Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Recipe Book of Clover

This morning on his way to his truck, my hubby found another one. A four leaf clover. He yelled at me, "come here look at this one, pick it". I replied, "wait til we get home". Hoping I would not forget. I almost did. I went for a walk and remembered it before I left. I picked the clover and looked a bit longer. Found one more about a foot away standing there all by itself. Two in one day, we've done well. Actually we haven't even started the hunt too much yet.

About one year before my hubby and I got married, we learned to spot these lucky gems. Luck? I'm not really sure about that, but we find it quite amusing anyway. We worked with a young girl who found them all of the time. I had tried my whole life to find one and never had. She claimed, "once you find one the others will be easier to spot". "Ha, to you maybe," I said. Lori was right. Within the next week or two I made it a point to look in the front yard and actually found more than one. I was ecstatic. Excitedly I showed my hubby. The hunt was on. I think I could really describe it as a bit more of a competition. He started spotting them much quicker than I could.

The hunt has lasted for approximately four years. I really technically count just three. We started this hunt in 2004. Got married in June of 2005. Hubby had a heart attack about a year later and series of family events soon following kept us too busy to even think about four leaf clovers. However, 2007 brought several. Now, all in the same day beginning the summer of 2008, we have found two. And, I'm tickled. The hubby golfs, golfs a lot. Last year he found several on the golf course. Naturally the competitive side of me was screaming. I spent a little time outside searching. I did come up with a couple but not as big as his. Doesn't matter.

My cousin Amy gave me a recipe book several years ago. I keep all of the four leaf clovers that we find in that book. I believe I counted 21 four leaf clovers tonight. That doesn't include the one I sent to a dear friend who absolutely loves St. Patricks Day. I took a picture of the clovers. Some of them only look like they have three leaves or two, but they are either folded over, or the leaves became unattached.

It sounds like a silly hobby I know. But it's something that's fun to do. My hubby and I aren't really superstitious. In June, 2005, we arrived downtown Las Vegas to begin our wedding/honeymoon week. On the second day, we walked to the courthouse to get our marriage license. We passed a little booth set up toward the end of the canopy covering the downtown strip. The booth had nothing but little four leaf clover jewelry. I told my future hubby I had to get a bracelet to commemorate our wedding celebration. The clovers were real, but encased in plastic with sterling silver or gold chains, earrings, rings, necklaces, etc... I thought it could be a sign...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Missouri Veteran's Cemetery at Jacksonville

Today we drove out to the Missouri Veteran's Cemetery in Jacksonville. The day was really muggy, hot and very cloudy. The grounds here are beautiful. This cemetery is still new. It had it's first interment in November, 2003. It it is situated on 117 acres. There are 40,000 burial sites and the Columbarium has 800 niches for cremations.

Near the center of the photo, near the flag, you can see the existing gravesites of military members and their spouses and possibly their young children. So far, this serves as the final resting place for approximately 300 individuals.

This is the Commital Shelter for interment services. There are three walls of Columbarium niches.
Numerous small American Flags sit below the niches of Missouri Veterans.

The rolling hills are so very peaceful. I only saw one little squirrel during our time here this afternoon. Winding our way around the acreage, we could see the 10 acre lake. It has a floating fountain in the center. There is also a Carillon Tower, you can see to the right of the picture. It plays a different hymn every hour. While we were there today, bells chimed. There is a bridge spanning the west end of the lake. The walking path can take you across the lake to the commital shelter.This was taken on the path after we crossed the lake. You can see more rolling hills, the commital shelter and Columbarium as well as the flags waving majestically in the wind.Something about the United States Flag waving strong and magnificent really makes me feel proud. Please be careful on your Memorial Day travels and do remember you loved ones.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oh, No...

I know I'm only suppose to do special posts, but it's me Annie P. and I'm in a quandry. This is an emergency. No one tells me anything. By that, I mean ANYTHING. Everything was going great until last night. I've not gotten any sleep since. Me and that other girl were having a nice quiet evening at home with dad when the roof caved in. No one told us this was going to happen. Even the other girl is a little upset. Mom told me she's real disappointed in me. She says the other girl is behaving better than me. Says I'm acting like a spoiled Chihuahua. I was here first. That other girl came later. No one let me in on that one either. I am and will always be the baby of this family. But here he is, the summer is ruined. Everybody, I have an announcement:we've been infested by a feline. Meet Reynaldo. Mom says we can call him Rey Rey. What the?? No one filled us in. I'm mad. What? Why do we have Reynaldo? They shaved me naked and I've been cold ever since. Now here's Reynaldo. I just don't get it. He's not old enough to eat right. What makes my family think they can move him on in? Isn't there a rule about being a canine only family? I think there is. My life is ruined. I can't sleep. I can't eat. All I want to do is stick my nose on this cat, but then I get yelled at. I've never heard the name Annie so many times. It sure is better than hearing "Reynaldo" though. I'm in a quandry. Me and the other girl have to come up with a plan to gain seniority superiority. There's just no room for felines around here. But in case there is, I'm sending out an SOS...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Friend Maggie

Hey everybody, it's me, Annie P. Mom said since Kipper over at Rabbit Run Cottage gets to work on his mom's blog, I can too. The difference is, Kipper gets paid in ice cream or yogurt. I look so serious here because this is my first real assignment and I'm nervous. Oh well. Just please don't make fun of my unfurried nakedness. Mom said she wouldn't let anyone laugh at me. I know my head looks gigantic-huge, but it's the heart that matters.

Which leads me to my topic to post. My friend Maggie. I've not known Maggie long, but she is one cool canine. She's a cocker spaniel. Isn't she a hottie? She's been to the spa recently too. Only she's not naked like me. She must've paid a few more bones, cause her cut looks a lot better than mine!! Mags knows ya can't get nothin' for free! She loves to play with her toys and play with her mom and daddy. A little tenderhearted gal who loves to nap and feast on treats. She tells me it's important to stay out of the sun, drink lots of water and live a little on the edge.

Maggie likes to take walks on the wild side. The other girl and me find that fascinating. We are chicken dogs. Not Maggie. She's a full fledged member of the Doggie DoLittle Motorcycle Club. When mom was telling me and Kia about it we were wide eyed and bushy tailed, to say the least. Maggie is seven years old. Not to offend ole Mags, but she's not a spade pup anymore! Just the same, she's walkin' on the wild side. Walkin' on the wild side, while the other girl and me fight, nap, pee, fight, eat, pee, fight, you get the idea. Pee...

Mags is plannin' trips on her hog. Umm, bike, she gets offended if you call it a hog. She says it's not a Harley, it's better. Not sure what that means, but it goes fast. You see, Mags' daddy decided it was high time to get her out before her retirement years. She's runnin' full throttle at middle age dog years on a fancy motorcycle. You gotta see for yourself:

This is Mags' transportation on the wild side. Can you believe it? Mom said when she first heard about it, she thought it was too redneck. ? I don't get that??? But the more she heard from Mags' dad, the more fun she thought it would be. I'm telling you Mags has the life. See her little doggie seat on top of the trailer? Mags gets to ride in that on road trips. She rides backwards because it's just better that way. What's good is she won't have to pull a muscle pulling her head out of the wind to wet her gums. (You know that's a problem for us.) My mom was concerned her dad wouldn't strap ole Mags down enough to keep her safe. So she inspected the ride herself. Ha, what would mom know about that? Dunno, anyway, Mags is ridin' in style with her mom and dad. I think what's even more cool is that her mom has her own bike. Mags' says the embarrassing part is, her mom rides on a bike behind the trailer. Mags just doesn't like that. Every once in a while she gives a shout out if her mom gets too close. Mags is afraid her mom will ruin her reputation as a tuff girl. My mom says Mags' mom is just being safe. Or so she thinks. Sounds to me that Mags' mom is too busy watching everyone point their fingers at Mags as they go by. How's that safe?

Mags is lookin for others to join the Doggie DoLittle Motorcycle Club. There are rules to follow, dues to pay, and potty breaks to take. The other girl and me are thinkin our dad needs to look into this. Not sure I wanna ride in a carrier with that other girl and her long tail, but I'd try. If anyone knows someone who's lookin' for a doggie good time. Let me know. I'll pass word to Mags.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Leonard & Brenda

Leonard and Brenda Lowry made the front page of our local paper today. I've known Brenda since I was 16. She cut my hair for many years, and through those years we became good friends. I miss that she no longer cuts hair, but her life, in so many ways, has turned for the better. Leonard and Brenda on their wedding day.

You see, her husband Leonard of 3 years in April, was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas in December, 2007. He went to his chiropractor, who very fortunately, took an x-ray. The x-ray went just far enough the doctor could see something suspicous. He told Leonard to see his family doctor. The wheels kept turning from that moment on. Literally. He was directed to a surgeon who ordered a PET scan. Leonard was diagnosed with stage III inoperable lung cancer. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, around his heart and his windpipe. He began chemo and radiation treatments. His throat was sore, very sore. He took medicines to numb the pain to eat. He was able to drink lots of milkshakes, not much more. All of the medicines over a 3 month period did not cause Leonard to lose weight or even really get sick. Brenda told me he slept a lot. She was very protective of that. She let him sleep, monitoring phone calls and visits so he could rest.
Leonard and Brenda after his diagnosis in December.

In March they were told the treatments were not working and another PET scan found another tumor in the opposite lung. His life expectancy was shortened from approximately November of this year, to just weeks or possibly days. Brenda was beside herself. Leonard seemed to take it in stride. Mom and I saw them at a local restaurant one evening. Just looking at Leonard you would never, ever know he was sick. Leonard has a beautiful smile. That's all I could focus on when I spoke to him. His spirit was very alive. And that's exactly what his smile was saying to everyone who took the time to visit with him. It was truly unbelievable.

On April 11th the doctors told Leonard his left lung was full of cancer. Another examination found a new growth on his lower spine. Leonard and Brenda went home to tell their families. That's an hour long drive to home. They also visited a funeral home to make final arrangements. He picked out his casket. The very next day Leonard became sick. He had a tremendous headache and was ready to go. He was ready to go. A quick phone call to the hospital and a room was waiting on him when he got there. IVs were inserted and more tests were done. There were lots of prayers being said during this weekend.

The following 2 paragraphs are from the paper:
"On Monday, April 14, tests results from a bronchoscope showed Leonard's lungs were full of pneumonia and infection. On April 15, an MRI on Leonard's back came back negative. The spot on his spine was gone. On April 17, the oncologists came into the room saying a team of oncologists had reviewed the PET, CAT, MRI and bronchoscope tests results and declared Leonard was cancer free. All of it, including the original cancer in his lymph nodes and right lung."

“In a six-day time period, I had gone from days maybe weeks to live to completely cured,” Leonard said.“We looked at each other...laughed...cried...,” they said. “Should we call somebody? Who do we call first?”“All the doctor could say while he was pointing up with his finger, is ‘it was the the Man upstairs.'”

That's right, on April 17th, Leonard was declared cancer free. No new signs, no old signs of any cancer whatsoever. Amazing. Simply amazing. There's only one answer in my opinion. Divine intervention. The Good Lord was not ready for Leonard. Somewhere, somehow and at some time this will all be answered. Leonard has a strong spiritual upbringing and knows this could not have happened without Him. That's the only answer we need to know. We are happy to have you Leonard. May you celebrate "another" retirement, birthday, great bowling scores, more grandchildren and all other surprises that are in store for you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lips, do they really fade?

I used to work with a wonderful Italian lady who told me a funny story. At the time, I thought it was a funny story anyway. She received a phone call from a friend living in Germany. They spoke for quite some time because there was a lot of catching up to do. Trish said her friend just asked her out of the blue, "so, has you lips started fading yet?" Trish said, "WHAT, are you talking about?" The friend went on to explain that "older" age had caused her lips to fade. Trish couldn't believe it. She told me she was flabbergasted that could really happen. But Trish found out, that could really, REALLY happen. Trish goes no where without lipstick now. This was at least 3-4 years ago when Trish told me this story. I loved it, thought it was a hoot. Not now, guess why...MY LIPS ARE FADING!!!!!

Trish if you are reading this, I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!! My lips are no longer mine. They are alien. I am on a treck to see where they went or who might be wearing them now. Instead I'm left with dull, flesh toned, lined, dull, oh I can't even describe them...
Alien or not, I must thank you Trish, at least this did not come as a surprise to me as it did to you. The alien did sneak up on me a little quicker than expected.
To our lips, what they once were: young, lineless, full and tasty. To what they are: testing the trials of time, good, bad, indifferent. To what they will be: lined, knowledgable, full of secrets and who knows what else.

I must go now, I have an alien to find...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Before and After, I am soooo sorry

Yesterday was full of activity for us. We hit a few garage sales, worked on the yard, bought flowers, planted flowers, and provided Annie with a day at the spa.

Well, kinda...

After planting my last flower, I thought I'd go in for a little R&R before getting ready to take mom to dinner. Then it hit me. I could give Annie a haircut. I've been waiting patiently to do so. It's been too cold and my hubby didn't want her to be too clipped before the weather got warmer. Sooo, I scratched her belly tricking her into letting me trim her nails. She did great. Really great. And since she was hot, I knew she'd love getting her haircut.

Annie loves to get her haircut. Her hair is so thick. It really isn't that long, but it has to be very HOT for her in the summer. She's never even flinched when I've gotten the clippers out.


Here she is in all her thickness. Enjoying a bone the hubby got for earlier in the day. You can't really tell by the picture. She has really curly thick hair around her neck. It seems to get thicker and thicker every year. Her hairy little tail curls up over her back. Or it did. I think Kia played to hard with her last weekend and uncurled it. It's been curled now for almost 5 years. Now it doesn't seem to want to curl and she doesn't want anyone around it.


This is Annie after. She's about 5 puppy pounds lighter. And she's a naked mess. I didn't use the right number on her and she's almost skinned. I felt horrible. But she loved it. She ran around so happy and playful after the trim, errr, scalping. The hubby walked outside to see what was going on, turned a little pale and went back inside without saying a word. Later he told me I should've shaved her face too. I didn't do her tail for fear she may have a wound or something on it. But here she is, she's my Annie P. I'm sorry Anne. At least you are happy and healthy. Just a little naked perhaps, but happy and healthy.

Annie, I promise you in July or August when it's time for a trim:

I will NOT be in a hurry.

I WILL make sure the proper length of comb is on the clippers.

I will NOT laugh at you if I make a mistake.

I will NOT let your dad see you until we are finished.

And, until your hair grows out, I will NOT allow you to be the puppy butt of bad jokes without a good fight.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Mom!!! I can't believe it's been a year since we celebrated her birthday. Time sure does fly. This year we did the same thing as last year. The only difference, she had to work all day. Yuck, but I think she still had a good day. Brent and I sent her flowers at work, which she claims was a surprise. Then we took her to the Pear Tree Restaurant in Bevier. We stuffed ourselves silly. It was a very nice evening. The Pear Tree was busy as usual, but the atmosphere was relaxing there for a change. Usually we feel rushed, but not this time. We had to pass on dessert because we ate too much dinner. Afterwards, we drove back to our house and I made her get out of the car so I could take her picture. I have two new hanging baskets and I told her she had to pose for me. Great picture huh? I won't tell you how old she is, but next year, is a BIG deal. We'll have to make it an EXTRA BIG DEAL!! I already have some ideas in mind.

Happy Birthday mom, you deserve the best!! She's done a lot of work to her yard, so I didn't know whether to get her a garden statue or an IPOD Shuffle/Apple, whatever it's called now. She liked that idea, so I'll let her think on that. She's awful good to me and my husband and absolutely my best friend. I couldn't ask for a better mom. Here's to another year well done!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all, but especially to my mom, Linda. Who I love with all my heart and soul. I owe so much to her just for being my mother. I love you!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008


I got up this morning and looked at my Mark Twain post. Then it hit me!! I forgot LulaBelle's!!! How could I forget LulaBelle's? Here she is:

LulaBelle's is a fine dining establishment. Stands right next to Pudd-n-Heads, you can't miss it. Mom took me to LulaBelle's once after grandma told us about it. It was my birthday several years ago and thought, "why not give it a try?" LulaBelle's was (not now, you'll understand) in the "red light" district of Hannibal. Or I should probably say, WAS the red light district of Hannibal. I bet ole Mark Twain could tell you what he "heard" about ole LulaBelle. See the red light above the restaurant sign? Yep, that's LulaBelle's, the town brothel!! It was officially shut down in the 1950s. Inside there are a few showcases of the "fancy" clothing the lady's of the evening used to wear. It is a very good eating establishment now. Nice ambience, you should go there if you ever make it to Hannibal. Not everyone can say they've eaten a "nice" dinner in a brothel...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mark Twain & Hannibal

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" Mark Twain

My mom and I have a couple of days off this week so we are taking some short excursions. Today was Hannibal. We go to Hannibal once a season. Every time we go, we do the same thing, eat at the same place and go to the same stores. It's a pleasure for us. However this time, we did do one thing I've always wanted to do. Climb the hill to the Lighthouse. You'll see the pictures in a minute. It was cloudy, but the temperature was great. We were also able to see how high the Mighty Mississip has risen. If you are from Missouri especially, Hannibal is quite meaningful. We studied Mark Twain all throughout school. I remember my grandma taking me and my cousin Amy to Hannibal when I was in grade school. She made sure we went to the Mark Twain Cave, went through Mark Twain's boyhood home, Becky Thatcher's house, and even took us on a steamboat tour up and down the Mississippi River. Great memories with grandma.

The old brick street which has Mark Twain's boyhood home and museum.The Justice of the Peace. Notice the name, J.M. Clemens. Becky Thatcher's home. Actually it belonged to Laura Hawkins' family. She was the REAL Becky Thatcher.

Mark Twain's boyhood home. The famous white washed fence. Tom Sawyer was quite busy here. Every summer kids compete in the white washing contest dressed in famous Huck Finn attire. Grant's Drug Store. Mark Twain's family lived here for some time. His father passed away on the upper floor of this store/home. The drug store is now a period museum which depicts the drugstore during Mark Twain's era. The upstairs is off limits. The beginning of something I've never done in Hannibal. After having an energizing lunch, we decided to tackle the Lighthouse Hill. Stairs. Lots of Stairs. I believe approximately 200 stairs. Here we go...So far so good. See the two squirrel boys on the third landing? The one that looks a little tipsy had the nerve to say to us, "you guys are gonna love these stairs". I think his brain was lacking oxygen. He was breathing awful heavy.This must be an official rest stop. Nice little butterfly garden beginning to grow. Had a bench or two. We stopped to look at the Mighty Mississippi at this point. The height of the river is frightening.This must be the second official rest area. More steps to get to the Lighthouse. We ended our Lighthouse tour here. Unfortunately the camera didn't capture the Lighthouse as we saw it. I believe the sky was just too light. I was a bit disappointed. From the street, 172 stairs below, the Lighthouse looked quite stunning. However, at this point, for me anyway, it just looked small. But still very pretty. Also at this point, we took 172 stairs back down to the street. I'm getting a 172 step count from a grade school girl who looked like she needed oxygen when we started back down the steps. She was panting.Once we stepped off of the 172nd step going down the hill, we grabbed a Diet Pepsi and went into my favorite store in Hannibal. PuddnHeads. I always find something in here.One thing I found was a scrap book created by Mark Twain. It was printed in 1892, but he started the book in 1842. Pretty neat. $129.95 to purchase, just go to Pudd-n-Heads.You probably know what this is. But I didn't. I love it. It is a cheese keeper. Pretty cool huh? I had to take a picture. I'm sure Mark Twain had one.After going through some more antique stores and fun stores, we got back in the car and drove to Lover's Leap. Legend has it that an Indian Princess and an Indian brave fell in love. They were from tribes that were fighting or "warring" each other. The Princess' father wanted the brave killed. Together they climbed to the top of this bluff after being pursued and jumped to their demise. The Princess didn't want to live life without her brave. I love the picture of this bluff. You can see how far it is to the bottom. Plus you can see how high the water is. The line you see with trees is the train track. There were three barges floating along. You can see one at the peak of the cliff.Another picture taken from the bluff.

After this quick little jaunt to Hannibal, we drove to Perry, Missouri. I learned from my friend Gayla at Oatmeal and Whimsy that there were some cute shops there. We were able to get there in time to go through a couple. I found my bargain of the day at the first shop we went in:

Isn't he cute? He's a vase. I love his crown. $3. That's all I paid. Pretty good huh?Dixie was in the second store. Pretty laid back puss. Mom found a large table runner and put it on the counter to purchase. Dixie jumped up on the counter and laid down on the runner. Her owner asked her what she was doing and kindly picked her up and put her down on the floor. I guess she didn't want mom to buy it.

We ended our excursion at Perry and headed home. My hubby opted to stay home, get a haircut and mow the lawn. He's getting his courage up to head out with us tomorrow. Either the lake or Kansas City. Depends on the weather.

"If you tell the truth you won't have to remember anything" - Mark Twain