Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This is not OK

No indictment against the officer that killed Eric Garner.  NY Times Article

I assumed the body cams would be the solution to this problem, but what good would it do to have that accountability if no one is held accountable?
The cause of his death was the chokehold, yet the chokehold has been banned by the Police Department since 1993.
New inquiry needed on Eric Garner's death

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Black and White Learning Together

Tensions are high as we wait for the Grand Jury announcement.  Governor Nixon announced a state of emergency and called in the National Guard yesterday.  
i appreciate this video as i sort through all of the emotions i have been feeling.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Iowa State Fair

I love the gravel road.  It is my growth chart.

Pretty colors mixed together

Always buddies from the start

These 2 as well.

This cat (Malfoy?)has gotten big and is still super sweet.

Famous butter cow at the Iowa State Fair

Grape Stomping division winners, i was the photographer.

And the coach

I love this picture because Jasper never knew it was being taken and those are the best kind.  

Giant Pumpkin, giant boys

Constipated farmer?


Little bandit

I love this barn, it is my time chart.

Poppy is the mother of them all. the whole herd.

Monarch caterpillar- Yesterday i read that it was being considered for endangered status.

Toji has also gotten big.  She is besties with the cats, the whole herd.  They sleep on top of her in the cold.

Zinnia are so pretty.

Sandy Creek Covered Bridge

Afterwards, we stopped at the Sandy Creek Covered Bridge Historic site.  The problem with waiting this long to post things is...
i remember we had fun and it was a beautiful day.  That is all that matters.

Valley View Glades-Summertime Hike

I am quite behind...
Back in August, Jasper used his money to buy a live trap off of craigslist.  It was cheap but pretty far away, just south of Hillsboro.  It was an unusually cool summer day that begged for a hike, so we went to a new place called Valley View Glades.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cat and Frog on a tiny island of serenity

This year has been filled with hard times, rich tenants that stopped paying rent, yet another layoff, health issues, car issues, a/c issues, ceiling caving-in issues, under-mount sink collapsing issues...
We are doing fine and moving forward.  But life is hard.

This NPR article talk about the cat/frog video.  I love kitty's expression.  It is how i hope to maneuver through the inevitable stress of life and our upcoming court date.

How municipalities in St Louis County profit from poverty

This is a great article.  Washington Post Article
Justin and I have both had negative experiences in the towns listed here.  One 100 degree day in Florissant, Justin's car was searched and he sat on the curb for a few hours while they did what they do. i cannot recall why they did it. They had no reason to and he wanted to refuse, but was afraid to since he had just started a new job, he was wearing a suit, and it was during the work day.  
I got a camera speeding ticket while driving through Uplands Park and when Justin went to pay it, they only accepted cash.  A few weeks later, they were in the news for corruption and missing money.  What a surprise!  They have been in the news multiple times in the last few years for corruption in various forms.  Here is one article...Missing money in Uplands Park  
I try to avoid driving through these municipalities at all costs.  And when i do, i am paranoid.  I get a pit in my stomach when i see police in certain parts of town. (Brentwood, Maplewood and Rock Hill are included on my bad list)  
In St Louis City, things are different.  I see police as protectors.  They are not out to make money, but to survive.  They have too much real stuff to deal with.  Cops in the county are bored and things need to change.  The article talks about one way can have any hope at all.  
"Just about everyone agrees on the main cause of this problem in St. Louis County.
“There are too many towns,” says Vatterott. There are too many towns, and not enough taxpayers to sustain them. How to fix that problem is another matter. There has long been a movement in St. Louis to merge the county with the city. That movement has picked up steam recent years as advocacy groups like Better Together have pushed proposals to merge a number of public services. But real change would require a good portion of these towns to merge with other towns, or to dissolve themselves entirely. That would require the town councils or boards of aldermen to vote themselves out of a job.
“You have these fiefdoms across the county where a small percentage of people hold power over a small bit of territory,” Kirkland says. “They aren’t going to let go of that easily.” Some towns have begun to share police services, or to contract police services out to St. Louis County. That at least means there are fewer cops per resident to hand out fines. But the cops and courts are still geared more toward generating revenue than promoting public safety.”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rodrigo Amarante:Tiny Desk Concert

He also plays in a band with Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, Little Joy.  And on his solo album Kristen Wiig is one of the people who sings in the choir?
He has been soothing my mind with beautiful tunes as i read more about life in St Louis.

Another article about where we live

Washington Post talks about the Delmar divide.

Interesting tidbit...
The 3rd picture in the slideshow shows a house on the same block my brother lived on a few years ago.   While he lived there, he was shot point blank in the femur and it shattered into more than 50 pieces.

This is worth talking about, whether you live in St Louis or not.

Nickel Creek:Tiny Desk

We saw Nickel Creek sometime around 2002 and took Tullaia the baby with us.  I kind of forgot about these guys, but still love them.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Inside Ferguson

This is an excellent video by a St Louis journalism student named
Bradley J Rayford.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Time to Merge...

We live in St Louis city and Ferguson is 5 miles northwest in St Louis county.  This is fairly irrelevant unless you live here.  
This article talks about the history and how it affects us now.  
The county map that explains Ferguson's tragic discord

Here is a Map of Decline for the St Louis area.

Champ?  I haven't even heard of it, and i love to read city maps before bed.   It's a tiny municipality out by Riverport.  Do people in Champ care much about what happens in Ferguson?  Probably not.  Do I?
We care more about something we are part of.  Otherwise it just turns into "those people".

"Fragmentation is not the principal cause, but it certainly fed into what’s happening in Ferguson,” says Robert Cohn, author of The History and Growth of St. Louis County, Missouri.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

White Flight and White Power

All of the chaos in St Louis makes me sad.  Sad for things that came before.
Sad for all the anger that has been building, on all sides.
TIME article

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


We watch old videos on the kids' birthdays.  It is so funny to see how they talk, sing, and dance.

Avery is the beloved baby and it shows.  The videos often include multiple requests for Avery to say something and roaring laughter in the background.  In one family favorite, he performs killer dance moves to Michael Jackson without inhibitions.  On beat.

Time really does fly...
Happy birthday Avery!



I didn't disclose my love of food dehydrators to Jasper. But he wanted one for his birthday.  So, the kids pooled their money to buy it for him. 
I got one for my birthday when i was a kid too. We had about 3 T.V. channels and one of them usually had a Ronco infomercial playing.  I loved those!  One was for the food dehydrator.  
It is a fairly weird thing to want, so it warms my heart a bit to see our similarities.  He hasn't seen any of the infomercials, so it comes straight from him.

It's interesting to see kids morph into people, with their own ideas and interests.  Sometimes it is really frustrating.  But it is really fun to see their joys coincide with yours inadvertently. 

Happy Birthday Jasper!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


These pictures don't show how silly, sweet and loving she was.  They don't reveal her munchkin voice.  They don't really capture her wild hair.  Time does fly.
(More so now than when the kids were young. Diapers, feedings, timeouts, and tantrums really make the minutes drag...)
I wanted to pick pictures of Tullaia when she was quite young to contrast with her now at 12.  She is a girl i admire and love to be around.  She is still silly, sweet, and loving.  But in a different way.  And the munchkin voice is gone.  
Happy Birthday Tullaia!