Sunday, August 29, 2010

Caterpillar Tales

So, I noticed that my Mexican Butterfly plants outside our windows were looking a little "chewed on". Finally very early this morning this is what I found, not one of them, but at least two of them.

Look how he's stripping the leaf right off of the stem!!!

 So I believe in "catch and release"...they both went for a swim in our indoor "pool"!
(BTW, these are unedited with my new multipurpose lens that replaces my cheap kit lens that came with the camera. I love it already!!)

Jessi and Kurt's Brief Trip Home

Jessi and Kurt were able to grab a few days last week to come and spend some time with family and friends and celebrate both their moms' birthdays. Thank you both for your wonderful gift of time and love!
We loved every moment of it and I am tired but happy after seeing them off on their 6 a.m. flight this morning!

They got in on Thursday and we went to lunch then came home and chilled until Kurt's mom and dad came by to get them to go to what turned out to be a "cougar" bar for Beth's Birthday dinner.
They came in afterwards and we all sat around the fire pit in the backyard as the weather was beautiful and had a wonderful rest of the evening talking and laughing sharing memories of when Kurt and Jessi were little.

Matt Rowe stopped in and we shared "birding" stories and he regaled us with his stories and humor. Oh, he and Kurt went to the driving range for a bit. Evidently they are a bit rusty!!
 Gotta love Matt!

Then it was off to dinner Friday evening at The Iron Barley's Patio.
Fun. Awesome. And so sweet for Mama Marsh to have her children surrounding her and the Fred Man.
My girls!

Thank you Fred for an amazing birthday gift...AGAIN!
I DO claim this man as a son-in-law!
The good thing is he is now going to watch the Cards but not care:)
No more investing emotional energy in them.

My Other Daughter...Amazing Woman!

And Pretty...

The best son in the world!

Can you...



My Guys!

So, the food was in general pretty amazing and I did a foodie thing and took pics of everyone's food. Can you tell whose food each of these are? A few are obvious because I couldn't crop them in any closer. (No family members may participate in this contest.)

Hot Smoked Trout and Field Green salad with Barley Relish

Prime Rib! Mmmmm!

Roast Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Schnitzel and Spaetzle  with green beans.

Seafood Risotto  

Lightly breaded Chicken Breast over ...of course...barley.

Seafood Paella with Saffron Barley

If anyone matches all the correct people with the food they ordered lunch is on me!

Saturday Jessi had a full day of catching up with more friends ( Eileen was here Friday...OY!) and Kurt went to play golf with his dad. We ended the day with a wonderful meal off the grill and Erin came by to eat and hang out and transform Kurt with a stylin' haircut!!! 
I love them and miss them and I know that everyone was so glad to have some time with them on their three day visit to the Lou!

Morning at the Zoo With Sonya

A few weeks back we "accidentally" had Sonya spend the night. Well, it was awesome. However, an early morning start the next day prompted us to head off to the Zoo before it got too hot. What a great idea!

Why can we not enter here anymore?

One Excited, Happy Little Girl!

We rode the train LOTS! 

The tiger "cubs" were especially active.

We went to the "The Dinosaur Store" thinking that our 3 year old granddaughter had already gone to this slightly scary adventure ride. She loved it and laughed the whole time.

Then it was off to the carousel. Enough of the rides for Nonna. It was Poppi Fred's turn.

It was a wonderful Zoo morning, eating yummy Zoo food and creating precious memories.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It Takes So Little to Make Me Happy!!

So, we have loved and used our decks on our home like crazy for well over 10 years. The downside of wood decks is that there is some maintenance that needs to be tended to. Yes, even the "no maintenance" composite deck off of our bedroom needs to be deep cleaned from time to time. It's my favorite place to sit outside pre and post heavy bug season and have my coffee and quiet time in the privacy of our backyard and gardens. Very private.
When I moved one of our chairs on the side deck and sat down in it recently and it's one leg broke through some soft wood, we both knew there was no more putting this homeowner's project off!

So this is the back deck. Look at how nasty the composite decking was before Fred rented this toy...a power washer. They're awesome!!

He power washed the deck, the furniture, the siding, the shed, the concrete. Only the rental time agreement kept him from going on and on forever!

For those of you that have been to our house recently, this side deck (below) was so gross!!
Not now! That's the bare, clean cedar planking and it is so good to see it once again. I'll post pictures of it with the fresh stain and sealant tomorrow.

Here's the results of Fred's Labors...

This is what water does on a WATERPROOFED deck!! Yey!

Nice! (And the deck on the back is so pretty too!!!)

Anyway, it takes so little to make me happy and this is one of those little things. Thank you Fred. You rock!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My first birthday without a mom.

For my first birthday celebration without a mom God placed it on the heart of my sweet friend Marti to invite me up for BOTH of us to celebrate our first birthdays without our moms. It was definitely an inspired idea!

Thank you Marti!!
Marti's Birthday was August 8th, Mine was the 11th.

Our first day we lounged around her house, then went to lunch at the Webster House. A really fun restaurant and shop all housed in the restored rooms of the oldest schoolhouse in the Kansas City area. 

Then we went for full out decadence.

Oh yeah! One hour massage. European whirlpool baths with different temps and with optional waterfalls!

We went to dinner that evening at Justus Drugstore A Restaurant. An amazing little place tucked into the small town of Smithville in a rehabbed drugstore that has been in the owner's family for four generations! He opted out of the pharmacy career and pursued a career in culinary cuisine. Yummmm!!

Marti had the  Berry Napoleon and I had the Chocolate Mint Decadence. AMAZING!!!

Desert alone was worth the trip though the rolling hills of rural Missouri, but dinner was amazing!!!!!
(Sorry, these are all cell phone pics in low lighting.)

The next day was so sweet with flowers being delivered to Marti's from my guy, sweet messages being sent to my cell from so many of you, and to facebook, and emails and voice-mails. Wow! I am spoiled and loving it.

We had tears during our quiet times and sharing time and prayer time. And our playtime with Marti's Grandkitty, Corn, as well.

Then it was off to the Square in downtown Liberty for a quick breadfast before going to the new little water park. Soo fun and relaxing for a few hours before we were melting in and out of the water in the 100 degree+ heat!!

Next we went to Overland Park and I ingested way too much EVO and balsalmic vinegars doing a tasting at The Tasteful Olive. Quite an experience. I filled up on flavor and emptied my wallet!

Couldn't get the right lighting, but the two EVOs on the right are Tuscan Herb and Blood Orange!

Oh yeah. That is Vanilla and Chocolate Balsalamic! Gonna have some fun with these!

We went home after stopping in at the house where Marti's mom lived out the last months of her time here, a sweet opportunity to further connect with Marti's experience that so paralleled mine.

After watching a forgettable movie. What was it you say? See, I've already forgotten it, but we did chuckle a lot. We finished our night on her deck watching for meteors and seeing a few and having a sweet time of prayer.

Oh I had to photograph these for Fred. The '65? Fairlane was on the way TO KC.

The '50-'51 Chevy Truck was on the way HOME.

When I got home our friends the Orfs took us to fun new restaurant for a birthday dinner. It was the Fountain on Locust. I recommend it! Great salads and meals. Amazing ice cream drinks and desserts!
Then Friday, Missy had the idea a while back to take us out for my birthday to McCormick's and Scmick's at West County Mall. Omigosh! So wonderful!! I loved getting time with them sans kids, it kinda changes the flow of conversation:)
Anyway, I did gain 4 POUNDS last week!!! Too much birthday celebration?
NAH! You can never have too much!!!