May 2018

May 2018

Friday, November 29, 2013

I Hate Christmas Trees

OK, I probably don't hate them, but I definitely don't like them. It's not that I'm Scrooge. I like decorating the house for Christmas. I just don't enjoy dealing with the tree because it takes so much time. I know it's because I'm a perfectionist, but that's who I am.

With that background in mind, you'll now better appreciate the agony I've endured the last few years. It all started two years ago when, the week before Christmas, the lights on our decorated tree went out. It was the year my son's father-in-law joined us for the holidays. He was visiting from South Korea and we wanted to give him an American Christmas. So, after checking all the bulbs and replacing all the fuses with no luck, we stripped the tree and bought a new one. And that means I got to decorate the tree twice that year. Oh joy!

And there was more joy the next year when the same thing happened, again. A week after decorating, the bottom third of the tree went dark and there was no fixing it. So, again, we stripped the tree and bought a new one. And, again, I got to decorate the tree twice.

That brings us to the present. Understandably, I'd been anxious about the lights on last year's tree possibly malfunctioning. But I needn't have worried because that tree never happened. Hubby brought in the tree box, attached the middle section to the bottom section, and then realized the top section was missing. What? Yep, the top of the tree mysteriously jumped out of the box and disappeared!

Seriously, we have absolutely no idea what happened to it. My first thought was the top didn't fit in the box, so hubby bagged it and misplaced it. But the box clearly has enough room for the whole tree, so that makes no sense. Nevertheless, we thoroughly searched the garage, basement, and storage shed. It's nowhere to be found.

So, today, we bought our third tree in three years. Our newest Christmas tree is now in the family room with all 700 lights twinkling. This weekend I'll add the decorations while praying it stays fully lit. And hoping third time's the charm!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, especially the completion of the kitchen remodel. It took four months, but the end result is absolutely beautiful. But, best of all, the new space is so much more efficient. I find myself wanting to cook all the time because prep and clean-up are so easy!

Finally, the before. . .

Old view from entry.
Old view from laundry room.
Old view from corner opposite laundry room.

. . .and after. . .
New view from entry.
New view from corner opposite laundry room.
New view from laundry room.
Close up of cooktop area. Love the hood!
The breakfast area.

Monday, November 18, 2013

BURSTING With Pride!

Over the weekend, the local high school newspaper was awarded the National Scholastic Press Association's highest award, the Newspaper Pacemaker, for last year's work. Many feel the award is "the Pulitzer Prize of high school publications." My daughter has been the high school's journalism teacher and newspaper advisor for the last 10+ years. The Pacemaker is a deserving recognition of her hard work and dedication.

Congratulations to Emily and the 2012-13 staff of the Marquette High School newspaper, The Messenger!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Experiences With Old Friends

Yesterday we continued our effort to try new eateries in the St. Louis area. A couple we've known for over 40 years, who live in Columbia, Missouri, joined us as they were in town for a spontaneous weekend getaway.

We met on The Loop, which is a six-block strip filled with restaurants and shops. We started with lunch at Three Kings Pub. The food was good and reasonably priced, with specials that included $2 beers!

Next we walked half a block to Blick Art Materials. I've heard a lot about Dick Blick stores on numerous YouTube paper-crafting channels, but had never been to one. I was not disappointed. I went armed with a 30% off one full-price item coupon downloaded from their website that I used on a tin of two-sided colored pencils for Elliott's stocking. I also got a t-square ruler and a tin of Blick's artist-grade colored pencils for myself.

Then it was time for more conversation and dessert, so we headed to Piccione Pastry, a block from Blick Art Materials. Conveniently, I had gotten a Groupon Piccione offer in my email yesterday morning. For $5 we got $10 worth of pastries and drinks, and I was able to purchase two coupons, one for us and one for our friends. Piccione's offers delicious authentic Italian pastries, and their portions are generous. We will definitely be back!

With little-to-no planning, we ended up having a fun afternoon of new experiences with old friends. You simply have to appreciate when that happens!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Catching Up

Can't believe it's been a week since my last post! What have I been doing? Well, I've been busy and productive.

I finished all my Thanksgiving cards and made a Halloween mini album for a little girl who's having a first birthday on Thanksgiving. I'll put pictures on my other blog soon.

I also finished all my Christmas shopping except for a few gift cards, which I'll purchase after another payday. I did all of dad's holiday shopping, too, including gift wrapping everything.

I've also been participating in the 50+ class at the community gym twice a week. I especially like the Monday and Friday classes, which are a combo of aerobics and strength-training. Wednesday is a step class, which I don't mind missing. I just have a terrible time keeping up with the choreography. Besides, I need at least one Jonah-free day for appointments and errands.

Last Wednesday, I had a nearly two-hour dentist appointment. I had three fillings on my left side replaced. Next month, I'll have two on the right side replaced. The dentist was so kind, but I was miserable. My jaw locks during dental work, which is extremely painful. I took a Benadryl to help mellow me out during the procedure, but don't know if it helped. It did, however, give me a sound ninety-minute nap after I got back home.

Of course, I've also been spending a lot of time with the grandsons, Elliott before and after school and Jonah all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This week I'm watching at least one boy late everyday. Emily is taking several students to a journalism convention in Boston and Mike doesn't get home until 6:00 P.M. I'm praying Jonah takes good naps. If he doesn't, Tuesday and Thursday are going to be very long days.

So those are most of last week's highlights. Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, November 4, 2013

More Home Improvement

We now have a new floor in the foyer. The original plan was to have the foyer floor done along with the kitchen's. During the kitchen demo, however, I decided one room at a time made more sense. It was a wise decision. There was so much foot traffic and equipment hauling through the foyer during the kitchen remodel, I would have been constantly fretting about my new floor getting damaged in the process if we would have done them simultaneously.

Since the kitchen took longer than planned, I wouldn't have minded putting off the foyer until after the holidays except for the fact the tile was stacked in the dining room. So, after three days work, the foyer floor now matches the new kitchen floor and looks beautiful!

I'm now waiting to hear from the general contractor about when they can trim and paint the foyer. In the meantime, I'm, once again, tackling thick dust primarily in the dining room. Since I normally do a thorough cleaning of the dining room only twice a year, once before Thanksgiving and again before Easter, I'm getting a little tired of cleaning that room over and over again.

But I do see the "light at the end of the tunnel." So I guess I just need to keep looking forward!