The Packer

It’s a rough day in Wisconsin.

It’s Monday. The Packers lost yesterday and won’t be going to the Super Bowl. Plus we’re getting 7 inches of snow.

Yup – this statue is made out of snow. And so much hope.

Typewriter

Why blog? Especially if it’s “just personal”?

One of the things I wrestle with sometimes is practicality. Or rather, my creative side wrestles with my practical side.

My dad had a phrase I heard on a regular basis: “What does that have to do with the price of milk?” He hauled milk for a living, working 52 weeks of the year, 7 days a week. He also owned a fleet of trucks and had other men working for him. I doubt he ever conceived of stepping back from work just because he had other people to do things.

The world revolved around the price of milk, in Clark County, when the place had the highest number of cows per people in Wisconsin, land of dairy.

Hauling milk led to money. Blogging about my personal life leads to _______(?)

Part of my answer is “wonder”. Because the internet is important and vast like space and I can be there without a capsule or suit. For us older nerds who recall the grip paper had on writing, this instant publishing of our every thought is an absolute and powerful thrill. Once upon a time, this post would have to pass through an editor’s brain (if he would even read it) before it got to you. Like a tree that falls in the forest without being heard, it just would not exist.

I think blogging makes me feel connected and alive.

As a child, I would stay up late – always an insomniac – and listen to strange songs out of Memphis, New Orleans and Chicago. The transmission would be crystal clear late at night. Those foreign sounds of funk and jazz gave me hope that my backwater had no monopoly on culture.

Writing is less passive than reading. But certainly less active than getting out of the house and having to appear with clean, ironed clothes and shiny smiling teeth. And sometimes we connect perfectly–you and I– because we toss out these inner thoughts in a blog. That’s an elegant thing we have to respect.

Blogging can be a way to cope and distract. I can massage some sense out of the change if I tap my keyboard quickly and look – out came some things that were out of my head. Have I molded at least a sentence that some stranger will pick up through googling “blonde” or “britney”? Made ya look. I just impacted somebody, even if my post was as annoying as a mosquito in that person’s ear.

Care to let me know why you blog?

 

Olbrich Gardens

I had to visit a tropical place yesterday: Olbrich Gardens in Madison, WI. I brought my son along, too, even though he said “Plants are stupid.” I said, “Plants are cool.”

Actually the conservatory is HOT. Today’s temperature outside: -11 F.  Temperature inside the Olbrich Gardens conservatory?: 85 F.

Yesssssssssssssss.

Hair color

Hair dye. I have foresaken thee out of laziness, denial, and mismanagement of time. I apologize, Loreal, for neglecting to consume your fine products. I thought I had mousy brown hair. Now that I’ve “let myself go” by going to my natural color, I have seen the truth: grey hair. Not a blizzard, but a nice flurry intermintled in the hair I push out of my eyes.

I pay tribute to blonde hair in a bottle. Each smelly, messy application of light fake color on my head is worth its weight in gold.

Snow on gate.

Snow on a white fence.

Once in a while there are sites that I fall in love with. I want to shout from the treetops that you have to see this to believe it. Believe it or not, I’m getting no free stuff from writing about these sites. But if they want to kick goodies my way, fine! FYI-both of these sites are FREE.

Sparkpeople.com

sparkpeople

I am just another person who made a resolution to get fit and lose 20 lbs as of January 1st. And how might one peel her lazy a** off the couch and start exercising you might ask? Well, by logging into sparkpeople.com and recording the activity she engaged in that day and for how many minutes. 

There is some validation and excitement about revisiting a spot and seeing how many calories I burned, how many miles I walked, and how close I am at achieving my goal. So much so, that I have exercised every single day since Jan 1.

I typically only spend long enough on sparkpeople to log my aerobic activity and then visit a message board to encourage my brothers and sisters to keep up the fight. But if you really want to dig into a community of positive people (and I mean POSITIVE), you could stay there for an hour or so and visit other people’s “sparkpages”, find other members that have similar characteristics such as weight loss goals/geographic location/favorite aerobic activities/age. And you can keep track of what you eat and get a nutrition plan.

I explore a bit more every time I visit.

Netvibes.com

netvibes

If you want to have one page bring together the blogs you read, your favorite sites, your search engines, the weather report, your to-do lists and more AND you want to have that available no matter what computer you are sitting at, you might fall in love with netvibes. It’s been around for at least a couple of years, but I discovered it on a “best of” 2007 list.

Also awesome – it is super-user friendly. You log in, you drag stuff around on the screen, it saves, you come back, it’s still there. Visit netvibes.com and tool around.

Under the bridge

I always like walking through this little patch. The shrubs and trees seem to be squeeze me in. It seems snug.

Just the little things I think on a walk.

Snowy tree.

Here is the best I could do while bracing the camera against a telephone pole (had no tripod on the walk).

Dry big snowflakes are here after we have endured days of fog followed by thunderstorms. It’s a warm crystalline white January Wisconsin night and we were the only people out walking to see it at 9 PM.

Foggy street and trees.

There was no walk today. Imagine this fog. But thicker. And then add a thunderstorm. In January. In Wisconsin. That was today.

So uhhh, this picture is from yesterday and no walk was conducted today. Instead there was indoor belly dancing and excessive jamming to Twista.

Foggy, snowy bike trail.

Snow is melty and dirty. But the fog hides some of the rough patches.

Here’s the bike trail as seen from a wooden bridge that crosses it. 44 degrees today in Southern Wisconsin.

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