Monday, April 9, 2012


My husband's mom is here visiting us from California.  She is a beautiful woman named after flowers.

Today we took her to Amish country.  She sat in Amish rocking chairs, bought pantry items at the bulk foods store, sampled fudge at the chocolate factory, and giggled as we got caught in a rainstorm.  We enjoyed watching farmers plow their fields, children playing baseball outside of a schoolhouse, horse-drawn buggies clopping along the highway, and loads of laundry flapping in the wind.

The Amish people live a simple life that, I think in some ways, reminds my mother-in-law of her rural childhood in Argentina.

We were sure to take her to Heini's Cheese Chalet for their tasting buffet.  I've been limiting my dairy intake, so I avoided the cheese itself and hovered around the fudge display instead.  Mom filled her basket with a loaf of smoked swiss, asiago, summer sausage, cream cheese spreads and a strange package of pressed meat.

Head cheese.

Does everyone have a first experience with head cheese?

Flora delighted in sharing her find with us, as she reminisced about all of the other awkward animal body parts she's consumed in her lifetime.  To be honest, with a squeeze of lemon, the mixed meat wasn't terrible.  Just forget what the loaf is made from, and ignore the taut and slimy texture, and you, too, can have a palatable first (and possibly last) experience with head cheese.

Chris just introduced his mom to the popular British-American television show, Downton Abbey.  They are in the other room finishing their third episode.  I may be one of the only ones who finds the show boring.  However, I do enjoy watching Hallmark movies with my mother-in-law, which is what I did last night, while Chris was out running errands.  Something about the title, Love Comes Softly, didn't grab him.

Tomorrow, Flora is making borscht for dinner.

I think we'll keep her.


  1. I Just love the Photo Pf Chris and his Mom. They are soo cute! =) I love his mom she is so prity! I am so glad I got to meet this womon!

  2. Jon and i have been telling her for months about downton abbey. Of course she finally sits down to watch it with you guys...

  3. Thank you, Amanda! She really is lovely. Sad (for us) she had to fly back to California today, but we'll get to visit for Thanksgiving! Ren, doesn't that just figure? Well, Chris got her hooked and finished season 1 on Netflix. She'll be jonesin' for season 2 on DVD. Perhaps you could help with that? :)

  4. Yeah, Flora! I remember Chris once telling me that his mom was the most selfless person that he knows. Whenever I think of people I most admire, Flora is among them. She's always been such a great example to me, and I'm sure to many others. Also, a note on the jeans: Flora is wearing jeans!! :) I've never seen her in jeans. xoxo, Juanita

  5. I know.. the jeans!!! I did a double-take myself. She looked super cute! Every outfit she wore was perfect, and her presence was calming and sweet and nurturing. She is a beauty! xo