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Showing posts from February, 2011

Another Weekend Toasted

Well, another weekend goes in the books. It always goes too fast.

We had a good one around here. Friday Donna and I went shoe shopping as a date. Jealous yet? Actually it was Nice to spend some time in a store together. I loathe shopping, but it is much more bearable when I have her along because she helps me pull the trigger on some purchases I would normally wait on (to find a "better deal" that I usually never find.)

Saturday the two of us continued our date by going to breakfast at Blues Egg. The only way I can describe it is a gourmet breakfast. I had an omelet stuffed with Cale and sausage and cheese, and their stuffed browns, which are hash browns with a ton of good ingredients mixed in. It was amazing. We also got Monkey Bread which is a sweet roll type thing that is made of little bread ball nugget things. It was good too, but I thought next time we could stand for just the browns and monkey bread.

The nice thing about the whole outing was, we took home 1/2 our me…

Poems, and Articles and Rejections, Oh My!

This was a strange week for me and my writing muse. I submitted a poem to verse wisconsin about the protests in Madison and they accepted it and published it online. It can be seen at: www.versewisconsin.org/#poems. It's not a huge deal, but kind of cool. They were asking for poems specifically about the Madison chaos, and having lived it firsthand, I thought it was a good chance to speak my piece. There's some really good poems there, and some clunkers. I've come to discover that that's just the nature of poetry. I can appreciate many different styles, but some are just like "what did they just say?"

That's kind of a statement for life in general. Some people you get, some you don't.

The downside of the writing thing happened the next day when I submitted my article to Musky Hunter magazine. This was an article I felt pretty good about. It had a good story to it, a decent amount of humor, and had been well reviewed by many of my fishing friends. Well,…

Power to the People!

Well, I was in Madison today, and took a walk up to the capitol to watch the rioting over the Budget repair bill. Let me just say it was energizing to see people mobilized to a cause they feel strongly about. I thought about it and it was really my first protest...like, ever.

When I was a student at the University of Minnesota the cause of the day was "No Nukes". I didn't really participate in any of them, of course. I've never been a real political person. I think politics should be left to the voting booth and not worn on your sleeve. It turns people into ugly, god-awful people when they get to bickering about partisan issues. It divides otherwise good friends, colleagues, neighbors and church members.

All of that aside, I did need to get my say in this particular issue. I'm as fired up about the heavy-handedness of our governor and his union-busting, power grab tactics as I've ever been about anything political. As I've told everyone, I have no issue wit…

V-Day Revelations

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The rest of the weekend with Rob was good. I stopped over on Sunday morning about 10:00 and he was sleeping, snoring away. I thought I'd be sneaky and work on my laptop while he slept. As I was getting it out of my bag, he woke up saying "I smell coffee. It must be Jim." He knows me pretty well.

I had brought him a couple of muffins from the nearby Panekoeken House, but his lack of appetite made them unappealing to him. He didn't eat much all weekend, but later that morning he did force some french toast and sausages down. It has to be terrible to worry not only about eating, but about pain, nausea, pain relief for the hardware in his back, twitching legs, bowel movements etc. The man is a living testimony of patience and a strong will. I admire him unlike I ever have before. God Bless him.

We had some great, deep conversations when we were together. He is in a good place with his condition and more than anything doesn't want to be a burden on Jane and the rest of …

Having Trouble Seeing the Day After Now

Visiting my brother Rob at Mayo in Rochester today. I got in about 12:30. Timing is everything as I got to see my cousin Coe as well. He was visiting Rob too and we overlapped by about an hour and a half. He is a great guy. I can't say enough about his love for family, in some cases family he hardly knows. He has his own life tragedies that he's dealt with yet he understands the here and now as much as anyone.

This trip today has impacted me again as to the brevity of life and the importance of taking each day for the blessing it is. Some days suck, I get that. But even those days are a part of your life that you will never have back. Try and work it out, man. Think you've got it bad? Look around you. I guarantee you won't have to look far to find someone who's got it tougher than you. So take that big concern in your life and put it in its proper perspective.

So, having said that I need to take action and live my life like every day is my last. Granted, I still have…

Docs 'n' Drugs

Went to the Doctor today after day 17 of this chronic cough. I wanted to rule out a sinus infection or pneumonia. I've been feeling a little better, but am still bothered by the cough. He found a "low grade" sinus infection and so put me on antibiotics and Sudafed. He said anytime a cough persists past about 10 days, it is usually some other bacteria that has taken residence.

I wanted to get checked out because I don't want to infect Rob who I'll be seeing on Sat/Sun. He reassured me that a sinus infection isn't transmissible and that my visit would be fine. That is great news, as I am looking forward to my visit to Rochester. He's getting his second round of Chemotherapy at Methodist hospital. He arrived today and will be there until Sunday about noon. My Mom is going down tomorrow to visit, so she was glad he'd have a visitor on Sat/Sun. I figure it's the least I could do. It's been a while since I've seen him and because the weekend we w…

The Saturday Evening Post

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I spent this morning at a great workshop on marketing your work, submission guidelines and the like. It was at allwriters and there were 12 of us there; 11 women and me. Talk about the odd man out. (Or just the odd man, if you know me.)

It was an outstanding look into the intricacies and nuances of getting your work out there and published. There was a ton of invaluable information about query letters, cover letters, synopsis, agenting, and more. We were given a ton of links to great sites for researching the market, as well as a number of good books on the subject.

It actually inspired me enough to go home and submit a work of memoir to a magazine I'd found on one of the research links. The piece is on some of the cats we had when I was a kid. It is a dark humor kind of piece talking about their lives in a household of six kids, their untimely deaths or other ultimate fate. I changed it up a bit from when I had written it a year ago and let it fly.

The magazine doesn't pay anyth…

White, Just White.

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We got about 14" last night during the blizzard of 2011. Racine was hit the worst and got 23". The biggest issue was the wind, as it often is during snowstorms. It caused some freaky drifting around the house and city. It made for some interesting snow blowing, where at times, the entire blower was under snow. You just had to kind of let it chew away. It took me the better part of an hour to clear our drive and walk, which is better than some fared. It's times like these that I like my small yard and small walk.

I took poor Toby for a walk in it and he was just kind of shell shocked. Poor boy didn't know what to think. He was fine where there was sidewalk, but at one point when I was blazing a trail, he was following behind in my footsteps for a while, but then he just stopped. I think he was afraid that he would drown in snow. That was the look on his face. "I'm scared papa, hep me, hep me!" I trudged back and picked him up and carried him along until w…