Friday, September 29, 2017

From the Family Photo Box Friday #4


Mum and Dad honeymooned in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and had dinner one night at Casa Carioca at the US Army Leave and Rest Center.  It looks like they are still wearing their wedding clothes so those must have been their dress-up outfits.  Mum's passport is stamped for entry in Germany on 1 April 1956 so I'm thinking they spent their wedding night in Paris and headed off in the morning.  Not sure if they drove or took the train; Paris to Garmisch is about 550 miles.

That's a souvenir photo above and this was the photo folder it came in.

Oh my goodness, the prices!  I'll have the T-bone dinner for $1.50!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Travelling on Thursday - Vic's Birthday Edition

We were supposed to be cruising up the Mississippi River for Vic's 50th birthday but my fruitless search for employment meant that the budget couldn't handle that plan so I decided instead to surprise him with a weekend getaway to the Williamsburg Winery.  A closer venue and one that proved delightful.

A 300 acre farm, known as Wessex Hundred, is home to The Williamsburg Winery. The use of “Hundred” to name a property dates to the Colonial era and describes parcels of land sufficient to support a hundred families regardless of actual acreage.

We drove to the property on Saturday morning and arrived just in time for lunch.  All of the facilities - tavern, winery, and inn - are located within walking distance of each other so we parked the car and walked over to the Gabriel Archer Tavern for lunch.  Vic had a salmon BLT with the house sangria and I had the Smoked Salmon Platter with a mimosa.  Beautifully presented and delicious!


We ambled over to the inn, Wedmore Place, and were delighted to find that our room was ready ahead of the 3:00pm check-in.  We were staying in the Gascony room, with a feel for a Gascon country house created by the four poster bed, the toile de jouy fabric on the wall, the armoire, the tapestry, and the painting of a nobleman above the fireplace.

Included in our stay were tickets to a tour and tasting at the winery so after we settled things in our room, we walked over to the winery and browsed in the wine shop until our tour began.  It was very interesting - the winery has been in the hands of the same family since the 1980s, a family with involvement in both the wine industry and hospitality.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tasting - several whites, a rose, a couple of reds, a spiced wine very popular during the fall/winter hoildays, and a dessert wine, Vin Licoreux de Framboise (Red Wine with Raspberry) which was delicious.  Our firm favorite was a white, 2016 Governor's White.  After a purchase of the Governor's White at the wine shop, we made our way back to the inn.  We had a late dinner reservation at the CafĂ© Provençal, the on-site restaurant, so we had plenty of time for leisure and a nap.

Our dinner was amazing - Summer Greens for Vic and A Taste of Two Cheeses for me as starters.

Feta | Wessex Tomatoes | Cucumber | Preserved Vegetables | Blackberry Vinaigrette

Grilled Sourdough | Sweet & Savory Accompaniments

The main course was unforgettable, incredible, mouth-watering, amazing, I can't think of enough superlatives.

Byrd Mill Grits | Cherry Tomato | Sweet Potato | Lobster Nage | Bacon 

I had to look up nage - it's a poaching liquid.  Oh my goodness, every bite was incredible.  Our dinner came with a bottle of wine so we selected the 2016 Governor's White that we had enjoyed at the tasting.  I've completely forgotten the names of the desserts - mine was a chocolate selection and Vic's was a fruit and custard concoction with cookie crumbles served in a tiny honey pot.

The following morning, we returned to the cafe for continental breakfast and then checked out and headed for home.  Vic said it was the best birthday ever.  We enjoyed our stay so much that we are going back for Thanksgiving.  I had been searching for an inn-type location that served Thanksgiving dinner and found it right here - we can't wait!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #80

A few childhood favorites today - I was an avid reader as a child and growing up in England and around all things English, I loved the delightful stories written by Enid Blyton.  I think I may have covered them here on the blog somewhere but here are my three favorites all in one place.

The adventure stores of Julian, Dick, Anne, George (short for Georgina), and Timmy the Dog.  They rambled all over the countryside and the coast, solving mysteries whilst drinking lashings of ginger beer.  So much fun. 

Malory Towers - the boarding school adventures of Darrell, Sally, and their friends - I so wanted a tuck box and to go to a midnight feast.

Similar to Malory Towers, St. Clare's is also a boarding school set of adventure as we follow twins Pat and Isabel O'Sullivan who loathe St. Clare's in the beginning and then come to love it.

Also a great childhood favorite were the Ladybird books, slim pocket-size books on a variety of topics, great for collectors.

Monday, September 25, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #79 (an early birthday edition on Monday)

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite British actresses, Felicity Kendal.

The 1975 television series, The Good Life, is one of her best known works.  It's the hilarious tale of a suburban couple, Tom and Barbara Good, who give up the rat race in favor of self-sufficiency, much to the chagrin of their snooty but lovable next-door neighbors, Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

Felicity Kendal, Richard Briers, Penelope Keith, and Paul Eddington as Barbara and Tom Good, and Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

A more recent work, Rosemary and Thyme, is another favorite - Pam Ferris as Laura Thyme and Felicity Kendal as Rosemary Boxer are a sleuthing gardening team.

Rosemary and Thyme is available on DVD as is The Good Life although it is a little harder to find.  I highly recommend both.

September Rudolph Day

What's Rudolph Day? Here is the definition according to Organized Christmas:
A few years ago, members of our Christmas community began to observe "Rudolph Day" on the 25th of each month.
On that day, we take a few moments to plan some simple tasks for the month ahead, in order to get ready for Christmas Day with plenty of time to spare. By starting early--and working a bit at a time on each month's Rudolph Day--it's easy to prepare for Christmas, save money on gifts, and cut holiday stress.
Here's the annual line-up with the sub-theme (if there is one) in parentheses:

January - Tie Up Loose Ends (gather ideas and organize your Christmas notebook)
February - Begin a Holiday Letter
March - Birthday Gift-Buying Strategy (party planning for the holiday season)
April - Plan Holiday Crafts
May - Catalog Shopping Tips
June - Recipe Round Up
July - Choose a Holiday Plan (Christmas in July celebration)
August - Craft Control (thinking ahead to Elf on the Shelf)
September - Prepare for Holiday Gifts and Giving
October - Plan Holiday Meals
November - Write Holiday Letter

The bottom line is...prepare for Christmas by doing something every month and make the 25th of each month a Rudolph Day by doing something Christmasy!

I am somewhat unprepared for Rudolph Day this month again!  However, I'm going to make an effort and since this month's theme is a fairly easy one, I should get something accomplished.  I have all of Sophia's gifts ready (except for the bed frame which will be shipped directly to her).  Now that we are not going to Washington in December (she finally got confirmation that she is short some credits and so will not graduate until March), I will need to mail her gifts.  Ugh, if I had known that, I would have had them mailed directly and saved the shipping $$$.  Never mind, I'll make up a nice package and have it all ready to mail.  My problem person in the gift arena is  Vic - I need to figure out what to get him and that's going to be no small task.

My planner still needs some serious attention and I still need to be thinking ahead to Elf on the Shelf.  Our elf, Edward, brought gift cards last year which were hugely popular - I wasn't sure how to top that but I think I've come up with an idea.

This month's movie is You've Got Mail - can you believe I've never seen it?

Have a great Rudolph Day!

Happy Homemaker Monday 9/25/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

Temperatures are coming down into the 70s except for Wednesday and Thursday when they push up to 80 degrees.  Enough already, it's officially fall!

On my reading pile:::
Finished the second book in the Home Fires e-series, Keep the Home Fires Burning: A Woman's Work so I need to find something new.

On my TV:::
Outlander, Season 3, on STARZ
Cadfael on BritBox
Doc Martin, Season 8, on Acorn

On the menu for this week:::

Salmon, shrimp, tilapia, pork chops - picked up at Costco on Friday - haven't gotten around to making menus yet.

On my to-do list:::
  • Lunch Bunch goes Korean this week

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
No change from last week - Disney Album all laid out - journaling is next.  Ordered all the supplies to make cards for the Magical Holiday Home Forums exchange and my Sisterchicks.

Looking around the house:::
Laundry, sticking to the daily housekeeping plan.

From the camera:::

My favorite picture of the two of us from our weekend getaway at the Williamsburg Winery - what a fun time we had!

Something fun to share:::

My lunch at The Gabriel Archer Tavern at Williamsburg Winery - Smoked Salmon Platter - I love the slate plate.

We had such a fabulous weekend - lunch at the Tavern, checked into our gorgeous room and then headed out to the Winery for the tour and tasting.  Back to the room for an afternoon nap and a delicious dinner at Cafe Provencal - the whole weekend was just amazing.  Vic said it was his best birthday ever.

What I'm wearing today:::
A summer dress - I'm heading out to Costco because I forgot a couple of things and then to the Exchange to pick up our dry cleaning.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome Autumn

It's a bit of a photo-heavy post but I thought I'd share my fall decorations.

Harvest Blessings welcome you at our front door and there are wrought iron pumpkins framing deliciously-scented fall candles on the hall tree.

These two hang from the doorknobs on the corner curio cabinets.

 Welcome Fall flags hang below baskets on either side of this plate rack sitting on a fall runner and surrounded by pumpkins, autumn leaves, and more candles.

Wrought iron and more candles on the coffee table - the house smells amazing!

A cornucopia bursting with fall foliage and there's more pumpkins and gourds in the basket on the shelf below.

Frosted fall fruit in the fruit bowl.

Crocheted fall doilies, made by Madame Cecile, the 90 year-old grandmother of one of the French officers who was stationed in this area a few years ago - I was gifted with a big stack of doilies in various colors.

Fall liners for my Longaberger baskets.

We used to feature this ghost in Sophia's annual Halloween photo to show how much she'd grown.

Scarecrow and pumpkin corner decor.

Snoopy - he has a switch that sets him moving across the floor - MudLynn was not too sure about the whole thing!

For those of you who have our email address, here we are as we3ghosts.

And finally, my tree -  Vic brought the larger one in from storage so I had to go out and buy the supplies to make more decorations to fill in the gaps.  I bought a long garland of leaves and pulled the leaves apart, hot-gluing them in clusters to a fall vegetable that I stabbed with a piece of floral wire.  All I need now is a fall tree skirt.