A new view

I had a new view of my city yesterday.


This is from the 3rd floor of the historic Eagle Mill. I've never been inside before, but was offered that opportunity yesterday and a quick tour of the building.


The Eagle Mill is part of the new Grand KaKalin riverfront development project. Groundbreaking took place on November 5th.

The entire 3rd floor will be headquarters for the current owners of the Thilmany Mill, Expera Specialty Solutions.

Our public library will relocate, occupying the 2nd floor of the enormous old mill, and more than doubling the size of their current space. I've mixed feelings about that; I love our beautiful Carnegie library and worked there when I was in high school, but a newer addition has significant issues. And the library is truly tiny -- even with the addition (which was built after I worked there). It's cute, but oh so small.

The lower level, also enormous, will be home to more office and retail space.

Deep breath. This is a very good thing. I have confidence in the developer's commitment to reviving while preserving historic places, and they have a good track record.

I can't wait for the grand opening!! It'll be fun to watch the project progress over the next year.



FRANKIE!! A fixture at the coffee shop for almost as long as this has been a coffee shop... 13 years and counting. This is his favorite place to be... the place, he reminds me every morning, where he always has fun ("You know that!")... doing the things he most loves to do: sitting outside, drinking coffee, waving to everyone driving by, sometimes complaining about the loud and/or fast trucks, but mostly just loving life every gosh darn day, and chatting up all who sit down to share his table during the morning.

I'm pretty sure the paint is still wet in this photo. The final wrap up is yet to come. I just had to share this as soon as possible. It makes me so happy.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


It's almost finished!

The end is in sight and everyone is working so hard to finish the mural!! I'm very proud of my husband's work, my kids' work, and Ali's employees -- all of whom have been involved in this project from the beginning. I'm not sure about blood or tears, but I know there's been a lot of sweat given up in the name of community pride and involvement. Way to go, peeps!

I love this photo! (All shamelessly stolen from Ali.)

Almost... not quite. Just wait 'til you see... it's gonna be AMAZING!! The perfect finish.

Speaking of amazing... there was weather in the area late yesterday and that can make for gorgeous skies!


Remember me?

I can't believe it, but I think it's been almost two years since I posted anything about the mural. It's coming along!

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It's hard to get a good overall view (especially with a camera phone) because it's very long and also snakes around a curve. Rusty's been there every morning this week to take delivery of the lift, courtesy of the city, to paint in that high gray spot (it'll be the river).

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Ali and some of her fellow baristas have been working on the coffee shop!

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The bridge that connects our city (this is the old one).

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Shops on Second Street.

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Our public library.

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The historic "mansion." (Also, a nod to the farmer market on the right.)

And plenty of memories... things that are no more:

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The old hotel.

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The feed mill.

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The train depot.

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And, of course, no mural updated is complete without my favorite swimmer! He's holding up pretty well.  ;)

I think it'll be a wrap this summer!


Mural update

Time for a mural update!  I still haven't made it over there on a Monday -- the big weekly work day; hopefully, next week.


I took a couple of other photos -- surprisingly, not a one of my favorite begoggled swimmer boy -- check 'em all out in my Flickr Mural Set.

Thank you for your kind words yesterday.  Blogging has certainly enriched my life and brought me some wonderful, supportive, and generous friends.


I missed the best of the evening light by exactly two minutes last night.  These particular hydrangea bushes -- right smack in front of my house, I might add -- are loaded with flowers but not particularly big; in fact, they are quite small.  So I missed the best of the light, but was determined to try to catch as much as I could as it faded and first squatted, then crouched, touched one knee to the ground, then the other, then my butt, an elbow... I try not to think about the neighbors 'til I pick myself up and dust myself off.  It's pretty, though, isn't it?

I'm thinking of making a card, a set of cards, a series of prints -- it's still formulating -- but a special and distinctive series of images to sell on Etsy designating some or all of the profit to the American Cancer Society or a local women's health organization... something.

It's the time you have, not the time you want.  (Thanks Kate!)

Mural update

In effort not to show my favorite part -- the little swimmer boy -- EVERY time I post about the mural, I tried to photograph OTHER parts on Tuesday night's walk with Katie.  Interesting choices.


DH was the painter of the bakery.  It's not too far from our house and he's always been a big fan of Thursday Cookie Day... hey, it's THURSDAY today and that looks like my car!!


Broiled burgers, big ice cream cones, AND jalousie windows at Dick's Drive-in!


Yep.  We like our cookie days, broiled burgers, and big ice cream cones!

I had an unscheduled and impromptu Pajama Day yesterday!  I kept threatening to get dressed, kept letting myself be distracted, and the morning flew by in an instant!  Thankfully, the clock slowed some in the afternoon; I was pretty busy and managed to knock some niggly things off my list.

I've been working on business stuff -- for Ali and also for me!  One of those things is a presence on Facebook -- because all the cool kids are doin' it!  If you're on FB -- and can tear yourself away from Farm Town or Bejeweled Blitz -- I'd love it if you'd Fan Me!

Mural update!


Mural progress to date

That's about 2/3 of the wall, there's nothing yet on the remainder.  Click here for super-huge (depending on your browser and/or monitor) or, at least, pretty darn big.

I love how curvy it is.  My new mission is to get some photos while people are actually working!

From the left

The adorable, begoggled swimmer with which I am so enamored:

My favorite part, of course

Farmer's Market (underway):

Melons at market

"Someone" making a latte:


Let's have another look at one of my favorite parts again, shall we?

Him again

I got so much done yesterday -- not everything, but most things, and at least a start on what I wasn't able to finish.  There comes a point when I've just got to call it a day.  I sat down to knit/rip/re-knit several rows of Transverse while having a little Craig-a-palooza.  Have I mentioned Craig Ferguson?  Totally lovin' Craig!  He's on WAY too late, but that's where the DVR comes in; then we sit down and watch a bunch -- only ever the monologue.  I've never watched an entire show, never watched a guest appearance; I see James Spader is coming up, though, so he'll likely be my first.

Happy Thursday!  Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!

Blogus regularis

In 5+ years of fairly regular and consistent blogging, I can count on one hand the number of posts that were actually planned ahead.  I think that planning ahead could make the whole enterprise easier sometimes -- especially when one is striving for some blogging regularity.  I often think about planning ahead and even commence to plan ahead (usually by taking photographs of many different things).

I commenced planning ahead on Saturday.  I remember the thought running through my head as I walked through the tall grass and shot through the back door of the greenhouse.  "I'm on my way to Knitting Camp (a post), but this greenhouse might make a good future post -- photos, at least."  Yeah.  There are at least five separate things in yesterday's post -- the mural, the greenhouse, rural small towns and landscape, family history and cemeteries, knitting camp and old and new friends.

I guess I can't hold back.  When I begin to write a post, it's like the floodgate has opened and everything that's been in or on my mind comes rushing out -- it's very difficult (maybe even impossible) to stop it!  It's kind of organic, too, in that sometimes what I think will be the main thing gets overtaken by something else and the whole post is hijacked -- by my own hand!  In the interest of space, length and time, I might not write everything I initially thought I would, or post all of the photos, but I have to write about everything all at once!  Like I might forget?  I sometimes think I'll get back to a subject, expand it (or expound on it) further, but that's pretty rare.  I'm spontaneous... other stuff comes up.  I might also have some personal issues with schedules and programming, maybe also with accountability, more likely with authority.  Ten Things on Tuesday, Random Wednesday, Eye Candy Friday, Saturday Sky... they often happen (randomly) on any day other than the designated day.  If only for the sake of regularity, it would seem logical to embrace those things!

So, I'm just thinking out loud...  Of course I know that it's my blog and I can do as I wish, when I wish, about which whatever I wish, however I wish to do it.  Heh.  One thing I've been striving for lately, however, is to have photos in every post -- a few have slipped by without, but I'm going to do better.  The problem is that photos can be a pain in the butt and when I use up all my recent and new subject matter (with photos) in a post on Monday, it leaves nothing for Tuesday.

This morning I remembered that I have a camera phone at my disposal nearly every minute of every day!


Mondays are particularly active on the community mural and yesterday was no exception.  This has been a favorite part from the very beginning and I'm delighted to see it coming to life!

Mural progress

There's been progress on the mural.

Mural progress

There's a great mix of large and small motifs.  This will be viewed most often from passing cars, but a sidewalk runs the entire length of the mural so there will be plenty of opportunity for close examination -- like "You missed this blade of grass over here!" scrutiny of minute detail.

Mural progress

This isn't even half.  I should shoot next for a good overview, eh?

Center aisle

I went on a little road trip this weekend to visit friends at Knitting Camp in Marshfield.  I didn't need to be there 'til 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, so meandered my way over with camera.  This greenhouse is abandoned, in disrepair, and also for sale.  I don't know when it saw its last customer.  I suspect it suffered a painful and slow decline due to reconfiguring of roadways -- the location and visibility can't be beat, but getting there is another story (not to mention parking).  But, oh, how this kind of stuff sings to me... low and mournful sprinkled with high notes of hope.  What could be done here?


(What are those round things suspended from the ceiling?)

Central Wisconsin hay field

I went to a little town where my great grandparents farmed and where I know they're buried.  I can't believe I couldn't find the cemetery in a town of 330.  I found all kinds of other stuff, including churches, but no cemetery!  I would have stopped to ask, but the only people I saw were two guys sitting outside a tavern watching my car go by -- I can't even guess at how many times -- and I was beginning to feel idiotic.  I'll do some preliminary research next time.

I stopped by a different cemetery in a different small town on the way home.  It's a rural crossroads that's so small I can't even find population data.  The cemetery is right on the main drag, plus I've been there before.  My great grandmother's house is right across the street.  I never met her because she died before I was born, but I've had all the landmarks pointed out to me countless times, including the cemetery gate upon which Mom and Aunt Carol would play/swing when they'd stay at their grandmother's.  I walked the entire thing, looking at every grave, finding people I expected to find (great grandma!), but also some others.

Small wooden cross

This tiny little wooden cross was right next to a larger, very crude iron cross in an older part of the cemetery -- very strange.  There were a few small old stones piled up at the base of a couple of trees -- they've either toppled from age or it's the work of vandals.

So, yeah.  I had a great visit with Katy, Ann and Ricki, and also (finally, after a near-miss or two) met Jessica, and also Kim and a few others from the Dairy State and beyond.  No photos of knitting or of people!  I wasn't there for very long.  I did buy a pattern and some yarn for mittens at the market (will show & tell soon), we knit and visited together, went out for dinner, knit and visited together some more, went up to the room for more knitting, slept, had breakfast while discussing and working out new cast-on techniques, and then it was time for them to go learn some more and for me to head home!!

Hosta la Bokeh, Baby!

Hosta la Bokeh, Baby

...with knitting.

Transversing the hostas

I used up the first of four balls of yarn on the Transverse Scarf last night.  I couldn't help but throw it into the Blue Angel hosta for photos when I got home from the rare knitting out on a Monday.  I didn't notice the neighbor lady and her daughter on their front porch 'til I was already committed to shooting.  Crazy lady.

Front garden flowers

I'm in love with the red coral bells and purple wild geranium with the greens -- that little hint of variegated hosta on the right.  I have been a terrible gardener this year, but this might give me the needed charge.

The mural begins 

My husband and kids are among the volunteers helping to paint an ambitious new mural in town -- they've only just started with the drawing yesterday.  It replaces a much smaller one on part of the wall; this one will cover the entire wall, end-to-end, top-to-bottom.  I'm excited to follow the progresss.  It can easily be on my route to work every morning.  It'll be an awesome background for some future photo shoots!


This is my favorite part, so far.