Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Olbrich Gardens, Ornamental Cherry trees, photo by John Savino
We had the hot, summer weather. Then it dropped to 40 one day, and we were reminded it is only March. We had a week of high 50's and low 60's. Overnight the grass greened up. On March 28, I caught the first scent of Freshly Mowed Grass, mixed with gasoline from the mower engine. Walking to work, a woman was mowing her lawn!! A few blocks later, there was a man mowing. Wisconsin. March 28. Mowing the Lawn. This is NOT normal, folks. Good, but not normal.
Along with the grass greening up, all the "mock" trees burst into bloom. This is several weeks sooner than I've ever seen it. Once the blooming occurred, it's become cooler. Which is great, as it may make it last a bit longer. Unfortunately, the cooler weather has also included several days of grey, uninteresting skies. I miss the sunshine. Not to worry. The sun will be back Sunday, which I have off. And Monday, which I also have off, will see a return of the heat! So, I'll be walking around drinking in all the Beauty that is Blooming this Spring. Life is Good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Equinox

Spring has Sprung. Today I was out walking around our neighborhood on the first official day of Spring. It was 81 degrees, but felt wonderful. In the park, at least 40% of the trees have started the blooming process that will result in leaves soon. Many bushes have leaves and blossoms popping out. Soon we won't be able to see into people's yards, because the hedges will have filled in.
The Forsythia is in full blooming color, which is usually the first thing that blooms each Spring. The ground is covered by a variety of blue and purple flowers. They are very small, and I couldn't identify them, but they are beautiful. All this green coming up, accented with color. This is the best Spring I can remember. Mostly that is because it is happening so early. I am Not complaining! Too Happy.
We finished the day sitting in the reclining chairs on the lawn, watching the summer-like clouds float by. Looking at the forecast, this weather is staying for at least 10 more days (as far as I can get the forecast). The temperatures will flocculate, but not drop below the mid 60's during the day. YES!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

bizarre weather

March 8-11 the weather improved every day. We went from the low 60's to the low 70's. It went from being cold at night to merely chilly. The temperatures are traditionally in the low to mid 40's this time of year. And those temps are during the Day! By March 14, we were having summer like weather. Suddenly the parks were full of people biking and skating and running. People were playing soccer and basketball in shorts!!
I walked to work with no jacket whatsoever, and walked home at 11pm in a short sleeve t-shirt and flip flops! The high during the days was the mid to high 70's! and at night it was in the 60's until after midnight! This is weather I could get used to. But I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Meanwhile, the daffodils are blooming!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Whether the Weather

We had another storm that covered the trees with snow. It was beautiful. Next day it rained, which melted most of the snow. I was walking to work on cold, but sunny, days. I'd arrive with a cold face, but it was invigorating! Then, in a matter of a couple of days, the temperature went from the mid 30's to the high 40's. By March 7, we were in the 60's! I'm not complaining. I love that things have warmed up, but it does seem a bit weird. Suddenly I had to start looking for lighter clothes. I'm only wearing a jacket to work, not a coat! Wonder if it will last? Probably not. We'll most likely get a blizzard and 20" of snow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First (only?) Winter Storm

We have had a couple of snow sprinkles this winter, all less than 2 inches. Yesterday we got an actual storm!
The storm was expected during the day, but didn't begin until about 8pm. By the time I finished work and got outside it was 11pm and the world was beautiful! I wanted to get photos of the perfect outlines of the tree branches, but I don't have the capability to photograph in the dark. By morning, more snow had fallen, and while it was still lovely, there was just a bit too much snow. I took photographs anyway!
These photographs were taken at about 7am. Outside, it was still and cold. I was the first set of tracks through the park. It was an easy walk. Not like last year when we got storms of 8-10 inches with regularity.
I didn't stay out long. The breeze was brisk and my nose was soon chilled. I needed Hot Liquids! Then, I went back to bed, and by the time I got up, most of the snow had fallen off the trees, the branches were bare. Today, we're back to blue skies. There may be 4 inches of snow on the ground, but tomorrow it's going to warm up, and rain is coming. The snow will be gone in a couple of days. Yes, I LOVE this winter!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winter in Wisconsin 2011-2012

I can honestly say I haven't minded Winter this year! Which is an amazing statement, as I usually hate Winter.But this year, it's been mild. Some people worry about it, but I don't worry about things I have no control over. And I can't control the weather. I can influence the weather. I have Weather Fairy's that will help me from time to time, but I haven't bothered them much lately, as I'm rather satisfied with what's provided.

What has been Wonderful about THIS Winter is how blue the sky has been. Usually Winter is a ubiquitous grey. It makes me SAD with seasonal depression. I'd have to take Vitamin D3, sit under sun lamps, and it didn't really work, just took the edge off. This winter, with the sunshine and blue sky I've been happy, cheerful, content!
Winter this year has come in very small doses. It will be pleasant for days, then give us a brief snow (less than 3" accumulation) and a few days of real cold. Then it goes back to being pleasant. I've been able to walk to work lots of days! I've been outside more this winter than in the previous 8 Winters combined.
The whole country has had unusual weather this Winter. Is it a sign of global warming? long term trends? the end of time? I don't know. All I do know, is I'm enjoying it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pinterest and Social Networking

My obsession with Pinterest only grows.
I used to spend my time on e-mail. I had a long list of people I corresponded with, although the correspondence was largely trading jokes and stories. I loved sitting at my computer and laughing and/or crying over the stories, jokes, and photos that came my way. I loved to be the one to share things first! (Yes, I'm competitive!) I had grasped the concept that there were "things" circulating "out there" that had a life cycle of their own. If I wasn't the one to recognize and send it on, then someone else would see it and send it to me. Childish, sure. But I've recognized this trait of mine for many years. I just try to steer it in appropriate directions.After changing my e-mail address each time we moved, or changed carriers, I was on of the first people in my circle to try g-mail. I had an invitation and everything! Now I have 6-8 accounts for different things, and rarely use any of them. I give out the address, because you HAVE to have an e-mail address to register for anything online, but I only check on the accounts to delete the e-mail. E-mail is passé!

Then I heard about Facebook. When I heard about it, only the young kids (18-22) were using it, and THEY were trying to decide whether to change from MySpace or have two accounts. Initially, I used my Facebook account to play games. I did FarmTown, and FarmVille, and ZooWorld. I spend hours on the computer, pressing the buttons to acquire gifts and place them in pleasing patterns on my farm/zoo. Many hours were spent rearranging and perfecting and acquiring.As the games grew, I acquired so much STUFF, that I couldn't keep it all in one place, so I bought another farm/zoo and expanded. This went on for nearly a year. I was addicted to pushing buttons to get things I didn't need so I could arrange them on non-existent real estate, so my friends could drop by to admire my efforts and give me more stuff I didn't have room for.

One day, one of my friends quit. Cold Turkey. She erased her game, unfriended the people she didn't know except for the game and started gardening in the Real World. I was shocked, amazed, and uncomfortable. It made me wonder and speculate about whether or not I was addicted to my game(s). Once the thought had been placed in my brain I began worrying.I'd started playing FarmVille because someone had posted a plea to help her acquire the latest prize. I kept telling myself I wasn't going to play seriously, since I was already spending too much time playing FarmTown. But one thing led to another and next thing I knew, I had a BIG farm with all these animals that needed tending and crops to look after. FarmTown was my REAL farm. FarmVille was just a hobby that had gotten out of control!In FarmTown, I'd progressed to the point I knew how to play the game successfully. My farm was Large and I was RICH, and could buy anything I wanted from their store. I could plant crops in elaborate patterns and hire people to come harvest my crops and earn big money.I waited weeks, working hard on the farm every day, to be able to afford the water features. While I had them, I rearranged them several times. It was Time Consuming, but I did it because I'm a perfectionist and wanted to to look just so. Eventually I sold the water for dimes on the dollars, because I was tired of it and had no place to store it. Still, I was playing every day, sometimes several times a day. Hooked? Oh yeah.

Then I got pulled into ZooWorld trying to help a friend save a baby animal in her zoo.Very quickly I fell in with a group of people that had figured out how to make the game give them the prizes they wanted, and they shared this information and these prizes so that I was moving up and acquiring a really fabulous zoo full of exotic animals. So now I had 2 farms and a zoo that required daily, sometimes hourly attention. It was taking up ALL my spare time. My days off were spent rearranging plants, animals and stuff into ever more pleasing patterns. OMG. Writing about it makes me laugh and cry, to see what a pathetic person I had become.

One day, I realized that my friend had been right. The only way to give this up was to pull the plug, erase the programs, and go cold turkey into the withdrawl. For a couple of weeks, I vacillated. Swore I'd cut back, cut out one of the games, limit the time I was playing. But my virtual world was too big. It couldn't be done in little bits. It had to be played or erased. So I erased it.

It was not easy to get rid of. The stuff sat there, in the virtual reality, calling me to come back. So, I had to click on each thing, and sell it off to be rid of it. That is a LOT of clicking. My hands had been having problems for awhile, and this made me realize just what a toll these games were taking on my wrists and fingers and arm. Still, like any junkie, I missed my fix. I would think about my farm(s) and the animals in my zoo. Then I started reading again, and the games faded from my mind and eventually I quit wondering about them at all.

Now, I'm exchanging e-mail with less than 10 people, and it's sporadic. Mostly I e-mail people that aren't on Facebook. It's so much easier to post something and let anyone interested read it. For awhile, I posted regularly, and read my Facebook page daily. Now, I check in every couple of days to see that no one has posted anything interesting. We've all gotten bored.

Which brings us back to my latest addiction, Pinterest. I could spend lots of time pinning. Except I can't. Once again, my hands, wrists and shoulder suffer when I spend more than 30 minutes pinning. So I've learned to go to my account and just look at all the wonderful pins. I pin the most interesting, and quit when I feel the first twinge of pain. Because I know it will be worse later, and I'm tired of the discomfort. I'm amazed that I've learned to be content with just looking. Me, competitive me, is good with not being Numero Uno. Guess I am getting older, maybe wiser. It feels good.

Meanwhile, please visit my Pinterest page and enjoy the pins. I can look at the pins for hours! And I do :)
As of today, I have 104 boards, and just under 14,000 pins.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


When I chose 02/02/02 as our wedding date, it wasn't because it was Groundhog Day! I chose that day because of the symmetry of the numbers. Plus, it would be easy to remember! The fact that our Anniversary always occurs on Groundhog Day has become a excuse to watch "Groundhog Day" and reflect on what it means to love and be in love. Sort of like watching "It's A Wonderful Life" every year at Christmastime. Makes you feel good about being alive!

So, this was our 10 Year Anniversary! I remind my husband every year that we were handfast as well as married. To me, that means that we renew the commitment each year. He always tells me that he is in this for the long haul and has no intention of reneging on his promise. I figure that I'll give him, and me, a loophole every year, in case one of us change our minds.This year, celebrating a decade of married commitment, we did an actual ceremony, repeated our updated vows to one another, wound our hand together in his favorite turquoise necklace, and drank champagne to celebrate our new lease. It WAS special. There were tears and smiles, kisses and hugs. It was really special and I'm glad that we have signed up for another year!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Caring for Your Introvert

Caring for Your Introvert - The Atlantic
One of my friends posted this article on her Facebook account. I read it and had an epiphany!
I'm an Introvert!

This took me back to 10th grade. For our Science Project, our teacher had suggested we test our fellow students to see if we were Introverts or Extroverts. Something to do with squirting lemon juice into people's mouths and watching how they salivate. I remember this, because the test said I was an Introvert, but we felt it had to be wrong because I wasn't shy.The Science Project would have had better results if we'd actually know what Extroverts and Introverts were. Still, I was surprised to find which category I favor once I understood the basic concept. I am definitely an Introvert, and proud of it!

My favorite people to hang out with are Extroverts. I love people that laugh easily, are usually having fun, and tend to be optimistic and cheerful. People tend to see me that way because I hang out with those types of people. I used to believe it myself. Lately I've come to realize that I can appreciate FUN people, without actually being FUN myself.

The part of being an Introvert that I can most relate to is needing quiet and periods of rest. That is one of my defining characteristics! Maybe knowing doesn't make a real difference in my life, but I'm glad to have this piece of the puzzle. Knowledge IS power!

The cartoons are to illustrate the new book about Introverts "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. Guess I'll be reading that next!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Pinterest is my latest love. I spend a great deal of time on their site, pinning like mad. I usually have to quit when my hand are numb from holding the mouse! Sometimes I have to quit because my behind has gone to sleep. Otherwise, I'd pin for hours.

When I can't sleep, I sit at the computer to pin. My lunch break is spent pinning. First thing I do when I get home is turn on the computer to see what is new to pin. Addiction? hummmmm

It began innocently enough. One of my cousins mentioned it on Facebook. I hadn't heard of it, so I googled it, wangled an invitation and accessed their site. It took a few days to get the hang of it, and another week to realize that I needed to organize the pins into categories.

This was around Thanksgiving. I was off for a few days and had time to spare, so I fiddled around. Next thing I knew, I was following various people and their pins. My account had grown to 40 boards (categories). I took the time to look at my friends Pinterest boards, see if anyone else was as obsessed as I was. No, I was leading the charge!

Now, I have 101 boards, several hundred followers, several hundred people I follow, and endless fun looking, categorizing, pinning. It keeps me out of trouble. It's free. The pins are entertaining to look at. I spend some days just looking at the cool things I have pinned already. But we all know, I'm easily amused.Look at my Pins at Let me know where YOUR pins are so I can look and repin them :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My aunt sent me a link to a site called "DRAW A STICKMAN"

I was amazed at what some enterprising person had created! Imagine knowing how to write such a program!
I played it once, but didn't get clear through, as my computer is old and balked at the task. So, when I got on my husband's computer and completed the story my appreciation grew.

Then, I looked at the gallery pictures.
What an amazing species we are. People are imaginative, playful, diverse and artistic! My stick person looked like a stick person. (It's hard to draw with the mouse.)
The gallery made the experience more valuable because it connected me to people and opened my imagination in a way it wasn't before.

So, go to and participate.

Monday, January 16, 2012

They have HANDS!

Easter Island. The mysterious statues we all know by sight have been speculated about for centuries. From Wickipedia we learn that the statues, called "mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500."
How they were carved, moved into place and WHY are all questions that have no definite answers. However in October 2011, the Easter Island Statue Program began Excavation Season V.
I was surprised to randomly come across a picture of an excavated statue, and see that the head also has a body and HANDS! Suddenly it made me realize that the things we've taken for granted forever are always open to more and new interpretation! I love when something changes right before my eyes and I have a new understanding. In fact, it's the thing I find most gratifying about being alive.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lightening Strikes!

Why is Lightening so fascinating? When I was young, it frightened me, mostly because of the thunder that usually follows. But now, as an adult, I love thunder because of the association with lightening, which fascinates me.I can watch storms for hours. If I know a storm is coming in the night, I leave the drapes open so that I'm awakened by the light and sounds. I don't mind being awake if it's storming. When I do go back to sleep, I sleep so peacefully.
I've read books about lightening strikes, people struck by lightening, surviving lightening strikes. Endlessly fascinating. However, I don't want to be one of those struck! I'd sign up in a moment if I knew I'd survive intact, but that's a lot of raw energy that can rearrange your mind and body. I'll keep watching from afar, enjoying it from the safety of my house or porch. Mother Nature, you are one Powerful Force!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Once again I survived the holidays! An accomplishment I'm proud of.

There were moments I enjoyed. We did things that were fun. I did not purchase a single present. I sent cards only to the few people I really care about. The food was the center of our celebrations, and that was modest compared to other years. I'm glad it's over and I can forget about it for another year! We did not incur any debt for which I am profoundly grateful.

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