Thursday, November 08, 2012

Dear Lin

Dear Lin,
In case your fire tower gets crowded or maybe the party just needs to move on to new towers...there is always my favorite, Mt. Cammerer Lookout by way of the Low Gap Trail to Appalachian Trail.  It's all enclosed in case it should rain or get to nippy outside.  Which in that case we can sip warm spiced wine to heat our bodies.  ;-)

Your Pallie

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pick Me Up A Pack Of Smoke On The Way Home

There is nothing that makes me happier than watching my daughters grow in women.  Sure I sometimes long--in that nostalgic way-- to cuddle them, all swaddled and cooing in my arms, but watching them grow and foster their passions and talents brings me the most joy!

My sweet baby who entered this world in a struggle, was once tom boyish, scruffy, dirty little girl who hated lip stick (okay so she's progressed to Baby Lips tinted lip gloss), nail polish and hair product...well, my D now paints her toes and fingers funky colors, mouses her extra long tresses, steals my eye liner and loves a great pair of six inch heels as much as her took a lot of years to come into and embrace her femininity,but she has arrived--WELCOME BABY GIRL!  

On the eve of D's 18th birthday I have decided to share her confirmation faith statement.  It is a beautiful reflection of the young woman she was in the process of growing into four years ago.  A young woman of faith who has been achieving her dreams and goals ever since.  Who sets a high bar for herself, that sometimes causes stress, but in the end brings her a sense of great accomplishment (and King Ralph and I great pride).

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declared the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

This past Christmas break my sisters and I decided to watch old home movies.  In the mix was a video my parents took of my birth I had never seen.  It was in watching this video that I realized God must have had a plan for me--a plan with hope and a future.

You see I came into this world a little early, my tiny body discolored from not breathing.  In the video you can see my mom lying quietly still only breaking her silence for brief moments to ask the doctor repeatedly, "is she okay?"  My mom said her silence was consumed with prayer that the Lord would see fit to let me prosper.  Then my dad and my grandfather followed the ambulance I was put in to Children's Hospital.  While I was at Children's Hospital our pastor came to visit.  He had just walked in when a nurse was telling my parents a test they wanted to perform and the lengthy stay that would be required if the results deemed so.  That is when Pastor Schmidt looked at my parents and said he could baptize me in the hospital.  My parents a little shocked by the offer of such an option, had never considered anything else but to bring me to the water, not the water coming to me.  They believed the Lord had plans for me, to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.  The Lord heard my parents' prayers and on January 7, they gathered with my godparents around the water so that I could be feed with the promise and hope of God.

It is through confirmation I have come to have a better understanding of what reaffirming the vows my parents and godparents took for me at my baptism and the meaning of God's promise.  That the water and God's promise connect us all with the death and resurrection of Jesus--the HOPE we all long for, the HOPE we all need to fill our FUTURE.

But, it is not just my desire of hope that I have gained through knowing Christ but learning that I can share that same hope and a future to others.  Service is a huge part of confirmation, and our lives, so many different opportunities to show others God's miracles and great wonders that work through us.  Like the times we have gone to Sunshine Ministry, a shelter for homeless men.  As a teen I had a picture of homelessness that usually shows itself on the street as I pass by.  Sunshine Ministry opens our God filled hearts to realizing homeless has a different definition; and the definition looks like so many of us that fill the pews of St. Thomas/Holy Spirit longing for the foods to suppress our hunger and fill our souls.  We served these men a hot meal and then a loving helping of God's word through a simple worship service.  So while these men may have entered the shelter hopeless, hungry, tired and tattered--my confirmation classmates and I were able to show them, to tell them what the Lord declared "for I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

When we teens wonder about the future you would assume we would be thinking about what we want to be when we grow up or where we would choose to go to college.  But really, shouldn't we all be thinking about how our relationship with God will prosper?  And how we will cross all those faith stepping-stones that are yet to come.  So I guess what I am saying is that by making this faith statement, choosing to be confirmed, recognized as an adult in the church is that I want to have a life filled with... because, truthfully, a life without God would be empty and lonely.  I believe the Lord has plans for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and future.

I stand here today as the proof that was at my birth and am now the Lord's plan.  You see my future has just begun as well as the never-ending journey I am taking in my faith.  So with the new stepping stone that awaits me and knowing that there are many more waiting for me in my future I realize I will not take this journey alone; for I have the people of this church and God walking beside.

Now my sweet (and spicy) D, as you go about to prosper and to find your you throw those two college choices on the scale weighing which is the best fit for you to reach for your dream of being an you prepare to sing your classically trained heart out on November 3, with the All-Suburban Mixed Choir (a goal you decided to strive for just this school year), as you conquer AP/IB Calculus and your other four AP classes, as learn to like that boy  love life--I wish you the happiest of 18th Birthdays.  You bring joy to mine and daddy's heart! With every goal you achieve, with every chord you play on the piano, with every note of song that belts from your voice, for every theatrical moment you have when you take the stage,  with every crab of late night studies, with every cringe at my fifteen kisses I plant on your yummy cheeks--you are loved more than you may ever realize.  Unplanned by your parent, but so planned from God. Happy Birthday our Freddie girl!

Hey, now that you are eighteen your Aunt Debbie was wondering if you could pick her up a pack of smokes and a lottery ticket on the way to her house.  Don't bother with the rubber cement, diet pills, porn need to sign any contracts (and that includes a marriage certificate), but BEST OF ALL you get to VOTE in the presidential election this year.

HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY to my baby!  Your journey is just beginning.  XOXO

Monday, October 08, 2012

She Struck A Deal With God

It felt like that one Saturday last March when D was ubber stressed over District Solo/Ensemble, where everything you said or did triggered her because she swore she would fail herself and get a two rating.  No matter how often her voice coach guaranteed her she was prepared she was convincing her nerves that she was not.  She was afraid for her parents, King Ralph and I to be in the room to hear her sing.  We had to stand in the noisy hall with ears pressed to the door listening. The story ended with her getting a one rating and making it to state, where she also scored a one rating. 

So this year she decided she wanted to take the chance at All-Suburban Choir.  We had the same game of stress.  It started out with D just saying it wasn't going to be about making All-Suburban but just about the experience and saying she gave it a try.  To non-stop singing of an Italian arias, to I really want to make All-Suburban, to I know I won't make it and when I don't I will cry.  Since her voice coach is a co-worker of mine he made it clear to me that she was more than prepared.  All her silly jabber and preparation for tears was nothing more than her usual audition stress.  

I went to work for her Saturday morning in that box known as the athletic field concession stand (actually it feels like I am as close to hell as humanly possible, but with a Starbucks spiced pumpkin lattte in hand with made me pretend I was getting closer to heaven) while she auditioned up north.  She finally arrived at her job at 12:30pm.  I decided to stay and continue to help her out as it was the craziest work experience I had ever had and I wasn't about to leave my baby there alone serving hot beverages to frozen children and tired crabby parents.  I think my staying with her quelled her tears that were trying to brew inside her.  She was convinced she did a horrible job at the sight reading costing her a place in the prestigious high school choir.  I texted her voice coach and he relayed that what he heard that day she had nothing to worry about.  

So off King Ralph and I went to our annual October Fest, leaving D at home waiting by her phone for any word of the audition results.  When I get a text from her voice coach that said "Sssshhh D made All-Suburban Mixed Choir."  Sssshhh what is that suppose to mean?  Was I getting privileged information?  When I replied asking if I was allowed to tell her he said "you can tell her".  I forwarded his text and then called D.  The joyous screams as she read the text was deafening.  The sweetest sound.  As sweet as her joy when she got that one at State Solo/Ensemble last spring. And I could hear the stress she had pended up inside her leave her body.   

When we got home from our party D looks at me and says"we are going to church tomorrow!"  We have been so lazy about attending lately.  I gladly agreed but it had to be the 8am service.  She says "fine but we have to go because I prayed to God that if he let me make All-Suburban I would go to church in the morning."  

So the story ends with D and I sitting in our regular fifth pew on the pulpit side of the sanctuary saying-- when one strikes a deal with God there is no going back on the deal.

Guess this means God really does answer prayers ;-) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Flipping Through The Photo Archives

It is just D and I at home tonight.  King Ralph has been fishing all week (Sssshhh! this regular week long adventure of his is actually my favorite time of the year) and Princess A is out with her new boy.  D has decided that watching a marathon of Family Guy is a good idea...I hate Family Guy. So I am flipping through my photo archives and found this photo of the girls at the drive-in last summer, playing at the ancient-old-rusty-accident-waiting-to-happen playground.

I love these three girls and no matter their growing up they will always be my babies!  And I love that they love me too. I love that they don't mind me giving them tons of cheek kisses and big hugs.  Wait D hates to be kissed but on occasion she lets me--she's always been like that, always!

I love that no matter how big they get they still love family outings and adventures with the parents.
Dog gone I miss that girl in the "Bears" shirt!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September Saturdays

When one is so use to constant noise--sister fights over a sneaky borrow of fashion, piano playing, singing voice lesson songs, rap music blasting from bedrooms, father I sit on this Saturday night alone. Quiet house.  Silence broken only by the sounds of cricket chirps on a fall night.  Last Saturday King Ralph was home alone and this week it is my turn.  It always sounds so inviting till the moment, but divide and conquer is how we roll these days.

Last Saturday it was my trip to MSU for a college tour for D and to watch M perform for the first time with the college band at the football game.

Dare I reflect on that Saturday?  Let's just say when it rains--slippery when wet...trip to the urgent care center and few bottles of pills to ease the pain of my non-existent elbow, sprained rotator cuff and maybe my pride too (since I hit ground in front of four rather good looking college boys).  I still managed to cook M and her roomies two home cooked meals, so that has to count for super-mom status.

This Saturday it is King Ralph entertaining M for Parents Weekend (or as we refer to it drop a load of cash at Walmart and take the child out to dinner weekend) while I conquered the final high school homecoming dance at our abode.  It was full on glamour in the great room all afternoon--Princess A with the rat tail comb teasing D's hair into a Carrie Underwood-esque fancy ponytail and painting her face up America's Next Top Model style--it's all about the smokey eyes.  Of course I tried to capture a photo of the glam in action but I was snapped at that pre-beauty pictures where off limits.  It is the last homecoming dance her at the abode.  All the chapters of teenhood coming to close little by little.  

Then it was time to get the "Sugar Rush" party started

These three beauties have no dates to tend to for the night.  They are free to mingle and work the dance floor at their leisure.  This is just the way they wanted it to be. No date, no heel height restrictions applied.

And in-case you were wondering how I spent my LHS senior year homecoming...well here you go a snap shot memory to share.  Back in the day if you didn't get asked to the dance you didn't go.  So we beauties of the class of nineteen eighty something had a "Dateless Homecoming Party"
If I recall correctly that Bronx Zoo hat got passed around a lot that night.

Believe it or not most of us in this picture still hang out together.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Today is school picture day.  Some things I am just to old to enjoy...this is one of those things!

I know, I know, just smile and say cheese.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We Went to New Mexico

I know, I know, where have you been is the burning question.  It's summer people!  It has been as hot as a witch's broom all is killing not only my appetite but my desire to be productive.  Sound familiar?  I find myself place next to an air vent, under a fan with my nose in a book.  I stay up way to late watching movies, wondering how I will ever turn my body's time clock around to report to back work come August.  

As we are about to embark on another summer getaway I figured maybe I should finish what I started to blog about in June.

So I present in picture form the beauty of New Mexico's Enchanted Circle

Hiking near our Tolby Campground site

 The poor trees had a carving knife to them more so than not...lots of him plus her equals true love and names and dates, but this tree got a Picasso carved on its trunk.
This trail was a water fall walk...7.5 miles moderate round trip hike.
The next day we took to laying on the beach of Eagle Nest Lake surrounded by the mountains of the Enchanted Circle

Next onto Red River.  Our favorite of the sweet inviting ski towns that make up the Enchanted Circle.... 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Roadside America and The Rio Bravo Campground

I know you have been dying to hear more vacation tales, so sorry I was busy doing gypsies work (scrub bleaching the camper all good gypsy wives do) and sitting in an eye clinic in the search for answers for my M. 

We woke early, got packed up, hitched up and grabbed giant warm donuts and coffee.  This complimentary donut and coffee thing isn’t hard to get use too.

We had a few goals in mind, and they had Roadside America written all over them.

Roadside America stop one: Cadillac Ranch 

 Spray painting our mark on the cadillacs

We drove off the sound of Bruce Springsteen singing CadillacRanch to us. 

Roadside America stop two: Historic Route 66 Midpoint 
We drove off with the sound of Nat King Cole singing Route66 to us.

We can always manage to find just the right song for the occasion, can’t we?
Then it was straight sailing down the highway. 
We climbed in elevation through the Carson National Forest.  The highest point was over 9400 feet and the temperature dropped to 77*--the windows rolled down and the mountain air whipped through our hair.

Finally we arrived at Rio Bravo Campground.  It is a nice small  first come first serve campground with only four electric/water hook-ups. SCORE!

It sits along the Rio Grande.  We took ourselves down to the river to cool off and catch a few mountain sun rays.  The landscape surround is beautiful.  We all agreed that we felt like the Native Americans should be sitting upon horses on the plateau nodding down to us.  It is so fun to let yourself drift back in time and history when out in the mountains.  My favorite place (better than the beach, in my opinion).

This was one of the few campgrounds on our trip that was still allowing campfires in the fire rings.

Let me add the campground host at Rio Bravo was extremely nice and knowledgeable about the area. He was laid back and talkative, so helpful to us.  Bonus is he is a permanent camp host. He was in every sense of the work a host!  

Tomorrow, new location, new Roadside America and adventures to be had.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Day In Amarillo

Before we set out on a hike in Palo Duro Canyon we stopped at the visitor center and took in the overview. 

We then set out on a hike on the Sunflower Trail.   
The afternoon temperature was a cool 92*.  There was a beautiful canyon breeze blowing throughout the hike.  And, less the humidity we are accustomed to at home, the dry heat and the breeze added to the peaceful feeling felt as we hiked.  
Who’s got the map?  Not I was repeated over and over again, till it was determined that the map was left in the car.  When we came to the end of the Sunflower Trail instead of turning around as we three girls suggested…every good hiker knows deviating from the trail is not good, King Ralph decided to hit the pavement.  Of course I recorded the rising temperature before I stepped out onto the asphalt road 
 I like to refer to this picture as—where is Michael Landon?  That was us hiking the “Highway to Heaven.”
 I swore at anytime Michael Landon would be resuming his role as an angel out to help and save people.  King Ralph has been known to stray from the trails much to our chagrin.  That beautiful cooling canyon breeze was nowhere to be felt on the black paved road.  Of course after about ten minutes King Ralph finally decided to listen to his women--that the car was a long, long, long way down the road and sticking to the trail was the smart way to go.  He, we all turned around. 

We got back to the campground mixed a couple of martinis before showering for an evening out.

In the evening we headed out to dinner to celebrate Father’s Day at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. 

This was another of our Roadside America stops.  You know the home to the free 72 ounce steak—if you woof it down in an hour or less.  There were actually five guys from Australia trying their stomachs at it. 
While we waited to be seated we did the typical touristy snapping of pictures.

Once the night was over we rested and prepared for our next destination—New Mexico.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day On The Road, Under the Amarillo Sky

We hit the road at 7am after a complimentary muffin and coffee in our quest to take in as much Roadside America as we could while traveling to Amarillo, Texas.

We got our Gornicke on while singing the likes of Frank Sinatra, songs like Amarillo Sky and a sing-a-long song--“Beer Run” cruising down I-40.  For Father’s Day King Ralph played a mean air guitar on his knee with his other hand securely gripping the steering wheel while his ladies belted the tunes. 

We took in some Roadside America…a restored Conoco Gas Station in Shamrock, Texas and The Cross in Groom, Texas—the perfect Sunday Roadside America stop.  I was looking for a wandering minister to offer me communion, but no luck.  It was quite the site, watching the cross twenty feet in the distance drawing closer till finally we stood at its base.  The thirteen bronze sculptures and cross around the perimeter told the Good Friday story. 

Amarillo we have arrived.  The Amarillo Ranch RV Park is very nice. Not many tree lined sites but the park itself is neat, clean and friendly.  The camp host who guided us to our site couldn’t leave he said because he had never seen children helping to unhitch and set up camp.  Hmmmm, seem quite normal to us.  We are in this adventure, like all our adventures together.  King Ralph and I told him we are raising our girls to be self sufficient in case the right guy doesn’t come along. 

Once we had camp set we hopped in the truck and headed to Palo Duro Canyon for a little hike.
To be continued....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Avery's Hit the Highway For Vacttion 2012

We hit the road before the sun had a chance to rise.  Gas, coffee and tunes—what more does a family traveling Griswold style need?

Our destination for the day was Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  It was more about stopping after 500 miles of driving than the actual location.  We pit stopped for the night at the Rockwell RV Park.  I don’t have awful things to say about the RV Park but I am not going to rave about it either.  It was camping in an urban area—gravel parking lot, no grass, few trees.  The restrooms were decent enough.  When you have a flush toilet with water that swirls in the porcelain bowl the bathroom rates!   They offer complimentary coffee and muffins every morning; which we grabbed before heading out of town.  The staff was friendly. 

We knew on this stop the one thing we wanted to visit was the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum.  It was beautifully put together.  We first grazed about outside making our way to the museum.  As we rode up in the elevator I began to really feel the heaviness of this past act of terrorism.  I turned to M and expressed my emotion and suddenly felt my eyes well up.  The girls were so small when the bombing absorbed the news waves.  I remember heading out the eye doctor with them both.  Why is it that we always remember what or where we were when tragedy strikes?  But we do.  The older I get the more I feel the heaviness of the situations that infringe upon our country.  The girls, the older they get, the love of country they develop get it, feel it too.

As we took our seats in the second section of the museum to listen to an actual recording of a hearing at the Water Resource Board across the street on that day in April 1995 you are grabbed at your heart as the sound of the explosion is nothing but evident and the lights in the room go black and the faces of the 168 lives lost flash on a screen.  The chairs—sure their representation mark, but the faces, they grab.  Then you see the handfuls of key chains realizing everyone in the building left for work that morning like any other day.  I loved the survivor wall in the outside area.  So many memorials recognize those who sacrificed life but not the survivors--forever changed.      

"Visiting that beautiful Memorial and Museum in 
Oklahoma City is not fun or for the faint of heart, 
but I di think it should be a right of citizenship"
                                                                                              Brian Williams
                                                                                             NBC Nightly News

Then we headed over to Bricktown with its fun, hip urban feel with great restaurants and venues. Next we drove past Chesapeake Arena to take in the excitement of the NBA finals.  

Here we are again this morning cruising down the highway, car choir is full swing, climbing in elevation on our way to Amarillo, Texas for canyon views and big steaks.  Oh ya, and long the way a little Roadside America.   

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer 2012 Trip Kick Off

What the hell!? Why am I awake whipping up a pot of chili and Bandanna style baked beans at 6am?  Aaahhh yes, we are hitting the road tomorrow (before the sun rises) with our house on wheels in tow.

I have wanted, needed this break for a long time coming!  The kind of break that allows me to take in a huge breath of air and exhale slowly with a sigh of relief and time to refocus--come back into one's self again. Looking forward to laughing together. Because that is what we do best.  Singing as we drive down the highway.  Even though our car choir has shrunk by one....

SHRUNK BY ONE you ask?

It was and wasn't a hard decision to plan a trip minus one of the offspring- D. We had originally planned on waiting till D returned from Germany to have a family vacation.  Things just started to get complicated...Princess A at 22 yrs old needs her tonsils taken out.  Anyway after a little chatting we decided to go without D and not feel a bit guilty--SHE'S IN GERMANY FOR GOODNESS SAKE.  So when ever we start to think we left her out we will just remind ourselves were she is and we aren't. And, we will miss her!

Here I am this morning cooking and dancing around the house singing my age old packing song, Beyonce's song everything you own in the box to the left as the bath towels, pots and pans, hiking shoes...hell everything we own heads out the door to the box on the left otherwise known as-- the camper.   

The big stop this year will be New Mexico.  We have been diligently watching the news, checking and calling to make sure the forest fires and smoke alerts have not drifted up state as far north to our summer respite. So far, so good.

So stay tuned to see where we stop in our quest to our final destination.  As always we will have some our classic roadside America stops mapped out.  Because what is a family vacation without seeing the world's largest ball of string?

Now if you'll excuse me I have packing (and singing) to do
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closest, that's my stuff (did I mention the closest is small but we can really pack that puppy good for five, well four)
Yes, if I bought then please don't touch

Monday, June 11, 2012

Auf dem Weg nach Deutschland

Our castle is a bit quieter today--we are one less princess.  

Yesterday we dropped our baby and her 46.5 pound suitcase at the airport at 9am, bound for Stuttgart, Germany to reconnect with her German exchange Carmen (who we hosted for three weeks in April).  She was beside herself excited, heading out on a new adventure with some of her best friends in tow.

D was stoked to be using her passport for the first time and mark herself a genuine international traveler.  She was as giddy as a small child on Christmas morning.

What did my good friend say?...aaahh yes, traveling is not for the weak of heart.  An 11:30am flight to Newark, New Jersey didn't leave till 2:45pm.  Which meant they were most likely going to miss the connecting international flight and be stuck in Jersey till Tuesday.  LUCK or God just happened to be on their side yesterday--it was Sunday after all-- and United decided to hold the plane for them--all twenty-seven of them.  That deserves an Amen! 

2:35pm STL Time, 3:35pm Jersey Time
When D finally boarded the plane bound for Stuttgart she began to text, her stress evident
D: Here on the plane
Me: Sitting next to who?
D: I'm sitting next to two random people
Me: Well, make good conversation and share your Swedish fish. Love u xoxo
Me: Dad says to scare them and read the vomit bag. 
D: Ha ha. They put my carry-on bag some other place and I didn't any time to get out my stuff.
Me: Well maybe they can help you later.  Tell them you need your candies lol
D: I thought I would at least be sitting by someone from my group. :-(
Me: Are they old or people my age?  Hopefully they will be interesting and interested in your lively ability to chat and tell good stories.
Me: This whole trip is about new experiences.
D: Yes, both older but idk
Me: Older folks like to talk to the young.
D: Ugh this is stressing me out.
Me: Babe you can read and sleep. Remember the end result--Stuttgart and Carmen. All will be good. You are friendly. You are the perfect person to sit by randoms.
D: I guess, but they both have on their headphones and I'm in the middle. :-(
Me: Introduce yourself and ask business or pleasure for them.  That is an icebreaker.
Me: Well when the head phones come off strike up chat.  The headphones may be a flight take off distraction for them.
D: Am I allowed to get my bag down?
Me: Yes, ask the flight attendant later in the flight.
D: Ok I guess I should go now.
Me: Have a good flight love you xoxo Remember, time of your life!

2:34am STL Time, 9:34am Stuttgart Time 
The made-it-here call went something like this...  
Mom I'm here in Germany.  Waiting for my luggage. Boy I'm tired. Oh and you are going to kill me, I left my debit card at home, realized two hours before we landed. 

9:55am STL Time, 4:55pm Stuttgart Time 

 D wanted to Skype, telling me all about the flight that turned out to be full of good conversation with the randoms and little sleep...and no carry-on retrieved candies.  She told me how she has been awake for so long; calculating in the time zone change, for 36 hours.  She was tired but is staying awake till it is bedtime.  Whacking that jet lag like a warrior. She was excited to show me the stamp in her passport, her bus pass and all the necessary maps she got at the German school.  She talked of her first meal with her German host family and how she and Carmen got in trouble in school for looking at a magazine together and she wrote a paragraph for Carmen on multimedia in her English class.  She said she feels less stressed at the notion of speaking German all day long and she understood most of the conversation she had with her host family.  D said where there were voids she filled in just fine.  She talked of attending a BBQ this evening at one of the other German girl's home. She showed me the view of vineyards from her bedroom window and said the cool air of Germany was an inviting change from our already hot summer.  Then we discussed how we were rescuing her from her left-behind-debit-card debacle.  

So you can say her stress level has lowered and her advance supply of Euros should hold her for the time being.  

I suppose since it is past 10pm for D she is finally fast asleep preparing for another day of German schooling.

Remember baby girl--TIME OF A LIFE! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 1- Self Portrait or Day 1- Back to Blogging

Let's go to work.

The place were it is sub zero inside while is it a heat wave outside.

The place where you wear your winter clothes on a beautifully warm late spring day, just to stay warm inside.

We've been know to pull scarves and gloves out at our desks just to survive the cold.

You know what?  This is what I call a good hair day!

And this my friends is what you call baby steps back to blogging.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Let's Get Back To This Blog Thing

Okay so it has been a long time since I blogged.  Only a few select people know why I have taken a long break and they won't be talking or commenting because they are good like that.  Tight lipped.  I have always loved writing and it is just time to get back at it!

Now don't you wonderers think anything is wrong with my marriage, my family or my health--that is all good and very much in tack. But it is time. Time to blog again.

So here is how I am going to get back to blogging-- a prompt.

I'll write a little something about my picture.

Anyone  want to join me?  We can see inside each other's soul and laugh at each other.  Or just me. Which is perfectly okay.

Brace yourself for my Day 1: Self-portrait.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Answer Would Still Be...

Twenty-five years ago King Ralph sent me flowers at work...and then at dinner he asked me a question.

Twenty-five years later he sent me the most beautiful flowers at work.

The card read: 25 years later and I would still ask the same question today.

I tell you all the answer 25 years later would still be: Yes!

This is still my favorite Valentine I sent to King Ralph.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Teaching Old Dog New Tricks

For the first three years of our marriage I worked full time, one of those years I even worked a second job.  Then for the next seventeen years I stayed home, to raise the girls, to be the perfect step-ford wife.  I loved those years!  As the college years for the girls were creeping forward going back to work seemed like the necessary thing to do.  So I got a part time job. Then the natural evolution was to progress to full-time. This is were we are at, today at least...

Stretched out in his "command central" recliner chair

King Ralph: I need clean underwear.

Keeper: So do I.

KR: I need my new pants ironed, they're all balled up in that bag.

Keeper: I need my shirt ironed.

15 minutes later as King Ralph mulls around in the kitchen

KR: Hey, why don't you make us tuna salad for lunch.

Keeper: I'll do that after I secure you clean undies and a pressed pants. (said in a sassy tone)

Okay so here is the point where I lost a gasket.  Seriously why do men think they are helpless?  If women find they have no more fresh panties in their drawer they do their own laundry. Men. Not a chance. I think they would do a repeat wear of crap stained undies before they attempted to work the washer.  Iron?  What's an iron?  Lunch? Starving is certainly an option.

Then King Ralph says, how 'bout if I throw a needed hair cut in while I am at it.


I think it's time to teach the old dog a few new tricks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Random Chatter

This isn't going to be one of those posts where there is not a purpose to the message, a story so to tell. This is going to be one of those posts where I just chatter like I do when I am with my girlfriends at a happy hour.


Last week we attended our 93 year old neighbors funeral.  He was a WWII vet who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  The veterans organization had a short ceremony to honor his service. It was very touching. I certainly hope someday this country honors more recent veterans with same degree of respect and gratitude.

When we finally made our way to the casket to offer our condolences to his bride of 70 years, she looked at Princess A & M and told them that Karl enjoyed watching and waiting for them all to return everyday from school and work.  It gave him purpose in his day to stand at the screen door on weekdays at 3pm to make sure the girls made it home safely and without harm.  She said if one of the girls didn't make it back at their usual time he went looking for her to share his concern.  Funny thing is we never knew this, just thought he enjoyed being a "Mr. Kravitz", when all the while he just watching over our girls.  We'll miss our neighbor sitting on the porch with his oxygen tank waiting and watching for our girls, chatting with them about Germany and where they go to college and when they'll graduate.  The open door, it will die slowly as everyday since he was buried the front door is opened to the screen door as if he is still there, watching. Who knew when I waved to him a week ago today standing there that it would be the last time.

Yesterday I opened the back door to let Uli out in the yard, the smell of the cold crisp winter air smelt so delicious.  Is it funny how winter air smells so good yet we can't wait for winter pass?  Today the cold air broke and spring temperatures loom...only to beckon an inch of snow fall tomorrow.  Mother Nature has to be smoking crack these days.

Princess A has taken to making gourmet cupcakes.  I will attest they are double yum!
Tonight she has a new recipe she is creating.  Hold tight I will tempt your taste buds with more tantalizing pictures.

Tomorrow that blasted alarm clock is going to buzz at 540am and I will regretfully awake to it and drag myself out in the world for a paycheck. How I do so a three-day weekend!

Monday, January 02, 2012


It has happened every year for the last five years since I returned to the working world--reality bites.  As much as I love working, falling back in the habits of stay-at-home are so easy when given two weeks off the job. And then I fall back in love with wearing sweats and no make-up...when I go out in the world hiding under my St. Louis Cardinal ball cap...scouring the internet for new recipes, and then actually creating them.  It is fun to stay up late watching old movies, rising early and then taking a nap mid-day--because I can.  It was fun hanging with friends and mixing up cocktails when finally everyone's schedules mesh.  It is fun to meet up with girlfriends on a weekday for a lunch date that lasts for hours.

But. Reality Bites.

When my holiday vacation began it was unseasonably warm. Today's bitter bite of winter will welcome me into the second semester of school before the sun has a chance to rise.  I am so not ready for chattering teeth and biting wind chill.

 But. Like I said--reality bites. Yep, I just set my alarm for 530am. Hi-ho-hi-ho it's back to work I go.

To that I say--Good Night.