Friday, May 28, 2010

This morning took me,
after breakfasting with Mark D at Dave's
on the Five Points
down to the banks of the mighty Fox
where I surveyed the scene;
the water presently rushes through
the lovely-landscaped disclosure.
A mother duck had some ducklings
in her custody
and intermittently lept from shoreline rocks,
maintaining her place in the swiftly flowing stream
by timing the water with her webbed feet.
The ducklings tried it and they bobbed their heads
under the water like their mother.
Then they all scrambled out for a sunny rest......

Monday, May 17, 2010

Graduation Day

Leland Gregory Dix
graduates from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
on May 16, 2010

Amidst life's vicissitudes, joy!

A double header:
Erin Kate gets her masters degree from UW Madison
on same day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Morels again at the Waukesha Farmers Market

This time
I bought two (2)
for $6.40
The price is $40. per pound.
How much for a couple, I asked?
Let me weigh them and see, the girl answered.

So now I have two morels in a painted wooden tray I've had since around 1958 - 60. The tray was done by Joan Beringer Pripps of Springstead in the Wisconsin northwoods. Her place was called 'Studio in the Woods.' Of itself, her tray is a glorious sight. (Find Pripps on the internet. She passed away after a ong and prolific life, in 2006.)

So this will be the visage when Dee gets home. The pungent odor will be pervasive, I hope. Then we will cut the two morels up and sautee them in butter.

It was quite an extravangence, but money flows more freely when at the market next to the mighty and rushing Fox River.

Also purchased a small jar of honey from this chap. An eloquent conversationalist, he explained that his honey is of a thicker texture. We went on to discuss other subjects as well - penetrating eye contact......

The Fox River is high due to the recent heavy rains. I did note the profusion of bugs that the swallows, swifts or martins are all frenzied over. See yesterday's entry.

It is the merry month of May.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Were the hungry birds swallows or swifts?

Flights, hordes of birds like this circled, dove
and acrobatically changed direction
on a dime
this morning outside my window
over the Fox River
in Waukesha
A frenzy!

I took many photos to get this one
that shows configuration

They zig-zagged over the downtown
voraciously feeding, I think,
on an insect hatch
that happened in the waters today;

a beautiful day
in unfolding May.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

King Syrup memoir on Kong's perch

Continued from yesterday.......

More later.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

to be a teacher

What Do Teachers Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

To stress his point he said to another guest: "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" (She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time, when their parents can't make them sit for 5, without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make? (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table) I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English, while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America .

Finally, I make them understand that, they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. (Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.) Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention, because they are ignorant.

"You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make, Mr. CEO?"

His jaw dropped, he went silent.
Additionally, play

Monday, May 10, 2010

Denise Dix, MD

Yesterday came and went
Mother's Day 2010
I sit here today listening to the metronome on the piano
ticking a slow beat, in the cavernous Putney

I shoot a few pictures, my want,
and discover that I can see over the Clarke Hotel
across the street to a distant
far view of 'hospital hill'

Madison Street climbs the steep hill
to the hospital and other environs
Craigie and I used to hang out in a rented house
at the dog leg to the left, near the crest

Mother Denise climbed that hill
over and over
when I was sick
(of livin' and skeered of dying)

Kept a long year's watch
night and day
(day and night,
I was the one......)

Saturday, May 8, 2010


in downtown Waukesha next to the Fox River,
we attended the first Saturday of the green market year today
and picked up some victuals for a fresh breakfast that we carried a couple of minutes to our new home. Freshly laid eggs and some cranberry-walnut bread, consumed at the again repainted six foot roundtable constructed of simple glued-together 2 x 4s. We were poor.
This time it's pale green, just in time for spring and all the fresh produce we will weekly obtain from local farmers. The scuffed verse in the center still obtains, after 27 years:
"Around this table
ebb and flow
the friends of the Dixes
come and go.
We wish you well,
we love you so
do please come back
and have some mo'!
Around this table
wax and wane
special folks gather,
whether ill or sane;
I'll hold your weight
and bear your pain,
fill your hearts and guts,
make you right again.
But if perchance
a cure's not found
from your ailment
you'll rebound.
At a table
such as this,
your spring's

Dee selects a loaf of bread.

Vendors hawked freshly-found morels.

The route takes us through this former alley, now inlaid with a serious outbreak of cobblestones and simulated gas street lights.
The old painted sign for Friedman's Clothes has even been redone. That business hasn't been there for years. Something else occupies the front space. My father, after WW II and his divorce from my mother, used to live above that store. Now I live just across the street from there.

Life does seem to be circular......

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Are YOU ready......

for a change in venue?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

slowly, carefully settling in

A rubber frog now rests tentatively on the probably permanent site of a hall cabinet near the front door. The mirror sits unhung behind it. We're thinking slowly of arraangements. The frog held forth for years outside in a birdbath, withstanding all the ultra-violet rays the sun could throw at it. It did not lose its fixed smile.

The Enlightened One rests atop a step ladder that we're pretty sure will remain in the dining area. A candle will be placed in his folded hands, a small candle, nondescript, the light being the thing.

Across the Five Points sit some roof ventilators, directed by the wind to face downwind. They resemble metal maidens. They turn, swivel, as the wind blows so as not to admit downdrafts.