Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Weekend At Chez Renee

I could blog about the last two weeks in May, describing our vacation with the TBFs (my sister and brother-in-law) in Switzerland, France and England, but I will save that for another time. When we departed Basel the morning of May 30th for home, my sister also left later that same day for a business trip in the U.S. When she completed her business last Friday, she traveled to Chicago to spend the weekend with us.

This is the first time that my sister has spent an entire weekend with us at our house, which she has named "Chez Renee". She usually stays at our mother's condo, which we have now dubbed "Chateau Jo". My sister came in late that Friday night, so rather than go out to dinner, we stayed in and snacked on assorted appetizers that my wife put together and drank some wine (of course).

Those of you that have read my blog for awhile (and as we all know, it would only take about 10 minutes to read every one of my posts) knows that my wife and I run the food pantry at our parish. This past Saturday was a distribution day for our food pantry and my sister generously offered to go with us and help with the volunteer work (she probably also wanted to see for herself that which is such a big part of our lives).

When she got to the food pantry, she decided to help out by making the candy bags we give to the children that come to the food pantry with their parents. She came up with a special mix of candy to put into the bags. I tried to mimic this mix and help her, but due to my lack of patience I soon gave up and let her handle it herself. She met all of our regular volunteers and it was obvious that they enjoyed meeting and talking with her.

One of the best stories I can relate from my sister's visit to the food pantry involves some fresh rhubarb that was grown and donated by one of our parishioners. This is not the first time that this particular parishioner has donated rhubarb from her garden to our food pantry and we always find it difficult to persuade any of the families to take it. This is mainly due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of the families that come to our food pantry are Hispanic and have no idea what rhubarb is! Actually, I know what it is and don't want it either. My sister noticed that one of our volunteers was unsuccessfully trying to give one of our families some rhubarb. My sister quickly intervened and demonstrated how to peel and clean the rhubarb and suggested a quick recipe on how to prepare it. The woman clearly was interested as a result of this explanation and accepted the rhubarb. We were all amazed at how easily my sister accomplished this feat. Maybe she should be in marketing/sales at her company instead of what she is doing now!

That evening, Mom visited and we stayed home and barbecued instead of going out for dinner. We cooked nothing elaborate, just burgers, chicken and vegetables on the grill.

The next day, my wife had a bridal shower to attend, so my sister and I met our mother for lunch and did a little shopping. After that, we just went back to the house and relaxed for the rest of the day.

The next morning, Mrs. TBF left for New Jersey, vowing to stay again with us at "Chez Renee" next time she is in town. We hope so. We enjoyed having her with us and missed her as soon as she departed.


At 1:49 AM, June 08, 2007, Blogger The Big Finn said...

I'd have to say that this is, without a doubt, the best blog of your blogging career.

Keep up the good work!

At 9:45 AM, June 08, 2007, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Bravo! Well done, CB! I totally agree with you that Mrs. TBF would do great in sales and marketing, but don't forget that she was also "selling" a passion of hers: cooking! :)

Make sure to give our regards to Mrs. CB!

At 12:04 PM, June 10, 2007, Blogger Mrs. TBF said...

Awwww...I'm touched by this blog! Thanks for a great weekend.
BTW - Have you used the Nespresso machine yet?

At 10:11 PM, June 10, 2007, Blogger Colon Blow said...

Mrs. TBF,

Funny you should ask!

At 5:33 PM, June 16, 2007, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

yes definitely a great post.. Looks like a fun time with relaxing, which always isn't a bad thing!!

By the way, harder kulm is just a viewing point up kill via a tram from the train in Interlaken...


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