Hope for backyard cleanup springs eternal

This week, I had time to explore the wilds of my backyard. Why is that blue flag there? How bumpy is that hole that arrived one year ago?

It seems that when a person builds a house in the woods, stumps get buried in the backyard. Then, after a few years, and some rain, those stumps turn to mush and there is a hole. It is something I discovered when I was looking at daffodils a year ago.

I was very fortunate that I saw it, or I would have fallen into it, or before we tried mowing the lawn. I think the John Deere would have partially dove in. I recalled that someone came with a bucket full of dirt and just dumped it in, and then it was never tended to by leveling it off. So the blue warning flag remained, and that part of the yard was not attended to. I am determined this year will be different.


Clintonville youngsters spend the night in cardboard boxes

Photo by Grace Kirchner St. Martin Lutheran School seventh-graders, from left, Nathan Schley, Ben Behnke and Jonah Klockzien prepare to spend Saturday night sleeping in cardboard boxes as part of a community service project called “Shanty Town.”

Photo by Grace Kirchner Nicole Kirchner, left, and Breanna Malueg get ready to spend the night in a cardboard box as part of a St. Martin Lutheran School project to raise awareness about homelessness.

Youth from St. Martin Lutheran Church in Clintonville spent Saturday night in “Shanty Town.”

Shanty Town is a community service project designed to raise awareness about being homeless and the living style of those less fortunate. Shanty Town was located in the fenced play yard at St. Martin Lutheran School.

“We are reminded what it is like to be without a home, seventh-grader Ben Behnke said. “It is fun and maybe once in a lifetime that I will do this.”

Ben said his mother got a refrigerator box from an Appleton store for his shanty. He and his father spent much of the day duct taping and folding to create a bedroom.

“I have a heavy blanket, a Memory Foam blanket and a mattress pad,” Ben said.

Jonah Klockzien was able to find a big box in the dumpster at the Landmark Motel. He found a mattress along the highway and made a couch. He made a door, created a table and brought along a deck of cards.


The long and winding road of the tomato

Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Thomas Jefferson developed recipes for tomatoes and cultivated a variety of them on his Monticello estate. This dish is called Monticello Pickled Tomatoes.

I know of no other food product that has taken a more circuitous route to mainstream culinary prominence than the tomato. The twists and turns of this historical journey are many, and widely debated.

Ironically the famous tomato dishes of the Mediterranean countries such as Italy, France and Spain literally have their roots in Central and South America.

The consumption of tomatoes probably began in the Andes mountains of Peru, where wild tomatoes can still be found. By the time the Spanish arrived, there was widespread cultivation of tomatoes across Central and South America. Initially, the Europeans thought the fruit to be toxic and only the native people could eat them and survive. This belief lasted for many years.


Library has programs for all ages in May

Programs at the Shawano City-County Library for May include a Kentucky Derby Tea, gardening classes and several movies.

The Kentucky Derby Tea will be held at 2 p.m. May 3. The 143rd running of the derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is May 6.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wolf River Master Gardeners will present a Gardening Basics class at 5:30 p.m. May 1 and a session on Container Gardening at 5:30 p.m. May 8.

The movie schedule for May features “Sing” (PG) at 10 a.m. May 6, “A Dog’s Purpose” (PG) at 1 p.m. May 11 and “Rogue One” (PG-13) at 5:30 p.m. May 15.

Also, NWTC career adviser Ileana Rodriguez will lead a resume how-to class at 5 p.m. May 10.

Other May programs include the following:

- Baby & Me, 10 a.m. May 2 and 9.

- Story Time, 10 a.m. May 3, 10 and 17.

- Gather ‘Round, 10 a.m. May 4, 11 and 18.



Photo by Rob Zimmer Many annuals, such as these begonias, provide breathtaking foliage in shades of purple and black.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Black Lace Elderberry features unusual, elegant foliage, lacy and feathery in rich, deep purple or black. It combines well with lime green and chartreuse, as well as pink, cobalt blue and orange.

Create an aura of mystery and intrigue in the garden this year by including plants that feature richly colored foliage in shades of purple.

One of the hottest colors in plant breeding and hybridization currently is deep, dark bronze or purple. This is showcased especially in the foliage of many garden perennials, trees, shrubs and annuals.

Plants that feature richly colored, dark foliage are perfect in the garden when paired with lime green, as well as blossoms in yellow, pink, orange and rich blue.

In addition to the unusual color, many dark-leaved perennials also feature foliage rich in texture, complete with ruffling, cut leaves, palmate leaves, lacy foliage and more.

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite dark-leaved perennials to create mystery in the spring and summer garden.

Black Lace Elderberry


Twig turns 90

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Floyd “Twig” Hartwig, right, shares a laugh with his longtime friend and former worker Dale Pleshek during a surprise 90th birthday party for Hartwig at the Sun Drop museum Sunday.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski More than 100 people gathered Sunday for Floyd Hartwig’s 90th birthday celebration. Many reminisced about his long life and many accomplishments as the man who brought Sun Drop soda to Shawano.

More than 100 friends and family members gathered Sunday to celebrate the birth of the man who brought Sun Drop soda to Shawano.

Floyd “Twig” Hartwig turned 90 on Monday, but well-wishers celebrated a day early with a surprise party at the Sun Drop museum behind the Twig’s bottling plant. They saw photos and newspaper clippings of his many years bottling soda in Shawano, a tradition continued today by his descendants.

Dan Hartwig, Twig’s son, noted that the longtime bottler and occasional Shriners clown has some physical difficulties in his golden years, using a walker to get around, but people shouldn’t take that as a sign that Twig’s mental capacities are as frail.

“It seems like he’s as sharp as ever,” Dan Hartwig said. “Mentally, he has plans and he has goals. He has things he wants to have done, and he still helps me out all the time (with the business).”


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Officers of the Shawano Woman’s Club are, from left, Mary Martzke, recording secretary; Karen Fischer, vice president; Karen Kupper, president; and JoAnn Radeske, treasurer.

The Shawano Woman’s Club was started in 1897 by women who wanted to make a difference in their community.

“They created the library and started the historical society,” club President Karen Kupper said.

In 2017, the club is continuing to make a difference by raising money for the library and many other organizations.

The club will hold its biggest annual fundraiser, the 13th annual Spring Fling Fashion Show, May 4 at The Gathering in Shawano. The theme is “Sharing the Light.”

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Kupper said.

Stores providing the fashions are Dreiers, Body Essentials, Tumbleweed, Maurice’s and Generations, all in Shawano, and B&H, in Clintonville. Sandi Bocik of Maximus Salon will provide wigs.

There will be ticket raffles, basket raffles, a silent auction, and a board with gift certificates, which Kupper said was a big hit last year.

“Every year we try to make it better,” she said.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Sharon Schlender has been volunteering at the Bonduel Community Archives for many years.

One of the places Sharon Schlender volunteers is at the Bonduel Community Archives.

Born and raised in Bonduel, Schlender graduated from Bonduel High School. She worked in the office of Morley-Murphy in Green Bay for five years. That was followed by working for a veterinarian, Dr. William Burmeister, for a year in Pulaski, then back to Bonduel to work at Equity Livestock. She then went back to Pulaski, then Bonduel and Wayside. In 1993 she retired back to Bonduel.

Schlender has been married for 60 years. She has five children (one is deceased), 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Q How did you get started with the archives?


Spring and summer shows are set at Mielke

Well, I’ve been on the disabled list for a bit with a bum knee. The pain and lack of mobility caused me to step down from my small role as Mrs. Sitgood in scene 4 of “The London Suite,” which opens Thursday at the Mielke Arts Center.

Luckily for me, Mary Madsen was gracious enough to take my place. She was trying to be involved only with the box office, and take a break from acting and directing, but that didn’t work!

I thank you, Mary, and I know you will be perfect as the proper, efficient Mrs. Sitgood!

Back to business, late as it is.

Performances of “London Suite,” the comedy by Neil Simon, are set for 7 p.m. April 20-22 and 27-29 and 2 p.m. April 23 and 30.


Flowers aren’t waiting for bed cleanup

The daffodils opened in time for Easter this year. I kept looking at them, as they were grinning their sunny, yellow faces at me, and hoped I could get some picked to put in a vase on the table. When my daughter and family came, I was finishing up peeling the potatoes, so I asked my granddaughter if she would go out and pick some for me.

You see, the fall after I moved here, I decided to plant daffodils and tulips around the outside of my yard. My friends told me that I shouldn’t bother with the tulips, as some little animal will eat the bulbs. They were correct; most of the tulips have vanished over the 12 years I have lived here.

I do recall the difficulty I had in planting the bulbs. I followed the directions, but digging the holes proved to be a challenge to my shoulders. Instead of getting all around the yard, I only made it along the east side, part of the back and part of the west side. The leftover bulbs were given to any friend who wanted them.


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