One-Way Market

On my trip to Madison last weekend, I went to the Dane County Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. It is a four-block affair that rims the capital building.  You can enter the market from any of the incoming streets but my friends explained early on that you can only go one way at the market.

As we were there pretty early (6:30 a.m.) and it wasn’t very crowded I didn’t understand the rule about one-way. And it’s not a posted rule either, so that made me want to turn and go the other way very badly.

But after about an hour of very leisurely looking, tasting and shopping, it had gotten very crowded; that’s when I realized the intelligence of the one-way rule. At that point it would have been very awkward (and inefficient) to try to go against the crowd.  My friends told me that in another hour, it would be even worse!

It was a great market – all local folks, no re-sellers. I ended up with a purple cauliflower, a chili-cheese bread, a little tiny apple pie, cherry tomatoes that taste out of this world, squeaky cheese curds, another cheese w/ Kalamata olives and some multi-colored potatoes.  A real score!

When have you gone against the grain?

52 thoughts on “One-Way Market”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I went against the grain in choosing a profession. I come from a family of teachers and farmers with an occasional minister sprinkled in. Becoming a clinical social worker and psychotherapist just scared my mother. She interpreted my choice as an act of rebellion. I did not want to become a farmer by marriage, and I was not cut out to be a teacher.

    I am off to Iowa to visit her today and tomorrow.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m also and LICSW. Your mother’s disapproval reminded me of a call from my hostile neighbors shortly after moving into the cottage. His words; “I’m calling the city on you because you can’t have a business in your home doing seances!!”

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I install flooring of many types including rolls of carpet. Machine produced carpet comes in various widths. Twelve feet wide is a typical size. The roll length can vary greatly depending on how much material is ordered and the practical aspect of weight limitations. On most projects, cuts are made from the large roll and re-rolled. It’s a matter of making little twelve foot wide rolls out of a
    bigger one. Now comes the logistical challenge of getting the smaller ones positioned in the areas to be covered. This process can be a real problem if the carpet must be moved to upper floors. I was taught to do this with a partner by crushing the roll in the center, pushing up both ends to form a “V” shape, bear hugging the piece and hauling it in. These words do not do justice to the physical effort it often took to do the job. I’m certain my bad back is a direct result of this horrible work. After years of watching others perform the same feats of strength and suffering for it, I had an epiphany. Why not go against the grain and fold the carpet the LONG way?! Doing this makes the carpet into a burrito shape which can often fit on a two wheeled cart. I have positioned carpet weighing hundreds of pounds by myself so many times that one of my employers dubbed me “Burrito Man”. There is no way that this method of moving carpet was original with me. I’m not that old. But I learned that many of my peers suffer from aversion to going against the grain i.e.. “we’ve always done it this way”. For example, I was working with a crew of a dozen flooring installers. The project was the four corridors of a square factory building two hundred feet on each side and eleven feet wide. The boss, job superintendent and most of the workers determined that eleven foot cuts would be made meaning ten seams down each corridor. I thought otherwise and convinced the second in command to go against the grain and roll the carpet the LONG way, not folded but snake shaped. There was lot of grumbling as we cleaned up and adjacent parking lot, rolled out one of four huge rolls and made my snake. The whole crew spread out, and, on count, shouldered the piece. We walked it into the hallway with ease. Repeating the procedure, made for four seams instead of forty. Going against the grain can be practical.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I just saw a picture of some men cutting new carpet for the White House, but doing it outside on the driveway. It surprised me they’d be doing that outside, but I suppose that’s the easiest way to do it if there’s not much room indoors…

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  3. We had a landlord in Winnipeg who was a ceramic tile installer. He was an immigrant from southern Italy. Emilio never allowed anyone to watch him when he installed tile because he had a “secret” installation method that was really fast and efficient and he wanted to be the only one who could do it.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. In small towns in the 1940s some women were so competitive about their reputations that they had secret recipes for some popular recipes. I think my grandmother protected some secret recipes, especially her signature dish (chicken and homemade noodles).

        I heard of a man who protected his recipe for chili. He admitted he had a secret ingredient, but kept it secret for decades. Relatives cleaning out his home after his death discovered large numbers of empty jars for grape jelly.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My secret ingredient for the spaghetti sauce Dad loved was a teaspoon of sugar in Ragu. I’ve gotten away with this kind of thing before with a large can of baked beans. I just toss in some brown sugar and people think I’ve made them from scratch!

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      2. I have worked in Rome on tile. His “secret” is in the base material that allows movement of the finished material. Cuts are all the same if done precisely. The ancient Romans used setting materials that incorporate volcanic ash and sea salt. Manitoba has none of that. This artisan may have come up with a formula for mimicing that. I would love to learn it.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. cultural training. in italy especially southern italy (home of the dirt people) they never hire anyone because to hire a person is to commit to them for the rest of their life. as soon as someone in southern italy gets hired they stop working and can not be fired. it is the reason italy loves robots and machine driven apps

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  4. My mom’s brother, my godfather, wasn’t so sure about my plan to be a psychologist, and thought I had better be a parish worker instead. He was a kind man, and devout Missouri synod Lutheran, and the concept of women in graduate school was alien to him. In his mind I was going against the grain.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve told here about revamping the schedule when I taught at St. Anne’s of the Sunset. I was surprised the principal let me do it, but I think in retrospect she was an “against the grain” person in her own way, as was the other kdgn. teacher who was up for the changes.

    When selling books at Bookstore of Edina (late 80s), I wanted more books of a thought-provoking nature. It was sort of a joke that I was always selling (and re-ordering) Shakti Gawain’s Living in the Light. When I had the chance to set up shop on my own, I grabbed it. This in the hair salon of my good friend, and I worked 3 days a week as her receptionist in trade for one wall of books. It was in a gorgeous old building with the high ceilings – great setting, but people were surprised to come for a haircut and find books for sale.

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  6. It’s interesting when you get an impression of yourself fed back to you second or third hand.

    I was taking a class at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and I remarked to someone, when asked about the class, that the instructor seemed a little unprepared when it came to explaining her process, so I had gone ahead and figured out my own way.

    He laughed and said,”I’ve heard that you do a good job but you never do it the way you’re told to do it.”

    That’s about right, since my normal response is not to take anyone’s word for anything unless it makes logical sense to me, but the person making the remark would not have had any opportunity to have drawn that conclusion directly, nor would the person he likely heard it from. The remark probably came from the brother of the person he heard it from, who I actually worked with.

    I can’t imagine why that characterization would have been compelling or remarkable enough to pass along a three-person chain.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My family on my father’s side has a long history of fighting for the US in military conflicts. Grooms men fought in the Civil War, WW1 and WW2. Most notably, my father served in WW2 (regretting it for the rest of his life).

    I went against the grain of family history by opposing the war in Vietnam. That began when I concluded that the “attack” on US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1963 was bogus (which was a radical position to hold then). I hated the war and discredited all the official news about it for 11 years.

    My rejection of the war and the rationale for it was a minority opinion for most of those 11 years. Public opinion began turning against the war after the Tet Offensive attacks in 1968, but the war continued to be supported by much of the public for many more years.

    It didn’t hurt me personally to oppose the war when it was popular, but my rejection of the war became the only major conflict I experienced with my father. In spite of how close he and I were all my life, my dad was appalled by my refusal to support that war. Even when the US pulled its troops out of Saigon and most Americans considered the war a mistake I think my dad continued to be hurt by my rejection of the war.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for that reflection on Vietnam. I submitted paperwork to the draft board asking for CO status. I have reason to believe they had never had to deal with such a request. They were likely as relieved as I was that my lottery number was 275 (numbers 1 to 110 were taken). I was fully prepared for jail.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. My mother was in love of Canada. Had I been drafted, she had it all arranganged for me to land in Manitoba with relatives. I never had to make that choice but I believe the federal penn in Levinworth was my destination.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I had the conscientious objector application papers in hand but it appeared that if you didn’t come from a religious tradition that opposed war on principal or you had a personal mentor that inculcated pacificism, there was no way the board was going to grant your request. It wasn’t acceptible that you had personally arrived-at principles and it certainly wasn’t permitted that you could be opposed to that specific war. I actually got to the draft physical stage. Fortunately, in a manner of speaking, I had a documented condition that was sufficient to yield me a 1-Y status, which meant I was draftable, but only after they had taken all the 1-As. When the lottery came along, my number was 315, so matte rwas settled for good.
        There was a time, though, where I was debating whether Canada or jail was my better option.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My mother told me that my mantra as a very young child was “do it myself!” This included most everything. If she dressed me, I would strip and re-dress myself. She wisely gave up the battle.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Every time I go to IKEA I seem to be fighting the crowd.
    And I frequently go in the out door at Menards. It makes my wife a little bit crazy that I don’t like to follow rules. 🙂

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  10. OT: I haven’t been on TB for a while because I’m nursing a 14-year old cat who’s dying. Peanut. He was a road rescue who was only 3 weeks old when I found him and was such a survivor that he immediately was eating dry kitten kibbles rather than having to be bottle fed until he was 6 weeks old. Since the day I got him, he’s slept on me every night of his life. We’re like velcro together.

    Six months ago, he became wobbly and skinnier, so I had a full lab panel done: $430. Five months ago, he looked even more frail, so I had a feline ultra sound done: $550. Both were negative. Three weeks ago, he had minor surgery to remove what looked like a cyst but was soon found to be cancer: $670. Since then, his breathing has gradually risen to four times the respirations per minute a cat’s supposed to have. Back to the vet again where I was told that I could take him to the U of MN for a PET or CAT scan for only $3000. How ironic: PET CAT?

    I’ve given up on spending a small fortune to keep a 14-year old cat going, especially since all tests turned out negative until two weeks ago. The vet doesn’t know what’s wrong, but suspects that there are microscopic cancer cells in his lungs causing the rapid breathing. His appetite’s waning and he’s isolating. I imagine that if he could talk, he’d be saying, “Mama, I’m so sick and it’s really hard to breath. Please do something”.

    One day this week, I’ll be saying goodbye to my dear old Peanut. I’ve been owned by 17 cats in the last 25 years, and never had one live beyond 14. Now, I’m too old to get another one because he/she would likely outlive me. I suppose I could get a used geriatric cat, but I think I’ve passed a point in which I’m open to loving, bonding, and losing one more fur person. I’m heartbroken.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Wes. A 90 year old friend of mine, promptly got a “used” cat when her old cat died. They were together four years before my friend went into a nursing home and we had to find a new home for her cat. She would have been so lonely without her furry friend.

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  11. So sorry, CB. Oue oldest cat, also named Peanut, is 13 and has upper GI bleeding the vet believes is an ulcer. We have been shooting a surfactant down her throat with a syringe to coat her stomach. She is pretty lively despite it all. I suspect her time is limited, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vs, I’ve seen but never bought a purple cauliflower. Does it retain it’s color when cooked? The purple beans I’ve bought turn green.

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    1. Hey PJ, I was actually expecting the cauliflower to get lighter or fade completely out but it actually got a little darker when I cooked it. And with my eyes closed I couldn’t tell the difference between the taste of that and a white cauliflower although since everything in that dish was fresh tasted really really good.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think that chilli-cheese bread is the best bread you can eat in this world (specally when it is warm). I am so sad I can’t eat it anymore (gluten free diet), but it made me happy other can lol. By the way, I didn’t hear about the rule, but it’s as you mention, one way or you get stuck lol.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mary welcome to the trail! I’m sorry you can’t eat the chili cheese bread anymore either cuz it was wonderful. There was I believe a gluten-free section – one of the vendors had gluten-free lots of stuff I don’t remember which side of the Capitol it was on though.

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        1. This is Renee’s husband Chris. When I was 17 I read Self-Reliance and several other essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson said, “He who is a man must be a nonconformist.” I have gone against the grain ever since Too late to change now.

          Liked by 3 people

  14. With most things, I go with the flow, and I usually obey rules, unlike husband who, for instance, sees a “No Trespassing” sign as an invitation to explore. But because I have always had an independent streak, I tend to march to my own drummer. Not really rebelling, just not paying too much attention to what my peers are doing and what may be expected of me. I’m not sure I could tell you which way would be going against the grain.

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