Friday, December 31, 2021

New Year's Eve

Time to turn the page on another year

It's okay to look back at the past. Just don't stare.

Life always offers a second chance

And farewell to 2021. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

 Five years ago today: Words Of Wisdom For 2017

Monday, December 27, 2021

Don't Spend It All In One Place

This morning I went to a class at the gym, then left that building and walked next store to Kohl's. Earlier in the month Hubby Tony made a purchase and received $10 in Kohl's Cash that had to be used this week. He said there was nothing that he needed and turned the certificate over to me.

I can usually find something in the store, but today there was nothing that struck my fancy. (The shelves were pretty bare, I suspect because of a combination of supply chain issues and general after-Christmas depletion). I wandered from department to department and left each disappointed. 

Eventually I decided on a three-pack of socks and a lip balm.  I took my items up to the cash register. The clerk scanned them, scanned the bar code on my certificate, and said I didn't owe her any money. As a matter of fact, I had 22 cents left to spend on my next purchase! I wasn't about to go back through the store just to maximize my savings.

On my way to the parking lot I spied a couple coming into the building. I asked them if they were shopping today and if they would like to save an additional pittance on their purchase. The lady answered that she would, so I handed the certificate over. I figure that since I wouldn't use it somebody should.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Making Memories 2021 (Part 2)

Christmas Day 2021 was as adventurous as Christmas Eve had been.

On December 24th Hubby Tony and I watched the TV weather before heading for bed. The meteorologist pointed out that the overnight temperatures would be very similar to those on Memorial Day at the end of May. I thought that was nothing but an interesting fact until I tried to fall asleep on December's flannel sheets! It was way too hot and I tossed and turned for quite some time before drifting off. 

Christmas breakfast was grapefruit, Fruit Bread (banana bread with walnuts, chocolate chips and maraschino cherries), and yogurt. I normally drink my coffee black, but discovered that egg nog makes a great flavored creamer. Tony and I opened presents, then had a FaceTime call with Son Brian and family to watch their boys open the presents we had sent them.

Back when our Christmas plans were still in flux, Tony and I had decided that lunch would be out. Not much is open on Christmas Day, but the cafeteria area of our favorite Asian market was. After breakfast Tony wondered out loud that since it was so nice out if it would be possible to bike to the store. We decided that yes, it would. In order to stay off of the major roads we took a circuitous route, which included riding through a subdivision and zigzagging through strip mall parking lots. 

The cafeteria was busy, but there were more people getting food to go than eating in. I ordered pho with sliced beef. Tony decided on vegetable fried rice. The food came quickly. After we finished lunch we looked through the store and bought a couple of things, including a 'Santa Claus' melon (appropriate, don't you think?) to add to dessert.

On the way home traffic looked light, and we decided to cycle a more direct way down Manchester Road This was the first time I had ever ridden on the major street, but I found out that there was a pretty decent shoulder most of the way. Eventually we cut over to a less busy street and made it back home.

After changing my clothes I started thinking about putting dinner together. The smoked turkey breast required no preparation, but everything else needed to be cooked. Twenty minutes later greens were cooking in the Instant Pot, and another fifteen minutes after that root vegetables were roasting in the oven. When the vegetables were cooked I replaced the cookie sheet with a pan of tomatoes and loaves of take and bake bread. Tony prepared the melon, and took the box of gingerbread cookies out of the freezer.

Tony and I packed a meal to bring to Son Donald, who was quarantining at home. I put the rest of the food into a low oven to stay warm At Donald's house Tony put the food on his porch, then we retreated to the sidewalk while Donald came out to get the box. After chatting across the front yard for a couple of minutes we headed back home.

I decided that even though there were just two of us we were going to go all out and use china plates and silver utensils.While I was setting the table Tony made a small pot of decaf coffee to go with dessert. We filled our plates and sat down to eat.

The label on the box of cookies said they were "Darn Good". I'm sure they would have been on their own, but we added a layer of canned vanilla frosting to make sure they were. The melon was a nice accompaniment.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Making Memories 2021

Last Tuesday Hubby Tony and I received a test from Son Donald giving us a heads up that he wasn't feeling well. Later in the week, we mutually decided that it would probably be best if he didn't come to the house for a Christmas visit. Just like that, Both Christmas Eve and Day were empty of commitments. Tony and I could have been upset and frustrated, but we used the time to plan some great adventures.

Christmas Eve was forecast to be almost-record setting warm. After breakfast I turned off the furnace and opened a couple of windows. It was strange, but nice, to hear the outside noises at this time of the year. I had a Zoom meeting and Tony had some last minute things to take care of, but we reconnected shortly before noon. We gave Jackson the Cat an early lunch, then left the house.

Our first stop was the Central West End neighborhood, where we walked around the commercial areas. By this time it was so warm I didn't even need a jacket! Most of the stores were closed, but we still had a good time checking out the store windows. We did find a bakery that was open, and bought cupcakes for dessert with dinner. On the way back to the car we popped into the Cathedral Basilica to see its Christmas decorations.

Our second stop was also a church-the Shrine of St. Joseph (the site of the only authenticated miracle in the Midwestern United States) for Mass. Neither Tony or I had been there before.


 There was a security guard standing next to the church grounds when we arrived. He directed us to a parking lot down the street. Mass was at 4:00, but a choral prelude that started an hour before that. We arrived shortly before the official program started and took seats that had a good view of the beautiful main altar.

For the next two and a half hours (covering both the prelude and the mass) I was transfixed by the outstanding music coming from the choir loft! Of course there was an organ. I also heard brass instruments, bells, and percussion instruments. I don't know how many singers participated, but their voices melded beautifully. It was a magical experience. 

It wasn't hard to navigate the traffic outside the church and get on the highway to head back home. Dinner was simple-salad from a kit, frozen pizza, and cupcakes.  A great way to end a a great day.

Five years ago today: From My House To Yours

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Yuletide Strange And Sundry

A collection of offbeat photos I've accumulated over the past month:

This inflatable reindeer was taller than the house, and creepy to walk by

I'm guessing these inflatables look great on top of the porch when they're blown up. Deflated, not so much.

It looks like the dollar store has officially jumped on the 'create a gift set' bandwagon. There was a whole aisle devoted to things you could combine to add to a basket.

Last weekend I was stopped at a light, and noticed the vehicle next to me had functioning Christmas lights zip tied around its frame.

 Do you think if everyone stopped for pizza we could all get along better?

Five years ago: All Will Be Complete

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Shortest Day Of The Year

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of year and the official first day of winter. It was still completely dark when I rolled out of bed this morning, and dark again long before dinner. (Not everything about the day was winter-like though. It started out heavy winter coat chilly, but by lunchtime the lightweight winter coat was just enough.)

In honor of the solstice, today I spent some time today searching the internet for what other cultures do to celebrate. I learned about the ancient Deer Mother, who in many cultures flew through the air on the Winter Solstice. In case you're also unfamiliar with her, this video does a good job of explaining.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sunday Funny

A father was walking past his son’s bedroom one day and happened to look in. He was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up off the floor. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to ‘Dad.’ Fearing the worst, he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter. It said:

Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sadness that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.

I have been finding real passion with Susie and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes, and the fact that she is much older than I am.

But it’s not only the passion. Dad she’s pregnant. 

Don’t worry though, Susie said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Susie has also opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime, we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so that Susie can get better. She deserves it.

Don’t worry Dad. I’m 16 and I know how to take care of myself.

Someday I’m sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, Your son Tim.

P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Jimmy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a lousy report card…That’s in my desk drawer. I love you.

Five years ago today: Pile O' Packages

Friday, December 17, 2021

The Common And The Obscure

Hubby Tony was gone when I rolled out of bed this morning, and I knew that he had left to go to  Mass and then out for coffee and socializing with his friends. When he came home, he told me that the Gospel reading for today was the beginning of the Book of Matthew in the Bible, the part that lists the lengthy ancestry of Jesus:

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. 

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. 

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations."

 Our conversation got me thinking...why have some Bible names become popular and others haven't? Over the years I've talked with Davids, Jacobs, Jesses, Josiahs, Rams, Josephs, and even an Amos or two. I've never met a Amminadab or a Uzziah. According to Babycenter, in 2021 David was the 41st most popular boy's name. Uzziah was 3,042 (and down 388 from the year before).

Even when you look at women's Biblical names some are popular, and others not so much. Of course there are countless Marys, Ruths, Elizabeths, and Sarahs. Hannah and Jordan were popular choices a couple of decades ago. I've heard that Martha and Delilah are starting to trend. But Tamar, Sapphira, and Zipporah? In my area, not so much.

Five years ago: Not Again!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Hubby Tony and I are now triply-protected against Covid. On Monday we got "boosted", as Anthony Fauci put it.

In our area, the booster shot procedure was opened up to people our age just a few days before we were scheduled to leave for California, and we didn't want to take the chance of having side effects while we were away. We got home, took care of the grocery shopping and accumulated paperwork, then started looking for appointments nearby. There were appointments to be had, but not until late this week. On the state Covid website I searched for vaccination events, and found an independent pharmacy in a South St. Louis neighborhood with a standing walk-in clinic. Tony and I booked back-to-back appointments. 

On Monday I started the day with a trip to the gym (for Body Pump, my first weightlifting in more than a month), then ran an errand before swinging by the house to pick up Tony. The pharmacy's location ended up being very convenient; we were able to take care of one other project while we were in that section of the city.  When we walked in there were no other vaccination customers. I had my shot within five minutes of entering, and Tony was five minutes after me. We sat in the lobby area until our 15-minute window was over and left. On the way home we stopped for a cup of coffee.

I had sailed through the first two inoculations with nothing other than a sore arm, and thought this time would be the same. However, on Monday night I had chills and felt really tired. I stuck it out until my regular bed time, but despite my tiredness slept fitfully. Yesterday I hurt all over, but couldn't decide if it was sore muscles from the gym or Covid-related. I downed ibuprofen like clockwork every four hours. I took a late afternoon nap and went to bed early. This time I slept like a rock and woke up refreshed.

Today the only soreness I have is from my gym class; my vaccinated arm only hurts if I happen to press against the area. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Cranberry Jello

A couple of weeks ago I told you about updating a family classic Thanksgiving recipe because of some nut allergy reactions. Kay over at Musings requested the recipe. Between traveling and general holiday business it's taken me too long to fulfill her request, but here it is.

This recipe is very forgiving. Over the years the can size of cranberry sauce has shrunk a bit, but I just roll with the lesser amount. Oddly, the standard can size of crushed pineapple has increased, but I just scoop out the extra. Any type of nuts works. I usually use lite cream cheese to avoid a few calories. Dream Whip can be hard to find, but it's usually shelved in the baking aisle close to the Jello.

We serve the dish as a part of the meal, but some people in the family have been known to eat it as a dessert.

CRANBERRY JELLO (makes a 13x9 pan)

2 small or 1 large box red Jello
2 cups boiling water
2 (15-16 ounce) cans jellied cranberry sauce
2 (15-16 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, well drained
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 packages Dream Whip, prepared according to package directions
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Dissolve Jello in water in 13x9 pan. Add cranberry sauce and stir until dissolved. Add crushed pineapple and nuts. Refrigerate until firm

Beat cream cheese until soft. Add Dream Whip and marshmallows. Spread mixture on top of Jello. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

 Five years ago: Good Hair Day

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Repositioning The Ringers

A couple of decades ago Hubby Tony's great aunt passed on a collection of vintage brass Christmas bells. The 18 bells are a variety of shapes and colors, between 1 1/2 and 2 inches tall, and are engraved with holiday phrases. At our previous house we placed them at eye level on a bookshelf where they were easy to see. At our new place there are no bookshelves in the living area, and the best we could do was arrange them on a small table. Not very impressive.

I started looking around in stores for some type of display stand or tiered tray, but everything I saw was too big, too expensive, or too fancy. However, at a Goodwill store I found a pair of S-shaped candle stands. Each had five platforms that would be big enough to hold a bell, and room for the extra bells to nestle between the curves. The stands had yellow price tags that said $3 (within my mental budget limit), but when I read the sign that all yellow tagged merchandise was 75% off I couldn't carry them to the register fast enough!

Back at the house I asked Tony to do the rearranging. I think the collection looks more appealing now, don't you? Five years ago today: Like!


Saturday, December 11, 2021

I Didn't Even Know I Was Celebrating!

The past two evenings Hubby Tony and I have attended back-to-back holiday parties, both organized by volunteer groups he's involved with.

The first one was a potluck.The second one had catered food. Both were excellent, and I ate way too much. This morning I woke up lethargic and bloated, but nothing that some exercise couldn't fix. My plan was to go to the gym and use a treadmill or exercise bike. The last thing I did before leaving the house was check the temperature on my phone to see if I needed my heavy or lightweight winter coat. The temperature was warmer than I thought it would be (close to 40 degrees Fahrenheit) and all of a sudden the idea of driving to the gym and spending time on a machine didn't seem attractive. I decided to take a walk instead.

The weather was brisk but invigorating. From my house I walked south to the first major street, turned left, then after a while hung a left at the street that would take me back to my neighborhood. Halfway there I got a rock in my shoe so I stopped at this cute gazebo and fixed the issue.

When I reached the subdivision road that would lead back to my place I decided to keep going. Instead of turning I went straight. Along the way I picked up some trash that had blown onto the sidewalk, then deposited it in the trash can at a business. When the road I was on ended I turned left and kept going. At this point the wind picked up and made it a little chilly, so I left the sidewalk and walked alongside buildings whenever possible.

At the strip mall just to the east of a large grocery store I found a cart someone had left and returned it to the correct place. Passing the grocery's plastic bag recycling bin, I learned that they would accept more things than just bags, and I stopped to take a photo for future reference.

When I left the grocery parking lot and turned on the arterial street that would take me to my subdivision I passed a city Public Safety building. The digital sign in front told me that today was National App Day. So when I was checking the weather before I left and taking photos along the way I was commemorating the day.


Five years ago today: Tubas Playing Christmas Carols

Wednesday, December 8, 2021



Tonight the radio disc jockey played a John Lennon song, and pointed out that he was killed 41 years ago today. Since that day was also my mom's birthday I've always associated the two, making the date of the event easy to remember, but forty one years! How did that happen?

I know that everyone has their favorite John Lennon tune. This is mine:

 Five years ago today: Walk And Work Out

Tuesday, December 7, 2021


Wikipedia says that a Contrafactum is "the substitution of one text for another without substantial change to the music".  Now that you know that, would you like to sing one with me (using the tune to “Over the River and Through the Wood”)? 

Over the mountains and through the towns 
to children's houses we go. 
We well know the way, we just have to pay
to get both to and fro....OH!

Yesterday night Hubby Tony and I returned from a wonderful trip to see the California branchs of our family. We flew over mountains, rivers, fields, and towns to get to San Jose, where we spent time with Son Brian, DIL Nicole, and Grandsons Jay, Ell, and Dee. On Thanksgiving we even got to see my niece Michelle, a new transplant to the area. 

A week later we rented a car and drove through the mountains at the Alameda Pass to the Central Valley area to see Son Tony, DIL Ie, and their growing family. Tony and I haven't been there for several months. During that time Granddaughter Gee went from cruising on the furniture to running through the house. And six weeks ago Granddaughter Evee made her appearance. I couldn't get enough toddler and baby cuddles! 

For two weeks my diet flew out the window and I ate high on the hog. There was great food at every meal, but the highlights for me were two Thanksgiving dinners-one at Brian's on the actual day and another one at Tony's a week later. In addition to having fun, I tried to be an extra set of hands wherever I could.

Yesterday was a flurry of transportation....starting with an Uber from Brian's to the airport, followed by three flight segments on two planes. Back in St. Louis, we caught a shuttle bus to return us to the parking lot, then did an easy drive down post-rush hour interstates to the house. Jackson the cat looked excited to see us when we opened the door. For the rest of the nigh he followed both Tony and I around, offering head butts whenever possible.

Five years ago today: Silver And Dollars


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Corralling Autumn Leaves

I thoroughly appreciate condo living, especially the part about not having to be in charge of yard work. However, today I had the opportunity to help someone else take care of some fall cleanup and found myself enjoying the task.

The front yard was covered with a deep layer of sycamore leaves. I started by using a rake to brush the leaves off the bushes by the front porch, went over to the side of the house and did the same thing, then started raking the everything towards the curb, from which the trash department will come and take them away.

It was satisfying to see the grass appear as the leaves went away, but eventually the deep pile got too heavy for me to move. I handed my rake off, and someone with a leaf blower finished things up. The entire task took almost an hour, and unfortunately some new leaves had already fallen before everything was put away. The perfect patch of green grass wasn't perfect any more. But it wasn't my problem.

 Five years ago today: Dining Room For A Crowd

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Everything's Fake But The Advice At The End

 I received this email today, but I'm not concerned at all:

 Grееtìɴɡѕ! I һɑνе tᴏ ѕһаrе bɑԁ ɴеwѕ wítհ уσս. Aррrσхἰᴍаtеlу а ḟеw ᴍσᴨtհѕ ɑɡο, I ɡаíɴеԁ аϲᴄеѕѕ tσ уᴏսᴦ ďеνíϲеѕ, wհἱᴄհ уоս սѕе ḟοr íɴtеrɴеt brοwѕìɴɡ. Aḟtеᴦ tһаt, I һɑνе ѕtɑᴦtеď tᴦасᴋíᴨɡ уᴏսᴦ íɴtеᴦᴨеt ɑϲtἰνἱtìеѕ. Hеrе ìѕ tհе ѕеԛսеᴨᴄе σḟ еνеᴨtѕ: Sσᴍе tìᴍе аɡο, I ρսrᴄһɑѕеԁ ɑϲᴄеѕѕ tᴏ еᴍаἰl асϲᴏսᴨtѕ ḟᴦᴏᴍ һасᴋеᴦѕ (ᴨσwаďауѕ, ἱt ìѕ ԛսítе ѕíᴍрlе tο bսу ἰt οᴨlìɴе). I һɑѵе еаѕílу ᴍɑᴨɑɡеď tᴏ lσɡ ἱᴨ tᴏ уᴏսᴦ еᴍɑἱl ассоսᴨt. Oᴨе wееᴋ lаtеᴦ, I һɑѵе ɑlᴦеɑԁу ìɴѕtɑllеԁ tհе Tᴦσјɑɴ νíᴦսѕ оɴ tһе Oρеrаtἰɴɡ Sуѕtеᴍѕ οḟ аll tһе ďеѵíϲеѕ уσս սѕе tο асᴄеѕѕ уᴏսr еᴍаìl. It wɑѕ ɴᴏt հаrԁ аt ɑll (ѕἰɴᴄе уᴏս wеrе ḟоllσwìɴɡ tһе lἱɴкѕ ḟᴦσᴍ уоսᴦ ἰɴbσх еᴍаìlѕ). All ἰᴨɡеɴἱᴏսѕ ἱѕ ѕἱᴍрlе. :) Tհìѕ ѕоḟtwɑᴦе рᴦоѵíďеѕ ᴍе wἱtһ ɑᴄϲеѕѕ tσ ɑll уᴏսᴦ ďеѵìᴄеѕ' сοɴtrᴏllеrѕ (е.ɡ., уσսr ᴍíсrорհᴏᴨе, νíԁеο сɑᴍеᴦа, аɴď ĸеуbᴏаᴦď). I հаѵе ԁᴏwɴlᴏɑďеԁ ɑll уσսr ἱɴḟοᴦᴍɑtìσɴ, ďɑtа, рһоtᴏѕ, wеb brᴏwѕἰɴɡ հìѕtοᴦу tο ᴍу ѕеᴦνеᴦѕ. I һɑѵе ɑᴄϲеѕѕ tо аll уᴏսr ᴍеѕѕеᴨɡеrѕ, ѕσсìɑl ɴеtwогĸѕ, еᴍɑἱlѕ, сհɑt һἱѕtοᴦу, аᴨď сοɴtаᴄtѕ lìѕt. Mу νἱᴦսѕ сᴏɴtíɴսᴏսѕlу rеḟrеѕһеѕ tհе ѕíɡᴨаtսrеѕ (ìt ìѕ ďᴦìѵеᴦ-bɑѕеď) аᴨԁ һеɴϲе rеᴍɑíᴨѕ ἰᴨνἱѕíblе ḟσᴦ аɴtἱѵἰᴦսѕ ѕоḟtwаrе. Lìĸеwìѕе, I ɡսеѕѕ bу ɴᴏw уοս սɴԁerѕtаɴď wհу I հаνе ѕtауеԁ սᴨďеtесtеď սᴨtἱl tһἰѕ lеttеᴦ. Wհìlе ɡɑtһеrἰɴɡ ἱᴨḟσrᴍɑtἱоᴨ аbᴏսt уσս, I հаνе ԁἱѕϲοѵеrеԁ tհɑt уοս ɑrе а bἱɡ ḟɑᴨ σḟ ɑďսlt wеbѕìtеѕ. Yᴏս lονе νíѕἰtíɴɡ ρоᴦɴ wеbѕítеѕ аɴď wɑtсһìᴨɡ ехсἰtìᴨɡ ѵìďеᴏѕ wһἱlе еᴨďսᴦἰɴɡ аɴ еɴᴏrᴍᴏսѕ ɑᴍοսɴt οḟ рlеɑѕսᴦе. Wеll, I һаνе ᴍɑᴨаɡеԁ tо ᴦесοrԁ ɑ ɴսᴍbеr ᴏḟ уσսr ԁìᴦtу ѕϲеɴеѕ аᴨď ᴍоɴtаɡеď а ḟеw νἱďеσѕ, wһíᴄհ ѕһᴏw һоw уοս ᴍɑѕtսrbɑtе ɑɴď rеасһ σrɡɑѕᴍѕ. Iḟ уσս һɑѵе ԁоսbtѕ, I сɑɴ ᴍаᴋе ɑ ḟеw сlἰϲĸѕ οḟ ᴍу ᴍσսѕе, ɑɴԁ ɑll уοսr νἰԁеσѕ wíll bе ѕһаᴦеď wἰtһ уоսr ḟrìеɴďѕ, соllеаɡսеѕ, ɑɴԁ ᴦеlɑtἰѵеѕ. I аlѕо հɑѵе ᴨσ ἰѕѕսе ɑt ɑll wἱtһ ᴍаĸἱᴨɡ tհеᴍ ɑѵаἰlɑblе ḟоᴦ рսblìᴄ ɑϲсеѕѕ. I ɡսеѕѕ уοս ԁоᴨ't wɑᴨt tհаt tᴏ һɑρреᴨ. Cᴏɴѕἰďеᴦἰᴨɡ tհе ѕρеϲἰḟἱϲìtу οḟ tհе νἱԁеоѕ уᴏս lἰĸе tο wɑtϲհ (уоս ρеrḟесtlу кᴨᴏw wհɑt I ᴍеɑɴ), ἰt wíll ϲаսѕе а ᴦеɑl ϲаtаѕtrᴏρհе ḟоr уоս. Lеt'ѕ ѕеttlе ít tհἱѕ wау: Yᴏս tᴦаɴѕḟеᴦ $1800 USD tо ᴍе (íᴨ Bἰtсᴏìɴ еԛսíѵɑlеɴt ɑϲϲσᴦԁἰɴɡ tᴏ tһе ехϲһɑɴɡе ᴦɑtе ɑt tһе ᴍᴏᴍеᴨt οḟ ḟսᴨďѕ tᴦаᴨѕḟеᴦ), аɴď οɴϲе tһе trɑɴѕḟеr íѕ ᴦеϲеìѵеď, I wἱll ԁеlеtе ɑll tһἱѕ ԁírtу ѕtսḟḟ rἰɡһt ɑwɑу. Aḟtеᴦ tհаt, wе wíll ḟσrɡеt аbσսt еɑсһ σtһеᴦ. I ɑlѕσ рrоᴍἱѕе tο ԁеɑϲtἰѵɑtе аᴨď ďеlеtе аll tհе һаᴦᴍḟսl ѕσḟtwɑrе ḟrᴏᴍ уᴏսᴦ ԁеνἱϲеѕ. Tᴦսѕt ᴍе. I кеер ᴍу wοᴦď. Tհɑt ἱѕ а ḟɑíᴦ ԁеаl, аᴨď tһе ρrìϲе íѕ rеlɑtἱνеlу lσw, ᴄοᴨѕἰԁеᴦἱᴨɡ tһаt I һɑѵе bееɴ ϲһеᴄкíᴨɡ σսt уоսᴦ рrοḟἰlе ɑᴨď tᴦɑḟḟíϲ ḟσr ѕᴏᴍе tìᴍе bу ᴨσw. Iḟ уоս ԁοɴ't ĸᴨοw һᴏw tо ρսrсհаѕе ɑɴď tᴦаɴѕḟеr bítсоíɴѕ - уσս ϲɑᴨ սѕе ɑᴨу ᴍоԁегɴ ѕеаrсһ еɴɡἰɴе. Hеге íѕ ᴍу Bἰtϲᴏíᴨ wаllеt: cd1rkufzwgevw5078y4tg84riga5d9eaus3bkrydi Yσս һаνе lеѕѕ tհɑɴ 48 հοսrѕ ḟᴦᴏᴍ tһе ᴍᴏᴍеɴt уοս ореᴨеď tհἱѕ еᴍаìl (ρᴦеᴄíѕеlу twо ԁауѕ). Tһἱᴨɡѕ уσս ᴨееď tσ ɑνоἰď ḟrᴏᴍ ďоíɴɡ: *Dο ᴨσt rеρlу tσ ᴍе (I հаνе ϲrеɑtеԁ tһἰѕ еᴍɑíl ìᴨѕἱďе уσսᴦ íᴨbοх ɑᴨԁ ɡеᴨеrɑtеԁ tհе rеtսrᴨ аԁԁrеѕѕ). *Dᴏ ᴨσt tᴦу tσ ᴄσᴨtаϲt tհе ρσlíᴄе ɑɴď ᴏtһеᴦ ѕесսᴦἱtу ѕеᴦνἱсеѕ. Alѕо, ḟᴏᴦɡеt ɑbᴏսt tеllἰᴨɡ уοսᴦ ḟrἰеᴨԁѕ. Iḟ I ďἱѕсσѵеr tհаt (аѕ уοս ᴄɑᴨ ѕее, ἰt íѕ ɴᴏt ѕο һаᴦԁ, сᴏᴨѕíԁеᴦἱᴨɡ tһɑt I ϲοᴨtᴦоl аll уσսr ѕуѕtеᴍѕ) - уσսгrνìďеᴏ wìll bе ѕһɑrеď wἰtһ tһе ρսblìϲ ᴦìɡһt аwɑу. *Dσɴ't tᴦу tσ ḟíɴď ᴍе - ἰt ἱѕ рοíᴨtlеѕѕ. All ϲrуρtосսrᴦеᴨᴄу trɑᴨѕɑсtìоɴѕ аrе ɑɴοᴨуᴍοսѕ. *Dσɴ't trу tо ᴦеἱɴѕtаll tһе OS οɴ уᴏսr ďеνìсеѕ οr tһrοw tһеᴍ аwау. It ἱѕ рοἱɴtlеѕѕ аѕ wеll ѕἱᴨϲе аll tһе νíԁеοѕ հаѵе ɑlrеаďу bееɴ ѕаνеԁ ɑt ᴦеᴍоtе ѕеᴦνеᴦѕ. Tհìᴨɡѕ уσս ԁоᴨ't ᴨееԁ tο wσᴦrу аbοսt: *Tһɑt I wоᴨ't bе ɑblе tо ᴦеϲеἰѵе уᴏսᴦ ḟսɴď'ѕ trɑᴨѕḟеᴦ. - Dοɴ't wσᴦᴦу, I wìll ѕее ít ᴦìɡһt аwау οᴨᴄе уοս сᴏᴍрlеtе tհе tᴦɑᴨѕḟеᴦ ѕἰᴨϲе I ϲоᴨtἱɴսоսѕlу tᴦɑϲк аll уσսr аϲtíѵìtἰеѕ (ᴍу tᴦᴏјɑɴ ѵìᴦսѕ һɑѕ ɡᴏt ɑ ᴦеᴍоtе-ᴄσɴtrоl ḟеаtսᴦе, ѕоᴍеtհἰɴɡ lìᴋе TеаᴍVἱеwеᴦ). *Tհɑt I wíll ѕһаᴦе уᴏսᴦ ѵἱԁеᴏѕ ɑɴуwɑу аḟtеᴦ уσս ϲᴏᴍρlеtе tհе ḟսᴨԁ'ѕ tᴦɑɴѕḟеᴦ. - Tᴦսѕt ᴍе, I հɑѵе ɴо ροἰᴨt tο соɴtìɴսе ᴄᴦеɑtἱɴɡ tᴦᴏսblеѕ ἱᴨ уοսr lìḟе. Iḟ I wɑᴨtеď tһаt, I wᴏսlԁ ԁο ἱt а lσᴨɡ tἱᴍе ɑɡо! Eѵеᴦуtһἱɴɡ wἱll bе ďᴏɴе ìᴨ а ḟɑἱᴦ ᴍаᴨɴеr! Oᴨе ᴍοrе tհἱᴨɡ. Dᴏᴨ't ɡеt ϲɑսɡһt ìᴨ ѕἰᴍílаr ᴋἰᴨďѕ оḟ ѕítսаtἱοɴѕ аᴨуᴍоrе íᴨ tհе ḟսtսᴦе! Mу ɑԁѵἰсе: ᴋеер ᴄհаᴨɡἰɴɡ аll уσսᴦ раѕѕwогԁѕ ḟᴦеԛսеɴtlу.
Five years ago today: I Won The Bagel Lottery

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Handy High Tech

Right now I drive a 2014 Honda CR-V. It does everything I need it to do, and I have no reason to trade it in for something else, but today when I had the opportunity to drive a current model year Honda Accord it was pretty cool to see how many more bells and whistles they put into vehicles now.

The car had a keyless start system (which I know is pretty common, but not something I've ever had). It was nice keep the fob out of my purse except when it was time to lock or unlock the car. The back-up camera was much fancier than the one I have now, with a wider angle and better resolution.

This car sensed what the road speed was, and if I went over that number a little speed limit sign popped up on the dashboard to remind me to slow down. Not only was there cruise control, but it sensed when traffic ahead of me was slowing down and modified itself. If I accidentally moved even slightly out of the center of the lane (which happened often until I got the hang of the vehicle) the dashboard would display a large warning. If I had wanted to, I could have plugged my phone in and have it integrate with the car system to get directions, do hands-free phone calls, or get texts. Thankfully, I didn't need to take advantage of the fancy tire pressure monitoring system, brake assist, or traction control, but it was all there if I needed it.

If new cars now have all these bells and whistles, I wonder how many more will be available when I actually get around to buying a new one?

Five years ago today: Pretty Poinsettias

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Traditional With A Twist

When Hubby Tony and I married in 1980 our house became the gathering place for Thanksgiving dinners. A year or two later my mom brought a Pyrex cake pan with a filled with a recipe she got from a co-worker. The Cranberry Jello (a two-layer concoction of red: cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, walnuts, and white: whipped topping, cream cheese, and miniatures marshmallows) was a hit. After she died I became the designated maker, and now that the family is scattered around the country the recipe has been equally dispersed.

This year I had to make two changes to the recipe. Because of some nut allergies, 'safe' macadamias took the place of problematic walnuts. Those round macadamias were challenging to work with, because they kept rolling around the cutting board, but eventually I managed to chop them into small pieces. Miniature marshmallows were impossible to find, so Tony and I tore conventional sized marshmallows into appropriate-sized pieces. The pieces were messy to work with; they stuck to our fingers and each other, but mixed well enough into the other white ingredients.

The final dish was deemed a success. We may have started a new tradition.

Five years ago today: Thanksgiving Groaners

Monday, November 22, 2021

Refrigerator Cleaning Gratitude

Yesterday our refrigerator was looking pretty empty. Before I went to the store and brought home food to fill it up again I decided it would be a good time to give it a good cleaning.

It's been months since the last full interior cleaning. I would do the job more often, but it's kind of a big deal. The refrigerator fits snugly into a cubby between the cabinets and a wall. The door doesn't open wide enough to allow the shelves to come out unless the entire refrigerator is pulled out a couple of feet. Washing and rinsing the bulky shelves and bins in the sink is always a challenge, and I inevitably end up with water on the counter, floor, and myself.

I filled the sink with warm soapy water, then took out the shelves one by one, transferring items to the island as necessary. I washed and dried each shelf, returned them to the correct space, and restocked them with items. I did the same thing with the meat and crisper bins and the door racks.

While I moved the fruits and vegetables in and out of their bins I realized I was grateful to be able to have so many options available for fresh produce. As I rearranged the condiments on the door racks I appreciated the reminder that we are able to purchase specialty ingredients. The large number of soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, ketchup, and mustard packets were visible signs that Hubby Tony and I are lucky enough to be able to treat ourselves to meals out.

After the job was complete I dried up the cleaning mess and stood back to admire my work. The inside of the unit gleamed, and everything was neatly arranged inside. I pushed the refrigerator back into its cubby and called it a day. The freezer section (which is nicely full right now) could wait until another day.

Five years ago today: The Gift Of Not Giving A Thing

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Sunbeam Schemes

November  20, 2021 - 1:54 pm

The people who live here think I'm just a cute bedside table lamp. I hope they never figure out my secret evil sunbeam personality.

 Five years ago today: Killing Leaves

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, And Not Too Busy

Not that I'm complaining, but this week Mother Nature can't make up her mind which month it is. The temperature has been more like mid-October than mid-November, with highs in the upper 60s F. That will change later today, when a cold front comes through and bumps those highs down to the upper 40s tomorrow.

Hubby Tony and I decided to take advantage of the warmth and visit the Missouri Botanical Garden. Although there was very little in bloom, the Japanese Garden still had some beautiful color.

We arrived shortly after the gardens opened at 9 am. On our way out of the visitor's center we noticed a sign for a docent-led walking tour at 10 and decided to take advantage of it. Tony and I made one lap around the grounds on our own before heading back to he visitor's center. Unlike some of our other trips to the garden, the weather today was perfect for strolling. And probably because most plants are past their blooming stage there were very few people there.

Back in the visitor's center the tour guide was standing right next to the sign. No one else showed up, so for the next hour we got a personalized tour. The docent pointed out some of his favorite areas and shared interesting tidbits about the garden's history. At the end of the tour he encouraged us to come back for the Garden Glow (a holiday nighttime illuminated stroll) or any of the member events.

Five years ago today: Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Food Prepared And Served Quickly

Did you know that today was National Fast Food Day? Hubby Tony and I celebrated by eating lunch at  Five Guys

He ordered a hot dog. I got a veggie sandwich. We split some peanuts and an order of fries. And a chocolate peanut butter milkshake 😊.

After the tasty but unhealthy meal we both made sure we got plenty of exercise and had a healthy dinner.

Carlos via Flickr

Five years ago today: It's A Real Challenge

Sunday, November 14, 2021

I Would Never Make It As A Food Blogger

Last night Hubby Tony and I were invited to a neighbor's driveway for a potluck. I was excited to receive the invitation a couple of weeks ago. Even though we've lived in our condo for almost two years, thanks to Covid the only people I've really met are the ones in our building.

The invitation said to bring a favorite dish or dessert, and whatever we wanted to drink. I wanted to make something easy which wouldn't need to stay warm, because I figured the food would be served outside. After spending some time poking around the internet for ideas I decided that Potato Salad Bites (small potatoes hollowed out and refilled with potato salad) would do the trick.

There were a lot of interpretations of the recipe but I used a Betty Crocker one as my inspiration. The first step is to roast potatoes. Next you cut them in half, scoop out the insides, mix that with potato salad ingredients, then stuff the mixture back into the skins. I changed up the recipe slightly by adding the recommended chopped up green onions into the mixture instead of using them as a topping.

The project took longer than I anticipated, mainly because the potatoes needed extra time to bake. I scurried around putting the finishing touches on the dish, then scurried around putting the finishing touches on myself. When it was time to leave I put on my heavy winter coat and grabbed the tray from the refrigerator.

It was already brisk at 4 pm when we walked around the corner. The hostess had a couple of fire pits in the driveway; each had a large pile of wood next to it. A row of tables was arranged down the middle of the garage, and the cabinets on the side of the garage held more dishes. I put my tray down and explained what it was. 

I should have brought a little sign with the name of the dish, because when the food was served people commented on how 'cute' the bites looked, but no one knew what they were. I explained again. Someone ate a one and commented on how good it was. Later, when I went back for dessert I overheard one woman telling another "I don't know why made them, but you have to try these little potatoes". I identified myself as the maker, and briefly explained the recipe.

Tony and I had to leave early because we had a second commitment. Out of the 24 bites I brought there were only four left. I transferred them to another plate so I could take my platter home. It wasn't until I was walking into my place that I realized that I forgot to take a photo of my dish, a requisite of any foodie post.

Five years ago today: Good Luck And A Lush Lawn

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thank You For Your Service......But Not You

Today is Veteran's Day, a Federal holiday that honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. When Hubby Tony was still working he had the day off, and we would work hard to come up with some type of adventure. Now that he's retired and on endless vacation there was less pressure to make today memorable. We both had a list of things we wanted to accomplish, so after breakfast we went our separate ways.

I started in the kitchen, getting the pumpkin that decorated our door for Halloween ready for roasting. After I cleaned up that mess I decided to go get my hair cut at a nearby walk-in hair salon. The salon offers the option of checking in online. I found out there was a 12 minute wait-just enough time for me to get my shoes on, get in the car, and drive the mile to the location.

When I walked in I noticed the monitor that listed the people who had checked in had four names on it. I was second on the list.. There were three beauticians working, and just about the time I sat down and got comfortable one of them called my name. As we walked to her station I mentioned how busy the salon was, and learned that they were giving veterans a free haircut today.

My simple haircut took ten minutes. As I was at the cash register checking out I noticed that there were four new people checked in. I  wonder how many of them would not be paying?

Five years ago today: Display Anew

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Chance Commemoration

November is a quarter of the way over. For the past week we've been haing some nice weather, with highs in the mid-60s. That will be changing later in the week, so while we can Hubby Tony and I have been getting out and around to enjoy it. Today we were in Alton, Illinois completing another chapter of our scavenger hunt book.

The book showcases three cities across the river (Alton, Belleville, and Edwardsville). Alton is the one Tony and I are the most familiar with, which helped us to find a lot of the locations suggested by the book's clues. However, there are also always some new-to-us places. 

One of those new places was the Elijah P. Lovejoy monument. Lovejoy was a newspaper editor and abolitionist who was killed defending his right to print antislavery material in the period leading up to the Civil War. His monument is on the edge of the city cemetery.

When we arrived at the monument there were several other people there. Someone was setting up a portable speaker and microphone, and it looked like a young man was getting ready to speak into it. While Tony and I were looking up at the top of the monument a woman came up and handed us programs. It turns out that they were getting ready to have an annual Lovejoy Day ceremony, which would have speeches and a wreath laying. 

It would have been interesting to stay around for the ceremony, but Tony and I were on a short time frame. Rather than leave in the middle of the program we chose to get out of there before it started.

Five years ago today: I Voted Today!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Noisy Neighbor Issues

As part of my commitment as the secretary for a state-wide fellowship, this weekend I was in Jefferson City for a business meeting. The meeting was hybrid; attendees could choose to attend either on Zoom or in-person. The in-person portion took place in a small sectioned-off portion of a hotel ballroom. 

Everything was going swimmingly until midway through the Saturday afternoon session. All of a sudden a patriotic concert band in the next section of the ballroom started practicing. Their music came clearly through the partition into our area.

Although the music was annoying, it was also fun. I was dancing in my seat while listening to "The U.S. Air Force" ("Wild Blue Yonder") song. A little later I went to the microphone to make a comment while "The Star Spangled Banner" was playing, and I felt like I should march up instead of walk. 

However, I don't think everyone had the same opinion as me. Our organization's contact with the hotel scrambled to see if the problem could be fixed, but couldn't find anyone with authority to do something. The person running the sound system had to work hard raise and lower the microphone volume as the music started and stopped. 

After about 20 minutes the music stopped permanently. It was replaced by a light hum of people conversing in the room, a much more pleasant background.

Five years ago today: The Talking Cuckoo Clock

Saturday, November 6, 2021


The leaves are fading and falling; 
The winds are rough and wild; 
The birds have ceased their calling– 
But let me tell you, my child, 
Though day by day, as it closes, 
Doth darker and colder grow, 
The roots of the bright red roses 
Will keep alive in the snow. 
And when the winter is over, 
The boughs will get new leaves, 
The quail come back to the clover, 
And the swallow back to the eaves. 
 The robin will wear on his bosom
A vest that is bright and new, 
And the loveliest wayside blossom 
Will shine with the sun and dew. 
The leaves today are whirling; 
The brooks are all dry and dumb– 
But let me tell you, my darling, 
The spring will be sure to come. 
There must be rough, cold weather, 
And winds and rains so wild; 
Not all good things together 
Come to us here, my child. 
So, when some dear joy loses
Its beauteous summer glow,
Think how the roots of the roses 
Are kept alive in the snow. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

I Live In A World Of Wonder

We've lived in our condo building since January 2020. That's a long time, but there's still things that surprise me.

 This morning I was carrying some boxes from the second floor to my car in the basement. Coming down the flight of stairs from the second floor I caught a glimpse of this fascinating shadow:

 The sun was coming through the window on the first floor landing on the east side of the building, and it's angle showcased the branches of the nearly-naked tree just outside the window. If I hadn't been looking for it I would have completely missed the beauty.

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Just a Tuesday In Retirement

After breakfast and the daily household straightening, Hubby Tony and  I started out our morning by going to the polls. There was only item on the ballot, no line at the polling place, and we had both figured out where we stood on the issue. We were in and out in less than ten minute.

Next, we headed east to find clues in two chapters of our scavenger hunt book. One of them was Soulard, a neighborhood just to the south of downtown. The other one was downtown itself. When we started today we had both chapters a little over halfway done. After a couple of hours of sleuthing today both are almost finished.

Halfway through our downtown adventure we stopped for lunch at a soda fountain restaurant. After our savory food (hot dog and onion onion rings for me, BLT and fries for Tony) we ordered dessert. Tony chose a root beer float. I went for a "Freak Shake", one of the most over the top items on the menu. The rim of the large glass was crusted with miniature chocolate chips and potato chips. The bottom of the glass was coated with chocolate sauce. The vanilla shake was topped with a heavy layer of whipped cream, and a chocolate-covered pretzel rod, brownie, and Reeses were stuck into the whipped cream. 

I don't know if I should be proud or ashamed to report that between Tony and me we finished off all of his float and everything but the brownie on mine.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

What Do You Do?

The local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1000 bet: The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money. Many people had tried over time but nobody could do it.

One day this scrawny little man came into the bar, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny squeaky voice " I'd like to try the bet." 

After the laughter had died down, the bartender said OK, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man. The crowd's laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass. 

As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man "What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weight-lifter, or what?"

The man replied, "I work for the IRS." 

Five years ago today: Starbucks Has No Coffee

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Halloween Spirit

This month I've kept an eye out for unusual Halloween decorations. Here's what I've found:

👻 Do any of these sound appetizing to you?

👻 I see this one when I drive the back way out of the subdivision. It cracks me up every time.
👻 The bucket is over the dusk-to-dawn light, so the scarecrow head glows when the sun goes down.
👻 Am I the only one who's never seen a tree decorated with Halloween lights before?

👻 This restaurant had 3-dimentional bats attached to the mirror in the ladies room.

Five years ago today: Fajitas For Two

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Oh My 'Gourdness'

Today was a perfect fall day-brisk in the morning and evening, but warming up nicely in the afternoon.  In the middle of the perfect afternoon Hubby Tony and I were taking a walk. I told him that I had learned that today was National Pumpkin Day, a holiday that recognizes the fall-favorite squash, but other than admiring the pumpkin I put outside of our condo unit door yesterday I wasn't planning on doing anything to commemorate the day.

For dinner we were having leftovers of the soup Tony made for dinner last night, a tasty combination of butternut squash, chickpeas, greens, and brown rice. I thought anything else with pumpkin as an ingredient would be too similar tasting.

We got to the back entrance to the subdivision and I turned to go home, but Tony wanted to get some more steps and kept going straight. He returned about 45 minutes later, carrying a foam tray from a local bakery. Inside were these cute frosted Jack-o'-lantern​s, his contribution to Pumpkin Day.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Shelter From A Storm

Last night we had some nasty storms come through the area, including multiple tornadoes. Fortunately the worst of it passed to the south of us and the only damage was some twigs on the deck. 

About the time the high gusts of wind and pouring rain passed through our area it was time to turn on the local news. The meteorologists had taken over from the anchors, discussing the weather situation in animated tones. They even had someone who was storm chasing and providing updates. After almost a half hour of those meteorologists rehashing the same data we turned off the television. Tony fed Jackson the cat and we both got ready for bed.

Tony put a local jazz show on the radio. I was drifting off to sleep when I heard the jarring tone of the emergency alert system, announcing a tornado warning two counties to the east of us in Illinois. The system did what it was supposed to do (get my attention), but then I had a hard time settling back in. My mind started racing, and I realized that if the weather had been in our area we had no emergency plan in place.

We live on the second floor of an apartment-style condominium building with a garage tucked underneath. If a storm was rapidly approaching would it be safer to hustle down two flights of stairs into the basement garage or hunker down in an interior room? At night we would have to throw something over our pajamas in case our neighbors were doing the same thing we were, which would take extra time. There would also be the issue of finding Jackson and carrying him down with us.

This morning I sent out a text to some of our neighbors asking them what they did in the event of a storm. They all told me they headed to the garage. One woman said she sat in her car. The others did not share any details. Hopefully I'll never have the opportunity to figure out exactly what they do.

Five years ago today: Froggy In A Flowerpot

Friday, October 22, 2021

And Then There Were Five....

Grandchildren, that is. Yesterday there was a text in our family chat group that Son Tony and DIL Ie welcomed a new addition to their family. Meet Granddaughter Evee.

Those cheeks!

According to Tony both mother and daughter are doing well, and once they get home the family plans to cocoon along with big sister Gee for several weeks. Hubby Tony and I already have our tickets to visit.

Five years ago: Pumpkin Juice

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Candy...And Much More

Today Hubby Tony and I pulled out our scavenger hunt book and headed for a section of the metropolitan area we don't know very much about--the Old North St. Louis,a neighborhood just north and slightly west of the downtown area.

Anyone who's lived in the metropolitan area for any length of time knows that Crown Candy Kitchen is there. For most people, including me, that's the only place they know. However, after several hours of walking around I know so much more!

The area of North St. Louis was established shortly after Lewis and Clark left to explore the Louisiana Territory, and a couple of decades later was incorporated into the city.  By the mid-1850s it was heavily German, and later a large Polish enclave developed. By the 20th century many new residents came from the Deep South. After World War Two there was an exodus to the suburbs, leading to decline. In the 1980s, a nonprofit organization began to promote and revitalize the area. 

 I parked my car just down the street from Crown Candy and we walked through the small commercial area on North 14th Street, which was lined with unique vintage buildings. We were standing outside of a hardware store (which had a sign that said it had been established in 1875) when the owner came out and talked with us, sharing a little history of the area.

The residential parts of the neighborhood were filled with red brick buildings, and there were commercial buildings on the corners of many blocks. Sadly, many of them were in rough shape, and their were quite a few vacant lots, but I was pleased to see a substantial number of nicely maintained homes. I don't think I'd walk in the area after dark, but during the day I felt perfectly safe.

Tony and I brought finger-food lunches to eat as we walked, but we popped into Crown Candy for dessert. When I saw a chocolate and marshmallow sundae on the menu I knew what I was ordering. The combination was one of my Dad's favorites, and I have fond memories of indulging with him at the kitchen table.

Not fancy, but brought back memories
Five years ago: Finding An Easier Way