Friday, August 31, 2007

Cat Massage

Because I have nothing brilliant to say.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Un-Proud Moments in St. Louis History

The first time someone invited me to their home after we moved here I was in such a funk that my conversation was bleak to say the least.  This wonderfully hospitable woman invited me and my children into her home, fed us and tried desperately to have a nice conversation with me, but I was not capable of reciprocating.  Here's some of the highlights;

Nice Lady- Do you like to travel?

April- Um, yeah, if I can sleep while someone else drives.

Nice Lady- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Now let's pause for a moment in this conversation to do some 'splainin'.  We had been living in the moldy basement of Clay's grandmother's home for a month or more, we were in the process of buying a house "as is" which is the nice way to say "it'll never pass an inspection" and we were broke.  I couldn't think about traveling farther than the next tank of gas so any visions of world travel were not on my radar.  I couldn't even be bothered to pause and dream a little.  So my answer was....

Uhhhh, Chicago I guess.

Chicago?  That's where I would go?  Chicago?!  I've been to Chicago, a few times.  Oh, if I could take that moment back I would.  I'd have been happy, perky, winsome and I would have said Europe!  For the love of God I want to go to Europe!  Not Chicago!

Then after eating lunch and watching the children play for a little while it was time for me to go.  I watched as she set her toddler down, the same toddler I had watched play earlier with my children and I asked, "Oh, is he walking?"  Uh, yes he had been walking all over the place the entire time I was there.  I tell ya, I was checked out.  The bad thing is those are the parts I remember, who knows what other dribble came leaking out of me.  

Our little playtime ended with her spraying Febreze in the trunk of my car because I had complained about the wretched smell of some spilled milk.  You know the old saying 'don't cry over spilled milk', well I think I was doing plenty of crying-whining-complainig and all around negative vomiting all over everything.  I wish she would have sprayed me too.  She never invited me over again and I don't blame her.  

I've wanted to apologize for that day for many years, but I think the damage was done.  So now if she reads this blog, which I don't think she does....but in the off chance....I'm sorry I was such a negative piece of poop when you first met me.  Thank you for inviting me over and feeding me a wonderful bowl of soup, which you didn't know and of course I didn't tell you, is my favorite food.  I did learn something that day and I've tried to use it a couple times, hospitality to a stranger.  Hopefully, I'll get to use it again real soon.   

St. Louis

Well, the time is drawing near. We have one week and four days until we head out to our new home. I've been thinking about the things I'll miss here in St. Louis. Most of them are the humans, but I'll miss other things like;

-Going to the zoo on a fall day and buying a bag of kettle corn.

-Kirkwood farmer's market, although when I first went to KFM I was sorely disappointed because the farmer's market I was used to was a huge parking lot full of actual farmers selling locally grown produce and homemade delicacies, but I grew to love the flowers and fruit sold at KFM.

-Michelle's Cafe

-Solid Rock Cafe, Eureka's Christian coffee house, too cute.

-Chesterfield Mall movie theatre, it's so new and clean I don't feel like I'm sitting in filth.

-St. Louis Bread Co., it's called Panera in Kansas, but we're going to keep calling it Bread Co.

-Ballwin Christian Learning Center, what a great resource for home schoolers to use.

-My church, goodness there won't be another one like it.

-Cardinals baseball, even though I'm not a fan, my husband and son are and I like watching them enjoy baseball and St. Louis is 1st rate when it comes to baseball. Okay, nevermind, this is a lie, I hate baseball.

-The free activities that are so readily available here to entertain my kids on a boring day like the parks with fountains, Grant's Farm, St. Louis Science Center and the Art Museum.
Now, do you want to know the stuff I won't miss? Yes, you do.

- Top of my list Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles.....I hate you. Strong words, but I can't think of a more true feeling that I have for that organization.

-People asking me what high school I went to. It's weird people.

-I44, I270, Manchester, Lindbergh, Ballas, Ladue, Watson, Sappington. I won't miss driving and getting stuck in traffic on any of those roads.

-Driving 20 minutes to get anywhere.

-City taxes taken out of my husband's paycheck

-Parking fees taken out of my husband's paycheck

-My family being 5 and 10 hours away.

-The bigness of everything. Everything has to be bigger and better. Like the perfectly good swimming pool that was torn out to make a gigantic water park and the baseball stadium torn down to build a bigger one and on and on. I guess it's called progress, but to me it's called silly. St. Louis is just too big for this girl.

-One of the problems with having so many wonderful resources at your fingertips is the feeling that you need to constantly be doing something. It's hard to find people around here that can just be still and be happy. I've never seen so many people fill their time with so much stuff. It's a little nuts and a bit infectious, so I won't miss thinking I need to be constantly filling my time with "stuff". I know that's critical of me, but it was one of my first impressions of this place and it hasn't subsided for nine years.

That's it. Eleven more days. I think I'll run the gamut of emotions before the big day. I'm trying to stay as happy and positive as I can for my kids. They are not going to leave this place without a lot of tears being shed, for that matter I don't think I will either.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We already have a dog.

I've made a promise to get a dog when we get settled into our new house. But, it seems to me we already have a dog. Levi, he's part canine. Look at him. He could be on a poster. This child knows how to break your heart with his eyes. He'll climb up on your lap and say, "snuggle-snuggle-snuggle". He'll lick milk off the floor. He already smells like a dirty dog. He's housebroken, kinda. Why do we need a dog?

Who needs a bath?

What makes a little boy happy? A big pile of dirt on a sweltering day.
What makes a little boy grumpy? Being told to come inside and get cleaned up.
What makes a little boy smile. Knowing that he'll get to go back out to that dirt pile tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007


tired of packing, tired of stacking

enthusiasm lacking
feel like yakking

tired of heat and lack of sleep
tripping over the heap
that's three feet deep

tired of of the four always needing more
my body is sore
will somebody PLEASE SHUT THE DOOR?!

tired of whining , tired of rhyming
wish I was dining
instead of doing the house signing

tired of asking how, when, where and why
thank God I don't have a stye in my eye
tired of me, myself and I
so, blokin' tired I'd like to cry

but instead
I'll get up out of my bed
wake the four from the dead
make sure they are dressed and fed

one more load
then down the road
so I can sleep in my new abode

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Here's Ramone, my new neighbor. I snuck this picture of him when we were at the house for the inspection. I quickly lifted my camera to my hip, took aim and shot. I think it's a pretty dadgum good photo, if I must say so myself.

Remember I told you he's as big as my thigh? See that fence post he's leaning on? Clay and I have no trouble peering over that with our entire heads. He's a tiny guy with a lot of gumption. I wonder what he'll be calling us? The huge white folk next door? That tall couple? The gall darn neigbors?
In the course of our seven minute conversation this is what I learned about Rrrrramone; he and his wife have raised 11 children. One is a drunken admiral, one is a chef, one is a lawyer and I don't know what the other eight do, but I'll probably find out. He's hard of hearing, has a heart problem, bad knees, aches and pains in his joints, diabetes and in general doesn't think he'll be around much longer. Hes' 87 years old. When we asked if we could buy one of his cows (meaning we wanted to buy it to take to the butcher), he said, "Well, where do ya think you're gonna pasture it?"

I can see him rolling his eyes and sighing deeply at us already. He has no idea what's in store for his remaining days with us as his neighbors. I just hope we don't drive him to an even earlier grave.

Monday, August 20, 2007

St. Louis Pastels

During the late 1950's and 60's St. Louis housing design took a turn, a bad turn, a left turn down a one way street into oncoming traffic, it crashed and exploded and left it's contents all over South County. Sure they were still using the signature bricks and planting beautiful trees and they even continued to install wood floors as a common feature in the homes. But, something bad happened on the way to the bathroom. I don't know if an influential interior designer fell asleep at her desk while drawing the lovely white bathroom and then spilled her can of Orange Crush over her drawings then woke with a start and fled to the meeting with her client and thus was born the PASTEL BATHROOM.

Oh Lord. They're everywhere in every shade. So far, I've lived with blue, salmon/mauve (later to be designated the 80's peach), golden rod (previously known as harvest gold) and blue again. These bathrooms all have the same common features; the floor tile, wall tile, toilette, sink and tub all match. They're all pink, blue, yellow, green. The bad part? They were built to out live multiple generations. I tell you the tubs are solid cast iron, the toilets are indestructible, the tile will not part from the floor or wall. It's there to stay. So, as you visit houses in the county you will see these bathrooms, they will start to grow on you, you will become partial to one of the pastel shades and wish you had the pink and not the yellow, you will wonder why people don't embrace the pastels now, you will mourn the loss of a toilette seat when you try to match your pastel with the new plastic colors that are always a shade or two off and then you'll resort to a wooden seat because it might look better.

Recently, we had lunch with some good friends in their county home. They got the pink bathroom. I went to use the restroom and was thinking fondly of the pink tile and how cute bright white towels set off the pinkness.  I was giddy with the blush colored glow and was thinking about how fun these bathrooms are, but as I turned to flush, my eye caught a glimpse of something not pink. It was this sign;

Posted for all to see right there behind the pink toilette on the pink tile.  I'm so glad they warned me, all that happy pink was clouding my thoughts and I was just about to dive in and swim a few laps.
Long live the pastel bathroom!  Long live the manly man that lives with a pink bathroom and posts warnings for the rest of us.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Little Turd

He's two-thirds of the way to being potty trained, or should I say two-turds?

We have a wood ash pile outside that has a magnetic pull for any little boy under the age of six. My little boys can't stay out of it, therefore they look like the picture above every single time I let them play outside.....good times.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


It's 5:00 in the morning and I'm sitting here wondering if anyone is going to come to our, I mean MOVING SALE!!!  I have spent way more time and energy than I care to admit getting ready for it and all I have to show for it is a driveway full of, I mean amazing stuff that deserves a better home than the big-long-dark-brown I mean Baby Ruth.

Oh, here's a good story for you;

The other day a very nice woman came to the house to look at some of the furniture we're selling.  She had her 13 and 9 year old daughters with her.  I led her through the long house winding this way and that and she commented, "Wow, this house just keeps going and going."  That's when I should have just said, "hmm-mmm" while I was striking my best Vanna pose to display the bookcase we are selling, but no, instead I blurted out in my great hick way, "Yeah, I know!  We like to call it the big-long-dark-brown-(and for a brief millisecond I paused wondering if I should say turd or Baby Ruth, but of course I said) TURD!".  That's when the woman gasped and with eyes wider than a deer caught in the headlights of a Mac Truck and she whipped her hands over her 9 year old daughters ears.  But, the damage was already done, the poor little girl's ears are now soiled with the filthy word, turd.  Turd.  

I spent the rest of that day wondering if turd is a bad word.  I put it in the same category as poop, dooky, stinky and potty.  But maybe I need to elevate it to the next level on my content advisory.  It doesn't belong with my cuss words that I'm allowed to say because they're in the bible like; ass, damn, hell and bastard, soooo where does turd belong?  Oh, I've got so many answers to that question...but let's not go there.  See?  I do censor myself fairly well.  But, I'm obviously still a potty mouth.  Turd is the word heard.  TURD!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ass Pair Uh Gus

It's so good to know that you all are smarter than me when it comes to identifying foliage. Except Rechelle, who obviously needs some help, poor girl.

So, yes, there is a 25 foot row of green and red asparagus that we will be enjoying next spring and I'm thrilled that I didn't have to plant it and then wait two years for a harvest.  I had no idea it looked like that when it went to seed.  Although, I plant the ornamental asparagus fern in my planters every year, I made no connection between the two.  I still have a lot to learn.

If you look in the bottom left corner you can see the bits of fern from the asparagus.  It lines the back edge of the garden.
I'll leave the berries for the birds this winter and in the spring I'll mow it to the ground.

We'll have; Grilled asparagus, steamed asparagus, sauteed asparagus, blanched asparagus, asparagus salad, ham-egg-asparagus casserole...... and by then our urine should be so foul that we'll let the asparagus go to seed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What is it???

This is a photo I snapped of a plant that lines one edge of the garden at the farm house.  I thought, hmmm what the heck is that?  I had a couple guesses, but was wrong.   

When we went back for the inspection last week I got all sorts of wonderful news from the seller about what is planted on the property.  I think I'm more excited about some of the trees than I am about the porch...I KNOW, hard to believe.  It's like these people got into our heads and did everything we wanted to do to our property.  They planted peach, apple, cherry, pear and crab apple trees.  Then there are the grapes and blackberries and the icing on the cake is that plant up there.  Any guesses?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

If only I had Spidey powers...

Monday I was brutally attacked by a huge lethal spider.  Or so I like to say.  I didn't actually see the spider, but I felt it and it hurt.  By Tuesday the area where I was bitten was purple and very, very sore and my face was sort of hot.  Then Wednesday morning I woke up and was covered in a total body rash.  That's when I googled spider bites and decided all my flesh was going to rot away if I didn't go to the doctor.

The doctor asked me if I had actually seen the spider.  No, but I'm pretty sure that a ginormous furry spider crawled up my skirt and bit me on my thigh.  Then he asked me if I was feeling any heightened senses.  That's when I shot a web out my arse, spun him around eighty-six times and threatened to serve him to my young for dinner.

After the fun was over I got a prescription for antibiotics to fight off the infection I'm sporting and a warning to stay away from spiders.  Since I'm going through my storage room today I swear I've "seen" a gazillion spiders, but then they turn into dust bunnies, Legos and wads of paper.  

By days end I can promise I will need a stiff drink and chocolate.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hit and Run

Seth found one of our chickens beside the coop yesterday, she was dead. I asked if she was attacked, he said that she was just laying there with her wings spread out a bit. I thought the poor thing might have died from heat exhaustion before she got to the water. Poor, poor chicken, whatever could have happened to her?

Then Clay came home and reminded me that I came barrelling down the drive way honking the horn yesterday. The chickens went a bit wacky and ran across the road just as I was passing the coop. "Could it be that you ran over a chicken yesterday?" Clay suggested with a tone of accusation.

I was involved in a hit and chicken run accident. I am guilty, I killed a chicken.

There has been no end to the imitations of me squealing down the drive way and gurgling chicken bocking from my husband and children. My sons also like to act out how the chicken must have been launched into the air making what obviously was rocket launching sounds to crash next to the coop with gurgling chicken bocking. Poor, poor chicken she didn't know what hit her or maybe she did and her dying bock was, "Whyeeeee? April, whyeeeeee? Brooooockgllggl, uhg."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Der Hur!

Disclaimer:  For the next month or year or however long it takes me to get over my anxiety about moving and packing and saying goodbye to people that I love and... oh, pardon me while I exhale my innards for the ninety fourth time today....gulp, hmmm tastes like chicken.  Anyway, during this transition, I would like to apologize for my inability to type or speak or edit any of my posts.  I realized my grammar in some of my previous posts were, well, uh, let's just say I won't be hired to write any articles for the New Yorker anytime soon and people might express concern that I homeschool my youngins.  

I also had some of you spinning in circles while I directed you around the house....two lefts do not make a right. 

Is any of this making sense?  If I even have a moment of clarity before Christmas it will be a miracle.  Stick with me people, the fog will clear and I'll speak coherently somed....uh, what was I saying?

Friday, August 03, 2007

More Farmhouse Features

Well, come on in, don't be shy.
This is the front door with clear and etched glass. The owners have painted a lot of things grey and maroon and all I can say is their grey and maroon will be my yellow and black. To the hinge side of the door is the spring loaded door bell....precious. Check out the divided light storm door.
As you enter the house to the left is the den. You enter through french doors. They had built in cabinetry designed to fit around the window, which is really great, but not really my color, but I can deal with it.
The french doors that enter the parlor.
The dining room. This is my Mom's future project. She said, "April, that wallpaper is not you at all" and I totally agree and therefore she gets to help tear it down. The small room you see in the back is a tiny office with a pocket door.
This is the pantry, with window and pocket door off the kitchen....I think I might utilize it more as a mud room, coat and backpack storage spot.
The upstairs bathroom...ahhhh, white cabinets....finally. These are keepers, but again with the wallpaper, buh-bye.

I love that some of you readers critique the period detailing. I know those cabinets aren't keeping with the period of the home and we will have to remedy that someday. Yes, I'm a tad bit disappointed that the cabinets, especially in the kitchen, weren't white, but sigh, it's the nicest kitchen I've ever owned, so I won't complain too much.
I also agree with the banister, I need to take a closer look at it when we get in to see when that was changed.
Clay has already started scribbling little sketches of an addition. My mom has called a couple times telling me how we're going to take down all the wallpaper and what rooms need to be added to the main level. Big plans, people, big plans.

Who says you can't go home?

Remember when I told you all about my childhood friend, Carmen?  When we move back to Kansas she will be a hop, skip and jump away from me and I'm hoping we will see each other more often than every other summer, like we do now.  I was talking to her a few days ago because I wasn't able to hook up with her when I was visiting Rechelle (who will be 45 minutes away, for those of you who have asked).  

Anyway, Carmen is a professional business woman that does some sort of high finance thingy within a big corporate whirly gig company thingamabob.  Yes, I'm positive that's what she does, I think.  When I called her she was still at work and told me to wait a second while she found a private conference room where she could talk to me without anyone hearing her.

When she knew she was secure she stripped off her corporate persona and became Carmanio, the Spazmodic Spazmo.  Between squeals, rapid fire talk and her puppy dog grunt laughter I was able to discern that while I was installing light fixtures at Rechelle's house, she drove all the way to Cheyenne Wyoming to see a Jon Bon Jovi concert with her daughter.  Now she is going to come pick me up the second he comes within a five hour driving radius of our towns to see him perform and she has bought all his CD's so we can listen to them on our way to whatever concert may be planned for us to attend.  

We talked about what we'll wear, I was thinking I'll go biker girl and get me some leather and Carmen will do whatever I tell her.....she was always really good at letting me decide the fashion of the day.  We won't take husbands or children it will just be Carmen, me and John and tight t-shirts and some leather, maybe stilettos or chunky boots and possibly a cowboy hat.  Well, maybe we should wear cushioned flats so my back won't ache and I don't need to exacerbate my varicose veins.  But, the leather is a must, hopefully I can find a leather/spandex blend to help shape those trouble spots.

We'll have an official food for the trip, because growing up we designated Twix bars as our official travel candy.  But, since I can't really do candy now it might need to be mixed nuts and natural yogurt.  

We'll leave after work and drive through the night and then we can sleep in the car and take turns changing our clothes in the back seat.  Or, maybe we'll stop at a decent hotel to freshen up before the concert and take a nap.

Either way we're going to see John in concert or maybe we'll just try to catch his show via satellite from the comfort of our own homes while wearing our pajamas.  No!  We will go and I will get to spend time with Carmen and that is better than any concert.  I'm moving back home!

Because I can't help but be nostalgic right now, every song on the radio that speaks of going home is wrenching my heart and obviously the artists who wrote these songs were thinking of me.  Here's a little John Bon Jovi....

It doesn't matter where you are, doesn't matter where you go
If it's a million miles away or just a mile up the road
Take it in, take it with you when you go
Who says you can't go home

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Bedrooms

Let's go upstairs. The staircase is on the South wall in the center of the house, strangely the house doesn't have a center hall, but that allows for more living area, so okay.
At the top of the stairs it turns and splits into two sets of steps, one goes to the hallway and one goes into the small bedroom. Please, make fun of that ridiculous expression on Clay's face. I think we were both walking through the house in a state of utter amazement. We were trying so hard to act nonchalant and I don't think we pulled it off at all.
The split stairs at the top.

The house has four bedrooms, or should I say 3 and one half? One bedroom was split in half to add a bathroom upstairs when they brought plumbing into the house. The small bedroom will will fit a twin bed and a dresser, no closet, but hey...I think we'll manage, my son really doesn't need much and he's very excited to have his own room.

The amazing thing about the other rooms is that they all have walk-in closets. For an old home, that's pretty rare.
These are the door knobs on all the doors. I think it's stamped brass, I could be wrong.
All the bedrooms have two windows. That is something I've dreamed of having for a long, long time.

The Kitchen

Let's start the farmhouse tour in the kitchen. The heart of the home, the place I'll live life and drink coffee. The kitchen was renovated in 2001, which is a great relief to me, I'll have modern conveniences. The owners did a fabulous job, but someday I'm going to need to replace the back splash tile and tear off the wallpaper, it's a bit too modern for me. This is the little work sink, it sits on the far wall of the kitchen.

On the opposite side is the big sink, you can look through to the dining room while rinsing the dishes off to put in the dishwasher.
The entrance to the dining room is to the left. The basement and side exit door is to the left...look at the Jayhawk.
Back to the work sink area, check out the ceiling, you can see the where the stairs cut through the very corner of the kitchen.
I'm missing a photo of the bar and cook top area. These pictures make it look much bigger than it actually is, remember it's a 130 year old house and they didn't change the floor plan when they renovated. They did use every available spot to place the cabinets and counters and I was so impressed with the details. But, that's gotta go.

It has everything but the kitchen si....

Oh, nope it has that too. This wil be the future chicken coop, uh, minus all the stuff and the little red truck.

Nancyb- yes, the firm you listed was correct, but I had to delete your comment for the privacy of that firm. They haven't met me, yet, and they have no idea, poor souls, what they're in for when I come to town. I insisted to Clay that I sit in on the last meeting with them, but he didn't think they were quite ready to grasp the awesome powers that I posses. However, I kept asking, "They know I'm coming, right? Do they know I want to be taken out to lunch? I have a list of my requests and they'll need to get busy finding the chauffeur to take the children to their activities. What about my massage therapy, they'll cover that right?" I don't think I'm being unreasonable.

Jennifer- you asked if we were independently wealthy..hahahahahahahahahahahahaha....oh, that's good stuff. Seriously, no we are not. Clay did take a better paying job, and we were able to purchase the house because:
1. We had already sold our home and have been looking to buy for a couple of years.
2. Houses in Kansas are waaaaaaaaaaaay cheaper than here in St. Louis. It just doesn't seem fair, but oh well.
3. Like I said, we have promised our first grandchild and we're selling all our internal organs. Kidneys are so overrated and who needs a heart?
Kathy- You asked if we were going to be farming. No, but I wish. The property is surrounded by a corn field and pasture that has a herd of cattle grazing on it, but it's not ours....I'm just going to pretend that it is. We will have five acres and there will be plenty of room for gardening and maybe and pet or two or three. Oh, and yes, that was a tree swing and all my kids gave it a test ride and it has been approved. I need to find out how long it will take us to get to the emergency room, I have no doubt that a broken bone or stitches are in my future.
Jean- I can't move the flock. I know it's sad. I'll miss my girls, they treated me well and have kept the bellies of many raccoons and foxes full. We'll start over and maybe this time we'll get a rooster that isn't mean or stupid. I definitely want to get a turkey.