Team Building

Earlier this week, my boss sent an invitation to my team at work for a “team building” meeting on Friday afternoon. My first thought was dread! I hate team building activities. I looked closer at the invitation, and noticed that the meeting was to be held at the Memorial Union , which is an outdoor terrace on one of the lakes. It’s really a great setting for hanging out and people watching. That meant we were going to leave the office early and sit at the student union to have a few “beverages.”

Dan's sailboat Catrina

After a couple hours of chillaxing, our festivities seemed to be winding down and everyone was thinking about heading home for the evening. One of my coworkers suggested we go sailing on his sailboat. Hmm, sure, why not!

sunset sail

It turned out to be a beautiful evening to be on the water.

sunset over Lake MendotaI guess our team building meeting was worthwhile after all.

Another Day at the Market

You know me, I love going to the farmers market on Saturday mornings. June is such a great time at the market because strawberries – my favorite food – are in season!

strawberries at marketI only bought three quarts this time – two quarts to freeze for smoothies in winter and one quarter to eat now.

We saw lots and lots of sugar snap peas,

sugar snap peas at marketand beautiful heads of lettuce.

lettuce at marketI don’t like radishes, but I thought this pile was pretty. I’ve never seen radishes that were a color other than red.

radishes at market

I almost forgot to show you the stack of pies for sale at the Amish booth. They make the best bakery!

stacks of Amish pies at market

Check out the gorgeous peony bouquets for sale.

peonies at marketThere always a fantabulous selection of flowers. (are these dahlias or mums?)

pink dahliaI don’t know what variety these are, but aren’t they cool?

red dahlia at marketI’m so happy it’s summer!

The First Farmers Market

We went to the opener of the farmer’s market on Saturday, which is held from late April to early November around the city square where the capital building is located.

The market around the SquareLots of pansy baskets for sale.

pansy baskets for sale

Lots of hanging baskets full of geraniums too.

geranium baskets

The bee guy was there with precious honey.

The Bee Guy

You can’t have a farmer’s market in Wisconsin without cheese!

cheese vendorSo many beautiful varieties of cheese to choose from.

cheese cheese cheese!Check out these adorable cow cookies,which sell out every Saturday.

Cow Cookies

It may seem early for a farmer’s market to open, and we were lucky to have a sunny, 70-degree morning.  It’s my favorite way to start a Saturday, especially in April!

Colorful Day at the Market

I have written about the Farmers Market many times in my Notebook because I love going to the market. It’s fun to see what’s in season, to have a coffee and donut, and just be outside soaking up the atmosphere. I love to see all the colors, from produce to people!

Bright table full of peppers.

More varieties of jalapeno peppers.

Gorgeous mounds of Mums and Asters.

These are the first Asters I’ve seen this season. What a cheerful purple color!

I love the sunshine colors of these asters. They glow like flames.

Check out these wacky gourds, which will turn brown when they dry out. People drill holes in them for birdhouses.

It was nice to see there are still lots of beautiful flower bouquets for sale.

I always thought these strawberry flowers were so cool looking. They really do look like strawberries.

It wouldn’t be a market in fall without apples.

Here are some colorful people at the market. I guess tie-dye t-shirts are still “in” around here! Notice the trees in the background starting to change colors.

That was another colorful day at the market!

Summer Racing

Remember last month when I wrote about my brother competing in his first half-marathon in Door County? Well, last weekend he completed his first triathlon in the town I live in, so of course, I had to be there to cheer him on and capture the day in pictures.

I have always wanted to compete in a triathlon but I struggle with rheumatoid arthritis in my knees, making it difficult to run. So it was a thrill for me to be a spectator and support crew.

The race began at 7:30 on Sunday morning, so we got there around 6:30 in order to check in and set up his gear. It was pretty cool how the organizers of the race set up fencing to form the transition area where the competitors set up their gear for the transition from one event to the next.

The competitors have to wear a timing chip around their ankle so their times are recorded for each event. Here is my eleven-year-old niece Taylor helping organize the timing chips while she waits for her dad to finish.

The first event is the swim, where the competitors were released in nine waves. My cousin Jack (on the left) and my brother Mike (on the right) were in the later waves, so there was some standing around waiting.

After the swim event, the racers transition to the bike event, where they bike 25 miles through the hilly terrain our area is notorious for.

While we waited for Mike to pass through the bike area, we also waited for my cousin Jack who was on to the running event. It’s hard to see in this picture because his number is covering part of his jersey, but he rocked with an AC/DC jersey! Go Jack!

We had a great cheering section, all members of the family, who were in town celebrating my aunt Madelon’s 70th birthday.

After the racers completed that brutal 25-mile bike ride, they came back to the transition area to leave their bike behind, change into their running shoes, and hit the trail one last time for a 6-mile run.

It was so thrilling to see them come down that final stretch to the finish line!

Similar to my relationship with my sister, I have looked up my brother my whole life. We never fought when we were kids, and we’ve continued to remain close friends, so I was a very impressed and proud of him (and Jack) on that day! Cheers guys!