Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And the Final Pictures of the Wedding Day

After the ceremony and the exchanging of vows and brunch, we all moved inside for cake.


A happy Bev!!  And behind her our good friend Mark.


And another of our very best friend, Lea.  Happy and smiling as always.  Lea is a California gal who has traveled extensively all over the world.  We are so glad she finally decided to put down roots in Cheverly.


Here is a picture of Bette's hand as she began serving the most delicious cake you have ever tasted in your life.


Bette made the cake.  She used a recipe from Southern Living which included peaches.  I know that when Bette bakes she uses King Arthur flour, so I'm certain that had something to do with the extraordinary flavor of this cake.


Delicious, freshly made cake and a large pot of coffee with half and half and cane sugar.  That's my kind of wedding party.


I particularly like this picture of Bob offering Bette a serving of their wedding cake.  He looks so happy in this picture and, indeed, there was reason for him to be happy this day.  Bette is a wonderful woman and they make a great couple.  We all love Bette.


And, finally, yours truly, back on the deck after enjoying brunch and a slice of cake and some coffee. Ready to take a nap.  Which I did a little while later.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Favor Boxes and Other Things

Bob and Bette were married on August 24 and we covered our trip to Gettysburg for the wedding here on WTCA. There are a few more photos I would like to share with you of that day.


Here is one of the favor boxes Bev and I put together.  She did the "thank you" labels and the little organza ribbons.  They were so cute.


Here was the tray of them which we took with us.  We placed a box at each place setting.  The extras we put on a tray near the drink table.


Guests starting to gather for the ceremony.


Here is Bette descending the stairs and on her way to the altar to her waiting groom.  It was a beautiful day.


And Bette making her way across the lawn to meet with the minister and Bob.


Bette and Bob preparing to exchange vows.


Bette and Bob listening very intently to the minister.


Afterward, the celebration of the union was held on the deck at Bette's house.


Beautiful Bev.


Another view of the guests and Bob and Bette at their table, front and center.


Steven.  And in the background, near the left of the picture in the sunhat is our friend Lea.



Each table was adorned with one of these lovely little glass vases with sand and seashells.  They looked very nice alongside the floral arrangements.


Each table had a white and green hydrangea arrangement in little square glass block vase.


A close-up of the hydrangea table setting.  Just beautiful.


This is a shot of the corner of the pergola under which Bob and Bette exchanged vows.  These flowers were exceptional.


And a long shot of the pergola, fully adorned with fresh flowers and the table holding the unity candle and tapers.


Finally, a picture of Bette's BFF, Meg.  She was instrumental in helping Bette get ready for the ceremony, among other things.

We all had such a wonderful time.  We had a good crowd and the day was magnificent. Congratulations again to my dear friends, Bob and Bette. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An Amazing Sunset

Last night, as I was leaving the office, I saw the most amazing sunset over Rosslyn, VA I can ever remember seeing.


We had some rather severe storms pass through yesterday afternoon and the remaining thunderheads were quite a sight to see.


These pictures do not do the scene justice, but I had to at least attempt to capture this beautiful sky as best I could.  The angels are celebrating the arrival of my grandmother possibly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Recently Had A Death in The Family

I have been absent since last Wednesday from the blog.  We had a death in the family.  My grandmother, Evelyn Halterman Altman.  How do I describe my grandmother.  She had a profound influence on my life.  She was many things to me.  She was a grandmother.  She was a mother.  She was a friend.  She was a travel companion.  She was a confidante.  She was a drinking buddy.  She was a spiritual guider, but not a Bible-beater.  She didn't hit you over the head with religion.  She didn't force religion.  But she was religious.  Very few people can do that.  She was a hard worker and loyal to her friends and family.  She was honest and truthful without being hurtful.

She was born in Charles County, MD on May 31, 1919.  Hers was a difficult childhood, living and working on a farm with a strong-armed father who did not spare the rod with any of his children, my grandmother included.  She was educated through I believe middle-school years, but smarter, and with a better command of the English language than anyone I have encountered graduating from any institution of learning in recent days.  She was married to my grandfather, Paul Noel Altman until his death in 1988.  She lived her remaining years a widow.  She remained in the family home for only about one year after his death at which time she sold the home to my cousin and her husband and she took an apartment in town. Unhappy there, she eventually moved in with my mother and father in the early 1990's.  My father died in July, 2000, and she and my mother remained in my family home until 2008 when they both moved to my sisters home in Midlothian, VA.  That was where my grandmother died on Thursday of last week.


Here is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather sometime in the 1930's.  Surprisingly, she still looked very much like this at the age of 95.  Stylish to the end.


And a picture taken of them, I would venture, sometime in the mid-1980's.  They were special, special people.  Both of them.  I loved them both more than I could ever express in words.  And they both loved me unconditionally.  And believe me, I brought plenty of conditions!

I grieved my grandfather in 1988 and I have grieved my grandmother this past week.  I will miss her. I think many times we think our parents and our grandparents will be here forever.  I was very fortunate to have my grandmother for 95 years.  Not many people can say that.  Our hearts will heal from this and we will move on.  But nothing will ever be the same again in my life without her.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Wine Arrived! The Wine Arrived!

Our order of wine arrived from Oliver Winery.  We were so incredibly happy to receive this shipment and very glad to see that nothing was broken.  I remember being on a flight a few years ago - I forget which airport - and looking out the window as the guys were loading the bags and seeing a luggage wagon being driven toward our plane.  At the last moment, the guy driving the wagon made a sharp left turn and when he did a box of red wine fell off the wagon and immediately started pouring out all over the tarmac.  I thought "somebody is not going to be happy."  I could envision that very same thing happening with my shipment and hoping that it did not.  Fortunately, it did not.


The box arrived, safe and sound with all bottles intact.  The special deal they were having the day we visited was a case of  six bottles of Gewurtraminer and six bottles Shiraz.  I asked if they could please remove one bottle of Gewurtraminer and let me take that with me and replace it with a bottle of Tawny, which they were kind enough to do.  If you look closely, under the top layer and to the left, you will see the bottle of Tawny carefully tucked away in a space initially intended for Gewurtraminer.


The first thing I did was to get to the Tawny.  Creekbend is another of Oliver Winery labels.


Just a bit in a snifter.  Actually I had a couple because it is so incredibly delicious.  This is a sweet dessert wine.  Perfect to serve after a heavy meal to aid digestion.  Of all the wines I insisted Cindy try, she liked this the best.


Then it was time to get the rest of the box unloaded and all of this wonderful wine stored.  I looked at different wine racks and was bored to death with all of them.  They were all different yet they were all the same.  So I went to the Container Store and found this wonderful box which works perfectly.  I love having it on the counter under the chef sculpture where I can enjoy seeing the bottles everyday when I am in the kitchen.  If we have someone stop by unannounced, I can quickly retrieve a bottle and get it cooled.  I also know what I've got in stock at any given time.  We had a wine refrigerator that we never used.  Steven's brother Bob and his new bride, Bette, are into visiting wineries and trying new blends.  So we gave them the wine refrigerator when we drove up to Gettysburg for the wedding.


I love this metal sculpture in the kitchen.  I don't know where Steven found this, but I love it.  And it is in the perfect place.

So, now we have a good supply of wine for the upcoming holidays.  And if we need or want more, we can always place an order with Oliver.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Care Package from Indiana

We received a care package from my friend Cindy last week.  She is so sweet to send along all of these goodies and to send my phone charger block which I left behind on the kitchen counter.


Up first is this super neat Boot Scrubber.  She and Ralph and Gretchen have one affixed to the cement sidewalk just before you enter the door leading into the kitchen.  Each morning on our way back from walking Mosey and Andy, we would slide our wet, grass covered shoes through this and it would thoroughly clean them before we stepped inside.  I remarked that I thought this was a necessity in every home and voila, she saw to it that I had my very own.  We will be attaching this to the deck at some strategic place to help keep the kitchen floor clean at Dewey Street.  A wonderful invention.


She went back to Oliver Winery and picked up more wine and champagne bottle stoppers which I raved over in a previous post.  She got one of every color, which I love.  So with the one I brought back, I now have six in stock.  That is nice because when we have people in we may open several bottles of wine - reds, white, roses or even champagne.  It is nice to have this many bottle stoppers for just such times.


Of course, the bottle of Wine Away.  An essential for any home with members who occasionally enjoy the fruit of the vine.


Here is the Plastic Bag Dryer.  This is something I had never thought of buying.  When I visited her in Indiana I saw that she was rinsing and reusing plastic bags.  What a good idea.  If I can keep a plastic bag from the landfill or at least delay its arrival, I am all for that.

So many wonderful things to make life easy and fun.  Let's strive to make life as easy and as much fun as possible.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Hydrangea Arrangement

Steven went into the back yard this weekend and cut some hydrangea.  I thought it would be nice to have this in the house.  So I grabbed a vase and here is the result.


On the mantle.  I thought I did an excellent job of arranging this.  Oh, and you can see that we are starting to prepare for Halloween.  There is a gauze wrapped skeleton lying on the end the mantle.


This picture was particularly pretty with the light coming from behind.  A beautiful fall arrangement of hydrangea.  This puts me in a fall mood.  I love fall.

A Lowe's Visit and and Update from a Previous Post

Good Monday morning.  What a spectacular weekend we had in the mid-Atlantic this past weekend. Beautiful crisp mornings both Saturday and Sunday.  Then warming into the upper 60's both days. Delightful. Just my kind of weather.  Today we have a follow-up to our post of last Friday regarding the new self-watering, hanging container we picked up at Behnke's plus a few other things.


I stopped by Lowe's on Saturday to try and find something to put in the new self-watering hanging container we got at Behnke's.  And I found exactly what I wanted.  These beautiful pots of purple petunias and other smallish blooming annuals.  Since it is end of season, they have these baskets two for five dollars.  You are never going to get a better deal than that.  Of course they will not last long. We will get the last bit of life out of them before the first frost, which should come in about a month. We will enjoy them until then.

I also found this beautiful cedar planter which is perfect for a project I am currently working on. Read on for more information on that.


Underneath the blooms, you will see a couple of green pumpkins.  They had a huge box full of an array of brightly colored pumpkins in various shapes and sizes and textures.  I got three.  I will most likely go back and pick up a few more.


The "purple haze" hanging basket turned out beautifully.  I tried to move around so I could get a shot so that you could see the container.  I love the green color of the container and the simplicity, as we discussed last week.  This is a really lovely planting.


Finally, to the cedar planter.  We found this trellis while Bev was visiting during the July 4th weekend.  At first I wanted to affix it to the side of the house by securing it to the brick with screws and then planting a vine that would crawl up through.  But I changed my mind last week and decided I would rather place the trellis in a container, plant the vine in the container, and let it meander through the trellis.  This way if I want to move it, I can.  I doubt that I will, but I can.  So the plan is to screw the trellis to the back of the planter box, fill the bottom with gravel to add stability and drainage, and then to fill the planter with soil and plant the Carolina Jasmine which you see in the pot in this picture. We will be working on this all during the week, so stop by and see how it turns out.