29 August 2010

I am so Lucky!

I work with a great bunch of people! I admire my fellow administrators as administrators but also for the kind people they are and for how they manage to raise such beautiful children.

Thank you, Jeff and Jane, for opening your home to us!

Tonight our administrative team met for a bbq. It was so fun to be able to relax with one another and spend some quality time together. We have tremendous cooks on our team so the food was w*o*n*d*e*r*f*u*l!

28 August 2010

Buying a "New (to me) Car"

I drive a Honda CR-V and love it. It is so reliable and functional. I bought it new from Reagan Honda in 2004 and have put 115,000 miles on it driving it to and from work and on various vacations. For awhile now I have been wanting a different car, something that will be fun to drive to and from work. I commute 30 miles one way and since I spend about an hour in the car a day, I wanted to really enjoy the experience!
I started out by searching the internet. Just spent some time looking here and there for various cars.  I did a little looking in town and when Bob and Ashley went to St. Louis for a doctor's appointment, I had them look at a couple of cars there as well.

Nothing was really catching my eye.  I started watching every car I saw on the highway and when one caught my eye, I'd look to see what it was.  I started noticing that I really liked Chryslers.  So I started to focus my research on Chrysler products and discovered the Sebring and it was  LOVE!!  I found three in the immediate area and made plans to test drive them on Friday.

I drove a white one with a hard top that was really pretty at Capital City Nissan.  I then went to Auffenberg Motors and drove a pretty gray one.  I loved the ride!  I had one more to check out in Columbia at Joe Machens Toyota.  Bob and Ashley scouted it out for me while I was in class.  Ashley took photos for me and I could tell I needed to see it.

After class I drove into Columbia to meet the crew at JM Toyota.  The car was in the back, with the top up.  I loved the color and the black top.  My salesman, George, put the top down and inside was gorgeous!  So much prettier than the other interiors plus had a warranty, Sirius radio, Bluetooth, and was a year newer than the other two I drove on Friday!  Plus.... it was RED!

We made the deal on Saturday (today!) and I am to  pick it up on Monday.  I am excited to own my first convertible!

PS... My salesman at Capital City Nissan sent me a nasty text when I told him I had made a deal at JM Toyota.  After I thanked him for his work in helping me,  he responded with, "Thank you.... for nothing."  He went on to ridicule me for not buying local.  I do buy local, when my local dealers have what I want.  This time that didn't happen.  Just wanted you to know that it really is "buyer beware" out there... beware of rude salespeople!

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22 August 2010

Fun Weekend!

Ashley (and Bob!) planned a fun weekend for Eric and me. Friday night we headed to the State Fair. We visited our favorite vendors, the Agri Missouri building, the University building and the Commerce buildings and then headed to see Darius Rucker in concert. Unfortunately, Darius got in only three or four songs before the weather made it impossible for him to sing.

On Saturday we drove into St Louis and headed straight to Soulard for some mini doughnuts. They have officially replaced Krispy Kremes as our family favorite. Bob, Ashley and Eric love the chocolate iced ones, I am all about the plain ones.
We had lunch at Cheese-ology where we had the most scrumptious macaroni and cheese dishes. They were served in cast iron skillets. I had a mac and cheese that also had chicken, garlic and four cheeses. It was awesome!

We did some looking at Pet Smart (cute animals being adopted!) and then shopped at World Market and Target.  We visited the Historic Village at Faust Park in Chesterfield.  It was so fun!  The gardens were in full bloom and the veggies were ripe and ready for picking.  We saw some scarecrows, too!  It made me anxious for fall~

Scarecrows in the Faust Village Garden

Herb gardens    

I love this photo~ I did some editing with iPhoto!

We headed to our hotel, the Hotel Indigo (in Central West End) and took a nap!  We were worn out after our late night concert and early morning start!  Then we headed to the Cards game.  We had dinner out at a BBQ put on by a bar and had really great burgers.  Our tickets were in the Casino Queen Porch which was fun, but whoa... what a party place.  It was loud!  The Cards won!

We took the Metro to the game and back to the hotel.  It was a fun experience.  Lots of people use the Metro.  Besides being fun, it is really cheap!

On Sunday we headed out to Frontenac Mall and did some shoe shopping and then headed to Fritz's for lunch.  We had the most amazing root beer floats!!  They were yummy.  It was the first time I had seen chocolate ice cream in a root beer float.  See!  You can teach old dogs something new!

15 August 2010

Summer's Bounty

I received a 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes from a teacher on Friday. They had a bumper crop of tomatoes while I only had a few from our plants this year. I have never had that many all at once though so I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them.

I love pasta so I thought I would give spaghetti sauce a try. I don't like to can so I searched the internet for a freezer variety of spaghetti sauce and found one on allrecipes.com It is a good site to go to to find recipes.

I sauteed the other veggies, onions, peppers and garlic in some oil, then chunked up some tomatoes.  I used fresh oregano and basil from our herb garden.  I put them all in the crock pot which worked beautifully.  They simmered for three hours and then I used the immersion blender to get a smooth consistency. 

We got six two cup containers from the 5 gals of tomatoes.  That sauce will taste so fresh this winter when we have our pasta.  It is definitely something I will look forward to!

13 August 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower

I love the night sky.

For many years I have enjoyed watching the night sky for various planets, meteor showers, comets, whatever interesting events that may come into it. Tonight was no exception!

Every August we are given the opportunity to see the Perseid Meteor Shower but some years are better than others. This year was one of the good ones. With a waning moon that set early, we had dark skies with little interference from clouds. I saw my first meteor around 10:50.

The meteors were slow coming on but picked up speed around midnight. I didn't see the 100/hr that some said we'd see, but I bet I saw 30!

I don't have a good enough camera to pick up the meteor shower, but if you go to National Geographic, they always have great photos!

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11 August 2010

Summer Refreshment

Bob and I have started to make this wonderful watermelon lemonade.  We tried it at the crepe place in St. Louis and decided we wanted to try it out ourselves.

First we juiced a watermelon, enough to get 1 c juice.  Then we made a lemonade using a frozen concentrate.  We poured the watermelon juice into the lemonade. 

I strained the juice to remove the seeds and pulp.  The drink is wonderfully refreshing on these so hot and humid days!

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10 August 2010

National S'Mores Day!

roasting a marshmallow
Today is National S'Mores Day!

Have you seen the pre-packaged s'mores kits that are available at the stores these days?  Not for me.
Have you seen the s'more makers?  Again, not for me.

S'mores are the quintessential summer treat.  Made for campfires and sitting around and eating the gooey goodness.  How do you make yours?

Our favorite way is to toast marshmallows black.  I mean, burnt to a crisp.  I should say, that's my way because Bob puts a perfect toast on his, and waits long enough for the inside of the marshmallow to be perfectly melted. 

My friend Jodi sent me some wonderful marshmallows.  They are called Campfire Marshmallows and they are huge.  She lives in Massachusetts and sent them to me because I couldn't find them here. 

Next I put Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips on a square of graham cracker.  I zap it in the microwave to soften the chips.  Then I place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate and another square of graham cracker on top of the marshmallow.  Then you bite into the goodness.  Getting sticky is part of the fun!

I have a couple of variations... one is to put a Reeses cup on the graham cracker, the hot marshmallow on top of the Reeses cup and then another graham cracker.  RICH but amazingly good.

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06 August 2010

Rooster Blog Party


My good friend Barb, from Bella Vista, is hosting a fun party in Blogland.  She has invited us to show our roosters!  You need to head over and check out her invitees and all their roosters!

You might remember that I am not a collector or decorator of roosters.  All I could do last year was this and this year, unfortunately, I won't do much better.  I always have fun at Barb's so I just have to participate!

This year I wanted to focus on a product that my ever lovin' Triplet sister Tammy introduced me to.  It is called Rooster Sauce, a garlic hot sauce that is mighty fine in many ways.  Tammy told me to use it in my Bloody Marys but I am not eager to smell like garlic first thing in the morning (I'm kidding).  It was awesome.
A bottle of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce produced ...

Tammy did not lead me astray.  I made mine the way I usually do, plain tomato juice, worchestershire sauce, a pinch of celery salt, fresh lemon juice, horseradish, a bit of olive juice, vodka (pepper vodka is good) and now, a bit of Rooster Sauce.  Tammy puts a meal on a stick in place of the celery and now I am liking that idea a lot.  Cheers!

I found these darling napkin rings  at a store in St. Charles.  Bob cooked this lovely dinner for us (nope, the salmon isn't from Missouri!) and I thought it all looked pretty together!

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03 August 2010

A year ago today...

pink ribbon
Bob and I were sitting in a doctor's office hearing the words, "Terri, you have breast cancer."

I still can't wrap my mind around it, even though I have had a partial mastectomy and lymph node dissection, which lead to a double mastectomy and lymph node removal, hysterectomy, breast reconstruction, 46 doctor's visits, 30 blood tests, more pain pills than I can count, and six months (so far) of Arimidex.  I was so blessed not to have had to go through chemotherapy or radiation.

I always believe that we go through these "lemons" for a specific purpose... and for me, I think I paved the way for Ashley when she was diagnosed with Crohn's.  I hope I helped her to be strong and to know that she is made of strong stuff.  Her ordeal was so much worse than mine, in so many ways.

I also learned how many friends I have and how much they love me!  My school was amazing as well as Bob's school, Lewis and Clark.  These people sent their love to us in the form of cards, flowers, food, gift cards, pictures and hugs.  We were never without hugs!  Special parents were there to support me, Rae Ann and Alicia were always there to help me with information and hugs and gifts.  Can't imagine how I would have survived school without them!

Lewis and Clark held a walk in my honor.  FOR ME.  The Student Council was totally awesome.  One of Bob's teacher's ran the entire length wearing a pink ribbon, in honor of me.  Both schools had pink ribbon days and my school gave me a going away assembly when I left before my second surgery.  One of my teachers did the Susan Korman Breast Cancer Walk in St. Louis and walked in my name.

Friends came to visit, to bring journals, advice, hugs, company and love to me.  I have never felt more supported. My great neighbor Susan always knew when to bring brownies.  I knew I wasn't going through this alone.

Two dear friends, Jenny and Myra, used their talents to make me something.  Jenny made me one of her Zippy Strippy Quilts (we all fight over it) and Myra quilted me a prayer shawl made with the most beautiful pink breast cancer fabric.  I took one to each of my surgeries with me.  All the nurses said they could tell I was well loved! 

Blog friends helped me by encouraging me to write and to keep track of my thoughts and feelings.  Special thanks goes out to Suzy, Barb, Judy, Kristen, and Kat.  My GLU friends, especially Tammy,  and GF friends were absolutely the most supportive people, even now.  I love you all.

I also met new friends, people who didn't know me at first, but who kept in touch through the phone or email and even met me for lunch.  Much love to Shay, Sharon, Gayle and Marcia.  

Naught Naught Insurance Agency sponsored me in their annual Relay for Life booth.  They raised lots of money, in the thousands.  Amazing.

My close friends never let me get feeling sorry for myself!  Linda, Barb, Charlotte, Karlene, Ashley, Carol, Sarah, Marsha, Tambra and Joey sent cards, flowers, emails, phone calls, ad whatever it took to make sure that I knew I was "just Terri without boobs."

My BUNCO group was simply amazing.  At the game before my surgery, they all wore Tshirts that said SAVE THE HOOTERS.  My friend Ashley has that photo on her Facebook profile.  Charlotte was the organizer for many activities, gifts, pick me ups and was the constant connection between me and the gang.  I love them all.

My family was incredible.  My mom, my sister, Tammi, my sister in law Joy, and my daughter Ashley were amazing.  They all helped take care of me immediately after surgery.  All of them worked with the bandages and drain tubes at least once! 

Most wonderful, is my husband Bob.  He never once complained, did all the housework, did all the cooking, wore all the T shirts (even the pink ones!), watched the drain tubes get yanked out and watched me have a hysterical laughing fit over it.  He's probably got stories to tell that I haven't even heard yet!

I was so fortunate to have wonderful doctors.  Dr. Roberts, my surgeon,  Dr. Kiekhaefer, my family practice doctor, Dr. Howard, my plastic surgeon, Dr. Schmidt, my anthesthesiologist, Dr. Ferris, my gynocologist, and all their staff made me feel safe and in good hands each time I had surgery.  I was lucky to be served in both Capital Region and St. Mary's.  We have such great hospitals in our city!!

I have so many gifts and cards and well wishes.  So many emails and Facebook comments that I have saved.  Still coming:  my cousin Mike and his wife Christy are walking in the Atlanta Susan Korman Breast Cancer Walk in my honor in October (I think) and my one year anniversary of being cancer free: October 29.

I also received many blessings from my doctorate cohort group.  I had my mastectomies right after my first class and had to miss my second class.  Suzy, Greg, Della, and Armand were instrumental in keeping me focused by their dedication to the work.  I could have found it very easy to slip into a "I can't do this" phase but with the help of these colleagues, I stayed driven to complete my doctorate on time!

This is inadequate but my heart is full and I will always be grateful knowing how much I was loved while I was still alive to appreciate it!

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02 August 2010

Metamorphosis Monday!


Susan at Between Naps on the Porch does a post called Metamorphosis Monday and has for 80 weeks!  I have loved going over to see the posts people have done and to get inspired to do some things around the house.  I always forget to take the before and after shots so you really can't see the big change.

On this particular post I am going to show you the before and after of our master bath remodel.  The reason I am so excited about sharing it with you is because my sister Tammi did the work!  Yep, she tore out the old cabinets, plumbing, and linoleum and installed a new double sink, plumbing and put in ceramic tile for us.

Tammi is a skilled carpenter.  She loves making things look beautiful and she did a fabulous job with our bathroom.  Take a look at the before...


and after!