Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cousin Time!

We had a wonderful time with cousins from across the globe.  They came in for a last-minute visit without coordinating with each other.  And we had so much fun!

La Barque #3

 Looking Up

 Looking Down

Justin was able to go with us this time, and it was the best day for a fall hike!
If we lived in the country, no one would ever see us.  (Unless we invited over them over for Ozark party fun.)  So that's why we live in the city.  It's the responsible thing to do.

La Barque #2

Sly Dog

This tree captivated me.  I took so many pictures of it and couldn't decide which one to put on here.  The sun was going down and it was glowing in an extra special way.

Curly Ear-Hair Profile Of A Beauty

This is the second time hiking here.  The first was for Jasper's BD and he wanted to go hiking near a stream. August was hot and we were in the midst of a drought, so finding a stream was difficult.  But i searched through MDC for "permanent stream" and came up with this place.  Of course, it was dry as a desert.  But we liked it enough in 100+ temperatures to come back for more.

La Barque Conservation Area is 639 acres of  Missouri beauty, about a 45 minute drive for us.

Water carves cliffs and overhangs in soft sandstone bedrock and ferns, mosses, greens are everywhere.  

We had the best time discovering holes in the creek bed that appeared to be reflecting pools of water, but were really holes.  Down below the overhang was where the kids decided to set up camp.  A couple turtles also found solace there.  
Dense forests contain numerous sandstone and limestone glades. On a cool fall day, these are the best places to nap in the sun and find sunning lizards.  We didn't see any snakes and we were looking. 
Mike Leahy, MDC Natural Areas Coordinator, says:

"This area lies at the heart of the LaBarque Creek Conservation Opportunity Area. LaBarque Creek supports 36 native fish species (including five native darters) – the highest diversity of native fishes found in tributaries to the Meramec River in Jefferson and St. Louis counties... 
The natural area also contains a mix of over a dozen terrestrial natural communities that collectively support 499 vascular plant species, 115 moss and liverwort species, and 49 breeding bird species."
A super place and new favorite.

Pickle Springs 2012

We had a beautiful fall hike at one of our favorite places...Pickle Springs.  Grandma was in town for the arrival of sweet Eliza Jean and she got to come with us.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mary The Font Solitude 2012

"These things you have given me
without my asking:
the sky, the light,
my mind, my body, my life."

Carolina Buckthorn

The Stream Was Dry.

Found Item #1

Found Item#2

Found Item #3


Found Fossils

My time of silence was last minute, but needed.  The weather was beautiful and the birds were plentiful.  I saw Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, Wood Thrush, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, and Barred Owl.  
I re-read Life and Holiness by Thomas Merton.  I also enjoyed reading the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet who was born in 1861.

"That you protect me in danger-
this is not my prayer;
Let me not know fear
when in danger.

I do not ask You to comfort me
in the heat of sadness,
in an aching state of mind.  
Make me victorious 
over sadness.

Let not my strength break down
when i find myself without refuge.

If I suffer any worldly loss,
if I'm repeatedly frustrated,
let me not consider this
harm irreparable.

That you come to save me-
this is not my prayer;

I ask for strength 
to overcome.

You need not comfort me
by lightening my load;

I ask for strength 
to carry my burden.

On days of joy
with humble head
I will remember you.
I will recognize you.

On a dark, sad night,
full of frustrations

O then may i not 
doubt you!"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our 1st Before and After!

Justin has been working hard to strip the paint from the butler's pantry in the downstairs bathroom.  It is complete!  The window that had the brick through it has been replaced with a glass block.  The rotten wall and ceiling were removed and the new ones are in.  The peeling vinyl is now hardwood.  The stained hobo toilet is fresh and white.  The sink was upstairs and we brought it down.  The original cabinet hardware was "cooked" in an old crock pot with TSP, and now they are beautiful.  The door with a brick sized hole in it is long gone and so is the curtain that replaced it.  (The brick on the peeling vinyl is also gone.)
With a serious look on his face, Jasper innocently inquired, "You know, don't you think we should work on getting, you know, some of the other things done, you know, like the more important big things?"  He is thinking a floor, stove, shower...
And yes, i feel the same way.  But we still haven't finalized the loan, and in the mean time, we are doing what we can.  For Justin, it was stripping the butler's pantry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zoo Expansion Plans

Good news for our home on Graham Street, which is part of the zoo's expansion plan.
I am excited that the hospital didn't stay empty for too long.  It was CREEPY at night!  In the end, only a few psych beds were open.
An aquarium, pedestrian walk-way, more zoo parking, long-awaited dog park...super exciting.  We do miss walking to the zoo every day.  Plus, their landscaping is superb and well-cared for.  A huge asset that beats a hulking mass of parking garages/lots,weeds, and old buildings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Talking, talking, talking...

Blue Blue Blue

Getting Ready To Climb

Almost To The Top

Give It!

A Nice Picture Of The Ladies


Smile Or Else

We had a great time at Lake Michigan (aside from all coming down with a stomach bug while in close quarters).
I had so much fun, i didn't really take pictures.  
But that is a sign of a really good time, so thanks Mom and Dad!