Friday, June 27, 2008

Farmer's Market

For years we've heard about the Farmer's Market in Madison. We finally experienced it in May, but didn't get the full effect until now. It really is a BIG DEAL!
Every week there is a little more for sale and more people turn out. What got my attention this time was the street musicians. In a two block radius there were seven different musicians.First I could hear a solo drummer. He wasn't even on the main drag, but you could sure hear him. Next we happened on a couple of guys playing guitar and singing songs from Sesame Street!

Then we saw a group of electic musicians playing a bluegrass number. What caught my attention was that one of them was playing a washboard! As I got closer, I saw that another guy was playing a washtub! He was pickin a bungee cord and making some decent sound. They were a total treat to watch! I bought their CD. The group is called "Boo Bradley".

We saw a few more groups and soon ran out of dollar bills to tip with. Next week I'm getting a roll of $1 coins so I don't have to worry that the wind will blow the money away. It's pretty cheap entertainment and totally enjoyable.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Beautiful Weather

After all that rain and the complaints about the weather, this week it's perfect! Warm, but not too hot. Low Humidity. Interesting skies. Cool nights. In other words, simply marvelous!!All that rain, and now the sun and heat has produced the lush vegetation we've come to expect in Wisconsin. We drove up to Appleton over the weekend and couldn't quit exclaiming about how beautiful everything is.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Chemistry of Dreams

Last night I had vivid and disturbing dreams. My sleep wasn't restful, and I woke up sore and tired and out of sorts. This makes me ornery and that is NOT the way to greet a Monday morning.

While I was lying in bed, trying to collect my wits, a random thought occurred to me, and I seized on it as a potential explanation for my disgruntlement.

Within hours of going to bed last night, I'd experienced terror. The gut clenching, acid producing, go screaming-into-the-night type terror. I wondered, "Did the terror produced the nightmares?"

Many years ago, I quit watching the news at night. It had been the habit for a long time to watch the 10 o'clock news, and then go to sleep. I often had violent, disturbing dreams and finally I insisted that habit stop, in hopes of improving my sleep. It worked, eventually. It was necessary to also weed out the more violent and frightening movies.
Animations - creatures 002
Over time, I came to have bad dreams only when I'd seen, heard, or read something disturbing, eaten really spicy food, and/or had too much alcohol.

Sleep has become one of my favorite parts of the day, because I usually have good dreams.

Then there was last night! It's been many years since I've felt that level of terror. It was self induced, but that didn't make it any less real. The fact that is WAS self induced made it hard to get rid of. I worked diligently on calming myself for 30 minutes. Techniques that normally work in minutes were still not producing satisfactory results. (I'd arrived home at 10pm to find three messages from my parents. They sounded serious and asked me to call them back. My mind immediately went to the time we were informing people of Brent's death. When we couldn't reach someone, we asked them to call us. No one wants to hear about the death of a loved one from an answering machine. Remembering who had "departed" in the past years without anyone calling me--cousins, uncles, old family friends--I decided that THIS phone call was about the immediate family. No! No! No! was all I could think. I tried to call mom and dad, but the line was busy. Exactly what happened when Brent died. The phone was endlessly busy as the news was spread and people called to offer condolences. I tried their number every few minutes for 30 minutes. Meanwhile I was mentally preparing myself for devastating news.) Finally I took my courage in my hands and called my sister. Within seconds her cheerful voice dispelled my terror and we went on to have a conversation punctuated with laughter. I was in a upbeat mood when I hung up.

Is there a connection between our emotional experience and our dreams? It seems logical to me, and you can be sure I'll be testing this theory. I love my peaceful dreams!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring....

That nursery rhyme from childhood plays in my mind: It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring...bumped his head when he went to bed and he couldn't get up in the morning. I don't know about the whole tune, but the raining and pouring is correct. It's also thundering (old man snoring?) and lightening, with occassional hail and the odd tornado! FUN! or not.

The tornado sirens have gone off several times during the past few days. Everyone prepares to evacuate to the basement, but then it passes by and we are spared again. I stashed some snacks and water downstairs. Never know when they'll be needed.

The flooding is more serious. The ground is saturated, the level of many lakes and rivers is up and there is nowhere for the water to go. So there are many detours. I've seen people drive through the barricade and cross the washed out road. Hell, I used to do the same thing in California. But no more. A directive was issued warning people not to drive into flooded areas. They say "Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the Road. When encountering flooded roads make the smart choice... turn around... don't drown." It made an impression on me!!

I'm nearly ready to start singing another childhood melody, "Rain Rain, Go Away. Come Again Some other Day!"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rain and more Rain

Water has come into the basement family room AGAIN, and yet again. It wasn't much, but the carpet had to be pulled back, the water mopped up and fans run for two days to dry things out. The day I went down to put the carpet back in place, a little more water had found its way in and made the fan necessary for another day.

It's raining again now. I don't have the heart to go check out the basement. I would just let the water ruin our stuff, except I got a letter from our insurance company reminding us that we're not covered for flooding!! So I keep moving our stuff/junk, threaten to get rid of it (except where would I find the energy to do that?!) and then put it all back where it came from. Vicious circle!

The neighbor's back yard has flooded again. This time the water is deep! A duck couple has taken up residence there.

When we look at the forecast, it mentions rain that may be "torrential" at times. It's easy to tell those times, as the sound of the rain is overwhelming. For some reason this gives me a calm feeling and I really enjoy listening to it. Usually this is accompanied by some LOUD thunder and intense lightening. We unplug our appliances and computers several times each day.

Madison had the worst winter in 20 years our first winter here. Now we're having the most volatile Spring that anyone can remember. Is it just bad luck? Poor timing? Global warming?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

weather (again)

I'm not complaining. Really I'm not! But I absolutely must note that the weather is odd. It was May before we finally overcame Winter. May saw wide extremes in temperature. Which is normal for both May, and Wisconsin.
By now I expect a little continuity. It gets hot (and humid) and we put on summer gear. Next day the temperature drops 20 degrees, and even though it's in the low 60's, it feels cold. So, the blanket goes back on the bed, and I've been known to wear my jacket in the morning.

I watch the temperature map for the whole USA, and it seems like this is happening everywhere.
What's the weather like where YOU live?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Fall, a movie

I've rediscovered one of my great loves, BIG CINEMA! For some unknown reason, I find I've been ignoring going to the theatre to watch movies. Part of this was my disdain for the general public (talking during the film, littering everywhere, the crowds, the cell phones, etc) and the lack of a good theatre near me.

All that changed when we moved to Madison and found the Sundance Cinema. This is a THEATRE! The "lobby" is so comfortable that we find ourselves hanging out there, whether we're seeing a film or not. They have good food, that you can take into the theatre with you. The prices are reasonable and my favorite part---YOU SELECT YOUR SEAT WHEN YOU BUY YOUR TICKET!!!!!

Anyway, we've been going to the movies more. Last week I saw a preview for a movie called "The Fall" and decided I had to see it on the BIG screen. The movie is visually dramatic, the cinematography excellent, and the locations exotic. I was not disappointed. Today I went all by myself and was thoroughly entertained.
After the movie, I got online to read about it, since the credits listed several countries with film crews. Sure enough, it was filmed in 18 countries. When we saw the preview, I whispered to my husband that it reminded me of "The Cell", another visually dramatic film. So I wasn't all that surprised to find they share a director, Tarsem Singh.

Go see the film. It will delight your eyes and ears.

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