Piano gets new life

There were two main things that my daughter was interested in while in grade school: softball and playing piano. While she maintained great grades in school and took a large selection of projects in 4-H, her greatest joy came on the softball field or playing piano.

I never encouraged piano for her, as I remembered how much my mother pushed piano lessons on me. I escaped the fate of having to take lessons because she was never able to find a used piano to purchase. She did find an organ once, and it got moved in, but piano teachers insisted I had to have a piano to take lessons.

I resisted the idea of playing, for some unknown reason. Perhaps it was because my mother wanted me to, and I was a stubborn child. Besides, my brothers weren’t being forced to play, so why should I?

I can’t quite remember how we got rid of the organ, but one day it was gone, and the specter of my having to take piano lessons went with it.


Classes explain Medicare options

Classes outlining the basics of Medicare will be held at three Shawano County locations in March.

Navigating the different systems of available Medicare benefits can be both tricky and frustrating. The Medicare Basics class will help area residents learn more about Medicare introductory information and other Medicare options that they might have.

The class will offered from 1-3 p.m. March 9 in the Community Education room at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St., Shawano; from 6-8 p.m. March 9 at the Wittenberg Community Center, 208 W. Vinal St., Wittenberg; and from 6-8 p.m. March 14 at the Shawano County Human Services Department, 607 E. Elizabeth St., Shawano.

The classes will be presented by the Aging and Disability Resource Center disability benefit specialist and the Shawano County Human Services elder benefit specialist.

Classes are free and open to the public.


Former governor headlines Alzheimer’s conference

Former Gov. Martin Schreiber will be the opening speaker April 11 at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Wolf River Area Spring Education Conference at the Menominee Casino Resort, 10277 State Highway 47-55, Keshena.

The conference program begins at 8 a.m. and will conclude by 4 p.m.

The conference provides opportunity for family and professional caregivers from across Northeastern Wisconsin to learn about Alzheimer’s research advances, latest care management strategies and ways to enhance caregiving skills. The day also features exhibits and displays sharing resources available in the area to support families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.


Alzheimer’s Association to honor outstanding caregivers in May

The Alzheimer’s Association invites nominations recognizing outstanding individuals and organizations across Wisconsin involved in helping families who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

The Outstanding Caregiver Awards are presented annually by the Alzheimer’s Association. Winners will be recognized at the 31st annual state conference May 7-9 in Wisconsin Dells.

Nominations are welcomed to recognize caregivers in the following categories:

• Courage Award: Recognizes an individual currently living with memory loss who is a role model for others through exemplifying support, education, advocacy and facing challenges.

• Family Caregiver Award: Recognizes an individual or family who embodies the courage to face the challenges of caregiving, the compassion to ensure dignity for their loved one and the wisdom to reach out for support.



Photo by Rob Zimmer Robins are beginning to appear in many areas locally, a sign of spring hope for those who spot them.

Photo by Rob Zimmer If you look up, the maples are in full flower bud, waiting for the first warm winds of March to open.

As we pass the peak of the winter season, Mother Nature is already showing signs and promise of the coming spring. Throughout our yards, gardens and wild places, the signs are there, some subtle, some quite obvious. Spring is on its way.

The extended January thaw we experienced helped the transition along, and now in mid-February, we see another big warmup.

Streams, creeks and rivers that normally hold their ice well into March are already running wild and free. In some areas of the state, the National Weather Service issued flood warnings for the rising waters, normally not seen until March or April.

Ice jams created problems along several state rivers as well as the warm weather and rainfall swelled rivers and streams beyond their banks.

Look closer

Our neighbors, the trees, are among the first wild creatures to show signs of the coming spring. Look closely at your maple trees. What do you see?


Shawano husband and wife know importance of CPR

Photo by Carol Wagner Kathy and Paul Hansen, shown with their daughter, Christa Hansen, remember distinctly what happened a year ago when Paul saved his wife’s life by performing CPR.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation saved Kathy Hansen’s life a year ago.

With February designated as American Heart Month, Hansen and her husband, Paul, want people to know the importance of learning CPR.

Paul and Kathy Hansen returned to their Forest Haven home after a family dinner in Green Bay in January 2016. He was sitting next to her while they chatted and snacked on chips.

Then “I realized she wasn’t talking,” Paul said.

Kathy’s head was slumped to the side, her breathing was labored and she was gurgling. He called 911.

“I told them what was happening,” Paul said. “They told me to start CPR.”

Paul had been trained in CPR at the Little Rapids Corporation paper mill in 1982.

“I still understood the concept,” he said. “I remembered telling myself to hold it together. I understood what needed to be done.”


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Yvette Hartman-Wilber is a volunteer for Donate Life Wisconsin.

Yvette Hartman-Wilber is a registered volunteer for Donate Life Wisconsin for Shawano and Menominee counties.

Born in Antigo, Wilber graduated from Antigo High School and earned a degree in business administration from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. She sold cars for eight years at Stark Automotive in Menomonee Falls, then became financial aid director at the College of Menominee Nation and then insurance director for the Menominee Indian Tribe.

For 16 years, Wilber has worked for her husband, Jonathan, who is owner of Master Key Consulting. She is also opening a women’s fun fashion boutique, Tumbleweed, in Shawano on March 2.

The couple’s daughter, Haley, is a student at St. Norbert College in De Pere. They live on Legend Lake.

Q Where do you volunteer?

A “I’m a registered volunteer for Donate Life Wisconsin.”

Q Why do you volunteer there?


Farmer’s Almanac provides food for thought

Late last year, I received a calendar in the mail from the Farmer’s Almanac. I don’t have a need for calendars around my house. If I have one by the computer and another in my purse, I am set. No longer do I need one for several rooms, nor do I need one for farmer husband to take to the barn.

I take all of my extra calendars to the thrift store for customers to take as needed. But I could not part with the Farmer’s Almanac calendar. For one thing, it had beautiful pictures of plants, and also garden ideas for each month.

In January it noted that houseplants should be repotted when the moon is waxing. I no longer repot my house plants. I am trying to get rid of my houseplants. I do water them when I think of it, but after years of having too many, I am letting them wan away on their own. Sometimes, I even plant them outside, but I never bring them back in come fall.


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner FoodWIse Nutrition is a federally funded program that serves Wisconsin residents with limited incomes. Shown, from left, are Lori Schuettpelz and Angie Wilber, nutrition educators, and Laura Robinson, nutrition coordinator, for Shawano and Menominee counties.

FoodWIse is a community nutrition education program serving residents with limited incomes in Shawano and Menominee counties. It is operated within the University of Wisconsin-Extension and federally funded.

“It is available to people who are food-assistance eligible,” local coordinator Laura Robinson said.

Nutrition educators Lori Schuettpelz and Angie Wilber work with Robinson to visit schools and organizations to teach people about the program and the importance of good nutrition. Last year, 3,819 contacts were made locally, reaching 1,749 individuals.

Education on healthy food choices is presented at schools, WIC clinics, food pantries and the monthly Shawano Community Dinner.

“We are all over the place,” Robinson said.


‘London Suite’ in rehearsal, opens April 20

Happy Valentine’s Day! Remember your sweetie on this special day. Your sweetie could not only be your spouse or significant other, but also may be Grandma and Grandpa, or your kind neighbor or the lonely lady you see sitting in back of church all by herself. A cheerful valentine might be just the thing to brighten their day. Think about it.

The Mielke stage will be alive again with actors rehearsing for “London Suite,” the Neil Simon adult comedy that will run April 20-23 and April 27-30. Nathaniel Madsen and Early Fuller, co-directors, have chosen their cast.


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