Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Walk it off

This one is to keep the readers around - the handful of you around. I'm in the middle of dialogue with KRCG about running this on their site now that I'm employed there. Unfortunately, my Maryville and Boonville followers will have to get their weekly dose here.  Thanks for hanging with me all.


Walk It Off - - - 

It seemed like such a simple idea - take the dogs on a walk in a new park.

I'd been informed of a great location which included "flat trails, off-leash areas, a cliff with great views and no chances of getting lost."

The weather was unusually warm for March and with our yard mowed just days ago, The Man and I had nothing better to do. Couple that with a pathetic attempt at playing fetch by our 90-pound couch potato the day before, and a walk in the park became mandatory.

So there we were, tennis shoes laced, dog harnesses latched and poop bags packed, standing at the fork in the trail.

"She said there was a cliff and that one trail would lead you to the barn and another short walk would take you to the dog area," I said unsure as to what was which direction.

Guided only by the overloaded olfactory senses of our four-legged walking companions, we ventured right.

Two minutes into our hike - "Wow, this park is really pretty."

Five minutes into our hike - "Look a creek."

Ten minutes into our hike - "Where does this trail lead? She said 'short'."

Fifteen minutes into our walk - "OK, really, this girl's getting tired."\

Seventeen minutes into our walk and at a strange parking lot signaling a dead end - "Don't tell me we have to turn around and do all that again."

Staring blankly at the hand drawn park maps, which lacked the universal image for "you are here," I greeted the nearest hiking couple and asked for directions.

Ten minutes later we'd found our car - just minutes before The Man would have had to carry both our dogs and myself out of the park.

Too exhausted from our first spring hike to cook, we snagged a large pizza from the nearest Casey's and headed home.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If chess were played with paint chips and tools

Last column as an employee of the Daily News. Look to the blog for more each week though.

"Oh, Windjammer sounds fun. What about Blue Tango or Summer Splash?"
I was whipping through paint sample cards faster than a Vegas Blackjack dealer.
"Peek-a-Boo Blue or Beach House," I asked, apparently to myself, as The Man was nowhere to be found.
Just when it looked like aliens had finally heard my pleas to beam him up, I found him -—holding a drill — a very large drill.
"Look," I demanded with the kind of urgency my three-year-old self would have been proud of. "I got these four samples for the living room and these three for the bedroom. I thought it'd be fun to paint an accent wall."
"Look what I found," he demanded, now holding drill bits.
He was uninterested in my colorful conundrum so I stuck the deck of cards in my purse and bided my time.
"We could use this to drill holes in the tile," he informed.
"This one cuts glass."
"I don't think they carry that screw driver I wanted for Christmas."
Following The Man through the tool department was exhausting, so I moved on to drapes.
Home owning is fun, at least in the first week.
Our 8 p.m. trip to the local hardware store wasn't the first, and won't be the last.
Once we returned to our castle, I began taping my paint samples to their designated walls. I stood back, hand on chin and contemplated like a professional.
"What's that for? You're going to paint the bedroom?"
Proving my hardware hunch correct, it was clear that The Man wasn't listening when I not so subtly demanded his attention. Men.
After explaining my painting plans — again — I pointed to one of the six shades of blue stuck to the middle of our wall.
"Which one," I asked.
"You're going to paint the wall blue?"
The lasers coming from my eyes said "YES!"
After a few more moments of my ESP and silence, he caved.
"That one looks grey. What are they called?"
"That's not what I asked and what names they have doesn't matter. Which one?"
This game was getting fun, like pin the tail on the donkey without pins or the threat of losing a finger.
"I don't know," as he picked up a drill.
Game over.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Marking my territory

 Daily News column for 3/9/12 

(Side Note: Have no fear "The Way It Is" fans, I have been asked to continue my column even though I will no longer be at the Daily News. So stay tuned for more of my musings.)

"Are you still alive over there?"

My male counterpart was looking a tad flush as his hand remained frozen in that clutched way you hold a pen.

We were nearly finished signing our lives away to the bank for the next 30 years. While I was giddy as a school girl, it was apparent that the reality of the situation had hit The Man.

After weeks of searching, excitement, disappointment and complete and total stress, we were buying a house — our first house.

For a solid hour, we had done nothing but sign here, date there and initial here, here and here, leaving The Man in a trance.

Knowing full well the faster I got my part signed, the faster I'd be scrubbing floors, wiping windows and unpacking, leaving the heavy lifting to The Man — It's tough being a girl.

When all 'T's were crossed, 'I's dotted and The Man brought back to reality, we swung by our tiny apartment to get the dogs. After all, we couldn't take the first steps into our new home without them, they're family.

Video camera in hand, like the mother of a walking toddler, I trotted along behind them as they verified the security of our new premises.

Sniff, bounce, sniff, sniff, spin in a circle, sniff, bounce, bounce.

Our smallest pooch, princess diva herself, Stella, could hardly contain herself. With more room to roam than she's seen in months and a whole new world of smells it was a miracle she stopped in time to miss smashing face first into the sliding glass door.

Just as their excitement began to fade along with the level of stranger danger, we flung open the door to their fenced in yard.

While they had missed their opportunity to initial here and place paw there, making the house just as much theirs as ours, it didn't matter.

Seconds later, each corner of the yard was marked, making every square inch of that section of neighborhood theirs.

Their responsibilities fulfilled, they each found their a spot to oversee the move — or sleep — something The Man wasn't going to let me get away with.

Staking my claim of the kitchen and master bath apparently wasn't enough to warrant my partaking in an early evening nap.

—Megan Tilk is a reporter who also writes a weekly column for the Boonville Daily News. She can be reached at or through her blog: megantilk.blogspot .com.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

There's no app for that

These days it seems nearly everyone has a cell phone and a good chunk of those with smart phones can do everything short of teleporting into deep space — but I hear they're working on that.
Apple boasts "Over 500,000 apps. For work, play, and everything in between." My iPhone has 44 — and that's counting the standards it came with.
I, like everyone who has them, use my apps for various reasons. One gets me where I need to go, another helps me find cheap gas to get home. Six different apps allow me to connect with friends far away in competitive childhood games. Another app keeps me posted with play-by-play action from my favorite teams and two apps make sure I'm getting the best deals while shopping.
My phone is often smudged and sticky, a result of an app that helps me prepare tasty meals.
An adorable 2-year-old often sings to me and shows me her latest toy thanks to another app.
Apps can be quite handy, even when used to hurdle birds at evil, green pigs — it's got entertainment value.
Though there isn't an app that will make my coffee for me, there is one that insures a tall, white chocolate mocha with whipped cream is ready when I arrive at the nearest coffee shop.
If only apps were available everywhere, life would be much simpler.
Techies have already began work on that concept. Several new car models come with built in apps for navigation, music, traffic patterns, to find a parking spot and much more.
Just think what life will be like as more and more things start coming with the capability to access apps.
I'm waiting very impatiently for Coach to develop a purse with apps for finding my misplaced keys and wallets.
Shopping carts equipped with GPS for locating grocery items would also be fantastic.
"What's for supper," The Man asked, as he does almost daily.
I've learned through the years that this statement is more than a quandary, it's my cue to get in the kitchen. He's hungry.
Often times his question comes at very inopportune moments, while I'm holding two leashes with excited dogs at the ends and a phone to my ear or on busy work days when I haven't had a moment to even remind myself to use the restroom.

Finally realizing that food may come faster if I have some assistance — it only took five years — he began to appear in the kitchen a bit more often.
"What are you doing to the chicken?"
"Don't you need more oil?"
"You just add water?"
Okay, so asking The Man for help in the kitchen may not have been my proudest moment, but there's no app that can capture the excitement that ensues at our house every time smoke fills the kitchen and the sliding glass door goes flying open. Oh wait, that's YouTube.