I'm getting sort of "sweaty palmed" over the prospect of not having a white Christmas. I just heard Charlie Shortino say today that there will be no snow and above average temperatures for the next ten days. Now, I've never been what you'd call a math whiz, but by my calculations that means no snow 'til at least the 21st! Scary. I don't know about you but without snow, Christmas just doesn't seem the same. So hopefully the snow machine will kick in here at some point soon and we can all enjoy a good old-fashioned white Christmas. Let's all pool our "karmic energy" and wish for a white one this year, okay?
I suppose there are those among you who have all your Christmas shopping done for the year and now can sit back and enjoy the cookies and egg nog that make the season so bright. Well, I'm not in your club. I just today started realizing how few days are left to get out and start checking things off the wish lists I've solicited this year. Funny, the older my kids get, the more expensive the presents are. Used to be that the kids would be beside themselves with glee with whatever they got. Now, they want stuff for their cars and stuff like that. I usually let the shopping thing go 'til the last minute. I tell myself it adds to the excitment but that's not really true...it really adds to that "under the gun" feeling. Oh well - it's far from too late and the very fact that I'm thinking about it in this early stage of December is actually progress. So watch out retailers...here I come!
Hey cool! I just got an early Christmas present...a new ATV. It's a monster - 700 ccs of hubba hubba. I just love that. Put it to good use over the last week or so running around with those lights Terri is making me put up all over. (They are so heavy). Anyway, I think we must be about done stringing lights - I don't see many open spots on any of the trees or anything. Terri and Liz are holiday decoration task masters! They are pressing me to build an arch that spans the driveway so they can create this North Pole kind of motif. We'll see! Have to break out the sabre saw. Might be fun. I'll update you...hopefully I will still have the use of all my digits...so I can type!
LET IT RAIN, LET IT SNOW, WE'RE READY! After days of toiling on the roof, it's done...all buttoned up...tight as a drum. I love it when a plan comes together.
Wasn't this past weekend a dream come true? A real holiday decorating wonderland. Perfect. Lizzy, Terri and I were out until 8:30 last night stringing lights. No gloves, just sweatshirts. Unreal. We got a lot of stuff done: strung lights on the windmill, put a star on top, lighted garland on the deck...the usual. This year, though, we got a great deal on these big inflatable things. A snowman and a penguin - EIGHT FEET TALL! Wow. Hopefully they'll work. Not much holiday inspiration from a lump of brightly colored fabric laying in a heap on the lawn. Like I say, we got a great deal. Here's hoping!
Okay, five years ago when last I dragged my old behind up a ladder and re-roofed the house, I swore that was the last time. Well, here I go again. Same routine, except my behind is five years older and, for some reason, the roof seems more slanted this time. It's just against my nature to pay someone to do something I know how to do. I mean, after all, when I was 25 I used to roof three or four houses in a week...so I should be able to do it again, at least one more time right? WHAT WAS I THINKING! Too late to turn back now though...the old roof is off and it's on with the new. My aching back. Terri warned me. It's a bit like root canal...it'll all be over soon.
Can you believe it's darned near the holidays again? We're hosting again this year...so then turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and such are on our list again. I don't much mind the cooking though, it's kinda fun...actually Terri does most of it and that makes it even more fun...for me, anyway. Hey, I didn't ask her to help me heft shingles up on the roof so it all works out! I love Thanksgiving...it gives me the chance to eat a whole bunch of carbs without feeling too guilty, at least until the day after!
It's been a while since I've written anything in my blog....sorry....been preoccupied.
Are you sick of all the political ads yet. I for one am. Elections have really turned into a dirty business. It seems most of the candidates, from either side, spend so much time talking about how terrible their opponants are, that they forget to tell the voters what they are about, and why they deserve a vote. MMM. either way, lots of heavy duty mud slinging.
Freakfest weekend. Here's hoping all the new city policies keep things a party downtown.....and not a riot. Have fun everybody....but please....be cool. Halloween in Madison has been a tradition since I used to come here from God's Country back in the day. Hate to see that tradition come to an end because some people can't play nice.
Hallelujah! Happy days are here again. The new TV season is finally here. No more wondering what the heck to do in the evening anymore. My life is complete. I know that sounds pathetic, but I really missed all my favorites. N.C.I.S...I knew Jethro couldn't stay away. C.S.I. is awesome...solving crimes in Sin City. And one of my new faves...The New Adventures Of Old Christine.....Julia Louis kills me.
Gonna take in a corn maze this year? They are cool. We always made it a point to do that, but now I bring it up and the only people excited about the idea are Terri and I. Time marches on, I guess.
The new season at Overture Center looks promising. Hairspray...Man of LaMancha...I'm in. That facility is a big bonus for the city of Madison.
Have you been out to the new Cloud Nine? The bridge on Cottage Grove Road being out makes the trip kind of tricky but it's well worth it. The menu is great and the view...it's worth a million. Check it out.
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this is a weird day. I think back on the events that transpired five years ago and everything that has happened since and it all seems surreal to me. I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones. I didn't lose a family member or a good friend that day but there are those that did and for them I feel truly empathetic. But fact of the matter is, we all lost something that day and it's ushered in a new time. I'm most concerned what those fateful events five years ago will mean for the next generation...my kids...your kids. That's the truly scary part. I'm hopeful that someday...not too far down the line...people, despite their differences, will decide it's much better to live together than to die together. I hope this doesn't sound too deep, it's just what I'm thinking about today.
A bunch of my son B.J.'s oldest friends are getting together tonight for dinner to celebrate the big guy's 21st birthday. Yep...21. Interesting that his oldest friends include my oldest friends, too. Happy birthday buddy...I love ya.
Have you tried to make camping reservations online lately? I mean in the past couple of years? It's official, at least at my house, that this Reserve America on line system flat out "don't work." We again tried to make our reservations for next summer - 11 months in advance as they want - and again, we spent literally hours trying to navigate an unnavigable web site. This is ridiculous! I hate to be a complainer...but man...are you joking?! We will again have to call the 800 number to try and get the sites we want. Nice going on that system Bucky.
AHH....The last hoorah of summer. Did the traditional ribs on the grill for Labor Day...they were tasty...all agreed.
Lizzy joins the thousands of other area school kids going back to class today. She's kind of looking forward to it. Hard to believe our "baby" is a senior in high school already. She's really starting to think about the future...she actually took time out of her busy social calander to have a talk with me...brief as it was...about college and stuff the other day. She's really growing up...it's cool.
Looking forward to my fav season of all...autumn. I love the weather...cool and sunny. Dig it. Nothing like wearing a sweat shirt and shorts...yin and yang don't you know.
Man...back to school. That sure crept up, didn't it. Now it's time for me to shell out for a new back pack...that Lizzy doesn't really need. And of course she'll need a new wardrobe. I get it. I remember those days. Oh well.
Took a bike ride around the lake the other evening and i gotta tell you, it was perfect. Even made the soreness in my backside after while, tolerable. Loved it.
I gotta say, this bridge out on Cottage Grove Road over the Interstate also is turning out to be a pain in the backside. Running to the bank in Monona and back has now turned into a major trip. They say the construction will take four months. Are you kidding me?! Major style cramper.
Headed to the lovely shores of Lake Michigan this weekend. We know of a stretch of beach on the eastern side of the state that reminds me of the Hamptons...or what I imagine the Hamptons to be like. Hope the big lake cooperates. This time of the year the water can be great or it can be a toe freezer. Always a toss up. There I'll be...looking like a ten pound sausage in a five pound casing in my Speedo.
Wow. I gotta tell ya. This was a great weekend for eating out. "T" and I had the opportunity to try a couple of restaraunts we've never been to before during the past several days. The garage sale thing left little extra time for cooking...so eating out somewhere was a neccesity.
We tried the new Mexicali Rose where the old C.J.'s was on BB and Stoughton Road. The actual extrance is on Atlas Avenue but that's the neck of the woods. Anyway, the food was great. I had the Texas style ribs, "T" had a variety plate of some kind. The universal opinion is that it's awesome! Don't let a full parking lot scare you off, either. When we went, the lot was full of cars, but we walked in and got a cool table for two right off. The atmosphere was cool too. Some guy with an acoustic guitar strummed away in the background...making it feel very much like old Mexico. Loved it!
Also, if you are looking for a great Friday night fish fry place, try the out of the way South Bay Lounge. Who knew. We had their perch...and geez...was that super. Lightly breaded, perfectly done. Not the Taj Mahal in terms of decor, but what a comfortable, up north feel. But the real star is the food. That was truly a pleasant surprise. I'll be back.
Packer game Saturday night. Pre-season, but any port in a storm for a die-hard fan. Wonder how that's all gonna go. Everyone in Titletown is saying this is a really talented - albeit young - and inexperienced team. Translation: We don't know how it'll go but are hoping for the best. Like the rest of us I suspect.
Man, I gotta get a haircut. I am a little apprehensive because every time I go to my person, I get the hard sell on coloring my now graying hair. I like to beleive that gray hair is a mark of experience and acquired wisdom. In my case, it's a lot of experience...most of it hair raising...and a smidge of wisdom. Still working on that end. I don't know. Isn't coloring your hair the top of what turns out to be a slippery slope? Once you start...when, if ever, can you stop? I'd hate to have a very youthful shock of hair, with those tell-tale pronounced gray roots. I mean, it's tough for me to get a shave in three times a week...much less sit around in my bathroom..."touching up" my roots. Can't imagine. Maybe I'll buck the pressure and just continue to age naturally...like a nice wheel of Gouda.
It's finally the beginning of the end to my long garage sale nightmare. Yes, it's this weekend. And yes...I will take particular care to take it all in...because after this experience...this will be the last garage sale of my life! I understand that anything worth doing is worth doing right but I swear, this garage sale has been a source of obsession for Terri. I hear her mock negotiating in her sleep at night. Grumbling about the quality of the price stickers she's so meticulously affixed to each of our precious, gently used items, falling off onto the barn floor...leaving her at a loss. The presuure is taking its toll. There hasn't been this much tension in our relationship since we last tried to wallpaper the guest bedroom. I'm exhausted so I can imagine how she feels. At any rate, by Saturday evening, it will all be just a fading memory...until then...it'll be a white knuckle ride. I hope people show up...otherwise what am I supposed to do with all that stuff in my shop?
Okay, this is ridiculous. What the heck is one supposed to do in this heat?! I'm not complaining. I mean, I know that the witch of November is lurking just around the corner, but c'mon. I have to work outside most of the day once I leave the air-conditioned sanctity of the radio ranch and this will certainly be a challenge.
I wish now that Terri wasn't going to sell the pool at her rummage sale. It's a beautiful three ringer and comes in handy on these "hotter than hot" days. I'll have to run through the sprinkler or something...maybe I won't run...maybe I'll lope...or walk...whatever!
Did you get all bailed out from yesterday's monsoon? What a wild deal! I was driving down the Beltline at about 1:30 Thursday afternoon...and yeah...it was raining, but I didn't realize how hard 'til I saw the brake lights in front of me. All lanes slowed to near nothing. Couldn't figure it out at first, but then I hit it...a stretch of eight to ten inch deep water! Geez. Luckily nobody hit that going 50.
I hate to waste a weekend hibernating but what else is there to do? Gotta stay cool so it's the a.c. of the house. Boat Friday, maybe Saturday, but Sunday sounds like a real hide burner. Slather on the sunscreen.
Concerts on the Square was cool this week. Celtic Celebration...I love that stuff. Some really cool people at our table and that always makes it for me. Ovations...nice going on the catering. That is a must-try restaurant. I saw their whole menu and it looked yummy. In the Concourse Hotel, worth checking out. See ya.
It's only Tuesday and already I'm worrying about whether or not "T" will make me work all weekend again on getting ready for, what I believe to be, an ill-advised garage sale. She's all worked up about it. It's the Cottage Grove community sale...I think in a couple of weeks...I'm not sure. I am "up to here", though, with going through all my stuff and trying to decide what I can part with and what is an absolute "must keep".
I really can't believe we paid money for some of the stuff we have in our basement. Stuff I haven't seen for years. Actually, it's no surprise why these things are stuck way in the back. What were we thinking? Did you ever buy something while on vacation or something and think "Oh I gotta have this. This will look great on the south wall of the living room." When you get it home, put it up, stand back and look...and recoil because it's repulsive! I mean, why did I think a brightly colored red and orange Inca death mask would blend right in with an early American motif?! Momentary insanity. Must have been mass hysteria though, because "T" agreed it must come home with us.
Actually, there are some things I am finding it really hard to part with. I still fully intend to hang up that Everlast heavy bag and start training for
that amateur bout! And those roller blades. Oh yeah, I should really start doing that more...than once. Either way, it's consuming my home.
Wow, what a storm. When I was driving in this morning, the street lights were out along the beltline in stretches...but luckily the lightening was so frequent, and so bright, it was easy enough to see. Wild for sure. I slept through most of it, believe it or not, and didn't realize the extent of the damage 'til I saw my neighbor's tree on his car! Yikes. I drove back to my house, wiped the sleepy dust out of my eyes and took at least a cursory look around. All hatches, at first blush, seemed to still be battoned. I'll take a good look later today.
I think "T" and I are going to see that new Pirate movie, starring that dreamy Johnny Depp this weekend. LIzzy saw it the night it came out. She and some friends all dressed up like pirates went at midnight to catch the first showing. She claims it's "awesome". So do others so I'm looking forward to it. I loved the first one.
Man, talk about cool shows. Chicago coming to Madison is huge. That brass section will probably knock you out in the acoustic nirvana that is Overture Hall. I heard through the grapevine that my man Ian is also gonna make an appearance in the city, too. Ian Anderson that is...of Jethro Tull fame. October 14th in the Capitol Theater. "In the shuffling madness!" Cool baby. Later.
Weird phenomenon over the just-passed hotter than hot weekend. I did what I said I was going to do...hit the Madison lakes on old paint...had a blast...but was really surprised by how few people there were out there. I thought it would be packed...it wasn't.
We had to tow a boat from the Monona Terrace area of Lake Monona back to Squaw Bay. We came across a beautiful boat just a smokin'.
They must have blown that baby up! Word to the wise...reverse your engine often to get rid of the excess weeds on your lower unit, especially if you're traveling near shore alot or down the Yahara channel to Waubesa. Gotta log some more hours this week. I know it seems hotter than heck but the window is small and soon enough the leaves will be falling...and an end will come to boating season.
Kudos to Christy's - an awesome cheeseburger again. Yummy.
Well, here it comes. The heat is on the way and I'm all set to face it. I'll be turning off my phone at 9:00 am this Friday morning and will be out of touch for the long, hot weekend. Going to launch the boat, clear the sea wall at Olbrich, hit the throttle and be gone 'til Monday. Can't wait. Me and "T" and a little dog named "G". Lyrical isn't it? Should be fun. Catch you next week!
What a beautiful summer weekend. Went to the Art Fair. Loved it. Admittedly a bit warm...but hey, who is complaining. Had brunch at the pasta joint on King. Yummy stuff. I ordered a salmon poached egg thing with an Italian name I couldn't pronounce, but I made short work of eating it. Lots of awesome one-of-a-kind pieces. It's no wonder many of the artists that come to Madison for the fair think it's one of the best in the country. Ended the day with my favorite Dane entree, the Monte Christo. Man, that was good.
My sister Connie and my brother-in-law Andy were up from Union Grove for the weekend. They think Madison is the coolest, especially in the summer. Smart people. Sat out on the deck Saturday night at my new Bar-zebo. Got it at Farm and Fleet, of all places. It was truly a great value so the place is living up to its billing.
Had a great holiday weekend...actually it was extended...but you know what I mean. Anyhoo, went to the Monona 4th festival. They had that really cool art fair again. Some really creative people. I wish I were creative enough to make a bird out of washers and re-bar; alas, not my talent I guess. I'll work on it, though. I'm going to take a welding class in the fall and start to experiment...can't wait.
Did a lot of mundane stuff, too. Helped Terri weed and mulch. It seems like that's a lot of what we did but it was cool. Everything is looking good again, if only for a week or so. Double edged sword, those gardens of hers. Nice to look at but man, the work. Terri also decided it was time to clean out the garage. A job that has been discussed but not accomplished for many years. It's a holiday for crying out loud! No matter...it's done. All in anticipation of that ill-advised garage sale "T" claims we should have, where we'll prove to ourselves once and for all that the stuff we don't want isn't coveted by anyone else either.
Man, did we get hammered Wednesday night. We walked around yesterday assessing all the damage caused by our little hail storm. It didn't last long, but long enough to shred stuff. So weird. Nobody to the west got any of it, just us on the eastside. Our Asiatic lillies were just coming out, too. Now they look sick. The big Canna leaves look like green shredded wheat. Oh well.
We have some unwanted visitors in our neighborhood. A pair of coyotes. They have been there for about two weeks now, wreaking havoc on the rabbit populations. It's a bit of a concern, though. I mean, my little dog "G" is about bite size. I haven't seen it yet, but my neighbor Dick says the coyotes have been in my yard sizing up the little guy. We'll have to take special precautions for awhile. How in the heck do you get rid of them? I'm not into guns and shooting stuff, so my options are limited.
Going to the Monona 4th festival this weekend...should be cool. They have a really cool little art fair. We went last year and found some really interesting stuff done by local artisans. Hope we'll find more cool stuff this year. Terri and I use it as a warm up for Art Fair On the Square. Love that event. Ain't summer grand! Congrats to my neighbors, the Wohlers. We'll help them celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend at Double Days. Cool people.
Wow...am I glad summer is here. The living is easy, right? Well, I don't know about you but it seems like it's the busiest time of the year. Terri is a task master when it comes to her home "to do" list...plus the landscaping business is in full tilt. Run, run, run, da do run run. Cool, though!
We're in the process of getting a new patio built at the house...a dandy. B.J. designed it and is doing the actual install. That kid is talented as heck. I wish he'd get back into a production of some kind. He does lots of musical theater, but says he's too busy during the summer. I can relate.
Terri went on the Attic Angels tour Monday. She said it was fantastic. Some historical houses, some not so historical...all cool as heck according to "T". She got home and was inspired...so this holiday weekend will be taken up with building a shade garden under the maples in the west yard. Here we go again! Actually, it provides some nice "alone time" for she and I...even though we're both sweaty and tired when it's all done.
Terri and her friend Cari are going to Les Mis this Friday put on by the Madison Youth Theatre at the Mitby. This is worth seeing because all the best of the best young actors from area high schools are in this production - they say there are 20 high schools represented. Theatre lives! I can't go because I have an appointment that night.
Sounds like the weekend is going to be PERFECT! Maybe I'll get some stuff done at my house...that would be a change of pace! Most of my summer is taken up improving everyone else's places. Shoemaker's kids syndrome! But I dig it - no pun intended! Still haven't been out on my doggone boat...when's that gonna happen?
Did you get a chance to see the Cows on Parade yet? How cool is that? They are everywhere downtown and Sun Prairie, too. Some of the designs are to die for. There are some really creative people in the state of Wisconsin, that's for sure. It's hard to pick a fave...I like them all. Word is the cows will eventually be auctioned off. I would absolutely love to put one of them in my yard! They say, though, the average cost for a Parade Cow will be in the neighborhood of five grand....at that price I doubt whether any of those painted bovines will be gracing my place. Oh well.
Is anybody else into gardening? If you are, did you have as much trouble as I had this year trying to get things going? It seemed it was either too wet or too cold until a couple of weeks ago. Terri and I finally got our annuals in, but it ended up being weeks late. I just hope my sunflowers will make it. The seeds just went in last weekend. Hopefully they'll have enough time. If not....oh well.
Thought about taking the boat out this weekend.....now that the weather guys are predicting 110 in the shade. Don't know though, I heard Lake Monona is a weedy mess. It has that lovely stinky weed smell. Could be an alternate plan is in order. We'll see. I'll let you know.