Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bedtime or Not

Chrystal Mccoy (@crickle1969) tweeted at 10:11 PM on Sun, Jun 30, 2013: It is 10 pm and Izzy decides it is playtime. #therestofthehouseissleeping #bedtime #crazydog ( Get the official Twitter app at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fun Close To Home: The Gateway Arch

     I have lived in the St. Louis Metropolitan area for all but the first two years of my life.  This is where I grew up.  Going into downtown St. Louis is a normal occurrence for me.  And, yet every time we get close to downtown and I see the Arch it still excites me.  It is an awesome site to see even from a distance.  You can see it when you are approaching most of the attractions in the city of St. Louis.   And, yet there is nothing like getting right up close to it and inside it.


     Standing 630 feet tall, The Gateway Arch (or The Arch) is not only a St. Louis icon, but a national icon.  It was erected to symbolize the westward expansion of our country that came during and after the Lewis & Clark Expedition.  After a nation wide competition was held in the late 40's, an architect by the name of Eero Saarinen was chosen to build our stainless steel beauty on the St. Louis Riverfront as a gateway beckoning people to travel west over the Mississippi River and into the opportunities offered by the newer states of the union.  

     The construction on the Arch began in August of 1963 and was completed in just a little over two years time in October of 1965.  The foundations of the Arch are sunk into the ground 60 feet.  It is built to withstand earthquakes and high winds.  There are 142 sections to the Arch.  There are 630 feet between the outer edges of each leg.  It is built of concrete and steel, with stainless steel being the outer covering.  The legs are 54 feet wide at their bases and the top is 17 feet wide.

     When you travel up into the Arch, you take one of two trams.  Each car of a tram holds about 5 people.  They are egg shaped and travel about 3 miles an hour.  The observation deck of the Arch is 7' 2" feet wide, 65' long and 6' 9" tall.  There are 16 observation windows on each side of the Arch.  They are made of 3/4 inch plate glass and are 7" x 27".  

     The Arch is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which is a park in our national parks system.  It not only includes the Arch, but the Museum of Westward Expansion (located under the Arch) and the Old Courthouse.  The Old Courthouse is across highway 70 and can be seen from the observation windows of The Arch.

     When you are on the observation deck of the Arch you can see 30 miles in all directions.  This offers great views of Downtown St. Louis and it's surrounding area.  You can also see down the legs of the Arch and the grounds below. 

     When you enter the Arch, you enter the base and what is the lobby of not only the Arch itself, but the Museum of Westward Expansion which is free to visit.  There are also two small shops off the lobby.  One is set up like an old fashioned general store and the other is just a modern touristy gift shop.  The Museum of Westward Expansion depicts the progress of our nation's west from wilderness to developed cities.  

     It is very easy to spend most of a day exploring The Arch, The Museum of Westward Expansion and The Old Courthouse.  And if those do not take up all your allotted time, there are riverboat cruises, helicopter rides, and Laclede's Landing to explore all within walking distance.  It really is an amazing way to get into some of the culture of our nation and to spend some relaxation time.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Outpatient Experience

    I am not a person who is very gracious about having her sleep interrupted.  I do not like waking up and I am not a morning person at all.  Quite frankly I find the whole waking up process a bit painful.

     After two months of constant pain, I went in to have an ovary and a tube removed laparoscopically on June 11th.  While this was only an outpatient procedure, it is still a surgery that required local anesthesia which is something that has always made me nervous.  But, I've been in pain for so long I was just really wanted to have this done.

     So, we get to the hospital on the morning of my surgery and get checked into the surgery center.  This included lots of waiting, an i.v. insertion and lots of redundant questions.  They took me down to this waiting area before my surgery, which was just an alcove with other patients waiting for surgery.  
     They gave me a relaxing drug there, but I was fully aware when they wheeled me into the operating room.  You know, those rooms are really boring.  It was like a scene from an alien abduction movie.  It is just white, white and more white and bright light.

          Lying there on the operating table, I could see the operating light, which was not on yet.  Thank goodness because with all those bulbs I'm sure it would burn a retina if it had been on.  Next came, the oxygen mask.  I know the anesthesiologist said something, but I don't remember what it was.  I was just determined to make sure my eyes were wide open as long as I was alert.

     Well, it must have done the job it was supposed to do because the next thing I know a nurse was calling my name and yanking me out of a nice, contented sleep.  Of course, the minute my eyes started fluttering the nurse was asking me questions.  Really?

Nurse:  Mrs. McCoy, Mrs. McCoy

Me: Fluttering eyes trying to focus wondering why someone is calling my name.

: Your surgery is over.  How are you feeling?

Me Thinking: Annoyed you are waking me up!

Nurse: Are you awake yet?

Me: My throat hurts.

Nurse: Would you like some water?

Me Thinking: No I want to go back to sleep but saying, "Yes, please."

     She went to get my water and I became a little more alert.   So, when she comes back with my water:

Me: My incision hurts.

Nurse: Yes, it will hurt.

Me Thinking: Really?  I had no idea.  Maybe if you let me sleep I can ignore it for a while.

    At that point I close my eyes trying to go back to sleep.  But, this wonderful nurse would have none of it.  She starts talking about taking me back to my "room".  But, I still just wanted to sleep.

     I have to go back for major surgery to remove everything on July 10.  I get to stay in the hospital that time.  Oh joy, more time with people who will not let me sleep!

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Made It Monday: Decorative Apothecary Jar

     It is summer break for me and so I have more time to do things that I want.  I've done a lot of surfing around the Net, looking at crafty type things and recipes because for some reason this undomesticated goddess has gotten the urge to create.  So, I'm going to try to post something that I made every Monday, at least for the summer.

    This week, I'm starting out with an apothecary jar that I made.  These things are so cool and can be used for so many different things.  Making this first one (yes I plan on making more) has given me so many ideas for the uses and designs of other jars.  This was very simple and did not cost much to make.  I made this one as a smelly good decoration for our front bathroom.

What is needed?

  • Glass candlestick
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Decorative rocks
  • 5 Minute Epoxy 
  • Silk flowers
  • Scented oil
  • Ribbon

     I made sure the candlestick and jar were clean and free of all stickers.  The epoxy I used had to be mixed.  So, I took a sheet of aluminum foil and put some of the epoxy on it.  I mixed it with a large flat toothpick that I just happened to have on hand from a party.

     I used the stick to apply the epoxy to the candle stick.  I then sat the jar on top of the candlestick and let the epoxy dry for a few hours.

     When I was sure the epoxy was dry and the glass parts were securely attached to each other I filled the jar about 3/4 full with the decorative rocks.  I took some of the individual flowers off the stems of silk flowers and placed them on top of the rocks.  Then, I sprinkled some scented oil over all of that.  I also tied a ribbon to the stem of the apothecary jar to match the color of the flowers.  Finally, I put the lid on the jar.  And, there you have it, my decorative apothecary jar.

     When the lid is removed the aroma of the scented oil fills the room with good smelly scent.  It will have to be refreshed every now and again, but that's no big deal.  I really love the way it turned out and cannot wait to make more.  I'm thinking my daughter needs one for something in her room.  I'm sure.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Is Going On

     So, I've not been very prolific with my posts here the past two months or so.  There is a reason for that and I guess it is time to let everyone in on what is going on with me.

     In April right before my time of the month I started having excruciating pain.  It did not go away with the end of my visit from mother nature.   I spent most of my spring break at the end of April going to doctor's appointments and having tests done.  They determined I had a large cyst on each ovary and in each breast.  

     My gyn put me on meds and had me make an appointment for three weeks later.  At that time it seemed the cyst on my left ovary was gone, but the right one, while smaller was still there and still causing pain. 

     So, I was scheduled for laparoscopic outpatient surgery which was yesterday.  Well, he drilled three holes in my abdomen just to find out it is not just cysts.  I have a severe case of endometriosis.  Because of this he could not remove anything in that procedure.  I am to go back and see him in his office next week (will be making the appointment today) and we will discuss options then. 

     I am still hurting, especially the incision in my belly button.  OUCH!  And, I'm groggy as they have me on Vicodin.  But it seems I'll probably be having a hysterectomy soon.  

      As for the cysts in my breasts I have to go back for another ultrasound of them in Oct/Nov just to have them checked and make sure they are not changing.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Guess Who Came to Dinner

   Tonight was a first for us.  My daughter's boyfriend had dinner with us.  I still am feeling weird about saying "my daughter's boyfriend."  When did she become old enough to have a boyfriend?  Didn't I just bring her home from the hospital last week?

   Anyway, she does have a boyfriend and he is a very nice boy.  He's polite and considerate and is more than willing to have a conversation with the adults in Michaela's life.  I did get to meet his mom the night of the 8th grade dance and I like her too.  So, it's all good.  Just still a bit strange.

   So, we picked up her boyfriend today before my son's baseball game.  He came to the game with us and then came home where I cooked dinner.  See, he doesn't know how lucky he is that he got a home cooked meal from me on a weekend.  I made tacos like my mom's.  That is with white corn shells that have been fried.  We also had fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple.  Oh, and pink lemonade cupcakes for dessert.  

   He seemed to enjoy it all and that made me glad.  It's really hard to know what to make or how much when you're still getting to know someone.  He was a very gracious guest and even helped with the clean up.  His mother has done well raising him.

    Even though it still feels a bit strange to know my daughter has a boyfriend, at least I know she's picked well.

                                       This is a picture take before they went
                                       to the 8th grade dance.  ----->
                                      As you can see our Livvy gave her seal
                                      of approval.  :-)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

FMS Photo A Day: Transport

Another view of the train at The St. Louis Zoo

Fun Close to Home: St. Louis Zoo

Many years ago I decided that summer breaks would be a time for my kids and I to explore our home. I don't mean just the house we live in or even just our town.  But, the metro area.  Since we are part of the St. Louis Metro Area we have access to everything St. Louis has to offer.  This area is rich in activities and experiences.  So, this summer, I've decided to showcase some of the amazing things my home has to offer.

One of our favorite spots is, of course, The St. Louis Zoo.  Growing up here I've always heard that we have a world class zoo.  They brag about our zoo on our news programs and the zoo uses it as part of the marketing.  Until a few years ago it was the only zoo I'd ever visited.  It was then that I realized how spoiled I was having The St. Louis Zoo so close to me.  It really is an amazing place.  Other zoos are a real disappointment after growing up with this one.

The St. Louis Zoo has been in operation for over 100 years.  They are the leader in innovation when it comes to designing, creating and building actual HABITATS for the animals, not just pens.  Don't get me wrong, they did have a time when a lot of animals were in cages in big houses, but those days started dissipating a long time ago.

One of the oldest structures in the zoo was built for the 1904 Worlds Fair.  It is a giant bird cage, but it's not a cage, it's an aviary.  It is a walk through habitat.  It's most recent renovation in 2004, converted the habitat into a swamp to showcase waterfowl.  It is possible to be within arms reach of some of the birds in this habitat.

In recent history The St. Louis Zoo build Penguin and Puffin Coast, an Insectarium, The River's Edge , The Fragile Forest, and most recently (opened in June 2012) Sea Lion Sound.  There are future plans to redo/upgrade the habitats for the big cats and the bears.

The St. Louis Zoo is free to enter.  There is no admission fee.  Most of the exhibits are free.  There is a fee to enter The Children's Zoo, watch the movie in The Living World (the north entrance to the zoo), watch the Sea Lion Show, ride the train, ride the carousel, ride the simulator, pet the stingrays and to park in the south parking lot.

There are ways to get some of these discounted, though.  And, there are zoo memberships that allow you free tickets to a lot of these attractions.  But, it is possible, if you take a lunch with you and park near the art museum which is close to the north entrance of the zoo, to spend a whole day enjoying this wonderful place without spending a cent.


But, a trip to The St. Louis Zoo would not be complete if you didn't buy a souvenir at one of the gift shops/stands.  Especially for those who do not live close enough to go to this WORLD CLASS ZOO whenever they want.  You really should be jealous of those of us who do live close to it! 


Want to learn more?  Go here:

But please leave me a comment first!  I LOVE attention!!!  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FMS Photo a Day: Environment

This is where I had lunch today.  It is one of my favorite spots in my home town.  It is called OLD MILL STREAM INN. They have these wonderful things called Mill Fries.  They are small new potatoes seasoned and fried.  They are super yummy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

After Dark

This ia my photo for the Photo a Day Challenge.  It is a view from my front window after dark.