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Takin' the Blog for a Walk

Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.

Email Brien at howlinblog@yahoo.com.

This weekend at St. William's

St. William

If the nice weather gets you out of the house this weekend consider coming to St. William Parish, between Summit and Michigan Street on North Moreland, for the Christian Women Craft and Bake Sale. The sale runs 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday the 3rd and 8:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. Sunday the 4th. Besides tons of crafts filling the gym and Parish Hall, there are some really great turkey sandwiches being served, plus lots of bakery to choose from.

Also this weekend; flu shots after all the masses.

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The need to bleed.

Since my last post about the upcoming blood drive at St. William's on November 12th, I received a call from the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. I'm already signed up, but she mentioned a little promo they're having throughout the month of November.

For every new donor, including people that haven't donated in two years, that I can get to a BloodCenter or blood drive this month - and mentions my name - I'll be entered in a raffle for Packer tickets.

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the exciting Craft Fair!

St. William

I've wrote before of how difficult it is to get fire trucks into a church parking lot when there's a mass on. It's even more of a challenge when one mass has ended and people are arriving for the next. Add a popular craft fair to the mix and things could get dicey. Of course, the greater the concentration of people in an area the better the chance for someone needing assistance - it seems to only happen when it's most difficult to get an engine through.

I was enjoying the craft fair at St. William yesterday, meeting people, shopping and picking up a hot turkey sandwich and some soup when I came across what I thought was a health demonstration. A person was lying on the gym floor being cared for by a nurse, but the scene so calm that I dismissed it as practice or something. Just seconds after the nurse confirmed to me that it was a demonstration, EMT's walked in and I knew right then something serious had happened - or this was one elaborate demonstration.

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third time's a charm

Finally getting to know the new, efficient checkers at my local Pick 'N Save grocery store. They've got nice voices and tell me how much I spend and how much I save. They took a little getting used to, but by my third visit, tonight, I was warming up to them and even enjoying them.

The five electronic self-checkers replaced three traditional lanes about two weeks ago. The three lanes rarely were fully staffed and lines were common, so this could be an improvement, at least for the express lanes.

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Nectar is for the birds

A friend of my mom's loves her Hummer.                                         a bird in the hand...

doing the pedal dance

1) sound of music, J-S

Curious what my neighbors were up to, I joined the large crowd at a barn on Northview last Saturday night to see if Laurel Walker was right; that there would be "power to the people."

Laurel wrote about these ambitious guys in the Nov. 1st Journal Sentinel. They were going to try something unusual and power a concert with riders on stationary bikes. A pedal jam. I don't know if I was more curious to hear what "a soulful mix of funk-a-fide rock with a spiritually positive message" sounded like or if I just needed to see the lights dim when the riders tired. Either way, I live just a mile away, so I went.

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halo stars

There's a new addition to the downtown Milwaukee holiday scene. Huge blue-lighted stars, encircled above by white halos of light, have recently appeared in the middle of many busy intersections. They are suspended above the roadway by cables and compliment the matching blue lights on the many wreaths along the Avenue. The stars are sometimes pictured in advertisements for the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival but you have to see them in person. They're incredible.halo star

The Milw. Holiday Lights Festival begins Thurs. 11/15, 6:00 p.m. at Pere Marquette Park and the Milw. "Holiday" Parade is this Sat. the 17th at 9:30. An excellent time to see all the wonderful decorations in downtown Milwaukee.

bring a pillow

politics

Next Tuesday's annual city budget adoption meeting at 7:00 promises to be a long one. As a matter-of-fact, here's your excuse to stay out past midnight if you want to. No, the pillow isn't for sleeping, it's for sitting on. Several hours of sitting on those hard fibreglass chairs and you're going to need one. 

have a wienerful day

Don't be surprised if you see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Milwaukee's Holiday Parade. If I'm not out ballooning Saturday morning myself, maybe we'll drive in to see the 30 foot high helium balloons of the parade.have a wienerful day

trying to stay healthy

St. William

Fortunately I don't have too many issues with my health . . . unless I'm thinking about it. If I try to remain healthy for a particular day I end up concentrating too much on it and the stress it causes makes me ill. So it is with blood donations. I make an appointment in advance while I'm feeling good but as the day approaches every sniffle makes me wonder if I'm feeling well enough to donate.

 With blood donations not only do you have to feel well the day of but also for three days after - not always easy considering you now have one pint less liquid to fight infection with. I did feel well enough to donate at the St. William drive Monday though. It was the first time the BloodCenter had offered us the opportunity to give a double-red donation at St. William and I was the only one to take advantage of it there. My donation may have taken twice as long as a pint of whole blood, but the donation interval is also twice as long; every 16 weeks versus 8 weeks. And the needle is smaller. And they treated me so well.

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auction action

Auction seemed to be the theme of the day Thursday as I discovered "Waukesha County's best kept secret" on a rare day off. I had no idea such an interesting place was as close as Eagle on Hwy. 59. The House In The Woods Auction Gallery is surrounded by hills and beauty at the bottom of a wooded drive. As a matter of fact, the gallery is so naturally built into the hill that it could easily be mistaken for someone's home, and founders Carl and Lynne Seitz do happen to live right next to it.

There are so many entertaining things to see and do at the House In The Woods; sculptures outside, wind chimes 40 feet up a tree, gnomes in the wall, old and newer art and artifacts on display, food, drinks and a game room, . . . it's surprising they don't charge admission. I wasn't there for a live auction, which are held several times a week year-round, but wouldn't mind seeing and hearing one. They've now gone high tech with closed-circuit t.v., real-time auctions on ebay, and a constantly updated website, but still retain the sing-song action of a seasoned auctioneer.

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Paradise found

Since I found myself within a few steps of Hwy. N outside Eagle Thursday I thought I'd get another look at the interesting things at Paradise Springs Nature Trail. I saw plenty of large trout in the spring house and in the pond. It was a quiet and cool fall day and I had the place to myself. The Lions, Lionesses and Leos, along with the state D.N.R., did a nice job of restoring and developing the nature trail from what was at times a horse track, resort hotel, bottling plant, and millionaire's home.

.                                                                 .inside spring house looking out

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Milw. Holiday Parade

1) sound of music

I didn't get to crew a hot air balloon this morning so instead went to Milw. to see the huge helium balloons in this year's parade. We had great seats on a median of Kilbourn Ave. just before the route turned onto Water Street. It was fun watching Gingerbread Man tip over, then right himself, and it was fun to see the wind play havoc with the dog carrying the Journal Sentinel as it rounded the corner. J J the Jet Plane

.          .Journal Sentinel balloon

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UW Marching Band

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, J-S

Milwaukee's Holiday Parade had a lot more bands, TV and radio personalities, and "New York style" helium balloons but it didn't have the UW Marching Band.

Without knowing the details I assumed, correctly, that the entire UW band wouldn't be present. I also knew that they were talking about UW Madison's band and not somewhere like Whitewater. The contingent for the Waukesha parade yesterday consisted of about 25 trumpet players, one tuba player and two drummers. The active group of red-jacketed marchers were more Mardi Gras than precise in their steps. They shouted, danced, teased, high stepped and of course played loud and proud.

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Something's good in the neighborhood

My neighbor's yard was swarming with rake-wielding fourth graders today. The kids attacked until the leaves surrendered at the curb. They did such a nice job that I may ask them to do mine next.fall maple leaves

Fifteen of Susan Anderson's fourth graders from West Suburban Christian Academy, just a short walk away, participated in this wonderful service project for my elderly neighbors. Hard workers all.

the thrill on the hill

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, festival, full of hot air, UWW

Within the last week and a half I walked, drove, rode a bike and chased a hot air balloon to the University of Wisconsin Waukesha.

A week ago Saturday was the last time I crewed, possibly for the season. All three balloons that took off together from a park on County K in Pewaukee landed together on the north parking lot of the university. Distance of travel; about five miles. It was fun landing in my own neighborhood for once.

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let's try this again

One year ago at this time I asked for comment on what you are most thankful for and no one responded. Well, now that the blogs have a built-in comment feature I'd like to try it again. I know it's short notice before Thanksgiving but it doesn't have to be done now.

The Packers' winning season, a new efficient furnace for you home... Let us know something you're thankful for. Thanks!

Over the River. . .

7) I simply remember

Over the river,

and through the woods,

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World's Greatest Fundraiser

The World's Greatest Cookie Sale has been going on the last twelve years at Country Springs Hotel every Friday after Thanksgiving. With 30 or so groups in attendence, it's not just a good place to find a large variety of fresh, homemade treats with fun things for the kids to do. With access to that many non-profits in one place, it's also a good time to ask questions and meet some of the people behind the organizations. When I'm there I tend to concentrate more on the signs above the booths than the cookies themselves. It's a fundraiser. When I spend money I like to support my favorite causes.

My favorite cause today was a new entrant this year: The St. John Neuman Conference of St. Vincent De Paul. Their profit from this sale goes back to the community by helping the less fortunate in Waukesha. The members told me they enjoyed working together to make this sale happen and they'd be happy to do it again next year.

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"black Friday" not always black and white

I usually hide indoors on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I don't like shopping in general, Christmas shopping in particular, and especially not on the busiest day of the year. But this year I ventured out to see how bad it really was and to try to save $$ on doorbuster sales. Some of the stores in Brookfield opened at 4:00 a.m. but I wasn't foolish enough to go out at that hour.

Oddly enough a store in Downtown Waukesha carries one thing I was looking for so I tried there first at 8:30. Closed. As a matter of fact it wasn't too easy to find any stores open in downtown four and a half hours after they were opening in Brookfield. Plenty of parking though.Downtown Waukesha at 8:30 on the biggest shopping day of the year

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Eagle Reflections

Found three ways to keep occupied today just west of Eagle. Within a half mile section of Hwy. 59 my oldest and I experienced a live auction at House in the Woods, stopped at Eagle Salvage and visited Eagle Springs Nature Trail. We left the auction with a nice lamp for $3.00, the junk yard with a rusty old strut, and Eagle Springs with these photos.

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