Thursday, November 27, 2008


I'm thankful that both my parents are alive and in relatively good health. Many of my friends have lost one or both of theirs.

I'm thankful that my whole family will be together today. We've endured some tragedy together but right now life is good.

I'm thankful to have a co-conspirator to share all the adventures with, big and small.

I'm thankful to have the smartest and most fun friends a person could imagine. Too many of them are far away but thanks to the Internet, we can still reach out once in a while, and friends I haven't seen in decades are poppping up again.

I'm thankful for the people who have shared their knowledge and expertise this past year. My birding guides, yoga teachers and work mentors have helped me grow personally and professionally.

I'm thankful to have a good job with some fine people. I have fewer co-irkers than I did a year ago. It's a tough time out there.

I'm thankful for my own health and physical ability to get out and do almost everything I want to.

I'm thankful for access to high quality food, clean water and clean air; being near so many woodlands and prairies where I can go to recharge my spirit; having a sturdy, warm home especially now that winter is here; hyphens and semicolons, my favorite punctuation marks; the Internet, my primary source of useful information and conduit to distant friends; orchids and aroids that bloom and even the ones that don't; warblers, Diet Coke with Lime, sushi, comfortable shoes and good books.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Quiet Out There

I went for a walk on Sunday, finally. It felt like ages since I've been outside except to go to and from the car at home and work. Not pleasant. The destination I chose was a county park I'd never been to before that had all the indicators of a place that would be empty. It's small, it doesn't have any amenities and it's not located close to any cities. It turned out to be a great choice.

Walking the trails the only sounds I heard were the thick layer of oak leaves crunching underfoot and distant farm machinery and highway traffic. Nothing obtrusive. Birds were really scarce. Except for a Downy Woodpecker and a couple of White-breasted Nuthatches working the same tree I didn't see much. It's Quiet out there. I actually heard the sparse dusting of dry snowflakes falling before I saw them.

At the top of a hill there was an open field and at its edge were some redcedars. One in particular was thick with blue berries that looked unreal next to the green and purple needles.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Back in an ancient period known as "the 80s" I was quite fond of a band called The Tubes. With songs like "Mr. Hate" and "Wild Women of Wongo" how could anyone go wrong? But hands down my favorite was "Sushi Girl." I haven't listened to The Tubes in years but I still recall their sensitive lyrics every time I get some sushi--just as I did this evening. Just a few blocks away there is a really good little sushi restaurant. I like to get carryout from there occasionally. It makes any day seem like a special occasion. On tonight's menu: Negihama-Maki (yellowtail and scallion), Kelsey-Maki (shrimp, green onion and hot sauce), Nigiri of Hirame(fluke), Hamachi(yellowtail again), and Tai (red snapper.)

It was SO good.

Sushi Girl
The Tubes

Skating down in Shinjuku
When I smelled love in the air
Rolling by the pagoda
The fragrance floats from somewhere

Will my Suki find me in time
Or will her sushi spawn
The odor drives me out of my mind
The scent goes straight to my prawn

Cherry blossom and rice
Su-su-sushi she’s so nice

Recklessly I order away
This one thinks it’s still swimmin’
Tail and fin she dives right in
Who could ever want more

Su-su-sushi (sushi girl)
Mushi-mushi (sushi girl)
Cherry blossom (sushi girl) and rice
Su-su-sushi she’s so nice

Su-su-sushi don’t you cry
Take you to the sushi bar and buy you some
Fillet and claw
Clam and tuna
Gonna eat it raw
She’s my my abaluna

Suck a tentacle dip it in sauce
Hot green root it sure is boss
My only vice is to slice it nice
And wrap it in rice—Oh, what a device

Su-su-sushi (sushi girl)
Mushi-mushi (sushi girl)
Cherry blossom (sushi girl) and rice
Su-su-sushi she’s so nice

Su-su-sushi (sushi girl)
She go mushi (sushi girl)
Cherry blossom (sushi girl) and rice
Su-su-sushi got that right tonight

Su-su-sushi (hot sake)
She go mushi (wasabe)
Cherry blossom (and rice) and rice

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Last Time

Today was the last Westside Community Farmer's Market of the year. I really have a lot of respect for the vendors that come every week to offer up their goods. Despite the cold, wet weather there were a lot of smiles today. We only made a quick visit and picked up a few things.

My usual Saturday breakfast is some tasty baked good from the market, either a sweet something from one baker or a little fancy bread from another. Today I got a gorgeous brioche from Madison Sourdough. It was delicious slathered with raspberry jam I made with berries from the market. A cup of hot Magnolia Oolong tea from Teasource warmed me up nicely.

I also snatched up a bunch of "scratch and dent" tomatoes for a really good price. This vendor apparently has a pretty high standard for their regular tomatoes. Once peeled they looked great. As I type this they're simmering down on the stove to make a tasty batch of sauce. The house smells wonderful!

I'm going to miss the regular Saturday morning ritual of visiting this market. Over the years our attendance at the Dane County Farmer's Market--the big one--dwindled as it became more and more of a hassle to just go and buy things. That sort of destination event is fine for some people, which is obvious by the enormous numbers of people who visit it. But I'm grateful now to have a farmer's market that is close to home with ample, convenient parking. Spring can't come soon enough and this is one of the biggest things I'll be looking forward to.