Saturday, December 31, 2016

inSPIREd Sunday

Sally and Beth host inSPIREd Sunday! Sundays in my City My Sunday Photo

December 2016 - Orlando FL

We visited the Morse Museum on Friday and saw the incredible Tiffany Chapel.

As I headed in John was coming out and said he figured I'd be in there for hours. He was almost right! He finished the rest of the museum before I came out.

I was just mesmerized!!

In 1893 Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibited a chapel interior at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago that brought him international acclaim few American artists enjoyed at the time. It was installed in the Tiffany & Co. (the jewelry firm founded by his father) pavilion in the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building.

It included six ornately carved plaster arches, 16 mosaic columns, a 1,000-pound, 10-by-8-foot electrified chandelier, or “electrolier,’’ in the shape of a cross, a marble and white glass mosaic altar, a dome-shaped baptismal font, and several windows.

In 1898, a wealthy woman—Mrs. Celia Whipple Wallace—bought the chapel for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine under construction at the time in New York City. Never placed as it was intended, the chapel was relegated to a basement crypt where its arches were cut to fit under a low, broadly vaulted ceiling. For more than 10 years (1899–1911) it functioned as a chapel at St. John the Divine and then was closed when the choir above was completed for services.

Unchecked water damage took its toll on the architecture and decoration of the chapel, and in 1916 Louis Comfort Tiffany wrote to the church of his concern that “the mosaic work has suffered” and offered to remove it at his expense.

Click here for our first visit to St. John the Divine.

Tiffany had the chapel removed and installed it, with substantial repairs by his workmen, in a free-standing building at Laurelton Hall, his Long Island country estate. There it remained as a monument to his art until 1949, 16 years after Tiffany’s death, when the Tiffany Foundation began dismantling the chapel, selling off portions to institutions in the region.

In 1957, when Tiffany’s abandoned estate was ravaged by fire, Hugh and Jeannette McKean of Winter Park, Florida, were notified by a Tiffany daughter that some of his most important leaded-glass windows were still intact. In 1930, after his graduation from Rollins College, Hugh McKean had been one of the young artists in residence at Laurelton Hall as part of a program established by Tiffany. Years later in 1942, Jeannette McKean had established a gallery-now The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art-on the Rollins College campus and named it to honor her grandfather. Her interest in Tiffany glass had prompted her to curate a show of his work at the gallery in 1955, one of the first one-man exhibitions of Tiffany work in the second half of 20th century.

The McKeans visited the devastated Laurelton Hall site, and Jeannette decided they should buy all of the mansion’s then-unwanted windows and architectural fragments. Two years later the McKeans purchased the components of the chapel that remained at Laurelton Hall.

For decades, many of the chapel elements had remained in packing crates as the McKeans researched the locations of the various chapel furnishings that had been dispersed after 1949. They systematically acquired these furnishings as they became available to keep all of the chapel parts in a single collection.

In 1996, the Board of Trustees of the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation endorsed an expansion project for the Morse Museum that would fulfill the dream of the McKeans to reassemble Tiffany’s 1893 chapel.

Friday, December 30, 2016

It's All Gravy

December 2016 - Orlando FL

When I was trying to think of a title for this post related to Christmas and food and I came across "it's all gravy".
What’s the point of mashed potatoes, turkey, or poutine without a rich dolloping of gravy. This phrase originated from an Old English saying. Life, it explained, is meat and potatoes, and the luxuries are gravy. So essentially when you say "it’s all gravy," you’re saying "it" is all the awesome, saucy goodness in the world.

Saturday we went out to lunch at Joe's Crab Shack, my favourite chain restaurant.

Garlic mussels to start with!

Then we stopped to get some mural photos, will be posted soon.

And to get some grapefruit.

My Florida snowman! BTW at $1 each these were not a bargain since we had to throw two of them out.

Then we watched movies on HBO, it was nice to see Cast Away again as neither of us remembered much about it other than WILSON!

Dinner was Chinese. When we were little our family would always go out for Chinese on Christmas Eve. Why? Because it was the only places open. We went to C'est La Vie in Montreal.

Gluten free from Whole Foods, the General Tao was awful but the dumplings were great!

I made our own dipping sauce.

Christmas Day started with a toast and pancakes.

I don't think I have ever made pancakes from a mix before! I did add fresh blueberries.

 It was a quiet day with a great turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Boxing Day saw John golfing and then it rained on and off in the afternoon.

Tuesday we headed out the Holocaust Museum.

Then John had an appointment for an oil change so I had brought my book along.

Wednesday Leu Gardens and Museum were on the agenda. As usual, traffic was heavy on I-4.

Click here for more photos.

"Welcome to beautiful Leu Gardens! Explore an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further our mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. The Leu House Museum located in the heart of the gardens reveals turn-of-the century living for the families who once called this home. The gardens and historical home were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane."

This is the museum and garden entrance, not the Leu home.

The camellias are the most important collection of plants at Leu Gardens. The foundation of this collection are the cultivars of Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua originally planted by Mr. Leu and his workers. Today, over 2,000 plants and 230+ cultivars are displayed throughout the gardens, including displays of Camellia sinensis, which is the Tea Camellia, and other Camellia species. This collection ranks among the largest in the United States and is one of the largest documented collections in the southeast.

Just a sneak peak of the 11 room house decorated for Christmas.

By now we are hungry and head into downtown Orlando looking for somewhere to eat. We park at Church St. and go into Mary's Hamburger's before wandering around.

John had a chicken salad and I had sliders.

It then took us over 2 TWO DOS II hours to get back to the condo, traffic was just crazy everywhere!

Thursday John golfed at Mystic Dunes Spa and Resort and was not impressed with the course.

Spotted some wildlife as we read outside.

Then we ran out to pick up some stuff for the weekend, not wanting to do this on Saturday with the hordes. Grapefruits was only 69 cents each.

Will need a run to Whole Foods on Saturday for a roast and NYE stuff and some of their GF bread that John likes.

Friday - boy, we had a cold front move in overnight! It was only 48F when we got up!
We did some packing, had lunch and then headed out to the Morse Museum which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall.

As for the chapel, check back on Sunday!

The traffic, as usual is nuts.

Just a tease of the magnificent Tiffany pieces we saw.

 Drive home... 33 km or 20 miles and it takes an hour!

John then arranged the trunk of the car with winter stuff we wouldn't (shouldn't) need until we are heading back home.
Packed up some of the food stuff.

We headed over to Old Town around 6PM to check out the lights and cars.



We Are Unprepared was a good if uninspired read. It does make you wonder how much we really need. It's a global warming apocalypse.

Ash and Pia's move from Brooklyn to the bucolic hills of Vermont was supposed to be a fresh start—a picturesque farmhouse, mindful lifestyle, maybe even children. But just three months in, news breaks of a devastating superstorm expected in the coming months. Fear of the impending disaster divides their tight-knit rural town and exposes the chasms in Ash and Pia's marriage. Ash seeks common ground with those who believe in working together for the common good. Pia teams up with "preppers" who want to go off the grid and war with the rest of the locals over whom to trust and how to protect themselves. Where Isole had once been a town of old farm families, yuppie transplants and beloved rednecks, they divide into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools.

A guilty pleasure for the holidays, a Maggie O'Farrell read Instructions for a Heatwave.

A portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976. It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children — two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce — back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.

The Age of Miracles another global warming conspiracy. What an odd book, I'm reading along and suddenly she goes from 12 years old to 23 years old and the book ends.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life--the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.


Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin--a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town's most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son's marriage to Michelle's mother but dotes on his only grandchild.

This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young black couple from Chicago. The Garretts' presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn--when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial accusation against one of the town leaders, who is also Charlie LeBeau's best friend.


One of the challenges of cooking in a timeshare, besides not having a stocked pantry, is managing the quantity of food bought. We were in this condo for three weeks and then are moving on Saturday to another for one week. Trying not to waste food is difficult when there are only two of you and you don't have the luxury of freezing for the long term.
As well. on the day you move you typically have the food sitting in the car for at least three hours. We have coolers and use water bottles as ice packs to help. Luckily the weather has cooled for a couple of days so we should be fine.

Saturday Christmas Eve Chinese
Sunday Christmas Day turkey, gravy, roast potatoes cheesy cauliflower brussel sprouts
Monday turkey leftovers
Tuesday hot turkey sandwiches with brussel sprouts
Wednesday cheese, pate and crackers
Thursday frozen pea soup
Friday pizza for John and Australian meat pie for me - in freezer


Friday Photo Journal

Weekend Cooking hosted by
Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.
Amanda’s Books and More
West Metro Mommy Reads
 Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy

Weekend Snapshots