Sunday, March 29, 2009


I don't have much to report this month on my quest to be clutter-free and simple living. I still could not bring myself to give up any of my books. I managed to give away a few knick knacks and a bag of clothing. I usually dropped off my donations at collection box (bottom photo) that would benefit an organization such as the American Red Cross, a school or at a church. However, I only purchased one pair of shoes and one book, Hockey's Top 100 - The Game's Greatest Records. I would like to justify this purchase that I used a 40% coupon from Borders. I also did not buy any clothing since the new year, actually I have not been to the malls or done any shopping besides food and household essential items.

I guess to live a simple life, not only getting rid of things we already have but not making any new purchases would count as part of achieving the goals. The last time I purchased shoes was in July 2008 when the store had a sale buy 1 get half price off the 2nd pair. Currently, I need a new pair of shoes as the ones I have been wearing daily are worn out and there is a hole in the left shoe. As I looked at the above advertisement in the newspaper and the shoes in the stores, I envy the women who could walk in these skimpy high-heeled shoes. They looked more like torture device than footwear to me. Have you ever seen a woman walking around New York City wearing these shoes?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009


It was a nice sunny day last Saturday when I took these photos of the trees blooming. The little tree in our backyard was filled with tiny buds ready to blossom into little red flowers. We noticed that Mel and Marcie were busy taking apart the nest that was in this little tree to build their new home. Great example of reuse and recycle.

My husband complimented me on these photos, especially the one below of the street lamp with reflection of the shadow of the flowers. It is so wonderful to see trees bursting with flowers, fresh green leave and nature comes alive after hiding from the cold winter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am pleased to report that a new neighbor has moved into the Communication Building (An old mailbox) in our backyard. Mel (It is a Mail-box) and Marcie (for the month of March) is a lovely couple (photo above). Marcie is pregnant with two boys - Bo and Bob (mail-Box) and a girl Leslie (letters in the mailbox). We can't really tell Mel from Marcie but we thought the one with big belly must be Marcie and the one that constantly busy flying into the mailbox with straws in its mouth must be Mel.

Marcie looking out the front window waiting for Mel to bring some more straws to finish up the living room. Or maybe it is Mel guarding the front door so Marcie could rest inside. We would love to see how Mel and Marcie fit the long straw (photo below) inside the mailbox.

It was so much fun watching Mel and Marcie building their home. We watched from the kitchen window but we could not capture so many images that would have been great to share because the birds flew away whenever we pointed the camera ready to take photos. The red laser beam alert Mel or Marcie and he/she flew up to the apple tree (photo below). We decided to just watch and enjoy as not to disturb our lovely neighbors.
Could you see Mel or Marcie on the apple tree? Perfect camouflage!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


About a year and a half ago, while driving around on a Sunday afternoon, we decided to stop by this new subdivision, Victoria Points, to check out the new homes that were advertised for $650,000. We also wanted to get free donuts and coffee as it was an Open House and the realtors usually offered complimentary refreshment. We were given a tour of the house which had high ceiling vaulted greatroom, large formal dining room, custom brick hearth fireplace, and granite countertops in gourmet kitchen. On the second floor, the master suite was completed with luxury bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, walk-in closet with custom shelving and other spacious bedrooms with full baths. All these amenities were impressive but when we looked out the kitchen window, we had a direct view of the neighbor's bathroom. In these photos there seemed to be enough space between the houses but for over half a million dollars, I would expect a larger piece of property. The bottom photo shows the lovely view these homeowners would have in their backyard. My husband finished his 1st donut, then picked up another one, took a bite and asked the realtors how many homes were sold. She said she was not sure. We thanked the realtor for the donuts and left. She did not even ask us to sign in as she knew we were poor people and came in just for the donuts and coffee. The above photo was taken last month showing the reduced price of $100K in saving. I checked the website and the homes are currently listed at $350K to $425. What a bargain!
I saw on Yahoo that there was a home in Beverly Hills was for sale at $165,000,000, that is right, it is one hundred sixty five million dollars. The house has 29 bedrooms, 40 bathrooms and once was owned by William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon. It has 75,000 square feet of living space, three stories on a large property of six and a half acres. For your enjoyment, there are three swimming pools and a movie theater (so you don't have to be bothered by the crowd at community pools or the masses at public theaters). The house was built in 1926 and was featured in the 1972 movie The Godfather (the house where the guy woke up in a pool of blood and at the end of his bed the head of his beloved horse). For a down payment of 33 million dollars and a monthly mortgage of $791,406, this house is perfect and enough space to raise a family :)
Photo below show what the homeowners in Victoria Points subdivision would see when they look out into their backyard - not much to be desired - a busy two lane road, someone's driveway and probably a direct view of the neighbor's bathroom!

Friday, March 20, 2009


San Giorgio - Portofino, Italy - July 2008

The church overlooks spectacular view of the harbour and the cliffs cascading down into the sea below. According to the travel guide, sailors returning from the Crusades brought with them the supposed relics of St. George, enshrined here in the oft-reconstructed Chiesa di San Giorgio. The saint's feast day is celebrated on April 23rd with a ritualistic bonfire on the piazzetta.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


What a great weekend we had or should I say a Wings Wild Weekend! On Saturday, March 14th my beloved Red Wings were in town, again. The puck dropped at 1:00 p.m. at Scottrade Center but we had to make sure to be there during warm up as I "had" to take more photos of all my favorite Wings. Breakfast was simple egg and cheese sandwiches as we did not have much time to get to downtown St. Louis. We were told that many streets would be closed due to the St. Patrick's Day Parade along Market Street. It usually took us about half an hour, but because of the parade, all the parking lots were full, plus streets closing, it took an hour and 15 minutes to finally got inside the arena. The sunny warm day was perfect for the parade.

The Blues temporarily had a 1-0 lead after the first period. Then we were both hungry, between the egg and cheese sandwich and a formal dinner later, we decided to get an order of chicken strips to share. Less than 5 minutes into the 2nd period, Datsyuk tied the game at 4:40 with a snap shot, Kopecky added another goal ten seconds later and Lebda added the 3rd goal at 5:26. Guess where we were when all these goals were scored, we were eating chicken by the concession stand! Just like when we were walking around, not being at our seats and the Seahawks finally scored at the Superbowl XL. Nothing against Big Ben and the Steelers, we just wanted to give the Underdog Seahawks extra support.

After the game ended at around 4:00 p.m. we went home to change as we did not want to start a fight wearing our Red Wings jerseys to the dinner. It was a well-attended dinner with approximately 400 people. We met many movers and shakers, legislators and strong supporters of the Party. The dinner started at 6:30 p.m. with official program and keynote speaker began at 8:00 p.m. There was a silent auction but no Red Wings items to purchase!

Sunday, March 15th was the second day of the Wings Wild Weekend. After 10:15 a.m. Mass, we spent about 45 minutes at St. Patrick's Festival organized by our parish. The festival has been well-attended and a good fund-raising event for many charity programs. We usually purchased raffle tickets for chances from one of the theme baskets. This year we put most of our tickets into the buckets for Wii, Iphone and DVD player. After the festival, we went to St. John's Mercy Hospital to visit two parishioners that were admitted earlier in the week. My husband and I are part of a group of people who are assigned once a month to visit parishioners that were admitted into various local hospitals.

After the visit, we had an hour before the Blues v. Wild game at 5:00 p.m. We decided to drive around Forest Park as it was a sunny pleasant day.
The Blues played rather well against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday game. After being crushed by the Red Wings on Saturday, the Blues won 5-3 against the Wild. All fans received a coupon for a free blizzard, not taco, whenever the Blues scored 5 or more goals. By the time we got home at 8:45 p.m. from the 2nd hockey game, we were so exhausted from a Wings Wild Weekend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Displays at the Flower Show - Home & Garden Show March 2008 at America's Center - St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


On Saturday (March 7th) we went to the Annual Home & Garden Show at America's Center in downtown St. Louis. America's Center is also known as Edward Jones Dome which is home field of the St. Louis Rams. (That is all I have to say about the St. Louis Rams.) My husband likes to go to the show to get ideas for his next home improvement projects. Most of the time we just walked around, politely accepted flyers and brochures from vendors, looking at all the fancy products and expensive landscaping, marble kitchen countertop, bathroom updates, knowing that we would never be able to afford the products and a big home to go along with the skylights or the sunroom. I enjoyed the flower show and admired the people who created such fun and beautiful floral designs. I hope you too enjoy these photos.
It was also fun to watch the Living Statue. It looked so real that an old lady stood nearby waiting for her friends. She jumped when it started to move because she did not expect the statue to move!

We had very warm weather on Saturday, around 75. We had light rain in the evening. On Sunday, it was again warm but very windy in the morning. The wind calmed down around 6:oo p.m. I wonder about the saying "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb". So far it looks like the lion is sleeping. Perhaps it is still too early to tell.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Congratulations to Qaptain Qwerty on an important milestone. The World Greastest Blog, QaptainQwerty, reached 10,000 on the Hit Counter. Please join me in extending our heart warm best wishes to Da Qaptain on this wonderful achievement. May the Hit Counter of your blog enjoy many more milestones, 100,000, 1,000,000, in the near future. Keep up the good work. In my book, you are always the BEST. I am so proud of you. Your #1 Fan and Faithful Follower.

SHG - Shorthanded Goal (the blogger formerly known as TOTA)

Sunday, March 08, 2009



This clock, in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, was made for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. It weighs 2 tons and approximately 9 feet tall. I focused on taking photo of the clock with the Statue of Liberty on top that I missed the likeliness of U.S. presidents (Cleveland, Harrison, Washington, Grant, Lincoln, Franklin, Jackson and Queen Victoria) on the base of the clock. Well, next time then. New York City - December 2007


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