Friday, September 30, 2016

Wisconsin Craft Night

Yesterday evening Jilly Moose and I met for dinner at Brocach, then we went to the Union for Wisconsin Craft Night, my birthday present to her. It was mostly women there, and I saw two former coworkers, one of whom has also left that place. We each got a ticket for two drinks, and there were snacks like veggies, popcorn, pretzels, cheese, and crackers. There were also door prizes, and I entered to win a mini Union Terrace chair while Jilly Moose entered to win a water bottle, but neither of us won. We tried our hand at screen printing, which doesn’t take much skill, but I am still so bad at it that I got red paint all over my Packers Shareholder hoodie. Fortunately the paint comes out with soap and water. We also tried our hand at painting the Madison skyline. I did it freehand, not realizing that you were just supposed to paint a background and then decoupage paper cutouts of notable buildings like the Capitol and Camp Randall onto your painting. I painted the Monona Terrace and Capitol Building as seen from the lake (a Betty Lou Cruise view) at night, and people could tell what it was even though I completely forgot that the windows in the Monona Terrace are arched, so my rendition has square windows. I will try to post a picture of my painting on this blog at some point. Jilly Moose followed directions and created a painting of the sun and a palm tree with the Capitol and Camp Randall. The people who sat at our table were all very friendly, and the woman on the other side of me didn’t paint a Madison skyscape at all but some sort of abstract swirly thing, and her friend painted Madison as an aquarium, with fish swimming around the buildings. Some people at another table were really talented and painted cool things like pictures made of words or a psychedelic paw print on a black background. They were younger, and maybe they were art students, considering their talent. The third activity was pottery, but that took the whole time and you had to be able to come back three more times to work on your pottery and then pick it up, so we didn’t bother to do that. It was a super fun night, and if they do it again, we are totally going!

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Does Race Exist?

Sorry for my silence yesterday. I was sick, and who wants to read about that? Nothing serious, just your garden variety cold, but I do notice that I get a lot less of them ever since embarking on the program to walk 10,000 steps per day. Exercise must be even better than apples at keeping the doctor away! I did manage to get my steps yesterday, believe it or not. A walk out in the fresh air, away from other people so you can’t sneeze on them, is probably just what the doctor ordered anyway.

Lately some more conservative types seem to be on this kick that “race doesn’t exist.” Where does this idea come from? Yes, there is very little physiological difference between the races, and we are supposed to see everyone as a child of God no matter what color they are, but it seems disingenuous that the people who are saying this are the ones who seem to have the most racist attitudes. I personally think it is easy to say race doesn’t exist when you have never been on the receiving end of institutionalized racism. Not that I know how that feels either, but I can clearly see that it happens. I have seen too many nonwhite people passed over for promotions or made to take “proper English” classes that the rest of us didn’t have to take, or even just get pulled over by the cops in disproportionate numbers, to really buy that these white people don’t believe race exists. They just don’t want to do anything about racism, like examine their own beliefs. We can’t end racism by saying that race doesn’t exist; that is like the solution our town had for a problem neighborhood – they just changed the name of the neighborhood, so that the “Street Name Here” problem vanished. Of course the underlying problem was still there, but you couldn’t say that the problem with that specific name existed anymore!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ukulele Lessons and the Presidential Debate

Last night I had my third ukulele lesson. We learned the G chord, which is actually harder than the G7, if you can believe that, and we played a lot of songs using our Coke-Pepsi strumming. We used words like that when learning rhythms in my Suzuki violin lessons years ago too, like one rhythm we did was called “Minnesota Vikings” but of course this was in Minnesota. I am enjoying ukulele lessons so much that I signed up for Ukulele 2, another five-week series. Poor Travalon is never going to see me! If anyone would like to take Ukulele 1, it is being offered again as soon as this round ends, so in mid-October. Let me know and I can get you in touch with the teacher.

Then I came home and watched the debate. I don’t want to talk politics too much on this blog, but my general impression is that one candidate was well-prepared for the debate and the other one wasn’t. If you don’t take running for president seriously, would you take the actual duties of the office seriously? I was talking to a coworker about it today, and we both agreed that there is no way we would ever want to be president. Have you seen how much Obama aged during his tenure? Who needs that kind of stress? And he was a young man when he started out, but these two candidates are already retirement age. What will being president do to either of them?

Famous Hat

Monday, September 26, 2016

New Glarus Oktoberfest

Our first autumn weekend of 2016… sigh. I am always sad when summer is over. Friday evening Travalon and I joined Catzookz, Rich, and a bunch of people we didn’t know for Twins Fan’s birthday party at Mr. Brews. Travalon gave Twins Fan replica tickets to the World Series in 1990 (?) when the Twins played, and Charlie’s Angels stickers, only they didn’t have Farrah Fawcett ones. It didn’t matter, Twins Fan thought they were great. They came from an antiques store in Oconomowoc.

Saturday Travalon and I met Rich and the Rosary Ladies (except OK Cap, who was out of town for a cranberry festival) at the usual place for coffee, then Travalon watched the Badger game at a bar on State Street while we ladies prayed a rosary in a beautiful garden near our church called the Period Garden. It is a city park, and I had no idea it existed, but Luxuli took us there. I have never seen orange trumpet flowers before! It has all kinds of flowers still blooming this late in the year, and a fountain in the center. Then Travalon and I drove to New Glarus and went to their Oktoberfest, where of course we had New Glarus Oktoberfest beer, as well as a giant pretzel and a roesti on a stick, which is sort of like a hash brown popsicle. We went to Mass in Belleville, which was celebrated by our former parish priest, and he remembered me. On the way back to town we stopped in Paoli at the Hop Garden and sat outside enjoying a drink, then we went to the Monona Terrace, but the little café on the roof had just shut for the evening, so we went to the nearby bar in the Hilton Hotel. They no longer have a wonderful drink called 40 but Hot that Jilly Moose and I enjoyed one evening, something like hot chocolate with Cointreau in it, but the bartender made us chocolate martinis. We discovered they serve food there too, and we had a delicious dish with chicken confit, gnocchi, and asparagus. One of the bartenders told us he saw someone do a “Statue of Liberty” shot by dipping their thumb into a shot of green chartreuse, lighting it on fire, and drinking the shot before putting out the flames. Not sure I’ll be trying that myself anytime soon, though as regular readers of this blog know, I am one of the few people who actually likes the taste of green chartreuse.

Yesterday I went to a baby shower, and I was caught off-guard both by the fact that no lunch was served despite the hour (just little snacky things like meatballs and deviled eggs), and by the number of gifts everyone else brought the honoree. I only gave her one gift and then felt really chintzy. Am I completely out of touch with how much a person is expected to spend on a baby shower gift? We did watch part of the Packer game at the shower, and then I headed home for the second half. The offense was amazing during the first half, but then they couldn’t get anything going during the second half, while the defense seemed to lose the ability to stop the Lions, so suddenly the game went from a blowout to a narrow victory. Travalon had gone to Oconomowoc for a family birthday party, so when he returned, we went to the little bar on Crystal Lake for “lupper” (since it was early for supper but late for lunch), then we went to Sauk City and investigated the flooding there. The Wisconsin River has gone over its banks, which doesn’t affect the town, since it is on higher ground, but I’m afraid some of the trees will not survive having their roots submerged. The birds loved it – we saw ducks, geese, gulls, and two beautiful white egrets exploring the new expanse of water. Then we went to Rich’s house for a birthday party for Antoshka, who had made chicken that he marinated in a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise. It was … interesting, but I was still full from “lupper” so I only had a small piece to try it. Rich made brownies instead of a birthday cake, and Mr. N’Awlins made a fruit salad for dessert. I did have some of both of those and then had to run in front of the TV after we got home to burn off those calories. Hopefully our new downstairs neighbor (the rumor is that we have one) doesn’t mind!

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mandolin Lessons?

Yesterday evening at band practice I learned to play two chords that I had been fudging all along (meaning that I figured out how to play something on two strings that sounded a fine; a real chord should involve at least three strings): B minor and F# minor. They are not particularly hard chords, but they don’t come up that often in folk music, and so I had never bothered to actually figure them out. The thing is that the mandolin is wonderfully set up for keys like C, G, and D, and so it was really easy for me to figure out those commonly used chords. I told my bandmates that after taking ukulele lessons, I am wondering if I should take mandolin lessons to actually learn how to play properly, and the guitarist said why not, but the fiddlers were not super enthusiastic about the idea. One told me she would never take violin lessons because she has been playing for more than sixty years, but a teacher would tear apart everything she was doing and make her start over, and another said, “You’ve been playing fine all this time. You just have your own unique sound.” It’s true that I have been a semi-professional (very semi) mandolin player for fifteen years with this band, and I played with other bands before that in public, if not for pay, so if I don’t know this instrument by now, what’s the point? Other than learning weird chords like B minor and F# minor, that I could probably just learn from a book for the rare times they come up. What do you think, readers? Should I take mandolin lessons once I have mastered the ukulele?

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Beautiful USA Rosary

As much as I find the transition from summer to autumn depressing, it is enjoyable getting back to evening activities again. (Though it is sad that then I see a lot less of Travalon!) This week has been particularly crazy because Monday I had my second ukulele lesson (in which we learned some strumming patterns and the chord progression C-Am-F-G7), then last night I had my first Irish class of the year, and fortunately our teacher is easing us back into it, and then I went to Light Bright’s house to celebrate her birthday (which is actually today). Her baby (who is ten months old now) was in bed already, but she, her mother-in-law, and I had a great time just talking and laughing. They made a delicious dinner with vegetables from their garden, and I brought dark chocolate that we had after dinner with decaf coffee and red grapes. I gave Light Bright a sock monkey wine bottle cozy, and she LOVED it!! I figured it would be the right degrees of silly and practical. Tonight I have band practice AND choir practice, which isn’t uncommon on Wednesday evenings, but honestly I often skip choir practice. When you have been singing the same songs for two decades, sometimes practice feels a little redundant.

I love my beautiful new Ghirelli rosary, which was made in Italy but has a USA theme, with a crucifix that looks like the flag, a center medal that looks like the country, and the abbreviations for each of the fifty states on the Hail Mary beads. It is extremely well-made, especially considering its incredibly reasonable price. I was not expecting something so heirloom quality for what I paid! I have been praying for each of the states as I do the rosary. Speaking of which, there will be a guest blogger at some point: Travalon writing about his impressions of each of the states! Now that he has visited them all, I asked him if he would be willing to write something for the blog, and he said sure. This is a very beautiful country, and I have been lucky enough to visit quite a bit of it myself. I am missing about ten states: Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, the two Carolinas, and most of New England. I did go through Idaho on the train but was asleep both ways, so I’m not sure if that really counts either. Anyway, watch this space for Travalon’s summary of the fifty states.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Love Bright Colors

This weekend at the Willy Street Fair I saw a girl of about eight wearing a shirt that said: “My favorite color is sparkle!” I can get behind that sentiment. Why do some people act as if adults wearing bright colors is a problem? Thank goodness at my current job nobody has complained about my propensity for Hawaiian shirts, but back at my last job, where they didn’t like anything about me, one of their complaints was that I wore too bright of colors. I didn’t even wear Hawaiian shirts there much, because there was a strict dress code (that did not ban Hawaiian shirts), but nowhere did it say you could only wear beige and gray. Now it is entirely possible that my boss at the time just disliked me so much that she was prone to criticize anything about me, and beige was definitely her favorite color, but she actually wrote that in a formal complaint against me. Maybe to some people the wearing of bright colors signifies a certain lack of gravitas, but my job there was not one that required a lot of gravitas. In fact, part of my job was being friendly to visitors, and in my mind bright, cheery colors are friendlier than beige and gray. This boss did also mention in the formal complaint that I had plants in my office, even though lots of other people did too and that apparently wasn’t a problem, so truly she may have just been looking for anything to pin on me that she deemed “unprofessional.” However, it does seem like there are other people who also think bright, sparkly colors are only for little girls. I say there are whole cultures that do not accept that dictate, so why should I?

Famous Hat

Monday, September 19, 2016

Birthday Parties and Willy Street Fair

Happy Monday! I hope my readers had a good weekend. Mine was wonderful. On Friday evening Rich cooked the fish Travalon and I had caught in Alaska, and we had a real feast at his house because people brought all kinds of food and plenty of wine. It was a joint birthday party for Jilly Moose and Tiffy, and plenty of other people were there too: Cecil Markovitch, the Single B-Boy, Catzookz, Twins Fan, Luxuli, Antoshka, Kathbert, and of course Rich, Travalon, and me. We all had a really good time, and Twins Fan was particularly entertaining. When square dancing came up in the conversation, he said he liked all kinds of shape dancing, like octagon dancing, and when I said, “Does that take eight people?” he said, “No, it takes Chuck Norris.” I laughed so hard! Of course, maybe that is only funny if you know the running joke that Chuck Norris can do anything, no matter how impossible.

Saturday I hung out with Tiffy all day. We got coffee on State Street, then we had a very leisurely lunch sitting outside, still on State Street, and then we moved to the Union Terrace, where Travalon and Rodney joined us. The crowds were numerous and cheerful and red-clad, because the Badgers had just won a close, exciting football game. In the evening the three of us met Rich for dinner at one restaurant, but it was so busy that no wait staff came to see us for fifteen minutes, so we went to another one for dinner. Of course, just as we got up to leave, a waiter did come over with water for us, but he conceded that they were short-handed that night, so we went across the street and had a lovely dinner.

Yesterday Travalon and I went to the East Side Club for their members’ picnic, but when the entertainment started (a country singer), we left and went to the Willy Street Fair. I won’t go into too much detail here but you can read a previous post about it, and it was just as crazy this year. There was one woman dressed as a unicorn! We stopped by the Willy Street Pub and tried Kona Lemongrass Luau beer, which is brewed on the Big Island of Hawaii, and we checked out the giant pumpkin contest – the winner weighted over 1700 pounds! It wasn’t very attractive, though. In the evening we joined the Rosary Ladies and Prairie Man at OK Cap’s new apartment, which is very cute, and then we went to the Nitty Gritty for Jilly Moose’s birthday, since she got unlimited beer in a commemorative mug. Rich, Catzookz, and Twins Fan joined us there, and we watched part of the game there. Unfortunately the Packers did lose to the Vikings, only by a field goal, and they could have had that if they had kicked one on fourth down earlier in the game instead of trying to go for a touchdown. Oh well, it is too early in the season to say if they are going to be terrible or great.

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Photos from Our Labor Day Weekend and Beyond

While Travalon is out with the guys tonight, I am home taking advantage of the chance to blog. Our condo association meeting last night was totally without contention and wrapped up in one hour, unlike the ones we used to have at my old condo association. Today I took the day off of work and went to Oconomowoc with Travalon to see his mother. All four of us (since Rodney was along) went to Milwaukee, where we stopped at a couple of parks on the shores of the lake. It was a gorgeous day, and after we dropped Travalon's mother off, we went to a tavern called AJ's Pub with a porch overlooking Lake Fowler in Oconomowoc. Then we took a walk around the lake before heading back home.

As promised, here are some photos from our Labor Day weekend trip, as well as our trip last weekend to the Miller Brewery and our trip today to Oconomowoc. First is a picture of Travalon and Rodney on Rib Mountain.

This sign was in a bar we stopped at outside of Minocqua.

This beautiful split waterfall is outside of Ironwood, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.

We laughed so hard at this insulation on a shed outside of St. Mary of the Lake in Ashland: it says "Wraptor" with a picture of a dinosaur!

I just loved these houses across the street from St. Mary of the Lake.

Here is the interior of St. Mary of the Lake:

This is Tom's Burned-Down Cafe on Madeline Island:

We saw a beautiful rainbow on our way back to Hurley.

It's hard to see, but this next picture is of an instrument hanging on the wall of the Blue Bayou in Manitowish Waters. It looks like a strange mandolin.

I just thought this spiral of lichen on Rib Mountain was so cool.

This is a cardinal flower (in the lobelia family) that was blooming at Roche-a-Cri State Park.

For some reason the stream in Roche-a-Cri was red that day.

Here is a shot of Travalon at Ship Rock, not far from Roche-a-Cri.

Another beautiful sunset viewed from the East Side Club.

This old building is the original one housing the Miller Brewery:

This is one of the caves where they kept the beer cool:

Today is the Ides of September, but for some reason the Piggly-Wiggly in Oconomowoc had St. Patrick's Day decorations everywhere. We thought it was so funny that I took a picture of Travalon in front of some of them. Only when we left the store did we notice a sign on the outside noting that it was "halfway to St. Patrick's Day" so Irish beer was on sale.

This odd sculpture is called "The Spirit of Oconomowoc," but what I really liked was the knit cap on the goose-looking thing.

And finally, Travalon and Rodney on the porch of AJ's Pub, with a row of pastel doors behind them.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Short Post

Sorry that I didn’t blog yesterday. I was going to put pictures from our Labor Day weekend on the blog, but somehow I ran out of time. Monday evening I had my first ukulele lesson, along with a dozen other people, and we learned three chords (F, C, and C7), so I was practicing them last night. Our teacher says to practice at least ten minutes every day or we will lose 90% of what we learned by our next lesson. Plus I had to walk Rodney, cook dinner, do a load of laundry, and write in my diary, so all those little things added up. I am still trying to walk 10,000 steps every day and have failed only twice, so that takes some time too. Then tonight we have our annual condo association meeting, so I probably won’t have time to post photos after that. Maybe I will have time tomorrow night, when Travalon is going to hang out with the guys. Sorry that this post is so lame – I’ll try to make it up to my readers tomorrow.

Famous Hat

Monday, September 12, 2016

Lady Edith Hat

I hope all my readers had a good weekend. Mine started out fortuitously when I got a fortune in a fortune cookie on Friday night that said: “Your dearest wish will come true.” Most of my dearest wishes have come true, in fact, but I’m sure my regular readers can guess what I am hoping this might refer to! We shall see…

Saturday Travalon and I met Rich, Jilly Moose, and OK Cap for coffee, then he and I drove to Milwaukee to take the Miller Brewery tour, since that is one of the sites in our historic taverns book. We only have twelve left to visit! Both he and I had taken the tour before, but we had never taken it together. The movie they show now about the history of the brewery is not as tongue-in-cheek as the previous one, and at the end when they give you free samples of beer, they no longer give you three postcards to send anywhere in the world on their dime. That was fun. I remember getting one from Tiffy, years ago, when I was taking a summer school class: “We are sitting here drinking beer and you are studying! Ha ha ha!” I laughed so hard, because that is not how she is sober at all. Those free samples must have really hit her hard! This is a surprisingly athletic tour that (according to my iPhone) covers over two miles of distance and six flights of stairs. There were options at various points to sit out parts of the tour with stairs, but we did the whole thing, and it was very interesting. After that we met some people from Slow Food circles at a fancy restaurant called Odd Duck, but first we went to a little hat shop down the way and Travalon bought me a hat that looks just like something Lady Edith would wear on Downton Abbey. It is my Christmas/birthday present. Dinner was amazing, and afterwards we went to a park from which you could see the lights of downtown across the lake. Going to the Big City for the day is always so much fun!

Yesterday I did not have nearly as good of a day. I had a gig pretty much all afternoon at a local pick-your-own orchard, so Travalon and I were going to have brunch at a restaurant right near our house… but it had gone out of business! Travalon was very bummed because he loved their fish fry. We had a bite to eat at a coffeehouse up in Waunakee (since, as you may remember, the one right by our house also just went out of business), and then I got a message from a fellow choir member that my usual route to this gig was blocked off for the Ironman Triathlon. She found an alternate route for me, but then Hardingfele told me the place was on a different road, so I followed Hardingfele’s instructions and got very lost. (She told her husband the same thing, and he also got very lost.) Finally I had to call my fellow band members, who guided me to the gig. I should have followed my choir member’s correct instructions… It was a beautiful day, and the Rosary Ladies and Prairie Man came to hear us. I got $25 in produce for playing. The irony was that it turned out the usual way to the gig was NOT blocked, so I went back that way, and everything was fine until I got back into town… and then traffic was so bad that Regent Street was a parking lot. Finally things picked up, but then a guy cut me off, gave me the finger when I honked at him, and dared me to hit him because it would be my fault. What?? Finally I got home, and then Travalon took me out on a lovely, relaxing boat ride out into the marsh. Ahh! We split a pizza, and he said the leftovers would be good for breakfast, and that he has to eat a substantial one because they don’t have any food at work. “Not even a vending machine?” I asked, and he said, “No, we have zitch for food!” We laughed so hard about that so he said I should blog about it. And so I am!

Famous Hat

Friday, September 9, 2016

Snakes in the Waves

Sorry for my silence the last couple of days. Wednesday I simply forgot to blog, and then yesterday I was all set to put some photos from our Labor Day weekend onto this blog, but Travalon came home sooner than I had expected, and we ended up going to the Tiki Bar at the East Side Club and then to Islas del Mar, a Mexican seafood restaurant on Monona Drive that several people had raved about. It is very good. Today I will probably not have time to put pictures on this blog, so I will just relate a funny story from our trip:

 We were driving back, and I told Travalon about a science fiction story people were writing online called “D@mn, Nature, You Scary!” where one person would write about space aliens having a very negative encounter with an animal that looks somewhat harmless, say a hippopotamus, and then another person would add an encounter with another animal, until it had become a somewhat lengthy story with no real plot except how these space aliens who had been trying to take over Planet Earth were getting their patooties kicked by its nonhuman denizens. I asked Travalon what animal he would add, and he said he always thought the cruelest trick Nature has played on us is having snakes beneath the waves.

“They’re bad enough on land!” he told me. “Whose idea was it to put them in the ocean?” So we were imagining these besieged space aliens taking a break to go snorkeling, or whatever they would need to do to be under the water, and then encountering an incredibly venomous sea snake that would chase them until it could sink its teeth into them. Then we wondered if space aliens would be susceptible to earth venom; in the other stories, the aliens were killed via mechanical means, generally being torn apart although in one case being surrounded by bees until they cooked. (This is actually what some species of bees do to other insects that are attacking their nests.) Still, I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of someone’s poor planning, having snakes in the ocean. So whoever is in charge of that, could you get on it? Thanks!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Northern Road Trip

I hope my readers had a great Labor Day weekend. Mine was a lot of fun. Saturday Travalon and I got on the road and drove to Rib Mountain, one of our favorite state parks. Not only is it the site of my photo on this blog, but it is 1.7 billion years old. How often do you get to visit something that old? We hiked with Rodney all over the top of it, then we drove north to Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula, where Travalon once went to school. We hiked out to a beautiful split waterfall and then had a delicious Italian dinner at Mike’s Italian Restaurant. We stayed in Hurley that evening to visit one of the bars from the book, which was very beautiful inside, and then we walked all over town and visited a dive bar called the Alaska House. Everything was done up in red, white, and green for Festival Italiano, which seemed to be mostly about drinking and listening to a live rock band rather than anything specifically Italian. Hurley has been a hard-drinking town forever and got hit hard by federal agents during Prohibition. The Italians immigrated there to work in the now-defunct iron mines. The pool at our hotel was a 24-hour one, so we went for a late-night swim.

Sunday we got on the road and went to Mass in Ashland, where we planned to visit another bar from the book, but alas, it is out of business. Travalon said it was inevitable that we would encounter this, since the book is now four years old. We peered inside and saw the beautiful fixtures still intact. Then we drove to Bayfield and took the ferry over to Madeline Island, where we went to a bar from the book called Tom’s Burned Down Café. It is exactly what it sounds like: a bar that burned down years ago, so now it is open seasonally as an open-air place. For some reason the bartenders there didn’t like the looks of us, so it took them forever to acknowledge us and take our order. We went to a state park on the island called Big Bay and walked along its boardwalk, then we drove along the Bayfield Peninsula and headed back toward Wausau. We stopped around 8:30 for a late dinner at Little Bohemia, but they had the same issue with us as the bartenders at Tom’s Burned Down Café and flat-out refused to serve us. We have no idea why we seemed so objectionable that day… They said we couldn’t be served for an hour, even though there were tons of empty tables in the restaurant, so we went to the bar for some bar food… and they said they weren’t serving food, even though right then they WERE serving food to some other people. So we drove down the road a little way and came across a restaurant called Blue Bayou. It was a little fancy for the way we were dressed and even had a harpist to provide background music, so we knew it would be expensive but really good Creole food. And it was! I highly recommend this restaurant if you happen to be in the North Woods. So Sunday was a mix of terrible and wonderful.

Yesterday we swam at the pool in our hotel in Wausau. It used to be a Midway, so it has the pool in a wonderful atrium full of plants. Then we returned to Rib Mountain for a hike, and then we drove to Roche-a-Cri (a very underrated state park) and Ship Rock. I will post photos soon. What a great weekend! Three state parks and three bars from the book, even if one is permanently closed.

Famous Hat

Friday, September 2, 2016

Random Rosary Post

There is a sign in front of a house not far from where we live that says “Castleberry” on a pastel-hued castle with clouds floating around it. I have no idea what it means; an internet search revealed nothing, and I’m reluctant to call the number on the sign, figuring it is probably just some business. But the sign appeals to that eight-year-old girl still inside of me who loves unicorns and rainbows and sparkly things. Imagine my delight when I found a rosary with pale lavender Hail Mary beads and glow-in-the-dark stars for the Our Father beads. It was probably meant for an eight-year-old girl, but who says adults can’t enjoy silly things? It works just as well as any other rosary.

Speaking of rosaries, I found one online that was so cool – it has a crucifix that looks like the American flag, and each of the 50 Hail Mary beads has the two-letter abbreviation of one of the states on it – so I decided to order one, since it wasn’t expensive. However, the website was not secure, so I was leery to put my credit card number into the form. I called the number on the website and got a very nice man who said people keep telling him this story, but whenever he calls his web provider, they swear it is secure. Anyway, he took my order over the phone, and the rosary is so popular that it is on back order so I won’t get it before the middle of the month. Maybe everyone wants one to pray for our nation during this crazy election season. We could use a miracle in that regard…

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