1. My jug of miracle milk finally gave out, but boy, oh boy, it was a good run! I bought this gallon of skim milk from Aldi in early April when the College Boy a/k/a the Milk Drinker, was home. He drank less than half of it before going back to school, and then it stayed fresh until AFTER Memorial Day weekend. True story! Every time I needed milk for a recipe, I'd get it out, completely convinced that it would be sour, and it wasn't even a little bit blinky!
2. After our week of going to the lake house, to Columbia, and back to the lake house, my daughter and I came home and repacked our bags for Nashville.
3. I had my yearly post-op follow up in Springfield with my surgeon, a/k/a Dr. Dorian Grey, and everything was fine. I mentioned I sometimes have pain near my left arm pit, and he said it was only due to the removal of the lymph nodes there. I was an eensy bit worried before I asked him, but now I'm not, so yay!
4. Emma and I were the last folks to leave the lake house, staying an extra day to clean and put everything into order. After we got home, I realized I had no independent recollection of locking the back door onto the deck. Emma was the one who closed the door, and SHE didn't have any independent recollection of locking it, either, so she and I swung by there after the doctor's appointment and before hitting the road to Nashville (not exactly on the way, but I couldn't NOT check). Good news - door was locked!
5. This little detour to the lake house gave me an opportunity to pick up the big ol' jugs of Metamucil and Miralax that are a very expensive necessity when one has to take major doses of calcium to counteract the side effects of aromatase inhibitor therapy for breast cancer and that I left on the kitchen counter.
6. It rained on us, off and on, the entire way to Nashville, but there was no severe weather, and it never rained so hard that it was scary.
7. Emma talked non stop for half the trip, as in for 4+ hours, and I loved every minute of it.
8. We got to see a crop duster as we drove across the soy bean and rice fields in southeast Missouri. I'd never seen one before, and while we were pretty sure it was going to crash into (a) the field or (b) the highway, it was awesome to watch it.
9. We stopped in Cairo, Illinois, so I could show Emma a place on the levy along the Ohio River where you could look over and see tug boats pulled up to shore that I found on my last trip to Nashville in January. I couldn't find that exact spot, but I did find one that was even better; it was a cut-through with a road and a boat ramp and everything. I was way too skeered to drive down there (recurring nightmare about boat ramps), but we parked and walked through and looked at the Ohio River at its absolute widest point, right before the confluence with the Mississippi (more on that later). Emma wasn't particularly excited about it ("If you're so scared of crossing over it on a bridge, why do you like to look at it so much?"), but I thought it was totes cool, and the answer is BECAUSE I'M NOT IN IMMINENT DANGER OF FLYING OFF THE BRIDGE OR HAVING IT COLLAPSE BENEATH MY CAR AND AM SAFELY WATCHING THE WATER FROM THE SHORE.
|I could not, for any amount of money, drive down this road.|
|We suck at taking selfies of ourselves,|
so Emma and Mackenzie amused themselves
by taking pictures of us taking pictures
11. My Person, Terri, has a knack for getting free stuff. She and her daughter had two tickets to go see a production of West Side Story at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Saturday afternoon that they already had when we planned the trip. Then Terri found out she could get two FREE tickets to the performance as well, so we were all able to go. Well done, Studio Tenn! We were in tears when it ended.
|Inside the lobby of the Schermerhorn.|
12. When we picked up the free tickets at will call, we were given an upgrade to the third row, left side (Emma and Terri's daughter Mackenzie had the paid seats that were in the fifth row center).
13. Before we went to the play, we had brunch at Terri's son's restaurant, Party Fowl (if you're ever in Nashville, go there for Nashville hot chicken). I had the apple stuffed cinnamon brioche french toast (dipped in orange custard before frying) with hot chicken on the side (because food rules don't allow for it to touch the french toast). Sigh.
14. Emma and I shopped at our favorite thrift store, Music City Thrift. I scored Hawaiian shirts for the College Boy and Emma scored some Southern Shirts for next to nothing.
15. We ate at my very very very very VERY favorite place, San Antonio Taco Company, TWICE (another must visit if you're ever in Nashville).
|Chicken soft tacos and queso and chips.|
My tummy is in lurrrrrve.
16. I made the mistake of driving Emma around the campus of Belmont University, and now she's in love and thinks she will die if she doesn't get to go there (with tuition, room and board and books running about $42,000 PER YEAR, she may as well start planning her funeral now, because it isn't going to happen).
|I took this from the top of a parking garage.|
17. Although neither one of us wanted to leave, we finally had to, so to make the trip a little less depressing, we made a couple of stops along the way. The first one was at Fort Defiance park, which is where the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers is (I SAID there'd be more about that). I have tried to see it for years, ever since I learned about it from Christine, but it's either been under water or damaged because of flood waters. Finally, FINALLY, it was open! AND IT WAS AWESOME, although I have to tell you the Mississippi River smelled like raw sewage, while the Ohio was pretty and blue and odor-free.
|See the blue water on the left? The Ohio River.|
See the dirty brown water on the right?
The Mississippi River.
18. We met this man while at the confluence. He told us he had been kayaking on the Mississippi, headed to the Gulf of Mexico, but the water was so rough that it caused him to capsize, and he had decided to abort the trip. He was spreading his stuff out to dry and waiting for his son to come from Cincinnati to pick him up. This thankful is for him that he didn't drown, because he certainly could have. AND THAT'S WHY I DON'T WANT TO BE ON THE WATER OR OVER THE WATER OR UNDER THE WATER. Next to is just fine, thankyouverymuch.
|This is either a very brave or very stupid man.|
19. We made another stop at Big Spring State Park in Van Buren, Missouri. It's a few miles off the beaten path, but it's really spectacular, with 288 million gallons of water bubbling out of it on an average day (ONE DAY, PEOPLE, DID YOU GET THAT?!). To put it into perspective, it would fill Busch Stadium in only 33 hours.
|Big Spring State Park|
20. When we finally got back to Joplin after two weeks away, Emma had to spend the day raiding the closets of her friends for her senior model photo shoot on Thursday. Ever since she was a freshman, she has wanted to be a senior model for a local photographer whose work she has admired, and she was selected to be one earlier this spring. I don't know if the senior model thing is common elsewhere, but around here, the local photographers choose these models and do shoots with them, then the models are supposed to put the pictures on social media to try and get more business for the photographer. When someone mentions they came to the photographer because of the senior model, that model gets a discount on her pictures. The shoot went unbelievably well, especially because I find it unbelievable that SHE'S A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL. These aren't even the "real" senior pictures yet. HOW AM I EVER GOING TO CHOOSE?!
|Photo by Joshua Carter/Life Captured|
There! Two weeks' worth of thankfuls. And one more for YOU if you stayed with me all the way through to the end of this post. Are you thankful? Sure, you are! Link up your list below.
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine