Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hockey, Puppets, Weeding and Planting

Dan and I kicked off the weekend with a trip to the Ice Rink where we watch the Missouri State Ice Bears take on their hockey rivals the St Louis University Billikens. What is a Billiken you ask? Annie had to educate Dan and I on that one. According to the littlest orphan, Annie, a Billiken is a good luck figure who represents "things as they ought to be"

Unfortunately the home team lost on Friday 5-3 despite out shooting the Billikens. We rooted for all the Ice Bears but particularly MacInnis who, as you can see here, was a bit of a trouble maker on the ice.

MacInnis in the Penalty Box
On Saturday I had grand plans to plant bulbs but Annie had other ideas. She thought it would be good to lay on the couch and cheer on the Wolverines against the Hawkeyes - Annie loves her Wolverines. The Wolverines pulled out a big win and the action was a little lopsided causing Annie Pup to take a bit of a break from the action.

Annie Napping in a Cozy Lap
Annie was wiped from all the college football excitement so she begged off our Saturday night activities. We met up with friends downtown for a bite and a drink then went on to the Springfield Contemporary Theatre at the Vandivort Center where we saw Avenue Q, the Tony award-winning Broadway musical. Our friend and neighbor, Maggie Marlin, played the part of two characters; Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut. The show was excellent and our sides were aching from laughter!
Post Theatre

 On Sunday despite Annie trying to coerce me into a nap on the couch with her I got out and weeded, dug and planted. We have daffodils, tulips and ranunculus (Dan's favorite flower name) to look forward to in the spring. Our knowledgeable neighbor, Pat, recently gave me a garden tour of our house pointing out invasives and giving names to all our shrubs and ground cover. We successfully cut out a bunch of kudzu and cleaned out our front flower bed of leaves and weeds. Do you have anything you're looking forward to popping this spring?

Something to Look Forward to

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


One of Annie's best dog friends is Samantha, aka  Sam, who lives in Tecumseh, Michigan with Darrin, Jenn, baby Scarlett and Schrodinger the cat. Sam and Annie have had many adventures together. The last time they got to see each other was the last time she was in Michigan for the holidays. We were invited over to their house for dinner and shenanigans and Sam and Annie got a pretty good game of Tug-of-War going.

Sam Letting Annie think she's Got a Chance!
 Sam was adopted through Planned Pethood in Ohio and is a mixed breed. She's a terrific dog who enjoys long walks, snuggling with the baby and sometimes has been known to swallow corn cobs!

Jenn and I have been friends since I began working at ABN AMRO Mortgage Group in 2001. We have had many great adventures including several benefits. Here we are at a Artini Crawl for the Ann Arbor Art Center.

Jenn and Mary at Goodnight Gracie's

Sunday, November 11, 2012


My good friend, Adrienne, adopted Dora this fall out in San Diego. Dora was caged up in a shelter.

How Could Adrienne *not* Rescue this Pup?

Now she's a camping, romping machine. Ade's cat, Tag, has taken kindly to a pup being added to the mix. Tag enjoys chasing around the Klum-Nelson abode with Dora. 

Tag and Dora - photo courtesy of Adrienne

Sometimes we need to be reminded that the best dog toys are not the fancy, expensive ones from PetSmart but just sticks and, in this case, pine cones :-). Annie has yet to meet Dora, but looks forward it!

Dora's Nature Ball
Adrienne, Dora, Tag and John live in San Diego but we met in Ann Arbor where we played volleyball and wore snuggly warm coats.

Mary, Darby and Adrienne at Conor O'Neills in Ann Arbor

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Annie has asked me to do a series on some of her dear dog friends, so for the next few weeks I will be profiling a few of our favorite canine friends :-).

Soon after bringing Annie home we got a visit and bag of gifts from Gracie, Erika and Tim's pug. Gracie gave Annie several cool and practical doggie gifts which we still use - the best probably being the poop bag dispenser in the shape of a bone that attaches to Annie's leash. Gracie lives in Ann Arbor and Annie and she have had a few play dates in their day. Gracie is a very enthusiastic pup - she loves getting dressed up for Halloween. 

Gracie at Halloween - photo courtesy of Erika
Gracie enjoys tennis balls. Here she can be seen hoarding tennis balls in her doggie bed.

Gracie the Hoarder - courtesy of Erika

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More (!) Memphis

Smiling Baby Jonah
  On Saturday evening after a delicious vegetarian meal at the Firsts Josh, Dan, Allison and I went out on Beale Street. We met Pete, a dog who rides along in carriage rides with people. Pete is a mutt (just like Annie). We wandered around and watched some of the famous Beale Street gymnasts then went in BB King's Blues Club where we listened to a great band, did some dancing and I ordered a Lucille (that's the name of BB's guitar for those not in the know).

Mary & Josh inside BB King's Blues Club
On Sunday morning after playing helicopters with Dan and Samuel Sara and I hit up the grocery store where we met Gus. I told his owner that he had a good looking dog and he replied "Yup, he takes after me" - ha ha!

Samuel and his Helipad

Gus Licking his Chops while Waiting for his Owner
After a fantastic breakfast we split off into two groups. The ladies and Jonah went to the Brooks Museum of Art and the fellas and Samuel went to the zoo. The museum had a fantastic special exhibit going of Tiffany lamps. We also toured the permanent collection and got to see a lot of terrific pieces. One of my favorites was the Engineer's Dream by Thomas Hart Benton who taught Jackson Pollack. My mother-in-law has met Mr. Benton in Missouri where they're both from. Apparently after Pollack began experimenting with his style that he is famous for Thomas Hart Benton disowned him.
The Engineer's Dream by Thomas Hart Benton

Dutch Renaissance Piece featuring a Little Pup
Samuel enjoying the Zoo

Monday, November 5, 2012


This past weekend Annie went to the Pet Hotel and Dan and I went to Memphis, Tennessee to visit our friends. Josh, Sara, Samuel and baby Jonah live in Memphis with their two cats Tom and Midnight. Josh and Sara teach at Ole Miss we were also joined in Memphis by Allison who is a professor of history at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. We arrived on Friday night after dark and were greeted in Memphis on Saturday morning with lots of fun and sun.

On our way to Tennessee Dan and I picked up a helicopter for Samuel. Samuel and I had great fun playing with it in the front yard.

Miss Marvel, Samuel & his Helicopter
After a delicious frittata breakfast Sara, Allie, Dan, Jonah and I headed off to Graceland.

Allison, Me, Jonah and Sara at the Entrance to Graceland
In the parking lot we saw license plates from all over the country and even Canada! Apparently Graceland is a pretty popular tourist destination.

The tour of Graceland is self guided so you can take as much time in his house as you like. Elvis bought the house for $100,000 in 1959 when he was 22 years old. He spent far more than $100,000 decorating the home though! 

Elvis' living room has beautiful peacock stained glass windows. 

Living Room
Graceland's dining room table was mirrored - better to reflect the chandelier!

Dining Room

Family Photo Adorning the Wall
 The basement of Graceland was excellent. The billiards room had a cloth wallpaper on the walls and ceiling - the family room upstairs has carpet on the floor and ceiling to improve acoustics.

Billiards Room
Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, was also his manager and had his own office in the back of the house. This sign adorns the front door of the office:

Elvis added an outbuilding to the house - a racquet ball court. This addition cost twice the cost of his home! This pinball machine and sit up device were in one of the two lounging areas in the racquetball area. The racquetball court has been transformed to a gold record and jumpsuit room.

Elvis' Jumpsuits
Out back in addition to the racquetball court, pool, horse stable, office, play set for kids is a Meditation Garden. This is where Elvis, his twin brother and his parents were buried.

Elvis' Tombstone

The Memorial Fountain and Garden with Tourists
 After hitting up the gift shop we toured Elvis' jets.

The Lisa Maria was massive - it was on this plane that Lisa Marie had a birthday party at 40,000 feet. Once when Elvis realized Lisa Marie had never seen snow they hopped on the plane and flew to Denver to play in the snow.

The Hound Dog II was a smaller plane. This was, at five months, Jonah's first time on a plane!

Mary and Jonah Boarding The Hound Dog II
After Graceland the vegetarians went to a vegetarian restaurant called Imagine and Allison and I went to eat at The Bar-B-Q Shop (Best in Memphis) for a plate of Memphis-style ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and red velvet cake. I didn't eat for the rest of the weekend! ;-)