Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloweenie!

Have you ever seen something more appropriate for me?? 

Happy Halloween! I hope EVERYONE finds the Great Pumpkin tonight!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Bringing our friends to CoMo

After our whirlwind 2 days in St Louis we headed home to show off a little of "home". We hadn't eaten since breakfast so 1st stop was of course Flat Branch . We have several places in town that we eat at a lot, but this is usually #1 on the short list. In the 8+ years I've been eating there I've never had a bad meal. Never. I'm so hard to please that that's saying something! Besides, beer was the theme of the week, so why buck the trend. I'm totally addicted to the sweet potato chips. Cinnamon, sugar and some kind of sour cream goodness to dip them into. I think I could eat every last one all by myself.   

Remember I said there were presents involved in this visit? Adam got multiple bottles of beer from several Alaska breweries. A couple of them are even available at Hy-Vee now. How's this for a beer name?

Oh look, more beer stuff! :o)  This growler caddy is pretty sweet. I was told I need to lock Adam and Todd in the garage for a week and see what kind of amazingness they come up with. Todd makes these and sells them at craft fairs and Saturday market. 

 THIS is my gift. It's "a dog that won't run away". :o) 

After a great night's sleep in my own bed we had a lazy breakfast, lots of coffee and some catch up. I'm so thankful for these friends. 

We did the "Tour of CoMo"  later in the morning and early afternoon. Campus, stadium, Team Store, then walked around downtown. The weather continued to cooperate like it wanted to show off a little too. 

Danee and Myla came out to visit for a while. Girlfriend can wrap the men around her chunky little finger can't she?

The rest of our time in Columbia was spent just hanging out, cooking and enjoying our time together. 



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vaca- Day 2 in St Louis

So day 1 in St Louis was pretty perfect. And this is the view that greeted me on day 2. 

Yeah, wow.

 We were all eager to get going and see what the day had in store for us. So off we went to find breakfast. Beautiful doesn't really begin to describe the weather. It was PERFECT. 

The fountain at Kiener Plaza was Cardinal Red.

Everywhere you went there was a reminder that the Cards were still in it. And as I sit to write this they are playing the Texas Rangers for their 11th World Championship. 

You can't possibly take guests to St Louis and not go to the Gateway Arch.  I'm pretty sure that everyone who stands at the base with a camera has this same shot. :o) The history of this landmark fascinates me, but what history doesn't? I think I'll hunt down the documentary about the planning and history. 

I think Todd was planning on how to make his own!

Poor Adam. He spent quite a while on the phone with the office trying to iron out some issues.

While he did that, we walked down the stairs to the water. Todd had to put his foot in the Mississippi River. Honestly it grossed me out and I kept hoping he didn't get some staph infection.  EEEWWW!

If you've never been to the arch, the ride up is not for someone who's claustrophobic. Those little pods are itty bitty. So even though Todd is not thrilled with tight spaces OR heights, Patty went ahead a got him a ticket. After we came down he did say he was really glad he'd gone up.

If you look toward the ground from the center window you can see the legs below you. It's a pretty strange feeling.

This is where we stayed- The Millennium Hotel. It was built in the late 60's and early 70's and in some ways it's dated, but what cool old girl she is. Someday I'd like to eat dinner at the rotating restaurant at the top. 

The older I get the longer my bucket list gets. At this rate, I'll be 150 before I die.

The obligatory pic of Busch Stadium. I think it's a rule to take it. 

Once we were finished downtown we headed out to get some free beer at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour . The highlight for me? The dalmatians were in the stables with the Clydesdales.  They were so patient with us! Actually, I'm pretty sure they were showing off.

I took SO many pictures of the cool buildings and architecture. 

2 beers each and a stop at the gift shop put us into late afternoon. Although we could have done a couple more days and not run out of things to do, we climbed in the truck and headed west. Time to show them CoMo and our home!  Besides, they brought presents and I was dying to know what they were. 



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chili Cook-off 2011

I'll go back to some more super amazing vacation, but I want to brag a little about an event that our office has had for the last 5 years.

3 days after I went back to work we had our annual Chili Cook-Off. In October 2007 we started a snowball down a hill. 6 of the staff cooked our favorite chili, invited a bunch a people and had ourselves a fundraiser! All the profits to our cook-offs go the Mid- Missouri chapter of Susan G Komen for the Cure. We can't open this event to the public, but I feel like we do a great thing with the resources we have.  

From 6 entries to 21 in 5 years. It's exhausting but so much fun too. With chili names like "cheapest gas in town" and "just eat it" how can it NOT be fun. 

We did a PINK candy bar

For $1 you could guess the number of jelly beans in the jar....  989. Yes, I'm the jelly bean counter. Ha-ha! Bean counter- jelly bean counter- get it? Huh? Ok, never mind.

We also have a dessert auction. All our desserts are donated by staff or agents- all homemade!

This beauty is a chocolate truffle layer cake and sold for $150.

Vanilla bean cheesecake.  It went for $105.

So let me break it down. Delicious, inventive chili. Dessert table covered in all kinds of yummy goodness. Generous, fun people willing to come out for a wonderful cause. And a smidge over $2000 raised! 

See why I needed to brag a little? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vacation Day 1

I love having company. Although I'm always a stress-monster getting ready for them to be here I love having people in our home & playing tour guide around my current, chosen "home town", and in this case, state. 

So when my best friend and I started toying with the idea of she & the hubby coming to visit I got REALLY excited. When I go home for visits there's always such a short amount of time we're able to get together it sounded too good to be true. We get together every couple years somewhere or other.... San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, since that's always fun, having them here was bound to be a great time. The discussion started because Todd loves NASCAR and the race at Kansas Speedway was coming up, so the plotting and planning was under way. It all fell together really quick and easy. 

After picking them up at the St Louis airport we headed to Schlafly Bottleworks for some yummy beer and late lunch.

I wish I had gone for the big lens on this one. I want this to be me when I'm in my 80's. Sitting on the patio in the beautiful weather, having a delicious beer (yes she had a beer) and great conversation with a companion. She made me smile.   

After we got all checked in to the hotel we hiked the few blocks up to Busch Stadium  for a little play off baseball. Even though the Cardinals aren't "my team" above all I'm a BASEBALL fan and to watch a game with that buzz  and excitement was so much fun. 

Albert Pujols

It was an exciting party to attend!

This lady cracked me up. She just knitted away all game long. 

We didn't get balloons. Boo.

I didn't get a shot of him but the Busch Stadium #rallysquirrel  made another appearance. Twice. He stirred up a little drama and off he went, looking for dropped peanuts and Cracker Jacks I have no doubt.

They win and live to fight another day.

We walked back to the hotel through a downtown vibrating with the win. We got high fives from strangers and everybody was your friend. But as Patty and Todd and taken the red eye out of A town the night before, we headed to hotel for some much needed sleep. We had a lot in store for them over the week so pacing ourselves seemed like the way to go.

Stay tuned for more adventures!



Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Fred Flintstone Project begins

We've had a lot of rock projects going on the last month or so. We had the Labor Day creek project & now we have, what I've started calling the Fred Flintstone Project. Adam got a hold of a sandstone foundation from an old farm house and this much has made it to our house (so far)

My 1st instinct is, I want Stonehenge  in my yard! Maybe with another load.

How big are they? Um HUGE. Granted, my feet aren't that big but here's some perspective.

Annie wanted in on the action too.

So how do you move these monsters by yourself? You didn't think I could help did you? Take one 4 wheeler, one super big chain and a piece of plywood to use as a "sled", oh and a few doses of ibuprofen and there you go.

This one is sooo much work. Heavy, heavy work. Thanks Adam. You "rock"