Saturday, May 31, 2014

They Take STL By Storm

Dear Colin:
Not all who meet on-line are an ax murders.
(despite that evil gleam in my eye)  
So our story goes.
When you come to my town you are taught the two most important things to know as a transplant - how to answer the question, "where did you go to school?" and the definition and how to use the word hoosier.  Then I gift you with Saint Louis's best salad dressing: Zia's  On The Hill and you end an evening of talk and laughs taking a photo in front of the Soulard edition of the STL 250th Anniversary cake with your pal Lin.  
Dear Lin:
This is what you need to make that salad dressing gift do it's thing

1 large head romaine lettuce torn into bite size pieces
1 large head iceberg lettuce torn into bite size pieces
14 oz can artichoke hearts drained and quartered
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
4 oz jar pimentos drained
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 bottle of dressing--add to taste
Toss all ingredients in a bowl, add dressing and serve. Serves 6
Till we meet again!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

“When you play, never mind who listens to you.” - Robert Schumann

D is home for the summer and music is abound in our abode.  There is the constant out of an aria in every imaginable language--she'll practice singing while walk through the grocery store.  Voice lessons once a week.  Master classes in the Central West End.  And piano.

Yes piano.  

D is in near constant practice to master the entire sound track of Pride and Prejudice with the utmost perfection.  She plays without a care as to who is listening...just as long as you go about your own business. Who doesn't love the theme song "Dawn?"  Who doesn't love Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? 

Before M returned to school, I heard M walk over to D as she was playing "Dawn" yesterday and whisper to her, "if Mom is every mad at you just play the piano and that will make everything okay."  Haha!  Well, maybe it will ease my madness.  I am in love with my D's talents.
I have two months to fill my soul with her talents...then she'll go away again. 
Savoring the moments.  Aaaahhhhh.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

They Bond: Father and Daughter

M had a project in mind...something she saw on her BF's phone background.  She has been buying twenty dollar wooden baseball bats for the last nine months or so.  Every time she had a coupon she bought a bat-- six in all. 

Our M has been home for a week break from school and her job working for the Springfield Cardinals - the minor league team to our beloved STL Cardinals.  She could think of no better way to bond with her daddy than in the garage, with power tools and spray paints.  They got to work--King Ralph lining up exact measurements to splice a bat right down the center...M spray painting with precision strokes for that no paint runs perfection. 

When it was all said and done M has created a gift for her guy that screams both
 'Merica and baseball. 
There is nothing that Maddi loves more than her 'Merica! 
Just in time for Memorial Day!
Just in time for her to return to her second home.
I'm starting to miss her already. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like
When D was a little girl learning to ride her bike--she became a complete and total crash dummy.  King Ralph would hold onto the back of her bike seat balancing her just so, while I ran along side cheering her on.  When King Ralph let go of D's seat, setting her sailing unassisted down the sidewalk...losing her balance meant she would literally jump off her bike, diving into the grassy easement.  She always got back up, no tears, scraped and bruised, but back on that bike--because she had a mission to master.
Last Sunday King Ralph, Princess A, D and I loaded our bicycles on the bike rack for an hour long car ride till we arrived at the Weldon Springs Trailhead.  We rode eleven miles of The Katy Trail, stopping along the way to enjoy the views and entertainment along the trail. 

We enjoyed the Missouri River.
D, in her beautiful operatic voice stood at the river's edge and sang the song Oh Shenandoah.'s what she does!
We rode on to the eleven mile mark, stopping like all the other trail riders
at the
I shared a nice shandy with King Ralph, while Princess A had an IPA (her favorite), as we listened to a local artist sing James Taylor hits...we sang along with him.
Then hiked our bikes around the corner and up the steep hill to the Mount Pleasant Winery...
sipped samples of reds - taking the final sample to the patio deck, where a band was playing Beattles tunes...that many of us sang along too.
After several hours of enjoying the beautiful day we started back the eleven miles back to the car.
Like we always do--a cam timer family picture to mark our adventure.
(On this family adventure we are missing our M)
It was a great day!  A great family day!!
Which brings me to why I told the tale of D's learning to ride a bike.
Six miles from the end of our twenty-two mile round trip ride, an old man with a bicycle bell, ringing it like a wild man and riding up on my tail quickly, ran me off the trail.  I tried to get over as fast as I could, only to clip the back of King Ralph's tire.  Down I went!  Legs into the gravel trail.  Face into the gravel trail.  Just like D I got up. Bruised. Scraped. But I got up to wear the marks showing I took one for the team.  I got  right back on that bike and rode the last six miles. 
If you worried about falling off your bike, you'd never get on
- Lance Armstrong
Still I say...a GREAT family day!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Countdown Clocks

I'm whipped!  Completely and totally exhausted!!  I went from my usual Monday and Friday Starbucks skinny vanilla latte, to adding in Wednesday.  When an appreciative teacher showed up with a latte in her on Wednesday for me, and I had one in my hand--I gladly accepted.  Double fisting lattes is totally acceptable!

I got a call from my contact at the district's central office yesterday afternoon telling me that she's gotten more emails from me in the last two weeks than she's gotten all year.  I've stayed late almost every night for the last two weeks just keep pace with my work while I (and my coworkers) fill in the job of another absent co-worker.  I ask--why can't kids get along, be nice, behave, be respectful?  Is it the added days to the school year due to that harsh winter?  Or would it have been this way regardless?

I'm completely ready for my summer hall pass.

A break from bad choices.

Eight more work days.  Although my countdown includes the weekends.

I can do this! 

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Always Hydrate for Mother's Day Weekend!

My Mother's Day weekend was spent with just Princess A--ye who made me a mother...the other two are deep in the throws of finals.  Princess A made it a great weekend for her melancholy momma--my first mothers day with one child...well since she was my only child.

I present to you my weekend celebration in photo form.

Saturday Happy Hour:

Saturday Shopping:

Sunday Brunch:

Sunday sunning on the deck:

The thing that made me cry:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thank You For Making Me A Mother

Instead of spending the day thanking me for being your mom...I want to thank you for making me a mom.  It is because of you, each of you, that I wake with purpose. 
Without you, I would just be--Jodi. 

You each make my heart sing for different reason. 
For this I glad to be called, your mom!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

On The Mend

I'm on the mend. 
 Little by little I am dropping one pill a day and a few breathing treatments off my medication list and decreasing dosages of the pills I am still sucking down each day. 
 Being sick, just plain stinks!
I did manage to get myself to the point, on Sunday, that I took a ride to SEMO to listen to D sing and perform a rather saucy monologue.
 Princess A took to "Driving Miss Daisy"....cause she loves her momma--so that I could listen to the sweet opera sounds from my baby's voice, and the comedy of opera--most don't realize is in an opera.

D had several school obligations post her performance.  Our time was brief but we captured a few pictures on the windy River Campus to mark the day.

It meant the world to D that her biggest sister made the journey to watch her performance.
While it warms my heart that I got see D perform, my heart is breaking that I will spend my first Mother's Day in her nineteen years without her, to hug and kiss in the morning.  It's the first Mother's Day I will be down two of my girlies, that is hard! 
I do have a sweet recording she gave me last year as a gift (that made me cry then and now) of her signing Never Far From Home.  It's a realization to how much she has grown vocally in college, and that she is ever closer to coming home for the summer. 
I listen once again to my D sing to me. 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Difference A Week Can Make...Not For The Good

Last week work was insane!  Well maybe not so much the work as the kids--weather and the impending end of a school year makes for a mixture of silliness, also known as unfortunate choices. 

That's when you take to your favorite watering hole for wings and wine...or buckets of beer, with the girls and the spousal units--lotta wine, and lotta beers--alfresco.  It is observed how most of us pull out our reading glasses to scan the menu and to help each other add new apps to our phones.  We then wondered when the time will come that we will begin talking about our failed digestive systems.  Laughter ensues.    
 We toast to surviving a week in public education. Great friends. Good times. Good Friday night!
Then Monday night comes around, I start feeling like crap.  Tuesday I feel like total crap. Wednesday I feel like absolute crap and bond a new friendship at my desk with Ms. Kleenex and Mr. Sore Throat Lozenges just to make it till 3:30pm.  Which turns out was a fail because I bolted at 3pm for a nap at home.
Thursday was a repeat of Wednesday and Friday...$75 of get well pharmaceuticals. (not to mention the usual lecture from the doctor about how people with asthma die.)
 I stopped and got a half price Starbucks Frappuccino on my way home from work (yes, it's true, after I got this drug store of goods I went back to my desk to finish out the day) and took to the peace pipe.

King Ralph picked up a pill bottle, read the label, looked at me and said "aaaahhhh steroids. Glad I'm going fishing."  Meanie! 
Let the truth be told the only reasons I even fancied the idea of a doctor visit was
A. I couldn't breathe this morning and had to jack myself up on every inhaler I could find in my bathroom drawer and
B. D has an opera scenes performance at SEMO on Sunday afternoon that I wouldn't miss hearing her voice for all the tea in China.
So here's hoping 48 hours can turn this Friday into feeling like last Friday!