January 01, 2013
For Barb and I, it was a year of milestones in terms of birthdays and our wedding anniversary and to celebrate we went to France for two weeks. We spent the first week wandering around Paris and the second in the Burgundy region. Paris really is a beautiful city and I think that we really did a good job getting to know it and seeing the sights. The highlight of the trip was a stay at the incredible Abbaye De La Bussière, which is a gorgeous Inn built out of thousand year old abbey. The accommodations and food were everything we had hoped for and we never wanted to leave. To finish the trip we returned to Paris for another couple of days and took a day long cooking course at Le Cordon Bleu.
In October we were hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy, our third major weather event in 14 months. We were pretty lucky in that the storm did not do any damage for us personally other than being without hydro for 10 days. This time we were on the windy side and while there was no rain, the winds were intense destroying many more of the big trees that make this area so nice to live in. Locally I don't think it was anywhere near as bad as the destruction caused by the snowstorm the previous October but the big problem was that it was so widespread, affecting all of New Jersey and much of New York.
The kids had a very quiet year, but John has discovered the universe and wants to learn more about it. To do so, he is starting college this month in Illinois. Some day he may be the next Steven Hawking. Alec on the other hand is still looking to find his calling.
Well that's about it for this year, we are looking forward to more travel and less weather in the next year. Hopefully we will get the chance to see more or our friends and wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2013!
June 22, 2012
Barb wanted to do more than a single Christmas entry per year so here I am to talk a bit about our garden. The tree pictured is an Eskimo Sunset Sycamore, which is a member of the Maple family. I love trees and sort of collect them, but have run out of space to plant them. I bought this online about 4 years ago and planted it in the back yard in a place where it didn't really have room to grow. We subsequently cut down an old apple tree on our front lawn and tried to replace it with a Coral Bark Japanese Maple and then a Plum Tree, both of which did not survive for various reasons. Finally we decided to move this one out there to see how it would do and it is very happy. The tree was originally a cutting of a branch that was rooted. This meant that it was too thin for its height and was not very strong or stable. After being moved to a sunny spot, it has become much more sturdy and has bushed out to look really healthy. The thing that makes it so beautiful is that it has variegated leaves on one side while the backs of them and the stems are a pinkish to ruby red colour. From a distance, it has a slightly yellowish colour mixed with a deep red from leaves turning in the wind. It truly is a thing of beauty.