Saturday, January 4, 2014

Polar plunging; Two camels; Cat toy cont'd; A tapestry

Great video capture!


Thanks to a couple of local wordsmiths
- Tom Hekkers and Brian Lee, specifically -
and our 'paying-attention' daily blog-reads,
the Raccoon today spotted this link
to the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Bradford Beach
held on New Years Day this year.
Others of you might have caught it in the
Waukesha Now section of the J-S.

Ever the voyeur, this excitement put me in mind 
of another polar bear romp
in 1998, in the Saylesville Mill Pond
just south of Waukesha.
 I attended as a watcher.
(And seer of whether I wanted to do it.
I didn't that day - or any other.)

I was invited to witness this annual excursion
into icy water by Mill Pond polar organizer, the late
Bob Uchner, stained glass artist,
who lived near the subject pond.

There I saw Bob and other friends and acquaintances
including Pythian brother Wayne Leverenz and Waukesha County
Republican leader Don Taylor
running bravely into the shocking water covered with floating ice.

- The group posed for an after-swim photo -

The Raccoon hails these brave people
who came to mind because of my reading
of Waukesha's downtown interesting and controversial
blog, Takin' It To The Streets. 

- Another SRN photo, of one of the displays at Bob's funeral -


A tale of two camels

In the upper photo one of 
the Congregational UCC church creche camels
holds forth in beautiful realism
altho the picture is taken with the lowly
inexpensive cell camera I carry.

It is from a manger scene that
was bought with memorial 'monies' as they say
once upon a time
and it is displayed at a low height
so that the church's children can handle
the figures which are made from an
unbreakable resin.

The lower photo was taken a moment ago.
This home-made salt-dough Bethlehem
nativity scene rests on an old table at the Odd Fellows.

This set-up is brought out every Dix Christmas as 
it has been for over 30 years.  Throughout 
the rest of the year the figures, made of 
a ladies magazine recipe salt dough mixture 
and then baked per instructions, rest individually-
wrapped in soft paper and all put in a wooden crate
for next time, for next Christmas......

The reason for the reverence of this manger set:
It was made by a late dancing girl named Debi Hubbard,
fore-runner but friends too with Dee. Debi attended
for the first time a church service with me (Milw. Friedens)
and liked John Helt and the experience very much
for it gave her the chance to wear her a bit flashy but 
expensive clothes.

She never much got the religion bit
but she saw 'this manger thing' in a craft magazine
- pre-Christmas -
and wanted to make something special
for me.  It is infused with whimsy, but

mark this: fine manger scenes have passed before
Dee's and my eyes (and Erin's and Lee's) through the years
but this one will have a count-on-it home here for the duration.


From an Email to friends:

From: David Dix []
Sent: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 5:17 PM
Subject: hny

What pray tell lies under the skirt of year 2014?

(See attached illus.)

We have only to look and see.

(See attached illus. SAI)

It may go better if you lie on your back and peer upside down. (SAI)




 Speaking of cats.....

Dee got a Xmas gift from a friend
who knows Dee is a cat person. I just finished
reading it, Julia's Cats.
 I had forgotten how much cats figured
into Julia the master cook's life.

This was a beautiful present!
The book, a quick read, is loaded
with a generous helping of photos that were
taken by Julia's painter/photographer husband.

Here, below the picture of the book cover
is the prologue at the beginning of the book.


"Heal the world - 
Cook dinner tonight"

A tapestry makes it to the Odd Fellows wall.
Beth Lawson presented Dee with a tapestry
from Penzey's Spices
(along with several spices)

Finding it so lovely
we hung it up.

Telling Beth when we sat behind her
at the Congo we so loved her gift
that we hung it between the kitchen and DR,
she declared:

"Good heavens, that's just a dish towel!"

Not to us, it aint!


Beth is known to have different sitings
for different things.
She has a tamaraack sprig
tattooed on her shoulder.
She showed me during coffee hour some 
months ago:

Tugging at her blouse to reveal and photo the sprig,
my  pale hand provides a contrast
to the tanned, sort of burned Shoulder of Beth.

You might see things like this at the Congo,
100 E broadway, Waukesha.