van gogh to pollock

at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Had an enjoyable time there last Saturday.

I love Andy Warhol and this iconic 100 Cans! I had to check if all the cans were beef noodle soup. I would have made one chicken noodle. Later I found out that John looked for the same thing.

Also a fan of Roy Lichtenstein. This one is Head--Red and Yellow. I really like the course halftone screens in his work.

And Marc Chagall, the Peasant Life. I have a small print of his that I bought years ago in college.

Love the color and shapes in this Wassily Kandinsky, Fragment 2 for Composition VII.

Then there is this Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic XXXIV. There is a story that goes with this painting. And I will share in my next post.

And Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Monkey. Love that monkey and those eyebrows.

And, of course Jackson Pollock's Convergence. This painting was huge and mesmerizing.

These photos do not do these paintings justice. If you live in the Madison-Milwaukee area I suggest you catch this show before it is gone. It ends September 20th. I don't think you will be disappointed.

delightful day in cambridge, wi

Where can you find vintage pearls, yarn, and a French dictionary all while nibbling on a warm-from-the-oven brownie? Cambridge, Wisconsin, that is where. This charming small town 30 minutes from where we live in Madison had it all this weekend. A Friends of the Library Book Sale, Maxwell Street Days, Garage Sales, a Pancake Breakfast and the Lions Club Brat Stand in the Park.

Arriving a bit early we headed to the Book Sale. We went for the $10 bag of books and I found this utterly amazing 1939 French dictionary. It is small, it is thick, and it is full of those old etchings that I so dearly love. This will be hours of endless fascination for me. Clearly the score of the day.


Yarn for a hat and half mitts, nice vintage pearls with a rhinestone clasp, I have a real weakness for vintage pearls. And some yummy potato bread.


John found a narrow hallway between 2 buildings to explore.


We then drove around the nearby lake hitting tag sales. I scored 12 cedar cigar boxes. One box can hold my dip pens and nibs, one can hold ink, etc.

On the way out of town we stopped at the Matt Kenseth Museum... for those of you who don't know (and I didn't)  he is a NASCAR driver and from Cambridge.

Growing up in a town much smaller than Cambridge I am charmed by a nice small town event. Mark your calendar, this event is yearly and early in August.

the lucky platter

IMG_4165 Easter weekend we went to Chicago to babysit the grand kids and see their parents too. Jackson wants to be a  train engineer when he grows up. He LOVES trains. So we took the train from Highland Park to Evanston for brunch.

And ended up at the Lucky Platter on Main St.


Oh yes, this place had Rae written all over it. (Lower left has little Alex peeking out the window.)



And the art... total kitsch. I am a total sucker for paint-by-number paintings. If I lived in a loft I would cover a wall from floor to ceiling in them. Also many interesting portraits. Some that looked like things I painted in high school, as a freshman.



And hanging art... and oh, the colander chandeliers. So much to look at.


And the food is pretty and tasty too. I had the Crab Cake Benedict. Homemade crab cake with garlic aioli, spinach, hollandaise on toasted cornbread. Yum. If you are in the area I recommend it.


sun & sedona


Just back from a warm, sunny week in Sedona and Oak Creek, AZ.

To all of you who told us that there was not enough to do there all week you were both right and wrong. Yes, if we had stayed 6 days in Sedona and shopped that would be far too many days. In my opinion most of the shops had that old time Wisconsin Dells feel to them.






But we stayed in Oak Creek 10-15 miles outside of Sedona very close to Bell Rock (3rd photo). Our week included sun, blue skies and a lot of 70 degree weather. All most appreciated as we left a gray, cold, sunless Wisconsin.

Our trip did include a little shopping in Sedona, general exploring, grilling out, John golfing, I bought cool shoes at the golf resort and a day trip to quaint Jerome, AZ.

We also sat in the hot tub at night when it was in the 30s. Had a 'duff day'. Each person got to do whatever they wanted. For me, the introvert, it was spent sitting in the sun with my book in the back yard of the extremely comfortable home we had for the week.

Last day was spent in the Red Rocks. We hiked part of the way up Bell Rock. I meditated and chatted with my Dad who had passed away 6 years to the day. The rest of the group hiked a little further up.

So to those who thought we could not keep busy for a week, well we could have had another week to get it all done. Would have liked to visit Antelope Canyon, seen the sunset at the Airport Overlook and done yoga at a vortex.





I was extremely taken with the luminous light and the textures of everything. And the Red Rocks. My burning question is still why they are called RED rocks. It all looked far more orange to me. Or burnt orange. Sometimes sienna or burnt sienna. Thoughts as to why they are called red vs. orange, anyone?


trains, type and textures

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sunday we spent the day at the Illinois Railway Museum outside of Union, IL. It is between Madison and Chicago. It was a perfect Fall day and I was there with 3 generations of Ganahl men. Jackson who is 3 is train-crazy. We even got to take a 40 minute ride on an electric, passenger train. Alex who is 1 appeared to like it too, he gave Grandma a fist bump.

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Lots of cool signage and typography. There was something for everyone which makes this such a great place. We were there for 4 hours and walked over 3 miles and did not see everything.




Who knew? I didn't. Lots and lots of interesting signs that we wanted to read. Maybe next time.


IMG_3487 IMG_3493 IMG_3495 IMG_3539 As the guys were climbing on trains I slipped away to take photos of rusty stuff. As I said, something for everyone.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say: The museum was founded in 1953 by ten individuals (one of the founders was Howard Odinius from Milwaukee) who joined together to purchase Indiana Railroad interurban car 65.

Originally called the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, the name was changed to IRM in 1961 to reflect the museum's expanding scope. The museum was initially located on the grounds of the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago, Illinois. In 1964 the museum's entire collection was relocated to Union along the former right-of-way of the Elgin & Belvidere interurban. Two years later, operations were begun using Illinois Terminal interurban car 415, and in 1967 the first steam engine was operated. The first storage barn was erected in 1971. In 1981 a one-mile (1.6 km) streetcar loop was constructed. A 4.9-mile (7.9 km) railroad line was built during the 1980s and early 1990s.

The museum's operations are primarily concentrated around its main campus just east of Union, Illinois. Train rides are offered on the main line as well as the streetcar loop. Electric trains are operated from April through October, and diesel and steam trains from the beginning of May through the end of September. Trolley bus operations occur the first Saturdays of June, July, September and October. IRM is one of only two railway museums in the country that operates both electric and diesel trains. It is the only museum that offers trolley bus rides.

It was pretty much a perfect day. And we were amazed that so few people were there, probably because it is late in the year. I can recommend this outing. In fact I could go back several more times. Next time I'll take a real camera.


boston... part 2


after a crazy hot morning touring the waterfront to do research for the upcoming Nautical Doodles I spent the afternoon in AC while John took a tour of Fenway Park. And here is the famous red chair.

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We also went to Harvard. Everything is SO old, so old.


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Also went to the Boston Public Library and it did not disappoint. A visual treat. Lots of amazing art, murals, interesting architecture, a gallery with murals by John Singer Sargent.

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We did the Freedom Trail, a tourist must. Saw Paul Revere's house, the North Church (one if by land, two if by sea) and this is the Bunker Hill Monument. John walked up the 294 steps. More steps than in the Arc De Triomphe or the Sacre Coeur. Show John a monument he can climb and he is there.

And I had great seafood meals. It was a nice wandering kind of vacation and a nice anniversary trip. And as happy as I was to go, I am just as happy to be home.


boston, berkshires and instagram, part 1


we just got back from a nice trip to New England. Visited a friend and ex-neighbor Kathy. We visited Florence, Shelburne Falls, North Adams and Boston, MA. The Berkshires were beautiful. And it was crazy hot most of the week.

The above picture is from MASS MoCA. It is in North Adams, MA. Amazing large space with large scale art. The above picture of John is in front of a Sol LeWitt painting. We saw the same exhibit years ago at the Tate and I have a blurry shot of myself in front of the same piece.


We spent 5 nights in Boston here. Our first Airbnb attempt brought us to this oh-so-darling studio in the Back Bay area. If you are going to Boston I can recommend both Pia and her chic studio.


The South End.


The North End. John is always good at the subway wherever we are. I am good at following John.


Sooooo many old cemeteries. Always so fascinating on so many levels. This is at Copley Square on the Freedom Trail.

I am finally embracing Instagram. If you want you can follow me. I post there as raekaiser.

More photos to come....


lake michigan circle tour, day 4, the last day


woke on day 4 in Luddington. This is the city where you can ferry across the lake if you want. It takes you over to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Since we had not seen any dunes yet we set out for Silver Lake. It is a state park so it was open. Pretty, windswept, deserted.

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About the time we were leaving Silver Lake it started to cloud up so we decided to drive on to Chicago.


We stopped at several roadside stands on the way and managed to squeeze some gourds and apples in the car. After dinner in Chicago with the kids and grand kids we drove on home. We had intended to take several more days to do this trip but it is a trip that needs some pretty Fall weather not rain. That gave us the weekend to regroup and John to get ready for his new job!

We have never done this kind of wandering type of trip before. And we enjoyed it a lot. If the weather had been better I would have enjoyed taking the two additional days so we could see more little towns and do a little shopping and eat in some interesting places. As it was we had two long days of driving. This does make me want to drive around Lake Superior next. And I do think Fall is a great time. After school starts so it is less crowded, but not so late that places are closed for the season.