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Good Medicine Gone Bad

Family, Healthcare, Personal

In January of 1990 I experienced a life-altering event.

I had a bad accident engaging in a seemingly fun winter sport -

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Watching the bad stuff

American Idol, Fluff, Hell's Kitchen

Watching really bad television is one of my former guilty pleasures.

I say former not because I've stopped watching. I've stopped feeling guilty. 

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The Rise and Fall of Sprawl

Conservation, Economics, Gas Pains

I'm told that the price of gasoline might hit $4 a gallon before too long.  Maybe even $7 a gallon.

What about the possibility of $10 a gallon gasoline?

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Who's your mother?

When I was 17 my dear friend Sheina Lerman yanked me aside after watching an interchange with my mother.

"Why are you doing that?" she demanded.

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Why I Stopped Watching TV News

Community, Things that bug me

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to see Lisa Ling speak as part of the Journal Sentinel’s Smart Talk Series at the Marcus Center. My season tickets to the series are an annual gift to myself. It’s a great excuse to create a girls’ night out with a friend – dinner, followed by an interesting talk by a prominent and/or successful woman. (I’ll explain later why this will be my last year as a subscriber.)

I’ve always been a fan of Lisa Ling. Her down-to-earth journalistic style is a far cry from the overly dramatic and sensationalistic methods used by other reporters. To me, she’s always seemed like someone you could sit down and talk to, without feeling intimidated.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Girlfriend, Just For Fun, Outdoors

Gardening season is almost upon us and I have the itch really bad.

I love to garden - so much so - I have cultivated what others have characterized as my Vast Garden

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Happy Mother's Day! - UPDATED

To all of the Moms.  Happy Mother's Day - you deserve it.

I will not be spending time with my Mom because she is in Michigan with my little sister who is in labor with her first child. It will be my 10th niece or nephew. UPDATE - I have a new niece born at 4am on May 11th.

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Deja rhubarb

County Grounds, Food

 Last weekend I hiked a couple miles through the county grounds, stalking the rhubarb that still grows, despite all odds, behind the Eschweiler buildings. It's a lot more difficult than it was when I wrote about it here in my first blog entry in June 2006:

I pick bouquets of rhubarb from the abandoned garden plots . . . Pies, cakes, breads and muffins ensue. The world is good when there is rhubarb pie in it.

And that’s how I discovered the disappearance of the tennis courts and emergence of silt fence markers across from Hansen Golf Course.

Bottom line, in case you don’t know, is that a huge retention pond shaped like a reproducing amoeba will cover the old county nursery--one of the prettiest places in the county—behind the tennis court area. You may not have seen it because walking there has been perhaps a tad illegal. . . 

How much has changed since then. The nursery is completely obliterated. I suppose traipsing is even more illegal now than it was then. Plastic fences in trash-bag black and orange mesh have been strung along the silt fence markers. And the roads have been dug out, their entries chained, to make it hard for the scavengers in SUVs to poach wild asparagus and domestic rhubarb. It all  seems a little extreme. 

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Googlegänger

Gas Pains, Just For Fun, Personal, Strange But True

Did you ever Google yourself?

You know - plugging your name into Google and searching to see what you get.

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The Crazy Things Those Tosa College Kids Do

Fun, Kids, Personal, Tosans

So...I know this college kid from Tosa. And he’s doing a project this summer. No, he’s not painting the house or fixing a car. He’s creating a musical.

 

That’s right. I said a musical. And to do it, he’s writing and recording one song a day for 40 days. He wants you to come along on this tuneful journey. Bookmark his website and get a front row seat to this local creation. You can comment or maybe even give him some ideas. I’m in…are you?

 

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Dinner at the Mekong Cafe

Food

Friends Susan, Steph and I decided to skip McBob's fish fry during our latest Friday Night on North venture. McBob 's has been shaky in the fish quality control department since they expanded. Besides, we now have the chance to dine on "one magical river (with) three enchanted cuisines." The Mekong Cafe at 5930 W. North Avenue features food from Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Food maven Willard Romantini always tells me not to eat at a restaurant during the first three months, but in this location, if you wait that long the business might have vanished.

This one's a keeper. Despite being new and still under redecoration, the place is pleasant, our service was charming, and the food was good even before the owners have worked out the inevitable kinks in restaurant start-up. What a great addition to the Almost-Tosa restaurant scene!

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Kiss Your Ash Goodbye?

Conservation, Forestry, Public Policy

By now you've heard about the Emerald Ash Borer - EAB for short.

EAB is a non-native insect - an exotic Asian gift courtesy of global commerce that likely traveled stateside in a wooden packing crate.

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Homeless

This Blog was written by my daughter.  We have been volunteering at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission serving meals to the homeless.  She wrote this as a homework assignment (a letter to the editor format) about what was important to them.. The only editing that I did was take out her name.

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Food frugality

Food

Tosan Nancy Stohs, food editor at the Journal Sentinel, recently published food shopping tips from a financial counselor. And a good idea, now that food is going the way of gasoline, price-wise.

I can't match the financial counselor's $3 dinner/day/person . (And to tell you the truth, I don't believe she does it, either). But I'm getting better. I’m experimenting with my own approach, the $1.99 rule. Don’t buy anything that costs more than $1.99 a pound at the grocery store.

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Nest Box Update - Updated Update

Conservation, Just For Fun, Outdoors

EDIT - Added a couple of addittional pictures. 

This past winter I was busy building nest boxes for my feathered friends so I figured I should share with you what's happening with my subsidized housing tenants.

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Vliet Street Border Eats

Restaurants

“Uh oh. I sense a new blogpost coming,” said my husband during a recent dinner out.

 

And although I denied it as we were dining at Tazza Pizzeria – Pizza at the Cup, I couldn’t help but consider the possibility. And so, here I am, writing about Tazzo and another “nearly” Tosa dining spot.

 

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Memorial Day is about remembering our better nature

Memorial Day

The terribleness and grandeur of young people going off in waves to fight is the stuff myths are made of. No wonder the rhetoric of war is timeless and nonspecific. No wonder each war seems to blend into the ones before and the ones after.

Today's speech may have been President Bush's best Memorial Day speech yet. He remembered that the day was not about a particular political agenda but about something bigger.

The names of these honored are known only to the Creator who delivered them home from the anguish of war -- but their valor is known to us all. It's the same valor that endured the stinging cold of Valley Forge. It is the same valor that planted the proud colors of a great nation on a mountaintop on Iwo Jima. It is the same valor that charged fearlessly through the assault of enemy fire from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. It is the valor that has defined the armed forces of the United States of America throughout our history.

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Voting with your genes

Politics

Maybe you thought people turned out to vote because they were passionate about a candidate.  Or made rational decisions to vote regularly because their civics teachers convinced them that's what good citizens do. Or their parents trained them to vote.

Turns out your parents have something to do with it, but not because of the way they reared you.

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Come party this Weekend!! - UPDATE

It is the annual "Corn Roast" at Club Tap this weekend

There will be music, food and fun!!

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Can Tosa seize a great opportunity?

city development, Wauwatosa

I just bought my own home for more than it's worth, and I'm not too upset about it.

How did that happen? About two days after I'd closed on my mortgage refinance, the city's reassessment came through. I'd requested a new tax assessment, knowing that I couldn't possibly sell the house for what the city thought it was worth. The assessor's office responded promptly, without fuss, and the new assessment came it at just about what I'd thought it  should -- some $40,000 less than the previous assessment and the real estate appraisal.

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