Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Meadows Barn Company ~ Repurposed Barns!

August 23, 2012 ~ Carolyn Linton is an amazing woman. A talented woman too! A couple years ago I was a ribbon cutting for a store in Columbia and saw some of Carolyn's tables there. I knew these tables were something I wanted to own but I just didn't have the extra money and I didn't want to settle for anything less than her tables. Earlier this year I had saved some money up and called the store to see if they still had those tables. Sadly they said they didn't but offered me her name and phone number. I immediately called her up and left a message to call me when she had a moment as I was interested in purchasing her tables. She called me back and that was the start of a great friendship!
I drove out to her shop and loved it from the moment I drove up! Little did I know she disassembled this barn and personally built it back on her farm. This barn came from where she was born and raised in Chillicothe, MO.She moved this barn in 2005.
I love the front of her shop because it's just country! Makes you feel so welcome to walk through the front door into a great showroom of her designs!
When you walk in you can just feel the passion in her work. She really loves the old barns and being able to re-purpose them makes her happy! It's sad to think that most old barns just fall in, rot away or get bulldozed in and burned. So much history is in those barns and all of these items that she makes is from barns from all over the state of Missouri. For example she has made things from barns from Ladonna, Calloway, Boone, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home, Bunceton, Mexico and Glasgow, MO to name a few!

I just love looking at each piece in her store as the are so individually unique and have so much character. I am pretty sure I could spend a lot of time in here!
Each piece that she makes has a sketch of the barn along with the approximate year (most times she knows the year from the owners) and places it on a metal medallion. I love this part of each of the pieces as she puts them so that you can see them. She also hand writes a little about the barn the piece was made from under the furniture. So each piece comes with a little history of where it came from! What she loves about the pieces are that the trees had to have been at least 100 years old to begin with and people didn't have skill saws and the tools like we do today so many of them were cut by hand and even used wooden "nails" on many of them to hold it together. So realistically they are made from 150-200+ year old wood! Pretty cool! 

I always have great conversations with her and when I first met her she was just completing her last bit of radiation. She is a breast cancer survivor and somehow has kept pushing forward even through some tough times. She is really excited to get back into full swing of making furniture as she has several of us on a list for custom furniture! I have ordered 2 end tables and a coffee table and can not wait to get them!
For now I have picked up my sofa table and love it! She is such a neat lady and does all of this on her own. The construction is well made and very durable. She is also been asked to a juried artist which is a big deal! For a unique item that fits in just about any home please visit her website for more information and great pictures of things she as made. or contact her at 573-592-0331 to call and make an appointment to go to her shop.... I promise you'll love it!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

An old farm in Midway......

August 22, 2012 ~ Brandon and I were over at our property looking at our barn and noticed Dean Rhine coming over to feed his cattle and horses. Dean rents this property directly behind our property and he came over to the fence to visit. After talking for a bit I asked him a few questions about Lewis Lane's old farm and the house. We walked over as I wanted to take a look just to see a piece of old history in Midway. I don't remember this house as a kid but mom and dad said that they have taken me over there a few times. Mr. Lane (a brother to Tenny Lane - he owned Lane's Greenhouse back in the country here in Midway) gave me a little chair that I still have at mom and dad's house.
This old house has been sitting for many years. It's sad that an older home just simply rots away when people stay away from it. Racoons have moved in and made this house their home.
It was starting to get dark when we went in the house and there is no electric to turn on. It's so sad to see a house that someone lived in be ruined by critters and yet personal items such as pictures have been left behind.

These were a couple of the out buildings that were on the property.
We then walked up to a graveyard on the property. It appears that it just might be family that was buried on this ground as there wasn't more than 5 or 6 stones total... or that you could still see. This one was hard to read.....
But the best we could read it said "Benjamin Watson B (born) May 18, 1799 D (death) May 20, 1847". That was pretty neat since I don't think I've seen a headstone that old or on property like this.
What was really interesting was a tomb just behind the headstone. We couldn't read anything on the tomb but it did have a huge piece of it missing on the far side. I had heard my Grandma & Grandpa Crews talk about the Lane's. It was nice to learn a little bit of history about this property for the hour or so we were there with Dean and I would love to go back during the daytime hours and take a note pad as I know one day that farm will be sold and the old house and outbuildings will be torn down and history from this place will forever be gone. I wish I had gotten interested in the history of Midway a lot sooner as I have seen so many structures/houses/barns being torn down and have no pictures to remember the way Midway was when I was a kid. I have tried to find a picture of the old barn that Lance Henderson had that my Grandpa Crews rented. This property where that old barn was is now the location of Midway Electric, Inc. the business we own. I hope to have another "walking history lesson" soon as I want to learn more! Until then all we have are pictures.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A surprise phone call.....

Wednesday August 22, 2012 ~ When I got home tonight Brandon and I were talking while he ate dinner. At 6:55 pm I get a phone call.... "Michele, this is Eugene Pottinger. Do you remember me?" I was so glad to hear from him as he said he would write me when he got home and it had been a while since I had last seen or talked to him. I told him of course I remember him and it was good to hear his voice! He said he had been home about 8 days and he was currently working with a Fire Department in California helping to put out wild fires and was currently working 144 miles from home. I had several people tell me that they saw him near the Boonville exit and then Moberly exit recently so I asked him about it. He said he has been in California not at those exits. (I really didn't have a reason not to believe him but I had to ask) I asked him if he had talked to his wife (based on our previous discussion at breakfast) and he said that he had talked to her and she let him back in the house. He said they have talked a lot and are working on their relationship. He said for now he is trying to work and help provide for them. He said lately he's been working long days but when he gets home (not sure if he goes home after so many days of work) they talk a lot. You could tell he was happy... heck I was happy to hear that he was safe and sound. He asked me a few questions about my blog and wondered where I got the poem from the first entry (A Homeless Veteran Named Eugene) and I told him I just looked up on Google and found it as it seemed fitting. He told me that he had sent me a package of 45 pages that he wrote via Fed Ex today so I should have them soon. He said he wrote from the time he enlisted in the military to his time spent in Midway and the people he met while he was here. He said that there are some things he doesn't want me to share and has noted those in his letter. I will respect his wishes however I will be excited to share some more details about Eugene as so many of us want to know more from the time I spent with him the day he traveled home. It was a great surprise and one that you could tell he was smiling on the other end of the line. I told him to call me anytime and now we just wait on the mail.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's a Jeep thing!

Tuesday August 21, 2012 ~ I got a letter in the mail today that my personalized plates were ready to be picked up! I was thinking they forgot about me (can you imagine someone forgetting about me??) since it had been forever! So I jumped in the little Jeep-ster and headed down to the Department of Revenue. Why on earth does everything have to be super dramatic down there? So I give the lady my paperwork and she looks at me and says I need your letter stating your plates are here. I said "Sugar, this is all I got in the mail today and I came on down" so then she asks everyone next to her (while sitting in her chair) if they had ever seen a paper like this and since it wasn't a letter would my plates even be there? (I am thinking....Well sugar britches.... can you look for me please since I am here and this is the only thing I got from your headquarters???) Seriously where did common sense go?? I patiently wait and imagine the look of surprise when she found them! Woo Hoo!

I think they look pretty good! A "SPRY" girl I am! Now anywhere I go I can't hide! Ha! Between my white car "MSPRY" and now the Jeep I have made my mark! While I was in the shop cleaning up my little dirty ride (gravel road, country music, fun with friends weekend) a little hummingbird flew in. Usually when they fly in the shop they don't come out alive and I was going to get this one out alive if it was the last thing I was going to do. If you could have seen me you would have laughed....

I got this little baby to come to the ground... which was a start! I think he/she was trying to figure out what this crazy lady was doing talking all crazy.....

Or maybe it was thinking how it could just get out of here! After about 15 minutes....

It flew out the garage door! I was so happy as I knew it wouldn't live if it stayed all night in the shop. The hummingbird whisper-er threw on her charm and saved this little bird. My work is done for tonight!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Joe Walsh Autograph!

Monday August 20, 2012 ~ We love the Eagles! We have seen them in concert 3 times and loved them so much that for our upcoming 15th wedding anniversary I purchased 2 VIP tickets to see them in Las Vegas on Novemeber 17th! We will be sitting somewhere between the 2nd & 8th row from the stage! I was so excited to tell him as it was going to be a surprise but you know me... it was killing me so I had to tell him!

 About a month ago I opened the mail and Timothy B. Schmit had sent me a personalized autographed photo and a guitar pic. I was so happy and kept my fingers crossed that the other 3 would also send me an autographed photo as well.

Well guess what.... I got to the mail box and I had an awesome surprise waiting for me.... Joe Walsh sent me an autographed picture and 2 of his guitar pics! (I apologize for it being upside down... for whatever reason my blog does this from time to time) I am so excited and now I sure hope Glenn Frey & Don Henley send me their pictures autographed too! Once I get all of them I am going to frame them for our office along with our upcoming tickets! I am one happy girl!

A cracked diamond....

Please note: Objects in picture are much smaller in person! Just sayin'

Friday August 17, 2012 ~ While I was out and about in town I decided to stop and have my ring inspected and cleaned. Something I try to do every other month as I wear my rings all the time. Upon inspection she asked me what the heck had I done to my diamond. I laughed and said "If I own something it better hold up good as I am pretty rough on anything I own!" (Brandon says I beat him in the middle of the night because he wakes up sore and stoved up like a little old man!) She said I have cracked my diamond from "6 o'clock almost up to the 3 o'clock". Really? She let me look at it under the microscope and I tried to take a few pictures through the lens. I couldn't believe I had done this and she said in her 25 years she had only seen this happen about 3 times on a round stone as they are pretty durable. She said it's common for the princess cut diamonds to crack/break as they are thin around the edges. 

Here's a little better picture of the crack as you can see it's pretty good from the "6 o'clock to the 4 o'clock and faint up to the 3 o'clock". So the next question.... what happens now? Thank goodness I purchased the POM (Peace of Mind) Insurance and it will be replaced free of charge! Shew! I have an additional policy on it however I don't want to have to use it! So ladies, take this as a warning! Go get your rings inspected often (especially if you wear them pretty much everywhere you go) and inquire about insurance! It was well worth it and not one penny comes out of my pocket!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jaxon and his animal sounds!

August 12, 2012 ~ I can't believe how big my nephew Jaxon is getting! He is 18 months old and so much fun! He is weighing in at 35 lbs and is 3' tall. He is wearing 4T tops and 3T bottoms. (Yes, his momma and daddy have fed him muscle milk to get him this big!)  He has been learning what sounds animals make and I can't believe I got him to sit still long enough to record him! He loves to swing and had me laughing... my favorite is how he says "Goat" which comes out "Goak"! I should have asked him what a rooster says then he would have done the "doodle doodle". My favorite part... his cheesy little smile at the end. Gosh I love that kid!

Jaxon James Adams 18 months old!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Eugene Pottinger is on his way home!

August 13, 2012 ~ Today was a good day. I was thankful that Eugene had a warm bed to sleep in last night because a storm was headed our way. I don't think we got much in Midway as the storm broke up before it hit but there was lighting. (I couldn't imagine being all alone in this crazy world and trying to find shelter at night) I called his room at 7:45 am and asked him to meet me at the Midway Family Restaurant at 8:15 am. I couldn't expect a man to travel without a good meal first so I bought him whatever he wanted. He ordered steak and eggs with Texas toast and strawberry jelly. I knew he was hungry and it's probably been awhile since he had a good meal.

I needed to talk to Michelle at the Columbia Greyhound. Since he only had a social security card for identification I would need to beg for an exception to be made.

We started making small talk and I started asking him a few more questions as I really wanted to know more about him. He said that he was born and raised in Chicago, IL and has a twin brother, George who he hasn't seen in many years. His mother passed away in 1989 and his father was never really around. He joined the military and served primarily in Vietnam from age 18-38. In those 20 years his title would be Commander Navy Seal. Things began to get emotional for me as he talked. I could see the hurt in his eyes and that made me sad. He said that he spent 5 years in the states and the first 8 months training to become a seal. His mission was to seek and destroy. He was a POW (Prisoner of War) for almost 4 years. Upon being released he came back to the states and spent 18 months in Maryland to try and get back to a regular state of mind. I didn't push him to talk about what happened as I knew he had been through so much. He also had been exposed to Agent Orange. At that point he had a decision to get out of the military or volunteer to help get other people out of being a POW. He said at that point it was like a suicide mission for him. He said he really didn't have much to live for and if he were to get killed while serving it was ok but if he could get our men back then he got back at those people that hurt him.  He said that he found one of our men and got him back home. I asked where he had served and he said Siagon, Vitnam mostly but also Taiwan, Aboud & Hanowi.

I could tell that it was not something easy for him to talk about so after a long pause I started asking him about his family. He said that once he got back to San Diego, CA (specifically Linda Vista, CA) that his wife would pick him up. He doesn't have any kids and they have been married for 19 years. Her name is Robin (aka "The Boss") and she works for a hotel as a host. Once he got back home he would have a home and be able to find work pretty easy. He said that he has worked in the steel / construction industry and wasn't afraid to work. He said he went to work for a company in North Carolina but after 18 months they were shut down because of back taxes. So he made it to Kentucky and helped out on a horse ranch. He said he didn't have a clue about horses but did whatever needed to be done. His focus was on getting back home.

He said that he had been clean for 3 years now. No alcohol or drugs just cigarettes and coffee. He said that he realizes that he put his wife through hell but when he got back from the war the first thing he did was burned his uniforms/fatigues. He said that when he got off the plane people would spit on him and call him really bad names and he hurt. After serving his country and yet to be treated less than a human was hard to handle. You could see so much emotion in his eyes as he talked, opening up to a total stranger yet I think it was good for both of us to hear this information. For him, living through all of this and having someone who wouldn't judge him was good. For me, one can never really understand what war does to a person. I could tell it forever changed him.

At 9:05 am I made the phone call to Michelle at the Greyhound station. She listened as I explained our situation and was willing to make sure we got him on the bus! I immediately called Taxi Terry's and had them come pick him up. He was excited. I know he probably thought this wasn't for real, how could his life start to get better in the 3 days he had met me.He quickly ran over to the hotel and I waited until the taxi got there. Pretty sad when all the things you have fit in a duffel bag and a backpack but it didn't matter... he was going home!

At 9:40 am Taxi Terry arrived.... the bus would be leaving at 9:50 am and I was getting nervous. I told him that the taxi driver would be driving like a crazy man but we were going to get to the bus station quickly! He was loaded up and I was following behind. I called Michelle again at the bus station and told her what was going on. She said the bus would not wait however there was another bus behind it and it would leave in 30 minutes! (Thank goodness!) We arrive at the bus station at 9:48 am and we ran inside to get a ticket. He was really getting happy now! We got his ticket and walked outside. I gave him a full new tablet of writing paper as he said he was almost out, some cash and a self addressed stamped envelope and told him that when he got home I wanted a letter from him. He said he would send a letter and a picture of California! I gave him a quick hug and headed out the door. By 10:30 am he would be on his journey home.

Today was a very emotional day for me. To hear him talk about things that he had experienced, where he has come from and choosing to be "clean" for 3 years made this all worth while. I knew there was something special about this guy and all of his life he has been judged, mistreated or put down. Today that wasn't going to happen. I wish him safe travels as he makes his 2 day trek and I look forward to receiving his letter. Until then know that he is in good hands and soon enough he will be reunited with his wife.

On my way back to the shop I couldn't help but look over. This spot at the top of exit 121 seemed so sad and lonely but the thought of him being so completely happy makes me smile. It's been a great day......

A Hero’s Hero

So Many Soldiers
Living on the Street
Their Spirits Broken
With Defeat.

What Must They Think
When They Look Around
Eyes Passing By
Staring at the Ground.

Does Anger Fill Them
When We Turn Away,
From the Debts We Owe
That Should Be Repaid ?

What If A That Moment,
Just Once, Instead
We Saluted in Honor,
Right Hand to Head?

To Let Them Know
They are Not Ghosts,
Thanking Them for
Being Braver Than Most.

If Everyone Would
Show Them Grace
We Just Might Find
Their Pain Erased.

For All the Heroes,
Still Fighting To Live
And For Heroes Like You
Who Continue to Give.

If You See Someone
Who Is Really Lost
Please Stop and Remember
What Our Freedoms Cost.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A good night's sleep.....

August 12, 2012 ~ An update to our homeless veteran, Eugene Pottinger. So this afternoon I stopped to ask a few additional questions. Primarily to find out if he had identification on him so that we can move forward with getting him home to San Diego, CA. I found out that he has his social security card and that's all. This could be a little of a challenge as most places want a picture id and I am not sure that we can get him an ID card without a birth certificate. I told him that I am working to get him back home and how does he prefer to go... by plane or bus. He didn't want to go by plane and said a bus would be great. It would be a 2 day travel with 3 transfers. I then asked him if he had someone who could pick him up and he said his wife would pick him up. I asked him how he specifically got to Columbia, MO (or rather Midway) and he said he was working in North Carolina and got laid off and caught a ride here.  I told him I would check into everything tomorrow morning and meet him to give him the information I find out.

I decided that he needed to have a good night's rest before traveling as he probably hasn't had a good night's rest in awhile. I purchased a room at Midway's Budget Inn and for $35.67 and now he has a room for the night. The gentleman and woman that were running the front desk were super nice and said that he sits in the restaurant every night and doesn't bother anyone but is very friendly. I went back and told Eugene that I paid for a room for the night and I put it under his first name since I didn't know his last name. He then told me his last name was Pottinger. He was very happy and shook my hand and was headed to the hotel just now.

Tomorrow hopefully (after talking to the supervisor at Greyhound here in Columbia) we can successfully get him on the road.... one step closer to home!

Thank you all for the private messages willing to help out with getting Eugene home. There have been so many from people I don't even know to my close friends asking what we can do. You all have willing hearts and helping hands that make our community so unique. I truly can't express how happy my heart is knowing we are a step closer to helping this man get back home to be reunited with his family. Keep your fingers crossed the supervisor figures out a way to get him on the bus with just a social security card!

A homeless vet named Eugene....

August 11, 2012 ~ I have lived in Midway almost my entire life. We moved into a home mom and dad built on my 3rd birthday. For the past 33 years I have rode or drove past this site everyday and often times several times a day. This is the 121 exit for Midway and is also known as the Fayette exit. If you are traveling from Stadium exit towards Kansas City and take the Fayette (Midway) exit and look over to your left this is what I have seen for nearly 4-5 weeks.

This man has endured extreme temperatures with no shelter, no shade every single day for over a month. He does not bother anyone and really is the wrong place to be panhandling or looking for a ride. I have rarely ever seen him stand but rather sit upon his duffel bag and looking down at the ground. Upon many occasions I have seen him  writing on a pad of paper or in a journal. He always made me wonder what his story was and not until yesterday did I find out.

I decided to stop, roll down my window and ask him a few questions. (I did give him $11.00 which was all the cash I had on me as he approached my window) I told him that for many weeks I have seen him sitting out here never bothering anyone and yet wondered why he was here. He said his name was Eugene and that he was a homeless Veteran. He had served in Vietnam and he was looking for work to try to get back home. I asked him where home was and he said San Diego, CA. He said that he tries not to be a bother to anyone and all of the homeless shelters are completely full since we have had such high temperatures and he had inquired about the Veterans Hospital and they had nothing either. He said that doesn't leave him much of a choice but to stay there which is probably the best place because we have the truck stop close by.  I promised him that I would make a few phone calls and I would stop back by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. He was very kind, respectful and always looked me in the eyes while talking. You could tell that he truly was really trying not to be a bother and was determined to make it back home one day. He said that he found employment for about a week helping to mow lawns but as many of you know everything is burnt up and there isn't any yards to really be mowed. I told him I think things are going to get cooler which will be nice and he said "please don't say that, I'm ok with the warm weather ma'am" I realized that he didn't have a lot of blankets for cool nights. I had to ask one more question before pulling away.... I wanted to know what he was writing? He said that he writes stories about people he meets, poems, songs and things about life. I bet if you were to set and read some of these we would all realize that our life isn't as bad as we sometimes think it is.... that we are fortunate to have a roof over our head and food on the table where this man who has fought for our country has nothing. He did not smell of alcohol. Rather he was very weathered from being out in 105+ degree weather for the last 5-7 weeks all day long each and every day.

As I pulled away I couldn't help but think about him. I normally would never pull my car over to a total stranger like that however I wasn't scared. I wanted to know more about this man. This isn't the end of the story. This is just the beginning. I will post more when I talk to him again tomorrow or Tuesday. Until then, I don't promote stopping to hitchhikers, panhandlers, etc. but rather to just take a moment to think about others.... you don't know their story but rather often times just "assume" or judge others by their looks, color of their skin, or their disabilities.

I ask anyone that reads this that will be traveling through Midway and see his man sitting quietly at the exit to please give two honks of your horn to let him know you care. I told him as I was leaving that I have a blog and wanted to write about him. In return I would ask everyone that read this to give 2 little honks of their horn....No need to stop and give him anything.... just a little sign to let him know you care. Thanks!

Through My Eyes
By Brian Chenier
You don’t know me or what I’ve done
You don’t care where I’m from
So I have a question for you
Why do you judge me the way you do?

I wonder what it is you see
Every day as you pass by me
What’s on your mind, and in you head
Looking at me on my cardboard bed
All I have left in this world is here.

But all you see are the cans of beer
You try not to look or stare
But I see your eyes, I see the glare
The disgust I see it in your face
As if it’s me that’s a disgrace.

But if you knew what I’d done
That look might be a different one
You go to work all clean and shaved
On a street of gold that’s nicely paved
But you have sent me off to fight
Without a care for my future plight.

The drugs and beer, the homelessness
The disheveled look and the tiredness
None of that is a choice I’ve made
I was a soldier of the highest grade
You don’t see that, you don’t care
Why should you, life isn’t fair
I don’t want pity, especially yours
But spare a thought for those that fight your wars.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A little fender bender!

August 9, 2012 ~ Well I was on my way to have lunch with some of our awesome Greater Missouri Leadership gals when I was detoured. As I was traveling down Providence Road toward Broadway  I felt a huge bump and saw black flying all around. I was hit by a little Nissan Altima. I pulled over (I was at the part where you get in the left turn lane to turn onto Broadway) and walked over to the parking lot where he and his daughter parked. I asked him where he came from.... as in where did your car come from because you came from out of no where. He said "I am from Malaysia and I just got here today". I thought "Oh my goodness.... here we go!" So before we went much further I wanted to get his statement to see what happened in his eyes. I knew I hadn't done anything wrong as I had been in the same lane since crossing over Business Loop.  He just kept saying "I'm sorry about your car" then he really threw me for a loop.... he said "Ma'am can I have my mirror back" I had to fight back the laughter .... Of course that is your mirror wedged in between my hood and fender!

So after I called Joint Communications and dispatched them (no one was hurt but I wanted a police report) I start making small talk. Found out a few interesting things in this conversation.....

1. He just flew into Columbia Regional Airport from Malaysia and was dropped off at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
2. He had just left Enterprise and hit me within the first block.
3.His daughter told him to drive it around in a nearby parking lot to make sure he was familiar with the care before heading out on the road.
4. His GPS said to turn here. So he did.
5. He was enrolling/dropping off his daughter to MU.
6. He was leaving town on Monday.
7. He took out insurance on the car he was driving to cover damage to that car but did not take out the liability coverage to cover anyone elses car.  (Let's see how this pans out)
8. He couldn't figure out how to start the car and the police officer started it for him (push button start).
9. When he got back to Enterprise he asked for a smaller car to drive.
10. He was super nice and easy to understand. (Thank goodness!)

When he went to talk to the policeman his daughter was asking me about the locals here (that sounded funny.... the locals) and what they do. I explained that luckily she wouldn't have to drive anywhere near campus as our downtown area was vibrant and a fun atmosphere with live music at many of the bars/restaurants. I also told her there was lots of art stuff in the district and fun shops. Her eyes lit up when I talked about the bars.... Oh goodness.... this girl is gonna have fun in Columbia, MO while daddy is away!

This was my favorite part... he was worried about getting his mirror back and finally he went to take it off. I was so hard not to laugh... bless his heart! Through this whole deal I couldn't be mad. I thought this poor guy was trying to get his daughter enrolled in school and just didn't have a clue. He was so nice and kept apologizing to me. I guess as I am getting older I realize that "it" happens and we need to worry about the big stuff not the small stuff. This is a material thing that can be fixed and no one was injured in the process. I sure hope he travels safe during the rest of his time here..... and I hope to stay far far away!

A little trip to Illinois!

August 5, 2012 ~ Some of our good friends, Josh & Roni Spicer, own a restaurant in Huntsville, MO called Don's Family Style Restaurant and this is somewhere we frequent on the weekends to spend time with them. Josh recently sold his old truck and the new owner wanted to meet him in Mount Vernon, Illinois. So after they closed their restaurant for the day we met them in Columbia and headed out on the road around 6:30 pm. The trip there seemed to go pretty fast as us girls were chatting about life, work, etc. while we followed the boys. We met at a gas station and he signed his truck over! I think he was a little sad (he loved that truck) but when someone wanted to buy it well, he sold it!

On the way back we were starving so we stopped by a little place called, 54th Street Grill & Bar. We were worried they might be closed as it was 11:00 pm and everything else was closing but they were open! It reminded me of a TGI Friday's with all the memorabilia and the food was really good! The boys got a hamburger with a fried egg on it! For whatever reason our waiter asked what brought us here (my first thought was my momma) but I said that we just jumped in the car and wanted to try something new and different. (Really Michele??) He looked at me as if to think is this girl for real or is she just kidding.... Then while we were waiting for our food another waitress comes around inspecting the tables with a flash light. Weird. So while Inspector Clue-so was working over the tables (which I will say this place had some clean tables) our food came! Shew.... I was getting hungry and the No Gringo chips and dip wasn't cutting it anymore! After we ate our waiter asked if we wanted to-go cups... I immediately pipe up and say "No, we don't have cup holders in our VW Bug" (Seriously.... we weren't in a VW Bug!) We made it back home by 1:30 am which was going to make Monday be super long! Oh well.... it was fun and we would probably do it again! It's always an adventure no matter where we go!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Ninth Street"

August 4, 2012 ~ As many of you know I love painting at a place called "The Canvas on Broadway" here in Columbia, MO. It is a great place to paint (acrylic) with friends while being taught step-by-step. I have gone 6 or 7 times now and wanted to try a painting of "Ninth Street" which features hot spots on Ninth Street in Columbia, MO. Tonight a friend, Shannon Patterson had arranged for her sister, Ashlea Vanderwalker and Kristi Spotts to go so I invited myself to tag along for the 6:30 pm class!

It was a very detailed / focused painting and although I did feel rushed (they had another class at 9:30 pm) it was fun! It's amazing to think that you can't even paint a stick figure let alone a great piece of artwork that you can actually be proud of! I did take it home and finish it this morning.....

A finished piece! It was fun hanging out with the girls and I am always ready to go back..... see ya at The Canvas on Broadway!

A visit from an old friend....

August 4, 2012 ~ After working all day in the office, Brandon and I were trying to decide what to do for dinner. We look up and at our window is a yellow butterfly going crazy as if to get our attention. I grabbed my cell phone to try and take a quick picture as it was fluttering all around. I was able to capture a few pictures and this one was as vivid as I could get.

My best friend's Grandma Lou Hathman passed away July 25, 2011. Grandma Lou was really special to Misty and would religiously come to our garage sales each year. I always loved to see her and Aunt Judy Blacklock pull up to go "shopping" for their booths at a flea market. Somehow they managed to fill their cars full at our sale! She would drive over to see Misty every Thursday after getting her hair done because Misty has a daycare in her home and couldn't get out and about as often. She hadn't came to see Misty and the kids and wouldn't answer her cell phone so Misty and the kids drove to her house to check on her. She wasn't alarmed because many times she would loose her cell phone or misplace it and Misty would find it and put it back on the charger for her. When Grandma Lou suddenly passed away Misty is the one that found her.

 Misty and her 2 kids, Olivia and Mikel, were getting ready to go to town on the Monday after her funeral on Friday. A beautiful butterfly came out of no where and circled Misty then each of the kids and flew away. There were several other instances were a butterfly came to visit Misty and she couldn't help but think it was Grandma Lou. (It's kind of the same way we think of Grandma Ruby and hummingbirds)  Believe what you will, but I think random things like this happen to remind you that your loved ones are gone but never forgotten..... Thank you Grandma Lou for your surprise visit! I love and miss you too!

Mattie & Bailey .... A Working Saturday!

August 4, 2012 ~ After having a fun birthday week I really didn't get much accomplished in the way of work so while Brandon got up to go work on the barn the girls and I went to the shop to get caught up on paperwork! I needed to get billing done but more specifically I am getting things ready for an audit... YUCK! (The State of Missouri wants to do a "Sales Use Audit" to ensure that we are paying sales tax and want to look through everything over the last 5 years. It is a huge pain in the rump but it has to get done and I am not worried about it at all. It's more of an inconvenience than anything as I still have a business to run while locating all of the documentation they need.)

 Anyway.... it was so boring that the girls kept looking at me like "Are you serious this is how we are going to spend our Saturday together?" (Mattie is a Min Pin and is 14 years old. Bailey is a Beagle Mix and is 10 years old.)

 I caught them both snoring like a freight train... but only had my camera close by to capture Bailey girl! They both can't hear when you tell them things like to go outside and go potty but they sure hear a bag rattling or smell food a mile away! Love these babies!