Ruth's Birthday Dinner

Not only do we have an annual sibling day, but also we three sisters (since brother is out of town) take turns cooking a dinner for each other for our birthdays. I cooked Friday and we celebrated Ruth’s birthday (which was August 9). This was the first Friday (these dinners usually take place on a Friday evening) that worked with all of our schedules (mainly Suzanne’s).

I made Ruth narrow down the category in which I’d plan the menu: chicken, beef, fish, pasta, soup. She chose soup and salad. Needless to say, there’s always a dessert and she narrowed that down in the chocolate category.

I pulled out Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia Childs) and Celebrate with Paula Deen.

The salad was my own—just chopped up teeny tiny—everything: romaine lettuce, celery, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, tomato and green onions. Choice of dressing was Champagne Pear Vinaigrette or Cranberry & Walnut with Gorgonzola. I made two soups the day before: Garlic Soup (Childs) and Shrimp & Lobster Bisque (Deen) – the bisque won out for dinner. The Molten Lava Cakes (Deen) sounded chocolately enough and topped with homemade vanilla ice cream, how could I go wrong? The cakes didn’t molt like I wanted as I think I needed a deeper custard cup, but all in all it was pretty yummy.

Since Ruth is the expert bread maker, and one's bread doesn't compare, and I was short on time, I bought a loaf of French baguette from Bread Co.

Suzanne had a gift for both of us—a journal full of love. I picked out some “fortunes” from my craft stuff and wrapped them up without looking at them so we had a fortune after our meal. Seemed like they were appropriate for each of us. I can only remember parts of Suzanne’s—Master retreating… and Ruth’s—Go for it. Mine: “However long the night, the dawn will break.” and (they’re two sided): “If you fail to practice your art, it will soon disappear.” Both nice reminders of what’s happening with me now. I will glue my fortune in my journal of love.

We finished off the evening getting in the hot tub yacking about whatever came to mind. I’m glad we do birthday dinners. It’s nice in so many ways.

Sibling Day 2010 – Clarksville, MO and Warren’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party

Here we are after lunch with our cute stick figure sibling day shirts made by Susan Martin.

It’s too bad we didn’t start this blog 16 years ago when our 1st annual Sibling Day began—we decided it was 1995 when Suzanne invited us all to the St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball game. We had so much fun we declared to do something once a year, just the four of us and we haven’t missed a year since.

This year we planned to meet in Clarksville. My siblings remembered going as kids, taking a ride on the famous skylift that overlooks the Mississippi River. I have no recollection and maybe I was mad not being allowed to ride the skylift—only Sue and Warren rode it while Ruth and I stayed with our mom and dad who were afraid of heights. I didn’t get to ride the skylift this year either as it was closed for renovations.

After we picked up Warren from Palmyra (a 2 ½ hour drive from St. Louis where us sisters live) we headed to Clarksville. We all thought Clarksville was a little closer to Warren, but turns out after the detour we spent close to another 2 hours on the road. Since it was close enough to lunch and we were all starving, we ate as soon as we arrived. It worked out perfect since we didn’t want to eat late knowing we had to get Warren home for his surprise party that would entail lasagna, cake and ice cream.

I had to pretend that I needed to be home early and cut our day short. It felt like we just got to Clarksville when we had to turn around and drive back to Warren’s, but we managed to walk the downtown area visiting the local artists. There was a Native American drum painter, a creator of wood, leather turned purse and belt creations (one of which called my name), and the Windsor Chair shop made with hand tools. We saw glass, pottery and antique stores and had to check out the Cool Beans coffeehouse. Despite the short time we had fun.

The Windsor chair maker Warren lives at the end of a dirt road. When we pulled up I didn’t see any cars. I wondered whether anyone showed up for the party not imagining where his wife (Michelle) would have hid all the vehicles. We climbed out of the car and stood on the porch while Warren talked with his boys. Michelle went inside and then told Warren to come in so she could take pictures with his sisters before we left. He finally walked in and we followed, but there weren’t any people. I wondered whether I should say surprise when finally everyone crept out of the bedrooms and shouted surprise. Needless to say Warren was surprised as was I—and relieved that there were more to the party than his three sisters.

We all ate, sang Happy Birthday and had cake and ice cream. Like Suzanne’s surprise birthday party, this one we won’t forget either.

Here we are acting goofy - okay some of us anyway...
Speaking of forgetting, when we had lunch we tried to remember all the years and what we did on Sibling Day and to the best of all of our recollections, here’s what we came up with:

1) 1995 – Baseball game at the old stadium
2) 1996 – Alton, IL
3) 1997 – Camping at Black River
4) 1998 – Kirkwood, MO
5) 1999 – Pontoon boat ride on Mark Twain Lake
6) 2000 – Cahokia Mounds in IL
7) 2001 – Train ride to Springfield, MO
8) 2002 – Quincy, IL
9) 2003 – Forest Park
10) 2004 – Sedalia, MO State Fair
11) 2005 – Florissant, MO
12) 2006 – Baseball game at new stadium
13) 2007 – Hannibal, MO
14) 2008 – St. Charles, MO and Sue’s 60th Surprise Birthday
15) 2009 – Navoo, IL
16) 2010 – Clarksville, MO and Warren’s 60th Surprise Birthday

Sibling Day 2009

We went to Nauvoo, Illinois. Since we stopped to get Warren north of Hannibal, we headed straight north in Missouri. We crossed into Iowa, passed through the town of Keokuk, then crossed the river into Illinois. Remember seeing the big drifts of water lillies in the river? That was oddest thing to me, but a man on the tour explained the water is very shallow and where the lillies stop, the water drops off. It was a Mormon settlement, or was, until they were all driven away. The remaining or rebuilt houses (mostly from logs) represent all the different trades the town had. We toured the brick maker and got a free mini souvenier brick, the wheelwright and got a free souvenier prairie diamond ring (an artfully bent horseshoe nail) and we toured several other buildings. We had dinner in Keokuk on the way home--had trouble finding a restaurant that wasn't fast food. It was a fun day. Sorry, this is all off the top of my head. I'm sure if I had taken the time, a nice little story would have developed. I'm learning to do things as the moment presents itself, otherwise it's gone and doesnt' get done. So I may re-do this whole article sometime.

New Pictures - Sibling Day 2009

Here are the pictures from Sibling Day 2009.

Okay, let's see how good my memory is, uh... not so good. I can't remember where we ended up on Sibling Day. I know we drove through three states to get to our final destination and there was a big religious organization founded there. I can't seem to bring up the name of that either. Once someone tells me, it'll all come flooding back. Maybe.

This is (left to right for those of you that don't know us), Suzanne, Warren and Ruth and a very cute picture by the way.

At any rate, the photo's were taken along the river's edge before we made it to our destination and unfortunately there wasn't anyone around other than the four of us to shoot the picture. So we have three of us and three of us. That made perfect sense. One shot is our back side, the one I prefer, that shows the order of our age: (first of four = 1/4 (that being the oldest sibling Suzanne), second of four = 2/4 (Warren), third of four = 3/4 (me, Lynn) and fourth of four = 4/4 (the only whole one, Ruth).

We started something new by wearing matching Tshirts. Ruth is the artistic one who creates some kind of design or she has her husband, Bud do it. One year he airbrushed the design. I think those were the Tshirts from Sibling 2008, purple in color and the same year we surprised Sue for her 60th.

Dark green is the color were shooting for in 2010, I think. Start thinking of some kind of design. Anyone out there wanting to suggest anything, feel free.


I read L's post about St. Patty's Day and the picture of Mom in Weidinger's with the soldier. The soldier is Leo Theisman, owner of Florissant Auto Paint. In that store is where the original picture hung for decades.

The mystery is who took the picture. Dad is the suspected photographer since he's not in the picture. Dad liked to take pictures. But it made me wonder the circumstance of the photo.

Maybe Leo had a thing for Mom. Maybe they were drinking buddies. I can imagine Mom being a fun drunk. Maybe Leo wanted a pretty woman in the picture of a favorite place to hang out, one that he could look at while off to war--happy memories with fun people.

Where was everybody else? Was it the beginning of the night, or the end? I think Leo is dead, but I wonder if his kids would know anything about it? In all likelihood, probably the same as us--there's dad in the picture, but I don't know who the woman is.

Every picture tells a story, but this one is keeping its stories a secret.

Updates Needed

L, you're doing a great job with keeping up on your daily posts. You are inspiring.

In looking at this blog, I think we need to post an updated picture and perhaps a few updates. And there's nothing about Sibling Day 2009. I'll have to work on that. Or add to it--depending on which sibling beats me to it.

On a more personal note, I'm going to start yet another blog. Oh no, you say, not another blog to follow. E-gads. Well this one will be temporary, but I feel it will keep me more motivated if the "world" is watching. I've decided to start a running program. The blog will be about my running adventure and how far I get. Once I get to a point of accomplishment, or failure, the blog will be done.

One Year

I just read L's blog--how wonderful. Darn it--wish it were my idea. Signed up as a follower of course and then realized I never "followed" our sibling blog. I re-read all the posts and discovered I started it on March 12. Happy Anniversary blog.

Beef Bourguignon Dinner

Dinner with friends, here's the table setting and the apple tart (second time).

Forgot to take pictures of the Beef Bourguignon and Gratin Jurassian. Not sure of the spelling of either of those. French for Beef Stew and Scalloped Potatoes with heavy cream and cheese. And forgot to take pictures when the friends arrived :-(


My daughters, Rita and Jessica, and I went antiquing one day. I wanted a few more crocks (Rita thought I meant the kind you wear on your feet) to hold my kitchen utensils. The one I had (long before I saw the movie Julie & Julia) was getting full. I couldn't believe the price of crocks - the real old ones anyway. The one I have (that has Home Made 1 cent Pickles printed on it) if I saw one that size in any antique store, it was a minimum of $90 on up to $180. Hang on to your crocks.

Scalloped Potatoes and Chicken

Tonight I decided to try a few more recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We have the scalloped potatoes uncooked, then cooked. The clarified butter, the uncooked chicken parmesan and then the chicken cooked. I would revise the recipe for the chicken as it was too buttery, if you can believe that. Now the scalloped potatoes were awesome, but how could they not be with real (heavy) cream, butter and Guyere cheese.

New Cookware

Norm had some points from his American Express and told me to get some new cookware. I may have mentioned wanting some new pots and pans, but it really didn't matter. After thinking about it, I think I've had my old (copper bottomed) pans for over 25 years.

And so, here is a shot of the old (on left) and the new (on right). These are saucepans. I would say my copper bottom saucepan has faired pretty well after all these years.

I got all excited to cook - especially after watching the movie Julie & Julia.

And for some reason, I decided to clean up all the old copper bottom pans before I gave them to my two daughters (Rita and Jessica). Hopefully they'll get some good use out of them.

Garden Cupcakes

Here are a few pictures of the cupcakes I made for the annual meeting of the North American Rock Garden Society. Whooo-hoo.