I should be happy that I'm even asked an opinion. I usually say "no" but at least I'm asked.
They want a pet, I say no. Then they get one anyway. After years of feeding and cleaning up after them, I realize how lucky we are to have them, and slowly start liking them. Especially Pepi. I really put my foot down when they wanted him, we already had a cat, but I grew to love his warmth, softness and weird idiosyncrasies.
There's always something happening at St. William's, my home parish at 440 N. Moreland. Last weekend was the rummage sale. Today we hosted the St. Matthias meal for the needy and tomorrow is blessing of animals in observance of the Feast Day of St. Francis. This Sat. at 6:00 p.m. is wine and cheese and Sunday is a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to noon -- both in the Parish Hall, and both a fundraiser for Cooperating Congregations of Waukesha County's new kitchen.
I'll be helping out in the kitchen Sunday for a couple hours, but may have to miss linking with fellow parishioners for the Life Chain on Bluemound between 2:00 and 3:00.
On Sunday, November 4’th, 2007, The Waukesha Education Foundation is presenting its’ annual “Celebration of Excellence”! Invitations have been sent; awards have been announced; the dining arrangements made; and all that is needed is…YOU!
YOU will absolutely enjoy a fast-paced, entertaining, educational, gourmet evening. YOU will be exposed to an incredible array of auction and raffle “opportunities” generously donated from both area and State-wide businesses. YOU can be front & center to the Excellence of one of the State’s finest marching bands – Waukesha North, as they regale our 500 guests with their 2007 award-winning Cirque du Soleil presentation.
YOU will be treated to Excellence in dining, an epicurean delight; a culinary masterpiece; a majestic presentation of food the likes of which the Waukesha area seldom witnesses – A feast from the legendary Lee John’s Catering!!! YOU will enjoy Salad Nouvelle, sage roasted pork loin with wild mushroom sauce, five-spice cream sautéed chicken breasts (from a closely guarded Danegelis family recipe), oven roasted potatoes, fresh (and I mean Fresh!) green beans, and a heavenly cheesecake reminiscent of family bakeries from the old country.
YOU will experience a sampling of the Excellence in the educational process occurring each and every day in the Waukesha School District as you pass through the student displays in the “Halls of Excellence”. The students, aged 7-18, are already preparing exhibits and presentations highlighting the programs and accomplishments they feel are significant in their lives.
YOU can bear witness to the (almost…) legendary auctioneering prowess of Waukesha County Exec Dan Vrakas as he pleads, cajoles, and exhorts the audience into a bidding frenzy! YOU can win one of hundreds of silent auction items or be surprised when your raffle ticket(s) lands you an unexpected windfall!
(Before WE go any further – the Packers are on at noon and this Event doesn’t even begin until 3:30 with dinner @ 5:30…)
YOU can visit our Event website for further details including easy-to-use online registration. YOU will be charged a $50 registration fee (much of it tax-deductible!) which, incredibly, covers all of the above. YOU will come away amazed that the WEF “Celebration of Excellence” is staged by adult volunteers and the efforts of over 300 students from throughout the District. YOU will leave warmed with the knowledge that the monies raised (Over $48,000 last year!) will go back to our students in the form of grants and endowments!
“Excellence” comes in many forms, shapes, and experiences. On this Sunday in November – YOU can truly experience a “Celebration of Excellence” of education within our Waukesha Community. Get your tickets early (buy a bunch and auction them on eBay?) as last years’ event sold out.
And, do YOU have any questions, or donations or auction items YOU care to donate? Call (262)513-1861 and we’ll arrange both a pick-up and a “Thank YOU”.
Check your diets at the Door! The planning is “set”, the students are getting “ready”, and the only thing needed to “go” is YOU!
Recently, an article appeared in a local paper that paints the downtown business district in a state of blight. Titled "Is downtown Waukesha losing its momentum", the article continues to list twenty one businesses that have closed in the downtown since 2006.
There are nearly 300 businesses in the downtown area. Losing 21 over the course of a year hardly seems like an epidemic.
My neighbor has been exercising freedom of speech in front of his Grandview Blvd. home for the last year or two. For awhile it was just a small homemade "War is Stupid" sign. But then something started to happen. Smaller signs started popping up beside it with "I agree." A colorful round sign was recently added: a peace symbol someone took time to carefully construct.
As sometimes happens in areas of potential controversy, his yard started to look a little cluttered with opposing viewpoints. One sign even proclaimed "Shame on all of you! We should be supporting our troops and elected officials!"
Oddly enough, the shrill beep of the smoke alarm this morning coincided with the start of fire prevention week. All the fire-related events this weekend made me think about the two out of three alarms we have without batteries. I put a used 9 volt in one of them after it tested OK, but it must not have been strong enough and set the alarm off.
Yesterday I was invited to help out at the Town of Waukesha Fire Department's pancake breakfast by Rod, a hot air balloon pilot. I gladly accepted and helped set up his balloon for a demonstration. We soon began giving free tethered rides to fire fighters, EMTs and families, only stopping when it got too windy. I was glad to be there, lots to see and do, and happy to give back to the community - Rod donated his time and fuel for this fun event.
Things I would've blogged about if I had the time:
I'd vote for him again. Even though I think we're overdue for a woman president, I'd vote for former V.P. and now Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Al Gore, again. I know I've voted strangely in the past, Ed Thompson for one, but Mr. Gore has shown the kind of leadership we need now. It's safe to say the war in Iraq wouldn't have happened had my vote counted instead of the Electoral College's. If Mr. Gore became president I don't think the auto makers and polluters would love him, but after reading his book Earth in the Balance, I think his term would be good one not only our country now, but for the future world also.
When you think steak - Do you immediately think Mo's, Coerper's 5 O'Clock, Butch's, Eddie Martini's, Flemings, or Mr. B's ?
Recently, Mr Rob Brunero, a business friend from England, visited our company. When questioned as to his thoughts for dining out, he immediately said "I'd like a good steak ye' know?" We had already provided the local color tour including the Lakefront, Marquette University, Downtown Milwaukee, and the Brookfield - Waukesha area. My wife Colleen piped in with going to Palmer's Steak House for dinner. We agreed.
There's more than thirty events related to Big Read Waukesha this month. It's the first time Waukesha has done this community-wide program and I hope it's not the last. I picked up my free book, "Fahrenheit 451" and I've started reading it. I'm checking the program brochure often and attending the events that interest me.
Tonight, the event that interested me was the "So You Think You Know It All?" trivia contest. I arrived in the middle of it and immediately found it entertaining. One adult was pitted against five eigth graders to answer questions from five categories for points. Former mayor Carol Lombardi hosted the contest in similar fashion to the show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" There were four teams of eigth graders but not enough adult volunteers, so I stepped up after watching for a while. I answered all five questions correctly! Not difficult when you consider one question was "Which book is Waukesha reading for the Big Read?"
This Wednesday, October 17th at 10AM is the opening of the long awaited Minooka County Park Dog Exercise Area. Kanook and I will be one of many gathering around and waiting for the ribbons to be cut and the gates to open.
Better known as dog parks, these areas that allow off-leash dog activity have been created around the country at an increasing pace. Finally being recognized as good for the dog’s owners as well as the dog, municipalities are setting aside land for them. Often people will be seen hiking the trails for their exercise while the dogs are free to trot around and sniff out things freely. Many people are like me. Where I go, my dog goes. If my dog isn’t welcomed, I don’t go. Well, there are exceptions.
Missed the last bus to my regular stop Monday evening. The alternate was to wait 20 minutes for the next coach and take it all the way to Downtown Waukesha. Without phone change, I walked to Christina's Family Restaurant on Delafield St. to see if I could call from there.
At Christina's I noticed a free-standing sign on the sidewalk, (a sandwich board?) advertising gyros on a stick. Now my familiarity with gyros is extremely limited, but I thought it was a sandwich and wondered how the stick fits in. Peggy was nice enough to tell me all about the sandwich and George let me use the phone.
The deity of your choosing must be a dog lover. On a morning between spells of rain and fog, the sun came out and the grass dried up for the grand opening of the new Minooka County Park Dog Exercise Area!
Wednesday Morning at 10AM the politicians and dog lovers assembled in the parking lot of the new dog park in front of the secure gated entrance to the large dog area. A podium was set complete with a sound system. Flags guarded the sides and folding chairs were placed in the assembly though many with dogs stood in the rear. Off to the side was a table with refreshments. The parking lot was full.
The Waukesha Education Foundation (WEF) is staging its' 3rd "Celebration of Excellence" (COE) on November 4'th, 2007. Over 300 students volunteers, over 500 attendees, more than 30 student displays in the "Hall of Excellence", and over 200 businesses contributing/donating goods, money, and services will come together in an incredible demonstration of support for education within the Waukesha School Community.
The WEF's primary focus is to raise money to increase educational opportunities within our schools. Monies raised go to grants, endowments, and scholarships. The "Celebration" is the WEF Signature Event, and it has raised almost $80,000 in it's first 2 years.
It would be easier to mention what I didn't like about our trip to Whitewater Saturday for the State Marching Band Championships. It would take too long to mention everything I did like. I don't have that kind of time.
With both boys at North it made sense that this was to be the year we finally experienced the excitement of the championships. With North winning the mood never dampened.
Don't go near Shattuck Music Center / Hall / Auditorium this weekend at Carroll College / University if you don't enjoy great music. Besides the wonderful offering this Sunday at 3:00; a combination of the Waukesha Choral Union, Carroll Concert Choir and Children's Choir of Waukesha, there's world-class sax player Johan Stengard on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
I don't want to recommend one over the other, they both sound great, but the Johan concert is a benefit for the St. Vincent De Paul Society. As you may already know, the Society helps the poor in our area and any proceeds from the concert go to help the needy in Waukesha. As a member of the Society, I know there are plenty of underemployed, injured, homeless, unemployed . . . in the city that could use some help.
If we made no changes to our lifestyle here at the Lee household, the new state budget will cost us almost $1200.00 more in 2008 than this year. That's a lot of groceries!
How will the new budget affect you?
A bit frosty this morning. Thirty-five degrees. The hot air inside the balloon I crewed for this morning reached at least 200 degrees. The white-covered ground set off the colors of the envelope spectacularly. Skies cloudless, the waning almost-full moon shining in the west and the winds calm.
I've been concerned about the hot air season coming to a close before we're through having fun. Now that the beautiful fall colors are here the weather seems to be going through a change, bringing with it too much wind, sometimes rain. Even though you can balloon year round in Wisconsin, I'd bet most people would prefer not to go in winter.