Saturday, June 30, 2007

Summer Saturday

Aah, today was a good day. The weather has been cool and cloudy enough to open the windows and let the fresh air in.

The girls and I finally got around to painting the baseboards in Katie's room. Tonight Mike put together the daybed from Grandma Weez's house. Brother-in-law Brad was kind enough to bring it from Mom's house last week before the big cleanup day. The pieces of it (mattress included) have been sitting in our living room ever since! It will be nice to have Katie's room put together and to have the living room back.

I also painted the hallway, well part of it. I'm off work until next Thursday (woohoo!) so I'll get it finished in the next couple days. It hasn't been painted since we moved here 13 years ago!

The hallway I painted--not an exciting shot, but I'm excited because it's so clean and white! It had been getting pretty scruffy-looking.

This is a close up of a stitching my mom gave me for my birthday back in 1995, right before Emily was born. It means a lot to me because it's inscribed to me on the back.

Here are some pictures of Shiloh. He's part beagle with some bassett in him. We've had him almost five years. We're not sure of his age, but you can see the gray coming in on his face. He's a very sweet, yet stubborn dog. Look at those sad eyes. He really puts on a show with guests, giving everyone that pitiful "no one pays attention to me" look!

I grilled pork chops and potatoes tonight! I mentioned in an earlier post that I was never a Girl Scout and never bothered to learn how to grill or barbeque. I figured I should finally learn at age 43! I kind of created this marinade on my own (basing it on a few recipes I found on the internet). I used Italian dressing, steak sauce, onion salt (since I didn't have any onions) and fresh ground pepper. It was yummy, if I do say so myself! Although I did lose one pork chop through the grill. It fell all the way to the bottom so there was no rescuing it.

Here Shiloh is hoping I will lose one of the porkchops in his vicinity!

I set up the bookshelf I got from Mom's house. It's a nice addition to the clutter in the basement! Actually it was nice to get all the books off a table and into some organized order. Most of the books on the top shelf are ones I have acquired through and hope to pass on one of these days.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Dumpster Full of Memories (um, well maybe that's not the word for it!)

Look at those white "trash" Mintmans! HA! We rented a dumpster and got together for a major clean-up at Mom's house, getting ready to have it appraised and sold (the house, not the dumpster). Ironically, today is the six-month anniversary of Mom's death. Left to right: Chris #5, Marty #4, Lauren #3, Barb #2, me #1 (hey, we're in order and didn't even plan it that way!) Look closely at Barb's face. This is the only time you will see it on this post!

Aw, cool man! Marty found my Adam Ant album!!

"Look what I found!"

Barb strums on an old guitar while decked out in her biohazard garb. Marty sticks the donkey in front of the camera and yells, "Jackass!" (It's a Mintman thing--you wouldn't understand!) Note that Lauren (in the background) is the only one working at this point.

Boot to the head! Check out the junk room almost all cleaned out. Later on when we're finished I'll post "before" and "after" shots. Right now it's still looking kind of scary. Hard to believe at one time Marty and Chris shared a room in this spot!

Barb tries on Mom's wedding dress! It has been nicely preserved these past 45 years. However it smells a bit like pickles or something. Eww! Growing up, Mom always said I would inherit her wedding necklace, a family heirloom (and I did), and Barb was to get her wedding dress. We're thinking of selling this to a vintage clothing shop. It's still in good shape but none of us really care to keep it.

Another great find--the plastic nativity set! Gram gave this to us when we were all little. It has its own unique plasticky smell that reminds me of the holidays. At Christmas we would fight over how it was arranged under the tree. Finally we settled on getting our own day to arrange it each to our own liking. I guess we'll have to take turns having the nativity set each Christmas as no one wants to break the set up.

It's filling up fast!

Chris and brother-in-law, Brad, replaced two posts in the front. Brad also power-washed the house. It's starting to look better already!

This painting hung in our living room most of my childhood. Barb remembers being scared of it for some reason. I remember thinking about the scene a lot and asking Mom questions like who was in the boat and where were they going? The painting has been in the basement for years and not worth cleaning up so I opted for the digital memory of it (cobwebs and all).

We're into some serious cleaning now!

Action shot of Marty chucking some old pickles into the the dumpster! We were trying to break the glass on an old door. Finally Chris settled it all with the sledge hammer (below). Again, good ol' Mintman family sense of humor. I think we had more fun heaving-ho'ing the junk into the dumpster than anything else!

It's hard to believe we filled up that dumpster. It's coming along, but we still have a lot to do!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Trashbag Full of Memories

We had a leaky pipe in our basement for a few days. As a result I had to throw out hundreds of stuffed animals that the girls have accumulated over the years. I saved a few special ones and was able to rescue a bagful for charity.

As I tossed the mildewy critters into the bag, the memories flew by one by one, Barney and Baby Bop--how they went with us everywhere, scores of Beanie Babies (yes, I trashed them!)--memories of Katie's Beanie Baby Birthday party (her idea!) back when she was 7 or 8; countless, nameless, baby dolls. Even some stuffed animals I didn't recognize. They were stuffed (no pun intended) to the roof of the Little Tykes play house unfortunately right where the water was leaking under the wall.

I knew someday I would have to get rid of them. It's just sad to let go sometimes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Go Away, Paris

I saw this on Suzanne's blog. It's hilarious! Has there ever been a celebrity who gets so much publicity for doing nothing (basically)? And as much as I can't stand it, I still find myself reading the news stories on her. Arghhh!!

Go away, Paris!

On another topic. . .

I have never been a Girl Scout, so growing up, the barbequing was always the responsibility of my GS sisters. Then I got married and it was Mike's job. Now that we have the new deck, I decided we needed a grill and I need to learn how to use it. Tonight was my first experiment with grilling burgers. I didn't take any pics (you should be glad), but can you say, "crunchy"?! Well, thankfully I had extras so Shiloh got to enjoy the extra crispy ones!

Marshmallow Frosting

I was telling my friend Stella that I am going to miss Mom's chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting on my next birthday. That's one of the little things I did not think of amidst getting through the funeral, handling the estate paperwork, and getting Mom's house ready to sell. It suddenly hit me awhile back that this coming August 13, I won't be tasting that delicious cake :o( I never bothered to ask Mom how she made that frosting because....well, I guess we always assume Mom will be there.

So I was thrilled when Stella brought this book into work yesterday and is letting me borrow it has the recipe for marshmallow frosting! Yippee!!

Mom always swore she didn't use any marshmallow in it. It was "just egg whites and sugar." Since I don't know what I'm doing, I'll use this recipe to start. Here it is if you would like to try it!

Marshmallow Frosting

(Makes 3-1/2 cups--enough to frost a 2- or 3-layer cake. Prep time: 5 minutes)

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 large egg whites

1 jar (7 ounces; 1-1/2 cups) marshmallow creme

1. Place the sugar, water, and egg whites in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, beating continuously with an electric hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. If your hand mixer has a cord, make sure to keep it away from the burner.

2. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the marshmallow creme and beat the mixture with the mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 minutes more.

3. Use at once to frost the cake of your choice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More of my life

Westport Plaza--This is a mere 3 or 4 minute walk from our house. It houses two hotels, several restaurants, a few happening weekend hotspots, a theatre in the round, and a shop or two. When the girls were really little, we would pull them in the wagon and feed the ducks at the lake.

Ah, a little getaway just two minutes from our house!

St. Louis Bread Company (aka Panera). Remember my earlier post that said I was going to get some gooey breakfast thing? We ended up going at lunch time. I opted for the healthy strawberry and chicken salad (yum) with my yummy IC Mocha (what a combo!) Here Katie is saying, "MOM! We look like dorky tourists taking pictures in Bread Company!"

Me and my girlies!

Okay, here is Mike. He noted that he wasn't featured in my blog. Here you go, dear!

This is what he actually looks like--working all the time! Mike's a freelance proofreader and editor. I tried to help him with his work once but had to go take a nap after 15 minutes. (Yawn!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Random bits of our lives (sounds like a soap opera!)

I changed my profile pic because my sister Barb said it looked like I didn't have hair! I liked it because it shows off my Mother's Day flowers Mike got me and also serves as a good blubber cover! :o)~ But here's a good shot of the flowers sans me appearing to have no hair! You can see our cool new sunroom too. That's not a ghost outside the window. It's Emily on the deck!

Emily and I being silly making a self-portrait!

Katie and her favorite way to spend the day (Other than being one of the top posters on her favorite message board!)

I'm usually very critical of pics of myself, but this one I like. I'm expounding on some subject to my friends, Sue and Stephanie, after Katie's 8th grade graduation.

Painting Katie's room "Isle of Capri" blue!

Who's that conehead?

Summer scrabble sisters! (How many points for that?)

A Tribute to My Dad


November 19, 1933 - January 20, 1995

"What the world needs now--is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just--too little of..."

That was a song my dad used to sing to me and something I try to live by now.

"Some day, when I'm awfully low, When the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you... And the way you look tonight. "

Dad taught me to dream and to dance. He gave me my love of storms and taught me to sing my heart out, no matter what I sound like! I learned from my dad that I could be whatever I dreamed.

It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.

-Anne Sexton

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday Morning

I love Saturday mornings! The whole family's asleep right now. I like to wake up and go out on the deck to spend some time with God. It's the best way to start a day!

Check out the new chairs I bought for the deck/patio/wherever-I-feel-like-setting them! Emily and I went to Garden Ridge in pursuit of modeling clay for a summer school project. We didn't find the clay, but I did find these cool chairs. And what a steal - $30 each!

Now I'm off for my morning walk. I've been trying to walk a couple miles each day since I was inspired by my friend and co-worker, Diana, who walked 50 miles in 3 days for MS. When I exercise to lose weight, I always end up failing. Since tax season ended, I find that when I exercise I feel so much BETTER. So that's my purpose now--good health, and if I lose a few pounds along the way, that would be great!

Of course I'll end my walk with a trip to St. Louis Bread Company (Panera, to those of you outside of St. Louis) for an IC Mocha and some deliciously-sweet, high-carb treat, disguised as breakfast food!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Grant's Farm

Here are my beautiful girls, Katie (14) and Emily (11). We went to Grant's Farm a few weeks ago. Grant's Farm is run by the Busch family (of Anheuser-Busch fame). It's a free animal park open to the public. It's my favorite place to take out-of-town visitors.

The camel was my favorite! He was so adorable with those big, brown eyes! Here I am talking baby-camel talk to him, i.e, "Are you a good camel-boy? Yes, you are! Oh-da-baby!" (adapted from baby-beagle talk!)

Katie's not too sure about the camel!