partly: (Spoon!)
Taiwan Mao Feng: These gorgeous, tippy, golden hand-processed black tea leaves steep up a deep gold-orange color and deliver an aroma that is rich and luxurious. The liquor of this exotic black tea is very smooth, thick, weighty, sweet, and complex. It is reminiscent of a black tea from Hunan or Yunnan, but it has elements of a floral note never found in those teas. This is a delicious and intriguing black tea.

I really like this tea. The wondrous [ profile] finabair got it for us for Christmas. It's got a great flavor, not too strong, but able to stand up to the mini-gingersnap people that I'm snacking on while drinking it.

Myr Tales

Jul. 31st, 2011 11:24 pm
partly: (Myr)
So, Myr gets a call at from her friends saying that they would pick her up for an "adventure". I ask where they're going and Myr goes: "Who knows? It's 10 pm on a Sunday night. Nothing's open." Heh. She's right about that.

Anyhow she gets picked up, she's back in 10 minutes, to get her own car -- it seems one of the three on the adventure had to cut it short. Anyhow, her and A are "going out somewhere to walk in the fog".

I totally love my child.

Anyhow, as she's going out I toss her a small flashlight, telling her to take it with her. She rolls her eyes and says that there isn't anyone going to be out at this time of night. I inform her I'm not worried about people, but a flashlight's handy if you happen to drop something in the dark.

"Yes, Mother." It's her standard response when she's humoring me.

"Hey," I say as she's leaving, "if I was worried about people, I'd have you take my leatherman."

I'm sure she said something else as she was leaving, but I was deliberately not paying attention. *grin*

Have I mentioned that I love my child?

She's awesome.
partly: (Home)
I have a little garden by my home. It's a garden in the British/city usage of the word, as is it's mostly flowers and containers and the focus on being a nice place to sit and relax. I'm used to the farming version of garden, which is a large plot of land laid out in rows where you grow food to eat and can. That type of garden is out at my mom's house as I don't have room for it by me.

I've gotten smart enough to want to remember what plants I have from year to year, so I'm putting all the details here. But first I'll dazzle you all with some general pictures of my relaxing backyard:

More pics and list of all the things I planted this year:

It's got pics and details, so I will spare most of you! )

So who wants to come over and visit, sit in the garden and drink a mojito or two?
partly: (Home)
There are a great series of pictures from The Wausau Daily Herald on the aftermath and clean up for the tornado. I thought I'd share.

Merrill Tornado 135 pics from Monday, the day after the tornado. Most of this damage wasn't by my folks. The pines took a hell of a beating.

Storm Damages from the Sky 18 pictures of the damage to the Industrial Park and the pine forests that were leveled. There are several houses that were taken out, too. The houses/forest damage pictured here was off of Pier Street and happened after the Industrial Park was hit.

Tuesday Clean Up 27 pictures taken on Tuesday of the damage and work being done. Everyone working are volunteers. They brought their own trucks, saws, gas, food... It pays to live in a town where most everyone owns a chainsaw and know how to use it. Most of these pictures were taken within a quarter of my parents house -- and you've probably seen me post my pictures of the damage. The clean up is going fairly well.

Wednesday Clean Up 23 pictures from Wednesday of the continued work. The best thing about this set of pictures is that they all have captions that explain more about them. Plus the pictures of the Swendrzynskis are amazing with how well they are coping.

There was also this wonderful video from The Weather Channel that starts out with a truly scary shot of the tornado taken off of I39. At this point it had already taken out the Industrial Park, airport, the houses of the people who are in the rest of the video and a whole hell of a lot of trees. In the next minute or so it crossed Hwy K, just south of where I grew up. The people in the video are amazing.

I have to admit that the all the reporting done on this really shows Merrill's best side. These are the people that I know and love, my neighbors. Yeah. We are that good, especially when the chips are down.

And because I can't stop watching them, more videos: )

Remember if you want to help with Tornado Relief, check out my previous post. THANKS!
partly: (Home)
I know everyone out there has their charities they donate to, but if you're looking for something extra to do, consider giving to the tornado relief fund at the Merrill Chamber of Commerce. According to the Chambers website: The Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation has established a Tornado Relief Fund to address long-term and unmet needs for businesses and families that have been affected by Sunday’s tornado in Merrill.

The foundation will be working with the Lincoln County Emergency Management and Wisconsin Regional Emergency Management staffs to further establish what some of the unmet needs will be for victims of the storm once initial assessments of the damage have been determined this week. Officials know that there will be many unmet needs that will occur in the coming weeks and months following such a devastating storm.

“The Regional Emergency Management folks have a lot of experience in this area and understand that there will be long range needs following the initial impact,” said Debbe Kinsey, Foundation Fund Administrator. “Both the Chamber and the Foundation understand that we must think beyond the initial impact and start to prepare for what the unmet needs will be once other organizations have stopped providing immediate emergency assistance.”

If you are interested:
     Make the check out to-
          Chamber Foundation Tornado Relief Fund
     and send it to-
          Merrill Chamber of Commerce
          705 N. Center Avenue
          Merrill, WI 54452

Thank you for your consideration! Thoughts and prayers are always appreciated.
partly: (Home)
Well, my mom when she was a just a country girl.

Here's two pictures of my mom with her friend, Judy, a neighbor from across the way. My mom has the bob and Judy is the blonde.

This one is a few years earlier. She is standing on the steps up to her porch with Jerry, Judy's brother.

Here she is with the whole neighboring clan, she's on the right, holding hands with Judy.

I completely adore this picture. It must have been taken in the mid-1950s. It's not your typical picture of kids growing up in the 50's, certainly different than the media/TV images that you get. These were farm kids. They worked in the fields, they drove the tractors and took care of the animals. They were tough and capable, and the picture shows that.

Here she is with a calf that she raised.

It's a damn cute picture and, to this day, Brown Swiss are her favorite cows. Easy to see why, with those big brown eyes. They're good cows, too. Gentle, good milkers. A while after this was taken, their entire herd was diagnosed with Bangs Disease and all but two animals had to be shipped off to be put down. My mom tells of how she rode along when the herd was shipped off and how the calf (by then a cow) was scared and stayed by her the entire time. She still tears up when she talks about it. They lost their entire livelihood with that diagnosis. More than that, when you raise animals it hurts when you lose them, even if they're not pets. It's not easy, being a farmer.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share the pictures. I did a similar post for my dad a while back, you can see it here if you're interested.
partly: (Perk)
Well, actually not. But I've friended some new people as of late and thought I could do a little "get to know me post". However, since I'm incredibly lazy about such things, I'm really just going to end up linking to posts that let you know about me.

I updated my Bio at my User Profile page not to long ago and I really think that it's the best summary of who I am. So, if you haven't already, start there.

For more detail I did a list of "100 things about me" many years ago. They are still all true, more or less. You can read it in parts one and two.

Things that may help understand my current state of mind.

  • I'm currently unemployed. I have been since January 1st. Life is squeezing me very hard, right now. My more recent posts illustrate the frayedness I'm feeling. I'm a positive person, though. So we'll see how it goes.

  • My daughter, Myr, is currently a junior is high school. She is still the coolest person I know. I think teenagers are awesome. She is handling this incredibly stressful time of life really, really well. I don't brag about her enough, and I'm not sure if that is possible. She's an artist, a musician, and a scholar. She is kind, thoughtful and self-aware. I love her more than a little and like her more than a lot.

  • My husband, Wil, is also very cool. We'll be married 21 years this October. He currently works at Sears, which is wonderful. What's not so wonderful is that he is an artist and while he's good at his job, it's not what he'd love to be doing. He sacrifices, though, especially with me being out of a job. Life is tough all over, right? We do alright.

  • I like to fancy myself a writer. Not sure I can do that. I've written more in the past week than I have for months and I'm happy with that.

  • I'd love to find a way to earn money at home. While I'm sure that everyone's dream, bringing in a few extra dollars right now would ease the stress. Yes. The not working thing is eating my brain! I am, however, looking at starting an etsy account. I'm rather crafty, my daughter even more so. We'll see how it goes. I'll let you all know when the account is set up.

That's more than enough useless info about me.
partly: (MadCity)
The New York Times recently (July 5) had an article about my State Capital, Madison called 36 Hours in Madison, Wis. -

It's mostly a travel guide focusing on where to eat and a couple of things to do. Because it's, you know, the New York Times, it focuses somewhat on the High End, but Madison's High End is usually very welcoming and within the realm of affordability even for the average person. Anyhow, it was nice to see a shout out to the town. The best part of the article, IMO, was the introductory paragraph, where the writer captured the spirit of Wisconsin better than most ever do:

MADISON, a liberal college town that doubles as the capital of a politically complicated state, pulls its disparate elements together into a spirited reality all its own, a funky amalgam of hard-partying students, socially conscious activists, sports fans, outdoor warriors, politicos from both sides of the aisle, artists, foodies and more. Long pigeonholed as a hotbed for frat parties and activism, Madison has a vibrant but much more tempered side brimming with arts, culture and food. In a city with so many types to keep happy, it’s impossible not to find something that suits your fancy.

I especially love the description "politically complicated state". And we are. We may have been Blue in the last elections, but you will notice that even the Democratic Party doesn't count on Wisconsin as a sure thing. That's because we don't do things out of blind loyalty and we tend to be too politically aware of real life consequences. Hell, even our most influential Democratic Senator (U.S. Senator Russ Feingold) isn't afraid to buck the party line when he knows it's the right thing to do.

That is the best things about Wisconsin -- isn't just one thing. Don't try to stereotype us. Don't think that just because we're A, we also have to be B. Political labels of "Democrat" and "Republican" or even "Liberal" and "Conservative" aren't nearly as important as the practical and pragmatic. While Madison does tend to lean more toward the "well-intentioned but stupid" occasionally, it happens far less than most other places. In a society where everything has to have it's own little label and niche so that things can be easily categorized and dismissed, Wisconsin doesn't fit.

And I like that.
partly: (Home)
Birthday was great. Thank you all for your well wishes. Hope you had a good day, too.

I’ve been incredibly busy these past four days and I’m going to take a moment to write it down before I collapse.

Thursday I had lunch with Wil but still managed to fight my way out of work a little early so Myr could get home in time to prep for driving lessons and band concert. She’s dong much better with the driving– still recovering form her spin out in the fall, but getting more comfortable behind the wheel each day.

The choir concert was amazing! It featured 6th – 12th grade choirs, close to 500 kids were standing up front when everyone sang the last two songs together. We’ve got some really talented kids. It’s a shame that the few kids who get in trouble get all the press. More people should take the time to check out just how good our kids are today.

After the concert my folks took Myr and I out for pizza (Wil was at curling) and we spent an hour chatting and whatnot.

Friday was a mellow workday, even if I didn’t take a lunch. Wil and I went out to eat and then hit a late showing of Watchmen. Loved the movie. Didn’t reread the novel before I went to see it, but the main scenes I remember for the book were in the movie, so I was pleased with it. Rorschach is my favorite (which should surprise no-one who knows me). I much prefer the movie ending to the novel. My only real quibble was the Nixon/War room scenes looks straight out of Doctor Strangelove and I just couldn’t take the whole “the world’s on the brink of Nuclear Destruction!” seriously.

Saturday we spent all morning and most of the afternoon up in Tomahawk for “Project Discovery Day” – a 4-H event where projects are offered for kids to try out. Myr was doing a workshop on jewelry making and we all made a basket. I found out that basketry fills me with nervous energy and I stood for the entire 3-hour workshop as I made the basket. Weird, if you ask me.

Saturday night we stayed up way too late watching Burn Notice and totally forgot about the time change, so getting up for Church today was tough. I took a nap, though, which was good, because my folks took us out to eat at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate our (Wil’s and my) birthdays. We had a great time, especially since Sasha (my niece) was our waitress.

Then we came home, played a game of Red November (cute, cooperative game perfect for three), then messed around making funnel cakes/deep-fried-snickers with our deep frier (funnel cakes were good, the snickers, not so much). Myr had a ton of homework to do, so the rest of the night was spent doing that while watching Hairspray or listening to music.

All and all, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday – not even one that came with ice cream and a pony.
partly: (wondrous)
or two of the many reasons I love living north of the 45th.

I walk to work. That's not as impressive as it sounds, considering how close I live to my job, but since it's winter and it hasn't gotten above 25 degrees in the past two weeks... well, it may not be a long walk, but it can be a cold one.

Party with the Bunnies )

A change in temperature )

Of course, as I said, since it hasn't been above 25, I may change my mind about liking the cold. There's a good chance we won't see temperatures above freezing until well after Christmas. Oh well, if it keeps being cold, it will give me an excuse to drive to work, right?
partly: (Home)
I'm alone in the front room while Myr and Wil are watching TV in the living room. I'm working on the curling webpage, drinking wine and re-watching CSI:NY. This makes me agreeably mellow.

What makes me smile is the overheard bits of conversation that I hear from Myr and Wil as they watch some DS9. Myr hasn't seen any of the eps before and she is guessing what may happen next or dissecting character interactions. Wil provides some answers but mostly lets her just talk and watch.

I love it when the two of them do things like that. When they talk about art or school or anything. There is a relationship there. It's not fully formed yet, after all she's only 14 and has a lot of growing up to do. But there is an inherent respect between them and an understanding of who each of them is on a level that is different than just father/daughter.

I know that it will change and grow and, like all relationships, be a living thing, but they have a very nice foundation of trust and acceptance going. Right now, it's wonderful.

Life is good.
partly: (*glee*)
My daughter the Stock Market Wiz: In Delta (the Gifted and Talented class that Myr was in this year), they played a stock market game where they could buy and sell stocks. She (and her partner, S) won the regional contest with a ~13% return on their investment. We get to go to a banquet where they will be honored. Myr rocks!

My daughter the Fan: Myr has recently gotten hooked on comics. They've always been around the house, but she's only read them lightly in the past. She's now started to seek out some new ones we have laying about. She was reading one that promised some great adventures, including Ninjas. Unfortunately, by the end of the book, there were no ninjas. She told me: "I want ninjas. They promised me ninjas, and I want those ninjas. Ninjas are cool." Heh. I couldn't agree more.

My daughter, the thirteen-year-old: Wil asked her who her favorite character was from one of the comics. She named a few and they discussed them, then Myr said "I also like x". "X?", Wil says, "He's a bit of a jerk, though." "Well, yes," Myr agrees. "He is a boy after all." Hee! I love that response.

Living in the northwoods: This morning while standing by the car as I was about to drive Myr to school, I heard this loud bird cry. It wasn't a familiar cry, but I thought I should know what it was. I look up and what do I see? The symbol of our nation. Not one, not two, but three eagles. They were flying in formation just above the treetops. And they were flying, too. Not the slow, graceful glide that you usually see eagles doing, but wing-beating, fast-moving flight. They were gorgeous in the morning sun. Merrill is built along the Prairie and Wisconsin Rivers, right where they meet and we have eagles that fish along the rivers, but I've never seen three in flight before and this is the first time I've heard the eagle's cry live. It was a wonder.
partly: (wondrous)
OK, I did two things tonight that I know no one else reading this did.

Cut for sadness )

Cut for those who don't live in the north-woods )

The woods are a beautiful thing just around dusk. Didn't need a flashlight. The smell of the woods, with the damp leaves covering the ground, is intoxicating. Rocks and fallen trees are slippery in the wet ground cover, but the soft layer muffles your steps. We were ghosts, drifting through the trees, no more than shadows when separated by more than a few feet. There's not much better than that in this world.
partly: (Home)
So, you may be asking: Partly, you're unemployed, what do you do with all that free time now that your daughter is back in school?

Well, let me tell you: gardening (along with my folks).

We pulled alost 700 ears of sweet corn from the corn patch. Gave about 300 of it away, ate a lot and froze more than 50 quarts of corn.

We canned 12 quarts crab-apple juice that we will make jelly out of later.

We made 6 quarts corn salsa, and plan on making more in the next week.

We made 21+ quarts of tomato soup (the best tomato soup in the world) and canned that.

We canned 14 pints of tomato juice -- ready for drinking or use.

I have baked 3 to 5 loaves of bread each week, splitting it between my folks and us.

We picked, cleaned, cut and froze/ate/used 10 gallon bags of green beans.

We still have several trees full of apples that we will have to pick and process.

We made three gallons of dill pickles and at least 20 pints of sweet Christmas pickles.

We have most of the onions pulled and hung up to dry.

The potatoes are still in the ground. They will have to be dug and washed ans stored.

The tomatoes are growing like gangbusters, unless we make catsup, there is more tomato soup in our future.

We killed all the zucchini because it was taking over the garden. Next year: only two zucchini plants.

The carrots are huge and they will have to be dug up before they are too heavy to lift.

There this squash... but those will be stored in the fruit cellar, along with the potatoes and onions.

We are planning on going choke cherry picking and on making choke cherry jelly. Great stuff, if you've ever managed to get some.

I feel like I've left something out. The peas were done early this year and ate most of them although we must have frozen 7 or 8 quart bags of them.

Wait: Chickens, geese and ducks. We already had one harvest of chickens and they are safely frozen -- except for those we've eaten. The second batch is quickly becoming large roaster size, the geese and ducks are way past the cute and cuddly stage. So, they are very short for the world.

All in all, I'm not lacking for things to do. If I get a couple days at my home, I have plans. Like cleaning my desk, writing and making a webpage.

Doesn't look like that will happen any time soon.

I may not be working, but I am putting food on the table (and in the freezer and fruit cellar and...)
partly: (Faith)
Just back from candlelight service. My favorite church service.

Hope everyone's night is merry, merry.

Love to all! And may peace find you, one and all.

(*hugs* to you [ profile] amilyn and your family, too)

To quote Tiny Tim "God bless us, everyone"

Good Day..

Dec. 12th, 2004 09:09 pm
partly: (Myria)
No. Didn't have any time to write. But that's okay.

After the church thing, I went out and had brunch at my folks, then headed out to Neenah (south of Green Bay) to do the "Niece graduating for modeling school" thing. It's a three hour drive, especially in this weather of heavy wind and sleety snow. The roads were fine but the wind was killer.

Managed to get my mom's iPod hooked up the the iTrip and playing through the radio so we listened to Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" on the way there. So totally love that story.

On the way back we did the random Christmas song thing (she has over a day's worth of Christmas music on her iPod). It was great fun. We (Mom, Myr and Me) all sang along to them.

Merry Christmas!

Now I will try to do some writing.


Dec. 8th, 2004 09:58 pm
partly: (Perk)
Three things of note:

Heard back from Stargatenovels people. They received my proposal and will (eventually) try to read it. They said they'd get back to me in three months. Which is cool. I'm sure they have a ton of proposals. I'm pleased to see that they put the title I gave it in the subject line. AND I'm pleased that I haven't been thinking about it at all lately. Very cool.

I have finished two scenes in my new fic. Good for me. They read well and are off being betaed. I have a good start of several of the following scenes. I feel confident that I'm gonna finish this, which is good. Not sure I'll make the 18th deadline, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

Myria has joined the forensic team at school. Which is wonderful. I was in part of the forensic team when I was in school. She's gonna be much better than I ever was. The only problem: the first meet is the 20. She has to have five practices before then. That is also the day of her band concert. Busy, busy, busy.

But life is good.
partly: (cleandesk)
Yay for wonderful [ profile] imbri6! I received LOST in the mail today. Yippee! We will be able to watch it tomorrow.

Myr and I rode in the Christmas Parade on Saturday. It was a great night for it, not too cold, not snowing or raining. The float was for our church and we got to play with the puppets. We've just started a puppetry ministry and we were showing off the puppets. The kids on the route really, really liked the puppets. It was very tiring, though. Still, fun!

With the help of the talented [ profile] amilyn, I managed to figure out the plot for my Jack fic-a-thon fic. I'm afraid the length of it may be to much for me finish by the 18th, but I'm gonna give it a shot. It looks doable now that I know why everyone is acting the way they are.

I wrote 1500 words, yesterday. Go me. I wish I could have finished the scene to my satisfaction, but it reads good 'til I get to the part where it doesn't end.

Tonight I went to my folks place and helped my mom set up her iPod to play over the radio. She has about 24 hours worth of Christmas songs that she'd like to listen to over the big stereo. It worked great and now she gets to show my dad (who bought her the iPod last Christmas) how wonderful it is.

I am trying hard not to be too jealous about the fact that my mom has an iPod and I don't.

My daughter loves to read and is doing great in school. She loves school. I mean that. She loves doing the work they assign. She is going to pur together a portfolio of drawing to see if she can be part of the accelerated art program the school offers. Only 10 people per period, so she's not sure she'll get in, but I'm proud that she's willing to try.

My desks (both here at home and at school) are a mess. I'm moving off to a separate table in order to do some writing. I just don't want to clean anything in order to work.

My todo list I set up is working well. I've been keeping up with my general writing tasks. Here's hoping I can get done and post something.

I've misplaced two remotes for my TV. I just cleaned the stupid room and I can't find them anywhere. It is evil because I just cleaned and I know I had all the remotes together in one place -- then *poof* gone.

I really miss having a dog. Myr's hamster (Puff) is a nice pet and all (and actually a much better pet than I would have thought), but I miss a dog. We're thinking that we'd like to get a West highland terrier and, because every child should have puppy at some point in her life, we want to get a puppy. I will have to look into places where we can get one, but I don't have the time to do that until after Christmas.

Ok... I need to write. My goal is 2000 words today. YIKES!


partly: (Default)

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