Category Archives: Everyday Living

First Week Down

The week leading up to my move to Joplin wasn’t quite how I’d planned.

My plan was to spend my last four days in St. Louis living it up with my hubby and spending quality time with Mario.  Instead, I spent quality time on the couch – with the flu.

Holy heck was I wiped out.  And when I finally felt good enough to be awake for any period of time, I was barely strong enough to hold myself up.  I felt sunken and inside-out.  By Sunday, I felt a little more like my old self.  Thank goodness because I had to pack up every thing I own, well, everything that could fit in my Mustang, and head to Joplin.

My goodbye that morning was a little more tearful than expected, but as we keep saying – we love each other and we will get through this and soon we’ll be together beginning a new chapter in our lives.


I felt immediately better when I arrived at the hotel.  I was greeted so warmly by the staff that I knew I was going to be okay.

The next morning, I jumped into my work right away – excited to meet the team, and learn the hotel.  I had a few teary moments… a text from my hubby stating he poured me some coffee….just a taste to begin with….the way I like it….


I’m gonna miss our morning coffee talks.

Then a delivery of beautiful flowers to the front desk and a sweet note from my hubby saying he always knew I was amazing.


I’ve never felt more loved.

I spent my first few days soaking up everything and trying to organize my office… and my mind.  I’d wake up in the middle of the night thinking about all the stuff I needed to figure out, and all the stuff I wanted to work on, and find it difficult to go back to sleep.

By the end of the week, I had settled into my new role, but the reality of living in a hotel began to hit me.  I want to continue to eat the way I did at home – protein pancakes after working out, smoothies for an evening treat – but dang that’s difficult in a hotel.



My makeshift kitchenette

I’m trying to make it work, bringing the comforts of home to my hotel room any way I can.


Almost like home?











It’ll be a long few months, but it’s been an exciting experience so far.  Can’t wait to see what week two has to bring!


Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Everyday Living, The Hotel


We Got Snow!

It’s so rare for us anymore to get snow during the winter.  It’s funny what a difference it makes in how I feel.

We’ve come to dread winter, mostly because all we see is gray skies, sleet, ice, or just very cold rain.   But the snow!  The snow makes it feel like a real winter.  I could sit inside all day and watch it.



2017 has started off pretty smoothly in the Shadowrun household.  Link came home for Christmas for just a few days, but those few days did my heart good.  I worry about him daily – he has many struggles – so to see him with my own eyes was comforting.

Chip and Amp are still on their winter break.  Chip braved a trip up to Chicago to visit friends.  Good to get him out of the basement and into the real world for a while.  Amp, split his time between our house and a friend’s house.  Perfect really, since our house isn’t meant to have more than 3 people in it at a time.

Mario sleeps at home, although not sure how she enters her room.  For someone who is never here, she sure creates a big mess.  In fact most times, it’s so big it spills into the hall.  But I love how active she is, and how fearless.  She’ll hop into the car and travel to St. Louis without a second thought.  Scares ME, but I love seeing her create her independence, and I feel comfortable knowing she’ll be able to take care of herself.  The boys…. I don’t feel so good about.

This’ll be the year where we could see some big changes.  Fingers crossed.

Mario graduates high school in the spring and will move away to college.  Chip and Amp will graduate from their tech school and will land a job and move out of the house completely.   Link will find ways to create happiness and brighten his future.

And I will land a job in Florida.

At least, these are the plans.  But I know better than to get my hopes up.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy this snow day snuggled up with a warm cup of coffee, and nestled between mounds of laundry.




Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Everyday Living, Family


Tour de Mounds

Another good couple of weeks has been had by us may-as-well-be empty nesters.  Mario still lives at home, if you can call it that. But between school,  the play, work, and band, she’s never here. (But when she is, you can bet we know it.  Just sayin’.)

Hubby and I have continued our field trips into the city and surrounding area on my days off.  Last week, we visited the history museum in Forest Park.  It currently has a Route 66 exhibit that was quite interesting.  I knew we were on the route, but I didn’t realize how big a stop St. Louis was along the way.


It was quite windy that day, but that didn’t keep us from eating at The Boat House restaurant on the lake near there.  LOOKS beautiful, so it was worth anchoring down our napkins and water cups, and sometimes even our table.


We weren’t so lucky weather-wise today, but I was determined to visit the Cahokia Mounds.  I somehow avoided this field trip during my kids’ elementary years, and I have been itchin’ to get there for a while now.

It’s amazing to see these hand-made “mounds” dating back to the 1300s.  These would have been a project to build during this day and age, yet back then, they used homemade shovels and baskets to carry dirt from one place to another.  And as the mounds got bigger, they had to climb the mountains with the dirt!  Sheesh we have it easy these days.

Monk’s Mound was especially impressive.  Who knew I had my own little “Incline” right in my backyard?!





View from the top. Not quite as good as Pike’s Peak. But not bad for Illinois



This week also marked Mario’s Senior Night for band.  Hubby and I bundled ourselves up to watch the only performance we’ll see this year.  The band’s getting smaller and smaller each year, but they did a great job.


Here’s your chance to play “Where’s Mario?”.  My hint is the same as Abby’s – she’s the one in the white hat.

So yeah, a couple of good weeks.  Had a birthday in there too.  This one kinda came and went with no real fan fare.  The boys all sent me texts which was nice.  (Thanks to my hubby for reminding them.). Mario wished me a happy day on her way out the door.  And then I headed to work.  That’s my kind of birthday.  They’re much easier to forget if there’s not a lot of hoopla….


Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family


Oh The Guilt

I think about it everyday.  Honest I do.  It’s just sooo hard to put pen to paper these days. I got no excuse really.

Except maybe the seemingly endless days at the hotel.  Actually, that’s a pretty good excuse.  I’m going with that one.

They’re fun days though.  We had three conventions in a row.  Two were pretty needy, but this last one has been a blast.  Single occupancy, young National Parks people.  They like to have just enough fun.  Not so much that they become trouble, but enough that they’re fun to be around.

It’s been good to have these guys inhouse.  We’re going through some changes at the hotel that have most of us a little sad.  Our GM received a promotion to regional manager.  And while we’re all excited for him, it means he’s no longer with us on a day to day basis.  The absence of his quirky, energetic ways has left a huge hole in our hearts.

That hole will remain for another month or so.  The new GM has been named, however he needs to wrap up some work at his hotel, and won’t start til the beginning of the month.  I’ve taken on some of the GMs responsibility, which I really love, but when added it to all the responsibilities I have already, PLUS trying to run a busy hotel while short one manager…  well…  by the time I get home, I’m tired.  And all I want to do is read what someone else wrote rather than write my own.

But the guilt has overwhelmed me, so here I am.

My days haven’t been all work and no play though.  On my off days, Hubby and I have been playing hometown tourists and going on field trips.  St. Louis has so much to offer, and I share it all with my guests, but I rarely take advantage of them myself.

We’ve been bike riding along some river trails.



We’ve dined in some favorite local restaurants. (It was fun making him squint in the sun.)



And we’ve toured the Anheuser Busch Brewery.







And this is just the beginning.  We have a whole long list to get through.  But for now, I gotta get back to work.


Posted by on October 11, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family, The Hotel



I moped around for the first few weeks after returning from Colorado.  It’s just so beautiful there, and I could go from trail to trail to trail everyday, all day if I wanted.  (And I did wanted.) I SO didn’t want to come home.

Hubby, seeing how much I loved it, asked if I wanted to move there before moving to Florida.  I hadn’t really considered that, but YES!  Except they have winters there.  But I could deal with that.  Right?

I don’t know.  Seems like every time I go somewhere, Nashville, San Antonio, Florida, Colorado, I never want to come home.  Maybe what I really want is to NOT live here.

I’m tired of corn fields.  I’m tired of not having anything fun to do close by. I suppose that’s why I like working in downtown St. Louis.  Things are happening!  But’s it’s an hour away.  Sigh.

Mario is a senior this year.  When she graduates and moves away to college, we will likely move too.  Still not sure where to, but it’ll be far from Smalltown, USA.

In the meantime, I’m preparing for my big MS ride next weekend.  Having that to look forward to helps keep the moping at bay.  I love training for something and pushing myself physically.  175 miles in two days should do the trick.

Grace has been behaving nicely.  Just brought her in for a check-up, and she’ s feeling fine.  A little tweak here and a little tweak there.  We’ll be a great team come race day.

After that, well, I’m sure I’ll come up with something to look forward to.  Probably planning a trip to anywhere other than here.





Posted by on September 3, 2016 in Everyday Living, Vacation


Bon Voyage?

As happens every year, this summer is flying by, and I don’t seem to have much to show for it.

We’ve had a lot going on at the hotel.  Obviously some families are starting their summers off with a bang.  I love to see it, but it’s a good reminder I’ve got nothing going on.  And neither do the two college boys who have taken up camp in our house this summer.

So this past “weekend”, I drug the boys outa bed.  “We’re going on a field trip,” I told ’em. First stop was Sugarfire BBQ, a new restaurant right down the street from my hotel.  Figured I better test it out myself since I send people there all the time.  I had a great lunch of brisket and pulled pork with a side of fries and green beans.  The boys tested out the baked beans and the potato salad.  And we all came to the same conclusion. Delish!

From there, we made our way to Grafton, IL, a small town along the Mississippi River.  Grafton has been the home of the Nina and Pinta replicas for the past few weeks and they were only going to be there a few days longer.








The ships were very interesting to see, and the crew had some great stories of Columbus’s adventures along with their own.  Both boys mentioned they’d love to be apart of the crew.   Hubby and I jumped at the chance to send them off to sea, and grabbed a crew member immediately.   We asked tons of questions and figured out what they needed to do to join.

Chip is still showing interest in joining and has filled out an application.  Although the ships have left our area, if he’s asked to join, he can pick it up where ever they’re docked.

All that’s left to do now is sit and wait.  Chip has lots of practice with that.  Amp too for that matter.

Is it too early to be ready for school to start back up?


Posted by on June 9, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family


No Blog November

I almost made it to the end of November without blogging.  Sheesh!  Where has the time gone?

I thought the hotel was going to slow down once summer vacations and the Cardinals’ ball games had ended.  And while it has somewhat slowed, we’ve been down a manager all month, so even more responsibilities have fallen on me.  Totally cool with me, but it sucks for blogging. ‘Cause I’m tired.  Ti – erd.

This week especially has been rough.  It started with a bus group that came in and totally took advantage of our free bar and free drinks.  We knew they were coming, but I guess we didn’t realize how hungry and thirsty they would be.  We ran our butts off trying to keep up, but we failed miserably.  I don’t like to be caught unprepared, so it was a tough night for me, physically and mentally.

The next night, my breakfast cook called to tell me she wouldn’t be able to come in the next morning.  Something about lotsa vomiting and the runs.  SO?!  GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND COOK!  was what ran through my head.  Instead, I sympathetically told her to rest up and get better, while I texted every employee I could think of who knew how to cook.

On a Friday night, no one answered.  Surprise.

So I left the hotel in the hands of the manager in training, and high-tailed it home to try and get some sleep before coming back in the morning.

I arrived back at 4:30am, and walked in the door with a few Grateful Dead concert goers just coming in from their night out.  They looked much happier about being awake at that time of day than I did.  Found out later that an hour earlier they had jumped our pool fence and were swimming naked in the pool.  What can you do but laugh.

I got to work with the help of my early morning houseperson, making biscuits and gravy, sausages, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes and oatmeal for 200 of my closest friends. By the time we opened, more employees had arrived.  I stayed in my cooking groove while they kept the line stocked and schmoozed all our guests.

Our once naked Grateful Dead guests showed up, dressed thankfully, just as we were closing, to devour what was left.  I cleaned up the dishes and the kitchen, and collapsed in my desk chair just when I should have been arriving for the day.  I tied up a few loose ends from my office, kicked a guest who was smoking pot out of the hotel, and then once again, left the place in the hands of our MIT.

I was tired.

My three day weekend couldn’t have come at a better time.  You read that right.  THREE days in a row.  I’m not even gonna think about having to work over Thanksgiving.  For now, I’m thankful I get to spend some lazy days with my hubby, I get to watch Mario kick some boys’ butts in her high school bowling match, and I get to go shopping for things I want, not just things I need.

Oh yeah.  And I get to catch up on some bloggin’.


Posted by on November 23, 2015 in Everyday Living, Family, The Hotel