Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
We spent part of the day planting and doing yard work after church in Collinsville, then repeated the same back at the seminary. We had Lizzie's boys for a few hours this afternoon and the older two were quite helpful. Ferdie did a lot of contented observing in Collinsville.
The Dogtown neighborhood in St. Louis is readying itself for the annual huge St. Patrick's Day parade and channel 5 put up this picture from Seamus McDaniel's famous restaurant this morning. Getting ready the message said. What I'd like to know is exactly what the Irish whiskey is being poured into. Is it eggnog? Or Creme de Mint? Or something else?
Wherever Ferdie goes, his bear goes and today they went with us to Collinsville. For some reason Ferdie dropped his bear in the front yard and went on to checking out other things. And there Bear sat until a neighbor put Bear on our rocking chair on the front porch. He sat next to a stuffed raccoon which another neighbor had given us as a joke for all the real raccoons we'd dealt with in our yard.
Cute, eh? Bear has his arm on the arm of the chair like a real person. Finally Ferdie discovered him.
And that was the end of bear on the chair.
But we also had another kind of funny bear story. Tomorrow is our grandson Connor's birthday and when I asked him what he wanted, he said "a giant bear". I looked everywhere today and frankly, with Valentine's Day tomorrow, it seems giant bears are a popular gift from husband to wife, boyfriend to girlfriend and vice versa. I dispaired of finding this bear and I knew he wanted one because he'd asked for a giant bear at Christmas but no one believed him. Finally I walked into Schnuck's and there was a giant bear right in front of me in the floral department which puts truth to my belief that these things are big Valentine's presents. Right there with all the men buying bouquets. I got the only bear left and he is as cute as can be and really really soft. I put him in the grocery cart just like I would a toddler and we shopped. Many other shoppers tried to pretend they didn't notice the huge bear riding along like a human, while other got a big laugh.
He is now on our couch waiting to be presented to our Valentine grandson born on the 14th of February 8 years ago.
Washington DC officials issued a snow emergency last week, as you might expect, and this meant no cars could be parked along snow emergency routes. These snow plowing routes were clearly marked as such but of course many parked there anyway and, 1.3 million dollars in tickets were issued this week. 5,479 vehicles were issued tickets for parking in the snow emergency routes and 690 vehicles were towed.
The problem for many residents of Washington DC is that there is no real off street parking for them. Street parking is what you have to do when you go home.
Consumer Reports did a study on humidifiers, an appliance many of us need during winter when the inside air is very dry. They determined that too many humidifiers push a lot of bacteria into the air which in turn makes many of of sick. Humidifiers with antimicrobial claims weren't necessarily any better at preventing bacterial growth or emitted bacteria. And, of course time gets by us and we don't get around to cleaning them often enough to prevent the bacteria. So what type is best?
It was found that none of the 10 evaporative wick models emitted any bacteria. This type will blow air over a wet wick filter, a filter which looks like this:
However, there is always a codicil and it is that in the case of safe humidifiers, :the safest approach is to empty, rinse, and dry it out every day. And once a week follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to disinfect the tank.
The issue with having real trees in the house during the Christmas season means having to get rid of them in January. Many local cities have tree drop off places where they are recycled into mulch. Here on the campus we now do our own tree chipping and mulching but there was a time when the Christmas trees were picked up by our grounds staff and trucked over to the city of St. Louis' drop off spot in Forest Park. Here's a picture from 2012 when Ferdie and I got in the truck and went along to help with the drop off. This was a crazy day. Aaron was in the back, Gayle was driving with Ferdie and I squeezed into the front.
Today was the first time this new year that I had to enter in a date on an online form and I had to stop and think before typing 2016. In past years when we wrote a lot of checks for payments, it took a while to get used to a new year and I remember ruining a certain number of checks before the new year became second nature. Now we hardly ever write checks, all our bill payments are made online and we use debit cards for shopping. One of the only checks we write these days is for our church offering and although it may be possible to do that online too, I still like the old practice of putting an envelope in the collection plate.