Monday Marginalia – Harley Motorcycles


When we moved to Wisconsin Harley was having their big 100th anniversary celebration. It was only fitting that we made sure we saw their museum close to our leaving. So on our July visit back to see the kids we went to the Harley Museum with Aaron. We bookended out time in Wisconsin with a Milwaukee grown world wide business – Harley Davidson.

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Monday Marginala – We Visited The Kids

Here we are on the road and wondering if the little dark cloud up there near the Batman building in Nashville is following over someone.

Here we are on the road and wondering if the little dark cloud up there near the Batman building in Nashville is following over someone.

Well hello there!  I know, I know blog fade got me as RL intruded.  But yet again I’m back just like a bad penny.  So shall we carry on as if nothing happened.  Yes why don’t we…

Over the 4th of July weekend we went to North Chicago and stayed in the Navy Lodge at the Great Lakes Naval Base to visit our son Aaron and his fiancee Sara.  Aaron home at their apartment in Kenosha after a lay off at the civilian job and then injury during his Army National Guard drill weekend.  So he was free to hang with us and Sara was free Sunday for a tour and Monday for dinner. Continue reading

Hospitals Are Odd Places

warm air control by Thirteen of Clubs on flickr

Warm Air Control by Thirteen of Clubs on Flickr. Use granted by Generic Creative Commons License 2.0
This was the lovely control the warm Bair Paws hospital gown!

Now that I’m up and running I’m looking back on my stay in the hospital.  When you are in the hospital you aren’t at your best.  Going in for planned surgery was better than being admitted for pneumonia but still anxiety was high.  So things that I might get on the first take when I’m my usual self, in the hospital might take a bit longer or be greeted in odd thoughts.  Then there’s the equipment – stuff I’m not familiar with and makes for new experiences.

One thing I remembered from my encounters with hospitals was being cold.  No fears of that here.  No I didn’t get a great warming/massaging bed like Dad had in ICU.  But I did get a heated hospital gown called Bair Paws!  I kid you not.  My purple paper gown had ports that hooked up to a warm blower.  Actually the blower reminded me of the old hair dryer mom used to have.  You know the kind if you are a child of the 70s or earlier – the ones with the inflatable bonnet. So yeah you got a puffed out gown but it was TOASTY warm.

Air Baby by Jane Lackey on Flickr.  Used under  Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommerical 2.0 License.  Like in the picture here it does POOOF out while keeping you toasty warm.

Air Baby by Jane Lackey on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommerical 2.0 License.
Like in the picture here it does POOOF out while keeping you toasty warm.

Next I was dehydrated so IVs were hard to put in.  But what do you expect when you tell me not to consume anything including water for 18 hours?  So they got one IV in and said they’d get the other in after I was out.  Well the last thing I remember was we started wheeling out the gurney toward the nurse’s station and before we turned the corner to the door.  BAM I was out.

The next memory was of someone having a damp sponge on a stick and swabbing my mouth.  That was nice as my lip didn’t stick to my teeth any more.  They also put lip balm on me.  Not bad.  I was relaxed sleeping well and someone was keeping me from being thirsty.

You know I never thought I’d have to be reminded to breathe.  Even more than that – I never thought if I needed such a reminder I’d find it annoying.  Still one of my memories is of a woman saying “Mrs. Eklund you have to breathe on you own now.”  Well the first time she said it I thought “Oh, okay”  and breathed.  Then off to peaceful dreamland as a person who doesn’t sleep well – I was blissfully enjoying the dozing.  Then she reminded me again.  This time I thought ‘FINE I’ll do it go away!  I want to sleep!!”  Then about the fourth or fifth time I was getting beyond annoyed and onto pissed off.   “Really lady bugger off your breathing thing I’m sleeping here!”

Next I was getting wheeled on the gurney into my room.  Mike, Aaron, and Sara were there to greet me.  They were asked to step out while the team got me settled.  Don’t remember much until I woke and Mike was holding my hand.  As I woke more I remember I no longer had on the purple warming gown.  Well in most instances waking up to find yourself dressed in totally different clothes is disheartening but here it was par for the course, not as annoying as the breathe on your own lady was.  For me it seemed just a nap between when I’d bid my family farewell and the waking in new clothes but it’d been about 5 hours or so.

Leg Compression by Brian O'Connor on Flickr.  Used under granted Creative Commons  Attribution, NonCommercial, ShareAlike 2.0 License.  No these aren't my legs and my compression had a foot part too.  I loved 'em.  Massage all night long!

Leg Compression by Brian O’Connor on Flickr. Used under granted Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommercial, ShareAlike 2.0 License. No these aren’t my legs and my compression had a foot part too. I loved ’em. Massage all night long!

As I progressed things made more sense but I discovered odd things about my post surgery body.  It’s a bit disconcerting to think about people you don’t know dressing you while you are out.  I know it doesn’t mean much to them, it’s a job they do and that’s that.  But discovering say you have a scratch on the roof of your mouth from anesthetic intubation. Or finding I have a deep bruise on my right arm because of a failed attempt at the second IV.   Or pondering did I have those scratches before?  Good thing with the drugs to alleviate pain you tend to take it all in stride.

Speaking of stride – the first walk is always a dozy.  I knew my abdomen would be sore I didn’t expect my hips to be so sore and stiff.  The more I walked the better they felt so I wasn’t against doing the walks.  The nights in the hospital are never restful.  I mean why the heck wake me up in the middle of the night to do “dangles” to prepare me to walk the next day?  “Dangles” are sitting up on the side of the bed with feet hanging off not touching the floor.  They watch your blood pressure and stuff to make sure you won’t faint when it comes time to stand.

Oh, did I mention I loved the leg massagers?  Okay I know that’s not what they are called.  They are pneumatic compression boots that are to prevent deep vein thrombosis in the legs.  I LOVED ‘EM.  I’ll tell you my feet and legs always ache to some level or another.  It’s just life after 40.  But to have those on rolling pressure up and down my legs and over the soles of my feet.  A dream come true – a leg massage all night long.  The only thing that could have made it better was Hugh Jackman there doing it instead of pneumatic boots…

I have to take my hat off to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.  They were fantastic to make a difficult experience go as pleasantly as possible.  They did all they could to make me comfortable and my family too.  Everyone was beyond professional but genuinely caring and nice.  Well except that faceless woman’s voice that kept waking me from the best sleep ever to tell me I now had to take the responsibility of my own breathing… Okay thanks to her too since because of those reminders I’m here but it was annoying when I was sleeping so well!

Until next time.

Wisconsin and Beer Go Together Like Mac and Cheese

The building is now an office complexTwo years ago in October I took a historic bus tour of Milwaukee.  It was sponsored by a local museum and let me say I was the youngest there by FAR.  Any way it served the purpose of giving me a base knowledge about Milwaukee.  I enjoyed the tour and now have some things on my bucket list from the tour.  I know it’s been two years but with blog food ever needing to be made I’ve motivation to do them now.

Pabst brewery (6) time machine 2

This is a shot I made of the abandoned Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee I played with treatments to make it look older.

It was on this tour I learned more about the beer and Wisconsin connection.  Not that it is a surprise to me or any one, but the area was settled by people of Germanic heritage. As Octoberfest recently proved yet again – Germans love beer.  When they got settled one of the the businesses they quickly established was breweries.  Many of these are still nationally known today even if some are now defunct as brewers.    Two of those are Schlitz and Pabst who now exist as virtual brewers.  Meaning that they don’t actually have a brewery any more they contract another brewer to brew and put their label on it.  Schlitz old brewery in Milwaukee is now a complex of offices.  True one as seen above still has the horses heads and logo of the stable maintained in lovely condition.  The Pabst facilities remain vacant however.  Miller is now huge, no longer American owned (only national brewer that is American owned is Sam Adams) but chugging along as a conglomerate and brewery.

Pabst Bar

Pabst Bar Racine Wisonsin

Back in the day bars in Milwaukee and surrounding areas down to Chicago were owned by the breweries.  So if you wanted say a PBR you went to the Pabst bar, a Malt Liquor Bull the Schlitz bar, to live the High Life the Miller bar and so on.   Many of these bars of the late 1800s and early 1900s were built with distinct design to make them easy to recognize by their patrons.   Two of those designs survive in Racine a Pabst one just across from a Schlitz one.  On one of our drives out in the Mustang we stopped by them so I could get their pictures.

The Pabst one is my favorite.  It looks just like a castle.  Currently it has beer signs in the in the windows including a Miller Lite one in the big front window (sacrilege) .  However there were no indications it was an operating business.  There were no hours on the door nothing.  Still the building is well maintained.  That’s more than can be said for the original Pabst brewery right now.

Schlitz Bar

Schlitz Bar Racine Wisconsin

The Schlitz one is just across the street.  It’s distinctive but right next to the castle Pabst it does pale in comparison for uniqueness. Best I could tell by looking around it and walking the side walk is that it is now apartments.  The Schlitz sign is not original but is nice to be there to still commemorate the original purpose of the building. As for the green it’s not my taste but I won’t go as far as to say it wasn’t original.  Many of the paint schemes used then were very colorful and not combinations we’d choose today or even call tasteful today.

That’s just a view to the long roots beer has around here.  I’ve added a few shots from the Milwaukee tour that were beer related to finish out this post.  As always if you want to see more photos of the buildings or from the tour click on the images and surf my Flickr account – Until next time!

Pabst brewery (8) time machine

Pabst brewery


Pabst Mansion

This is the mansion that Pabst built. It is open for tours periodically. I will go on one some day.

Milwaukee Lake Shore Parks Watch the Skies

Three planes make smoke loop in sky

On Sunday Mike and I went to the Milwaukee Air Show. It’s held out over Lake Michigan. It’s free you just have to stake a seat in one of the many beaches or parks along the lake shore in Milwaukee. We chose to pay for parking it was convenient and the money went to the parks that were hosting the event. We chose to sit near the marina and watch the planes over the masts of the sailboats.

It started at 10am. However we didn’t wake until 9am, having an aversion to setting alarms on the weekends. We had flopped into bed pleasantly exhausted from the picnic, zoo viewing, and car shopping (still haven’t bought). Needless to say we didn’t hop in the car straight from bed to race the hour to Milwaukee. Instead we got ready quickly and got up there after it started. When we spotted the loop in the air there we knew we were getting close.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

On the drive in we passed the skyline and the Art museum. I started spotting planes and enjoy the parks. I’d not been down to the parks on the lake shore they were beautiful on the way in and out. I can see why they are gold medal winners. If you visit Milwaukee in Spring or Fall (too hot in Summer and OOH SNOW ick in Winter) take drive down and visit the parks. Maybe enjoy a stroll there after taking in the Art Museum!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We saw the water walker. It’s an apparatus where you have jets of water pumped down and they lift you up. There’s photos of it after the jump and a few more on my Flickr. Mike had read about it in the Sunday paper. You can rent it by the hour. Interesting to watch that’s for sure not sure I’d want to do it. It looks hard to keep balance to me. Then again I’m not known for coordination, that’s why they didn’t name me Grace.

It was a great day on lake enjoying beautiful weather, watching planes, and relaxing. Enjoy the photos of the day, you can click on one and be taken to my Flickr account where there are more for the browsing.

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