Monday, March 28, 2016

Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve

Oh, Lake Michigan, my old friend, how nice you look from the cliffs of Lion's Den. Is that the wind, that made me pause to wipe my eyes?

 The beach is 100 feet below
I was not about to attempt this path down to the beach
 A grove of Birch, maybe
 The steps leading down to the beach. Hubby leads the way while I take pictures.
 A tide pool
 The beach looking north toward Port Washington
 The cliffs, bluffs or dunes, not sure of the proper name.
The beach looking south

The Lion's Den will definitely be a place we will visit again. It is only a 21 mile drive east. The Preserve has several well-marked walking and biking trails. The city of Grafton has a Meijer grocery store, where we can pick up some excellent deals on the way home. 

Rocks, oh, yes, the beach has rocks. Yes, I picked some up to add to my collection.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Catching Up



 Main Street

 The Rubicon River runs through it

 A small lake in the park

 The dam on the Rubicon

 Here is the lake again, it's on the other side of the dam

 The Rubicon, looking toward Main Street

 The Library

Back on Main Street, looking back at the dam

Pike Lake
 Pike Lake is about 5 to 10 minutes drive east

 Ice on the far shore

 Picnic area!

 Complete with grills and tables

We were there

We also went to Lion's Den Gorge on Lake Michigan but I will save those for next time.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring is Around the Corner

I'm pretty sure April will be warming up and greening up, as we are supposed to get some rain. The snow is almost gone. Yesterday morning was sparkly from all the ice still coating the trees and wires.

Here is our living room. I have a nice view, finally! We will stay here until we save for a house. Rent is cheap and heat, water and trash are included. We only pay electric.

If you were wondering about the Bird Woman, she was given notice to stop dropping stuff off her balcony. So far there have been no more issues. The maintenance man is an "in all fairness" guy, so he taped a notice on everyone's door that said to immediately stop feeding the wildlife. We took it with a grain of salt, because we never did feed the wildlife nor did we ever throw anything out the door, and he knows that.

I am not completely unpacked, and will remain so until we move into a house. There are bins in the bedroom that I need to go through when I have time. Some things I will keep and repack, others will get donated. We went from a 1200 square foot, 2 bedroom condo in California to a one bedroom apartment that might be about half that size.

The maintenance man, or caretaker and his wife live across the hall. He is sort of an almost Amish type, having been friends and neighbors with the Amish for many years. He baked bread today and brought us some. We in turn gave them some Balkan food. It's nice to have friendly neighbors. He knows all the local farmer's markets and U-Pick places. Oh, and they gave us some homemade sour kraut. Never tried homemade.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Yesterday we got some slushy rain and flurries, today some more. The streets are cleared and salted. The city has been on the ball since yesterday. This apartment is warm! This is the warmest I've been in winter. The house in Hammond was always cold. The apartment at Seawood didn't get enough sun. We pretty much ran the pellet stove every day there, at least for an hour in summer, and all night in winter. It was fun at first, then it became a sooty chore.

I can't find my potato peeler, so I need to do carrots and spuds with a knife...ugh!!!

Hubby starts his new job April 2nd. Orientation is Tuesday. Yay hubby!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Bird Woman from Alcatraz

Ok, not literally, but...wouldn't you think someone with plants and birds would be a nice person? The maintenance man, a nice retired gentleman who lives with his wife across the hall, warned us that our upstairs neighbor doesn't get along with anyone. I really didn't think much about it until I saw her one day and said hello.

"I hear you more than the former tenants" was all she said, as she quickly disappeared upstairs.

Umm, ok, I thought. All the floors in this building creak, so it's a good thing we are on the ground floor, because we walk around a lot, sometimes late at night. There is no way the lady upstairs can hear us walk, so I figured it must be the sound on my hubby's computer. I asked my hubby to turn down the volume on his computer (the walls are thin), which he did.

Anyway, every weekday, about 4:30 am or so, the bird woman gets up for work. I hear her walk on our bedroom ceiling, "crick crick thump crick thump creak creak thump squeak thump thump crick". Ok, it doesn't bother us. Hubby sleeps through it and I just go back to sleep. Soon she is gone for the day.

Then one day she found cigarette butts on her car, probably from another upstairs resident whose balcony looks down on her car, which is on the other side of the building. We found out when the maintenance man explained to us why he had to post "no smoking" reminders.

Perhaps it never happened before we moved in, so she thought we did it. She must have been agitated, because she paced her floor for a long time. The next morning was the weekend, so instead of 4:30 am, she got up around 5:30 or so. "Crick crick thump crick thump creak creak thump squeak thump thump crick". But it didn't stop there. She went around the other way, then into the living room, then around her bed again, and again, and again, then into her kitchen, then living room, then around her bed, and around her bed, and around her bed.

What was she doing??? Was she striping the bed and making it? How many times did she need to walk around it to make it? Was she dancing with her birds? Was she actually MAKING a bed? How many trips round the bed did it take??

Thankfully hubby slept like an angel through it all. The cricking and creaking went on for a good two or three hours, I don't remember exactly, because I dozed off a few times. I found it rather amusing, as I imagined she was wearing herself out trying to irritate us with the constant creaking.

Today hubby noticed an unacceptably large area all around our back door just covered in cracked sunflower seed hulls, bird poop and other bird cage debris. The bird woman's balcony is right above our back door. Well, hubby told the maintenance man, who took pictures. I mean, can you say "stink and flies in summer"?

It's quiet upstairs. Either she hasn't gotten the note or she's laying low.


In other news, we took a walk, along Pike Lake again. It was nice.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Welcome to my New Blog

It took me this long to choose a new name. The others I wanted were taken, so I made variants of them, which didn't inspire me. Then last night I thought of "Wisconsin Sunrise"...surely it must be taken! But it wasn't, so it is now. It makes sense, our apartment faces east. We may or may not stay in this town but we will stay in Wisconsin. It was my dream to live in this state, even before moving to California. My hubby loves it too, and his health is improving. So in a way, it is our sunrise, because a sunrise is the beginning of a glorious new day.

We moved to Hartford Wisconsin on March 4th. The movers arrived with our furniture on the 14th. We had been sitting on the floor and sleeping on a pile of thick European blankets all that time.

The move went well, considering I was sick and we were on the road 5 days. I took many pictures, too many to go through right now. My shoulder, which I hurt a few months ago, flared up with the odd positions I put it in trying to maneuver the mouse while sitting on the floor. I am resting it as much as I can. It's slowly getting better.

I have been thinking a lot. Here are some of my thoughts.

I didn't realize how much the sound of the ocean stressed me out until we left. The sea is particularly violent on the north coast of California. It is an angry, pounding sea.

I didn't realize that having virtually no doctors stressed me out as much as it did. 111 miles is too far. I thought I was lucky to live there, but really, I was just lucky.

I never realized how much I missed the shadows of deciduous trees on the ground until I saw them again. I am eagerly awaiting spring, dreaming of summer, and anticipating a gloriously colored fall. Winter....well, you know I don't like the cold, but this apartment is warm and the heat is free!

I didn't know I would not get used to the mountain roads with their sharp turns and precipitous edges. I didn't know that a rainy season could cause so many landslides, I didn't know how much Last Chance Grade on Highway 101 wants to fall into the ocean. I didn't know how often the roads break apart there.

I didn't know we had mold inside the apartment until we moved here and I was finally able to smell it. We kept our apartment at Seawood dry, heated almost every day with the dusty, sooty (yes it was) pellet stove. I kept an eye on the humidity and always kept it below 50%. Mostly its things made of leather, cloth and plastic bags. Cloth can be washed, leather is tricky (only a couple wallets) and bags can be thrown away. Thankfully it was very little that was affected.

I did realize I never felt at home at Seawood. As nice and spacious as our apartment was, the crummy walls never felt like home. Every wall, ALL of them, had that old, blotchy, raised texture and it was painted a glossy pale yellow, all 9 feet high, plus the ceilings. The walls, plus the dark living room was disheartening. We could have moved, but the mold broke our plans.

I did realize we missed shopping at Aldi and we really missed having ethnic food available (we found it in Milwaukee).

I have umpteen photos of our walks through Tolowa Dunes, Lake Earl, along the ocean and through the Redwoods. Great memories. You must visit, in the dry season. I have my rock collection. Yes, I will remember the walks along the beach, the Smith River, the glorious blue skies and the fun times with my daughter. Yes, we both miss Tuki bunny. He stayed behind with my daughter.

I miss my younger daughter, of course. The largest superstore Walmart in all of Wisconsin is here but I don't know anyone. I am just a shopper here, no longer an ex-employee. But that's ok.