Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


Tattle Tales

This may come as a shock to the folks who think of me as a sweet old lady who spends her days cleaning, sewing, and tapping on a keyboard, but I spent more than my share of time in timeout as a kid.

That’s not to say, I passed many hours sitting on a bench waiting for a game or sporting match to resume play. This was not the kind of timeout designed to give a team of players a chance to strategize, or to provide coaches the opportunity to verbally abuse the officials without missing any of the action on the field. This kind of timeout was designed to be punitive. Like a penalty box in hockey. Only without the giant scoreboard on the wall at the far end of the room.

We didn’t call it timeout back then, of course. To be clear, we were already calling automobiles “cars” instead of “tin Lizzies” by the time I was born. We also had color TV—well, WE didn’t—but some people did. In other words, it had been invented.

I mention these things to give you context more than anything else. To give you an idea of how far back it was so you don’t think the concept of timeout is something that Supernanny Joanne Frost invented at the turn of this century.

The practice is believed to date back to nearly ancient times. In the 20th century, according to the more colorful pages of the average Sunday newspaper, children were sent to stand in the corner when they misbehaved—especially if their misdeeds annoyed or caused harm to an easily aggrieved man named Mr. Wilson. And according to several black and white film reels, children were also forced to stand in the corner when they misbehaved at school. Further evidence of this can also be found in 20th century depictions of 19th century Walnut Grove.

I don’t recall having been asked to stand in the corner, myself. My timeouts were usually spent on a couch or in a chair.

During one two-year period in my youth, when my dad was married to my first step-mom, I spent much of my time in timeout for arguing with my step-brother, Burt, who was usually sent to an adjacent cell—er, chair.

On one particular afternoon I recall nearly having extra time added to my sentence thanks to that little bastard, who was two years older than me but exceptionally unintelligent and immature for his age.

Never one to tolerate either silence or inactivity very well, I decided to pass my time in the penalty box by mouthing my list of vocabulary words, and their spellings and definitions. As I was doing this—and because he was either a moron or a lying sack of steaming doodoo—Burt decided to go tell his mom, Betty, that I was swearing.

Fortunately, she didn’t buy it. Although she did call me to the stand and ask me to repeat what I had been “saying” while she was out of the room, she also stopped me less than three words into my list to tell me to sit down and shut up. I’m paraphrasing, of course. She would never have been that nice.

The point is, she recognized that Burt was trying to get me penalized and have time taken off his own sentence by providing testimony—false though it was—of my further wrongdoing. Burt’s plan backfired, I’m thankful to say, and while I don’t think he learned much from the experience, I myself learned two valuable skills: how to manipulate tattle tale step-siblings into cutting their own throats, and how to successfully defend yourself against false and not so false accusations of swearing under your breath.

That incident wasn’t the first in which I was accused of something I hadn’t done, nor would it be the last.

During middle school, circa 1979, I was summoned to the administrative office, where I found myself subsequently being interrogated by the principal and the school nurse, Mrs. St. Pierre, about some unspecified item that had been found in my locker.

To my knowledge, all that was in my locker were books, school supplies and perhaps a spare feminine product or two, so I was dumbfounded. Especially since the only other person who had access to that locker was my friend, Alicia, who was as pure a soul as they come and without a doubt even less likely to be in possession of contraband than I was.

Unable to get me to admit to anything—since there literally was nothing to admit to—Mrs. St. Pierre reached into a drawer and produced an 8-ounce bottle that bore the original and unadulterated product labels, including one on the front that said Cepacol mouthwash (similar to the one seen here ) but instead of the original and unadulterated urine-yellow liquid, it contained a caramel colored substance resembling brandy or bourbon.

“So this isn’t yours?” Mrs. St. Pierre asked calmly as she set it on the table.

“Oh that! Yeah, that’s mine.”

“Well what is it?” she asked. “Because it most certainly isn’t Cepacol mouthwash.”

She was right about that. It was Ten-o-Six lotion by Bonne Bell. Ten-o-Six lotion is an astringent I used to clean my face after P.E. Because it was expensive, I would buy it in the large bottle (like the one seen in here) which didn’t fit on the top shelf of my locker. And so, I kept a supply in an old mouthwash bottle, which DID fit on the top shelf of my locker.

Assuming they thought it was booze, I explained all of that, believing it would soon lead to my release. It did not.

“Why didn’t you label it Ten-o-Six lotion?” the principal asked.

“Because I knew it was Ten-o-Six lotion.” DUH.

It was then that I found out that illicit alcohol was the least of their concerns. As it turned out, believing what was in the bottle was Cepacol mouthwash, Alicia had taken a swig of Ten-o-Six lotion during our last break, planning to stop and spit it out in the bathroom sink on her way to her next class.

But instead of fresh clean breath on her way to the next period, Alicia got a nasty set of chemical burns and I got pulled into the office on suspicion of trying to poison her. Which is not something I would have thought of doing to anyone at the time. (Now, sure. But then, never.)

In retrospect, I probably should have told Alicia it wasn’t mouthwash. But since I never imagined anyone would help themselves to someone else’s mouthwash (ew!) I didn’t think I had to tell anyone that it WASN’T mouthwash. Later, as a college student with three untrustworthy roommates, I learned that people will help themselves to all kinds of things you wouldn’t expect (double ew!) but in eighth grade, I was still an innocent.

Ah, the good old days.


My Favorite Things

Before we begin, a couple reminders: I’m not Oprah. So this post will not conclude with you or anyone else in the audience receiving a new car, or finding a gift of any kind under your seat.

Nor am I Julie Andrews. So I’ll not be phrasing or organizing this list into something you can set to verse in hopes of soothing the nerves of a brood of motherless Austrian children during a thunderstorm. Seriously. Austrian children have enough do deal with. Especially the motherless ones.

Last—and perhaps best—of all, unlike other lists (e.g. 10 Reasons to Love Weyauwega) I’m going to give you the complete set of items in one post, rather than via the morphine drip method of one to three items every two to four weeks for eight or nine months.

You’re welcome.

And with the disclaimers out of the way, let’s begin: Stainless-steel scrubbing pads.

This is no joke. Those babies are awesome.

Now, maybe you’ve been using them for years. In that case, my discovery thereof is obviously far from noteworthy from your perspective. But if you’ve been using them for years, it is presumably because they work, which serves to confirm that they are, in fact, awesome. Especially when you consider how great life is now in comparison to what it was like before I found them. Total 180.

No lie. We broil a lot at our house, and anyone who broils a lot knows broiling is messy business. Bacon. Burgers. Steaks. Even chicken. Broiling makes them all taste great, but it also leaves you with a lot of nasty gunk on the broiling pans.

So I would have to soak. And scrape. And soak. And scrape some more. With green scrubbies. And blue scrubbies. Then powdered abrasives. And liquid abrasives.

I finally broke down and bought a second broiling pan just so I could have a clean one to use when the other one was soaking. But that only doubled the trouble. It got to the point that I was spending more time cleaning broiling pans than our Maniac-in-Chief spends on Twitter. SAD!!

And then one day—BOOM! These stainless-steel scrubbing pads came into my life.

It was a day like any other day. Except I was visiting my Auntie Jo, whom I only visit about once a month. And I had broiled some bacon for lunch and was faced with the task of cleaning the pan before heading home. After soaking it for the first two hours while we visited, I looked around for a green or blue scrubby, or some powdered or liquid abrasive. Finding none of the above, I cast my eyes upon a pile of curly, silver strands. It looked more like a clump of Christmas ribbon than a cleaning tool, I have to say. And when I picked it up, it felt more like a handful of plastic than metal.

But, oh, was I surprised when I pressed those silver strands to the pan! Everything on that enameled surface was gone in literally seconds flat. It barely took any effort at all and, more importantly, it didn’t ruin my manicure! It was like magic. Perhaps the most powerful magic in the world. And it was now at my fingertips.

stainless scrub pads.jpgMy favorite things: one shiny new stainless-steel scrub pad (left) and one used stainless-steel scrub pad (right).

I didn’t even wait twenty-four hours before getting my own. And then I bought an extra pack for the Princess. She’s out on her own now, incidentally, and deserved to know about this amazing product with so much potential to change her life. It’s incumbent upon me, as her mother, to keep her apprised of such things.

Which raises a few questions. Such as: why didn’t I know about these before? And why hadn’t anyone thought to tell me? And what else are people keeping from me?

But let us not dwell on the negative. Let’s instead focus on the positive. Which is what I’ve been trying to do for the past year, as you may have noticed. I’m not as good at that, as you also may have noticed, or you wouldn’t have had to wait so long between posts.

So, there you have it. My favorite things of 2018. Stainless-steel scrubbing pads.

It’s a fairly short list, I know.

And, again, you’re welcome.


10 Reasons to Love Weyauwega: the Night Life





dairy treats,


and quiet streets.



10 Reasons to Love Weyauwega: The Events

For a town of less than 2000 residents, Weyauwega has a lot going on. It probably helps that the Waupaca County Fairgrounds are located here, since the fairgrounds are where a lot of the bigger events take place.

Like the Fox Valley Rabbit Club’s Spring Fling, the 4-H Dog Show, the 4-H Horse Project, the District 7 Holstein Show, and the FFA’s Breakfast on the Farm. And that’s just the month of June!

The Waupaca County 4-H club sponsors most of the events taking place at the fairgrounds, and they have quite the full calendar. To see what they’re up to, visit their website at:

The fairgrounds are also host to such things as tractor pulls, Beef Workshops, tree sales, hunters safety courses, a bow fishing tournament and Weyauwega’s annual fireworks extravaganza. You can even book the fairgrounds for your next graduation party, birthday party, family reunion, or quinceañera! And in the winter, you can reserve a spot to store your boat or RV for the winter. For a list of 2018 rental rates, click on the link below.

The most notable event taking place at the Waupaca County Fairgrounds, of course, is the Waupaca County Fair. Running from August 21st through the 26th, this year’s fair offers typical fair fare. These include agricultural exhibits, livestock competitions, craft, canning and other homemaking contests, plus food, drink, and live entertainment.

This year’s entertainment includes a performance by Craig Morgan. I’m unfamiliar with the guy myself, but according to the Waupaca County Fair website ( he is a multi-faceted entertainer, country music icon, a TV Host, a celebrated outdoorsman, a patriotic Army veteran, and one of country music’s best loved artists who “thrills massive crowds with his signature hits.” I won’t be there to see if he lives up to all that hype, but I sure hope he gives that audience their money’s worth.

Also performing at the fair this year is Sister Hazel. In case you haven’t heard of them either, Sister Hazel is from Gainesville, Florida, and “is comprised of five gifted, seasoned musicians whose well-spring of natural talent has been called “one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years” by Performing Songwriter Magazine.”

If I’m going to attend any of the musical performances, it will be the Friday night show featuring Hairball! In their nearly 20 years of performing, Hairball has been providing “2+ hour, mind-blowing, and drop-dead accurate homage to some of the biggest arena acts in the world. Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey, and Aerosmith are but a few of the acts fans will see brought to life.” According, again, to the fair’s website, their show includes “more characters, more pyrotechnics, more lights, more sound, more props, and more surprises…more everything,” If I can get the Jarhead to stay up that late, we will definitely check them out. Probably.

If all that sounds too hot or too much for you, don’t despair. September brings cooler temps and our annual Horse &Buggy Days!

According to local historians Elmer and Florence Oehlke, Horse and Buggy Days is the brainchild of local businessman Robert Hofferber who, in 1960, decided to put the little town of Weyauwega (population 1300) on the map. In the spirit of the event, townspeople gathered up all their old timey things and put them on display.

The event was received so well that it became an annual event. Consequently, every fall, the town drifts back into the 19th century for 2 days. In honor of the occasion, a Horse & Buggy Days King and Queen are chosen, and a breakfast is held in which the former kings and queens of Horse & Buggy days assemble and “reminisce.” During this time, the kings and queens also visit the local schools and share the town’s traditions with the youngsters.

This year’s Horse & Buggy Days (sponsored now, appropriately, by the Weyauwega Chamber of Commerce) kicks off at 6pm on Friday, September 14th. Enjoy a screening of a family friendly movie sponsored by the Wega PD, or head over to the beer tent and enjoy live music provided by the band, Cowboy. Or, take part in a pool tournament.

On Saturday, September 15th, your options include a pancake breakfast hosted by the American Legion and the VFW. There will also be a polka band, and a vendor fair, as well as a parade, another pool tournament, a wrist wrestling competition at 3pm!

For more information about Horse & Buggy Days—including how to become an event sponsor—visit

Meanwhile, you may recall several posts ago when I mentioned a certain pony who was suddenly missing in action at the corner of Pine and Main streets. Well, he’s back—and just in time for Horse & Buggy Days. His name is Whirling Wind and I know you’ll find him as handsome as I do!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.






10 Reasons to Love Weyauwega: the Arts

When the average person hears the phrase “international film festival,” a handful of cities spring to mind: Cannes. Venice. Paris. London.

For hardcore film buffs (and just to be clear, that’s hardcore film buffs not hardcore film buffs) a few more names and places come to the fore. Like Chicago. Buffalo. Boston. Weyauwega.

Yes. You read that correctly. Weyauwega.

Founded in 2011,  the Weyauwega International Film Festival (aka WIFF) celebrates and supports film and filmmaking, and aims to “bring together” filmmakers from around the world. The festivities take place over four days and include screenings of internationally released films, including documentary films, foreign language films, dramas, comedies, and short films. Conceived and nurtured by Wega Arts, WIFF honors films and their makers with cash prizes and awards known as Gerolds—so named for the Gerold Opera House where WIFF takes place.

Gerold Opera House

Perhaps the most enticing part of the WIFF is Psycho Fest! Inspired by the work of author Robert Bloch, who wrote (among many, many other things) the novel upon which the movie Psycho was based, Psycho Fest is the portion of the WIFF that features screenings of films in the horror and thriller genres.

You may have heard that the character Norman Bates was loosely based on a man by the name of Ed Gein, who murdered and cannibalized at least two people in Plainfield, Wisconsin back in the late 1950’s. What you may not know is that the gifted and prolific Mr. Bloch was living in Weyauwega at the time the Plainfield crimes were coming to light, or that his fictional Bates Motel was inspired by Weyauwega’s very own Lakeshore Motel.

Kinda sends shivers up your spine. Doesn’t it?

The motel is long gone, but the sign still stands not far from the highway–an eerie reminder of Weyauwega’s connection to Hollywood and Alfred Hitchock.

Lakeshore Sign

For another view of the sign, visit

The next WIFF starts November 7th and runs through the 10th. That means Psycho Fest is just a few weeks away. So mark your calendars, and get your tickets now if you don’t want to miss it!

In addition to WIFF, the creative minds at Wega Arts—and their valued sponsors in the community—do a lot of fun and fantastic stuff for the folks Weyauwega. Like free theatre and music workshops for area teens. And Swing Dance and Mardi Gras parties for adults. In 2016, the organization partnered with Helios Addiction Recovery Services to produce a short film entitled Heroes Rising, which aims to address the opioid epidemic and to spur “meaningful and constructive dialog about substance abuse.”

Meanwhile, up the road at the Weyauwega Public Library, you can catch presentations by writers, musicians, historians, and even the occasional Elvis impersonator! If you don’t believe me, check out these links:;A5kaMeHMsggm4SYn~;fGAcqvyaPELMgeQXFB8QHUB2MkQaYDaCb6g213ULT~;QJDORAMong~_tuaefzxPrzSKIFdsW6RiwbT2K22AvNEWNtTOxaToTGTBCe~_KrLVW~;xFSuY6gIC8DmOca2OR7xQ24xARveovwzZTh2dqkwGGwDNZzDcwtupYMuxbmIUVGbrgYJs1RNry7ZCdOq~_reP8kq0QgHVMIyCmKwawWwRbylf9~;h~;Jfu7tdnvgTIR8T1I4zkT1~;VCicSbc9A~_Hto~_N.bps.a.1778466072190506.1073741962.107697575934039/1778468548856925/?type=3&theater

Meanwhile, for more about Robert Bloch, go to or visit

And if Bloch’s Psycho is too scary or too racy for you, remember, there’s always Psycho Babble!








10 Reasons to Love Weyauwega: the pool, the parks, & the pace

Many small towns have swimming pools. Although some prefer to call them Aquatic Centers these days. But both terms are a bit high-falutin for Weyauwega. So instead, we have a swim lake.

Swimming Lake Sign

It’s basically the same thing as a swimming pool, in that it has locker rooms, showers, life guards, and a concession stand, and is surrounded by tall chain-link fences to keep children and the inebriated from wandering in and drowning. But instead of a rectangular structure with vertical walls, a concrete floor, and a bright blue vinyl liner, Weyauwega’s swimming hole is an irregularly shaped structure with gently sloping sides, a gravel floor, and a concrete shoreline. In short, it’s exactly like a real lake but without the mucky bottom and the fishy smell.

In other words, it’s nothing like a real lake. But I’m new here, and I’m not one to make waves. Even at the pool. Or the swim lake.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Weyauwega Swim Lake (or Swimming Lake, depending on which sign you’re reading) is located within Weyauwega Community Park.

Community Park Sign

Established in 1972 (according to the sign at the High Street entrance) the park sits on 12 acres, and is host to ball fields, tennis courts, picnic tables, covered pavilions, a playground, and a handful of buildings operated by various local civic organizations.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A few blocks from Community Park is Mill Street Park. Located at the intersection of Mill and Sumner streets, Mill Street Park features a half-court basketball area, a swing set, and a couple of benches. Across the street and kitty-corner from Mill Street Park are the Sumner Street tennis courts. The park and the tennis courts flank the Weyauwega Public Library which is located at the same intersection, which means one can exercise both one’s body and one’s mind in one trip if one were so inclined.

Incidentally, kitty-corner from the library at the intersection of Mill and Sumner Streets is ThedaCare Physicians Weyauwega. Which means, if you happen to skin your knees jumping off the swing at its forward apex, or pull a hammy while chasing your opponent’s killer serve, or slice your finger open while paging through a copy of Weyauwega Remembers, medical treatment is not far away. Unless it happens after 5pm or on a weekend, in which case you’re probably going to die.


I’m kidding. We have paramedics in town who will happily patch you up if you can’t walk it off. Just limp or crawl four blocks north and take a right onto Wisconsin Street. The firehouse will be down two blocks on the left.


If you reach to the post office you’ve gone too far.

Post Office

In that case, just turn around and go back a half block. The firehouse will now be on your right.

A few blocks north of Mill Street Park sits Petersen Park.

Pete Park 2

Straddling both Mill Street and the Waupaca River, Petersen Park boasts a small playground, a few picnic areas, and a boat launch. Here you will also find the famous rye mill silo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Of course, famous is a relative term. They don’t know about it as far away as, say, China, Europe, or possibly even Milwaukee. It’s famous because it’s where the old Weyauwega rye mill used to operate and because you can’t look up Weyauwega on Google without a picture of the structure coming up in your search results. Built in 1855, according the Weyauwega Chamber of Commerce ( the mill was the largest in the world at the time and was considered a state of the art facility in the field of flour manufacturing.

A few steps away from the rye mill silo puts you on the Yellowstone Trail.

Yellowstone Trail Sign

Established on May 23 of 1912 (with thanks to Wikipedia) the Yellowstone Trail was the “first transcontinental automobile highway through the upper tier of states in the United States.” As you can see by the map below the trail will take you all the way from Plymouth, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington by way of Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone_Trail_Map(courtesy of By JRidge at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5,

Of course, you’d have to walk many a mile to get from Petersen Park to Yellowstone National Park. I suppose you’ll just have to pace yourself.

And speaking of pace: in Weyauwega the pace is fairly slow. Not slow as in ploddingly or painfully slow. More like slow as in smooth, or gentle. Like a light breeze, or trickling stream. Here, the words hustle and bustle are rarely used, and then only to refer to 1970’s disco-era dances and 1870’s ladies’ undergarments.

If you think I’m kidding, check out the city’s very own slogan, which appears at the bottom of their very own homepage.


That sorta says it all, I think.

And it may not be for everyone, but it suits the Jarhead and me just fine.




10 Reasons to Love Weyauwega: the Cheese!

We’re talking about Wisconsin, so you probably figured cheese would come up sooner or later; you just didn’t know when.

Well, here it is.

Weyauwega is famous for its cheese. So much so that there is a company called Weyauwega Cheese that isn’t even located in Weyauwega. Misleading? Yes. Savvy marketing? Definitely.

To be fair, the family that founded Weyauwega Cheese also owns Weyauwega Star Dairy, which IS located in Weyauwega, and Weyauwega Star Dairy has a store front in Weyauwega that sells—drumroll please—Weyauwega Cheese. They also sell their own cheeses, processed meats, and frozen custard.

I’ll bet you’ll never guess what else they sell? Besides cheeses, processed meats, and frozen custard, I mean. Check out this photo and see for yourself. I’ll wait.

Isn’t that awesome?

Now some of you may have a hard time believing that Bud Light is available for purchase at a place called Weyauwega Star Dairy. Especially if you haven’t spent a lot of time in Wisconsin, you may doubt that this ad for Bud Light is in any way affiliated with the Weyauwega Star Dairy. But if you zoom in on the red and black logo to the left of that beer can, you’ll see not only that there is an ad for Bud Light on the side of the Weyauwega Star Dairy, but also that the Bud Light ad on the side of the Weyauwega Star Dairy was created specifically FOR the Weyauwega Star Dairy. Here is a close-up shot of that red and black logo, just so you know what you’re looking at:

Star Dairy Logo

According to its website, Weyauwega Star Dairy “has been in the cheese business for over 30 years, and specializes in a variety of Italian cheeses.” If that logo looks familiar, that’s not just because you saw it on the Bud Light sign a few paragraphs ago. Rather, it may be because it closely resembles the logo for Weyauwega Cheese, which is sold under this eerily similar label, which you may have seen in your local grocery store.

Weyauwega Logo

The company that makes this cheese has been around since 1912, so it’s a fair bet that you’ve seen it before. Even if you have seen it before, you may not have paid much attention to the name and, like my friend Mary, never realized until she found out we were moving here, that the word ‘Weyauwega’ refers to a place and not to any person, persons, or things.

According to the company’s website, the most important ingredient in their cheese is family pride. I’m not sure what sort of flavor that imparts, but I’m not going to dwell on that. Besides, it’s much more fun to contemplate the 1.5 mile-long string of cheese that was made by the President of Weyauwega Star Dairy and which reportedly earned him a spot in the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records. You can find these and other fun facts at and

Another Weyauwega cheese maker is Agropur Inc. Previously known as Trega Foods, Agropur claims to be a “worldwide supplier of award winning cheese & whey products. With more than 300 employees & 3 facilities located in Weyauwega, Little Chute, & Luxemburg, WI, Agropur’s rich cheesemaking tradition is the gold standard by which so many other cheesemakers measure their product.” Their Weyauwega facility, founded by Jacob H. Wagner, partnered with Kraft Foods to pioneer “the development of the ‘640 Square Barrel’ to hold and store natural cheese for cutting.” I’m not sure what that means, but I imagine it’s a pretty big deal among cheesemakers or they wouldn’t be bragging about it on their website. Find out more about their cheese and ingredients division at

Taylor Cheese Corp, meanwhile, is a small cheese operation in Weyauwega that has been “cutting and wrapping quality natural and process cheese for more than 40 years. “ Founded by Lowell “Abe” Taylor in the late 1950’s to service “the largest grocery store chain in the USA,” Taylor Cheese Corp employees 23 people. They can process and custom cut, wrap, grind, shred and package cheese to order, and pride themselves on “the use of only natural cheese manufactured in Wisconsin and using a high quality Wisconsin-based manufacturer of Pasteurized Process Cheese.” Read all about them and other Wisconsin cheesemakers at

So it seems you don’t have to visit Weyauwega in order to get a taste of Weyauwega cheese. But if you ever do make it out to Weyauwega and you want to sample the cheese and see where it is made, let me know. I’ll happily bring the crackers.


March 2019
« Jan    

Back Issues

Blog Stats

  • 7,963 hits