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 ūüôā

Cousins bonding over sunglasses – two handsome guys!

Cory keeping his eye on the ball.

Outfield is somewhat boring, however ūüėČ

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā


Successful Weekends Lead to Successful Weeks…Right?

Relaxed. Relieved. Exhausted. Excited. Anxious.

Maybe not the best mindset to have on a Sunday evening Рbut I did have a nearly-truly restful weekend!  I drove over to Madison on Saturday Рwhich would have been great except for 1) A bad accident that blocked the interstate (hope everyone is ok); 2) Construction which had the interstate down to 1 lane for 10 miles for no discernible reason; and 3) my car doing the annoying engine-revving hiccuping thing again.  Sigh.

Then – colcannon with mom – yum! An Irish specialty with mashed potatoes and kale. ¬†Also onions and butter galore! Sooo tasty. ¬†Then we went shopping around, and I made my long awaited trip to Penzey’s Spices. ¬†Replenished my stock of Bicentennial and got some Southwest and garlic power. ¬†No, this is not a paid advertisement. Went to Kohl’s and left without buying much of anything, although I do now know the type of kitchen knives I want – since I am down to one steak knife, and one broken-blade butcher knife. Then the best part…

2011 Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival!!! ¬†Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have almost nothing good to say about the last five years I lived in good ol’ SP. ¬†The Corn Festival, however, is one completely undamaged and unspoiled memory. Yesterday was simply another page in that book. Got there with mom and Drew around 4pm – loaded a tot with as many ears of fresh boiled corn as we could carry – and dug. in. I know I ate two ears – which is a lot for me. Drew ate a lot! There were mini donuts involved also – and giant bananas with dreds. ¬†But I digress. ¬†After some tilt-a-whirling around we took off (it looked like rain) and headed to Takumi for sushi. ¬†Which was actually not that good and kind of overpriced. I always loved Takumi because it seemed cheaper and better quality than Ginza, at least, but I was mostly unimpressed last night. Ah well.

Today was donuts and coffee followed by movie and popcorn. ¬†Mom and I saw The Help¬†which I had read last spring. I was not expecting much from the movie – given that the book was kind of fluffy, and the reviews said it didn’t go deep enough, but I¬†actually¬†thought it was well done. Sad and funny and scary in equal measure.

But now it’s nearly 10 here in the Brew City. The house is clean, the dog is asleep, and I am beginning to think of the busy week ahead. It’s goal setting time in the Real World and I’m still playing catch up with all there is to learn here. I am starting to think that 1 year is a more realistic onboarding period, as I see no end to the questions I have in mind. ¬†Also having a brand new manager – M – starting his journey alongside me. ¬†We have a high stakes phone call with national managers on Thursday, and I am starting to have that panicky “night before the final” feeling…

Off to bed, perchance to sleep…