Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Madeline Island

For September’s Something New we visited Madeline Island, just offshore from Bayfield, WI. We actually did several new things this weekend so if we miss a month in the future, this month can make up for it! Ferries, mopeds, burned down bars and island time. There could be no better way to spend a weekend. Continue reading Madeline Island


2015 Apostle Islands Ice Cave Trip

Living in Duluth has its perks. One of them is being within day-trip distance of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Last year was the first time since 2009 that Lake Superior froze safely enough to allow visitors to the ice formations that take over the sandstone cliffs. We were among the first visitors last year, and we made sure to go “opening day” this year too. Continue reading 2015 Apostle Islands Ice Cave Trip

Mainland Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

My husband, on the very good advice of his father, has decided that we need to make a point to do one new thing together every month. It doesn’t have to be crazy, it can be as simple as going to a new restaurant, but it has to be something that we have not done together before. Thus begins my new series “Something New.” To kick things off in January we went to the Mainland Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Cornucopia, WI.

Continue reading Mainland Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

So my team lost. Get over it!

Clay Matthews' victory dance.
Image via Wikipedia

Football is a great game. It’s interesting, there’s strategy involved… so says my husband, anyway. I enjoy watching it; it’s a tradition in my family and having been born in Wisconsin it’s required that I bleed Green and Gold. Unfortunately it also means that I’m supposed to hate any Vikings or Bears fan by default. I disagree wholeheartedly with this.

The one thing about football that I hate is the tendency for football fans to cheer AGAINST a “rival” team, rather than cheering FOR their own team!

I have always had a problem with cheering when something bad happens to the team that my team is playing against, like a dropped pass or a missed field goal, rather than when my team does something good, like completing a pass or scoring a touchdown. When the Viking’s and the Packers play, or the Bears and the Packers play, I don’t get enjoyment out of the game if the Bears or Vikings are playing poorly; there’s no satisfaction in a win that’s easy. And cheering every time a Vikings player misses a pass or fumbles the ball only serves to alienate, anger, and even hurt those friends of mine who are fans of the Vikings. Do I really want to alienate my friends? Do I really want to spend my Sunday afternoons making them angry, insulting them simply because they like a team that doesn’t wear the same uniform as mine? That sounds rather counter-productive, meaningless, and unhelpful.

Let’s think about this, folks: someone you don’t know (most likely) is playing a football game hundreds of miles away (most likely) on TV (usually) and getting paid for it. So how does this, in any way, affect our lives? We still have to go to work on Monday, we still have friends and family that we need, and who need us, we still have all the same problems and successes waiting for us when the game is over as we did before the game started. So why do we have to add tension and meanness to our already complicated lives—lives that would be exactly the same if football had never been invented?

I have been to too many sports bars filled with too many people being jerks simply because the team that’s from their state/city/area is playing against another team that isn’t from their state/city/area. They scream and shout and sling completely untrue, mean and derogatory insults at anyone wearing the jersey of a team they are playing against. It completely ruins the game! Who in their right mind would enjoy spending their Sunday afternoons being angry? Being insulted? Being an asshole?

And there IS a difference between cheering FOR your team and cheering AGAINST the other team. For example:

Cheering because the other team misses their field goal: Not ok.
Cheering because your team tipped the ball, resulting in the missed field goal: Completely fine.
Cheering because the other team’s receiver missed the catch: Not ok.
Cheering because your defense had good strategy: Completely fine.

It’s all about attitude and it makes a HUGE difference.

The Packer’s lost their game last night and the Giants advance to the Championship. It sucks that my team lost, and I was quite passionate about the game while it was on. But when the game ended, it ended. It’s over. It didn’t ruin my life, or even my night. I’m happy for the Giants and I wish them no ill will. And what did I get in return? A whole bunch of Viking’s fans rejoicing in the defeat of the Packer’s, when their own team hadn’t even made it to the play-offs. I will never understand, or be ok with, cheering for a team to do poorly—especially when they’re not even playing against my team! I will never hope that any football player does poorly at their job. It makes for a boring game, for hurt feelings and for anger among fans, friends, and families.

People don’t insult other people when they want to bond or to make friends, they only do it when they want to make someone else feel terrible.

Veg Garden 2011: Grape Tomatoes; August

A Summer of Firsts

This summer has been a summer of firsts for me and it’s been a LOT of fun! I made a decision at the beginning of the season to do things I’ve never done before and to not allow myself to get sucked into staying inside all the time. The result of this was joining a softball team and a dragon boat racing team—neither are things I’ve ever done before. It has been a supreme adventure so far and I hope the fun continues! Here is a summary of the new experiences I had this summer:

I played softball for the first time. It was the YMCA non-competitive church league, but that is perfect for me. One hour every Tuesday night for 10 weeks. I was nervous before every game and hoped for rain and lightning, so games would be canceled, but once we got playing it was fun. I even made a pretty impressive catch in the championship game! So impressive, in fact, that I was too excited to remember to throw it back to the infield. But no one cared, everyone cheered for me and was just as excited about it.

I paddled in the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival for the first time—I’ve never even rowed before, unless canoeing counts. This was SUPER fun! I had so much fun, in fact, that I’m hoping there’s a novice rowing club in Duluth to join. Our team did pretty well; half the boat was new people like me and most of us were women. Our team’s best time was 2:23 for a 500 meter race. There were several different classes, like the Youth Class, Athletic Teams Challenge Class, All Female Class, etc. We were in the “Business Challenge Class” and came in 9th place out of 22. The best teams came in around 2:10, but the best teams are also national and international competitors & champions, so for a boat that was mostly new and only races once a year, with just 2 practices immediately preceding the race, 2:23 is pretty good!

BluegillI went camping in a remote area for the first time – remote enough that we heard elk calling all around us each night we were there. We camped at Lake of the Pines campground in the Flambeau River State Forest. I made pancakes over the campfire for the first time and canoed the Flambeau River. I also caught my first keep-able fish of the season! It was just a little blue-gill and would have been more work than it was worth to clean and eat so I let it go anyway.

Veg Garden 2011: Grape Tomatoes; AugustI started my first in-ground garden in my first home. I’ve already made a couple of posts about that so I won’t go into it too deeply here, but it has been growing like crazy all summer. There are finally some fruits growing and getting bigger and bigger—a couple of grape tomatoes were actually almost red already! I couldn’t wait for them to ripen completely; we ate them as soon as I found them. Can’t wait for even more bounty in a couple more weeks when the beans, peas and tomatoes will be ripe and ready to eat!

Backyard Fire PitWe had our first campfire in our new back-yard fire pit. Everyone should have a fire pit in their back yard! There is no better way to end an evening than with a fire, favorite beverages and s’mores right outside your back door.

Next year I hope to continue the “say yes to anything” outlook… actually, I could just keep it up through the fall and winter too! Here’s a list of firsts I want to try in the next year:

Take a “Learn to Row” class from the Duluth Rowing Club
Camp at Tettegouche State Park
Visit Split Rock Lighthouse
Tour Glensheen Mansion
Visit the North American Bear Center in Ely, MN

There are many other things I’d like to do but probably won’t get a chance to in the next year, or even in the next 5 years, but if you don’t make a goal, you’ll never reach it.

Tandem skydiving from Skydive Superior
Shark Diving off Isla Guadalupe
Take sailboat lessons from Duluth-Superior Sailing Association
Hot-air balloon ride

God did good today

As my inaugural post on Word Press I have decided to write about a subject I will fail at. Today I experienced the most beautiful of God’s natural paintings and I will never be able to accurately describe it, but I will try none-the-less.

Husband and I drove down to Canal Park to take a walk around the Lake Walk. It was a windy day and Lake Superior was extraordinarily choppy; just the kind of thing we love to be in the middle of. We milled about for a while in some of the shops – I showed Husband a few he hadn’t seen before – and then made our way down to the lighthouse. Continue reading God did good today