RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: December 2007

Happy Holidays from the Hendrys

Happy Holidays from the Hendrys! It as been another merry year – all the better because we had oodles of homemade wine to celebrate with.

Christmas is certainly not about gifts for me, but this year I received a few very meaningful items, so I must show them off.

Denver made made me a broach of hammered silver that has a hand beaded piece attached. All portions of this creation were designed and made by her at school. I love it.

She also made me a hammered silver and a copper shawl pin. I almost bought one of these pins when we visited the fiber fair, but she talked me out of it, saying she could make me one out of something more permanent than aluminum. But after that day, I forgot about them completely. Meanwhile, she went back to school and worked out a design for one. Now, when I finish spinning my wool and make something to throw around my shoulders, I’ll have these nifty pins to hold it in place.  Wow.

She also made me some handcrafted silver earrings, but I don’t have a picture of them. Oops. I wish her work photographed better. Everything is so beautiful in person, and so original…

Mark and I were not exchanging this year (we are going to coffee school instead) but he said he made me something anyway. Since it was free he claims this isn’t breaking the “no gift” rule. That is debatable, but nevertheless . . . .

A week or so ago, he mentioned he and Kent went Christmas shopping for me. When I asked where they went, he grinned and said “In the woods.” So I was wondering what these two were planning. 
Here it is… they made me some Knot Birds. I collect Knot birds, but  I only have a few little, lumpy sparrows.  Nevertheless, I think they’re cool because it involves taking a chunk of scarred tree and turning it into a likeness of a bird so I always buy one when I see them in a festival or store.

But none are as unique (or meaningful) as these. Mark made me a peacock. He carved the head, used the knot as the body and made the tail out of a piece of ceder which he is working on in the workshop to make a coffee table.

Kent looked long and hard for a knot that he could make into a duck – my other favorite bird pet. He made me the most wonderful knot duck by carving a head and tail and putting nail heads in for eyes. 

I was thrilled. Homemade gifts are the best ever!

While I’m on the subject of gifts. This is the year Kent got his first car. A 2000 Mercury with leather seats, power everything and a sunroof. Lots of miles on it, but it is clean and sporty and a perfect first car for a kid. He was hopeing for a car, of course, but he didn’t think we were in a position to give him one at this time, so he was really overwhelmed. He wanted sone so badly. We parked it behind Mark’s truck and hid the key on the Christmas tree. When he found it (at the end of present opening) we all stood outside and shouted “Move that bus…” to reveal the gift. (We are all big fans of that stupid show Extreme Home Makeover, if you can’t guess) and don’t ya know, Mark drove his car out of the way to reveal the gift and Kent’s response was just like the people on the show. He cried. He hugged us for about ten minutes, hiding his face – overcome.

It was touching, and very, very fun.

Since moving here, my kids have changed. They are so down to earth, appreciative of their life, and thoughtful of us. They don’t have that sense of entitlement here that they had when we lived in a more cosmopolitan place. Anyway, Kent was really classy in expressing his gratitude, which made the gift all that more satisfying to give.
And everyone else was lovely too about what they gave and received too.
Now, Neva has disappeared for hours ago to play on her new Wii.
Denver went home to throw a load into her used washer and dryer and to make room for her new workbench for jewelery making. 

I had a few “make your own” sorts of gifts to give. Denver and Dianne both got everything to make homemade cordials themselves now – the book, the booze and the containers. And Di got a pressure canner and books and all the various supplies for canning because she has a successful garden and she’s expressed interest in learning to preserve. Not that I don’t enjoy sharing what I make, but every woman wants to play in her own kitchen. The problem is, getting all the paraphernalia to get started isn’t always easy. Anyway, they’re outfitted now.

Of course, there were the typical jackets, sweaters, books and games. It’s the American way… 

And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without food. Last night, I cooked. I veered from tradition this year and skipped the expensive beef tenderloin that I usually wrap in pastry. It’s fancy, but frankly, we’re not big meat eaters, and since it was just our family alone this year, I went for a chicken dish over a puffed pastry and stuffed mushrooms (Kent’s plea) and sherried fruit, corn pudding, broccoli, rice, and walnut salad.  The crew couldn’t help but poke gentle fun at me for my dessert display this year. I made a red velvet cake in the shape of a present, an eggnog flavored cheesecake, and a grasshopper mint pie. Must get the colors and flavors of Christmas in the mix, ya know. So it was a bit much for just us… but it was pretty and now I have something to share with the chickens tomorrow.

It is now midday. Mark is napping – I’ve just returned from the barn where I went to dote on my animals a bit.
This is my favorite part of Christmas.
I’m always a bit glad when the craziness is over. I like the quiet after the celebration. I like picking up paper, and putting things away, and clearing the breakfast dishes and having everyone disappear to rest. Then, I sit with a cup of coffee before the tree, thumb through a gift book (this year I got a wine making book and the game wineopoly) and amidst all the clutter, I contemplate the new year.

I think 2008 is going to be an important one. But that is subject for another blog.
In a few hours we will go to Dianne’s for her big dinner, my workload is over. Yippee. 
Merry Christmas to all. May your dearest dreams come true.

Sweet Competition

It’s a source of family shame, I tell ya. My family members will stop at nothing to solicit the title of Best Christmas Cookie Decorator of the year.

As I’m sure you can guess, I happen to have the superior ingenuity and skill at this important talent, but I’m classy enough to allow loved ones a moment of glory when they create a cookie that has some merit.  I do all the appropriate “Oohing” and “Ahhing” to build the aspiring cookie decorator’s self esteem – but soon after, can I help it if I produce an edible masterpiece that looks as if Rembrandt spread the icing himself? People in this family may beg to differ, but that’s just because they’re jealous.

Each holiday season we spend one night decorating cookies. We use traditional icing and sprinkles, with only a knife, a toothpick and our imaginations to create our fanciful treats. No fancy cookie decorating contraptions are ever considered or allowed. This is an old fashion cookie decorating stand-off, don’t ya know. And not having an icing gun or other professional gadgets to make these sweet treats look professionally decorated makes the quest very challenging. It is sort of like cave-man drawing cookie artistry. 

Creativity counts, so rather than decorate each cookie in the shape originally intended, it’s not uncommon for people to hold up blank cookies, turning them this way and that, while awaiting inspiration. Interesting things happen. This year, Neva took a round Christmas ornament cookie and painted it to look like a snow globe. White sprinkles dashed over a light blue background featuring a reindeer with a little red nose made her cookie positively adorable. Hard to believe that only two years ago she was still at the icing and sprinkle dumping stage, where her cookies looked like sweet gobs of poop thanks to mounds of icing and an overload of decorations oozing off the edges and on the table, floor and all over the kid.

Denver took the same round shape and created a big gold diamond ring with the letter “5” in the middle. This was for “la la la la, 5 golden rings…” as the 12 days of Christmas song goes. She claimed her cookie is not only original and Christmassy, but representative of the artist since she just finished jewelry school. (She expected special credit for that. . ahem . . . but we all groaned and said, “Nice try.”)

Someone made a Santa shape into a dashhound in honor of Dianne’s mutt. Denver painted one Santa shape all black, claiming it was “Santa’s shadow.” Interesting, but no go, pal… “pretty” has to count. Mark turned a snowman upside down and made a poinsettia bush in a pot. Not bad. Denver turned a candy cane shape into a golf club with Grandpa’s name on it. Cute, in an ugly sort of way. As was her purple Genie face – which has nothing at all to do with Christmas, so I didn’t get it. Meanwhile, I kept gently suggesting someone make a wreath into a wreath and a stocking into a stocking so we’d have a few cookies resembling known holiday shapes. Apparently, tradition doesn’t much appeal to those in a creative frenzy.

This year, I was so busy preparing icing and cleaning up after dinner that I bailed from the competition early and took to just decorating basic, attractive traditional cookies to be sure we had a few snowmen, wreaths, and stocking for guest to see (otherwise, they’d think we’re weird, ya know). And frankly, I wanted to go to bed and that looked a long time in coming with 10 dozen cookies still incomplete. Sigh. So I was all about high production.

As it was, I knew I’d have a hard time getting everyone to finish decorating the huge quantity of cookies I’d baked. My family members tend to spend an hour on one cookie masterpiece, then claim they’re spent as they collapse on the couch waiting for me to serve them cocoa or something. Oh no you don’t. I put one of each shape on a plate in front of every family member and announced they had to decorate at least that one plate full (which was about a dozen cookies) Another plate held the extras in case someone broke a favorite shape or inspiration required a second cookie of a certain shape. I thought it was a brilliant plan until I noticed Kent stuffing blank cookies into his mouth at an alarming speed, just to get out of decorating them. And when people weren’t looking, extra cookies magically appeared on their plates. It was like we were playing cookie hot potato. It seemed the number of blank cookies just never dwindled. But I was a harsh taskmaster, forcing the decorating to continue.

Anyway, the fact that I was not buckling down to create this year’s masterpiece meant I wasn’t a contender for the coveted title, so that qualified me to serve as this year’s exalted judge.

As soon as my prestigious position was established, don’t ya know Mark’s next cookie happened to be one of those round ornament cookies decorated to be . . .ready for this. . . . a pretty peacock. Of course, I was enchanted. I love peacocks! And what could be better than a cookie tribute to my peacock passion?

The kids, seeing my delight, saw through his blatant manipulation and complained that the cookie wasn’t Christmassy so it shouldn’t be considered as a finalist.

Mark looked insulted. “Certainly, you all know the story of the Christmas Peacock. It’s a famous holiday folktale from . . . . um . . . Bulgaria. Yeah, the Christmas Peacock lays eggs with presents in them. Certainly I told you that story when you were young. You must have forgotten.”

The kids gave him a droll look – they were not buying this flagrant lie one bit. So Mark shrugged and said, “Well, if you’re going to insist you don’t know the story of the Christmas peacock, fine. It’s a famous story, right up there with Rudolf, but you obviously are going to play dumb to undermine my great contribution…. Never mind, I have another cookie in mind anyway. Not like a great artist has only one good cookie in him…. ” And he proceeded to make another cookie. This time he took an angel cookie shape and turned it into a bee. I kid you not.

The kids said, “No fair. Mom loves bees too. You’re cheating!”
Mark blinked innocently and said, “Now, you can’t mean to tell me you don’t know about the Christmas Bee . . . .a holiday custom from Australia. As everyone knows, the Christmas Bee is where we get all the honey we use in Christmas recipes.”

I pointed out that I’ve not, this year or ever, made any sort of Christmas dish or treat with honey. Admit it dear, there is no Christmas Bee, but it was a good try. Ahem…. It’s cute, but disqualified for lack of thematic appropriateness. 

All this time, Kent was working on a special cookie. He painted a stocking shape black, and proceeded to put little Christmas lights along the top, with a window, a star, a wreath and a little lady dancing out front. He proudly displayed his masterpiece.

“What’s that supposed to be?” Mark said, with a forced lack of enthusiasm for the detailed work of art.

“You’re telling me you don’t know?” Kent said.

“It’s the little old lady who lived in a shoe, obviously.” I point out, sincerely impressed. And she’s even decorated the shoe for Christmas, thus keeping in theme. Now that looks like a winning cookie to me.

Mark lifted one eyebrow and said, “There was an old lady who lived in a SHOE. She didn’t live in a BOOT. Gee Wiz, if you veer from the basic premise of the poem, it’s gotta count against the cookie.”  

I made an executive decision that a boot definitely qualified as a “shoe”, thus the cookie meets all criteria for excellence. And even the fact that it was black was OK because it simply made the Christmas decorations stand out. 

So, Kent’s cookie was the winner in my opinion. Mark begrudgingly agreed that it was a damn good cookie, but I think that was partially because now he wanted to go to bed too. He then mumbled something about our son getting all his talent from his dad – a round-about way of trying to take credit for the cookie, if you ask me.

So Kent is Cookie Master Decorator for 2007. But between you and me, my favorite cookie is still the peacock, even if it isn’t Christmassy. And Neva’s snow globe displayed her future potential for sure. And I think it only fair Denver gets the prize for greatest wealth of original ideas. 

Not that any of this will help them next year. Looking at the overloaded plates of decorated cookies now (that no one will bother to eat – it’s about the making, not the eating, you see) I’ve decided next year I should reclaim my title. Just doesn’t feel right not having something to gloat about at Christmas.


Christmas Update

A few friends have written to ask where I’ve been. I haven’t forsaken the blog-sphere…  just been on a break. Usually this happens for one of the following reasons:

1. I’m feeling down. I happen to be one of those people who withdraw when she’s feeling melancholy. Nothing serious, just life stress and/or events triggering a less than jubilant attitude. It might even be environmental, because as winter sets in, this old Florida girl misses the green landscape, mourns the loss of her garden, and gets sick of sinking ankle deep in mud when feeding livestock with frozen fingers. The point is,  I see no reason to subject others to my pity party when I’m down, so I go on a blog hiatus.
2. I’m busy. Putting up a Christmas tree, shopping, making cookies, etc. etc. can eat up blogging hours to be sure.  Real life sure can get in the way of a girl’s indulgent computer time. It’s a darn shame, I tell you.
3. I’m distracted by another project. Example: Lately, I’ve been diligently working on my book. I’m spending a good 6 hours a day on revision, 3 days a week or more (unfortunately other days are consumed with laundry and other mundane chores I can’t seem to Tom Sawyer my way out of.) I’m committed to finishing one decent novel and sending it out, and now that I’m on a roll, I don’t dare let up for fear the productivity will sizzle out. You don’t know how easy it is to sit down in the computer chair and start blogging, and next thing you know, months have gone by and you haven’t written anything except mindless life notes. I think I’m ready for my writing to amount to something more tangible.

Anyway, this past 30 day blog break is due to all of the above categories.   I’ll be back more regularily some time soon …

What I think I’ll do in the meantime, is post my yearly family letter. I write one every year to include in Christmas cards to friends and family as a yearly update on the Hendry activities. It’ll be redundant to some of you who received the hard copy – and it will be far more info than others of you care to read… but for a few old friends who just stop by occasionally to see how we are doing, or those long lost friends who Google me and show up out of the blue (always a thrill) it makes for a great one shot Hendry family overview. 

Here, by the way, is our tree this year. We take the holidays at a calm pace now-a-days. No more extravagant lights outside, no pushing to make Christmas spectacular as if it’s some kind of mid-year recital. We just try to make things lovely yet simple too, then we make sure to pause and enjoy the season. This year, we took everyone to a 6 mile outdoor light display, our big holiday event. And one day, Mark and I stole off to enjoy an afternoon at the High Museum to see the next chapter of the Louvre exhibit, then went to a Jim Brickman Christmas concert – about the most romantic pianist in the universe. Other than that, we stick to simple celebratory things, like cookie decorating and gathering to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We even scale back on shopping now, which is easy when you live in a place where there’s no mall and very few stores. We scheduled one big day at a mall and that was it for shopping – we figured one day of commercial frenzy has to be enough. Christmas just feels more meaningful for us without the endless acquisition of things no one really needs. Shopping exhausts me, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Don’t laugh. It really does. 
The point is, we’re  no scrooge – everyone will get what they want most… but the rest just feels like clutter.  

But the one area that we do still bother to go all out in, is our tree. Filled with hundreds of ornaments that all have a story, our tree is a monument to Family history. It’s a big tree, but then, it would have to be. We’ve been together a long time and as such, have lots of ornaments to symbolize the places we’ve been and the stages we’ve been through. Decorating this tree is a two day, full family event. But it is a walk down memory lane, and that alone makes the effort a joy.

Here it is:

The mantle is decorated with greens Mark and Kent collected on a walk. Lovely, I think. It’s free, smells good (or so I’m told) and proves that Christmas doesn’t have to come from Walmart

OK. Here is the long diatribe about the Hendry’s in 2007. Snore.

Greetings from the Hendrys, a family now headed into year three of the great Georgia adventure.

It’s been a year of exciting accomplishments and realized dreams, but a year of painful disappointments and dreams gone amuck too. (At least it gives our life balance in a weird sort of way.) What counts is that we are all happy and life is still engaging on so many levels. 

Raising a family is not unlike singing Ten Little Indians. As the song of our life plays out, characters step aside, until all the little Indians are gone.  If nothing else, recognizing this makes us savor the family time we have together all the more. We count our blessings often as we watch our children (and our own selves) evolve and grow, moving into more mature stages.

This fall, Kent got his license and immediately landed his first job as a cashier at the local supermarket. While we’re proud of his work ethic, we can’t help but feel slightly cheated. Our newfound opportunity to share family meals and spend more time together has been fleeting as our sixteen year old son, with a gut full of ambition and a teenager’s agenda, takes his first steps towards independence.

Still a drummer, Kent landed the coveted position of quads in the high school marching band and spent the season traveling and competing with this progressive school activity. (The band placed 1st in state competitions.) The family has enjoyed going to all the home games, even though it’s true we spend more time cheering for the band and critiquing the cheerleaders than watching the football players. (Neva is partial to the concession stand.) Kent also has been developing a rock band with his guitar playing best friend. Dance may not be our life anymore, but our home is filled with rhythm all the same, like it or not. He is, as always, a model student and son, excelling in school, growing taller every day, and maintaining that down to earth sense of humor that keeps us all smiling. 

Neva  continues to be an avid soccer player, playing in both the spring and fall seasons. She spends a great deal of time writing poems, short stories and essays. One of her pieces was selected to be printed in the Georgia Literary Festival’s magazine and, always the attentive scholar, she’s been invited to participate in the National Young Scholars Program at the University of North Florida. She still plans to be a veterinarian, however, and spends plenty of time at the barn hob-knobbing with her friends; the chickens, llamas, donkey, rabbits, horses and whatever else Mom might be adding to the ark at the time. Neva always has ink on her fingertips and dirt on her bum, but that’s what makes her the vivacious entity she is.

We still love our hobby farm life, but it has had its share of disappointments.   A hawk carried off our two year old silky rooster, Yang, last month, and Neva is mourning the loss still. An unexpected cold snap killed our three young peacocks, which had Mom in a funk for days. (Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the area of poultry sensitivity.) An early cold snap killed all the blueberries in Georgia, seriously interfering with Ginny’s ambitious canning plans, but she made up for it with a larder filled with peach, pear, and blackberry jam, followed by gallons of marinara sauce and salsa. Then, there were her winemaking pursuits. She produced some 200 bottles of wine this year, including blackberry, strawberry, tomato (yes, you heard that right, she makes wine from tomatoes) apple, Riesling, Merlot and Pinot Grigio. She’s moved on to cordials now too, but promises she won’t build a still, even though sometimes she gets a Dukes of Hazard look in her eye that does have the family wondering. . .   

We collect eggs daily from our chickens and guineas, tend to our angora bunnies and two llamas (the female is due to have a baby this spring) have two horses, two dogs and one beloved donkey to keep us busy. Ginny is also keeping bees now, looking forward to harvesting her honey this spring. She’s even learned to make organic, natural soap products. Mark spends hours each week on his tractor, bush-hogging the fields, clearing land, hauling hay, and opening up the creek or landscaping. Yes – when we watch Green Acres we consider it a reality TV show! 

Despite the unprecedented Georgia drought, we planted a garden this spring which produced lettuce, beans, tomatoes, squash, cantaloupe, and peppers, not to mention one measly pumpkin that became our pride and joy this Halloween. We planted apple, peach, and pear trees, not to mention hundreds of bulbs, which will make this home a true paradise in a few years when the plants mature. Land development included clearing dozens of week trees and changing our creek into a one acre pond. Our home is a labor intensive work in progress but all the effort has started to take hold. Even if we don’t live here long enough to enjoy it all (due to the unfortunate business scenario) there’s something very poignant and rewarding in knowing you’ve left a place better than when you found it.

Denver has been living in her own apartment nearby and has been working at a local coffee shop while deciding what direction she wants to go with her life. This fall, she attended an eight week intensive silversmith jewelry course at Penland School for the Arts in North Carolina and she’s decide that what she wants most is to forge a career in jewelry craftsmanship. She’s now looking into additional training venues at the local craft schools and is considering returning to college to study the field more in depth. We are thrilled she’s discovered her passion, not to mention that mom likes the very cool jewelry she receives for birthdays and Christmas. (One of the perks of having a talented daughter.)

While we are on the subject of this child, I should point out that Denver and Ginny walked 60 miles in the Atlanta three day breast cancer marathon in October in honor of Pat East. Together, they raised 4,400.00 for this special cause. It was great fun (albeit we had our testy moments sleeping in a tent in the freezing cold and attending to our blisters) but we both considered it a precious life experience -meaningful for many reasons. Even now, two months later, Mom still has one jet black toe nail to prove she went the distance. The sore feet went away. The memories will last forever.

Mark has continued his studies of woodworking and furniture design in preparation of his new vocation, making cabin décor items for the business we will be opening (more on this in a moment). He has taken classes at the Campbell Folk school, Highland Hardware in Atlanta and The Dogwood Institute of fine woodworking to hone his skills. He’s spent the year building and organizing a professional workshop on the back corner of our 50 acres. At long last, it’s up and running. Ginny is thrilled to see pieces of rustic furniture making their appearance in the house. For those that don’t understand what falls into the “cabin décor” category, we’ve included a picture of a few pieces he made last week for our entranceway. The chairs, table, lamp and shade are all Mark originals.) Mark is also making rustic brooms, baskets, wood turned bowls and other hand crafted items for our soon-to-be store. It’s hard work, but he finds great satisfaction in the process as his creativity and ingenuity manifest into rustic, one of a kind pieces for vacation homes.

(Mirrors are hard to photograph, but this floor legnth mirror (prettier in real life) made it’s way into the bathroom this week. For the first time in two years I could take a good gander at my entire image at once. Eesh. I’m on a diet. . . . )  

Ginny was thrilled to graduate from Lesley, earning her Masters in Fine Arts in Fiction this June. This was a lifelong dream for her, and as such, a very meaningful accomplishment. After two grueling years of study, she took a 4 month sabbatical where wondered if she’d ever write another word, but then she returned to her writing with new vigor and enthusiasm – not to mention refined skill. She’s busy rewriting the very first novel she ever penned, a historical fiction. She’s satisfied with the evolution the story is undertaking and insists she loves the task, even though the family sometimes wonders as they hear groans and mumbled admonishments coming from her office as she looks at her amateur effort with a new, trained eye. Writing, like any other skill, takes diligent practice and many years of hard work to polish. She hopes this year will be the year it all comes together for her.

Meanwhile, Ginny is teaching two writing classes at Appalachian Technical College (memoir and fiction) in January and she’s been asked to lecture at the Blue Ridge Writer’s conference in March (Proving the degree does have some practical application after all.) She still maintains her blog, so friends can keep in touch, and she’s going on her second year as a reading tutor, still active volunteering with the Georgia Literacy Commission. She’s helping to train the new reading tutors and facilitating monthly meetings to support and encourage new tutors and to develop creative approaches to helping the illiterate overcome their obstacles. This volunteer work is very close to her heart.  

But not all news is happy news. This season, we had to accept the ultimate finale of FLEX, our previous business. After a bitter struggle, many personal offenses, and the frustrating ordeal of witnessing nonsensical business choices that only cost everyone involved sanity and money, the new owners went bankrupt and closed the school for good. After eighteen years of hard work and sacrifice to build the school, it was painful to see it destroyed so recklessly and needlessly, not to mention that this had a financial impact on the family which is now forcing us to shift plans. This was a very personal and painful thing to go through, but at least we can now cut our losses and move on. And so we will…

For us, this begins with our plans for a new business.  We recently bought a lot in the quaint town of McCaysville and will be breaking ground in January to erect a rustic freestanding building to house The Bean Tree, a coffee house/Appalachian Art gallery and cabin furnishing store. Our vision is to create an environmentally friendly business, serving organic fair trade coffee and green products with a commitment to locally grown produce and handmade items selected to support local artists.  Ginny will spend mornings making baked goods and preparing specialty gourmet foods for the store, and Mark will fill it with furniture and hard goods. We hope to produce our own organic soaps, canned goods and specialty items too.

With marketing and management skills experience hard gained from running a dance school, combined with our entertainment experience, we hope to make the Bean Tree a unique gathering place for people who love nature and art, featuring special events, such as book and wine clubs, senior meet and greets, and writer’s groups. Featured entertainment (musicians, storytellers, and poetry readings) will be scheduled in the evenings for residents who enjoy mountain living but long for intellectual stimulus as well. Located across from a train station that brought 55 thousand tourists into the town last year, we feel The Bean Tree has great potential. Ginny is even toying with the idea of publishing an in-house magazine for customers and Mark is researching website design and ways to expand our potential through e-marketing and sales. With hope, we will be opening in October of next year, so news of this venture will come in next year’s Christmas update if not sooner. Of course, everyone is invited to join us for a cup of coffee anytime!

For all that we are excited, we are ever aware of what we don’t know too. In January, we are going to Portland Oregon to attend Barista School (a fancy name for a serious coffee school) to learn the details of coffee house management, restaurant design, equipment maintenance and even how to make fancy artistic latte’s. (After years of putting it off, we were finally planning an European vacation, but well . . . . sometimes life gets in the way. It’s coffee school for us instead!) Then, in August we’re off to Pennsylvania to attend an art gallery management seminar and convention as we diligently fill the holes in our understanding of what this new venture will involve. We know there is a learning curve to any new endeavor and all businesses are subject to their unique headaches and risks, but we look forwarded to working together as a couple again to build another business that encompasses all the things we appreciate and love at this juncture of our lives.

Anyway, that is the year in review. We are all still in transition, but perhaps we always will be, for isn’t that a part of ongoing growth?  Life isn’t always smooth sailing, but at least it’s never boring. And while it’s sometimes scary, it’s also fascinating for each member of our family to finally discover what lay hidden beneath our leotards.
Happy Holidays to all,

The Hendrys

Some say,Mark is a guy who goes “over the top” when it comes to creative pursuits. Well, here’s a picture to prove that’s still the case, even in Georgia, when it comes to his Chrismas tree. Who else needs a twelve foot ladder to decorate the top of their tree?

Before and after… Bet some of you can even pick out an ornament or two that you gave us over the years. They are all there.