Friday, December 11, 2009

The calendar has arrived!

A nudie calendar arrived in yesterday's mail. It's one of those fund-raising projects, this time featuring men who live and work in York, Maine.

I won this calendar from Eva of Wrestling With Retirement, in her first-ever giveaway. This link will take you to her post that tells you about it and how to order one for yourself. Meanwhile, eat your heart out.

Christmas favorites, part 2

Shortly before she died almost 30 years ago (and I still miss her) my mother embroidered ornaments for me and my siblings. I have about a dozen including this poinsettia, two Christmas trees, a star, an angel, a wreath, and others. Of course I carefully distribute them around the tree, interspersed with other handmade ornaments--things I made as a kid, things Peter and Abby made, and quite a few Santas needlepointed by Peter's mother, who died last March.

In this photo from a couple of years ago (our tree will go up next week), we see a beautiful blown-glass orb that was a wedding gift, a clever Santa suit that we bought on a trip, a dainty bird-in-a-nest that is sort of outdoorsy and sort of Victorian, and a regal reindeer.

Both the kids' tree and ours have several reindeer. It seems that every year beginning when Abby was very young, Blitzen has left her a Christmas letter and a gift of a reindeer that he fancies looks like himself. His letters have offered advice and encouragement through all of her life changes, but apparently he also can be a little full of himself, or so I'm told. Anyway, once in a while Peter and I spot a really special, audacious reindeer that we add to our tree as a kind of tribute to good old Blitzen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Memories...on someone else's tree!

Yesterday Connie, of Far Side of Fifty, posted a photo of a nice old ornament she'd found at an antique shop. The ornament featured Schumachers New Prague Hotel--which I recognized at once. It's where Peter and I spent the first night of our honeymoon just over 24 years ago.

That's us in the photo, with my lovely stepdaughter Abby, minutes after we were married in the living room of my best friends. If we look like we're in shock...we were. We met April 15, he asked me to marry him June 14, and we were married September 27. I've taken longer to pick out shoes. We were very practical about the whole thing. Couldn't take time off for a big honeymoon, so we headed for a two-day tour of southern Minnesota. (I went back to work on Monday and was still shaken. My employees threw me a little party and sent me home, where I spent a couple of days practicing the word "h-h-husband.")

In her post about the ornament, Connie provided some background on Schumachers, a historic small hotel with a wonderful restaurant. The restaurant featured Czech and German dishes prepared by the owner and fabulous chef John Schumacher. We had really enjoyed the food, and we went back for lunch or dinner several times before the hotel and restaurant closed in 2005.

But surprise...Connie's post said Schumachers had reopened. A quick Google search confirmed that the restaurant is back in business and the hotel has been remodeled (the twelve fairly small rooms are now six suites). The food will still include some European specialties but it will be lighter, a bit less expensive, and not designed to require a three-hour dining extravaganza--all good things, I'd say. Now that I know, I can't wait to get back there. And with our 25th anniversary coming up this year, we may need to check out the accommodations.

I'm so glad Connie decided to write about that ornament and that I was reading her blog! How about you...have you made a cool discovery while blogging?

P.S. Connie sent us the ornament and it now hangs on our Christmas tree every year! Thanks so much, Connie. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas favorites

Our ornaments are like a blended family...his, hers, and ours. Shortly before I "married them," Peter and Abby had one Christmas where money was tight and they spent time making gifts and ornaments. (She told him it was the best Christmas ever, because of the time they spent together.) This lace-ribbon star is one of their projects, and it's always in a place of honor on the tree. (Warning to Abby: spoiler ahead.) We can't remember who originally owned the little set of cooking utensils shown in this picture, but given Augie's and Abby's interest in baking, I have a hunch it will migrate to their tree soon.

Snow on the briar patch

I love this image in its vertical format, so I'm posting it. But would it surprise you to know there is an Augie-related story? Of course not.

He loves some of the old Golden Books, including Little Cottontail. Mother rabbit is preparing her baby to survive outside the nest. The final lesson involves learning to escape the fox by running in circles, stopping short and hopping to the side, and staying perfectly still while the fox runs straight into the briar patch.

These barberry shrubs have thorns, so Pa started calling them the briar patch. Augie learned that when the ball goes in there, you can't just reach in and grab it--you'll get a paw full of thorns just like the fox!

Always teaching, learning, making connections, helping little brains develop new synapses.


Related Posts with Thumbnails