Monday, September 21, 2015

Manic Monday

Six o' clock already ( I laid there till 5:45am) 
I was just in the middle of a dream (I really was dreaming, just can't remember the dream) 
I was kissin' Valentino ( I do know for certain I wasn't kissing anyone) 
By a crystal blue Italian stream (I don't need blue waters, just sun) 
But I can't be late ( I wasn't late, I was right on the clock!) 
Cause then I guess I just won't get paid ( I'd just call in sick, perhaps, perhaps not) 
These are the days ( it was a day alright!) 
When you wish your bed was already made (I read making your bed increase dust mites in the mattress, so I didn't bother making the bed) 
It's just another manic Monday ( it WAS TOTALLY a manic Monday!!) 
I wish it was Sunday (reference photo above) 
Cause that's my fun day ( well, Saturday ain't to shabby either) 
I don't have to run day
It's just another manic Monday (repeat: it WAS TOTALLY a manic Monday!!) 
I don't dare to think Tuesday could be anymore insane or hectic. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Balłoon No-Glow

For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to go to the Balloon Glow in Forest Park. The kids' activities always superseded. For years and years it was football games and marching band performances. Later it was high school plays, then we progressed to out-of-town trips. This year, this year was our year! 

King Ralph and I immediately mixed cocktails in to go containers and iced down beer in the cooler. We got the collapsible wagon, chairs, blanket and an umbrella--just in case. Mother Nature is always teasing us these days (the umbrella never made an appearance).  We waited for M to arrive home for a weekend visit, then the three of us headed to the park in the city. 

The evening was georgous September weather. Honestly you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening in the park.  We picked our spot amongst most of Saint Louis, spread our blanket out, set up our chairs, had a drink and posed for a snap chat to send to Princess A and D. 
Oh that silly King! Let's take a closer look...he's "keeping the peace" in the city's big park. 

Once our dinner hunger had peaked King Ralph and M peaced out (I couldn't help throwing that in here), I mean hit up the food trucks while I protected our claimed spot. I love food trucks! They did not fail us! 
We shared...two bites, rotate, till it was all eaten up.  We feasted from three separate food trucks--cheese steak, nacho supreme, gyro, and cheese fries. About an hour later we decided to hit up the dessert trucks 
The only item we ate was that large square of super sweet and yummy German chocolate gooey butter cake (gooey butter cake is a serious St. Louis bakery treat, that bakers are always taking to a new sugary level). 

The sun had set and folks starting packing up their belongings to head into the balloon epicenter. Remember I've waited years to experience the glory of the glow.  We watched as the Curves balloon inflated, then we watched as it deflated. WHAT?!  
Ha! While Mother Nature kept the rain at bay she sent the winds. It was just windy for the balloons to inflate. The wind would have blown them into the flames, igniting the parachute fabrics. So instead the pilots  just blasted their flames.
It was a flame show until the fireworks went off at 9:15pm, while the band played American themed songs to a glowing show in the sky. 

The next day was the balloon race. Having things to tend to, going back to the park was not an option. We did however catch the beginnings of the race in the skies, as we drove through another section of the city. At times we saw as many as eight balloons peppering the city skies. 

While it wasn't everything I had hoped for King Ralph and I enjoyed our Friday evening with our M. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Reason To Smile

Today was early release day for students. It's a nice change of pace in the office. The phones don't ring much, tasks can be managed without constant interruptions. It's what one would define as a relaxed office atmosphere. 

I did have one wee little desk-side deversation, and her name was Lily. She was a teacher's kindergarten daughter. Mr. Teacher picked up his daughter from school and asked me if I minded if his child hung with me, while he attended his meeting. I obliged him. It's hard to turn away an adorable red head in a floral dress with cowboy boots. Lily came armed with gold fish crackers and art supplies. I offered lemonade and access to my office supply drawers. Little Lily enjoyed rummaging my drawers and finding items to create a collage. I'm down thirty-three cents of my personal lose change floating in my drawer, but with a bit of Scotch tape it added quite the shine to that collage. The thing I loved most was a portrait created with the Crayola marker as the chosen art medium. I was asked my hair color...suppose my Nice and Easy 106G wasn't fooling a little red headed kindergartener. She colored my clothes to exact color pallet: black. I'm not certain if my desk chair is space age or I stand on my head in my chair. 

So. I present to you--"Jodi at Work with Lily." And I smile! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekends Are Rarely For Relaxing

I feel like crap! The rag weed season has finally caught up to me, but I'll take it, considering the alternative germ that could have got me.  All last week I listened from my desk to students puking in the nurse's office. Just when we all thought we had beat that 12-36 hour incubation period of possible infection, the puke started all over again. As of sunday we were all in the clear (again) and I am left holding a box of Kleenex and my inhaler (still better than my head in the toilet any day!). But, even feeling like crap didn't  mean the busy weekend ga e me a break. 

Friday lunches are back! My lunch buddy Julie and I seldom order lunch in like everyone else (once we did last year, we were noted as being "out of character", we over ate and felt miserable all day), so instead we take turns bringing in lunch to share on Friday. We do things like Italian subs, homemade hummus and sloppy joes. For the return of Friday lunch I made seven layer salad. Seven layers of healthy yum...until that dressing layer, that was more delicious than healthy. When you feel like crap and there is half a pan of salad's what King Ralph gets for dinner! Then I lie on the couch watching TV, clutching a box of Kleenex. 

Saturday was the "Glennon Gallop", the charity polo match for the children's hospital that Princess A is employeed by. She decided to get involved with the foundation and I happily agreed to go with her to volunteer. Since going back to work full time I've sadly gotten away from giving my time to worth while organizations. Volunteering really does make you feel good. It made me feel better when someone asked if Princess A and I were students at SLU. Anytime a menopausal woman is mistaken for being college aged it's a good day to volunteer!

I know nothing about polo, other than what I learned from watching "Pretty Woman"...and yes there really was a divot stomp at half time. 

Princess A and I decided next year we are going to attend the polo galla instead of volunteering. It's $25 a car load, and you can sit on the hill side with a blanket, buy a picnic basket for $50 (there is wine in the basket) or bring your own basket. For a $100 you can tail gate (bring your own feast). Princess A and I think it would be a fun girls only event. Not to mention getting to dress cute and wear a fun hat. 

Once we finished a day of volunteering, King Ralph and I went to an RV show. We just bought a new truck and now we want to find the perfect retirement RV. King Ralph was eligible a few years ago to retire, you know college keeps him in a uniform. We have a plan to take off the morning after my last day of the school year and come home a few days before I return for the next school year. There is a big country out there to see, and we plan on seeing it--in style! 

It wasn't long after we got home these two cuties arrived.
The week started for them as cousins and ended it as sisters.  My girls know I don't get the whole sorority thing, but somehow it has served them well in their college years. I do think it is going to be fun to see D and her cousin bond in a new way. A matter of fact, all but one of the first cousins share a bond of the same "sisterhood." I made a hash tag for these girlies #therealcousinsofcape--they are taking SEMO, the music department and now AXO by storm. 

Sunday was shower day for another cousin. Princess A baked adorable cookies to add to a beautiful dessert table 
They paired well with the cupcakes served 

D and her cousin aren't returning to school till Monday. It's the bonus of the 8am class being canceled in advance and being only an hour and a half from home...or in this case school. The beer loving girls and their pop decided to have their own beer tasting of local craft beers on the deck.
                              The weather (ridden with rag weed) was georgous and perfect for grilling. King Ralph grilled mac-n-cheese stuffed burgers (man's been purousing Pintrest). The only thing missing all weekend was our M! 

Now it's back work to rela, blow my nose, and roll the dice on contracting the flu. 

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Almost Unplugged

(Tuesday post long holiday weekend is a hard one to embrace, but I allowed time for reflection. 

There's something unbelievably refreshing when you can almost unplug. I say almost because we had perfect cell reception. What we didn't have was wifi, TV reception and we left the DVD player at home...we had music, magazines, Mother Nature's playground and each other. It's called camping! 

King Ralph and I arrived Friday to what we now profess as our favorite state park--St. Francois. It's just 45 minutes from home, with the bonus being it's on the Big River. Once we got set up (and accepted our across the street neighbors...because nothing says we're here like hanging your head out the car window, peering at the fly infested vault toilet, while screaming "is that our shitter").
 I served up our happy hour feast of buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips and celery, salami and English cheddar and herb cheese, toasted garlic French bread slices and shrimp cocktails. Oh ya, grapefruit martinis! After our food digested a bit we took a short bike ride. We both had hectic Fridays at work, so relaxing in our lounge chairs while star gazing felt like the perfect way to end the week. 

Saturday started in the usual way, with coffee and tea...then in the not-so-usual way of mapping out our lazy day.
 I cooked a breakfast of pancakes and sausage and then we set out on a long bike ride. The morning air was cool and the view on the ride was serene--the yellow iron weed flowers littered the fields; making it feel perfectly peaceful! Then we packed a cooler of cold beverages and tuna sandwiches and it was off to the river to grab the last of summer's sun. The only worry of the day was that my cup was empty. Those are the best days, when the worries seem so insignificant. 
We finished up our Saturday with a dinner of smoked chicken, Italian salad, a game of Yahtzee and a dessert of candy corn. 

Sunday started like Saturday. On Saturday I commented I forgot the blueberries in the pancakes, so I decided to redeem myself 
and I added hash browns, bacon and made to order eggs. Then we set out to hike our favorite trail in the park: Swimming Deer Trail. 
(King Ralph has no patience for selfies) 
What we really wanted to see was if our chalk autograph on the old saw mill barn was still there from August 2. It was! 
King Ralph was in the humorous spirit and signed again, under our autograph, "9-6-15 BACK" 

Talking of the time we finished our morning hike, making it back to the camp site, Princess A, D and Uli had arrived to the spend the day with us. We took the girls and the dog on the trail for a bit till we reached the path veer off to river. It's a section of the river no ones uses. We had our own personal river oasis.
We plopped our chairs right down the cool water, which made our bourbon slushes taste that much better. 
Uli is not a fan of water, so I carried her across the river to the island so she could  happily run laps. She felt like a queen, a one dog island all her own! 

Of course we had that family selfie moment, recalling we were down one member. 
Once we baked in the sun for five hours we headed back to camp for dinner, games and homemade ice cream (from this resurrected relic) 
It was the perfect end to summer camping. 

Now it's time to plan fall camping!