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A Ho Ho Whole Lotta Fun - All Month Long

For more information go to We'd love to see you at the theatre!

Despite the busyness December brings, despite the sometimes familial and hidden calorie charges; both having the potential to explode their messes all over our inside and/or outside person - December is a good month.  And with every passing year I'm NOT working a retail job, the Scrooginess that has been clouding my Christmases for the last couple of decades is dissipating - finally.  Well, that and my purposeful determination to keep my focus on Who brought Christmas and why.  Keeping joy and laughter at the forefront helps!

If you need help with keeping the, "Ho, Ho, Ho," in your own Christmas season, we at Waukesha Civic Theatre have four upcoming events that will aid you in making your Christmas a bit merrier and brighter:

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State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony December 2, 2011

Governor Scott Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker, The Adjutant General of Wisconsin, Major General Donald Dunbar, and Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos will be hosting the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, December 2, 2011, 8:15 AM on the first floor of the State Capitol rotunda at Madison.  This year's Capitol Christmas tree will salute Wisconsin's 163 years of veterans, service members, and their families.

A Howl-t, Jowl-y Holiday to You and Yours from HAWS!

HAWS, adopt, holidays, learn, give

Amid the changing seasons, a constant remains: HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, is the best resource for the Waukesha County community’s pets and their people. 

Thousands look to HAWS each year for help, and community support allows HAWS to provide care and training to adoptables before and after their stay at the shelter; spay-neuter services for shelter residents, rescue groups and low-income households; an abundance of educational opportunities including Kids ‘N Critters camp, Critter Club, K’HAWS, individual behavior consults, free seminars and more…for all members of the family! Adopt, Learn, Give – Support the HAWS Cause today!

Send the kids to HAWS’ Winter Kids ‘N Critters Day Camp. Held December 26-30, sessions include both 2- and 3-day camps and are available for children ages 7 – 13 years. Spots fill quickly – call 262-542-8851, x118 today!

Highlights from a busy, festive December at HAWS:

· HAWS presents the Winter Symposium on December 3, focusing on alternative approaches to pet care and training. The participant fee is $135; proceeds to benefit HAWS. Call 262-542-8851, x204 for registration.
·  Help HAWS and get a FREE 5x7 Portrait! Photographer/artist Thomas Paul Moran of Studio 723, 723 Clinton St., Waukesha, will take photos of people and their pets during the downtown Waukesha Art Crawl on December 3, from 4:00-10:00pm.  100% of donations go to HAWS, call 262-391-3903 for an appointment.
·  Bring the entire family to HAWS for a FREE screening of “The Christmas Bunny” on Sunday, December 18.  Showtime is 1:00pm for this new movie starring Florence Henderson as “the Bunny Lady” and Rupert the French Mini Lop rabbit as “Rumple.” Win prizes and learn about HAWS’ adoptable small animals. Concessions/snacks will be available for purchase; donations gladly accepted – see the HAWS Wish List!
·  HAWS’ Mobile Adoption Center helps with holiday prep! Meet HAWS at the Brookfield PetSmart Pet Adoption Weekend, December 3 - 4 from 11:00am-4:00pm., and get a photo-op with Santa! On December 10 come to Paws & Purrs Pet Grooming, 15136 W. National Ave in New Berlin, for an open house/ toy drive for HAWS!  Meet'n'greet with HAWS adoptables from 12:00-3:00pm, and decorate a "pupcake."
·  Give the gift of life at the Blood Center of Wisconsin’s (human) Blood Drive at HAWS on December 22. Online registration is available at or by calling HAWS at 262-542-8851.
·  Learn at a FREE seminar: “Keep your Puppy and Your Sanity” on December 4 or “Solve Common K9 Behavior Problems” on December 5. Details and registration at or 262-542-8851.
·  Spiff up Fluffy with a Cat Pedicure on December 10, from 9:30-10:30am. $7 suggested donation per cat.
·  The monthly First Aid for Pets class is December 17. Get details and/or register by calling 262-879-0165.

By the way - All HAWS events are detailed at – just click on Upcoming Events to learn more We'd love to see you!

Thompson announcing at firm receiving stimulus money

Bice; No Quarter; Thompson;

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson hasn't been afraid to attack others for backing President Barack Obama's controversial stimulus package.

"Does that sound like a conservative?" Thompson shouted at a Capitol rally last year in which he was criticizing then-Sen. Russ Feingold. "Then he said, 'Oh, but I vote against earmarks.' Well, he voted, ladies and gentlemen, for the stimulus package that had 8,000 earmarks in it!"

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New Berlin Christmas Parade Saturday, December 3, 2011, 3:00 PM

The New Berlin Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 3, 2011, at 3:00 PM. The parade route begins at Moorland Road and National Avenue, proceeding west on National Avenue to Casper Drive.

NOTE:  There is a rumor that after the parade, Santa Claus will give Christmas stockings filled with candy to all the good little boys and girls near the fire station on Casper Drive!

thanks for sharing

Carroll, 1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, Hope Center, Moreland Family Medicine

I applaud you! The week following one of our most thankful holidays held plenty of opportunity to practice what is preached.

Thankfully the City of Waukesha's budget was finally passed. Without furloughs or large tax increases, the council came together under terrific deadline pressure to put the constituents and city employees first. It takes a rare individual to give so much of themselves, make such an emotional investment in the city, for little more than six thousand dollars a year. A couple aldermen even offered to donate a large portion of their measly pay if it would mean a zero increase and a passed budget!

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What's Happening: Dec 5 to Dec 12

12/05/11- 12/14/11
Senior Art Majors Thesis Exhibition

Mixed media exhibit by senior artists. Reception: Sunday, Dec. 5, 3-5 p.m.- Rowe Art Gallery, Humphrey Art Center, 262-524-7195,

Joyeux Noel: Christmas in Paris

What could be more beautiful than Christmas in a Paris café and Nortre Dame. The Philharmonic takes you in style with Gounod's Mese de Sainte-Cecile & Panis Angelicus to the romp of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld.- Shattuck Auditorium, Carroll University, 262-547-1858,

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Give, Receive...and Support HAWS this Holiday!

HAWS, donate, adopt, holidays, sponsor, pets, christmas, give

So why do people donate to charities like HAWS, especially during the holiday season? Is it to do a good deed or support a cause they believe in? To feel better about themselves? For the tax benefits? 

How about this for a motive to give:  Studies suggest that generosity can directly benefit the well-being of the donor, making them happier and even helping them to live longer!

Sounds good to us at HAWS – because your support of our organization and our mission not only can save your life, but it can save the lives of thousands in our area. Tack on the fact that you’re helping animals – the embodiment of unconditional love and “warm fuzzies” – and it’s a true win-win.

Maybe you’re not into just writing a check or making an online credit card donation to HAWS(Although if you follow the links you can do just that...) Maybe you’d like your donation to be more specific or tangible? 

We’ve got some great ideas for you!

Buy a Brick: (Or tile, or engraved plaque) These lasting tributes are placed on display at HAWS, easily viewed at any time by the honoree or their family and friends.

Sponsor a Pet: Help our Behavior Department's Mod Squad continue their important work with the animals in our shelter – making them the best possible adoptable pet! Or, log onto our Pet Showcase and choose a HAWS adoptable pet for your online donation.

Get or Give a Membership: This is an all-year-long way to show your love. With a Sustaining Membership your monthly donations for a year give continued support to HAWS. Or, choose an Annual Membership (a once-a-year donation) and keep your loved one connected to all things HAWS.

Sponsor A Spay: HAWS’ SNIP saves lives with spays/neuters of shelter and rescue pets, through the Outdoor Owned Cat Program (lowering incoming stray cats by over 15% over 5 years!), and through participation in World Spay Day free surgeries.

Designate a Department:  (Okay, so this one is somewhat about writing a check/using your credit card, but it is still specific.) HAWS has several needs that are very tangible – scholarships for deserving kids to attend our camps and education programs, food/treats for all of our kennel residents and supply donations to keep our operating costs down, Annie’s Fund medical assistance for shelter pets…along with the above mentioned Behavior Department/SNIP needs.

So, get the whole family or neighborhood involved and do a fundraiser – toy drive, lemonade stand, garage sale, holiday goodies bake sale – turn it into a block party and "gather for good!" 

Remember, in the long run, you’re doing this for yourself, too!

By the way – HAWS presents a FREE screening of “The Christmas Bunny” on Sunday, December 18. This family holiday movie stars Mrs. Brady herself, Florence Henderson. Showtime is at 1:00pm – come early to view HAWS adoptable pets at noon. Concessions will be available.

By the way part 2 – Give the gift of life during this giving season! Come to the Blood Center of WI (human) Blood Drive at HAWS on December 22. Sign up for your appointment at
or call HAWS at 262-542-8851.

What's Happening: Dec 12 to Dec 19

12/01/11- 12/31/11
Country Christmas

Country Springs Hotel, 262-547-0201,

12/12/11- 01/21/12
Owen Gromme: The 115th Birthday Exhibition

Celebrating the “Dean of American Wildlife Artists,” this exclusive exhibit features over 30 original oil paintings held by the Gromme family, several that have never been publicly displayed.- Waukesha County Museum, 262 521-2859,

12/16/11- 12/18/11
Candy Cane Tales and Holiday Carols

This is our third year of this holiday mash-up, and every year we find new ways to share our love of these beloved holiday icons. This ever-changing show has become our very own tradition, and we welcome you to make it yours as well.- Waukesha Civic Theatre, 262.547.0708,

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Special Holiday Movie Screening this Sunday at HAWS

The Christmas Bunny, holiday, movie, adopt, house rabbits, donate, HAWS

Join us at HAWS this Sunday, December 18th for a very special movie screening of The Christmas Bunny. Showtime is at 1:00pm in the HAWS “Theater” (large activity room).

The Christmas Bunny tells the story of a lonely foster girl who finds an injured rabbit in the woods on Christmas Eve. The rabbit is nursed back to health by The Bunny Lady (everyone’s fave TV mom, Florence Henderson), who runs a rabbit rescue. 

Starring as “Rumple the Bunny” is Rupert, a French Mini Lop rabbit. He was given no special training for his role and all his actions were completely spontaneous! Rupert lives at an animal educational center in Michigan.

Bring the entire family and make an afternoon of it! Come early (HAWS is open on Sundays from noon – 4:00pm) and view the many adoptable rabbits, small animals, dogs and cats currently available at the shelter. Bring along a gift donation from our Wish List and get into the holiday spirit. Concession snacks will be available, and there will be drawings for prizes – including a HAWS special edition “Year of the Rabbit” t-shirt!

By the way – help us “Stuff the Subaru” with items for the animals spending the holidays at HAWS. Log onto our Wish List for ideas of what is needed, shop, then stop by the shelter and have your picture taken while you Stuff the Subaru for HAWS! Special thanks from all the paws and claws at HAWS and our friends at Subaru City!

Von Maur-anchored project may not begin construction until 2013

Brookfield, Retail

When I last wrote about The Corners, a proposed Town of Brookfield retail and office development anchored by a Von Maur department store, the expectation was that construction would begin in spring 2012, with the project opening in the fall of 2013.

But that timetable could be delayed by a year, Marcus Corp. Chief Executive Officer Greg Marcus said Thursday.

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What's Happening: Dec 19 to Dec 27

12/19/11- 01/21/12
Owen Gromme: The 115th Birthday Exhibition

Celebrating the “Dean of American Wildlife Artists,” this exclusive exhibit features over 30 original oil paintings held by the Gromme family, several that have never been publicly displayed.- Waukesha County Museum, 262 521-2859,

12/19/11- 12/31/11
Country Christmas

Country Springs Hotel, 262-547-0201,

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Taylor's People Park reopens in Waukesha

Openings, Waukesha

A bigger Taylor’s Peoples Park reopened today in downtown Waukesha, after having been closed since a fire Feb. 8, said co-owner Jim Taylor.

The popular bar and restaurant at 337 W. Main St. was rebuilt and expanded to the second floor and into a neighboring building at 811-813 Clinton St. It also now has a rooftop patio for the warm months.

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Giving Season Blood Drive at HAWS This Thursday!

HAWS, adopt, give, donate, blood drive

Former prosecutor gets Waukesha County court appointment

Jennifer Dorow was appointed Friday to serve as a judge in Waukesha County Circuit Court by Gov. Scott Walker.

Dorow is a former assistant district attorney in Waukesha now in private practice with Huppertz & Dorow, S.C. She will replace Mark Gundrum, whom Walker recently appointed to the state Court of Appeals.

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take a hike

Christmas, Salvation Army

As it's been a few weeks... and since it's Takin' the Blog for a Walk... Maybe if I got out walking more I'd have more to write about? I try to keep it positive, but it's a web log. Can't always be rosy.

Hiked about 12 miles today. Nice weather for Dec. 26th, though quite windy in places. I don't usually walk like that, and obviously didn't take Bailey, but had a lot on my mind for the fresh air to clear.

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What's Happening: Dec 27 to Jan 3

12/27/11- 01/21/12
Owen Gromme: The 115th Birthday Exhibition

Celebrating the “Dean of American Wildlife Artists,” this exclusive exhibit features over 30 original oil paintings held by the Gromme family, several that have never been publicly displayed.- Waukesha County Museum, 262 521-2859,

12/27/11- 12/31/11
Country Christmas

Country Springs Hotel, 262-547-0201,

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Packers vs Bears 2 wks in a row

Polar Plunge

It's hard to say who'll win come noon Sunday. Packers don't need the win to get to the playoffs or even for home field during them. The Bears, on the other hand, have been enjoying a string of seasonally moderate temperatures and Sunday is looking pretty good for them with a high in the mid 30s.

I expect even with competition from the Packers' noon start time the Milwaukee Polar Bears will welcome a huge crowd to Bradford Beach for the mid day swim.

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Sweet Sisters Seeking Sanctuary

Adopt, donate, Oompa Paws, polka, cats, HAWS

We have a wonderful selection of cats available for adoption at HAWS right now.  Good for you if you're looking for a cat!

May we suggest:  Radar and Lola.

(Radar is the brown tabby, Lola the black and white with tuxedo markings.)

Radar and Lola are a bonded pair.  These sisters, both 2-years-young, are spayed and ready to go home today if the right person came to visit!  They arrived at HAWS on November 9 because of a death in their family, and they are now patiently waiting for their new forever home.

Our volunteer cat socializers report that Radar and Lola are mature and not troublemakers.  They are serene and sweet little girls who like attention, but also peace and quiet.  A home with windows to look out of - and a few birds in the area - would be perfect.  You will love spending time with them, curled up this winter with a good book...maybe one about bird-watching?!

By the way:  HAWS will be open for receiving only this Saturday, 12/31 from 9am - 3pm.  We will be closed Sunday to observe New Year's Day...but we'll be back open for business as usual on Monday, January 2.  A Happy New Year to all pets and their people!

By the way, part 2:  While you're surfing, check out our Upcoming Events for January!  It's going to be a great month, with Oompa Paws on 1/28, Janboree at HAWS on 1/21, our bowling party on 1/29...c'mon along for the fun!

last chance to swim with an 82 yr old Polar Bear

Polar Plunge, J-S

Nice front page story on Garth's 60th and final Polar Bear Plunge in today's paper. Nice photos from the years too. Thousands of crazy and half-drunk New Year's Day dippers have him to thank for getting this started back in '53. I expect an even larger crowd will be on hand noon Sunday to witness his final plunge, thank him and wish him well.

You can see Garth at the 2:35 mark in the video I shared in my last post.

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