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Summer Lovin'

Charleston, South Carolina, vacation

My husband, John, and I got off the plane in Milwaukee yesterday and we had to stop in the terminal so I could put my sweatshirt on. Fifty degrees is a little disappointing for June 2. This is particularly true when you've just spent 6 days in South Carolina trying your best not to look like a piece of bacon on the fry pan. Fifty degrees becomes even more frustrating after having spent the better part of six months wearing sweaters. I can never get warm enough in the winter. Plus, I have lots of cute sandals and capris being wasted in the back of my closet most of the year. I've been pulling them out to look at them since April. With a frown, I put them back in the closet because, even though the calendar says it's spring, Mother Nature has something else to say.

I'm not good with wool, snowflakes or insulated mittens (which, by the way, don't work). I've always loved sun, warm and ocean breezes. Every year when summer in Wisconsin seems to get shorter and shorter, I have looked to the east coast to solve my warm weather withdrawal. I have lived in and loved Wisconsin not because I chose it for myself, but because my ancestors chose it for me. That doesn't make Wisconsin wrong, just not quite right. My heart is in it, but not my soul. I've often heard the phrase, "Bloom where you are planted" but that doesn't mean you can never move the flower box.

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Donations of Appliances - Question

Hi All,

I have a great washer and dryer set on sale on various online sites.  If I don't sell them, I would like to know who I can donate them to so that a needy family or person receives them without having to purchase them in a thrift store.  I want the place that I donate them to to be sure to give them to someone versus putting them for sale in a store.  I want to donate them to an organization so that I also receive credit for the donation.

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Do things different...

"When I have kids I am going to do things different.  My kids are going to get everything I never had.  They are going to be raised feeling loved, special and most important, like the luckiest kids in the world.  Yep, I am going to do things different!"

How often has each one of us muttered those very words?  Maybe not those exact words, possibly something very similar?  

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I am not an Oprah fan, but I did watch her final episode on May 25. As you can imagine, it was filled with warm and fuzzy moments and warm and fuzzy proclamations from the apparently warm and fuzzy heart of Ms. Winfrey.
One thing she said really got me thinking to the one time I and three of my girlfriends came to a taping of her show. It was in 1991 or 1992 -- the day the Chicago Bulls won the first of three NBA championships (talk about a wild night on Rush Street -- but I digress!)
What Oprah said was: "If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: 'Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?"
I had to laugh when I heard that one. Oprah is, or at least was, a VERY different person when the cameras were not rolling. During the show we saw -- as soon as there was a commercial break --  Oprah was complaining about something. Her shoes were too tight, because she took them off early in the taping. She had some poor woman following her, trying to placate her by saying things like, "No, it's all right. It will be OK." We never did find out exactly what displeased Oprah, but it was constant.
Then when the taping was done, they announced that anyone who wanted to meet Oprah could form a line and she would greet them. This was offered to us -- no one asked Oprah to do this.
It was obvious that Oprah would rather be anywhere BUT on that stage greeting people. Her body faced the people and she shook hands, but her head was twisted around and she was making comments to the stage people. She wanted the audience gone as soon as possible.
One of my girlfriends decided to take the "Do you see me? Do you hear me?" business to heart. We noticed how Oprah was not paying attention to the people standing in front of her. Sue took the proffered hand of Oprah and did not release it until Oprah turned around to see who was keeping her hand hostage. Sue wanted Oprah to walk her talk and see us and hear us. Oprah was forced to make conversation, albeit briefly. She may never know it, but Oprah lost fans that day.
IN OTHER NEWS: "The King and I" rehearsals are underway. I hope everyone will want to spend some time with Mrs. Anna in Siam this summer. Show opens July 15!

Crash victim was riding motorized mountain bike

cycling, fatalities

 A 53-year-old man found dead in the parking lot of the Landmark Credit Union Sunday morning suffered severe head injuries when he crashed a motorized mountain bike, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s report.

Two passers-by found Gerald Faken straddling the handle bars of a Mongoose bike outfitted with a 36-volt electric motor. He apparently crashed into a cement wall in the parking lot, 9515 W. National Ave.

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Garden Sayings That are So True

garden, plants, yard, wisdom, blog

One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth. 

Give me the splendid, silent sun, with all his beams full dazzling.  

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What is Eating the Stems of My Tomato Plants?

tomato, stem, pest, garden, prevention

A few posts ago I talked about getting a planting bed ready for spring planting.  I took pictures of my own planting bed as we prepared it for growing tomatoes and peppers.  Our little seedlings have been happily growing since Memorial Day - until three days ago.  I went outside to check on my little plants because it's been so hot and I wanted to make sure they weren't wilting from the heat or lack of water.  But I became very upset when I saw that one of my tomato plants was bent over right where the stem comes out of the ground and was lying on the soil - yellow, wilted and very much on it's way to being dead.  We had been treating an ant hill right next to that plant, so I chalked it up to ant retaliation and figured we can spare one out of the 15 plants we had.  I thought the issue was closed at that point.  Not so...

This morning we checked the plants and two more were bent over and lying on the ground! This time the tops of the plants were still green - like they had been attacked within a few hours of our discovery.  There were clean cuts in the stem, like a bite had been taken out of them, but the offender hadn't bitten clean through. It was as if they were tasted, and the culprit moved on.  Now, I am familiar with all the regular reasons why tomato plants have problems - overwatering, too dry, various fungus, bacteria, insects, and even 4 legged varmits (see my previous posts on bunnies and squirrels).  I thought, this is either from an animal taking a bite and scampering away, or from overwatering.  I didn't think many animals liked the smell of tomato plants versus other more tasty choices nearby, and I didn't really think I overwatered.  I made sure that I only watered when the ground really was dry (not too dry, but not wet anymore either). Besides, all the other plants are healthy and thriving.

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Our Actions And How They Affect Others

 Imagine how pleasant life could be if each and everyone of us would THINK about how our actions affect others.  Considering the impact of our attitudes, words and decisions may help us to realize that even the smallest alteration could change the outcome or result of a situation.  We may not realize how we touch everyone we come in contact with on a daily basis - whether it be someone at work, in our family, while driving, while grocery shopping, etc.  

It starts with one action, one person, one day, one hour, one minute - it starts with each and everyone of us - whatever that action may be.

Common Sense

"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: 

-  Knowing when to come in out of the rain; 

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Of A Lifetime...

I will be the first to admit, Rod Stewart is my FAVORITE singer.  I admittedly freak out approximately a week or so prior to the event. The concert brings out my inner child. 

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Walmart pursues planned West Milwaukee supermarket-discount store

West Milwaukee, Retail

A Walmart combined supermarket and discount store is being proposed for a West Milwaukee site that now has a largely vacant strip retail center, and some industrial buildings.

The site is about a two blocks east of Miller Park Way, and north of W. Greenfield Ave.

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Sale of Paradise Theater building to church completed, repairs to begin

West Allis

The Paradise Theater building, in West Allis, has been sold to a church that is starting work to transform the former cinema into a sanctuary.

Paradise LLC has sold the 31,600-square-foot building, at 6217-6301 W. Greenfield Ave., to Epikos Church for $62,500, said Adam Matson, of NAI MLG Commercial, who represented Epikos.

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I have no idea what to expect

So I was happily minding my own business at work earlier this week, when I get an E-mail from my cousin (Side note; I am still not going to divulge names of friends and family, so go with me on this.  This cousin is one I'm reasonably close with, but with a first name - and I didn't remember her husband's last name - that made me first think "That damn SPAM filter missed one") with the subject line "It's Me".

I almost didn't open it.  And by 5:00 tonight, I may wish that I hadn't.

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West Allis Music in the Park

summer band concerts, polka, CAAD, concerts

Thursday night concerts at Vets' Park are back again thanks to the generosity of sponsors in the West Allis business community. Added to the schedule this year are five free, family-friendly concerts, hosted by Community Alliance Against Drugs (CAAD) and the West Allis Police Department. See flyer for details and schedule, or check the City website calendar for the most up to date information.

Are we headed to Hotlanta this summer?

So I teased you last Saturday with a promise that I'd let you know how my Family Feud tryout went, so I suppose that I shouldn’t make you wait another month or two for me to get around to it.

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Just one can make or break an individual within a matter of seconds.  

Case scenario: Let's say I begin a new job and befriend a girl named Suzie.  After a month or so, Suzie and I have a falling out.  We no longer speak for various reasons.  

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Kids are Authors Too!

Scholastic, Inc., Longfellow Elementary School

As a fellow writer, dreaming of landing my first book deal, I am proud of West Allis' own Longfellow Elementary School's second graders who will see their own book in print long before they hit middle school.

Margaret Wandsneider's second grade class has been entering the Scholastic, Inc. "Kids are Authors Too" contest for ten years. This time, they've come up with the winner.

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I want to begin by saying that I do not believe it is any of my business regarding what others choose to do in the privacy of their own home.  I do not have enough time in my life to worry about Tom, Sue or Larry or their significant other.

I recently delved into an area that few “straight” individuals choose to go. Some would call it the dark side, others not.  What ever floats your boat, here it goes.  I went to Pridefest.  I went for a few reasons.  One, I got in for free.  Two, I wanted a rarely touched subject to write about.  Three, I was able to talk with a few interesting individuals.  Last but not least, I wanted to address a few concerns with the entire community in general. 

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Start Your Engines...

Classic Car Show, Business Improvement District, Downotown West Allis

It’s that time of year again! The Downtown West Allis Business Improvement District has just released its 21st Classic Car Show Registration form! If you own a classic car and would like to show it off, be sure to go to our website and fill out a form! The 21st Annual Downtown West Allis Classic Car Show will be held on October 2, 2011 from 10 am to 3 pm. We are always looking for sponsors and volunteers to make the car show a truly successful event.  If interested, be sure to go to our website and shoot us an email or give us a call.

Independence Day Holiday Results in Altered Refuse and Recycling Collection

garbage collection, recycling collection, holiday

Reminders for residents during the holiday week of Independence Day:

*Our offices are closed and there will be no refuse or recycling collection on Monday, July 4.

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