Archive for February, 2011


I’m aware that this blog has turned into a real snoozefest lately and I apologize for that. I know that I am nowhere near as busy as most people in the universe, but when I get busy I just don’t handle it well. I get cranky. And lately I have felt busy. And cranky.

I feel like work is piling up like crazy and everytime I think I have a handle on things, something drops out of the sky requiring my immediate attention. Relatedly, I feel so anxious and angry and sad about these political events that I don’t know where to focus my attention. As a former member of our union’s board and a current member of its bargaining team, I have been very active in meetings to discuss these goings on. Meetings after work and on weekends. And it’s been frustrating. Last night, I dreamt that Walker had us all corralled in a warehouse and he took out some sort of machine gun to keep everyone under control (even though everyone was under control). It was pretty upsetting.

On a positive note, though, I’m very excited that our long-awaited honeymoon is in T-5 days. Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, here we come!

I love Wisconsin

I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been struggling with what to say. It’s been a rough week in Madison, a rough week in Wisconsin. As an extremely active member of my union, and former board member and current bargaining team member of that union, I am extremely disappointed in the governor’s budget repair bill. Disappointed is an understatement.

I love Wisconsin. I love family farms, clean lakes, green trees, the Packers, cheese curds, its little towns, Madison and Milwaukee, the University, the Capitol and its beautiful accessibility, the court system, and its humble people. I love the history. I love that the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional. I love that the Republican Party, based on anti-slavery principles, was founded here. I love the history of Bob La Follete and the Progressive movement: primary elections, workers’ compensation laws, unemployment laws. I don’t love the McCarthy era or the Sterling Hall bombing, but I do like the passion that seems so inherent to Wisconsinites.

At yesterday’s rally at the Capitol, I saw that passion first-hand and I cried. I watched as thousands and thousands of people attempted to make their voices peacefully heard. There were so many signs, some very clever but all, as Aaron pointed out, with correct spelling, grammar and syntax. There were tons of kids because Madison’s schools had closed due to a sick-out caused by the introduction of this sweeping bill. There were elderly people and high school students, and people of every age in between. There were nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters, electricians, iron workers and cab drivers. And yes, lawyers. In the two days of protests I attended, I saw only two counter-protesters, one on each day.

People are upset. People are upset because of the hefty paycut that has been proposed (and will most likely pass). People are upset because the numbers do not seem to add up. But it’s clear that people are extremely upset that Walker has chosen to all but prohibit collective bargaining for State and local employees in the very state that made such a thing possible in the first place. It feels like Walker hates everything that I love about Wisconsin.

I know, or at least I think, that someday, this will pass. That even though this feels like a hurricane, we will weather this storm. We will come out poorer, but we will come stronger. Wisconsin, I love you.


It’s time for the big reveal! After ripping out the carpet in our bedroom, I sat in front of the computer day after day trying to decide how to proceed. Should we put in hardwood? Should we put in bamboo? Should we put in linoleum? Should we put in carpet? Should we do it ourselves or leave it to the professionals? Should we do the entire first floor (about 950 square feet) or just the bedroom (about 175 square feet)?  Should we buy from a big box store or a local place? Argh. The possibilities seemed daunting.

After just days, though, of having to stare at that nasty vinyl tile, and after almost six years of living with that dreaded carpet, we pulled the trigger and went to the locally-owned Eco-friendly Flooring, which has a little showroom on East Main Street. We could not be happier with the flooring. We chose a very light-colored bamboo and had the shopowner’s husband install it for us. All in all, the total cost was about $1100. We were told it was a day’s work, but it ended up taking three due to a late arrival on the first day and a sick kid on the second. Still, I would choose this option again in a heartbeat. I am so happy with how it turned out. I think it is just beautiful. I hope you like it, too.


Bedroom before


Bedroom after

Ok, you can’t see the floors that were there, but you can see the amazing job Aaron did on the bedroom walls. I love the color! It’s Sherwin Williams Hyper Blue. Here’s a better shot of the floors.


Bamboo floors


I also want to note that for some time now, I have wanted to buy some Picasso prints. Specifically, the ink drawings he did of animals. I have been enamored of The Dog or Dog for some time now, but haven’t been able to get myself to commit. Why? Because I can sometimes be cheap. Weird, I know. So I got it into my head that I would just do some of these drawings myself and that’s what I did tonight. For under $5, I bought two enormous sheets of paper and a black Marvy marker, and for just under $60 I bought three black frames with thick white mattes from Target. I cut the paper, drew my animals in pencil and went over them in marker. I stuck the paper in the frame and voila! Three framed “Picasso”s for $65. Actually, it was even less because I used only one of the large sheets of paper.


Owl and Dog


February 2011

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