It’s pretty easy to tell it’s a new year. Sure, there’s the date on the calendar, thereby messing up most of the checks I write for about a week, but the other clues are the magazine covers - diets, diets, DIETS! And it’s not just magazines, I have no doubt that every talk show, morning show and news program for the next week will have an infinite number of stories about HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT. Annoying, right?
First snow and bitter cold made a sharp crease between this year and the last one. We busy ourselves with resolution making, hoping, planning, and acting for a better year (or an even better year for those who had a stellar 2010). But last year cast a long shadow, and in it is pause for reflection on its lessons.
Whatever last year held, it took us closer to our destination. This year will take us closer still, even when it doesn't make much sense in our own busy plottings. As we step into another new beginning, here's a blessing for the journey from the great John O'Donohue:
Here · Leave exterior lighting on around your home during all hours of darkness.
· Open windows should be pinned so that they cannot be open more than 2” – 4”.
Some bits and pieces on basketball ...
Feel free to check out my story on the Tosa West boys, who start three freshman this season at www.wauwatosanow.com/sports/future-is-now-for-west-boys-lt3lbc3-136625338.html.
You know - being around home lately seems to agree with you. Even your blood pressure is setting record lows. Maybe you should seriously think about retirement.
I give Jill the hairy eyeball and remind her that my recent confinement to quarters has not necessarily been of my choosing but largely because I am convalescing. Oh sure, it's a decadent pleasure to read a couple of daily papers and all the magazines I can handle. I've even gotten any number of books under my belt and just started on an old favorite - Chesapeake by James Michener.
Some friends and I are experimenting with tossing ten items a day. It's a great way to start to bring more space -- and clarity -- into our lives. And sharing with each other our lists of tossed items is entertaining and provocative, sometimes touching.
I'm thinking you can learn more by what people toss than what they display.
Some days we find ourselves tossing from the refrigerator: freezer burned veggies, that jar of curry sauce you never finished, the lurking science experiments. One day I thawed mystery packets from the freezer and had an odd but pleasing dinner of soup and baba ganoush. Eaten is better than tossed, and heating the soup killed anything that might be waiting to kill me. As to the eggplant, I remembered when I stashed it, so it was a safe enough bet.
After a few weeks of tossing tens, you become much more aware of how much ridiculous stuff most of us hang onto, how much redundance there is in it. And you start to see it everywhere.
Speaking of ridiculous stuff and tossing it, this rant will now move to electronics. Been a bad week here for those. My daughter's cell phone glass shattered, and she found it was not insured. This is the scam the electronics industry uses to save itself the trouble of creating quality, reliable products. They don't stand behind them, they don't service them. Instead, you and I pay extra for insurance. It's a gamble on things going wrong, which you might as well count on.
And the 3-month-old cell phone goes into the landfill if you don't find someone on the Net who might replace a simple piece of glass for $89, no guarantees.
Santa sent me a handset for my cell phone. Red, it looks like the handsets of yore. You plug it into the jack and you hold it in your hand. You can actually hear, talk, and do dishes with the thing pinched between head and shoulder, the way your mama did. And did I mention it looks really cool, in a funny retro sort of way?
However, the jack didn't fit my phone, so I went on a quest to find an adapter. The manufacturer offered one that cost twice what the handset cost. Google and son Geo found the fix for a mere $1.98. But when it arrived, I could hear the person I called; they couldn't hear me.
Suddenly the South Milwaukee girls basketball game with New Berlin Eisenhower doesn't look as inviting on Friday.
Eisenhower (9-0), which really hasn't been challenged all year, hosts the Rockets (7-1) on Friday night. But the Rockets got killed by Cudahy (55-25) on Tuesday, the same Cudahy team which was crushed by Ike on Dec. 20 (64-40).
At great risk of any of you regular readers getting the idea that I am prone to superstitious beliefs I'll have you know that I am on very good terms with my threadbare Packer shirt from a decade and a half ago and my lucky green wool socks. To my mind it's all perfectly reasonable.
I consider myself to be on rather good terms with St. Hubert who is the patron saint of hunters. This is a perfectly rational belief grounded in centuries of religious practice. There are certainly more football fans than hunters. And are not Packer fans of a similar religious fervor? So why not an official patron saint?
A modern-day blast from the past featuring Chrissie Hynde in all her hotness...
2012-2013 Registration ~ Catholic Schools' Week
Apparently, there's gonna be a Revolution in daytime TV. The established order, venerable soap opera One Life to Live, is being usurped by a reality TV show to "help women navigate transformations extending to nutrition, mental health, medical issues and style."
What's revolutionary about yet another reality show with Ty Pennington, Tim Gunn, and a team of "superheroes of hope," you may ask, as I certainly do.
Well, not only will they revolutionize women's lives through the various forms of dress and living room fashion therapy, but they will also help us lose weight, firm up, visit gynecologists, and improve the mental issues that led us to be fat, flabby, and unfashionable in the first place.
"It starts a movement of everybody wanting to improve their life," according to the show's producer, JD Roth.
I guess nobody's ever thought about that before, and especially not women. . .Could have fooled me. Could have fooled the publishers of lady magazines, who think that women think about nothing but improving their bodies, their lives, and their recipe collections.
Now, transformation's a big thing. It's not just Oprah's penchant for putting us in bras and $200 jeans that actually fit and high end haircuts with great color, although those can make us look better. That's temporary change. Transformation's something deep and profound, something that can't be reversed. Like when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
Or when someone, even a woman, takes charge of her place in the world, her peace of mind and spirit, her behavior toward others --and perhaps not just inside her living room.
Many people ask what landscapers do in the winter months. Well, we plan for the spring and eat up catalogs from the many vendors out there. Another thing that can be done is pruning or tree trimming. My favorite thing to do is to consider winter interest for a yard. Keep in mind that the landscape changes, especially here in Wisconsin. So many begining gardeners forget to consider how thier plantings will look in the winter.
It is nice to have some evergreens such as pines or holly and other colors perhaps in bark of a certain tree or consider adding red dogwood. On a cold snow day look out your windows and consider the possibilties for hardscaping as well. I large rock or wall can add a lot of interest to you winterscape.
Looking ahead to Friday for the teams I cover, there are some huge games to look at, but none bigger than Whitnall at New Berlin Eisenhower in a battle for first.
WHITNALL: Coach Kent Kroupa's squad has the best record in the Black Division (8-1) and overall (12-1). They have won four straight games since losing their only game to Ike's cross-town rival NB West, 51-50.
One of the things I remember most about grade school is the walk to and from my school every day. (Our school was about 5 blocks away.) We always walked with the same group of kids, there were a lot of them on my block, and many of us were in different grades. We met on the corner at 7:35 and headed to Christ King all by ourselves; no adults. Every year on the first day of school we would even all line up and take a picture, using the same yellow piece of cardboard on which we changed the date every year. That’s me holding the sign. This was my first day of first grade and it was fun to be joining this group of bigger kids.
There is a thread over on the Tosa Town Square about: Kathleen Vinehout: Dairy Farmer, College Professor, State Senator. The individual who posted it suggested that Tosans might - Get familiar with the name. This probably has something to do with Senator Vinehout's musings about running against Governor Walker.
Recall election notwithstanding I perused the Senator's web page - and sure enough - as a farmer she and her family spent nearly two years without health insurance. It is no surprise that the discussion on the TTS almost immediately devolved into a discussion of health insurance.
Look out Brookfield Central boys basketball team, there is another challenger on the horizon - the West Allis Central Bulldogs.
Crank-up the volume on your workstation PC and scratch your head over all the youngsters scratching their heads over this gem - not to mention the heads on the walls of the studio set.
A golden goodie from the past.
Fourth grade students reflected recently about attending WCS. (This is part one.) All are welcome to schedule an appointment for a tour during Catholic Schools' Week or any time. Come celebrate with us at Mass on Wednesday, February 1! 414-258-9977... ask to speak with Kathy.
Not all schools teach about God, but only this school really helped me understand it all. Now I have let go of some fears because (Wauwatosa Catholic) helped my faith in God grow. I am more confident and knowing how any people are interested in coming here, I feel lucky I am a part of this school. We learn in fun ways, and creating memorable projects helps me remember all I have learned. We don’t sit there and write and write and write and get bored. Being a student here means I can improve my skills and grow. ~Sophia
No man's life, liberty, or property is safe, while Congress is in session.
Often attributed to Mark Twain - this observation couldn't be closer to the truth. Which is probably a contributing factor to Congress' dismally low approval rating. At the end of last year only 5 percent of likely voters surveyed by Rasmussen rated the job Congress is doing as Good or Excellent.
All around the country, people are waking up to find towers, boxes, and other energy-related structures in their backyards. Or in the case of people like our Walnut Street neighbors, in their front yards. Or in the case of people who live along parks and parkways like the Underwood Creek Parkway as I do, right there on the land that has been paid for by taxpayers and preserved for all to enjoy.