Michelle's Musings

Thu
02
Jul
admin's picture

Fireflies

I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes (one of my least favorite things), when I couldn’t help but notice one of my favorite things–dozens of fireflies lifting off from the grass, flowers and vegetables in the back yard. They were mostly green with a few orange ones scattered in the mix.

I don’t remember ever seeing the oranges ones as a kid, but I have some distinct memories of fireflies in general. Of course, like many kids, I, and my friends, imprisoned them in clear glass jars, fascinated with their glowing hind ends. No firefly home was complete without a wad of grass to sleep in and a stick for them to hang out on. I remember waking up in the morning to find them all “belly up” as my grandma so eloquently put it. No matter how many holes you poked, they couldn’t survive in a repurposed mayonnaise jar.

Fri
26
Jun
admin's picture

Dicamba

Just about everyone has heard of Roundup (glyphosate), the herbicide made by Monsanto (now owned by Bayer), and spread generously on fields and lawns throughout the country. But, do you know about Dicamba?

When the efficacy of Roundup started to slip, and weeds grew resistant to the product, Monsanto needed a new weed killer, and the company began working to development soybeans and cotton that was resistant to Dicamba, which has been around, but not widely used, since 1959. The problem with the chemical is that it has a tendency to drift in the wind, causing the death of nearby crops that were not resistant. 

This drift caused farmers to engage in arguments with other farmers over the loss of their crops due to Dicamba drift, in some cases whole fields were destroyed by the herbicide.

Fri
12
Jun
admin's picture

Farmers Markets

When I was in college I had a large garden and sold veggies and all natural personal care items like soap, salve, insect repellant, etc. at the local farmers market. The market was in the Drake neighborhood in Des Moines and had only about 25-30 vendors, at the most, on any given Wednesday. My friends would all go downtown on Saturday for the massive market, not unlike downtown Madison. But I was content at the tiny market.

I get anxious in a large crowd of people, which also hinders me from engaging in public speaking. Because of this uneasiness in crowds, I almost never go to the downtown Madison market. I went to one winter market at the Garver Feed Mill with my husband, Matt, who is fine with the massive markets and often goes by himself.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the selection and abundance at the larger markets, but the small ones feel more like home.

Sat
06
Jun
admin's picture

Justice for George

I headed down to the capitol on Saturday to get some photos of the Justice for George protest and was there most of the afternoon. Of course I had an N95 masks and sanitizer with me, but as soon as I got close to the capitol building, I noticed that about 90 percent of the people had masks on. This put me a little at ease, and I immediately felt much safer than at the Safer at Home protest, which I have deemed “The haircut protest.”

I also felt much safer at the George Floyd protest because I didn’t see anyone toting a semi-automatic weapon, something that makes me incredibly uneasy. I am of the opinion that those who feel the need to carry a weapon in public, should probably stay home if they are that scared of their fellow Americans.

Thu
21
May
admin's picture

Masks

Now that businesses are starting to open back up in areas of the state, I want to ask you all to wear a mask in public.

I have been wearing a mask in public, for the most part, since March 18, the day I flew back from Colorado. No one was wearing a mask then. People looked at me strange and laughed at me, but I didn’t care. I was getting on a packed airplane for over three hours with strangers, some of whom were coughing and sneezing.

I see wearing a mask as a safety precaution. Not much different than wearing a condom to prevent HIV/AIDS. Before anyone has a hissy fit about my comparison, think about it. Most of you would not have sex with a stranger and not use a condom, so why would you want to have an unprotected respiratory exchange with someone who may be carrying the disease and not know.

Fri
08
May
admin's picture

Protest

I have opted to only show photos with factual information on pages 8-9 and write about the stay at home protest, deemed the “Wisconsin Freedom Rally,” in my column because I know that I cannot be objective and not insert my opinion in a news story on this matter. Instead I have decided to just tell everyone what I saw and how it felt. As a woman. As an American. As some who values science and medicine. As someone who is logical (mostly). As someone who has empathy. As a journalist. As someone who risked exposure to COVID-19.

I was apprehensive about going to cover this protest at the state capitol because I has been social distancing and believe what health officials are telling us about the virus. I wear a mask in public and take precautions to prevent spreading coronavirus. I know that we are all at risk of catching the virus and that now it is thought the vast majority of people are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Wed
15
Apr
admin's picture

Red Coat & Army Jacket

Red Coat & Army Jacket

I feel, for the most part, I am a pretty observant person. I notice my environment and I am always assessing everything around me. I see the faces of the homeless, I compliment people on their clothes and generally am able to describe the setting I’m in at a later date.

Lately one of the things I have been watching every day is my neighbors conducting a sword fight with what looks like metal vacuum cleaner tubes. They play out these makeshift swordfights daily, and their back yard is directly adjacent to ours. 

I first saw the pair, who look for be mid-teens, when I was standing over the sink washing dishes about two-and-a-half weeks ago. It seems I have been in that very spot a lot lately, what with the constant cooking going on during the pandemic. I have named them “Red Coat” and “Army Jacket” for their preferred attire during these bouts. 

Thu
09
Apr
admin's picture

Essential Meeting?

Several citizens, none of whom wanted to publicly be named in the paper, have contacted me in the past week concerning the decision of the Plan Commission to hold a public hearing to discuss future projects at the Middleton Airport/Morey Field. 

Since no one wanted to have their name printed in the paper, I have decided it is best to address these concerns and the process I have been going through to get information on the topic.

First, let me say, I think it is odd for a board or a commission to hold a public hearing for something that is not under deadline or time sensitive. This was my thought when I saw the plan commission scheduling public hearings at their meeting last week as if nothing in our world had changed. 

I first received an email on the matter by a resident who questioned all of the hearings, but specifically that for the airport improvements. Then the next day I received a phone call about the matter, and finally another email. 

Fri
03
Apr
admin's picture

2020

Oh, 2020, I had such high hopes for you. A new decade. A leap year. A census year. A Presidential Election.

But then Australia caught on fire. I am not especially spiritual, but it did seem like some foreboding sign that 2020 may not be all I had hoped it would be. The constant barrage of photos of crying koala bears, forest aflame and rescue efforts filled my social media feeds. 

Then in late February we really started hearing about the COVID-19 outbreak, in my opinion, when the federal government could no longer keep it from us. 

Wed
25
Mar
admin's picture

Meltdown

I didn’t really want to go to Colorado when I left on March 11, but I had to go out and take care of some things at our house near the Royal Gorge.

When I got to the airport the lot was super full, and I had a hard time finding a place to park. 

I was incredibly apprehensive flying out, and took as many precautions as possible. I had a mask, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in my bag. Like some deranged germaphobe, I put on the mask and wiped down all of the plastic surfaces in my area as well as the seat belt.

Washing my hands for 20 seconds at a time was not a problem because of my paranoia about getting COVID-19. I stood at the sink in the restroom at Dane County Regional Airport, silently judging those that barely got five seconds into their handwashing before heading for the hand drier.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Michelle's Musings