Food For Thought

So, here in the cornfields. in our little town, we have a grocery store crisis brewing. For almost a hundred years, we had several little independent grocers, of which, two, which became Hilander, and Loglis, were the two largest. Both were locally owned til 10 or so years, ago. Then, the family who owned Hilander, wanted to retire. The chain, Kroger bought them. Ok, not bad for the first year, then service and selection plummeted like an Acapulco cliff diver. As best I can recall ( it gets confusing) Loglis were sold in the same manner, to Schnucks, out of St. Louis. A couple years later, Kroger sold the Hilander chain to Schnucks, who now owned the bulk of supermarkets/grocery stores in town. Enter more Acapulco cliff diving of service and selection.
A year or so ago, a Meijers decided to come to town. We have a Woodman’s, from Wi, here, and it’s a pretty good place to shop, but not as handy as the several aforementioned stores. With the Meijers monster coming to our part of the cornfields, Schnucks, displaying their amazing lack of business ability, started closing the stores they had recently acquired.
First, the one in our neighborhood, which, had, in the last four or five years, turned into a store straight out of the ‘hood. Not a good place to go. Along with that, they cut back every employees hours to part time, thus cutting pay and benefits. They are now in the process of closing every other store in town. More than half a dozen in an area of 200, 000 people.
In a brilliant stroke of business sense, Schnucks has managed to destroy a century of local business, unemploy hundreds, and remove any local grocery stores from around the entire city…

Thanks, Schnucks, for your brilliant business strategy, and, dedication to community…. We really appreciate it…

Friends, Music, and Memories


Two days in an empty cow pasture-almost empty, except for surprises left by the cows, and a chance to turn it into something special.


600 of our closest musical, quirky, entertaining, interesting friends joined us there, for a chance to leave a lifetime impression on us all.
Camping in little caravans, tents, airstreams, motor homes, and the back of a station wagon.

We wait anxiously until noon, on the dot, before we are allowed to enter. Then the ‘mad’ dash to stake your claim in your usual spot. We had 12 of us in our compound this year. Four tents, the aforementioned airstream, and motor home, along with 7-I think- easy ups for shade, too. We outdid ourselves this year. Almost 40 feet of camping and music paradise.
It’s like a Motel Six of jamming and conversations til past midnight. Quiet coffee and breakfast in the cool morning. Catching up on recent past, and planning the weekend, and the future.

Jam, listen to the excellent musicians around us, and plan our set on the stage. Our big moment!



More jamming back at Biltmore compound, and trying desperately to stay awake, so it won’t be Sunday when you get up, and have to disassemble the dream, and head back home, loaded with wonderful images locked away, and happily anticipating the reassembling of the gang again soon!






A Fourth to Remember


After a wonderful Independence Day, we relaxed on the back porch, with bagels and coffee. It was 90* already, so thus the Las Vegas coffee mug.
We were resting from adventures of the 4th. Maggie baked cupcakes

To take down to our fireworks adventure. The company I work for opens up the property, right along the river, and provides bratwurst, sides, porta potties, a cooling center ( a sprinkler), and a secure spot, DIRECTLY across from the launching site of the largest fireworks display in the state.

We invited some friends, and, in our ‘designated’ spot, set up our party.

Food, friends, and fireworks- what more could one ask for, on a summer evening? Everyone had a great time, and, much oohing and ahing ensued.


When the finale finally faded away, we headed out into the fray of traffic, but we all made it home, to start thinking of next years colorful adventure…





… And So It Goes…


our door decoration.

The wreath that Maggie made

Here it is, the 28th already. The rush of the Yule/Christmas holidays starts with Thanksgiving, and, we slide down the hill of celebration til now. We’ve almost reached the bottom of the hill, when January takes over, and we really appreciate the carol, ” In the Bleak Midwinter”, but, for now, we are still basking in the glow of the holiday.

Bill & Mollie, our gracious and good friends

We had, and are still enjoying the holiday. The only downside is that Maggie works most of the two weeks before Christmas, so, she’s pretty worn to a frazzle by Christmas day. Unfortunately, a cold managed to hold her in it’s grasp, but not too tightly to enjoy the day.  We do celebrate in our low key way. Christmas eve, our friends Mollie and Bill are gracious enough to host a small get together at their lovely home. Set against a backdrop of thick woods, and quiet, we had dinner, and an evening of sharing with great friends. Good friends are the most special gift one can have.

Surrounded by Spirits...

We opened our 'poppers'

Christmas day, we rose a little later, than usual, had breakfast, and, with global warming giving us the gift of a warmer day, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Nice, for the Wisconsin/Illinois area. Opened presents, made a lovely dinner, napped, and, Maggie managed to get one last bike ride, short it may be, in for the day. She’s never rode on Christmas before. One more thing to scratch off the list…

The glow of the Season

Back to work, the next day, to receive all the people with returns, is not the best way to spend Boxing day, but, whatcha gonna do?  Part of the job… She has worked this week, but we will hopefully have the rest of the week off. Ikea, Algonquin, and other adventures await… Part of the decompression/recharging of the week.  We will ring in the new calendar, in a very low key way, and wake to the new year…

They were hung by the fire, with care...

Then, next week, the glow of the Season dims, with the boxing up of the decorations, ornaments, lights, trees, and sentiment of this holiday. Packed away but not forgotten. It is our 19th Christmas together, and, they are all boxed up, for remembering, whenever we desire to …