Posts Tagged Missouri
This has been an incredibly fast year to me. We’ve traveled to Arizona, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Maine and back home to Missouri – twice. I had a birthday party, during a heat wave of all things, that was attended by family and friends; some I haven’t seen in years. I went hiking in Arcadia, had really really fresh lobster and Maine blueberries (they really are smaller than the ones I usually get at the grocery store), was slightly terrified driving along the Apache Trail, went up in a pink elephant hot air balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and I got to meet three blogging buddies in real time. I also discovered that I like green chile sauce – didn’t see that one coming at all. I’ve also gotten wrapped very tightly around the little sweet finger of the new grandson.
While this year has been wonderful in many ways it has also been stressful and sad in others. I won’t get into politics because if you know me you know how I feel about things and that is none too chipper. This year has seen many entertainers that I have enjoyed for so long leave us far too early – Prince, Bowie, Rickman, Reynolds and Princess Leia (yes I know her name is Carrie Fisher but she will always be Leia Organa to this nerdy girl) to name a few. I have prayed for friends that were very sick and fighting serious illnesses and I cried with a dear friend of mine who lost her husband of 35 years. It finally reached a point where I couldn’t and wouldn’t turn on the news because I just was tired of seeing all of the vitriol, violence and senseless killing that was going on across the globe and here in the states. Peace on earth and goodwill towards human kind? It does occasionally happen… occasionally.
There are no immediate plans on the horizon for us for 2017 other than we will be back in Arizona sometime in January. I do have my eye on photographing my way through parts of the parks in Utah and DH has even suggested we rent an RV for that. That will be a first but I have friends who can help me get over my hesitation about that. Other than Utah we still have St. Lucia, Hawaii and Scotland on our wish list and DH’s Aunt and Uncle have invited us to visit them in Devon, England again.
I hope to meet some of you in person this year if at all possible but even if we don’t I hope we continue to “see” one another here in the land of blog in the new year. May 2017 be a blessed year for all of us. See you next year 🙂
Happy New Year!
My naivete about wines goes back many years but I will say I have gotten better. When I was living in Missouri I only knew about certain wines based upon what a server at a restaurant would recommend (sometimes that being the expensive stuff not the good stuff) and when I would visit state wineries and sample their wares. One winery that will always remain dear to my heart is the St. James Winery in St. James, Missouri. Why? Because the last years of my fathers life were spent at the veterans home in St. James, Missouri… just on the other side of the highway.
Every time I would go visit him (an almost two hour drive from where I was living) I would drive right past the winery so of course I just had to stop and taste and bring home a bottle or two or three. They made some great grape juice which the then kids would inhale; I had to take to hiding bottles from them to make it last until the next visit to Grandpa. I started out enjoying their sweet reds and then moved slowly up to the semi-sweets and then dry.
Wine shock happened when I moved to Ohio and discovered that not only did they not carry my then favorite wines but that because of certain laws I couldn’t even order it. Woe was me. I have since learned so much more about wine and have developed new tastes but whenever we would drive to Missouri I would stop and pick up a few bottles of my old faves and bring them home. Since we fly more than drive that has pretty much come to an end. I love to visit the wine section at the local stores when I am home for a visit and smile at the St. James bottles. Shopkeepers probably think my cork is a bit loose but I don’t care. I’ve experienced wine shock in reverse now; some of what I enjoy in Ohio I cannot find in Missouri. How interesting.
On this most recent visit home I saw this display and was sorely tempted to try it but I didn’t have anyone to share it with (not to mention I don’t really like sweet wine anymore) so I just smiled remembering my visits to my father and walked away. Lately, I’ve found that one or two of the wines from St. James are available locally but they are the too sweet for me varieties but whenever I pass them on the shelves as I go scouting for my favorite Cabernet, I pause and say hello.
(This post was first run in 2013 when I was home to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving. The St. Charles Christmas Traditions had just begun and the weather wasn’t as grey and so very cold as it was on this most recent visit. This was one of my favorite photos from that trip and while I still have the same coat and scarf, alas, the hair has changed. Still as long but leaning more towards Santa’s color now – ho ho ho! Darn genetics)
Ran into this fellow and his adorably cuddly goat while in St. Charles, Missouri. Seems his name is Julenisse and he and his pet goat, Yuley, visit the children in Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden Denmark, and Finland. Yuley knocks on their doors with his horns three times and when they answer they are given a gift and a small paper basket of candy to hang on their Christmas trees.
Fancy meeting him in the midwest!
And happened to be hawking roasted chestnuts that were being sold right across the lane; awfully good balancing act going on too!
Père Noël (French pronunciation: [pɛʁ nɔ.ɛl]), “Father Christmas”, sometimes called Papa Noël (“Daddy Christmas”), is a legendary gift-bringer at Christmas in France and other French-speaking areas, identified with the Father Christmas and/or Santa Claus of English-speaking territories. Though they were traditionally different, all of them are now the same character, with different names, and the shared characteristics of a red outfit, workshop at the North Pole, and team of reindeer.
According to tradition, on Christmas Eve children leave their shoes by the fireplace filled with carrots and treats for Père Noël’s donkey, Gui (French for “Mistletoe”) before they go to bed. Père Noël takes the offerings and, if the child has been good, leaves presents in their place. Presents are traditionally small enough to fit in the shoes; candy, money or small toys.
Père Noël is sometimes confused with another character. In Eastern France (Alsace and Lorraine regions), in Belgium, in Switzerland, and in Eastern Europe there is a parallel tradition to celebrate Saint Nicolas on December 6. He is followed by Le Père Fouettard, who exists also in different parts of Germany (Knecht Ruprecht or Belsnickel), Austria (Krampus), the Netherlands Nicolaas van Myra, and Belgium (Zwarte Piet in Dutch, Le Père Fouettard in French). Le Père Fouettard is a sinister figure dressed in black who accompanies Saint Nicolas and spanks children who have behaved badly.
Alligators??????? Mon dieu!
Can’t put my finger on what character she was portraying in the realm of the Christmas Traditions but I know it has something to do with Dickens.
One afternoon (which turned into evening) all seven of us piled into two cars and went to show the kids the festivities at the old Saint Charles Christmas Traditions event (link here.) I had forgotten what it took to get two older children and an infant ready to go on an outing in the cold and time marched on. Let’s just say it went from us being able to go when I’d have good light even though the skies were very cloudy and grey to it being dark and my needing to bring out the flash. I won’t mention the issues that ensued with cold fingers, cold camera and cold batteries and their life span!
The older ones had fun getting hot chocolate and pretzels while the baby was in his little snow suit which made him look like a Teddy Bear in his infant carrier strapped to his mother’s chest under her coat. People assumed she was just a bit “chubby” and didn’t realize there was a baby under her coat. We made the Sugar Plum fairy squeal with delight when we showed her the top of his little head; he slept through the entire outing. Most of the Santa’s and other characters were gone by the time we arrived but the lights and the hot chocolate were enjoyed until we decided to call it quits and head home to defrost.