Sunday, June 29, 2008

Feeling Proud 2009

Like we have for the last 4 or 5 years, we walked up to Grand Avenue today to watch the Pride parade. The STL Pride organization's website says it's the "largest celebration in the Midwest." I can't verify that statement but I can tell you that it was !PACKED! --most definitely the biggest crowd that I have ever seen at the parade.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Get Your Culture On

The Henske three went to see The Sleeping Beauty as interpreted by the Saint Louis Ballet. It was an outstanding show! The dancing was amazingly beautiful and delicate and fluid and alive. Took my breath away actually. Tear, in my eye, right now, just thinking about it...sniffle, sniffle. We also got an unexpected treat. Erin King, who was Willa's first ballet teacher at COCA, recently, as in earlier this month, quit teaching to dance with the Saint Louis Ballet. We already had our tickets but hadn't even thought about the connection until we got to The Edison Theatre today. And, there it was--her name in the program. Willa was so excited! It was too bad that she didn't get a chance to talk to Erin in her costume and have a picture taken. Maybe next time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Jetta hearts Ernie Patti

I've never owned a car that I really liked for more than a few months until my VW Jetta. It has everything that I need in a car: decent gas mileage, a worthy interior package, and an appealing exterior look--not too sporty, not too conservative. The only issue that I have had with the car since I bought it in 2001 is the color. I call it blue-ish. VW calls it green-ish. They even gave it a fancy paint name which is something like "midnight green at dawn in january." I think everyone else calls it "the color of pavement." As in, my car and most paved roadway surfaces are the same color. And, it must be true because I have been hit 3 times since I've owned the car. Which is how Ernie Patti Collision Center and I became good friends. And while I appreciate the awesome work that they have done rebuilding my car over the years, they have done just as fine of a job helping me to keep her clean. I take the Jetta in about once, maybe twice, a year and let them work their magic. It's a little pricey but entirely worth it. And when the Jetta comes back, she looks brand new, well as brand new as a 7 year old car with a 3 year old co-pilot can look. So, go spend part of your "stimulatin' the economy check" on giving your car a fancy bath. I did.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Book Review: When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

David Sedaris is, and I'm takin' it back 90's style, da bomb. He would be "the person that I would most like to have dinner with" except I doubt he'd go for it. My loss. Oh well. So, Sedaris has a new book of essays out titled, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. As usual, it is effortlessly witty, insightful, and hilarious. Not as laugh-out-loud funny as some of his earlier work, but really funny nonetheless. I can't decide which story is my favorite. Go buy it. Read it. Leave a comment telling me which is your favorite and why.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Vacation? Huh?

Ask a teacher and they'll probably tell you that they really don't get much of a summer break. You may not believe them but it's very true. Take me for instance. I teach. I get a summer break. But does the break really add up to any more than a 2 or 3 week vacation, which is what most people get who work year-round? Let's do the math. My last day of school was May 30th but I had to work June 2-4 & the 6th. So I had one day of vacation on the 5th of June. From June 9th until today, I've been writing curriculum with Laura, our Library Media Specialist. Everyday, for almost 3 weeks, working in the library (pictured above). And, while it is a beautiful library, it was also work. Since we're done writing, I'm taking tomorrow and Friday off. Now, I'm up to 3 days of vacation. I still owe the district 2 weeks of curriculum writing for my 20th Century Studies class so I may knock those out from June 30 to July 14th. Then, I'll work at least one week on planning and organizing for next year. Let's say I'll use July 15 to 21st. Now, I can start my vacation--a grand total of approximately 3 weeks before work starts back on the 11th of August. So, the next time someone wants to talk about how much time teachers get off in the summer, remember this story.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Outdoor Movie Fun

Wow! Everyone in the STL Metro area has started showing movies outside. I thought it was just one group, but guess I was wrong. Last night, we went to the Old Gazebo in Webster Groves and caught a showing of the 1979 classic, The Muppet Movie. Movin' right along.....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Little Pond

Our friends Dan and Colette have a nice little pond in their backyard that we've been admiring for awhile. It looked fairly easy to set-up so we decided to give one a try in our backyard. We bought the solar powered pump and basic heavy duty pond liner online last winter. Once we decided where the pond would go, and weather permitted, we dug the hole. Bill actually graduated the depth of the pond, giving consideration to potential freezing and, most importantly, death by cat. We took a few Henske Farm stream bed stones from a started, but never finished, walking path in the backyard and gave them new life as part of the pond habitat.

We need a few more stones to complete the project but, as you can see, the pond looks quite nice. Willa even picked out three goldfish, two tadpoles, and some plant life to add to its authenticity.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Twangfest, Part Deux

We saw an excellent line-up at Twangfest on Friday, which was sponsored by local fave radio station KDHX. I Love Math from Dallas opened. Miles of Wire from St. Louis were up next followed by Hayes Carll. All the openers were great, but the last two just felt oh so right! The Old 97's were headlining so they played last. They alone were worth the price of admission. And, I bet they played for at least 2 hours. Sounded awesome!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Tomorrow night, day 3 of Twangfest. Tomorrow night, Old 97's @ The Pageant. Tomorrow night, can't wait.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Walking Adventures 2008

Woo Hoo! Dona and I have started considering the various destinations of our 2008 summer walks. As usual, Tower Grove and Carondolet Parks will play heavy in the rotation for a couple of reasons---#1 I live by TGP and Dona lives by CP, #2 Both are decent sized parks with lots of walking opportunities, especially on days where you want to walk for exercise rather than a potential adventure (not that I won't have my camera), #3 They are shady and scenic, especially TGP (well, I'm partial). Because I'm still gathering destinations, I would love to hear from locals who might have a suggestion for a potential adventure walk. We've typically stayed in the city-- walking its neighborhoods, parks, and sites--but there are no hard fast rules here.