Archive | Madison RSS feed for this section

Cheemavignettes is back after a long absence

12 Feb

I have been negligent in keeping up with my posts and I have no escuse. When I retired, I thought I would have all the time in the world to do what I have always wanted to do, that is write more. Now that I have the time I am busier than ever. A Place to Be, my passion come hobby, is flourishing. If you have not checked the site for some time, check it  now

i love social media as much as I believe that face to face conversation and dialogue is important. My beef with social media is with the number of sites I have to manage. I started with cheemavignettes as a blog to share my daily reflections, then came A place to Be, which requires regular updates on the site and its facebook page. In addition there is my personal FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other messaging applications on my iPhone. My challenge for this year is to become more efficient in social media management. My first challenge is to link cheemavignettes to my A Place to Be website.

How to Grow Blueberries

22 May

How to grow blueberries in Wisconsin

Eric Johnson spoke on Saturday May 17 at A Place to Be on “How to grow Blueberries in Wisconsin”. The presentation was not only informative on how to grow them but it was also educational for those health buffs out there.

When it comes to growing this nutritional shrub know that the soil PHshould be at 4.5. Also, this type of shrub needs acid soil to survive and Sulfur is important for the health and growth of the shrub. The sun is also very important for the Blueberry shrub. The more sun it has the better the harvest. Winter can cause havoc on this type of shrub for if the winter is long and the snow deep, bunnies and deer have a tendency to eat off the blueberry shrub, which in turn affects the harvest for the upcoming season.

On the health side, blueberries are known to reduce the chance of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. As far as taste is concerned the organic blueberries seem to taste better than non- organic. A half a cup a day is what is recommended for people but know that it is expensive.
For more information on “how to” go to: http://www.backyardberryplants

Please check for other upcoming events.

Snow and winter and family time in Madison

30 Nov

I know, i know, its been a long time since my last entry. But much has happened since October. A Place to Be is up and active. Check out the web site

I have organized quite a few discussions and events and the ideas and thoughts are evolving.  So far the Place received positive feedback from the community, but the concept is evolving so if the readers have any ideas after viewing the web site, please sent them on to

On a more personal note, my mother who will celebrate her 90th birthday in the US, arrives on December 10 in Madison, Wisconsin. My niece is her travelling companion to bring her across the Atlantic and my sister will take her back to her home in India.  We all are so thankful to her for being their for us during our lives.  I am so proud of her for travelling the distance to be with us in this very cold winter. For me she was my inspiration, my supporter. She guided me and pushed me to achieve what i have in life and be the person i am. Looking forward to having her with me for a few months. Snow and all. She is one brave lady.

a year of transition and starting a new enterprise

11 Oct

Last year in October i arrived in Madison knowing few people except friends of my spouse, Jeffrey Wright.  However, my many years working with the US Government, and moving from country to country, had given me the basic tools to move to a new place and ground myself and make friends. I had been doing this for most of my life as a foreign service officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  I am a walker. Having recently retired from USAID,  i had plenty of time to walk, so i walked and stopped in bushiness and started a conversation, about my life and theirs.  People, despite the social media age and  being on face book, twitter, and many other social interactive sites, did want to talk and converse.  SO, it gave me an idea, why not open a salon where people can come and have creative conversations and discuss issues. So after a year,  I have had tremendous support from so may people in Madison for the idea and I will soon open A Place to be (picture below) where we can have face to face substantive discussions and a dialogue in an environment that is much like our living room. Comfortable and warm and welcoming.  The web site will be up very soon. I except to open the place first week of November with the  a discussion by small business owners who are women and what they bring to our community and challenges they face as women business owners.

If you live in Madison, please drop by. If you don’t and were to visit, do stop by and enjoy some artifacts that we have collected from around the world and will be on display at A Place to Be.


Mothers Day

13 May

Mothers Day – a day to celebrate all mothers around the world. Mothers who give us courage to be who we are. We spent our mothers day at Jeffrey’s cabin in Columbia county in Madison near Portage with his sister and his niece. We ate, talked and of course had some drinks under the most bluest of blue skies. The air was crisp with a hint of cold, but not cold enough to be outdoors. We flew Jeffrey’s radio controlled quadrodder and when my turn came, it flew on and on, and we lost it.

wwoods.  IMG_1875 wwIMG_1873 IMG_1836 IMG_1831

Back again – my first two months in Madison

25 Nov

I have been negligence and have not shared my daily reflections or short impressions since October.  I have been busy. Busy learning about football which is a must for survival here. Football is serious business in the Midwest, if not in the whole country.  So i now know what is a “punt, pass, tackle, hike, hand- off and pocket.” Madison streets are quiet when the Badgers and Packers are playing.  But every TV screen is on.  There is celebrations and other times hearts are broken when the team loses.

I also learned about grass roots organization while working on the Obama campaign.   I was immensely impressed by the planning and the outreach effort of the local offices.  “No vote must be lost” was the motto.   Working with volunteers, talking to people about issues and engaging them to discuss what is most important to them, was rewarding as it was challenging.

After the elections, the holiday season is here.  I posted some pictures on face book of our get together with Jeff’s family and friends.   As we enjoyed so much of the delicious food and I was thankful for it and being together, I was also reminded of the others who find this holiday depressing as  they don’t have families to share it with, nor the  food.

Christmas is around the corner. Many houses have lights up and we plan to decorate the condo on Monday – so a blog will follow.  Meanwhile enjoy some more pictures of Madison and its surroundings.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Organizing for America – my post retirement passion

25 Sep

Organizing for America, the East side office in Madison has more work then any one person can manage. They have a strong team, made up of young staff but backed by not so young volunteers like myself. There is high energy and everyone works hard and passionately to get President Obama elected for the second term.  This is one organization, then there are others such as We the People, Wisconsin – such organizations and all the study centers in Madison makes this a very attractive place to live.

My friends said that transition to retirement will be hard, yes and no.  i am busy four to five hours each day with the OFA work, i continue to be conscious of my exercise routine, i have participated in the local museum scene and have spent time getting settled back into my home after three years.

i am doing very exciting stuff and am busy – very busy.  But if you ask me if i am grounded here, i have to say not yet.  But i am sure it will happen. I have not given up on photography and here are some pictures from the trip to the Museum, the OFA office, and some old buildings around State street which will not be around for much longer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Madison, Willy street fair

17 Sep

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2012 marks the 35th year of the Willy St. Fair. A fund raising event for the Common Wealth Development and the Wilmar Neighborhood Center (organizations to help communities). Its held around the second or third week of September each year. I was glad to be present for this year.  The day was beautiful, there were 8 music stands, lots of art and craft, food, music and of course bear – its Wisconsin after all – beer is essential food in addition to cheese and good ice cream.

First week in Madison

16 Sep

If you can not be in New York or Washington, Madison is the place for you.  Everyone wears  their politics in this town (t-shirts, banners, stickers, yard sale posters) what ever it takes, people are out there letting you know what they believe in.  In addition,  there is the art scene and the music scene, not to mention all the academic study centers.

If you have to live in Madison, Williamson street is the street to be.  The   neighborhood holds four festivals during the season, number of  restaurants, a coop, a theater and 20 minutes walks from the capital.

My first week here in pictures. Music festival, tennis, visit to the dacha and much more 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


%d bloggers like this: