Saturday, December 18, 2010

not much, you?

Dave and I are NPR junkies. So when we learned that there's an NPR show that tapes regularly in Madison, we were excited to go to a live recording! The Madison show is Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know and it's syndicated nationally. No, it's not the same as Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. That one tapes in Chicago and would be fun to go to. This one is a little less well known, but still pretty good.

They record Saturday mornings at 9:30 at the Monona Terrace. We went down early to enjoy free coffee and doughnuts and also to roam the farmer's market which has moved indoors for the winter.

The taping was fun, although I wasn't always good at clapping when the "applause" sign lit up - Dave had to elbow me several times and give me a look!

Here's the set!
Untitled Apologies for the terrible pictures. Iphones prefer natural light!

catch up

I've been slacking on the blog posts. I guess my excuse is too much travel for work. The big update is that it's definitely winter and we've learned new definitions for the word "cold". It's amazing how quickly the body adjusts! (A good winter coat and boots don't hurt either.)

Check out the parking lot at the mall:
Untitled That snow's not going anywhere for a while!

And here's Lake Monona:
wintry lake monona
Not totally frozen, but almost there!

Monday, December 6, 2010

mean santa

Saturday night, Erin, Jen, Dave and I were walking down State Street, which is the main drag for "social activity" in Madison and at UW. We kept passing people dressed up in crazy holiday clothes, including lots of Santas. Then we heard lots of yelling. We turned the corner and came across this:
Santa snowball fight on State Street
A snowball fight of Santas! To get this shot I was almost run over by a Santa on a bicycle. Then the snowball fight turned our direction! We ran, but I was hit! In the ankle! Luckily I had Dave to pull me to safety!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

weekend of madison fun

Next up in our "parade of visitors"? Erin! And Jen again!
Jen and Erin, Memorial Union Terrace, UW-MadisonErin was dead set on coming here once it got cold. I tried to talk her out of it, but after 100 + days over 90 degrees in NC, she claimed she was ready for some cold weather. Not only did Erin get a dose of cold this weekend in Madison, but she was here for our first real snowfall!
from our bedroom window

The snow didn't slow us down at all. Jen came up from Chicago and we spent Saturday Christmas shopping 'til we dropped.

In addition to our first snow, we had a number of eating firsts this weekend as well. I'm glad Erin and Jen were here so I could try out some new places!

We imbibed some pre-dinner drinks at a brand new restaurant downtown called Nostrano. We will need to go back for a special occasion dinner sometime! I loved the atmosphere, especially the scene from the bar out to the snowy street outside. I snapped a not-great picture. And added a snowman to cover up the trash can. But you get the gist.

the bar at Nostrano

Then, for dinner, we went to Chautara, a Nepalese/Himalayan restaurant I had been dying to try but could not convince a certain someone to go with me. Since we had visitors, he had to oblige! Plus, Erin and Jen are always up for an adventure, so I knew they wouldn't mind trying out brand new food at a place we had never been. Of course, the food was delicious!

This morning, before the ladies were heading home, we tried a new-to-us breakfast place on the eastside called Lazy Jane's Cafe. Yum, yum, yum, love, love, love! We loved it! Delicious scones, great cozy atmosphere, and delicious eats. It didn't hurt that it was a gorgeous sunny and cold day - blue sky, clean snow, sunshine, and good friends. A lovely Sunday brunch! If you are reading this and planning to come visit us, we will probably take you here!
running man, Lazy Jane's Cafe, Madison my new favorite breakfast spot in Madison!

Jen, it was great to see you again so soon! Erin, come back soon so we can explore more of the eastside together!

Erin and me, Memorial Union, UW-Madison

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Look what our moms made for us!

It's an advent calendar! We get to open one little pouch every day from today until Christmas!

My mom came up with the idea and supplied the bags, Dave's mom decorated them, and both moms stuffed them full of goodies!

We cheated and opened #1 and #2 last night since I am out of town for a work trip. 1 was a little kit to make a beaded Christmas tree ornament.

Here's midway through putting it together...

...and here's the finished product!

Thanks, Moms! We feel loved and it's fun to get a little gift every day!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Since the sun sets before 4:30 now (!!!) I try to sneak out for an afternoon walk every day while there's still sunshine.

Today on my walk I spotted two bison at the entrance to the bikepath!

I can't believe I had never noticed them from the road. I guess they are kind of hidden. And dressed as pilgrims no less!

I read online this was part of a neighborhood beautification (?) project a while ago. Here's what the Midvale Neighborhood Association has to say about the bison:

The Midvale Heights Neighborhood Association has been working with local resident and artist, Bill Grover to bring history to life at the site where the new southwest bike/pedestrian path crosses Midvale Blvd.. To develop a sense of this hillside, we focused on the geographic location and local history of our area. From this, we gleaned these major themes:

-Midvale Heights lies atop glacial till left here 12,000 years ago.

-The till is underlain by 500 million year old Cambrian sandstone and limestone.

-We live at the northeast edge of the North American bison range and the edge of what was the tall grass prairie.

We will build a circle of limestone seating area which will form an interactive sundial. Cryptic images symbolizing the hours of the day will be etched on the surfaces of the stones forming the seating. Other features of the site will include a boulder of red granite, our Wisconsin State Rock, placed to mark the hour of noon and True North, a Burr Oak and prairie plants will show us what the oak savannah and prairie might have looked like before this area was developed, a bison and her young will be formed out of concrete near a simple neighborhood sign cantilevered from a base of glacial boulders.

The prairie and the Ice Age are big up here!

Monday, November 29, 2010

teach me how to bucky

Check out this hilarious video. Bucky Badger is UW-Madison's beloved mascot.

We introduced Jen and Drew to this video this weekend and I think we've converted another fan!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

giving thanks

I am so thankful that Dave and I had friends and family who traveled to Madison for Thanksgiving with us! Mom, Jen and Drew were here for the holiday. We all divided up the cooking, so Mom and I worked on the turkey, appetizers, pies, and sweet potatoes, I did the stufffing, Mom did the carrots, Dave did the mashed potatoes (and carved the turkey beautifully), and Jen and Drew did the green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and another pie! Jen's pear ginger pie - yum! Yup, all that food for five! Everything was delicious!

Since this was my first turkey, I called my dad for assistance. He always manages to cook up a moist turkey, so I asked for his brining methods and followed them to a "t". Well, I did the best I could and the bird turned out great!

I also accidentally developed my own secret turkey method: keep the bird upside-down in the roaster in the fridge over night. Yeah...when we were preparing it to go in the oven Thursday morning, Mom pointed out that the bird was upside-down and had been all night. Whoops! Jen and I decided that made the breast jucier. Yeah, we'll go with that!

So anyway, despite the upside-down turkey, I was totally impressed with all our cooking (and eating) abilities! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

give him a hand

Another creative composition from Andy Cox Photography. He calls it "The Brady Punch".

Hands (aka The Brady Punch)

You can see more of my brother Andy's photopgraphy here and here. I also wrote about his cool "insomnia" series on the blog here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

what is it? #3

So if you missed the first two installments of "What is it?" (here and here), I present to you now "What is it?" #3. 

The game usually goes like this. I post a picture of something that's new and different to me, something you don't see on the east coast or something unique to Madison. You leave a guess in the comments section on what you think it is. Whoever guesses it right is the *winner*! There is no prize for the winner, but at least you get the satisfaction of knowing you were right!

The lack of a prize doesn't even matter for this one because this is more of a rhetorical "What is it?" and more of a "What the heck?" or "Seriously?" or "Well I'll be!"

Here's the picture.

What is it? Yup, it's three dead deer tied to an SUV. We were warned about this by some of Dave's colleagues and we saw it for the first time yesterday. We were driving around scoping out neighborhoods for potential future home purchasing and were heading back into Madison proper when Dave spied poor dead Bambi behind us. It wasn't until the SUV sped by that we noticed there were three!

Now I know people hunt in North Carolina and everywhere but this is still something I had never seen before! Plus, we weren't really out in the country and this car was heading towards Madison!

So there you have it. First time seeing three deer strapped to an SUV. A Wisconsin moment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

first concert

Friday night was my first concert with the Madison Community Orchestra. The program included a Rimsky-Korsakov suite from The Tale of Tsar Sultan (a random opera) and Dvorak's 8th symphony.

Since I was on stage, Dave took pictures for the blog. The concert was at the Mitby Theater on the big Madison Area Technical College campus near the airport.
And here's Dave's creative contribution to the blog - a work he calls, "concert feet." I think he's making fun of my "fall feet" post here.

Pretty good concert and a nice little reception afterwards. It's just fun to be playing regularly again!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It's wasn't really Homecoming weekend, but Dave and I had our own little homecoming when we made our way back to Chapel Hill last weekend. We saw lots of friends and family in a very short amount of time, but I only seem to have snapped pictures on Saturday before, during, and after the football game.


Pigs in a blanket assembly line

Brown Blue tent tailgate


Cheering for the Heels!


Posing with the dog (Dave has crazy eyes)

Posing without the dog (where did Andrew go?)

Oh, there's Andrew! He's sitting by the firepit with Scout!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


If you read this blog, then I'm sure you know our kitties, Sam and Lucy.

Yesterday, Sam had a bad day He's doing just fine now, but he got sick and we took him to the vet and they had to do a kitty enema! I know this is too much information, but isn't that what blogs are all about? Anyway, he is doing fine now, eating and sleeping and using the litterbox so he is a-o-k. Just wanted to give a little blog shout-out to Sammy as he recovers from a traumatic Tuesday!

Now for gratuitous cat pictures!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

long legs

There is a harmony in autumn
and a lustre in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be,
as if it had not been!

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Monday, November 15, 2010

how to plan an impromptu trip to chicago

1. The night before your trip, decide you want to go somewhere the next day. Toss around nearby cities you haven't yet visited - Minneapolis, Milwaukee - but agree on going back to Chicago.

2. Check your hotel points. Enough for a free night! Find the coolest hotel available for your points. Book it!

3. Get up on Saturday morning and drive to Harvard, IL.

4. Take the train from Harvard to Chicago!

5. Drop off your bags at the cool hotel.

6. Hit up Michigan Avenue for winter clothes shopping!

7. Attempt to grab a bottle of wine to bring to friends' apartment. Somehow end up in an artisanal cheese shop with an overly enthusiastic cheesemonger/sommelier. Wonder if living in Wisconsin gives you fancy cheese shop radar.

8. Meet up with friends for dinner at excellent Mexican tapas restaurant. (But use old picture to document because you forgot to take one that night.)

9. After dinner, head back to friends' apartment. Enlist the men to bake brownies!

10. Next morning, wake up at your cool hotel.

11. Spend the morning at the Art Institute.

12. After a quick lunch, catch the 2:00 matinee of Billy Elliot, the musical.

13. Get one more glance of Chicago.

14. And catch the train back home.