We're having Thanksgiving at our house again this year. I bought this goofy big turkey. Dumb since there aren't that many people to serve. I like leftovers, though, so shoot me. We installed some fireplaces several days ago so part of the living room is still a construction site. At least the dust has settled; unfortunately, it's all settled on the tables, the chairs and the lamps. We've got some major spiffing up to do before Thursday.
What's new! I gotta say the holidays have been a tad weird since I lost my Mom. Just not the same vibe. She was a riot. Laughed 'til your sides hurt. Always the life of the party. She's probably busy lighting up another room these days. We all miss her. Happy Thanksgiving.
Did you go to Metcalfe's open house over the weekend? All kinds of free samples. I just love that. Terri and I grazed our way through the store.
Had all kinds of great food! Thanks! Bought some really yummy jam and some new R.P's pasta we tried. Squash. Fantastic. Afterwards we ended up at Barriques on Monroe Street. Had a wonderful time. Witty banter and good Cab. We also stopped at Alchemy (the old Wonders on Atwood) on the way home. Had a really delicious shrimp salad sandwich. So I guess what I'm saying is, we ate like fools all day on Saturday.
Next Saturday we are planning to go to do some early Christmas shopping for the kids. If I keep eating like this, I'll have to put new jeans on my list this year. Seriously, though, the sales are early and significant. It's great for those of us who are doing the buying...not great for the store owners, though. Remember, try to buy local. A store you save could be your own.
Well, this is the clubhouse turn. Thank goodness. After almost two solid years of the democratic process, I am ready for a bit of a respite. I don't know about you. I went to my local polling place in Cottage Grove and exercised my privilege to vote early. It was quick and painless.
What the heck, I had extra time, and who knows what will be going on Tuesday. I asked the clerk if the interest in early voting was high this time around. She said absolutely...she said they had over 350 people already through the polling place. Wild!
I have to reminisce a bit about our trip to Door County a couple of weeks ago. It was really one of the best vacations I have ever had. Me and "T" and our little dog "G" and all that beautiful countryside. We set up at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek and it was gorgeous! The colors were at their absolute peak. Fantastic. Gotta live up there someday, I swear.
Not much going on for us this weekend. We'll probably start cutting down what used to be lovely flowers and throwing them on the burn pile. Last weekend's trip to Door County was stellar! The weather was absolutely perfect...the colors had to be at their absolute peak...and the bike trails in and around Peninsula State Park are the coolest yet. We went to a local pub on Saturday night in Fish Creek to catch some dinner and the Badger Game and ran into a bunch of cool ladies from Madison. Had a heck of a time. The game could have been better, but can't have everything I guess. Really, though, Door County is the best. No matter how long I live here, Wisconsin still throws me for a loop. We ended up going to a very clandestine location near Jacksonport, asking for, as instructed, a man named Jim. He gave us a Kerr canning jar full of authentic Door County Cherry Bounce. Ever hear of it? Man, it is good. It's basically a jar full of D.C. cherries (pits and all) soaking in rum. This particular jar said it was from '05. Really puts a swirl in your dervish if you know what I'm sayin'! If you happen to find yourself traveling down highway 42 near Algoma, stop at the Flying Pig. What a neat place...statuary...plants...coffee. Cool shop. Hope it goes well for them. Nice people.
Hear that? That's Door County calling my name. We try to get up to the peninsula this time of year. It's beautiful and if you're looking, great deals can be had on some early Christmas presents for the art lover on your list. We are thinking about possibly taking a bike tour around the peninsula. Not only is it great exercise, it also gives me an excuse to say no to alot of those purchases "T" wants to make. "Why honey, we can't possibly carry that on our bikes...sorry." But really, few places are prettier this time of year.
Got big hopes for the Badgers this week against Ohio State. Go Bucky! Heading downtown. We'll likely just have to watch the game at a bar.
Can't afford the price of admission this time around. I've heard some pretty outrageous prices for tickets. Yikes! Should have bought in while Don Morton was still here. What do they say about hindsight? Oh well!
You know I usually like being a news guy. Heck you are often the first to know about stuff....and that can be....most of the time a cool deal. Not so much lately. The news isn't exactly what you'd call....inspiring. It's actually a bit scarey. But as my Grampa K always said.....the good times and the bad times somehow seem to balance out. So if that is true, we're in for a bunch of good times very soon. Hope those guys in Washington know what they're doing. Anyway, on a brighter note, hope you're enjoying the last blast of summer. Incredible bonus round weather wise. Looking forward to Quivey's Beer thing this weekend. The beer is good, but I also love the food at the stable after the beer is gone. Always good eatin'.
Hard to believe this is already the last day of summer. That doesn't mean the end of the fun. I have to say that fall is my favorite season. I dig that sweatshirt and shorts nip in the air. This is actually the best season for hiking. We'll take off this weekend and do a bit of communing with nature on the Baraboo Bluffs. Sounds like Beej is going to free up and come along. Liz as usual will have to work...but she wanted to come so that counts. Cool that my kids are still interested in hanging out even as they march headlong into their twenties. Looking forward to next weekend's beer fest at Quivey's. We have gone to a lot of these fests over the years...but I like the feel of the Quivey's fest best. The whole gang usually turns out which makes for a great afternoon of late September fun. We're going to ride our bikes there for the first time. That should be an interesting ride...at least on the way back!
Man. That garden we planted is really paying off. This is the first year in about 10 that we did veggies. Usually it's always about the flowers, but we thought because of all the scary talk about the high cost for food, we'd give a veggie garden another go. I have to admit...the weeds got the better of us...but man...the tomatoes, corn, cantaloupe, peas, brussel sprouts and peppers all did okay anyway. This despite our lazy indifference to the onslaught of weeds. We made a bunch of pasta sauce last night. Smelled great in the house. It all reminded me of when I was a kid and my mom went on her annual canning tear. She would bring my two sisters, my Gramma K and whatever aunt would help together and had at it. Mom always had a huge garden. She took meticulous care of it and she would "put up" all kinds of canned goods. I mean we used to eat this stuff all winter when we were on the farm. It was terrific and I can still smell the dill and vinegar that filled the air. Those were the days. Anyway, nothing that elaborate at my house, but harvest time is a vivid memory from my childhood. Some of the best weather in Wisconsin is coming up. Can't wait. We are planning to do some serious late season camping this year. Going for the all-time personal record for camping trips.
Are you ready for the last big hurrah of summer? Man, did that fly. We took a camping trip to the Lake Michigan shoreline last week. We stayed at Point Beach State Forest. I've never been there - we've always stayed at Kohler Andre when we wanted a lake view - but I gotta say, Point Beach is awesome. They have bike paths through some very wooded spots and is close enough to Two Rivers and Manitowoc that civilization is never too far away. It was a blast.
Starting my new class at MATC this week. I'm going to learn art welding. Always wanted to do yard sculpture but have always put it off...well, no more. Time to release my inner Picasso. It'll be weird to be in a classroom setting again, but hopefully worth it. Hopefully the instructor can buck the trend and teach an "old dog" new tricks.
Hazy, crazy, lazy days of summer. Heavy on the lazy. Nothing much up. Going to go to the Lake Michigan shoreline to take a look soon. Should be fun. Till then I can be found sitting by the pond looking at my fish. Love those guys. They are the source of great relaxation. B.J.'s play is in full tilt again this weekend. Rocky Horror Show at the Middleton Players Theater at the high school. It's a blast. We're going this week on Saturday....audience participation night. Be the first time I've worn my fish nets in a while! We're taking the in-laws on the Betty Lou Cruise Sunday. They've never been so it will be fun to watch their reaction. If you've never tried a Betty Lou thing....you should. It's worth it. Later.
Summertime in Wisconsin is awesome for lots of reasons...not the least of which is the summer bounty in my garden. Our corn is finally ready and we had the first ears this week. Wow, is that good. I love the fact that I can go out there...pick a tomato...rub the dirt off on my shirt and eat it like an apple fresh off the vine. I can do this without worrying about some junk that's been sprayed on it...because I don't spray any junk on them. Perfecto!
Speaking of eating, did you enjoy restaurant week as much as I did?! I shouldn't admit this, but Terri and I ate dinner out Monday through Friday. Got to try some places that we normally wouldn't try because of the price. Nothing I hate more than paying big dollars for a meal I didn't even enjoy. Gotta say though, Oceans Grill downtown, Liliannas in Fitchburg and Fresco on top of the Overture Center all wowed me to no end.
Really enjoyed it. Fact is, we also ate at some places that we won't be going back to.
This weekend marks the first run of the Middleton Players Theater production of Rocky Horror Show. Opening night is tomorrow night, August 7th. Runs through the weekend and next weekend, too. Go and see it. Support your local theater troupes. They need your help and you'll see a great show to boot.
Man, I love summer! I have to admit, though, it can get pretty busy. We went camping at a little state park near New Glarus last weekend. Biked both the Sugar River Trail and that Badger State Trail. Both cool. The grade isn't so bad that it kills you, either. It's hard to believe, though, when you drive into the area it's one hill after another. We also kayaked the Sugar River which is right there, too. We somehow got off into a back tributary...and ended up water hiking toward the end. Still cool, though. Looking forward to the "Rocky Horror Show" coming up. The Middleton Players Theater is putting it on August 7th, 8th, 9th and 14th, 15th and 16th. Beej is playing the hunchback guy. That kid can really sing. Hope you can make it. Middleton Performing Arts Center. See you there. It'll be a blast. Welcome home to my good friend Danny. He just got back after serving for two years in the Peace Corps in Albania. Good to see him again. This weekend we are all headed down to Lake Mills to play golf. The first time the "old" foursome has been together in over two years. That will be fun.
Have you ever been to Paoli? I'm ashamed to say I never have till this past weekend...and I gotta tell ya...we had a great time. They had their little festival on Saturday, so "T" and I thought we'd pop out there, having heard about all the cool little galleries that dot the main drag. I have to say, when we first pulled into town, I thought...well this will take 15 minutes to get through. Was I wrong. This is a gem. The galleries and the shops...like five or six of them...were filled with stuff made by some really gifted people. A band that called itself Harmonious Wail was playing in the town park right there next to the mill stream that springs from the Sugar River. Nice! We had lunch at the School House. It's a new restaurant they are just starting after a remodel, and I gotta say it was awesome. They will start being open for lunch regularly starting in August...worth heading down for. I mean this place is literally 15 minutes from Madison! I recommend it highly for a day trip. Congrats to Mount Horeb on a cool Art Fair. Had a great time...and that gyro...wow. The second one of my lifetime. Where have I been?!
Yippeee! Terri and I were on a mission Saturday morning. We wanted to buy a troll from an artist from Slinger that was situated off the square during Art Fair. We saw his stuff last year and have been preparing a place at the house for him since then. We ran down (literally) to the spot where we knew he was set up last year and sure enough, there he was. We announced gleefully that we were there to buy the troll holding the lantern. Jim the artist looked at us and told us "Sorry, he's already been spoken for." We were crushed. But the man who bought him said since he already had a number of Jim's works, he would be willing to wait for another...so we could have him if we wanted. SCORE! He looks sooo cool standing sentry at the bridge over our stream. You know...the whole Three Billy Goats Gruff thing. Everything we wanted. Looking forward to Concerts on the Square this week with Jimmy. Always a cool deal.
Yeah baby. Summer in this city is the coolest deal. This is one of my favorite weekends of the summer for me. I really dig the Art Fair...on and off...equally cool in my mind. Going to the square bright and early. Can't help it...I'm an art geek. Went to Kettle Moraine last weekend. Camped at Pine Woods. Beautiful place. I was a bit surprised to see so many of the sites in the loop unfilled. If you asked about availability...everything was reserved. Apparently many people opted not to use their reservations, though. Too bad. A holiday weekend and the weather was stellar.
The mosquitoes were kind of tough at some points...but certainly bearable. Took a bike ride from Dousman to Waukesha Friday the fourth.
Had lunch at a great Mexican place. Yummy. Saturday we kayaked the little lake. It was great fun. See you this weekend.
We went on our annual Memorial Day weekend camp trip over the just passed weekend, and as usual, big fun was had by all. A bit different this year in that B.J. opted out. He is involved in a play this year, so time was short for him. We missed him. The camp weekend is always a dual purpose get-a-way. We also celebrate Lizzy's birthday. This year was a big one. The baby in our family turned 20. Whoa! That seems a bit surreal, but I'll get over it. I love that camping stuff. If push came to shove and everything went south, I could see living in the woods somewhere no problemo. Hope it doesn't come to that, though. Can't wait to use our new kayaks!
What a hassle. The weather just seems to want to wreck my garden and yours. We waited 'til after Mother's Day to put all those delicate annuals in...at least in the veg garden...and what's this! Frost possible! C'mon. We ran around frantically covering up everything we could last night...brought all the container plants into the dining room. It was nuts! It got down to 34 degrees on Monday morning so all the effort was for naught. If we hadn't done it, though, it would have gotten down to 31 sure as shootin'. Oh well. Looking forward to the first camping trip of the summer this coming weekend. Not going far. We have learned our lesson on past Memorial Days...it can be a nasty, wet cold holiday. So if it gets too hinkey, we'll pull up stakes and head home. We'll look at all the beautiful annual flowers in our dining room.
Okay...what kind of cruel joke is this. Snow? No thanks. Actually, it's sort of okay with me that we are hovering in that 50/60 degree range for awhile. I mean what is this? We go from ten inches of snow on the ground to upper 70s. What happened to spring? Either way, I hope we seen the last of the snowflakes for awhile. Picked the first asparagus of the season last night (after the snowfall) Asparagus could very possibly be my favorite veggie of all. We have a small patch of it in the yard, and man is that good! Yummy.
Looking forward to our May Day deliveries this week. Hope to see you.
Still idling, waiting to get our garden planted. Gonna do the veggie garden for the first time in three years. With the cost of food hovering near intolerable levels, we figure we'll revert back to pickling and freezing stuff from the garden. We used to do that all the time when we were younger. Terri and I used to do about a 1/2 acre back during our rustic phase, but gave up on it because of all the work involved. Back to it. It's always worth the effort when you sit down and chow the fruits (and veggies) of your labor. The garden thing, though, does mean fewer rounds of golf...but I'll survive. Later.
Well, that was nice. Terri and I had a great time down south of the border last week. Just me and "T". Cool deal. We did all kinds of stuff.
Everything but scuba. Can't bring myself to do that just yet since the "event" last August. Maybe next time. Beautiful weekend, no? Got back on track on Saturday. Unpack...clean the house...all that mundane stuff you do after a vacation, but Sunday was for fun. Went to a fantastic brunch Sunday morning with my sister and brother in-law. B.J. made it...oh, and Terri was there, too. Lizzy was a no show...she's in New York chaperoning the Monona Grove trip. Hard to imagine my little girl is a chaperone. Strange times indeed! Anyway, if you want some good home cookin', at a great price, with a million dollar view, try the East Side Businessman's Club. Wow, right on the lake and good eats! Worth checking out. Got my new bike out to work off some of the brunch. What a cool city! Took the lake loop. Thousands of people out doing the same thing. Welcome summer (almost). Won't be long now and we'll have to put old paint in the water.
How was your weekend? Pretty cool, I hope. Got out and saw lots of people doing that spring thing. Terri and I walked along Willy Street Saturday. Stopped at Mother Fools...had a nice cup of coffee. Stopped in at Hempen Goods. Bought a couple of shirts. Neat stuff. We also walked into another little shop, the name of which eludes me now. But I almost took the plunge and bought myself a kilt. I've been threatening to do it for awhile now, and I was surprised to find them locally. Awesome. What do you think? Can a regular guy get away with wearing a kilt in Wisconsin? I'm gonna do it yet. We ended up at Machinery Row Bikes. One of my new commitments. Got a bike from them during their President's Day sale...and over the weekend I thought I'd go in and use my discount certificate they gave me. Got some really cool bike pants and a jersey. Now I'm all set. See you on the trails this summer. By the way... congratulations to you if you were involved with Seussical at Monona Grove over the weekend. Went on Friday and dug it. Good job (as usual). Hard to believe these are high school kids. Geez!
Thank goodness. My pal is back on her feet, just in time for a wee bit of pre-St. Patrick's Day celebratin'. Terri and I went out Saturday. In the afternoon I took her to one of her favorite spots, J.Jill. Always a white-knuckle experience for me, but she digs it, and after half a month of being ill, I knew a J.Jill infusion was just what the doctor ordered. I took my spot in the usual place - the chairs in the middle of the store - read my magazine and stayed out of the way.
Afterwards we went to Erin's Snug near American Family and had dinner. My meal was awesome and the atmosphere was just the ticket. They had people running around in leprechaun outfits and even had a bagpipe band playing. It was really cool. I would recommend the place if you've never been. Still too chilly for me to hit the trails with my new bike, but we're getting there. Spring is here...almost.
Man....have you had this terrible crud at your house? I can honestly say this is the sickest I have ever seen my wife in the 23 years of marriage. She has been really sick for the past 12 days and still isn't up to snuff. Get well soon baby!
Finally some spring weather on tap. Looking forward to breaking out my new Trek I bought over the winter. Gonna get into that big time this summer. Used to bike alot but got away from it in my mid life. That's gonna change this year. With gas brinking on $3.50, I'm gonna try and bike to where I'm going whenever the trip will be two miles or less one way. My little rage against the machine. I read somewhere that if we all did that, it would save millions of gallons of gas a year. I know that sounds idealistic, but hey...it's good for the environment, it's good for my health and it'll be fun. I'll let you know how well it goes!
It's hard to be sure, given the winter we are living through this year, but I think Saturday may have been the last big snowmobile ride of the year. B.J and I took off early in the day and headed north. We both agree Columbia County is some of the finest snowmobiling in our area. It's so wide open. Dane County is cool but far more developed. I like the wilderness you can ride through up there. Very cool. We stopped at the Green Frog in Columbus Falls for lunch. Pretty decent "bar burger." It's days like these that remind me why I still own sleds. Cool to ride with the kid. Nice guy. Sunday, my sister, her husband Andy and a couple of my nieces came up. We took in the brunch at the Great Dane, Fitchburg. Really good. If you have never been there for brunch, give it a shot. Lots of variety...mighty tasty and some really good microbrew beer if you're into it. Starting to really dig the extra daylight. It'll really start feeling like the season change when we set our clocks ahead an hour. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a little change. I can't say I haven't enjoyed this "old-fashioned" winter but really, how much stark white can a guy take anyway! Looks like I'll make it through without breaking a hip or something...a real bonus for someone of my advancing years!
Had a wonderful weekend. Did all kinds of fun stuff for Terri's birthday. Friday night we went to Samba...that cool place down on Gorham. Awesome. Parked in their lot...for free. Walked down to Blue Velvet...had a few martinis before. Very good. If you have never been to Samba...try it. We had pork tenderloin, beef tenderloin, duck, lamb and a bunch of fantastic salads and veggies. Cool concept, too. They come to your table after you flip an indicator and carve you off as much or as little of each as you want. Really good meal...loads of fun with friends. Saturday, Terri was left to her own devices while B.J. and I took off on the snowmobiles for a little 100 mile trek. The weather was perfect...upper 20s.
The scenery was cool...lots of wildlife out moving around. The company was awesome, too. Beeg is a cool character. Sunday we went to brunch at the Edgewater. Yummy good. Watched all the goings on out on the lake. What a great view. Went downtown to do some shopping after that. Beautiful day again! Enjoyed it thoroughly. It'll take me until Wednesday to rest up from the weekend's activity. More snow on tap as our "winter to remember" continues.
Man. I have always loved winter. There's snowmobiling, cross country skiing, that nice warm feeling you get when you come in from outdoors to sit next to a warm fire sipping a libation, but I gotta say...spring can get here any day now. This is something to remember. I'm not complaining, mind you, but even the hardiest winter weather loving people are about done for this year. WOW!
Anyhoo, needed something to get my mind off the winter of our discontent. So Terri and I went out and bought a new project to work on. We found this 1994 28-foot stretch limo. It's a Lincoln Town Car. Decent shape body-wise but it needs mechanical work. Should be fun. I have to drop a fresh motor in it so if you run across a 4.8 liter Lincoln motor, let me know. We are going to refurbish the whole thing. We want to rent it out for weddings and proms and stuff like that. Something to do. Who knows...the next time you rent a limo, it'll be me wearing that little hat and the knee high riding boots. See ya.
First off, I'll state the obvious: I haven't been blogging for some time. Took awhile to get my feet back under me following my cardiac event of late August, but things are returning now to normal, relatively speaking. That was certainly a weird deal. I gotta say that, until recently, I was still walking around at some points like somebody hit me in the temple with a ball-peen hammer. Rather surreal. Enough said.
Doggone it...I am dissappointed with the Packer loss to the Giants. I'm not gonna lie about it. Just wasn't meant to be I guess. Now all the speculation...in Wisconsin anyway...turns to whether Brett will choose to give it another good go next season. The alternative is to know that the last pass in his NFL career was an INT. Doubtful a guy like Favre could live with that. I'll bet he comes back for an 18th season.
I'm continuing to stick with my workouts. I should have been doing this for the past ten years. I feel terriffic. And even though I liked carrying around that extra 30 pounds (he said with tougue in cheek!) it's cool without it. I really feel good. My friends at Zoned For Fitness are helping me take my quest for total fitness to the next level. It really is a cool health club. Small intimate feeling. It's terriffic if you're looking for a bit of extra one-on-one. Well, so long for now. Time to go shovel more snow.