Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cardinal Dynasty Versus the Duck Dynasty

Missouri Botanical Garden
If you live in St. Louis, you can't help but get caught up in everything that is Cardinals fever. After all, this is a baseball town, and when your team is going for the World Series championship for the 12th time, it is a big deal. They paint the town...well, red.

Jim and Andy
Our son flew in from Washington, D.C. to see his first ever World Series game with Jim. They were lucky enough to be at Saturday night's game, where the Cardinals won 5-4 with the now notorious obstruction call. They definitely saw a game that will be in the history books. The game that Jim and I saw last night? Not so much.
Jim and me at game 5

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was fun to celebrate it at a World Series game. Call me greedy, but I was hoping for a Cardinals victory as the icing on my birthday cake, so to speak. Instead the game was fairly ho-hum. Our defense was excellent, but our offense was just not there. The Red Sox deserved to win, that is for sure. But it was rather unpleasant to have four Sox fans right in front of us, and one loud-mouthed Red Sox fan a few rows back.

Willie Robertson
You know that it is a mediocre game when the fans are more interested in seeing what Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson is up to rather than watching the critical game. In case you are wondering, Duck Dynasty is a reality show on television showcasing the Robertson family and their company that makes products for duck hunters. Yes, really. I have to admit that at times Willie was more entertaining the our boys in red.

While it is always a sight to see the Clydesdales parade around the warning track at Busch Stadium, the highlight of the night for me came when Tech Sergeant Angie Johnson sang "God Bless America" in the 7th inning. I have been following Angie since she was a contestant on Cee Lo's team on The Voice in 2012. I think she has amazing talent, and is just overall a really good person. In fact I believe so strongly in her that I backed a Kickstarter campaign she set up in order to record an album. She was so successful in that endeavor that she was ultimately picked up by Sony Music Nashville and her first CD is out. The fact that she is a Missouri gal and serves in the Missouri National Guard makes her all the more endearing to Show Me State fans.

So I am now a year older but the Cardinals are not a game closer to the World Series title. It will be interesting to see what the rest of 2013 holds in store for us.

Game 5 rally towel

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Who Let the Dog Out?

My husband took one of his week-long motorcycle trips with a couple of buddies last week. When he returned on Friday we hurriedly ate dinner and did the dishes because we were going to see "Evita" at the Fox Theatre that night. He took the dog out for a short walk before we left, and when he came back I noticed that he was pulling oddly on the dog's leash by the back steps. When I took a closer look I couldn't believe my eyes. Dangling from Kirby's collar was a dead squirrel. Oops! I forgot to warn Jim that there was a squirrel carcass in the driveway of our neighbor. It had been there over a week and they had not bothered to pick it up. I knew to cross the street before getting to that point because of course the dog immediately goes to anything that smells disgusting. But in the dark Jim did not see trouble up ahead. How in the world the thing got tangled in the dog's collar is a mystery. I imagine he rolled around on it.

So, how to get the squirrel off the collar without getting the dog worked up about it? I grabbed a broom (my good one, unfortunately) and swatted the squirrel with it. That worked, and gave me a whole new meaning to the term "flying squirrel". We then pulled the dog into the house, and oh my! The smell! It was all over the dog's face and neck, his collar, his leash, and my broom. We did a quick job of washing Kirby's face and leash, and I threw his collar in a cup with some detergent. The broom is still outside. It may not be salvageable. The dog's bath had to wait until after the play, so one can only imagine what else he rubbed himself on in the house while we were gone. Yuck! It is a good thing he is so cute, that is all I am going to say.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Putting Leaves on the Family Tree

Fall Maple tree
Since returning from my trip to Germany and Switzerland I have been spending a significant amount of time labeling my more than 2,000 photos and going through the various books, papers and DVDs provided to me by the wonderful hosts in my hometowns. I am so grateful that I sent emails home almost daily, documenting my adventures and including photos. Between the emails and my blog posts I have been able to identify most of the photos. Remembering the food in the photos would have been a big challenge without this help.

Rolf in Switzerland sent me a gedcom file of all of the Kubler names and dates he has found so far. (A gedcom file is basically a universal file format that allows you to share genealogical data between different genealogy software programs.) Theoretically, anyway. I was unable to get my software, Family Treemaker, to open the gedcom file, so I downloaded a free software program called Family Tree Builder. I think that is the software that Rolf was using, but I am not positive about that. With this free software I was able to open and import the file Rolf sent to me. The file contains 300 names, and probably more than 275 of those were new to me. The new names I then had to type into Family Treemaker so that all my tree would be in one place.

In placing all these new leaves on my family tree I was able to see the relationship between me and the cousins that I met while there. For example Josef and Susanne Kubler, who graciously had dinner with me twice while I was in Busserach, are my sixth cousins, once removed. How fun is that?

I am still working my way through the data provided to me in Insheim, Germany. I hope to finish up with that side of the family this weekend. Then I will concentrate on uploading my photos to shutterfly.com so that I can put together a book about my trip while the memories are still fresh. It will be a joy to relive the trip through my photo book.