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Today is a celebration of Good Things from the Earth. You were introduced to my tomatoes when they were but wee tots in my basement window (March 2005). You witnessed me kick the young punks out of the house to fend for themselves when they became "of age" (April 2005). Well now, I'm proud to tell you all that the youngsters have made their way in the world. They have weathered the onslaught of childhood diseases. They have been model citizens and are now ready to produce the harvest for which they were planted.
We are also celebrating the beauty that our garden hath wrought. Lovely Wife's Hydrangeas (no, I don't know how to spell it and I'm too lazy to look it up) have been multiplying each year and have finally reached the threshold of "beautiful". They are now web-worthy.
Cobbler peaches are always a welcome addition to the summertime web page. Made from actual peaches and actual cobbles, L.W.'s peach cobbler is a perennial crowd pleaser. I would have posted an actual cobbler picture, but it was already adulterated by the time I got home.
This concludes our Good Things from the Earth segment. Please give appropriate thanks to the God of the Universe.
There are several things that my church (First Baptist LSL, thank you very much) does right and one of them is our Lakeside Fellowships. The whole church gathers at the Community Association to enjoy and evening of swimming, talking, playing and eating. Last nights event featured hotdogs, brats and hamburgers. Everyone brought a salad or desert to share. I brought my world famous Dragon Breath Salad and (much to L.W.'s chagrin) it was a big hit. The best part of the evening, however, are the baptisms. After all, we're Baptists, it's what we do. In the lake. Just like back in the day.
We Baptise the young
We Baptise the old
We Baptise them four at a time
A late spring day and it was gorgeous. Temperature in the low 80's. Low humidity. Gentle breeze. I can hear the dog days of summer howling in the distance. <Captain Kirk Voice> Must enjoy weather...now </Captain Kirk Voice>. So, Lovely Wife and I decided to go to the Loading Dock, which is situated in Grafton, IL at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. A lovely trip over on the ferry and a drive along The Great River Road and the next thing you know, we're enjoying a lovely walleye sandwich whilst listening to the antics of a crowd of drunk bikers. Not only does the Loading Dock feature a lovely ambiance, but the view is also noteworthy.
Today, the youth in our church worked at church members homes in order to earn money for their mission trips this summer. The youth sought donations for their work and performed the tasks as a service for members who needed things done around their homes. I led a team of enthusiastic and dedicated kids. We cleaned a garage, cleaned a basement, cut grass, weed-eated (ate?), cemented in a pole and a few other things that we were asked to do. The members get some things done around the house, the kids learn the value of service and make some dough for their trips this summer. It's really a win, win, win. Afterwards, I had my team over for sub sandwiches which were enjoyed by all.
Lovely Wife and I decided to take advantage of the wonderfully cool day and partake of our evening meal in the out-of-doors. As soon as I saw the meal, I knew it was "picture worthy". L.W. disagreed, saying, "everything is in pots". Well, my friend, presentation isn't everything. Substance plays a large role. And just in case you cannot discern the substance of this particular meal, allow me to list them here with an over-abundance of menuish adjectives (from right to left, with a clockwise flourish at the end): Onion roasted meat loaf topped with tomato bisque, salted and buttered sweet corn on the cob, peas--canned--no big whoop, fresh sliced red garden tomatoes, creamy hand-crafted cole slaw with sweet red grapes, sweet baby carrots with a honey glaze.
This year, the gang all met at Dave's new hacienda. [To check out last year's event, go here (scroll down to April 5th)]. Dave has 25 beautiful acres out in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio. He has horses and a barn, a pool and a fountain and a wonderfully bucolic view (I'm trying to work in bucolic whenever I can). Mr. Dave's lovely family was whisked away to allow for the onslaught of Dave's high school and college buddies who came for a weekend of poker, merriment, eating and camaraderie. We ate nothing but fire for the entire weekend. For more details on the eating, go to the Kitchen page. Needless to say, a GREAT time was had by all. I hope Dave invites us back again next year.
I'll just let the pictures do the talkin'. As usual, hover over the picture to see the caption
Well, Lovely Daughter just returned from a gruelling four day cheerleading
camp resort. I was a little suspicious when I learned that it cost nearly $500 to go to a four day camp. Then, I found out it was at Tan-Tar-A, a resort on lake of the Ozarks. No tents. No campfires. No nasty camp food. These are Cheerleaders, after all. They deserve so much better than you and I. To my never-ending joy, L.D. was selected as a nominee for All American Cheerleader and is eligible to cheer at halftime at the Hula Bowl. I wish her well...and Aloha.
Today BoyHead came in from work, exhausted as usual, and I just knew I had to get those feet on the website. The combination tan/dirt line is exceptionally striking. Today he asked me, "When I tell people (adults) that I'm working, they all say, 'Good'. Why is that?" I told him that it's good that he's the learning self-discipline of getting up early and foregoing staying out late and giving up time with his friends and learning the value of a dollar and what it takes to earn it and delayed gratification and...blah, blah, blah. He said that for every good thing that I mentioned, that he could think of six bad things. He's tired, he's dirty, he's smelly, he's hungry, he's got a terrible case of poison ivy... And that's entirely the point. He's willing to put up with all those things in order to attain the lifestyle that he so richly deserves--hey, it's expensive to be a BoyHead. And he wants that car. All I can say is, "Bully, BoyHead. Bully!"
Last evening, Lovely Wife and I enjoyed an evening under the stars at the Saint Louis Shakespeare Festival. Nine years here in Saint Louie and we've never been. That changed last night. This year was The Tempest. Lots of people are turned off of Willie Shakes at an early age--school age. Listening to English teachers drone on about the symbolism, foreshadowing, anachronisms and other such rot can really turn one against the Bard. Last night there was none of that. Prior to the show, there were madrigals, jugglers, jesters and other such entertainers roaming through the crowds and doing their schtick. The "seating" is on the side of a hill--just bring a blanket or a lawnchair. And some food. And some wine. Performances are at 8:00 p.m. six nights a week from Memorial Day through Father's Day. Cost: Free.
Although it's lawn seating and completely free (yes, including parking) don't think that it's a second-rate or amateurish production. The set was quite good and the lighting was excellent. Set changes were accomplished primarily by lighting effects. The staging was also very good. Actors made excellent use of the grounds and the crowd. All of the individual performances were quite strong. The comedic timing of Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban were particularly noteworthy. All in all it was a great evening and a good time was had by all. I will surely go again next year.
Summer vacation is finally here. No school for three months. If you're Lovely Daughter, that means a summer of to-do's. Cheerleader practices (they start at 7:00 a.m.--the nerve), Cheerleader Camp, Mission Trip to Alabama, Family vacation to Texas, sleeping late when possible and even making a chocolate cake for her family. If you're BoyHead, it means a grueling summer of rising early (he's at work by 6 a.m.), working long, hard hours (40+ in some weeks), and coming home spent. But, in another two or three weeks, we'll be able to do some serious car shopping and he, no doubt, will be looking forward to his Senior year.