Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Is it the sandy soil that means certain plants that I have tried unsuccessfully to grow in Illinois seem to flourish here? Tiger lilies and their various Asiatic and trumpet versions abound and each one amazes and delights me.


Little girls are supposed to like horses, and so I did. We mostly all get over it. I still love draft horses, big sturdy work horses. In Wisconsin, among the more delicate regular kind, you can still find draft horses grazing on the hillsides. Our favorite llama herd has one and this pair lives at the brewery and the Amish have teams of gorgeous golden draft horses whose manes and tails glow in the low late afternoon light and the local tack shop has a team of beautiful black beasts. They make me happy when I drive by them and once in a while I stop to stand by the fence and talk to them a bit. I like knowing they are there.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wisconsin Stinks

The alfalfa field was just starting to bloom and occasionally a whiff of floral essence would drift across the road. Then the farmer mowed it into rows while we were at lunch. Fine. It was pretty to see the rows flowing along the contours of the hill. Then the farmer came to pick up the rows and blow them into the wagons he pulled behind. Fine. It was fun to watch the action. Then the farmer came and sprayed liquid manure fertilizer on the field. Not fine. Ewwwwww!


Sometimes Jennifer plots me a route that takes longer than what I would have planned using a map. One day recently I was trying to get her to help me get to someplace faster and it took, oh, about an hour longer. Some of that was because I had to stop and take pictures of the new-to-me landscape, and part of that was because some of the roads were quite narrow and winding. Ah, but what is time against views like this?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Strategy

I used to head out of town, then turn onto some road I hadn't been on before or recently and find what there was to find. After wandering aimlessly, making wild stops, turning around to go back, and taking many pictures, I would decide it was time to head home. I would drive in one direction, knowing eventually I would reach a main intersection that I could find on the map, so that I could plot the fastest route home. Now I do all that, get lost out there, take my pictures, bond with my Wisconsin, but instead of using the map to get back, I turn on Jennifer, my trusty GPS navigational device, and touch the right icons to get her to tell me how to get home. Sometimes, when I get back and look at my pictures, I haven't a clue where I really was when I took that one, but hey, I had a great time doing it!

How I Got Here

My business partner said we should expand to Wisconsin. I told her it was insane to have two businesses, especially one three hours from home. But I agreed to a trip to talk her out of it it, get her to bring her focus back on our existing business. Four days later, I made an offer on the building she brought me to see. A few months later, she left the business. I still love it all, having the business here, the customers who visit, my building, the wonderful kind amazing local people, the land, the seasons, all of it. It was a crazy idea.