Where’d ya go, again?

Yep I’ve been MIA here at LAN.  I had the… FLU.  Yep sure did.  Two weeks ago I took Tracey to dinner and had about the best cooked filet I’ve ever had in a restaurant at the Blue Water Grill in Kirkwood.  I wasn’t feeling good but was a trooper.  The next morning I was dead to the world and spent the next six days fighting 101-102 degree fever, coughing, joint pain – you name it.  I managed to work from home a couple of days and I did make it to class on Friday but along came the weekend and I was down again sleeping for about 16-18 hours on Saturday.  I made it back to the office for a full week this week and have started to feel better.  However I can’t laugh without coughing and am still congested.  Somehow the family managed to avoid it.

It’s been brutal cold this week here in the Lou.  Temperatures have been down into the single digits overnight with highs only hitting 30.  It’s funny watching a 12 year old learn how to dress for the cold.  Jackets are not cool.  So Taylor has dressed herself for unexpected attentions at school.  She started this week wearing only a zip up hoodie over her t-shirt.  This morning she left the house looking like the kid from A Christmas Story.  I guessed she learned this week that shivering your rear end off at the bus stop isn’t too cool either.

Hale doesn’t like being cold.  She’s been bundled up from the start.  This is the kid who hasn’t quite figured out what personal hygiene is about.  Fed up with encouraging hair care, Tracey took her to get a haircut two weeks ago and had all of it almost removed.  She has the Rick Springfield feather cut from the 80’s going, but it’s short.  Now of course she is experimenting with hair gel, except she puts it on in the evening after her shower.  So in the morning it literally looks like she invited the chipmunks in for a sleep over.

With the cold and the ills, we’ve been doing soup.  We found a place that sells Spanish chorizo and reincarnated the sausage and tomato soup we like so much.  The place that sells the sausage turns out to be a wine and cheese shop.  I’ve been picking up Spanish wines with the sausage too for the ultimate pairing with the soup.  Tracey also found her recipe for andouille sausage and potatoe soup but the real clincher was the beef stew she made with a twist.  She used chopped beef.  You know the beef steaks used for country fried steak?  She made a light roux and the stew turned out to be “country fried steak stew” when it was complete.  It was great – literally like eating country fried steak and mashed potatoes with gravy as a stew.  Awesome!

We have new neighbors next door too.  Yea, one of our widow’s sold her house in under a month.  We couldn’t believe it because the market here is creeping along like everywhere else.  Tracey went over to get a look at an open house and said it didn’t look like it had been updated in about 30 years.  Yet it was priced right I guess.  I’m looking forward to meeting the new neighbors.  They moved in today and from Tracey’s observation are a young couple with a youngster.  Youth in the neighborhood is a good thing.  With any luck they will be from out of town and love college football, southern football.  But I’ll settle for knows how to watch football, drink beer, and eat BBQ.

Tracey has been busy as a bee with school work.  I think I mentioned that she is going for a degree in accounting and finance.  She reads and writes like crazy about every day.  So much so that we are formally splitting dinner duties.  I do dinner Tuesdays – Thursdays and she does the rest, although tonight is “make your own dinner” night.  It’s ok, I’m proud of her effort.

Some interesting observations about getting an online degree.  I had lunch with a professor at school who condemned online education.  Today in a meeting, a person who happens to teach at a local college condemned University of Phoenix for churning out paper.  But Tracey works like mad, probably more so than I do.  Actually I know she reads more than I do.   She reads all her assignments, writes extensive reviews, and earns her grades.  I see it everyday.  So I don’t know what these people are talking about.  I’m sure that there are online institutions that just collect the federal aid and award paper, but Tracey’s outfit doesn’t appear to be one of those.  She’s working her tail off and I hope the kids understand the work and appreciate it.  I certainly do.

So we’re here and alive.  We’ve had no new beers lately, no new BBQ reviews, no new Lou Screw tales to report – just managing to survive right now and stay healthy.  Thanks for stopping by and checking in.

Oh one last item… Rush returns to St. Louis June 28!!  The Snakes and Arrows Tour was extended.  I have a spare bedroom.  Just drop me a line.

Buenos noches mi amigos.

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