Saturday, July 30, 2016

What I'm Reading

This is one in a series with the occurring character of Alex Delaware who is the street-smart psychologist.  Here's what Amazon says:

Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware meets beautiful and emotionally fragile TV actress Zelda Chase when called upon to evaluate her five-year-old son, Ovid. Years later, Alex is unexpectedly reunited with Zelda when she is involuntarily committed after a bizarre psychotic episode. Shortly after Zelda’s release, an already sad situation turns tragic when she is discovered dead on the grounds of a palatial Bel Air estate. Having experienced more than enough of L.A.’s dark side to recognize the scent of evil, Alex turns to his friend LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis for help in finding out who ended Zelda’s broken life.

me again: And I'm up to the point where they've found her body. Don't know what happened to her son.

Dinner Envy

Michelle and Tom are visiting Mary and Meredith and Dave (Michelle's daughter and s-i-l) are also in the US (from South Africa) which, of course, called for a festive dinner which I am sorry I missed. Michelle made crab cakes, which is probably a tie with her chicken fried steak.)

Here's the photographic evidence:

Ready for frying.

Let's see: rolls, salad, corn on the cob...yum yum

Meredith and Dave as happy eaters -- oh, beer too, I see. Those may be popovers which makes my dinner envy soar.

I think this is a close up on the salad which looks as if it has strawberries in it.

Milo sleeps in...

... and Mary makes the bed around him. Wish someone would do that for me some mornings.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Trip to Vermont

Just got back from a trip to Vermont for a wedding -- more on that in a bit. I'd been to Vermont, but not for years, and the destination was Woodstock, which is sort of a picture postcard resort town, full of B&Bs which made me think of the old Bob Newhart show.Wasn't their B&B in Vermont? It was lovely, but I don't think I could ever live there. What do people do? I didn't even see a movie theater. Hiking, I guess. Reading, I guess. Doing nothing, I guess, which is an admirable passtime, but you kinda want to do something.

And yes, there are really covered bridges:

When I first decided to go to the wedding, I looked on line and the town has mostly (almost entirely) B&Bs that cost $250 to $300 a night. I am not a B&B fan as I think it's the worst of both worlds. You're like a houseguest who has to pay. Then, of course, I imagined these old Victorian homes and be told my room was on the third floor. And I really didn't want to pay that much a night. So I found this place -- Sleep Woodstock -- which is a 1950s style motel which was totally renovated. It had 10 rooms, and jut like an old motel, you parked right at your room door which I appreciate.

My room was small, but totally spotless... had a refrigerator, microwave, Keurig coffeemaker with pods, really big screen tv, king size bed with down comforter in an immaculate white duvet cover, desk, totally renovated bathroom --- all spotless. And it was $75 a night.

As I said, this is a resort town, complete with the main street with precious little stores. I no longer have the patience for these things, but people swarm to them.

And now for the wedding. It was Karen, daughter of Mac & Stancie and I made the trip since all her life Karen and her sister called me Aunt Pat. I really am happy I went to see it. The wedding was held at a country club, with the wedding outside, way in the middle of the golf course in an isolated area... took all the guests there by golf cart which was good, but it was blazing hot, full sun, even though the ceremony started at 5. Stancie told me that on Wednesday, they were all wearing sweaters.
The ceremony was very short, probably 20 minutes tops, performed by a woman justic of the peace who I felt struck a great combination of solemnity and light heartedness. For example, at the end, she wished the couple;s home have "the warmth of a summer day" but then added, "well, maybe not as warm as today." This is Mac walking Karen down the aisle. I later said to Stancie that Karen looked like a little girl to me walking with her father and she agreed.

I know these aren't great photos, but here is the couple leaving the ceremony... Karen's dress was beautiful and the back looked like it was open, but it was flesh-colored netting and she really is a beautiful bride.

And this is me with Karen the bride and her sister Martha. It was so good to see them.

After the ceremony, there was an inside cocktail reception, followed by a family style dinner rather than a plated dinner or a buffet which I really liked. She had cesar salad to start, followed by salmon and beef tenderloin, this very interesting cold potato salad made with cucumbers and jalapeno, and then broccoli. Karen did not want a traditional wedding cake, so dessert was strawberry shortcake.

I left the following morning, but Karen was leading the wedding guests up a mountain... uh yeah, I'll pass. A friend mentioned maybe I could get a sherpa and I said it would take more than a sherpa to get my butt up that mountain... I asked Karen if it were as bad as she described in the email invite and she said, it's pretty steep... and takes about 40 minutes so I hope they made it. I thought of them as I got in my car to leave at 8:45 am and it was already 90 degrees. The hike started at 10.

Oh well, hope the view was worth it as Karen promised. It is beatufiul country... oh and I did see a sign (a serious road sign) that siad "Watch for Moose" but I didn't see one.

One last thought: in the "for better or for worse" part of the wedding vows, the JP said "when life is easy and when life is hard" and that part made me tear up as life can get hard sometimes... anyway, it was a beautiful weddding for a beautiful girl.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Michelle is now in Iceland

She says:
Very, very expensive place to vacation; but, it's beautiful from it's stark, lava covered grounds to lush green mountains and fields. We were headed to lunch when Tom got this shot of a geyser.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Last Leg of the Cruise

Michelle says:

This was taken before 6 AM as we were headed into Stockholm.  It's another nice place to hide out!
Pat says: Depending on the outcome of the election, maybe this is where we move...

Friday, July 15, 2016

And now in Finland...

Michelle says:

We visited a neat little village close to Helsinki called Porvoo. Unfortunately, the rain had dampened the spirits until we found a chocolate shop. We got to try it all.

Michelle also mentioned how she has to be quite careful not to trip on the cobblestone streets:

St. Petersburg

Michelle says:

St Petersburg is one of the loveliest cities. Everything used to be a palace and there is so much history to try to absorb.Two days is not enough time. There are five large buildings to the Hermitage including one of Peter's summer or winter palaces. Of everything we visited the Hermitage was the busiest which meant it was difficult to get up close to some of the artwork. Here's an outside shot.

This is the prettiest of the Russian Orthodox churches in the city. It is the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood. It is where Alexander 2 is entombed. I'm sending a photo of the interior which is absolutely beautiful.
All four walls with mosaics:

Peter's crowning achievement fashioned after Versailles. One picture is a close up and the other Tom took outside the gate to show how expansive it is.

There are the upper gardens and the lower gardens at the Palace. Here is a photo of the lower gardens with the fountains. With all the walking I did over the last two days, I would think that I should have lost some weight. Nope.

Michelle's Russian Lunch

Michelle says: Between Catherine's Palace and the Hermitage, we ate at this restaurant for lunch. We had a creamy bowl of mushroom soup, some Russian salads, a mighty fine veggie borscht, stuffed cabbage, and a crepe with a Russian berry and cream sauce with ice cream. Another reason, we need to get home to diet.

Teddy Is Just Waking Up

Milo Relaxing

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Michelle Now in Russia

She calls this photo "Catherine's Place" by which I believe she means Catherine the Great.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Barb has the cuteness market cornered

Between baby Teddy and her grandchildren, Barb is surrounded by cute... here she says Sofie and Ezra are watching Morning Joe... they have developed an early interest in politics, evidently. No cartoons for them!

Monday, July 11, 2016

More from Denmark

First: Alborg. Michelle says:

Although it has only 250000+ residents, Alborg is the 4th largest city in Denmark. It's a lovely little town; but, it's an expensive community to live.

And from Copenhagen, Michelle says:
What do you see when you think of Copenhagen? The Little Mermaid statue. It was created in bronze by Edward Erikson on 8/23/1913. She's older than we are.

Science Trivia

Michelle is in Gdansk and she says:

Did you know that Gdansk is the hometown of Daniel Fahrenheit? Yes, of Fahrenheit fame. Here is the one he invented.

Michelle's Cruise Menu

She says:

You know we aren't starving on our cruise. Tom and I force ourselves away from the table breakfast, lunch and dinner.
On board ship, they have a restaurant  'The Chef's Table' where they offer a different taster's menu every 4 days. Each course is complemented with a nice wine (I personally didn't like the one with dessert - too sweet and heavy). Hope the menu is okay.
Tonight, we're going to another specialty restaurant, Manfredi's, were Italian food rules.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What I'm Reading

Amazon says:

On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

Pat says: Despite this book's excellent reviews, I almost didn't get it because I have enough of airplanes during the week with work... but now 85 or so pages in, the book is really about the people and their backstories and so far, so good.

Friday, July 8, 2016

And still more Teddie...

Barb says: Teddy's first selfie taken by an admirer.  Another dinner out on a hot NY evening.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More Teddy

Teddy and Barb are going to come over for a playdate next week. I bought myself a toy --- one of those big wands that make giant bubbles so we're going to try it out on Teddy.

Back to Norway...

Michelle says:

If I did this correctly, this is a shot of Stavanger. It's 8:15 AM and I'm getting ready to send Tom on a walking tour of the community to deal with its beautiful cobbled stone greets and take pictures of the highest concentration of wooden houses that date to the 17th and 18th centuries.

I begged off 'cause I can do cobbled streets for only so long before I kill myself. I'll step into town around 9:30 at my own pace.
Tomorrow Denmark. If we eat more yummy food tonight another picture to envy will be coming your way.

Monday, July 4, 2016

And here's Michelle's dinner...

She says, "When you can't decide, order both! Broiled lobster and Beef Wellington for dinner."

Pat says: I don't think I've ever had Beef Wellington, but I'm willing to give it a try!

Dinner "in my honor"... Yeah sure!

So the email said that Fran had this in "my honor" last night for dinner out with Mary. I couldn't really discern what it was when the photo downloaded since it was so big... but it didn't look like chicken fried steak to me!

This is a joke. I hate salmon. Mary loves it. Evidently so do most of the world's population. Last night, I didn't have salmon, thankfully so, but I did order in a mini-feast -- a BLT on toasted sourdough bread. Gimme a BLT everytime!

Michelle's Travels

Michelle is at the beginning of a long trip -- now she and Tom are in Norway, headed to Russia and she says:

Taken on top of mt. Floien in Bergen. Lovely city of 300000 and it's the second largest in Norway. Tonight we dine on lobster and crab cakes. Oh dessert is chocolate souffle.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Teddy's Kayak Adventure

Barb says:

He did great .  He had a life preserver on and was not nervous at all. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Marilyn's Vacation

I'm missing Marilyn this week as she's on vacation with her husband and daughter... this is a tequilla factory and I believe it's in the Bahamas. They were going to spend some time with her mother in Florida and then take a cruise. Hope she's not hung over!

PS: this is in Cozumel, which makes more sense than the Bahamas!

Photo Contest

This lovely couple was married 100 years ago today. Who are they? (Scroll down for answer)

(Dwight & Mamie Eisenhower)


Barbara says:

Astilbes are in bloom!  They are more vibrant in person than in the picture.  Also I'd like to introduce you to Birdie, my latest pet.  (I did try to give him a more sophisticated name at first but you know how it is.)