Sunday, May 31, 2009

The D Days of Summer

We have hardly had time to rejoice in summer (I know you are going to tell me summer doesn't come till June 21, but when school is out it is summer) can we since we have been celebrating everything D.

Please note when I am done with this blog entry, which may have a somewhat negative tone I am off to pray and find center with myself.

Thursday morning I rose early readied myself for work, as I had to dash there as soon as D's 8th Grade Recognition ceremony was complete. Wait did I say recognition? Now it was a ceremony that started ten minutes late and finished 15 minutes early--so by 830am the powers that be managed to herd across a stage, Team A, 1/3 of a 600 plus student 8th grade class. Recognition. What recognition? There was no other honor bestowed upon these hard-working-school-loving children except for a "you finished middle school" certificate. No President's scholar certificates. No you were in the musical certificates. No you're a mythology or geography bee winner. No perfect attendance award. No you are the kid who did nothing so here's a made up certificate to make you feel part of the class. As proof to the herd them in and out feeling that was felt and expressed by many parents (more of those who have experienced recognition day in the past) see exhibit A: D receiving her manila envelope with the photo of some boy on the screen behind her. He may have been the next in line, but more like two or three behind her. The fashion of the day was the required yellow "class of 2013" T-shirt, shorts and comfortable shoes (in D's case flip-flops).

After a few pictures snapped with friends in the foyer of the auditorium Team A was bussed back to the middle school were they were to have a team gathering of award when I tell you D received a team superlative of "Most Likely to be a Teacher" you must believe this because I was told by her and several of her friends. I will only assume the budget cuts the district has recently gone through left no extra paper to print any hard copy proof--for any type of award or recognition. So I'll just take a minute to to tell you about her greatness...she had straight A's all three years of middle school and took all honors courses, she was in the musical all three years having a supporting role this year, was a member of the concert choir all three years and show choir for two years, participated in solo/ensemble two years where her quartet always received a one rating, she received the highest honor in choir (remember her friends call her a "choir champion")...oh gosh that's enough sugar coating.

Then because of the rain the after party was moved from the park to the high school commons area and gym 3. Thankfully I went to work to finish out the school year in a more calm and peaceful manner, because according to D and her best gal pals--and my good friend who tortured herself as a chaperon with her assigned post being guarding a door for three hours-- it was "utter chaos and lame". Parents quickly gathered three Wii systems and a few Guitar Heroes (for 600 kids), ball games of all kinds in one gym. Balls going every which way and any way is the description that was provided me, with a few Frisbees flying through the air as rain out entertainment. Lunch was good I am told and spending last moments with a good longtime friend who is moving to Massachusetts. See exhibit B and C: three neighbors girls, three bus buddies, three walk to St. Louis Bread Co. (Panera to you non-STL people) pals, three slumber at each others houses on a Friday night friends, three girls intertwined with allegiance to there chumminess...two kissing one goodbye with a promise of friendship forever.

I'll fast forward to Sunday, D's confirmation.

Can I start by just saying I am a very traditional person, which carries into my style and choice of worship? I find connection with God through structure, tranquility and peace. So three years ago when our church adopted a contemporary service, I refer to it as rock-n-roll worship, or as the church labels it "Crossover"; I was less than embracing. As the years went on I became less enchanted with many aspects of how these services were and are conducted, no matter how much I tried to embrace change. I rarely attend late service and opt to rise with the rooster on Sunday to attend the traditional 8am service.

When M was confirmed during the contemporary service it was modified in such a way not to comprise the Crossover belief yet had a most tranquil and moving style--the music, the faith statements... I left M's Confirmation touched and my tank filled with the fuel of God that I looked forward to another confirmation experience

That day came today for D. After two years of instruction on the affirmation of the baptismal vows we took for her in her infancy; a personal faith statement written to perfection (because I enforced the rule that a thesaurus is your best friend when writing insisting she use "grown-up" words)... hear the screeching halt of my soul coming to an abrupt stop D's Confirmation was what I call full on Crossover. Rock band of drums and electric guitars beating rhythm in high volume which left little space to warn that a cross-less (because the first year confirmand that was to carry the cross didn't bother to show up) procession of two confirmands and two unrobed ministers had just walked down the isle, followed by an introductory drama lesson to explain Pentecost Sunday, a send out song that left me perplexed...I was pre-warned to be prepared to "feel the spirit move" for this service [as it was Pentecost]. Our family guests were more than freaked and not much movement of spirit was felt. Although D's faith statement was moving in expression and touched my heart that she is someone who has been raised, embraced and has chosen for herself to live a life of Christian beliefs...I left unfilled, empty and wondering if this church is the place that I should call home, the place where I want to worship each week. Sadly I have felt this way for the better part of a year, always hoping and praying that maybe I had just stepped off the path and needed God to kick my butt back on. But after our family meeting tonight we are a family of same feeling and we decided that after attending the youth gathering this July that we would sit down again, talk and decide if the church that once filled our souls with the fuel of God's love, whose people's warm hearts welcome so lovingly; is this the place for us to call home. When the president of the church council presented D with a Lutheran hymnal as a congregation gift he said we are all part of God's "art gallery". I just wonder if the painting that is the Avery Family is hanging in the right gallery? But while we decide we will go into the world walking hand in hand with D who was blessed and bestowed with the "Gift of Joy" as her priceless Confirmation gift from our minister. Maybe, just maybe her light and the joy she has will be our guiding force. Joy filled is exactly how she looks in these photos that mark the memory of this day.
Each day as she heads out into the world to share her "Gift of Joy" she can stop and gaze at her faith project that is proudly placed in our entry foyer, a creation that she and King Ralph fabricated in the garage over saws, nail gun and clamps. A project of interior design beauty that will always remind D as she enters the front door of her confirmation verse, Jeremiah 29:11. Actually when she heads out the door she can remember her confirmation verse; as our gift to her was a silver coin trimmed in gold engraved with her name on the front and Jeremiah 29:11 on the reverse side which hangs around her neck and is accented with a pearl pendant from her godmother. A pearl because in religious terms it stands for salvation, precious wisdom or even our own divine spark within.

(now I bet a whole lot of you are flipping through your Bibles to read Jeremiah 29:11)

Now know this D, we, your whole family are proud of you and know for certain that God most certainly does have a plan for you-- one with hope and future.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I am taking an intermission to:
A. clean the house, shop for a gourmet meal, cook and prepare for D's confirmation on Sunday
B. sleep in late since school is out
C. celebrate my anniversary tomorrow of being married to King Ralph for, like a lifetime.

I shall return...say on Monday...with pictures to share.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Schools Out for Summer

Today's anthem: by 8454am D will be singing and partying in the park with her pals, followed by M at 1030am rejoicing the completion of finals and then comes me to join in; once I chase the last child from parent pick up at 330pm.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bring It On

I survived a fever ridden Memorial weekend, a Tuesday at work that my head spun in constant circles from work overload while I hacked a lung and chased the drip from my nose. Today I managed to handle a day long recess duty in the intense St. Louis humidity and under the hot sun (dodging goose poo and a puking kid) while monitoring dodge ball and buddy lunch/recess interaction; all the while only wishing I had a style my hair in a pony or had my favorite--a ball cap.

Surviving that means I am ready to take on D's Eighth Grade Recognition at 8am (get my prime seat at 730am) in the high school auditorium before heading to work for a final day of head spinning last day of school crunch projects. So I can then come home to begin a deep clean on the house in preparation for D's confirmation, while watching D and King Ralph complete the faith project that is due at church Friday by 10am. (The project is fantastic, it will put the other confirmand's project to shame--sorry, it's the truth.)

Then when the Sunday company leaves after a lunch of steak I plan to collapse, sleep in late on Monday and then begin working on a tan.

Summer come and get me!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

This day is a day for all to simply say thank you for all those who have sacrificed with there life or with there service to our country.

So I will say, with much gratitude, thank you to my nephew and his wife for serving our country proud and preserving our freedoms.

Especially to Captain Suzanne who is serving a tour of duty in Iraq as a I always sign off on my emails to her...take care, be safe.

Friday, May 22, 2009

That Favorite Teacher

D had a recent assignment for her English class, an exit project of middle school reflection. Last night I looked over her project doing the thing I love to do--finding grammatical and spelling errors. It was when I came to the section of the project that was a thank you letter to a teacher who somehow touched, inspired the student in her--it got me reflecting...

Mine was my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Brown. He was cool beyond cool. So suave. My Obama. He loved Donna Summer and had an old stereo in his room. Now that was outrageous!, in a good keen way. He meant business though, if you crossed the line, talked too much you were commanded to scribe dictionary page 186; every comma, every semi colon. I wrote that page often for talking. Also my desk was frequently snug next to his to keep my lips from moving and my brain focused. His wife made great sweet potato pie (a perk for having that desk placement). I remember we gave him a party at the end of the school year. We collected money and purchased cool Mr. Brown the newest, hot-off-the-press Donna Summer album and had a cake fashioned into a dictionary opened to page 186. Great how we all have that favorite teacher who transcends learning from just an experience to an adventure. I truly believe it is an important part of all of our desires to want to be educated. My girls if asked, "who was mom's favorite teacher" can tell you; it is "Mr. Brown". I hope he realizes how much he meant to so many kids, kids who were probably to immature to say thank you.

D is my girl who has know since the fourth grade that she was destined for a life in the field of education once marked her path longing to a be a school librarian-- until last year. In no way has she tossed aside or given up her feverish passion for books. No instead she has found a new avenue for her crave to be an educator. Music.

Last year suddenly D announced to me she wanted to be a music teacher. I was not and am not surprised; she loves to play the piano, often bored from the regular and required pieces of her lessons she scourers the Internet purchasing sheet music of movie soundtracks. Of late it has been the music of Pride and Prejudice. Her playing that piece transcends the home into total silence so we can all absorb the tranquility this masterful arrangement offers to the soul and the time she has given to it in an effort to perfect it for performance.

Okay back to the thank you teacher letter... D wrote her thank you letter to her music/choir teacher, Mr. Hutson, her favorite. I too love Mr. Hutson. Since he is also M's color guard instructor I often tell the girls I would love to have him as my brother. They laugh at me. But there is something about his sarcastic humor that is seasoned with his boyish southern charm that grabs. Mr. Hutson calls all his female students "divas." We once had a nice conversation on a band trip bus ride about how he believes every child has a right to experience the fine arts of education, regardless of there talent. Being a middle school choir teacher he gets that...every time he conducts a choir of Peter Brady's in the midst of puberty and finding, hearing something the average listener can't--potential. I read on, how he inspired D to want to be a better singer, a better piano player...that she hopes, she strives to be as good on those black and white keys as he is. That she has valued his guidance, instruction and his humor. Then I felt a tear in my eye. A tear because D has found her Mr. Brown. That she too will most likely one day tell her children all about "Mr. Hutson, her favorite teacher."

Now, who was your favorite teacher?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Here in St. Louis there are two faiths that rule the commercial air waves-- the Mormons and the St. Louis Family Church. But,now,it is time to welcome a new guy to the TV team--the Lutherans.

Here is a glimpse at one of the commercials that you will soon see on national cable and local television stations. The commercial beautifully filmed; almost has an HGTV feel. You judge then I'll tell you the rest of the story.

After I watched I clicked on the link to the side of the video clip that read, "Read the story behind the ad." In a world that nowadays is over seasoned, so doused with's just good to know [and read] that a vision of hope still exists; the desire to restore dignity in a person (if only for a short while) is getting a wee bit of public acknowledgement.

So here's the story:
At around 5 p.m. every Thursday, rain or shine, the guests start arriving outside of Trinity Lutheran Church, Bismarck, N.D., for a banquet. Volunteers -- the true cornerstone of the Trinity community -- begin to greet the guests, visiting with them outside the doors that open promptly at 5:30.

Regulars fill each other in on their weeks. Smiles are contagious. When the doors open, more volunteers will be waiting to escort guests to a table for a hot and delicious meal, free of charge.

Unlike most of the meals they've had this year, this one will be enjoyed on a beautiful table setting, complete with colorful decorations, menus and real china and silverware. Sometimes there's even live music provided by the Strolling Strings.

Hosted by churches and business groups from around the Bismarck area, and with dozens of volunteers organized each week by Banquet Coordinator Tudy Fennern, Trinity's Banquet welcomes any and all homeless and hungry members of the community with open arms each and every week. Founded on the belief that "the needy should never be served poorly," the Banquet's goal is simple: to nourish the body with food and the spirit with dignity and respect.

The tables, which seat eight, fill quickly with seven guests, escorted by yet another volunteer. The final seat remains open for one of the volunteers who has cooked and served the meal to join them in the family-style meal. The food is delicious -- prepared with fine, fresh ingredients, and perfectly spiced with compassion. As freshly baked and donated bread is broken, stories are exchanged. Laughter is shared. And hope is restored.

The Banquet has served more than 58,000 meals since July 2005. It receives no state or federal funding -- it's a labor of love shared by Trinity and the Bismarck community.

The volunteers of Trinity's banquet return, week after week. "They say to me, 'I've heard about the Banquet and I'd like to serve,'" said Fennern. They come from churches and groups within the community, often hearing about it from a member of the Trinity congregation. They come from all walks of life. They get every bit as much -- if not more -- out of each Thursday's meal. Camaraderie. Conversation. The joy of knowing that they've not only helped nourish their neighbors' bodies with food -- they've nourished their souls with dignity, respect, and love.

The solution to hunger goes way beyond getting a person to their next meal. Every day, in ELCA ministries and companion congregations spanning the globe, people help their brothers, sisters, and neighbors, providing the food, shelter, education and resources to help eradicate world hunger.

Heart. Love. Compassion. The ingredients the soup of life sometimes is missing. The menu reads-- God is good.

Don't Rock My Zen

One of these pretty little things has throw a few boulders in my zen rock garden of life.
I am not liking!
I let you pick which one you think it is.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Curtain Goes Down on the Middle School Music Years

It was the finale of middle school music--for both Demi and us. We have spent a lot of years marking our spot in the auditorium in the name of middle school musical exploration, enhancement and parental support for all three of our girls. But like all things good the end must come. And the end is marked by D, the youngest.

She and her fellow Show Choir pals had the evening aerobic workout by performing in all three grade level choir performances. Lucky for us D said her last show, the 8th grade concert, was her best. Which in the end seems fitting.

D had a spot light vocal with sections of the musical number accompanied by the all famous show choir jazzy hands.
Despite the fact that I gag at the new sparkly blue dresses; I smile knowing D loves show choir, she loves singing. It makes me smile to see her smile knowing she has found her passion at her age and is already honing her craft fit for her future goal. Once show choir ended it was a quick wardrobe change...well if you can call it that by slipping the green choir shirt over the sparkly blue dress. Again D had a spot light vocal. Before Concert Choir sang the last piece it was awards. For the second year in a row D has been one of the few to receive the highest choir award--a medal. (Actually last year she was the only 7th grader to get a medal.) Sharing the same honor with her BFF made it even sweeter. What made us all giggle was when D's other good friend, one of the Solo/Ensemble quartet posse, said looking at her medal "D you are a choir champion."

Choir champion or not this final middle school concert was bitter sweet as so many of D's singing friends have chosen different choirs in high school to express and show case there talents.

Don't worry D tried out and made Limelight for high school...long live the jazzy hands!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Sometimes We Take It Out in Public. Not Often"

Keeper: Hey Jo it's been a while since we talked.

J: I know Keeper, I've been to busy to talk to myself.

Keeper: What's with the title of this blog entry?

J: Oh you can thank my niece for that, that is how she titled the picture album on her Facebook of our family fun, or as Uncle Dan called it in his Flip Video he sent out, dysfunctional family fun.

Keeper: so Jo where did you "take it out in public" to?

J: well Keeper we first had a family BBQ where we we pigged out and washed it all down with a couple bottles of wine. Then we got to talking bowling.

Keeper: Bowling?

J: Yes bowling.

Keeper: what does one talk when they talk bowling?

J: Well I told cousin about the time I bowled a nine.

Keeper: did you say nine?

J: Yes, nine, single digit score. I had three beers and I don't drink beer. So I blame it on the beer.

Keeper: Really, beer?

J: Yes and I am sticking to that story. It drew utter amazement from cousin because you see he is KingPin. He has a ring to prove it. Did you know if you bowl a perfect game, a 300, you get a ring--like KingPin? Anyway we decided we should all go bowling.

Keeper: Wow Keeper you have Santa and KingPin all in one family?

J: I guess I married well, hehehe. They are all inherited from King Ralph. I didn't bring much color or humor to the marriage just the dual alarm clock. Oh wait I have a picture of niece, M and KingPin at the Show Me Lanes last night.

Keeper: So did you pull another nine?

J: No I did not.

Keeper: Prove it.

J: Well I can. See. I bowled an 87 and I got a strike on the first frame to boot.

Keeper: Looks like King Ralph whipped your ass on the lanes.

J: Ya he did, but KingPin whipped his ass on the other lane.

Keeper: So what happens when you take it out in public?

J: We get all crazy. We go all high fiving each other from strikes and spares.

and modeling pretty bowling balls

Keeper: How long did this public display of DFF go on?

J: Till 10pm. By that time we all smelled like the bowling alley ash trays. And, King Ralph's tennis elbow started to act up.

Keeper: I think you and the cousins should take your love out in the public more often.

J: I think we are going to do that. Maybe form a family bowling league team.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Priorities

Besides the usual count down till school ends--which is eight, very busy, days-- it is get your kid out of the dorm by 5pm day.

So I am off to work early where I also leave early in order to drive like a bat out of hell (well not exactly a bat out of hell since Mr. White Shirt is driving) to college to move 500 pounds of accumulated sorority T-shirts down three flights of stairs (no elevator thank you) in an hour and a half and then drive home. Where will become five again.

Warning to #3 and #4 you are about to revert to your old number placement of #4 and #5. Number three is coming home...with a whole lot of sh*%...oh where to store it?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where Does Santa Vacation?

By looks of my sister-in-law's husband I think Santa vacations in St. Louis. Actually his retirement home in the Lake of the Ozarks, where he spends most of his time drinking beer and fishing for crappie off the dock, but took a trip to my house Saturday for a little Nueve de Mayo celebration. If your kids have something special on there newly forming lists send it my way, I will see what I can do...seems I have an in with the "big guy."
Maybe I should have titled: Coming to Mall Near You, December 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm a Mother's Day Cynic

Aaaahhh, Mother's Day. My children, and husband know I pretty much loath Mother's Day. Don't take that as I don't love being a mom, because I love being a mom more than anything else in this world; it is the thing that fills me-- body and soul. It isn't even because I had a less-than-adequate mother of my own, no it's because this day is so Hallmark, more of a mother-in-law's day (whom I happen to like very much), so superficial.

I need someone to help me understand why bestowing a potted flowering plant and a card on your mom, cooking her cereal and burnt toast suddenly means everyone should honor the mom--for a day, because the calendar says so? Is it because for that one day it makes those feel better about all the other days of the year they didn't honor the mother? Shouldn't everyday of the year be Mother's Day?

Imagine how great each day would be if mom's didn't have to holler to have children and husband pick up after themselves. Or if trash was emptied because the people of the house saw it needed to be done. That trash cans got to the curb by someone other than a mother. That dinner got cooked by someone other than a tired mom after a long day at work. Imagine if your kids actually desired to learn to cut the grass and then did the chore when the grass neared a height worthy of filed complaint to the county before mom swung into action to save the neighbors from complaint. Imagine. How about if your kids didn't argue everyday, every other day and some days all day. Imagine.

Instead I try to imagine if someone else cooked that dinner to honor the mother-in-law and then did the dishes. Or if people realized beds don't make themselves. And toilets don't get clean just by flushing. Or if a mom wants Kentucky Fried--nasty, greasy-- Chicken she should get it,even if others don't like it (okay so I have had three years to get over that, I should move on).

I've been trying to imagine for nineteen years.

Somehow my dream of a self filling, ass kissing Mother's Day or even an everyday let's-work-together in perfect harmony Mother's Day is so unrealistic that the idea of everyone being all do-good for one day a year is...totally superficial that I cannot stand it.

And I hate superficial! Even if it means the price of Hallmark stock rises in the month of May.

I profess I am a Mother's Day cynic.

But, to those of you who love this day and are mothers I say and wish to you-- Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 08, 2009

"Music of the Heart"

What a musical week The Avery's have had. We ended our musical week last night with an evening at the symphony-- a working rehearsal performance of Beethoven's Ninth, and the final selection for the 08-09 SLSO season.

Now anyone and everyone who breaths air knows Beethoven's Ninth. I mean I can hardly escape, to this day, renditions of Ode to Joy on a recorder, played by a third grader. One of the Ode'd-to-Joy's of working in an elementary school. As I sat waiting for the working rehearsal to begin I read the program. In there was a story about how the SLSO performed the Ninth every season in the 60's and 70's till-- as the musician put it "the joy in Ode to Joy was lost." I could relate. I remember when the girls came home so excited over there new found musical talent that they squeaked that plastic horn till my ears bleed, chasing them outside on the deck to continue there one woman concert. Just like the hiatus I had from Ode to Joy so have the classical music lovers of Saint Louis--waiting patiently for its return to the stage. There is something musically captivating about the Ninth that music lovers cannot deny. Whether it is the peaceful serenity of the second movement or the joy-ful excitement in the fourth movement--the choir belting out a strong and powerful chorus in German. Just to watch these musicians makes one realize what is to earn a living doing what you love with your life's passion. I mean how many of us can say that, that we earn a living doing what we are truly passionate about? D has a dream and desire to be a music teacher, we took her for her first non-school trip to the symphony last night. We wanted her to hear the SLSO Choir-- exposing her to opportunity in the world of choral music. She was in awe and doubly by their singing her chosen foreign language. I mean while sat struck by the movement of the strings, there bows moving in perfect unison slowly and then as quick as humming birds wings flutter-- with nothing less than beauty permeating sounds through the concert hall. D couldn't have thanked King Ralph and I enough times for her special evening out.

While three of us were mellowed by music M spent a Wednesday evening thrashed into the world of heavy metal and her first real concert (in box seats). Sometimes I wonder how could I have possibility spawn this tall-lean-pink-loving-girl who's passion is high fashion yet loves WWE wrestling and head banger metal music--if you can dare to call metal music music. (If it ensues anger in me having to hear it then it isn't music. It makes a mother out of me as I scream "turn that down") She went as the guest of her BGF (best guy friend) to see, hear Slipknot. Now look at their looks like a trip to hell. Worse than a quick breeze through Hot Topix to buy a novelty T-shirt. This picture resembles the sort of thing horror movies are written about and nightmares result from. Not music.

I am the mother of three girls each so totally different, each very much allowed to express there individuality. (Still Slipknot spooks the day light out of me!)

Back peddle.

The week started on the most wonderful musical note-- D and a select group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders singing "God Bless America" at Busch Stadium. Listening to the patriotic song while experiencing altitude sickness is another story--why is it the school tickets are always in section 453 and there is only 453 sections in the dam stadium? Why do the Cardinals always have to lose at these games? Still, I love our Red Birds!

There you have it our week of music of the heart--Avery style.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dear Blog

Dear Blog-
So often I have to seek your forgiveness because I ignore you; never on purpose it's just I get so consumed with everything family and work. But, know, I love you so.

This weekend took off on a great start. All those obligations that had my lip twitching are completed and finally I can enjoy life for what life is to be lived for-- a lightly penciled calendar weekend. Last night King Ralph and I had a date. I'm talking no kids (well none of ours but there was plenty around us), one of our favorite pizza places where we gorged on honey mustard and hot wings, beer and Smirnoff Ice followed by a deluxe pizza; while watching the Cardinals take down the Nationals. We sat there talking like it was our first date, the family next to us were making there highchair restrained baby girls laugh--King Ralph looked at me and said wouldn't you like to have another baby. WHAT? NO! Crazy thing is he was serious, seriously out of his mind. I feel complete, totally fulfilled. Good thing he has been nutured. I think as he inches closer to fifty he is experiencing brief moments of mid-life crisis...and the desire to procreate is a sign.

This morning at 230am King Ralph left for a fishing trip. It is no secret I live for this annual trip each year. It is girls only time at Keeper's Estate. This means chick flicks by the dozens. Eating whatever our hearts desire and laughing like school girls.

After M and I watched D and the show choir perform at a Music in the Parks competition (which I will not elaborate on since it was somewhat painful to watch as the recorded music failed to play for three numbers ). Dare I comment on the young man who failed to put on his black socks with his shoes--lucky he found some dad with sweaty feet to borrow socks from. You know the old saying I'd give you the shirt off my 'bout the sweaty socks off your feet. M just said the kid's an idiot. I have to half agree. So after the music stumped performance ended, off the kids went to enjoy a day of roller coasters and ferris wheels at Six Flags. Then it was off to having fun, just me and my M-Pal.

I love the times I have with my girls alone. Whether its a walk through the neighborhood or lunch out; it just plain warms my heart reminding me why I longed to be a mother. As luck has it this Saturday it was just M and me to pal around together. Wearing my yellow polka dot converse,the ultra comfort shoes, had me in fashion for a filled day of whatever. Lots of whatever is exactly what we did.

To start M and I decided on I-Hop for a breakfast style lunch-- country omelet, fried ham, hash browns and strawberry pancakes. The high caloric foods desperately tried to mask the unruly family next to us. My heart actually ached for a bit for this family; a mother and her four children, two babies and two teenagers, all boys . There ruffled appearance and loud manner drew my eyes to the sharing of two small meals while the mom got cranked on Mountain Dew. It was only when one of the teen boys in anger chucked a hunk of food at the toddler which over pitched into the next booth leading the caffeine cranked mom to scream that I realized my compassion was wilting. Money and manners are two separate issues. Poor but polite certainly should find hand together.

Then it was off to the fabric store where I can never manage to leave without dropping a fifty spot. M picked a beautiful black shantung, an animal print and white chiffon to create her Project Runway piece. I am very excited to see her creation take the school runway. And less excited to have the sewing machine sitting on the kitchen table for the month of May. I am sure it will be well worth it! Then we drove to the other side of town to stroll the Kirkwood Farmers Market. We bought some organic kiwi and mango. A few of the fruits M is not allergic to. Next we ended our pal day with a couple of slushtards from our favorite custard stand, Spanky's. M had a refreshing pina colada slushtard with chunks of fresh pineapple and I had a raspberry slushtard in all its seedy deliciousness . The yummy drinks called out "school end" and summer fall upon us.

Now the house is about to break its mother/daughter bond as gal pals come rolling in for an evening of horror flicks and high school stories. Suddenly man's best friend has become my best friend-- me and Uli...although Uli has taken to a nap on the couch already. Despite the idea that it is me and a sleeping dog tonight I had the best Saturday, sunshine and all.