Nature

Tornados are really weird

Funnel CLoud 2
Funnel CLoud 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you think about it, you’ll realize that tornados are really weird. I guess hurricanes are too, but for some reason they make more sense to me. Maybe because they start out over the ocean and involve a lot of water.

Anyway.

Consider an earthquake. Two underground plates literally grind together, causing the earth to shake. It’s a tangible action. We can’t see it, but if we paid attention in science class, we know that there’s a ton of pressure on these plates because, darn it, they are REALLY heavy, and it all makes sense that eventually something will have to give. Continue reading “Tornados are really weird”

Essays, Flowers, Illinois, Memoir, Nature

I’m suffering a little spring nostalgia

I’m feeling a little sad today. The redbud trees are slowly beginning to exchange their flowers for leaves. It may have been cool this week, but summer will soon overpower my favorite season, and we’ll be wilting in the sultry steam of a central Illinois summer.

This time of year always reminds me of my Grandma Webster who passed away just over nine years ago now. I was pregnant with my younger son when Grandma left us, so I will always be able to recall just how long she has been gone.

When I was a kid, I used to sneak down the hill by Grandma’s house with a pair of scissors and cut a few twigs of blooming rosebuds to surprise her with. Every time, she showed her appreciation for the gesture as if it was the first time. She had a way of making every single one of her grandchildren – so many of us now, I’ve lost count – believe ourselves to be her favorite. To this day, I am still fairly confident that I was Grandma’s favorite. But then again, so is everyone else!

redbud tree
The redbud trees are in bloom all over central Illinois right now, but they won’t last long.

Another treasured spring memory is a composite of all of the times I went mushroom hunting with my grandma in the woods by her house. Morels are plentiful in the woods of my homeland this time of year. When I was a kid, it seemed as though everyone I knew made a mass exodus into the local woodlands to search for this delectable treat. For a few short weeks, we’d have fried mushrooms for breakfast, and then again as a side dish at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, I’ve never been any good at finding them myself. Continue reading “I’m suffering a little spring nostalgia”

Nature, Uncategorized, Writing Prompts

Tonight’s supermoon and thoughts on perspective

Tonight – August 10th – is seemingly the largest full moon of 2014. Be sure to check it out!

supermoon 2014
In the meantime, here’s some food for thought on perspective.

Continue reading “Tonight’s supermoon and thoughts on perspective”

Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Playing the tourist at Horicon Marsh

Dirt road through Horicon Marsh
Some of the trails at Horicon Marsh are dirt and gravel roads like this one, while others were narrower mowed or mulched paths.

Have you ever played the tourist in your own neighborhood? Many of us, when we think of taking a vacation, immediately think of Paris, or Disney World, or any number of exotic locales that we have to save up for years to visit. But once in a while, it’s nice to open your eyes to the tourist hot spots in your own back yard.

A few weeks ago, I took my kids to Madison, WI, which is only about an hour away. I had been there before but had not seen much more than the state capitol building (my dad has a thing for state capitols and has dragged us to see capitol buildings in more states than I care to count at the moment) and the zoo.

Anyway, we had a great time seeing attractions that I didn’t even know existed. This got me wondering what else I have missed right here in Wisconsin while I’ve been sitting around dreaming about visiting anywhere but here. Continue reading “Playing the tourist at Horicon Marsh”

Places to Write, Restaurants, Rivers

Places to write: Fiddleheads Café, Thiensville, WI

Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters - Thiensville WI
Here’s a nice view of the Milwaukee River from the dining room at Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters in Thiensville, WI.

Today I’m writing to you from Fiddleheads Café in Thiensville, WI. I first heard of Fiddleheads a week ago on the local news when the overflowing Milwaukee River was threatening to flood the café. I loved the idea of a coffee shop so close to the river’s edge and knew I had to check it out.

Fiddleheads is located in an old converted house that sits just feet away from a bend in the Milwaukee River. It’s a bit chilly to sit outside today (unless you’re here to snuggle up in a sweatshirt with hands clasped around a hot cup of coffee, then it’s perfect,) so my writer friend and I picked a large, round table inside.

The dining room where we chose to sit was a bit stuffy when we first came in, so I opened a window by our table and brought some outside in. Fiddleheads’ dining room is bright and airy, with white painted walls and lots of windows. It seems like a great place to sit and write in any season Continue reading “Places to write: Fiddleheads Café, Thiensville, WI”