Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shoes and serendipity

(For those who don't do Facebook or who do not see me there):

I have been looking for some shoes for a week or so. Found these Skecher Effectives online ... but don't like to order shoes online because the sizes are so unreliable. And could not find them anywhere locally, even though Kohl's carries some Skechers and there is even a Skechers outlet at Tanger. The Skechers site said they were in stock in my size at one store in Madison, so today we headed down there.

No luck.

I tried a couple of other stores in the same shopping center, not expecting to find the Skechers but hoping to find an acceptable alternative.

No luck.

So we went to DSW nearby, and surprise!
They had the Skechers ...

but not in my size.

Instead I found these Bass Buchanons on clearance as well as the pair of charcoal gray Chucks below. Good deal!

While waiting to get into the first store, we went into a books store, Frugal Muse, which turned out to be a great discovery. There was a Bed, Bath and Beyond there, too, which gave me a chance to stock up on some Keurig decafs that I cannot find locally.

It is not the nicest weather for going for a ride today, but the trip turned out to be a success pretty much all around. So feeling good. (Except for the sore throat that started last night, but that's another story.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Soon to disappear?

A cryptic message, allegedly from my blog host, warns that this blog may become unavailable at some time next month. As far as I can tell, I have done all that I am supposed to do to keep it going. But if it disappears on us, it's been fun! Now that I have surrendered my principles and returned to Facebook so that I can keep track of nieces and nephew and their families, I suppose I will survive.

Now the waiting begins. The waiting is the hardest thing...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In like a lyin'

In March we had some record-setting temperatures, trees started leafing out, and so on. We had butterflies checking out the flowers that bloomed early and the occasional dead June bug in the garage. I sat out on the deck enough to pick up a bit of tan.

 Now that April is here, things have cooled off. This week our temps are running 10 - 15 degrees below average. The weather forecast still occasionally mentions a possibility of snow flakes at night, although I don't think there have been any around here. And I am again a pasty shade of pale.

Someone said we had April in March and now are having to suffer through March in April.

What lies ahead?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Dodd athlete?

Periodically magazines publish lists of young people who for one reason or another strike the publishers as important. One recent list -- "Forty Under Forty" -- included the following young man:
Galen Dodd • 15
Los Angeles
Student Athlete, Palisades Charter High

When high school volleyball player Galen Dodd came across, a resource for LGBT sports fans and athletes on every level, he instantly felt a connection. Dodd, who plays for the Palisades Charter High School team and on another at the Southern California Volleyball Club, figured out he was gay in middle school. First he came out to his sister, but before he could tell everyone he knew on Facebook, he had to deliver the news to his parents.

“I didn’t want to tell them about it,” he says. After his sister relayed the news to them, he was still reluctant to talk to them about it. Dodd has since grown closer to his parents, and he turned to them for help in writing his story for Outsports. In October 2011, Dodd became the youngest person to come out on the site, and he has received a complete embrace from his team. “My coaches told me that halfway through the fall season, after I came out, they saw a tremendous growth in me as a player and that my team really rallied together,” he says. As Dodd now knows, it’s all about the team.

Foxy lady

Apparently a red fox vixen has a den not far from the library in downtown Dells. This morning on my way to work I saw her trotting across the street between City Hall and the post office. I detoured around the Catholic Church in hopes of seeing her again, but I missed her. When I got to the library, however, she was trotting -- prancing, actually-- across the drive into the bookmobile garage. I called to her when I got out of my car, and she stopped and looked. She seemed unafraid and after a moment continued her journey across the large open area between the library and the only other building on our block. Vivan tells me she saw her yesterday, so I guess she roams the area at will. 
Foxes are totally cool!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


A gay Iowa teen has taken his own life after friends and family say that classmates sent him death threats on his cell phone and made him the subject of a Facebook hate group.

As KTIV is reporting, 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. began to be teased and bullied by classmates at South O'Brien High School after he came out earlier this year. "People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him," sister Kayla Weishuhn, a sophomore, is quoted as saying. "A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything."

The anti-gay teasing reportedly also continued online, where classmates created a hate group against gays and added Kenneth's friends as members, and got even worse when the freshman started receiving death threats from students on his phone.

Weishuhn’s mother Jeannie Chambers said her son told her, "Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated."

Details on Weishuhn's death are otherwise scarce, but a Facebook group has already been started in the teen's memory. "Unfortunately, the culture most of us have been raised in has been the mindset that you get 'picked on' in school and that's just part of growing up," one user writes. "Bullying is like most other crimes, the only way it's going to stop is if the offenders get caught and are prosecuted."

Adds another: "I hate to think of what he must have gone through to decide suicide was his only option. I hope and pray all of these bullies feel responsible for what happened."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

That was zen, this is tao.

I love both Zen and Taoism. They resonate with so much in John of the Cross for me. I am reading a book about Taoism that I ran across at the library today, and each brief chapter (brief like the chapters/verses in the Tao Te Ching itself) contains much in few words. I remember my first encounter with the Tao Te Ching when I was a novice at Marylake. Every page seemed to send me off in a pondering, contemplative mood.

One line in the book I am reading struck me particularly today:

Listen more, judge less.

What I need to hear today (everyday), fer sure, fer sure!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Daddy's garden

Last fall, Kathie Holly, my bookmobile companion, game me a hydrangea in memory of Daddy. Tom built a little garden around it and we waited to see if it would survive the winter. It is now leafing out, as you can (barely) see in this photo. That's it in the foreground.

As I say, Tom built a little garden around it and there are some other plants there, some of which are further along. I was struck by this single tiny Bleeding Heart:

Bleeding Hearts do very well here at our house.

Make of that what you will

Back in Near-Icelandia

Got back yesterday afternoon. I had a great visit to Texas, saw most of my (immediate) family and helped Mama with a few things. My trip back was uneventful, and I am happy to report no bad weather- or construction-related delays along the way. I listened to audio books as usual, one on the age of Shakespeare, one on the Incas and parts of a long one on literature and life. Enjoyed them all, especially the last, which dealt with a number of writers I have not read.

When I got home, the cats were waiting for a treat (naturally) and Tom was waiting with a treat -- one of his great Chinese meals. I went to bed early and read, then slept for about nine hours and woke up to cats demanding their morning treat (naturally), which Tom had already given them. They are trying to change the treat schedule to a few Greenies every quarter hour, but we are resisting.

Anyway, today I will rest, do some shopping for lunch stuff and get ready to go back to work. It was 60 (15.5 C) and windy when I got here Sunday afternoon. Right now (7:30 Monday morning) it is 37 (2.8 C) and overcast. The good news is that it will climb to 52 (11.1 C) before dropping tonight to 28 (-2.2 C). Tomorrow the high will only be 39 (3.8 C), but at least it won't be snowing or tornadoing or any such weather drama.

Sundance was just sitting meowing at the door onto the deck, wanting to go out. When I opened the door, she poked her nose out, realized it was cold and changed her mind. Sic semper cattis!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We're okay

For those who saw the reports of tornadoes in our part of Texas (6 to 12 reported), I wanted to let you know we are fine, as are the relatives in the Dallas area. Here we had only severe thunderstorms, some pea-sized hail and about an inch or so of rain. Not even all that many leaves and twigs knocked off the trees.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TWIT (This week in Texas)

I am in Texas this week visiting my mother and assorted other relatives. I am doing some small things to help around the house -- ranging from changing light bulbs to taking her van for a recall servicing. (This latter took four hours and it turns out she will have to take it back for them to do the actual work later.)

So I may not post anything until I get back to Wisconsin next weekend. Happy Holy Week and Easter and Happy Passover and any other feasts you and yours may be celebrating these days.

The weather is frightful around us. Tornadoes to the north of us, tornadoes to the west of us, in a storm pattern that may continue into Friday. And to think I chose not to come down here in January because I didn't want to get caught in bad weather!