Shopping Madness and Avoidance

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Etsy developed a new platform for offering sales for their sellers and their customers – so I decided to offer my first ever sale this weekend.

We’re having a SALE!

So, if anyone out there wants to electronically finger the wares in my shop – I’m offering 15% off with a minimum of $45.

 

No charge for window shopping ūüėÄ

In slightly related news – someone put together a compilation video of the Black Friday madness.¬† Why anyone would think this crush of humanity well-steeped in greed is FUN is beyond me.¬† You couldn’t drag me to one of these events even if you pressed a gun to my head.

I had a very nice Black Friday РI did abandon my goal to become a hermit because it was sunny and slightly warm.  I took a looooooooong 3 mile walk around the Fox River with my camera and my iPod for company.  Here are some of my favorite shots:

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Winter is Coming

Ice on Fox River

the river has started to ice up just a bit

I’m in a quandary, here.¬† It’s been really, REALLY cold in the mornings.¬† Too cold to hoof it in to work.

But I miss my walks.  I miss all the little landmarks Рthe river, the Big Sky, the rubberized ground on the playground.

Big Sky

THIS is what made me name my new landmark Big Sky

I also miss the solitude of that afternoon walk.¬† It’s a perfect break between work and home…35ish minutes where I’ve got the iPod blasting in my ears and I can ignore the world while moving around within it, lost in whatever song I’m pounding the pavement to, or working out whatever shit is currently rolling around in my brain.

More importantly, I’m concerned that, if I spend the entire winter in my car, I’ll lose some of the stamina that got me all those miles over the summer.

So, what’s a chilly girl to do?

 

I’ve decided to take … the long way home.¬† I park the car, and go up the street instead of down toward the front door.¬† I get to float past some of my favorite storefronts, down to the highly decorated river walkway, and all along the river behind the main downtown area.

So far, the path I’ve sketched out is about 3/4 of a mile…nowhere near the 3+ I was doing in the summer, so I plan to extend it out a bit.

And, as a bonus, I get some pretty cool dusk shots.

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Fox River Walkway

Full Moon

I got mooned ūüė¶

 

Catching up with New/Old Friends

So…

 

The other day, I was walking home from work.

yea…shocker…right?

I’ve changed my route slightly, to avoid the carnage that used to be my cathedral.¬† I sometimes wonder if they’ve cleared the ‘Earthly remains’ from their yard – yet I still can’t gather the courage to walk past the sight of the worst mass murder in recent Waukesha history.

If you have NO idea what I’m talking about – welcome to the T&T.¬† Trust me, it doesn’t always get this weird.

this is a ‘light’ day…

Here’s a little backstory for you…

I’ve taken to walking around the back of this school’s sports field.¬† Most people ’round these parts would call it a football field, (Wisconsin:¬† a beer state with a football problem), but as I don’t bleed Green & Gold during the fall/winter sports season, I’m just gonna call it an all-purpose ‘sweat till you melt’ field of athletic prowess.

My new favorite spot to stop and have a bit of fun is the outdoor play equipment behind the field-o-sweaty-dreams.

Play Equipment

Not because I’m entering my second childhood or anything – but I stop and bounce a bit on the very rubberized ground cover for no other reason besides:¬† ¬†IT’S SPRINGY!

foot plastic foot

I amuse easily…

Kids these days don’t appreciate that play equipment ‘back in the day’ was usually installed on nothing more than normal, everyday soil, packed rock hard by many, MANY feet.

I feel a curious desire to yell “Get off my LAWN’ right now…

After the brief bounce, I hop back on the (now very hard) sidewalk and continue making my way home.

Remember that ‘other day’ I mentioned at the beginning of the post?

I found something…disturbing…

Snoopy's head farter away

 

There’s a little white speck on the pavement.

 

 

 

Walking a bit closer, I found…to my horror:

 

Snoopy's head

SOMEONE DECAPITATED SNOOPY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Schwartz is rolling in his grave right now…ROLLING, I tell you!

 

 

I beat a hasty retreat from the site of yet another grizzly murder as fast as my legs could carry me (after I snapped the picture, of course!).  No way I wanted to be tied into the brutal slaying of a beloved cartoon character.

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Is it too early to watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?”¬† I love the bit when Snoopy tangled with the lawn chair…

 

 

As I’m walking down the street, all is serene.¬† I’m guessing nobody’s reported the horrific crime yet…but then it dawns on me.

Back at the playground.

Is it?

foot plastic foot

Let’s adjust the focus, here…

foot plastic plastic

Oh….crap….

plastic close in

He’s BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

 

On one hand, I’m glad to see that he’s able to fend for himself, feed himself, and appears to be quite happy with his new life as a wild plastic shape-altering thingie…

They grow up so fast, don’t they?

But on the other hand…should I be concerned that he’s apparently turning cannibalistic?

 

1re73z

Murder in the Concrete Jungle

You get a lot of time to think when you’re pounding the pavement. ¬†Sometimes I just mouth the words to whatever song is blasting away on my iPod. ¬†Sometimes I mull over a string of numbers (work numbers, keto numbers, financial numbers, etc…). ¬†And sometimes, I have long, in-depth conversations with the various voices in my head…just to work shit out.

Sometimes, it’s the only intelligent conversation I have all day…

For a while now, I’ve called this little stretch of my walk the Cathedral.

 

It’s nothing that special, really. ¬†The owners of this particular piece of property decided to plant bushes all along the boundary of their lot. ¬†Those plantlings did what greenery does, and grew – eventually getting tall enough to clasp branch-hands with the trees on the median. ¬†For the entire spring & summer, the branches have been trimmed back over the sidewalk so people don’t have to push through the bush to get where they’re going – but they haven’t trimmed more than that.

 

It’s a landmark on my journey where I stop for just a moment, and breathe a huge sigh of relief. ¬†It’s here that I get out of the hot sun and soak in a little shade. ¬†In my head, this little canopy is the ‘official’ boundary between the industrial leg and the park leg, and marks where I’m ‘officially’ on the way home.

But this morning – I walked up to the Cathedral in horror.

 

LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID!

Cathedral 5

 

The Cathedral has fallen!  Those murdering bastards BUTCHERED it!

**SOB**

I got half a mind to march up to the door and give ’em a serious piece of the mind I’ve got left.

…Deep breath…calm and focus…oh yea, that’s right…I don’t do confrontation…

Cathedral 6

Upon closer inspection of the carnage, I can kinda/sorta understand why the bushes had to come down.  Looks like they were tangling up the power or cable lines running to the house.

 

But still….SLAVERING HEADBLIND SOULLESS BASTARDS KILLED MY LANDMARK!

OK…I feel slightly better now…

Couldn’t they have allowed just ONE more Autumn display of color that I could aim my camera at before the wholesale slaughter ensued?

Cathedral 3

 

 

 

7:45 AM B.C. (Before Coffee)

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So…this was a morning…

I walked in to work – shocker, I know.

 

Plunked stuff down where I usually plunk it, took a breath, then organized for the morning of work.

Looked at my backpack, and saw that the side pocket where I slide my coffee cup was empty.

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Oh…the HORROR!!!!

 

No coffee & cream in the AM?  How am I gonna function the entire work day if

I DON’T HAVE MY COFFEE????

That stuff a couple of months ago when I gave up coffee – yea – total fail there.

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Then I turned to start my computer, steeling myself to a long and torturous, non-caffeinated day, and found my coffee cup sitting on the desk, where I’d just plunked it a minute before.

 

I don’t remember taking the cup out of its sleeve.

Yes…I’m less than a month away from the big one (Five-Oh…) and not really looking forward to it…but this C.R.S. stuff REALLY sucks.

How long before I wander aimlessly into a room, then forget why I went there?

The Concrete Jungle

Took a new route home from work the other day.

I started out like I usually do – down the industrial leg. ¬†The cemetery did some judicious tree-trimming along their fence, so I no longer have to dodge the long boughs to get through. More sunshine and less shade make that stretch just a bit hotter though – so it’s one of those give & take situations that everyone over the age of 12 has learned to adjust to.

 

Instead of heading all the way down the industrial leg, I took a slightly sharp right turn into a residential area…in search of more trees. ¬†More shade. ¬†A bit more breeze. ¬†Plus – I get to tramp on different concrete. ¬†Who knows what I’m gonna find?

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(the last time I took a different route home, I ended up snapping a couple of shots of Les Paul’s memorial graveside…so ADVENTURE!)

The residential trail WAS a bit cooler, as I was walking with my back toward the sun instead of it blasting my side – and the wind was brisk enough to cool things down a bit.

Ooooo – big hill. ¬†Let’s turn left here to avoid…

And down into a stretch of …how shall I say this…

Cheap Apartment Units?

It was almost like I’d stepped through a portal. ¬†Trash now clogged the streets and gutters – empty pop cans, Power-Aid containers, the torn pages from at least one book. ¬†Various scraps of other unidentifiable paper danced in the breeze up and down the obviously-patched (read…badly tended) blacktop street. ¬†The lawns were dominated by brown, frizzy, untamed grass, widely interspersed with large swaths of light brown dirt under the old oak trees. ¬† Concrete stairways marched up the low rise between the apartment buildings and the sidewalk clearly showing their bellies – the earth had eroded from underneath them. ¬†The handrails were either missing or brown with rust.

The buildings themselves Рall brick Рall uniform Рall looking like they had been more than just a bit neglected in the maintenance department.  A LOT of the windows in these buildings had cracked blinds, blankets, or sheets hanging in lieu of commercial, uniform, curtains.  One window even sported a large splash of mud.

Because it was a nice, sunshiny afternoon, the residents of this neighborhood were out and about.  A couple of young men were conversing with another couple of young men in a car stopped dead in the middle of the street.  Off to the side on the other side of the street another couple of men conversed in the doorway of one of the buildings.

A young lady finished her conversation with another, then darted across the street after giving me a long look.

On my side – 3 moms stood on the dry grass chatting with each other as they kept eagle-eyes on the kids playing nearby.

As I approached, all those eyes zeroed in on me.

 

Now…my favored ideal when I’m out and about is what I like to call chameleon mode. ¬†Yes, the people around me are aware of me, and I of them, but I’ve pulled in my energies nice & tight, so I just flit on the edge of that awareness. ¬†If you’re a fan of the Hitchhiker’s series – it’s almost as if I’ve placed a SEP (someone else’s problem) field around myself.

SEP Field

I like it when observing eyes just slide off.

Yesterday … no amount of pulling in of my energies was going to make those eyes NOT notice. ¬†And focus.

I was the interloper.  The intruder.  The one who did NOT belong.

The expressions of the regular denizens of that place went from easy and social to calculating.  Alarmed.  Assessing.  Was I a threat?  A predator?

Or was I prey?

I watched body language change as each set of eyes came to rest on me.  Backs stiffened up.  Conversations died.  Eyes narrowed and nostrils flared.  Hands unconsciously curled and the kids play abruptly ended.

Now…I’ve been breathing air for quite some time. ¬†Driven through my share of ghetto-ish neighborhoods, walked a couple others. ¬†But this is the first time in a LONG time I’ve been in such a place without companionship.

Yes…I was extremely concerned. ¬†But I bravely soldered on through to the marching beat of the tune blasting on my iPod – and they all just stared as I walked. ¬†I guess I was assessed as SEP after all.

Now that my adventure has ended…I gotta ask…

Does anyone else out feel the poverty in the air when you find yourself in (gah!  I HATE political correctness!) a disadvantaged neighborhood?  Can you taste the desperation in the wind?  Do the vibrations of these struggling humans echo from the Earth itself?  Does the miasma which chokes these locations threaten to cut off your breath?

Or am I just too freaking sensitive for my own good?

 

A Walk on the Wild -Powder Room- side…

I’ve pretty much solidified my walking route home…when I get to walk, that is. ¬†We’ve had a lot of wet weather so far this summer. ¬†Last week, I got 2 clear days to walk – the remainder of the week had rolling storms consigning me to watching the world through streaky windshield wipers. ¬†This week was a bit better…but I think my demon-weather summoning fat cells are continuing their spell work.

On the (not) plus (-size anymore) side – I had to make another journey to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul for smaller pants – the 16’s finally got to the point of ‘I don’t need to unbutton the fly to take them off.’ ¬†I stocked up on some funky shirts while I was there. ¬†I may actually LIKE going clothing shopping again. ¬†Three cheeses for Ketosis!!!

Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!

Some of my more dirt-minded (NOT dirtY-minded…watch the difference :D) co-workers have started to lament on the status of their gardens. ¬†Vegetable gardens all over the area are starting to look pretty sad with all the moisture coming down. ¬†Plants need sunshine as well as water, and they’re starting to REALLY need a few hot, sunny days.

I hope things turn around, for Erica’s Garden’s Sake. ¬†Cucumbers should be cherished!

Aaaaaanywaaaaaaaaaaay….

Today’s walk started out pretty normal. ¬†Some sunshine peeking through the clouds, a bit of a breeze, a selection of my favorite tunes queued up on my iPod.

Through the industrial leg.  Check.

Past the Greenspace.  Check.

Homage given to the Fox River….Check.

It’s that witchy thing, where I bow to the river. ¬†Just go with it…

Down into Bethesda Park….check.

Now wait a minute…what’s THAT?

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No…not that. ¬†THAT…

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There…on the light post…

 

OH MY GAWD!

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It can’t be…but it is…

That innocent little cup from work…the one that broke containment a couple of months ago…is now stalking me on my walking route!

1re73z