Monday, June 29

Soccer is for Girls

I am a huge soccer fan. Growing up in France helps quite a bit. Soccer in the U.S has been getting mixed reviews over the years and is still not considered a major sport such as Baseball, Hockey, Basketball and Football - or American Football for that matter.

Most of my friends see soccer as either a good sport for kids or have a vision of soccer being like this clip that I love by the way -This one is for you Jim Fox:

Anyway, unless you have been practicing the Moonwalk in your basement for the past 3 days, you must have heard about the heartbreaking loss of the US National team against Brazil 3-2 in the Finals of the Confed. Cup. I beg you to watch the game if you missed it...this is what soccer is about. Don't delay, it is time to jump on the US Bandwagon. I am sold.

On a side note, how come a Baseball team or a Basketball team winning the Championship becomes World Champion? World Champion? Here is how Wikepidia defines the notion of World Champion:
"World Champion is a title that can be given to a contesting team/individual/organisation in a sport or other competitive endeavour. To become a "world champion" it is usual for the contestant to have entered, and won, a competition open to all eligible contestants from around the world.
Other individuals or organisations can be described as 'world champion', but this is either simply a matter of recognition of their prowess or promotional hyperbole, without conferring any real status."

Shouldn't it be North American Champion at best? Just kidding...

Anyway, go find the Tape of the US against Brazil, it is so emotional and soccer at his best.

The Iron Chef Corner

I am a foodie. I love eating well. The other day, I am talking to my friend Rodney, and he tells me how much he enjoyed eating oysters. I love oysters myself. Raw oysters. So here is a little tip to really appreciate the full flavor of this treasure of the sea. By the way, have you ever ask yourself who was the first person who decided one day looking at an oyster to crack it open and eat it!! That takes some imagination to find what kind of looks like a rock and crack it to ingest its content.

Back to the tip, besides eating it as is, my favourite way is to add a little Mignonette on it. What is a Mignonette?

1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
3 tablespoons finely minced shallots
2/3 cup good quality red wine vinegar
Combine the ingredients in a glass or stainless-steel bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight. Mignonette sauce will keep for months in the refrigerator.

By the way, always pour the first water of the oyster before eating it and make sure you chew the oyster well before swallowing it. If you just swallow without chewing it, it will keep filtering water in your stomach for a while and create a " Gosh I am so thirsty" feeling, long after you ended your dinner.

Friday, June 26

R.I.P Michael Jackson And Farrah Fawcett

Hard not to mention the passing of these 2 Icons. I saw Michael Jackson in concert in Denmark back in the days. At the time the side story was that he only spent 4 hours total in the country including the 2 hours on stage. He flew in, sang and moved on to Sweden... Did you see him live too?

I wish I had an up-close and personal with Farah - although I don't know if I would share it with you. Why? I know how WW works - if I would share a private story here with you, would you keep it a secret? You would? Really? I don't believe it. I have to say, the first week I moved in WW., I was in my backyard when a bug bit me on my bottom. I started to scratch my rear-self. 3 seconds later, my cell phone rings, it is my beloved wife Julie. She is driving in Webster Groves, "James, why are you scratching your bottom?". She knew already, I was caught in the act in my own backyard. Someone, somehow, had seen me and called Julie right away. Big Brother is watching you!! OK, maybe I am exaggerating a bit - just a bit, but I know you get my point especially if you didn't grow up here. Don't get me wrong, having neighbours watching out for you is very positive, I was just trying to show a funny perspective!

Anyway, I just read that in England, to slow down bikers along a busy path, 2 artists were contracted to create an Optical Illusion on the sidewalk. If Horses, or speed bumps don't work, here is another option to slow down our drivers. You tell me:

Thursday, June 25

I want to move to Warson Woods

Sometimes it is a little tedious to go through listings and search engines to find the perfect house. My friends in the business are telling me that the market is showing some much needed signs of life.

I would recommend - if you would like to know how much your house is worth, and every houses around yours and beyond... Be careful, this Web-Site can be addictive -hum...hum... Simply type your address on the toolbar once you are on the Zillow site.

So here we go, I compiled a listing of the properties for sale in our charming WW. By clicking on a name, you will be redirected to the detailed listing of that property. And let me know if you spotted houses not listed here.

1055 Warson Woods Dr. $270.000

1445 Andrew Dr. $299.000

800 Rampart $310.000

1439 Jamaica Ct. $329.900

705 Jamaica Ct. $339.000

525 Monaco Drive $369.900

570 Gederson Ln. $385.000

1423 Andrew Dr. $389.000

856 Bricken Pl. $395.900

1021 North Drive $421.000

502 Meadow Creek Ln. $429.900

385 Gascony Way $525.000

507 Meadow Creek Ln. $599.900

732 Rolfe $693.000

1111 Timberlane Dr. $695.000

Wednesday, June 24

The Hurricanes Host Castle Pines

Our Swimmers of the Week:
JM Fitzgerald, Isaac Berkley, Nicole Hanson, Christina Francis and Emma Roethler with coaches Nate Sizemore, Kate Doneff and Michael Kubik. Awesome job!

Here is the report card from Michele Munson. Thanks for your hard word and your contribution on the WW. Blog!
"Monday night's competition was hot and heavy -- and we aren't just referring to the weather! Our swimmers performed admirably against a team that has, until recently, been swimming in a more competitive division with Gateway. The final score was Castle Pine 298, Warson Woods 242. Although the points didn't add up to a Hurricane victory, as our own Olivia Sauer wisely stated, "We beat them in spirit!" Thanks to all the fans who came out Monday night to cheer on the team."

The remaining Meets are:
June 29 - Warson Woods Hosts Elk Club
July 6 - Warson Woods at Big Ben Woods
July 8 - Warson Woods Blue and White Meet
July 11 - Conference Finals at Country Surf
July 12 - Awards Banquet or Rain Out date Conference

If you want more information about the Swim Team please go to the WWSC Web Site.

If you haven't been to a Meet yet, please join us for the next one on June 29. It is so much fun!!

Monday, June 22

Looking for someone local to cut grass & water plants

I need your help.

A WW. family is going out of town for an extended period of time. They are looking for a local person to look after their yard.

a- Cutting grass
b- Water plants & flowers

Please get back to me ASAP, their deadline is friday.

Sunday, June 21

My Big Red Neck Wedding

Friday night we were invited to a great theme Party: a Red Neck Wedding!

Coming from France, I had no idea about the meaning of these 2 words. I decided to Google the keyword "Red Neck". O my!!

Realizing I had no appropriate outfit for the Party, I rushed to the Salvation Army and grabbed a couple of overalls - a short one and a long one, a couple of hats and I was set. Although, when the salesperson there asked me why I was buying overalls, I started to say "I have a theme party, the theme is Red -hum, hum - Overall Party". I didn't want to sound condescending and I didn't know if Red Neck is considered a "Bad Word".

Now it is show time! As we pull up the car in this fancy street, I am in shock. What a scene. Picture this:
Besides the traditional large outside Party Tents and the open bar in the back, the front yard has 3 Toilets full of ice & beers -Toilet Coolers. A Horse Shoe game is set up with Real Toilet Seat instead of the traditional Horse Shoes. Christmas Lights are hanging from the gutters...and the guests... Eveyone is dressed the par. I see Sleeveless Shirts, fake pregnant wowen, lower back tattoos, overalls, hickey kisses - my head is spinning, wow I am blown away. It is hilarious. Some folks showed up in a beat-up pick-up truck.

I see neighbours walking by with anxious looks on their faces. The property value on the street is going down 40%.

Next thing you know, I am doing a Beer Bong - never done one before, another thing I should export to France. Props to Jim Lewis and Greg Mullenix for setting me up on this one.

Another thing I want to share is this. Does a theme Party help people to loosen up faster? What is the best Theme Party you have been invited to?

Anyway I will update this post with pictures soon.

Happy Father's day to all the WW. males, especially to the First Time Dads - Brian, I love you, God bless Sarah and Baby Lucy!!

Wednesday, June 17

Speed Limit

Here is a sensitive subject: the Speed Limit in Warson Woods.

If you live on Flanders, Renderer and Bennett, I am sure you know where I am going with this one.

Without rubbing people the wrong way, how do we raise the issue? I see cars flying by my house on Bennett despite a 20 mph Speed Limit Sign!

I have friends and neighbours complaining to me as well... We all worry about the safety of our children.

And we all know I am not just talking about Outside Contractors or Fed Ex Vans...

Another tough spot is the corner of Renderer & Warson Road with the Stop Sign leading right down to the Swimming Pool... It is almost a blind spot and I see kids walking up the hill on the left side of the road... If cars don't fully stop at that stop sign, there is a chance that one day, a sad thing could happen.

Anyway, I don't know if the solution would be to petition the Town Hall and have the City install some of these white horses on the streets to slow down the traffic or simply raise awareness about speed limit, and to try be more self conscious as drivers. By the way, 2 weeks ago, I inquired about setting up horses to my Wards Representatives via email and I am still waiting for an anwer...

What is your opinion on this issue?

Monday, June 15

Fundraising for the St.Louis Children Hospital - We need your participation - Join us!!

Erica Mote is a Warson Woods resident. She is running a Fundraising Event on June 23rd at the Park. Great idea in itself, but the best part of it is that Erica is 11 years old - yes, only 11 years old. So let's make it a very special day and let's join her at 10 a.m.

Make sure to tell your friends about Erica's initiative. We need used and new books to donate to the St. Louis Children's Hospital and the Event is only $3/per child.
Thanks for being so caring about others, Erica... God Bless you!!
Below is the Flyer she sent me...


Come and hear stories, play games and have a snack!
You will also help raise money to buy books for kids in the hospital!

Where: Royal Oaks Park (by pool)
When: Tuesday, June 23rd
Time: 10:00-10:30
Who: Kids 2-6 years old

All money will go towards buying books for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital!

$3.00 per Child

Please bring any gently used or new books that you might have for the hospital!

Run by Erica Mote, 6th grader at Steger Webster Groves 6th Grade Center

The 5th Annual Flag Day Party was a Home Run

Another great local tradition started by my friends Mary & Chuck Abegg a few years ago.

On a beautiful sunday evening, it was a wonderful celebration of our freedom. I love the Albert Einstein's quote on Mary's Invitation: "Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."

I had the pleasure to meet more residents who live on Renderer.

Many thanks to Chef Chuck: the food was absolutely delicious. Thanks Mary for your hospitality, we had a wonderful time.

Being a French Native, I am now strongly considering coming up with a Bastille Day party on July 14th... Should I start with a Parade?
And foodwise, let me think....Escargot anyone??

Thursday, June 11

Running in Warson Woods

I love to run. This is by far the easiest work-out to do and one of the most efficient ways to stay in shape.

Every day I see lots of Warson Woods residents walking or running in the neighborhood. I am very impressed!!

Personally, if I don't have time to go to Queeny Park, there are few runs I enjoy doing starting from Warson Woods.

I would love to hear from you runners and see where you like to train.

4.5 miles: The first run is a short one. Besides crossing Manchester Rd a couple of times, the run is safe as long as you stay on the sidewalk. Pretty flat with slight uphill and downhill and some shady areas, this run is perfect for an everyday work out.

6.5 miles: The second one is a little bit more challenging. Safety first and Litzinger has no sidewalk so be careful runners! A strong downhill/uphill when you are on Woodland going toward Litzinger, then an up and down pretty much all the way to Tillis Park, with an easy flat return to Warson Woods through the back roads.

22 miles: The third one is really challenging but you can cut it short at anytime and run back depending on how far you plan on running. A 3 mile run to hit the Grant's Trail and another 8 miles to reach the end of it. I really enjoy this run. Very safe, yet watch when you cross the streets. It is slightly downhill on the first part of Grant's Trail, meaning the return is uphill - a deceiving flat path I tell you that.
Very relaxing run, going behind Grant's Farm - watch for the Bikers especially if you run with an Ipod.

Coming up Movie Night on June 19th at the Pool

We will start at dark... around 8.00 pm.. If you are a Pool Member, please join us!

Wednesday, June 10

The inspiring story of Berta Jones

Berta Jones is a Warson Woods resident. We have been exchanging few emails and I can't help but sharing one of hers with you today. So inspiring, so what our neighborood is about. See for yourself:

" We've lived here since 1968, raised 3 children here, and are now watching new young families raise theirs. Our block on Renderer has a wonderful mix of ages, occupations, religions, couples, widows, singles, and like all WW'ers, we try to look after one another.

FYI, Neil and I have recently completed the 21 hour CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training with the Glendale Police and Fire Departments. It's designed to train civilians to assist the professionals when they are overloaded (floods, tornadoes, disasters), or even for community activities such as directing traffic at the recent Glendale Jazz Fest. Others in WW have also been certified, and another class will be probably be offered next fall.

We'd encourage anyone who has the time to take the course. The more of us who are trained, the better help we can be to our neighborhoods and the community."

Thank you Berta & Neil, we are blessed to have you in our neighborood.

Tuesday, June 9

The Hurricanes off to a strong start.

WWSC beat Country Surf on Monday night 315-220.

After an intense warm-up in the pool...

... the Hurricanes showed great energy and enthousiasm in their first Meet of the Season. And most importantly, everyone had a great time. The coaching staff and all the volunteers did a terrific job. Well done WWSC!!

The Coaches handed out Swimmer of the week Awards this morning:

Ava Bussman, Dillon Wilhite, Sam Streett, Elizabeth Barrett and Ben Young (from left to right), with our coaches, Kate Donef, Nate Sizemore and Michael Kubik.

Monday, June 8

The Open House Party at the Pool was a great success

I took my son Harry to his first BaseBall game on Sunday. What a great experience it was, despite another Cardinals loss, we had a fantastic time eating cotton candy and spotting FredBird accross the stadium. Do you remember your very first game with your Dad?? I want to hear about it.

We made it back to Warson Woods just in time to set up the Open House Party!

Over 40 families came to the party. The weather was mild and dry. Once again, Mark Nigh stepped up to the plate and did an awsome job BBQing, this time Tim Roethler helped a lot cooking as well. Thanks to both of you.

Thanks to the Simon Family for donating a Ping Pong Table to the pool which add a social touch to our WWSC. Despite a slight wind, Darryl Austin got the best of John Simon, winning 21-18. A Tournement is in the making. Let me know if you are interested.

Few more parties coming up including Movie Night and the July 4th celebration.
And of course the first Swim Meet tonight at the WWSC.

Thanks again to all of you for coming and participating the way you did last night.

Friday, June 5

Time Trials are on the way this morning

Working at a frantic pace this morning, Karen, John, Michele and the whole Swim Team Staff are getting ready for the start of the season.

A big crowd was cheering for our swimmers.
Here is a short clip done with my cell phone:

I can't wait for Monday! Karen told me the set up would start around 3.30 p.m with the Meet itself starting at 5 p.m.

More detailed reports on our swimmers as the season goes on.

Feel free to leave comments to support the HURRICANES.

Countdown to WWSC first SWIM MEET

Reminder that on Monday night, WWSC will host Country Surf in the opening Meet of the season.

Our brave swimmers had to face some tough weather this week and practices have been held in chilly water at some point.

John Rawlings and his team have been doing a fantastic job setting up new practices on short notice.

More inside information coming up soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 1

A puppy needs a home - We need your help!!

Adorable puppy needs a loving home. If you are considering a puppy for your family, she is perfect.

Here is a note I received from Lynn Westbay to whom I ran into at church yesterday
Let's act quickly in finding a home for Blair.

"Blair is a 12 week old mixed breed (most likely part Australian Shepherd)/ She’s docile, intelligent, easily trained (she learned sit, stay and come in about 30 minutes and doing well with potty training), gentle with children, and plays well with other dogs. She is likely to be about 35-45 at maturity and is currently not shedding. We are friends with Warson Wood’s members the Fox’s. The Fox’s have met Blair if you would like an independent opinion of her.

She is current on all her vaccinations and will be a wonderful family pet.

We just love her. She is our foster puppy and we have seriously considered keeping her but our last daughter is off to college in the fall and I am going back to school so Blair would be spending too much time alone. We know the best thing for her would to be with an active family.

I will be happy to bring her to you for a meeting or you can see her here. Please contact Lynn Westbay at 314-989-0940 or

I told Jim and Melissa Fox how nice it was for you to offer your help to this little orphaned puppy.

Lynn Westbay"

I saw Blair with Lynn yesterday and I can confirm that and she is adorable.
Once again, we need your help!!