SUMMER TIME

SUMMER TIME

Thursday, September 30, 2010

LIFE IS A STAGE

“Life is a stage. Each person is a performer. Everyone tries to fulfill the role we were assigned to or what society expected us to be. The stage is only temporary. Eventually we had to get off the stage when the character was no longer needed to be part of the play. You just hope that you would get that big applause when you take the final curtain call.” There I stood among the crowd, people coming and going all around me, the music was blaring, the people were dancing, yet I was alone in my thoughts, about life and how we all live on borrow time.

Hey TOTA, what with the “gloom and doom” thoughts? Isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year? The Pats are 2-1 and Brady-Moss/Welker Trio looks really good. The Wings pre-season records were not impressive but home opener on Friday, October 8th should be exciting. So why the long face (in place of the chubby round face)?
In August, a woman from our parish was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She was only 38 years old and a single mother. Knowing that she had a very slim chance, PG asked that all the money raised from the trivia night and other fundraising activities be put into a trust fund for her 12 years old son.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker who used to work with my husband at a previous company had an operation due to fluid built up in his left lung. We went to visit him at St. Clair Hospital after he was out of intensive care unit. We said that when he was well enough to go home, we would bake him a pie, knowing how much BO liked apple pie. BO went home with the sad news that the cancer in his lung has spread to other parts of the body and into the bone. Two weeks ago, we visited BO at home and brought him the apple pie as promised. BO passed away last night. He was 70 years old.

Life is a temporary stage. So let’s dance, let’s sing and let’s have fun. Don’t worry too much about critics or getting awards, even if you forget your next line or don’t know what the next act is supposed to be. In fact, create your own character, make up your own lines or just be in the role you are comfortable playing. Life is a stage and you are the leading actor, play it well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TUESDAY TWO - KAHUNA AND JERKS - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Here are a few more funny images I captured from the BBQ Bash. I thought these photos are appropriate for this week Tuesday Two theme. A few times when I helped answer the phone at work, a friend of one of the managers would say, "Is the big kahuna working today?". Perhaps next time I should ask, "You mean the big jerk?" Big Kahuna or A Couples of Jerks, what's the difference? (Simmer down Big Guy, I am just saying it in jest!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

BBQ HUMOR - "SMELL THAT BUTT"

No, I am not turning into one of those "foul mouth" people who have limited vocabulary. I am just trying to add a little humor to my boring blog. The 2010 BBQ Bash took place last weekend of September on the 25th and 26th. Since someone we know was a contestant, we made sure that we would not miss the Bash again. (I think we were out of town last year.) Each entry was judged base on presentation, tenderness of the meat, how unique the barbecue sauce is, its level of tanginess, and its overall taste.
My husband was at a golf tournament on Saturday so I walked around by myself. I had plenty of time to take photos without having to explain to CP why I captured certain images. I thought these were very “clever, silly and outrageously funny” BBQ trade names, especially “Hot Tasty Butts Piggy’s BBQ”.
On Sunday, CP and I went to the Bash and we tasted three different kind of ribs. They were all good. (What can I say, I love to eat!) There were more than 20 food booths offering different kinds of BBQ. Some were from local restaurants while others were national chains. In addition to the BBQ, there were typical carnival food such as funnel cakes, pork rinds, roasted corn and kettle korn. The Bash was open to the public and there was no admission. You paid the vendors when you purchased food and drink. There were plenty of “freebies” from banks, insurance companies and complimentary massage from a day spa.
There was entertainment from local bands, dance performances, a classic car show, farmers’ market and chicken wings eating contest. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day but the rain came at night and chased away a lot of people when the Bash re-opened on Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WHERE'S THE PRETZEL? (MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2010 FOREST PARK HOT AIR BALLOONS RACE)

I did not see the Select 55 balloon last year so it could be a new entry this year. I have seen many commercials as the company launched major push of this new product. Someone told me that the 55 did not taste as good as the regular beer but he was sold on the promise of 55 calories. Not being a drinker, I would not know the difference. I am not against drinking and people have the right to drink whatever products they like. I just thought that if the person is so concern about calories, why not quit drinking completely? It is almost like handing me a piece of coconut cream pie and telling me it tastes awful but it has only 10 calories. Just give me a delicious pie for enjoyment along with the guilty100 calories!
The Pepsi can is one of the regular and popular entries in the Race. So we have the beer and the soda, where's the pretzel? I wonder if I should write to the Race organizers and ask if they should try to get Gus' Pretzel to submit an entry with a balloon in the shape of a pretzel. Well, I guess the Gold Fish (bottom photo) would have to do for now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FRIDAY "HOT AIR BALLOONS IN THE" SKY

The 2010 Great Forest Park Balloon Race was on Saturday, September 18th with the Balloon Glow on Friday night before the race. Last year we tried going to the event but got stuck in traffic for 2 hours. We never got to where the Balloon Glow took place. This year, we did not even try because I was still recovering from the root canal on Monday.
This year we got to Forest Park and found a great spot not too far from Central Field where all the balloons would take off from. I took many photos of the Energizer Bunny Hot Hare Balloon to make up for what I missed last year.
More than 60 hot air balloons filled the sky. The temperature was in the high 80s and sort of comfortable. Sadly there was no wind, not even a light breeze. At times, the balloons just stood still in the sky, almost as if they were held-up by an invisible giant.
One of the items on my bucket list is being at the International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The event takes place in October of each year. I wonder if Busboy (www.bus-stories.blogspot.com) would be at the Festival and post some real nice photos of the balloons. Do you have Hot Air Balloon Race/Festival in your town?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WATCH YOUR HEN HOUSE (CHICKEN SCOOP)

There is not much of a story here. Just someone whose last name is FOX with a vanity license plate “THE FOX”. Look closely at the photo below you would see a chicken at the corner, trying to maintain the distance from the fox.
Going to car shows is one of the activities my husband and I enjoy doing in the summertime. Actually I just enjoy watching CP “drooling” over a straight six engine or a small block V8 in a 1965 Mustang 2+2 fastback. When we are on the road, CP would be admiring other cars and he would say something about the wire wheel trims. He thought I was not listening. Then when we were at a car show, I would blurt out something like, “Look at the sequential tail lights on this GT. They were similar to those on the Shelby.” CP would be so surprised and we both had a good laugh because we knew that I had no idea what I was saying!
I often said if a naked Swedish supermodel standing next to the 1969 Boss 302 Mustang, CP probably paid more attention to the car than the supermodel.

We only go to car shows, but never signed up the 2004 T-bird or 2010 Mustang, because they are just retro, not qualified as the real vintage models. Besides we don’t care to sit around all day, especially when it is humid. Plus CP is very particular when it comes to who could stand near his fine automobiles. (Not even the naked Swedish supermodel.) One time we started pulling out of the garage in the T-bird, then it drizzled, back into the garage we went. CP did not want the T-bird to get wet. We took the Mustang instead!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TUESDAY TWO - CARDINALS V. CUBS

You could take some really nice photos of the players when sitting behind the home plate. But then the darn protected net ruins this nice photo of Pujol and Holliday.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

KIELBASA & MORE

The Polish Falcons of America Nest #45 celebrated the 36th Annual Polish Festival on September 10 and 11. The building (below photo) and surrounding property is on St. Louis Avenue, downtown St. Louis. We usually went to get the authentic polish food, pastries and then walked around the gardens watching people danced the polka. We spent about 20 dollars on the pull-tabs and 50-50 chances.
Our typical selection was "Bits of Poland" that included one cheese piergori, a golabki, a kielbasa, sauerkraut, green beans, mash potato and bread. It seemed that the piergori was getting smaller than previous years. With my husband being the 3rd generation Polish-American, it is our family tradition that at Christmas time we make pierogi with two different kind of fillings, mash potato and sauerkraut with mushroom. Our piergori are much bigger and the dough has more texture.
These photos were taken after the Run to Remember 5K Race on Saturday, September 11th. The race was over when we got there. Next year I will try to remember to get there earlier. Perhaps I could even participate in the race!

Friday, September 17, 2010

FRIDAY CARDINALS SKY (MY ACHING TOOTH, PART II)

I don’t know whether it was the wonderful pain pills or the “great” baseball game, that helped me feeling good all evening. It was comfortable but no breeze. We left at the end of the 6th inning when the Cardinals was down 1-5.
Actually on the way to the game, I told my husband that with my luck the manager or someone from my office would see me at the ballgame. My face would be on the jumbotron with cheese all over my face eating nachos. Or being on national television when I opened my mouth real big to chow down the jumbo hotdog while yelling “Kill the Umpire”!

I would be called into the boss’ office to explain how I could take a sick day earlier because of a root canal treatment and then chow down nachos and hotdog later that evening.

It did not look like the Cardinals would make it to the playoffs this year. Of course, I am happy that football started and could not wait for the hockey season to begin again. Life is good, even with a root canal!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

HEY TOTA, WHAT'S HAPPENING LATELY? (MY ACHING TOOTH, PART I)

The last 2 weeks, there were some exciting activities in my otherwise boring life. I will try to recap what has happened from that day when “all hell broke loose”.

It started on Thursday, September 9th, late afternoon. The pains continued on Friday. I thought it was probably a minor toothache. (I don’t remember the last time I had a toothache.) I just had a 6-month check-up and Doc DW told me everything was fine. I thought perhaps I was a bit rough when I tried to give the back teeth a good flossing. By Saturday afternoon, the aching has gotten worse. I avoided chewing on the left (the aching side) and tried to chew slowly on the other side. The regular over-the-counter pills helped and I was able to go to the Run to Remember 5K Race (top photo) on Saturday morning. We went to the 36th Annual Polish Festival (below photo) in the afternoon. Of course the pains started again late Saturday evening.
On Sunday, I continued to tolerate the increasingly painful tooth. We went to the Classic Cars Show in Hermann, Missouri (photo below). My husband suggested that I should call DW for an emergency appointment. I thought a toothache was not life-threatening and I should not bother the good doctor on Sunday. The pains kept me up all night and I was never so happy seeing the sun came up on Monday morning.
I drove to DW office and walked right in when the door was opened at 9:30 a.m. DW reviewed the X-ray and informed me that I needed a root canal procedure. I was referred to an endodontic for a 10:45 appointment. After what seemed to be an “eternal hell” of the drilling, smell of flesh burning and the grinding noise while the good doctor removing the inflamed pulp tissue and “irrigating” the inside of tooth #18, the procedure was completed at 12:45 p.m. (At one point, I was panicked when I thought someone nearby was saying, "Is it safe?" - haa haa) I felt an instant relief, thanks in part to the good doses of local anesthesia. However when my cell phone rang, with half of my face frozen, I was not able to tell my husband that I was on my way to the drug store to fill the “prescriptions” or to pick up the “medication”. I used the word “pills” instead!

I got home around 1:40, completely exhausted after a sleepless night and the whole morning sitting in one dental chair to another, after taking the medication, I went straight to bed. I woke up at 4:30 p.m. when the cell phone rang. My husband asked if I felt good enough to go to a Cardinals v. Cubs game. His boss just gave him two tickets behind the home plate. Just to be sure, I took another pain pill and off we went to the baseball game. It sure was an exciting day :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

UNITED WE STAND (WINSLOW, ARIZONA)

The 9-11 Remembrance Garden is located at the east end of Winslow, Arizona. The two steel beams are from the World Trade Center terrorist attack and the U.S. flag was flown at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
"Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

America was target for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining."

President George W. Bush's address to the nation on Tuesday night, September 11, 2001.

Friday, September 10, 2010

FRIDAY "CAPITOL" SKY - JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

Here is Jefferson City, the state capital of Missouri since the 1820s.
For tours of the Missouri State Capitol building and other attractions, www.visitjeffersoncity.com.
It was a beautiful sunny and comfortable Sunday when we took these photos. Could you guess whose statue in front of the Capitol building?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

HAPPY ROSH HASHANAH

I received this Happy Rosh Hashanah card from the Metropolitan Jewish Health System in New York. Inside it reads, “Wishing you a year of health and happiness”, signed by the president and executive director of MJHS Foundation.

I don’t remember if this is the first year that I received a Happy Rosh Hashanah card from the Foundation. Perhaps someone at the Foundation noticed my regular contributions the last 9 years.

I greatly appreciated the compassionate end-of-life care Metropolitan provided when my Dad was under hospice care in early 2001. After my Dad passed away, I started to send memorial contributions on a regular schedule such as on his birthday, my parents’ anniversary, in January the anniversary when my family came to America, July 4th to show appreciation to America, at Thanksgiving, at Christmas, and Lunar New Year.

My Dad taught us to always remember kindness and to show gratitude by helping others and paying forward whenever possible. My sister also contributed to the Tree of Life Memorial Wall with the words engraved below my Dad’s name “For the Life he Lived”. And for the memory we shared, will forever be in our hearts.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

ANOTHER LONG WEEKEND HAD GONE BY!

Another long weekend had gone by! Originally we had planned a road trip to Grand Haven this Labor Day. We even took vacation day on Friday with the plans to start driving from St. Louis to Bloomington/Normal (Illinois) on Thursday evening. That would take off half of the 7.5 hours driving time and on to Grand Haven early Friday morning for breakfast at a place we called “Potato Joint”. The restaurant has changed to another name under new ownership but we still remembered the giant potato in front of the building. We thought we would drive to Traverse City on Saturday. We used to go camping there. If we were up to the challenge, we might even went to Mackinac Island on Sunday.
We decided to stay home instead, still took Friday off, after reading the Grand Haven local news website that it called for rains and temperature in the 60s. It was a good decision since the entire weekend was sunny, beautiful weather in the mid-80s here in St. Louis. I saw the reports of the high waves crashing on to the broad walk and along the pier to the lighthouse. It would not be much fun at all if we were there in Grand Haven. These photos were taken last year with a different kind of weather!
I spent the entire Friday re-organized all the boxes that were full of photos we accumulated the last 20+ years. I found the negatives of our trip to London and Paris in July 1999. It was our 10th wedding anniversary celebration. I also found a tin can full of Kodak Advantix developed films, some marked and some would be mystery for many years to come! It would cost $7.99 each roll to transfer the images onto a CD. I shredded all the duplicates and images from events or people I no longer care about.

Saturday I enjoyed a nice sunny and comfortable morning in the patio, reading and relaxing. In the afternoon we spent a few hours visiting a friend at St. Clair Hospital.

We attended noon Mass on Sunday and then took the T-bird to Jefferson City. It was a glorious day driving in the convertible with the wind gently blowing our hair and the sun warmed our faces.
Monday was another relaxing day - just a short drive around town after brunch. We had a nice steak dinner out in the patio. That completed our Labor Day weekend - goodbye summer and hello football season :)

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