Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ballin' on a Budget

Northbound Kingshighway. This gentleman is evidently ballin' on a budget. I don't know exactly what that means, but I assume he is trying to live life to the fullest on limited funds.

Let's break that down. He's on a budget. Me too! This past week was a huge financial drain.
  • ran over some nails, waited too long to have the tire serviced, left work on Monday to find a flat front tire. I had to coordinate AAA to change my tire in the Met Square garage. Had Dobbs just south of the ballpark fix the tire and replace two tires long overdue for a tire change. I liked that Dobbs. But it was still $300 out of my pocket
  • taxes! OMG. We owed big time.
  • Have to put down a deposit on our vacation
  • Paid Girl Scout camp balance for two daughters
  • Spent a lot at the school auction
  • Randomly spend $60 getting my shoes fixed and $50 on dry cleaning
  • Paid remaining balance on our school 2011-2012 registration fee
  • Just took John's car in for its annual appointment (like a well woman exam for cars). Even though it has an extended warranty and extended service plan we will probably pay for that too.
Back to Mr. Ballin' on a Budget. He's also trying to be ballin'. I think that means he's trying to make each day exciting and interesting. Yes, I know there are a lot of other definitions of ballin. I'd like to be ballin' this week but I cannot. No time for ballin'. Here's why
  • I will probably be dealing with post-Easter sugar crashing all day tomorrow.
  • have to work 4 days this week instead of my usual 3
  • week includes a huge client seminar and two depositions
  • tee-ball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, hockey, dance, choir, art
  • escorting the preschool montessori to the zoo on Friday (one of my days off)
  • Audrey's 1st communion is on Sunday and must clean house, develop meal plan and make sure 4 kids and husband have the correct clothing and hair

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ode to the hosta

Don't know what I'd do in the bad mansard garden without the mighty hosta. We have multiple types all over the place; I think this one is a Frances Williams variety.

I love them when they are at this stage of growth. Just leafing out and so full of potential. Wanna split them into two new plants? Go for it. Do you think they'd look better in another spot in the yard? Go ahead, dig them up and move them. They won't care.

The hosta starts strong and loses is steam as the summer progresses. By the end of the summer they'll look haggard. The slugs, hail, dogs, kids and sun will reduce them to floppy, yellowing Swiss cheese. And then they'll die down and start the process all over.

Dare I say I find the hosta motivational? Every summer they get stomped, sun scorched and torn apart. And every spring they come back happy and ready to go.

Hosta are a good lesson in life. Every day something will stomp and scorch you a little. Take a rest, refresh and plan a comeback. And be sure there are hosta in your garden.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's pause for a Lustron

Pausing for a photo of a Lustron. I grew up in Brentwood and then Webster Groves, the St. Louis hotbeds of Lustron homes. As a kid, it seemed like Lustrons were everywhere. We didn't call them Lustron homes. There weren't any conversations that went like this,

me, with "DIY Mohawk Barbie": "Hey, Erika, let's go over Debbie's Lustron home and play Barbies."

Erika, holding Barbie with a markered purple leg by her foot: "oh, really, she lives in a Lustron home? You know those were an important post WWII housing trend that will surely become an iconic architecture style."

Nope. We didn't talk like that. We called them metal houses or houses that looked like quilts. My favorite is (was?) at the corner of Ridge and Edgar in Webster Groves by Blackburn Park.
This one is on Litzsinger across from McGrath Elementary in Brentwood.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Badmansard takes the Brownies to Old North

We worked on the Show Me patch (click here) in two meetings, learning about our neighborhoods, their architecture and history. I thought this patch was appropriate for our Brownies who live in 8+ historic St. Louis neighborhoods and come from 3 different schools.

When we formed our troop, the handshake agreement was I would be the 'leader' but only in the sense I'd take care of paperwork, cookies, scheduling, etc. At each meeting we run it co-op style. Everyone takes turn leading and helping. It works out quite well and the meeting stay fresh.

We started at the Soulard School where we learned about the anatomy of a neighborhood, painted pictures of our neighborhoods and played some old fashioned games like Kick the Can and Red Rover. The girls loved the meeting at the Soulard School, especially that climber.

A few weeks later we went to Old North to help in the community garden planting vegetable seeds. Can you guess the favorite activity in the garden? (hint: it said bawk bawk). After that was over, we went to view the artwork at La Mancha coffee house.

Patch earned. Girls loved getting dirty and then seeing their art on a coffee house wall.

Of These are some of my favorite pictures. Of course my kid puts Vincent's Market on her Soulard Scene! And 9th Street deli. Both fine establishments.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And here are the mansards of Old North

Obviously I took some pictures of some Old North mansards. Here is quite a range of potential- what can be done and what needs to be done. I'd be interested to hear how many of the falling down buildings are owned by Paul McKee and his many entities.