01 July 2014
While mercury was traveling backwards through the skies, we dealt with a flooded basement on a daily basis, a leaky roof, and a car that keeps telling us it wants its brakes fixed even though we just paid $160 to establish the only thing broken is the messaging system itself. There are documents that have mysteriously disappeared, I got a parking ticket even though I have a permit, and I just spilled coffee all over myself.
However, as someone pointed out to me earlier, what about the people who are having good luck? The Dutch team comes to mind, with their win over Mexico. A very valid point. One that I don't have an answer for because there is no answer. Well, maybe that Ryan and I took one, or several, for the team?
Whatever the reason, the basement is fixed, the roof will be, the car is not broken, and my parking ticket has been voided. With the exception of the coffee stains, all is well again. Onward and upward we go, Mercury included. And hopefully Team Netherlands as well. Hup Holland, hup!
17 June 2014
|Handing Out Water to the Runners|
|Hoan Bridge Up Close|
|Milwaukee Art Museum|
16 June 2014
13 June 2014
04 June 2014
Big Change Two
05 February 2014
Sunday was a glorious day. Sunny, blue sky, not too warm, not too cold. My kind of outdoor sports weather. So Ryan and I gave Lola away to my cousin and the two of us went cross country skiing together. We had never done it but had always wanted to. Whitnall Park, just south of Milwaukee, rents skis and snow shoes for the afternoon.
It’s not as easy as it looks. Those skinny skis are mighty slippery and the forward walking motion is a little awkward. Without proper trails –and what trails there are have been destroyed by people walking dogs, snow shoers, sleds, and butts- it’s even more difficult. I fell within seconds of taking off, and again the first time the trail went downhill. But after a while we got the hang of it and found it a most enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
Until I fell for the third time. It was a flat surface, and I wasn’t even moving. But somehow I lost my balance and fell on my butt. And this time, there was no layer of fresh powder snow to cushion the fall. It hurt. A lot. But I got up and continued on my way, telling myself to ski it off. Not that there was a choice about it, we were on the far end of the park.
I did take off my skis to go down a particularly steep bit since I hadn’t made it downhill at all without falling, and I didn’t want to risk my tailbone again. Especially since Ryan flew into the trees in a most spectacular way there. When we got to the end of the trail however, I found I was not able to bend over to take off my skis. Not good.
And so, after dropping Lola off at school Monday morning, I continued on to St. Francis to ascertain whether or not my tailbone was broken. It wasn’t, merely severely bruised. The pain should go away in a day or ten. I can’t take any good drugs for the pain since they cause constipation and that is the last thing you want in my situation. Ibuprofen it is then.
Bummer. At least I am not a broke ass, just butt hurt.
20 January 2014
Like every self respecting big city, Milwaukee has a downtown outdoor ice rink. Much ice skating fun there is to be had, with upbeat music blasting from the speakers and hot chocolates provided by the local Starbucks.
Unlike other big cities, Milwaukee also has an indoor Olympic training oval, the Pettit Center. Also a great place to go ice skating, sans hip drinks and tunes. With, however, real live Olympians running about.
When the Olympians leave the ice, ordinary people can skate there, too. We signed Lola and her cousins up for skating lessons this winter. Every week, they learn the basics of gliding on ice.
Under the watchful eyes of their dads, Lola, M. and C. are learning to balance on skates, fall and get up, glide, and skate backwards. With varying success, I must say. But they are having a lot of fun.
We also signed Lola up for six weeks of skiing lessons, another winter pastime she loves. And while she has not yet set her sights on Mt. Bohemia, her father’s favorite spot, she is getting to be quite good.
12 November 2013
|When I say "dusting," I mean dusting|
What's different this year is that my father-in-law has purchased an acre or two, three, eighty across the road. Instead of just finding a good spot to put up the deer stands, Ryan and he were talking about clearing some popple trees, as aspen trees are often referred to, developing food plots, and building deer stands to last.
|She does not hunt, but tree stands she likes|
I picked a nice spot for me on the south west corner of the land, amid a triangle of pine trees. This spot is known hence forth as Hanneke's Pine Bowl. Ryan liked it too. In fact, after we finished playing around there, he moved his tree stand over to my spot and will continue to bow hunt in my bowl. He better not get my buck!
|A good spot indeed|
|My stand in progress|
10 July 2013
Since we're going to the big city, we opted for the full on urban experience. We rented a loft. This country life I have fallen in love with has come to a temporary halt. Our goal is still a B&B in the middle of nowhere at some point in the future. But that's at least ten years from now and in the meantime we will go through life as city slickers.
We moved about half of our stuff, the essentials, to Milwaukee at the end of June. But if you recall, we had roughly 400 plants started for our garden this year. Since our loft comes with a 5,000 square feet roof deck with ample space for gardening, the slightly overgrown plants came with. Our U-Haul looked like a jungle.
What we are lacking at the moment is storage space. We no longer have a pantry, an attic, a basement, or a garage. Nor do we have dressers and a hutch. Those big pieces of furniture were left behind in favor of the plants. We are not sure if we should leave them up north for staging purposes or just get it all over with and rent another big truck.
I still work in Green Bay two days a week. As long as the house is still ours, I sleep there on the floor. Every time I go back, I pack up a box or two, three, and bring them back with me. I also take advantage of the internet connection because that has not yet been set up in the new house. Nor has the phone.
The joys of starting over. Soon we will have it all organized again. Soon...
03 June 2013
The baby grackle wasn’t the only one unfolding its wings yesterday. Earlier this week Lola announced out of the blue that she wanted her training wheels removed from her bike. She was ready to ride without them. Dressed in full-on protective gear, we set out to teach our girl how to ride. She didn’t realize it, but she caught on within seconds. Turning her bike was a little tricky though, and our little perfectionist was ready to quit when she didn’t get it right on her first try.
I remember my first bike ride. It was my sixth birthday and when I entered the living room there was a shiny red bicycle waiting for me. A friend taught me how to ride it that same day. She held on to my saddle for a minute or two and then let go. That was all there was to it. I can still picture the look of surprise on my mother’s face when I raced by. I had told Lola about this a few weeks ago, and I suspect that’s where her desire came from. But her experience wasn’t as rewarding as she thought it would be.
“I thought dad would hold on for two minutes and then it would be perfect,” she said to me, tears rolling down her cheeks.
Poor kid, blessed with her parents’ perfectionist genes. I don’t know why her first solo ride disappointed her so much she wanted to give up; it looked just about perfect to me. With a little prodding she was willing to get back on her bike and give a few more tries. And lo and behold, she did it. Racing up and down the street, she gave us a big grin. We still have to work a little bit on her right turn, but she mastered the basics yesterday.
When we returned to the house, I walked into the backyard to see how the baby grackle was getting along. He was nowhere to be found. I guess he mastered the basics, too.