Happy New Year’s Eve

I didn’t anticipate not having a lot of time today. Regularly scheduled Le Café blogging has had to take a backseat today.

I had to edit photos this morning and now I’m editing a video I shot with my niece. We decided to host New Year’s with a couple friends tonight, so after this, I’m going to be grocery shopping and then I’ll be cooking. I’m going to make some pies for dinner on special request.

I ruined a pie over at regular-reader SAW’s house while in North Carolina, and I’m so pissed off I’m going to redeem myself … if only in my head.

We’ll bring in the new year rather casually, as one of us is pregnant, and it’s not Talulah or Tina. One of our guests has a bun or two in the oven. It’s still early, so I’ll need to make sure there are no nitrates in any meat. I’ll also have to make sure I don’t make anything that will make her hurl.

What’s on your agenda for the evening?


Willie Nelson sang this once

Whelp, we’re on the road again. Tina’s driving. I’m rubbing
her neck and patting her hair. I’m making goo goo eyes at her. I’m
telling her how much I love her and now I’m interrupting the love
fest for a blog update. We had a delightful time in the fog. It’ll
be nice to get home to see Zoe cat. I’m quite sure she’s missing
the hell out of Tina. Right now we’re probably an hour from Dayton
Ohio. It’s raining a little and we’re listening to the radio. I was
hoping for a big religious sign to take a picture of. There was one
a little while ago that said, “Heaven or Hell, It’s your choice!”
The words heaven and hell were on a cloudy and fiery background
respectively. Really? Those are the only choices of the loving god?
Because that’s not a choice, you dumbass sign. I told that sign,
right? High fives all around. There are lots of triple cross art
installations through West Virginia and of course there are
zillions of churches. I remember seeing a crapload of buddhist
churches in Thailand and Cambodia and my dad made the comment that
there were a lot of temples there. “You could say, There are a lot
of churches in America.” I said. “Really?” he asked. I didn’t say
anything. There’s a lot that I’m mulling over regarding this trip.
But I’m not nearly as worried about it as I’ve been in the past. It
is a relief that I don’t have to concern myself over what everyone
thinks of my wife and I being the only heathens in town. It’s fun
really. And no matter how much we bring up church discussion and
ask about their beliefs, we have to understand that most people
will never ask us anything or wonder what we think. So much the
better. If I had a weak faith, I wouldn’t want to ask about what a
non-believer thought either. Anyway. We looked up why most barns
are painted red. Apparently it’s because farmers mixed rust into
their white paint to keep mold and moss from growing on the wood
which would speed the decay process. It became a fad and now people
do it out of tradition. Imagine that, people mindlessly doing
something out of tradition. Well, I gotta get back to admiring my
beautiful wife. Her attention deficit is depleting

Le dernier jour en paradis


Hipstamatic gramps playing poker



Today’s the last day in paradise. Tina and I have been in North Carolina almost an entire week. And despite our lack of beliefs in the Christian deity, lightning has not struck one time.

We’ve had a great time, and I’ve had a good break from work and blogging.

Sunday night we played games with my family. That was fun. We played a card game called “Set Back.” It was really confusing at first, but once I got the hang of it, it made a lot of sense. I took a lot of notes from what seemed to work between my mom, dad and gramps. I ended up winning. Woohoo!

Tina usually kicks everyones asses in any card game she plays. I was worried my family would be crying and licking their wounds after asking her to play cards. But she was a good sport and let me win for once.

After that, we got a few pennies out and played a few hands of strip* poker.

Monday night, we had a double date with my brother and sister-in-law. We went to PF Changs. Our waiter’s name was Mario. My dish was Sichuan Beef. My face was sweating. We shopped at Apple store. And Anthropologie. We drove home.

How did you like those staccato sentences?

Dinner with them was great. Tina and I wish we lived closer by just so we could have more time with them. I wish we had more time during this trip, but our schedules conflicted. I think Tina should go into business with my SiL. They have so much in common and seeing them together is like watching long-lost sisters reuniting.

Last night, Tina and I made pizzas for my family and we made two extras to bring over to regular-readers SAW’s and SAW’s wife’s house. We brought Talulah who played with their Dobermans.

We had a great time, and if we pushed it, we should have stayed over and talked through the night and gone though another bottle of wine.

My brother and his family will come over again today. I’m making beef stew for dinner.

Tomorrow morning, Tina and I hit the road again.

I want to write up a year in review for the blog, so you can remember your favorite moments right here at Le Café during 2010. But it might not be published until December 31.

I was curious if there were any moments you remember during the year that stood out. Or maybe even a list of events that were Le Café Witteveen specific. If you remember any, please drop a note in the comments.



*This is a southern sex joke that we keep it in the family. If you didn’t get it, I apologize and beg for your forgiveness.

All holed up

A lot of the southeast got dumped on with snow on Christmas. It made for beautiful photos, and I’ll have to share some soon. I’m still concentrating on family and not my usual exploits, work or the blog.

Yesterday I had a photo shoot with a local family. It was kind of a bust, as we really didn’t have a place to go into. We thought we were going to have access to some buildings on a local university campus, but it didn’t work out.

So we improvised some outdoor shots.

Before we left the house, I made minestrone soup to eat later for dinner that was also kind of a bust. There was no fresh basil at the grocery store, so I had to use died. The soup tasted pretty good, but damn the basil made it aesthetically weird looking.

The night before I tried to make the butternut squash and scallops. The butternut squash didn’t turn out very well. I felt like I screwed up two dinners in a row. This morning, I made some eggs and hashbrowns, and my dad made biscuits.

I also made some potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes. The hashbrowns weren’t going to go very far as I only had two ‘taters.

My sister raved over the hashbrowns, so finally I felt validated and good about cooking.

For lunch, I’m going to take Tina to Mayberry’s, the restaurant where I worked in high school. Tonight we’re going to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law.

Whelp, it’s Christmas, and I don’t want to be accused of spending too much time on the computer. You should do the same. If you’re still around family, shut ‘er down and split a piece of pie or something.

Now go!

Happy Day After

I’m trying to concentrate more on family than the blog. So that’s what I’m doing. Except for right now, of course.

Talulah and I went running in the snow this morning and when I got back, she was tracking blood all over the kitchen. She broke the hell out of a nail on her right front paw. It’s hanging there by a thread. The poor thing.

I bandaged it up after cleaning the wound. She successfully tore it off, and now she’s sleeping next to my dad.

The snow is absolutely gorgeous. You should be here. We could make a warm drink and sit by the fire.

We might even be able to get the remote control from my grandpa and turn off the sunday morning sermons that have been on TV since this morning.



In North Carolina, safe and sound

Tina and I made it last night at around 9:30. It took us almost 12.5 hours to drive. Driving through the  West Virginia turnpike was a little hairy. There was snow coming down, and the twists and turns were daunting after 9 hours of driving.

During the drive, my dad and my brother called me about three times a piece. I turned to Tina at one point and I said, “Man, it really feels like they want us to be there. Dad has a welcoming calm in his voice. I like that.”

My parents were waiting for us when we got in. When I talked to my mom the other day, she said, “We’ll have a beer here when you get in.”

When I talked to my dad when we were about 20 minutes away, I said, “Man, I’m looking forward to that beer.”

“We don’t have any beer here,” he said.

“Oh okay.”


“Well, I’ll pick some up on the way in.”

We hung up. No big deal.

Two minutes later, my phone rang. It was my dad. “Hey, Jer, what kind of beer do you want? I’m in the car. I’ll go get some.”

How cool is that?

This morning I chucked it with Talulah for about an hour. Then I ran mom and dad’s little dogs for about 10 minutes. They are little barky dogs, and I thought they could use a little heart rate increase.

I’m showered, and we’re going to church at 1 p.m. at my brother’s church. We’re going to celebrate with them today. We’ll open presents and all that. On Christmas we’ll take it easy. I’m going to make scallops and butternut squash tomorrow for dinner since it’s only going to be my mom, dad, sister, Tina, my gramps and me.

Happy Merry Christmas Eve. I wish you the very best. Thanks for checking in.

Let me know what you’re up to in the comments. I’d love to know.