be so pea-brained. Nevertheless, he proceeded to show me. I wrote down the instructions so I wouldn't forget.

1. Turn the power on the DVD player.
2. On the top of the TV, press the second button from the right (the circular button) until "Input 1" is highlighted.
3. Put the DVD into the player.
4. Push play using the remote control that says "Samsung".

Life is so complicated sometimes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

100th Blog Post

Today is a day to celebrate. This is my 100th blog post. At the beginning of the summer, I decided to start a general blog to document things going on in my world. It was really an effort to get myself writing. I was inspired by a fellow blogger named Debbie whose blog always made me smile, if not laugh. Her recipes are the best! You can check out her blog called "Stop Her She's Knitting" at

I named my blog "Life With Riley" because my dog, Riley, is always next to me, no matter what I'm doing. I love having his company.

I wanted to print my blog posts, but when I tried, it didn't come out in a formatted fashion. Thankfully I discovered a website that will create PDF files of my blog for me for a reasonable price. If you want to check it out, go to

I highly recommend creating a blog. It is so, so easy to do. If you want to write or you just want to keep a journal, it is a great motivator. Thanks to all of my blog readers. It helps to know you are out there reading what I write. If I didn't have you, it would be more difficult to keep at it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Peter went to Homecoming tonight. He looked extremely handsome in his suit and tie. Anna chose a very nice boutonniere.

We went to one of the girls' houses for pictures. Unfortunately, it was raining, so we had to take most of the photos inside. It was wall-to-wall people.

The lighting was good because they had huge windows in their family room.  I managed to take a few nice outdoor shots on the front porch.

Peter and Anna

Peter, Daniel and William
Golf Teammates

Friday, October 1, 2010


When Don was a little boy, his mom had a silhouette portrait done of him. She gave it to him a couple of years ago, so I put it in a frame and set it on a dresser in our bedroom.
Last night, Don returned from a trip to Tokyo. The trip was mostly for business, but the Japanese hosts planned a couple of cultural events for the group. Don arrived later than most of the team, so he missed the Sumo wrestling demonstration.

One other night, however, the group was treated to a river boat ride. For after dinner entertainment on the boat, a local paper cutter used just paper and scissors to cut objects that the audience called out. Don brought back a picture of a Panda and a silhouette of himself.

The silhouette seems pretty accurate, although it does make him look a lot younger! I guess if you want to remove all wrinkles and skin flaws, this is the way to go. Not that Don has any of those.