Sunday, May 1, 2016

Identity crisis

Orbs's blog about friendships got me thinking.
I have friends but only a few that I feel truly close to, and even they don't know everything about me.
In fact, I only have 2 friends and my hubby that know pretty much everything about me.
When our youngest was in 2nd or 3rd grade, she experienced severe headaches, and we could not find the root cause of the problem. We had her thru so many tests, including psychological, where even the hubby and myself had to answer questionnaires. 
His came back that he's a realist. Mine came back that I had a Pollyanna complex. Seriously??
The questions were worded far more ominously than I felt was warranted, so I answered accordingly. 
No, I do not see everything positively, but I refuse to see everything negatively and without hope. 
I did not feel that it understood me at all. 
Orbs' friend blog made me question exactly how I do define it and even define myself. 
Recent events have caused us to question who we are here, what we want, what we want to be, how we want to connect and stay connected. It made me actually feel like I hadn't a clue. I don't like change. I don't like feeling unsettled. It shakes me and makes me uneasy. 
I am not ready to disconnect yet. I don't know what our future here looks like but I want to still see you all. This is one anchor that keeps me steady, and I need it. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Four for Fridays!

Good Morning everyone one I hope you had a very good week. I know I am posting this early but as usual this time of year I have to go out to Whitewater and deliver some boxes to my daughter she is coming home next month. Here are the questions for this week.

1) Do people say that they have told you about something but you know that they have never said anything about it to you?

2) Are you told about an event coming up last minute?

3) Do you watch the news?

4) Are you tired of hearing about the violence that is happening when you do watch the news?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Open Blog - Friday


Thursday, April 28, 2016

More on Friends . . .

What do you do if some of your friends don't like some of your other friends?  It seems to be that it's one or the other; i.e., there appears to be no middle ground.  You have to choose between one group of friends and another group of friends.  Just like the entire country is polarized.  I talked to a friend who read an article in the New York Times about how current politics are destroying friendships.  I don't know what to do.

Making this choice has ripped me up emotionally.  I think I popped a blood vessel or had one of those transient strokes.  I can't think clearly about the opposing groups.  I can't think clearly about anything.

"Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete won't seek re-election"

From The Journal

"RACINE — From all outward appearances, a press conference Tuesday at the Racine County Courthouse had appeared to be the kick-off to District Attorney Rich Chiapete’s re-election campaign.

"But after starting his speech with his background and accomplishments in his office, Chiapete threw a curveball, announcing he will not seek another four-year term.

"Choking back tears, Chiapete said he and his family 'prayed and reflected' on the decision before deciding not to run again. Deputy District Attorney Tricia Hanson, who was present at the conference, will run for the seat in the fall.

"'After careful consideration, we do believe it’s time that I walk a different path,' Chiapete said.

"'It truly has been my privilege and honor to serve all of you.'

"Chiapete declined to elaborate on his decision, saying only it was made with his family. He did not mention any plans after he leaves office, saying 'that stuff will work itself out.'

"Asked if his decision was related to a 2014 drunken-driving crash, Chiapete said 'everything goes into the dynamic. There’s no one overriding factor. I thought it was best for my family if we went a different direction.'

"Chiapete pleaded guilty to first-offense operating a vehicle while under the influence, obstructing an officer and hit and run after striking a traffic light near his home in April 2014."

Read more:

Obviously, I'm late with this news.  I haven't been paying much attention to local politics lately. I've been going insane instead. 

Racine Community Media is reporting that Chiapete has quit:

Too bad legal stranger is no longer talking to me.  I wonder what the details are?


Yes it is coming to that time of year for me again I will be out there taking pictures of the wildflowers. I do have some pictures of the wildflowers that have been coming up already and I am going to share them with everyone.

            This is a picture of Canada Anemone the picture was taken at Colonial Park in Racine Wi.

               This is a picture of a Fawnlily the picture was taken at Colonial Park in Racine Wi.

          This is a picture of Virginia Bluebells the picture was taken at Colonial Park in Racine Wi.

This is a picture of Hoverfly Slender Blue-Eyed Grass the picture was taken at Whitnall Park in Franklin Wi.

I hope everyone enjoys the pictures and yes there will be more to come with the wildflowers starting to bloom.

Open Blog - Thursday

What was Dr. Seuss a doctor of?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"JM - 23"


"Best Friend"
"I met my best friend in the summer of 1972 (I think) at my wife-to-be's birthday party on Zoo Beach.  I was with another woman at the time.  Years later, he'd be the best man at my wedding and I at his.  For most of the time I knew him, he lived mostly in Milwaukee.  His then girlfriend was best friends with my wife-to-be.

"I can't begin to describe all of the nonsense and fun we got into.  Everyone knew we were best friends.

"My favorite memory of him was when he lived on N. Weil St. in a basement apartment in one of the coldest winters ever with a borrowed guitar amplifier the size of a Buick.  We'd drink at nearby bars until closing and then go to his apartment.  Man, was it cold.  And then we would blast the night away with some of the loudest noise you ever heard.  Not one peep of complaints from the other tenants. (?)  And we did this repeatedly, all winter long.

"I could go on sand on with stories about us, but let's just say that we considered ourselves to be brothers, and I still do.  I'll never forget when he visited me at my mother's home near the bottom of my drinking.  He said, 'Orbs, I'll buy you drinks all day long, but don't make we watch you kill yourself.'

"Anyway, fast forward through recovery and sobriety.  We stayed friends.  He and his wife (not the girlfriend I mentioned earlier) bought a house on the cusp of the housing boom.  They got a nice brick home near Capitol Dr. and N. 76th St. There's a school nearby and a huge park.

"Fast forward again to about 2005 and my mother's home is sold.  She and my father never bought, just rented.  Mom had lived in the same place for over 60 years.  Now she had to move.  She did it.  As my friend used to say, 'She's a tough old bird.'

"I was using her garage to store a ton of stuff.  Over the years, I had emptied and refilled her garage three times.  Anyway, there was an old wooden trailer in there that I had to find a new home for.  It was fall and I knew that the trailer would fetch a better price in the spring.  That winter the trailer spent the season behind the garage of the apartment building I was living in.

"Here's where it gets fuzzy, but I don't remember why I didn't sell the trailer.  Somehow, it was decided that I would tow it up to my friend's house and leave it wrapped in tarps and chained to a tree.  It spent four or five yeas there.  Meanwhile, I developed my major stomach problems that took 4 years out of my life.

"Early one summer, my friend called me and asked me to remove the trailer.  I said, 'Sure,' but I talked to his wife and told her how sick I was.  She said don't worry, he has plenty of other things to do.  This happened four or five times.  Then one evening I received a telephone call from my friend using a tone of voice I had never heard before.  It was obvious he was seething with rage, all of it directed at me.  I was to remove the trailer immediately.  I said I'd be there the next day.  When I asked him if there was air in the tires, he screamed at me, 'How the hell should I know?' and he hung up.

"Of course when the next day arrived, I was puking and puking my guts out.  I called and left a message on my friend's answering machine saying I couldn't make it that day because I was going to the ER (which I did).  I told him to give away the trailer, sell it, pay someone to tow it, whatever, get it done and let me know the costs, if any.  The next day I called again and repeated my willingness to pay for things.

:I never heard from or saw him again.  38 years of friendship, down the tubes.  Once I realized the finality of it, it was devastating.  The only thing I could compare it to was when I broke up with my wife.  A huge chunk of me died when that happened.  So much so, that many thought I was a dead man for sure.

"I'd say that breaking up with my wife killed half of me and losing my friend killed a quarter.  There's not too much left.  Better get your shots in while you can.

"It's one of those things that you never really recover from.  You have to walk around it because you can't walk through it.

"The recent loss of some friends left me staggering once more.  This pattern has followed me since childhood.  I get to know someone or some people, and then I move on.  It's obvious that I don't know how to relate to people.  Most importantly, I can't 'read' people.  I take people at their word.  I'm an absolute idiot that way.  64 years old and naive as a three year old.  Something's missing.  Something's broken. I've never been able to fix it, nor has anyone else. I'm a born loser 

"As for my 'best' friend, the last I heard, he was in the Elkhart Lake area, but I don't know.  Wherever he is, whatever he is doing., I wish him peace.  I love him and I miss him dearly."

Cat Grass


Left to right, the plants are youngest to oldest.  You can see the one on the left is just coming in.  When the time comes, I'll remove the plant on the right and move the other two to the right.  I'll cut the grass off of the old one and rework its soil.  Then I'll plant a new "crop," and put the container at the left on the dresser.  I recently amended the soil in all three containers with slow release nitrogen: Osmocote

This is what I'm growing now, but that's because that's what the local grocery store sells:

They were carrying a different brand for years and then suddenly switched to this.  This stuff seems to grow more quickly than the old stuff.  In any case, if you google cat grass or kitty grass, you'll see that there are many, many different products out there.  Oats seem to be the common thread amongst them.

Charlie really gobbles this stuff up.  At least once a day, he's at the plants, eating.   


I know a lot of you know that Drew was off work last week on vacation. Last Thursday we took a trip out to Horicon Marsh in Lomira Wi to see what the migration has brought up there. I am going to be sharing some pictures from there and some from around Racine Wi.. I really hope that everyone is enjoying the pictures.

      This is a picture of a Trumpeter Swan this was taken at Horicon Marsh on Hwy 49 in Lomira Wi.

This is a picture of a Black Necked Stilt this was taken at Horicon Marsh Auto Tour Trail in Lomira Wi.

                     This is a picture of Cedarwax Wings this was taken on 3 Mile Rd in Racine Wi.

This is a picture of a Turkey Vulture in flight the picture was take at Samuel Myers Park in Racine Wi.

                       This is a picture of a Mocking Bird this was taken at Shoop Park in Racine Wi.

                   This is a picture of a Northern Flicker this was taken at Shoop Park in Racine Wi.

Open Blog -Tuesday

Pretty handwriting.

Friday, April 22, 2016

"Alderman asks D.A. to look into City Council president vote"

From The Journal


"RACINE — Alderman Sandy Weidner has asked the Racine County District Attorney’s Office to look into a City Council vote taken this week that resulted in Alderman Dennis Wiser being re-elected to a second consecutive term as city council president. 
Sandy Weidner

"The secret ballot vote took place Tuesday at the City Council’s annual organizational meeting, at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.

"'I don’t know that any laws were broken,' writes Weidner in her inquiry, 'but it is my hope that the District Attorney’s Office could provide some guidance for the aldermen if this "balloting" is legitimate.'

"Third District Alderman Mike Shields, who has served on the City Council for nearly 25 years, and Wiser, who was first elected to the City Council in 2010, were both nominated to run for the post — Shields by Weidner, and Wiser by 13th District Alderman Jim Morgenroth.

"Aldermen turned in their ballots to the clerk; those ballots were counted by a clerk and Racine City Attorney Scott Letteney. Mayor John Dickert then announced that the winner was Wiser.

"Both Shields and Weidner then asked for the vote tally, but Dickert told them it was a secret ballot and moved the proceedings along to his State of the City Address, which was the last item on the agenda.

"It wasn’t until after the meeting had adjourned that Letteney disclosed the final tally, which he said was a 7-7 vote, with Dickert casting the tie-breaking ballot for Wiser.

"In her inquiry emailed Wednesday to Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete, Weidner states that her concern centers on the way the secret ballot was taken; alleging that Dickert had not cast a ballot at the time he announced that Wiser had won the election. She claims that the tie-breaking ballot was not cast until sometime near the end of the meeting, when Letteney allegedly asked a clerk for a blank ballot, and then allegedly filled it out himself.

"A call and email to Chiapete to confirm that he had received Weidner’s inquiry were not immediately returned Thursday, but Weidner provided a copy of Chiapete’s response to her email in which Chiapete writes that he has forwarded the inquiry on to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office for follow up.

"Letteney said Thursday that he could provide no comment because he had not seen the actual inquiry."

Read more:

Chicago politics at their best.  Actually, although the politics in Chicago may be less than on the up-and-up. the citizens' needs are met.  That's why it's called "The City That Works."  Dickert could run things as smoothly as either Mayor Daley, but his big mouth and greed trip him up every time. 

Weekday Funny

Hahahaha.... I think we all need to work on that last one a little more. 
(probably not the smoking and drinking part)

Four for Fridays!

I don't know how anyone else feels if the week went by fast or slow but I think it went by fast or it was just that Drew was on vacation. He went back to work today for one day then has the weekend off. I hope everyone has a had a good week. Here are your questions.

1) Has anyone ever listened to any of Prince's music?

2) Is there any Icon that has passed away that you do miss?

3) Do you have friends that are more like family to you?

4) Do you have days that you just want to turn your telephone off because it just seems like it will not stop ringing?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


"Wisconsin state workers leaving in higher numbers as economy improves"

From JSOnline:

By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel

"Madison— The stream of workers leaving state agencies last year gushed at the highest level seen in at least a decade, driven by an improving economy that is making private employers more attractive in relation to their counterparts in government.

"Nearly one in eight employees left their state jobs last year for retirement, another job or other reasons, with one in five workers in some health care fields departing. In all, 3,600 workers outside of the University of Wisconsin System moved on from their state jobs in 2015, which was 23% more than 2014 and nearly twice as many as in 2010.

"The numbers, released to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through an open records request, don't explain on their own why more workers are leaving or show that Wisconsin government is any worse than state governments around the country.

"It's clear that a big part of the trend can be explained by an improving economy that's giving workers more job opportunities than several years ago, when state employees hunkered down and generally didn't leave their jobs for reasons other than retirement.

"'We're seeing a definite trend in that it's difficult to recruit and retain state workers (nationally). It's due in significant part to compensation. In some parts of the country, it's not competing with market rates in the private sector,' said Leslie Scott, executive director of the National Association of State Personnel Executives.

"But the figures also add fire to an ongoing debate about whether stagnant wages and changes to union rules have made state government a less attractive employer to its workforce. Though controlling labor costs can be good for taxpayers, higher turnover, vacant jobs and the learning curve for new workers can also drive up overtime and training costs and affect public services.

"With the baby boom generation also hitting retirement age, the loss of experienced workers is likely to remain an issue for the state for some time to come. Citing that problem and the need for more efficient hiring practices, Gov. Scott Walker in February signed a broad overhaul of the state's century-old system of merit hiring and firing.

"'These reforms will allow us to better compete with the private sector and recruit the best and the brightest state employees to ensure we are providing high quality state services to citizens. These reforms also give agencies more tools to retain employees while allowing the state to hire more quickly and efficiently, which will help mitigate' departures, Walker administration spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.

"During the Great Recession, new opportunities for workers and turnover in state government both plummeted, dropping in 2010 to 1,821 civil servants, or 6% of the state workforce, who left their non-university jobs for a variety of reasons, from retirements and resignations to terminations, layoffs and death. The figures don't include workers who took a different state job, and the numbers don't differentiate between resignations and firings.

"In 2011, Walker signed the law known as Act 10, repealing most union bargaining for most public workers and increasing state workers' benefit contributions by an amount equal to about 8.5% of take-home pay. That year, retirements jumped as employees sought to avoid fundamental changes to their retirement benefits, which didn't end up materializing. But with the recession still deep, relatively few employees resigned to take other jobs.

"The state offered across-the-board raises of 1% in 2014 and 2015, along with some merit increases for select employees, but no increases in the current two-year budget."

Read more: 

This is why state government now moves slow as molasses.