Monday, July 30, 2007

1983 H.S. Music competition winners!

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OMG.......This day was NON-STOP!!!!

The 1st Lady and I began last week walking each morning about 7:30 for a couple of miles......and today was no exception. I managed to get into a vertical position and off we went down the hill and around the area of town known as "north town".......for over a half hour. Walking back up the hill to our stick and brick........I made quick work of my morning shower as I had an appointment for some more work to be done on the Park Avenue.

I dropped it off at 9am.....and from there walked to the optometrist where I had had my eyes checked week before last. I went in there with my mind set: look at 6 frames and then select and be done with the damn chore!!!!!!!!!!!! Soooo, that is what I did!!! Who the hell knows what they will look like on me.....I sure as hell couldn't tell since I really can't see or focus without any glasses coming to my assistance!!! Soooooooooo.........guess in a couple of days I will either be screaming and cursing myself......or simply resign myself to wearing them until they...or my eyes....are worn out(hopefully the glasses will wear out first!).

Then it was time for a cappuccino at the local coffee shop. had been quite some time since I had darkened their door......the management has changed.....and OMG, but their cappuccino was terrific!!! So, I enjoyed the steaming cup of this magic elixir, listened to a bunch of the ladies from one of the town's sororities having a coffee meeting.....and finally and with great sorrow.....finished the cup of deep, dark coffee.

Off I went to the stick and brick.....another mile on foot!!! Arriving home, it wasn't too much longer before the phone rang......and the car was finished!!! Off I went down the hill and to the repair shop......another mile on foot!!! From there I DROVE back to the stick/brick.

It was noon by that time......actually almost 1pm! I had stopped and made another appointment for the two rear tires to be replaced along with a full alignment. It was at 3pm.....two hours later. Sooooo, I went to the little lappie which was feeling soooo forlorn for being mistreated and ignored by this aging, sagging hulk of me.

With great responded very quickly and returned from hibernation.....and soon I was sailing through cyberspace to Egypt...again. For the next two hours I was sailing down/up the Nile, going through hotel rooms and lobbies, visiting the Pyramids, Abu Simbel, and exploring the lost city of Petra in Jordan. And was almost three pm and off I went to the tire shop and sat there for almost two hours waiting out the installation, balancing, and alignment of the tires and car.

Returning home, I had received an email from one of the Egyptologist guides that I have been communicating with about being our guide on the trip. As I think I have written about, I am exploring the possibility of either taking a packaged tour of no more than 8 people......OR.....hiring a guide w/car and just the 1st Lady and I being escorted around Egypt by this guide....Ahmed. Prices are now being compared by my the 1st Lady and myself.......and the pros and cons of both ways of seeing this fabulous country. At this point in time....I'm not certain which way we will go.......BUT....we MUST make up our minds in the next two days before we head south to Baton Rouge and New Orleans for the long weekend.

The 1st Lady went to Farmington to have dinner with some, I had to get TWO doses of my dark red medicine down my throat.....tough task!!!! I quickly fixed myself a couple of my panini's on the grill......and I was feeling quite wonderful by the time I finished the meal!!!

I then watered the flowers, shrubs, azaleas, etc., etc.........took another quick dose of that dark red medicine.....and then went back to Egypt through cyberspace for awhile. After going to Europe 12 times over the past 27 years .....I am quite familiar with everything over there.....but, Egypt is a different story....and I ALWAYS try to be as knowledgeable as possible about these new places that I am going to travel to BEFORE I leave the stick and brick. Lots to research and learn......and much, much easier now with a free ticket through cyberspace!!!!

I am posting a black/white picture I ran across recently of former students from Eldon who had been VERY successful in the Missouri solo competitions for high schools in the state. Some of them are avid readers and followers of this little daily ramlin' and so I hope you guys enjoy remembering this.........and remember that.....

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

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A real "do-nothing" day!!

I didn't wake up as early as usual........could it possibly be because I didn't hit the sack until almost 1am........thanks to our good friends, I had eaten soooooo damn much that I just could not bring myself to laying down and then not sleeping well because of having tooooooooo much food inside my sagging.....VERY sagging.....hulk! Soooo, I stayed up researching the Egypt trip.....and finally fell onto the bed...exhausted.

The 1st Lady went off to church this morning for the 1st service.....and I had my Fr. Roast coffee as I watched the "talking heads" Sunday morning tellie shows. Really wasn't feeling too good.....seemed to have a bit of a headache when I got up and it just insisted on hanging around....until that damn little man inside my head finally got "warmed up" and really began to bang that hammer on my skull!

This afternoon we ran up to Farmington to do a bit of shopping during the sale at Penny's.......and didn't buy very much at all. Just looking around for some inexpensive summer clothes that might work for us in Egypt and Jordan......should we sign on the dotted line this week. We will have dress very conservatively........not much leg and/or skin showing.......out of respect for their beliefs and culture. Keeping a rather low profile is what we want to do even with all of the tight security which they have in Egypt for the thousands of tourists from around the world that visit there. will be even under tighter security there.........but I have no fears!! I do not believe in hovering in the corner of my house out of fear something could occur everytime we leave to go somewhere...........that is not the way I have lived my Life!

This evening........the 1st Lady put together a delicious and wonderful salad for a light supper. W was terrific!!!! the evening has been rather laid back as we watched a bit of the tellie.........and did nothing.

As always..............:

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

Two days of really keeping BUSY!!!

Yesterday.....Friday.....we went to Cape G. fairly early....I only had time for one cup of Fr. Roast coffee!!! We did some shopping and then the 1st Lady and I tried on various glasses for over an hour attempting to find a pair that made me look very young and cool and hip and not so old and saggy!!! Hmmmmm.....guess what???!!!! We never did find that pair of eye glasses!!!!! So, with vast disappointment oozing from the pores of my body, I left that particular Lenscrafters and went to Barnes and Noble for a great cup of cappuccino!!! While there, I spent some time looking and skimming through various books on Egypt travels.....and we finally bought one of them to help with our researching for the trip.

No....we haven't "signed on" with any tour agency as yet......more on that later........

We went on and spent the afternoon with Mike and had really good visit. Returning to Cape, we stopped at Target and Staples to purchase a few needed items that we just couldn't get along without!!! Heaven forbid that we would return from Cape without buying anything......NEVER!!!

Last night after returning around 10:30 I spent more time online reading and sending messages on the Frommer website for travelers of the world.......of which we seem to be! A late night....and no energy or burning thoughts for the world to read....and so I didn't write last night.

TODAY.....SATURDAY.......the 1st Lady and I walked two miles and were back on Buford Heights by a bit after 8am. Humidity was already drenching the area.....including us! The remainder of the morning and ALL afternoon I spent online reading and discussing with the 1st Lady various websites about traveling to Egypt. I do not want to spend more $$$$ than necessary for this journey of desert experiences......but I do not want to sacrifice anything either. We may never venture that way again.........and so we do want to take in as much of the Egyptian experience as we possibly can.

It will not be a cheap trip, we have discovered!!! However, when compared with other European trips that are being made is not that high. I did spend several hours trying to decide whether to go independently on our own with our own private guide.....or join a tour group of no more than 8 participants. After some careful comparisons......and after contacting this afternoon in Cairo a private guide who is an Egyptologist......I believe the prices are just about the same whether we use a private guide for the two weeks or go on a small group tour.

We also discovered a tour agency that we may use to go to Thailand in another year or so.......a GREAT price for a GREAT tour with an extension to Angor Wat in Cambodia!!!! Soooo, we just have to sign up about a year in advance for any tours from this agency as they do not run the same tours week after week each year. Ahhhhhh........will I live long enough to see and visit all the places I want/need to see before I become toooooooooooooo old and toooooooooooooo much of a sagging hulk to travel?????? HOPE SO!!!! 41 countries so far......and I sure do want to at least be able to say I have visited 50 countries and six continents before I quit these worldly sojourns!!! I WILL.............if a person doesn't think BIG...nothing BIG will ever happen!!

This evening, we enjoyed another fine meal at the Hanner Home.......WOW, we might need to move in with them....we are out there soooo much. WONDERFUL COOK/CHEF!!!!!!! But......this evening she fixed a fresh pineapple pie with this beautiful light cream sauce over it....and then served it to us. After taking the first bite.....I thought that it had a faint flavor that really layed on top of the pineapple......and then Dave said...."Sue....this tastes like garlic is in this??"

HAHAHAHA.......she had sliced the fresh pineapple on the cutting board that she had used to chop up the garlic for the Italian pasta dish she served for dinner!!!!!! She will NEVER live that one down!!!!!!!! Perhaps this new dessert will become a world-wide hit: Fresh garlic infused Pineapple Pie!!! HAHAHA.......what a hoot!!!!

And soooooo, a great evening of delicious food, a newly premiered dessert, great wine, and wonderful conversation and laughter!!! They are leaving for Dallas on Tuesday for a couple of days and we are planning to leave on Thursday for Baton Rouge and New Orleans for the coming weekend. I tried to get them to just come on down to N.O., but they didn't think they could do that this time. Toooooo bad.......what great fun we could have on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

Life is toooooooooooo short to stay in one place!!!! And so.........another day and.....

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

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Return of the summer heat......UGH!!!

I had to get the Park Avenue into the shop this morning by strut, brakes, and the 1st Lady went with me and then we did our morning "power walk" to return back to Buford Heights and TheHowserHouse.

As we arrived, a former student of mine arrived for some Fr. Roast invitation I had issued yesterday afternoon to him. Nick Nichols, who just received his degree at Truman State in trumpet performance this spring was in town to visit his relatives for a couple of days. It had been WELL over a year since we had merged our schedules so we could visit......and the three hours this morning were wonderful!!!

This young man, who began playing the trumpet in 6th grade, played in band for the next seven years, and also studied privately with me for four years.........has, and continues, to make a name for himself in the field of trumpet performance. He has received a graduate assistantship at Western Michigan State University for the next two years, won the performance scholarship award for the National Trumpet Guild this spring, and will continue to rack up the awards and performances as his Life continues. What a joy it is to have the morning to talk with him and to discuss his successes and his plans for his future.......WOW!!!! An incredible young man with sooooooo damn much talent and professionalism!!!!!! He really makes me proud!

This afternoon.......most of the time I spent researching the Egypt trip.....talking with the tour company in New Jersey......and checking on other prices from other agencies. Think I am settled on this particular company..........they really sound like they have everything planned well........a small group of no more than 8 participants.....and perhaps only the 1st Lady and myself!!! A personal guide will be with us from the minute we arrive until we catch the plane back to New York from Cairo.........!! A firm decision and deposit must be made very quickly as reservations on the flights must be VERY soon!

Then this evening with dined at the Hanner House with Dave and Sue. Another wonderful meal.......she is a fantastic cook/chef!!!!!!! They just returned from a week in Chicago......and we all had soooo much to discuss and laugh about............always a riot when the four of us are together.

Must close..........the bewitching hour is arriving and I might turn into a sagging blob of a pumpkin with the gravity pulling at me from all angles........what a horrific visual!!! But....even if this occurs......

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wonderful weather.....and a BIG journey begins to take shape!!!!

Up early....and then when the 1st Lady got up, we headed down the hill at a very good clip......a morning two mile walk in 30 minutes. It was in the upper 50's when we began....and it was just wonderful weather to be doing this "power walk"!!

Returning.....I pumped some iron for another 30 mintes .....maybe a bit more than that....and then it was French Roast on the patio. Somehow the morning slipped away very quickly.......and so did most of the afternoon. But........

By late afternoon I had a discussion with the 1st Lady about a major journey late this fall.......and she agreed. Now if we can just get the research done and the details worked out and decide whether to take a small group tour or do the trip on our own...........we will be going to Egypt in early November with a side trip to Jordan to go visit Petra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you don't think BIG.....nothing BIG will ever happen........soooooo, with Life getting shorter with each passing day, it is time to go see and do some of the things and places we have always wanted to visit. I have been thinking about this all during the time she was up at her Mother's and so......I have some quotes on prices from Egyptian tour companies.....and it is not really all that high. I want to spend a couple of days in Cairo....then fly to either Luxor or Aswan and then take the 3-4 day Nile cruise to whichever place we don't fly into. A side trip from there will be to Abu Simbel to the Ramses palace ruins.....which is down closer to Sudan. Then at the end of the cruise.....of which we will go to the Vally of the Kings, Karnak, etc., etc....and perhaps a balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings........from there we will fly back to Cairo for a day or two.

Then if it can all be worked out with schedules and reservations, we will fly to Amman, Jordan and then travel overland to Petra to see one of the newest declared Seven Wonders of the World. Back to Amman and then to Cairo and then back to the states.

EXCITING!!! Much work must be done to make many decisions that have to be made........I do not want to go on a LARGE tourist bus tour.....have done that 11 times through Europe. Hopefully, we can find a small group....perhaps 8 or less....for a tour group. The other option is hiring a guide who is an Egyptologist...registered....and who will go with us throughout the Egypt portion.

Sooooo, many hours need to be spent here online and on the phone to get this BIG idea to come to fruition. Want to leave during the 1st week of November and be gone from 14-17 days. The weather will be cooler over there at that time which is important. Don't want to be riding around the Pyramids on a camel in 100+ degrees!!!!

Will keep you posted on this journey as it develops. MUST find out where there are internet cafes or online service..........THAT is important. Also.......the use of cell phones internationally and what is needed to be able to call/connect......while cruising up/down the Nile.

Ahhhhhh........with BIG thoughts come BIG plans and then BIG experiences.....which only goes to make certain that......

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A day in the yard..........

Oh cup of Fr. Roast coffee and I was soon behind the lawn mower, pushing it over the yard for the next 2.5 hours. The entire yard exercise routine began at 7:30AM.......and not certain that the next door neighbor was awake yet. I just needed to get it done before the sun found it's way into the hot zone of the blue sky above.......and I did get it done before it became too hot to enjoy this little weekly task.

Following that......and three bottles of water.....I got out the rake to assist in getting all of the twigs and small branches gathered together and then picked up. There are three HUGE elm trees.......they somehow were immune to the elm disease of years ago.......and they are constantly shedding these little twigs and branches into my yard. They actually belong to the neighbor...the one whom I am sure was awakened by the mower.......and they provide a large amount of shade, even with the falling twigs....haha!

Next project was to spray/kill the weeds that were popping up between the concrete curb and the street pavement. These little renegade weeds were not actually on my property, but they are getting tall enough to affect the looks of my yard, so I sprayed them with some chemical that WILL kill these weeds. And.....hopefully, they will be dead in a few short days.

This afternoon I spent doing some reading, getting our light supper prepped, and then fixing it when the 1st Lady arrived. We ate on the patio.......and it was really nice. I had my usual dosage of dark red always compliments and enhances the meal....hahaha!

And so went my day.......QUICKLY!!!!! Another really great day........which always helps to make certain that.....

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

Summer color at TheHowserHouse

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Around the yard.....

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Monday, July 23, 2007

And....the "WOW!!" weather continues.......YEAH!!!

Oh does continue!!! A gorgeous morning......and the Fr. Roast coffee enhanced the early morning enjoyment as I sat with my cup in hand, listening to the actual quietness of this part of Buford Heights and watching the House Finches, the Yellow Finches, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse(titmice?), Cardinals, American Wrens, Nuthatches, Azure Buntings, and a few hummingbirds enjoy the re-filled bird feeders. looked like a huge party at the side of my patio with all of the feeding activity going on!

I did a bit of house cleaning this morning, using the very noisy dirt sucking machine as I swept the new carpets and then "swiftered" the hardwood floors to get up the dust and other unneeded things on the floor. Having done a load of towels, etc. last night, I folded them and put them away in both bathrooms. know it does feel good to do the chores(as long as the chore list is SHORT).

Then late morning, Mike Goldsmith dropped by for a cup of coffee. Sitting outside on the patio, the list of discussion topics ranged from families/children, school happenings and non-happenings, future plans, travel plans, and tooooooo many topics to remember. Seems we only get together once every few months........and to think that we used to have our early morning coffee in the band office EACH DAY! Amazing how individual paths tend to pull away from each other.......and it is difficult to keep them close together unless each person works to keep them running as parallel as possible. The older I get, the more I find that happening with friends from the past, both immediate past and long-ago past. As jobs and families change with time, these changes often pull and tug at friendships......unless......contacts and communication are maintained frequently..........a difficult task oftentimes. It happens to everyone........and it takes everyone working to keep these warm and wonderful friendships continuing.

The 1st Lady called this afternoon and said she was going to stay with her mother one more night.........and I certainly understand. She is not in good health.......and at 83 year of age, each moment together is a moment to be remembered and enjoyed.

Tonight.......the very enjoyable CNN/YouTube "debates". What a wonderful new way of "debates".......good to hear from the ordinary citizens and the questions and thoughts that are foremost on their minds.

Hopefully......another day tomorrow will bring another day of such delightful weather as we have been experiencing here in SE Missouri(it's not "Misery" right now). And if so, it will only ensure that:

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

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why can't these days continue................???

Beautiful!! Stunning!!! Yep......I'm talking about today in F'town on Buford Heights........almost perfect. The weather couldn't have been complaints today.

I spent most of the day out on the patio.....enjoying this weather. Fr.Roast coffee early this morning outside........mid-morning coffee again outside.......and off and on all day, including spending about 2-3 hours reading under the umbrella of the patio table. I did take out a little more than half of an hour to pump some iron.........really feel great after doing that for 30-45 minutes!!

Once again, with the 1st Lady still visiting her mother it was very easy to relax. She is always busy, busy, busy doing something either around the house or at her, I soon find myself on the go doing things a lot of the time. And...with her being away for several days, I find myself in a relaxed mode........something a little bit different!

My eating schedule while she is away is rather erratic...........just whenever I feel like eating. Soooo, today.......I dined solo al fresco about 4:30pm...........and fixed my wonderful panini sandwich: very fresh tomatoes, mozzarella slices, fresh basil from my herb garden, Tuscan boule crusty bread, and all of this drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Then on the outside of the bread I spread some gourmet mustard and then using the George Foreman Grill, I close it down on the sandwiches and let is brown as the cheese melts over the basil and tomatoes. was soooo damn good!! And it was accompanied by fresh corn on the cob with a couple of glasses of my dark red medicine(Pepperwood Grove Cabernet).............and all of this was enjoyed and consumed on the patio in perfect temperatures. An incredible light supper and pretty healthy at that!

Another great day.........peaceful, relaxing........and the only thing missing is not being in TheHowserHouse on wheels!!! Sure getting the urge to travel down the highways again.......soon, I hope!!!!! Life is tooooo short to stay in one place! However, after another day like today......once again.....

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

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What an incredibly beautiful day......

The title speaks for itself......and for the wonderful weather which made this day something special!!! Lots of time on the patio enjoying Fr. Roast coffee......and the flowers.....and the many birds that visit the edge of our patio where the bird feeders are located.......and wonderful green fountain grass that flows so softly as the breezes push this way and that way.....very, very gracefully.

I took the day off......yep.....I did almost absolutely nothing today......and thoroughly loved doing just that.....NOTHING!!! Do I feel guilty??? NOPE........I feel relaxed, at peace, and thankful that I could just sit back as discussed above......and not feel as if I had to jump up and watch the clock and get many projects and tasks accomplished. A good feeling.......!!

After visiting with Jeremy by phone, we have decided to postpone our trip to Louisiana one more for another week as his schedule is really, really crammed with a lot of events, filming for television spots, etc., etc., etc. Sooooo, hopefully we will be in Baton Rouge and New Orleans in two weeks.......really looking forward to going down there. I LOVE NEW ORLEANS!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow.......well, who knows??? Life is tooooo short to be soooo involved throughout one's Life. It IS time to stop and smell the roses each day and at each place along the pathway of Life. And with each step along that pathway........

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

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hmmmmm.........beautiful day with not much accomplished....

Yesterday....catch-up......was not of much consequence. I spent a great deal of the day, once again....looking and sorting through pictures and boxes. Wow.....will this ever be completed? Stay tuned......

Today......after arising early and having my coffee on the patio, I put myself into action, pumped some iron for half an hour, and then began loading the back of the truck with MOST of the last group of boxes and things to take to Becky and Rachel. We have had these items stored for six years and it is going to be great to have them gone and storage space us....haha.
The loading took about 30 minutes,....and with the rain late last night I thought the ground around the shed would be muddy. WRONG!!! I suppose we didn't get as much rain as it sounded like we did.......because the ground was still very hard.

Off to Cape G. I went and fought the battle of the highway construction for 20 miles......and they really seem to do some strange things when re-building a highway. I won't get into this just pisses me off that when they do get a section "done", it still rolls and has small "lumps/bumps" in the new other words, it is not smooth at all. Oh well......

After unloading the boxes, I had planned to assist her in putting up the poles for the draperies in the living room, however.........the long pole was not long enough! Ahhhhhh.........this is soooooo much like my entire year of remodeling......purchase something(usually up in St Louis) and then get it home and it doesn't work where we wanted it....and sooooo, back to STL and exchange/return it and begin the search all over again for the correct and best item. UGH!!!!

I left after a bit of discussion about the pole for the large window probably needing to be one that extends......and I started looking around Cape G. at the various shops and stores for one that might be just what Becky needs. Wellllllllllll.........not to be found today by me. it was much more difficult than I expected for a university town like this one. There just aren't that many choices here.......hmmmm. No wonder we usually go to STL to shop......a few more miles, but less driving time sitting in the car/truck!

After a cappuccino in Barnes and Noble........and an afternoon searching for not only the drapery pole, but also for a damned watch band for myself( success for a 19mm width band!!) was 4:30pm. So, I found myself pulling into The Red Lobster.........

After being seated, my waitress/server arrived at the table......took a look at me.....and asked if I used to be the band director at F'town??? Of course.......and the girl turned out to be th daughter of Kim and Mark Jackson who used to teach here at F'town with us......and, in fact, Kim went to Europe on the last tour that I took over 2001. Soooo, it is a rather small world, isn't it?

Returning home, after a quick stop at Schuck's, a chain grocery/market, to pick up some Starbucks Fr. Roast BEANS!!!! Would you believe that there is no place in F'town that carries coffee beans any more????????? Well.....they do have a brand, not to be named, that I do not enjoy.....and so......I am now having to drive elsewhere to purchase my Fr. Roast beans for my morning coffee!!!! DAMN.......

The 1st Lady is with her mother this weekend......having left yesterday with a stop at Dr. Jeni's office to have her new implants (teeth) "installed". She spent the night with Dr. Jeni and Darrel and girls at their Estate.......and then drove on up to her mother's today. She needs to take her mother to the Dr on Monday......which means that two appts. we had for Monday morning will have to be canceled and re-scheduled......hmmmmmm.... Not impossible!

Guess I DID get SOMETHING accomplished........bought some Fr. Roast beans!!!!! YEAH!!!!! The most important thing......right??? Oh was a great weather day which always makes certain for me that

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hotter and hotter and hotter.......

Today was the worst so far this summer. After a thunderstorm yesterday, the soaking rain was just enough to make today's humidity almost unbearable. The heat indices soared to over 100 degrees today making it very difficult to breathe when stepping out of anyplace that had a/c!!

After spending about an hour as the tire shop where I had new front tires installed last week, all that could be found for my vibrating Park Avenue was a small amount of one tire being not quite balanced correctly. I do, however, need some rear struts installed and that will be done next week. was off to the optometrist's office where both the 1st Lady and I tried on eye glass frames. I discussed almost impossible to tell what you look like when the lenses are just a bit of magnified glass!!! Thought I knew which ones I wanted, but then I began trying on newer "models"......more up-to-date frames. Not sure I want to be "in style" with the latest "looks" in eye glasses or do I want a pair that will be more classic and last for a few years????? AND....will my eyes last "for a few years"???? Ahhhh.......decisions, decisions!! Anyway....we returned to the stick and brick with several ones to try and see what we look like......again.

This afternoon was toooooo damn hot to spend any time outside and so, I just was a bit lazier than I usually am around here. Not much fun...........especially since there is soooo much that needs to be completed in the removal of "stuff" project! Oh well......there is always tomorrow......

And...speaking of tomorrow. IF I have to accompany the 1st Lady to her mother's for the weekend, I may not be posting on a regular schedule, as oftentimes occurs when I go up to NE Missouri where cyberspace is difficult to tap into. I am not wanting to go, but I may find myself being tugged and urged to go with her.......we'll see how the morning plays out.

Watched the video "Little Miss Sunshine" this evening. Wellllll....I cannot imagine how this film was nominated for the Oscar for last year......ESPECIALLY when "Blood Diamond" was not nominated at all!!!!!!!!!! "Sunshine"....while a bit funny, a bit of fun being made of beauty pageants for children(as it probably should be), and some funny lines......I wasn't impressed at all!!! In fact....the moment it was over I commented that I couldn't believe it had been nominated for the Oscar!!!!! Just unreal......!!

And so......a rather boring day here in F'town and in our stick/brick/!!!!! Sure hope your day provided more stimulation than mine did. Did I learn anything new today???? Yep......I now know just how dumb some of the nominated films can be! But.....

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

WOW.......a very multi-faceted day!

French coffee on the patio this morning at 7am......and it was soooo warm and humid that the coffee was not that enjoyable. will I drink that wonderful, rich coffee at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans in a couple of weeks in THEIR heat and humidity if I can't do it here!!??

We went up to Farmington so I could get a haircut and the 1st Lady could get the bed comforter.....a KING sized one......put into a LARGE washer at a laundromat there. Good ole F'town's laundromats are BOTH closed down!!!!! Imagine that??!! Anyway....she got the job done and dried while I was getting my 69 hairs on the top of my balding head trimmed. I always have to remind the "cutter" NOT to thin out my hair....heehee.

The 1st Lady and I also ran into the the regular sized Wal-Mart Supercenter there.......our in F'town is a small supercenter.....hmmmmm, does that make sense??? If something is "super", how can it be small? Oh is F'town. Returning to our stick and brick on the hill, I had only a small amount of time before my appointment with the local optometrist to have my eyes checked for new glasses.......FINALLY!!!!

I looked around at some new frames.......and how the hell is one supposed to look at yourself with new frames on when you can't see SHIT without the normal lenses??????? HUH.......go figure! After my exam, I brought four pair of frames home.......but not really satisfied with any of them. I just absolutely HATE to go through this ordeal of purchasing new glasses!!!!!!! Even after picking out a pair of frames, then it has always taken me forever to get them adjusted correctly....and I get so out of sorts at going through that long process of getting them just the way I need them.....DAMN! I look forward to a very aggravating few days next week when I do get them.........

This morning I had purchased a dozen ears of "peaches and cream" sweet corn from a local farmer who had a small stall in a parking lot here in town. He assured me it was "the best corn ever". OK.......and I struck out again! We fixed three ears for a light supper this evening and it was completely tasteless!!!!! Even frozen corn from the supercenter(our small SUPERcenter) tastes better than that did. What a waste of money!!

After we through out the uneaten corn on the cob left from supper.....the 1st Lady went to the local video rental shop and brought home" The Departed". WOW......what an intense and convuluted movie theme.......loved it. If you haven't seen it............put it at the top of you list to rent.

Oh yeah.....forgot to tell you that we had a rather swift and very drenching rainstorm drive through here justs as I arrived at the optometrist this afternoon. At least there was enough rain to allow me to forget about watering the plants and shrubs this evening.....YEAH!!!

I suppose I should post a few more pictures of former students and their/our activities from years past....??? I have a soooooo many emails and replies about the four I posted last night. THAT'S a good thing!! It is a great way to touch base with many, many of those former students who are now life-long friends! Believe was a wonderful 30 year trip for myself....and for the hundreds and hundreds of wonderful students that stayed with me for seven years through the middle and high school band program, and the many trips we made across the USA to perform in various venues. Ahhhhh......what great times.....what great fun!

Yep.......a multi-faceted day it was today. Tomorrow......the eye glass frames MUST be decided upon.......ugh. However....not matter which ones I select.....I can always be certain that.....

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

Monday, July 16, 2007

Goldie and Melissa in the early years!!

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Goldie accepting an award....and performing on his sax!

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Working with the past (by sorting "Stuff")......

A day to spend breeze at all this morning and into the early afternoon. Same old Misery temps and humidity....nothing new, so I won't bore you with the local weather! We started off the morning with some exercise: the 1st Lady took her usual 30 minute quick walk around this end of the city, and I spent that time plus pumping some iron here in the stick and brick.

The 1st Lady and I seem to have piles of "stuff" in the guest bedroom, the den/office, the living room and spilling into the media/family room. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I despise piles of crap/stuff/shit laying around!!!!! I seemed to have to put up with this in my band office.....there just wasn't room for all of the music, texts, books, etc., etc.......and now, here I am in retirement putting up with the same crap: piles of stuff!!!!!

So, today we lit into some of these piles attempting to make a small dent in the sorting, throwing, and storing tasks with all of this. BUT.......when we ran into a box of OLD pictures from a former chapter in our lives.....a chapter that was 13 years long......guess what??!! We bogged down, buried ourselves in the folders, envelopes, little boxes, etc. of this box and spent wwwaaayyyy toooooo much time enjoying the memories of it's contents!!!! And, it was fun...and it was nostalgic.....and it was highly emotional(we discovered long ago items of our first daughter who passed away at the age of 8 from unknown causes).

This afternoon we tackled the guest bedroom! The king bed had been moved into this room last spring after we received our new furniture for our newly remodeled master bedroom.....and at that particular time, we could NOT find the king bed rails/frame!!!!!!! No where!!!! And...guess again!! We found them when we got the "stuff" out of the garage to have the yard sale a couple of weeks ago.....hahaha. I keep wondering just WHAT we will find next in their...hahahaa!! So, we had to move almost everything to get it set up properly, the bed made, and then making some adjustments for the bedskirt that was for the old queen size that was in there.....hmmmm. This took some thinking and trimming and pinning.....and VOILA!!!! It looks great.

By late afternoon, it was 5pm somewhere......and so, I opened a new bottle of dark red medicine and had a couple of doses of it......! And.....I feel better....much better. Another dose during our light supper spinach salad and hot garlic bread....and I was good to go for the rest of the evening.

Another half hour was spent watering my flowers, azaleas, shrubs, and other bushes. The drought continues and I do NOT want to lose any of the above!!!!

I have thrown a few pictures on here of a couple of my very, very good friends who were my students in Eldon......but anyone from F'town who knows them now may not recognize them, as the pics were taken in 1986 and '87. These are some of the nostalgic items that I discovered in that box this afternoon. Seeing them at this stage of their lives in these pics only re-enforces my very warm feelings for them as they continue to care for, and to love each other deeply and honestly!!! Who would have thought.........after the normal turbulent teenage years!!!! However, some things....and couples......are just meant to be.....and how wonderful that can be! Love you two!!!!!!!

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

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Two days of ..........

A bit lazy last night........sorrrrrry. The 1st Lady and I worked most of the day........I think it really should be called the Two Step "Stuff" Shuffle....and it was quite a dance!!!! After the garage sale we were gone for almost a week.....and the remainder of the "stuff" that didn't sell and the "stuff" that we were keeping .....well, it was all just laying around inside.

Sooo, for the past couple of days we have been trying to re-arrange this "stuff" that the 1st Lady will NOT let me get rid of. Ohh...let me be honest....I did make two trips in the car with a full load each time to the Sr. Center Thrift Center......but that just didn't take care of all of it. Sooooo, we began to move things within the garage to reposition the "stuff" that I could not get permission to throw away. And so.......the Two Step "Stuff" Shuffle began........and it was not a dance of love!!!! HAHA!!

We moved things around, confronted each other with different ideas as to where to store it, and then had some MAJOR discussions about all of this "stuff". Ah yes........we are both tooooooo head strong! I couldn't get her to agree to eliminate this "stuff" which she says we MUST keep as " we might need it sometime". Soooooo, it seemed that we just moved things from one side of the garage to the other......and then back again in a slightly different space. And sooooo, will this project ever be finished????? Hmmmmmm.......stay tuned(if you can handle it).........

Today.....the 1st Lady went to church this morning......and I enjoyed my "talking heads" shows on the tellie. The weather was horrifically hot and humid with clouds threatening storms. We both just rather lounged around today.......and then later this afternoon we began to organize some of the things that I had brought back from Eldon with me: pictures, clipppings, newspapers, etc., etc. And still there are more of these same items to sort through and get organized and stored. I am a SLOW picture sorter-outer as I want to look and enjoy each picture and think about.....and wonder about the era in which it was taken.

We did have about 507 raindrops this afternoon......and as best as I could count, there wasn't one drop more than that. However, we need one hell of a lot more!!!!

Two days have gone by since I last posted.........and I am MORE than ready to get my sagging ass on the road again.....SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have been in Missouri WAY tooooooooooooo long since we returned last month from Wisconsin. Time to get going!!!!

Life is GREAT ( would be better if I was traveling in TheHowserHouse).........and I hope it is for all of you, also!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hmmmmm......a rather LONG day.......

Up early, I fixed my French Roast coffee and headed out to the patio for the morning air complete with a mixed choir of various songbirds......and they were NOT in unison. But.....overlooking the undirected choir.....I did, and do, enjoy the morning with my coffee and unscripted music.

Soon, we made the decision to go see Mike, with a stop at Becky's home in Cape.........a stop that would require a bit of shuffling of boxes from the back of my truck into her shed and/or home. The 1st Lady and I have "housed" many, many boxes belonging to Becky and Mike for over 6 years.....and now that she has a new home, it is time to change the address of these storage boxes! So, I got my two-wheeled box mover and began hauling as many as would fit in my truck so that we could take them to Cape.

We left here before noon and within an hour, I was unloading boxes with the 1st Lady and Becky. Soon I was drenched.....and very glad that I had taken a clean/dry shirt with me. After the unloading and storing the boxes we brought with us, we went on to visit Mike for the afternoon.

On the return trip, we stopped in Jackson for some caloric ice cream and then an hour later we were back at our stick and brick. A quick, relaxing cup of tea for this old sagging hulk, a quick read of some of the city newspapers that I read online, and now it is time to go horizontal!

I will try to post some pictures tomorrow of some of the flowers that are surviving the drought we are having here in Madison County. I will have to arise early in the morning to water them since it was tooooo dark this evening to get that little task completed. We DO need rain.......!!!!

And thus ends this little bit of ramblin' thoughts that have not collapsed into mush inside my weary brain tonight. I am going to have to begin posting a wee bit earlier so that I can still manage to sort out my thoughts so they make a bit of interesting sense! However........even with "mush" in my brain......

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

Thursday, July 12, 2007

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Beautiful Day!

Another gorgeous day....the temp at 7am this morning was 58 degrees!!! WONDERFUL! And, as the day passed by, it edged up to the middle 80's, but not much humidity. Just a grand day to be outside and enjoying some decent weather.

Took my French Roast coffee on the patio this morning with that wonderful cool temp. Very quiet except for the songs of the birds......and that is why I have two bird feeders and one hummingbird feeder. They are great company for my morning coffee.....

After doing a few odd jobs for the 1st Lady, I went down to the local Plaza Tire and had two new tires installed on the front of the car......both of the old ones were done for after 65,000 miles. One of them actually had a small, but growing, hole in it.....DAMN!!! An accident waiting to happen.....

The afternoon was spent doing some more chores such as re-arranging the garage and then taking a LARGE load of used clothing down to the Sr. Center Thrift Shop....again. My God, but they do have a LOT of STUFF down there........tons and tons of clothes plus all of the little things that didn't sell in garage sales around F'Town.......haha.

Late this afternoon I was checking some news online and discovered that our Representative in Congress in D.C.....who is Republican.....crossed the line and voted FOR the withdrawal of troops to be completed by April!!!! WOW......I am sooooooo damned proud of her.....I immediately called her office in Washington and thanked her for her support of this bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't usually get on my soapbox on this blog about politics, BUT...........after serving four years in the USAF during the Nam era......and having spent 13 months in SE Asia during that time period(1966-70)..........I have felt very, very strongly that we should not have gone to Iraq(especially for the invalid reasons we were told) and that we certainly should not be there now!!!!!!!!!!! Oh yeah......I DO support our troops over there(I was one of those during the Nam War), but the best way to support them is get them back here in a WELL planned exit. Enough is ENOUGH!!!!! I will close this discussion(for now).

WOW......when the mail arrived this morning there was my PASSPORT!!!!! Now.....that is nothing exceptional, except: I ONLY SENT IN MY OLD ONE FOR RENEWAL WITH MY NEW PICTURES AND $$ LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AGO!!!!! I could hardly believe it! I have never ever had mine renewed that quickly in the past 26 years.....UNREAL! And here we thought it might be the 1st of the year before I would receive it. AHHHH, perhaps we CAN fly away to someplace new and exotic this fall!!!!!!!???? Egypt???? We have been wanting to go over there for several years but have had some security concerns. seems to be better now, except that we Americans are not "liked" anywhere because of our current Administration in Washington.......some of our friends who have gone out of the country recently have told people that they meet while traveling that they are Canadians! I have traveled around the world for the past 26 years....and never had to be concerned about this type of thing......DAMN! I go again.......

And so...another day of my lengthening Life has passed. Have I learned something new today??? Yep....I sure did!!! I learned that finally Rep. Emerson in Congress has seen the "writing on the wind" about the mess in Iraq and, also.....that she may be trying to actually represent the people in Southeast Missouri by having the fortitude to vote against her party's leader.

LIFE IS GREAT!!!! And...I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A beautiful day..........finally!

The morning was a bit muggy at 6am today, but as the day aged.....the cool dry air from the north descended on Buford Heights.....and all was good!!!! HOWEVER..............

I had to take the car to the repair shop.....and the tugging to the right was the result of a very bad spot on the tire.....a slipped belt in the tire, I was told. Soooo, tomorrow will be the day to get a couple of tires!!! UGH!!!! I had to buy four tires in Vegas for the truck this past winter and now two more need to be replaced. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Believe I need to just get a new bicycle......

Returning from walking back up here from the car repair shop......and then I soon had to walk back and pick up the car. AHHH....a good day for a good walk!!! And then......returning home, the 1st Lady was beginning to think about working in the garage to get the garage sale STUFF that didn't sell stored or disposed of.(shouldn't end a sentence with "of", should I?) I had already decided that I would wash some windows, and so....I got out the ladder and began doing the ones in the front of the house. Washing windows is not a big problem with me......I always enjoy seeing how great they look when I am finished........a sense of accomplishment!

Then I realized how dirty the siding on the house had become......and so I began to hand wash it. After an hour or so, I finished the front of the house.....and it really does look much better.

By then the 1st Lady was in the garage....and then she moved to the shed behind the garage and began dragging out onto the lawn all that has been stored in there by our three adult children. Hmmmmm.....why does OUR place become their storage pod??????? Not sure about that one.......??

Well, that took us about a couple of hours and then I loaded up all of the clothes and other items and drove them down to the Senior Citizen Thrift Shop. We seem to do this about once each year........and it is a bit of a tax deduction, also.

I fixed paninis for supper: mozzerella slices, fresh tomato slices which have been pre-salted with Kosher salt for a couple of hours, fresh "out of my her garden" basil leaves, some freshly fried and crumbled bacon and all of this on two slices of semolina bread. I spread some gourmet mustard on the exposed sides of the bread slices and then put this all together, drizzled some extra virgin olive oil over the panini and then grilled them on a G. Foreman grill. Really, really great!!!

And so ends a really beautiful day.......and with quite a bit accomplished here at the stick and brick! As always.....

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

Aha......the bewitching hour and I am still up and going.......

A day of predicted rains and storms.......and all we get here is clouds and a breeze with cooling temps!! AND....the cooling temps IS good.

The day went quickly: coffee on the patio under cloud cover, out to the Bd. of Education building to pay our medical insurance for July, and a trip to Wal-Mart where I seemed to run into several people that I have not seen for some time.

The afternoon: I washed some windows and the sliding glass door to get rid of the dust and other marks on the glass where birds have thought they could fly into the house...haha. Did some watering of our shrubs, flowers, and a large bush or two as it was quite evident that the rains were not going to appear in F'town today. Things are really, really dry here even though we have been suffering in this terrible humidity for the past week.

Then the 1st Lady returned from Cape and we then hurried out to the Hanner Home for dinner with Sue and Dave. They have just recently returned from about two weeks, spending most of the time in Florida at Sarasota....and then the rest of the time in Chicago with their daughter and her family. Soooo, over an incredibly wonderful meal, we had much to discuss and laugh about. Her dessert was French crepes with whipped cream and fresh peaches.......OH SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!

We spent the entire evening there returning here about 11:30pm......and sooooo full of good food that it is tooooo difficult to lay down and sleep right now! And with that.....

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

Monday, July 09, 2007

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Another Day of Summer in Misery......

The alarm brought me to my vertical position this morning at 7AM!! The project for the morning??? Mow the lawn BEFORE the sun overheats the yard....... And, so after three hours of mowing and resting with several liters of cold water, I finished the task and was totally drenched. Don't believe there was one tiny little breeze during the entire three just got hotter and hotter as the morning rushed by. By afternoon, the heat index was up at 105 degrees.......WHEW!!!

After showering and a couple of cups of Fr. Roast coffee, a couple of phone calls to answer, and then I was off on some errands around town. Paid a couple of bills, made an appt. for the Park Avenue for some much needed repairs, and then bought out the local Wal-Mart, or so it seemed! But.....there is really not any other place in town where you can purchase some of the necessary items for daily living.

This evening.....ahhhhh! I made myself a couple of panini sandwiches on a G. Foreman electric grill: fresh Semolina bread slices, fresh basil leaves from my herb garden, fresh tomatoes that had been salted with Kosher salt for a couple of hours, and mozzarella cheese(not as fresh as I would have liked, but where in F'town?), and all of this drizzled with extra virgin olive oil!!! OMG.......I had forgotten just how wonderful this sandwich is....!!!! With a glass of dark red medicine as an accompaniment to the sandwiches......well, it was better than any meal I have had "out" in the past few weeks....without a doubt!!

And soooooo, the day slipped by quickly and quietly. The 1st Lady will return tomorrow afternoon and then I'm certain I will be assigned more projects to complete.....hahha. She always has things that I need to get done..........but, it makes no difference because....

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

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ahhhh....the joys of summer: HIGH HEAT!!!

I really be that all of you really know just how much I dislike the heat...and the humidity of summer, don't you??? I did not feel that way about those two "joys of summer" until I began to reach my late 50's....and those feelings have just progressed with each passing year/summer.

Today, here in southeast Missouri, it was in the middle 90's, however, the humidity could have been worse. It was only about 50%......thank God. I did attempt to mow the lawn later this evening and by the time I got the mower out, gassed up, and ready to start......I was completely soaked from perspiration so I just put the mower away and decided to get up EARLY in the morning and give it another try. I'm certain the neighbors will NOT like to hear my mower at such an early hour......

I was just being damned lazy today!!! The 1st Lady and Rachel left for Cape Girardeau shortly after 12 noon......and I found myself really enjoying the peace and quiet around here. I didn't even turn on the telli!!!!! I did some catching up on my reading of the news magazines which we find in our mailbox weekly/monthly.......and then took a short nap......and then did some "cleaning" of the little lappie....and, as I said.....enjoyed the quietness!

With all of the meals and eating that we did this past week.......I gained 2-3 pounds!!!! DAMN!!!!! And has begun the less eating week(s) until I can shed those 2-3 pounds that have so ungraciously added to my sagging hulk!!!! Pretty soon I will be tripping over all of this horrific "sagging". Does this stronger gravity have anything to do with the global warming we are experiencing??????? Hmmmmmm...........

The 1st Lady and I are trying to get some schedules made for a few short journeys.....but are finding it difficult to get everything set in stone due to the granddaughters who do need our attention! Soooooo, TheHowserHouse sits in our driveway, collecting dust and dirt, and longing to be out on the road again. And.......I sit on my sofa in the stick and brick, collecting pounds, and longing to be out on the road again.....too!

The more that I read the emails that one of our Cedar Creek RV Owners Club members writes about the 7 rigs/members that have been driving to Alaska this summer, I am beginning to be thankful that we did not travel in the caravan with them. The 1st Lady and I have driven to Alaska many years ago, but in a truck and large extended slide-in camper.......and I believe THAT is the way to drive it. The frost heaves are STILL happening in the Yukon on the highway.....and they are not pleasant. I STILL remember when we became airborne on that long-ago trip after not seeing a "heave" and driving over it tooooooo fast.......UGH. It was a good landing!!!! With my 38' Cedar Creek 5er, I certainly would not want to experience that one again!!!!!!

And so.......the evening is getting older....and my heavier sagging hulk is making me more tired....and soooo, after a quiet day....

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

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Two days....Friday and Saturday


WOW…..after a really, really hot and humid today yesterday, the morning today was wonderful. And what a morning to enjoy coffee on the patio here in NE Missouri. GREAT!!

About mid-morning Jeremy and I drove into Hannibal to the Quality Inn and Suites where we seated ourselves in the large reception/lobby and proceeded to use their free Wifi for the next 1.5 hours. After reading his emails, Jeremy had as many phone calls to make as I had emails to answer…….LOTS!!!! His business never slows down……for holidays or not, it just keeps going…and keeps him going day and night. Right now he is the campaign manager for the Democratic candidate for Governor for the state of Louisiana….and their election is this fall. Sooooo, he is so involved in running the campaign with ALL of the various events, fund-raisers, tv appearances, campaign ads to write and produce for the television, etc., etc., etc. He has to fly back very early Sunday morning for a few events that he scheduled for later that day……..but, he LOVES his job!

This afternoon the 1st Lady joined her sister and families for some boat cruising around the Mark Twain Lake…..while myself….well, I enjoyed an afternoon nap and some reading on the patio.

Then this evening we drove down to the Lake again…..and met all of the family for dinner at the Rustic Oak Cabin Steakhouse……oh yeah, kind of a strange name, but that’s what it is called. There were 14 of us to be seated so we were glad that we had made reservations earlier today as the place was PACKED!!! And the food???

Well, it gets a mixed review. The 1st Lady had a KC loin steak with baked sweet potato, salad with ranch dressing made on the premises, and part of my dessert. Her steak was dreadful!!!! It had soooo much gristle and fat that it was very difficult to find any meat to salvage from the remainder of this steak disaster!!! TERRIBLE!!! She ordered “extra” some mushrooms on the steak and they were those slick nasty things straight from the little can….AND they were COLD!!!

On the other hand…..I ordered the “half pound Sirloin” with an “extra” of three fried shrimp. My steak??? EXCELLENT!!!! Prepared just perfectly, as per my instructions, and with a wonderful juicy flavor! The seasoning was not over the top……and it was just the way I would have done it myself. My salad was excellent with Bleu cheese dressing with bleu cheese crumbles spread across the top. The baked potato was in the oven just the right amount of time as it broke open nicely and the flesh was not too hard, but not mushy, either. The “extra” shrimp??? NOT good as they were way, way over cooked and therefore, very dry and hard….YUK! AND….there were only two..and not three as the menu stated. I also ordered a Chocolate Lava Cake….which, too, was cooked tooo long and was dry and not moist with the pudding in the center. It had been over cooked and while it was rich and a deep chocolate flavor, it almost had a burnt taste from being in oven tooooo long.
Where is this place??? You take Route J off of US 36 and go south, crossing the Clarence Cannon Dam and then the next bridge and another mile south and the place is on the left beside a motel/cabin for tourists. They have an extensive menus with lots of appetizers, pastas, chicken, steak, seafood, etc., etc. and a very large listing of desserts which all seemed to be made in the kitchen and not pre-made/cooked. But…..with only a 49% positive review from the 1st Lady and I……..not certain how strongly I can recommend it.

We returned to Monroe City and made a few mental preparations for leaving tomorrow. We have to stop in St Louis for a few items, as well as pick up Rachel to take home with us until Sunday. Sooooooo…..another few days of being gone has flown by….and,……

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


An early arousal this morning as Jeremy had to leave early this morning to go to STL to rent a car....and then drive to Cape Girardeau and on to Charleston to visit with Mike. Soooooo, I had to make certain he crawled out of bed in time to get all of this done today...haha.

After he and his girl, Cassie, left for the city and points south, I had quick cup of coffee and then we began to do a few things around the 1st Lady's mother's home that needed to be done by someone other than her mother.

The 1st Lady painted an iron bed that was getting a bit scratched; I did a bit of cleaning in the garage and around the house, etc., etc. By shortly after lunch we were on the road heading to Dr. Jeni's estate to pick up Rachel and bring her home with us.

Arriving about 2:30 or a bit later, we decided to spend the remainder of the afternoon utilizing Dr. Jeni and family's new pool which was just completed late last month. What a great pool it is...and today was just the time to throw our tired and overly heated bodies into the cooling waters. We didn't exit the pool area until time for a light dinner with Dr. Jeni and girls. Darrel is in SE Missouri to race in two different places this weekend.

We got on the road about 7:30 and arrived here at the stick and brick about 10pm.....UGH!!!! Soooo much "stuff" to get out of the car and into the house....and now everyone has put themselves in the horizontal position except this sagging hulk......and it won't be long for me to do the same.

It has been a busy, but enjoyable week.......and it is a nice change to return here for a few days of peace and quiet.....hopefully!!! Time will tell........but, nevertheless....

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

Friday, July 06, 2007

TWO new posts below

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Thursday's post.........


After a gorgeous evening last night, the morning was very still and indicated a very warm and humid day. AND…… was!!!

The morning flew by……with the 1st Lady’s cousin, Kate, dropping by to see Dr. Jeni and her family, and also Jeremy. She had lived in Eldon when we were there and had been a child sitter for Jeremy for a period of time while we were there.

By late morning, we were loading up and on the way to the Mark Twain Lake to spend the remainder of the very hot and humid day on the Lake. It is a short 15 miles to the Lake and so when we arrived there were very few families and others on the beach at the State Park. Jeremy and Cassie went to the boat ramp parking where the 1st Lady’s sister and family picked them up for the afternoon, which was spent in the boat and/or on the Ski Doo.

The 1st Lady and I joined Dr. Jeni, Darrel, and Meghan, Ava, and Rachel on the beach for several hours of playing in the Lake. They took turns riding in the ski boat around this part of the Lake……and then it was back to the beach. Darrel and I unpacked his new propane grill and we then set up a beach “tailgating” area and cooked hot dogs and hamburgers next to their motor home in the shade on the parking lot of the beach. The mid-afternoon lunch/supper was really great……..and by 5pm Dr. Jeni and famly had to leave to get back home in time for Meghan’s softball game.

The 1st Lady and I drove back to Monroe City for awhile…..and then with her mother, we drove back to the Lake area to the grouping of cabins where her sister and family are staying for this week. We all had drinks and then dinner at their cabin. After a bit of visiting… if we haven’t visited and chatted for the last 36 hours…..we left to return to Monroe City. On the way back we drove EXTRA slowly as we were traveling at the same time and on the same highway where my truck mated with that deer about 6 weeks ago. AND……….even though we were driving only about 35 mph, we had to slow down twice to avoid hitting two more deer that appeared in front of us during that drive home!!!

Again….I apologize for not being able to post regularly this week!!!!!! I hope that on Friday I can locate a hotspot for Wifi and get some of my postings published. I really have problems when I can’t get online every time I am up here in NE Missouri!!!!! I feel sooooo damned isolated from the world…… we have become used to this cyberspace communication world we live in!!!

Tomorrow……well, it is supposed to be “back to the beach”…….but, we shall see how things progress as the day moves forward. We are returning home on Saturday unless plans are changed……and when you are retired and in the “rebirth” part of your Life….plans do have a way of changing quite quickly! But……anyway………

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

4th of July post......

Night of the Bright Skies and Big Bangs!

Once again…….I have to say that being outside of cyberspace is very, very disturbing to me….and difficult to enjoy. After my post on Tuesday from the parking lot of the Community Center in Eldon, MO……I returned to NE Missouri. Arriving back by mid-afternoon…….it wasn’t long before my youngest son, Jeremy and his current lady friend, arrived.

He had had a rather prolonged trip, having finally flown out Baton Rouge after the storms had departed Dallas. Landing in Dallas hours late, he managed to get a very late flight to ST Louis arriving there at 2AM on Tuesday. He got to a hotel near the Lambert International and then yesterday morning he rented a car to get around the city. His friend drove over from Evansville, IN by early afternoon, and the two of them drove on up here for the weekend.

Today……well, we were up and going by 8am as many of the 1st Lady’s family members were to be here for the early afternoon dinner and fireworks later this evening. In all, there were 27 here for dinner and three more arrived later in the day. Missing from the family were 15 who couldn’t be here today for various reasons! Amazing how a family increases from the 1st Lady’s two parents to this number of people in what seems like a few short years! Dinner with that many in this not so large house…..well, it was a challenge to get it prepared and then for everyone to find a place to sit, eat, and enjoy. However……it went very smoothly and everyone had a great time!

This evening, there were many who remained for the fireworks….both the ones we had and the fireworks which were sponsored by one of the local trucking companies here in Monroe City. All in all……there were about two hours of loud bangs and lit up skies for everyone’s enjoyment.

Dr. Jeni and Darrel and girls arrived during the night last night in their new motor home and boondocked at the family farm just outside of town. While their new RV is a hybrid between a semi tractor/cab with an RV type box on it, they can also tow Darrel’s race car long trailer with all of the horsepower that this hybrid has under the “hood”.

And so…..another 4th of July slipped into history……and the good times we had here with the family were also one for the family history book. The afternoon also gave us a time for those of us in the family “Board of Directors” to meet and discuss the business of the farm, the acreage that is currently being rented, the crop rotations on this land, and the financial investments and growth of the farm.

Hopefully, I can get this posted tomorrow….Thursday….and then as always,

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

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

NO access to cyberspace!!!!


Oh my………my posting is really behind, and I am sure my behind is needing to be kicked!!!! But…….an excuse will be given: We are in Monroe City at the 1st Lady’s mother’s home and there is NO online access around this area for free!!!! Can’t get a hot spot for Wifi anywhere, so…..

Today I had to drive down to Eldon to take care of some financial matters concerning my mother’s estate….and so, this quick post will have to suffice until I can find a better spot. Sitting in the hot car outside the Community Center where I did find a hot spot here in this town……and so, just wanted all to know that I haven’t bit the dust……..just without access and am having SEVERE withdrawal problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will try to get to somewhere in the next day or so that is better than this!!!!! Even so,

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