Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Home Again

Linda, Ellen, Tom
We left Chautauqua around 9:30 and had a long ride home, through central Pennsylvania and then down to Virginia.  Arrived home around 5. We had a great time the past few days, as always. Tom had asked Linda and I to bring any old family pictures we had, so we spent some time looking through those and then Tom scanned the ones he wanted. I came home inspired to organize all my pictures, we'll see how that goes!

Evie's garden

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning

Sunrise, Tuesday
It's a blogging convention here this morning, with Biff and I blogging together on our laptops and sharing tips. It looks like another beautiful day, maybe a bit warmer. Breakfast is almost ready, scrambled eggs and bacon, melon and peaches again, and Biff's bread, toasted. Why are the peaches here so delicious?  Sounds like we are making a trip this morning to Wegmans and liquor store, for jelly and booze, what else, then to Bemus for a walk.
At Long Point
We took a long walk at Long Point Park, out to the point and back, through the woods, it was so peaceful and quiet out there. We then stopped in Bemus to look at Skillman's (store we like) and then Tom wanted us to see The Art Loft, a little artsy store they like, right past the Institute on 394. Then home again for lunch and a lazy afternoon on the dock. Heaven!
Chautauqua peaches

The Sibs
Making a manhattan
Tom and Evie
Thanks Tom and Ev for another wonderful visit to Chautauqua. We have been coming to Chautauqua for 30 years now! The first summer we went Brooks was 3 months old and we have pictures of him sitting in his little chair out on the lawn. A visit to Chautauqua is always a highlight of our summer. Mom and Dad loved it there, and would be so happy that we all get together here for a few days. We even played Telefunky, in Mom's memory.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Family Together

The day started out with a typical Evie breakfast of blueberry pancakes, melon and peaches, coffee cake. Evie makes the best breakfasts here--scrambled egg baskets are my favorite! (But honestly, they are all favorites.) Paul left around 10 and we were sorry to see him go, as he is a great guy and fun to be around. Then Linda and Rich arrived and we had lunch outside, hot dogs and black bean soup, leftover moussaka. It is a beautiful day today, a little cool for swimming, but great to be out in the sunshine. We spent the afternoon on the dock, reading and talking, then played beanbags late afternoon. Took another booze cruise around the lake.  Evie had made that layered sundried tomato and pesto terrine and we took that with us and it was delish! Then we had rotisserie turkey from The Lighthouse for dinner, along with mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, even had pumpkin pie!

Biff relaxing
Getting ready to cruise
Walt and Rich
Me and Linda
Rich, Walt,  Linda, Tom, Evie
Evie and Rich
After dinner we sat around talking and laughing, looking at lots of old pictures.  No dancing tonight, but maybe tomorrow! Another wonderful day at Chautauqua.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We're Here!

We arrived at Chautauqua yesterday around 4:30 and Paul Storey, Tom's teammate and friend from O.U. basketball, arrived shortly after. It was a cool day, but sunny and the water was calm so we took a booze cruise around the lake before dinner. Evie made moussaka for dinner, with fresh corn, salad, and Tom's bread. Peach/blueberry cobbler for dessert. So great to be here!
Biff cruising
Sunday we took a long walk around the Institute, listened to the choir and church service in the Amphitheatre, admired the houses and gardens on the grounds. It was really windy by the lake and cool, it really felt like a fall day. Beautiful flowers everywhere. One thing I love about Chautauqua is that people put huge bouquets of gladiolas on their front porches. So colorful and cheerful.

Atheneum Hotel
Private garden, Chautauqua
Love the Teacup Garden
Loved this made from old gear and rebar
Garden in Chautauqua
We played some bean bag in the afternoon, then went to the Lenhart Hotel at Bemus Point for drinks on the front porch, and burgers at the See Zurh. A great day.

Walt, Biff, Evie, Paul
Tomorrow Paul leaves, and Linda and Rich arrive. It's supposed to be a beautiful day, so we will get in some lake time.
Sunset at Bemus Point

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

Well Hurricane Irene is all the news right now. Several friends at the beach this week have been evacuated, the MLK monument dedication has been delayed, emergency instructions are being relayed every 5 minutes, the east coast is all abuzz. The local news people have sure had an exciting week, first with the earthquake on Tuesday, now with the hurricane. We are leaving tomorrow for Chautauqua for a few days, so hopefully will miss the storm. Linda and Rich will come on Monday, so we will have a few days with all of us together. Walt pulled a muscle in his leg yesterday while running, so he probably won't be doing any running at Bemus Point this year.

I have to work today, then home to pack and make Mrs. Snavely's coffee cake to take to the lake. I guess I won't have to water the gardens before we go! We can't wait to get to Chautauqua and see Biff and Evie!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Old Gardens

NoNo's Garden, 1930s
This is the garden in Euclid where my parents got married on August 7, 1937.  It was NoNo's (mom's aunt) garden on E. 201, right on Lake Erie (that's the lake in the background), in the same neighborhood where Mom grew up, where Linda and Rich live, and where all their kids and grandkids live too.  Aunt Peggy gave me this colorized photograph of the garden a few years ago. I have found several similiar colorized photos of gardens in antique shops and flea markets over the years and have them framed in my downstairs bathroom, and she thought I would like this one. My nephew Patrick told me that the people who live in NoNo's house now are going to rehab the gardens, isn't that great?

Mom in garden, 1930s
And as I was looking through other old photos I found this one of my mom when she was a girl, standing in her tennis outfit (see the tennis racquet?) in the very same garden! Same birdbath, same arbor.  How cool is that?

Mom and Peggy, 1920s
And because I can't stop with the old photos, here is a favorite of mine of Mom (on the left) and Aunt Peggy down on the beach. I love thinking how this is the very same beach where so many of my nieces' and nephews' kids swim and play all summer long.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My First Earthquake

Well that was an interesting day (yesterday). I was at home getting ready to go to work, when I heard the glasses in the cabinet start rattling, and the knives on the knife rack start shaking. There was this low, increasing rumble that sounded like the house was going to explode and I was truly scared to death. I didn't even think about an earthquake--I thought it was a gas explosion or later a plane crash. Of course terrorism is always in the back of your mind, too. I did open the doors and go outside, but it was so quiet outside that it convinced me it was something wrong in our house.

I would guess it lasted about 30 to 45 seconds. After it stopped I started to wonder if I had imagined it, and how would I try to explain it to Walt? I peeked in the basement to see if the furnace had exploded (it hadn't) and then I decided it must have been a plane flying really, really low. I was very relieved when I happened to look on CNN and see that an earthquake had hit Virginia.

After checking around the house to look for any damage (none visible), I left for work and traffic on Route 7 was terrible, as lots of people were leaving work to go home. I got to Tysons around 4 and the library had been evacuated for about an hour. Many ceiling tiles had fallen down, some parts of the lights that hang high in the library had fallen down, and lots and lots of books and audio tapes had fallen from the shelves. A mess.

Walt's office building in D.C. was evacuated and he left early--around 3--and did not get home until 6 because the trains were running slow to make sure the tracks weren't damaged, and so many people left early that train after train was packed.

I know that people on the west coast are laughing at the reaction on the east coast, but it really was a frightening experience for someone who never even thought to worry about an earthquake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Beautiful Morning

August 23
What a change! It was in the 50s when I went for a walk this morning and I actually had to wear a sweatshirt. So many people were walking this morning, enjoying the cooler weather. I saw so many crape myrtles--I just don't know why we have never planted one, as they are so pretty for the second half of the summer. House just went up for sale in our neighborhood--don't they know Herndon is the 34th best place to live in the nation?? I work today and tonight, so here are a few pictures from this morning in the garden.

My neighbor's crape myrtle--why don't I have one?
Deer have been here
Knockout Rose

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainy Afternoon in D.C.

Bakery Paul
W and I went in to D.C. yesterday and visited the National Portrait Gallery, which is one of my favorite museums in D.C. There no crowds and the galleries are not huge, with many small intimate rooms of photographs and paintings. One of the permanent exhibits is The Presidents, all the famous portraits of the American Presidents. It is a very tranquil place and a good way to spend a rainy afternoon. Among other things,  we saw an exhibit called Capital Portraits and a small group of Reagan portraits and photos. I was especially happy to see this new acquisition of a poet and gardener that I like, Stanley Kunitz. He was a poet laureate of the U.S. and in his 90s wrote a sweet little book called The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden, about his seaside garden in Provincetown, MA.
"All I want to do is write poems and be in the garden." Stanley Kunitz
 A huge rain storm came through while we were there, making our visit to the new Bakery Paul (from Paris!) a little difficult, but we did eventually make it there (chocolate eclair, apple tarte, chocolate macarons!).

A few random shots of our rainy afternoon in D.C.

Storm approaching over old convention center site (Walt's office is across the street)
National Archives
Puddles on The Mall
My favorite pocket of a garden by the old Smithsonian Castle
Driving by the Jefferson Memorial

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Pudding

Last night we had the Bensons, Rubards, Lappans, and Betsy over for dinner and I made a new dessert. It was an English summer pudding, something I have always wanted to try after hearing Liz talk about making it in the summer and how delicious it was. Here are some pix of the prep:

Sliced challah bread
Simmering strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries with a little sugar until syrupy
Starting to layer bread and berries
Plate on top and weighed down with heavy can for 24 hours
Et voila, perfect summer pudding! Serve with whipped cream
It was great to see everyone. All our kids grew up together, so we have been friends for a long time. The talk of the night was that Herndon was just named #34 in CNN's best places to live. Who  knew?

CNN Money says the town "provides a great base to explore the many jobs in the area. Herndon sits right near the so-called Dulles Technology Corridor, where companies such as AOL, Microsoft, and Verizon are big employers."

"Alternatively, residents can make the commute to Washington D.C., 22 miles away. The public schools here are a big draw for many: Newsweek consistently ranks Herndon High in the top 5% of the country."

Over the course of the night, we decided to resurrect our old Progressive Dinner that we used to do at Christmas time. (I got the idea from Mom and Dad, who used to do this at Christmas time with their friends.) This time we're going to do it in October.
Benny, Gillian, Mark
Mary, me, Gillian, Betsy