Today, my extended family will gather to celebrate one last Thanksgiving around the big table in my childhood home. (Mom and her hubs are moving to a retirement facility in January.) It's a bittersweet day, especially since my son stayed in Brooklyn in lieu of a 10-day visit over Christmas. Life is a trade-off. To overcompensate, as I am wont to do, I am cooking up a small storm. The pre-brined Trader Joe's turkey will go in at noon "stuffed" with fresh sage, thyme and a cup of white wine if I can figure out how to get it in there.
Monday, November 17, 2014
|Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art|
|A candid borrowed from TripAdvisor.|
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I realized I need to accelerate the distribution of my stuff if I'm going to have enough space to accommodate Mom's stuff at the end of the year. I hadn't planned to take much of her stuff but, darn it, I'm doing it for the kids. It's possible they might want some of her stuff - or my stuff - someday. My attic is full and, since we have no basement and a storage unit is out of the question according to the hubs, I'm in full-out, blinders-on purge mode. Some of the things I'm getting rid of are unusual, if not downright strange...
Saturday, November 8, 2014
I spent an afternoon last week with Mom, expunging one of the many closets in my childhood home. The move to her new apartment is getting closer (2nd week in January) and a sense of urgency is setting in to get things distributed before the holidays. I left with two boxes of stuff for Goodwill and a box of "keepers," such as art pottery, copper pieces and an album of my baby pictures.
As the first-born, there are a LOT of pictures of me, much to the dismay of my baby sister, Number 5. (Photos of her as a child are almost non-existent, poor thing.) When I was an infant, my dad was stationed at an Air Force base in Sacramento. My mom had a camera and a LOT of time on her hands.
I am thrilled to have the pictures, although after I scan and catalog them, I doubt I'll even look at them again...
until I have grandchildren, of course!
|Oh, to have that little bottom again.|
|Babies, both of us.|
|Check out Dad's death grip on my little arm. Classic.|
Sunday, November 2, 2014
|Wine tasting in Missouri offers different scenery than in California. Different grapes, too, which weren't so much to our liking with a few exceptions. Still, a fun and scenic adventure. Great weekend getaway.|
|The view of the Missouri River from Oakglenn Winery. The scenery was the best part about this place. Otherwise, a little too touristy and kitschy.|
|Trying my iPhone's panorama feature|
|This is a popular spot downtown that offers every kind of sausage you can think of...and then some.|
|They give you just enough samples to make you stay for lunch...and take home five 1-pound packages. (Or, we were just exceptionally malleable customers.)|
|The dining room at the Wurst Haus. I can't recommend the German potato salad and red cabbage enough. The real deal.|
|A giant sycamore shades the patio at Hermannhoff Winery.|
|A little sitting niche by the Hermannhoff patio.|
|The wine cellar at Hermannhoff. The wines there were just okay, but there were drier (which, to our palates, means better) California wines next door.|
|Our favorite stop, Bommarito. Not on the official wine trail map, so you have to ask.|
|This is where we actually purchased wine to bring home. Delicious. Award-winning. And, with a female winemaker/sommelier, to boot. Highly recommended.|
|The scenery at Bommarito isn't bad either.|
|This is the Adam Puchta winery. A trolley full of red hat ladies forced us to wander away from the main tasting room. What a stroke of luck! We strayed into the gift shop and found the premium tasting room - excellent samples of port and sherry. We brought home a bottle of to-die-for port which we'll attempt to save for Christmas Eve.|
Saturday, November 1, 2014
We checked into the Alsace Suite at Schiller Guest Suites in Hermann around 3 o'clock yesterday. I took these photos before we messed the place up...
And now, for a little wine and beer tasting, because when in Hermann....
|Huge suite. Living room opens to kitchen. Bedroom beyond.|
|The kitchen with its fabulous old sink. This is a bed-and-do-it-yourself-breakfast.|
|Pull out sofa. Great colors. Fantastic light.|
|Lovely bedroom in the French provincial style.|
|The view from the bed. Fireplace even put out a little bit of heat, which is good since it's 29 degrees as I write.|
|Sampling hard cider at a tasting in The Bank Bar downstairs.|
|There are grapes everywhere in this valley. Even on our windows.|
|Our kitchen table. The owners left a freshly baked Quiche Lorraine, eggs, fruit, yogurt, OJ, cream, muffins and pumpkin bread and, of course, coffee for us to fix ourselves, at our leisure.|