Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fruit Faux Pas

Today I did something really embarrassing. People tend to leave food on the table in our break room if it is for general consumption, and today while a coworker was washing her dishes in the sink, I noticed two mugs full of fruit and began helping myself. “What delicious fruit!” I said to my coworker. “I wonder who brought it?” “It’s my fruit,” she replied, and I realized I’d been eating her lunch! Oops, I guess you have to guard your food if it’s on the “public” table! She just laughed and said to help myself, it was too much fruit for her anyway. It was slices of nectarine and red grapes.

Hardingfele, who as far as I can ascertain no longer reads this blog, does send me spam now and then to post. She sent me the following:

Hi, purchasing manager.
Good day!
We are   sexy underwear sales

If you are interested in, may we have your inquire
We can According to customer's requirements or sample production  we will provide free sample to you
 Thanks for your valuable time.


Hardingfele did not say whether she had attempted to acquire her free sample of sexy underwear.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rodney vs. the Volleyball Net

Last night I took Rodney for a walk, since I got home from work before Travalon. Some days Rodney does not want to do much more than get outside and do his business, but yesterday he wanted to go on a long walk all over the neighborhood. He took me to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed walking across their volleyball pit with its soft sand, but he couldn’t see the net around the back edge (to keep the ball from going into the river, I suppose), and he walked right into it. Rodney is old and kind of grumpy sometimes, so he attacked the net, biting it and growling. I found that so funny, I just laughed… and then he seemed embarrassed and stopped harassing the net. He walked along and tried walking right into it again, and then he got kind of tangled up, so he was really frustrated with the net and walked the other way. He wanted to get too close to some geese, but I stopped him when they began honking menacingly at us. Then we went home and I fried some bacon for dinner, since Travalon had requested a bacon, mushroom, and Swiss cheese omelet. Rodney LOVED the smell of the bacon and was going kind of nuts. He kept following me around the kitchen, probably wondering, “What wizardry is this? The woman can summon wondrous smells whenever she enters this room!” Of course Travalon gave him a taste of his bacon, so hopefully it lived up to his expectations!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Road Trip to Sabula

I hope all my readers had a great Memorial Day weekend. Travalon and I started ours off by having a picnic on our dock Friday night. Saturday he had to work in the morning, so I met up with Richard Bonomo, OK Cap, and another lady for coffee. Rich and I went to a gag store to get presents for Cecil Markovitch’s birthday party, inspired by the moustache drinking glasses Kathbert had given him the week before. Rich got him a moustache-shaped baking pan, and I got him an emergency inflatable chicken because Cecil has a habit of giving various sized rubber chickens to B-Boy and Mo-Girl’s little girl. Then Travalon and I went to the candy store so he could get his own presents for Cecil: Canadian breath spray (“live the fantasy!”), a scorpion in a lollipop, and a jalapeno-flavored gummy pepper because of the time he ate an entire jalapeno pepper at Luxuli’s urging. In the evening we went to B-Boy and Mo-Girl’s house, stopping for a little fishing at beautiful Babcock Park along the way, and we had what Cecil called a “feast.” B-Boy grilled pork chops, and Mo-Girl made potatoes and salad and a delicious pound cake for dessert. The presents were not a disappointment – Cecil LOVED the inflatable chicken and the Canadian breath spray. Oh, we all laughed so hard! He got some other funny stuff too, like ice cube molds shaped like dentures, and some good wine and Cointreau. He shared the Cointreau but not the wine.

Sunday after brunch, Travalon and I hit the road, stopping in Galena to walk around with Rodney the Poodle. We got ice cream and went to an all-pasta store, where we got some spugnole pasta in various vegetable flavors, but it was raining on and off so we hit the road again. We drove to Savannah, Illinois and then over the bridge to Sabula, Iowa, a small town entirely on an island. We checked out their (full) campground, and on the water we saw what at first we thought, through the driving rain, were people on jetskis or something. When we got closer, we saw they were actually white pelicans swimming on the water. They were so beautiful! There was a pizza place and a diner on the island, so we chose the diner for dinner but were underwhelmed. Online reviews wouldn’t have helped, because they gave both places four and a half stars, so maybe we just hit them on a bad day. Then we drove to our hotel in Dubuque, stopping at a lovely campground on the river that was mysteriously empty for a holiday weekend – we saw only one tent. We went swimming at the hotel, but preteen boys throwing a ball around invaded the pool, so we moved to the hot tub, only to find a teenage girl there clipping her nails right into the water. Gross! We tried to go to a sports bar across the street, but they had just closed, so we called it a night.

Monday we went to the National Mississippi Museum in downtown Dubuque and checked out their exhibit of Titanic artifacts. We walked along the river walk and saw two paddleboats, one playing a jaunty tune on the calliope. At the end of the river walk is a winery, so we stopped there and enjoyed a glass while sitting outside. We drove to Potosi and had lunch at the brewery, then we went to Belmont and saw the original state capitol building. We stopped in Mineral Point to walk around and discovered the whole town seemed to be at a graduation party for three high school seniors. We even stopped in Paoli, but the Hop Garden was closed, so Travalon just went to the cheese shop. In the evening Rich had Slow Food Bonomo for us regulars, as well as Travalon and Kathbert. We contributed the pasta we had bought in Galena, and everyone else brought delicious stuff, so it was quite a feast. 

Famous Hat

Friday, May 22, 2015

Beautiful Muumuu

I forgot to blog about this earlier, but a few Sundays ago I wore my muumuu to church, and Mo-Girl told me her little girl, who is three, was scared of me because I was “so beautiful!” Wow, even when I was 23 and much closer to beautiful, I never elicited that sort of reaction from people! How sweet! I wonder what she would have thought of me in my wedding dress? Here is a picture, which I have posted previously, of me in the muumuu and Travalon in a sort of matching shirt.

 Last night Rich and I worked out again. First I forgot my tennis shoes at work and had on canvas shoes. Then it took me forever to find my shorts, but I didn’t want to wear the baggy pants that pass for my exercise gear because we had to rubber band them up while we were doing wind sprints on Tuesday. Then Rich forgot his exercise gear at home and had to work out in “civilian clothes,” so we ended up just doing calisthenics and a round of weights, no wind sprints or Strength Training Without Mercy. That’s OK, I swam the night before with Travalon, so I have gotten a good amount of exercise in this week. Let’s see if we can be properly attired next time we work out…

I have been going through my wedding photos and trying to email them to people. Some of my favorites are action shots that aren’t particularly well composed but just somehow seem to capture the spirit of the day, with the riot of colors and the beloved participants. Sorry I can’t post my two favorites, but they have tons of people in them, and I’d have to get everyone’s permission. One is of me getting dressed before the wedding, and the library at our church is full of frilly white and coral stuff and flowers, while the Rosary Ladies and Light Bright are wearing all sorts of lovely springy colors. My other favorite is in the Arboretum, with A-Fooze holding up the train of my dress and Tiffy, Travalon, and various other people hovering about me. Maybe I just love those photos because I feel so adored in them!

Famous Hat

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wind Sprints: Another Form of Torture Courtesy of Richard Bonomo

Rich specifically requested that I blog about this today, and I hate to let him down, so here goes: yesterday he and I went to work out. Is it UGGH Club if it isn’t at some unreasonable hour of the morning? I’m never clear on that, since it stands for Unearthly Gym Gyrations and Horrors, and those could be at any hour. I said it was the first time in a long time that we had worked out at a reasonable hour, because it was neither 6 am nor 10 pm (22:00 hours Bonomo-style). Since it wasn’t just before bedtime, after our usual bout of torture (calisthenics, weight machines, and free weights), we did a new form of torture called “wind sprints.” We walked halfway around the track at the health club (sorry, I have no idea how long each lap is), and then we ran the other half as fast as we could. I am not very fast even at my fastest, and I could not keep up with Rich. Plus, because I am a rather busty woman, there was a clear and present danger of my getting smacked in the face by other body parts, if you see what I mean, so that may have kept my speed down a notch or two as well. We did this for about five laps while another woman jogged at a steady pace and kept passing us. Eventually she walked too, and when Rich commented that we had all given up and gone to walking (since we did one final lap of walking), she said, “It’s still moving. Like I say, at least you’re lapping the people sitting on the couch.” Meanwhile, Travalon was sitting in his easy chair, watching the first season of Charlie’s Angels, but to be fair he has a physically demanding job and had just spent hours at it. My pathetic little hour and a half stint in the gym cannot compare to the exercise he gets at work.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wedding Photos

For our first anniversary, I am going to post some wedding photos, since I never got around to it last year. Because I hate to post photos of other people without their permission, these will mostly be of myself and Travalon (who is OK with me posting photos of him), and of inanimate objects.

 Tiffy's bouquet and my bouquet

 my dress and Tiffy's dress

Travalon's and my rings

 the outside of our church

 the inside of our church

 the new Mr. and Mrs. Travalon!

 What a relief that part's over!

These next photos are from the Arboretum, which is where Travalon proposed to me. We had thought the crabapples and lilacs would be in bloom, but they were behind schedule last year. Fortunately the magnolias were still blooming.

Finally, a couple of shots from the reception: our cake and us dancing!


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Monday, May 18, 2015

A-Fooze Weekend

A-Fooze is in town with her mother, father, and sister, and it has been so wonderful hanging out with them this past weekend. Friday night Travalon, Jilly Moose, and I drove to the Dorf Haus to join them and Richard Bonomo (who is hosting them) for fish fry. Saturday Travalon and I took another walk across the isthmus, then he left for the Bunny Berigan Festival in Fox Lake, while I went to Rich’s house to join him, A-Fooze, her father, and Kathbert in a game of Frisbee. I brought Rodney the Poodle, and the grass and dandelions in the park by Rich’s house were as tall as he is! Rich made his famous lasagna for dinner, and Luxuli and Prairie Man joined us as well. We must have worn Rodney out, because he slept behind the couch all evening. Sunday after Mass a huge crowd of us went to brunch, then Travalon and I went fishing at a pond out near Cross Plains. Nothing was biting, but we did see two large trout apparently doing a mating dance right by the shore, so maybe all the fish had something on their minds other than food. We also went for a walk at Indian Lake. In the evening Rich had a big bunch over for dinner again: besides A-Fooze and her family, Kathbert, Cecil Markovitch, the single B-Boy, my OTHER choir director, and Rich’s neighbor were there, and Luxuli and Prairie Man came for dessert. Since Saturday had been Cecil’s birthday (but he and the B-Boy were in the air, returning from a trip to Italy), we surprised him with a cake, and Kathbert gave him drinking glasses with moustaches on them in honor of his own prominent moustache. A-Fooze’s parents were impressed with how many words of Hungarian Travalon has learned. Just wait until they have it on Duolingo – then he will be practically fluent! My own Irish ability has really benefitted from that app. Maybe he can Skype them and practice his Hungarian with actual native speakers.

Famous Hat

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dinner on Lake Okauchee

Yesterday I took the day off of work, and in the morning Travalon and I took “the kids” into the vet for checkups. Rodney the Poodle had had an abscess, but it seemed to have drained, and he has an infection in his eye. Cashmere the Rabbit has a runny nose and an infection in her eye too, so they are both on antibiotic eye drops. That’s life with a geriatric pet.

In the early afternoon we were supposed to meet Travalon’s friend for coffee, since she is moving out of state soon. She is the one who watched our pets while we were in Hawaii. However, she had to cancel, so we took a long walk along the river in Waukesha, and then we drove to Oconomowoc and did a Holy Hour at the adoration chapel at St. Jerome’s. It is a lovely chapel, but the one at our church is even prettier. To my surprise, lots of people were there for the middle of the day on a workday.  We hoped to get in and see the church itself, since it is where Travalon went to Mass before we were married, but it was locked, alas.

In the evening we took Travalon’s mother to dinner at the Golden Mast, a German restaurant on Lake Okauchee. It was so beautiful! It was too cold and wet to eat outside, but our table had an amazing view out over the lake. Travalon was adventurous and tried the elk, while his mother and I had the German sampler. It was very tasty. Afterwards his mother was saying she got lilacs, daffodils, and daisies for Mother’s Day, but no roses, which is her favorite flower. So when we stopped by the grocery store to restock her pantry, she bought herself some red roses. Travalon got me a beautiful orange rose. Aww!

Famous Hat

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Photos of Hawaii: Part Two

As promised, here are the rest of my photos of Hawaii. These first few photos are from St. Raphael's in Kauai, which claims to be the oldest parish on the island.

Grotto at the end of the Stations of the Cross walk


 Lourdes grotto

the original church

The rest of the pictures are from Maui. This first one is an interesting license plate we saw at the county park with the various pavilions representing immigrant groups.

 sunset over Maui

 hula performer at our resort

 pool at our resort at night

 whale swimming by our boat

 the island of Lanai

pit the pig was buried in for the luau

These next photos are of the dancers at the luau.

This next shot is of a wooden statue outside of a restaurant called Lulu's where we ate brunch. It seems to be a tiki-style Elvis Presley.

The next group of photos are from the Garden of Eden. Note the spelling mistake on the sign.

The last two photos are of the south coast of Maui, where there are no towns and barely any people. It looks so much like the west coast of Ireland. The first photo is of a natural arch over the sea. The second one gives you an idea of how rocky it is.

I hope you have enjoyed this photo tour of the Hawaiian Islands. I sure enjoy looking through them!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Anniversary Celebration Part Two

I love this time of year. Handy Woman brought in lilacs, which make the whole office smell wonderful, and another coworker brought in purple-tinged lilies of the valley. I had no idea such a thing even existed! Last night Travalon and I had leftover lasagna that Rich had made for our anniversary party, and for dessert we had the two slices of cake we had frozen from our wedding, since they hadn’t been thawed the evening before. Then we were going to watch the DVD of our wedding, but the only copy we had left was Blu Ray, and we don’t own a Blu Ray player. We thought all four copies were DVDs, and we gave one copy to Ma and Pa Hat, one to Travalon’s mother, and one to Rich. Luckily Rich said we could go to his house to watch his copy. It was so great to watch it and relive that wonderful day; I know it’s a cliché, but it really was the happiest day of my life. I got a little teary watching us exchange vows, and I loved hearing the music again, especially Kathbert and Miss Heartsong singing “Dulcis Christe.” And I loved seeing all the people, remembering how many of them had come to wish us well as we began our lives together. Fortunately it was a glorious day and not cold and drizzly like it has been this year.

Tonight is my last Irish class of the semester. What will I do all summer? Probably Mandarin, but I haven’t registered for it yet. It would be Monday evenings, and we don’t have Slow Food during the summer, so it should work out. I’m just not sure I want homework during the summer.

Famous Hat

Monday, May 11, 2015

First Anniversary of Being Mrs. Travalon

Wow! Has it been a year already? Where does the time go? Travalon and I had a most excellent anniversary weekend, starting with dinner at Liliana’s on Friday night – we both got the blackened catfish. They gave us free champagne for our anniversary. Then we went to Le Tigre Lounge for the first time in forever, and the bartender is now rocking a huge beard, but fortunately the ambiance has not changed a bit. We love that place!

Saturday we drove up to Door County with Rodney the Poodle, stopping at one of the bars from our book. (Yes, we are still making that pilgrimage – we are way more than halfway done.) We had a bite of lunch there and were amused by the antics of ten women out on a Women’s Weekend, drinking and blasting the jukebox. We hoped to get to the other tavern in the book located in Door County, but it is on Washington Island, and by the time we got to the ferry, the ticket salesman informed us we would be stuck there overnight if we took the one just coming in. Because it is not tourist season up there yet, the ferry doesn’t run very late. We took a hike all over Newport Beach State Park and then went to the condo in Sister Bay we were renting from Travalon’s buddy’s mother, which was very cute and had a nautical theme to the décor. We had heard fish boils don’t start until Memorial Day weekend, so we went to dinner at a restaurant which used to be a Catholic church (the church got bigger so they built another building just down the road), and I had “paella” which was really more like jambalaya, but delicious nonetheless. Travalon had duck with Door County cherry sauce.

Yesterday we went to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, but the goats weren’t on the roof because it was so cold. The food was still just as good, anyway - Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and Swedish meatballs! Then we went to Mass at the bigger church up the road, which wasn’t as pretty as the one that is now a restaurant. The priest asked if it was anyone’s anniversary that day, so I raised my hand, and when he asked which one and we said our first, he said, “It’s just downhill from here.” We drove through Peninsula State Park and got out briefly by the lighthouse, but it was cold and drizzly so we didn’t really hike. We stopped in Fish Creek and found out the restaurant renowned for their fish boils had had one the night before. C’est la vie – we’ll be back to Door County and hit one sometime. Next door there was a coffee house called Craic, which is Irish for “fun,” so we had to stop there. Then we went to the Shipwrecked brewpub and had their cherry beer. Their bartender was very personable. We tried to go to Whitefish Dunes State Park but missed the turnoff and ended up at Cave Point County Park, which was also quite stunning. Then we had to rush back to Madison for our anniversary party, hosted by Rich Bonomo and attended by friends who had helped with the wedding. I had ordered a small cake that was supposed to be decorated just like our wedding cake, but instead of being white with coral designs, it was sort of pale brown with orange designs. It even tasted different than the slice we had frozen from our actual wedding cake, which is really strange because it was the same bakery. Oh well, it was a cute idea that sort of didn’t work in execution, but the point is our friends got cake. Jilly Moose, OK Cap, Luxuli, Prairie Man, and Mr. N’Awlins were among the guests, as well as a couple who led one of our marriage preparation classes. They led a blessing for us. Even the Mothership (Rich’s mom) called and wished us a happy anniversary, and she said, “May you have sixty more years as good as this one!” Awww!

Famous Hat

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Photos of Hawaii: Part One

Yesterday Travalon and I went to swim, but my arms were so sore from weightlifting that I had to wade instead. Then today after work I went to the Arboretum because all the crab apples and lilacs are in bloom, and some of the magnolias were still blooming. It was like being in a scent cathedral, having all those wonderful fragrances overwhelm me. They were supposed to be blooming last year for our wedding photos, but because of the late spring, only the magnolias were in bloom at that time. We still got some good photos.

Speaking of photos, as promised here are some I took in Hawaii. Most of mine were the same as Travalon's (though not as numerous), but I did have a few shots he didn't get.

 This is a parade through Waikiki - it was part of a Japanese festival.

 Travalon took this photo of the sunset over Waikiki with my camera.

This isn't the best photo of me, but it may be the happiest! Oops - my flower is on the wrong side - I am NOT single.

 I just really liked this shot of Diamond Head with the trees in front of it.

This is a picture of the wedding cake. It is very small because there were so few guests.

Somehow Travalon didn't get a shot of this rainbow over our resort on Kauai.

Another tropical sunset, this one over Kauai.

This is a shot of the "backyard" of our resort, where the pools and fake waterfalls were.

 OK, I love tropical sunsets. This one is over our resort in Kauai.

Our resort on Kauai was great, but they apparently had no budget for third-floor elevator buttons.

Here is a shot of the fake waterfall spilling into one of the pools at the resort.

 I thought this sign at the Kauai Coffee Plantation was hilarious.

 Coffee flowers at the Kauai Coffee Plantation, i.e., future beans!

This shot shows you how rugged and remote Polihale Beach is.

These next shots are from our helicopter ride over Kauai.

These last shots are mostly of the vista coming into Allerton Gardens, which was breathtaking with the turquoise water, magenta bougainvillea, and graceful green coconut palms.

You can barely tell, but this is Travalon and I standing in front of the roots of a giant fig tree. These trees were used in the filming of the movie Jurassic Park.

I still have another post's worth of photos from my camera, so stay tuned!

Famous Hat