Community

Wed
08
Feb

PLANTING A SEED


Photo by Rob Zimmer Now’s the time to start getting children interested in gardening for the new year. Bring them along on trips to the garden center and let them pick out fun, colorful plants to grow at home.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Creating a butterfly garden to help feed monarchs and other colorful butterflies is a great way to introduce children to gardening.

In a society where increasing numbers of children are out of touch with nature, gardening and simply getting their hands dirty, getting youngsters involved in gardening is more important than ever. Even locally, there are children who don’t understand where food comes from or what many common foods look like on the plant.

At a recent winter farmers market, I was amazed at how many young children did not know what Brussels sprouts looked like on the stalk, or what a sweet potato looked like fresh from the garden.

Involving children in gardening is important for many reasons and, thankfully, there are many excellent ways you can help children get started in a lifelong hobby this growing season.

Start off right

One of the simplest ways to get children interested in gardening is to bring them to the garden center and have them select fun, colorful and unusual plants to care for, nurture and grow.

Fri
03
Feb

Nonprofit Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Volunteer Income Tax Assistance volunteers include, from left, Kathy Weidner, Randy Winkler and Judy Kraft.

The volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance are ready to make tax season less painful by doing taxes for free for area residents who qualify.

Judy Kraft, of Shawano, Randy Winkler, of Gillett, and Kathy Weidner, of Bonduel, prepare taxes Wednesdays at CoVantage Credit Union in Shawano.

“We enjoy what we do,” said Kraft, site coordinator for Gillett and Pulaski, where they also volunteer. “Our goal is to get money back for people.”

VITA is run through the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Volunteers are trained and certified to prepare basic income tax returns for free and offer free electronic filing.

Assistance is available to low- to moderate-income individuals along with those with disabilities and seniors. It is available to people who qualify for homestead credit and earned income credit.

Winkler has been doing taxes for several years. He is a retired Green Bay police officer.

Fri
03
Feb

Volunteer Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Brothers Andy Meisner, left, and Mike Meisner have been coaching boys basketball at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano for three years.

Brothers Andy and Mike Meisner have been volunteer boys basketball coaches at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano for three years.

Andy is a graduate of Sacred Heart and Shawano Community High School (2010). He played basketball, soccer, golf and track in high school. He has a degree from Fox Valley Technical College in web design and marketing. Andy, who lives in the town of Wescott, has worked at Radco in Shawano for nine years and also designs websites. He has also coached soccer and basketball, and likes to hunt and fish.

Mike is also a graduate of Sacred Heart and Shawano Community High School (2014). He competed in wrestling, soccer, track and basketball. He has a degree from Fox Valley Technical College as an automated manufacturing system technician. Mike, who lives in the town of Wescott, has been employed at Little Rapids in Shawano for three years. He likes to hunt, fish and do yardwork.

Fri
03
Feb

Office becomes hub for lifetime of memories

I have too much stuff. When I first made plans to build a house, I wanted an office, a secluded place to write and work on other hobbies that I have. This office was to be a room behind my garage, with windows to keep in touch with the outdoors.

I planned for counter space, so a desk would not be needed. I planned for drawers that could be used as a filing cabinet. My main thought was to have an office with a place for everything, and I made a promise that everything would be put in its place.

Then reality happened. Somehow this office has become the old enclosed front porch that I had out at the farm. Not sure what to do with something, I put it in the front porch. Over the years, much the same has happened to this office.

Fri
03
Feb

Our stand-up comedian

The diversity of God’s people never ceases to amaze me. As I’m working at my job with the U.S. Postal Service, I encounter many different personalities. Conducting business, there are those I can chat with pleasantly, and then again there are those that just want to get in, get at it and get out. I appreciate everyone’s situation and temperament and proceed accordingly.

In families, there can be totally different personalities as well. We have three kids, as many of you are aware. They are all unique, special and have their own style and mannerisms, some grand, some annoying and some downright funny. This is who we are, a part of the human race.

Our middle one has a unique talent: He is a stand-up comedian on the side. He has performed in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Stevens Point and Florida. Once when he visited his brother, who is an audio engineer in California, he was working at a particular venue and got his little brother on the set list.

Thu
02
Feb

FROM THE MIND TO THE BRUSH


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Judith Gosz’s artwork, including the three pieces behind her, are on display at Glas Coffeehouse in Shawano. She works with mixed media, watercoloring and other art forms to create what comes from her imagination.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Visitors to Glas Coffeehouse look at some of the work of Judith Gosz, an artist and art teacher living in Bowler. Gosz’s work will be on display at Glas through March 29.

For Judith Gosz, the inspiration for colorful creativity can come from anywhere.

One of her mixed media creations on display at Glas Coffeehouse in Shawano features an elderly woman crocheting. In the background, you can see intricate patterns that look like crochet work integrated into the image.

Gosz, who lives on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation near Bowler, has been fascinated with art since she was a child. She recalled watching her father paint signs by hand.

“I would watch him do the brush strokes to do the letters. That just fascinated me,” Gosz said. “That’s what got me into painting. I was always quiet enough to watch. My brothers and sisters didn’t have that patience.”

Gosz was also the only one who took care enough of her father’s pens and brushes to be allowed to use them to create projects for schools. To not take care of the artist tools would be “the end of everything,” she said.

Thu
02
Feb

WINTER CONIFERS


Photo by Rob Zimmer Conifers, such as this blue spruce, make an excellent choice for landscaping and gardens as they provide color and texture during all four seasons.

Photo by Rob Zimmer This weeping larch, along with other conifers with golden foliage, add a new dimension to the winter landscape.

Conifers in every shape and size show their true colors during the peak of winter when picturesque snowfalls decorate their branches, and their beautiful colors are a showcase feature of the winter garden.

Evergreens are more than just green in today’s world. There are conifers, or evergreens, that feature foliage in rich shades of blue, gold, chartreuse, as well as traditional deep green. With some evergreens, you also get splashes of red and purple as new growth and cones begin to appear in spring and early summer.

Conifers provide much-needed texture, color and beautiful form in the garden during all seasons, but especially so during winter when deciduous trees and shrubs drop their foliage and many garden perennials have lost their flair.

Shape and form

And assortment of conifers in a variety of shapes and sizes forms a permanent backbone or architecture in the garden to last during all four seasons.

Fri
27
Jan

Volunteer Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Harlan Pygman is on the board for Shawano Area Matthew 25.

Harlan Pygman, a professor of math and physics at College of Menominee Nation, is on the board for Shawano Area Matthew 25.

Born in Minneapolis, he graduated from Richfield High School. He attended Augsburg College, the University of Minnesota and Augustana College, where he got his degree in chemistry. He also got his masters in math from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Pygman worked for 25 years first as a chemist and then in executive sales and marketing. He worked in the chemical industry in Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota.

Then he bought an aviation business, Anoka Aviation Services. He was president and chief flight instructor, and got his commercial license.

Pygman has two children and five grandchildren. He lives in Forest Haven with Matty Mathison. Pygman likes to fly his airplane, ride motorcycle, work on projects, weld and read.

Q Where do you volunteer?

A “At SAM25. I’ve been there just over a year.”

Fri
27
Jan

Nonprofit Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Marla Sparks, corporate events director for the American Heart Association, is promoting Go Red Day in Shawano on Friday. She is holding a CPR kit.

February is American Heart Month.

Marla Sparks, of Shawano, is the corporate events director for the American Heart Association. She has made it her mission to educate women about heart disease. Right now Sparks is getting information out through the Go Red campaign.

“AHA allows me the opportunities to educate my family, friends and our community on cardiovascular disease, stroke, CPR, healthy eating and so much more,” Sparks said.

Heart disease takes the lives of more women than cancer, with 1-in-3 women in the United States dying from heart disease or stroke. That number can be changed by education and lifestyle changes.

“We’re trying to educate women how to prevent cardiac events,” Sparks said.

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

Fri
27
Jan

Sewing foray interrupts post-holiday cleanup

There is something about this time of year that seems to be in between. We are definitely in the throes of winter, although we have had warmer than normal temperatures of late. The Christmas season is definitely past, and yet there are remnants of it lingering in and outside of my house.

All of the outside decorations and lights are unplugged, but everything remains, as it is all frozen in, or the snow is too deep to retrieve it and the electrical cords.

My tree is still upstairs, although it has been removed of adornments and moved to a different location, so I can once again open the door to the patio. Now and then I have extras of bread or other treats that I throw out to feed the birds, or squirrels, whoever gets there first.

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