Saturday, July 28, 2007

I Shoulda Had My Camera With Me!

Today was another clean-up day at Mom's. Lauren was the only sib who couldn't make it. Marty showed us pictures he had developed from old negatives he rescued (when the rest of us would have pitched them.) We were glad he saved them. They were pictures of Mom's side of the family and from Mom & Dad's wedding. It was cool to see them in color as all we've had were the black & white proofs they never returned (in typical Mintman fashion!)

You could tell Lauren "the cleaner" wasn't there, as the four of us stood around talking the whole morning, then went to lunch at Culpepper's. Finally we got to work sweeping and mopping the basement.

I joked that we should bring the hose inside the house and down to the basement, and Chris actually did it! All the good the mops and buckets of water were doing was slopping around mud water.

(And he offered all of us a drink just like in this cartoon!)
Then Barb and Marty started scrubbing the walls. Then Chris tore down the rotted wall between the laundry room and former junk room.

The next plan is to get rid of the remaining junk, slap some paint on the living room walls and hallway, shampoo the living room carpet, get the house appraised and then hopefully make a quick "as is" sale. It will be good to get the house sold so we can finish up with probate and go on with our lives.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Look how SKINNY I was!!

Okay, I'm just having fun with the scanner and old pictures now! I was in 8th or 9th grade in the above pic (getting ready to punch out Cousin Tim, I guess!)

Here are the cousins at Creve Coeur Lake around 1977 or so. Starting at the top: Barb, Marty, Tim, MJ, Lauren, Jean, Chris.

Times, they are achangin'....

Emily starts middle school on August 13th this year, my birthday (and Katie goes back the following week). When I was a kid, my birthday was always weeks away from the start of school (after Labor Day). I realize that I'm sounding like an old person ("You ARE an old person, Mom!" I hear Katie say!), but is it really necessary to make summer vacation end so quickly? I do realize schools today let out in May, but sheesh.

My 10th birthday (1973) - I wasn't even thinking about starting school yet in this picture!

Back in the "ancient" days before cell phones, MP3 players, and recorded TV shows, life was good. We had to use our imaginations. We went outside and played, even in the heat and cold. Now my kids are content to watch videos and play on the computer all day.

Me in 4th grade at McNair Elementary in Hazelwood, Missouri, circa 1972

Did I mention I had to walk to school 50 miles in the snow up a hill? ;o)

Guess what? Christmas is five months from today! Is that craziness or what? On the ride home from work today, a local radio station was playing Christmas songs, some kind of "Christmas in July" thing. I was enjoying the songs for awhile, thinking how different the weather will be then! But then tears started flowing because I thought of how horrible last Christmas was with Mom dying two days before. Then I thought, let me get the tears out now in July so when next Christmas comes, we can all be happy and remember the good times.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Life's a Beach!

We're back! Five relaxing days at the beach--my kinda vacation! We spent the mornings at the beach, afternoons relaxing, napping, watching cable TV (a treat for us!) and evenings at the pool. I really could get used to that kind of life. I have never thought much of the Panhandle. I guess I always thought it was just an extension of Alabama and Mississippi. I definitely would return. The soft, white sand and clear water was so beautiful. My sister-in-law Christine, thought it was just as pretty as Hawaii.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Busy Day

We're off for Florida early tomorrow morning!

But I have SO much to do today. I'm determined to come home to a clean house! This afternoon we'll be heading to Bethany Lutheran in Webster Groves for Gram's 98th birthday celebration. Actually it's the 18th year we're having the big shindig for Gram since "this may be her last birthday!"

Last weekend I went to a craft/hobby day at Barb's church. It was a relaxing, fun day and I actually got my Bangladesh album started.

Melanie, Emily and Sloan (granddaughter of a crafter there) got a little bored by the afternoon!

I will try to upload pics from our trip while we're there, but not sure if I'll have that kind of capability. Otherwise you'll just have to wait for our return!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sad News

Today I heard that news that Suzy Esstman passed away this morning. Suzy was the wife of one of our partners at work. She was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor over three years ago. Although I didn't know her personally, she was a vibrant woman, full of life and enthusiam. She leaves behind her husband and three young children. Our office will be closing at 10 a.m. Monday in order for everyone to attend the visitation/funeral. It will be a sad day.

Also today someone came to buy Mom's bed and bedroom furniture. They got a really good deal on it. Even though I'm ready to clear out the house in order to sell it and move on, it still was sad to see that furniture go. Mom and Dad bought it when they first got married. The dresser was used by my sisters and I at one time or another. I've said it before: it's hard to let go sometimes even when you know you have to.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


This morning I went for a 4.3 mile walk throughout the neighborhood. I love going out early in the morning and checking out the gardens and landscaping. I came across this funky, round house. How cool is that?! A little high for our budget though. This is what I love about Maryland Heights. You have your older, "cracker box" homes, average homes (like ours), new mini-mansions, and every now and then something cool like this geodome thingie.

On another, not-so-pleasant topic, I got the following email from Marty. He's been in charge of Craigslisting the junk left in Mom's house and he's been taking care of getting rid of the appliances. I will share his email with you, but let me warn's not for the weak-hearted (or if you just ate!)

Hi all,

The guy came over to Mom's at 8 this morning to get all the stuff in the basement...I helped him up with all of it, including one of the washers that was so rusted, the bottom was non-existent! Oy! We got the footlocker, as well. As we were putting the old "beer" refrigerator on his trailer, it happened.....I shudder to think of it again, but you must know....

The door slid open revealing the contents of the refrigerator from long, long ago...raw chicken (or the now empty styrofaom containers), lunchmeats, milk, eggs, butter, leftovers, much of it unidentifiable but firmly encrusted with enterprising egg cocoons. I was mortified. After controlling the urge to retch right there on the driveway, he politely told me that he couldnt take all that with him, so being an agreeable chap, I grabbed the empty trash can out of the carport and thanked God that I had brought my gloves (which are now in dire need of a good washing)and started the excavation. The guy was even nice enough to help, offering me $50 if I ate one of the pepperonies still unopened from the fridge. I politely declined.

So, dear family, picture me as Sherlock Holmes, sitting back, lighting one of Dad's pipes and coming to the elementary conclusion that THIS indeed was the cause of much of the smell that permeated (and still does) the house we grew up in. Think for a moment of your life and all that has happened to you in the last 15-20 years...this is my estimated guess of when the fridge stopped working, and yet no one bothered to clean it out. Sad, indeed. MJ, sorry I didnt get any pix for your blog, but the trashcan is still in the carport!!

Altogether now......"ssssssSICK!!!!!!!!!"

Friday, July 6, 2007

Vacation...all I ever wanted!

In a few weeks, we'll be traveling to this place:

Pretty snazzy, huh?

While we're gone, Shiloh will stay at
this place. It's kind of snooty for our tastes, but I can't see making him stay in a cage somewhere. He's going to be in doggy heaven with all those other canines running around. He's a very social dog!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Baby Aly Gallery

Aly and her daddy!

Gram meets Great-Grandchild #11 for the first time!

Aly gets the same treatment from Gram that we all got as babies!

Proud (but tired) dad and mom!

It's a's a's Super Baby!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Gram's looking good for almost 98!

Fun in the pool!

Uncle Marty provided entertainment for the kids (big and little!)

Lauren's been breathing too much of that green smoke!

Smoke follows beauty!

Time to eat! Brad and Mary Kate dig in.

Brad's mom, Carol, was the corn lady!

Evil Fire Cracker Man!

The other fire cracker man!

One of the last shots before my camera went dead (of course, I missed all the really good ones!)

Yay! I love this holiday :o) Especially after traveling to Bangladesh a year-and-a-half ago, I am ever so thankful for the freedoms and blessings we as Americans take for granted. Today we'll be going to my sister Barb's for the traditional pool party,barbeque, and fireworks. Check back later for pics!

God Bless America (Lyrics by Irving Berlin)
God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Extreme Exercise (for me, anyway!)

Yesterday I dropped Em off at summer school and then headed for Creve Coeur Lake. It's such a perfect getaway only five minutes from home! I walked around the lake which added up to almost four miles per my handy, talking pedometer. (I love how it tells me how many calories I have burned. I wish it would say, "You have Hershey bar....Keep walking!") It was such a beautiful view, walking around the lake. I wish I would have brought my camera along. I will definitely bring the camera next time!

On top of that, I also went to Curves in the afternoon. I love my Curves. It's just us women. No one is there to impress anyone. It's a good workout and good conversations too!

Needless to say, after all that exercise I was shot. So nothing got done around the house. Today my exercise will be running the stairs, doing laundry, and scrubbing floors (a great workout!)