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West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

Down and Out

Brewers, Packers, Sports

Man, what a bummer. We Wisconsinites have just experienced the ultimate trifecta of sports downers – losses by the Badgers, Packers and, of course, the playoff loss by the Brewers. And, to add insult to injury, our local marathon was won by a guy from Illinois. Nothing like kicking us while we’re down.


Here in our household, we had the good (or bad) fortune to experience two of these maudlin moments – I was at the Brewer game Sunday with a friend and my husband was at the Packer game. Thanks to the wonders of text messaging, we were able to have a digital conversation that went something like this:


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Mayfair Turns 50

Mayfair, Reminiscing, Tosa Business, Tosa Landmarks

What’s the secret to a successful mall? It’s simple – change or die.


When I first moved to Milwaukee, my husband and I lived just off of Brown Deer Road near Northridge Mall. Back then, 25 years ago, Northridge was THE mall. Everything in and around Northridge was thriving. We’d spend hours wandering the aisles of Northridge, window-shopping and just hanging out.


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Keep Halloween on Halloween!

Halloween, Things that bug me

I need to vent. This is driving me NUTS. I think I’ve blogged about this at least once, no, actually twice! I would like to propose that we take back Halloween and put it back on October 31st!


On the front page of, you will see this notice:

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Take a hike...around Swan Lake

Fun, Nature, Tosa Landmarks

My friend Sue is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. So when I received an e-mail this past weekend with the subject line "Take a hike!," I figured that I must have blown it...big time. I really should have returned her call sooner. Turns out, Sue was just giving me a great suggestion for a fall excursion. Literally, she was telling me that I should take a hike!

Election Burnout and a Voter Gone Rogue

Politics, Things that bug me

I don’t know about you, but I have reached the burnout stage of this election. If I never hear another commercial with the tagline: “I’m _______ and I approve this message,” then life would be pretty good.


There’s an excellent chance that I’m preaching to the choir here, right? And yet, somewhere, in some “war room,” there’s a strategist saying: “We need to make more robo calls!”


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