31 August 2014

Best Things About August

August has really flown by quickly!  Our mild summer was overtaken by the blast of August heat.  It felt good to stay indoors.  We had our 10 month warranty visit by our builders.  It is hard to believe we have almost been in the house a year. 

My favorite things about August have nothing to do with the heat or the builder!  I have my list posted below, with a little explanation following about each, and what made it special.

1.  A community in action:  New Town had a builder/developer purchase some acreage away from the Founder, who gave the new owner permission to take the land out of New Town.  This would be a bad move for the home owners and property owners and business owners.  The acreage would hold about 300 New Town homes and that is a source of revenue we will need to keep our commons (green space, lakes, canals, playgrounds, ampitheater) safe and well maintained. We formed a group, organized a petition, gathered over 800 signatures, arranged a speaker and got a bunch of neighbors at the first step, Planning and Zoning.  With the passion of several well spoken neighbors and a great speech by another, we were able to convince the P & Z committee to vote no to the request by the builder!  Such a great victory!  Our work continues, we meet with the city councilmen in September.

2.  The Katy Perry concert was a blast!  We waited through two preshows which were long but she was definitely worth the wait!  Lots of glow-in-the-dark jewelry and funky clothing.  Her energy was amazing!

3.  My Pampered Chef party was a blast, and not only because I was able to get so many goodies!  My best friend from school, Lisa King Whitener, decided to come all the way from Fredericktown!  I was floored!!  Lots of neighbors came too, which was so very touching.  We had a great time and our consultant was so knowledgeable and helpful.

Terri and Lisa reunited after 30 years!
4. Bob and I went to see the Packers play the Rams.  It started off badly though, because our tickets were declared invalid at the check in.  It seems that our tickets had already been checked in!  The ticket office gave us seats and we called Stubhub who returned our money and offered a $100 voucher for the next time we ordered tickets!  I am glad they upheld their policy but our tickets were on the 50 yard line, right behind the Packers!!  So sad to not get to sit there.  We ate at 360 afterwards, though.  Beautiful restaurant high above the city.  Beautiful view!

5.  We visited Bloomington to see Ashley and Eric.  Lots of stuff to do, mostly happy to see Eric back from his internship in Chicago and getting ready for his last year of undergrad school.  Love going to Bloomingfoods Farmer's Market!

6.  We traveled to Nixa to see our second great grand niece christened by her grandfather, Bob's brother Gary.  What a special event that was!  

Mizzou started their second season in the SEC.  I am excited to see how we do this year.  A repeat victory of some bowl game would be a great ending!!  Hoping that we would get to go and see them win, too!

Looking forward to all that September will offer the Steffes family.  Until then, hugs, prayers and God's blessings on all.

09 August 2014


Our gardens have been looking good this summer.  We have a few plants that just aren't happy where we planted them and that needs to be dealt with, but for now, we are mostly happy with our choices. 

The crepe myrtle seems very happy with its location, but the lilac does not.  We will try to replant the lilac in the fall.  The lilac is close to the dining area window and I was hoping for lilac scent to permeate the house this coming spring.  I am probably not going to see that happen.

Both crepe myrtles pictured here are the same one!
The stella d'oros did fine but the purple coneflower did not.  I will try them again as I really love the wild flower look and they typically bloom all summer.  One of my hydrangeas is great and the other nearly dead and they are side by side!!

The astilbe made it on one side of the firepit but not the other.  I love their feathery flowers so I will try them one more time.  Hopefully they will take this fall.

Our red flame maple made it on the third try, but one is leaning and needs to be straightened.  We wanted our landscape company to do it because we don't want to invalidate the warranty.  However, he's not come after a few attempts.  I am not sure what to do!

Plans for the fall:  plant some spring bulbs, replace the dead or dying plants, and add some outdoor lighting. 

The hydrangea to the left is the one who is unhappy.

My favorite piece in the garden!

The lilac is to the direct right of the set of windows.  Not happy, either.
The backyard was on the New Town garden tour in June, 2014.  It was fun to have our neighbors over and to have the pressure of a deadline to help us get it done! 

01 August 2014

Dinner at Home

Bob loves to cook and lately we've had absolutely no meals at home since I have been working in Columbia.  Last night we were both home so Bob stopped by the grocery store to pick up some things for  dinner.  I could tell he was excited about cooking and so I was excited about what he was going to make.

He came home with an ahi tuna steak, asparagus, and potatoes.  He seared the steak (forgot to turn on the fan, though, and my, our alarm system is LOUD), roasted the potatoes and asparagus.  When he plated our dish, he put a corn salsa made by the GlenMark farms here in New Town on the plate first, with the fish on top.  The white sauce is a horseradish cream sauce that we love with veggies and fish.

Typically Bob will blacken a tuna, but this time it was just a sear with a few great spices.  I loved the crust on the fish and Bob had it a perfect medium rare.  The asparagus were still crisp and the potatoes roasted on the outside and a creamy texture inside.  Delish and we didn't even think about having dessert!