Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anheuser Busch Weekend (Pics!)

Whew! I've been so busy at work lately that I can hardly catch my breath. But here it is, the promised post about last weekend. On Saturday we took a tour of the Anheuser Busch brewery. It's pretty neat, because in St. Louis we have the original Budweiser factory. The tour itself was okay. Apparently their production line is so efficient that factory workers don't have to work weekends! Good for them, but bad for me, who wanted to see the production going on. Oh well, we still got two big cups of beer (our choice Anheuser brand) for free after the tour.

On Sunday we went to Grant's Farm, which is associated with both Ulysses Grant and Anheuser Busch because members from the families married up and took residence on the farm. The farm was later opened up to the public. Because it's run by Anheuser Busch, we got more free beer! I'm loving this free beer stuff! I didn't post any pictures, but the stables at Grant's farm are home to many of the very same horses that you see in the Budweiser commercials. They have one of the largest herds of Clydesdales in the world. These horses are gorgeous! Learn more about Budweiser Clydesdales.

The future of Grant's Farm and other Anheuser Busch philanthropic endeavors in and around St. Louis is unknown, due to the InBev take over. It hits us hard in St. Louis, because Budweiser was founded here, and Anheuser Busch has been incorported into many aspects of our city. So far we haven't seen any changes, and we're all crossing fingers that it stays that way!

I'm so thrilled that I have a long weekend coming up. I have no plans so far, but I'm hoping to get out and see at least one thing. I'm thinking about either the Purina Farms or the Meremec Caverns. Either way, you'll here it about it here next week!

Before we get into this weekend's pics, I decided to let you guys see a pic of the cartilage piercings, even though I don't like the jewelry. So there they are, in the upper part of my left ear:

On Saturday we arrived at Grant's Farm just to wait for Alex's sister to arrive. In the meantime, the kids expelled some energy. I swear they ran around that pot for no less than 20 minutes. (Amber):


Quick photo op on the tram ride through the park (Me & Alexia):

We didn't see much on the tram ride this time. Last time we went we got a closer look at many animals, but they are allowed to roam free, so you can't guarantee how much you'll see on any given day. We did see the bison, though:

After the tram ride, we disembarked at the main part of the park. Here is where you walk around and see the various animals and shows. One of the first things we came across were the Capybara. These things looked like huge, 150 pound rats. Apparently they are the largest rodent in the world. I'm just going to refer to them as R.O.U.S. (or, Rodents Of Unusual Size -- yes, they do exist):

There were a few large tortoises. I have many pics of this one on it's journey to the water because it took roughly 5 minutes to make its way over and in:

These bald eagles look fake, don't they? But they aren't. They sat there, near still as could be the entire time. I don't think they moved once. I feel so badly for them -- they sustained injuries that don't allow them to fly, so they're held there. They look so tall and proud regardless:

This little elephant gave us quite a show. She even played the harmonica for us! And okay -- is it just me, or is that guy on the right totally posing for my picture? It seems that way at least:

Ah, the goat pen. Parents be warned! If you allow your child to walk in there with one of the bottles of milk (sold at the farm), they will be trampled. And don't wear loose clothing, because it will get eaten. The goat pen is crazy time. It's like walking into a pen full of a hundred hungry, tired toddlers, only they are much heavier and have horns on their heads. And for some odd freaking reason, I was being chased by a goat that kept head butting me with its horns! I didn't see any other goats head butting people. That's my luck, I guess. This, by the way, is my nephew Wyatt:

They had many beautiful birds. These are only two of many they had outside. Funny thing is, they weren't teathered down. I'm assuming they have their wings clipped, because I don't know how else they have confidence enough to let such splendid (and expensive) birds out:

The last thing we did before we left was head on over to the bird show. It was really cute. Here are two of the birds pulling another bird in a carriage:

And they have their own version of the Anheuser Busch logo (if you need refreshing as to what the actual logo looks like, it's on the podium the bird is standing on). I must say they did an excellent job:

They also had a rat race. They took 4 volunteers, paired them up and then made each pair link arms. Amber got picked -- that's her second from the left:

After they linked arms, the put a rat on each side to run along the kids and see who would win. Amber had such a mess of hair that they had to help the rat through it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday (Week 8)

Hello everyone, and welcome to Trim Up Tuesday! I would like to give a special shout out today to Ms Diva over at Diva in da Chantix House for taking fitness to the extreme by participating in a hard-core fitness camp! I'm so proud of her, so if you get a chance stop by and leave an encouraging word for her to read whenever she gets a much needed break.

I had a really nice weekend. It was full to the max, but it was good family time. I promise you a post either Wednesday or Thursday (no, really! I even have the pics uploaded to Blogger already).

Thanks for stopping by! Oh yes, one plug for Trim Up Tuesday -- please join! It's not just about losing weight. The blog creator tool at Trim Up Tuesday can record many different facets of health -- from weight (of course) to length and types of exercise and even tracking of your unhealthy meals and drinks. And I'm always up for suggestions if you'd like to see something else added to it. It's important to note that you never have to record information you don't want to -- the tool will simply ignore anything you leave blank, AND it will never display your weight. It simply asks those questions to perform calculations. And I don't see ANY of what you enter -- the tool does not keep your information. Once you're done, it's as gone!


  • I have lost 7.5 pound(s) since I started!
  • I lost 1 pound(s) this week!
  • I am 3.5 pound(s) away from my ideal weight.


  • My BMI is: 21.2. This is considered normal.


  • I worked out 5 time(s) this week.
  • I did 3 hour(s) and 51 minutes of cardio this week
  • I did 1 hour(s) and 46 minutes of brisk activity this week


  • I did meet my last goal
  • My Last Goal Was: Continue to lose weight.
  • My new goal is: Get OUTSIDE and run/walk at least two times.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Days of School, More Piercing and Lots of Dancing

Sorry all for being slightly absent. The work people blocked blogspot for a while, and as good as my intentions are, I just don't have time to mess with it anywhere else than at work. I know, I know ... terrible of me. But they can't complain much, I work my ass off for them and overperform on everything, so I don't feel too badly about managing my blog on company time.

Wednesday was the first day of school. Amber entered 2nd grade, and Alexia entered Kindergarten. And, as some of you recall, Alexia turning 5 left me a bit upset. But she was super excited about it, and I'm happy for her and proud of her. I know she'll thrive, it was just hard seeing her step onto that bus the first day.

On Friday night I went home for a quiet evening -- then my sister-in-law called. I knew then that I was in for a rough night. So I got up, got ready, and went out dancing with her. I danced so hard and so long -- I danced for 5 hours. It felt great, I LOVE to dance (and I'm good at it). Of course I didn't get home till 4:30 in the morning. I really hate the late nights, I feel like because I'm a mother I shouldn't have those anymore. But the next few days I always feel glad I did it because it's so much fun, and then I think about how much I love to dance, and need to do it more often.

On Saturday I decided to get another piercing (2 actually), but they really are nothing. They're cartilage piercings in the top of my left ear. I have one in the helix of my ear, and the other slightly above that. I've just always liked the way they looked and I saw some really cute jewelry in ads, so I decided to go for it.

Problem, though. I went to my piercer to get the job done, and he's not there. So I wind up going to the mall to get it pierced with a gun (yes, I know, I know ... I tried to get it done the right way, but I wasn't going to wait another day for it because I'm impatient and spontatneous like that). I am very disappointed with the studs I got pierced with. They are much too large for the piercings and placements. Unfortuantly I'm stuck with them for 6 weeks or so until I can give my earrings a quick change. So I'm just going to have to suck it up and let them heal enough for me to change them out.

Surprisingly there was no pain at all to the piercings. I always thought the cartlidge would be very painful to pierce through, instead it was literally no pain. My second lobe piercing hurt more -- that one at least stung a little bit. But ... nothing. I was very pleasantly surprised. If I had known it would be that easy I would have gotten it done a long time ago.

Healing it is nothing at all. A little soreness, careful when brushing and washing the hair, and sleep on the opposite side. No big deal at all (or maybe I'm just used to healing the more difficult piercings, such as the tongue and belly button). Again, I'm surprised, because I always heard people whine about how much this piercing hurts to heal. So far my biggest problem has been figuring out how to wrap a towel around my head to dry my hair, but I imagine in a couple days that won't bother me either. I really like the piercing, I just want the jewelry changed, and it's going to drive me nuts until I can change it. But I shall try to be patient. I haven't taken any pics yet, though, because I'm not fond of the jewelry. We'll see... I might take some pics and post them, but no promises.

So there's the update on last week and the past weekend. We're going to Grant's Farm on Sunday, I'll sure try to take pics and post them, but you know me and pics. I still owe everyone house pics from months ago :-) Until next time ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday (Week 7)

Here I am, back on track, despite another (unplanned) busy, bad for me weekend (tune in tomorrow or Wednesday for details on that). I'm keeping myself happy, losing a pound at a time, and going strong. I'm not concerned about the little weight loss -- after all, I only have 4.5 more pounds to go to meet my goal. I'm getting happier with myself every day. I'm also seeing my body trim and shape up right before my eyes. I even entered into a new decade on the scale, and that is such a huge relief to see the tenth spot lower down to where I'm used to seeing it.

Now, where are those participants who keep promising to jump back in and join me? I want to hear from you! :P


  • I have lost 6.5 pound(s) since I started!
  • I lost 1 pound(s) this week!
  • I am 4.5 pound(s) away from my ideal weight.


  • My BMI is: 21.3. This is considered normal.


  • I worked out 3 time(s) this week.
  • I did 2 hour(s) and 15 minutes of cardio this week
  • I did 2 hour(s) and 30 minutes of brisk activity this week


  • I did meet my last goal
  • My Last Goal Was: (unoffical) Get back on the fitness train
  • My new goal is: Focus on losing a little bit of weight (instead of staying level or gaining)

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Weekend In Pictures

Look at this, folks! I'm actually posting promised pics! Yes, you that know me know well that I always promise to post pics but rarely deliver. But this time I have come through!

This weekend a couple friends of mine came down from my old hometown of Kirksville, MO, for a road trip that included a Fergie concert at the Illinois State Fair and some sightseeing in Springfield, IL (a.k.a. Abe Lincoln hometown). Anyways, here come the pics!

From Left To Right: Me, Eva, Sabrina
Standing in front of the stage, waiting for the Fergie concert to begin.

The Fergie concert was AWESOME. I was so afraid that it would not be worth the road trip to Springfield, but it totally was worth it. It surpassed all my expectations. The show had awesome dancers, and Fergie was sure doing her part too. At one point she was doing cartwheels in skin-tight leather pants while singing. Not only did she sing her songs, she sang many of the Black Eyed Peas songs (yes, she sang the full version of My Humps and it rocked!!!) For her song "Voodoo" she had masked dancers come out. For "London Bridge" she brought out the guards, danced all over them (not a one broke a smile) then shoved them down. During each costume change (she went through 3 costumes) they had a dance and music session, where the dancers totally blew me away with their awesome skills. The best part of the whole show was the end, when they did Fergalicious and rocked it hard -- it was an incrediable version of the song, I absolutely loved it. Oh, and did I mention that I had excellent seats? I got to stand right by the stage, and even made eye contact with Fergie 4 or 5 times, not to mention snagged some great pics.

Fergie singing "Big Girls Don't Cry"

Fergie being "Glamourous"

The next day we decided to see what we could do for free in Springfield. We made our way to the home of President Abraham Lincoln. This is the home where him, his wife and their sons lived until Abe became president.

Okay, so we had a few blond moments while we were there. See the sign below? Read it before you continue the story. ("This view of the Lincoln home has been the most frequently photographed throughout the years. We invite you to step into history and take a photo from this location.")

Sabrina: Oh look, we should take a picture here!

Me: Okay!

Sabrina: That didn't turn out too well...

Me: Yeah, that's really odd...

Sabrina: Ohh! I know ... I have that button on my camera!

Me: That's it! The zoom! Let's try again ...

Me: That still didn't work.

Sabrina: Yeah, that really sucks.

Me: Why would they tell us to take a picture through that if it doesn't work?

Sabrina: I don't know.

Me: Oh crap! Umm... I don't think we were supposed to take a picture through the hole... I think we were just supposed to take a picture from this spot!

So alas, we stood back, took some pics while laughing our asses off, and realized that we completely lost all our brain cells just a minute before.

After we were done making fools of ourselves in the middle of the street, we made our way inside the house. I took many pictures, but only posted a few. This is Abe's desk in his bedroom, apparently well-worn and used. It amazes me because it's so small! Abe was supposed to be a really tall man, and I know I'd be cramped in that. But then I decided to look up how tall he really was, and found out he was 6'4". So yes, that's tall, but my ex-husband was 6'5" I guess the image of Abe in my mind is more like a 7 foot tall individual -- but perhaps it was just his famous hat that made him look so darned tall.

This is his bed. It was oddly sloped in the middle, I guess from the mattress. As a side note, this was HIS bed ... his wife had her own bed & portion of the room.

Presidental potty! 3 stalls, even! I can't imagine sitting on a pot with even one person plopped down next to me, let alone two. Hey look, there are even leaves on the floor, how convienent ...

After visiting his house, we made our way over to his tomb. Apparently it took a long time to get him in there. They said he waited in a receiving vault for over 7 months before being placed into a temporary tomb for 5 more years. Then he was moved into this tomb, which was only partially completed at the time. Then much later, they decided to move him within the tomb. Poor Abe, let him rest, people!

Here is his tomb stone. Abe is buried below the floor, 30 inches behind the tombstone and 10 feet below that. His family, except for one son, are also in the same burial chamber.

So that concludes my weekend in pictures! My long weekend is over (I took Fri & Mon off work) and I'm predicting a quiet, relaxing weekend coming up! Oh, in case you're keeping track, I am not posting Trim Up Tuesday today. I have done well because I managed to keep my weight exactly the same, and I will be back into weight loss mode starting today! Thanx for stopping by ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Black River Float Trip

Okay, so when I checked in on Monday I was a tired, sore mess. I am fairly certain I had sun poisoning. Never heard of it? Neither had I, but apparently I had all the symptoms: really deep burn, chills and cold as hell and nausea. I really was feeling badly on Monday. Good news is my thighs are returning to a less intense shade of red and the pain is minimal (considering).

I still don't have the float trip pics but they'll get here eventually. But let's not let that stop me from telling you guys how the float went. First of all, until I moved to the St. Louis area, I had never heard of a "float trip" before. So in case you're wondering what that is, you basically drive out to a campground where you camp overnight (and drink lots of alcohol). The next morning, you float down the river all day in your choice of vessel (usually a raft or a canoe) while consuming much more alcohol. This makes you prone to doing things like scaling cliffs and climbing algae-covered trees in heavily-currented water so that you can fall (some people manage to jump, but let's not be picky) off.

So that's how it *should* go. I arrived at the campground at about dusk on Friday night, and hurridly help set up our tent before darkness sat in. I then proceeded to catch up on the alcohol intake, since everyone else had been there for hours. It was fun, drinking and partying in the middle of nowhere, but it was fairly unremarkable. After going to bed around 4:00 am, I woke up at 7:00 because it's really hard to ignore nature and the sun when you're right smack in the middle of it! We got up, had breakfast and got ready for the float trip.

Around 11:00 we get deposited into the Black River (in Missouri). This was my first time on a float trip and in a canoe, just so you know. We get about ... oh, 20 yards down the river before we start to lose control, and before you know it, we're facing backwards while the rest of the people behind us are cheering. Way to go, us! I was having many issues remembering that if I wanted to go left, I needed to paddle right, and vice-versa. Needless to say I introduced many navigational difficulties into our float. Unfortunantly, the river was really hard to navigate. It was shallow in most places and there were trees and debris everywhere. I never even got buzzed on our "float" trip because I was too busy steering and paddling to drink much. That's okay, though, because it made it lots of fun, and we had the rest of the night to drink. In fact, whenever we'd get to a temporary floating state, I'd start to get bored because I was so used to the action.

We stopped in various places to drink, swim and bullshit. There was one spot where I battled the current to get to a tree trunk that was downed just over the surface of the water. It was actually pretty dangerous, because the current was trying to sweep me under the tree, and I knew if I went under there'd be a good chance that I'd be swept up in the tangle of branches and roots under the water. Once I reached the tree, however, there was no going back -- it was over or under, so I chose over. The tree was so slick from algae that I couldn't stand up; in fact it took all my effort to pull my body up top it. Once I got on, I scooted myself to the top. I tried my best to stand up, and finally gave up and just "jumped" off the side by letting go.

A little while later we're going down the river, and I look up and see this almost vertical climb off the bank, with an occasional rock and tree limb scattered on the surface. I nudged the hubby and said, "Woah! How'd you like to climb that?" I then looked up and noticed people on top of it -- there was a cave up there! At that same time, 2 guys in our group also noticed the cave, and I could tell they were thinking about it, so I put it out there: "You wanna climb it?" They reply hesitantly, "I don't know, do you?" And at that point, even though I wasn't drunk, I'd had enough to not care: "Sure! Let's do it!" So we pull over and head on over. Looking up the dirt wall, I realize that this might be a stupid idea. After all, I am in a bikini and flip-flops. But what the hell ... why should I let a little thing like that stop me? So I went to work. I was on all four's most of the way up. I grabbed rocks and tree roots, and when there was nothing else, I dug my nails into the dirt. I got up there! We were slightly disappointed when we did get up there, because there was nothing to the cave except a small cold spring. As we look out at the river from the top of the cave, however, we realize the hardest part was yet to come -- we still had to get back down! I did not manage climbing down as gracefully as I managed climbing up (and in case you're keeping track, It wasn't that graceful of a trip up). I sent everyone ahead of me so that I could knock them over instead of vice versa, should we all go a-tumbling. That said, I had three guys ready to *attempt* to catch me should I spiral out of control. But somehow I managed to slip and slide my way down in a somewhat-but-not-really controlled manner. There should be an interesting pic of that one too, if it came out.

After our climb we all get back in our canoes, and desperately paddle to try to catch up to the rest of the group. Eventually we find everyone parked in a gorgeous section of the river. We then learn that our destination is only a half mile away, so we're gonna chill out there for the remainder of the time. That was the most perfect part of the float. The water was perfect -- deep in the middle, shallow on the ends and nice and cold. We stayed, swam, drank and played for a couple hours there, and it really was great.

But then it was time to go back to the campground. Our bus was waiting at our destination stop. We jam-packed the bus with our group (about 30 people) and headed out for a terrifying bus ride. I guess I was the only one who felt a sense of mortality as the bus sped heavily down little dirt roads with tired little bridges, because everyone else was paying no attention. It's like a firecracker -- if you let it explode on the palm of your hand, you get burnt, but if you try to close your hand it will blow it up. That's what I felt like contained in the bus with 30 extremely drunk people. There was beer flying everywhere, a decible level as high as a freaking concert, people jumping over seats, play fighting and one person throwing up. I was ecstatic to be out of the bus when we finally got back!

When I got back to the campsite I noticed that I was in serious pain from the sunburn. Yes, I put on my sunscreen -- 50 spf, and reapplied -- but I'm a red-head, and I just burn. I come in two shades, red or white, and on Sat I was red. I tried to get dressed and couldn't, so I lounged in my bikini for hours until I could take the bugs no more and forced pants on myself. The hubby was exhausted and went to bed, and I decided I could either mope about the burn and have no fun and go to bed, or I could try to wake up, drink away the pain, and have a blast. So I chose the latter option.

Those who hadn't passed out (about 10 of us) were all playing cards, where we had been playing for quite a while. Everyone was tired, and someone asked what time it was. It was then we were informed it was only 10:15! I could have sworn it was 1 am -- 20 people passed out, everyone else tired and up anyways, but it was only 10:15! We then decided we needed more fun, so we went tip-tipping. In case you've never heard of this, it's where you remove the anchors from a person's tent while they're sleeping in it, and it collapses on top of them. We tipped 4 tents -- the occupants of 2 of those tents came out yelling, and we helped them set back up. The occupants of another of the tents slept for more than an hour without waking, even though their tent was literally laying on top of them. The last set of occupants did absolutely nothing, and woke up in a fit of laughter in the a.m. when they woke up and realized what had happened. We probably climbed into bed, exhuasted, around 2am. In the morning we packed up, exhausted, and went home.

So as you can see I had a very eventfull weekend! I have another one coming up. I'll be taking Friday and Monday off work for a long weekend. Two of my girlfriends are making the 3.5 hour trip to my house. From there we will head to Illinois to go to the state fair and Fergie concert. We have a hotel booked for Friday night, so we'll go wherever the wind blows us after the concert, and then we'll return on Saturday to have a leisurly weekend. More on that, coming up!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Trim Up Tuesday (Week 4)

Okay, so I didn't lose any weight this week, but that's okay because I'm completely on track for my overall goal. Besides, even if the scale didn't budge, I know I feel thinner and am more trim. It's called muscle, baby! But seriously, after a weekend jam-packed with drinking and junk food, I am super happy not to come out on the worse end of it. This weekend is another jam-packed out of the ordinary, ruin my diet type weekend, so my goal is and will be to stay level.


  • I have lost 5.5 pound(s) since I started!
  • I am the same weight as last week. (Hey, that's better than gaining!)
  • I am 5.5 pound(s) away from my ideal weight.


  • My BMI is: 21.5. This is considered normal.


  • I worked out 4 time(s) this week.
  • I did 2 hour(s) and 50 minutes of cardio this week
  • I did 1 hour(s) and 20 minutes of brisk activity this week


  • I did meet my last goal
  • My Last Goal Was: Work it hard Mon, Tues, Weds and Thurs in preparation for this weekend.
  • My new goal is: Stay level through (yet another) weekend of junk & fun!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend Recovery

Ugh! Okay, so no, I haven't disappeared, but I did go on a float trip over this weekend. Today I am red -- my thighs are so burnt they're almost purple. And so many muscles in my body hurt -- the shoulders and back hurt from paddling the canoe for 8 hours, and my legs hurt fiercly for some unknown reason -- perhaps it was the almost vertical cliff I scaled in a bikini and flip-flops, or perhaps that tree in the middle of the fierce current, or maybe running against and with the current. Anyways, it's anybody's guess, but I grunt every time I stand up/sit down/take a stair/get in or out of bed, because my thigh and leg muscles hurt so bad. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have gotten such a good workout, but it's a bit defeating too, because I probably won't be able to work out now for a few more days.

I have lots to tell, but I am so tired that I'm just trying to get through the work day right now. The float pics are on a disposable camera, so we have to get those developed before I can post them. But I will certainly post them ... sometime. Probably when it's winter time, long after you've forgotten that I ever took the trip ;-) Okay... more updates coming up shortly, and another fun weekend ahead!

One final note, I just happened to take this quiz, and I am 38% evil:

You Are 38% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.

In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.