Monday, August 31, 2009

I heart A&W Root Beer

It all started at about 4:30pm. I didn't get much sleep at all last night, so I was thinking it might be a good idea to head to bed. I laid down on my bed and started reading my book. Soon, I began to feel my chest getting heavier... my throat closing up... it's an asthma thing. I reached over to grab my Advair and realized I forgot to go get my asthma medicine today. CRAP!

Fortunately, it was still early so I tossed on some clothes and headed to the pharmacy. The man at the pharmacy was not friendly. But, that's another story.

Anyway, I got my Advair and started heading home. Suddenly, I was stuck by an incredible craving for A&W Root Beer.

I was not shocked. This happens a lot.

I love A&W Root Beer. I love it a lot. "I gave away my heart a long time ago. [to A&W Root Beer] My whole heart. And I never really got it back." (name that movie)

I love A&W Root Beer so much, I did something crazy.

I went to the Oneida smoke shop. On a Monday night. At five o'clock. To buy an A&W Root Beer. THAT is how bad I wanted an A&W Root Beer.

Let me explain what that all means: Here in Wisconsin, cigarette taxes have been climbing like a sexy fireman up a ladder to save a kitty from the 4th floor of a burning building. THAT's some kinda climbing! The next big hike is a $.75 jump, scheduled for Tuesday (tomorrow). Our neighbors, the Oneida Indians, they know how we like our cigarettes: cheap. And they give em to us just like we like em. Relatively speaking, anyway. So, the Oneida Smoke Shop - it's always busy place. Even more busy than usual toady.

The Oneida Smoke Shop is also a very interesting place, with very interesting people. It would be a great place to do an ethnography. But that's another story.

By Monday night, everybody's out of smokes. You see, they smoked them all over the weekend, and now they're going on nearly a full day of nicotine withdrawls. And they just got done with work. They also know that if they get their cigarettes today, they'll save $.75. This means things got a little crazy at the Oneida Smoke Shop.

I did it. I actually found a spot, parked my car, got out, walked into the store and looked in the direction of the coolers holding my precious Root Beer. Oh, my precious Root Beer. Have I told you lately how much I love you?

I'm pretty sure it winked at me.
Oh, when scrumptious creatures wink at me it turns me to putty. Pure putty.

Then, my world fell apart.

I looked to my left and there was the line of nicotine deprived patrons. This was no ordinary line. This was a week-before-Thanksgiving-at-the-grocery-store line. It was insane. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't face it. I walked out of the store (past the pregnant chick in the doorway with a shirt only covering the top half of her belly - I told you these people were interesting) feeling totally defeated.

I cried.

Fortunately, there is a grocery story right down the street and A&W Root Beer happened to be on sale. Now I have my Root Beer and I can breathe again. All is right with the world.

Good Night.

And I'm sorry if you're craving Root Beer now.

Only 3 more days?

That's right. School starts back up on Thursday. I'm not ready to go back yet. I feel like I didn't do enough fun stuff this summer. Then again, I pretty much always feel that way when summer starts winding down. I'm lazy. Laziness keeps me from getting off my butt and doing something fun far too often.

So, for the next three days, I'm going to tell the story of something fun I did this summer. Perhaps it will make me feel more accomplished. Perhaps not. But, damn it, I'm gonna try.

Let's start with the Machickanee. Say it with me: Ma-Chick-A-Knee.

The dogs like to play there. I like to sit and look at the water... and the sky.

Sometimes we hike in the forest, but this year we didn't much. The tick issues we had early in the summer just pretty much made me want to stay out of the woods at all cost. If I ever find my frikin' disposable camera with all the pics from that adventure (and get it developed) , maybe I'll tell you about it. Then again, maybe not. I'm not sure how I feel about that weekend yet... for many reasons.

Anyway. This is called the Machickanee Flowage.

Isn't it pretty? It's really just a piece of the Oconto river, but it flows through the Machickanee Forest. There may be some other reason its named that, but I don't know it.

The other fabulous part is that before you make the left turn to head over here... you can make a right turn, and head over to the cheese shop. Oh, the wonderful cheese shop. There, you can buy fresh cheese curds every day. There are no pictures of this. I was a little busy stuffing my face.

This is the first thing Bailey must do when he is presented with a large patch of lush green grass.

Oh, grass. How I love you. Sail away with me.

It makes him oh so happy.

Lilly, as usual, is all smiles.

Molly came with us on this day, too.

It doesn't take long at all for Bailey to find trouble.

I told him if he gets arrested, he better call Grandma to bail him out.

There's swimming, too.

And ridiculous posed photos that the dogs think are exceptionally stupid.

No, Mom, we don't WANT to sit still. We sat still the whole way here - now it's time to PLAY!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I might take the dogs to the Machickanee today.
Or maybe I'll just keep sitting on my butt right here.
I haven't decided yet.

Mmmmmm cheeeeesee cuuuuurdsssss....

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I like horses. I really do.
Sadly, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to horses. They just don't respect my authority.
Maybe that's my problem... A lack of authority.

It's not my fault. I just never got the chance to learn.

A few weeks ago I went riding with a friend who has a whole bunch of horses.

There are things you have to do before you go riding.
For me, first and foremost, you must take your Claritin. It really is an essential step for survival. Horses don't much like sneezing maniacs on their backs. Well, at least I don't think they do. I pretty much just made that up.

Next, it's always a good idea to start in on a little kissing up to your horse... A little pep talk if you will.

This is Dorado. I'm asking him to please try to put out of his mind our past incidents. Like when I attempted to get on him and wound up with the saddle sideways on his back, me laying on the ground under him, and my sandals dangling from the stirrups.

Just look at him. He's laughing at me on the inside. He can hardly contain himself.

Then, you have to prepare them for saddling. This requires brushing.

This is Tucker. He's a hottie, and he knows it. He's also kinda a dufus. He might know that too.

Finally, the saddles go on.

And we ride off into the sun...

I SAID... we ride off into the sun...

... very... slowly...

In the horses' defense, it was a really hot day, the flies were terrible, and frankly I just don't exude confidence when working with horses.

Dorado really does know what's up when somebody who knows what they're doing is on him.

Awwww... look at him all decked out in his gear.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My brother has my camera. He used it to take tons of pictures when he went to Boston. I still haven't gotten it back. I think we will need to have a talk about that. It's amazing how crazy one can go when they have things they want to take pictures of, and no camera to do it with.
I'm depressed. I might cry.

See... here is a picture of my brother and his best friend in Boston:

Apparently, it's a re-enactment of a scene from Boondock Saints in front of Old South Church. Don't ask me. I don't dig Tarantino flicks. I tried watching Reservoir Dogs once. It didn't go well.

On another note, look how cute Deanne and I were at Ron and Audra's wedding:

I am now on a mission... must get camera back today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lily Lake

Monday morning... 7am... Lily Lake... on a kayak... with my Lilly.

Mondays don't get much better than that. Nope.

I'd never been to Lilly Lake before. I kinda forgot there would be a launch fee. I had no money with me. So, these videos were made during an illegal boating trip.
I'm sorry. I'll pay double next time. I swear.

First, I gotta show off my new rig. Well, cuz I gotta. I love it. Might even sell the old rack.
Once you go flat, you never go back, I guess.

Here's a one minute tour of Lily Lake:

Yes, I noticed the price tag is still on my paddle. I didn't notice it right away, and now I'm afraid it will leave my paddle all sticky if I try to get it off.
Just for the record, I got it for free with my kayak. I know how to drive a hard bargain.
Or maybe I just asked, and the guy gave it to me. Maybe.

Lilly Lake isn't very big, and it's extremely shallow in a lot of places. Frankly, I can't believe people take motorized boats on it. We went over a few submerged logs that I was really hoping wouldn't scrape the keel of the kayak. Not that it would have been a problem for the boat, but I was concerned about it spooking a certain passenger. (that's happened before)
And winding up swimming back to shore. (that hasn't happened yet, thankfully)
That might have ruined my lovely Monday morning.

We saw some pretty good sized fish. They liked hanging out in all the weeds. Fishing in that stuff would be a nightmare. I don't imagine you get your lures back if you let them sink.
Saw a couple turtles, too, hanging out in the muck on the bottom.
And a couple beer cans. They were hanging out by the turtles. People suck.

These next two videos are mostly boring. But, they make me happy. If they don't make you happy, you probably wouldn't like kayaking with me much.
I mostly made them so I can watch them in the dead of winter and torture myself. That's just the kinda gal I am. Crank up your speakers so you can hear my lovely paddling. It's kinda the whole point of the videos.

Please forgive Lilly's crying. She can't help it. In the second video, she was ready to head back in and wanted to make sure I knew it. I think she also needed to go potty.

Also, please excuse the paddle leash cord. I'm afraid to go without it. Very afraid.
You know the saying...


**Note:  The top picture in this post is actually from a trip to Bear Paw lake the year before.  I just really like it, so I'm posting it again.  Don't tell anybody, k?**

Meltdown. Lilly style.

This is Lilly. She is part gremlin. I think.