An unexpected defrost


Yesterday I got up in the morning and went to the kitchen set on the simple mission of picking up my breakfast and retreating. It was not to be. And I cannot blame it on the presence of anyone else, because each of the events that got added to the mission profile was something of my conscious doing.

When I opened the refrigerator door, I remembered a discussion the night before that we  would have sloppy joes that day. So we had planned to put the ground meat in the refrigerator to thaw.  But I didn’t see any. So I pulled the  pounds ground turkey out of the upstairs refrigerator freezer freezer and went downstairs to the chest freezer to add the pound of ground beef that makes up our three.

I had to dig down to find it, and then I found I couldn’t remove it from the freezer. There were 8 remaining ground beef packages, all on the bottom of the freezer, surrounding a bag of ice that had been put there during the second power outage that had caused softening and weeping of the freezer meats before refreezing started.

So I started a new project to free the ground beef. Not one, all. Hammer to tap it first, then a screw driver and hammer to try and pry them apart from each other, and the freezer floor. The dull thudding got the attention, slowly, of everyone in the house.

That is when I roused Nathan for his eye and expertise. Because I had decided that now was THE time to defrost the freezer, both freezers, and get them organized so we knew what we had. Bringing my consultant down, I detailed for him my idea, and asked for cautions and improvements.

On the all behind and between the two freezers (upright, chest) are two water faucets, hot and cold, used when the washing machine was in the basement. I intended to attach a hose to the hot water, and use as much hot water as needed to melt the ice holding the ice bag to the bottom of the freezer. Once removed I would pull the drain plugs and use hot water to melt the accumulated ice off the sides, dry it with a towel, and (last minute idea) clean and sanitize the surfaces with Clorox wipes.

Pulling the drain plug caused water to flow out, across the floor and toward the drain below the car. Some of it passed toward across the bottom of the stairs, while other progressed to under the stairs, where dirt, junk, and two bags of concrete mix sat.  Water would not be good for the concrete mix. I hailed Carly, had her fetch the shop broom, and sweep the water away from underneath the stairs and move it in front of them.

Once that freezer was deiced and the water stopped, I had he clear a section of the elevated shelf under the stairs and hoisted the bags of concrete mix onto its high and dry surface.

That left all the dirt and trash.  With the same broom I swept while Carly held the back that we dumped all the debris into.

I had emptied the chest freezer into the upright. Now i reorged and I moved the upright to the chest. Hot water sprayed on the shelves of coils deiced them and ran out the front, going under the stairs (now clean), until it was wiped down clean.

At this point I held an all house meeting. How do we want to divide our frozen foods.  We decided to put the meats in the chest freezer, and other items in the upright. Turned out to be quite a workable arrangement. I even had some of the meat in the upstairs freezer brought down, to free it up for more current items.

After the conference, Betsy drove off with the car on errands, and the garage was open — and I could see all the garbage accumulated under it, ready to plug the drain. So I had the final project, the only one not mostly done by me, of sweeping and bagging the trash in the open areas, assigned to the kids.

I went in for Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and left the kids sweeping the trash at 10 a.m. That was the best and most efficient freezer defrosting I can recall being a part of.



A Blast of the Past #154: Grün


September 2012 saw the movement to center stage of Grün as the character I created in cake and icing for Nathan’s Birthday. The character was, and still is, an original. Nathan took to drawing box shapes (squares, rectangles) and then adding faces to the boxes.

Grün got his name from the German word for green, since he had green eyes. This is one of the earlier evidences of Nathan’s predilection for the German language as his foreign language to learn in high school.

A Look Ahead — Kansas City Renaissance Festival



Through September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.


Weekends September 1 to Oct.  14 — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Welcome to the 2018 Kansas City Renaissance Festival! The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 42nd Season! Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the festival grounds in Bonner Springs, KS.

Open Weekends September 1 – October 14 Plus Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am to 7pm • Rain or Shine • 913.721.2110 Free Parking!

Kansas City’s History with the Festival

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1977 as a benefit to the Kansas City Art Institute. Since then, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival has grown to be one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the united States with an annual attendance of 200,000.

About Mid-America Festivals

Mid-America Festivals is the nation’s largest producer of outdoor themed events. In 2016, we entertained nearly one million people in a wide variety of locations across the country.

Mid-America Festivals currently devotes its time towards developing some of the best festivals in the country. Mid-America Festivals, along with affiliated entities, owns and operates the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Trail of Terror (located in Minnesota), the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI (located on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa Bay, Florida), the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, the St. Louis Renaissance Festival and many other events. The company demonstrates its event production and promotion leadership by embracing all aspects of event production from specialty merchandise and corporate sponsorship to ticket sales and multi-media marketing.

Based in Minneapolis, Mid-America’s staff is comprised of talented managers’ experiences in all aspects of entertainment. Mid-America Festivals began producing Renaissance Festivals in 1976 as a natural extension of its president’s career in major venue promotion and production. The company’s background ranges from rock and roll events like the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Prince to event management for concerts like Rock the Garden in Minneapolis.

September  4 — Songflower Chorale Rehearsal, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Westport

This isn’t an open event, but any interested singers are encouraged to contact director Geoff Wilcken. Rehearsals are 7-9:30 p.m. I am one of the members of this group, and can attest to the musical challenge and insight brought to singing and the great works, new and old, by our director.  Currently we are rehearsing for a concert on “The English Tradition” on Nov. 18, and an Evensong Service on Oct. 28.

To contact Songflower Chorale your may use our website or our mailing address\

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

September 5 at 6 p.m. — Rehearsal, Jubilee Ringers Handbell Choir, Avondale United Methodist Church

Under the direction of Mark Keeney, the handbell choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services one Sunday a month.

September 5 at 7 p.m. — Rehearsal, Avondale United Methodist Church Cathedral Choir

Under the direction of John Livingston the choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services each Sunday.


September 8  — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For September it is The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore. See the following blurb:

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive–until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights. The Radium Girls explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.

September 15, 2018 — Halloween Haunt Opening Night at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

Friday’s and Saturdays September 15 – October 27 — Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission

There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it.

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission

Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.

October 28 — Evensong Service by Songflower Chorale, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

Songflower Chorale will present a choral evensong service, including new and original works, at historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.  Admission is free, donations are accepted.

Donations can be mailed to

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Or you can contribute through our website,

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

November 8 — The English Tradition, Songflower Chorale Concert, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

This fall, Songflower Chorale will present a concert titled The English Tradition, celebrating the landmarks of British composers through history, from Renaissance
masters to the Romantics, which have radiated their influence back to
the rest of the world, along with some modern outgrowths of the Anglican choral tradition, alive and well in our community.  Admission is free, donations are accepted.

Those wishing to support the choral are welcome to contribute financially; this allows it to meet rehearsal expenses and hire guest artists at need, and is greatly appreciated!
Donations can be mailed to

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Or you can contribute through our website,

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 2019– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

Sabbatical Update: Fall


And now it is fall.

The sabbatical is going well on several fronts, but the primary front still needs additional effort. At the same time, summer to fall means that everyone needs to have some changes in their plans. Seasonal work means that: by season, and so new work for a new season needs to be found.


#301: The King of Love My Shepherd Is


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


The King of love my Shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am His

And He is mine forever.


Where streams of living water flow

My ransomed soul He leadeth,

And, where the verdant pastures grow,

With food celestial feedeth.


Perverse and foolishoft I strayed,

But yet in love He sought me,

And on His shoulder gently laid,

And home rejoicing brought me.


And so thru all the length of days

Thy goodness faileth never:

Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise

Within Thy house forever.


Sabbatical Update: (delayed from Tuesday)


Summer is wrapping up, and so is the summer pattern. Weather changes seem ahead, certainly schedule changes. More than the items that defined my sabbatical are changing around me this fall as well. Need to decide whether I want to take a significant role in certain things, or just be the supporting extra used on another’s move through the social strata.

That wording was elusively and intentionally unspecific, and will remain so.