Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lunch with Friends

"Thanks for taking our picture sir. Would you mind taking another one with less head room?"
"Uh, thanks."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I've been under the weather lately. I guess it's that time of year when things start making their rounds. So, I'm trying to catch up with the posts that I've had in my head for a while.

I spent last Thursday afternoon and part of the evening at the local airport (probably where I started getting sick). The FAA requires airports to have mock emergency drills in order to prepare them for the real thing. The airport crew and surrounding units practiced on a stainless steel plane that cost a little more than a million dollars.
I spent half of my time on the ground getting close to the action and the other half of my time on a mobile tower/ladder thing, huffing and puffing up and down it (a steep stair master) so I could get some aerial views. My story is due tomorrow and I'm very proud of what I've accomplished with it.

Our Big Boy


Jack continues to amaze me. Maybe it's time I quit thinking of him as a baby and remember that he's going to be 3 years-old soon. He continues to do well with his potty training. He's great at number 1, still figuring out number 2. I love the fact that bowel movements on the potty are a cause for joy when it comes to children.
Jackie is starting to "read." He interprets pictures in books including this children's Bible. Tonight, he looked at the following two pages,

And said, "One time, it started to rain and stormy." I asked, "It was storming?" "No," he replied, "stormy." Apparently, he didn't appreciate his mom's assistance with the story. The children's book has several classic Bible stories. He starts each story with, One time..."
We watched the Charlie Brown Halloween special tonight. I loved sitting together and sharing this special show with my boy. Growing up, I loved watching the Charlie Brown cartoons. The Snoopy Red Baron sections scared Jack a little. At one point, Jack leaned his head on my shoulder and said, "I love you mommy." Ah....

Sunday, September 26, 2010


My dad drove his 1931 Plymouth for the first time in a parade this weekend. It was a nearby parish and town's 175th anniversary celebration. Jack helped Grandpa and Grandma throw out candy.
Mom bought huge bags og tootsie rolls totaling more than 1,000 pieces, but it still wasn't enough. There was a large crowd and lots of children with grocery bags.
Jackie's first parade was a success! Check out the tootsies in his hand.
I saw my alma mater high school band perform. The golden girls are not so golden anymore. The twirlers and flag bearers used to wear sequined golden onsies. They're a little more covered up now. How times change...for the better.
I shouted, "Go flutes!" I couldn't help myself. Once a flautist, always a flautist.
The band has a dog mascot now.
My old bus driver, Buddy, with his sports car.
Local Catholic kids dressed as a priest and nun.
I thought this kid was asleep but he was digging for more candy.
Please do not feed the dinosaurs.
Funny police officer at the end of the parade, said things like, "Watch out for the patties (horse poop)."

The Resting Place

Back home, just a little west of where my parents' home sits, once sat an old house. The old structure has been gone for years, but part of the metal fence that once ran around it still stands although very aged, twisted and bent from the elements. Within this fence, is the kitty cemetery. When I was a little girl, we began burying cats here that died on our farm. They were dear friends of mine and deserved a proper burial. That is where Max was buried last week. It's a peaceful spot with a large tree providing shaded protection and a rosebud offering beauty. It's where Pixie, our cat that passesd away last year, rests, joining Precious, my sweeet kitty from college.

Last Friday foretells what is to come in the future. We have two remaining kitties and both were born around the same time, both are more than 10 years old. All we can do is provide them with a loving home until they return to their heavenly home someday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sad News

We had to put our cat, Maxwell Octavious, Max for short, down this afternoon. Poor little guy. He had a problem with his colon and hadn't been eating or going to the bathroom very well for days. We adopted him from the Humane Society more than seven years ago so we never knew how old he really was. Because of his small Persian nose, he was a proficient snorer. His greetings to me used to sound like he was saying in a drawn out voice, "Mom." It wasn't until tonight that I realized I hadn't heard him say that in a while.

It's pretty hard holding your kitty and knowing that they are not going to be with you much longer, but, I think it's only fair that they have someone they know and trust with them in the end. Before the shots were administered, I sat with Max for a little while in the veterinarian's lobby. One customer addressed us, saying, "Poor kitty, sick?" I tried to croak out, "He's going to heaven," but the guy didn't hear me and said, "Get better soon kitty." Thankfully, the staff took pity on me and let me sit in a back room with Max.

I heard Chicago's "Hard Habit to Break" song this afternoon and it made me cry, like pretty much everything else today.

I guess I thought you'd be here forever.
Another illusion I chse to create.
You don't know what ya got until it's gone
And I found out a little too late.

I know Max is in heaven which is obviously a much better place than here but I was totally unprepared for his condition today. He was supposed to go in for dental work. He wasn't supposed to be in so much pain that he needed to be put down. Here's hoping that some of the images from the following poem come true someday.

Rainbow Bridge
author unknkown

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Max, please find your sisters, Precious and Pixie, and wait for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend in Review

"I put a spell on you."

We had a wonderful weekend spent with family and friends. On Friday night, we headed to Jack's birth family's school for their carnival. If I remember correctly, the carnival raises funds for the school's year book. We had a fun time playing games and using the tickets that we won to buy some little toys.

We joined family for church and dinner on Saturday evening. This verse read from the gospel of Luke that evening always reminds me of adoption, "If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?" When we adopted Jack, the state required that we wait six months until we could finalize his adoption. In the meantime, we were visited by our social worker three times. These visits were intended to check on us to see if we were being good custodians. In adoption, the birth family entrusts you with their child. During the six month wait, you hope that you will eventually be given what is "yours" in the eyes of the state. Of course, that finalization didn't cut Jack off from his birth family but it did make things official. We could officially call our little man our son. 

Today, we joined family for breakfast at IHOP - great company and good food. Then we visited Grandma and Grandpa. Jack has a Grandma and Grandpa song. When he started singing it this morning, I knew we were headed back to my home town. We had a lot of fun hanging out with my parents, Aunt JeNae and Meaghan and Garrett. Meaghan and Jack had fun trying on her I Carly hats from Grandma.

Jack is doing very well for potty training with number one. Number two still needs work.

I can't believe tomorrow is Monday and my legs are hairy again. (sigh)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Big Moments

Jack is starting to potty on the big boy potty. Plus, I shaved my legs tonight. And tomorrow is Friday. Can it get any better than this? :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Adoption Blessings

Since we have been blessed by adoption and have such a wonderful experience with the new family and friends it has brought into our lives, I give positive "testimony" to whoever I meet. Occasionally, people are surprised at how much openness we have in the relationship. "It would make me feel insecure," they may say. I may have felt that way too before meeting Jack's birth family. But because of this great love, Jack's aunt Jay froze with him this past weekend because he wanted to swim at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Even cousin Chris (below) and uncle Dawson (not shown) braved the chilly water.
He wore cousin Allysa out. When Jack couldn't find her, he'd ask, "Where my friend?"
We watched as Sam's husband Josh opened a package containing a flag that had been flown over the U.S. capitol on their wedding day from Congressman Luetkemeyer. It was a wonderful day to spend with family and friends but one tinged with sadness. Josh is being deployed in a couple of months after training so it was a party in his honor. We will all miss Josh as he serves his country. We are very proud of him and will anxiously await his return. 
Thank God for the blessings of family.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Week in Review

What a great week! First, it was short. And it ended with a fun lunch with some girls from work. In-between I did a stand-up for a story in which a butterfly floated through the middle of it. And I said my lines without flubbing them. My college journalism teacher would be so proud of me. Also, I helped a co-worker with his PSA shoot featuring a couple of police officers. It's fun meeting these individuals on shoots, but I'd still freak out if they pulled me over.

Strange Sites at Work

A massive renovation has been going on in the city building next to us which means loud noises during the day when my co-workers and I are trying to work. Can you find the mispelled word?
What I non-fondly call the cattle guard. Meant to keep people from wandering down to the basement. Makes a real loud noise when it bangs on the stairs. Don't let it hit you on the way out.
Highway to massive annoyance.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Would you sink your teeth into this football weinie? Folks at the University of Missouri created this sports dog for football fans. It's not something I would relish. Looks like a slab of ham from a county fair 4-H competition.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Congratulations Doug!

My brother Doug was promoted to the rank of a major today. It was a family affair.
I really wanted to get in the tank.
 Mom modeled it.
Dad talked tank with a higher-up.
Ah...the classic I take a picture of you, you take a picture of me pic.
According to Jack's alphabet book, this is a unicorn beetle. Very cool looking, but unfortunately, it was dead.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Magic House

We had planned to visit Grant's Farm in St. Louis on Saturday but we had a late start so we settled for the Magic House. I hadn't been there since grade school so it was neat to go back and see the museum through Jack's eyes.
"Can I get a price check on these things?"
We hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend with family and friends.