Hunkering down for the winter

Animals have been fashioned by the Creator with a deep-seated intuition to hunker down for the winter. For example, our Black Angus have developed a thick, furry winter coat. They look like lumbering black bears out there, roaming around against the white blanket of snow. It is a comforting sight as I gaze out to our pasture or see them gather around the water tank.

When my husband and I were discussing selling the cows he had once exclaimed, “When the cows go, that’s it, we’re not having any animals on the place.” At that point in time, he had had it. He was worn out and not thinking things through. This is one of the reasons why God placed a woman in a man’s life — to help him think things through.


Outdoor Christmas lights go up with few snags

While I was trying to figure out cyberspace and hoping the computer would be up and running, December decided to come. As I thought about the release date of Dec. 10, I realized that half of the last month of the year was nearly gone.

While the computer was being repaired, I found that I had a lot of free time. I guess I didn’t realize that what I thought of as a time saver was really using up a lot of my time. I could always play a game or check Facebook, and not clean or do any of the other things I wasn’t in the mood for doing.

One evening, I spent an hour cleaning off a corner of my built-in desk in the office. I felt proud of that accomplishment, but there were still things that needed to be put somewhere, so in reality, it isn’t really clean, but a sack of paper did go to recycling.


Theater goes quiet for a bit following holiday show

Merry Christmas! I know that it’s “politically correct” to say Happy Holidays instead, but I’ve been saying the original since I could talk, which some people say was the moment I came out of the womb, so I’m not about to change now!

Our Holiday at the Mielke show on Dec. 4 was well-received by our audience and we think it was a success. With admission at $7 and $5, it was a real economical treat for families. We had about 100 people enjoy the show.

A tip of the hat to Ken Lonnquist, for being the friendly emcee who held the show together and entertained us with his song and stories; Pastor John Eyer, for his wonderful piano selections; the charming Step N Sisters, who tap danced their way into the hearts of the audience; and the Wolf River Harmony singers, whose blended voices pleased everyone! Irma Timmons’ stories were enjoyed by the children and adults. Of course, I can’t forget the talented youngsters who sang and acted in “Ebony Scrooge.” Great job by all!


Library offering winter break programs

The Shawano City-County Library will offer several programs between Christmas and New Year’s Day for students on winter break.

Children’s programs will include Baby & Me at 10 a.m. Dec. 27, story time at 10 a.m. Dec. 28 and Gather ‘Round at 10 a.m. Dec. 29.
Teen Tuesday will feature crafty coloring on from 3-5 p.m. Dec. 27.

Movies for all ages will be available daily: “Elf,” at 2 p.m. Dec. 27; Thomas Kinkade’s “Christmas Cottage” at 2 p.m. Dec. 28, “The BFG” at 5 p.m. Dec. 29 and “Polar Express” at 2 p.m. Dec 30.

“The BFG” showing will also include a pizza dinner sponsored by Little Caesar’s.

Seating is limited for the movies, so register by visiting the library at 128 S. Sawyer St., Shawano, or calling 715-526-3829.

Due to the holidays, the library will close at noon Dec. 23 and re-open at 8 a.m. Dec. 27. The library will close at 5 p.m. from Dec. 27-30.



Photo by Rob Zimmer The beauty of native wildflowers in winter cannot be beat.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Gardeners who choose to leave their native wildflowers and perennials standing through the winter season enjoy spectacular beauty in their gardens in all four seasons.

For many, this week’s snowfall was the first of the season and a beautiful reminder of planning your landscape design and choices for year round beauty.

Native wildflowers and grasses are especially useful and elegant in the winter landscape. Even the lightest snowfall can create works of art in the garden as the dormant stems, flower heads and seeds of our native plants transform with the season.

Tufted and capped in white, plants such as wild bergamot, black eyed Susan, purple coneflower, rattlesnake master and more form a stunning garden centerpiece under a fresh blanket of white.

Even when there is no snow, colorful stems in shades of brown ranging from light tan to rich, deep chocolate, are beautiful to look at.

Heavy frosts also create wonderful sculptures of icy beauty as cold air condenses and freezes up on the stems, flower heads and seeds.


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Terry Moede is the coordinator of Toys for Tots in Shawano County.

Around 13 years ago, current Chief of Police Mark Kohl started a Christmas crusade to collect toys for kids and then deliver them to families in a squad car.

At the time, Herb and Marisa Rycroft, the Shawano United Methodist Church and the Shawano Area Food Pantry and Resource Center collected the toys. Now toys are collected through the Toys for Tots campaign.

“Everything we get is funneled through them,” said Terry Moede, coordinator of the drive for the last three years. “All our donations stay here.”

The Toys for Tots program joins forces with the Shawano Police Department, SAFPARC and Safe Haven to ensure toys are provided for children from birth to 15 years old.

“There’s a lot of families where that’s the only gifts they get,” Moede said.

There are 65 collection boxes throughout Shawano County for new, unwrapped toys. For the last two years, the Shawano Area Young Professionals have distributed and picked up the boxes.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Pam Moede does a lot of volunteering and makes up-cycled items to donate to benefits.

Pam Moede does a lot of volunteering, including making up-cycled items she donates to benefits.

Moede was born in Nichols and graduated from Seymour High School. She worked in the bakery in Black Creek and then was a Home Interiors sales representative for 25 years. She continued her education through Home Interiors to recruit and train sales people for the company. Now she works for Sorge CPA during the tax season.

Moede was a single mom to her son, Justin, until she met her husband, Terry. They have been married 18 years and live in the town of Wescott. When not volunteering, the couple enjoys camping.

She makes up-cycled items to sell on consignment at ‘Til the Cows Come Home in Shawano.

Q Where do you volunteer?


Computer issues take a byte out of the week

Warning: do not believe everything you see or hear, especially if it appears on your computer screen.

On Nov. 23, as I sat down at the computer for a few minutes rest, a frightening thing appeared on the screen. Instead of a few senseless minutes on Facebook or the more challenging FreeCell game, I saw, Microsoft, and lockdown, and do not use your infected computer.

Instead of stopping and thinking, and understanding that this was a scam, or to figure a way to check it out, I called the phone number that appeared on the screen. Had I not been harried in Thanksgiving preparation, had I not been seeking an immediate relaxing moment, I do not believe I would have called. But I did.


Christmas Bird Count set for Dec. 17

The annual Shawano Christmas Bird Count will take place from sunrise to sunset Dec. 17.

Bird watchers in the communities of Shawano, Bonduel, Adams Beach, Cecil, Belle Plaine, the Navarino Wildlife Area and the north shore of Shawano Lake will observe, identify and count birds of all kinds at feeders and along roadside fields. Several people will drive and hike in rural areas and along streams and lakes to observe and count birds.

This year will be the 117th Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society. The event is open to anyone interested in observing and counting the birds in their area, whether it is at a feeder in the backyard or traveling the countryside.

Anyone who has a birdfeeder can participate in the count by simply recording the numbers and types of birds that visit their feeders.

To sign up or for information, contact Navarino Nature Center at 715-758-6999 or


Arts council presents holiday show

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Christmas carolers, played by, from left, Crue Pederson, Aiden Winn and Mason Winn, walk into Ebony Scrooge’s office in a scene from “Ebony Scrooge.” The show’s cast includes participants in the summer theater workshop and the Box in the Wood summer musical “Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Mielke Arts Center.

If you’re uncertain about that, just look for little carolers and a miserly woman named Ebony.

The Shawano County Arts Council will present “Holiday at the Mielke” on Dec. 4 for one performance only. The show includes the one-act play “Ebony Scrooge,” along with a number of acts with a holiday theme.

Mary Madsen, president of the arts council, is directing the play. She said the idea for doing a one-act as part of an overall show came about after the council organized a shorter skit years ago involving the children from the annual summer theater workshop. The cast for “Ebony Scrooge” consists of actors from this year’s workshop, as well as performers from the summer musical, “Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.”


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