A New Ghost Sign?

I realize the ridiculousness of using the word “new” to describe a ghost sign, but this one is new to me…I think? I don’t remember seeing this Estey Piano advertisement on Main Street in downtown Belleville before, so maybe it was covered up until recently. Or maybe it’s been there all along, and I just now noticed it. Could be a fresh sign done in a retro style? At any rate, I really like this one!

The Top Five–Photos of 2022

Since all of my other 2022 in Review “Top Five” photo lists have six photos, this one had to also, right? Right?!? I’ve already looked at food, drinks, desserts, and our trip…these are my favorite photos from the past year that aren’t food or vacation related.

I’ve taken hundreds (thousands?) of photos at the Missouri Botanical Garden over the years, but there was something special about this one featuring Henry Shaw’s final resting place in front of his country house:

This photo taken in downtown St. Louis in May reminded me how much I love an urban environment:

Speaking of urban environments, this spring was the first time I’ve visited the Chicago Water Tower in many, many years, and I discovered just how photogenic it is!

That’s a quality shared by the entire city of Chicago…I loved having a bird’s eye view of the city from the Centennial Wheel!

A little closer to home, I really like the beautiful gingko tree outside of our town library, especially in the fall:

Our town is also especially pretty at Christmas:

That wraps up what ended up being my top 30 photos of the year. In light of all of the fun things we did in 2022, I think I should get at least some credit for keeping the number that low!

2022-23 School Year–Christmas School

Fröhliche Weihnachten!

This year’s Christmas School theme was Christmas in Germany (and Austria). Everything came together in an amazing fashion, so that we had lots of experiences, read lots of stories, did lots of baking, and made some cool crafts. But first, an ornament craft to remind us of our summer vacation…memory spheres:

Back to Christmas in Germany. We got to meet the Christkind (an angel who is often the present-bearer in Germany) when we were at Christmas Traditions in St. Charles, MO:

We made five different German Christmas cookies that we had never made before…Lebkuchen (German-style gingerbread), Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents), Pfeffernusse (spice cookies), Kardamom Plaetzchen (chocolate dipped cardamon cookies), and Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars). We got to try some new baking techniques, which was a lot of fun, and the house has smelled amazing!

We also made five crafts inspired by Germany or of German origin…painted hearts inspired by Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts), a Weihnachtspyramide, ornaments inspired by the German flag and printed with words related to Advent, Fröbelstern (elaborately folded paper stars named for Friedrich Fröbel, the creator of the first kindergarten in Bad Blankenburg, Thuringia, Germany), and the German classic, Zwetschgenmännle (prune people).

Here’s a look at the Weihnachtspyramide in motion…I think it was our favorite craft!

We visited our town Christkindlmarket several times this month:

And we even got to attend a Weihnachtsgottesdienst (German Christmas service)!

It’s not often that Christmas School comes together this well, and provides us with so many fun opportunities…I really enjoyed it!

Thanksgiving 2022

Time for a look back at our family’s Thanksgiving celebration, a three-day affair that always begins with Pie Day (Wednesday), and continues on through Black Friday.

On Thanksgiving morning, we watched the Macy’s Parade (which just wasn’t the same without Al Roker), and in between dinner preparations, I played a bit of Animal Crossing:

While we watched the Dog Show (we were thrilled that the adorable French Bulldog, Winston, won!), I got to work setting the table:

Instead of using a mix of stemmed glasses, this year, I set the table with our “regular” drinking glasses, which I purchased over the summer. They look pretty fancy, even though we use them everyday!

Dinner was ready earlier than I was expecting (I’m glad I checked the turkey when I did, because the pop-up timer, which I never use, had already popped), and I scrambled to get it all together. Our meal was fairly standard, with turkey and everyone’s favorite stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, carrots and parsnips, green beans with almonds, Brussels sprouts, and rolls, plus one new dish, made with wild rice and mushrooms, that I really liked!

I think it was a pretty amazing feast!

For dessert, we had our standard seven pies, most of which were our usual picks, but I did make one new recipe for a cranberry curd tart with a shortbread crust:

I chose the two main Thanksgiving flavors, pumpkin and cranberry, for my dessert plate:

The next morning, we started the day with pie-for-breakfast…this time, I chose Nutella:

Then we went to see Moose march with his band in the town Santa parade:

Nothing beats a turkey sandwich on Rye bread for the after-Thanksgiving lunch!

I also tried the pecan pie…I updated my recipe, and I just had to see for myself how it turned out (really, really well, if you’re interested!):

This year’s Lego Winter Village set is an adorable Main Street complete with a streetcar:

For dinner, I made turkey soup (of course):

And then Moose, Chickadee, and I went downtown for the tree lighting:

I love our Thanksgiving traditions!

Fall at the Library

Ginkgo trees are some of my favorites for their unusual, fan-shaped leaves, but I especially love them in the fall, when they turn bright yellow. The carpet of leaves outside our library is especially beautiful!

Sartorial Saturday–Oktoberfest

For the first time, I had national dress to wear to Oktoberfest! I went with my newest piece from Rare Dirndl, the Herbology dirndl, and I dressed it up with my fanciest apron:

I planned my outfit carefully, including some lovely Edelweiss accessories and a not-quite-Alpine hat:

I even painted my nails in lovely fall colors for the occasion!

I decided to try something different when it came to footwear…I went with ankle boots, and I love how they went with the outfit!

I’m really happy with how this look came together!

Here’s a pair of photos from the event:

And some pictures of the event itself:

It was so much fun to be able to dress for the occasion!