City Life, County Government, Dane County Court House, Dane County WI, Madison WI, Uncategorized

It’s a Beautiful Morning, ahhh…

It’s a beautiful mornin’, Ahhh,
I think I’ll go outside a while,
An jus’ smile.
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
Ain’t no sense in stayin’ inside
If the weather’s fine an’ you got the time.

The Rascals “Its a Beautiful Morning” written by: Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati

I had business downtown in our fair city and Dr Week has prescribed walking as the antidote to my weak back despite my propensity to fall (He is arguing in favor of the walker, Dr Wendler is proposing. ack!) So I prepared myself to trudged up the hill and back down.

What a beautiful morning! The tropical heat and humidity that was still lingering through the rainstorms the day before is gone. The air has become light and silky and the sky is wide and a luminous blue. The birds were singing as if they were preparing for a dozen different operettas. The flowers were perky and colorful.

The new glasses I got that are for distance only rather than the trifocals I generally wear work much better for this walking along the streets business. I actually managed to avoid all the potholes in my neighborhood. I could look at my feet without getting vertigo! I didn’t fall.

I noticed that they have Mifflin Street west of Broom Street all torn up and are going to get rid of the all the potholes in there and replace some plumbing as well it looks like. I hope they are burying the telephone and electric lines while they are at it. That makes everything look so much nicer and it all works so much better as well.

This was the first time I had ever been to our new Dane County Courthouse. What an unusual yet dignified building that is. I wholeheartedly approve. I especially approve of the hole in the wall. It’s somehow symbolic I think of the hole that is often in people’s lives when they come to the halls of justice. That is where that hole will be found and guilt established, justice rendered; lives mended by restitution; marriages performed and set asunder; children freed from the slavery of abuse and children adopted into loving families; deeds to homes registered. So much happens in a courthouse.

On my way home I walked down West Main Street past St Raphael’s Cathedral. Such a beautiful old historical building and such a tragedy to lose it to an arsonist. The sun was shining through the roof at an angle through the blue and yellow stain glassed windows when I turned back to take a look at it and it was gorgeous there in the beautiful summer morning.

I remembered hearing that a decision had been made to rebuild St Raphael’s but where had not been decided. I wonder if they will tear this ruins down. It’s too beautiful to tear down. I hope it stays just the way it is. It’s more holy than it was when it was whole.

Baseball, Chantix, Cheetos, Cracker Jacks, Fuze, Grandchildren, Healthy Food, Mankato Moondogs, Moondogs, Quit Smoking, Uncategorized, WISCONSIN, Writing

Take Me Out to the Ball Game…

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks! I don’t care if we ever come back!

Tomorrow night is the big game my boys (son and grandson) and I are going to see between the Madison Mallards and the Mankato Moondogs at The Duck Pond. Seriously, that’s the name of our ballpark. We ain’t got nothing if we ain’t got schmaltzy sappiness in this city!

I went to the store and bought treats to take into the ballpark. I know that that isn’t exactly kosher but the Gr-Son shouldn’t consume artificial dyes and preservatives or much sugar because he is hyperactive. So I thought it best to go prepared with stuff I know won’t get him off and running that I know he enjoys and doesn’t get often. I got some of those natural white cheddar Cheetos which have no dyes or preservatives so they are healthy fried puffs of empty calories which BTW, I love; some FUZE, which makes all kinds of claims about being a slenderizing, revitalizing, blah,blah,blah energy drink but basically I think it’s just a slightly fruit flavored bottle of water in a fancy bottle; it tastes good and I’d rather pay $1.69 for FUZE that will entice my Gr-Son away from despair over not getting the Soda than pure artesian spring water I could go get on my own if I’d go looking for the springs around here; AND I got some CrackerJacks because I remember how much fun it was when Grandaddy handed them out to all of us kids when I was a little (and besides what’s a baseball game without CrackerJacks?). How’s that for a lovely run-on sentence? I’m trying on my Faulknerian style for you literary types tonight. Did I succeed? <heh>

I’ve really been writing a lot lately and feeling pretty good about it. It’s getting easier to write without a cigarette burning somewhere but still, I have a hard time sitting at the keyboard for long without getting the heebie jeebies.

I “quit” smoking Halloween night. My little Gr-Son inspired me. He would have a fit when ever he saw me having a smoke or saw my cigarettes. He’d even steal them and rip them up or hide them. He would say “Grammy, cigarettes will kill you!” What is so poignant about that is that his Gramma on his Dad’s side died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm. I can’t die on that little boy. Not anytime soon anyway and certainly not from cigarettes.

It’s been 7 months and I’m still on the Chantix. This would be hell without it. It’s merely purgatory with it. sigh… I am going to get a hypnosis tape because I’m afraid I’ll go right back to smoking a pack a day or better once the Rx is gone. I’ve been cheating pretty regularly, buying one here and there for 50 cents. I smoked for 41+ years. I’m a full blown addict.

I liked smoking, loved it. I don’t miss the coughing though. Or the stink in the house. And Patches is much more friendly. Now she wants to sit on my lap all the time or better yet, hang out onthe back of my chair. That’s sweet.

Well, I’ll keep struggling with it. Keep quitting.



Bring It On! Deliver Every Yummy Calorie to the Three Threes!

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.Julia Child
US cook & cookbook author (1912 – )

I used to watch Julia Child religiously. She taught me everything about cooking that my husband didn’t and to tell you the truth he learned a lot of what he knew from Julia. My mother didn’t teach me a damned thing worth learning about cooking. She hated being in the kitchen and resented cooking the big meals my father demanded three times a day.

Skip (my husband for the uninitiated) was a chef and a very talented one at that . His career began in Jackson Michigan where a very kind and good chef let him get behind a grill once in awhile so he could learn how to cook a steak to perfection. He quickly moved up the ladder to the Head Chef at The Hastings Country Club in only 3 years and then The Lincoln Country Club came and offered him a jobless than 3 yrears after that as Sous chef when he was 27 because they had heard how good he was. He won all kinds of awards for original presentation at the Cooking Conventions they had in Lincoln every year.

Madison is a cornucopia of delicious food in the downtown area and quite a few of them deliver to those of us who are too lazy to cook and/or get dressed and go foraging on our own. That was me Friday night. I Hadn’t been feeling well all week and hadn’t been hungry at all.

Anyway, Friday I had an egg salad sandwich and a banana for dinner with a big glass of Looza Pear Nectar. omigawd, if you haven’t tried Looza’s products you must do so immediately. I get mine much cheaper here in town so look in your store first and request it from your store manager. You could cut their juices with water and still have a rich juice but I don’t because It is going towards my nine daily fruits and vegetables.

Then I made myself some raisin bread toast with cinnamon and sugar on top and had another banana with the last of the peanut butter and some Ben and Jerry’s mint chocolate chunk .

You can see where this is going can’t you? By 9:30pm I was ravenous again! So I browsed amongst my take out menus and chose Jade Garden. I ordered their pancakes with scallops, the Mongolian Beef (please make that mild on the spices) and The Garlic Broccoli.

The total was $17.60 something and the portions were huge. I got enough food to feed three adults a healthy portioned meal. Except I only got two fortune cookies. The first one said “You will receive a fortune cookie soon.” Smart ass fortune cookie. :^*
It was wonderful. I was sort of surprised that the pancakes had been deep fat fried because I’ve never had them that before but oh well, they were Delicious and the sauce yummy. The Mongolian Beef was tender and had just enough fire for my belly–tamed the heat with creamed sweet tea easily enough. I learned that trick at Vientienne Palace years ago.

Of course I wasn’t THAT hungry so I’ve been eating Mongolian beef and Garlic Broccoli all weekend. I just finished the last of it for lunch. It gets better with age as the spices mingle with the other ingredients while it marinates in the refrigerator._

It’s a pity Ventienne’s doesn’t deliver because I would probably have them at my door once a week and I’d always order #23, the bean thread noodles and probably some kind of curry. They are at Gorham and Henry and the place looks like a diner which it used to be. Now it’s an Asian Laotian and Cambodian diner with some of the best Asian food in the city.

The ambiance is a little disconcerting but the food is to die for and this is a family owned and operated business that is the epitome of a success story of immigrants leaving a war torn country and receiving political asylum here in the USA. My daughter worked there while she was in high school and college. Mayor Soglin and Dr Zorba Paster probably still eat there all the time. She introduced me to poor Dr Zorba Paster shortly after I became very ill because she thought he could work a miracle cure. He was on TV after all. It was really kind of funny because we adults kind of waltzed around the kid with platitudes, each knowing that the other wanted nothing to do with this charade. I liked him a lot better after that because he was tactful and kind to my very worried and scared daughter.

I’ll give a plug to here. They are the reason I found the Jade Garden. The menu is listed right online and had I been thinking right and mentioned I was ordering from the website I could have gotten two free egg rolls with my order but I didn’t want egg rolls. I wanted the pancakes.

It seems incredible to me that they have only been able to get seventeen Madison restaurants to join their service given the many, many restaurants in the vicinity of the university that do deliver or have take out services. Someone needs to till this fertile soil a little deeper.



All’s Quiet on the Western Front! Too Quiet…

School’s out, school’s out! Teacher’s let the fools out! Anonymous

Anonymous has written and said a lot of interesting things and some foolish stuff that are just fun. That little ditty is something I used to chant every May with great joy when I was attending PS 70 in Clay Center, NE.

It’s awfully quiet here just off State Street for a Friday night. The University has turned the students loose for summer break. The dull roar from the bars isn’t even a whimper. The city feels empty. Dead.

It always takes me a few weeks to get used to the lack of energy and simple body mass the students provide every year. There is always a change of clerks and shelf stockers at the grocery store as the University kids move out and the High school kids move in to take over for the summer. Some of them are new and don’t have any more clue than I do where the tooth picks are and cthuluh only knows why they keep moving them around.

Starbucks at the top of State street or is it the bottom? Do you think the State Capitol Building should be considered the top of the Mall or the beginning of the University Library Mall is the top of the street? When we start at or near the Capitol Building are we walking down State Street or up State Street? Larry and I used to argue about that frequently. I always said up and he said down.

Whatever. Starbucks is virtually empty. You can get a seat anywhere you want to sit and no one will give you the stare of death if you hold a conversation. The students had co-opted Starbucks as a study hall with caffeine, a fireplace and wireless internet service. He who got their first had dibs on the hearth for all his or her friends.

You couldn’t even talk on the smoking balcony without getting “the look” which would make Larry acutely uncomfortable but I would just stare back and talk louder about how some people should go home and study if they couldn’t concentrate when other people talked in a damn coffee shop because HEY, you know, people go to coffee shops to meet their friends and TALK and believe it or not the students didn’t own this particular coffee shop so they could eff off if people having a conversation in a normal tone of voice bothered them. And that usually put an end to the look of death from the toddlers with entitlement issues.

Still, for the most part, I like the students. In particular I like the ones who wouldn’t be caught dead in Starbucks. I particularly like the kids who would frequent Steep & Brew and hide out in some of the out of the way corners discussing radical politics or sitting alone writing angsty poetry about unrequited love. I like the kids who have the weird piercings and wear all black black clothes and spiked accessories. I like the way they slouch along the street in androgynous packs, I like the girls who wear gaudy retro clothes from Ragstock with fishnet stockings and platform shoes and date boy men who have intense eyes and shy grins and have managed to grow wispy goatees they’re obviously very proud of

There are a lot of people here at the Three Threes who don’t like the college kids but these young people tickle me and I find them refreshing. I eavesdrop on the intellectual conversations at Steep and Brew or simply sit there and watch them coming and going, working and playing. I find their youthful energy and exuberance exhilarating and their hopeful belief that someday they are going to change the world in important ways poignant.

Not only that, in a few years these kids are going to be my future and the future of my children and grandchildren, the movers and shakers who are going to be making important decisions in all of our lives–Doctors, Lawyers, Business men aspiring to be CEOS of major corporations, Inventors, Legislators and Scientists. Why I might have even seen a President or two walking past me on State Street! Or perhaps the woman who is going to find the cure for some devastating disease like Lou Gherigs which has deprived us of Michael Fox’s fine hand at comedy. O someone who will be able to diagnose my illness and treat it so I live a longer, more productive life.

You never know, The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a world class college in terms of Academics. The School of Medicine is one of the best in the nation and you should see our Sports Dept at work. The , Bucky Badgers field winning tournament winners in Football, Basketball (men’s and women’s), Hockey, Field and Track, Golf, and Gymnastics. by now and done so  without a whimper. YAY me!  Well maybe I should  have my hormones checked to be certain of that before I go around crowing about it.



Take Me Out to the Ball Game…

just ordered tickets for my son and grandson and myself for the June 9th Madison Mallards game against the Mankato, MN Moondogs. This minor league baseball is hot stuff folks. Madison has had a great team for awhile now with good attendance and you’ve got to snap those box seats up in a hurry if you want them.We’re part of The Northwoods League. I think that means us and Minnesota and maybe they let Michigan play as a courtesy.

Sillier than snot crap happens on the field between innings that caused my beloved ex, Larry, to say with awe inspired disapproval “That would never happen at Wrigley Field.” Probably not even at The Brewer’s Miller Stadium where things are a little more relaxed but we rednecks have to have a reason to drag our kids out to sit in the hot sun besides baseball bats and statistics.

We also love our beer and the boys, well when they have an audience, they play for keeps. But it is kind of ridiculous to have people chanting “give us another beer” when a batter is about to get three strikes in a row because the house gives half-price off on the beers. Nothing like a stadium full of drunkards because the home team is winning. :^/ Not to mention the poor sportsmanship it shows. Oh well…

But let’s take a look at that name–the Madison Mallards? Yeah, I know…it sucks having a big old Duck for a mascot. A big old yellow and red duck. Quack quack. But I gotta get me one of these hats! It could be worse. We could be the Moondogs and be from MN. Arf Arf.

This would be my GrSon’s first ‘grown-up’ ballgame. He played T-ball last year and is going to play again this summer. I think he’d really have a lot of fun at these games. Maybe he will get chosen to drive one of the miniature Volkswagon Beetles around the baselines in the Kiddie Kar race! He’d love that! Or do something weird to that damn duck.

See I told you silly stuff happens between innings. You should see the stuff the grown-ups do. Larry just sat there and shook his head and kept saying “This is so undignified.” Larry was wound just a little too tight for the minor leagues. I’m for sure going to get Gabe a mini baseball bat souvenir. His Mom and Dad won’t be there to say no, the stinking old spoil sports. That’s why they weren’t invited. <heh>

I think my son is going to enjoy this one because Harley Davidson is going to have a display of their motorcycles there and hey, there is going to be fireworks after the game! Don’t ask me why. I don’t have a clue. Just because we can, I guess. Why not?
If we are amongst the first 1,200 to hit the gate we get a free hat. I didn’t realize that the… errr...Duck Pond (what can I say?) held more than 1,200 people much less more than 5,000! It’s not the hat I want but a hat from a bygone era. Maybe I’ll want it more. One never knows. I wouldn’t spit at it that’s for sure but I really love the yellow one.

I love hats period. In fact, I have a huge collection of hats. I need a Mallards hat. Madison has fielded a lot of baseball teams in its time beginning all the way back in Before we had the Mallards we had a different team–the Muskies I think and before them we had the Wolves. Great team name. Great Mascot. Great Logo. Great Hats. I have one and every once in awhile I wear it.

They were awful. Couldn’t win a game to save their souls. Nobody ever went to their games. Even when they were free which they were most of the time. The Wolves slunk off into the north-woods and were never heard from again. Those losers have all gone back to being farm kids gone to seed heaving bales of hay around.

Ahhhh… summer. Baseball, swimming, riding bikes, chasing fireflies and playing hide and seek after dark while the parents play cards late into the soft warm nights when the cicadas sing.