ROOTS magazine + cow chip throw

 ROOTS magazine

Yesterday, two copies of ROOTS magazine were waiting in my mailbox upon arriving home from a very busy day in the city.

Last month, I helped to clean up the Swedish-to-English translations for the debut issue. Such an honor. It even got my name in the back of the magazine. I’m humbled. It was really just a favor for a very good friend. (Also, here.) The magazine is available in Sweden and Finland.

This weekend, I am donating my services to the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Festival as a photographer. I’ll be covering everything except the throws, mostly because I have a fear of not capturing people’s big moments, although I might do video coverage of that event. Unsure as of yet. So much equipment, only two arms. (Okay, four and six if I count husband and adult-child.)

(If you are attending the throw and festival, be sure to say hello, or let me know that you’re coming so that I can get your photo.)

not tomatoes

not tomatoes

more like sog days of summer

crochet + iced coffee

I have been going through my summer humid-weather lifestyle shift, which is mostly a combination of adjusting food and activity, as dictated by my body. There might also be a bit of griping about the humidity although I have promised myself that I will try not to waste any time on complaining. It does me no good, or anyone else. But, I might have said at five o’clock this morning, “This is the coolest that it’s going to be all day, and I’m miserable right now.”

Oddly enough, I don’t do well with air conditioning. I think that it’s a very personal thing. Some people can go from frigid rooms to steamy outdoors and their body doesn’t mind at all. In my case, I think that I’m best off to avoid unnatural air cooling, except in the most dire of circumstances. (Thirty years of juvenile diabetes and other autoimmune stuff, like arthritis, sometimes sends my body into a tizzy, and it can’t handle the heat extremes safely.)

First and foremost, I work hard to keep my blood sugar in check and to stay well-hydrated. I limit, sadly, all gardening activities to the early morning and early evening hours. I ditch my AM cup of caffeine and instead prepare the base for an iced coffee or two later in the day. (I essentially use THIS RECIPE, but add a dash of vanilla extract, use WAY LESS sweetened condensed milk, and make frozen coffee for the ice cubes. Special thanks to my friend, Jac, for giving me the idea of making my own concoction. Plus, I think this tastes better than any cold coffee drink that I’ve ever bought. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with happiness in a can sweetened condensed milk.)

This also marks the beginning of my crochet season. I don’t ever really stop, yet I do slow down during April, May, and June, when my days in the garden are long and hard (in a good way). I believe that a lot of people consider fiber work to be a cold-weather activity. For me, though, it slows life down, forces me to sit still, maybe in front of the fan or in a chair outside catching some backyard breezes.

I have been considering that I might sleep outside on occasion. When thinking about easy ways to keep cool, I look to the past for inspiration. During the summer 100 or even 50 years ago, a lot of people slept by the lake, on the beach, in the yard, or within a screened-in porch. Grandma Anderson and her 10 sibling slept in the yard, waking up with snakes in their blankets. My mum slept on a daybed on the porch. The maternal German-Irish side of my family always had a kitchen in the basement, which made cooking a lot more tolerable. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but summer kitchens were also very common here in Wisconsin. Our house originally had one. We can still see the foundation through the lawn on the south side of the house. Oh, how much more productive I would be with that summer kitchen!

Today’s agenda: Iced coffee, the hose set to ‘mist’, putzing around with crochet ideas, trying not to scare anyone with my high-humidity hair.


this is where i was born



constants: eight blocks

It is eight blocks from our house… to our home.

wisconsin. japan.

Well, hello there again.

I have been driven to distraction in a number of different ways these last several weeks, thus the serious lack of posting. First and foremost, I have been absolutely compelled by the heated political situation here in Wisconsin. Many of my friends and family members protested at the state capitol and have attended rallies against the actions of Governor Walker and his posse of low-blow Republican senators. (I wish that I could have been there.) It’s no secret that I stand on the side of the people, of democracy, of unions. Here are a few links to fascinating videos and astounding photography/graphics, as well as one interesting piece about how religion comes into play. When possible, view in full-screen mode.


There are no words. Here are a few links:

flushing the hydrants

It always makes me happy when they flush the hydrants in our village.  First off, I get a childish thrill when I see it.  Secondly, I know that the roll toward cold weather is upon us.

(I often get asked why they do this, and from my understanding it is to clear sediment and a routine maintenance procedure to check for problems.)


fog + flooding in sauk city

We’ve had some flooding in our village and sister village (Prairie du Sac) this week, which is unusual for this time of year.  The fog this morning inspired me to get out to look around and take some photos.  This much excess water always leaves me wondering what it would have been like to live here before the dam was built upstream.

If you look really close in the shot with the ducks and geese, you can see a heron sitting atop a tree in the distance.  He took off from the foreground as soon as I approached the temporary cove.  (It is usually a foot trail.)


polka on the riverway



I posted three videos.  My favorite song is probably “You Are My Baby Doll“, and if you watch the video (HERE), note the foot stomp on the right at 2:09.  Oh, and DO NOT MISS the couple in the background wearing beige shorts.  I love that.  I don’t think that I could run that fast to get out of a burning building.

Also, HERE is a video of the first band that we saw and HERE is a so-called “highlight video”.  Or, you can see them all HERE.


north, south, east, west

It was really windy here today. 

It has been extremely gusty in Wisconsin for more than a week, but not to this degree.  Visibility was down to four blocks in some areas of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac.  Just going to the grocery store left us covered in grit.  I think that I ingested quite a bit as well.  These shots are badly-taken, yet can see a bit of the dust.  For instance, the eagle on the water tower (west) should be visibly dark brown.  The camera and I can usually make out detail  much further than depicted in these photos, which are, respectively, looking north, south, east, and west. 

There is only a breeze now and the dust is gone… if I don’t count my hair, eyes, or throat.