Thursday, December 29, 2016

Company, like fish....

Hello!

We have had such a fun week.  We dashed off to Omaha on Monday.
I made steak bites for dinner and Matthew and Melinda made mashed potatoes.
Don't you think it is hard to cook at someone else's house.
The steak bites were a little rare...but I think most everyone liked them.

Emma had gone to Omaha for Christmas so we all got to be together and open presents together on Monday.
Tuesday Melinda (daughter-in-law) invited Shelby(newest daughter-in-law) over for a little baby shower.  (Shelby was given a shower by her family on Tuesday the 22nd and we weren't able to make it...so we had a little party on the 27th.)

We are all so excited for Shelby and Patrick.  
They will not be finding out the sex so we are all being patient and having fun with thinking of names.  Patrick and Shelby have been talking baby names for as long as they have been together...

I'm pretty sure it will not be a Bible name.
And it will not be a common popular name.

The other big question...will the baby have red hair?
Most of us think yes.

But we will all have to wait until March.

Shelby stayed the whole day of our little shower and we were able to talk and talk.
It was such fun.  

We watched "That Thing you Do".... and I made the girls laugh til they cried with a goofy comment.
But it's one of those 'you had to be there' things.



Katie and I went to see "Lion" on Christmas.  It is a wonderful, touching movie.
Beautifully acted by Dev Patel.
I hope he wins all the awards.





And the grandboys....




They are smart and silly and active and beautiful and loud and very very wonderful.


It just doesn't get much better.

Wishing you smiles and giggles and big huge laughs.

Love
Donna





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas.






There came a little child.
Emmanuel, God with us.



Blessed Christmas to one and all,
Donna


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.



"It was a Christmas as unique as any other.
For every year the mystery unfolds itself anew.
And late in life,
I came to see that faith, like hope, is a rope and anchor in a shifting world.
Faith cannot be questioned, only lived.
And if I could not grasp it then, 
I felt its heartbeat,
which was love."

~Call the Midwife




Drink your wine.
Laugh with your gut.
Burden your moments with thankfulness.
Be as empty as you can be with that clock winds down.
Spend your life.
And if time is a river,
may you leave a wake.
~N.D. Wilson



Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.


Where Charity and Love are, God is there.



Encourage one another,
Donna


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Is it almost Christmas?



Ginny came to us in December.
She had a bit of a wonky eye.






I have been looking back at some of my old blog posts.   I was looking at December 2006.  
I was pretty stressed over Christmas preparations.  
Some how, I have lost all urgency to get it all done.  

Is this age?
I have this calm attitude...


We still don't have a tree. 
Katie and I will head out after school tomorrow to pick one up.

We will decorate at a slow, leisurely pace.
With doing a little bit each day ...it will all get done...
and
all will be well.

I hope you are feeling the peace and comfort and joy of the season.
I hope you are enjoying the lights that your neighbors have hung.
and 
I hope you are watching loads of Christmas movies.

Encourage one another,
Love to all

Donna










Sunday, December 04, 2016

December has come....

  
We are getting our first snow this winter.  It's light and gentle and quiet and since we have no where to go today...it's welcome.

I realized I hadn't posted since before Thanksgiving and thought I better sit down and share some quiet pictures.




     

I took this panorama shot with my phone.  It's Washington Park.  
Who knew Emma and I would go to New York and love the parks so much?





Emma came home for Thanksgiving.  
I cooked dinner on Saturday so she could eat my delicious food.  (She had to work on Friday.)

I wanted to take a few pictures.  







Patrick came out to take our picture.
I love this one so much.





This is how I felt about the Gilmore Girls Netflix series.





I loved it.  

A little back story about my Gilmore Girls obsession...
The first time I watched the whole series of Gilmore Girls I was annoyed by almost everything. 
Except Luke.  Then I watched it again.... and again.
I hated Emily...and then I understood her and liked her.
I skipped the annoying sections and annoying people (so many annoying people) and focused on the love stories.

But I didn't care about all that....I could not wait to see what the  original creator of Gilmore Girls had in store for the reunion.

I wanted more of Luke and Lorelei.
I wanted more of Stars Hollow.

The series started out a little off but I didn't care.
I loved it anyway.
The final chapter was fantastic.
I confess there were a few times I fast forwarded...
but there are also a few parts I have watched three times too.

I love the Gilmore Girls....Emily included.






Yesterday I watched the good parts of the second season of Outlander.
Jamie and Claire.
Forever.

They are the best, most real kissers I've ever seen on screen.
They mean it.

And I will be watching the best parts again and again.
The season finale was fascinating and INCREDIBLE!


Someone yelled at me on the internet for just liking the Claire and Jamie romance part of Outlander....
I did not respond....and I don't care. 

:op

I love a love story.


Hope you are having fun getting into the Christmas mood and spirit.
No tree yet....here....

I'm sure we will get around to it....


Encourage one another,
Donna














Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Quiet Life friends.




This is Ryan.  She is joyous and full of fun.
I mean...who can pull off this pose!  
Now that I think of it....Katie used to do this all the time!
Ryan has been visiting the blog for a super long time. 
She has lived in Soho for quite a few years.  We stayed in her neighborhood.
Emma and I had brunch with Ryan at Jane on Sunday.
She was so fun to meet in person.  
We couldn't stop talking....the waitress was so patient with us :o)
She has had a hard year medically....really, really hard.  But she is not bitter.
She is a real fighter.
A true inspiration.

I have some more hilarious pictures of Ryan....
you will have to wait for those...










Love this girl.

(Will and Grace building in the background.)





We went to Grand Central Station.
It's a beautiful place.
The light was not very interesting.
So I made it more interesting.











After our visit to Grand Central Station we met up with Monica at Central Park.
We took the subway to Columbus Circle.  I wanted to see this place for a few reasons.  I've seen it on TV and it is the fountain that Carrie and Aidan break up in front of.  Can you imagine it?
She was wearing white. It was night.

I digress.
As Emma and I climbed up the stairs we could see Monica standing at the top...waiting for us.
It was the sweetest thing!  Imagine, you have never met a person...and they are waiting for you with open arms...it's a precious thing.
A quick aside, Monica wrote me when she read that I was coming to New York.  I didn't recognize here name from the comments...but something clicked...
I had remembered a New York woman sending me a picture from a J. Jill store in New York last winter....when the trees were up in the stores.  
I went back to look through my mail.  
And there it was, an email from Monica.

She wondered if I ever met up with people from the blog.
I said, yes I do!
And she offered to be our Central Park guide.
It all worked out so perfectly.
Monica is kind and encouraging.
She is a little unsure of living in this big city....but she LOVES the parks.
She loves the trees.

(We could not go near Columbus Circle due to security barricades....it is right next to a Trump building and people were protesting.)






Get a load of this man.
Not moving for anything.

pest.









Emma and Monica had a chance to talk and talk as I was determined to take pretty pictures.
It worked out great.  I kind of get in the photo taking zone...and I don't think Monica felt like I was ignoring her....Emma picked up the conversation slack...while I stood behind my camera.

There is that man.  





Beautiful Bethesda Fountain.






This is the building and bridge shown in the titles of An Affair to Remember.
See all those people.  

Oy.





I wanted to see the Plaza.  "The Way We Were" filmed the final scenes in front of the Plaza.

"Your girl is lovely Hubble."






Instagram of the pond. I'm so glad I thought of a reflection shot.
I never think of a reflection shot.    It worked.





Monica wanted to show us a few statues in the park.
This is Hans Christian Anderson.
It was set in a quiet little spot....
I noticed the placque....




And I teared up for the first time....




Thank you Monica for the most wonderful tour. 
I just know we would enjoy finding the quiet little parks of Manhattan together,
wandering, meandering, talking, and laughing.



Can you believe the lovely weather we had and how pretty the trees were?
Fast friends.
The best of times.

Donna




Sunday, November 20, 2016

A little bit of France on Spring St.

Saturday morning we headed out to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and ride the Staten Island Ferry.
We needed to go to a different Subway stop.
This one was in the opposite direction than the one we had walked to and from each time we left the apartment.  We walked toward Spring St.  
When we got our corner we looked around to try to find a place for breakfast.
I asked a woman at the stop light if she knew of anything nearby.
She was just walking a friend's dog...and had to think a little bit about it....but then she said, "the cronut bakery is just down the street."  

Eureka!!!

Yes.  Of course I want to go there!!!

We found it easily.  Just two blocks down.
Right there. 
A perfect french bakery.




I got a cronut.  I didn't know it would come in a special box.
How about this packaging?
What words to use for this packaging?

c'est magnifique






We waited in line.
A little while.  Nothing terrible.

Emma chose a ham and cheese croissant.






The cronut of the month was maple pecan salted sugar.
It was absolutely delicious.  
It was remarkable.
It was fantastic.







We were lucky to find a little spot to sit.

Sitting is important to me.








I also ordered an almond croissant.
Flakey. Almondy. Perfection.
I have not had such a perfect croissant since we were in Paris.










Go here.
It was my favorite place to eat in New York.
This and the bagels.

But I think Dominique Ansel's bakery was exquisite....
my favorite.

189 Spring St.
New York, New York






Then we subwayed our way to the Brooklyn Bridge.
It was a beautiful day as you can see.
There is a walkway down the middle and the cars travel below the walkers on the right and left.









We took a picture of a stranger and he offered to take our picture too.
Guess he didn't notice the cable shadow going across my face.
Oh dear.  
What cha gonna do?  I am sure he was transfixed by my amazing style.
He did however make it look like we were the only people on the bridge.
That's magic!


Next up.
Staten Island Ferry.
The free way to see the Statue of Liberty.


ttfn
Donna



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hello old friends.


After eating our wonderful Bagels at Bagel Bob's, Emma and I decided to try a double-decker bus to give us a nice look around the city.  The subways are all underground...not like the L in Chicago.
(We have taken buses like this before in Rome and Chicago.  We have also gone on numerous architectural tours in Chicago.  All had been worth the fee. This one was NOT.)
Our tour guide was a fool.
He basically just listed the stores as we passed them.
He told three or four inappropriate jokes about women.
He did not inform us on ANYTHING.











As we drove by the Empire State building, I asked how many stories it was...
he did not know.

We could not wait to get off that bus.

Our last stop with the bus was Ground Zero/Freedom tower.








The newest building at Ground Zero is the train terminal.  It is designed by a Spaniard named Calatrava.  You may recognize this style....it is very much like the Art Museum in Milwaukee.

Isn't it beautiful?

Well.  I just looked up an article to link here on the Winged Dove/terminal and the New Yorker and most other articles have nothing nice to say about it.  Too expensive. Boondoggle. 
Oh well.  I think it is spectacular and I don't care.  I like it.









It was extremely windy on Friday afternoon so the water was turned off.
Although I thought I would feel sad and reflective I was overwhelmed by the sights and wind and crowds.  This is a recurring theme of this trip. 

It is a very beautiful place and I am glad to have seen it.
I just think I needed a bench....for reflection.
They 9/11 Museum had a very long line and we would not have been able to get in for hours.
If you go to New York, purchase tickets in advance for this museum. 














I had never seen the entrance to One World Trade Center.  I liked the green and white.







With the Freedom Tower behind me I took this picture.  That's the museum on the far left.





By four o'clock Emma and I found a place to eat.   
We went to Katz's Deli.  It is in the East Village and is very well know.
When Harry met Sally has a very famous scene at this deli.
"I'll have what she's having."
When you walk in you are handed a ticket that they say they will need back when you leave.
There is a huge counter with about ten 'stations'.  People were lined up 8 people deep at each station.
You order your sandwich and then go stand in another line to order your drink.
We waited for about five minutes and we were packed in like pickles and I didn't like it.
I noticed that a few people were being seated and waited on. 
Now that's for me.
I walked over and talked to the young man...asked if that was an option....and it was.
We were seated immediately.  Another couple was seated at the same table with us.
Much better.

We were given pickles and menus.
I was happy.
















A pastrami sandwich is $18.00 at Katz's.  
Both Emma and I thought half a sandwich and soup would be nice.
Emma got the Matzo ball soup and half a Ruben sandwich.
I had chicken noodle soup and half a pastrami.

Emma's soup was much better than mine,
My pastrami was LOTS better than her corn beef.  (We both thought her corn beef was tasteless.)
She had a better one in Chicago.  
Now that's not right ;o)

The couple next to us left quickly and didn't eat much.  I wanted Emma to take the man's pastrami...and I wanted to take the woman's matzo ball soup.  They had eaten very little.
But even tho they were nice folks....Emma wouldn't go for it.


I am drawing a blank on what we did next. 
I don't think we went back to the apartment.
Perhaps we just figured out how to get to the MOMA.
The subway logistics were not difficult just took time to figure out.
Were are we? Were do we want to go?  
Is the phone dead yet?

Friday night is free night at the MOMA.
And everyone in New York knows it.






Seeing Starry Night by Van Gogh was a big thrill...and surprise.
The hoards adored it.
Emma got a little teary.
We love seeing our favorites in person.









Another of Emma's favorites.  Picasso.
She had this painting as a backdrop on her phone.
Old friend.











Hello Andy Warhol Soup Cans.





Hello colorful lady.  
Not too surprising that I like a portrait best.









After a few hours at the MOMA we found La Bonne Soupe.
My notes said it was a hidden gem.
It was charming and French and quiet.
We would have liked to had a seat downstairs but we had to sit upstairs.
But honestly...we were happy to get in and sit down and drink lots of water by this point.
We had bread with nice salty butter.
Emma had a glass of wine and a crepe lasagna bolognese.
I had salad nicoise.  I wanted the French onion soup but the lady next to us sent hers back saying it was too salty...just before I ordered.  I do like salty...but thought it was not a good idea.
My salad was average....
But I didn't really care.  The atmosphere was very nice.

I ordered chocolate mousse and hoped it would be not too chocolatey.
I am not a dark chocolate person.
Well guess what?  The mousse was so delicious.  It was perfect.
The waitress said that the chef like to use milk chocolate in his mousse.
yay :o)






We headed back to the apartment and fell into bed.


bonne nuit les rĂªves doux 

Donna


p.s.  we would return to La Bonne Soupe, but we would not return to Katz's