Wednesday, November 30, 2005

And now for something completely different. . .

Colfax, Wisconsin, April 19, 1978

On April 19, 1978, police officer Mark culturing was on patrol in the vicinity of collapse, a small town with a thousands of inhabitants in Wisconsin, USA. At midday, he decided to stop the car to eat something, in a small isolated area. He noted that his radio was emitting crackles.
He then noticed a metallic looking disc raising towards the the sky at a short distance from the parking space.
While the object seemed to move towards him, Coltrane picked up his Polaroid camera, came out of the car and snapped some photographs. The object was so close in one of the images that it is possible to notice some details of its lower surface.

Taken from

Apparantly Colfax and surrounding area is a hotspot for U.F.O. activity. According to this site: three counties surrounding Dunn (where Colfax is) rank in the top 300 as far as U.F.O. sightings go in the U.S. Pepin (direcly below Dunn) is number 12.

Here's a description of a sighting in Colfax from October 2, 2005

One from August 6 and 7, 2005 in Colfax

And Feb. 3 by a Retired Parole Officer in Colfax right by good ol' Kirkwoods Market.

The pictures taken back in '78 by Coltrane are widely considered to be some of the best ever taken (according to various U.F.O. nuts).

We'll have to dust off the telescope soon here to see what we can spot ourselves. I like Jay's idea of finding a way of positioning it in the hottub.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is about community and food. It is not about consumerism.

I am up right now and extremely thankful. Maybe because I am thankful, I am up! Dinner is awesome at the farm. Every meal is a party for the tastebuds: awesome homebrew, exquisite pizza, spectacular breads and salads, entrees that tickle my toes. Every meal is a party for the mind: laughter galore, wonderful ideas about theology, striking ideas about sustainability and life choice. Every meal is a party with friends: sitting at a table with the five of us is so invigorating and life giving - plus everyonce in a while friends: Erik, Corrie, Dan and Robin, Ted and Jeannine, Kevin and Allison, my family.

Despite the bitter cold and all things brown, the farm is still beautiful. The rolling hills list like a beautiful woman who has shed her clothes. I now see the extra curves and details. The sunrise and sunsets on my rides to and from work are a plethera of color and delight. (I count more deer than cars on my bike ride. I actually thought about changing my name to "Bicycles With Deer".) The vantage point from a cedar hot tub and moonlight to read by helps add to my thanksgiving.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. My parents and Greg, Emily, Hope and Ellie visitied for two full days (food, laughter and games). What a treat to have a three year old sit in your lap and constantly touch your beard and kiss your neck. I am most thankful for a conversation I had with everyone. My brother and family called me on the carpet. In talking about school and society, I always talk about the bad and wrong. Why not talk about what is going well, what I am doing to make a change and improve things? Instead I always talk about what needs to be changed and what needs to be improved. My fear is settling and thinking things are fine, this is why I stress the problems more.

Dennis Plies stresses too graditude. Therefore, some more.
- I actually love being in the classroom and the students. They are so creative and full of life and joy. The crack me up everyday.
- I met some teachers who are forward thinking and not settling. I can talk to them and bounce anger and ideas.
- I am playing in a big band everyweek. What a kick to read big band charts and play with others. I sit in a jam session regularly and know the musicians in town. I will be sitting in the orchestra pit for Bye Bye Birdie in February.
- The practice room is almost done and Chris and Erik have worked extra hard and kind for my dream.
- Charis loves me and sticks by me through all of this. She is too great and good.
- The horses are fun to ride and watch play outside our bedroom window.
- Chopping wood and collecting wood. To sweat when it is 20 degrees outside and have no need or desire to come in.
- The library has great music and friends keep me updated with great books and articles from the internet. Gaeaphobia. The Spirits Catches You and You Fall Down is lighting my senses and I keep thinking what can I do with my Hmongs students to write their parents stories.
- A picture of Wendell Berry in the Smithsonian Magazine. He is beautiful with a gorgous and contagious smile. Why is this guy smiling with all the crap in our society and environment? The balance, that is my quest and thankful to have it and know it.

Hope you all had a joyous Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Ellis is talking!

...granted it's in his own special language, but he's quite the little jabber monkey these days. We have long conversations that go something like this: Ellis: rahdgia jabba gook. Charis: abbba grabba shceeeek. Ellis: aaaahhhhhriagha booook. Charis: grrrreeeighchabillago. And on and on.

Hunting season started on Saturday, and we're still trying to adjust to being some of the only non-hunters in the area. Having to explain to people why our husbands really aren't much interested in taking down a buck in our woods has been a confusing effort. People are nice about it, but I don't think they really get the term "intellectual theologian and educator types." Frankly, the multitudes in blaze orange are creeping me out a bit. We live in the middle of nowhere all year round except for 10 days out of the year, when we live in an action-packed red hot deer killing zone. CRAZY! A couple of guys in a giant truck with wheels taller than me came down the driveway to ask us if they could shoot from our hay field. They seemed a tad sketchy, so Jay and Chris told them (nicely) to hit the road (you want to be kind of careful around rednecks with high-powered rifles). Did you know that people with porcelain deer in their yards (which mystify me, by the way - real ones are in our yard all the time - don't know why we'd need to get fakes) DRESS THEM IN ORANGE VESTS to keep the hunters from just going all apeshit and shooting at them? Now really. Couldn't you tell the difference? I don't mean to be so down on it. I have to admit though that I haven't really progressed at all in my mixed feelings about hunting. I go back and forth constantly.

I keep forgetting to talk about how much fun it is to see my horses from my bed. Every morning at the same time, they come to the gate near the silo and stare at my
bedroom window because they know breakfast is coming. It's hilarious. Sometimes I mess with their heads and call to them. The horses are getting a nice break for the next week, as I'd prefer not to be picked off out of the saddle by some goggle-eyed hunter.

The workroom/Jay's practice room are nearly finished, as they're now drywalling in there. It's toasty warm once the woodstove gets stoked!

As soon as I finish this, I'm going to get Jay from work and we'll do our shopping for Thanksgiving. Quite a list this year! Last year my family decided that what Thanksgiving really needed was a goofy mascot to improve the commercialism of the holiday, so we invented the Benevolent Pilgrim, who will fill your cornocopia with squash if you're good, or fill your blanket with smallpox/buckle shoe with dog doo if you're bad.

So beware the Benevolent Pilgrim and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love and spray-painted gold gourds to all,


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Corrie Poppins came, charmed a little baldish person, and went back home again

But isn't that how most of the magical nannies do it? I think Corrie went home via plane though, and not umbrella. At least I dropped her off at the airport, but I suppose there's no telling... at any rate, if she did fly home by umbrella, she had some SERIOUS WEATHER TO CONTEND WITH! BLIZZARD!

Yes, after a ridiculous sucession of beautiful days where people took long walks and had to remove their outers layer because the sun was too warm, an early snow took us by surprise and last night we hit a whopping 3 above zero here in this heartland paradise. Also, just to give you an idea of just how much I love you, I spent 1/2 hour getting the truck out of a snowdrift today so I could come to the library and write on this here blog.

Corrie being here was definitely one of the highlights of my November thus far.We had a great time, and I even learned me how to cook a pot roast - my first ever! I really do mean it when I tell you that the baby took to Corrie. He loved being cuddled to her luxurious bosom. And, as I said to Corrie, that baby won't be getting anything like that as long as he's being held by the B-plus girls in my family.

Have I told you that Ellis and I have a routine now? He lies on my lap and I do various exercises with his arms and legs, like bicycle, kick and kick, tai bo (sp?), bump your bottom (Corrie's fave), punch the sky, roll it and roll it, clap your paws (baby feet look like paws in his footie jammies - don't you think?) and shake the belly. Ellis being the incredibly advanced child he is really has to have things mixed up a bit and simply isn't happy with the same old same old. He's always keeping me on my toes, that boy.

Thanksgiving this year will be with Jay's family at the farm for us. I'm looking forward to doing dinner as I feel I need the practice with holiday events. I've been freeloading off of my mom long enough!

I went for two glorious rides this morning in the fresh snow - Colby first, then Gideon. The chill exhilarates me - I've gotta be honest.

Hope all are well out there in cyberspace. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Winter!

Love and steaming chai tea to all...