Wednesday, May 31, 2006

TheHowserHouse "home" at Sam's Towne Casino/RV Park in Tunica

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1st stop: Sam's Towne Casino / RV Park in Tunica, MS

Yesterday……WOW….did I ever sweat over laboring for HOURS to get TheHowserHouse washed and loaded!!! And….it took most of the day. We had stopped on Sunday afternoon at the Moser Estate to pick up Meg’s bike, and all of the toys and traveling baby bed(folded into a neat carrying case) that Ava must have for the trip to Navarre, FL. Well…….after washing the rv, I then began to load all of this STUFF, along with lawn chairs, saltwater fishing poles, beach equipment(LARGE umbrella, boogie board, etc., etc.), BBQ grill and charcoal, cases of water, plus all of the other items which I store in the basement of TheHowserHouse for our necessities. UGH…….!!!! And then, it was time to get our inside needs such as clothing, sheets, etc., etc. and a few food items. Sure wonder how many pounds I added to this white long-necked dinosaur that I pull down the road???

Sooo, after doing all of this I had to run to Farmington to get some new printer cartridges for our “take-along” printer. DAMN……GOT to change printers as these cartridges are tooooooooo expensive!!! While up there we decided to eat at Applebee’s(never can remember how this is spelled???!!!!). By the time we returned home, we went into a search mode to try to find the 1st Lady’s travel case of CD’s…..her music ones. HA…..after at least two hours, we gave up..….no matter which box we looked in, which closet we ran through, or which pile of “stuff” we looked under. Oh well……so be it.

This morning I was up early…..couldn’t sleep at sinus crap had invaded my sinus cavities during the night and I was miserable at not being able to breath……and then the sneezes began. Sooooo, I stood in the shower with the hot water splashing in my face for about 20 minutes……and it finally drained….errr, my sinuses!!

Enjoyed the hour or so that I saw of the Today Show……Katie’s last morning on the show after 15 years. Very emotional…..and very good!!

Then after a quick trip to the bank, I hooked up and pulled out of F’town at 9:30AM. I never drive over 60 while pulling this 6.5 hulk, but arrived here at Sam’s Towne RV Park and Casino at 2:30pm…..without stopping for a break. Within ten minutes……..I was unhooked from the truck and hooked with umbilical cords so that I had water, sewage, electricity, and cable tv!! And…….my own bed, my own closet, my own fridge stocked with goodies, and almost 400 sq. feet of my own living space!!!! Plus my own tv, dvd player, fm radio, and surround sound stereo…..and if it gets chilly tonight (HAHA), I have the fireplace!

SOOOOOOO DAMN MUCH BETTER THAN A HOTEL!!!!!!!!! I have spent sooooo many nights over the years in hotels and have really come to hate them……..traveling in an rv is THE BEST!!!!

After getting the a/c on, I went over across the parking area of the Hotel and went to the casino. Dumped in $5 into a slot machine…..and YEP……I had $26.00!!! Soooo, not being a big time gambler, I cashed out…….yep…..wasn’t going to lose that huge pot of money. Besides it was almost time for the evening Grand Buffet to open….4pm. Well, went inside at 3:50 and was only charged $9.99, the lunch price……and ten minutes later they added the seafood to the buffet for the dinner hours. Soooooo, beat the price by $6 and had a wonderful, and WAY to filling dinner. Loved the chocolate fountain with the fresh fruit to put under the pouring chocolate fountain……..YUMYUM!!!!

Not wanting to lose my $$ ( I’m retired, you know!!), I drove into Tunica to check it out. WELL… was about 20 miles down the road from Casino Row…..and a BIG waste of time. Well, guess not, as I needed to charge my cell phone and since my LG charger is deceased, the only way I can charge it up right now is by using the car attachment.

Back to TheHowserHouse…..and a bit of visiting with the others who are “camped” here in their BIG rv’s. Many “full timers” here, and at only $12 to hook up to all the amenities here, it is a good deal!!!

The a/c has cooled TheHowserHouse, the Larry King Show is on the tellie, and I am kicked back relaxing here at “home”. Tomorrow…….I am off to Hattiesburg, MS….about the same distance as today. Then on Friday it is less than 200 miles on down to Navarre Beach, FL where we will be for 9 days.

Soooo, as always…..

Life is Great……and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

YEP....Never fear...Howser is still here!!!!

I know...I has been a LONG time since I last wrote my boring little thoughts, but.....(there is ALWAYS a "but") when I am in NE Missouri at the 1st Lady's mother's home, it is impossible to get on the internet and send my words flying out across cyberspace. Oh don't get me wrong,......internet does exist up there, but not that I have access to. Remember.........the nasty little confrontation I had last year with "Marian, the Librarian" there at the local library? I didn't want to ruin my weekend by having to confront her and her library rules again, so I just didn't even try.

Usually I drive in to Hannibal where I can slip into the Quality Inn Wifi while just sitting in the hotel parking lot......but(there I go again) this time I didn't even get to Hannibal. You I sit here thinking....just what DID I do all weekend?

The house was full........ten people visiting there with her mother, their mother, their "Granny". Sooooo, much had to be done just to find places to sit and to converse. I always managed to get my sagging hulk out of bed before anyone else so I would not have to stand in line to get into one of the two showers in the house......and, it also allowed me to make the coffee......nice and strong the way I always drink it! Hahaha....interesting to see others there adding cream or hot water to their cups.....not many enjoy the deep, rich, bold flavor of a good cup of coffee!!

Many of the family spent time at the Mark Twain Lake doing some boating and swimming. The first day, Saturday, was enjoyed by everyone, but......Sunday when some of them went back down to the Lake, the battery in the boat decided to die.....and so they had to be towed by my nephew on his jet ski/wave runner back to the beach, and then to the boat landing to get the ailing craft out of the water and back to town. It all turned out ok......they didn't float away or down to the large dam.........just interrupted their pleasure of enjoying the Lake.

We left this morning and came through Washington to make a quick stop at the Moser Estate. Dr. Jeni, Ava, and Meghan are going to drive down to Florida two days behind me with TheHowserHouse later this week. The 1st Lady will go with them to assist with the girls....there will be three as Rachel is also making the trip to Florida for some sun and fun on the beach.

Soooo, we picked up some items to put into TheHowserHouse so they wouldn't be overburdened in the SUV on the trip down. However.....with all they gave to me to take on Wednesday, TheHowserHouse may be a bit loaded itself. Amazing what is necessary to take for three young girls just so they can enjoy the beach and water activities!!!!!

Arrived home just before a large rainstorm unleashed its fury on us. Luckily we had just moved all of the "stuff" out of the back of the truck so it didn't get wet!!! Then, I imagine the neighbors up here on Buford Heights thought I had lost my mind.......I stood out in the drizzle and with my LONG handled brush, I washed the RV!!! While it didn't get all of the black streaks off of the RV, I can finish that task tomorrow......I hope!!!

Soooo, I had better close this and get a few other items completed tonight. Tomorrow WILL be a busy day as I want to pull out of here by 8:30 or 9 on Wednesday morning. Plan to spend the afternoon and evening at Sam's Town RV Park......a casino at Tunica, Mississippi. I haven't been there.....sooooo, it is time to check it out!!!! Want to visit the other casinos that are there while I have the time.....will just take the shuttle around from one to the other!!

As I always say......

Life is Great.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bring me another one!!!!

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GREAT food!!

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WOW...those drinks look GOOD!! (Smile, Charlene!!)

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Wiped out.....(last night's post)

Hmmmm.......this cyberspace technology has more than once proved that it is control.....and not this aging retired band director.......and last night it "won" once again. I had spent about 20 minutes putting together an interesting little description of my day and some thoughts about some issues that are the plate around here.......supposedly saved it as a "draft" as I always do first......and then as I tried to retrieve it and post it to this disappeared...COMPLETELY, draft copy included!!!!!!!!!! Really, really pissed me off.....and I am glad this little blog cannot be listened to, or heard, as it would have to have been censored!

Soooo, why dwell on the past??? To learn something from it, of course.........but let's press onward as I have always been a progressive person and do not...and will in the past.

This morning, I carried my sagging hulk out onto the patio.....and quickly stepped back the heat was rising by 7:30AM! So, I cranked the a/c a bit more....and enjoyed my cup of steaming French Roast coffee inside.....damn it!!

By mid-morning I was on my way to Park Hills.....25 miles north of here.....for a medical appointment. Seem to be having a couple of unexplained issues and thought I had better get on the road to having it checked....professionally. Sooo, after losing some of my wonderful, senior vitamin enriched blood with the help of a nice little nurse with her pointed needle and sucking tube......I had a nice visit with my Dr. HAHAHA.....she said I needed to come in each year....and not wait for four years to pass by. Guess she told me.....albeit nicely. Soooo, she said it is time to have that damn snaking thing with the camera on the end to be inserted down where the sun doesn't shine so she can look around in there.

Got an appt for can hardly wait!

Returned home......and after a quick stop at the post office to mail off some important documents, I headed up to Buford Heights and an afternoon of just doing not much of anything. Then......YEAH......the 1st Lady and I headed to the local Mexicano restaurant for a few drinks and was a sorority affair and it was really quite fun!!!!!! There are great people in her sorority and it is always a lot of fun to get together.

By the time we had finished our meal and drinks, it felt like a Fiesta was being held inside there......GREAT!!! I had to leave first as tonight was the High School graduation......and as I am on the Bd. of Education, I had to join the other members on the stage for the annual ceremonies.
OMG......but was it HOT in there!!!! Probably 2500-3000 people inside the gym which has NO a/c.!!!!!! It must have been well over 100 degrees, not to mention the high humidity......UGH!!!!! Wonder if all of the good people there would be willing to vote tomorrow for a bond issue to put in a new heating and cooling system in the high school?????????

I am going to post some pics from the little Fiesta tonight.........

Tomorrow....well, it is time to head north to the 1st Lady's home to visit her mother. I, too, need to go to Eldon as soon as I can get away from here. Now that the 1st Lady is retired.......we can go anytime...not just weekends!!!!

Soooo, let's hope this gets posted!!!!!!!!

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tues: A St Louis day...

Hmmmm, didn't get to write my thoughts last feelings were a bit on the back burner. We spent a busy day in St Louis yesterday(Tues)......and then didn't get home to watch Am. Idol, but thankfully we had TiVo'd it before we left.

This was a kitchen cabinet day.......decided it was time to get our fat rears in gear and take some action on this project issue. So we hit some places that make cabinets in STL and have been doing this type of work for years. We have one that is giving us a bid.....after spending over an hour with him during the early afternoon.

Following that bit of "work", we decided to have a late lunch in the Central West End (CWE). For those of you who don't know this area, it is a neat little part of STL that has several sidewalk cafes, clubs, bars, and a few shops.......less than used to be there a few short years ago.

Anyway.....even if it has a few cafes and coffee shops less, it is a very pleasant area with tree lined walkways, and large outdoor cafes nestled under these trees. We had a great little lunch.....I had tortelini (sp???) made with butter nut squash, herbs, garlic, etc., etc. was sweet, but herby!!! Perhaps it was the was the same consistency as yams. Not certain I would order this again, but it was a nice surprise and a good change. The 1st Lady had a panini.....which was very tasty and nice and hot!

We then went further north in the city to a very contemporary/modern furniture store, looking for "just the right" bedroom suite, but........they just didn't have what we were quite wanting. Then....haha..of course, we became immersed in the rush hour traffic!!!!!! SOooooooo immersed that we almost drowned, but after about an hour we reached the south part of town and dropped in on Sam's Club........buying way toooo many items, but stocking up TheHowserHouse on wheels for our trip to the Florida panhandle next week.

Came back......and then watched Am. Idol!! Oh well.......I'm not a fan of Taylor, but it appears that he will win this year's competition.......ugh!

Gotta run......have an appt to get the fluids checked/changed in the truck. Don't have it done around here, but up at Doe Run where there is a really good diesel truck place that I have used the last two years.


Life is Great........and I hope it is for all of you.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A beautiful busy day!!

WOW.....the final episode of "24" was on-the-edge of my seat two show!!!!! If any of you didn't watch this show this year.....well, all I can say is DON'T MISS IT NEXT YEAR!!!!! There is nothing quite like this on any channel on television!!

This on the patio, briefly, and then I was off to the high school to help the 1st Lady finish loading all of HER things from her office to the car/truck to home. This took some time, and then I was also involved in some conversations which prevented me from getting home with all of her "things", including a small refrig which Jeremy had used in college. HAHAHA....probably was much cleaner in the biology lab with all sorts of creepy and smelly things stored there.......cleaner there than in Jeremy's 1st year college dorm!!

Then.....a wonderful lunch with a wonderful and caring friend, Michael Goldsmith. Due to some issues, his kind and caring replies to some concerns of mine certainly assisted me in putting these issues one burner back from the front of my mind. We sat and talked for 1.5 hours....until we both were running late for other commitments. THANKS MIKE!

Back home then, where I joined the 1st Lady on the patio where she was having a late lunch and enjoying a good book......without the noise of the teacher's lounge to distract her. We sat and discussed the remaining project of our remodeling tasks.......and then it was time to get to mowing the lawn.

BUT.......(it was one of those days....) just as I began to push the mower away from the patio, the 1st Lady brought out the cell phone as I had a call from another former student, former band director and now an asst. high school principal. Soooo, we chatted for quite some time, and then around the comes the 1st Lady with a community member to discuss with me some issues of his. IT WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!!!

Soooo, we sat on the patio and and talked and discussed and conversed for an hour or so. When he left, I began, once again, to mow the lawn. And this time.....I was successful, but just didn't get it finished this evening. HAD to eat and then watch....."24"!!!!

And so, the evening is quickly slipping away into the night. The 1st Lady is in Farmington with old friends having their monthly wine and dine girls night out. Hmmmmm.....think it is about time that I have a boys night out each month........what do you think??????

Soooooo, even tho I have written nothing about is because there is nothing really to was a very commonly blah day.....UGH!!!!! Hopefully, no more of,

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

WHY??? WHY???? WHY????

OMG......WHY do we hang on to "things", "stuff", "crap"???????? The 1st Lady and I spent our garage today attempting to sort out tons.....yes, TONS....of all of the items named in the first sentence of this blog. We began by deciding to put these terribly important items into three general areas on the driveway: trash/throwaways that are definite......items we want to keep/save......and, items for the as yet, unscheduled, remodeling/garage sale.

Were we successful???? Hell no!!! And besides, ALL of this had to be returned to the garage until we find a way to dispose of the larger items which will NOT fit into the trash receptacle which the city soooo graciously provides us for some ungodly amount of money each month......and for which they pick up this load ONCE per WEEK!!! Soooo, it was necessary to attempt to keep the items in three separate areas of the garage.........and.....guess what! The garage looks almost like it did before we began this horrific project today.

We have furniture stacked to the ceiling that needs to be sold: think I will set up all of this furniture on the driveway and advertise a "rooms to go" sale, as I have enough to set up individual rooms......perhaps a special price if the buyer takes the entire room??? Just want to get this stuff off of my property!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to get rid of anything that we had not used in one year......HA! IMPOSSIBLE!!!!! I just can't believe the amount of things that the 1st Lady "could not possibly" part with!!! Oh least it is sorted into the three categories NOW.

After a much needed shower to rid myself of all of the dust, cobwebs, and grit, it was time to prepare to head out into the beautiful area southeast of here for a BBQ for members of the 1st Lady's sorority. There were 24 there......and the home of the hostess sits in such an incredibly beautiful area with the mountains, which are so green with the spring leaves of the trees, exposed to the eye from any point of view. What a wonderful place to live!!!!

It was a nice evening, good food, and stimulating conversation from the inevitable politics of places and destinations that several of us have traveled to around the world. all of us have aged, the partying and wine drinking of yesterdays has disappeared..........hmmmmmm, have we grown tired with the years, or just become wiser as we have learned how badly we will feel the next morning????

And sooooo, another week comes to a close........and....

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

1st Lady and the Supt.

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1st Lady with her retirement awards

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F'town School District Retirees

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At home on the Moser Estate

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A sisterly hug for the graduate at the Moser Estate.

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Last day for the 1st Lady!

When the alarm sounded this morning, it was the last time the 1st Lady would be awakened to head for the classroom.......after 29 years of teaching Chemistry and Biology. With only a 3 hour day with students......just wasting time so they could hit the streets for the summer.......she spent most of the time packing her personal items that she had taken to her classroom and office over the years here.

At 1:30 today, the school district provided a retirement luncheon for all the faculty and the entire staff.....over 200 strong. Following a really great meal......held at a very large and well appointed church conference center/camp south of town......each retiree was honored and presented a plaque from the school and a monetary gift from the local teacher's association.

I had several of the faculty wanting information as to if I was going to take a group to Europe next year. Soooo, will have to get my butt going on this.........think there are that we might be able to have our own guide and bus...without others joining us from heaven knows where. Most of those who have talked with me concerning this are interested in seeing as much of Europe as appetizer tour. Sooooo......

And that was my day. The evening.....hmmm, it just disappeared quickly as we lounged in front of the plasma. And so......

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A BIG day for a little girl.......GRADUATION!!

I'm a bit behind on the last two days of my very uninteresting Life...........just didn't get it done last night!!!

Nothing really happening little that I can't even remember what did occur in my Life.....hahaha!!!! dumb of me!!! We went to Farmington for the high school retirement dinner for the four teachers who are retiring......including the 1st Lady of TheHowserHouse!!! Am I losing my mind????? NOPE......just not thinking toooooo clearly this evening....think I am getting another one of those ungodly sinus infections.

Anyway.......the dinner was good, the stories about the retirees were fun...and teary.....and it was a good evening for all four teachers, and a long awaited evening for the 1st Lady. And the retirement luncheon for the entire faculty and staff. I said above, a very big day for a little girl. Meghan's graduation from Kindergarten was this morning......and it was a delightful "performance". Yep....that's right.....the 24 little kids sang....and danced....and provided many wonderful moments, including lots of teary eyed parents....and grandparents!! It was such a great hour for all of us!!!

Returned this afternoon after a quick hour at the shopping mall in South County StLouis. I had to get measured for the tux for the wedding of my great friend which will be in July. That is.....if he can escape the summer rehearsals of the high school band of which he is the asst. band director (Edwardsville, IL H.S.) Anyway.....more on that at a later date.....

We didn't get to see the final Amazing Race last night, but we TiVo'd it, so when I got home this evening we watched it.....YEA!!!!!!! The "hippies" won......and they were our "pick" of the teams who raced around world, covering 9 countries and 59,000 miles. This was a much better show this year than the previous one where they had families competing.

I've posted just a few pictures from today's graduation activities.........I must seem more and more like the proud "Pawpaw"!!!! And will probably have a few more pics tomorrow night from this week. And after all of today, and last night's retirement dinner........

Life IS Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

All ready for my Kindergarten Graduation!!

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Graduation Processional

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A patriotic song

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Congrats, Meghan!!

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The Graduate and Mommy

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NO rain today!!!

While the sun was seen now and then during the day, the clouds weren't completely in charge today.......thank goodness!! Sure getting a bit sick of this late spring-like weather.

Sooooo, my day??? I had an appt at school today to borrow a computer software program to put on my pc.....and so I picked it up and came back home. Spent the rest of the morning puttering around with that....and with reading the newspapers.

Where did the rest of the day go???? know.....I'm just not sure! Like my Life....the days go by in a blur. I am speeding downhill and each day just seems to go faster and this rate I will be crashing at the bottom of this hill and it will all be over with! Wonder who I will be next time around........?

I did have my best student for one of his last piano lessons with me......notice I said: "one of his last". I am hoping that we can work together on his natural piano skills off and on this summer. It will just be "catch as catch-can" I will be in and out as we go here and there around the country, and he has a couple of trips and schooling this summer. He will be singing with the high school choir in Chicago on Navy Pier the end of this month......and then he goes to the Univ. of Missouri in Columbia for a three week session. He was selected for the Missouri Scholars Academy which is quite an honor......and will be a wonderful, tremendous experience for him!!!!

I was really touched as he brought me a very thoughtful gift bag when he arrived this afternoon........a complete surprise for me!!!!!! Guess what was in that bag??? Two packages of Starbucks French Roast coffee beans and a tall, orange travel mug for my coffee!!!!! did he EVER know that I liked Fr. Roast coffee????Hahaha.......

This evening it was "American Idol" and "House". "Idol....".........well, not sure who will be the final two.......the way it has been going lately, it could be any of the three last performers. I'm just not a fan of Taylor.......but, he did ok on that last number tonight.

Soooo, tomorrow.......I have to run up to Farmington to pick up the very, VERY late arriving shower door for the new bathroom. Then tomorrow is the high school dinner for the retirees........including the 1st Lady. In will be a busy week with these types of affairs and events happening. usual....

Life is GREAT.....and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Guess what?? More rain and drizzle and lovely gray skies!!!

Oh yeah........another day in gray-land!!! How much longer can it go on????? We will all probably go blind when the sun finally emerges for more than a few minutes each day........we had better have the sun screen ready to lather all over ourselves!!!

Another day of cleaning out drawers, discarding items that I no longer have any need for, and tossing out articles of clothing that I haven't seen on my body in several years!!! WOW.....I am soooooooo proud of myself for finally.....FINALLY......doing this. My wardrobe has decreased by least.....and I am still in the "throw away" mood. Next......all of the little stuff/crap that we have collected for almost 35 years of married life....stuff that we have had sitting around here and there throughout the stick/brick and that we do NOT need any more.

Does anyone need an imported European Beer Stein collection?????? I probably have 35 beer steins of various sizes.....all the way up to 3 feet tall.....that I have purchased in Europe and brought back to the states on my 12 twelve trips to Europe in the last 25 years. I can't begin to put a price tag on these.......there wasn't one that I bought that was under $150 at the minimum and some that ranged up to several hundred dollars each. What does one do with items such as all of these steins????

This evening was the monthly Board of Education meeting.......lasting almost 3.5 hours! this time of the year, with the school about to be out for the summer break, there are always many issues to discuss and vote on.

6000 National Guard troops on the border???????????????????? Is Canada next??????????????????? And then the Navy vessels stationed along both coasts????????????????? As one highly respected President once said: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". This administration in Washington.........can we somehow manage to hold on to our country for more than two more years?????? Something MUST be done about the illegal immigrants that are crossing from the south.....and the border with Mexico does need to be controlled without impeding trade and tourism and international relations. Problems.....problems....problems.....

And sooooo, even with all these problems,

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A weekend in northern Missouri w/out access!!

Withdrawal problems.......I managed to sit outside a Quality Inn in Hannibal for a few minutes and get online using their Wifi which drifts out into the parking lot, but ......was that enough??? NOPE!!! I felt like I was sitting in the middle of a corn field and with no tech gadgets.......almost the truth. Guess I have been online tooooooooooooo much these past few years.......think so??? Anyway.......back in the stick/brick here in SE Missouri and just finished watching the winner of Survival being announced.

The weekend was good for visiting the with 1st Lady's elderly mother......rainy, windy, and cold! And......a great two days for just kicking back and laying on the sofa and doing....nothing. I did!

Needless to say, there is not much to discuss.......I have about said it all above. Nothing new......nothing for the world to know!

Soooo, usual,

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Friday, May 12, 2006

AHHHH.....a BEAUTIFUL day!!!

WOW.....what a relief!!!! Today is just gorgeous here in S.E. Missouri!!!!! THIS is Spring at its finest.......and it seems even more so after this week of rains and clouds and winds and just being uncomfortable for spending any time in the fresh(?) air.

After a quick trip to the Bd. of Education Building this morning to have some documents signed, I put on my "lawn clothes" and fired up the wonderfully tuned-up mower and began pushing it through the ankle high thick grass. Oh has become a much darker green and already is thicker since I applied the Scott's fertilizer 2-3 weeks ago. But that has its downside as it was much more difficult to mow through because it was still a tad wet this morning, even after the winds had roared yesterday evening and this morning. BUT.....the upside is: I got some much needed exercise as I pushed it around for a little over two hours without a break.
As always....there were limbs down and twigs and other "treely" things that the winds had given to me as gifts and remembrances.

Lunch was on the patio in the very bright sunshine.......if only it would remain at about this temp ALL summer long: 62 degrees!!!! I call this "Wyoming Weather"......because it is sooooo much a Wyoming the mountains.

Then I spent about 35 minutes discussing with the Tech Support people of Verizon Wireless and telling them for the second time this week that my cell phone will not work in my house or yard.....for the last two weeks!!!!
I called them on Tuesday or Wed and told them the same story and they assured me then that they would have something done by today. know the answer to hasn't been done. Sooooo, I became a bit more irritated on the phone to the person in Tech Support that I was talking with today......
The problem is that I can take two steps in my house....anywhere....and the phone changes service areas and the call is dropped. Or, I can make a call with 5 towers showing and by the time it rings, without me moving my butt off the chair, I have NO towers!!!! It just will not work in this house/area. I can drive down the street a half a block and the service is FINE!!!! And this crap all started about two weeks ago, as I stated. Is it time to get a different company/carrier???? BUT......then I would be up shit creek when I try to get online with the lappie!!!! With the Verizon MOK(mobile office kit), I can plug the lappie to the phone and get online when we are on the road and have no Wifi available, so I would really dislike/hate giving up that Verizon perk!!!

Soooo, they are going to work on it. After inquiring they told me that "yes", they do have others in this zip code that are having the same type of problems!!!!! WELLL.....doesn't that tell them something?????

Anyway......time will tell.....I HOPE!!!!

As it is, we are leaving this afternoon to head up north to see the 1st Lady's mother for the weekend. AND......where she lives I am on extended service there, so I can't get online thru the cell phone. Sooooo, all of you avid readers who need your fix by reading my thoughts and ramblings each day.....well, you will be wasting away waiting for my return to this cyberspace address by Sunday evening. It has been awhile since we have been away so I did a quick check on our house Security System......and OH YEAH!!!! IT WORKS!!!!

Soooo, I will close this little chapter of my daily Life......and wish all of you a GREAT weekend!!!!

Life is GREAT.......(don't forget that!).....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

RAIN...rain....rain...rain...("go away!!")

WOW......more storms around 5am this morning.....and then as stated above: RAIN..most of the day!! And....the forecast?? MORE RAIN......ugh. Soooo, with all of this miserable Missouri moisture molesting my mowed lawn.....I did little or nothing today. first I felt guilty, but after a couple of tellie shows, I just sat back in our new entertainment/family room and enjoyed the new plasma, the TIVO, and the new comfortable red sofa.

Such a relaxed day!!! Had a couple of students here late in the afternoon for their piano and clarinet lessons. Always a joy to have them to work with........they have made such great progress during the last 9 months!

This evening: a shocker!!! On American Idol, Chris was voted off the show!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was definitely the best, the most talented, and the best all around entertainer. Can't believe it!!!!!

Sooooo, with that depressing discussion, I will close this for this evening. And as always......

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Dictating weather day......

Oh yeah........the clouds were thick, the light was dull, and I slept least until 8am! And.....then before long, the rains began and they lasted for a part of the morning. Sooooo, with my Fr.Roast coffee in hand......I sat back, did nothing....and watched a little of the morning tellie shows.

Around noon.....the rains halted, the cloud cover became thinner, and soon the sun was returning. Soooo, I returned to the patio and enjoyed a bit of the warm, moisture-laden day. As the drizzle returned here up on Buford Heights, I decided to get some things done.....and so, I cleaned out some dresser drawers and threw away many things that I have not worn in several years. Then.......oh yeah, get this: I spent over an hour IRONING some summer shirts that had been buried and the bottom of my washed clothes laundry basket. Sooooo, now I am good to go for a lengthy amount of time without worrying about something in which to hide my massive amount of muscles......just don't want to let some of the news media realize what fantastic shape I am in for a 63 year old retired man.

After the 1st Lady returned home late afternoon, we went out to the Hanner homestead for dinner, wine, and good conversation. Think the last time we were together was in February!!!!!! And....they only live one mile from here...........where in the hell does the time go?????

Several more "Amens" for my "sermon on the soapbox" came in the form of almost a dozen phone calls today.

And so........ as always,

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Keep those hands in the air, girls!!!

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Is this ride scary???

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Life is GREAT!!!

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I LOVE anything PINK!

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Future MISS MISSOURI candidates???!!!

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Puttering around the yard..........

NOT to be taken for trying to putt a golf ball!!!!! As inferred above, I spent a great deal of time in the yard today......planting some plants/bedding flowers/ etc., etc. Spread some new red mulch around the shrubs/bushes in the front of the house, getting ready for the next two days of rains that are predicted. These are all theraputic tasks for me.......I enjoy doing them!

Seems a few people read my sermon on the soapbox in last nights' post. Had some emails/comments and all were in agreement with me concerning the wearing, or not wearing, of the band uniforms in the parade.........especially since the weather was so cool and pleasant. I was also stopped several times today as I visited a couple of stores in town.......comments made were very negative about the band not wearing the uniforms. People DO notice......and remember.

Dinner tonight consisted of large salmon fillets, broiled with a lemon-mustard-butter sauce keeping the meat moist, and topped with dill weed. This was accompanied by everybody's FAVORITE: brussel sprouts sauteed in melted butter with a dash of salt and freshly cracked pepper. To wash this down.......a dark red medicine was opened......with a wonderful aroma to add to the great taste and nice finish. It doesn't get much better than this meal!!!!!!!

The 1st Lady and I are taking on a minimal task of doing the billing statements for Dr. Jeni's husband's business. He does diagnostic procedures and repairs on a/c units in large semi's, heavy duty machinery, and other road equipment......and with the addition of Ava during the past year Dr. Jeni does not have the time to get the statements out and mailed. His year is BOOMING as he goes to the problem vehicle wherever it is rather than have the "injured and disabled" unit come to him. Sooooo.......with the help of technology and cyberspace, we can get the info we need, transcribe it onto billing statements, and get it mailed fairly quickly.

And sooooo.....another varied and keep-busy day has come to a close. I have several items for a lengthy discussion on here, but tonight is not the night to delve into them......stay tuned!!!

Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!! ( Still out there , Doug/Juanita??)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

NOT a lazy Sunday!!!

Two of the three granddaughters were "up and attam" by 7:30 this morning......while the rest of us were still in a horizontal mode. But with them running around full steam ahead......I fought the pull of gravity and raised myself up and into a vertical stance and headed into the kitchen to get some things going for the 6 and 8 year old girls.

Soon, everyone else was up, albeit going rather slowly. The day was cloudy and rather dismal looking until late morning.....and then it turned into a beautiful spring-like morning/day. I thought it looked and felt like a Wyoming, crisp, and beautiful!! After more visitors, a friend and three children of Dr. Jeni's, the house began to rock and roll with kids everywhere. After their departure, discussion ensued as to who was going to go watch the big parade.......and this old band director turned out to be the only one from TheHowserHouse who wanted to watch it.

Soooo, off I went to find a good corner location....which I found. As I mentioned yesterday, this Festival brings out many people from around here that you never see during the rest of the year.......and that was very evident in the area where I found myself sitting to view the parade. I knew NO ONE.......and just couldn't bring myself to make introductions to anyone........I just remained anonymous AND enjoyed it!!

The Parade???? was LOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! It took right at one hour for it to pass by me......longer than any other time that I can remember since I moved here in 1988. I believe every fire engine within 35 miles was in the parade with their horns and sirens blasting away. Many antique cars drove in the parade as well as many religious and business "floats". And the H.S. Band........while they were not playing when they passed by me, most of the kids were in step. Being of the "old band directors school", I am always a bit upset when a band marches in a parade where soooooo many people will see them and when the band does NOT wear their expensive uniforms!!!! The small towns and communities, like F'town, have laid out tens of thousands of hard earned dollars to outfit the band members in great looking uniforms....and I feel very strongly that the members of the communities should have the opportunity to see the band marching down the street in the uniforms which can give not only the students, but the community, a feeling of PRIDE!!!!!! I KNOW, personally, how difficult it was to raise the money to buy these uniforms and how MUCH the community gave to assist the band buy the uniforms...........and for the majority of the citizens of F'town, THIS is the ONLY time they get to see the band perform in those uniforms!!!!! Am I on my soapbox??????? YEP......I sure the hell am!!!!!!!!!

It is not a matter of not having enough uniforms!! The band is only half the size it was 5 or 6 years, so there are plenty of extra uniforms to fit these students. Do I sound like a cranky old balding geezer?????? Probably so........but I just don't give a damn!!! Had it been a HOT day.......ok....that would have been a different story, because those uniforms can be extremely hot.....BUT, it was anything but hot today. OK.....I will step down now and quit my preaching............hope I got the main points of my "sermon" through to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Following the parade with the t-shirt and jeans clad band, I jumped in the car and took Rachel to visit Mike and then on to Festus where her other grandfather met me at the "transfer point"......McD's. Returned to TheHowserHouse about 9:30pm.......and now.....the new week begins!!! Sooooo.......

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The HUGE Azalea Festival in F'town

The entire town becomes engulfed in the frenzy of the festival events during this first weekend in May.....each year. And today was certainly no exception!!! By 9am this morning, there were hundreds of cars parked almost all the way up the hill to our house, as the Festival is held in the park just below us on the all of the ball and soccer fields. All day today and tomorrow there were probably 75 tents/booths set up with crafts, candles, food, etc., etc. and live entertainment taking place on the pavilion stages. This Festival brings out thousands of people to the park and the town. During the day, volley ball tournaments are held, a car show, pet show, etc., etc., etc. And.....for the kids, there is a really big carnival on the grounds this year.

Soooo, I went down the hill this morning to check out the plant/shrub booths to see if there was anything there I might want. Looked around for awhile, but didn't find any plants I needed. Took a quick walk around by the booths......the usual "country crafts", etc., etc. Dropped by the county Democrat tent and visited with friends and all of those who were supportive of my candidacy two years ago. As I wandered around I saw many former students and their families, and many band parents that had been soooo supportive of my efforts for the 13 years I taught here.

Then by noon I left for Festus to meet Rachel's other grandfather who brought her down to the McD's at Festus so I could bring her on home with me for the remainder of the weekend. She loves all of the excitement of the carnival rides and the wandering people on the grounds. Rachel and I found the 1st Lady, Dr. Jeni, and Meghan and Ava on the festival grounds and before long all $40 dollars worth of carnival ride tickets were gone.....and of course, that was NOT enough for the girls!!! Even tho by this time it was beginning to drizzle, they rode a few more rides before we went back up the hill to TheHowserHouse of stick/brick.

Even tho we had all eaten several times at the Festival........not healthy food...hahaha.......we fixed a quick supper and then settled in for an evening of drizzling rain and tv and toys across all the floors...hahha.

Tomorrow.....hopefully no THE parade of the year for F'town occurs during the afternoon. Soooo, we'll see what the day brings.......but neverthelesss.......

Life is GREAT.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

A "Paw-paw" afternoon and evening....

After a leisurely cup of Fr. Roast coffee on the patio this morning, I was off to Farmington to Lowes's. I ordered the new shower door on Feb 10th!!!!! And, it has not arrived yet, so two days ago I called the store manager and let him have a piece of my mind, was MOST of my mind by the time I was through!!!!!! Anyway.....he told me that day after I quit shouting......that he would cut the cost of the shower door in half.....and refund me $300. I agreed. Soooo, I went to get the refund......and to make sure the door was going to be here next week.

Then after that little business settled, I had the oil changed in the 1st Lady's Park was a couple of thousand miles overdue. A quick stop at another shop and I was home by noon. Soon after that, the 1st Lady returned from home......only a half day of school today as the local Azalea Festival begins this afternoon and everyone "has" to go to the Festival.

Dr. Jeni and daughters were to arrive for the weekend, so we met them in Bonne Terre this afternoon, picked up the girls, brought them home so Dr. Jeni could visit with Mike this evening. Sooooooo, it was "Paw-paw" this and "Paw-paw" that all afternoon and evening here at the stick and brick. Both of the girls are very active and certainly raised the level of energy in this house this evening.....hahaha. And......I found myself playing Chinese Checkers with Meghan (age 6) for about an hour before her bedtime this evening.

Ava is about ready to walk.....she stands alone for about 30 seconds before giving up and sitting down. She will walk while she holds hands with us, so it won't be tooooo long before she is walking around. She REALLY enjoyed the mattress on the floor this evening......she just bounced and bounced around.....standing up by herself for a few seconds and then falling back onto her rear....and laughing and laughing at herself and what she was doing to entertain us.

Soooo, tomorrow, it is the big event in F'town. It will bring out many, many people from the "woodwork"....people you never see at all until the 1st weekend in May. I always wonder where they came from.....because you will never see them again until this time next year!! Tonight was the Azalea Queen Pageant....of which I didn't go see. In 1992, Dr. Jeni was the Azalea at that time in our lives it was VERY important to us, but.......hmm, after 14 years, we have sort of lost the intense interest we did have.
Tomorrow......I will pick up Rachel in early afternoon and then when we get back down here, the girls will attend the carnival and have great fun on the rides!! They look forward to this all year long.......and it isn't a very big carnival....heheheee. Sooooo,.......

Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Laid back and......lazy!!

Laid in bed a bit longer than usual.......and finally fought off the strong pull of gravity in the horizontal postion and became vertical.....bit by bit. Walked into the shower and stood there allowing the pressure of the hot water to wake up my aging bones and muscles.......and after about 10 minutes I realized that I was alive .....for another day!

Had a couple of cups of steaming Instant Folgers on the patio, even tho it was a bit damp from the overnight drizzles. When I was running on full steam, I decided I would get the house a bit cleaner......Dr. Jeni and daughters will be arriving tomorrow, and they have yet to see the status of the remodeling project. A bit of vacuuming(sp?), a bit of dusting, and a bit of mopping the kitchen floor.....and I realized it was time to get......lazy!!!

And, so I did, for most of the afternoon. Did take some time away from being lazy and went to the SuperCenter to pick up some fresh broccoli and some ground round for dinner. I put together an easy supper of what is called "Warsaw Burgers": ground round browned with a couple of chopped cloves of garlic and about a half of a medium onion chopped up. After browning the meat, then I add a can of Cream of Celery soup and half of cup of sour cream to the pan.....give it a good stir to mix it well and then: open up two cans of Crescent rolls, spread out the triangle pieces of dough and add heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture to the dough, roll/fold the triangle around the mixture and seal it. Then after they are all done, pop them in the oven until they are nice and brown.....and Voila!! Serve them hot!! I also steamed some broccoli and cauliflower and sliced carrots and served them with the Warsaw Burgers.......and a glass (or two) of my dark red medicine to assist in the digestion of this VERY, VERY tasty dish!!!!!

And so the evening went.........Survivor, ER and then back to the internet and some RV forums. It was a good day......and......

Life is Great....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!! (Ok, Doug??)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hmmmm.......a rather busy day......

After a quick cup of hot steaming Fr. Roast coffee, I headed for the lawn. With rain and storms in the forecast, I get the lawn trimmed up.....and soooo, the task began amidst very wet and tall grass. Luckily, the blades were sharpened a couple of weeks ago and so the cutting took no extra "push" effort on my part.....YEAH!!

It took a little more than two hours and then I was finished......and WET from the heat and humidity. Sooo, a quick shower and then finished off my coffee on the patio. Decided to head to town to pay a couple of bills and then went to the Madison County Coffee Shop........but the new mayor was not there, so I bought a small cup of coffee and headed home.

Sounds like a BORING day, doesn't it????? SURE you enjoy reading about have been waiting ALL day for me to utter some informative and intellectual words.....and what do you get???? A bunch of crappy stuff about mowing the damn lawn!!!! is done for another week!!

This afternoon was lesson day here in the stick and brick. My piano star....well, he did quite well at the Missouri State Music Festival last Saturday at the Univ. of Missouri. He received a "I" rating.....and I am sooo proud of him. He was not happy with his performance, but like I told him, we always tend to focus on the negative aspects of a performance and then we mentally enlarge those little negatives.

This was The Amazing Race, American Idol, House, and Lost. Quite a combination, huh???? Hated to see Paris leave the stage/show, but someone does have to leave, like it or not. Now.....who is next????????????????????? On the "Race".......things are heating up with "dirty tricks" being played to stop some of the playing teams by other teams. Hmmmmm.........

Sooooo, another day comes to a close.....and I am ready to close this down for tonight.....and as usual,

Life is GREAT.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 I going to be stiff/sore tomorrow??!!!

Oh yeah.......after a late start this morning, due to 2:30am lightning and thunder storms this morning...and I had to unplug everything at that time of the morning.......I had my Fr. Roast cup(s) of coffee on the patio. Walking through the yard, I realized that even tho it needed a trim, it was soooo damn wet and spongy that the mower would sink. Sooooo..........

It was into the garage to begin the monumental task of getting it put back into some type of order. I began to move out onto the driveway (3 cars wide) and soon it was getting full and there were still many, many boxes and other items inside. AND.....I hadn't even moved the "old" furniture that we haven't got rid of as yet!!!

Soooo, I spent many hours just sorting out the crap in there......knowing full-well that I couldn't dispose of it without the approval of the 1st Lady. As the day hurried by, I found it was time to bring all of the stuff back inside.....rains arriving again tomorrow. Is the garage in better shape??? Hell NO!!!.....but, I do know where everything is least right now. I can't do any more until the 1st Lady is there to give her input into what goes into the back of the truck to be disposed of at the local "dump". This HAS to be done by the end of this month!!!!!!!!!!

Soooo, with all of this moving and lifting and sorting and body is getting stiff....and I'm still alive!!! Just getting sore.......but,

Life is GREAT.....and I hope it is for all of you, also.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dictated by the weather....

Well......everything I wanted to get done outside today.......the weather managed to know that IT was in charge of my activities!!! From cutting the lawn, to doing some trimming, to working on the cleaning of the house siding......I was stymied!!! Nothing got done that needed to be done..........except.....

I did get the gennie in TheHowserHouse running for the monthly exercise routine. Turned on the a/c and opened the slides and let the gennie run for an hour....exactly!! I also managed to do some tying of wires that do the connections in the garage to the back of my entertainment wall. This needed to be completed....and it is....almost....except for the DVD. Just another set of cables/cords and the job will be complete.

Oh yeah......did an exciting load of laundry.....and after it finished drying, I discovered that there was a ballpoint pen somewhere in the towels.....and it had leaked/spread over many of the towels and pillow cases during the wash/drying cycles!!!! DAMN!!!!

We did have our evening meal on the patio.......just some very good and tasty BLTs.....and some dark red medicine.....and a pleasant 30 minutes outside without dribbles from the gray clouds. It was nice to just BD parties....hahaha.....and a bit of peace and quiet. always....

Life is Great......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!