Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Signs of History - Part I

I’m always on the lookout for historical markers as we wander Wisconsin. Reading about the person, place, or event that the sign commemorates is an enjoyable way to become familiar with some of the stories about our state that are not covered in the text books. More than 500 markers are scattered throughout Wisconsin – from the “beginning” in the southwest corner to its tip on Madeline Island. 

The Peshtigo Fire occurred at the same time as the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. But did you know about the fire in Phillips that swept through that town three years later?
Many people - especially those who are not from Wisconsin - think of the Sierra Club or the national parks when they hear the name of John Muir. However, Muir's environmental ethic was probably shaped near Portage where he lived with his family until he entered the University of Wisconsin in his early 20s.
Wisconsin is known for its waters and not just its water parks. Rivers have played an important role in early Wisconsin history so it makes sense that historical markers would be dedicated to our state's magnificent waterways. 

To this day, the Wisconsin River is still important.
We’ve learned a great deal about Wisconsin just by stopping to examine the signs along the way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Classic Cars on Dad's Day

One of our Father’s Day traditions for a number of years has been to attend the British Car Field Day in Sussex WI – a benefit for the Boy Scouts and Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee. You can’t get much more British than Sussex. 
This is a refined show and one of my favorites. It’s not quite the Milwaukee Masterpiece, but there is an air of elegance at the Sussex Village Park this day.
Rick always has a good time when his friends, Bill, John, and/or Paul,
check out the cars with him. 
Because we won’t be attending the show this coming weekend, I’m posting some past photos. Since many cars return year after year, one might see some of these lovelies on Father’s Day 2012. A car doesn’t have to be a classic (more than 20 years old) to be exhibited at this show – it just has to be British. However, the classics usually outnumber the new ones.
The "Twins" - almost identical - are driven by a husband and wife team each year.
My all-time favorite is the Morris Mini-Minor. About a half dozen or so show up every year. Nearly two of these cars could fit into today's Mini Cooper which is pretty small. I'm also a sucker for a convertible.

Even in a small garage there would be plenty of room
for junk if this were your car.
Who can resist such a cutie?

The license plate reads "MOMS JAG."

And then there are the unusual, one-of-a-kind vehicles their proud owners bring to the show. 
Nash Metropolitan - not an amphicar!
Land Rover - reminds me of a Hummer.
If you happen to be near Sussex on Sunday, check out the show. If you're hungry, have a burger cooked by the Scouts. If you're thirsty, don't worry; the boys will show up with cold beverages in their coolers on wheels as you browse the classic cars.

Monday, June 04, 2012

June is Dairy Month

This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of June Dairy Month – a tradition that was established to stabilize demand for dairy products during periods of peak production.

Image from the Wisconsin Historical Society - WHi 42915.
 Here in Wisconsin – known as America’s Dairyland – we have the Milk Marketing Board. The WMMB is a non-profit organization funded by dairy farm families with the mission of increasing the sale and consumption of Wisconsin milk and dairy products. Although California beats us in liquid milk production, we are number one in cheese production. Wisconsin has more skilled and licensed cheese makers than any other state. And what is the top cheese produced in Wisconsin? Mozarella – for all those pizzas we eat!

Alice in Dairyland, a pubic relations professional employed by the state’s Department of Agriculture, was created in 1948 as part of our state’s centennial celebration. Every year a new Alice is crowned in May. She launches her year-long “reign” by kicking off June Dairy Month events.

Here in Madison “Cows on the Concourse” is part of our Farmer’s Market on the Capitol Square the first Saturday in June. This year it was a beautiful morning to see at least one cow, eat a grilled cheese sandwich, or drink milk. I met the 2012 Wisconsin Brown Swiss Queen, Allison Quick of Oconomowoc. I’m not so sure about the honor of being queen of the cows when one is a teenager but this young woman carried herself with royal aplomb.

A few years ago the Milk Marketing Board presented CowParade Wisconsin. More than 100 painted “cows” made their debut in Madison and several surrounding communities. These whimsical animals joined the 1.2 million dairy cows that already called Wisconsin home. Here are some of my favorites.

With pink flamingos this cow would be a perfect addition
to all of our vintage camping trailer tchotchkes.
We saw this cow at the World's Biggest Brat Fest ahead
of June Dairy Month.

The Hoard Museum in Fort Atkinson is where this cow
spends its days (and nights)

Pasture Bedtime

I called this one "Cowhuly" because of its glass necklace.

The band cow stood in front of the Humanities Building
which houses the Music Department at UW.

These cows found their home at the Milk Marketing
Board office.

This was my favorite "cool" cow!