Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Afternoon at the Park

Today Christina and I took advantage of the unbelievable weather this afternoon and went to Nathanael Greene - Close Memorial Park. Our first stop was the Gray-Campbell Farmstead. The main house is only two rooms, but I think I could live there. Although, the woman demonstrating the wooden dancing doll who kept exclaiming "I have a magic finger!" would have to go.

From there, we walked over to the Japanese Stroll Garden. It was beautiful! After that, we stopped by the Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden. It was very impressive. Even at the end of August, the plants are still very colorful and healthy looking. Lots of ideas and just fun to walk through.Next was the Hosta Garden at Close Memorial Park. The hostas aren't at their best this time of year, but they still looked wonderful. I'd really like to go back in early summer to see them at their prime.
We spent about three hours at the parks and still have more to see when we return. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit those parks, it's well worth spending an afternoon there. Don't miss David's ode to his Sony Sport in the post below! :) And there are more pictures of the demonstration garden and the hosta garden over on the Fremont Garden blog.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not to be outdone by the Hair Posts

I submit for your perusal...

Ode to Sony Sport

You’ve been wrecked, crashed, and tossed about – but never showed fear
Your knobs are broken and sticky with beer

You’ve been dropped, kicked, and sat upon too
You sound fine out of one speaker… sometimes two

You’ve seen things you shouldn’t have seen - while living in an old frat house
Your battery compartment was once home to mouse

You’ve played classic rock, country - and yes more than a little NPR
You are always in the background when I am wrenching on a car

So come one, come all – raise a glass and throw back a snort
To a tough little cuss – the Sony Sport

*Writers note: This is an unpaid and unsolicited endorsement of the Sony Sport. No animals were harmed in the making of this ode. The Sony Sport however did receive a shiny new piece of duct tape.

Keep on Grooving Gang
I’m out


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Reveal

Here it is! Me, minus about two pounds of hair.
Gracie kept standing in front of the camera. For some reason, she thought that the picture should be of her!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Yes, I am aware that the last picture is about the grossest thing ever. I find it disgusting, and it's MY hair. It looks like a wild animal. I apologize if you are repulsed. I feel your pain.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Distracted By Shiny Things

This lovely bit of rusty metal is our former kitchen faucet. Last Sunday (because things always break on Sundays), I noticed a small puddle on the kitchen floor. I traced it, I thought, to one of the pipes under the sink. David has never professed to be a plumber, but when he got home, he changed out that pipe. He did a bang up job, but...still leaking. So he changed another pipe. Still leaking. After much fussing and a WHOLE lot of cussing, he determined that the leak was coming from the faucet.
After picking a new faucet, my dear non-plumbing husband changed installed the new one. It works great and looks good! AND, as an added bonus, now we have a sprayer. Thank you David!

Ernte Fest 2009

For those who aren't from around here, a little background: Ernte Fest is a German festival held in Freistatt, Missouri every August. It's hosted by the Freistatt Lions Club as a fundraiser for various charities. It's also an excuse to drink beer, eat brats, and play bingo - in no particular order. One of the highlights is the polka music. They play the Chicken Dance with increasing frequency as the night wears on, hence the very flattering chicken hat. :)Any guesses as to what Kevin is doing in the background of the picture below?We didn't ever win at bingo, but Todd did win big at the put a quarter on a color game. I'm sure that's not the official name, but it's the best I could do. And by win big, I mean he could almost buy a box of popcorn with his earnings.My camera battery was dying, so I didn't get very many pictures. But it was a very good time!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shoes to Fill - Happy Birthday Dad!

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. I, his only daughter, forgot to write his birthday post (but didn't forget to wish him a happy birthday!). What triggered my memory was when I was watching a movie where a woman is working on a poem about her father. Her 8 year old daughter suggests that she add that he was her "very very very very very favorite person." That, of course, reminded me of my own dad.
It is hard to sum up my Dad in one little bloggy post. There is no doubt that I am his and he is mine. Since I was a baby, I've looked very much like him. When I bite my nails, I have his hands. I have the same brown eyes. Our bottom teeth are crooked in the same pattern (I should have worn my retainer better). We tease him about the calculator that sits beside his chair. You can watch the wheels of his mind turn, and soon the calculator is in hand. I wish that I had inherited his mind for business! He has a penchant for naps and breakfast foods and has the most ticklish feet of anyone I've ever known. He built a dollhouse with real glass windows when I was three, and a playhouse with real storm windows when I was 8 (I think I was 8?). Little did he know the precedent that set - in my first real house, he replaced all the windows! Early in life, I learned that the magic word wasn't "please." It was "Daddy." He patiently sang Silent Night to me at bedtime as I thought it was a lullaby. My dad taught me how to drive, bought me my first car, and helped me wash it - you've got to use some elbow grease! - he would remind his lazy daughter. He instilled in me the importance of education and put me through college - twice! He was endlessly patient, although our sameness meant that we often butted our stubborn heads together. Still do, occasionally, but only because there's so much him in me.Before the wedding, my dad and I debated whether or not we were going to do the Father/Daughter dance. He is not a dancer, nor am I. We considered the easy way out, but finally settled on dancing. He got some dancing lessons from our good friends, and the night of the wedding, we danced. And I'm so glad we did. It is a moment I'll never forget. Happy birthday, Daddy. I'm sorry this is late! Love you lots.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sticker Shock

Maybe when my car is older...

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Flags

Oh happy day! Look what was waiting in the mailbox on this rainy day! Two new garden flags! I know. I'm a giant nerd. But I like them. David? Where are you? Someone is going to need to break up all the cuteness with some dirty car parts.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

The recent changes at our house have prompted a new wave of home improvement. Nothing major, but cleaning up a few things. Last weekend I cleaned and shined the hardwood floors with Rejuvenate. A large dog and sunlight had really taken its toll on the wood floors, especially in front of the doors and windows on the east side of the house. Rejuvenate is the best thing I've found so far to make it look better.
The plan to keep the Discovery in the garage requires some changes in the garage configuration. David really wants to expand the garage, but for now we need to work with the space we have. Somehow, we have A LOT of stuff in the garage! Yesterday we embarked on the beginning of the garage project. David made a cool rack to hold the kayaks on the wall. It looks great! He even hung a kayak advertising banner behind them. While he was working on that, I emptied 21 full and partial gallons of paint into three 5 gallon buckets. All that paint had been left when we moved in. Thank you old owners! I can understand leaving a bit of the paint used in the house when you move for touch ups, but there was a ridiculous amount of paint for that use. I think I emptied the full rainbow into those buckets. There were 4 gallons of a color called Sunwashed Clay - a hideous color that I painted over soon after we moved in - wonder what they were planning to do with all that? I salvaged two gallons of a really pretty olive color and one gallon of light yellow. I can use those for something. The rest is headed to the hazardous waste place. Did I mention my gratitude to the old owners for that gift?
Today, I painted the inside of the back door in my favorite neutral - Eddie Bauer Wicker. Can you see the difference? The door on the left hasn't been painted, the door on the right has. It doesn't look dramatically different now that it's done, but it is neater and cleaner looking.
I resisted the temptation to paint the pantry in the new olive color, but not until I'd already emptied most of the shelves onto the dining room table. I decided that 2:00 on a Sunday is a little late to begin that project, so I cleaned the empty shelves and put it all back. That was a close call!

Hope you've all had equally exciting weekends! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Scenes from The Fair

It's all about the food. And the horses. And the manure pits. And the food.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tuley Mars - A Biography

In January of 2005, David sent me a link by e-mail to a dog on He was a four month old Old English Sheepdog who was deaf. I wrote back "Get me that puppy!" David responded to the posting, and a day later we were scheduled to meet Beethoven. He'd been given two baths the day we met him and was gorgeous. All black and white and very fluffy. He laid down in the floor of David's kitchen and promptly went to sleep.

We talked to his rescuer and were deemed a suitable family for Beethoven. The next day, we drove to Ozark and pulled up to a single-wide trailer full of rescued dogs to pick him up. David wanted to name him after a character in a Jimmy Buffett's A Salty Piece of Land - Tully Mars. We altered the pronunciation and spelling a little and Beethoven became Tuley Mars.

Within the first week, we learned that Tuley was a bit of a biter and not at all fond of being crated or climbing stairs. We suspect that because of the deafness, he did not learn to play bite with the other puppies, so his bites were painful but not mean. He eventually outgrew that stage, much to my relief. Stairs took longer for him to master. He'd spent some time as a puppy in a pet store until they realized he was deaf. In that time, he also developed "cage cripple" in his back legs and they were weaker than they should have been. He preferred to have all four feet on level ground, thank you very much. Tuley learned 2 hand commands - sit and lie down. He would eagerly perform both, but only for treats. Vanilla Woofers were a favorite of his.

In October 2005, we moved to our current house. There was no fence, so David began building one immediately. On moving day, while I was collapsed in an exhausted heap, David was digging post holes by the light of his truck headlights (and as you can see in the picture - larger equipment was soon needed). The fence was soon finished and Tuley moved in. The neighbors report thinking how special the dog must be who would live inside that fence. They were right. Tuley was pretty special.

In late 2005 and early 2006, Tuley really started limping on one foot. X-rays by two veterinarians revealed that his hip joint wasn't functioning properly. As he'd step, the ball would move in and out of the socket. So in April 2006, we took him to the University of Missouri for a total hip replacement. When he came home, he was supposed to be kept quiet - that wasn't all that difficult for Tuley. Being still and quiet was one thing that he was really good at!

For a while, he slept downstairs in the entry way, but eventually his desire to be where his people were overcame his fear of stairs. In May 2007, Tuley climbed up and back down the stairs in our house. It wasn't graceful, or quiet, but he made it! From then on, he slept upstairs with his people. The cats weren't any too pleased, and a gate had to go in the doorway of their room to keep him from breaking in and eating their dinner, but they adapted.

Tuley's big excitement in life was food. He loved dinner, even though it was just the same old food every time. If he was not fed at the time he decided it was dinner, he would pace and whine worriedly. We never once forgot to feed him, but I think he always thought there was that possibility.

As a puppy, there was no way to walk him. He would lay down in the street and refuse to budge. Even if you were crossing the street at the time. Once he was grown, I put the leash on him again to see what he would do. We walked up and down in front of the house. I was afraid to get too far in case he pulled his old stunt, but it seemed that he'd forgotten his aversion to walking. Tuley liked to go on occasional walks, and was the best companion. He'd walk close by your side as if he'd been perfectly trained. He wasn't trained though, it's just where he wanted to be. As we walked up and down Fremont, people often had to look twice at the giant dog strolling along.

Tuley liked small children. When he was a puppy, he'd try to "herd" our friend's two year old like a sheep. As he got older, he'd stand patiently and let kids pet, prod, and poke at him. At our garage sale one year, the only time he interrupted his rest in the ivy was to greet any little kids that might happen by. He became such a good leash walker that another friend's four year old was able to walk him around the park with no problem.

The last couple of weeks, Tuley hadn't been feeling well. We took him to his regular vet who treated him for an upper respiratory infection. But he wasn't getting better. He quit eating, and soon could not get to his feet. A visit to the emergency vet revealed that Tuley had chronic kidney failure. His unfocused eyes showed his panic. He couldn't walk. He couldn't respond. The very kind vet sadly reported that nothing could be done. The difficult decision was made, and we lost Tuley on July 27.

A dog of Tuley's stature - one hundred thirty three pounds at his peak - and sweet nature leaves a great big hole in our hearts and home. We will miss his big furry stinky self.