March 2017

March 2017

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Friggin' Hot!

Yesterday morning I took my 40-minute walk.  According to weather.com, it was 85 degrees and felt like 88 degrees.  I decided, therefore, I would survive, especially since the humidity was low.

I got through the walk fine.  In fact, I felt well enough afterward to tackle some yard work. But after a couple hours of raking and pruning, I decided I needed to go inside.  And that's when it hit me.  I felt weak and achy, and was perspiring profusely.  It was several hours before I no longer felt warm, and I was incredibly tired the rest of the day.

I now understand how a person can be overcome with heat.  My advice is to take all heat warnings seriously.  I know I will from now on.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Clean Bill of Health, For the Most Part

Today I had my yearly physical.  For the most part, it was all good news.  Of concern in the past was my glucose level, which had been inching up, but now it's fine.  Best of all, my total cholesterol is 177.

I've been taking 5mg of Crestor daily for years, which costs me $65 a month.  I'm now going to give Simvastatin a three-month trial, which would save me $600 a year if it works with no side effects.  Unfortunately, my liver can't tolerate the more popular statin, Lipitor, which now comes in a cheap generic version.

The only real concern was my slightly elevated blood pressure.  I'm hoping it was just last night's high sodium dinner.  I'm going to monitor it for a week and report back to the doc.  If it stays elevated, my daily dose of Lisinopril will be increased.  Whatever the outcome, I'm going to start reducing my salt intake, but don't plan to be fanatical about it just yet.

The worse news was it's time for my second colonoscopy.  The actual procedure is not the problem.  It's the flushing out of the system the day before that's literally a pain in the butt!  I'm just praying the results will indicate I don't need a third colonoscopy for another 10 years.

I also got both ears irrigated, which flushed out a pea size ball of wax from each ear.  I was hoping that would eliminate the buzzing in my ears, but no such luck.  Although, I do think it's deminished, so maybe it'll keep improving.

So, all-in-all, it was a good check-up and I don't need another one for a full year.  Yippee!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New HBO Series

Airs Sundays.
Last night I watched the pilot of The Newsroom, staring Jeff Daniels.  Finally, an intelligent new television show that requires the viewer's full attention!

The Newsroom can't be enjoyed if the viewer's also checking email or playing computer solitaire, which is why I'm afraid it won't last long.  New episodes air Sunday nights on HBO.  Full episodes can also be viewed through the HBOGO app.

In fact, I only learned of The Newsroom by regularly checking my iPad app for new videos.  I haven't seen one commercial for The Newsroom and, therefore, could have easily missed it.  Don't let that happen to you.




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Right on Schedule

The high heat and humidity is right on schedule in the St. Louis area.  Ever since my son was born on June 27, 1975, I've know exactly when the steamy weather would hit.  The first few years of Daniel's life, in early June, we would start planning a fun outdoor birthday party.  But then the week of June 27 would hit and so would the 100+ degree weather.  At some point, we finally wised up and no longer planned outdoor parties.

The high temperatures for the rest of the week are predicted to be 95, 103, 101, and 97. Yep, the hot St. Louis weather is right on schedule.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fireplace Upgrade

For the last few weeks, we've been researching ways to convert our wood burning fireplace to electric.  (Gas is not an option because our home is all electric.)  There are several reasons why we want to do this.  First, there seems to be no way to haul logs into the house without leaving a trail of dirt.  Second, while a fire is burning, we're constantly anxious about sparks hitting the carpet.  And, third, burning wood pulls heat out of the house, creating a draft in the family room.

Two weeks ago, the installer came to the house to determine if our old masonry fireplace could be converted.  No problem.  It's simply a matter of drilling a hole in the floor of the fire box to run the electric.  With that good news, today I went to Forshaw to look at our options.

I'm now getting more excited about the conversion.  I can't remember the last time we used our fireplace.  For years, it's just been a big dark hole in our family room wall.  After the conversion, we'll be able to enjoy the look of a real fire with the push of a button. Plus, we'll no longer need a space heater in the family room during the colder months.  Another nice feature of electric inserts is the heater that can be used with or without the simulated fire.

It's all good.  But I can't believe I'm thinking about fire and heat when it's 100 degrees outside!


Friday, June 22, 2012

An American Tradition

Ballwin's local bakery, The Party Pastry Shop.

This morning, after a 12-hour fast, I had blood drawn for my yearly physical scheduled for next week.  Afterwards, I walked across the parking lot to the local bakery, The Party Pastry Shop.  I bought five fresh danish for a little over $6.00.  What a bargain!  A comparable purchase at my favorite lunch spot, Saint Louis Bread Company, would be closer to $12.00.

I don't know how long The Party Pastry Shop has been in business, but it's well over 30 years.  In all that time, they've never done any remodeling or updating, which is how they've been able to keep their prices so low.  Today I realized that even their cash register appears to be the original.

I'm glad The Party Pastry Shop has survived the infiltration of chain coffee shops and grocery store bakeries.  Throughout the city's growth, it has remained the classic American bakery shop where you can still get a coffee and danish or donut for less than $2.00.  It warms my heart.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Movie Review

Today I joined Emily and Elliott at the movies.  We saw Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.  I enjoyed the first Madagascar movie, so was looking forward to the second sequel. What a disappointment!  Madagascar 3 is basically an hour and half car chase with not much humor.  I still laugh out loud during several parts of the original movie, but only one line in the second sequel brought that response.

The only truly enjoyable part of Madagascar 3 is Katy Perry's song, Firework.  It just goes to show sequels are rarely as good as the original, even when they're animated.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

L'Ecole Culinaire, Part 2

Today I took my daughter to L'Ecole Culinaire's restaurant, The Presentation Room, for lunch.  A few weeks ago, my husband and I did their evening Grand Buffet, which was extremely disappointing.  But I still had funds on my gift certificate, so decided to try their lunch.

I'm happy to report The Presentation Room lunch is excellent.  We both had different appetizers, entrees, and desserts and agreed everything tasted fresh and amazing.  The only problem is I'm not used to eating so much for lunch, or in any one sitting.  Although I brought half of my sandwich home, I'm still feeling full hours later.

And, once again, I'm glad it's summer.  My slower schedule gives me plenty of time for an afternoon nap.


Monday, June 18, 2012

I Love iCarpetiles!

The heat has returned to the St. Louis area.  It's been in the 90s for a week with no end in sight.  The humidity isn't as bad as it'll get before summer's over, but it's still uncomfortable.

With the heat outside, I decided it was a good day to tackle the basement.  I haven't hung out downstairs since Grandma Daycare closed for the summer in late May.  I've only gone in the basement to set items I cleaned out of rooms and closets upstairs. Today, I finally put those items away, and did some purging and cleaning.

I also ordered new carpet tiles today for the finished area of the basement.  It's the fourth order I've placed with iCarpetiles.com in the last five years.  Due to floods, sewer problems, and a cat with an attitude, we always seem to be replacing our carpet tiles. This time around, once again, I'm getting the Soft Step Carpet Tiles.  They look and feel great, and now come in a color (Crisp Linen) that matches our upstairs's wall-to-wall carpet.

I love working with iCarpetiles.  They send free samples, ship orders quickly, and have a nice selection for smaller spaces.  It's just too bad I can't use carpet tiles throughout the entire house.  It would be awesome to just pitch a tile every time the cat hurls a hair ball!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day, Papa Jim!

 The best Papa a kid could ever have.

October 2011
Papa Jim and Jonah
Jonah, Papa, and Elliott

August 2011
Jonah and Papa



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Grandma Down

My grandson's been fighting congestion for over a week.  Yesterday, when I took him home after our pool fun, he went to kiss me on the cheek and ended up sneezing in my face.  You guessed it.  This morning I woke up with a sore throat and headache.

Fortunately, my summer schedule's flexible and not too full.  So today I decided to spend most of the day on the couch, feeling sorry for myself and taking regular doses of AirBorne and Zicam.  That's fine for a day.  I just hope I'm not down for much longer.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Fun at the Aquatic Center

This afternoon I took my six-year-old grandson to the City of Ballwin's North Pointe Aquatic Center.  When my children where in grade school, it was just a community pool. Now it's a complex that includes three pools plus a lazy river.  Best of all, there are a lot of shaded areas.

The children's pool is especially nice with a number of water spouts and falls, and a huge center feature to climb and slide down.  Elliott spent nearly an hour there while I watched from a shaded chair.  And we both enjoyed the large 3.5 foot pool that includes a whirlpool, and the lazy river, which we floated several times.

It was a fun summer afternoon, and good one-on-one time with my oldest grandson.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Loving FaceTime

My daughter is the first to admit she is not tech savvy.  Because she's a teacher and married to an IT specialist, that fact is especially confusing and frustrating.  But, last night, Emily was forced to learn something new.

My grandsons's other grandparents live in New Mexico and rarely visit.  So, in an attempt to build some familiarity, my son-in-law always calls them using the computer and Skype. That way the boys can see their New Mexico grandparents when they talk.  However, that system has caused some confusion for my two-year-old grandson.  Every time I talk with Jonah on the phone, he peppers the conversation with "I can't see you."  It's heartbreaking.

But, finally, last night my son-in-law was available to show Emily how to use FaceTime on her iPhone.  How magical!  Jonah was able to show Papa, who he doesn't see as often as grandma, toys and throw kisses.  Our conversation took on a new dimension and I never appreciated technology more.

Now we just have to explain to Jonah how FaceTime only works with a WiFi connection. But I have a feeling he'll get it much faster than his mom will!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stuck on "The Creek"

A few weeks ago I started working my way through all the Dawson's Creek episodes.  I never watched the show during it's original broadcasts (1998-2003), but obviously a lot of people loved the show because it ran for six seasons.  Because it's all about teen angst, I understand why the show, at the time, appealed to the younger generation.  Even though some of the acting is the worst I've ever seen.

The poorest performances are by John Wesley Shipp who plays Dawson's dad.  His acting is so bad that, at times, it's laughable. And, to make matters worse, Shipp's character doesn't get a job until the end of season two.  I mean, a guy can only be a "Mr. Mom" for so long, and certainly not after your only child is in high school!

There is, however, some talent among the Dawson's Creek cast.  From the first episode, it's clear Michelle Williams can act and, with more time and maturity, will become a better-than-average actor, which she has.  And, lucky for Williams, another talented actor, Mary Beth Peil, plays her grandmother.  The interactions between Williams and Peil are some of Dawson's Creek's best scenes.

But, no matter how bad the acting or silly the story lines, I just can't seem to stop watching.  As of this afternoon, I'm half way through season three.  At this rate, I'll easily be watching the last episode by the end of the month.  If anyone can recommend a series for July, please do.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hidden in Paris

I decided to stay in Paris for my second summer novel and finished Hidden Paris, by Corine Gantz, this morning.  Without a doubt, Hidden in Paris is a novel for women.  The three main characters are women who escape to Paris for different reasons. The book's about self-discovery and romance, and would make a great chick flick.  It was a fun read and I enjoyed, once again, remembering my six days in Paris.

It's interesting to note I was first drawn to Hidden in Paris by its cover, a traditional French window reflecting the Eiffel Tower and adored with pink flowers.  It would seem book cover artists are still valuable to the marketing process even luring those of us only purchasing digital versions.

Tomorrow my nephew flies to Paris.  He'll be living and studying in the capital of France for a full year with the goal of one day becoming a professional interpreter.  Based on the impression just six days made on me, I think he will be profoundly changed by the City of Light.  Bonne chance, Jonathan!





Saturday, June 9, 2012

Footloose

Tonight we watched the original Footloose movie from 1984.  It's a current free Amazon Prime offer, which I can access with Roku.  I've been familiar with the music from Footloose for years, but I'd never seen the movie until tonight.  I'm not sure why, especially since I'm a Kevin Bacon fan.

For sure, Footloose is not an Academy Award winning film.  But it is entertaining and has clearly stood the test of time.  There was even a remake released in 2011, which I've heard isn't as good as the original.  Maybe we'll check it out next weekend and see for ourselves.




Friday, June 8, 2012

Destin, Florida

I spent hours today researching condos in Destin, Florida.  The flights to Sanibel, where we usually vacation late July, are not budging.  And, this year, my daughter's family needs four tickets since Jonah is now two.

So I'm thinking we need to find somewhere closer.  Somewhere we can get to in one day by car.  I've heard a lot of good things about Destin.  How the beaches are fantastic and the Gulf of Mexico is several shades of blue, which it's not in Sanibel.

But, even if I'm able to find an acceptable condo, we'll still need to convince Elliott.  He loves Sanibel and has been looking forward to returning all year.  I'm going to have to do a lot more research to find Destin attractions and activities that come close to those in Sanibel before Elliott's convinced!



Thursday, June 7, 2012

L'Ecole Culinaire

Tonight we ate dinner at L'Ecole Culinaire.  Jim had given me a gift certificate for my birthday last October and it was our first chance to use it.  The food was disappointing, but I was happy to support the students's efforts.  And it was a new experience.

Unfortunately, however, tonight's meal was only $45, so I still have over half of the gift certificate left.  I'm just hoping the ala carte lunches are better.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Glee Project - Season 2

The Glee Project
Season 2
The second season of my favorite reality show, The Glee Project, started last night.  The winner gets a spot on the next season of the network show, Glee.  The reality show starts with 14 candidates chosen from 1000s of applicants.  Each week, one candidate is eliminated after group and individual performances.

There are two main reasons I enjoy The Glee Project.  The first is seeing so much young talent.  All the candidates are either in high school or college, and several are physically challenged.  This season includes a girl in a wheelchair and a boy whose blind. Seeing what those two can do and how far they've already come in life is truly inspirational.

The second reason I like The Glee Project is because all the mentors never yell or throw tantrums.  And they are extremely sensitive when delivering their critics.  Win or lose, each candidate will learn a lot.

Set your DVRs if you enjoy singing, dancing, and watching teens who are passionate about their dreams. New episodes of The Glee Project air on Tuesday nights.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sleep Patterns

Time flies when you're having fun.  I've been enjoying summer so much I forgot to blog the last two days.  I've been cleaning out closets, reading, watching videos, walking, and crafting.  I just love tackling one or two projects a day in between dealing with necessary chores.  Best of all, if something doesn't get done one day, it's great knowing there's a lot more summer left to deal with it later.

With my current carefree schedule, however, I'm finding myself reverting to my old pattern of staying up late and sleeping in.  But I'm striving to be up by 8:00 A.M., so I don't get too out of sync with the school year schedule.  Today, however, I needed to be up earlier to visit mom at the home with dad.  It was a real struggle and I ended up arriving closer to 8:30 A.M. than 8:00 A.M., which is mid-day for dad.

I've heard seniors tend to go to bed early and rise before dawn, but dad's schedule is ridiculous.  He typically goes to bed before 8:00 P.M., and is up by 4:00 A.M.  It shouldn't matter what his sleep pattern is, but his schedule doesn't come close to meshing with the rest of the family's.  Dad's 1:00 P.M. is our 5:00 P.M., which means he's winding down right after lunch.  So, if the family has a late afternoon or evening event, such as a birthday party or wedding, it's a struggle for dad to attend.

But the most annoying thing about dad's sleep pattern is hearing him complain that he "just can't sleep past 4:00 A.M."  Really?  You mean eight hours of sleep isn't enough? Honestly, I find it easier to deal with a two year old than a senior citizen.

But, this afternoon, I don't need to do either and it's now time for my nap.  Did I say I'm loving summer?



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Just Gotta Keep Movin'

The St. Louis weather has been fantastic, temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s with little-to-no humidity. I've been spending as much time as possible in our three-season room, reading or watching movies on my iPad.

When Elliott was a preschooler, we used to spend hours and days in the three-season room, setting up intricate train layouts with all his Thomas the Tank Engine toys.  But, so far, Jonah and I have never played in that room.  Jonah simply would not be able to concentrate for hours on one activity.

No, Jonah needs more space.  So it's a good thing I have a basement play room the second time around.  Jonah can be more active there, and freely move from one project to another. Because, as you can see from these pictures, nothing stops Jonah, not even rain!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Not Two of a Kind

My grandsons are still in Disney World.  One might think a two-year-old wouldn't get much out of such a trip, but Jonah is participating in everything.  And I have no doubt he will remember it all.

Thanks to the internet, we've been getting regular updates and daily photos.  The pictures below say a thousand words about my grandsons's different personalities.

Elliott (6) is cautious about everything, including fire.

While Jonah (2) has no fear and thinks
there's nothing he can't do.