Monday, January 31, 2011

Discovery World

The lake is frozen.
Very frozen.
Everything is frozen.
We have another 24 inches of snow due over the next couple of days.
Well enough of that.

We went to Discovery World with Alan.
He hadn't been there before and he really enjoyed it.
There is such a mix of things, many of which are interactive.

The fish are always brill.
He enjoyed the touch pool almost as much as Lauren does when she is here.
Apart from the aquariums there are exhibits of the Great Lakes.
Also, you can see how things work....engines, sound waves, water purification, electricity.....etc, etc.
Really interesting for kids and adults alike.

They also have a Les Paul museum.
I didn't have a clue who he was, but apparently he is famous for inventing the electric guitar.
Alan was really impressed with the exhibits.

I am glad he had a good time as I believe he will be shovelling quite a bit over the next few days.
Thursday is the only day it isn't going to snow this week...according to the forecast.
Lord knows when we will be able to get the reindeer, snowmen etc out of the front garden.
Probably about July the way things are going.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Peculiar indeed.

When I make my annual pilgrimages to the Motherland, I like to pick up some goodies to bring back with me.
Stuff I would never be able to buy here.
Some of it I put away as little Christmas treats for Philip.
One of these this year was Marmite flavoured chocolate.
He loves Marmite.
He loves chocolate.
What could go wrong?
Quite a lot actually.
He hated it. I have only just found this out, having assumed the said chocolate had been consumed long since.
But, I found it the other day and he confessed his abhorrence of the confection. (Coo...get me and my ten cent words).
So I had a go.
I love it. I only eat a tiddy bit at time but I think it is delicious.
I advise everyone to give it a try.

Alan can now vouch for the continuing efficiency of my "Idiot Magnet".
We were at the bus stop.........oh why, oh why, is it always 'at the bus stop', when a lady asked me which bus we were waiting for.
I told her the 64 and she said she had been waiting ages for the 76....blah, blah, blah.....usual bus stop conversation....etc.
Then she said.
"Where are you from?" Of course this happens all the time.
On being informed we were from England she beamed and launched into a monologue of her friendship with Charles Dickens' grandson (or great grandson....or Auntie Nelly ....some such).
Oh she went on and on ....she had corresponded with this grandson for many years until he died ...well I suppose it had to stop then.
She had visited England a couple of times and gone round all the Charles Dickens hotspots, if there are such things.
She also had another English lady penfriend who she hadn't visited when she had been over as she was on a coach tour and you had to go where the coach trips went.
So she hadn't told her she was going so as not to upset her...........blah, de blah, de blah.
Would this never end?

Joy !!! Her bus came.
It stopped and let the people off.
Did she shut up and get on.......NO!
She continued to bore us....I mean speak to us of her letters to Dickens' Uncle Lou...I mean grandson.
I was looking anxiously at the bus. I was actually worried she would miss it. For more than one reason. I mean......who knew how long our bus would be?
The bus closed its doors.
"You will miss your bus", I panicked.
She then ambled over to it, but kept looking back and yelling more tidbits of her claim to fame....she was in mid sentence even as the doors closed behind her.

Always count your blessings though. It could have been far worse.
She could have been waiting for OUR bus.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Funny Old Day

I think he is ready?
Ready for the game, I mean. What game? WHAT GAME?
The Superbowl of course.
As you may have guessed.....The Green Bay Packers beat The Chicago Bears yesterday which means that The Packers are NFC Champions and they now go to the superbowl to play The Steelers.
It also means I have to go watch it in a bar with my mate Pat and a multitude of drunken Milwaukee -ites.
A promise is a promise and I said I would so I will.
She turned up here yesterday, after the game, with a Packers fleece shirt and a cap for me to wear when we go.
She had just gone and bought them specially for me. I had thought she might loan me some stuff of hers but she is quite a lot bigger than me.
How sweet of her to go and buy them for me. She wouldn't take any money either.
They better bloody win now.
The day finished better than it started.

I am not usually grumpy in the morning but I am usually sleeping at 8.30am on a Sunday morning.
Yesterday was no exception.
8.30am and me be peeping.
How does someones mind work when they think........"Coo this would be a funny wheeze. I will get my Superman finger puppet (that I got for Christmas) and I will smoosh it into Sue's (sleeping) face and say 'Do you want to be my Lois Lane'? I bet that will make her laugh. She will be so happy that I woke her like this on a Sunday morning at 8.30".

Well if your mind works like this I would seriously consider wearing a big hat........and probably body armour.
I was not amused, to put it mildly.
Said person then got in a huff because I didn't find it funny.
I know many people who would have been far less amused than me.
I think he knows not to do that again though.

On another note.
Alan cooked us a lubbly dinner on Wednesday.
I took this picture of dessert. It was raspberry mousse with an upside down question mark on it was some sort of posh biscuit.
Lubbly Jubbly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ice Age.

Well, the weather man didn't lie.
When I got up this morning the thermometer read 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
But the windchill is minus 30 Fahrenheit.
I am not even going to look at what that is in Centigrade.
Yet the squirrels are still chasing around in the can that be?
Why aren't they hibernating?
I would if I were a squirrel.

I do get fed up in January.
I hate being stuck indoors and get cabin fever bloody quick.
It is more frustrating because the sky is a clear blue and the sun is shining so brightly.
A beautiful day ........if it wasn't for the cold.
No way will I be stepping outside today.
I went to Pat's yesterday evening whilst Statler and Waldorf went to see The Green Hornet, and just walking from the car to the door was frigid.

The Green Bay Packers play The Chicago Bears on Sunday and you would think there had never been any other football game before.
All the news, TV and radio, is driving me nuts.
We have had everyone's opinion of the outcome. It started sensibly enough with players and managers......then drifted to "the man on the street"......and "the man in the bar"............"the man sitting at the traffic lights in his car".........pretty soon it will deteriorate into ........"the man in the next cubicle"........and then "the man rummaging through the rubbish bin's sister's brother in law's budgie".
None of this will make a jot of difference.
If they are winning I will get many a drunken phone call from Pat.
If they are losing..........not so much.
Alan will be chewing his nails, drinking his beer and slapping his thigh.

If this is how it is now..........oh bugger.......if they do win and go to the Super Bowl........imagine how that will be.
Who will they ask an opinion of then?

Oh almost forgot.
During the latest round of snow I was concerned because Merv was not out there tending to his hole.
In fact, the hole totally disappeared..........NO MERV'S HOLE.........never been known.
I thought he must be ill........very ill.
Happily he was out there the next day. He must have been away somewhere.
His poor wife. Merv must have been a nightmare fretting about his hole.
But, balance has been restored to the universe.
Merv, was out there all the next day digging for his hole.
Hole is now restored.
Merv then cleared his drive, paths, sidewalks and lastly............I saw him digging the road.
The snowplough obviously doesn't do a good enough job for Merv.
Lord help the snowplough driver if Merv ever catches him out there.
Hmmm........I notice they don't ask Merv his opinion of The Packers & Bears game.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On safari............

We are very fortunate to have lovely birdies coming to our garden.
The winter is tough here for wildlife and I am always amazed that any of them can survive it.
The one above is a woodpecker.
I hadn't seen him here before.
I think we had one that used to visit us in Illinois but that is further south and a couple of degrees warmer.
He is pretty though.

This one is a Northern Cardinal.
The picture doesn't do him justice as the little bugger wouldn't keep still long enough for me to get a good picture of him.
He lives around here with his wife who is not as bright red as he is.
They have wonderful crests on their heads too.

Back to Arnie. He still hasn't been around. I don't know if marsupials hibernate or not.
Maybe they do and he is having a kip somewhere.
I still put his grub out as the crows don't mind tidying it up for me.

Philip is poorly. He came home from work early the other day because he felt rough.
He is in bed now. Poor thing. I hope he is better soon.
My back is playing me up. I am a bit fed up with it.
I really think this cold weather isn't good for us. The idiotic weather man said it would be getting chilly. CHILLY.
It is terribly cold now and the forecast is for it to be 0 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. Considering that freezing point is 32 degrees in Fahrenheit, then yes it is a trifle CHILLY.
I think it works out to around minus 20 C......but to be honest, once you get down to these temperatures, a couple of degrees either way makes no difference.
I think it is time we moved to somewhere warmer.

Alan is busy cooking dinner for us tonight.
He does this a couple of times when he is over. It is always such a treat.
I don't have to cook and we have 3 courses.
Plus, I haven't heard him swear once........well not yet anyways.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Packers and Bears.........oh my.

Well the Green Bay Packers beat the Atlanta Falcons which went down rather well in this house.
What didn't go down quite so well is that the Chicago Bears beat Seattle Seahawks so now the Green Bay Packers will play the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game on Sunday.
Whoever wins that will go on to be in the Superbowl...........the World Championship (snigger...WORLD!!!).
With me so far?
What you have to realise is that the Packers and the Bears are arch enemies.

If you need any convincing watch this.....right to the end.

Pat phoned during the game on Saturday crowing about how well the Packers were doing. She was "very, very drunk at the time".
In a moment of madness I promised her that if the Packers get through to the Superbowl then we would all go to the bar to watch the game and party with her.
Oh dear.
Why do I do such things?
Philip is already trying to wriggle out of it but even if he doesn't go, Alan and I will.

Speaking of Philip.
He is poorly now.
He came home early from work today with a sore throat and general lurgyness.
It has been snowing all day ( I know, I is Wisconsin in January) so poor Alan went out to shovel so that Philip would be able to get the car up the drive.
He wouldn't have been happy driving all the way back from Chicago, in the snow, feeling pants only to have to dig the drive out before he could put the car away.
You don't want to be leaving your car on the road get ploughed in and it doesn't half make you laugh.
The snow is set to continue until tomorrow so I don't think Alan is done with his trusty shovel yet.
Poor thing.

Oh and I put another picture of Bubba up here as he has quite a following now.
He is a big kitty but he is also a soppy old sod.
Bubba ...................not Philip.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happiness is.................

Happiness is = a cup of coffee, the newspaper, the Packers still in the Playoffs, a warm blankie and a couple of kitties.
Well, it is in this instance.
He seems to be enjoying himself.

Last night they dropped me off at work and then went to see Tron at the movies.
I had a brill time at work. I caught up with a lot of paperwork and got the year end stuff up to date.
They didn't.
Have a brill time I mean.
Apparently, Tron was pants.
I got the better end of that deal then.

Weather etc permitting we are going to see a couple of ice hockey games with Gary.
The initial plan is to see the Milwaukee Admirals play the San Antonio Rampage on Jan 21st and then the Rockford Ice Hogs on Feb 4th.
I just hope the games are not full of fights as Donna will be most upset.

This weekend we will be bimbling around the shops. Alan would like to go to Half Price Books which is a fab bookshop. You find stuff in there that you don't find anywhere else.
They do new and old books .
Philip has a Kindle (electronic book reader thingy) which I got him for Christmas. He loves it but I really don't think I would ever want one.
I like books.
I like the look and feel of books, particularly old ones.

Then Saturday evening The Green Bay Packers (our American football team) are in the next round of the play offs. I think they play Atlanta.......but I could be wrong.
Not knowing this is probably sacrilege around here but I really don't understand the game and can't get caught up in it.
Anyway, The Packers are in the playoffs which means they have a chance at being in the Super Bowl which is a really big deal.
I have to smile when it is called The World Championship because there is only America in it.
Not even Canada is in it.
Alan is a big Packer fan. He was before we ever came here.
The first year we were here The Packers were in the Superbowl and were tipped to win easily.
Of course they then lost dreadfully.
Poor Alan. The first time he had got to watch it in the States and in Milwaukee (Packer country) they blooming lost.
So, Go Pack they say. I really would love to see them go all the way and then win the Super Bowl with Alan watching it here.
Milwaukee would celebrate big time.
I hope it happens.........just for Alan.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Have you had this before?

Have you had this before?
Well you've got it again.

Pants day today.
I was due to go to work for around 12.30pm today.
Philip was going to pick me up on his way home from work.
I haven't had any work for weeks so I really needed the dosh.

I wrapped up really warm, thermals, body warmer, big coat, scarf, gloves...etc. etc.....and set off through the snow and ice to the bus stop.
I had got almost there when an angina attack started.
I haven't had one for 4 months and I start to forget about them and think they are a thing of the past.
They happen right out of the blue. No warnings, no rhyme or reason to it. I can be relaxing watching T.V or even lying in bed.....wallop.......there it is.
I continued to the bus stop, where there is a seat, and put one of my pills under my tongue.
I can take up to 3 of these in 5 minute intervals. If that doesn't work then I am supposed to call 911.
At first I had every intention of getting the bus and continuing to work.
Then I started thinking about it. The pains were pretty bad.......what if I got worse on the bus?
They might call an ambulance.....oh no.
I am supposed to take the pills whilst sitting or lying down as they make you go very dizzy.
What if I make it off the bus? I have a long walk to work, through the snow and ice. I could collapse in the snow and no one would know I was there.
Common sense set in and I had to give up and go home.
I was not happy.
Alan was surprised to see me. By this time the pains were starting to ease and the dizziness and headache were starting to set in.
I went upstairs and lay down for most of the afternoon.

I am feeling a bit washed out now (that is usual) and tomorrow I will probably feel a bit pants but the plan is that Philip and Alan are going to the cinema to see Tron tomorrow evening and they will drop me off at work on the way and pick me up after.
That means I don't have to struggle to and from bus stops on my own.

I wonder what could have caused it?
Oh no...........I took the above photo of something in pyjamas that is haunting the halls of Banks' Towers.
It was a blood curdling sight to be sure.
Could that be the answer to the mystery?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Where's Arnie?

I am a bit worried about Arnie, our possum.
He hasn't been around for a couple of nights.
I hope nothing bad has happened to him.
He used to be called Blossom the Possum but then I caught sight of him a few weeks ago and he is enormous.
So I decided he must be a bloke and called him Arnie.
Of course, he might be a bit on the tubby side because of all the grub I put out for him.
It must be tough finding food in the snow and with the kind of temperatures we have.
Alan and Philip took most of the outside lights and decorations down yesterday but they were unable to take down the reindeer or snowmen as the stakes (they are staked into the ground so they don't fall over) are totally frozen into the ground.
It is solid out there.
Anyway, Arnie hasn't been eating his grub. I do hope he is ok.

Eric the squirrel is doing ok though.
I should say Eric the we have lots of them. It is easier to just call them all Eric.
We have........Big Eric, Little Eric, Large Eric, Small Eric, Just Eric.....etc.
I put food out for them too as they never seem to hibernate much.
The chipmunks though are all tucked up cosy in their beds. We won't see them again until the warmer weather arrives.

For all those fighting the flab after Christmas.........take heart.
Look Lollipop can still fit in that box.........mostly.

She surprised Alan yesterday. He was eating some Pringles while watching the Packers (who thankfully won so I didn't have to feed him any of Philip's St John's is a mood enhancer apparently) when Lolly really wanted a Pringle.
That blooming cat will eat anything. She was practically climbing into the Pringle tube.
"Give her a Pringle", said I.
"But they are Jalapeno flavour", said he," and they are even burning my mouth".
"Oh well give her it anyway, she won't like it and then she will leave you alone", quoth I.

So he did, she did and then she didn't.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Yesterday heralded the start of Alanmas.
Alan arrived safely in the evening.
The picture above shows the pressies waiting for Alan under the tree.
Didn't he do well?
He brought us pressies too. It is lovely having a second Christmas.

He was tired but very glad to be here. The snow was snowing for him........just to make him feel wanted, and the kitties were waiting for a fresh lap to snooze on.

This picture is this afternoon.
After spending the morning helping me take down the last of the Christmas decs, Alan is busy playing Lord of the Rings.
And......there is his mate, right there with him.
Some things never change.

My lurgy seems to be a bit better. I still have lots of pills to take and the pain under my arm hasn't gone, but I feel much more like my old self and not so tired all the time.

I think Philip & Alan are going to see the new Tron film at some point. I won't go. I find sitting in a cinema very boring lately.
There are a few films out that Philip wants to see so it is good that Alan is here to go with him.

I don't know what we are doing at the weekend. It is a tad chilly here at the mo.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Well having fought this cold (unsuccessfully) since Christmas Night I had to give in and go to the quack's today.
I am sure it started as a cold, but maybe because I carried on regardless (I so didn't want me being ill to spoil the family's stay) it is my own fault.
I really didn't want to make a fuss but over the last couple of days I sort of knew something wasn't quite right.
I should have been feeling better - not worse.
Then when I woke up this morning still feeling pants but now feeling pants and having a pain under my arm that got worse every time I breathed in, I knew I had to get it sorted.
Philip was home today.
If I didn't see the doctor today then tomorrow it would mean catching two buses just to get there.
So, I phoned about 10.30am and she saw me at 1.30pm.
Upper respiratory infection. I suspected as much.
I still think it probably started out as just a cold. I should have just taken more care of myself.
I now have antibiotics etc so, hopefully, it will soon be gone.

Terribly cold out so I shall stay in.
I have been trying to take down some of the Christmas decs.
It is a mammoth task.
I would like to get most down before Alanmas which starts Wednesday.
I will leave the tree up until then as I like to put his pressies underneath it.

I hope everyone is having a better start to 2011 than me. :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Friend

Oh how could I forget this little chap?

This is another new friend I made on my last trip to England.
It was during a particularly traumatic time with my own son in the hospital that I took time out to visit Mikey.
Oh I did have fun.
All the old baby songs came flooding back. I enjoyed them......I am hoping he did.
You did me a power of good Mikey.
I can recommend 'Mikey Therapy' worked for me.

This was also a very therapeutic day.
An opportunity to wear a 'posh frock' and to go to a 'bit of a do'.
That happens less and less often now.
It was a glorious day.
I also got to wear a 'fascinator'........a longtime wish fulfilled :)