Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Last night the TV meteorologist talked about how we might have some severe weather coming through the area tonight. Every radio newscast I listened to today offered the same information. People seemed to be quite concerned...mainly because any storms might impact the Cardinals baseball game and the Blues hockey playoff game scheduled during the projected worst time period.

There was no sun at all today, which made it feel like the meteorologist might be right. After dinner Hubby Tony and were going to take a quick walk. Right after I put my shoes on Tony said he'd found out that a storm was headed our way, predicted here in approximately 30 minutes. We cancelled our plans. Ten minutes later I was outside tossing something in the compost pile and heard a distant rumble of thunder. Ten minutes after that the tornado siren went off. Tony said they'd sighted a tornado one county to the west of us. He eventually headed downstairs. I headed to my kitchen computer to do some paperwork.

My laissez faire attitude towards storms comes from my parents. As a child, hearing a siren meant it was time to go out onto the front porch and see what was going on. I never remember spending time in the basement, no matter how nasty the weather got.

via MEME

Shortly after Tony left the wind picked up and the rain started. For about fifteen minutes it came down at a ridiculous rate. A couple of small pieces of hail hit the skylight in the kitchen. I kept a cautious eye on the kitchen window so I could run and join Tony if the situation warranted, but all I saw were the trees being blown around a little bit.  The storm was over about the time the Blues game was starting. I turned on the radio and Tony came upstairs to join me.

Five years ago today: From Bad.....To Good....

Friday, May 17, 2019

Given With Love

For Mother's Day I received some lovely roses from Son Brian and Nicole. Hubby Tony took me to the garden shop, where he paid for all the annuals I selected for the garden. Son Donald stopped in for a visit. When he asked if there was anything specific I wanted I asked him to buy me a hanging basket for the back yard. I also received a call from Son Tony, who said that he and Ie were busy making cards.

He didn't specify what type of cards they were working on, but two days ago there was a long skinny envelope in the mailbox. Inside was the nicest Mother's Day card I've ever received:

They started with a graphic from a standard greeting card, then attached the graphic to a piece of card stock with photo corners, embellished the card stock with a hand-drawn boarder, and added "buttons" at the top. They really put a lot of work into it!

Five years ago today: Get Hot

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

My Warm Weather Treat

Last weekend it was furnace weather, but things bounced back and then some. For the next few days the highs will be in the upper 80s. It's time for my favorite summer snack, frozen watermelon.

I like conventional watermelon, too, but during the summer I actually prefer the frozen type. And the preparation couldn't be easier. Remove the rind from a seedless watermelon, then chop the fruit into cubes, spread them on a  baking sheet,  put the sheet into the freezer until the pieces flash freeze, and transfer them to a bag for storage.

The sweetness and texture of the frozen watermelon fools my stomach into thinking it's having a bowl of ice cream. The trick is to not let it thaw all the way, or it will be mushy. I think it tastes best after it has set out for about five minutes-just enough to soften a bit so it's easy to bite into.

Five years ago today: Sign The Flag

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Mom Song

Happy Mother's Day!

Whether you're a mom yourself or had a mom when you were growing up I think you can appreciate this.

Five years ago today: Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Blackberry Winter

At this time of year, the average high temperature for my area is 75 °F (and the average low is 56°). On Wednesday it got up to 82°, so I opened up windows, put on a pair of shorts, took the flannel sheets off the bed and replaced them with the warm-weather percale set, washed and stored the winter coats, and stashed the cold-weather shoes in the back of the closet.

Since Wednesday things have gone downhill. Today the high temperature was 50°! I closed up the house, found some heavy clothes to wear, and dug a pair of leather shoes out again. Tonight it's supposed to dip down to the mid-40s. As much as it kills me to do it, I broke down and turned the furnace on again.

However, I guess this cold snap isn't completely unprecedented. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, we're in a blackberry winter, a term used to describe a brief period of cold weather that coincides with the time the blackberries are in bloom. It typically happens in early to mid May.

And at least one person actually predicted the weather. Dave Murray was a local TV meteorologist for many years. Although he's now retired from that job, he maintains an active Facebook page. Yesterday he posted:
Looking back at my Spring forecast issued in February:
"*** That brings us to the blackberry Winter around the 9,10,11 and 12th of May… I rarely turn my back on this feature in the atmosphere. It is a cold run of weather...and I will not turn my back on it this year...but let’s think more of a cool snap rather than a cold snap during this period."
Dave would have completely nailed it if he had added one day to his snap. According to my phone app, things will be back to normal by Tuesday the 14th. I hope that's right.

Five years ago today: Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Just A Little Disconcerting

Several weeks before my last plane trip I received an email from my charge card company with the subject Your Upcoming Travel Plans.

I hadn't shared any plans with them, and the whole thing felt slightly creepy. But when I opened the message it reminded me that we had paid for the airline tickets with that particular charge card. Based on that the company had made a note of the date we were leaving. The email went on to say the company had automatically added a travel notice to the card so it wouldn't get declined in the new area.

The whole thing made sense, but still felt a little Big Brother-ish.

Five years ago today: Disremember

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Let's Go Blues!

Tonight our hometown St. Louis Blues hockey team is playing against the Dallas Stars in the seventh (and last) game of the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The series is tied, and whoever wins gets to move on to the next round. The Blues, who began playing in 1967, are the oldest active NHL team never to have won the Stanley Cup.

I'm a fair weather hockey fan, but for the past few weeks I've been caught up in all the excitement. It looks like I'm not the only one. When Hubby Tony and I were out for a walk tonight, we saw these signs taped to a pole:

A close up of the bottom sign. By the quality of the writing I assumed this passionate follower was on the younger side.

Five years ago today: The Chiropractor Is Usually Right

Friday, May 3, 2019

John Wayne's Five Rules to Remember in Life

I've tried and tried, but cannot find the source of these. If you know, pass the information on so I can give the correct credit.
1. Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard's name.

3. Help someone when they are in trouble, and they will remember you when they're in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.
Five years ago today: The Rubdown

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Amazing Occasions

Hubby Tony and I got home yesterday from a magnificent nine day trip. The time away was divided into three distinct parts.

On the Saturday before Easter we flew to Dallas. That night DIL Ie entered the Catholic church during the Easter Vigil. In total, there were 30 Catechumens (non-baptized individuals) and Candidates (people who were baptized in the Catholic church or another Christian community who had not received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation). The beautiful ceremony started at sundown and went for almost three hours.

We spent Easter day with Son Tony and Ie. Early Monday morning Ie took us to the airport for the next leg of our journey. This time were in the air for just under two hours. When the plane touched down, the pilot welcomed us to San Jose, California.  It was time to hang out with this guy and his parents!

We were at Son Brian and DIL Nicole's house for four days. During that time we got to shadow on a day care pick up and drop off, and attend a "Take Your Child to Work Day" event at Nicole's company. One day Tony and I took an ambitious walk to the San Jose Rose Garden to see what was blooming. At the end of the day my phone app told me I had walked slightly over 17,000 steps.

On Friday morning Tony picked up a rental car for the third chunk of the trip. We drove out of the Bay Area and over the mountains to Turlock, in the California Central Valley. Later in the day we practiced for the big event that took place Saturday morning...the wedding of Tony and Ie.

Photos and the reception took place on the grounds of a nearby lavender farm. The outdoor venue had comfortable,casual seating areas scattered about, yard games, and plenty of space for the children to run around. There were long wooden farm dining tables arranged next to a covered porch area. While the sun was up huge market umbrellas shaded the tables, but as it got dark the staff moved the umbrellas away, and the white lights strung in the nearby trees came on. The porch area turned into a dance floor (which was very popular). At the end of the night all of the guests got a long sparkler and made an arch for the new bride and groom to run through.

On Sunday we returned to Brian and Nicole's for one more night. This time Son Donald was there, too. The three of us left Monday morning for the flight back to St. Louis.

Five years ago today: International Jazz Day

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Joys Of Modern Air Travel (NOT)

Son Donald is scheduled to fly this afternoon. The ticket that he bought back in late January left St. Louis early in the afternoon for a four-hour nonstop flight, and got him to his destination in time for dinner. It also fit the schedule of the people who were picking him up at the airport.

Yesterday he got a text from the airline saying that flight was cancelled. It offered several alternate options, but the most attractive one was already filled up by time Donald got to the company's website. He chose the next-most attractive option. It leaves approximately the same time as his original flight, but now he has two legs to contend with, and a two-hour layover in between. In addition, his ride from the airport had to re-arrange their schedule in order to be available for him.

Five years ago today: Sheet Snob