Clutter bug finds home in desk

This avalanche that I call my desk can be quite adept at hiding things. Every now and then, I need a stapler, and I can’t always even find that, not-too-tiny, handy tool. I finally had to break down and purchase a new one, and I made sure it was a bright orange, with some white, so it should always be easy to find.

Of course, that meant that I would find my old one right afterward, but I guess that is OK. Now I have two, and one should always be easy to grab. The staples are no big problem because I have the yellow box containing them on the window sill.

Every now and then, I make a valiant attempt to clean the desk. Usually that happens when I am looking for something that I am sure is on the desk. Perhaps a corner gets cleaned, and I get to feeling proud and promise myself that I will work a little every day until it is completely cleaned and neat. That has happened a time or two but not in recent years.


Heartfelt moments created at Bike the Barn Quilts

Contributed Photo Maureen “Muffy” Culhane runs past one of the mini quilts during the 5K run/walk portion of Bike the Barn Quilts in Shawano on Sept. 30. Culhane had extra motivation to get moving outdoors on the recent fall morning. She is the board president for SAM25, one of three nonprofits that benefit from money raised by the event.

After working behind the scenes last year, Maureen “Muffy” Culhane took the next step in the colorful Bike the Barn Quilts fundraiser in Shawano County this year.

Culhane, a pharmacist at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano for over 26 years, ran the 5-kilometer distance of the run/walk while still directing that portion of the fifth annual event Sept. 30.

“It’s a fun way to celebrate fall,” Culhane said. “It’s a beautiful time of the year to be outside, and it’s nice to promote healthy activity.”

ThedaCare has sponsored Bike the Barn Quilts since the start. The event features seven bike routes of 5 to 70 miles with scenic views of more than 300 decorative barn quilts that hang on barns throughout Shawano County. Organizers added the run/walk last year as a way to get more people, especially families, active outside while supporting the community.


Sacred Heart holds 8 baptisms in 1 day

Contributed Photo Eight families participated in baptism ceremonies Oct. 6 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano.

Contributed Photo Deacon Jim Lonick baptizes Anessa Marie Bantle during the all-school Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Oct. 6.

Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Shawano welcomed eight children into the community through the sacrament of baptism during an all-school Mass on Oct. 6.

Those baptized were Anthony Allery Jr., son of Anthony Allery and Lindsday Wilber; Jemma Faith Kaquatosh (new school student), daughter of Joseph Kaquatosh and Lindsay Wilber; Blake Gorr (new school student), son of Robert Ramos and Jena Gorr; Meah Brunker, daughter of Robert and Jennifer Brunker; Lane Brunker (new school student), son of Robert and Jennifer Brunker; and Anessa Bantle (new school student), Isabella Bantle and Leighla Bantle, daughters of Lisa Bantle.

The Rev. Tom Farrell and Deacon Jim Lonick performed the ceremony.


Dvorak opens society’s concert series Oct. 14

Mark Dvorak, a master musician, storyteller and songwriter based in Chicago, will open the Fall Concert Series hosted by Shawano County Historical Society on Saturday.

The concerts will be held in the Old Tabor Church at Heritage Park in Shawano.

Dvorak has been a regular performer at the Shawano Folk Music Festival for over 20 years. He has released 17 albums and performed in 38 states, and in Canada, Ireland and Finland.

“Mark has been on the road for a lot of years it seems,” said Joel Kroenke, concert director for Old Tabor Church. “He’s a masterful musician and an essential figure on the folk music scene. We’re thrilled to have Mark back in town.”

“Shawano Folk Festival has been a pillar in the Midwest acoustic community,” Dvorak said. “There is so much great work being done, and I feel lucky to have fallen in with the Shawano folks and am thrilled to be part of the first Old Tabor Church concert series.”



Photo by Rob Zimmer Gardeners are dreaming of spring time and colorful tulips as October bulb planting season arrives.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Some of the most dramatic tulips are the lily-flowering varieties, with flaring blooms and pointed petals.

In October, the dreams of gardeners turn to spring. The promise of masses of beautiful color in a rainbow pallet throughout the yard and garden tantalizes gardeners at area garden centers that are now stocked with spring blooming bulbs, ready for fall planting.

Tulips are the traditional favorite of many gardeners, coming in all shapes, sizes, colors and growing heights. From 4-inch miniature tulips to those that may reach 3 feet in height, these spectacular, colorful bulbs symbolize spring time in the garden.

October into early November is prime time for planting tulip bulbs for a spring showcase of incredible beauty.

Planting tulips is easy. Simply dig a hole or use a bulb planter to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, depending upon the size of the bulb. Backfill and you’re done.


County’s 331st barn quilt has dairy theme

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Bill Kolaske Jr., left, and his son, Bailey, are shown with Shawano County’s 331st barn quilt on their farm at N1021 Lawn Road, Seymour.

Bill and Carrie Kolaske, of Bonduel, have sponsored Shawano County’s 331st barn quilt. It is on the farm of Bill’s son, Bill Jr., at N1021 Lawn Road, Seymour.

The quilt pattern was designed by Bill’s son, Bailey, with the help of barn quilt project coordinator Jim Leuenberger. It features the heads of an Ayrshire cow and a Holstein cow to represent two of the breeds that make up Bill’s dairy herd. Also on the quilt is an International Harvester 1466 tractor to represent the brand of farm equipment used on the farm.

The quilt pattern has been named The Power of Dairy.


Library offers new escape

Beginning in October, the Shawano City-County Library is making “escape rooms” available to the public.

Escape rooms are a physical adventure game in which four to 10 players work together to collect clues and solve puzzles. Participants are tasked with uncovering the secret plot within a specific time limit. Escape rooms focus on team-building, cooperation and deductive reasoning.

Escape experiences last from 30-60 minutes and are appropriate for students in sixth grade and older. Younger participants are welcome if a parent or guardian also participates.

In upcoming months, the library will offer a variety of thematic escape rooms. Each theme will be a separate puzzle.

The program is ideal for work groups, birthday parties, friends and more.

Groups can contact the library to schedule individual program times. Larger groups can be split into smaller groups and run through the escape room back-to-back.


Program helps families deal with divorce

Classes designed to help families cope with divorce and separation will be held this month at Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano.

The three-week “Parents Forever” program, which begins Tuesday, is for parents with minor children. Its intent is to minimize parental conflict while keeping the children out of the middle of parental issues, according to a press release from Nancy Schultz, University of Wisconsin-Extension family living educator for Shawano County.

Classes will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, 17 and 24. Preregistration is required. A registration form must be filled out and sent along with payment of $15 for each parent participating the night of the first class. To register online, go to

Sessions will focus on guidelines for cooperative parenting, creating a parenting plan, stress and communication and managing conflict.


Erdman, Knope receive top Optimist awards

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Shawano Optimist officers are, from left, seated, Barb Schmid, treasurer; Diane Lohff, vice president; Gary Cumberland, president; Jim Leisner, vice president; and Dawn Clark, secretary; standing, directors Lorine Raddant, Michael Johnston, Dan Mauel, Greg Parker and Dawn Knope, and Gail Moesch, outgoing president. Not pictured: Ryan Koenig.

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Receiving the Shawano Optimist Club’s top awards for the 2016-2017 Optimist Year were Dawn Knope, who received a life membership in Optimist International, and Doug Erdman, who was named Shawano Optimist of the Year. Shown, from left, are Gail Moesch, outgoing president; Knope; Tony Yaggie, Optimist WINUM district governor; and Erdman.

The Shawano Optimist Club recently celebrated its 41st anniversary, holding its annual installation and awards banquet, during which officers and directors for the coming year were installed and special awards presented.

Doug Erdman, a long-time member of the club who has served as a director, vice president and president, and has participated in nearly every club project and fundraiser, was named Optimist of the Year.

For her continued efforts on behalf of the club, including serving as club secretary, Dawn Knope received a life membership in Optimist International.

Outgoing President Gail Moesch thanked the club members for their support during her presidency.


Mother Hubbard needs to restock the cupboard

I am getting to feel a bit like Old Mother Hubbard who went to her cupboard only to find her cupboard bare. While it is not that I am actually totally out of food, the supplies of some are nearly down to nothing, and others are getting fairly meager.

Other than run in quickly for something needed, I haven’t have had a chance to do any major shopping for about 10 days. By now, my milk is sour, but since my cereal is gone, that is OK, I guess.

I will need to make a list for sure, and check it twice so I don’t miss things.

Most of my trips out of town have been made on days when I was busy and too tired for a trip around a big store.

Today, when I am home most of the day, I am tired also and wanted to take a nap. The phone always rings just when I am drifting off, so I expect I will have an early night to bed instead.


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