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Husky will melt away winter blues...


Charmed by Stormy’s radiant amber eyes? Captivated by Stormy’s black and white coat? It's hard to pass by his suite without noticing this striking, handsome dog. His personality, however, is what will warm your heart. Stormy’s warm demeanor will melt away any winter blues. This handsome gentleman would be just right for curling up on the couch after a day of playing in the snow.

Stormy is an intelligent six-year-old Siberian Husky. This well-behaved male is partial to belly rubs and plenty of chin scratches, especially after some time outdoors. He would do great with someone who regularly exercises and truly enjoys bonding over a game of fetch. Huskies are great jogging companions and Stormy is no exception, especially considering how wonderfully he walks on a leash. 

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There's Always Room in Your Heart for One More

My husband gave me an early Christmas present and now instead of two cats, we have three.  I've always wanted three cats...I don't really know why.  Three just seems like the perfect number for anything from decorating your home to how many children you plan to have.  Three adds a level of interest not attainable by one or two.  Maybe it's just me...

Anyway, Emma came into our lives from the PetsMart by Brookfield Square Mall.  Having two cats already, we frequent all the pet stores in a 20 miles radius of our home.  I particularly enjoy PetsMart because of the cats up for adoption, provided by Elmbrook Humane Society, right in the store.  Everytime we go to PetsMart, we will always find our way back to the cats so we can take a look and scratch lightly on the glass to get their attention.  Emma woke right up and started playing with us through the glass.

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PBA Finals - The Ken Simard Story

Bowling, PBA Tour, Television

(All photos courtesy of www.anokijig.com

As many/most/all of you know by now, Wes Malott defeated Ken Simard 216 - 211 to win the $25,000 first prize and a pat on the back in the CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship this past Sunday at Brunswick Zone Hawthorne Lanes in Vernon Hills, IL (I still say that this would be easier to remember and say.  Or this.)

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"Hansel and Gretel"

Introduce your young children to the theater this weekend with our Children's Series season opener "Hansel and Gretel." This Brothers Grimm fairy tale will be performed by Wauwatosa Teen Troupe.
 
Our Children's Series shows are a set of live performances scaled down to just one hour -- long enough to be able to tell the story and short enough to keep the attention span of our young audience members.
 
This is really a wonderful way to expose tiny tykes to the magic of live theater. Tickets are only $3. These shows are at 2 p.m. at Nathan Hale High School, 11601 West Lincoln Avenue. There is plenty of free parking in the school parking lot.
 

Bring Hope to Animals


The Wisconsin Humane Society will be shining brightly this holiday season with more than 5,000 holiday lights in honor of homeless animals on Sunday, December 7.  The Hope’s Lights Celebration will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Wisconsin Humane Society, 4500 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. 

In addition to the building and grounds being brilliantly illuminated with lights, the celebration will include activities such as programs featuring tours of WHS and appearances by several furry and featured guests. Sign up online.

CHRISTMAS PART ONE

Hello everyone and of course, Happy Holidays....  I would have said Merry Christmas, but of course, I am trying to cover everyone and their beliefs as well.  

I wanted to make these posts more of an open forum.  Get everyone's opinions, so to speak.  The first topic of the season which is so important is SAFETY.

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Poco the Puppy


Looking for a puppy, like Poco? He'll melt away your winter blues, keep you fit all year round and brighten up every morning with exuberant kisses.  It's a joy to raise a puppy into a happy adult and there is no better time to adopt than right now!  Poco, an 8-week-old Labrador Retriever mix, is among many other puppies hoping to find homes for the holidays.

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Wonderful WeEnergies Strikes Again

CUB, Energy prices, Public service, WE Energies, We Energies budget plans, WeEnergies

 I've been wanting to get this out now for a few days. But, first I had to calm myself so that I could write reasonably. In last Friday's Journal Sentinal there was a rather small article in the business section about WeEnergies dividends being raised. I'm quite sure this news didn't make any of the news programs on local television either or there would have been an outcry.

In the wake of lower sales of electricity to big business by about 6% WeEnergies Corp.made an announcement that their earnings would be below what had been projected. The article goes on to say that this was a "decline comparable to the recession of the early 1980's". Mr Gale Klappa, chairman and CEO of WeEnergies reiterated that statement.  "Under an updated forecast, the utility is  projecting electricity sales to large businesses and factories to decline by 6% in 2009 from this year". Another WeEnergies spokesman, Brian Manthey also commented that these slowdowns were "seen across the board from a variety of industries". The article goes on telling about how they dropped their dividends by 50% back in 2000 so that they could "advance their plant-building program". So much for their self sacrifice and self pity party.

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Move over, Lassie. Here comes Marley!

Move over, Lassie! Here comes Marley!

On Saturday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14, all shelter guests will have a chance to spin the wheel and win either a free Marley & Me poster or movie pass for a special screening at Mayfair Mall on Thursday, December 18. Stop by this weekend to see adoptable animals, visit Wally’s Workbench, or pick up holiday gifts from Animal Antics. The Wisconsin Humane Society finds homes for 9,000 animals every year and we’re hoping to find homes for many great companions this holiday season.

CHRISTMAS PART TWO: GIFTS

Hello everyone, and once again, Happy Holidays!

I believe although the economy is in a slump, most of us still feel the "pull" to purchase Christmas gifts for everyone on our list.  We spend days, hours and minutes, even facing horrible weather conditions, to complete our shopping.  I mean, what kind of a guy or girl would forget Grandma, Grandpa, mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, first cousins, second cousins, stepmoms, stepdads and Fido?  All joking aside, ever since I became a single parent years ago, I made it very clear to my friends and family.  No gifts for me, the kids, yes, but me, no.  A Christmas card is great, but the most important gift is the relationship itself.  If I need or want something, I will eventually buy it.  

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A guest blog from Mitten

James family

(Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Son, Mitten, currently is a junior at Rufus King HS, an International Baccalaureate (a fancy way of saying "damn good") school in Milwaukee.  He noticed that I had a two-week writers block, and offered to fill my shoes (though 16 years old, he is already three shoe sizes bigger than mine, so my shoes are actually tough for him to fill).

Disclaimer - I love my son to death, but I don't necessarily agree with him.  Every time I think I've got him reeled into the right side, the school system keeps pulling him back.  I just hope Stretch Armstrong doesn't develop a leak.

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WHS offers expanded adoption hours

Hundreds of animals are up for adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society, so we’ve expanded hours to include a Monday in December, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  This time of year, the shelter is eager to place animals in homes for the holiday season and even offers a “Gift of Companionship” program.

Contrary to popular belief, research shows that people who receive a companion animal as a gift make great guardians. Animals are no more or less likely to be returned than animals adopted by the guardians themselves.  Gift adoptions include the companion animal and a $25 certificate redeemable within two weeks after the gift giving date at Animal Antics, the retail store located within WHS. Those interested in gift adoptions must provide specific information about the recipient so counselors can match all personalities involved.  WHS also follows up with adopters and continues to provide support and assistance to ensure a happy match.

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A cobbled together semi-rant

Bowling, Fantasy Football, Injuries, Las Vegas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Wave, My-Sugar-Na, Religion, Television, US Cellular Arena, Vacation, West Allis, Xtreme Soccer League

1)  When you are driving on the freeway in the snow and the rest of the traffic is going 45 MPH, then YOU should go 45 MPH or else get off the freeway.  If you are afraid to maintain freeway speeds in the snow, park the car in the garage and take the bus.  Along those lines, JS Online had a poll question that asked what annoys people most after a snowfall, fast drivers or slow drivers.  It was a dumb question, it should have asked "which drivers are more dangerous in the snow, fast drivers or slow drivers?"  Slow drivers are far more dangerous because everyone is trying to go around them causing cars to slide while switching lanes, and causing the pokey drivers to panic and drive even slower.  I was behind a car with an easy to memorize vanity plate.  I won't call out her car here, but if I ever get stuck behind her and find that she is soley causing a traffic disaster on I-894 southbound between the Zoo and the Hale again, I will identify her.

2)  Companies (and the one I work for is one of them) have this nice touchy-feeley line in the employee manual that says that it is important to strike a balance between work and family, and that we give you X-number of vacation days (based on tenure).  Then around Thanksgiving, they send the ominous "Use 'em or lose 'em" memo.  If they were so concerned about my balance, they wouldn't have had a problem with me carrying three days into next year... but I digress.  I had three vacation days to burn in December and took the three Mondays off.  Other than shovel snow and make dinner, I did nothing constructive on those days.  Great for balence, eh?

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GRAND FINALE!!!

Oh, how fast the season approaches regarding Christmas time.  Do you recall your last holiday season?  Are you similar to myself regarding gifts?  The last minute type of shopper?  The promise that you will shop earlier next year, possibly even beginning in January?  Although the intention is usually there, I know for a fact that each and every year will be the same.  Not even a New Years resolution could help with this one...

Yet, this season, especially regarding the economy, may be very different.  I know for me it is.  Having been downsized has certainly changed my plans.  Life as we know it changed last September and being in the mortgage industry, well, let's just say it hasn't gotten much better.  Fortunately, I have very little debt, but even shopping for food has changed in a way.   I am blessed to say that my children are old enough to understand, which is half the battle.  They know that we had to cut back on certain entertainment items, but it has definitely brought us closer as a family. 

Believe it or not, I have made it a point to have a certain discussion with my children a couple of times a year.  Given the fact we are very close, it is fairly easy for me to open up and begin this without needing distractions of any sort.  I consider it a gift.  Not only to them, but to myself as well.  It's a sort of "home improvement" without the interest rate.  I am hoping the example I am going to present will be a sort of gift for your family.  In lieu of presents, feel free to make this the most important one of all.

The one question I ask my children is, "What can I do to improve our family?"  Another way to put it is, "Is there anything I am doing to push you away from me, or cause you to not trust me?"  

I think most of us as parents believe we are doing our best, and I believe we are.  Whatever works for you as a mom or dad means that you are either getting positive results or your children are for the most part behaving themselves.  Although I may not disagree with other parenting styles, it is really not my business.  Therefore, I usually keep my opinions to myself, unless you ask of course! 

Yet, how often do we ever consider our way may not be the best way for everyone living in our home?  I mean, I know as a mom what I would like for my family.  I know that I want my daughters to do what is morally correct.  I would like to see them get through high school unscathed.  I try my best to listen and sometimes bite my tongue regarding the behavior of some of their friends.  I think I am doing a pretty good job and so far, my kids do as well.

I have to admit, ever since they were very young I have always discussed sex within marriage.  Over time, as they got older, I became maybe a bit over-zealous.  I wanted to ensure they were hearing what I said and hopefully would not stray from our original beliefs.  I already had the drugs and alcohol discussion down to a tee, so I was not worried so much about that.  Yet, it is has been quite the experience when I have posed the above questions to my own daughters. Believe it or not, my daughters honestly told me that I no longer had to talk about sex as much.  They said "they got it" and if they had questions, they would ask me.  Since then, I have pretty much backed off and respected their request.

Another couple of requests my daughters brought to my attention were mostly regarding personal space, our time together and they believed in the past I "talked on the phone too much."  I had to remind them that as much as they need their friends, I need mine as well.  I do believe that at times they may be jealous that someone else is getting my attention.  Oh yes, they also stated that when I am writing my articles on the computer I completely zone out.  No matter what, when I am reading or writing, it's true, I do zone out.  I gently reminded the girls that if they want my attention, to please walk up and pat me on the arm. 

I think the greatest gift I have given to my children is the fact they can trust me.  They know that they have a voice in our home.  They believe 100% that no matter what, I still love them.  I accept them as they are and believe in them.  They know their voice matters and is heard.  They believe I will do everything in my power to ensure our home is a safe place. 

I believe the greatest gifts we can give to our loved ones this holiday season is to re-establish our relationships and vow to put 110% into each and every one of them.  The most important part of revising a relationship is to realize that it takes one person to begin the process, YOU!  Ask your children and your spouse two questions.  "What draws you towards me and what causes you to run away from me?"  Make a list of what you love most about one another.  It is so easy to point fingers and tell others what they have done wrong or what you would like to see them doing different.  Remember, it is very important to be open and listen during this process.  Sometimes what our loved ones wish for us to change may be a hard pill to swallow.  No-one is perfect, nope, not even me!  Each new day gives us the opportunity to become new and improved. 

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.   

Dear Santa, help Chi Chi get better!


Chi Chi is hoping that 2009 is a better year. When she was brought to WHS, she looked so sad. She had great trouble walking due to a problem with her kneecaps and her family left her at WHS in hopes that we could return her to good health and better spirits.

Chi Chi, a 6-year-old Dachshund, was given a full medical exam upon her arrival and we discovered that she had heartworm disease. For many weeks, she needs to remain inactive as her system expells the worms.  Exertion can cause the dead worms to dislodge, pass to the lungs and cause respiratory failure or even death.  Without the discovery of Chi Chi's heartworm disease, she would have surely died at a very young age.

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Could "A Christmas Story" be remade succussfully?

Nostalga, Television

I am one of those who will watch A Christmas Story marathon on TBS more than once today.   Watching it last night while I wrapped presents got me thinking about the process of making that movie.  When it was on a few weeks ago, I did some internetting and read all about the movie on Wikipedia, IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.  Without spending too much of my Christmas morning recapping those three websites, the point I want to address is that the movie was set in a floating period of 1939 through 1942 (it was intentionally not specific) in a made up city that really was Hammond, IN (a Chicago suburb).  The movie was released in 1983 - 25 years ago... and set 40 years earlier

Let's say there was no movie made in 1983 that pretended to be 1940.  Could any filmmaker do this movie in 2008 in the period of about 40 years earlier?  I don't think there would be any chance.

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Thank you!

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2008 and hello 2009, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you readers out there.  Thank you to all of you who surf over to the NOW sites and take time out of your busy lives to read our opinions, gripes, and ideas.  Thank you as well to those who comment regularly on our blogs to share your own ideas and opinions.  Without all of you, there wouldn't be any need for us. 

We've become a little bit more of a community through these blogs.  There are some of your logins I recognize and I KNOW I want to read your comments because I know they will give me a chuckle or cause a little scuffle.  I feel like I know some of you (even though we've never met).  I hope all the regulars stay with us in 2009 -- and I hope we have more folks join in.

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Greenfield Avenue - A Hub of Dining, Shopping and Entertainment

Bunker's, Burlington Coat Factory, Crawdaddy's, Greenfield Ave, Hong Thai, Steak House 100, Tomasine Italia

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NEW YEARS IDEAS

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday.   I know this year has been tough for alot of people, myself included.  So many have lost their jobs yet would still like to celebrate New Years. 

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ADOPTED! Larry the lovebug


Larry always turns heads when people first meet him!  It's impossible to miss his distinctive patch of caramel-colored fur surrounding his cute little mouth. Did you notice his blue front paws, too? He's donning Softclaws, little plastic claw covers that protect furniture from cat scratches. We chose Larry to model Softclaws simply because he is a very affectionate, patient cat. Larry loves all the attention he can get.  

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