Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013Alma and Cherie, Kansas City 2003

Our 24th Christmas together is here. Has it been that long? I can still remember, as if it were yesterday, getting off the plane in Kansas City and driving up to St Joseph for this first time. It was cold, very cold, and snow was on the ground. Dark, cloudy, and blustery. Priding myself on following directions (this was long before nav systems!) I pulled up to a cozy rancher on a short street with a school at the end. Knocked on the door, and Mr. Borghoff appeared, with these words: "Welcome, David."

And there was the entire Borghoff family! Alma, who always acted a little shy but was easily the wisest and toughest of the bunch, Sandra and Karen, the older and younger sisters, eager to appraise the "New York Jew", and, of course, my wife to be, decked out in one of her famous, and thankfully now packed away, Christmas sweaters. It was quite a lot for me to take in at one time, let me tell you!

And now, these years later, we miss it so much. It was always a good time — lots of laughs, not many tears or shouting, few surprises, but even fewer disappointments. The trips to the Plaza in Kansas City. The nighttime drive around Krug Park. The big party at Bob and Janet's, featuring refreshments taken on ping pong tables. The many trips up and down the basement stairs, loaded with presents while Alma and Cherie kept up late Christmas eve, wrapping and reminiscing.

Christmas morning. Presents stacked waist high in the seldom used living room (where the second Christmas tree resides.) We each had our own place to sit, carefully refined over the years. As the family grew, some of the younger, and some of the more picky, stood during the gift exchange. Then it was off to church (second time in two days) and then the party for the aunts.

There was a particularly nice time for me, when the three sisters went off to visit friends or their own homes, and just Alma, Floyd and I were left behind on Scott Street. Soon Floyd and I would depart for our annual Christmas drive along the neighborhoods of St Joseph, but, for a time, the three of us got to rest, and got to know a bit about each other. It was peaceful there, in the family room with Mr. and Mrs. Borghoff. I hope they knew how well I thought of them, and I wish them another Merry Christmas, as we all remember them, and thank them for their grace and kindness. Merry Christmas.

Thanksgiving 2013

Admiring the table...

After a lot of hard work and preparation, we were happy to welcome our relatives from Missouri and Florida to our home for Thanksgiving. I think everyone enjoyed the menu:

  • candied sweet potatoes
  • potato gratin Parmentier
  • cranberry Cherie
  • summer corn with red bell pepper
  • green beans with garlic and ginger
  • bread, sausage, cherry, nut stuffing
  • turkey Extraordinaire.

Prior to and after the Thanksgiving feast a plethora of activities were enjoyed, including lunch at CanCan, a pizza feast, roasted hot dogs, the inevitable auction (with surprise bidding!), a bowling competition, scrabble, pet hospital, photo opportunities, etc. We certainly hope everyone enjoyed it as tremendously as we did!

No Doubt Fall is Here!

D800 Nikon 24mm f1.4D800 Nikon 24mm f1.4D800 Nikon 24mm f1.4

The rain comes swooping in on strong winds and the leaves are blowing. Not full color yet, but in a few days Autumn's browns and golds will be in full view. Of course the thermometer has dropped, causing the first hint of a frost, the furnace to ignite, and the flannel sheets to return to the bed. Summer was too short!

We are saddened by the turn in Mrs. Farmer's health, but in admiration of her strength and return home. It is always a warm feeling to look across the lake and see her house, knowing she is there, and hopefully enjoying the view of our home. Get well Mrs. Farmer!

In a few weeks we will have company for Thanksgiving! Our blessed relatives from Missouri and Florida will be visiting Copperpenny Court, bringing carloads of laughter and cheer to our door. What a delight! Even now we are planning an old fashioned menu with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. It will be a Thanksgiving holiday to treasure! We are really looking forward to it!

Fall Arrives

Nikon 85mm 1.4 AI-sNikon 85mm 1.4 AI-s

Summer ended yesterday, and the weather has been cool, sunny, and glorious. The ground still wet from Saturday's storms. This is outdoor weather: golf, gardening, photography, and getting chores done. And the dogs are loving it!

Certainly for many this is back to school season. The yellow busses are making their way throughout the neighborhoods and roadways, early morning and mid-afternoon, and children's backpacks, tennis shoes, and jeans are popping up all over. The new Fall television season is upon us, and, for me, some of the best literary fiction is hitting the shelves. Time to get serious about cooking again.

And so another year at Copperpenny Court begins to wind down. However, there are still some highlights ahead: for us, a trip to New York City, my birthplace. And we expect guests for Thanksgiving! Finally, niece Darcy is going to have another little boy very shortly. I am lobbying for the name to be David natürlich, but I think it is a lost cause...

Summer's Last Push

The Last  TomatoGrape Expectations

The week following Labor Day and it will reach mid-nineties, but it is all downhill from here. Football season is upon us, the kids are back to school, and it is getting dark too, too early in the evening. Accidentally killed Sid the black snake a few days ago. Sid — you should not have gotten under my car! We will miss you!

Our lawn will soon be aerated. The irrigation system will be shut down for the season, although it was barely run this summer. Tomatoes will come from foreign lands, not from the market on Saturday. The leaves will start to turn. Another cycle on Copperpenny Court.

As We Slide into Autumn


Early September, back to school, and the announcement we have all been waiting for: the next cast of Dancing with the Stars! Right.

In the real world, this incredibly wet season is still sloshing forward. The ground is always wet, the flowers have all gone, and the humidity is still high. Through all of this, our new guests have been able to thrive, however. Aunt Stella and Aunt Ennie are looking quite well, thank you. Certainly getting enough water!

A Missouri Gentleman in Virginia

20130808_untitled_1184 copy Cherie and I were delighted with the recent visit by Master Alex Schrimpf, of the Jefferson City Schrimpfs. Alex is a Rising Junior, and wanted to visit candidate universities in our area. Trips to University of Virginia and University of Richmond were arranged, along with visits to Charlottesville, Monticello, and favorite dining along the way.

Certainly any trip to Copperpenny Court would not be complete without a round of golf, in which Alex, though hampered with unfamiliar clubs, acquitted himself admirably. Much downtime with Chloe and Daisy was also featured, and, hard to believe, was that a tear in Chloe's eye when young Alex packed his bags to return?

We really enjoyed his visit and hope for a return next year, perhaps accompanied by his rapscallion younger brother. Good luck in school this year Alex! Remember what the tour guides said!!!

Still Slogging...

Nikon D800 50mm f1.2AI-s

Yet another rainy day in Richmond, VA. It is so humid the windows are fogged up all day long. Like living in a fishbowl. Glug, glug, glug.

Fourth of July Week 2013

The Girls are all upset that Mom is gone!
The view from The Rock, wide angle lens.

Going into the Fourth of July and Cherie has made her annual pilgrimage to Florida and Amy's seaside mansion near the water. Both ladies are enjoying shopping excursions, fine dining and exotic cocktails, flashing looks from dark gentlemen from tropical climes. I am taking care of the house and the dogs. Of particular importance this year, with the torrential rain and incursions from ravenous copperheads and bobcats.

At the Zoo

Am Iocked in, or are YOU locked out?
Cherie loves the giraffes.

June 8, and we visited the Richmond Zoo, located not far from our home. It is always hot there, no matter when we go. However, I found some great tips on zoo photography, and we plan to return this fall.

Beach Trip 2013

Cherie got me up at zero dark thirty to watch the sun come up. that was fun.

We made our annual trip to Pawley's Island in the second week of May. Despite the threat of rain, and some early showers, we enjoyed a relatively dry and stress free vacation. Lots of golf, beach, the Lazy River, and good food.

That is, until the passenger side real window in my Taureg exploded on the way home. No one was hurt, just some bruised eardrums from driving three hours with the wind rushing in. We still do not know the cause, but repairs have been made, and all is back to normal.

Spring Planting in Full Swing!


Despite the amazing cold weather, and the constantly reoccurring chance of rain, Cherie has set out to get plants in the ground. Her companions are only too happy to be of assistance. During the beer break, ball play and beer sipping were de rigor.

From Life to Life

Coral Bark Maple
Ace of Hearts Redbud

Yesterday the nursery delivered two new trees, which were planted in strategic locations designated by Cherie. In a new, and I think very thoughtful tradition, Cherie decided to name each tree after a respected, and very much missed, relative.

Spring 2013

D700 24-70 2.8
D700 24-70 2.8

It is Masters Week and that means spring is out in full force, pollen fills the air, the colors are green mixed with brown, and rain is mixed with sun and clouds. Change. Transition. Growth. What could be better?

March Violets

D700 Rokinon 85mm 1.4
D700 Rokinon 85mm 1.4
D700 Rokinon 85mm 1.4
D700 Rokinon 85mm 1.4
D700 Rokinon 85mm 1.4

The title of this post is taken from a World War II reference that has nothing to do with the late snow we experienced this morning, except for the literary allusion, at best.

So, it did snow a bit, following the trend in recent years for a white surprise around the end of March. What is worse is the continuing cool temperatures and rain. Another day? Yes, it will be high forties and drizzle. Not good for the golf game, or the spring planting.

However, we are healthy and happy and looking forward to vacation next month!

Daylight Savings Time Begins!

D700 180mm 2.8ED ais

It's been a long, slow winter, as confirmed by our recent Dominion Power bill. But we are coming out of it! Cherie and I actually played the game of golf Monday! Buds, shoots, mini-blossoms are everywhere! Birds have nestled down into birdhouse openings. Our trees have been de-limbed, the lake is full, and thoughts of planting tomatoes and herbs are in the air. Could it be...?

LM Surveys Her Domain

Lillie Mae At Home

The days are getting longer. The sun is brighter and warmer. Curious and intoxicating smells are in the air. Now, where is that desiccated dead mouse I was rolling over the other day...

Spring is Coming!

Not Now, But Soon

Although it is going to be in the sixties today, snow is forecast for tomorrow. Nevertheless, Spring is in the air! Buds are popping up, shoots are emerging from the ground, and now and then you can see an early flower, soon to be tarnished by the cold: a promise soon to be kept

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Chihuly Exhibition
What Phlegm Really Looks Like
ABC's Latest Hit
ABC's Latest Hit
Te'o and His Girl Friend
Te'o and His Girl Friend

A blustery day in late January, and I made a trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which was in the final days of the Chihuly exhibition. Wish I had got there earlier. With some windex.

Oh well, always enjoy going and, as members, we get some perks. Would have had lunch at the fine restaurant, if not for the fact that I was alone...