Saturday, December 4, 2010

the real deal

today we have real snow and it is lovely to look at- LOL

I stayed in and worked on photos of the trip which you can see below in a link posted from shutterfly to the blog- this is my first time to do this-

I hope the book gives a flavor of Argentina and Uruguay - there certainly are enough food photos to help out on that score.

but before you go on to the sunshine and warmth of Argentina - check out our weather here in beautiful Chicago- our kind of town! LOL

first the view from the front bedroom window- again

and then the view of the back yard from the upstairs sun room - you can see the bush on the right hand side still has green leaves under its snow coat


Friday, December 3, 2010

one amazing

journey that I have taken was our trip to Burma (Myanmar)  there is a debate about whether to travel there or not but we came down on the side of the yea-sayers - the argument being that some contact with free society is better than none.  our guide Zaw was spectacular and although communication has been sparse over the years we do know he made it through the times of the most recent violence and had actually gotten a student visa for limited study in the UK.

I have two photos from there that are among my favorites.

the first is one of a sunset over a bridge - we were running behind schedule on this day in Mandalay having dawdled somewhere interesting and Zaw was very concerned that we were going to miss the sunset on the river.  As the car entered the area he had the driver go as far along the path as we could and it appeared that we had missed the sunset because we were behind a large stand of trees- when we exited the car Zaw urged us along the path and around a bend - when we took the turn we saw this sight- the beautiful sunset and the silhouette of the bridge with locals using the foot bridge to get from one side of the river to the other.

this is the view down the river that we had rushed for- greeting the sun kissed temple and the blazing orange water.

and while this next one doesn't rank in my favorite artistic photos it does rank on my list of fun things.  we had been traveling all day on Inle Lake where the one legged rowers caught fish and the villages had floating vegetable gardens.  towards the end of the day we stopped at a monastery and found an unusual sight.  the place is known as jumping cat monastery.  years back one of the monks had taken to training some of the temple cats to jump through a little hoop and when he had success people came to see the "trick" and made donations.  now the monk has died but the tradition continues.  not all the monastery cats do the jumping so the ones that do are "stars" - the others mill around watching - sometimes learning and sometimes not.  either way they get fed and all appeared content.

I may write more about Burma later as I found it a most fascinating country.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a change

for the background of the blog- a refining of what I want the blog to be- I went this time and for now with a more Asian theme

I have been to lots of Asian countries and figured there is a lot to "talk" about and share from my experiences there-

here is one of my favorite photos - this one from the floating market outside Bangkok

I like the photo because it is an amazing array of circles- once I tried to count the number of circles but lost track or got distracted or something came up- I never finished- oh well

you can try it!

oh no! snow! no!

aaackk here it is December 1st and even though there are still some green/yellow leaves on my witch hazel in the back yard- we have a dusting of SNOW this morning!

top- front yard from front bedroom window
bottom - porch roof

our winter getaway can't come soon enough I guess...LOL

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

busy busy

busy- and getting ready for a series of social events-

champagne tasting on Thursday - concert on Saturday night - dinner with friends Sunday (after a Board Committee meeting- that pesky work - LOL) then next week is whirlwind

friend Jennifer in from Denver for opera Monday  - and an extra night to socialize Tuesday
Wednesday - theater tickets with friends John & Kathy (of course dinner first)
opera again on Friday

Saturday dinner party for Zack & Becky's wedding with friends of the newly-weds, Todd & Lesley, joining us as well
Sunday all day Board meetings and then I leave for a family visit to my home town of Cincinnati for a few days

sometimes I don't recall how I found time to work...LOL I am sure that is how everyone feels -

I need to do menu planning for the Zack & Becky celebration and also for New Year's Eve dinner with three friends from Europe.

the NYE dinner will be an American showcase- I figured I could go course by course identifying the state the dishes come from- if I get really creative I may be able to circle the country as I want to end with New Orleans Bread Pudding for dessert and start with lobster salad from Maine.  We will see how that pans out.

the Zack & Becky dinner will start with a request from the bride for Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Poke (I don't know how to make an accent mark to show it is Po-Kay)  from there I am a bit more hazy- will have to contemplate options later this week once my work week is finished.

here are a few photos of good eats-

from NOLA shrimp & grits

from Portofino a recipe that will be under consideration - marinated shrimp

and of course there will be an assiette de fromage (forgive the spelling if incorrect)

anyway- am off to find out what might be around for dinner!

Monday, November 29, 2010

year end

and time for holiday cards- the first one came today and it isn't even December!

so I got busy and drafted the holiday missive.  I generally like to focus on travel but this year we were pretty much state-side with my sister being ill.  I found it difficult write about her death - the sadness seemed to overwhelm the good times we had this year. 

I left out a lot of things - but of course the nature of an annual letter means a lot of stuff get passed by. 

then I made two cards for us to send- I like a choice - one of the Paris trip and one of the Argentina trip.

soon we will have cards to mail and a busy social schedule and the days will pass by but right now I am overwhelmed by the loss of my sister- activity keeps the ghosts at bay but you can be slammed upside your head with grief if you even let a little crack open. 

I know time heals - my dad died in 2001 - and my loss seems more manageable- but right now my loss of Janna is like a wound that bleeds with the slightest movement of memory.

the two of us- I am the older/taller sister-

and here we all are - the three of us kids-

home again

and quickly back into the swing of things.  sometimes it seems that the minute vacation is over it feels like you never had it in the first place.  luckily we have lots of photos to remember it by so it wasn't all a dream like in Total Recall- a super movie if you haven't seen it...

so just a few pictures that haven't made it yet into the blog and some captions to help remember days months or years later -

here are some photos of our tour of La Boca

a bum sleeping in pretty fancy digs  

 school kids on field trip - it was nearing the summer vacation

wall art from the quarter 

fake drinks to show what is on offer at the cafe

from the San Telmo area- a few mouth watering shots from a pasta shop

house made corkscrew pasta - foot long! 


from Recoleta a photo from a mausoleum - their limit for above ground coffins is two but the guide said some have put more in their above ground part - here the glass door gave proof to the rule following of one family

after the cemetery tour we had a fabulous lunch at an outdoor cafe and here were two of the starters

 caprese salad

tuna tartare with mango

and from our day in Colonia del Sacramento two photos from El Drugstore (an eatery in town across form the church)

diners enjoying the afternoon 

the "dining car" for special occasions

so now it is time to go back to work and move on from the vacation mentality-