May 2018

May 2018

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Definitely Some Sort of Trip!

Today hubby and I treated ourselves to a nice meal followed by a movie. I had a $10 off coupon for  Brio Tuscan Grille, so we decided to try dishes from their new Light Menu. Hubby had the 500-calorie Grilled Mahi Mahi and I had the 365-calorie 5-ounce Filet Brio. We enjoyed every bite and the service was fantastic. It's just too bad Brio isn't more budget-friendly. If it were, we would eat there once a week!

After lunch we headed to the movie theater to see The Trip to Italy. It's gotten better than fair reviews and the storyline sounds appealing, but it turned out to be just too odd for us. Hubby had no idea what was going on, and I felt the plot unfolded clumsily. But we did enjoy the food scenes, the scenery, and a few laughs, so it wasn't a complete fail.

All-in-all, topped off with a dish of frozen custard from Lion's Choice, it was a good day. And now I'm looking forward to decorating the house for fall.

Monday, August 25, 2014


AccuWeather "RealFeel" Forecast for Ballwin, MO:

Today, August 25 - 109 degrees

August 26 - 105 degrees

August 27 - 105 degrees

August 28 - 99 degrees

August 29 - 95 degrees

August 30 - 98 degrees

August 31 - 98 degrees

I really shouldn't complain because, prior to this heatwave, our summer has been downright enjoyable with a good amount of rain. But I really hate when I can't be outside for two minutes without breaking into a sweat.

It might be time to start planning annual August getaways to a cooler climate. Since trip planning always comes down to time and money, however, I'm afraid that option can't really happen for several years. But it never hurts to dream. Especially if I can do it in air-conditioning!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Hubby volunteered to paint our daughter's basement yesterday, so I went to the movies again. This time I saw The Hundred-Foot Journey, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Granted the movie moves slowly, but there's still so much to like – Helen Mirren; a French local; a storyline centered around the preparation, presentation, and consumption of food; and seniors falling in love. But, best of all, it was an entertaining movie with no special effects, cursing, violence, or sex. Hallelujah!

Of course, I also saw a number of previews for upcoming movies, many based on true-life experiences. But the one that interested me the most was Into the Woods, an adult fairytale staring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, and Emily Blunt. The release date is Christmas Day. I'm marking my calendar!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dreaming of the Smokies

Many years ago I took a girls trip to Asheville, NC, and fell in love with the Smoky Mountains. We went in October and the fall colors were simply breathtaking. I've said it many times ever since, if not for family I would retire to North Carolina. I would live near the middle of the state with both the mountains and shore just a few hours away.

This October I'm finally returning to the Smoky Mountains and, this time, taking hubby. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. I just know he's going to fall in love too.

We'll be staying in a one-bedroom cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN, which is closer than Asheville (less than a nine-hour drive) with more options that fit our needs. But we are planning a day trip to Asheville to tour Biltmore. And we'll be hiking or driving in the mountains every day.

St. Louis is currently experiencing days of 100-degree weather. To get through the heatwave, I'm focusing on the mountains. Forty-nine days and counting!

Just like I remember.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014 Harvest

Today Jonah and I harvested the pumpkins and bagged up all the vines. It was a disappointing year. We had many more blooms than usual, but not as much fruit. In fact, we only had one regular pumpkin and it was small. The other six were jack-be-littles.

We're not sure what the problem was, but this year's result won't discourage us from planting seeds, again, next year. Pumpkins need very little attention and they're one of the few plants the deer won't eat. Plus it's just good fun watching the vines grow and hoping for at least a few home-grown pumpkins.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Giver

Hubby had to work today, so I decided to see a movie. I chose The Giver because the time fit my schedule.

I had never heard of the book, but found it's for grades 3-7. Frankly, I'm not sure the story would appeal to Elliott. Maybe he'll see it someday and I'll find out.

For me, it was totally unrealistic, yet somewhat thought provoking. Jeff Bridges was entertaining to watch, but the others were so-so, including Meryl Streep.

Bottom line, I recommend waiting for the Netflix release. If nothing else, The Giver is something different with no cursing, blood, or sex.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Have a Third-Grader!

I find it hard to believe my first grandson is already in third grade. It's a big year. One Elliott is anxious and eager to begin.

In fact, Elliott is so anxious he'll begin cognitive therapy in a couple of weeks. Our super smart boy desperately needs strategies to cope with life's demands.

It may be determined Elliott has an anxiety disorder, but I also think his emotional outbursts are part of the high-IQ curse. He is just so super aware and sensitive. The therapist, however, already suspects Elliott's high intelligence will help and he'll do well in therapy, requiring only a few sessions.

Time will tell. I'm just glad he's getting help. Let the new school year begin!

Last back-to-school picture from Elliott's first home.
Next year he'll be in his family's forever home.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Old Hobby New Addiction

Many many years ago, I did a lot of cross-stitching. It was my favorite hobby. I don't remember when and why I stopped, but I never got rid of all my supplies (three boxes of floss, hoops, needles, fabric, and patterns). That's a good thing, because this summer I've been stitching every chance I get.

Except for the cost of finishing, cross-stitching is an extremely affordable hobby. It's also very portable, which makes it a nice way to pass the time while flying or taking a road trip. In fact, all the traveling we had planned for 2014 is a big reason I decided to pick it up again.

Currently I'm working on these Halloween owls. I'm not sure if I'll frame them or somehow use them on cards. I haven't washed or press them yet, but was eager to share.

This is my favorite. I hope to find a small
charm (spider or star) to dangle from the hat.
This little guy was super fast to stitch.
So adorable and I might stitch
just the jack-o-lantern someday.
I started Frankenstein yesterday.

I now suspect revisiting one old hobby will lead to resurrecting another. I also used to do a lot of sewing, but my machine hasn't see the light of day for decades. Now I'm thinking about bringing it out, again, so I can use several of my cross-stitch projects in pillows or totes.

Frankly, however, it doesn't really matter how, or even if, I use my finished pieces. I'm just simply having fun creating with an old friend.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

We're Back!

Today we returned from our annual trip to Sanibel, Florida with my daughter and her family. Five years ago we lucked into a beautiful three-bedroom condo in the Sanibel Moorings complex and have been returning once a year ever since.

The week was filled with beach time, creature sightings, a boat tour, and much more. I might share more details and pictures later if I have time, and energy. But my daughter goes back to work on Tuesday, which means I'm back to watching the grandsons. Where did the summer go!

We always hope to get a nice picture with the grandsons in front
of the Mucky Duck restaurant. Unfortunately, Jonah has yet to cooperate.
Great picture of Elliott and Jonah ready for the beach.