Thursday, August 28, 2014

Body work

Our friend had family come visit this summer and after a whirlwind of activity, they ended their vacation by getting in a minor car accident. A spectacular trip marred by the bitter taste of a passenger door that no longer opened. 

Before going berry picking, I checked out the damage and made my recommendation:  remove the fender, pound out the dent, reattach. Totally straightforward. The men looked at me skeptically for a second and then Mr. X looked more closely and convinced Brad it was possible.

I can't claim to have any skills but I've seen a little body work done...

Yellow Golf -
This car was bought for my oldest brother. It had body damage including a crumpled fender. Dad and Mike went to the junk yard and were fortunate to find a matching yellow replacement which they bolted on.
Hyundai -
The Hyundai was purchased from a neighbor. The rear quarter panel was smashed and as there was some cutting, grinding and bond-o involved in this repair since quarter panels are not removable in the traditional sense.
White Golf -
My sister got backed into in a grocery store parking lot. When Dad saw the damage he removed the door liner and pushed the dent out...with his foot.
Snowball (AKA white rabbit)
One dark morning when I was in high school, a loud crash woke me from a dead sleep. I looked out the window and then heard a woman scream and run toward the crash calling for her baby. Forgetting to put her jeep back into park, her vehicle had rolled down the hill - with her small child strapped inside - and struck this vehicle that had just had a new engine put in. It was totaled but before parting it out, my dad handed me a dent puller that looked like a pike and asked me to pull the dent out enough to get taillights back into it. The car probably looked like Swiss cheese when I was done with it.

After 3 hours of berry picking, Brad and Mr. X spent 4 hours with rusted and stripped bolts, zip ties and a pry bar fixing the fender and fighting mosquitoes. Not quite as straightforward as I was hoping. They were rewarded for their efforts with a blueberry tart...and more importantly a passenger door that now works.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blueberries at Eaglecrest

On one rare sunny Saturday in August, Mr. X and I met up with Brad for some berry picking at the ski area. There were people and pets all over the place picking blueberries, cloud berries and who knows what else.

Walking up the maintenance road less than a half mile we found an abundance of berries, including the sweetest bog berries tucked against a steep incline just off a ski run. We dyed our hands and one of us - the seat of our pants - purple in our pursuit of a blueberry tart.

The sun shone and a light breeze kept us comfortable. Blueberries for Sal may or may not have been quoted. Before we knew it, three hours had passed and our buckets were full. Pausing for a quick snack break of cheese and crackers I questioned why we hadn't brought camp chairs for tail-gating in the parking lot. As we slipped downtown to drop Brad off we ran into other friends who showed us their stained hands and reported that their 15 year old pup was napping after frolicking with a ptarmigan.

And then we went home where I make my first tart.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

St. Louis

I attended a conference in St. Louis. Because of flight scheduling, I was able to have a partial day of touring before the conference began.

In the morning, before the heat and humidity went out of control, I went to the iconic St. Louis Arch and Jefferson Expansion Memorial. I watched the Lewis and Clark film and then rode to the top of the arch in the tiny space capsule-like trolley.

Since the Arch is part of the National Park service I was then able to listen to a lecture and demonstration on native flute music. The ranger  played a beautiful tune that was meant as a tribute to greeting the day. It reminded me of bird song in the early morning hours.

I crossed the street next to visit The Old Courthouse which was the site of the Dred Scott decision. Because St. Louis is celebrating their 250th anniversary the courthouse was ornately decorated.

Riding the train out to Forest Park - I watched a multimedia presentation of the 250 year history of the city at the museum. I also walked to the Pagoda where I found several turtles swimming lazily in the pond.

Gooey Butter Cake - the Missouri Insurance Director gave the keynote address and advised all of us to partake of the many local foods that St. Louis is known for: ice cream cone and hot dog in a bun (world's fair 1904), dry rub bbq, Fitz's soda, and gooey butter cake. Once you've eaten all of that, never fear, Tums was also invented in St. Louis.
St. Louis Public Library
I wandered through some public art gardens

The thing I wanted especially to try was the gooey butter cake, so Tuesday afternoon I set out for a nearby coffee shop that had roughly a dozen different kinds. I chose raspberry and red velvet. And enjoyed eating them. Yes. Yes. I did. (Mr. X had to suffer my very inferior attempt at imitation when I got home)

I wandered over to the Eads Bridge before my last meeting. And found classic cobblestone streets and brick buildings.