June 21, 2013 – Friday night at the park

It’s Friday. It’s summer. So it’s time to meet at the park to listen to music, have a picnic dinner and catch up with our P-town friends. This is a nice summer tradition. We don’t get to all of the Fridays due to other engagements but it’s always fun to see friends that we’ve neglected a bit too much. Our food for the evening is cheddar-horseradish pub cheese with pumpernickel pretzels, BBQ ribs (pre-made from the grocery store) that John partially frenches so that you can hold onto them without getting your hands messy and German potato salad. Luree has brought along a tasty pasta salad. People seemed to enjoy the ribs and potato salad. Of course there’s also a little wine and a little music from the band of the week. It’s a nice way to end the work week (but luckily we are all retired!)

Luree and Bill

Luree and Bill


The back of Madelynn's head and Steve

The back of Madelynn’s head and Steve

John and Steve

John and Steve

June 15-16, 2013 – Father’s Day Weekend

On Father’s Day weekend we have two events. First a trip to Healdsburg to take Sarah to a wedding and second, a traditional celebration of Father’s Day. It’s also the weekend that we sell our car to Sarah. She is very excited and will drive on the way up to Healdsburg.

Sarah and Mom dressed up for our trip to Healdsburg

Sarah and Mom dressed up for our trip to Healdsburg


Sarah with her new car

Sarah with her new car


Sarah driving her new car

Sarah driving her new car

After Sarah leaves us to attend the wedding at the Arista Winery, John and I do a little wine tasting at Hop Kiln Winery and at Twomey Winery.

John sipping a little wine

John sipping a little wine

It seems like forever to get back from Healdsburg and we are not home until almost midnight. Sarah sleeps in the backseat while John drives and I am the vigilant navigator.

The next day is Father’s Day. John is feted with cards and bagels. We do our puzzles. We all get pedicures. Our festive meal features chicken sausages, German potato salad, sauerkraut and crusty bread. Sarah’s gift to John is a selection of German beers that he likes. Happy Father’s Day, John.

Sarah tackling the New York Times Sunday puzzle

Sarah tackling the New York Times Sunday puzzle


John at the grill.   Happy Father's Day!

John at the grill. Happy Father’s Day!

June 6, 2013 – Remodel in St. George

Why is it that our contractor and door person cannot understand what we want to do! It seems perfectly straightforward to us. Build a wall to enclose the toilet and the shower in a bathroom. Take the existing door and have it swing either way to be the door to the entire bathroom or just door to the new powder room. Then take out the existing vanity and sink and make them more like a wet bar. This way we take this hallway that goes through a bathroom and into a study/bedroom and turn it into a hallway with a wet bar and a powder room.

View from dining room through bathroom hallway to study

View from dining room through bathroom hallway to study/bedroom


So in the picture above the door is open into the bathroom/hallway. The tape shows the placement of the new full wall on the right side and the space for the smaller wet bar.
The shower and toilet portion of the bathroom

The shower and toilet portion of the bathroom


We want to make that half wall into a full wall.
View through bathroom/hallway from study

View through bathroom/hallway from study/bedrooom


Okay, where the tape is on the left will be the new wall. You can see that it angles out towards the dining room. If you take the existing door and swing it inward, you can close off the new powder room. If you swing it in the other direction you close off the entire bathroom.

We think our (John’s) solution is brilliant. The contractor and the door guy are hung up on the lack of a total door jamb. We don’t get their problem. They don’t get our concept.

Impasse.

May 23, 2013 – de Young Museum

Today John, Sarah and I go into the city to see the exhibit, The Girl with the Pearl Earring. This is probably the best known of Vermeer’s paintings. In fact there was a book and movie made about it. I have never seen the movie but I can tell by the number of people at the exhibition that a lot of people must have.

We are all great Vermeer fans. In 1995 Sarah and I went to the largest ever Vermeer showing at the Mauritshaus in The Hague. John had a conference in Amsterdam and Sarah and I went along and took advantage of the spouses’ program. It was a glorious exhibition! Twenty-three Vermeers were on view. It was also extremely crowded. We moved like a block of people from one painting to the next.

We also had seen one Vermeer at an exhibition at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain in December, 2010. The three of us stood in front of the painting, The Geographer, virtually alone. It was the day after Christmas, maybe everyone was busy playing with their presents. It was a really fabulous experience.

This exhibition has a lot of etchings, many by Rembrandt. Along with the Girl with the Pearl Earring are other Dutch genre paintings from the Mauritshaus. The Mauritshaus is undergoing renovations and has shipped out thirty exceptional paintings to be shared around the world.

We have a great day marred only by my falling on the stairs down to our lunchtime restaurant. Luckily except for wrenching my left side a bit, I am fine. Mostly I am embarrassed. Sigh.

Sarah and John

Sarah and John


Sarah and Mary

Sarah and Mary

May 21, 2013 – A trip up to wine country, Sonoma Valley

What could be better to do on a beautiful spring day than take a trip up to Sonoma Valley! Our first stop is at Kunde Winery. Getting the reserved tasting is always the right thing to do. Rather than a limited tasting standing up at the bar, we get a lovely tasting sitting in the Kinneybrook Room. Re-tastes and anything that’s open are fair game. Plus we also get plenty of breadsticks, some cheese and chocolate, too!

Kunde Winery

Kunde Winery


John in the Kinneybrook Room at Kunde Winery

John in the Kinneybrook Room at Kunde Winery


Goodies with the tasting

Goodies with the tasting

We also made a brief stop at Ledson Winery to sample some of their fine Zinfandels.

Ledson Winery

Ledson Winery

And now the main reason for our trip up to Sonoma Country – it is time to pick up our wine club shipment from Chateau St. Jean. We only belong to one wine club and we use it as a good excuse to go up four times yearly to pick up our shipments and do a little tasting.

John at Chateau St. Jean

John at Chateau St. Jean

We are so busy tasting wine and having little munchies that we decide to skip lunch. But after all this tasting we figure we better eat dinner. We drive over the hills to Napa Valley and arrive in Yountville around 5:30. Maybe the French Laundry has had a cancellation? No such luck! But we decide to have dinner at Bottega where we’ve always had nice dinners in the past. It is a delicious ending to a wonderful day in Wine Country.

Mary's vegetable galette at Bottega

Mary’s vegetable galette at Bottega

John opts for short ribs

John opts for short ribs

May 18, 2013 – Sam and the pony

I am not sure exactly when these pictures were taken, but Jon brought them over on May 18 and they are so cute that I just have to post them.

Sam’s preschool had a special event – a real, live pony for the children to sit on plus cowboy clothes to dress up in!!

Sam looks so, so happy in these pictures. Looking at them makes me smile.

Sam pets the pony

Sam pets the pony


Sam sits on the pony

Sam sits on the pony


Close-up of Sam's happy face

Close-up of Sam’s happy face