Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Photos With a Friday Attitude

I was a little surprised to see this PBR banner encouraging bad behavior—well, not really.
Looking at the Pabst beer portfolio I was struck by how many truly awful beers they've produced. I was even thinking, "What, no Olympia?" and voila, there it was. Wasn't it Olympia with all the free merch, massive headaches, and week-long stomach distress? Maybe it was food poisoning, but I'm pretty sure it was Olympia beer.

Is this a bar or what happens when you leave teenagers alone for the weekend?  So what's the bad idea, drinking their product? And what about my favorite ballpark food, the White Trash Special (either a PBR and a PB&J or the preferred fried egg sandwich on white bread with a can of Pabst)?

Thinks fried egg sandwiches are barbaric but raised on PBR and white bread (no wait, that was me)

I think PBR & White Bread would be a great name for a band.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bird Fest

I went to Horicon's Bird Fest last week and barely spotted a living creature.

People were naming so many birds I thought they were making them up

Meanwhile back home, the local cranes were having a party in the front yard. 

One wing flap away from a noise complaint

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Rain Noir

I was amazed we didn't get a tornado spinning through town last week and there's still some question of whether or not Fennimore did. I got a good look at that funnel cloud on the TV and if that thing wasn't a twister our state flag shouldn't be changed to a guy grilling brats while pounding a case of Pabst.* (It should.)
Fennimore is significant because it's only 12 miles away from where we get popcorn and overpriced trinkets and is the birthplace of my swinophobia (pigs were guarding a patch of ditch weed at someone's farm in the seventies—it was a whole thing).


*According to 24/7 Wall Street, not only half of the 20 Drunkest Cities in America are in Wisconsin, but so are the top four. The city in which I live is number four and the first college I attended comes stumbling in at number ten. Green Bay is still number one. Go Pack.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Half The Journey Is Getting There?

No, that can't be right.
Mother's day saw more dreary weather with maybe ten minutes of sunshine after we called it a day.


We couldn't decide whether to go east or west...I could have sworn there was a fisherman in that boat.


We were going to see flooding in either direction which meant I'd get plenty of, "Will you look at thats!" from my mother. 


She wants to have her picture taken with this statue, which is east. ("Will you look at that!")


We ended up going west to Rural Route 1 Popcorn which had fenged up their shui making for an unusually lousy experience considering we were surrounded by popcorn and tchotchkes. It didn't stop us from loading up on freshly popped plain, sour cream cheddar cheese and a large bag of every kind of popcorn they make. I'm eating the cheddar cheese like a farm animal from a feedbag right now.


We ended our day in DeForest at de Norske Nook. Look at this slice of absurdly delicious Fresh Fruit Strawberry Pie, one of my go-to pies. Yes, I have go-to pies. No wonder the sun came out after this.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sailboats and Movie Stars




Yeah I don't know

I was going to post a photo of sailboats I took last week and tint it pink for Mother's Day.

It might look better in black and white

What do you think?

In Rome, 1965: Aunt Flossie holding her cool white shades, Mr. Capuccio who my cousin says lived in the converted 1960 Rome Olympic village and two Hollywood movie stars

Then I realized I should just put up this picture of my mother and me in our matching movie star sunglasses. The sailor suit fits the post theme nicely. OMG I think I still have a purse like that.
This last photo is by my dad who taught me it's way more fun to be behind rather than in front of the camera.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Rainy Days and Pit Bulls

In for an oil change, out for a deluge and watching it all with my favorite garage dog, Gabby.




On this visit, I found out Gabby is a rescue from Alabama and has a bluish tattoo on her belly letting people know she's spayed. It's believed she was used for bait and that's why she's a bit tentative sometimes. But mostly she's a social little girl and has never failed to greet me when I drop by. This time she sat down in front of me while I told her all about that cat smell on my shoes.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Poppin' Into Pepin

I suspect that Pepin, Wisconsin has more boats than people and by the time I got there it was almost closing time as apparently the town shuts down at 7:30.

Mmm, river pickles
My research for the best hotel rates, free breakfasts and amenities flew out the window when the local police pointed me to a place with none of those. But people seemed enthusiastic about The Pickle Factory (closes at 7:30) so I went down by the marina to check it out.

How is this guy already tan?
I found lots of boats docked on Lake Pepin (which is actually a reservoir of the Mississippi River).

Even the hearing aid place looked quaint. The Harbor View Cafe (on the end, closes at 8 ) was packed
I was exhausted and hungry but everything looked so clean and friendly, kind of like a set from a fifties sitcom. Maybe it was the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (not pictured) making me want to throw a hat in the air (Minneapolis 76.2 miles) and be all wholesome. 

From the Garden Pub and Grille because I didn't know it was smoked brisket night
As it was getting late (6:45) I found an open-air garden pub and the small slice of heaven pictured above. If only there were a malt shop next door.

Ahhh (throwing blue tam in the air)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Blowing Through La Crosse

When I went to school in La Crosse things like cars or even bikes weren't very common which considering the amount we drank was a good thing. When you needed a lift home—in my case a  two-and-a-half-hour drive by car, you did not want to take the bus—finding a car on the ride board with a heater wasn't a given, but finding a bar with an Old Style sign was.

Somewhere around Gotham I think (do you believe there's a Wayne Cemetary there?)

We'd keep ourselves warm by flirting and stopping at every bar along highway 14 with an Old Style sign. We were not responsible young adults.

Pepin, a charming place full of giant Adirondack chairs and these signs

It was in La Crosse where I met people from Up North-for-real and learned that you could fit a grill and an encouraging amount of coolers on a pontoon while navigating your way from bar to bar with virtually no sense of direction. 

♪ Over the river and across the bridge in the wrong direction we go ♫

I learned about Twins fans (as loyal as Cubs fans with a catchy club tune) and The Cities. And that if you crossed a bridge downtown you were in Minnesota where they mostly say "pop" instead of "soda." So why is it called Mini Soda?



I didn't graduate from there (shock) but I still dream about it. The few times I've gone back it strikes me how big it's gotten and how having never driven there I do not know where I'm going.

My sense of direction is much better on a pontoon full of sizzling meat and iced beer

Which is probably one of the reasons I overshot it, thinking, "Hmm, this looks familiar, but not good familiar."

Right church wrong pew, right river wrong state wrong side

I just realized there are no photos of La Crosse in this post. That's because I was too busy getting lost in rush hour traffic. Yes, they have rush hour traffic there. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Slippin' Into Darkness

Getting outside no matter what means adopting the mandatory dog attitude that deals with weather. Days of rain, memories of that late April snowstorm and threatening clouds weren't going to stop me (after I eventually got out of bed).
There was nothing but storm warnings and more endless rain predicted for my annual birthday trip on Thursday, but since I was heading down the Wisconsin Great River Road I thought the gloom of the day set the right ambiance.


Heading down 60 and the WI River, no sign of rain so good job staying in bed past noon

Wauzeka, close to Wyalusing State Park, my favorite place for rattler sightings ("Tweet, there's one over there.")

On the Great Mississippi River Road in Lynxville, a place I wanted to both drive through and spend more time in

 I will be making the two hour and 3 minute drive for a dog and lemonade on the Mississippi soon. Open on weekends 11 - to 6 then five days a week starting next Monday

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Giant White Chicken

I overshot my birthday trip by a 100 miles or so on day 1, ended up in Minnie Sota, got caught in the rain, pulled over for speeding and had myself a little adventure. At one point I kept thinking if I can only make it to the giant white chicken I'll be okay.
Bonus Birthday Present: The nice young cop let me off with a warning and I must have been knackered because I neglected to get a photo.

Mmm, road chicken

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

You're Not Getting Older You're Just Getting Fatter

Is that how the saying goes? Less than an hour until my birthday and I've successfully driven myself crazy with maps and weather forecasts and hotel sites and descriptions of towns along the way (whatever that way may be) so job well done.

Cheers—tipping a few with the ol' man

I usually point myself toward the Mississippi.


My cousin Rita and my sister Kathy on her birthday

I've thrown some stuff in a bag but if it's too stormy I'm booking myself into a day spa.


Same age cousins (Nanci will object to that) celebrating something in 1971. Ahhh, 1971. I'm the one with the neck ruffle

So I might take a few days off to recover from whatever I decide to do or not do.


With my incomparable Aunt Flossie around May of '75

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Rainy Days and Tuesdays

I should stop looking at thermometers because it's rarely good news. It was rainy and hot all day, settling in my upstairs loft apartment where I'm refusing to turn on the AC out of principal. Keep in mind we saw a snow pile on Sunday. I read 84, my cousin said, "81," and the weather guy said," 78˚."
It eventually stopped raining so things got nice and humid and all the mosquitoes were reminded why they love living here. I celebrated by eating cashew chicken near the shores of Lake Mendota while taking a few shots with my Lumix.

Bzzz, bzz nice day for breeding. Bzz bzz bzz, enjoy your last days on earth, do I smell cashew chicken?