Sweet Summer Time

I always go into summer thinking it’s going to be quiet and chill. I am not actually sure WHY I think that – I think the only quiet and chill summer I had was the summer of 2006, when I interned 4 hours per day and slept the rest (no joke, coming out of my first year of teaching, I was catching up on ten months of exhaustion) Otherwise I spend my summers working at TFA Institute, or moving across the country. This summer, I have done neither, but work and life have certainly cooperated to fill every spare moment!

Lots of gardening is happening, despite the miserable drought Wisconsin has suffered. Seriously, it rained for about 45 seconds yesterday, and I couldn’t even continue the conversation I was having. The peppers did not survive (something ate them to the ground, but the tomatoes and petunias are doing nicely. I have 9 tomato plants, divided between slicing and paste, and I think I will take up canning as a new hobby this fall – can’t stand to see a single one go to waste!

These little guys are hanging out in the shade and doing ok despite the heat and the dry. I have been informed that they are usually houseplants, so I’ll bring some in in the winter.

Family time has been amazing this summer – it’s so nice to be a short drive away from so many people.  Birthday parties to baseball games, it’s been wonderful to reconnect with my people!

I love this picture – the tiniest person and the bestest Papa 🙂

Cousins bonding over sunglasses – two handsome guys!

Cory keeping his eye on the ball.

Outfield is somewhat boring, however 😉

Brunch is on a summer hiatus – my little window a/c can’t really cope with the epic production heat, or the crowds, but the last one I threw, in May was a lot of fun – pancakes on the porch, enjoying the early summer breezes. Until the end of my days, I will live somewhere that allows me to sit outside.

The result! Chocolate chip, blueberry, and “plain” pancakes, bacon, eggs, and the requisite bowl of berries. Yum!

Using the last of my eggs from the Tinants – well traveled, and completely delicious 🙂

Best of all, Milwaukee has proven itself to be a truly excellent city to explore this summer! From custard, to Summerfest, to farmer’s markets, to the South Shore Frolics (this weekend!) there is always something great to do, something amazing to eat, and some excellent music playing.  In Wisconsin, we never quite forget that a long, hard winter is right around the corner, so we get out there and soak up every sunny moment!

Rarely the winner, but always our favorite – wearing number 5 – Chorizo!

We managed to get photos with every racing sausage that day, a minor miracle on a Saturday afternoon!

Taken inside the Northern Chocolate Co – right before I got yelled at for taking pictures…oops!

Lake Michigan in the morning

City Hall is amazing inside! This was also the tallest building in North America at one time.

Going here now! Kopp’s has nothing on this classic 🙂


Labor Day Staycation Take 2!

Too many great things happened this weekend! Great Frozen Custard at Leon’s! Great weather for picture taking! Great talking and wandering! Great (ok, awful) movie! Great (ok, good) Indian food! Great wine!  I leave you with more pictures to celebrate my mom’s first visit to Milwaukee in the 2000s! And she leaves her earrings…with me. 🙂

Imposing North Point light house. I love the clouds in this pic.

St Luke's in Bay View seen in September Sunset

Repeating arches in sepia tone

This guy was getting ready for the parade, he did a little smile and dance for the camera. And then it got awkward.

Spiral staircase and fountain in Plankinton Arcade, Hard to capture the depth, but I like the angles!

Fresh fruit cart in the largely abandoned mall. The main source of color.

Ceiling of the Grand Avenue/Plankinton Arcades

Labor Day Weekend Staycation Take 1

I like to take "convergence" pictures - lines and angles add order to a chaotic world.

One of the best parts of moving to a new city is exploring it – taking in all the little details that too soon will become part of a commonplace background. My mom came to visit me in Milwaukee for the first time since I moved up here (yay!).  We spent a lot of time wandering around indoors and out yesterday, avoiding the rain and taking advantage of the bursts of amazing fall weather.  Windy, crisp, and just right for taking pictures!

When I was a little child, it was one of the highlights of the year to take the “long” drive to Milwaukee and go shopping at the Grand Avenue Mall. As a kid growing up in a town of 15,000, a trip to a multiple story, bustling, first-food-court-in-the-state having; fancy shopping mall was an incredible experience. My most vivid memory (besides clinging to my mom’s hand) is of the candy store. I remember a store decorated with dark green walls and dark wood shelves. I remember feeling surrounded by those huge clear glass jars filled with all kinds of colorful treats.  Most of all, I remember a large clawfoot bathtub filled with saltwater taffy.

Urban decay in sepia tone - the Grand Avenue Mall

The remains of the day - more sepia.










The sun came out in the afternoon, and we took a ride north along the lake. We looked at the amazing mansions on the lake front, and stopped to take some more pictures at the North Point Lighthouse. The many unique designs of the different homes makes me wonder – at what point did we as a culture abandon unique, ornate, and beautiful as design elements in favor of brown plastic siding? Houses that probably took over a year to construct, for cheap gimcrack nonsense that goes up in a few weeks? This is the architectural legacy for future generations? Lame. But the weather was great, the sky unbelievable.

Using the "vivid" color setting - I like the way the flag pops against the clouds.

After a leisurely brunch at Sven’s Coffee House, we’ll head back to the lakefront to the art museum and Labor Fest! Maybe with a side trip to Groppi’s for a pick up supper.

‘Til then…

Incongruous cow head on a Civil War memorial

Leo would be scared of this. He is also scared of the small bronze pig statue on my block.