Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
One of the parks has a nice pond and many residents enjoy finishing there. There are tennis courts, basketball hoops, playground and enclosed pavilion for picnics.
This weekend I hope to sort thru the closets, get ready for the winter and gather a bag of clothing to put in the donation box. The Historical Society also asks for donation of books, so it would be good to find a few books to give away.
How are you getting ready for winter? It is time to stock up soup and hot chocolate :)
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The City of St. Louis never regained its glory of the World Fair, no longer a bustling city of steamboats and trading, socio-economic changes, political activism and conspiracy, and hopes for a more peaceful and safer life led many St. Louis residents to flee the city, prompting "white flight" by white residents who found integrated neighborhoods undesirable.
There is no Mr. Rogers sitting on the front porch in a long sleeve cardigan sweater over a white shirt and a tie with a khaki pants and black sneakers, asking “Won’t you be my neighbors?”
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
This time, our trip started on Friday, October 15th, driving to Springfield, Missouri after we both got off work. We spent the night at a budget motel. The room was clean and comfortable, just what we needed for an overnight accommodation.
We followed Route 66 into Oklahoma but did not make many stops since we already visited most of the attractions from Quapaw to Chelsea. Benjamin was really happy when we finally arrived at the Totem Pole Park in Foyil. (Photos will be in future posts.)
Sadly, the Admiral Twin Drive In Theatre was burned down to the ground early this month. There was a fundraising event that day but it did not look promising that it would be re-built.
We continued on to Red Fork where we stopped for dinner at Ollies’ Station Restaurant. I missed my nephew JL terribly when I saw inside the restaurant all decorated with collection of model trains that were moving around the dining room on tiny tracks suspended from the ceiling. Model trains are displayed on glass shelves around the restaurant. From Ollies’ website, “Ten running trains, from G-scale to Z-scale, run the length of the dining room and through scale model cities and towns. Our walls and shelves abound with railroad memorabilia.” (Hey Qaptain Qwerty, it would be a great road trip next April after the marathon?)
After Red Fork, we got lost for about an hour on a dark 2-lane country road trying to find the giant soda bottle in Arcadia. Just like a typical man, CP would not stop to ask for direction or let me read the EZ 66 guide. Only after I threatened to throw a bucket of yellow paint on his T-bird when we get home, CP agreed to turn around. I took many photos of the 66 foot tall pop bottle illuminated in beautiful colors.
A trip to Oklahoma City would not be completed without getting a few banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) from Banh Mi Ba Le at the famous Giant Milk Bottle on Classen. Later, we stopped in Chandler, sat down at a park in front of the courthouse, enjoyed delicious banh mi. It was one of the most wonderful moments of the road trip.
Long time no see, so here is Benjamin again saying “Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay”!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I remembered seeing Conklin chatting with other goalies during warm up when we were at another game. Looks like Toivonen and Conklin were just saying hello and asking, "how are you doing, how is the family". Or could be just trash talk like, "Do you feel lucky, punk?", or "Don't let that puck get thru your 5th hole."
We got tickets to see the Penguins when they come into town on Saturday, October 23rd. We hope to say hello to Dan Bylsma and get his autograph. I hope Brent Johnson has forgiven me for being a "jinx" after I got his autograph when he was with the Blues in 2004, he was injured and traded to the Coyotes. I will be sure to take a photo of Conklin having a friendly chat with Johnson.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Most of the people were nice but no generous amount, only $1 or a few coins were deposited into the donation can. Only one person put in a $10 and did not even take the Tootsie roll. I smiled and greeted everyone with a "good morning or have a good day", without being a pushy salesperson. One person had a Tootsie roll in his pocket and quickly pulled it out, as he approached me, saying that he already gave. I engaged people, mostly man, with comments such as, “Were you at the game yesterday? The Blues sure played a good game against the Flyers.” when I saw a person with a Blues shirt.
Another comment, “That Cutler really struggled last week against the Giants”, to a young man with a Chicago Bears cap. When I told my husband about my tactic of getting people’s attention, he said that it was a good thing that I did not get into a fight with someone who might find out that I was really a Red Wings and a Patriots fan. Or I used my sports knowledge just to “B.S.” Well, I am doing whatever it takes to get money/funding for the kids!
Friday, October 15, 2010
A ferry moving slowly carries passengers and vehicles back and forth from Illinois side to the Show Me State - Missouri. Perhaps next time when we are not on a tight schedule, we plan to take the ferry across the Mighty Mississippi River.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
While waiting for the Poker Run to start, I walked around the park and took the above photo of two rowing teams passing each other. They must be practicing for the 2011 Dragon Boat Race. Next year, the event is scheduled for Saturday, August 13th. I already signed up to be a volunteer that day.
The information below is from the official website www.gatewaydragonboat.org,
"A dragon boat is a long, narrow canoe-style boat that is used in the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing, a tradition which originated in China over two thousand years ago. Dragon boat races are held as part of the annual Duanwu Festival in China, and the tradition has emerged in the past several decades as an international sport. Dragon boats are so-called because they are typically rigged at their ends with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails.
The best-known origin story of dragon boat racing is a folk legend about a Chinese statesman and poet by the name of Qu Yuan (c. 340-278 BC). Qu lived during a time in China's history characterized by a collection of warring states rather than a unified kingdom. A descendant of the royal house in the ancient state of Chu, Qu served as a government minister and, as a champion of political loyalty, was eager to preserve Chu autonomy in the shadow of the increasingly hegemonic Qin state. When the Chu king fell under the influence of other, corrupt ministers and decided to ally with Qin, Qu publicly criticized the alliance; for this, he was charged with treason and banished. During his exile, Qu travelled the countryside, collecting legends and writing poetry (producing some of the greatest poetry in Chinese literature, for which he is also remembered), expressing fervent love for his state and concern for its future. In the year 278 BC, Qu's fears were realized when Qin conquered the Chu capital of Ying. Upon learning of this, Qu is said to have waded into the Miluo River holding a great rock in order to commit ritual suicide as a form of protest against the corruption of the day. Folklore has it that the local people, who greatly admired Qu, rushed out on the water in their fishing boats and tried desperately to save him; they beat drums and splashed the water with their paddles in order to keep the fish and evil spirits from his body. Today, people still participate in dragon boat races during the Duanwu Festival to commemorate Qu Yuan."
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
It was the first time we participated in a Poker Run. The Run started at 10 on Saturday morning (October 2nd) from Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The event was a fundraising organized by someone who works with my husband. It was in memorial of his son, MV, who was a junior at Maryville University. MV was given full scholarship by the university. He was a promising baseball player and had a passion for cars, especially Mustangs (thus, we took the Mustang, instead of the T-bird, on the Poker Run). MV died last year during a hiking adventure. The proceed from the Run went to a scholarship fund in memorial of MV.
The 2nd stop was the Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, Illinois. After getting the 2nd card, we stopped for lunch at a BBQ place in Alton, Illinois.
The 5th and final stop was at Maryville University. The total run was approximately 6 hours to complete 125 miles but we had so much fun so it did not seem to be that long. To our surprise, we won the prize in our group for having the best hand - 3 of a kind. We decided to donate part of the prize to the fund. It was our first Poker Run but we enjoyed it so much that I said to my husband that not only we should participate again next year but I am also open to take part in other Poker Runs as well.
My husband said that just because we won our first Poke Run, I now have turned into a gambler. Well, “You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em".
Friday, October 08, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
I started this blog on August 4, 2006 and it has been fun. Over the years, TOTA has changed from essay writing style without any photos to the current format filled with cheesy photos, silly stories and a lot of rambling. I no longer try to impress the readers with latest world news, deep thoughts or intelligent comments. TOTA has become more of a diary/journal/scrapbook.
I am always delighted when someone left a comment. It has been awhile since I receive any comments, not even from Qaptain Qwerty (www.qaptainqwerty.com). I know the content of my blog don’t generate much discussion and since I enable “comment moderation”, some people consider a turn-off. However, I truly appreciate those rare comments because they were special when someone took the time and the trouble to leave the comments. I feel it is worth the extra step when I leave comments on others' blogs that also have comment moderation.
Thank you again, to all the regular readers, occasion readers and first time visitors. Please join me in the celebration of this milestone of 10,000th in TOTA’s Counters. Here is to the next 10,000 and Happy Blogging, everyone!