Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Back in 2010 I joined LinkedIn, the social media network for professionals. When I first signed up most of the people I connected with could actually vouch for my professional skills, and I could vouch for theirs. Now, most of my connections are friends or people from church. When I received the first of those invitations I asked Hubby Tony what the etiquette was in that situation. He told me that if he actually knew the person he went ahead and accepted the request; that's what I did. I have no idea if those people are good at their job or not and I certainly couldn't recommend ("endorse" in LinkedIn lingo) them. However, a couple of years ago I was able to virtually introduce one friend who was looking for a job at another friend's office. That felt pretty good.

The last time I was looking for a job myself I made sure my profile was up to date, and was a pretty active user, but in the past few years the only time I log in is when I get a message from the company that someone wants to link. The last one was from a friend of an acquaintance. I've never met the person, who calls themself an Executive Coach. When I looked at the profile I noticed it had several typos on it. Not exactly the type of person I could recommend.

I ignored the request, but about a week later I got a reminder message that my invitation was still waiting for me. This time I went to the LinkedIn site and deleted the request. I can't imagine ever running into the person, and if by some crazy reason I did I bet they wouldn't even remember reaching out to me.

Five years ago today: The Sink Isn't SUPPOSED To Sink!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Clean, Clean, Clean

On Sunday we signed a contract to put our house on the market. On Monday Hubby Tony left for a long-planned work training class. He gets home tonight. At first, I was annoyed that I wouldn't have his help during this crucial period. But then I realized that I don't necessarily need his help to get a lot of things done.

It actually turned out to be an advantage to be alone. With no one else in the house there were no distractions. Each day I rolled out of bed, put on clothes for cleaning, and got to work immediately after breakfast. I ate when I was hungry, and without anyone to talk to it didn't take long to finish up. On Monday I had a dinner commitment, so I quit early. The other days I kept going long past dinner time, and my shower was the last activity of the day instead of the first. Because I was busy doing projects I took a hiatus from regular cleaning; by the end of the week things were scattered over every surface in the kitchen and dining room, and piles of things were stacked in random places throughout the house.

On Tuesday afternoon our realtor came to give me more specific guidance. We walked around the house room by room, and she told me what needs to be done before we welcome the first potential buyers. The list fills up four double-spaced pages of a spiral notebook. So far I've cleaned, organized, purged, decluttered, and disinfected. I called some workers recommended by the realtor to set appointments for them to come out for estimates.

This morning I had a meeting to attend. It felt strange to actually shower first thing in the morning and put on clothes that could be worn out in public. Before I left I figured out what to cook for dinner and took the ingredients out of the freezer. On the way home I took the opportunity to stop by the hardware store and pick up supplies for the next set of projects.

There's still a lot to be done!

Five years ago today: Charmed Circle Deux

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Having trouble understanding this post's title?
• MLS - Major League Soccer, the top level of the men's sport in the United States
• 4 - for
• The Lou - a nickname for the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area
Does it make sense now?

Yesterday the MLS Commissioner came to town to announce that our city has been selected for an expansion team, which will start playing in 2022. The ownership group is female-led (the first in the league), and contains several women from the Taylor family that controls the Enterprise car rental company.

Much more needs to be revealed, but I'm excited by the announcement. My boys all played soccer in elementary school (and some of them continued on into high school). When they started I didn't know the first thing about the game, but over the years I grew to understand and love it. I've been to MLS games in Kansas City and Chicago and they've been a lot of fun. Now I won't have to go on a road trip to see a game.

Five years ago today: Can A Guy Get A Little Attention Here?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Time To Scale Down

In 2003 our four bedroom house was bursting at the seams. Then one by one the boys graduated from high school and left for college or the work world. They'd come home for summers and visits, and Son Donald boomeranged back for a couple of years before he left again in 2016. Since that time it's been me, Hubby Tony, and the two cats.

The dining room became a good place for Tony to store his current project paperwork. My spot was the floor of the smallest bedroom. The cats enjoyed having a variety of beds to choose from, depending on the time of day and their mood. Often when I would vacuum the living room on Sunday I'd see evidence of last week's vacuuming because no one had walked over the area.

Since Son Tony left the nest Hubby Tony and I have talked about moving "when the time was right". It never was. Then one day several weeks ago we started talking more seriously. We had a couple of realtors come out and give us their opinion on what it would take to get the house market-ready. We liked what we heard from the second one so after taking a day to think, pray, and talk about it we made the decision that now was the time We signed a contract this afternoon.

Now the hard part begins. Even though I don't consider myself a hoarder and I've done a couple of purges over the years, we've lived in this house for 26 years. There is a lot of stuff to go through! Guided by our realtor, we'll also have contractors come in to update some things. And Tony and I will keep busy to make sure every surface is sparkling.

And, of course, in the middle of all our work we need to find a new place to live. The broker we've signed with uses a team approach, with one agent handling the selling and another the buying process. We've had a preliminary discussion with the buying agent about where and what we want our next home to look like so he can start researching for us.

The whole thing is exciting and scary at the same time.

Five years ago today: Those Must Be Some Big Fairies!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Generate And Fabricate

The other day I had an activity where I had to portray a company's Human Resources employee. It was fun dreaming up a detailed back story and then sharing it with the other people in the activity. One of the things I had to come up with was the 'name' of the company I worked for. After some thought I figured out something acceptable. But when the project was over I decided that if I ever had to perform a similar activity again it would be nice to start from the top.

Because everything is available on the internet, it didn't take me long to find the website Business Name Generator. The site did a good job of spitting out random names (some of which were actually registered, some which weren't), but there was also the option of starting with a specific word. I decided to use my name, and immediately had 155 possibilities, each written in a unique font.

After going through all of the suggestions, I decided there weren't too many professional sounding business names, but some of them could be useful in real life. Bekathy or Kathyoid would be good semi-anonymous screen names for a chat room. Kathyisms could become my wise words of wisdom. Ecokathy might be the person who dumps things in the compost pile every day. Multikathy would be the person doing too many things at once. (However, Divakathy is something I hope never to be.)

Five years ago today: Remodeling Season

Sunday, August 11, 2019

My Computer Is Nothing If Not Helpful

This afternoon I was typing a document in Microsoft Word that included the phrase creme de la creme. It was for my use only, so I wasn't concerned about taking the time to figure out the software shortcut to add the accent marks which would make it the more correct crème de la crème.

However, much to my surprise the software autocorrected my typing for me, deciding on its own that my document needed to be flawless. Its helpfulness was just a little creepy.

Five years ago today: A Sad State Of Affairs

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Stupid Bugger!

The other day I noticed that the flower beds in my front yard needed some attention and the one in the back yard had become quite jungle-like. It was way past time for them to get some attention! But after I noticed the problem I did my best to ignore it. I tried to justify my lack of action by telling myself I've been busy, and that the weather is so hot and humid at this time of the year. However, the main reason I didn't want to be outside was the mosquitoes.

My metropolitan area is in the top ten for mosquito issues. And with all the rainfall and flooding we had in the spring and early summer this is a particularly bad year. If I'm out in the yard for more than five minutes I can count on having at least one mosquito bite. Sometimes four, five, or six.

However, those flowers weren't going to deadhead themselves and the weeds weren't going to lay down and die, so this morning after I rolled out of bed I threw on gardening clothes. After breakfast, I grabbed a bottle of repellent that promised it would make me "Invisible to bugs" and covered every inch of my exposed skin in repellent. Then for good measure I sprayed repellent on my abdomen and pulled up the legs of my shorts to cover that area, too. When I was done my skin felt sticky and I smelled like a chemical factory. But I figured the inconvenience would be worth it.

I started my project in the front yard because it was still shady there, giving the bushes a little pruning trim, deadheading all the flowers and removing their brown leaves, and did my best to remove a huge dandelion was poking out from the middle of a zinna plant. Moving around to the side of the house, I trimmed back the two large patches of day lilies and pulled up a patch of 'something' that had taken up residence behind the air conditioners. I filled up the green waste trash can and one old recycling bin.

I kept procrastinating moving to the perennial bed in the back yard, but it was the area that needed the most attention. Nestled alongside the coneflowers, chocolate Joe Pye weed, and past it's prime lobelia some weeds almost as tall as I was were muscling in. I put on my gloves and grabbed handfuls of unwanted greenery, tossing it to the ground behind me.  When I was done I had enough to fill up a second recycling bin. At that point I realized I had an itch. I looked down and discovered that not only had a mosquito found a way through the chemical barrier but there were three bites arranged in a triangle on the outside of my right knee. It had been almost an hour of outside work, so I decided to call my project finished for the day. I put everything away and came inside for a well-deserved shower.

Five years ago today: Moonlight Rambling

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Revamping Lamps

Hubby Tony and I have started looking around our house with an eye towards sprucing it up. We've come up with an ambitious list of projects ranging in size from big to small. I decided that I needed to ease into those big tasks, so as a warm up I tackled a pair of shabby-looking lamps in the family room.

We've had the the tall brass plated lamps for years. When they were new they were bright and shiny. Now they're dingy, with chipped plating and even a couple of tiny rust spots. Since polished brass is less fashionable than it used to be I decided to repaint them in a brushed nickel finish. One can of spray paint, some elbow grease, and a little bit of my time later I can cross the project off of the list.

One done, one to go
Five years ago today: The Pastor's Cat

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tasty Tasting Menu Meal

Last night Hubby Tony and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by going out for an eventful dinner. A couple of weeks ago he did some initial research and sent me a possible list of restaurants, then I let him know the ones that I liked the best. Based on my choices and where he could get a reservation we had an outstanding meal at Savage.

The restaurant has shown up on multiple 'Best Of' lists, and based on what I read I was excited to try it. One of its most unique feature is that there is really no menu. You just select the number of courses you want (four, six or twelve) and the chef does the rest.

The restaurant is located inside what used to be an old liquor store, and there's no outside signage on the building to indicate its new purpose. When we got close to the door one of the wait staff opened the door for us and welcomed us into a large room with a tall bar with high-top stools arranged neatly around three sides of an open kitchen.

There were already a half dozen people sitting at the far end of the bar, and the hostess pulled out the next two stools for us. All of us were considered a seating, and received our food at the same time. A server came and asked us how many courses we wanted (Tony and I had agreed on the full twelve), if we had any allergy issues, and what we wanted to drink.

All of the cooking and serving was done from inside the bar area. It was fascinating to watch the chef and two assistants work very hard on each dish throughout the meal. We had nine savory and three sweet courses. Each was only a couple of artistically composed bites placed placed on unique plates and bowls, and each course came with the correct new silverware.

Here is a collage of our courses:

Each time a server placed a dish in front of us they explained what we were going to eat. Some of the ingredients were new to me, and some familiar ingredients were prepared in ways I would never imagine. (For example, the red dish in the top left photo is chicharron, which is usually made from fried pig skin. These were made from pureed beets. There's a slow cooked zucchini with barley foam on the top right, a melt-in-your-mouth barbecued cabbage with goat cheese underneath that, and a tiny slice of semi-frozen buttermilk with blueberries and fig leaf sugar in the bottom row.)  Several times I was tempted to pick up a plate to lick the last of a sauce up, but you'll be happy to know that I managed to control myself.

Our dinner lasted just under two hours. I would have told you that I would be stuffed after a twelve course meal, and I would have been wrong. Instead, I was pleasantly full. As we left one of the wait staff held the door open for us and invited us to come back again.