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First Music of 2023

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An important new year’s resolution for me this year is to play more music.  We started things right with a session on January 2nd.  Rhine came into town for a day.  Clark popped by for some music.  Our best audience was lulled to sleep.

Playing in the living room.

We had some Scot Toddy’s in Romey’s xmas cups and kept the bar open late.

 

 

Cooking Up a Fancy New Year 2023

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This year we rang in the New Year with delicious food and an intimate two person party.

Nine hour Burgundy Mushrooms are absolutely delicious!  But they do really take nine hours.  Six hours of simmering with a lid on and three more with the lid off.  The new Mauviel christmas pot (my best present by far) was perfect for the job.

We also roasted a chicken and veggies in the new pink pot using one of Romey’s recipes.  Likewise delicious.

This was “first dinner.”  The coup de grace was still to come.

Mr Skaggs paid a visit while the cooking proceeded and we had a couple of Seelbach cocktails (take care of the time warp!).  We’re pretty sure that’s why we accidentally fell asleep before midnight.  LOL.

This was a fancy pants Seelbach iteration with veuve clicquot champagne and blanton’s bourbon.  Absolutely fantastic.

 

 

And then it was time to cook up blinis for the caviar. We went to the “gold plated groceries” store for the fixins.  Crème fraîche for the win.  So delicious.

Incidentally, these were fried to perfection in another new pan.

This special meal called for a vintage bottle of pink veuve clicqot.

We attempted to watch Fight Club (which I had never seen) , but we fell asleep just before the end (and just before midnight).  We blame the Seelbachs.

The leftover champagne and blinis made a great first breakfast of 2023.

Happy New Year to all.

Xmas 2023

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The adult kids were in town from their far flung new homes (Josie in Berlin and Eli in Indiana), xmas music was on constant rotation in the living room, we had a surprise visit from a four year old, petisa was baked, a beast was roasted, the Sydney opera house was constructed, and the christmooses showed up in IU Cogsci gear.  Warm and cozy and Christmas-y.

The xmas eve eve bar spread.  Beer cheese for the win!

A little mouse visited on xmas eve and kept us up all night.  Romey reads the Moomin book as all the animals listen in.

Petisa goes best with veuve clicquot.

Christmas morning before the deluge.

One very excited granddaughter.  She graciously jumped up and down after opening each present.

Heels by the bar.

The roast beast, carved by me, not the grinch.

A Long Winter’s Eve

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Virgin visit to the Rubell in DC

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Eli (the resident artist at my house) and I went to the brand new Rubell Museum in DC on the solstice.  It was excellent: well curated, beautifully displayed, provocative, and socially relevant.  Go visit for yourself.

The sexual revolution will be YouTubed

Over the Rainbow

Goat in a pot.  This one is hilarious and very surprizing.

Angel penis for the win

Yin/Yang angel/devil

Eli at the end of the rainbow.

The thief

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Moving wood in circles

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The thing about having a fire is that you work on wood a bunch well before ever having the fire itself.  The kitchen fire is going all winter when it is below 40.  Why that cutoff?  Because first you have to cut the wood, spilt the wood, move the wood, stack the wood, move the wood again, store some on the porch, move some inside and then finally burn it.   See?

Fortunately, I have help most of the time.

In the truck again.  Moonshine supervising.

The woodshed stack.

The porch stack with a photo bomb by my finger.  Once again, moonshine is supervising.

Winter Solstice 2022: Warm Friends on a Cold Night

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It all started at 3pm for me (with the perfunctory “lighting of the barrel”).  Just making sure there was a heat source for people who arrived before the big bonfire lighting.

The sky was gorgeous.

And soon there were solstice attendees and tiki torches.

We lit the fire shortly after 5pm when it finally got dark enough.  There were LOTS of people here for the lighting.  It was a good one.

 

The fire had a huge core (that is still burning late the next day).

Meanwhile up at the barn there was terrible Christmas music, lots of food, and a great sense of camaraderie.

The homemade eggnog (recipe here) made things a little blurry.  Delicious.

The space between the barn and the bonfire is always magical.  This year, the lasers were particularly remarkable.

And the highlight of the evening for me.  Music with Clark and Gina.  Yes please.  This is how we turn the sun.

We wrapped things up around midnight with the last of the hearty attendees, leaving a large pack of 20 somethings to deal with the skunk!

Moonshine loved it.

And he says, now that everything is cleaned up, lets do it again!

Thanks to all who came.  Magical.

Solstice Card Photo Shoot: Cliveden House, Maidenhead, England

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Cliveden House is a very nice place for a walk outside.  We were on a quest to make some photos for our solstice card.  We did it!

Romey walks the grounds.

Noel plays the part

 

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Location one

The one below is the one we chose for the front.

Noel and Romey way up there.

Location two.

Here is the shot we chose for the back of our card.

A Walking Tour of Bath

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Some pictures taken during a brief two hour walking tour of Bath.  Fred Mawer is an exceptional tour guide even by blue badge tour standards.  Highly recommended.

Romey and I felt a little like this seagull who scored a huge piece of bread.

We started at the Royal Crescent hotel, about which more here.

Somehow it seems to me that these trees should be oaks instead of sycamores.  But they are properly regal and huge, centering the Bath Circus.

Architectural details make all the difference.  Speculative real estate development for the win.

All of the stone for these buildings is local, giving the town a unifying, opulent feeling.  The tea house.

We walked on the day that the Christmas market started.  Fred points out an old sign.

Apparently there is a cocktail scene.  We will have to come back and try it out.

Romey and Jane Austin.

Religion?  Justice?  Do not enter.  A conceptual collage.

The river Avon with some voiceover typical of our tour.

The cinema from Fantastic Mr Fox

All in all Bath is a beautiful place well worth a visit.  We can’t wait to return.

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