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Women in power



Party of one? Thanks, I’ll pass Have you ever been invited to a pity party? Last month, I attended one. Sadly, no one else came. Has this ever happened to you? I was sitting at my desk when my Realtor called to say the hot prospects — the ones sure to put in an offer — decided they did not want my house. My husband and I have been trying to sell our home in Illinois since I took this job at the Kenosha News. During the past year and a half, we have been the bridesmaid on several occasions but, so far, never the bride. All I wanted was to be in a home of my own before Christmas. Is that too much to ask? I am not going to lie; I left work and went to a huge pity party. I was there by myself, and although I was talking (believe me, I was literally talking out loud) no one was there to hear me. My husband drove to Illinois that same night to cut the grass and check up on some things. When he came home that evening, the last thing he wanted was to hear me complain and cry about the situation. He was exhausted and dirty, all he wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed. Everyone who called me that night wished they hadn’t. You see, I was trying to force them to come to the party and they clearly didn’t want to. After I put away the party snacks — and there were plenty, as I am a binger when I am upset) — I went to bed. I woke up the next day and reality hit. The party I attended the night before was a real drag. I decided that type of “party” is not meant for someone like me — someone who has the blessings of a two-income family and the finances that make it possible for me to run two households for 18 months. I clearly had no right to be at that party. I will continue to market my home and live in my apartment, yearning for the furniture and belongings I became so fond of, but I will not lose track of the hope that must be present every day, the hope that will prevent me from being sucked into the temptation to accept future invitations to those awful, lonely parties. Some invitations are better not accepted … but don’t forget your RSVP. In the process of getting to know one another, I would like to talk with you about the challenges and opportunities life presents. I’ll ask in each issue “can we talk?” If you have something you think would make a great topic, e-mail me at Perhaps I can work it into a future column. Lani Renneau She managing director


Election fatigue. It’s something we experience every four years after many long months of listening to candidates campaigning for our country’s highest office. But this is no time to let that weariness paralyze you. No, now is the time to consider getting into a race for public office yourself. Come Dec. 1, you can start circulating papers for some local municipal and school board seats that will be on the ballot in spring. You’ll have until 5 p.m. Jan. 2 to file your papers. I know a little bit about such contests, having covered spring elections in western Kenosha County for more than a decade as a Kenosha News reporter. I often wondered why more women didn’t run for office. And I never could understand why so many women who successfully won seats on school, town and village boards didn’t step up to the president or chairwoman positions after a few years on those boards. Sure, some did. But I know of several boards in Kenosha County that never had a woman at the helm during my years of covering them. In fact, some never even had female members during my tenure. I think women’s reluctance to take on leadership roles stems, at least in part, from the way we were raised. I know when I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, girls were taught to be submissive. We learned to be peacemakers, not troublemakers. So many of us question our ability to assume powerful positions. I believe things have changed, but not to the degree they should. If we had come as far as we should, then girls wouldn’t be seeking attention by inappropriately exposing themselves (think “Girls Gone Wild”) or limiting their educational options or accepting the circumstances of abusive relationships. We need to do a better job being strong role models for our daughters, our granddaughters, our nieces — all the girls in our lives. One way to start: Run for office. Need some inspiration? Read Arlene Jensen’s article starting on Page 22. She shares with us the stories of four local women — why they decided to run for office and where their efforts have taken them. I think you’ll find if they can do it, there’s no reason you can’t. Kathleen Troher She editor



She is a trailblazer. A nurturer. A guide. She is the first magazine for, by and about southeast Wisconsin women. She embodies the women featured on her pages. Women striving to balance work, family and community commitments. Women improving themselves and those around

them physically, spiritually, intellectually. Women giving their all while maintaining their sense of self. Women finding themselves by losing their fears. Versatile. Diverse. Empowered. She is making a difference. She is you.

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he magazine would not be what it is without guidance and support from its 10-member Advisory Board. These are women from the community who have helped shape the magazine by providing their insight and recommendations. These women offered initial input as we created the outline for She, and they will meet with us periodically to ensure we’re on the right track. But that is the extent of the contribution we expected. Readers should contact She staff members, not Advisory Board members, should they have questions about content, advertising or subscriptions.


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If you would like to have She mailed to your home, please complete the order form below. A $15 annual subscription rate applies.

Managing director Lani Renneau Editor Kathleen Troher Design director Brian Sharkey Assistant design director Julie Vander Velden Photo editor Kevin Poirier Editorial assistant Kathy Pfaffle

Clip and mail to:

Web site coordinator Terry Maraccini

She c/o Kenosha News 5800 7th Ave. Kenosha, WI 53140

CONTACT US News: Kathleen Troher,, (262) 656-6363

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Advertising: Patti Clausen,, (262) 656-6231


Marketing: Raechel Tudjan,, (262) 656-6353 To purchase photos: Visit our Web site at



Make sure this isn’t your last issue of She magazine. We’re preparing to refresh our mailing list. If we’re already delivering She to your home, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be on our new mailing list. But there’s only one way to be absolutely certain you’ll receive She in 2009. Complete and mail the order form on this page or subscribe on our Web site at If you’ve already subscribed, you don’t have to do anything. Don’t leave your She magazine subscription to chance. Subscribe today! Published by the Kenosha News 5800 Seventh Ave. Kenosha, WI 53140 Main phone: (262) 657-1000; Toll free: (800) 292-2700 Web site: © 2008 by the Kenosha News, a division of United Communications Corporation. All rights reserved.

She wants you. > She magazine is looking for women to be featured in upcoming issues. If any of the subjects below interest you, please send an e-mail to she@kenoshanews. com. Be sure to tell us how we can contact you. > Are you and your husband an outgoing, fun, confident couple? Consider becoming the subject of our She and He feature (see page 62), in which we ask spouses a series of questions to better understand the similarities and differences between men and women. > Is there a female relative in your life — your mother, grandmother, aunt — who has been an inspiration to you? We want to know the many ways this role model has encouraged and supported you. This woman must be available to pose for a photo with you for our In Her Day feature (see page 70). > Do you feel passionately about the activities you enjoy, the books that shape you, the everyday philosophies that guide how you live your life? Share them with our readers by answering the questions in the My Favorite Things feature (see pages 39 to 43).

Yes, I would like She delivered to my home for $15 a year. (6 issues)

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Three for Me: Improving your life physically, emotionally, intellectually Racine Alderwoman Sandy Weidner

Sharon Village Trustee Diana Dykstra





Raylene Bernotat helped document work done by Hope Institute of Uganda.


Kindred Spirits: Racine woman lends photography skills to Hope Institute of Uganda Volunteer opportunities: What you can do to help


A Woman of Substance: Christine Shields Kann markets success


Women, Wisdom and Wealth: Finances and your growing family


How to get involved in local government Four women, four elected public officials. A village trustee, and city alderwoman, a county supervisor and a county clerk — each found her way into politics through a different route but each is convinced more women are needed in elected positions. Find out how they did it, and whether running for office is right for you.


Christine Shields Kann runs her own market research company.






Kenosha County Supervisor Shavonda Marks

One to Watch: Who’s climbing the career ladder?

27 Home and Garden:



Linda Dosemagen’s Forever Christmas store in downtown Kenosha has a warm, inviting feel all year.

Add a personal touch to your Christmas gift-giving

31 Fashion: The little black dress, why you need at least one

34 Shopping: What’s hot this holiday season

39 My Favorite Things: Music, movies, books, clothes, what’s near and dear to her heart?

31 Helen Johnson models a little black dress she bought from Nancy’s Petite & Modern Missy in Lake Geneva.

44 Hidden Gems: The Christmas Barn and Forever Christmas

48 Getaway: Take a trip to Fish Creek in Door County

54 Events Calendar: What’s happening, when and where

56 Out and About: Faces in places you know

SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT 62 She and He: Spouses answer questions about themselves and each other

64 What’s in a Name: Readers tell us about their unusual names

68 Liz Out Loud: The lowdown on high-calorie holiday foods

70 In Her Day: A tribute to Mom SHE l Dec 2008/Jan 2009 l 9

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Turning the page

Members of the Fifth Avenue Book Club meet at Charlotte Chell’s home in the late 1970s. Women who are still members of the group are Mary Dixon, fourth from left, Charlotte Chell, fifth from left, and Marialyce Kornkven, first person on right.

Mary Mar Dixo

As a club mem of th Ave Boo have mor 300


Members of the Fifth Avenue Book Club meet at club member Mary Dixon’s Kenosha home. They include, front row from left: Darleen Chiappetta, Marsha Caporaso, Kirsten McVey, Marialyce Kornkven and Judith Love. Back row from left: Sheillah Walsh, Jane Bekos, Judy Wamboldt, Lynn Jurvis, Mary Fetherston, Marlene Mundell, Mary Dixon, Charlotte Chell and June Pomatto.



or more than 30 years, the Fifth Avenue Book Club in Kenosha has inspired women to share their favorite books while building long-time friendships. The club meets every month, rotating among the homes of the roughly 20 members. As new women move into the neighborhood, they are invited to join the group, which still has three founding members: Marialyce Kornkven, Mary Dixon and Charlotte Chell.

Kornkven credits the group with encouraging members “to read things you would not ordinarily choose on your own.” Dixon, who loves to travel, sometimes contributes suggestions with an international flair, such as “Holy Cow,” a book about India by Hara McDonald. It details the American author’s adjustment to living in India. > Page 11

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hen your child isn’t getting the grades you think he or she should, call Huntington Learning Center. Our certified teachers can find out what’s holding your child back and create an individualized program of instruction designed to fix the problem.

Mary Dixon, from left, Marialyce Kornkven, Sheillah Walsh, Kirsten McVey and Marlene Mundell, all members of the Fifth Avenue Book Club, gather at Mary Dixon’s Kenosha home for a meeting.



> Book club, from 10

As a club, the members of the Fifth Avenue Book Club have read more than 300 books.


aso, Mun-


n, s


Long-time member Darleen Chiappetta said she believes the group has thrived thanks to the variety of books and the flexibility of its members on book choices. “We haven’t been loaded down with a lot of rules,” she said. Chiappetta said members have selected books ranging from classics, such as Jane Austen novels, to current works like Michael Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire,” which focuses on food and the way we get it. “We read autobiographies sometimes,” she said. “We try to sample authors, especially those nominated for or who have won Nobel prizes for literature.” Some of the books recommended by members include: > “Saving Fish From Drowning” by Amy Tan. In this story, a socialite plans to lead a group of high-powered friends on a trip down the Burma Road. She dies under mysterious circumstances before the journey begins, but the group goes off anyway, and the woman tags along as a spirit. > “A Free Life,” by Ha Jin. Here we meet the Wu family — father Nan, mother Pingping and son Taotao — who have severed their ties with China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre to begin a new life in the United States. We learn of Nan’s love of poetry and literature and how it sustains him through difficult, lean years. > “Waiting,” also by Ha Jin, is about a Chinese army doctor in love with a nurse while trapped in an arranged marriage to a woman who will not give him a divorce. > “Yak Butter Blues,” by Brandon Wilson, details the 1,000-kilometer trek through the Himalayas that Wilson and his wife completed.


— Kris Kochman

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Karen Bagdasarian, of Racine, has found a boost in her self confidence and in her self-defense skills through Krav Maga classes taught at Chay’s Tae Kwon Do in Racine.

Confidence boost


s a busy, single mom who holds two jobs, Karen Bagdasarian of Racine has found the ideal fitness class to meet her needs. The past seven years she has taken classes in Krav Maga, which have boosted her self confidence and her self-defense skills. An added bonus: The class is a great cardiovascular workout, too. Krav Maga is the self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Force, and it is used by many law enforcement agencies. The class is offered at Chay’s Tae Kwon Do in Racine, where Bagdasarian’s son was taking classes. Bagdasarian decided to sign up for a short course in the self-defense class, and she’s been hooked ever since. “I was always afraid at night to walk by myself,” she said. “I’m not afraid anymore; it’s been really great.” Even after seven years, Bagdasarian said she isn’t tired of attending sessions once or twice per week. “It seems like I’m still learning,” she said. Each class begins with stretching, and then it moves into a cardiovascular workout that incorporates punches Karen Bagdasarian, of Racine, stretches before beginning her and kicks. Students learn how to Krav Maga self-defense class. defend themselves in a variety of situations, including escapes from different chokeholds. Bagdasarian said some of her male friends have let her try out the techniques with them. They were pretty surprised at her ability to defend herself, she said. She added that her 14-year-old son — who earned a black belt in tae kwon do — has been supportive of her efforts, too. “It has been such a great self-confidence booster for me,” she said. “I love it.” For more information on Krav Maga classes, call Chay’s Tae Kwon Do, 2720 Old Mill Drive, Racine, at (262) 633-7090. 699215

— Kris Kochman

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Ken hav ago mil she sinu S mon 590 whe lice holi ist, can T inse in t ligh tle v bloc said he a the ing Thi dra an h aro ear can “M imp resu “O mu inte with P St., from “P som M “I said men F 656

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Lighting the way


f you’re not familiar with the service, ear candling sounds strange. But in fact, “it’s like heaven,” Karen E. Maki said in describing the treatment that she credits with relieving her ear and sinus problems. “I haven’t been sick in almost five years,” said Maki, of Kenosha, who has been a fan of ear candling since she started having it done five years ago. Before she became familiar with the treatment, she suffered from frequent sinus and ear infections. She looks forward to her monthly visits to Equinox, 5901 Sixth Ave., Kenosha, where Curzio Caravati, a licensed esthetician and holistic skin-care specialist, uses specially designed candles for this purpose. The treatment involves inserting a hollow candle in the client’s ear, then lighting it to create a gentle vacuum that unclogs blocked drainage. Caravati said the facial massage he administers leads to PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN PASSINO the results, not the burnCurzio Caravati of Equinox performs a facial ing of the candle by itself. massage on Karen Maki of Kenosha during This intensive lymphatic an ear candling treatment. The candle credrainage massage, about ates a gentle vacuum that, coupled with the an hour long, is performed massage, unclogs blocked internal drainaround the eyes, nose and age, relieving ear and sinus discomfort. ears, while a total of four candles are burned, two for each ear. “Most clients feel much better right after the service, but the improvement continues for days,” he said, noting that the positive results occur because proper internal drainage is restored. “Our stressed lifestyles clog our internal drainage, and the accumulation of toxins leads to discomfort,” he said. “So unclogging the internal drainage gets rid of the toxins and makes you feel better without using antibiotics.” Penny Strohkirch, co-owner of Rejuvenations salon, 215 Sixth St., Racine, said she has a number of clients who have benefited from this treatment. “People who have it done believe in it,” she said, noting that some people experience more benefits than others. Maki has no doubts ear candling has helped her. “It’s not dangerous. There’s no harm to you whatsoever,” she said. “I look forward so much to going in every month for my treatment. You just melt. It’s very, very peaceful.” For more information on ear candling, contact Equinox at (262) 656-1830 or Rejuvenations at (262) 637-7151.

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Into Africa

Photographer Raylene Bernotat of Racine was in Uganda last summer to document the work of Hope Institute of Uganda. She is wearing a necklace made of recycled magazines and a special lacquer by the people she visited in Uganda.

Ray Uga

> Af

Racine woman can’t pass up opportunity to work with Hope Institute of Uganda By Terry Flores Raylene Bernotat’s soul has somehow always been a part of Africa even though she never had been on the continent before. But that changed this summer when for 15 days Bernotat, 29, of Racine, captured the images of villagers, children, medical staff and other volunteers in Jinja, Uganda, where Hope Institute of Uganda ( recently established itself earlier this spring. Bernotat, who is a member of the institute’s board in Janesville, visited Uganda in August, primarily documenting the humanitarian work of doctors and nurses on the medical team that serves the institute at St. Francis Hospital in Buluba, which overlooks Lake Victoria. Founded by Bernotat’s good friend Dr. Joy Ngobi, a Janesville anesthesiologist and a native of Uganda, Hope Institute of Uganda is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that focuses on five projects: scholarships for uniforms and books; medical care; a future vocational center; a bamboo-forestation > Page 15

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pro end serv paig B Ngo insp afte orp tive tha lack extr lost Lat as L age way help esp citi B lear kne not age phe wer to t Plu tion onc tha leop In Hop was call B also Afr nity itse “H love was she B


Massage Facials Pedicures Nails Waxing Designer Cuts Color Highlights Perms


Raylene Bernotat was captivated by the children she met during her trip to Uganda with Hope Institute of Uganda. > Africa, from 14

project; and a jewelry making endeavor that raises funds and serves as an awareness campaign for the group. Bernotat said Ngobi and Ngobi’s husband, Gideon, were inspired to create the institute after helping care for the many orphaned children of their relatives who died from diseases that are preventable but they lacked appropriate care due to extreme poverty. After Ngobi lost her sister to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the age of 38, the doctor sought a way to turn her grief to hope by helping the people of Uganda, especially its most vulnerable citizens: its children. Bernotat said when she learned of Ngobi’s plans, she knew she wanted to help. Bernotat, the mother of three boys ages 5, 7 and 12, is a photographer, and she knew her skills were needed to bring awareness to the organization’s cause. Plus, she had felt a connection to Africa for years, having once volunteered for a group that rescues lions, tigers and leopards. In agreeing to help Ngobi’s Hope Institute of Uganda, it was as if she was answering a call from a sister. Bernotat’s husband, Bernd, also knew she had a passion for Africa, and when the opportunity to help Ngobi presented itself, he was very supportive. “He knew I had an extreme love for Africa. He knew this was very much a love of mine,” she said. Bernotat’s two weeks in

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$5 Gift Certificate Joy Ngobi, a Janesville anesthesiologist and native of Uganda, founded Hope Institute of Uganda. She is seen here with her sons Josh, seated in luggage cart, and Jacob. Africa produced images of a medical team that at one point had performed 81 surgeries in just over three days. She said people came from all over the area when they heard that doctors were there to help them. “We had one guy who walked 35 miles to have surgery,” she said. “He had a hernia.” While she was taking pictures she found herself captivated by the children, who would crowd around her to see how they looked on her digital cameras. But as much as they were taken by the technology, they seemed to be just as fascinated with her. Most of the villagers never had seen white people before. Once, while her guide and interpreter was driving her through the countryside, Bernotat was greeted by friendly bands of youth and little > Page 16



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> Africa, from 15

children running toward their truck shouting in their language “Mzungu! Mzungu!” or “white person.” “It wasn’t in a derogatory way, it was that they were welcoming you,” she said. Among the projects that most amazed her was the jewelry making of expert beaders in the village. Bernotat has a suitcase full of their colorful handiwork, the beads constructed of recycled magazines and special lacquer. “One thing that I’ve found is that nothing goes to waste there. Nothing,” she said. Bernotat takes the necklaces and bracelets to craft fairs where she sells the women’s wares and spreads the word about Dr. Joy Ngobi and the Hope Institute’s mission. “I believe in the power of human strength and in people who have the strength of mind and body and spirit to help others,” she said. “We have a duty to others in being able to go above and beyond and not hesitating when someone is in need. And that, I believe is the essence of being a true friend.”

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Thinking about donating some of your time or talents to those in need? Consider the following volunteer opportunities in your area. RACINE/RACINE COUNTY The Racine YMCA Empowering Women’s Center Dress for Sucess/suitings: Women needed to help low-income, abused or homeless women pick out outfits they can wear to job interviews. Call Sandy Bink or Carla Ward at (262) 989-9922. Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast Mailing volunteer: Assist with mailings, copying, collating, labeling, etc. Call Mary Schulz at (262) 598-0909. Ellsworth Correctional Center Tutors: Assist female offenders assigned to school with GED preparation. Tutoring can occur one-on-one or in small groups. Call Margaret Done at (262) 878-6000. Love Inc. Food pantry helpers: Assist customers during food pantry hours, restock shelves, make freezer bags. Call Candy Kuehl at (262) 763-6226. Racine Zoological Society Conservation education volunteer: Assist with programs and conduct exhibit interpretation. Call Melissa Davidson at (262) 636-9580.

Sexual Assault Services Sexual assault advocate: Answer 24-hour crisis line via mobile phone for victims of sexual assault, respond to hospital when a victim presents for a forensic exam; provide crisis intervention, emotional support and referrals. Call Samantha Sustachek at (262) 619-1634. KENOSHA/KENOSHA COUNTY Kenosha Public Museums Greeters and volunteers for the Civil War Museum resource center, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum’s dinosaur dig, and people to lead school group tours and classes. For more information about Kenosha Public Museums, call volunteer coordinator Mari at (262) 653-4139. The Sharing Center Volunteers needed to help unpack clothing donations; to sort donations and place them on shelves; to help pack food baskets; to pack, load and distribute holiday baskets; and to move boxes to and from the basement. Volunteers also are needed to sign up to donate food baskets and holiday gifts for the Christmas basket adopt-a-family program. The center is in Paddock Lake. For more information, call Liz Peyton at (262) 997-0783.

LAKE GENEVA/WALWORTH COUNTY Walworth County Literacy Council Volunteers needed to teach English (English as a Second Language or Adult Basic Education). Volunteer tutors teach in public locations around Walworth County, usually public libraries. The Council also has started a Jail Literacy Program. The is seeking to start a fundraising committee envisioned as a group of individuals developing fundraising initiatives to support the work of the Council. Contact Walworth County Literacy Council coordinator Brigette Kutschma at (262) 957-0142 or Geneva Lakes YMCA Sports coaches. Call (262) 248-6211. Meals on Wheels Meal delivery drivers. Call (262) 741-3157. Geneva Lakes Area United Way Board members. Call (262) 249-1100. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Big sisters: To mentor for at least a year commitment. Action team members: Members of the community to offer ideas to the board. Board members: Meet monthly to help guide the agency and assis with events. For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, call Nancy at (608) 362-8223.


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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Name: Theresa Stalzer Age: 62 Organizations for which I volunteer: Walworth County Literacy Council, Walworth County Alliance for Children and Walworth County Crimestoppers. In the past, I have served as president of the Elkhorn Women’s Club, president of the Elkhorn Jaycettes, board member of the Walworth County Housing Authority and member of the Elkhorn Garden Club. Why I volunteer: After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1968, I came back to my home community in Elkhorn and started my first job as a social worker for Walworth County. I will retire from that position after 34 years in January. Looking back, I have always had a deep sense of community and began volunteering early in my adult life with local civic organizations. As I became more involved in my career as a child protective services in-


Theresa Stalzer is motivated to volunteer because she can help to fashion change she knows is needed in the community. vestigator, I developed a strong sense of commitment to the cause of making a difference in the life of a child. More than 15 years ago, I volunteered to serve on the Walworth County Children’s Court Advisory Board to collaborate with other professionals to improve services to victims of abuse and neglect. I saw how children

were treated in the criminal justice system, and I saw the effect that had on them. With that knowledge came a duty to use my training, skills and front-line experiences to work with the local judges, police and prosecutors to make positive changes for those children. The privilege of working as a volunteer is that I can help

to fashion change I know is needed. People often say “someone” needs to do “something.” My goal has been to do my best to be that someone who initiates change, offers a helping hand, or is just there to lend a sympathetic ear. Today, the board is known as the Walworth County Alliance for Children, and I serve as the co-treasurer. After my retirement, I plan to continue serving the children in any way I can, advocating for the rights of children in this community. Through the Walworth County Literacy Council, I am a volunteer tutor teaching English as a Second Language. I have been matched with a delightful student from Mexico, a young mother of three children, with minimal English skills. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I see her being able to communicate in English and Spanish with her family via the Internet, read from an English book, and help her children with their homework. After an exhausting day at work, her motivation is such an inspiration to me and strengthens my commitment to volunteerism. It DOES take a village to make a community.


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Taking control — her way After years in corporate America, Caledonia resident launches a market research company on her terms


moving on to product manager positions at In-Sink-Erator and Johnson Outdoor in Racine. “I loved being part of a big company,” Kann said. She loved wearing polo shirts with the By Deneen Smith company’s logo, representing the brand on the road. But after more hristine Shields Kann than a decade in the business, had known what she she increasingly missed the time wanted to do since she spent away from her family. was in middle school, so And she wanted more of a voice it came as something of in her own life. “I wanted to be in a surprise when she realized that, control,” she said. although she was living just the So at 34 she struck out on kind of life she had planned, she her own, launching her own wasn’t enjoying the result. market research company Kann was happily married from her Caledonia home. She and had two young children she opened CSK Marketing Inc. in adored. She had the corporate 1997, and almost immediately marketing job she had dreamed started landing big clients, inof and worked hard to make a cluding former employers like success. But she was stretched Jockey and Wisconsin-based thin, spending too many hours in companies like Snap-on and the office, too many hours on the American Girl. road, too few hours enjoying the CSK does market research, life she had made for herself with helping companies focus product her family. development and marketing efSo she decided it was time to forts. Kann works with companies take control. by creating tools to study whether “Plenty of people would think products under development are I was crazy to give up what aplikely to be successful in the marpeared to be a great job,” Kann ketplace, and she helps compasaid. She thought for awhile that nies tailor their products to meet maybe they were right. Then she consumer demand. had an epiphany. “Anyone who “If you are a company trying to had the life I had, a great spouse, decide on 20 products to launch, two great kids, would be crazy to narrowing it down to the five that stay unhappy.” Kann said she has always PHOTOGRAPHS BY BILL SIEL have the best chance of success is known what she wanted to be. Christine Shields Kann launched her market research company, CSK Mar- a good investment,” Kann said. It’s her job to mine the data She was fascinated with adverketing Inc., from her Caledonia home. through consumer research that tising, with the way companies will show which are those best reached out to people, trying to ing was the thing that would fill that need. five, then present the results to the client. capture their interest. She would study “I never wavered. I knew from eighth When she started the company, Kann commercials on television, cruise supergrade that this is what I wanted,” Kann made a few rules for herself. Although she market aisles to zero in on packaging. said. was working from home, she made sure She decided she wanted to be part of After graduating from the University she drew a line between being at home that process. She would go to business of Wisconsin-Madison, Kann landed a job and being at work — when she was on the school, learn the art of discerning just at Jockey International. For the next 11 what consumers wanted, then convincing years, she worked in a series of increasthem that the product she was represent> Page 19 ingly more high-profile marketing jobs,


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> Kann, from 18

In her own words


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As a mentor, what would you tell someone about how to succeed? “Make sure you define what success means for you. For some people it is how much money you make. For others it is how you are able to use your time. Everyone is going to have a different measure, so make sure you use your own.” How do you live your life to the fullest? “What I would say is a cliche, but I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to do everything I can do — I want to be successful in my business and I want to be at my daughter’s volleyball Christine games. I want to do it all.” Shields Kann What gadget could you not live without? Why? “My headset on my phone. I am on my phone constantly; I’m always on conference calls. Second is my mobile phone with e-mail. Once you get e-mail on your phone you are never going back.” What do you do when no one is looking? “I watch reality TV shows like “Project Runway,” “Amazing Race” and “The Bachelor.” I am not sure why I enjoy this “guilty pleasure,” but it is a great way to give my brain a break. I also like to read People magazine on occasion to just relax and not have to think too hard.” What is your favorite word? “Passion. I like to be around people who are passionate about life and the work they do. And I have been told I am an intense, passionate person — as a business owner, as a sports fan, as a volunteer, as a mom. I don’t do many things halfway.” If given the chance, what would you do differently? “Everything in my life has happened for a reason, so I really struggle to name something I would do differently because I would not change where I am now. Having said that, the only thing I wish I had had the maturity to do at the time would have been to study abroad while I was in school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Some of my friends studied in London and Paris for a semester, but at the time I was really not emotionally ready to take on that type of adventure. I wasn’t even on a plane until I was in my late teens. For our honeymoon, however, my husband and I backpacked through Europe for just over two months, so I more than made up for missing out on that semester abroad.

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“Everything in my life has happened for a reason, so I really struggle to name something I would do differently.”

clock, she was in her home office. For the first two years, she even dressed each day for work as if she was going to a corporate office, wanting to differentiate between work time and home time. To build her business, she devoted herself to building relationships. “I made sure that at least two days a week I would have lunch with someone,” she said. “You have to work to build a new network.” Most important, she said, she designed her approach to business to fit the life she wanted to build. “I’ve designed it that way,” Kann said. “It didn’t happen by accident.” She concentrated on building a client base within a two-hour drive from her home. She focused on building an Internet-based approach to research so she could limit the amount of time she had to travel out of state. Kann said she wanted to create a successful business that also would allow her to have a rich and involved family life with her husband and her daughters, now 12 and 17. “I have an abundance of blessings, and I want to be able to enjoy them all,” she said.




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Financial housekeeping before baby arrives By Kristi L. Schaeffer Most expectant parents know that statistics show the costs of raising a baby are alarming. Just as you’re beginning to celebrate the joy and excitement of expecting, it strikes you: Can you really afford a baby? There may come a moment when excitement turns to panic as a variety of necessities pop into your mind — onesies and diapers and wipes ... oh my! Rather than be overwhelmed by the big picture, start by concentrating on the smaller, daily details and immediate costs. Before you know it, your daily concerns will range from sleeping to allergies to illness, so it’s best to have your financial household in order before your baby’s arrival. Throughout all of this, keeping the focus on needs of comfort and comforting resources is important. This includes your financial security. Do you have

WOMEN, WISDOM AND WEALTH your basic will in place or your child’s education fully funded? With products like life insurance, you can cover the gaps while you’re still funding those goals of retirement and your children’s higher education. If you already have life insurance, have it reviewed to make certain it’s the appropriate level of coverage and that your needs will be met long term. If your budget can’t handle the ideal plan now, at least get started and go back to revisit your needs as your budget permits. If you are having trouble with your budget, one way to help keep it in check is by recycling. Perhaps you have a neighbor with no further use of her baby carrier. Garage sales are a great resource for finding gently used baby items. If you’re not one who likes to recycle used baby

clothes or items, then think about ways to cut back in your daily spending. Skip eating lunch out every day and try every other day instead. Or, brown bag it so you can set aside that money you save for a family outing or daily diaper needs. Planning ahead is key. I leave you with five things that will help you make wiser decisions about your finances. 1. Plan for additional medical costs. Even if your medical insurance covers most expenses, additional dollars can help when things come up at the various first-year doctor visits. 2. Plan for extended time off with your baby. Don’t underestimate your maternal instincts for wanting more time off with your baby. 3. Budget for diapers and clothes for the first year. Babies grow so quickly through the first several months that you’ll go through (and even skip some) sizes quickly. Hit endof-season sales for next year’s clothing. You can estimate sizes. 4. As frugal as you may be,

budget. You’ll be surprised when your strong desire speaks to that adorable outfit and must-have shoes, oh yes, and the cute toy that matches. Try your best to stick to your budget, leaving splurging as a treat rather than the norm. 5. Saving for retirement is your first and top priority over college savings. You can borrow for college but not for retirement. Teach money skills to your children early by engaging them in saving for higher education as this will set the foundation for their financial health overall. Enjoy all the joy your baby will bring, and may you teach your little one these helpful tips to allow you all to dream, believe and share lots of giggles.

Kristi L. Schaeffer is a certified senior advisor with The Schaeffer Group LLC, 2315 30th Ave., Kenosha, (262) 5518900. Securities offered through Coordinated Capital Securities Inc., a registered broker/dealer member FINRA/SIPC.

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Debra Miller has joined Aurora Health Care as vice president of corporate affairs in the South Region, which encompasses Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties. In 2006, Miller received the Gold Anvil, the highest award given by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the public relations industry, for her contributions to the profession. In 1997, she became president of the society during its 50th anniversary year, making her the first woman of color, the first African-American and the second educator to head the 30,000-member organization. Miller, a graduate of Hampton University, has a master’s degree in public relations and journalism from Ohio State University and a doctorate in adult education and human resources development from Florida International University.

Sandy Moran of Kenosha has joined Coldwell Banker Real Estate One as a Realtor. A full-time Realtor since 2002, Moran received her broker’s license in 2004. She works throughout southeastern Wisconsin, primarily in residential real estate.


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Theresa Ogden of Racine was promoted to branch manager of M&I Bank at 5935 Seventh Ave. Ogden has been with M&i since 1996, and most recently she served as a personal banker at the bank’s Caledonia location. She is also a Junior Achievement volunteer.

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to a run for office

Winning women offer tips for successful campaigns

> Ca


Diana Dykstra is a member of the Sharon village board, an elected position, and she is the Lake Geneva city clerk, an appointed post.

By Arlene Jensen Taxes too high? Neighborhood school not doing the job? Did your alderman brush you off with a curt answer? What’s a woman to do? You have two choices: Get over it or get going and do something about it.


Sandy Weidner ran for the Racine City Council after receiving the brush off when she called her alderman about an issue that concerned her. She is serving her fourth term representing Racine’s Sixth District.



Shavonda Marks is a freshman supervisor on the Kenosha County Board.

iana Dykstra did more than get angry about the decisions of her local politicians. That moment arrived in 2002 after she received her tax bill from Sharon, the Walworth County village in which she lives. Determined to change things, she ran for a seat on the village board, towing her toddlers in a coaster wagon behind her as she handed out campaign flyers printed on her home computer. “The results on election night proved it paid off,” Dykstra said. “I not only gave them a run for their money, I got the most votes.” In Racine, Sandy Weidner also had that light-bulb moment after she called her alderman about an issue that concerned her, and


Edna Highland has been Kenosha County clerk since 1996. She did not seek re-election this year.

she received the brushoff. “He was very abrupt. I knew I could do a better job of communicating with my constituents,” Weidner recalled. She ran for alderwoman, won, and currently is serving her fourth term representing Racine’s Sixth Distict. Shavonda Marks is a freshman supervisor on the Kenosha County Board. She said she got the courage to run for election after learning the ropes campaigning for her aunt, Kenosha Alderwoman Katherine Marks. Shavonda’s task was a bit easier, though, because her County Board predecessor decided not to run for re-election. Edna Highland is retiring as Kenosha > Page 23

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“Writing a small biographical statement should be at the top of your to-do list when you make the leap from onlooker to candidate.”



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Diana Dykstra Sharon Village Trustee


> Campaign, from 22

County clerk after a 12-year political career. Recalling her first election in 1996, she said the decision to toss her hat in the ring was made less difficult by running for a vacant seat and by the encouragement and support of friends. Though women still are in a distinct minority among southeastern Wisconsin’s elected officials — a pattern that mirrors the state and national situation — the ones we talked to, without exception, urged others to follow their lead and run for public office. In Wisconsin, a 2007 study showed that women hold only 29 percent of elected and highlevel appointed federal, state or local government positions in the state. And only 10 percent are in leadership positions. In the state legislature, 30 of 132 members are women. On the federal level, there are 16 women among the 100 U.S. senators, and only 74 of 435 members of the House of Representatives are women. On a worldwide scale, the U.S. ranks 84th in the number of women serving in national legislatures. In 2008, the Brookings Institute reported that women are severely underrepresented in our political institutions. The study indicated that women are substantially less likely than men to seek public office. A “particularly powerful explanation for why women are less likely to consider running for office,” the Brookings study indicated, is that there is a “lack of recruitment.” In short, women

tend not to be asked, urged or actively recruited to run for elected office. When that does happen, the study revealed, it can help close the gender gap in political ambitions. Once urged to run, women are just as likely as men to respond positively to political recruitment. Highland, for instance, stressed that Kenosha Democratic Party leaders played a significant role in her decision to run for county clerk in 1996. The Brookings Institute recommended the creation of a more family-friendly political work environment and campaign arena. It also suggested what Dykstra, Weidner, Marks and Highland stress: spreading the word about women’s electoral successes and fundraising prowess to change those perceptions. Marks said women considering a run for office should start by volunteering for other campaigns. Networking with other women is also a good beginning. Time commitments and family responsibilities are the hardest issues for a woman to overcome, Dykstra said, noting, “You have to have support from your family to pull it off.” A first step, Dykstra said, is to look at your own background, your experience, your life, the sorts of personal things that will suggest to others that you have the right stuff to represent them in government. “Writing a small biographical statement

In the state legislature, 30 of 132 members are women. On the federal level, there are 16 women among the 100 U.S. senators, and only 74 of 435 members of the House of Representatives are women. Worldwide, the U.S. ranks 84th in the number of women serving in national legislatures.

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Racine Alderwoman Sandy Weidner says she loves “doing the doors,” political slang for door-to-door campaigning.

> Campaign, from 23

should be at the top of your to-do list when you make the leap from onlooker to candidate,” Dykstra suggested, adding that it will help a woman focus on her natural abilities and talents. Besides her position as a Sharon board member, Dykstra is the Lake Geneva city clerk, an appointed position. Before that, she earned her political stripes working in the offices of former Congressman Mark Neumann and current Congressman Paul Ryan. Looking back on those jobs, she said, “I realized the lifestyle, as exciting as it was, was not the lifestyle I wanted. I really wanted a family, and being gone day and night was not going to allow that.” She had that family — three children — and found new ways to serve. Championing roles for women in government, Dykstra said, “They tend to ask the right questions. And they just have this instinct to stay on task. That’s how things get done.

“I think that in itself makes us great candidates for office.” But there is a big step — campaigning — that comes between deciding to run and being sworn into office. And for some women, that is the most difficult part. The Brookings study suggested that women, more so than men, “respond negatively to the mechanics of campaigning.” Those mechanics includes soliciting contributions to fund your effort, going door to door asking people for their vote, dealing with an inquiring press and at least the possibility of dealing with a tendentious or even negative campaign. Marks works full time for a pharmaceutical company in Illinois and is working on her MBA. But she remembered being terrified at the thought of having to get 100 signatures on her nomination papers. Weidner said she had “an attack of cold feet” when she > Page 25

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Steps toward public service By law, Wisconsin holds regular elections twice annually, in April for nonpartisan judges and town and municipal offices (including county supervisors and city council members who have elections every other year), and in November, when candidates of the various political parties vie for county, state and national posts. In addition, primary elections are held in February and September to narrow the field if there are more than two candidates for an office. Here’s a basic checklist to follow if you consider running for local office:


> Campaign, from 24

decided to run for alderwoman, then learned that two other people also had taken out papers, making a primary battle necessary. She all but decided to drop out when she got a phone call from someone she knew to be on the opposite side of the political fence offering to work on her behalf. “It really shocked me, but it gave me the boost I needed,” said Weidner, savoring the memories of that 2000 primary election win. “Then I was ready to go.” She long ago got over her initial reticence about campaigning. Now, she said, she loves “doing the doors,” political slang for door-to-door

campaigning. And she has won every election since. Even a shy person can wage a successful election campaign, Highland insisted. “You just have to be motivated and have the support of your family and friends,” she said. Dykstra added: “Be true to yourself. As a public official, you will be expected to make decisions. Some of them will make some people angry. Be prepared for that. “But if you are able to work well with others and stick to your principles, this is the perfect job for you,” she said. There is evidence that more women are needed in public office. “Who Me? What we Know About why Women Don’t Run

> Start by checking these “how to do it” Web sites of the Wisconsin Elections Board ( and the Local Government Center of the University of Wisconsin Extension ( > Contact your appropriate filing officer. For local offices, that is your town, village or city clerk. For school board positions, contact your school board; for county offices, register with the county clerk. > From that office, obtain nomination papers. For the spring election, beginning not earlier than Dec. 1, collect signatures of electors who support you. You generally will need between 20 and several hundred names, depending on the office you seek. Completed nomination papers must be filed by 5 p.m. Jan. 2. Some school board seats do not require collecting signatures. > Fill out and submit State Election Board Form EB-162, officially declaring your candidacy. > Determine if you need to file campaign finance reports covering contributions, expenditures, loans or other obligations. If you expect to spend less than $1,000 and receive no single source contributions of more than $100, you may not have to file finance reports. > Rally your supporters and begin campaigning. > Win the election and put another woman in office!

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for Office,” published in 2007 by the Wisconsin Women’s Council, found that women place higher priority on equity issues related to the economically disadvantaged and rights for women and children. It was women lawmakers who took on the issue of family and medical leave and saw its passage in Wisconsin and other states, and, finally, into federal

law as well. And, whether it’s your town board, school board or Congress, there are plenty of other important issues waiting for a woman’s legislative touch to help find the answers. Weidner knows it takes a leap of faith to embark on a campaign for elective office. “But once you make that decision, go all out. Tell yourself you will win,” she said. “You can make the difference!”


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Sharing your gifts Looking for ways to add a personal touch to your gift-giving this holiday season or next? Consider the projects undertaken by these local women. By Kathleen Troher

Cousins create family cookbook


very summer, Gina Madrigrano Friebus, of Kenosha, and her extended family members gather for a picnic. During one of these outings a couple years ago the conversation turned to recipes, and before they knew it Friebus and her cousins Nancy Montemurro and Susan Virgili, both of Kenosha, decided to compile a family cookbook. Their idea: pull together recipes from their generation and the two before theirs. Combine those with family pictures going back to their great-grandparents, and fold in a family tree tracing five generations. For good measure, they added a cover created by Friebus’ brother-in-law Luigi Como, an artist. For about a year Friebus and her relatives gathered recipes and photos before giving their labor of love to a local printer, who made 200 copies of “The Montemurro Family Cookbook.” They were ready for distribution for Christmas 2006, and family members gobbled them up. “We sold them for what it cost us,” Friebus said. “We wanted to share the recipes and we wanted to share the pictures.” The project brought together young and old to ensure the family’s culinary traditions would survive. “The 20-year-olds and the 80-year-olds all played a role in putting the book together,” Friebus said. “Now we have recipes on file for generations.” It was a memorable project, one that required relatives to hunt for old photos and dig into the family history to uncover treasures some didn’t even know existed. And the cookbook served as a sort of catalyst, prompting family members to more regularly share photos and inter-generational stories with each other. And it was all coordinated by the females in the family. “It’s just another way that women play such an important part in the family,” Friebus said. “We organized it and got it done.”


Gina Madrigrano Friebus, from left, her mother, Thomasina Madrigrano, and her cousins Nancy Montemurro and Susan Virgili all contributed to a cookbook that features Montemurro family recipes and photos. The three cousins coordinated the project. BISCOTTI


from The Montemurro Family Cookbook 4 eggs 1 1/4 cup sugar 3 1/2 cups flour 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, or anise extract For Christmas, add 1 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup pistachio nuts to dough Beat the eggs until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients. Add melted butter until batter is fully mixed. Dough can be refrigerated for easier handling. Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll into logs about 1 1/2 inches. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool. Slice diagonally in 1/2-inch slices. Lay flat on cookie sheets and bake again until lightly browned on the edges.

from The Montemurro Family Cookbook 3 eggs 1/2 teaspoon anise seed or extract 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 3/4 cups flour 1/2 cup butter, melted 3/4 cup sugar Beat eggs and sugar. Add cooled melted butter, vanilla and anise. Sift flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture. Batter will be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon onto preheated pizzelle baker. Batter can be refrigerated to be used at a later time. Makes about 40 pizzelles, which are thin, crisp, and delicious! To keep them crisp, store in an airtight container.

Biscotti and pizzelle are among the recipes featured in the Montemurro Family Cookbook.

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Lois Jones began knitting Christmas stockings for new additions to her extended family and her friends’ families 48 years ago when her daughter Kathleen was born. PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN KRAJACIC

> Gifts, from 27

She knits a stocking for each new child When Lois Jones’ now 48-year-old daughter, Kathleen, was born, Jones knitted a Christmas stocking for her precious infant. Little did she know the tradition she was starting. During the nearly five decades since then, the Kenosha resident has knitted nearly 100 stockings for family members and friends. Each time a little one is

about to be born, Jones sets about with her knitting needles and green, red and white yarns. She always follows the same pattern, the one she picked out for her daughter’s stocking so many years ago. A few years ago Jones’ knitting talents were recognized with a blue ribbon at the Kenosha County Fair. But accolades were never her goal. She likes to make the Christmas stockings because the gifts are special — unlike any store-bought presents she could find. “There’s never anyplace else they’re going to get one of this,” Jones said of her stockings’ recipients, who include her hus-

band, Raymond, sons Gary, 46, and Tim, 44, five grandchildren, and, of course, daughter Kathleen, who started it all. With friends and relatives living near and far, Jones’ stockings can be found in homes in Washington state, California and even Sweden. Each Christmas their recipients carefully remove them from their holiday storage bins and hang them along fireplace mantles, on Christmas trees and elsewhere around their homes, and as they do so they think of Jones, her thoughtfulness and her beautiful needlework. > Page 30


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CORNFLAKE CRUNCH Layer (in this order from bottom to top) 1 cup sugar 12 ounces butterscotch chips 6 cups cornflakes Your recipient will need: 1 cup corn syrup 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter Over medium heat, bring sugar and syrup to a boil. Stir in the peanut butter. Remove from heat and pour over the cornflakes. Mix well, then spread into greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Melt butterscotch chips over low heat. Spread evenly on top of cereal mixture. Cool and cut into bars. Makes 30 bars.



Layer (in this order from bottom to top) 1 3/4 cups unsifted flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Your recipient will need: 1 cup cold margarine or butter 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

serving 2 cups crumb mixture, press remainder on bottom of 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. In large bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Pour over prepared crust. Combined Preheat oven to 350 degrees. nuts with reserved crumb mixture; In large bowl, combine flour, sugar sprinkle evenly over cheese and cocoa. Cut in margarine until mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until crumbly (mixture will be dry). Re- bubbly. Cool. Chill. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

> Gifts, from 29

Sweet idea: Dessert jars What if you don’t have Jones’ knitting talents or time to compile a cookbook like Friebus, Montemurro and Virgili did, but you still want to share a personal gift with family members and friends this holiday season? Why not try a dessert jar? Your gift will consist of the dry ingredients needed to make brownies, cookies or dessert bars, and you package it all in a way that re-

flects your personality. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. 1. Fill the container. You place the dry ingredients in a container — clear glass jars, small plastic tubs and decorative tins are all good options. 2. Decorate the container. Place your own distinctive touches on the gift using holiday-themed fabrics, bows and ribbons. 3. Attach your recipe. Write the baking instructions on an index card or decorative tag, listing any “wet” ingredients needed, such as eggs, vanilla or butter. These are ingredients your recipient should have on

Layer (in this order from bottom to top) 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1 1/2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 1/3 cups oats 12 ounces chocolate chips 1 cup walnuts Your recipient will need: 2 sticks of butter 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set it aside. In a large bowl, cream

butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda, salt; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

hand, so don’t pick a recipe that’s too complicated or requires hard-to-find ingredients. Punch a hole in the far left corner of the recipe card and thread a ribbon through it to attach to your container, or just slip it in an envelope inside a Christmas card. Note: Some bakers suggest layering the ingredients in the container in sandwich bags to keep them from mixing. If you do this, try finding non-toxic bags. If you keep the sugar and flour separate, for example, it’s easier to combine the sugar and butter, which many dessert recipes require.

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Bless that little black dress By Kris Kochman Sometimes it’s hard for busy women to keep up with the rules of fashion. Are gauchos still in? How casual is corporate casual? Is velvet appropriate for daytime? Several local fashion sources said women can never go wrong wearing a little black dress, also known as the LBD. “There needs to be one in every woman’s wardrobe,” said Nancy Quickel, owner of Nancy’s Petite & Modern Missy, 233 Broad St. in Lake Geneva. Sometimes one isn’t nearly enough. Quickel met a woman a few years ago who admitted to owning 36 little black dresses. The wife of a college president, the woman attended many social functions, to which she inevitably wore one of her LBDs. Quickel pointed out that there are many variations on the little black dress, such as different sleeve lengths and fabrics. However, the hem length usually falls just above or just below the knee, she said. Quickel said the best black dress for someone depends on the type of figure the woman has, with some dresses more apt to enhance certain positive features while de-emphasiz-



Helen Johnson, of Lake Geneva, models a little black dress she bought from Nancy’s Petite & Modern Missy in Lake Geneva a couple years ago. She has worn the dress for Christmas parties and fundraisers, including the Lake Geneva Wine Festival. She is featured here at Paper Dolls Home Furnishings and Interior Design in Lake Geneva. ing ones that are best left concealed. She said she sells many dresses with threequarter-length sleeves. Quickel acknowledged that she didn’t own a little black dress until a few years ago because she favored a lighter color palette instead. Now she loves her threepiece, black knit dress, which traveled well on a recent trip to Italy.

Mary Ann Spencer, owner of Fit for a Queen, 130 E. Geneva Square in Lake Geneva, said she looks for more casual alternatives to the classic black sheath made popular by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s. Her store caters to plussize customers, and she said they prefer separates, such as a tank dress with coordinating blouse or jacket in a

soft, jersey fabric. “I guess it depends on the person and their lifestyle,” she said, noting that the best length for a dress “is a matter of proportion.” Women should try on different styles to find what looks best for their figure types, she said. However, it’s always a good idea to avoid a > Page 32 SHE l Dec 2008/Jan 2009 l 31

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> Dress, from 31

hem length that stops at the fullest part of the calf. Why do women gravitate toward the black dress? “It always looks good. When you don’t know what to wear, wear a little black dress,” Quickel said. “It’s an easy decision in everyday life.” A basic black dress is versatile for many occasions. It can go to work under a suit jacket or sweater. More subdued jewelry and shoes are appropriate for the office. If you’re heading out to a holiday party after work, you can instantly dress it up by changing to diamond or crystal jewelry and a high heel sandal or satin pump. Swap out your workday purse for an evening handbag, and you’re ready for glamour. Gail Navratil of Racine said she has four little black dresses for different occasions. Some are twopiece dresses. A wrinkle-resistant

Maureen Spondouris, of Hebron, models a little black dress from Fit for a Queen in Lake Geneva. She is at Paper Dolls Home Furnishings and Interior Design in Lake Geneva. PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN POIRIER

yo wi bu Co wi by tur the co

> Page 33

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ACCESSORIZE! Little black dress goes from day to night

For work, pair your black dress with a warm, singlebutton cardigan. Complete the look with boots. These, by Anne Klein, feature elastic around the calves for all-day comfort.

For a more tailored look, try a fitted blazer with your dress. To complement this sophisticated outfit, Mary Janes with trendy double straps do the trick.

> Dress, from 32

dress is a favorite for vacations. “One crumples into a knot; I take it with me when I travel,” she said. Navratil works as a teacher, and also has a side business making jewelry, which

A bugle-beaded jacket and matching clutch purse ease you into the cocktail hour in style. Finish off the look with strappy sandals.

she uses to accessorize her dress for both formal and casual occasions. Tracey Maksen of Kenosha said she pairs her little black dress with a jacket or sweater for work at Accent Realty, where she is a broker associate. She also has worn it on a cruise, to weddings and a funeral.

Maksen said the sleeveless knit dress is so versatile, she doesn’t plan to purchase any other black dresses anytime soon. “I found the perfect dress,” she said. You can reach Nancy’s Petite & Modern Missy at (262) 248-8820 and Fit for a Queen at (262) 248-7888.

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Gifts galore Hottest holiday presents include everything from technology to toys, bags to books


By Deneen Smith When in doubt, buy a gadget. That appears to be the word for the holiday shopping season, with retailers predicting that electronic gear, from MP3 players to Nintendo Wii, will remain among the most popular gifts. “Electronics are a safe bet,” said Robin Ratajczyk, manager of the Sears department store in Kenosha, 7630 Pershing Blvd. At Sears, buyers look for everything from snowblowers to sweaters when deciding what to put under the tree, but Ratajczyk is anticipating that the electronics department, particularly home entertainment items, will be the busiest section of the store. High-definition disc players and televisions are likely to be popular. “Especially

Blu-ray, I think Blu-ray is going to be big for us this year,” she said. Online retailer Amazon issued a “Top 10 Christmas gift ideas” list that included the Kindle, a wireless electronic reading devise, the Wii, the Apple iPod touch, PlayStation 3, and the video game Guitar Hero. For children on the list, Toys R Us is promoting a gaggle of childcentered gadgets, from the EyeClops Night Vision Stealth Goggles to the Disney-Pixar U-Command Wall-E with a programmable remote control. But not everyone goes for battery operated. Girls still love Barbie, boys still love LEGO. Especially popular this

year, Toys R Us predicts, will be the Barbie & The Diamond Castle Princess Liana and Princess Alexa dolls, and Star Wars-themed LEGOs. While discount stores and department stores tend to dominate the holiday shopping agenda, southeastern Wisconsin has a wealth of small, independent retailers that offer more distinctive gifts. Looking for children’s gifts that don’t come with a power cord or a pack of batteries? Independent toy stores in the area, like Heim’s Downtown Toy Store in Kenosha and Allison Wonderland in Burlington and Lake Geneva, specialize in high-quality toys that encourage imaginative play. At Heims, 5819 Sixth Ave., shoppers will find a big selection > Page 37


At Andrea’s in Kenosha:

This Winding River jacket is not only fashionable, but it is also reversible.

Andrea’s, a popular Kenosha gift shop, has two Christmas books written by Wisconsin authors.


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One of a kind Artist gives ornaments a personal touch by painting them with holiday, winter themes By Kathleen Troher


nne (Loewen) Walkowski didn’t set out to be an artist. In fact, she’s never had formal art training. But this holiday season her hand-painted Christmas ornaments are expected to be among the most popular items for sale at Andrea’s, 2401 60th St., Kenosha. A Kenosha resident, Walkowski has been working at the store for a little more than three years. Last year she casually mentioned that she paints ornaments for the holidays. With encouragement from her boss, she brought in 80. They sold out in three weeks. The second oldest of Kenosha residents Dick and Sue Loewen’s 13 children, Walkowski never took an art class. She simply loves to paint on just about anything: stoneware crocks, wooden plaques, furniture, and, of course, those precious, fragile globes folks hang on their Christmas trees. Walkowski, a wife and mother of four, said she enjoys the time she spends painting the ornaments. “It’s very relaxing for me,” she said. “I could lock myself in my little room and do nothing but that for hours, but then the kids come knocking and asking, ‘Where’s dinner?’” Walkowski’s ornaments feature outdoor winter scenes and holiday themes. She appreciates the opportunity they allow her in stretching her artistic creativity. “I would get bored if I was doing the same thing over and over again,” Walkowski said. “I like the variety.” So does buyer and merchandise manager Mary Pat Andrea. “Each one is different, so people (who buy them) truly are getting a one-of-a-kind,” said Andrea, who noted that Walkowski will be a “special guest” during a Dec. 3 Girls Night Out event at the store from 6 to 9 p.m. The theme for the evening is Entertaining in Style for the Holidays, and those who attend will learn more about party menus, centerpieces, candles, hostess gifts and more.

Anne (Loewen) Walkowski, featured here and on the cover, handpaints ornaments.


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Vera Bradley handbags are expected to be popular at Andrea’s this holiday season. PHOTOGRAPHS BY BILL SIEL

> Gifts, from 34

of toys, including Thomas the Tank Engine and the so-ugly-they-are-cute Uglydolls. Allison Wonderland, 720 W. Main St. in Lake Geneva and 472 N. Pine St. in Burlington, feature Playmobile toys, dolls and award-winning children’s games and craft sets. Looking for a gift for a woman who does not want to dress like the rest of the crowd? At Molly MaGruder, 330 Main St. in Racine, shoppers will find contemporary clothing and accessories for women, and even some imported foods. Dorothy Ward, who co-owns the store with Laurie Pettit, said she searches for unique clothing that shoppers would not find at the community Kohl’s or Boston Store. “We don’t buy in bulk,” she said, adding that the store tries to carry a small number of pieces and colors of each item they buy. Among the popular items in the store are Wind River sweaters and Color Me Cotton clothing. “This year we have beefed up our accessory lines,” Ward said, noting that the store is carrying more items like scarves, jewelry and watches.

Ward said the store also features Inis perfume, a fragrance line made in Ireland. At Andrea’s, 2401 60th St. in Kenosha, shoppers can find gifts that range from handmade jewelry to handmade cigars. The shop, which also includes a vintage soda fountain and cafe, offers exquisite gifts for men, women and children. Mary Pat Andrea, the store’s buyer and merchandise manager, predicted the most popular items in the store this Christmas will be Vera Bradley handbags and Swarovski Crystal jewelry.

“Vera Bradley handmade handbags have been around for awhile but they have really created some beautiful patterns this year that have appealed to everybody from middle schoolers to the more sophisticated set,” Andrea said. Also on her list of holiday gifts-giving ideas are two books by Wisconsin authors, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas: A Nostalgic Journey Through our Childhood Memories” by Rochelle and Nicholas Pennington, and “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin” by Erin Eitter Kono. Also popular for the season is Thymes Frazier Fir fragrances, which come in everything from hand soaps to scent diffusers. “It’s really nice this time of year, especially for people who don’t have a live tree in the house,” Andrea said. You can reach Sears in Kenosha at (262) 697-3300; Heim’s Downtown Toy Store at (262) 652-8697; Allison Wonderland at (262) 7639718 or (262) 248-6500; Molly MaGruder at (262) 898-9080; and Andrea’s at (262) 657-7732.

At Molly MaGruder in downtown Racine:

Wind River sweaters are among the popular clothing items available.

Purses will make a bold fashion statement this season.

Scarfs with elegant paisley prints add definition to any outfit. SHE l Dec 2008/Jan 2009 l 37

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What do we mean by the holiday season? Dec. 25, 2008: Christmas Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated on Dec. 25 that marks and honors the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. His birth has been determined by modern historians as having occurred between 7 and 2 BC. The date of celebration is not thought to be Jesusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; actual date of birth, and may have been chosen to coincide with ancient Roman solar festivals that were held on December 25. Dec. 26, 2008 - Jan 1, 2009: Kwanzaa Kwanzaa is a weeklong holiday celebrated throughout the world, honoring African heritage. It is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 each year. Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and pouring of libations, and culminating in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and first celebrated from Dec. 26, 1966 to Jan. 1, 1967. Dec. 21 - 29, 2008: Hanukkah Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, and may occur from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the Menorah or Hanukiah, one light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash, is also lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher or lower than the others. Source: Wikipedia 699222

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MY FAVORITE THINGS Name: Kim Emer of Pleasant Prairie A little about me: I am a Jazzercise instructor and have been teaching classes in Kenosha for 16 years. I also work part time for Dr. John Crawford, an orthodontist. I have been married to Pete Emer, an optometrist, for 29 years. We have three children: Nathan, 26, Benjamin, 25, and Elizabeth, 22. I love to Jazzercise! It’s my favorite form of exercise because I love to dance and Jazzercise is dance-based aerobics. I take acting lessons, and I was in “Steel Magnolias” by the Racine Theatre Guild in October. I paddle and compete in dragonboat races. We took first place in the Oshkosh Dragonboat Festival on Sept. 20. My husband and I have taken three mission trips to the Dominican Republic where we helped run an eye clinic. The music on my iPod is: My Jazzercise set which includes a wide variety of music. I only use my iPod for Jazzercise — I am so VERY untechy! The movie I love to watch over and over again is: “The Sound of Music.” I really secretly wanted to be Julie Andrews. The book on my bedside table is: “The Wisdom of Menopause” by Dr. Christianne Northrup. Oh my goodness, my body is a-changing, and I’m trying desperately to figure it out. The piece of clothing and pair of shoes I’ll never part with are: Anklelength, down-filled winter coat and my Dansko clogs. I feel no pain in my Dansko clogs. My green coat kept me warm while I was a spectator at my three children’s soccer games for many years. It is so wrapped up with memories I will never part with it.


Kim Emer of Pleasant Prairie loves Jazzercise and has been enthusiastically teaching the dance-based aerobic exercise to others for 16 years. When I go to a store with bath, body and beauty items I always buy: Whatever shower gel is on sale. When I’m trying to impress my significant other I make sure to stop at Woodman’s to pick up a gallon of milk. It’s an emergency situation if he doesn’t have milk and cereal for breakfast every morning. If I had a day with no responsibilities I would spend it: Ideally: on a lake in a boat. Realistically: in my pajamas

reading magazines or a good book. The room in my house that makes me feel most centered is: My family room. Two years ago we redecorated and I love my family room furniture. It’s so comfortable — it fits my body perfectly. A friend, who is also an interior designer, took me shopping and made my sit in every piece of furniture repeatedly until I found just the right ‘fit’ for me. When I have visitors from out of town I like to take them to: Any

place for pizza. We have great pizza in Kenosha. The most important item in my purse is: My debit card. I’d be lost without: A water bottle. I drink water all day long. The best advice I ever received is: Give your children good moral values and a stable foundation of family and love, and they will be able to ‘figure it all out’ when you have to let them go. That advice is from my dad.


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> Fu


Cynthia Fueredi loves cooking and entertaining in

Name: Cynthia Fueredi of Lake Geneva A little about me: I am originally from Milwaukee but moved to Lake Geneva seven years ago. I am single and live with my two beloved yellow Labs, Petey and Marty. At the age of 50 I was forced to reinvent myself after the end of my 18-year marriage. I started a business in Lake Geneva based on my love of cooking and entertaining. After four successful years I sold my company and now am ready to embrace my next adventure. The music on my iPod is: Lots of salsa to jumpstart my workouts, everything recorded by Diana Krall, and several of my favorite soprano arias that I love to let loose when no one is listening. In addition to studying culinary arts, I was a vocal performance major. A singing chef! The movie I love to watch over and over again is: My interests are very diverse with a strong leaning toward foreign films. It would have been easier to answer “What are your favorite tear jerkers?” I’d say: “Out of Africa,” “The English Patient,” “The Bridges of Madison County.” The book on my bedside table is: “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. It’s much more than a book about dogs. The piece of clothing and pair of shoes I’ll never part with are: For some ridiculous reason I still have my wedding dress, but the

her Lake Geneva home.

> Page 41


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shoe leop W bod am a entir W sign at: L the b in m If ties day then or on A gre train Clea way of th and som T me f me t that whe with winte mus is en slow Oh y W

shoes that I want to be buried in are my leopard design Manolo Blahniks. When I go to a store with bath, body and beauty items I always buy: I am a skin-care junkie. I currently use the entire line from SkinCeuticals. When I’m trying to impress my significant other I make sure to stop at: Lake Geneva Country Meats. It has the best selection of treats for the males in my life... from veal shanks to pig ears. If I had a day with no responsibilities I would spend it: I like to start the day with coffee and a little morning TV, then take my dogs on a walk at the lake or on the wonderful trails at Linn Park. A great workout would be next with my trainer, Glen Biller. A spa treatment at Clear Waters would be a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. The rest of the day would be spent shopping for and preparing an ambitious dinner for someone special. The room in my house that makes me feel most centered is: Of course for me this is the kitchen. This is the room that allows my creativity to flourish and where I feel so relaxed and at peace with myself. My favorite time is in the winter, when I have a fire crackling, music playing, and the whole house is engulfed in the aromas of a savory, slow-cooking comfort dish in the oven. Oh yeah, and a great glass of wine! When I have visitors from out of

“The grudge you hold onto is like a hot coal that you intend to throw at someone, but YOU’RE the one who gets burned.”

Give a ate rtific t Gif Ce d like ’ you e... to receiv

town I like to take them to: When you live in Lake Geneva the main event is the lake. My guests have really enjoyed the Mail Boat tour, which offers a fabulous narrative of the history of the lake and an up-close look at our beautiful shoreline. I like to follow up the tour with lunch at the Geneva Inn with its panoramic views of the lake. The most important item in my purse is: Hand sanitizer. I know this sounds weird, but I am a bit of a clean freak. I’d be lost without: Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, half & half, champagne, chats with my mother, and my canine companions. The best advice I ever received is: The grudge you hold onto is like a hot coal that you intend to throw at someone, but YOU’RE the one who gets burned.

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> Fueredi, from 40

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These are a few of ... In â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Sound of Musicâ&#x20AC;? Julie Andrews enchants viewers with her litany of favorite things. Remember? Raindrops on roses. Whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Ah, so angelic, so pure. And she snags that hunky Christopher Plummer, too. Here at She we are fascinated by the things that interest our readers: the indulgences they crave, books that transform them, music that brings them to tears (the good crying). So we created My Favorite Things, an opportunity for our readers to tell us what they love and why. Interested in sharing? Send us an e-mail (she@kenoshanews. com) answering each of the questions on the following page. You might be selected to appear on our pages. Who knows, your favorite things could rival Julieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.




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Sheila R. Bugalecki of Racine is a scientist, a volunteer and an outdoor enthusiast. Name: Sheila R. Bugalecki of Racine A little about me: I guess you could call me a super scientist by day, volunteer by night. I’m a Harley Davidson enthusiast, I like to garden, I enjoy a clean car and I like to be outside, especially when the weather is agreeable. Green is my favorite color, and if you ask me my favorite candy bar I’d have to say Mounds (sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t). I am employed by SC Johnson as a research scientist in insect control,

working diligently to kill bugs dead. Whether it is in a laboratory working with beakers and pesticides or outdoors dressed in canvas and netting, I work each day to help folks who fear creepy crawlies live more relaxed, pest-free lives. While not helping the insectphobic, I’m helping those in need. I am past president of the Junior League of Racine, and I am chairwoman of the communications committee this year. I participate in community meals and

done-in-a-day projects, and I’m often there to lend an ear, offer historical perspective and promote the Junior League any way I can. I’m also a member of the Racine Community Foundation Grants Committee, which offers an opportunity to learn much more about organizations in the Racine community. I admit I’m not very athletic, but I play golf and completed my first sprint-distance triathlon this summer. In my spare time I’m learning the ins and outs of knitting — a fun and functional pastime.

The music on my iPod is: A veritable potpourri including all Rufus Wainwright, some Johnny Cash, music from our wedding, other music of the like: Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Duvall, Smoking Popes, etc. The movie I love to watch over and over again is: My new fav is “Juno.” The book on my bedside table is: Just finished “The Devil in the Junior League” and am passing it around to my other Junior League friends. The piece of clothing and pair of shoes I’ll never part with are: I have a favorite pair of old army green shorts from Gap and my old green Birkenstocks. When I go to a store with bath, body and beauty items I always buy: I don’t go in unless I need something specific. Otherwise I’ll spend too much money on things I don’t need. When I’m trying to impress my significant other I make sure to: Cook? I don’t know! Pete is impressed by the fact that I do laundry weekly — he is easy to please. If I had a day with no responsibilities I would spend it: Reading. The room in my house that makes me feel most centered: Bedroom? When I have visitors from out of town I like taking them to: The Yardarm or Ivanhoe for a beer and a bite to eat. Or if here for longer than a meal, the zoo and beach, along with a coordinated tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s great work room. The most important item in my purse is: Wallet. I’d be lost without: Burt’s Bees lip balm. The best advice I ever received is: Rise above it.

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Lydia Thomas, left, Judy Halpin, center, and Sharon Paar have The Christmas Barn open weekends through Dec. 21.

By Karen Mahoney

Crafters showcase holiday arts at The Christmas Barn in Elkhorn

An Elkhorn barn has been transformed this holiday season into an old-fashioned country Christmas setting. Three baby boomers — Sharon Paar of Elkhorn, Lydia Thomas of Lake Geneva and Judy Halpin of Lake Geneva — have brought together under one roof a potpourri of charming items, including antique furnishings, unique gifts, holiday trimmings and accessories made by fine artisans and crafters. Shoppers feel as if they are stepping back in time once they enter the refurbished barn. Adorned with wreaths and bows for the holidays, the walls are infused with lights and decorations from the Victorian era to the present. Warm and inviting, the barn features moderately priced artwork, delectable food samples and heirloom-quality, handmade items that mix with antique and retro furnishings to create the perfect holiday backdrop. This is the second season for The Christmas Barn, which is open seven weekends leading up to Christmas. This year it opened on Nov. 7, with shoppers welcome on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 21. Paar said the idea emerged after she and her husband moved back to the area from Stevens Point, where she was involved in a similar venture. “They had this Christmas Tree farm up there, and next to it was a huge barn and they took things in on consignment. I was involved on a very





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small scale,” she said. “I thought for a long time that I would like to implement the idea here but wasn’t sure how I would find the right people to do it with.” Years of experience working in a flower shop led Paar, an avid floral artist, to attempt a home show before the Christmas season one year. “I decorated my house like a Christmas fairyland with decorations, lights, trees, wreaths. I sent out flyers and asked people to bring their friends. It was a big success,” she said. “I knew Lydia (Thomas) because she used to own the Curves franchise in Elkhorn. She came and brought Judy (Halpin), and between the three of us we decided to make this a business.” After much scouting around, the trio decided to rent the ancient barn at N4447 County Highway H for two months a year. During the rest of the year they would spend time creating artistic designs, attending art shows and traveling throughout the Midwest in search of unique decorations and gift ideas. “We have found a good mix of (vendors) we think would do well as a group,” Paar said. “We have them bring in products,

The Christmas Barn Where: N4447 County Highway H, Elkhorn When: Open weekends through Dec. 21. Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Contact: (262) 723-4167;;

Sharon Paar, from left, Lydia Thomas and Judy Halpin have given The Christmas Barn near Lake Geneva a comfortable, homey feel. and we set up and display them. We have no little booths. When you walk into this shop you wouldn’t know it is a bunch of different vendors.” The space is cozy and welcoming, with the heady aroma of holiday scents and spices permeating the rustic atmosphere. As purchases are made, the women restock the displays. “We are full with inventory until the very end,” Paar said. “We supplement the products with some retail lines such as unique oil lamps, garden art, specialty candles and a line of dips and

soups. It isn’t just Christmas items. We have many things for year-round enjoyment.” Halpin acknowledged that initially she was a bit nervous about whether the business would generate interest. “We just kept telling each other that we would be glad if we just broke even,” she said. “We expected disappointment but were thrilled that we were received as well as we were.” Indeed, the lines of cheerful shoppers winding through the rustic barn seemed endless last year. And each busy weekend

further convinced the three friends they had formed a partnership perfect for them. “The three of us just clicked immediately,” Thomas said. “We are having so much fun working on this new adventure, and it is very rewarding for us to bring such fine artisans together, to decorate the building and see so many people come through the doors.” For Halpin, The Christmas Barn has been a joyous endeavor on many levels. “We are happy we can offer this to the public, and we are happy to write a new chapter in our lives,” she said. “I guess if it ever gets too boring or mundane it might be time to do something different, but we are having fun now and that is all that matters.”

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Spirit of the season Forever Christmas keeps the holiday spirit alive and well all year long

By Kathleen Troher Linda Dosemagen had one primary goal in opening her Kenosha store in November 2007. It was to keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year long. A lifelong Kenosha resident, Dosemagen always has had a passion for Christmas. So it seemed natural for her to want to share that passion with others. And that’s just what she’d done at Forever Christmas, 5721 Sixth Ave. “Christmas just brings back such good memories for people,” Dosemagen said. “It’s all about family and sharing and people opening their hearts. Who doesn’t love Christmas?” Her store boast more than 1,500 ornaments, which come in all shapes, colors and styles. “I sell a lot of angels,” Dosemagen said, adding that other big sellers include nativity sets, water globes, nutcrackers and dolls. The dolls draw perhaps the most sentimental emotions from shoppers, who


Linda Dosemagen’s Forever Christmas store in downtown Kenosha has a warm, inviting feel all year.


Forever Christmas

seem to be transported back to their own childhoods when admiring the exquisitely coiffured beauties, their expressions so pure, their dresses so luxurious. Among the other merchandise Dosemagen carries are quilted Christmas throws, holiday-themed baby gifts, and double-wicked candles from England that are made of soy and essential

Where: 5721 Sixth Ave., Kenosha Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until Christmas Eve; rest of year 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Contact: Call (262) 6526551 or go to

> Page 47

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oils. They burn completely, leaving no wax when they are gone. While Christmas items and decorations are the No. 1 draw at Dosemagen’s business, she sees herself as much more than a shop owner. In her quest to give back to the community, Dosemagen holds bake sales at Forever Christmas every three months or so. She diligently bakes cookies, candies and dessert bars, then sells them, with all proceeds going to Kenosha’s Shalom Center and Women and Children’s Horizons. She has organized four such bake sales since opening her store last year, and she intends to continue the fund-

raising efforts in 2009. She also plans to schedule another Christmas in July event. In conjunction with her 2008 summer celebration, Dosemagen collected coats, scarves and mittens that she donated to local schools for children in need. She continues collecting clothing throughout the year for local students. Also throughout the year, customers continue bringing in non-perishable foods and personal hygiene items that go to the Shalom Center and Women and Children’s Horizons and toys that are given to Toys for Tots. The collections and bake sales further underscore Dosemagen’s passion for the true spirit of Christmas.

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Opening a new Door Explore Door County’s Fish Creek community for great shops and people Story and photographs by Kathleen Troher

Con with


oor County reminds me of the Chicago neighborhood where I grew up. No matter how long between visits, it always feels like home when I return. Usually when I venture north to the thumb in the mitten that is Wisconsin, I like spending a smidgeon of time at each of the unique communities that make up that breathtaking peninsula. But during my most recent trek, I opted for a different approach. I decided to spend all my time — in this case three days — in Fish Creek. I wanted to dig a little deeper, search for some new treasures. I’m so glad I did because I found several gems I’ll be sure to visit again. Here’s the scoop on some of my more exceptional finds. > Page 49

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Built in 1875, the Noble House Museum is Fish Creek’s oldest frame residence. Tours are offered, and the museum is open for special events at Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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■ Peninsula State Park. The sunset from the area surrounding Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, perched atop a 40-foot bluff, is just spectacular. Be sure to climb Eagle Tower, built in 1914 and rebuilt in 1930. It’s 75-feet high and 250 feet above Green Bay. ■ Top of the Hill Shops. Here I found some of my new Fish Creek favorites, including A Summer Cottage, The

Magic Jacket and Hart & Hart. It’s also where I found artist Connie Glowacki in her gallery, Watercolors with Spirit, working on a painting. Her pieces are lovely, mostly depicting nature, with lots of colorful flowers and deep, rich landscapes. Plus they’re reasonably priced. She sells original watercolors, drawings and limited edition prints. > Page 51

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Connie Glowacki works on a painting in her Fish Creek gallery, Watercolors with Spirit.


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Dress your eyes for the Holidays!

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But the artwork is not the only reason to stop. Glowacki herself is the No. 1 attraction. Warm and genuine, she readily shares her philosophies about art and life and happiness with visitors. She and several friends directed me to APJ Handbags ( where owner Ann Johnson sells custom purses. What does that mean? You pick your fabric, size, style, and in about two days you’ll have your purse. Or buy a readymade one in the store. The purses are fabulous, but it’s the “organize-her” that really makes APJ purses special. You load it with your essentials — cell phone, lipstick, business cards, etc. — roll it up and drop it in your purse. When it’s time to switch purses just yank out the organize-her and drop it in your next purse. What a great idea. If you want to check out her purses but not make the trek to Fish Creek, visit her shop in Janesville Plaza (2475 Milton Ave.). ■ The Settlement Shops south of Fish Creek, 9106 Highway 42 Make sure to visit Sweetie Pies. The owners are Larry and Cathy Mazurek and Lea and Dave Renny. In their cozy, vintage shop you can sip


Upcoming Fish Creek events

Great Northern by Design is a Door County furniture store filled with home furnishings and accessories. coffee and enjoy a slice of pie. They sell more than 10,000 pies annually, with their most popular being cherry. Customers purchase almost 600 per week during Sweetie Pies’ busiest time of year. Their fruit pies can be shipped frozen anywhere in the country. Don’t miss Great Northern by Design. This store features beautiful furniture and home accessories, with a back room brimming with Cathy Mazurek of Sweetie Pies in Door County pinches the edges of one more > Page 53 tasty creation.

Nov. 28 - 29 — The Noble House Museum will open for the holidays (920) 868-2091 December through March — Horse-drawn sleigh rides at Orchard Country Winery (920) 421-1152 Dec. 5 and 6; 12 and 13; 19 and 20 — Fish Creek Historic Inns Progressive Dinner featuring five-course gourmet dinner with live music at three historic inns: White Gull Inn (800) 868-1987, Whistling Swan (920) 8683442 and Thorp House Inn (920) 868-2444 Dec. 26 and 27 — Christmas at the Noble House Museum (920) 868-2091 Feb. 6 - 8 — 22nd Annual Fish Creek Winter Festival;, (800) 577-1880

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5017 Green Bay Road Suite 138 Kenosha, WI 53144 Phone: 262-654-6770 Fax: 262-654-6727 SHE l Dec 2008/Jan 2009 l 51

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quilts, tableclothes, duvets and more. You’ll find mirrors, lamps, floral arrangements, Italian ceramics, handwoven throws, and this list goes on and on. ■ Founders Square. This is the heart of Fish Creek, with more that a dozen shops, including Bath, Body and Soul Essentials, Door County Confectionery and Moccasin Works. Of all the communities in Door County, Fish Creek offers the broadest range of recreation, entertainment and art. It is home to American Folklore Theatre, Door Community Auditorium, Peninsula Players and Hands On Art Studio. One warning: Winter months in Door County are much less active than the rest of the year. Quite a few shops, restaurants and hotels are closed or have limited hours, although far more are open on weekends. Be sure to call in advance if there’s someplace you definitely want to visit. Come Memorial Day, Fish Creek and all of Door County emerges from hibernation. Here’s my final tip: As soon as you arrive in Fish Creek be sure to pick up your free copies of Door County Living (magazine format) and Peninsula Pulse (newspaper format). Both tell you all you need to know about activities happening during your stay and all the great shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. The Fish Creek Welcome Center is at 4097 Main St. For more information, call (920) 8682316 or (800) 577-1880 or e-mail vacation@

Door to Door If you’re craving a Door County pie but don’t have the time (or gas money) for a trip north, have we got news for you. The folks from Sweetie Pies in Fish Creek will be delivering their pies to folks in Kenosha from 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. on Dec. 13. Order your pies now (frozen pies only) and pick them up near the Highway 50 Starbucks just east of Interstate 94. Call toll free at (877) 868-2744 or go to

The wooded area at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Fish Creek’s Peninsula State Park is a great spot from which to watch the sun set.

Can’t make it to Door County to view Connie Glowacki’s art, stop at her Christmas Open House in Janesville Dec. 5 to 7. The hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Her gallery is at 3205 Windsor Lane (on the corner of Windsor Lane and Somerset Drive) in Janesville. Call toll free at (877) 926-5677 or go to

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EVENTS CALENDAR > For Kenosha Area event information, call the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (262) 654-7307 or go to > For Racine area event information, call the Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (262) 884-6400 or 800-262-2463 or go to > For Lake Geneva event information, call Geneva Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce at (262) 248-4416 or 800-345-1020 or go to

MULTIPLE DAYS Through Jan 4 — Anderson Arts Center Winter Juried Show Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, (262) 653-0481; Through Jan. 25 — Geneva Lake Art Association’s “Winter Exhibit” Geneva Lake Art Association, (262) 249-7988; Nov. 23 through Dec. 30 — Christmas in the Country Grand Geneva Resort, 800-5583417; Nov. 30 - Dec. 7 — Gallery of Trees Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, (262) 653-0481;

The Durkee Mansion at Kenosha’s Kemper Center will again be decorated for the holiday season. FILE PHOTO

NOVEMBER 27 — Mayor’s Turkey Day Run Library Park, Kenosha, (262) 6529046; 28-30 — Thanksgiving Homecoming Weekend at Andrea’s Kenosha, (262) 657-7732

DECEMBER 1 — Christmas Comes to Union Grove Village Square, Union Grove, (262) 878-4606. 3 — Dec. 3 Girls Night Out at Andrea’s Kenosha, (262) 657-7732 5 — Racine Symphony Orchestra Holiday POPS Concert

Festival Hall, Racine, (262) 634-6002; 5-7 — Festival of Lights Lake Geneva, (262) 248-4448. 6 — Santa Saturdays Monument Square and downtown Racine, (262) 634-6002; 6 — Great Electric Children’s Christmas Parade Lake Geneva, (262) 248-4416. 6 — Downtown Holiday Open House Racine, (262) 634-6002; 6 — University of Wisconsin-Parkside Arts and Crafts Fair UW-Parkside, (262) 595-3339. 6 — Breakfast with Santa Prairie Springs Park, (262) 925-6747;

13 — Breakfast with Santa Prairie Springs Park, (262) 925-6747; 13 — Santa’s Jingle Bell Breakfast Kenosha YMCA, Callahan Family Branch, (262) 654-9622; 13 — Santa Saturdays Monument Square and downtown Racine, (262) 634-6002; 13 — Retro Radio Holiday Revue Kenosha Public Museum, (847) 7102027; 13 — Santa Comes To Salem Salem Town Hall, (262) 997-0783 13 — Durkee Mansion Decorated for the Holidays Durkee Mansion at Kemper Center, (262) 657-6005; 14 — Community Kwanzaa Celebration Kenosha Public Museum, (262) 6534140; 19 — Christmas Senior Dance Kenosha Senior Citizens Center, (262) 653-6260; 20 — Santa Saturdays Monument Square and downtown Racine, (262) 634-6002; 20 — Holiday Ice Show (inaugural event) IcePlex, (262) 925-6754;

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20 — Skate with Santa IcePlex, (262) 925-6752; 26 — Post-Holiday Sale and Clearance Through Dec. 31, Prime Outlets at Pleasant Prairie, (262) 857-3061; www. 27 — Durkee Mansion Decorated for the Holidays Durkee Mansion at Kemper Center, (262) 657-6005; 28-30 — Frost Fest Kenosha Public Museum, (262) 6534140; 31 — New Year’s Eve Lock-in at IcePlex IcePlex, (262) 925-6752 or (262) 9256748;

JANUARY 10 — Downtown Racine’s annual ice carving festival Racine, (262) 634-6002; 16 — Snowflake Dance Kenosha Senior Citizens Center, (262) 653-6260; 18 — 22nd Parkside National Small Print Exhibition UW-Parkside Communication Arts Gallery, (262) 595-2364; 23 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration UW-Parkside Communication Arts Theatre, (262) 595-2540; 25 — Indoor Triathlon Series Race #1

LakeView RecPlex, (262) 925-6743; 25 — Anderson Arts Center Opening Reception Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, (262) 653-0481; 25 — Anderson Arts Center: Quilts: Another Dimension – An International Exhibition Through March 29 at Anderson Arts Center, (262) 653-0481;

FEBRUARY 4-8 — 14th Annual Winterfest and National Snow Sculpting Championships Riviera Park, Lake Geneva (262) 248-4416 6 — “Springtime Reflections: An Art Exhibition” by the Lake Geneva Art Association Through April 27, (262) 249-7988; 7 — Winterfest Road Race Series, 5K and 10K road races Lake Geneva, 14 — Return to Romance Richard Bong State Recreation Area, (262) 878-5600; 14 — Lakeside Band Festival Concert Carthage College A.F. Siebert Chapel, (262) 551-5363; www.carthage. edu/dept/music/calendar/

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Out & About features women attending local special events. If you have photos you would like to submit for consideration, please e-mail them to

Prisma Davalos, of Kenosha, left, and Josie Villegas, of Los Angeles, are members of the Gamma Alpha Omega sorority who took part in the Shelter Them from the Storm walk.

The “Shelter Them From the Storm Walk” stepped off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 from Kenosha’s Veterans Memorial Park. The event raised awareness about domestic violence and was also a fundraiser for Women and Children’s Horizons.

Kris in th Hori


Mitchel Hudrick, 8, from left, his sister Marqee, 10, their mother, Gabrielle Zapp, and their grandmother Laurie Cooper take part in the Shelter Them from the Storm walk organized by Women and Children’s Horizons. The family walked in memory of their aunt (Cooper’s daughter), Sara Kuhn-Perez, who lost her life to domestic violence.



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Kristin Leto, left, Jessica Cis, center, and Jan Robbins, all of Kenosha, take part in the Shelter Them from the Storm walk organized by Women and Children’s Horizons to raise awareness of domestic violence.


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From left, Anna Larsen, Laura Hayne, Pam Franke, Denise Rude and Sally Holmdohl are sisters who participated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk in honor of their mother, Betty Slawek of Racine, who died of the disease. The walk was at the University of Wisconsin Parkside on Oct. 4.

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Karrie Klinefelter of Winthrop Harbor, Ill., enjoys a little pampering during a Girls Night Out event held at Gateway Technical College’s Madrigrano Center on Oct. 2 to benefit Women and Children’s Horizons. Klinefelter is having her hands massaged by Gateway cosmetology student Erin Urban.


Gateway Technical College cosmetology student Rose Trapp, left, polishes the fingernails of Jessica Koloen, of Kenosha, right, as Ann Brezinski, of Beach Park, Ill., looks on during a Girls Night Out fundraising event benefitting Women and Children’s Horizons. The Oct. 2 event was held at Gateway’s Madrigrano Center. SIEL

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OUT & ABOUT To purchase photos, visit Out & About features women attending local special events. If you have photos you would like to submit for consideration, please e-mail them to


Sue Nosalik, left, Sue Cooper, center, and Colleen Totero, all of Racine, enjoy wine and the view at the Racine Yacht Club during a Sept. 27 fundraiser for the Nurses Foundation of Racine, which provides scholarships for nursing students in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.


Laverne Schmidt of Aurora Health Care, left, Linda Moritz of Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, center, and Noreen Hale of Nick-N-Willy’s Pizza participated in a Journey for L.I.F.E. Breast Cancer Walk benefitting Aurora and hosted by Grand Geneva on Oct. 5. Moritz and Hale live in Lake Geneva, and Schmidt lives in Brookfield.


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SOMETHING TO MILE ABOUT SHE AND HE | WHAT’S IN A NAME? LIZ OUT LOUD | IN HER DAY Names: Michelle and Tim Cascio of Kenosha Number of years of marriage: We’ve been married just over two years. Number of children: Our first and only daughter, Capri Bianca Cascio, arrived on Labor Day this year, and she’s been a wonderful addition to our already fulfilling life. Number of grandchildren: Easy does it … Capri won’t be dating for quite some time! What’s the glue that holds you and your spouse together? Michelle: Faith. I married a good old Catholic Boy. He’s God fear’n. His mamma raised him right. Tim: We make time to pray together before we start our day and at bedtime. Like other couples, we have our differences, but we aspire to be increasingly respectful of those differences. We rarely disagree on the big stuff, and, when we do, that works itself out over time. What convinced you that the two of you should be a couple? Michelle: After 10 months of dating I realized he really is who he acted like he was. Sometimes before I met Tim I found that men would act a certain way to get you to date them and then the real them came out. Tim’s not like that at all. The man you meet is the man you get. He really is a gentleman. He really does have good character, and he really does have a big, fat heart. Tim: It didn’t take long for me to recognize Michelle’s kind-hearted, giving spirit. I knew by her nurturing ways and how she wanted to take care of me that she’d make a great wife and mother to our children. She’s beautiful, inside and out. If you could replace one piece of clothing from your spouse’s wardrobe, what would it be? Michelle: The man looks like he stepped off the pages of a magazine. He is very polished. I think there was a yellow shirt I didn’t like. He didn’t wear it very often. I think it’s buried in the back of his closet now. Tim: Michelle is in tune with fashion, music and the arts, so I’m not nearly as qualified in this area. I enjoy shopping with her and picking out each other’s clothes together.



Michelle and Tim Cascio of Kenosha have been married just over two years. Describe what your spouse did the last time you rolled your eyes over his/her behavior. Michelle: As polished and professional as my husband appears, deep down, behind closed doors, he is one silly guy. Last night we had a fly in our bedroom. It was buzzing his tower for a good 20 minutes before Tim had had enough. He decided to get up and take care of it. When he was standing there ready for action the fly would come around and jump on the back of his hand or circle his body. Finally, he announced to the fly, “Alright! Mano e mano.” Just as soon as the words left his mouth that fly flew right in his face in a zig-zag motion, and it scared the fire out of Tim... I rolled my eyes. Tim: I almost had her convinced that her car had run out of blinker juice and, showing mercy, I let her know I was kid-

ding before enjoying myself too much. Would your spouse perform better on “Dancing with the Stars” or “Jeopardy!”? Michelle: “Jeopardy!” He is all about research. Tim’s in marketing, so he’s used to researching companies and applying that knowledge. I think he’d get a kick out of being on “Jeopardy!” He would give old Alex a run for the money. Tim: “Dancing with the Stars,” for sure. She taught ballroom dancing and took tap and ballet lessons. What’s the one thing your spouse thinks he/she can fix but you know he/she can’t? Michelle: I’m actually amazed at the things he can fix. He did some research and learned how to do some masonry on the house, and he fixed the dishwasher. He’s a pretty good little Mr. Fix-it. The one


thing he gets some heat about is time. His family affectionately refers to this as “Tim Time.” He loves what he does so he tends to throw just a few more minutes at his projects, and it runs over into other things. We have a saying in the south, “Every pot has its lid.” I found mine. I’m the same way. I tend to fly in on two wheels to most events due to my “one more thing.” Tim: Hmmm...none come to mind. Michelle’s handy and creative with her artsy projects and uses tools and machinery that are intimidating to me. She’s very capable on her Mac computer as well. She does, however, leave the heavy-duty stuff to me. I enjoyed the benefits of condo living until our marriage and it was a wake-up call to me to have so much responsibility around the house. Yikes! What advice would you give a couple on their wedding day? Michelle: Don’t forget that your vows are made in front of God. All those people you’ve invited to your wedding aren’t just there so you can feed them, they are there to help you through the good times and the bad. They are there to witness your very special day. Make sure you talk about the big things before you get married. Kids? Money? Faith? If he’s really the right one, these questions should be easy to talk about. Tim: Do sweet, simple things for each other every day to express your appreciation for one another. Michelle is very good at this. What do you love most about your spouse? Michelle: His laugh. Sometimes something will tickle him, and he gets going, and he has so much fun with it you start laughing just watching him. You find yourself laughing with him and not even knowing what you’re laughing about. What I love the most is how things don’t seem completely real until I tell him about them. But the thing I love the very most is how I can count on him. I trust him. That one little thing makes me feel safe. I know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, not on purpose, anyway. We have issues like anyone else, but he’s awful good about making things right. Tim: My pre-marriage suspicion that Michelle has the biggest heart ever is often verified by people she mentors through her work. They mail hand-written notes to her to express their appreciation for her help. Letters of this nature arrive at the house almost weekly.

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What’s in a name? A name. Everyone has one. Some are common. Others, not so much.

By Jill Tatge-Rozell and Kathleen Troher


Mechelle Beiser of Kenosha

We asked our readers — those with more unusual names — to tell us about them. Here are four of their stories.


Frankie Mechelle Beiser, of Kenosha, holds a photo showing her with her father, Frankie Dew, of Kenosha, for whom she was named. He passed away in April. She is sitting on his favorite rocking chair.

Most people know her as Mechelle Beiser, but truth be told her name is Frankie. Her parents agreed, boy or girl, their child would be named after his or her father, Frankie. Because her parents called her by her middle name, “Mechelle,” problems didn’t surface until she needed to start using official identification. The only thing that set her name and her father’s name apart was their middle initials. Hers “M,” his “E.” “I remember the time that I had an unpaid parking ticket, and the authorities went to my father’s place of employment, took him off the job and were about to arrest him when he realized it was Frankie “M” they were looking for,” she recalled. “Needless to say as soon as he notified me I paid the parking ticket.” Things got a little easier after she married. But she said she still gets strange looks when, for example, her name is called at the doctor’s office and she, a woman, stands up. “At one point in my life I thought that I might legally change my name to F. Mechelle,” Beiser said. “My father (Frankie Dew of Kenosha) passed away in April, and now changing my name is the last thing I want to do. To me it is now and always will be an honor to bear my father’s name.” > Page 65

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Bucko of Kenosha > Name, from 64

Jori Bucko has met only a couple of other people in her lifetime who share her first name, and she knows of one other: the Chicago news anchor for whom she was named. Before Bucko was born, her parents, Jean and Gerald Glitzky of Kenosha, lived in Chicago. They watched WMAQ channel 5 news, which featured one of the only female broadcasters at the time: Jorie Luloff. They loved her first name and knew they wanted it for their first daughter. When Bucko was born in 1969 her parents held true to their desire, although they dropped the “e” from the end. They wrote to Luloff and told her they named their first daughter after her. “Jorie Luloff sent me a gold charm neckalce with her spelling, Jorie, on one side, and mine, Jori, on the other,” Bucko said. “I still have the necklace but have never met Jorie Luloff.” Luloff had another Kenosha connection. She was born here because her mother was in the city when she went into labor. Luloff included that tidbit in the letter. “I still have that letter in my baby book,” Bucko said. “I was just looking at it the other day.” > Page 66


Jori Bucko of Kenosha was named after Chicago news broadcaster Jorie Luloff.

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Gemma Gemma Santelli of Kenosha

> Name, from 65


Gemma Santelli, left, of Kenosha, and Gemma Del Frate share an uncommon first name. Santelli was named after an Italian saint, and young Gemma was named after Santelli.

It’s a name you can trace back to Italy. On the surface it simply means “gem” in Italian. But this “Gemma” was named after a saint, not a stone. “My maternal grandmother knew Saint Gemma Galgani as a child growing up in Lucca, Italy,” Santelli explained. “That is who I am named after.” Gemma Galgani was born March 12, 1878, and had a short but religiously significant life. After being miraculously cured, it is believed Galgani received a stigmata (unexplained markings on the body that resemble the wounds of Christ). She died at age 25 in what is believed to be a heroic death to guarantee the salvation of souls. “I’m very proud of it,” Santelli said of her name. She added that her first grandaughter was named Maria Gemma, and her cousin John DelFrate and his wife, Pam, named their daughter Gemma as well. > Page 67

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Betts of Racine


ElLois Betts, of Racine, was named after her mother’s good friend and Sunday school teacher, ElLois Nelson. > Name, from 66

Its rarity combined with the difficulty people have pronouncing it makes ElLois Betts’ name quite the topic of conversation. Upon first meeting her and learning her name, people often ask if its origin is French or Spanish. Betts simply tells them she was named after ElLois Nelson, who was her mother’s Sunday school and piano teacher in Racine. Where Nelson got the name is a mystery to Betts. “I have no idea why she was named ElLois,” Betts said. “I just know I was named after her.” It was a difficult name for Betts’ elementary school

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peers to pronounce, and she was called by many nicknames throughout the years. Eventually all the adult members of her family began calling her by her given name. The only holdouts are her sister Becky and her mother, Esther, who call her Lois, which is the name of her mom’s best friend and roommate in college. And Betts’ nieces and nephews call their aunt Lo or LoLo. When strangers get that confused look on their faces as they attempt to say her name, Betts simply finishes the pronunciation for them. So how do you say it? “It’s ‘L’ and then Superman’s girlfriend Lois,” Betts explained.

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Ho, Ho, No! Holiday foods add comfort, joy to your bottom line By Elizabeth Snyder


o, Ho, Ho? As the holidays approach, it’s more like Ho, Ho, No! Don’t get me wrong. I love the holiday season and all it entails. But I recognize this time of year is rife with opportunities for me to end 2008 deeper in debt, drowning in tinsel and living in sweat pants. Not exactly a Christmas card photo image, is it? I can’t blame this situation totally on November and December — though they are the chief culprits. It starts with Halloween, when stores pile their shelves high with candy. I could vow to stay out of Target for the month, but even if I could pull that off, I still have to buy treats for the neighborhood kids. (And don’t suggest handing out granola bars or — horrors! — raisins. I have to

LIZ OUT LOUD live on this street.) But Halloween is just the beginning of what amounts to a three-month orgy of chocolate, gravy and stuffing. If I can make it into November without a major sugar binge — and that’s a big “if” hinging a great deal on the weather, my dogs’ behavior and how the Green Bay Packers are doing — I run straight into Thanksgiving. That’s a whole week of pre-holiday nibbling, recipe sampling, the holiday dinner itself, and then a threeday weekend of leftovers. It’s a miracle I can get my rear end off the couch that next week and get back to the office. The office! Have you been

inside a workplace in the weeks before Christmas? It’s a minefield of cookies, cupcakes and candy canes. If you think you hear jingle bells in December, it’s actually my thighs jiggling under this onslaught of calories. Every year, I tell my husband it’s a good thing we’re not very popular, or we’d be working our way through buffet tables at parties until New Year’s Day. What’s a person with a criminally slow metabolism to do? Follow these guidelines and you should survive the holiday season without ripping your pants in public: Eat your fruits and vegetables. It will help you stay away from the dessert table. Holiday fruits and veggies include chocolate-covered cherries, Jell-O molds with pineapple and Cool Whip, and pumpkin pie. Anything a grandmother makes is fair game. If it’s from the Old Country, eat twice as much, because you are keeping family traditions alive. And the holidays are all about fam-

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> Ho

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ily. And sweets. But especially family. Ditto for something your children bake, even if it comes out of a Pillsbury box. Spurning their tray of brownies could send them into therapy for years. All food received as a gift is OK to eat. The guilt you’d feel for being rude is far worse than a few stray calories. If you exercise, you can eat the same amount of calories you just burned off. For example: If you wrap three Christmas presents, help yourself to three chocolatedipped pretzels. Eat four if you just wrapped gifts for your husband’s family. Any food that appears just once a year (my mother’s Thanksgiving stuffing) must be eaten. That falls under the Brigadoon Rule of Dieting, where your childhood favorites mysteriously show up in your kitchen and then vanish after 24 hours. Any food that has a holiday shape — I’m looking at you, Christmas tree Peeps — is OK if eaten by Dec. 31.

Gingerbread is perfectly fine for making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during the month of December. Egg nog is nature’s perfect breakfast drink. Think of it as a Christmas omelette in a cup, complete with protein and a year’s worth of dairy in that heavy cream. If something is topped with nutmeg, it falls under the Holiday Treat Exception and can be safely consumed as long as seasonal music is playing in the background. (That Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte? Treat yourself to one on the way to work today. You’ve earned it. What’s a few, or more, hundred calories between friends?) If, after carefully following these stringent guidelines, you still somehow gain weight, then remember the biggest holiday rule of all: When making your holiday wish list, ask for pants and skirts with elastic waists, and ask for over-sized tops. And remember the best thing about the holiday season in Wisconsin: It’s followed by three months of winter, where piling on layers and layers of clothing is just good sense.

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‘There’s nothing

I can’t do.’ By Josephine Chianello Berman As told to Kathleen Troher


y mom, Theresa Chianello, was 16 when she came to the United States from Marano Principato near Cosenza, Italy. She traveled here by ship with her father, my grandpa, arriving in New York on Dec. 8, 1955. My grandma, my mother’s mother, was already here in the United States. Eventually my mother, her brother and her parents moved into a house on 55th Street in Kenosha. At one point my uncle and grandpa couldn’t find jobs, so it was my mother supporting the whole family. She was working at Jockey, and she was going to night school to learn English. Can you imagine that? Not knowing the language, she was just 16 and she was supporting her family. She went back to Italy in 1964 with my uncle. She married my dad in Surdo, Italy, on July 5, and my uncle, Leo, got married a week later. After my parents came back here my mom had me and then my brother. When I was little she worked at Samuel Lowe on 52nd Street, where they made coloring books. She worked there for about 10 or 12 years, then at Manu-Tronics for 10 years and then in the cafeteria at Tremper High School for 10 years. She retired in 1996 to take care of my little boy, Benjamin. Now she watches my 4-year-old son, Matthew. I could not be here doing what I am doing (running my own dental practice) if not for my mom. She always puts other people’s needs be-

Josephine Chianello Berman, of Pleasant Prairie, has found inspiration and encouragement from her mother, Theresa Chianello, of Kenosha. PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN POIRIER

fore hers. She’s 71 years old now and she’s my best friend. There’s nothing we couldn’t talk about, nothing I can’t share with her. She has taught me so much. I was the first person in my family to go to college and graduate. And when I did, my grandfather said, “Four years is enough.” But I wanted to go to dental school, and both my mom and grandma said, “You keep going.” My mom was there to give me confidence. She would say:

“Don’t listen to anyone else. Believe in yourself. You just do it. If you want to do something, you can do it.”

“Don’t listen to anyone else. Believe in yourself. You just do it. If you want to do something, you can do it.” Even when I was in dental school between 1987 and 1991, I was in the minority as a woman, and there were people who thought women shouldn’t be dentists. But I thought about my mom, and how much she went through when she came to this country. I learned persistence from her. When I think I can’t do something, I think about my mom. And I think about all those people who came to this country like she did, the sacrifices they made, the struggles they had trying to survive. And I say to myself, “If they can do it, if my mom could do all she did, then there’s nothing I can’t do.”

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She Magazine l December 2008/January 2009  

The only magazine for, by and about southeastern Wisconsin Women.