Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From the pets and persons of the Fremont House, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Tour - Upstairs

This is the last part of the Christmas Tour! This is at the bottom of the stairs.
This tree has a unique combination of old glass ornaments from David's family and Peanuts ornaments. Somehow they seem to work together.

Thank you for coming along on the tour! Have a merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Tour - The Tree

For the past few years, the tree has gone in the dining room in front of the windows. It's artificial and pre-lit. Every year I cross my fingers as I plug it in, hoping all of the lights come on. So far so good!
We have lots of ornaments from David's childhood, like this truck, and lots from mine.
My great-grandma tatted this snowflake in 1981.
I like to get an ornament when we travel to add to the collection. This summer, we got this buoy in Maine. The ornament on the right is from Sedona the summer before.
When we were in New Orleans, we stayed on Bourbon street, and this is our souvenir ornament from that trip.
When we got married, we got lots of nice wedding ornaments, like this cake. Unwrapping all the ornaments is one of my favorite parts of Christmas decorating. Wrapping them all back up and putting them away...not so much.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Vacation - 2010

We had a small group for this year's Christmas Vacation Party. We started dressing up in 2004, so we're having to get pretty creative in coming up with costumes that haven't been done before.
A friend at work had the idea for me to be the moose mug. David was a pool digger. His hardhat has a model pool on it. It's really cool, and really heavy!
Derek arrived as the jello that Aunt Bethany brings. He had cat food hot glued to his green clothes. The dogs thought his costume was great!
Todd came as Clark in his office with the model pool, and Krista was the police officer that arrives after Eddie kidnaps the boss.

As always, we had a great time and had lots of tasty treats!

Christmas Tour - The Kitchen

Every year, I take pictures of our Christmas decorations. One reason is that I like them, but it's also really handy to know what goes where the next year. No one else may be interested, but I thought I'd give you a tour just for fun. :)
I bought all of the old Santa mugs at a couple of antique stores after Christmas one year. The Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers and the cookie cutters were David's mom's.

This was also an after Christmas purchase one year. I thought the Raggedy Ann was cute.

This is a little tree on top of the fridge. It was the centerpiece for the bridal shower that my Aunt Connie hosted for me. It's got a little string of 25 lights and homemade and kitchen-themed ornaments. I looked everywhere for the old looking kitchen utensils and couldn't find them. When I mentioned this to my friend Robyn to ask her to keep an eye out for me, she said "I have those! You can have them." I just love this little tree!

My mom gave me this spoon ornament. I liked it too much for it to get lost on the tree, so it hangs from a cabinet in the kitchen. It's got a tiny tree with even tinier ornaments painted on it.

The little village is in the window all year. Just the tree and the candle are added at Christmas. I've seen some really neat candles for windows, but changing them out would require quite a few. I like these old ones anyway, and from outside they look great.

This new towel came from Prairie Garden when we went to visit David's sister and family.

Mr. Snowman makes an appearance every year. This year, I added the placemat under him. I've had a set of them for a few years, but rarely get them out.

That's it for the kitchen!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just Because

I think
they're cute.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Orleans - 5 Years After Katrina

The last time David and I were in New Orleans was February 2005, about 7 months prior to Katrina. I remember watching the news in relief when it appeared that New Orleans had been mostly spared the worst of it. The next day, the news was vastly different. The city was hit, the levees were failing. 80% of the city was flooded. The images and video that came out of New Orleans in the following days and weeks was horrific and haunting. It was difficult to believe what was happening. Impossible to think it was on American soil.

It has been just over five years. The people affected no longer appear on the news. It's faded from our memories and thoughts. To visit the French Quarter, you could imagine that it never happened. Shops carry bumper stickers that read "I drove my Chevy to the leveee, but the levee was gone." One restaurant had a door hanging on the wall with the too-familiar X noting who had checked the house for people - living or dead - and the results of the search, but it could have been just art. Bookstores carried books written about it - 1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina and Not Left Behind. Without those few reminders, it would be easy to pretend that happened somewhere else.

If you leave the Quarter and venture very far away, just blocks really, the evidence it still there five years later. Bright shiny new houses, built on stilts a few feet off the ground. Between the new houses, hollow shells of homes that haven't been lived in since Katrina, still decorated by the markings left by those searching for people and for bodies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wherein We Stuff Ourselves Silly

After leaving New Orleans, we headed north to Tunica. We're hardly big gamblers, but you may have noticed that we are big eaters, and Paula Deen's buffet was calling to us. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. And wouldn't you know! I got to meet Paula Deen's cardboard cutout. Despite my half-hearted attempt to pace myself, I still ate way too much and was a bit miserable. It was worth it though. My top three favorites were: fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, and fried catfish. Yes, I realize that "fried" is a part of each one. It's a sickness!
As I said, we aren't big gamblers (mostly because I am way too cheap for that!) but when in Vegas, er, ah, Tunica, do as the Romans. Wait - is that how that goes? We found a few penny and nickel slots. David is very lucky with the slot machines - he won about $30! The last time we were in Vegas he won $200 on the HeeHaw nickel slot. Of course, we didn't leave with any of it. We let the Paula Deen penny slots take it all. There is just something fun about watching rows of butter, sweet tea, fried chicken, and pie line up!

After spending the night at Harrah's in Tunica, we headed home to our house and pets. We had a great vacation! Thank you David for making all the arrangements!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three Years!

Happy Anniversary David!

Trollies, Tasties, and Trop Rock

On our third day, we awoke to clear blue skies and a pleasant day. A good day for a trolley ride! We rode from Canal Street to the end of the line in the Garden District, then got back on and rode back. We oohed and aahed at the big houses and pretty private schools in the Garden District, but found the people getting on and off even more interesting. From the land of suburbia where no one we know uses public transportation, it is hard to imagine taking a trolley to and from work every day.After the trolley, we ate lunch at Johnny's Po-boys where you could choose from about 30 different sandwiches. They were giant, and so delicious. And the fries! Somehow they were soft and velvety on the inside and perfectly crunchy on the outside. We arrived just before the lunch crowd, but by the time we left there were people waiting for a table.
Here we are on our balcony. It was a great view of the city!
I'm not quite sure what this building is - a history museum I think. It's next to the St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square. Don't worry - the canon didn't really get David. ;)
Inside the St. Louis Cathedral. They don't build churches like this anymore!

For dinner, we ate at Margaritaville - I know, big surprise! It was really tasty - and quite empty! I guess Wednesday night isn't their busiest time.
I kept hoping for Jimmy to make an appearance as he is rumored to sometimes do at his restaurants. Jimmy never showed, but we did have a great time listening to Joe Bennett. As David said, it was like having our own juke box! There were never more than 8 people in the lounge where he was playing, so we got to make lots of requests. In addition to a lot of Buffett songs, he plays his own "trop rock" songs. David bought a CD and we've listened to it now a few times. It's really good! Joe's website is here:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


On this night, three years ago, we rehearsed...
we ate pizza with friends and family...
and we prepared for the big day to come.

N'Awlins Day Two

We woke up to a much quieter city than the one from the night before. Seems that folks in the French Quarter don't get up terribly early. A cold front was coming through, and the balmy heat from the day before had become a cold windy dampness. That didn't keep us inside though.We set off to see the sights, including this bicycle decorated with beads, and the mostly empty French Market. They were just getting set up as we were through. And if we Missourians thought it was a bit chilly, the people in New Orleans thought it was downright arctic!We stopped for a picture by the Missisippi before stopping for a tasty lunch of fried shrimp po-boy (David) and hot sausage po-boy (me). So yummy. I even ate one shrimp from David's sandwich. We continued on past the St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square, especially beautiful on the gray day.After a nap (me) and some people watching from our balcony, we headed out again. After dinner, we headed back to Bourbon street to Maison Bourbon. We were here the last time we were in New Orleans and really liked it. Rather than the blaring music coming from some of the clubs, Maison Bourbon has live jazz. It's what I imagine New Orleans was 70 years ago. I took this picture when we arrived, and before we left, I think every seat was filled. I'm sure they get tired of playing When the Saints Go Marching In for the tourists, but it sounds better there than anywhere I've heard it.
Before we left, when people asked what we were going to do in N.O., we told them eat and walk around. So far we were right on track!