Weekend Check-In [NOT 4/7/21]

image courtesy of St. Louis Magazine

Hi, friends!

How is the weekend going so far? Since today was a holiday and had a cool (for St. Louis in July) morning, I decided to go to one of my favorite places, Missouri Botanical Gardens.

They have an art installation throughout the gardens with sheet metal origami pieces and I’ve been wanting to see it for about a month. I really enjoyed it! Highly recommend if you happen to be in the area.


I love going to the gardens, it’s my favorite place in St. Louis. I feel like I’m seeing an old friend every time I visit. I have certain paths that I know I’ll see certain trees on. Today I got there close to opening time and with low visitor volume because of the holiday, it was pretty empty. I sat in the Chinese Garden for a solid 15 minutes in complete solitude and enjoyed hearing the water features and bees buzzing around. I’ve never been able to do that before, it was so awesome!

The daylily garden was in full bloom too, and that’s always one of my favorite things to see. It’s a massive riot of color seeing the various kinds of lilies blooming along the pathways.

I also heard some really mouthy robins when I was near one of the bulb gardens. Oh they were definitely harassing a BIG red-tailed hawk. Like I looked up in a tree I was walking under and there was the bird about 20 feet away. I guess maybe there was a nest nearby and they were trying to draw the hawk away?



  1. It’s hot af out there. It’s still around 90°F, and it’s after 7pm. I am very grateful for the giant maple tree in my front yard. It shades the whole front of the house all afternoon and evening, which means that I can usually turn off the downstairs a/c mid-afternoon and not need it again til morning, as long as I don’t open windows. 
    It may seem ridiculous on a hot day, but I’m making hamburger soup because it was either make the soup or throw out the stock. No room in the freezer for all of it! I have to say, it smells fabulous. I just need to go add a couple handfuls of rice and let it simmer til the guys get home tonight. 
    I’ve spent most of my day reading In the Country of Women by Susan Straight. I’ve cried I don’t know how many times, nodded along a few times, and laughed a few more. I found it lyrical, beautiful, and absolutely heartbreaking. I highly recommend this one. 

    • Yum soup is always good. And sometimes winter food in summer is awesome!

  2. Working night shift.  Enjoy your day off US Amercians.

  3. Just set off a bunch of sparklers and fountains with the kids and neighbors. Now I’m sitting and listening to the crackle of other people’s fireworks in the distance. Some of them clearly sprung for the heavy artillery.

    • mistakenly thought being in a neighborhood that literally is line of sight for City Hall and Fire/Police would mean less morons shooting off fireworks here since it’s illegal in all of out St. Louis City and County. NOPE. 

      I’m hearing the mortar ones locally, too. 

    • Last year was absolutely horrific in terms of fireworks around here. They went on for weeks and the “celebrants” spared no expense. At one point in late June I was walking the Loyal Hound around our nearby police block. There were two cops standing outside, enjoying the nice weather I guess, and they love my dog (he’s a friendly black Lab.) One said something and I snapped, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of the illegal fireworks that I can see going off right over there” but they didn’t take the hint and just repeated the compliment more loudly.

      This year was much tamer, despite the fact that every day brings lurid crime stories and stats about every kind of lawlessness on the increase. I mean, that’s true, but so far we’ve only regressed to the mid-00s, during the Bloomberg years, which at the time seemed like a Golden Age. And in any event soon enough de Blasio will be gone and with him a whole rogues gallery of the inept and the ethically challenged, like a Bizarro world version of the day Trump finally left the White House.

      • Last year felt like every dipshit who normally would spend a ton of money on fireworks then got that first stimulus check was like OK GREAT IMMA BUY MOAR  

        • I’m sure that was part of it, the media seemed to think so. I read a prediction that this year wouldn’t be as bad because so much fireworks are produced in China, and it’s one of those supply-chain disruption things, where even if the child/slave labor factories are still churning them out it all has to actually get here, and there are border disruptions and some of the domestic outlets have gone belly-up, etc.

  4. stayed up even later than usual as im going to have an easy peasy workday today and wont need to be rested
    oh wait no… i have overtime all week and its going to be fucking chaos coz the office wonks had a great idea again
    *drowns in a pile of shiney new untested parts*

    • oh well…at least its paid overtime i guess
      but goddamnit do i find myself wishing for chance encounters with office wonks in dark alleyways after hours sometimes

  5. I just got back from my building’s very tentative return to pre-pandemic life. It’s overcast/cloudy and the fireworks were far to the south of us so it was very Plato’s Cave, shapes and a sense of what it should be. The party was like that too. For one thing we used to have these parties all the time; I organized or helped organize most of them, this will come as a shock, and they were intentionally pot-luck. This way people could try different things and get talking about what they were eating and who made it. I reverted to form and brought up a blueberry crumble topped with strawberries and no one would touch it. It was like I said, “You seem a little chilly. Here, take this blanket that I’ve soaked in smallpox.” I brought up three bottles of wine and some glasses and no one would touch them. Everyone brought their own, no sharing. 

    This was up on our roof where we have this structure, almost like a greenhouse, that you pass through when you exit the elevators. That’s normally where the communal food and booze goes. Not this time. I didn’t know what to do so I rolled over to one of the biggest tables on the roof and kind of held court. It’s been many months since I had seen most of these people and I used to see some of them daily. I was seeing them again, but at this weird distance. I am a great hugger and social kisser but it’s been so long I’m not sure I even remember how. And everyone was wearing masks (including me) even though we were all outside and I’d be willing to bet that everyone over the age of 12 was fully vaccinated. We have a few eccentrics in this building, and I proudly count myself as one of them, but no self-destructive idiots.

    Another interesting thing was that there were two unaddressed “elephants in the room.” The first was I have lost 35 (!) pounds since last I saw most of them (I had the weight to lose; I’m not emaciated) and I had Greased Lightning (the rollator) with me but everyone glided right by that. Fine with me, there are only so many “amusing” anecdotes you can retail about weeks-long medical-related institutionalization. Plus I’m sure Better Half told them everything.

    The other thing was a couple of times I mentioned breezily, “This is so weird, huh? I mean remember when we used to have the 4th of July parties and we’d get an overflow crowd…um, anyway, how have you been?” 


  6. Blissfully quiet in my neighborhood, the rain and temps in the 60s F mean no screaming children in the neighbor’s pool. Knitting, cooking, trying to keep the bird feeders filled and the cat amused. I heard that there were pets trapped in the building that was imploded so there is an additional layer of horror to that story, thinking about that alot.

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