Madison, Wisconsin

GOOOOOOOO BADGERS!!!

badger

Madison was famously described by a candidate for governor in 1978 as “30 square miles surrounded by reality.” He meant it as a dig, but many Madisonians embraced it, then and now. And for the record, it’s now 77 sq. miles.

Being born in Madison, WI and having lived there for the first ten years of my life, it holds a place in my heart that I will never let go. I think back fondly on that first house my parents built in DeForest, a suburb just outside of Madison. My brother and I making our first friends, running down to the lake behind us to throw bread at the ducks who always seemed to hang out on our yard and my mom letting me run up to my friend’s house for the very first time on my own. I can still picture the house, it was dark brown and split level, a pretty cool house that my parents designed. We drove by it when we passed through Madison last week, it’s now a beige color and I remembered it being a bit different but still put a smile on my face to see it again.

After DeForest we moved into a duplex in Madison. We drove by this too and I have even fonder memories of this house, but maybe not the scary basement – I still have nightmares sometimes of this basement. Fonder memories possibly because I was older and could remember more but maybe just because those first years of your life are quite meaningful.

 

 

I’m still in contact with a few of my friends from then – Jackie was my bestie in those years, Kathy lived the next block over and Joyce would visit from New York during the summer and sometimes at Christmas to her grandparents house behind ours. I would walk to John Muir School with my brother, slowly picking up our gang of friends along the way. After school we would walk over to the small store run by the chinese man where I would buy grape Hubba Bubba gum or those huge, chewy SweeTarts. I can still smell that gum when I think of it.

My gang of girlfriends ruled the neighborhood. We had our secret hideouts in the forest close to my house where I had my first kiss with Jason Cook. Oh those sweet innocent years in the 1970s. No cell phones, no Instagram, no need to make a duck face. In the summers we ran around from after breakfast til before dinner, we never wore bike helmets, we made gross concoctions of mustard, mayo, bugs and more to dare each other to eat and we still made it out alive.

wi gang
My Wisconsin girl gang. We were tough! 😉

The duplex is where my love of musicals began. I remember my parents taking me to my very first movie – Grease and I was in love. Not necessarily with Mr. Travolta but just the beauty of movies with singing and dancing. And the joy of music evolved from there – Billy Joel was my first record, then Xanadu, J. Geils Band, The Muppet Movie soundtrack – it wasn’t until my later years that I got into the big hits from the 70s – Joni Mitchell, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac.

My parents both graduated from UW – Madison so we drove around the huge campus while my parents told stories about their days. The campus has changed a lot since they were there and I loved all the stories. There was a terrible snowstorm and the streets were too icy and full of snow for any vehicles; Mom had to walk all the way from campus to our duplex – it took maaaaany hours and by the time she got home she was practically frozen. Another story – There is a statue of Abraham Lincoln that has watched over campus atop Bascom Hill for over a hundred years. Dad said the story goes that Abe would stand up whenever a virgin would walk by, and he hasn’t stood since 1953. Haha Dad.

BascHall_Bucky14_0744

We parked the car and walked down State Street. A pedestrian street lined with shops and bars. And sadly this time we walked down it there were a lot of beggars. It was a bit depressing to see. It was really warm that day and I stupidly wore jeans for some reason so we rushed through it a bit but I can see where it would be a lot of fun during the night. Definitely go get a brat at State Street Brats!

IMG_6640

At the end of State Street is the Wisconsin State Capitol which houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. It is a beautiful building both inside and out. And it was air conditioned! ahhhhhhh

IMG_6890

The UW – Madison campus is so beautiful and next time I would like to explore it even more. Both my mom and I were craving a Garibaldi sandwich and a brandy old-fashioned sweet from Paisan’s so we headed there, enjoyed our food and drink and looked out over the serene view of Lake Monona. If you want a cool spot for dinner which also serves the Garibaldi go to Porta Bella just off State St. It’s funky, cool, old vibe, the small rooms and wooden booths make it perfect.

Madison, Wisconsin thank you and I love you.

Advertisements

2018 Resolutions

e14bbe6b29526b11fde3e725485229b2

My 2018 Resolutions.

Paint more

Write more

Declutter/Organize House

Visit a new country

Quit trying to please everyone

Do the best I can in everything I do

Practice gratitude

Do things that challenge me

Try a new recipe once a month

I think that’ll do it for now. How about you? Did you make any resolutions you care to share?

 

Women’s March Signage

THANK YOU! To all the women (and men!) who participated in the Women’s Marches around the world. I got tears in my eyes seeing all the incredible images from Washington D.C. to Paris to Kenya to India! WOW. Thank you for fighting for our rights. Human Rights. And we will continue to fight. I loved all the signs – some funny, some serious and some on animals. 🙂 Here are some of my favorites. GIRL POWER.

RESOLUTIONS 2017

hodgep

Resolution time, guys. Did you make one? Some?

How about these for you – 17 things to do in 2017

1. Travel somewhere you have never been before

2.  Learn a new recipe

3. Make a goal list – this month, next 6 months, this year, 5 years, life

4.  Take a social media break – a day, a week, a month!

5.  Go for a hike

6. Dance!!!

7. Go out of your comfort zone

8.  Go to or host a family or friend reunion

9. Go to a concert of someone that you have never seen before but you love

10. Throwing kindness around like it’s confetti

11. Learn a new language (that one I feel like I work on daily)

12. Laugh more!

13. Paint (ps – that’s my painting at the top!)

14. Give your place a full cleaning – organize and throw stuff out!

15. Find a nice dark place where there aren’t any city lights and star watch

16. Stop drinking soda. Drink more water.

17. Love the one you see in the mirror. That’s YOU, silly.

Save

HIWD!!

Happy International Women’s Day! Time to realize how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go in the pursuit for gender equality.

I have so many strong women in my life that I am thankful for every day. They make my life happier, easier and is one of the reasons I am a strong woman myself. But there is still so much more to be done for women. From wage equality (GO PATRICIA ARQUETTE!) to girls going to schools to no more child brides to stopping the hate.

This video really touched me, seeing the struggle that is still there for so many women. Please watch. The more we know, the better we can help.

BREAK THE HATE.

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/do-not-stop-sharing-this-until-every-person-who-cares-about-women-sees-this/

 

Do I hear $100?

I might be buyin’ a photograph.

di

You may have noticed from here and here and here, that I am somewhat obsessed with the British Royal family. It all started as a young girl, at the innocent age of ten watching Princess Di become exactly that – A Princess. Isn’t that what most little girls dream of? Isn’t that what some of us still dream of? Sadly she did not marry her Prince Charming. Maybe she found him with Dodi Fayed? We will never know.

A candid photo has surfaced in the last few days of Shy Di from the late 1970s. Her and the revealed mystery man – Adam Russell, were on a ski trip in France with a group of friends. Supposedly, they were nothing but friends even though Mr. Russell said to have had a ‘galumphing’ crush on Diana. How cute! Just think how her life would have been so SO much different if he would have pursued her before the Prince of Wales did. But you never know, maybe he would have pursued her but in the end Prince Charles would have won anyway.

The photo was sold to the Daily Mirror two days after Prince Charles and Diana announced their engagement. But ‘NOT TO BE PUBLISHED’ was scrawled in crayon on the picture. Perhaps the ‘NOT TO BE PUBLISHED’ warning reveals that the Daily Mirror’s picture editor at the time had second thoughts about publishing an image of the future Queen in an intimate pose with another man. Maybe the Queen stepped in and demanded it not to be published?

The picture remained in the paper’s archives until it was bought seven years ago by the private Caren Archive, which is now putting it up for sale through RR Auctions in New Hampshire.

Who wants to go in with me to buy it? I have about $56.48 …… Let’s hope that is enough.
UPDATE: Pic sold for $18,000.  I definitely did not have enough… even with Perla matching my 56 bucks.  😦

Save

Gone Country

EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

I am only a little excited about a movie coming out. You mix movies with country music and Gwyneth Paltrow (LOVE) and you got a winner. COUNTRY STRONG with tagline, It Doesn’t Matter Where You’ve Been, As Long As You Come Back Strong. This is gonna be another one of my complete head-over-heels favorites that I buy and watch over and over and over

and over.

I haven’t been this excited for a movie about a singer since George Strait in Pure Country. I cry my eyes out when Harley gets the tickets to Dusty’s show, but she doesn’t know that Dusty is really Dusty. And then he comes out on stage and sings a personal solo to Harley. J.W. is brimming with tears as Grandma Ivy just smiles at nods at her grandson. If you don’t have a tear in your eye, your heart is made of stone.

Here is Kelly Canter  Gwyneth Paltrow singing Country Strong at the CMAs. And don’t forget, that is Oklahoma native and legend Vince Gill singing with her.

Time to refresh

Shhhhhhhh, do you hear that? Listen. There! That sad voice pleading, “please help  me”. That would be my workroom crying out for attention.

So gross! And depressing. And a new room can be only errrr, a few days away! Well, it took ME three days to paint three walls. It’s not like it was a need-it-done-now situation. Relax, it’s fun!

And so easy. All you need is to choose a color, buy some painter’s blue tape, a paintbrush, a roller brush and a plastic tray for the roller.

My color choice – tomato red. But it turned out a teeny bit darker, which I still liked. I also did a quick touch up with white paint where the ceiling meets the wall area. Painting the entire ceiling was unnecessary so why do it?

Some sites say to prep the walls, meaning paint them white first. I can see where that would be important if you were painting a light color but with red, I forgo that step.

Step ONE: Clean the walls to remove dust and dirt with water, a little mild dishwashing detergent and sponge.

Step TWO: Tape the trim, window, outlets and door frame. Remember to take off the tape before the wall dries so you don’t peel off any paint with it.

Step THREE: (This would be when you would prime the walls if you were going to) Brush on paint around trim and in the corners of walls, where your roller can’t reach, with a two-inch angled brush. Extend out two to three inches from windows, doors, and moldings.

Step FOUR: Use the W technique. For efficiency, start in the corner of a wall and roll on a three-by-three-foot W pattern, then fill it in without lifting the roller. Continue in sections until you’re finished. Paint one wall at a time.

Step FIVE: Paint the trim. When the walls are completely dry, tape where the trim meets the wall. Paint the moldings and the door and window frames with a two-inch angled brush. But I have tile trim and metal window frames, so this did not apply to me.

AND FINITO!! You are done! Good job!! Here are my fabulous new walls. Ahhh, zen, so much better. Ohhhhmmmmmm.

Save