Sunday, December 30, 2012


I see Michael R. Allen, author of the great blog Preservation Research Office, socially about once a year.  In 2011 he rode along to narrate the VW van/architecture tour /bar crawl trip we bought at a St. Margaret school auction.  I recently saw him at the Way Out club where some SMOS school parents were performing in a rock band.  One time he asked me when I would stop writing bad mansard.  The answer?  Never, or at least not until I have a bad mansard from every state.

I can now say I have Alaska!  A lakefront gem on Mirror Lake in Chugiak, Alaska.  But seriously, as homeowner Allison points out, if you're living on a beautiful lake who care what the roof looks like.  I imagine this lake ices over in the winter and you could ice skate all winter.  Sigh.  I wish any lake around here would freeze over to ice skate upon.

I am including a bonus picture of John and our friend Pete S. from the architecture tour.  Pete is one of those people we know in all sorts of ways.   The S. family grew up near John's family, John's dad went to grade school with Pete's dad, Pete and I went to law school together, our kids go to school together, Pete is John's company's attorney and Pete was in the SMOS rock band (and the law school rock band, if you're keeping track).

*I would like to point out that in this picture my wonderful husband is drinking bourbon from a Voltron coffee mug.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I read with interest (and disdain) this series from the Post Dispatch about DEATH ON THE RAILS!  Pretty much a story about how people cut across tracks on foot and get hit by a train.  The article suggests the railroad should fence of the tracks, throw the emergency brakes whenever there's a person spotted on the track, slow down in residential areas, etc. 
Disclaimer- one of Gus' classmate's dad is the photographer in the piece.  His work is beautiful. I just think the people in the article were stupid.
Folks- if you move to Webster or Kirkwood, you are moving to a working ranch.  The railroads were there before the houses.  Be careful.  Anytime you step foot near a track a train could come out of no where and kill you.  At least that's what I learned growing up in Webster and having a mother that grew up in Kirkwood.  Do NOT mess with trains.  At all.  Ever.  I remember in 7th grade walking to my friend Cheryl's house in North Webster.  A train was stalled at Glen Road (I think Union Pacific tracks).  One friend wanted to climb over/under/around the train.  I insisted we walk to Elm and go under the bridge.  I was in 7th grade but I remembered my mother's advice- do not mess with trains.
I think noawadays parents are so obsessed with our kids eating organic food and taking cello lessons and having self esteem and stranger danger and limiting screen time and being on select sports teams that we totally under emphasize the basics like STAY AWAY FROM TRAINS.
Anytime we talk about trains let's not forget Boxcars, one of my favorite REM songs.  It came out right about the time I was one of those junior high kids doing a lot of walking around Webster knowing I better stay away from trains. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I like doing the badmansard blog because I meet a lot of nice and interesting internet peoples all of whom like making fun of bad mansards.  And sometimes I realize I've probably already met some of them in real life.

Take Ruth, for instance.  She sent me this copper topped goddess in the Belle Meade part of Nashville.  Aside- how fast would this thing be torn apart by St. Louis copper thieves?

Ruth was friends with my friend Megan's older brothers Kevin and Wade.  She was on swim team with them at Brentwood Bath and Tennis, a pool where I spent a great deal of my summers as a kid as the guest of Megan and other Brentwood kids.  So I probably met Ruth already, but nice to meet her again especially when she sends me shiny bad mansards.  Thanks!

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Madrid

It's becoming a familiar story. At the last minute my boss asks me to make an outstate road trip, this time to New Madrid, Missouri.  Of course that meant I only had my iphone camera because I usually don't take my good camera to work with me.  And low and behold, just staring at me from behind the courthouse, is this bad mansard apartment building.  Hopefully you can still make out its fine detail- the wood work, piled stone masonry and plastic sheeting on the windows.

I also learned a new boot heel word.  An attorney told me his client was as dumb as a stump (she was!).  He also told me she was as simple as a creek minner.  Yes, minner.  This is a small fish that lives in creeks and describes unsophisticated people in the boot heel.  In case you don't live in our fine state, the boot heel describes the southeast corner of the state of Missouri which is shaped like a boot heel.  Just like Italy.  That sure would be an interesting coffee table book- comparing he boot heels of Missouri and Italy- people, architecture, culture and art.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


 Thanks to Richard S. who sent me one of the strangest bad mansards I've every seen.  This place is called Studio Inferno.  The google says it's a exercise place. It's located in Weatherford, OK.

Here we have yet another triple threat. There's a stone facade, a shingled roof on the lower part, a dark window and metal siding mansard on the taller elevation.  Click here for the original triple threat.

I hope this first Sunday of Advent finds you well.  I am energized. Cleaned my house and mind readying for Advent and later Christmas.  I did a little decorating (Advent wreath, outdoor lights, door wreath, etc) but no tree yet.  I'm ready to wait.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

These are my weekends

 A few weekends ago I set a personal record.  I went to five parishes in a 24 hour period for sports, dancing, boozing and more.  I'm not saying I went to these places over a weekend.  Nope.  Just a 24 hour period.

  • Mary Mother of the Church for 4th grade volleyball
  • St. Justin in Sunset Hills for 6th grade girls soccer
  • Tower Grove Christian for more volleyball.  No drinking here.  Sad face although their gym is very nice and they were giving away free popcicles.  
  • Little Flower for pre-school and 4th grade dancing
  • St. Margaret of Scotland for the Highlander dinner/dance where I did a little too much drinking.  My husband one-upped me by not drinking so much and doing so while wearing a kilt
While at St. Justin's I saw the house mansard through a screen of trees.  And driving north on Lindbergh I saw the business mansard and did a papparazzi shot (it's that thing where you shoot a picture without looking at the camera).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

dry cleaner

Thank you to my new friend Richard S. who sent me this bad mansard dry cleaner on Clayton Road near St. Mary's Hospital.  Looks like the tile work on the roof is newish because this looks a little different that how I remember.

And I do have many memories of St. Mary's hospital and the surrounding vicinity.  3 of the 4 badmansard children were born there.

This Thanksgiving we are going to Webster Groves to bounce between my mom's house and John's sister's house.  I married the youngest of 5 kids.  It's great- no one expects much out of me at Thanksgiving.  I am bringing brownie pie, pecan pie and a brussel sprout dish.

Of course that leaves me with a big to do list otherwise- family in town, want to swim with kids, skate at Steinberg, go running, ride bikes, get outside decorated with lights and garland (YES it it too soon but I need to be ready because the neighborhood is on tour December 1-2) and house needs a deep clean.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Two events this week- my 14 wedding anniversary to my husband John.  What could have been a cold, rainy typical November day was 80 degrees, sunny and perfect.  Just like our marriage.  HA!  I also just turned 42 and my husband jokes that he remembers the second full week of November has my birthday and our anniversary but he cannot remember which is which.

It is also my 4 year anniversary of using Tumblr. What?  You haven't read my 63104mom tumblr?  Just look to the right of your screen and click. 

I started tumbling right after the birth of Mimi.  I realized that with 4 kids and limited crafting skills that I'd never be a scrapbooker as was clear by the large bins of kids' mementos that had piled up since 2000.  So I tumbl instead.  My family (hi mom!) appreciates a mini update on the kids every day.  Tumblr is perfect for quotes, links, pics, etc.  It's also a bit less obnoxious than the old facebook.   I know that most of my facebook people do not want an update on my kids everyday.

One of these days I'll print out the last 4 years of tumblr and that will have to suffice for a scrapbook.  Hope you enjoy it.  For the full effect click on "archive" and it will show you everything at once.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

U- Haul Fiesta

Friday I went to a retirement party for my mom and found myself lumbering west on Manchester Road west of 141. I don't think I've ever driven on that part of Manchester.  Because if I had I would have most certainly brought a better camera because OMG can you believe this mansard? It looks like on of those places where you'd go get Mexican food and margaritas before you knew there were much better restaurants for Mexican food.

But it's Cinco de Mayo all the time out in Ballwin so the next time you're needing a u-haul make sure you go to this places.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Since October features a lot of pink for breast cancer awareness, I present to you a pink trimmed bad mansard on the near north side.

October is a month of crazy parties, school events, neighborhood events, festivals, Halloween, birthdays, soccer, volleyball and camping.  I have been tired, over committed and frequently hungover.  But at least I can see the end in sight.

November will be  my purifying month- I will clean my mind, body and house.  Exercise, church, clean eating, clean the house,  etc.  And I will clean up bad mansard starting with the overly large header pic and getting some good pics.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

That's an improvement

 Last week I did a little self improvement.  I took care of some doctors' appointments.  Got my hair cut and told my stylist to go blonder with the highlights.  Used my vision insurance to buy some new glasses and wound up selecting purple cat eyed frames.  Learned to shoot a gun.

As I left the vision center I saw one of my favorite mansard apartment buildings in Webster Groves has a bit of an upgrayedd.*  Looks likes a newly renovated luxury apartment with a new bad mansard roof!

*points if you can name the "upgrayedd" movie.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Just another typical Soulard weekend

The weekend was another blur. I know, I know.  I always say that.  But this one was really crazy.  We still found time to got to Soulard  Oktoberfest, enjoy a long walk and watch the Go St. Louis Halloween 10K.  And had karate, volleyball, dancing, 4 soccer games, hockey and Kay's whole class 6th grade birthday party at Sky Zone, 

Gus with his new friends at Oktoberfest. One of the girls was a friend of Gus' cousin.  
Gus in lederhosen.  He actually got a $2 tip for dancing so hard. I should have been fined for drinking too hard.  
Walked by a wedding.  Like the car.  Lots of hipsters at that wedding.  

A wedding at the brewery stable.  I've never seen that before.   

Neighborhood block party for National Night Out. We have ours in October as opposed to August. There were about 150 there earlier in the evening.  I thought the lights were a nice touch.

Halloween Run.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Early memory mansard

Claychester cleaners in Kirkwood.  One of my first mansard memories.  When I was grade school age, we lived in Brentwood and my grandparents lived in an apartment in Kirkwood.  We used to drive on Manchester to visit them passing Claychester cleaners each time.  I don't remember if this was the same site but the orange lettering has not changed.

Those were fun times for me.  Holidays at their house was all about beer, white tableclothes, Blue Nun wine and laughter. It was always a fun, loud time at my grandparents.  But looking back I realized now it was a very hard time for my grandparents.  My grandfather was a marketing exec for Falstaff beer and lost his job around 1975 when operations collapsed.  Click here for the full story:  FALSTAFF    He and my grandmother had to sell their house in Kirkwood and downsize to an apartment.  Not long thereafter my grandfather was diagnosed with bone cancer and died.  Very sad.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The original bad mansard

 At the corner of Mansard and Union Road sits the mecca of bad mansards.  The street is called Mansard.  And- the kicker- the whole place is named the Monreale Condominiums.  

Come now- tout ensemble- avec your best accent Francais, dit "mon-ree- all."

Where to find such a classy place?  The intersection of Union and Reavis Barracks Road in south county, of couse, right behind the Shell Station.

Looks like the place has been spruced up a bit.  Roofs are updated and there is a companion mini-mansard in each back yard which is evidently the place to stick your satellite dish.

I find myself at 55/Reavis more often than I care to admit.  6th grade girl's soccer.  Out little city team has been placed in the south county team because there were only TWO teams of 6th grade CYC teams in the "open" division (meaning the team has club soccer players).  And there was only ONE city team in the "closed" division (no select players).  So instead of having a city league of just 3 teams, the CYC put us in south county.

Let's do the math.  That means there are only, at most, SIXTY or so sixth grade girls in the entire City of St. Louis who are playing CYC soccer.  Disclaimer- St. Roch plays in a county league so they probably have 20 or so playing too.  But still.  The numbers are screwed up. And sad because it's not just soccer.  It's basketball and softball and volleyball too.  Disappointing trend.  No one wants to be on a team anymore.  And I sure do hope the thousands of other sixth grade girls are doing something for exercise.

CYC divisions are supposed to be changing in Spring 2013.  There won't be a city division any more.  We will either merge with the South Central division (Mary Queen, Holy Redeemer, etc) or with South County.  So looks like I'll be driving either 44 or 55 a lot more to get to games.    And I hope I find some mansards along the way.

check out the sophisticated landing pad for the dish.

Here's Kay winding up.  She had two goals but this wasn't one of them. She was pissed she didn't have a hat trick.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Duplex:  new porch, bad window placement.    This particular model mansard is pretty prevalent in mansard apartment complexes.  There is always lack of window in the middle of the side elevation (or front, depending on your point of view). I am guess there is a wall running between the two units bisecting the duplex?

It looks like a weird block head person with eerily wide set eyes.  Or draw lines from window to window to make an "X".

Monday, September 17, 2012

How come no one told me about this on ramp?

Eastbound Highway 40/64 at Boyle and Papin.  Why was I not informed of this on ramp?  I consider myself a knower of city traffic things.  Back ways.  Shortcuts.  Routes to avoid.  So then why after living in the city since 1996 was I unaware and completely oblivious to one of the most awesome on ramps ever?  Does everyone else know about it and kept it a secret, much like my reluctance to tell others how cool the 22nd exit is?

I still drive like it's 1996:  avoid Kingshighway, take Forest Park, merge into 40/64.  Cut over 3 lanes of traffic to exit at Jefferson or 6th.

What a fool I was.  Here was Boyle and Papin under my nose the whole time.

And so it's clear how stupid I've been- from 1996-1999 I lived in the CWE less than a mile from this on ramp.

I love this entrance so much.  I pick Otto up from K-9 Athletic Club (yes, I send my dog once  a week to doggie playtime) and jump right on that highway to the ominous Last Missouri Exit.  And even though I make this drive with a 70 pound slobbering dog riding shot gun, it is a wonderful ride.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


 Tuesday I found myself driving to Hannibal without my good Mother's Day camera.  Drat. My boss asked, "hey, can you go to Hannibal today?  The case is set at 11 and I know it's 8:30 am and it's a 2 hour 15 minute drive, but could you handle it anyway?"  I wasn't worried about preparing for the case.  Rather, I was all "Hannibal has a TON of bad mansards and I am not going to have my good camera."

So if Huck Finn needed his teeth cleaned or a payday loan, he would have gone to these two bad mansards.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Freaky mountain bad mansard

Mountain mansard!  This place is called "Tabernasty" in Fraser, Colorado.  Fraser isn't very far from Tabernash.  By the name you'd think it was a adult entertainment place but it's not.  Glassblowing and tattoos.  Only in Colorado.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A little bit of China in Scotland

Going to school in the Shaw neighborhood can certainly be a challenge at times.  There's a lot of riff raff in the neighborhood.  And I say that coming from Soulard.  Take car cloutings.  When Kay was in pre school someone broke the window of her friend Caroline's car and stole a dance bag with a size 6 leotard.  Neighborhood kids lit our playground climber on fire and routinely write horribly graphic bad words all over the inside of the slide.  At a school auction a car was stolen off one of the side streets.  Imagine that.  Walking out of a school auction with your winnings and not being able to find your car because some punk stole it (ever since then we have hired an off duty police officer for night social activities).

But there are perks too.  It's an academically strong, diverse and caring school.  The students walk frequently to Tower Grove Park and the Botanical Gardens.  The parents are fun, smart and volunteer their talents.    We always have connections to free beer through Schlafly or AB.

The Botanical Garden is also in the Shaw neighborhood.  So when the Chinese Lantern Festival ended we got this pagoda house and a bunch of other cool garden sculpture.  Thanks MOBOT!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Avalanche Liquor Store

Here's a Colorado bad mansard.  I know it is not a technical bad mansard, but close enough.  I love liquor stores with mansard roofs.  That's my husband loading or unloading a child during the 14 hour road trip to Winter Park, CO.  And that is my van nearing 100,000 miles.

I almost made the novice mistake of picking up beer at a Colorado grocery store- just 3.2%!  You have to go to a liquor store for spirits or full alcohol beer.  We're somewhat spoiled in Missouri with full alcohol privileges.  You can walk in a grocery store at 8 am on a Sunday and buy whatever you want- vodka, beer, wine, whatever.

A timely subject matter.  Today marks the 1/2 way point to Mardi Gras 2013.  I better start stocking up.  And I kind of do.  If I overbuy wine or beer or booze, I say, "well, we can  drink the extra at Mardi Gras."

Any trip to a liquor store requires the parties sing this song by an old friend Steve Ewing and his band the Urge.  Now go inside and get my pickle.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The badmansard family took a trip to Colorado to visit friends and family.  We crammed the van full of kids, goldfish crackers, various DVD viewing devices and a couple of puke buckets and off we went.  We’ve never done a Colorado road trip before.  In fact, I’ve never set foot in Colorado.  If you’re thinking to yourself that you’ve seen pictures of me on snowy mountains, it is true.  I’ve ironically been to the Bavarian Alps but never to the Colorado Rockies.

Where we went-
5 days in Fraser (near Winter Park) to stay with my brother and his wonderful wife and their kids who are 6 and 4, just like my two younger kids.

1 day in Keystone to visit John’s niece and her son (who are my kids’ cousin and cousin once removed?) as well as another niece who was visiting from St. Louis.

2 days in Boulder to visit John’s college roommate/former colleagues who just left their respective ad agencies to launch a new shop, Grenadier.

Miles traveled on 2005 minivan- 2242.

Favorite discoveries- Freddy’s, which is like a Kansas Steak and Shake. 

What we did- everything.  Hikes, raft trip down the Colorado, horseback riding, summer fun in Winter Park and Keystone, a visit to Sulphur “fart smell” springs, zip lining, gyroscoping, Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide, playing in creeks and lakes, planetarium, beautiful scenery/mediocre food at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, yummy dinner at Tabernash Tavern, shopping, panning for jewels and enough trampoline/bungee jumping to cause bruising.

In my brother’s mountain place alone we saw 10 elk, deer, chipmunk and foxes.  The YMCA even had goats, sheep, cows and kitties.  And the stars were amazing.  We were able to watch the August 11 meteor showers from my brother’s hot tub on top of a mountain during a clear cold night.

My brother and his wife Meghan were such great hosts.  My brother should start a business called “Andy’s Grand County Family Tours.”  He knew exactly where to go, the best way to get a discount and the ideal time to avoid crowds.

Child most likely to live in the woods-  Gus.  He loved hiking and looking for sticks and rocks.  He mastered bike riding.  Before we left St. Louis he could barely hold a two-wheeler upright.  A couple of days into Colorado he’s riding confidently and taking fast turns on gravel roads. He also bought a Daniel Boone hat with the souvenir money.   

Child most likely to author “The indoor guide to Colorado”- Audrey.  Not much enthusiasm for hiking, horses or rafting, but she excels at shopping, souvenir seeking, hotel pools and watching TV.  That joke aside, she too had a great time as she reluctantly rode Peaches the horse and went down the Alpine Slide.  She will certainly remember this trip as the vacation where she got her ears pierced.   Audrey turns 10 in early September, but we waived the “gotta be 10 to pierce your ears" rule so she could get her ears pierced during a special vacation. 

Most fearless child- Mimi. She’s not afraid of heights, mountains, ski lifts, horses or fast slides.  We didn’t know that.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Best traveling companion- Kay.   Pleasant, enthusiastic and willing to try all of the activities.  At 11, she was the oldest of the kids.  She directed many of the activities and kept the 5 younger children entertained.  She also perfected a front handspring and a triple flip on the trampoline.

Bad mansards?  - of course.  To be revealed soon.

Rocky Mountain National Park.

Devil's Thumb Ranch.

Mimi, age 4.  Having a great time.  I was nervous.

Mimi and John.  Again with the thrill seeking.  

family picture at Keystone Mountain.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Providence sucks

Sorry for my almost 3 week delay in posting.  Local tragic news events of the first week of August involved a friend and her children and I couldn't focus on much of anything, let alone a bad mansard blog.

Then we went on vacation.  We stopped in Columbia for gas and I made the huge mistake of telling John to stop on Providence for gas.  We missed the gas station near 70 and I told him to keep going south on Providence for gas.  What was I thinking?  Providence just south of Broadway is just nasty.  It was a dump in the early 1990's and seems even worse now.

But here's a bad mansard.  A trend if you will- pay day loan shops in bad mansard buildings.

More mansards to come as well as some vacation pictures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You know, our house is really old.
Says a boastful lady at the Lafayette Pool.  Really?  Put that in the no-sh$t category.   Chances are if you're swimming at the Lafayette Pool you have an pre-1900 house.  I'd be impressed if you have an 1850's or 1860's house.  1870's or 1880's?  That's fairly standard east of Jefferson.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sugar Creek

I serve on a board of a needlepoint store operated by the alum club of my college sorority.  Don't like sororities?  Think needlepoint belts are silly?  Deal with it.  The store is entirely volunteer run and profits are donated yearly to deserving charities.

We had a board meeting recently and I really wasn't in the mood to coordinate the logistics of making it to the meeting with my husband out of town.  But I made it and imagine my surprise to see this structure on the property of the hostess of the party.

This description from the city of Kirkwood says I better than I can:

Henry Hoch purchased 40 acres along Sugar Creek from the U.S. Government in 1837 for a farmstead which grew to include a dogtrot cabin, farmhouse, barn and stone smoke house. The property ran up the side of a steep hill and was heavily wooded. First he built the dogtrot cabin with space between the two end rooms for a horse and cow. When a barn was built a year or two later, the cabin's middle room was converted to a kitchen. 

In 1870, the Hoch family hired Kossuth Strohm, a carpenter who lived across Sugar Creek, to build a two-story frame house. During the years, family quarried limestone on their property for the foundations of early Kirkwood buildings. Philip and Mary Hallet Gronemeyer, nationally recognized artists, made this farmstead their home for many years. The property has been subdivided and ten new houses have been built. The cabin was carefully dismantled and reassembled elsewhere. The barn and stone smoke house remain

The way I understand it, the barn sat between two new houses.  The hostess of the party bought it from her neighbor to the east, who I think are the Gronemeyer folks or their descendants.  Leave it to the girl from Soulard to show up at a party and talk about old houses with the hostess' husband.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wrapping up the week

Picked up the girls from Camp Cedarledge.  Audrey stayed in the Glen, the same place I stayed  for 2 weeks during the summer of 1982.  Fortunately for Audrey she has a much better hair style than I did.  

Gus' last day of SLU camp.  I love that camp and he did too.

End of year swim party for the girls who played sports this year for SMOS.  

A Soulard tap and run, which is some kind of 4k with beer stops.  Only in Soulard.  And hours later on the same street was the naked bike ride. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Old North

 Audrey had a girl scout project in the Old North community garden this morning.  Going on at the same time was the lively Old North 14th Street Market with produce, people and music.  Great to see Old North continuing its upward momentum.  I am confident that in 10-15 years we'll talk of Old North just as we talk now of Soulard, Lafayette Square and Benton Park.

That's why these bad mansards are so sad.  Houses just like them are lovingly rehabbed all over the near south side.  But Old North is only where Soulard and Lafayette Square were in the 1980's.

Friday, July 20, 2012


In court in Gasconade county when I found this lovely.  Wish I had taken my good camera with me.  This building is in Hermann, Missouri.  Love the tile work and the detail.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rodeo Drive mansard

Here's a mansard on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.  I think this is my first LA mansard.  May as well start in Beverly Hills.

I do really like the rounded boxwood hedge.  It seems to take the edge off the sharp points of the mansard roof.

Thanks to my friend Emily who snapped this picture on a recent business trip. She is the president of her family's electrical contracting business (the one with the orange trucks with the lightening bolt) and she is always going to fabulous locations to attend interesting conventions.  She also hold the distinction of being one of the first mom friends I made at school back in 2004 when our daughters started in the Montessori pre-school together.  Thanks Emily!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mansard des Chaussettes

That's right.  Sock Mansard.  Located on Jefferson Avenue just minutes from Interstate 44, St. Louis' newest 99 cent sock store offers so much more than socks.  You can also get a sno cone or a used piece of furniture or a lawnmower or a bicycle.  In other words, "Sock it to me" sells junk it found in the alley or stolen stuff hotter than a St. Louis July day.  Who knows if the socks are legit; I guess they could be if you got a great deal on a truck full of socks.  I just have a hard time believing this is a legitimate business model and that there could be profits on the sale of 99 cent socks.  There are so many good businesses have a hard time surviving and yet I am to believe one selling 99 cent socks is still going strong?  Probably a front for the stolen goods or fluorescent paint or sno cone fraud or something else. 

Sock it to Me definitely gets the badmansard award for sketchiest mansard.

You know who is not sketchy but super cute?  Mimi.  She turned 4 this weekend which mandated a Saturday family party followed today by a kid party at the children's garden in the Botanical Garden.  Great party place, especially when so many of the kids live near the garden anyway.  We went early before the heat set in and the crowds showed up.  They ran around, had fun, stayed cool in the water and put on a puppet show.  And who knew, but the town square in the children's garden is called Mimi's.  It was meant to be.