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The Papacy Progress Notes
Sunday, 24 April 2005
Soccer and Kitties
Whoopsie, I've neglected you!

Okay, so here's the scoop. Soccer season is back, and Caitlin is well on her way to becoming a killer goalie.

She only gets to play goalie one quarter per game, because the focus is supposed to be letting each player play all the positions, but .... with 16 girls on her squad, she ought to be goalie only once every fourth game. Maybe she gets special treatment because when she's at the goal, only the most amazing shots get past (like the one that grazed the upper edge of the goal three feet over her head). Her assistant coach admits to thinking of her as Goalie, but has also noticed that she's rockin' good in mid-field as well.

Meanwhile, on the home front, even though she's proven to be a sweet girl, and looks marvelous in the yard:

Miss Pheobe is fast becoming persona canine non grata around the house. She's taken to beheading the girls' stuffed animals at a rate of one sacrifice per day. She's also resumed leaving "presents" in my office.

We are not amused.

We ARE amused by her antics with Gabriel. They play an interesting form of tag together. Mostly, Phoebe encourages Gabriel to chase her. Gabriel plays for a while, but he's much too regal to keep it up long, so Pheobe needs a new victim friend.

This is really Gabriel's preferred afternoon activity:

In fact, he's somewhat put out when people disturb him:

Clearly, he too needs someone to adjust his humor-level.

So... today we put our names down to adopt a wee lass:

She even interacts well with the kids:

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 8:15 PM CDT
Sunday, 3 April 2005
The Peabody Ducks, and their Honorary Mistresses
So, it's our last day of Spring Break, and we're looking forward (??) to a long drive home. But first...

We get to "do the ducks".

As I mentioned in posts to my regular knitting blog on March 23 and 24 (or there abouts), I managed to wrangle Honorary Duck Mistress roles for the last Duck March of the trip.

For those of you unfamiliar with the whole Peabody Duck thing, check out The Peabody Hotel's short version of the story on what they do now, or a brief history of how the whole thing got started.

Any way, we got ourselves down to the duck fountain at about 10:30, where a crowd was already gathering for the famous morning duck march.

After a while, the Duck Master came, and gave the girls their Honorary Duck Mistress certificates

Then, he made them Honorary Duck Mistresses, in a brief ceremony somewhat remeniscent of a knighting:

and we all headed to the Elevator to the Duck Palace. Just before we entered, each of our dear Duck Mistresses was given a Duck Talisman of her own.

We left the crowds behind, and rode the elevator to the roof. Walked across a lovely patio-like rooftop with a penthouse structure in which the Duck Master himself keeps his offices, though he declines to actually live there. Strolling around behind it, we had an incredible view of Memphis, which I suppose I should have photographed, but didn't.

There, we found the Duck Palace. The Duck Master opened the gates thereto, and summoned the ducks, who obediently stepped out and started to march

We followed them into the building (where they miraculously stopped relieving themselves), and watched them calmly head into the elevator:

We joined them, and rode down to the waiting throngs in the lobby. The ducks dutifully marched down their red carpet, pausing once along the way to allow the crowds to take their pictures, and then up the steps into their pond, where they stayed until 5:00 that afternoon.

We returned to the elevators, summoned the bellman, and swiftly loaded our carriage... er wait, no... piled our stuff into the Dodge for the drive home.

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 9:50 AM CST
Monday, 21 March 2005
Report from the Front: Spring Break - Days One and Two
Now Playing: Chris Thile
Day one .. the drive.

After a morning of frenzied packing, and then gathering just one more thing to take along, we got the car loaded and took off for points south.

We paused at the library to return a number of things that we forgot to return yesterday (sigh), and on the way, Jess realized that NONE of her toys made it into the car.

Back to the house.

On the road by 12:30, and off to St. Louis! We arrived in plenty of time to check in, wander around and go to dinner in the restaurant downstairs.

The service was truly amazing...

but not good.

It took about ten minutes to seat us in a all but empty restaurant.
It took about another ten minutes for the server to appear to ask us if we wanted drinks. By this time, of course, we were fully prepared to order, but she was not really ready to take the order. We gave it to her anyway.

It took 20 minutes to get our drinks to us. They weren't hard... two hot chocolates (for the kids) a cosmopolitan and and Bombay Sapphire on the rocks....
Dinner took about another 25 minutes to arrive.


Once it DID arrive, it was very good!
Even dessert was good.

We did enjoy the pool... a must for any adult traveling with kids. I knit, the kids swam. All was good.

Day two

Tourism begins in earnest.

We went to the arch, toured the museum, rode the tram to the top, peered out the windows at the River and Downtown St. Louis... even bought non-Arch related toys at the gift shop.

I took no pictures. To get a photo of the arch that shows the whole arch requires a wide angle lens, of which I have none for my digital camera... and, indeed, none for my SLR 35 mm camera. To take a picture that actually shows anything from the top, .... well, lets just say there are professional photos out there, and I'm sure we can all find them. Here's a link to some pictures to get you started....

Then, we went to the Zoo!

Here's the family, sans moi the photographer, at the entrance to the zoo.

In My St. Louis Zoo Photo Album, you'll find pictures of some very cool birds.... (including, of course, the free roving Peacock), the tiger pacing, the polar bear playing with his ball (don't you just love watching polar bears play??), the black bear lolling about, and the penguins swimming about, and the puffins (when did they get puffins??). There are also some pictures from the new butterfly dome (part of the insectorium).

The best view of the day was, of course

two lovely girls enjoying the day ... seen here on the way into the aviary.

We walked all day, and finally got tired and cold and had to go before we saw the elephants. We'll see those in Memphis..

After the zoo, we headed into University City, my old stomping grounds.

I resisted taking pictures of my old house, but we did drive around the neighborhood looking at the places I played and the houses of my friends. Then, we settled in for dinner at Blueberry Hill. I remember when Blueberry Hill opened! (ack) It's much larger now, and boasts a great menu.

After a lovely meal, we headed back down town for a turn through the pool, and some rest.

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST
Saturday, 12 February 2005
The Final Concert
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Caitlin's Adventures
The violin saga has been long and convoluted.

In August, Caitlin was SO excited that she would finally be able to sign up for Strings at school. She plagued me daily. Please please please pleasepleaseplease....

Okay. You're this excited, we'll do it.

I consulted with the esteemd friends in our family. I emailed the incredibly generous, kind, funny, warm, ... oh and supremely talented Sergiu Luca and the amazingly witty, charming, energetic, fun... oh, and equally talented Myles Jordan of the DaPonte String Quarted (also my mother's cello teacher), and asked advice. Which instrument? Private lessons too? What style?

After listening to their sage advice, we signed her up. We rented a violin, and bought all the rest of the required toys. We got a private violin teacher.

She loved it for a while.
Then she got bored.

She has a perfect bow hold, a lovely violin hold, and makes marvelous music despite herself.


She hates it.

Thus, this may be the only picture you ever see of Caitlin in a strings performance:

I forced her to stick with it 'til she'd played in a concert.

She's done that now, and we ceremoniously returned the violin that very night.

Next up .... clarinet????

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 8:44 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 13 February 2005 12:39 PM CST

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