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I just got back from a week away with my oldest brother and 1st born son. We had an epic road trip up North....lots of driving....though that we saw!
The first night we went to Chicago and stayed at The James Hotel....very smart place! My son liked that his room had a pit bed with a projector to walk TV on the wall. We had dinner at a Tanta that has inventive Peruvian cuisine....delicious!
The next day we were off to Sleeping Bear National Lakefront in Michigan.
In the morning we took a ferry across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin to go to Door County where we stayed at Gordon Lodge. We managed to get some kayaking in on the lake and biking!
Off we went to visit my younger son in Milwaukee. He worked up there this summer teaching swimming at a YMCA and interning at a local TV station. We stayed at The Pfister Hotel...historic and magnificent. After a tour of Lakefront Brewery....we ate brats and cheese curds and went to bed!
My younger son had to work....so we left him and traveled up to the Apostle Islands in Northern Wisconsin. It was time to take a break from driving and we stayed at the Winfield Inn for two nights.
From the Apostle Islands we spent a night in Galena, IL at the historic DeSoto House Hotel and then hurried back home so my oldest son could make his job at Missouri Baptist where he is scribing in ER for the Summer.
My sons are both in their early twenties. Last night we got back from a quick trip to South Beach. I thought these pictures were fun next to each other....one recently in The Raleigh pool in South Beach and the other about 12 years ago in Lake Keuka- one of the New York Finger Lakes.
Yesterday I went on a day trip with my brother and two nephews to check out Ste. Genevieve and Fort de Chartres in Prairie du Rocher. Part of our family, the Prattes, lived in Ste. Genevieve before St. Louis was founded. We went to check out the portrait of Jean Baptiste Sebastian Pratte's portrait, though it was in St. Louis getting refinished. We did find his grave!
We left Ste. Genevieve and took a ferry over to Illinois to see Fort de Chartres. I have heard about it, though never visited. Pierre Laclede, another ancestor of mine, stayed at Fort de Chartres before he founded St. Louis. With our 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis arriving in 2014, you should check out this important, historic site.
A special treat was meeting a group of people who were staying in the Fort for the weekend. They were having a period experience! They shared some of their yummy baked items with us.
Yesterday we had a glorious day at Rockford Farms with a whopping 28 for Thanksgiving lunch. The weather was perfect and crisp. Although I did not play...there was a vigorous football game....I did partake in a walk in the back field.
I was out at our farm today and saw this picture in one of the upper bedrooms. It is sort of a bittersweet photo of my Uncle Ira E. (Ted) Wight III and my grandfather, Ira E. (Ted) II. My uncle looks like he is in his early 20's. My grandfather must be in his 50's. I think this photo was taken in the mid-50's. My uncle died in a plane crash on his way to Nantucket in the early 60's. This was before radar and clouds set in. The rumor was that he was coming to visit his parents and tell them about his thoughts of marrying. The plane crashed on the island and my grandfather had to pull him from the wreckage. He is buried on a hilltop on Nantucket. I was born after he died and my parents named me Ira Edward (Ted) Wight. I named my first born son the same.....he is sort of the fifth.
Ok...to break the sadness. A couple years ago I went to Nantucket with my brother and two sons....one named Teddy. We met some of the other side of the Wight family who moved to Nantucket. The father (my father's cousin) is named Ned (Edward Ira Wight) and he has a son Ted who has a son, Teddy. They were all there for a impromptu gathering....it was a little confusing when someone said the name- Ted.
This year I bought my mother's house and she moved to The Barclay House across from Shaw Park in Clayton. We started a new tradition: ice skating on Christmas Eve followed by a light dinner at my mother's place. It was fun!
So busy and so many transitions! I moved out of my house last week and into my mother's guesthouse. Her new place is now ready and she moved today. It was fun cohabitating with my mom for a week!
I am going to move into the main house after the floors are done. More on that project later.
I flew up for the day to help my youngest son move into the freshman dorm at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He is staying in a cool Mid-century building.
My life will be quieter with both sons gone. I can use the extra time to get my new house in order so it will look great for their arrival back for Thanksgiving!
My second son graduated from Chaminade yesterday. He is on his way to Marquette University. I will be sort of an empty nester. New life chapters. Someone mentioned to me last night that my blog has been a little slow. Life has been just too busy, though some exciting things are to come. A photographer is in my house right now taking shot of my home. I am listing my house for sale this week. Come back tomorrow to see pics! I am buying my mother's small Bernoudy-designed house in Ladue.
I made a red velvet cake with white chocolate mousse filling and white chocolate ganache icing.
My 18 year old asked for a new bike for his birthday. He wanted one to ride around college next year.This is the son who refused to ride a bike when he was younger.
Well his retro bike came in last Sunday and we picked it up at Big Shark on Delmar. It was so pretty last Sunday so we both agreed that he should ride the bike to my house.
Well I got a call from a sobbing young man saying that he was hit by a car. When I got the call I was literally getting in my car to take him a helmet. I know....bad judgement. I hopped into my car and sped down Delmar. My heart sank when I saw the lights from an ambulance and police car. Luckily he only had a fractured ankle and a deep gash that required 11 stitches. A lady was backing out of her driveway and did not see him.
Poor kid is on crutches and graduates from Chaminade next week.
Last night I helped prepare dinner for my son and some of this friends for their Prom Dinner. It was hosted at a lovely Compton Heights home owned by his best friend's parents. His date was his best friend's sister....so cute. One of my sons is in college and Nicholas is graduating from Chaminade and off to Marquette next year. I will be an empty nester. Sort of sad.
This was the first year that we had Easter at our old farmhouse. We generally have it at my cousin's house on the property- the Old School House It is generally to cold to use our house this time of year, though this year it was perfect. Someday I will add heat again. I removed propane stoves from each room a few years ago. They were placed in front of each fireplace and they made me nervous and were unattractive.
Here is another wonderful family photo that was recently rediscovered. It is my grandfather, aunt and late uncle having a picnic in the woods at our farm in Pike County. I love that my grandfather is in a jacket and tie. Do you remember the days of the thermos?
My brother found some photos on my late father's computer that he shared with us this Christmas. This one is of my paternal grandmother on Nantucket sometime in the 60's. So stylish! She died shortly after I was born. Notice the large Nantucket basket next to her.
This is the first year I did not send out Holiday Season cards. Time just got away from me. Here a a quick one I made this morning to give to my mother. My sons and me at the Veiled Prophet Ball on Thursday night.
Last night I hosted a pre-Homecoming Dance for my son. He is a Senior and my other son is a Freshman in college. I am almost an empty nester. I clipped the recipe for Grandma Selma's Brisket from Food and Wine a while ago...it is a crowd pleaser...at least these 17 year olds liked it! Dessert was apple pie from Straub's with their perfect Cinnamon Ice Cream!
The year was 1978, my grandfather bought a yellow Jeep for the farm and used it to drive around the acreage. There was a fawn hiding in the tall grass and he hit it. My cousins put it in a chicken coop and raised it back to health. It became a pet. This is one of my favorite pictures. I think I took it with my new disk camera. They brought the deer into the house for Thanksgiving or Christmas. At one point it jumped across a rather large cocktail table. Eventually the deer was let loose. It lingered around the lawn for a few days and then we did not see him/her again. I hope he/she did not think a hunter was as friendly as us.
Elizabeth "Bunny" Herring just keeps on going @ 80+. From being in the circus to marrying a Wyoming cowboy to teaching Shakespeare in prison.....now she was a contestant in the Miss Missouri Senior Pageant. Read more HERE.
You may be tired of hearing about the Landmark's Association tour, though here is more! Nothing gets you more motivated to spruce up your house than a party or putting it on a tour. Well I had good intentions of taking a few days off and doing some painting and cleaning of my own. Well my real estate business has been busy and clients come first... I ran out of time. Finding someone to clean an old farmhouse is difficult...after three calls to potential maids that got unreturned....I turned to Craigslist. I found a nice girl from Troy, MO that was willing to take the cleaning project on. Farmhouse cleaning is different than the light-dusting in-town...there is serious dirt and bugs to clean up. She did a great job! I thought of driving my St. Louis maid..Martha out, though she does not speak much English and I was not coming home on the same day to bring her home. The country may have scared her. Larry and his crew took on replastering and painting an upper bedroom that needed attention. I realized that I "redid" that room over 25 years ago....I was so proud of the Waverly floral boarder....now it is Wedgewood Blue. Don't look at the decorating too closely...the farm house gets everything that people do not want anymore in the city.
The House is on the National Registry as the Griffith- McCune Farmstead. Circa 1850.
Last Saturday night I saw Next to Normal at The Fox with my brother from New York State and my mother. I really enjoyed the show. This morning I bought the album on iTunes....listening to it made me a little teary. Then I got these pictures sent to me of my son, Nicholas, at a pre-prom dinner....well it is an emotional start to the day. This is not to intend to reference any correlation to the dysfunction in Next to Normal and my personal life.
My son turned 18 over the weekend. Friday night one of his friends planned a surprise party at my house. It was a little surprise to me also finding out about it on Thursday. The kids were due at 5 PM and someone was supposed to distract my son and get him out of the house. I got home at 4:45 PM with the supplies to make dinner and a cake. When I went through the dark house to turn on all of the lights, I was surprised to find my son in his bed napping! I quickly kicked him out of the house. For some reason he did not seem it odd that I was kicking him out of the house. He was still surprised when he got back at 6:30 PM. to find 16 friends to greet him! It was a lot of fun and he appreciated it.
Birthdays seem to go on for a while in our family. On Sunday, I had the family over to celebrate his birthday. He asked for a cake that was lemony and made with raspberries. I found a wonderful recipe HERE. It was very yummy!
Yesterday we enjoyed Thanksgiving with family out at our farm in Pike County. Thanksgiving was at my cousin's house which is an old school house from the 1850's converted into a home back in the 1950's.
That is me with my cousins new Australian Blue Heeler.
Last night I bowed out of the regular St. Louis Halloween festivities and headed out to a bonfire that my cousins were hosting at Rockford Farms in Pike County. It was a perfect evening, not too cold, though about the time that the bonfire was lit....you were ready for some warmth. Happy Halloween!
Last Sunday I became an Episcopalian for a day and attending the annual Homecoming at St. John's Church near Eolia, MO. This church is near our farm and is the first Episcopalian church west of the Mississippi. The church dates back to the mid-1800s and was built with the donated bricks from the original owner of this HOUSE. This church only has 4 active members....so the congregation is always thrilled to have guests!
My cousin, Heather's, green tomato bread....yummy!
Aunt Nancy was there. She was Catholic and converted to become an Episcopalian. It seems that on my father's side of the family, the first two kids were Episcopalian. The second two kids were kidnapped by a vigilant Catholic grandmother and baptized Catholic.
And my mother....needle-pointing on the front porch of our historic farmhouse.
This mornings garden pics are by my nephew, Jack. He wants to be a blogger and photographer and this is his first step. We just finished making Red Velvet cake for a birthday party tonight. This is why he has a little red splotch on his face.
Yesterday we enjoyed the lovely Spring day and buried my father's ashes who passed away in November. I am glad that we waited for Spring to put him in the family plot at Calvary.
My brother works for Corning in Corning, NY and is a doctor of ceramic engineering. One of his pet projects is something call Celcor that is used for industrial filters. He is artistic and was able to use Celcor to sculpt an urn from it for my father's ashes. In some century in the future they will unearth the urn and wonder what was going on.
Last November my father died after a long struggle with colon cancer. He got it back in the late 80's when colonoscopies were not standard. Over the years he had a little bit of his colon and intestines snipped here and there. The last five years were bad...the last year was sad. He was no longer able to eat solids and as we say..."had a bag going in and out". The day or two before his final hospital stay for problems, we found receipts for meals at Steak and Shake, Popeye's and a Chinese restaurant. I think I would have binged at Niche, though his mix was more of a killer for the tummy.
On Sunday morning when it was raining and cold, I went to Calvary with my mother and son to pick out a plot and decide on a gravestone. (He was cremated...that is why we could take our time.) We scoped out the Berthold/Ewing plot where my father's side of the family is buried. See the pics below...a cold, rainy day was perfect to be in a cemetery.
I told my son that if this plot ran out of room, we had a nice mausoleum in New Orleans that had room for twelve and only two spots were filled! See a pic HERE.