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Good Day So Far

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:19 AM

Sunday/Monday Fives

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:45 PM

1. What drinking water do you prefer — tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
I like bottled water, in particular Aquafina, but Coca-Cola's brand (name escapes me at midnight) is good too. Tap is alright, although I never realized how “bad” it was until I got a water purifier on my sink. Now I only drink that from the tap.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips? Probably “Original,” although I like BBQ as well. I consistently prefer just a good old salted chip though, and a freshly cooked chip is even better. :-)

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most? Probably my barbecued burgers.

4. How do you have your eggs? As I see it, there are two ways to eat eggs: fried or as an omelet. I prefer an omelet, especially one with ham, cheese, green pepper, onion, and possibly jalapeno.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out? Well, being a holiday, my mother made a very good meal I enjoyed today. Nothing fancy, but she always makes a nice dinner on Memorial Day Sunday that I enjoyed. BBQ'ed sausage, cheese and broccoli rice, stir fried vegetables, apple sauce and brownies with Eddy's vanilla bean ice cream.

Ozark Trip 2k3

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:48 PM

The weather was absolutely beautiful this week, making the trip even better than I expected. I went with mom and a close family friend who had gone down to the Ozarks with us last year. This year we stayed for five nights/six days at two different resorts — the old tried-and-true Rock Lane Resort (of which I am suppose to build a new website for soon) and Big Cedar.

Rock Lane is a forty something year old place that was first discovered by my grandparents in the 60's. We have been there enough to know everyone at the front desk (and stay in contact with them when at home) and the owner, all of whom couldn't be nicer. While much of the resort, including our favorite cove side rooms, have been or are now on the chopping block to make way for timeshares, 40 or so rooms remain and it's still the very best view of the lake I've seen. Rock Lane is on a peninsula, actually they own it, so it's very easy to get to the lake and walk the shore line. It also features a very nice, expanding marina and lots of Canadian geese, ducks, and other wildlife that wait for feedings.

As an added plus, Rock Lane is only minutes away from Silver Dollar City, both of which are on Indian Point, and only about thirty minutes away from Branson and just a few more from Kimberling City. At any rate, we stayed there for three days and enjoyed it immensely as usual.

Silver Dollar City was great, just like always, as well. Up until last year, we would actually buy seasons passes to the 'City, unfortunately, time restraints have prevented visiting it as much recently.Spring is a pretty good time to go there, although as a little tip from a wanna-be-local, I'd recommend the Fall for the smallest crowds. Christmas at Silver Dollar City (November 1 - December 31) is also not to be missed and everyone should go and see their six story Christmas tree with synchronized light and music show and their multimillion light bulb decoration job which takes two months to prepare (notably, SDC — like much of the Ozarks — remembers the REAL reason for the Christmas season).

Another favorite stop we hit was Scoops, the great ice cream shop across from the Route 165 scenic overlook. Scoops, which has won blue ribbons at the State Fair five years in a row (three blue ribbons for the majority of those years), makes all of their own ice cream and make one amazing chocolate ice cream ice cream soda. Like Rock Lane, we know all of the people at Scoops, and they too couldn't be nicer. I just wish I could bring some of their great ice cream home with me.

Speaking of food, a trip to the Wooden Nickle, located by Branson West (that's on the other side of Indian Point from Branson) should not be missed on ANY trip to the area. Their salad “tree” (named such since it is a round salad bar build around an old tree) is exquisite and their fried chicken is the best I've had anywhere. The salad bar can easily be a meal by itself for just $8.99 (this is a serious salad bar), but you can add three pieces of great chicken and an excellent baked potato for just $4 more. The salad bar has tons of goodies beyond the normal fare, including fresh baked breads, cut-your-own cheddar and pepper cheese, stew, and good pudding.

Well, before I move on, I might as well continue my food review with one more notable mention. Billy Gayle's Uniquables and Cafe on Route 265 looks rather unassuming. It's an old cabin with a few gas pumps out side and flea market fare in in the first few rooms, but the last brightly decorated room is home to (IMO) the world's best omelet. Yum! You get a large plate that is half filled by a square omelet, half filled by hash browns, and then topped by four pieces of Texas toast perfectly toasted. “Gayle's Famous Omelet” (without mushrooms) is my personal favorite and is one of the food highlights of the trip.

Moving away from food, after a stop at Country Mart for some bread (okay not away from food) for the geese and ducks, we headed back to Rock Lane and enjoyed the quiet beauty of the place. This is really a great place to accomplish my mission on the trip — to relax and enjoy. If you're looking to get away and the Ozarks are an option, consider Rock Lane. I've probably been there 20-something times and it's never been disappointing.

Well before I put everyone to sleep, I will stop for the night, and pick up tomorrow with the details of Big Cedar and another place that is quite possibly one of the Ozark's most beautiful areas. Stay tuned.

Gone For a Few Days

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:15 PM

Note for blogs4God

By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:55 AM

Time to post

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:02 PM

It sure has been stormy. My “alarm” yesterday morning was the outdoor weather warning system (interestingly enough, it seems they've given up on having a voice go along with the siren — that was really impressive when they did that for six months or so). Anyway, the storm produced tornadic-like “spin” not too far from here, but nothing touched down that I know of.

The Weather Channel guys where probably disappointed, they had positioned someone in East St. Louis so that the arch would be a backdrop to their broadcast. I guess maybe they thought it would be exciting to watch the arch get vacuumed up by the storm. Maybe not. Whatever the case, they claimed they got a photo of the arch being struck by lightning. I'm not sure if it really was, it looked to me like the lightning was actually behind the arch, but if it did hit, the TWC reporter assured us that it wasn't a completely unusual event.

You know, that makes me wonder… how long before we see “embedded” meteorologists? It might be fun to watch the report of a meteorologist from within the cyclone. With the reporters all set for a natural edition of “shock and awe” in St. Louis, an embedded reporter would have fit in fine. Or, then again, maybe not.

At any rate, I ought to quit blogging now as I can tell my humor may go off the deep end of quite soon now, if it hasn't already. Tim, out.

Calm Before the Storm After the Storm Before the Calm

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:34 PM

Sigh

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:37 PM

A World Away

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:51 PM

I don't generally attend the small group, but I decided to come to the group meeting because of the occasion. It worked out well, I was able to serve as the photographer, while the group went on about with their normal meeting after a delicious BBQ. It was a nice evening, although it was filled with an aura of melancholy feeling.

The member who is leaving had been here for a one-year project at the Danforth Plant Science Center (which is located next to our church and is sponsored by Monsanto, whose world headquarters is just across the street), and during that time she joined our church, participated in prayer groups, joined the aforementioned small group, and even helped with our stewardship drive in November (demonstrating the traditional tithing method of her culture during one of our services). I didn't know her very well, but it was still really saddening to come to the realization that as she pulled out of the driveway afterwards that I'd probably never get the opportunity to talk to her again.

At the end of the small group, the one member read a piece of scripture that had come to his mind earlier today. It was hard to maintain composure as he read it:
When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. {37} They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. {38} What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. (Acts 20:36-38 NIV)

The now departing member brought many things to my church, and while I didn't know her very well, it is still hard to say good bye. I regret not having the opportunity to get to know her better. I regret that her time here was so short.

It is almost like a death has occurred. Not exactly, but like the Ephesians, accompanying her to her car, I realized I would probably never see her again. Being that she is heading back to her country of Nigeria, that I can be pretty sure of.

But, I do hope she realizes how much she has blessed this congregation, and that God blesses her as she returns to the life that she left on hold to do research here in St. Louis.


Sick again.

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:45 PM

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