And So It Ends….2014

Each Year End I Summarize My Year 🙂

  1. I turned 54.
  2. I finished recovering from my body and arm lift surgery from December.
  3. I enjoyed a flat stomach for the first time in my adult life (I still smile at this).
  4. I stayed married to my best friend.
  5. I stayed gainfully employed.
  6. My son and daughter in law are great parents to my kiddies.
  7. I found out in March that my brother Jimmy was very ill.
  8. I still lived in 2 wonderfully different cities (Columbia and St. Louis Missouri).
  9. I got to spend another year with the 2 lights of my life (Daniel and Sadie).
  10. My 2 dogs continue to make me a better person than before I had them in my life.
  11. I ran for the 3rd time in the St. Louis Annual St. Patrick’s Day 5 Miler.
  12. I ran Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April for the 2nd time soon after I recovered from my surgery.
  13. Allison (my daughter in law) graduated from Nursing School with a Masters Degree at St. Louis University School of Nursing.
  14. I soon registered for my first marathon. (Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis)
  15. I trained 4 hard months for my first marathon and most during the heat of summer.
  16. I learned much about myself during marathon training.
  17. I ran a lot this year and never regretting one mile.
  18. Long training runs made me feel both like shit and invincible.
  19. I enjoyed wearing summer clothes for the first time in my adult life.
  20. I loved my body this past year….never said that before.
  21. Daniel spent a week in the summer with us in Columbia…maybe the best week of my life 🙂
  22. We didn’t go on a vacation this year to California and Las Vegas like we always do:-(
  23. I kept a blog all year!
  24. I got acquainted with many cool and great people on WordPress.
  25. I completed my first Marathon on Oct 19, 2014!!!!!! (Rock ‘n Roll Marathon – St. Louis)
  26. Having my family waiting for me at the finish line was emotional for me and one of the highlights of my life.
  27. I got to meet some Facebook runner friends that were running in the Rock ‘n Roll in STL
  28. I drove to Nashville, Tenn to be with my brother, Jimmy at his liver doctor visit. I hadn’t seen him in years.
  29. I spent a fun night out on the town with my baby sister, Barbara in Nashville who I haven’t seen in years.
  30. I didn’t see Barry or Beverly (brother and sister) at all this past year.
  31. I become Kaizen Leader training and certified.
  32. I spent more time alone in St. Louis this year than in the past.
  33. I wore Hoka One One running shoes for the first time and loved them.
  34. I spent Halloween with Daniel and Sadie in SoHa (South Hampton) in St. Louis…..I enjoyed it more than they did.
  35. My kids cooked an awesome Thanksgiving dinner for us in St. Louis…I was impressed.
  36. I was sad that Joe Cocker died.
  37. I made an ugly Christmas sweater and wore it!
  38. I enjoyed Christmas with my family and especially Daniel and Sadie.
  39. Daniel came to spend a couple of days with us in Columbia before the end of the year.
  40. James, Allison, Daniel and Sadie spent December 30 and New Years Eve with me in Columbia before heading back to St. Louis.

This has been a crazy year for me. I have the flat stomach that I’ve always dreamed of. I have spent a fortune on clothes like never before. I embarked on one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically and mentally in my life…training to run 26.2 miles. I still get excited and stressed thinking about it. I also received sad news this year from my brother Jimmy.

I have eaten badly and drank too much.

This year has taught me so much more about my self than the rest of my years.

I am not sure what 2015 will bring but I will try very hard to appreciate every moment and live in the present and not worry about the future like I tend to do.

Happy New Year 2015!

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Beware of Ninjas in the Treetops..

I am so glad that the Christmas eating season is over!

It was a great time and I love being with family but the terrible eating was awful!

My kiddies and me
My kiddies and me

I signed up for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon and starting my training tomorrow.

I’ve run quiet a bit over the last few days mainly because I run more when I am in St. Louis because I can go so many directions to vary  up my scenery there and no so much in my Columbia neighborhood. There is a great long trail MKT but I have to drive there and hate wasting that time…all of 2 minutes each way!  🙂

Our Mardi Gras “Run for Your Beads” is Feb 7 and I’m sure it will be a cold one. That 5k is a run time, though.

I also signed up for the St. Patrick’s Day 5 Mile run in St. Louis on March 14, 2014.

That is also the date that Kevin and I have tickets at the Fabulous Fox to see the “Phantom of the Opera” for the umteenth time! I love it and I’m lucky that Kevin does too. There’s nothing more annoying than having a husband who hates that stuff….I was married to one before Kevin. I think I’ve seen it 5 or 6 times. The tickets are a bit pricey but the orchestra seats are the best. We will dress up, go to dinner and then the opera house. I get excited thinking about it.

Daniel came back to Columbia with us to spend a few days. His parents are coming to get him tomorrow night and driving back to St. Louis on New Year’s Eve because Allison has to work that night.

I was a bit disappointed because I really wanted him to stay the entire week. 😦 But I understand they do not want to be away from him on New Years Day.

We would have stayed in St. Louis but Kevin started back to work today and only gets off for New Year’s Day.

Daniel and I had a great day. After breakfast we made a 50 minute circuit workout and we did it together! Daniel even made his own circuit.

Daniel and my circuit for this morning.
Daniel and my circuit for this morning.

I burned about 525 calories, worked up a good sweat and enjoyed doing it with Daniel.

We went to the MKT trail later own and hiked and explored for over 2 hours. You learn so much from a kid when you get outdoors with them. I found out today that spies were all over and we were searching for clues to solve the mystery! 🙂

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I also learned that he never gets sad except when he misses me and wishes he could live with me for a whole year….a little bribery can go far. 🙂

I learned that ninjas were in and behind the trees waiting to strike us. I also learned that he can put up a force field to protect us but only for 3 minutes at a time. We were in terrible danger during that hike.

I learned that one girl has a crush on him and he only wants to be friends with her. If she wants more than that…..he will have to not talk to her. He’s not ready to go out with a girl at the moment.

I also learned he is a great navigator when we got lost once and had to cross a creek to get back to our trail. He was loving it! I hated it because he was wearing the new shoes I bought him!

I will be sad when he leaves on Wednesday. I adore that little boy.

I am trying really hard to enjoy the present and not dwell on the future. But, that is very hard for me to do.

“When the samurai lets his guard down that’s when a ninja strikes” ~ Daniel said today (I’m sure he got it from somewhere but I loved it)

The Haunting Ghost of Christmas Future

I am trying to finish up Christmas shopping and it dawned on me that I have not sent Christmas cards to my family and friends as I usually do nor Christmas gift cards to Barbara’s daughters (my nieces) as I normally do.

With my trip to Nashville and being away from home, I have forgotten to do so much.

We finished up Sadie and Daniel except for a few stocking things.

I go back to work tomorrow for 2 hectic days then I am off until after the first of the year.

Kevin works Christmas Eve so will leave for St. Louis when he gets off work. We will go see what Santa Claus brought Daniel and Sadie on Christmas morning but won’t stay long because his other granddaddy (my ex husband) will be there with them.

We will get together with them on Christmas night to open presents. I will make some snack things but no real cooking.

Exercisewise, I have run on the treadmill for the last 2 days and didn’t mind it at all. Kevin got a spinning bike for Christmas and he and I run/spin together in the basement!

He also won a new big screen TV so we put it in the basement and I can watch TV while I run on the treadmill which definitely helps. I will enjoy going down there after work more if I can watch something whether news or other shows.

I still have not signed up for the Go! St. Louis half marathon but I will the first of the year. That will definitely give me something to train for. I can’t tell you how much I do miss training for the marathon. I’m not ready for a marathon in the near future but likely during October, November or December timeframe in 2015.

I’m eating badly, still. I still count calories and exercise most everyday but there is one definite thing that I have learned…..you cannot exercise away a bad diet.

With my brother’s failing health….I want to be more diligent and dedicated to eating properly including watching my sodium intake. I use myfitnesspal.com every day and it does track all those things.

It seems like the world is going to shit right now so watching the news is so often disparaging. God rest the souls of those 2 NYPD slain cops. What would these fucked up cities be without cops to patrol and protect them.

I can’t seem to get in the Christmas spirit knowing what my brother must be going through. I will find ways to come to grips with that and be supportive as much as I can being almost 500 miles away from him. I wish I lived closer so I could do things with him.

In addition, Kevin’s dear, sweet mother (in Las Vegas) is almost 90 and her health is failing.

I actually have some fear about what 2015 will bring and I’m not welcoming it with open arms…but it’s coming.

I love Christmas. I always have no matter what was going on in my life.

I love spending most of the Christmas season wishing for Christmas past. I think about my mama and daddy who have gone long ago. I miss being the oldest out of our litter of 5 kids all waking up and going to see what Santa brought. I miss all the family get togethers back in Tennessee. I hang old ornaments on my trees…I listen to old Christmas songs. I cook things that I had as a child at Christmas. I look at old pictures.

I also enjoy living in the Christmas present because of my family and especially my grand kiddies. I like being with James and Allison (my son and daughter in law). I love cooking, decorating the tree and shopping for those 2 “Joys of My Life.” I love driving around with Kevin looking at Christmas lights in our neighborhood. I like sitting in the dark looking at my Christmas tree and enjoying my life with Kevin, Peyton and Eli.

But for the first time in my life, I look with dread and fear to Christmas future.

I want Daniel and Sadie to stay little and still love spending time with me.

I don’t want to be 55 years old which I turn on Jan 06, 2015.

I don’t want Peyton and Eli to get old and feeble.

I want Kevin to stay young and strong. I want James and Allison to be forever as they are now.

I want my brother’s and sisters and their families to freeze in time.

I want Jimmy (my brother) to never die and be that man I’ve always loved with that bigger than life laugh.

I want life to freeze!

But, it will not. Life and death moves on whether we like it or not.

~And to All a Good Night~

Stink, Stank, Stunk

I’m finally home with my husband and puppies! 🙂

It has only been 7 days but it seems like an eternity since I’ve been with them.

I got about a 20 minute welcome from Peyton and Eli and have scratches all over to prove it! They were so happy and so was I.

It was so good to see Kevin. I forget many times how much I rely on him for my emotional stability.

It snowed in St. Louis yesterday and I went for a nice 3.3 mile run in the snow through the neighborhood streets. It felt exhilarating…. After the long trip from the day before and the migraine that night, I needed this exercise and I felt great until a few minutes later my brother called.

The news was very grim and brought me down emotionally. He had a CT scan at the hospital while we were with him and they called him on Thursday morning with the news that the cancer had spread to his lungs and it is not possible to do a liver transplant even if he could get on the list. All I could do while he talked to me was cry.

He tried to comfort me by telling me that he would always watch over me from heaven. I’m so sad and heartbroken. I feel so much pain for what he is going through and what he will go through. There are no options at this point and I could tell that Jimmy was resigned to that.

I was alone when I got the news and wanted so bad to be home with Kevin. My son and Sadie came over for a while and Daniel spend the night with me.

Sadie

 

Daniel is such a good and caring kid. He was good and sweet. He and I ate snacks and watched “Miracle on 34th Street.” He looked so grown up there sitting and watching with me. He also made me a special ring out of a twisty tie. I was pretty proud of that. 🙂 We went to bed and watched “The Grinch That Stole Christmas” on the laptop and he fell fast asleep beside me.

It was kinda fun for me to help him get his shower, homework, dinner, iron his school clothes, make his lunch and get him breakfast before I took him to school. That helped my heart. 🙂

I don’t know what the future holds at all and I guess that’s always for the best.

I did not sleep at all last night.

I work Monday and Tuesday and then I’m off work the rest of the year. I will be very happy  to get back to a normal routine with no junk eating. I ate decently yesterday and today so far.

Today is the one year anniversary of my body and arm lift. I blew off my doctor’s appointment today for my 1 year check up. I just wanted to be home and it is a 2 hour drive from St. Louis to Columbia.

After the first couple of weeks after the surgery, I have never regretted getting that surgery.

Now, it’s time for me to get back into my healthy eating and exercise regularly….but today….I lay around! 🙂

“He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

In My Little Town…..

I got back into St. Louis late this afternoon from my trip to Nashville, TN to be with my brother at Vanderbilt Hospital. My baby sister came up too. It was good to see them even under the circumstances.

This has been an emotional few days for me and when I got home after that long drive, I had a migraine…I think. I’ve never had one but this pounding in my head was excruciating so I feel sorry for people who have these regularly. I hope this is my only one.

I took one of my left over pain pills from my plastic surgery last year and it pretty much knocked it out and I was able to eat and rest.

It was probably the stress, long driving and emotions. I did a lot of crying on my 5 hour drive back today….plus bad eating.

I drove through 4 states twice (Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee) and 4 major rivers twice (Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, Cumberland).

I did manage to get in an early morning run on Tuesday through the streets of downtown Nashville. I had forgotten how beautiful Nashville is and I a little bit homesick for Tennessee.

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It was dark when I started running and the city was still very busy. My hotel was near the Capitol so I passed it on my run.

Tennessee's Capital Nashville
Tennessee’s Capital Nashville from my morning run

I ran by the capitol building, LP Field (home of the Titans football team), Johnny Cash museum, Honky Tonk Row or called SoBro by locals. I ran by the Music City where they held the ACC awards on Monday night. It was an awesome but very hilly run.

My sister stayed with me in my hotel one night and we did have a great time visiting music venues and shopping. We didn’t do much drinking but had a couple of beer and spent a shitload of money and listened to some very good live country music.

If you can’t find cowboy boots in Nashville, you wasn’t really wanting boots!

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But I also miss Kevin and my furry babies. I still won’t see them until Friday night or Saturday.

I have my 12 month follow up with my plastic surgeon on Friday.

To sum up my brother’s visit, the liver transplant team gave him 6 months to do a list of things in order to qualify to even be put on the transplant list and Jimmy didn’t do any of it. So 2 months squandered. We got to meet with all his doctors and sit in on his visits. The transplant doctor was very straight forward about Jimmy’s chances due to the fact he has made no effort to get on that list. I’m disheartened but it’s his choice. I feel even less hopeful that he will even make an attempt than I did before I went there.

It’s out of my hands. I was happy to see him and he looks so very sick. My heart broke when I first saw him Tuesday morning. He has always been such a healthy, good looking man and he is younger than me.

I hope he doesn’t read this blog and I’m sure he won’t but I left him today truly feeling that would be the last time I see him alive. 😦

I’m pretty sad writing this and have been crying most all day. That might have lead to that migraine also….in addition to junky eating and 5 hours driving.

I am ready to get back into my routine of running and better eating. I will try to get a run in the morning. It’s supposed to start snowing tonight so that might be a challenge…and fun.

One of my aunt in laws died in Tennessee last night.

And a song came on the radio on my trip back that sums up how I felt. And of course that song made me cry too! 🙂

“Leaving nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town” ~My Little Town by Simon and Garfunkel

 

Bailey’s, Griswolds and Ugly Sweaters

Once again, I’m away from Kevin, Peyton, Eli and my home in Columbia.

I am in St. Louis alone again and at a time when I’d prefer not to be here and especially at this time of year. I am off from work for most of the rest of the month.

I came here to check on the apartment and bring Christmas gifts for the kids to put under my tree. And also break up my long drive to Nashville, Tennessee that I will be making on Monday.

I will drive there on Monday and meet with my brother and hopefully his doctors to see how he is coming along to be placed on the liver transplant list. I am disappointed because he told me the other day that he hasn’t done much of what they told him he had to do to prove he wanted a liver and be placed on the list. It’s his choice and I won’t try to convince him to do what he needs to do. I just want to see him and visit with him for a while.

The drive to Nashville is 7 hours from Columbia but 5 from St. Louis. I will only get to see Jimmy (my brother) for a short while because he said he had to go back to his home in Alabama that afternoon. I am hoping that I get to meet with his doctor with him and his girlfriend.

I booked 2 nights at a hotel on Honky Tonk row or known as Music Row. The hotel is in heart of everything and in front of the Capital. Nashville is a beautiful. clean and safe city. I thought I’d spend some time sightseeing and make the most out of my trip. I haven’t been to Nashville since 1998 so I do miss my home of Tennessee.

My baby sister may meet me there and if she does, we’ll hit the strip and have a bit of fun.

I have already mapped out some 3 and 5 miles runs so I can exercise while I am there.

I should be back in St. Louis on Wednesday night. I have a follow-up appointment with my plastic surgeon on Friday for my 1 year check up. So I will be away from Kevin and my pups until next Saturday or Sunday. 😦

I will visit with my kiddies a few days and do some shopping and maybe so see some of the beautiful Christmas lights in St. Louis to make the most of my time.

I did get in a 6.2 mile run around the perimeter of Forest Park this afternoon when I got in town.

I’ve been a bit weepy and down lately and I think a lot of it may be that I am not getting enough exercise. I did today and I do feel so much better.

I’ve spent my night closed up in my apartment tonight sipping Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon, watching Christmas Vacation and making a “Christmas Ugly Sweater.” I have enjoyed doing that so much more than I imagined that I would.

I’m not finished yet but I am liking this!

I have not had much of an appetite tonight which surprises me but maybe that 6.2 mile run helped curb it. I didn’t even go out tonight for dinner and with so many awesome places I could have chosen. I ate a frozen dinner from Trader Joe’s that has been in my apartment freezer for months! HA~

Kevin and I did some shopping for Daniel and Sadie and I need to wrap them tonight or early morning. They may come for a visit tomorrow and Daniel is very nosey about Christmas presents! 🙂

I plan on a nice slow run in the morning. I will be signing up for the Go!St. Louis Half Marathon soon so I can have something to train for. I can’t devote that kind of time in the winter to sign up for the marathon. I’ve run the Go! St. Louis Half marathon for the last 2 years. It is a run that I enjoy and love participating in it.

I do plan on doing another marathon next year but it will likely be toward the end of 2015 and probably the Rock ‘n Roll in Las Vegas with my brother in law.

I’m reclined on the sofa now in near dark with my beautiful Christmas tree watching the St. Louis Blues. They are doing a live big screen showing of the St. Louis Blues tonight at a Steinberg Ice Rink in Forest Park near my house. I wanted to go there and watch some of it around a campfire watching all the ice skaters but I forgot the game didn’t come on until 9 pm and it’s not a good idea for me to walk there and back in the dark. Maybe another time.

I have always thought that I could relate to Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. I always try way beyond what is necessary to make sure everyone has a fun time at Christmas or other times. I am Clark. 🙂

“I don’t know if I oughta go sailin’ down no hill with nothin’ between the ground and my brain but a piece of government plastic.” ~Cousin Eddie – Christmas Vacation

Happy Blog Anniversary to Me!

Today is my 1 year anniversary posting on WordPress. I’ve made a lot of friends on WP that I would never have had contact with. I laugh a lot and learn a lot from all the blogs.

This time last year, I was nervous in anticipation of my scheduled body and arm lift surgery that was to happen on Dec 19, 2013. I started the blog to track my experience with the surgery.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since my surgery. I’m still enjoying how I look! I still am a bit heavier than I want to be plus I’m looking older…but    🙂

In the exercising routine, I am been a bit of a slacker of late. I am only running a few miles a week. I cannot get motivated to run when I get home from work in the dark and I detest the treadmill. I know that I am just leaning on those excuses but I did it last year too. I usually kick off my running year in February with the Mardi Gras run and in March with the St. Patrick’s Day run. That is one of my favorites and it’s a 5 miler so it is challenging. I can’t do much else in the way of exercise due to a ruptured bicep that I have had for a couple of years. I do workout on the boxing bag fairly often but I usually suffer from that.

I’m doing better with my healthier, lower calorie eating. I have a few lbs that I really want to get off.


This past weekend, my son, Daniel and Sadie came to spend the weekend in Columbia with us while Allison was working. Those 2 kids plus 2 dogs almost drove me batty! But I loved it. 🙂

Daniel whispered to me several times that he wants to come live with me. I explained how he would miss his little family and he said he could see them on facetime! haha

He does get spoiled by me…..no doubt about that. Daniel still has my heart. 🙂

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Sadie is a budding fireball personality. I think she got that from me! I know she looks like me. 🙂 She’s my girl…


My 2015 resolution is to find another job! I have been stuck in this job for so long and it is not very fulfilling to me professionally. I am not complaining because it pays well and I’m happy to have a job. I know all things can change quickly so I don’t want to temp fate….but I want out.

I am tired of a dick for a boss and employees that complain about the stupidest shit. One of the best jobs around and they don’t give a fuck if they show up for work. We have such a high rate of absenteeism that it is hard for my supervisor’s to run their shifts. My company also has a generous paid time off policy. I’ve been here 14 years and I get 288 hours (36 days) of vacation. Our employees get the equivalent based on their years of service. And yet they burn through that PTO before the mid year and still miss to the point of termination. And it is so hard to terminate an employee anymore….I don’t even push it most of the time.

I have half-heartedly looked for other employment in the St. Louis area but I guess I chicken out and don’t pursue it. I have an impressive work history and resume along with the education. I should at least take people up on interview requests.

I love (for the most part) routine. I guess that’s why I’m still here and bitching! HA!

I know Kevin never wants to move from Columbia until we are ready to retire to Santa Cruz, CA…..his home. So when I talk about selling the Columbia home and finding a job in St. Louis….he gets pissy.


So for my 1 year anniversary post….I’m still bitching

– not exercising well

– not eating correctly

– need to loose weight

– love my kiddies + dogs

yada yada….

Funny Pictures Of The Day - 48 Pics

St. Louis and Pajamas

I have not been running so much lately. I don’t know if it’s laziness, weather or what but I just don’t.

I still love running and I am doing my share on the weekends but not during the week. I was the same last year so maybe nothing much has changed. This time last year I was getting ready for my surgery.

I’m trying to get off those few pounds from Thanksgiving….that is proving to be very difficult for me and especially since I went from running 120 miles a month down to 50! lol

But  I have been busy online shopping! As people who know me know, I am not a shopper. I don’t like malls, stores, crowds etc.

But lately, I have found my kind of shopping….online shopping and I am spending the $$$!

I love shopping while reclined on the sofa in pajamas! My favorite shopping is still running gear and yes, I bought another pair of running shoes. I can’t resist and this is the 4th pair in the last 5 months!

I used to be the most boring running shoe wearer in the United States. The brighter and gaudier the shoe, the more likely I am to buy it.

I also used to only wear Nike. I don’t even own a pair of Nikes anymore. My current rotation is Asics, Brooks, Hoka and now…Saucony.  I always get the neutral shoe that best fits my strike and stride.

My new rids are Saucony Ride 7! A
My new rids are Saucony Ride 7!

My saucony rides came in the post yesterday and I took them out for a 3.2 mile drive. Each shoe makes me feel different. I am enjoying wearing my hokas but I like changing up. The rides feel great on my feet but I felt some issues this morning.

This week, I have purchased jeans, Blues Hockey shirts, gloves, boots….all while comfortably reclined in PJs sipping a Schlafly Pumpkin Ale!

Merry Christmas to me! 🙂

The week of Dec 15, I will be traveling to Nashville Vanderbilt University Hospital where my brother has his visit with his liver transplant doctor and team. He is not yet on the list but we are hoping that he will be placed on it. I haven’t seen my brother in person in years. We talk on text and phone but not in person. I will be so happy to see him. My baby sister will be meeting me there and I am happy to see her. I’ll be in Nashville for the entire week and I hope I come back home with hope in my heart but for now, I am not optimistic. He seems to be and that is important.

This time of year is always such a happy time for me and it still is. I love the season, the music, the trees, the decorations but more than anything….it makes me think of family. It takes me back to when I was a little girl with my mom, dad, 2 brothers and 2 sisters….many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Christmas makes me sentimental and calm.

I miss Tennessee.

After I get back from Nashville, TN….I’ll get to spend Christmas with Daniel, Sadie, Kevin, Allison, James…Peyton and Eli.

St. Louis is going through a lot right now, but it is a beautiful city with so much to offer people of all races, religions etc….don’t believe what the media is leading people to believe.

City Garden in St. Louis, MO
City Garden in St. Louis, MO

I don’t post as much as I used to. I guess when I’m not training, I don’t have as much to complain about. 🙂

P.S. I do love Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Music…plus anything by Elvis!

T.S Eliot and Tennessee Williams boyhood homes are on my block where I have an apartment in St. Louis. Williams wrote the “Glass Menegerie” in that home.

“It is self-evident that St. Louis affected me more deeply than any other environment has ever done. I feel that there is something in having passed one’s childhood beside the big river, which is incommunicable to those people who have not. I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London.” – T.S. Eliot