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The next generation A look at the growing role of grandparenting SENIOR LIVING:

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Surprising hopefulness in grandparents’ stories INSIDE YOUR FAMILY BY JIM FEROLIE


utting together our cover story for this issue of Your Family magazine was fascinating. Not only was it a great learning experience for our reporter, Helu Wang, who grew up in China, where grandparenting is absolutely normal, it also hit home for me, as my extended family has a bit of experience with it. When Helu started researching, she was shocked by how extreme the family situations she was reporting on had seemed. After all, in the city she is from, Shanghai, grandparents care for 90 percent of young children and half are the only

caregivers, according to government statistics. I had to explain to her that in America, grandparents rarely become the primary caregivers without fairly extreme circumstances. And such circumstances are unfortunately becoming more and more common. Not that any of it seemed that unusual to me. Around 30 years ago, my aunt’s five kids all went to live with my other aunt and uncle because their mother could not handle them. And then, 13 years ago, my preschool-aged niece had to be removed

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In Shanghai, grandparents care for 90 percent of young children and half are the only caregivers, according to government statistics.

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Just as my own extended family managed to work through some unfortunate situations and turn out a wonderful now college-aged woman, so, too, are these grandparents gracefully taking their second runs at the only truly full-time job most of us will ever have. I wish them all the best of luck. l

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from her mother’s care for a variety of issues related to drug addiction, and she was put in the primary care of her paternal grandmother. So as Helu and I navigated the issue throughout her interviews, we felt a range of emotions. We were saddened that there were so many of these situations, surprised to see that there are groups and even housing projects dealing specifically with these sorts of families, amazed by some of the circumstances and happy to see that most of these grandkids end up being very well loved. In the end, it was that last feeling that stuck with me, as we saw grandparent after grandparent pushing through whatever challenges and life changes were necessary to provide the best, most loving environment for their grandkids – even those who didn’t want their names or their stories on the record.

Jim Ferolie is the editor of Your Family magazine.


NOVEMBER 16, 2017 is published by UNIFIED NEWSPAPER GROUP 133 Enterprise Dr. PO Box 930427 Verona WI 53593 (608) 845 9559



Denise Morgan has been living with her two grandsons, Eric (left) and Garreon, both 19, for the past year. Even though it means she has to sleep on the couch, she’s happy to have extra help after having suffered a stroke in January. She is one of 2.6 million grandparents who are the primary caregivers for grandchildren nationwide.

................................... GENERAL MANAGER Lee Borkowski SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER Kathy Neumeister

Photo by Jeremy Jones

EDITOR Jim Ferolie





................................... YOUR FAMILY STAFF Diane Beaman, Scott De Laruelle, Scott Girard, Anthony Iozzo, Donna Larson, Amber Levenhagen, Bill Livick, Monica Morgan, Angie Roberts, Carolyn Schultz, Catherine Stang, Helu Wang and Dawn Zapp

................................... CONTACT US Send all questions or submissions to yourfamily@wcinet.com

................................... YOUR FAMILY is printed four times a year by Woodward Printing Services If you would like to have a copy of Your Family delivered to your home, the cost is $8.00 for 1 year. Please call (608) 845-9559 for more information.

Family Fun 5 Things Cool bed and breakfasts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Day Trip Back in time in Paoli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Sports for disabled growing a niche in Milwaukee. . . . . . 12 Calendar of Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Family Food Winter market is a place for ‘serious shopping’ . . . . . . . . . . . .


My Blood Type is Coffee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Recipes Blackened shrimp & corn chowder, skillet-roasted potatoes w/mushrooms & pancetta . . . 27

Family Health To Your Health Granola bars can be candy. . . . . . . . . . .


Senior Living Elders actually need to worry about HIV/AIDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Family Life Publishers of the Oregon Observer Stoughton Courier Hub Verona Press Great Dane Shopping News Fitchburg Star

Gift Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Wisconsin Books. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Business Spotlight Hann’s Christmas Farm. . . . 34




Bed and Breakfasts Story by Amber Levenhagen Photos submitted

When you’re looking for an ideal place to take a break from work, to pack up and get away, it can be hard to find just the right spot that’s a mix between a sterile hotel room and the reliable warmth of your own home. Instead of suffering through the winter months tucked in at home, one option is to take a hospitable and cozy retreat in the Dane County area. These five bed and breakfasts stood out because of their historic charm, rustic location and welcoming hosts. All are within an hour of Madison, some are even downtown, and they all offer 1-2 night stays that can be the ideal way to take a break and relax during the harsh winter months.

Livingston Inn

Mansion Hill Inn

Springdale Inn

752 Gorham St., Madison (608) 238-6317 livingstoninnmadison.com

424 N. Pinckney St., Madison (608) 255-0172 mansionhillinn.com

2160 Erb Road, Verona (608) 832-6707 springdaleinn.com

Built in 1854, The Livingston Inn has housed two of Madison’s former mayors, William Leitch (1862-1865) and Moses Doyon (1888-1890). The Gothic Revival-style house is a historical landmark located just off Lake Mendota, and guests can select to stay in any of the five rooms, including the William Leitch room, which features antique furniture and a gas fireplace. There is a private bathroom, fireplace and queen-sized bed in each room. Considered environmentally friendly and part of Travel Green Wisconsin, the inn offers guests shampoo, conditioner and soaps made from natural and biodegradable products that are not tested on animals. A full breakfast is served every morning and features locally sourced ingredients from local farmers markets.

Just up the road from the Livingston Inn, atop “Big Bug Hill,” is Mansion Hill Inn – the first residence on the hill and one of four historic mansions still standing at the North Pinckney- East Gilman intersection. The building was transformed into apartments in 1983 before it was purchased by the Alexander Company and turned into a boutique hotel. It was renovated in 2008 by Trek Bicycle and Trek Hospitality. The inn features 10 rooms – classic suites, grand rooms and splendid rooms – the difference is mainly the size of the room and amenities. Classic suites have marble gas fireplaces, whirlpool baths and skylight views. In addition to European style continental breakfast, guests are also provided with complimentary passes to B-cycle, Madison’s city bike program. There’s also an espresso bar and beer and wine service.

About half a mile down a winding dirt road from U.S. 18-151 sits Springdale Inn. It’s nestled in the woods, surrounded by a restored prairie, with hiking trails easily accessible. Two alpacas and four chickens also live on the property. Designed and built with the environment in mind, the inn stays partially off the grid with specially glazed windows that absorb heat from the sun, providing free heat during the winter. Photovoltaic panels on the roof also provide energy throughout the year, particularly when the glazed windows aren’t in direct sunlight. Breakfast is part of the stay, as is traditional with B+B’s, but ingredients served are locally sourced – with some even coming from the garden and dozens of fruit trees on the property. There are five different rooms to choose from, each with a different theme, some with large patios and private bathrooms.



Lake Ripley Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Fargo Mansion Inn

N4376 Friedel Ave., Cambridge (877) 210-6195 lakeriply.com

406 Mulberry St, Lake Mills (920) 648-3654 fargomansion.com

Located on the lake, Lake Ripley Lodge Bed and Breakfast was built in the early 1900s by the family of Charles Dawes, former vice president and Nobel prize recipient. The lodge itself opened in 2004 and has nine room options ranging from the Evinrude Room, named after former local resident and inventor Ole Evinrude, to the Nautical Room, with various number and size of beds and amenities to accommodate several guests. In addition to the typical amenities like internet and parking, the inn also offers a private pier, on-site kayak and canoe rentals. During the winter, guests can instead cozy up to one of the fireplaces and catch a view of the sunset from the front porch. Continental breakfast is served every morning with coffee, and nearby bike and hiking trails connect to downtown Cambridge, where there are restaurants, coffee shops and shopping.

In the heart of Lake Mills, near the shores of Rock Lake, sits Fargo Mansion Inn. After a few years of restoration, the inn opened in 1987. The Queen Anne Classic structure is listed on the national and state level registers of historic places, and the “historic charm� is one of the reasons why visitors are drawn to the inn. The home, with a wraparound porch and an acre of property, transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays, with ornate decorations lining the home and the yard. Inside, guests find four different bedroom opportunities that can accommodate up to three guests each. The special signature breakfast dish is the Very Barry Berry Muffins, named after Barry Luce, co-inkeeper. A full breakfast is served every morning, and it typically includes fruits, juices, baked sweet and a hot entree, which can accommodate special dietary needs.

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Paoli Bread and Brat Haus owner Cherri Bell prepares a cup of tea for a customer. The restaurant offers terrific baked goods, savory soups and sandwiches, along with specialty dishes butternut squash lasagna.

Back in time in Paoli Da

. . . p i y Tr


t seems a lot of people – perhaps most – discover the tiny hamlet of Paoli by accident. For many Madisonians, it happens while driving south on the way to some other place, like New Glarus or Monroe. Many others (myself included), first encountered the 19th-century mill community by bicycle. About 15 miles south of Madison, Paoli is a convenient distance for a round-trip bike ride through the Dane County countryside and is well known as a popular destination or rest stop for cyclists. No matter how people find themselves at this rural crossroads, the


Dining, shopping in old mills and factories in a picturesque setting by Bill Livick Photos by Jeremy Jones

things that bring them back are usually its friendliness, hospitality and historic charm. The community was established around 1850, after Pennsylvania-native Peter Matts built a sawmill and oneroom schoolhouse and began platting the growing village. By the mid-1870s, Paoli had developed a gristmill, a cheese factory, two hotels, a couple of churches, a saloon and a dance hall. The stone buildings that housed much of that activity remain today, now home to artisan galleries, gift shops and quaint cafes. But historic settings aren’t enough to keep a small community going, revolving

around a half-dozen businesses. That longevity is due, in my experience, to the handful of local merchants who offer quality fare, but also warmth and a genuine smile. The pastoral setting and friendly environs were enough to entice me to buy a home here almost two decades ago. We moved away after a few years, but recent visits have reminded me of the initial attraction. First, there’s the geographical draw. Paoli’s close to Madison and vibrant small towns like Verona, Mount Horeb and Oregon. At the same time, it has the advantage of being far enough from Madison-area


The Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Cafe offers visitors a casual fine dining experience for lunch or dinner.

sprawl and development that a cyclist can pedal the hills and scenic country roads without having to contend with a lot of traffic. I think of it as a gateway to the state’s Driftless Area. Even more importantly, to me, Paoli is situated on the picturesque Sugar River, a meandering stream that’s ideal for flatwater kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Access to the river has been enhanced over the past few years, as Dane County bought 466 acres in the Town of Montrose, including two-and-a-half miles along the river, and established the Falk Wells Sugar River Wildlife Area.

As part of the project, the county improved a small park area less than a mile west of Paoli, near the intersection of Paoli Road and state Hwy. 69. There, the river forms a small rapids and empties into a pool that makes a nice swimming hole (and is also very popular, I’m told, with trout and other fish). Ten minutes downstream from there,

The Artisan Gallery is celebrating its 30th year of art and a new name.On June 9, the business changed its name to Abel Contemporary Gallery.The gallery opened in 1987 as the Wisconsin Artisan Gallery under the direction of its original owner, who converted a former creamery into a showplace for the work of 30 local artists.

the river flows through the center of Paoli and past several businesses located on its banks. One of them, Paoli Schoolhouse Shops and Cafe, is a favorite dining destination of mine, especially on a warm evening when you can sit on a patio overlooking the river, watching birds and other local wildlife. I can’t think of a prettier setting in the Madison area. Whether you prefer dining on the deck or inside, the Schoolhouse Cafe offers a quaint (outside) or elegant (inside) setting for a romantic meal, a special occasion, or just a good time with friends. Continued on page 10




Continued from page 9

After spending a day enjoying Paoli, you can stop by the Hop Garden for a pint.

The food is top-notch, and service is also good. The kitchen’s menu changes with what’s seasonally available, and the restaurant does a nice job of using local produce and locally raised and processed meats. The cafe is located in the original one-room schoolhouse, built in 1854. Along with the restaurant, there are two shops in the building that offer a mix of clothing, jewelry and other works of art. The wood-frame building was transformed in 2008 into an attractive space with shops and two posh dining rooms, in which chandeliers and other artsy touches lend an air of comfort and sophistication. Outside, the stone patio hosts live music on the weekends during the warm-weather months. Across the street, you’ll find the Able Contemporary Gallery (formerly Artisan Gallery), which has been operating for 30 years and has one of the best and largest collections of artwork in the state. Across the river from the gallery, the Paoli Mill Terrace and Park sits on a river inlet where you can enjoy a beer, made with locally grown hops, from the Hop Garden Tap Room. It’s housed in the original grist mill building and 10 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018

offers dining inside or out. Next door, in a tiny building that’s home to Paoli Bread and Brat Haus, you’ll find baked goods, savory soups and sandwiches, along with specialty dishes like gumbo and homemade pasta. Run by Cherrie (SHA-ree) Bell since 2011, dining here is akin to sitting at the table in an old friend’s kitchen. But since there’s only one table, Bell is also happy to take you next door to the Tap Room and serve your food there. If it’s closed, she’ll unlock the door and even pour you a beer. The Brat Haus and Tap Room also partner on Friday fish fries and other events. There are other attractions in Paoli, including a store that specializes in original artwork and gifts inspired by chickens, along with practical poultry supplies and custom-made coops, and Paoli Road Mercantile, which doubles as a an art gallery and general store. Spending an afternoon in Paoli feels a bit like taking a step back in time. It’s a place where you can feel the hustle and bustle of daily life begin to fall away. Part of that is because it’s such a friendly place. The tiny town is charming and has lots to offer guests and visitors. l

Paoli Bread and Brat Haus offers a great selection of lunch options and desserts.


When a granola bar becomes a candy bar TO YOUR HEALTH BY KARA HOERR

Here are some tips to look for:

6 grams of added sugar or less

With four grams of sugar in a teaspoon, this is still giving you almost two teaspoons of sugar in the granola bar. Any more than that and you’re closer to having a watered-down dessert than a healthy snack that will energize you. Added sugar is different from natural sugar. Dried fruit or fruit puree are natural sources of sugar, which are often added to bars. LaraBars, RXBars, Kind Pressed Bars are all sweetened naturally and contain no added sugar.

At least three grams of fiber

If a granola bar is 100 percent whole grain or has real fruit in it, you should be able to find a good amount of fiber on the nutrition facts label. The fiber is important to help keep you satisfied and to prevent your blood sugars from jumping up too high.

Organic isn’t always healthy

Several bars will advertise in flashy packaging that it’s an all-organic choice, but when the organic ingredients are cane sugar, chocolate or honey, it might be closer to just an organic candy bar. If you’re conscious about buying organic foods, purchase an organic apple and nut butter for a quick and healthy snack instead. l Kara Hoerr, MS, RD, CD, is the registered dietitian at the Fitchburg Hy-Vee. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Read the ingredient list

A good rule of thumb is to look for products that have a short ingredient list (fewer than 10 ingredients) or an ingredient list that is free of any foreign names that you wouldn’t normally be able to find on their own. LaraBars and RXBars are popular for their short, whole foods ingredient lists. Some LaraBar flavors only having two ingredients in them.

Fit your needs

Depending on your activity or purpose for wanting a bar, you may need a mealreplacement bar, an energy bar for when you’re doing an intense or long workout or a multi-purpose in-between meal bar. For instance, you probably don’t need a Clif Bar as an afternoon snack; it’s designed to fuel endurance athletes who need a convenient, quick source of energy (in the form of sugar) to keep them going. A Kind bar that has five grams of sugar in it, five grams of protein and 200 calories would be enough to sustain you through a typical afternoon at work.



hen it comes to healthy convenience and eating on-therun, granola bars or energy bars are some of the most common foods to grab from your bag, purse or cupboard. It’s understandable – they’re portable, quick to eat and usually pretty tasty. Kids and adults alike enjoy them, making them one of the few snack options the entire family can agree on. I agree, a trusty granola bar can be a lifesaver in our rush-to-get-things-done lifestyles. A granola bar in my purse comes in handy when my errands last longer than expected and my stomach starts to growl or to have as an afternoon pick-me-up at work when dinner still feels too far away. But if we’re not careful, granola bars can act like a candy bar in disguise. Granola bars often have a “health halo” around their name. That’s when marketing successfully has us believe that a food item is a “healthy choice” without us questioning it or looking at the nutrition label to confirm. If you hear the words yogurt, granola bar or granola, chances are, you won’t question the health of it like you otherwise might with chips or candy. Let’s take a look at just one example: A white chocolate macadamia nut Clif Bar, coming in at 260 calories, contains 40 calories more than a package of Reese’s peanut butter cups and has nearly as many grams of sugar. Yes, the Clif Bar contains 21 grams – over 5 teaspoons! – of sugar in a single bar. While it’s important to look at the big picture when comparing two different products, a quick comparison might have you questioning your favorite granola bar. Since not all granola bars are created equal, it can be difficult to decide which is best. There are aisles and rows of bars to choose from now, which can be almost overwhelming. To avoid being a victim of marketing ploys and strategies, it’s best to check the labels ourselves to find ones that live up to the “health halo” they’ve been given.




n wheels

Growing wheelchair tournament show off future Paralympians Story by Anthony Iozzo Photos submitted


our years ago, the WASA Bucks, formerly the Milwaukee Heat, began planning an annual competition for wheelchair basketball. Since, the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association tournament has grown to be one of the largest in the country, with teams from Utah, California, New York and around the Midwest competing in several divisions. It has gone from nine teams in 2014 to almost 30 teams last year. From Feb. 3-4, spectators will once again get a glimpse of future and former Paralympians at Brookfield East High School. “The goal is to provide an excellent firstclass venue and experience for the athletes,” tournament director Melissa Oberst said of the free event. “It’s a fun-filled weekend, and we are excited to showcase the talented athletes and promote a healthy, confident and capable image of ability.” Oberst became tournament director when her daughter Emily, who is now in college, showed interest in wheelchair basketball. Athletes like Emily, from youth to college, are the focal point of the Big Cheese Classic. And that is a result of the Paralympic competition and growth of the sport. Wheelchair basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports with disabled athletes, now played in over 80 countries with more than 100,000 players, according to the National Wheelchair Basketball League. “This tournament provides an opportunity to also raise awareness to the fast-growing Paralympic sport and watch former and future Paralympians compete,” Oberst said. “The spectators are amazed by the ability of these athletes.” One of the reasons for its popularity is how challenging it is – there’s a significant skill set needed to be competitive, including strength, eye-hand coordination and overall quickness, both physically and mentally. “Wheelchair basketball is very fast-paced, The WASA Bucks Youth program will be on display during the Big Cheese Classic wheelchair basaggressive and physical,” Oberst said. “I ketball tournament on Feb. 3-4 at Brookfield East High School. The tournament will feature teams in think the physicality of the game is eyethe Prep, Mini, 10-and-under and Women’s division, as well as Division I and Division III programs. opening to many who have not seen the


FAMILYLIFE game played.” Oberst said the teams at the Big Cheese Classic enjoy the tournament so much, many continue to come back each year. And the fans are increasing, as well. The average number of spectators has doubled from when it started, to around 500 people. The cost per team is $275 before Dec. 15 and $300 after, and the costs offset some of the tournament fees, including referees, facilities and awards, and sponsorships cover the rest. There will be fundraising efforts for WASA, which is a non-profit

If you go

What: 2018 Big Cheese Classic When: Feb. 3-4, 2018 Where: Brookfield East High School Spectator cost: Free Team cost: $275 per team if registered by Dec. 15; $300 after Dec. 15 ​

About WASA

The Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association is a nonprofit company founded in 2015 as a collaborative effort begun by Damian Buchman. Buchman originally tried to start a club in 2013 after talking to Milwaukee Recreation, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and Froedtert Memorial Lutheran. But the vision of WASA wasn’t realized until 2015 when The Ability Center offered financial and adaptive equipment support. Now, WASA hosts several wheelchair sports teams, including basketball, lacrosse and softball, as well as goalball for the blind and sled hockey. ​

For more information Melissa@wasa.org (262) 613-7040 www.wasa.org

organization for adaptive sports, that include 50-50 raffles, concessions and raffle baskets. There are several divisions. For the youth, there is the Prep, Mini and 10-and-under divisions. There is also a Women’s Division and Division I and Division III teams, as well. Teams that compete are guaranteed three games with many playing four or five games. The tournament begins at 8 a.m. both days with finals on Sunday. “We are so pleased with the progress and growth we experience each year,” Oberst said. l

Teams in the Big Cheese Classic are guaranteed three games and some will play as many as four or five.


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Holiday stress-busting

Hit the gym

The American Society for Exercise Physiologists says exercise has been shown to increase one’s sense of well-being, mood, self-esteem, and stress responsivity. Stress can rev up adrenaline, and exercise can help relieve any pent-up energy and frustration.

Eat the right foods

Stay hydrated and eat plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables. This can help stabilize blood sugar levels and decrease cravings for comfort foods. Do not turn to caffeine, sugary sweets and alcohol to reduce stress, as such foods and beverages may only compound the problem.


Get ample rest

Go to bed and rise at the same time each day. Many adults function best when they get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night, and a good night’s rest can help in the fight against stress.

Engage in activities you enjoy

Make time for activities that you like to do, such as crafts, hobbies and listening to music. Take time away from holiday tasks to give yourself a break.

Skip the need to be perfect

Christmas movies and holiday ideals portrayed in advertisements can put undue pressure on the average person. Ignore any perceived pressure to have a perfect holiday season, instead resolving to enjoy the time with family and friends. Stress can impact the ability to enjoy oneself during the holidays. But stress can be overcome, even during this busy time of year.


Many people find the holiday season can be stressful. Holiday hosts may bear the brunt of seasonal stress, but the season also may be challenging for those who have lost loved ones or do not have close families to celebrate with. When holiday hustle leads to frayed nerves, there are some things people can do to reduce their stress.

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Photo by Jeremy Jones Denise Morgan of Madison cooks while her grandson, Garreon, 19, helps. Garreon came to live with Morgan a year ago, and his cousin, Eric, also 19, has lived with her since he was a baby.

Challenging, but rewarding

Grandparents raising grandchildren find pains, struggles and joys


efore she became a grandmother, Betty Looper saw grandparenting as making cookies and watching cartoons with grandchildren. It’s been much tougher than that, as she’s raised four grandchildren her daughter was unable to care for over the past 27 years. She’s one of nearly 3 million grandparents who are the primary caregivers for grandchildren, according to U.S. Census data from 2010, and one of nearly 1.5 million with no help from either of the grandchildren’s parents. And the number of children living with grandparents has risen steadily since


Story by Helu Wang 1990. From 2000 to 2010, the number of children living with their grandparents increased by more than 25 percent, and the number has been steadily rising since 1980. Experts point to a variety of reasons, including the rise in opiate addictions, divorce, domestic abuse, homicide, incarceration and mental illness. As a result, there is an increasing number of social services aimed at grandparents raising grandkids. In Dane County, these services include support groups, referrals to need-based resources, counseling and therapy. There’s even planning of a

new apartment building in Madison that would cater to such family arrangements, which once were much more rare. In Wisconsin, over 26,800 grandparents raise grandchildren, and 17 percent of them live in poverty according to data compiled by AARP. Sharyl Kato, executive director of the Rainbow Project, said usually the families that enter this situation do so unexpectedly and therefore have to deal with financial and legal challenges while often going through emotional stress. The grandparents have to put themselves together while sometimes helping their grandchildren get over the trauma of being in a new

FAMILYLIFE home. Support group and therapy provide a safe environment for them to rebuild their family connections. “It’s a joy of beauty that they share the experience in a group and recover together,” Kato said. Since the trauma can influence the children’s emotions and academic performance, most grandparents look for teachers and school staff to step in and effectively respond to the children’s post-traumatic behaviors. But every story is different. Your Family magazine spoke to several families about their situations. The individual reasons included drug addiction, disability and economic hardship. Some raised several grandkids over the course of many years, for others, raising even one or two kids turned their lives upsidedown. One, who didn’t want to share her name, even was a first-time parent, raising a step-granddaughter for a mother with drug problems. Another has been battling to get custody of her grandkids because of concerns they won’t be safe. They have to put their job and hobbies on hold so they can focus on preparing food, dropping off and picking up the grandchildren, as well as planning family activities. Some of them suffer from health problems

and are isolated from their old social circles. But they find it rewarding to see their grandchildren’s growth and move out starting their own families. “My grandson is my life,” said one 68-year-old grandma who is raising an autistic grandson. “It’s been all about him.”


On her wedding night in 1990, Betty Looper was celebrating at home when her daughter gave birth to a boy and later disappeared. Over the next 11 years, her daughter dropped off another three children. “It was very difficult,” Looper said. “I did all the work of a mother.” When her grandchildren were young, Looper had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get them ready for school, preparing lunch boxes and dropping them off school. She was never able to make enough to both feed her grandchildren and provide an individual room for each child. The cost of rent forced her to move 14 years ago, from a larger duplex in Madison to a two-bedroom apartment on Pike Drive in Fitchburg. She has often relied on monthly trips to the food pantry and getting clothes from charities to provide the “best” life for her grandchildren. Continued on page 20

By the numbers 7.3 million

Grandparents with at least one grandchild living with them

4.9 million

Grandchildren living with grandparents

2.6 million

Grandparents who are primary caregivers for one or more grandchildren

1.5 million

Working grandparents responsible for most care of grandchildren


Grandparents with a disability and responsible for their grandchildren


Median income for grandparents raising grandkids with no parent present

20 percent

Grandparents raising grandkids while living in poverty Source: U.S. Census estimates, 2015

Photo by Helu Wang Betty Looper gets a kiss from her oldest grandson, Scott, whose mother dropped him off with “Grandmama” when he was an infant. WINTER 2018 YOUR FAMILY 19



Continued from page 19

Photo by Helu Wang Fitchburg’s Betty Looper’s family keeps growing, with great-grandchildren now. Here she’s with Scott (right), his girlfriend, Tiffany Wright (left), and Tiffany’s daughters, Trinity (back) and Sincere (front).

Now living with just one of those grandsons, 16-year-old Devon, plus a dog “Fox,” and two cats “ Midnight” and “Vegas,” she lives monthto-month. Despite the economic struggles, however, the lifestyle still has its joys. One of her favorite routines is waiting for her oldest grandson’s orange truck pulling up at her door and watching her great-grandchildren run in. She asks about how her greatgrandson did in his most recent football game and wishes she could cheer him on in the stands – a stroke years ago has limited her mobility. There’s no escaping that raising her grandchildren changed her life. Not only did it take most of her time, she also believes it caused her to lose most of her friends. Some of her friends and neighbors have suggested at various times she give the children up, and she’s had to argue back against snide comments about whether the grandchildren were adopted because they of a different race. “They’re my blood, with so much love,” Looper said. Her oldest grandson, 27-year-old Scott, described his “grandmama” as “solid as a rock” and always “strong.” She called him her “shadow” because he was with her everywhere for years. 20 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018

And she was there, too. He said she cheered at every football game he played, always following them with cookies and hot chocolate. The only thing Looper was strict about, he said, was no “nasty” words and no smoking at home – something she considered a precaution to help prevent the children taking the same path of drug addiction their mother did. Looper is proud that three of the four grandkids she raised are employed and the other is “doing well” in high school. All the pains and tears are rewarding, she said, when they start asking her questions about cooking or gossiping about friends. And last year, the love was overflowing in her apartment, crowded with 25 people as the grandchildren and their new family members shared a Thanksgiving dinner.

‘Better than me’

Denise Morgan has been sleeping on her couch for the past year, ever since she offered her bedroom to an 19-year-old grandson, Garreon, who moved in a year ago. But she feels blessed to have him and his cousin around so she doesn’t have to live alone. The 61-year-old, who had worked as

a nursing assistant for about 25 years before she was disabled after a stroke in January, has been squeezing into a two-bedroom apartment on Gammon Road in Madison with Garreon and his cousin, Eric, also 19. She’s raised Eric since he was born, when his mother was close to becoming homeless (his father, Morgan’s son, is in prison). Garreon came to get away from being pressured to join a gang in Chicago last year. While her sleeping area is mostly free of her personal things, she keeps those in Garreon’s room. Every morning, she and he get dressed and use bathroom alternately. “It’s working, but it could be a lot better,” Morgan said. Once her grandsons graduate high school and begin living on their own, she hopes to go back to school to catch up with computer skills and take some classes on criminal justice. But in the meantime, she’s been glad to have them around. She had already gone through a frightening experience once when she was alone and couldn’t get up and had to call a neighbor for help.

Photo by Jeremy Jones Denise Morgan.

Morgan hopes to eventually get more space so she can cook and eat a Christmas dinner with all of her 13 grandchildren (she also has two sons). At one point or another, she has helped take care of all of them. Morgan has not only given up her personal space for her grandkids,

FAMILYLIFE she’s also given her time. She has put her yoga exercises and her other hobbies on hold so she can focus on cooking and picking up the boys. “It’s like I’m raising children again,” Morgan said. “I’m asking the Lord to keep me here to help them.” She’s even given up her “important” church time when there were conflicts, such as driving the boys to their first jobs, a store two miles away. Although a stroke she suffered

in January has limited her ability to drive far, she drives her grandsons almost every day from school to work and home. “Basically I’m like an Uber,” Morgan giggled. “I’m just try to help them get on their way and keep them out of trouble.” That’s part of her goal of having her grandchildren all do better than she did. She has told them her high school stories, hung out with them bowling

Photo by Helu Wang Emotional counseling is one of the services in the Grandparents and Other Relatives program.

and at the zoo and taught them how to budget so they can “get ready to their own life and won’t be shocked.” Although it’s been challenging to feed two young men and pay bills, she says she makes sure they get to keep the money they make working and save it. Mostly, they rely on food pantries and food share programs. “It’s just a part of who I am, taking care of somebody,” Morgan said. Continued on page 22

Rainbow Project therapist Abby Halloran plays with a child in a clinical room of their facility on East Washington Street in Madison. One of the organization’s programs provides support services to grandparents who are responsible for raising grandchildren.

Rainbow Project shows ‘they’re not alone’ Sharyl Kato started the grandparents program of Rainbow Project in 2004 after she began to notice the increasing numbers of grandparents taking care of children in Wisconsin. At that point, it had risen to 2.4 million. Since then, the Because most of the children have gone through traumatic experiences, such as their parents’ homicide, divorce, drug addiction and domestic abuse, the Rainbow Project provides both therapy and counseling to the children while organizing support groups for the grandparents. “Most of them blame themselves for what has happened to the parents,” Kato said. “We want to let them know they’re not alone.” In the 13 years the Rainbow Project has been operating, the number of grandfamilies in its support groups has grown from six to 58, hitting a peak of 88 at one point. The support group meets monthly, sharing experiences, meeting with guest speakers and participating in social

activities like role-playing and board games. One grandmother, who told Your Family her “world changed” after raising a step-granddaughter for a mother with drug problems, called the support group a “safe spot” where people understand each other. One of the benefits of the support group, she said, was learning strategies from other grandparents and speakers for dealing with her step-granddaughter’s emotional behavior – such as running out of her class at school because of depression. It’s also helped her learn to be more comfortable with the behavior. The group also has suggested more communications between schools and families, training for teachers to respond to post-traumatic students and providing advisers to guide them through the emotions. Numerous organizations provide about $40,000 funds a year for the nonprofit project. Kato expected to expand the program with more staff, social events and frequent meetings.




Continued from page 21

State’s first grandfamily housing project nears start

Rendering courtesy Gorman and Company Oregon-based Gorman and Company is working with Lutheran Social Services on an apartment project at Union Corners in Madison catering to grandparents raising grandchildren.

After a year of planning, Gorman and Co. has proposed the first housing in downtown Madison targeting grandparents raising children. Union Corners Grandfamily, at 2507 Winnebago St., would be one of the 10 grandfamily developments across the country once it’s approved, Gorman and Co. development manager Nicole Solheim said. It already has gotten its most important approval – a general development plan – but still has some final visits left with the City of Madison before it’s set. The developer told Your Family it expects the project to be completed in fall 2019. The company built a similar grandfamily housing in Milwaukee six years ago. Unlike that project, the proposal of Union Corners Grandfamily includes a social service office and no singlebedroom apartments – rather a mix of two- and three- bedrooms. Lutheran Social Services, which declined to comment for this story, would provide assessments, referrals and follow-up at the social service office. The $13 million project would offer 56 units of what the city calls “affordable” housing – meant for those making 60 percent or less of Dane County median income, or $46,000 for a family of three. The two three-story buildings would include community activity rooms and a playground to provide space for both grandparents and children. Rents would range from $500 to $1,150. Solheim said fund for the project is almost set. The city is providing $950,000 toward the project, and it’s getting another $525,000 from the county. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority will provide $8.1 million in federal tax credits over 10 years. 22 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018

Parenting again

When she had her daughter, Peggy Sheets had figured she’d be an empty-nester in her 50s and would travel across the country with her husband on motorcycles and in a mobile home. But that changed when that daughter had a child of her own at 16. Now, the 58-year-old grandmother is still working as a nanny while caring for her 15-year-old grandson, Makee, and plans to work as long as her “body allows.” In addition to the usual costs of parenting, Sheets has had to pay thousands of dollars for a custody battle with the boy’s father, whom she feared to have him living with because of his drug-dealing, and she’s had to pay for therapy for his posttraumatic stress disorder after his father was murdered. To keep Makee from following in his parents’ troubled footsteps, Sheets has adopted a strict parenting style – no staying out late, no alcohol, no smoking at home. But she also has put effort into being a modern parent, moving to the suburbs to find the right school for Makee and taking classes on teen slang. “It’s another language to me,” Sheets said. “I hope I can understand everything.” One of those slang words she learned was “rello” – or a marijuana cigarette packed inside a cigarello – after seeing it in one of his texts. But staying in touch with what he’s doing and trying to keep up with technology that makes doing so both easier and more difficult in its own ways has been “exhausting.” When she was raising Makee’s mother, Sheets said, she knew all of her daughter’s friends. But now, so much of the teen communication is done on their smart phones and so many of their get-togethers are outside of the home. “It’s challenging, but every day it’s a surprise,” she said. “Grandma Peggy,” as the friends she does know call her, helps coach her son’s games, transports some of his teammates to the games and still brings him to therapy every other week. Part of her dedication comes from her own guilt, she says, over making mistakes as a parent that she believes led to her daughter’s difficulties with drugs and keeping a stable home life. “I want to be a better parent than I was for his mom,” she said. But participating in support groups with the Rainbow Project has helped her accept that even with her degree in child development, she could only do so much to prevent her daughter from making poor decisions. Despite some typical teen problems, she is confident Makee is on a better path. But even after he graduates high school and moves out someday, Sheets plans to be available to help him out if he Photo submitted ever does need her help. Sun Prairie’s Peggy Sheets and her “Our choices and decisions husband planned to travel on motordepend on what’s going on cycles at this stage in their lives but are instead raising a grandson. with him,” Sheets said. l

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During what most would consider the off season, an assortment of produce can be found at the winter and holiday farmers markets.

The holiday market is at the Monona Terrace. After a two-week break, the late winter market picks up at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St.

‘Serious shopping’at the

Winter Market by Amber Levenhagen Photos submitted


n a typical Saturday afternoon, unless the weather is gloomy, around 20,000 people wander counterclockwise around the state capitol building square, taking in the sights, smells, sounds and flavors of the Dane County Farmers Market. During the winter, those markets are still open, but inside so as to avoid standing knee-deep in snow. Regardless of when and where shoppers visit the market, there is an abundance of produce and products year-round. The holiday market and the late winter market keep the same rotating list of vendors occupied and selling their products throughout the winter. Market manager Sarah Elliott said around 250 vendors share the space, with around 65 usually attending the Saturday holiday markets at the Monona terrace. Around 25 occupy the space at the late winter market, located at the

Madison Senior Center. “During the outdoor market, we get a lot of folks that are there because it’s a destination, and that’s wonderful and they’re certainly part of the market culture,” Elliott said. “But the key difference is that with the holiday and winter markets, we see shoppers who are coming in with canvas bags and are ready to do serious shopping. It’s a different dynamic, and that more intimate environment is something customers really enjoy.” Fewer vendors means fewer shoppers, but there are numerous ways the market adapts throughout the year to keep both satisfied. That includes special winter crops and holiday items. The holiday market is located at the Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr., and runs 7:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 18 to Dec 16. After a two-week break, the late winter market picks up at the same

time, Jan 6. to April 7, at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St.

Winter produce

In order to bring a continuous selection of produce to the market, vendors have gotten innovative and have introduced different techniques to secure a consistent offering. An example of this is frost vegetables, when farmers hold off on harvesting until their crops go through a few of the early frosts. “We see a lot of farmers capitalize on these cold weather crops,” Elliott said. “Spinach grown in winter and not in a greenhouse is pretty awesome.” The technique changes the chemical makeup of the vegetable, she said, creating a special flavor customers can look forward to during winter. The frost changes the starches into sugars. Some of the common vegetables used

Some vegetables, like the pictured brussel sprouts, are subject to new farming techniques. Commonly referred to as “frost vegetables,” brussel sprouts, bok choy and spinach are sometimes left out in the fields longer and go through a chemical change after the first frost. 24 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018


The market breakfast, a staple at the late winter market, invites local chefs to create a farm-to-table breakfast with ingredients available at the market.

are bok choy and spinach, in addition to her favorite- Brussels sprouts. “It’s one of those things I feel like once you learn about, you can pick up on it when you’re eating things,” Elliott said. “I notice it with Brussels sprouts in particular, without the frost they taste like a mini cabbage but if you have one that goes through a frost or two, they’re a totally different deal because they have a really sweet and nutty flavor.” Most of the other produce comes from crops that are harvested around Thanksgiving and were properly stored, Elliott explained. But advancements in farm technology and practices like the frost crops allow for the natural ebb and flow of vendors to continue longer as products are available later in the season.

Vendors at the holiday market offer gifts and decorations suitable for the holiday season.

Lasting connections

Those community connections keep the farmers markets running all year round, but during the winter, vendors get valuable face time with the regular customers that they don’t get to have during the busy summer months. Elliott said that most vendors will take advantage of the slow season to try new flavors and products and get a feel of the customer reaction. The slower season lets customers linger a little bit longer than they would feel comfortable doing while in the crowds of thousands at the summer market.

The more relaxed atmosphere is beneficial to customers, as well, because they’re able to take that time to learn about where the products come from – a transparency that helps create those lasting relationships. “The winter markets are never going to be as sexy as the summer market, with the abundance of vibrant colors and being outside,” Elliott said. “But there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that gets done with the winter market, like building those flavors and connecting with the customers to make relationships that last throughout the years.” l

More than veggies

Most vendors don’t rely on those products to sustain themselves through the winter, Elliott explained. During the holiday market, for example, a lot of the products revolve around the holiday and gift sets. Shoppers travel to the market to purchase things like cheese, baked goods, hot sauces and floral arrangements. But the one thing she looks forward to in particular is the market breakfast. During the late winter market, local chefs are challenged to create a farmto-table breakfast with ingredients available at the market. “It’s great in the winter time rut because it’s fun to see what area chefs do with our selection of vegetables,” Elliott said. “It’s also really nice because most of the time, the same customers come every week so you get to share a table and enjoy a good meal while getting to know each other, the customers and vendors.”

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Nothing like a slice of pumpkin pie MY BLOOD TYPE IS COFFEE BY RHONDA MOSSNER


ith the holidays upon us, there is a pie I’m thinking of that is orange, spiced with cloves, cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg and just a dash of ginger. At the mention of this squashy treat, some of you out there are smiling and smacking your lips because you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s pumpkin pie. I am a pumpkin pie lover. I could eat it every day of the year. OK, maybe not every day, but you never know. For me, the love of this pie dwells in the nostalgia of my childhood holidays in Iowa. The family would gather together

Quilter Cook’s Pumpkin Pie 1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin ¾ cup sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. of salt ½ tsp. of ground ginger ½ tsp. of fresh ground nutmeg ¼ tsp. of ground cloves (optional) 2 eggs 1 can (12oz) evaporated milk 1 unbaked deep 9 or 10-inch pie crust (I buy prepared crust, too! Set on a baking sheet with sides for baking.) 1) Preheat oven to 425°. 2) M ix together sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in large bowl, Beat eggs. Add to mix. Stir in pumpkin and stir until smooth or use hand mixer on low speed. Gently pour into crust. 3) B ake at 425° for 15 min. Reduce temp to 350° and bake for another 40-50 min. until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. 4) C ool on wire rack for 2 hrs. Serve with whipped topping on top. 26 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018

on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my grandma always brought in a gigantic picnic basket filled with pumpkin pies. It goes without saying she toted along a little whipped topping, too. As a baker, I love the simplicity in the process of making this pie. It just takes a can of pumpkin, eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, spices and pure vanilla extract whipped up into a velvety ribbon of goodness and then poured ever so carefully into a beautiful fluted handrolled unbaked crust ready for the oven. Ah, just the thought makes me want to bake one up for dinner tonight. I will be up front and honest here. I’ve never baked a pumpkin shell, scraped the flesh, cooked it down and baked a pie from, you know, real scratch. That’s just too much fun for me, and frankly, there’s not enough coffee in the world to bribe me to put myself through that kind trauma. Now, I know there are many of you out there who love to do this every year and God bless you. But don’t invite me to help. Trust me on this one. As I mentioned earlier, I use 100 percent pure pumpkin from a can. Yes, I do. I can hear some of you gasping, but I’m not talking about the pumpkin pie mix in a can. No, that would be way too easy. I still need to make each pie my own and add my secret ingredients. I keep at least a case of 12 cans on my basement pantry shelf all seasons of the year. My youngest son can attest to this. He moved the 12 cans of pumpkin from one house to another on our last move two years ago. He’s still mad about it too and claims I am a secret squash hoarder, of all things! I beg to differ. It’s a baking necessity, pure and simple. Who knows when Verona will be hit with a snowstorm

that traps us in our homes for days on end? Remember Draco just a few years ago? Well, my friends, of course, during that time, I baked a pie. I felt secure just knowing it was ready and waiting for me in my time of need. As the wind piled up the snow into a wild blizzard outside, I was warm and cozy inside while the spicy aromas of pumpkin pie filled my home. There are some out there who just do not realize the value and versatility of a can of pumpkin. You can make it into a soup, a tasty bread, waffles, pancakes, muffins, cake, cookies and, well, other stuff, even fudge. I’m just trying to state my case here. Of course, my son has heard all of this song and dance before and still claims… hoarder. Whatever. He recently informed us that he and his fiancee will be spending Thanksgiving with her family in Michigan. I have half a notion to send a pie for dessert to my almost-new in-laws and my son. I wouldn’t want him to miss out on one of our family traditions just because he’s away for the holidays. Plus, I heard she likes pumpkin pie. l In addition to her blog, TheDanglingThread.blogspot.com, Rhonda Mossner is a professional speaker, quilter and chef. She is known as The Quilter Cook and travels throughout the area sharing her quilts, stories and recipes.

Blackened Shrimp & Corn Chowder

Skillet-Roasted Potatoes w/Mushrooms & Pancetta

California-Style Baby Back Ribs w/Sage Honey

Jack Daniel’s Fudge


Skillet-Roasted Potatoes w/Mushrooms & Pancetta

Blackened Shrimp & Corn Chowder

4 oz. pancetta, cut into ¼-inch cubes (see note) 3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more if necessary 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and quartered Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 10 oz. cremini or brown mushrooms, quartered 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved crosswise 2 tsp. dried thyme Several fresh thyme sprigs for garnish (optional) Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 400o. In a large, heavy, ovenproof frying pan (preferably cast iron) set over medium heat, sauté the pancetta until golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Remove all but 2 Tbsp. of the drippings from the pan. (If you don’t have 2 Tbsp., add olive oil to make this amount.) When hot, add the potatoes and sauté, stirring, until they start to take on a little color, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and place the frying pan in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the frying pan from the oven and add the mushrooms, garlic and the 3 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the dried thyme and season with more salt and pepper. Toss to coat well. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the potatoes are golden brown and tender and the mushrooms are softened, about 15 minutes more. Remove the frying pan from the oven and stir in the reserved pancetta. If desired, garnish the center of the pan with fresh thyme sprigs. Serve warm. Note: If buying pancetta from a deli, ask for it to be cut thickly into ¼-inch slices. Prepackaged pancetta is often thinly sliced.

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 2 medium banana peppers, finely chopped ½ cup red or amber ale Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 tsp. chili powder 2 tsp. smoked paprika 1½ cups fresh or frozen corn 4 cups fish broth 1 large sweet potato, baked and mashed Fresh dill, finely chopped Heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and banana peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ale and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the beer’s foam subsides and the liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the shrimp, chili powder and paprika together in a bowl, coating thoroughly. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring once, until nicely seared, about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the shrimp to the soup pot, and then stir in the corn and broth. Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat and add the mashed sweet potato. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes longer. Divide the soup among bowls and top with the fresh dill before serving.

Serves 4

Send your favorite recipe(s) to aroberts@wcinet.com

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Send your favorite recipe(s) to aroberts@wcinet.com

Jack Daniel’s Fudge

California-Style Baby Back Ribs w/Sage Honey

5 cups sugar (2 lbs.) 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 cup whole milk 1½ teaspoons vanilla 25 large marshmallows, ripped in half 11.5 oz. Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips 2½ cups powdered sugar ¾ cup Jack Daniel’s or any alcohol of your choice. You will be able to really taste it! Whisk whiskey with confectioner’s sugar and set aside. Foil and butter a 9x13 inch (or larger) baking pan. Put sugar, butter, milk and vanilla in a large pot with a heavy bottom. Stirring steadily until mixture boils. Continue stiring while letting it boil for 3 minutes (time it, this is important). Remove from heat. Add the marshmallows and chocolate, stirring until all of it is melted and blended into the sugar mix. Give whiskey mixture a quick stir and add it to the pot, stirring until fully incorporated. Pour into greased pan and chill. Let mellow for a day.

1 cup tamari ½ cup honey, preferably sage honey 4 garlic cloves, peeled 1 whole rack baby back ribs (about 2 lbs.) 1 small Meyer lemon Preheat the oven to 325o. Combine the tamari, honey and garlic cloves in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, but watch carefully so the mixture does not burn. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, place the rack of ribs in a deep baking pan. Add 1 cup water, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake the ribs for 45 minutes. Remove the water from the baking pan and brush the marinade on the ribs. Bake, uncovered, basting frequently with the marinade, for 30 minutes longer, or until thoroughly cooked. To bring a crisp finish to the ribs, preheat the broiler or prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Broil or grill the ribs just until crispy, watching carefully to prevent burning. Squeeze the Meyer lemon over the ribs just before serving. Cool and cut.

Submitted by Miller & Son’s Supermarkets Makes one 9x13 pan (Perfect for the Holidays! Adults only recipe.)

Send your favorite recipe(s) to aroberts@wcinet.com


Serves 4 as an appetizer

Send your favorite recipe(s) to aroberts@wcinet.com


Wisconsin Read On... ...On Wisconsin

“Never Curse the Rain: A Farm Boy’s Reflections on Water”

by Jerry Apps c.2017, Wisconsin Historical Society Press $22.95/higher in Canada 145 pages

This past summer was one for the record books. Rain, rain, humidity, rain. But you consider this: you know what life is like without it, and in “Never Curse the Rain” by Jerry Apps, you’ll learn to appreciate what comes from the skies. Growing up on a farm in north central Wisconsin, Jerry Apps remembers the importance of water. One of his first memories of the liquid, in fact, was when his little brother was sick: There was an emergency rite performed and, because he was standing nearby, four-year-old Apps was conveniently baptized, too. His father, knowing how essential moisture is to crops and livestock, always admonished Apps and his brothers to “never curse the rain.” He understood, says Apps, that “the farm’s need for water must come before the family’s hopes and wishes.” There were times when rain didn’t come. Apps remembers when the windmill didn’t turn and the cows bawled their thirst. His father first hauled water from a neighbor’s farm; when that wasn’t enough, he purchased a second-hand gas-powered pump that, with “wheezing and kabooming,” saved the livestock until the wind and rains returned. For the average reader, this book is like the literary version of comfort-food: put it in your hands, and you’ll feel as though you’re wrapped in Grandma’s hand-knitted afghan while sipping tomato soup on a grey day. Apps will do that to you; he’s a consummate storyteller who can sadden you on one page, tickle your funny bone two pages later and astound you with facts in between. His memories evoke a time many readers have only learned about in books. For those who share the memories, this book is like a handshake from a friend. There are, therefore, two distinct audiences for “Never Curse the Rain”: 16-to-35-year-old readers, and anyone who’s 36-to-104. If you fit inside those basic groups, the forecast for this book is sunny.


“You’re Sending Me Where? Dispatches from Summer Camp”

by Eric Dregni c.2017, University of Minnesota Press $16.95/higher in Canada 170 pages If the weather made you long for summer fun, like that of your childhood, then “You’re Sending Me Where? Dispatches from Summer Camp” by Eric Dregni brings it all back. Who would choose summer school over going to camp? That’s a very good question, and 6-year-old Eric Dregni knew the answer. His mother was surely abandoning him by leaving him at a “comfy” Minnesota day camp, and he made quite the fuss about it. At the end of the first day, of course, she was there to pick him up and all was well. Actually, it was better than well: he was “transformed… the worst day of my life had become the best one.” “Ever since that first painful day,” he says, “I knew that camp was for me.” I have to admit that the first few chapters of “You’re Sending Me Where?” had me smiling. What you’ll read there is pure nostalgia, meant for a Boomer kid who might remember coming home from a week at camp, covered in skeeter bites, scratches, and sunburn. “You’re Sending Me Where?” is fun, and you might ask for s’more. l



Elders actually need to worry about HIV/AIDS Yale Medical School experts project that by 2018; nearly 50 percent of all people in the U.S. living with HIV will be over 50.



eading some of my professional journals recently I was surprised to learn that HIV/AIDS is on the rise in our elder population. When I think of “baby boomers” I don’t usually think about HIV/AIDS. Traditionally elders have rarely been targeted in HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness campaigns. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than one-quarter of all HIV/AIDS patients are over 50. And Yale Medical School experts project that by 2018; nearly 50 percent of all people in the U.S. living with HIV will be over 50. The CDC points out that older people make up the fastest growing segment of new HIV/AIDS cases in the nation. According to a recent White House AIDS and Aging meeting, “Older age is not a safety net that protects people from getting HIV. Many issues surrounding HIV among older adults will only increase as our country faces the continuing graying of our nation’s HIV epidemic.”

I must admit, I did not believe these statistics when I read them, but they are true. I’ve done some research to explore why this phenomenon is occurring, factors contributing to this increase and what can be done about it. One article, from SeniorPlanet.org noted that, “Today’s 50- to 60-year-olds were in their 20s at the start of the 1980s,” when AIDS was first diagnosed. To assume that most of those over-50s were infected decades ago in their youth is a bit of a stretch.” It is true that people of all ages need to worry about acquiring HIV/AIDS. As an article written in Aging in Stride pointed out, “Elders are at risk due to higher divorce rates, changing attitudes about sexuality, the use of Viagra and similar drugs.” The CDC estimates that 20 percent of

those who have HIV don’t know it. As a result, these people could unwittingly be spreading the disease and delaying treatment for themselves. Some may be mistaking HIV symptoms for common complaints of aging. As a result, older people are diagnosed later and sicker, at a point in the illness when viral drugs are less effective. “Contrary to popular myths and stereotypes, some elders engage in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV, including unprotected sex, sex with more than one partner and substance abuse (including injecting drugs),” the Aging in Stride story recently explained. “The heroin epidemic of the past few years does not exclude elders,” it continued. “Physicians attending elders are unlikely to recommend routine HIV testing because they believe the fiction that elders are not sexually active unless we’re in a long-term monogamous relationship. Elders, on the other hand may also find it embarrassing to bring up the subject with their healthcare

For additional information and resources, visit: The AIDS Institute sponsors National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day and promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education. This year’s theme is “Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers information about HIV/AIDS in people 50+, including information about protecting older adults from getting the virus and other consumer resources.


The Act Against AIDS website offers consumer information and an HIV test finder.

actagainstaids.org Growing Older with the Epidemic: HIV and Aging is a comprehensive online booklet from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.



•N  ational Association of Area Agencies on Aging - n4a.org • N ational Institutes of Health nih.gov • S ervices and Advocacy for LGBT Elders - Sageusa.org

FAMILYHEALTH as diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and hypertension. According to the NISC, the social and financial toll is also high. Elders who are living with HIV face high medical bills. Many feel stigmatized and isolated, raising the risk of depression. Family caregiving is complicated by the need for safety (universal) precautions and the complexity of the elder’s medical regimen. Further, according to NISC, elders who received the diagnosis back in the 1980s and 1990s might have failed to save for retirement, not anticipating that they

would live to see 65 and beyond. You could say that the tables are turned and it may be appropriate to have that “sex talk about the birds and the bees and HIV/AIDS” with your parents or beloved elder in order to keep them safe. l Stephen Rudolph is a consultant for Comfort Keepers of South Central Wisconsin, a home care agency that provides skilled nursing and personal care services for aging adults, those with disabilities and others needing assistance.


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providers, not wanting to admit to at-risk behavior and fearing the stigma of the disease.” As we age, it pointed out, “our immune system is less able to fight off infection, our underlying health conditions can make us more likely to contract communicable diseases and changes to the skin (thinning) can make it easier for the virus to enter the bloodstream.” And this is the scary part – most elders either don’t know they are at risk of infection or have HIV— it can remain silent for many years, and elders may not be aware of their status and thus not receive timely treatment. Another problem is that AIDS symptoms can mimic other age-related conditions. For example, the most common type of pneumonia in AIDS patients can be mistaken for congestive heart failure. Here’s another: HIV-related dementia may be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. The fatigue and weight loss caused by AIDS might be interpreted as just “normal aging.” But early diagnosis is vital so that treatment can begin as soon as possible, according to the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC). The important thing to remember is this. Testing is easy. Here is what the CDC recommends. Elders can ask their physician for an easy, quick HIV/AIDS test. Local hospitals and health centers also offer the test. In most states, the results are private and the test can be given anonymously. To find HIV testing near you, visit the AIDS.gov website or the National HIV and STD Testing Resources test location finder. Medicare covers one HIV screening per year. Home test kits are also available. Only one home test is currently approved by the FDA, so be sure to check with your physician. Thanks to improved medical treatment, HIV-positive people can live well into their elder years, says the National Institute for Senior Centers (NISC). However, living with the virus complicates the management of other diseases that are common as we grow older. Some conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, dementia and kidney disease, are likely to develop earlier in those with the virus, due to the effects of the virus and side effects of the powerful drugs used to keep it under control. HIV and the drug therapies that treat it can also worsen conditions such



WINTER 2017/2018 CALENDAR Nov. 2-Dec.23 Miracle on 34th Street, Fort Atkinson, The Fireside Theatre, firesidetheatre.com Dec. 1 Christmas Parade of Lights, Whitewater: Lighted holiday parade, cookie decorating, whitewaterchamber.com Taste of Chocolate, Janesville: Evening of chocolate decadence, crowned by holiday light show at Rotary Botanical Gardens, janesvillecvb.com Dec. 1-2 Fire and Ice Festival, Brodhead Square: Lighted parade, ice sculptures, photos with Santa, car giveaway, cityofbrodheadwi.us Dec. 1-3 Classic Christmas, Lake Mills: Explore local businesses, tree lighting, tour of homes, legendarylakemills.com Victorian Holiday Weekend, Stoughton: Holiday concerts, carriage rides, parades, shopping, events for the kids, performance of the Nutcracker Suite, arts and crafts fair, stoughtonwi.com/victorian Madison Symphony Christmas, Overture Center: Classic holiday music performances, madisonsymphony.org Janesville’s Jolly Jingle, downtown Janesville: tree lighting, theater, holiday market, ice show, reindeer: janesvillejollyjingle.com Caroling in the Cave, Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, caveofthemounds.com Christkindlmarket at Century Barn, Mount Horeb: Carriage rides, crafts, Santa, music, food, tree sales, trollway.com A Christmas Carol, Performing Arts Center, janesvillecvb.com Dec. 1-10 Country Christmas, Spring Green: Lights, fireworks, carolers, wagon rides, light parade, springgreen.com Dec. 1-31 Rotary in Lights 2017, Waunakee, Waunakee Village Park, Main Street entrance, waunakeechamber.com Dec. 2 Full moon hike, Devil’s Lake State Park, dnr.wi.gov/calendar Winter Farmers and Art Market, Fort Atkinson: Handmade crafts and food, fortchamber.com Holiday Wine Walk, Waunakee: Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, photo booth, food carts and more than a dozen stops, waunakeechamber.com Christmas Light Parade, Lodi: tree-lighting and visits with Santa and a chance to learn how to curl, travelwisconsin.com WinterFest, DeForest: craft fair, make/take ornaments, bingo, movie, piano concert, Business.deforestarea.com Parade of Lights, Jefferson: Holiday floats, marching bands, caroling and refreshments, jeffersonchamberwi.com Fair Trade Holiday Festival, Monona Terrace: Shop among 50 fair trade vendors, fairtrademadison.org St. Nicholas Day, New Glarus: Cookie sale, crafts, downtown shopping, tree lighting swisstown.com Christmas Parade, Oconomowoc: Music of Christmas theme, oconomowockiwanis.org Holiday Cookie Decorating and Craft Fair, Summit: Crafters, cookies, Santa and the elves, lakecountryfamilyfun.com Candlelight shopping, Gallery Night and Santa Day, Mineral Point: mineralpoint.com Can’t Depend on Show, Fort Atkinson: Sled dog races and weight pulls, pictures with Santa, tsamc.org Christmas in the Village, McFarland: Pancake breakfast, horsedrawn carriage rides, crafts, illuminated fire truck parade, Santa, caroling, mcfarlandchamber.com Healthy Hoedown Barn Dances, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: folklorevillage.com 32 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018

Parade of Lights, Jefferson: Annual lights parade features holiday floats, marching bands, caroling and refreshments, jeffersonchamberwi.com Snowflake Craft Show, Edgerton: Holiday shopping, Edgerton Chamber Singers caroling, hourly door prizes and lunch, edgerton.k12.wi.us Winter Festival, Taliesin, Spring Green: Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate opens for one-hour wagon rides, fireside beverages, kids’ activities, lunch, taliesinpreservation.org Midnight Magic, Mukwonago: Town-wide indoor and outdoor holiday festival going from 10 a.m. until midnight, including parade, carriage rides, dog sled races, vintage baseball game, gingerbread forest, East Troy Santa Train, fireworks. Mukwonagochamber.org 41st annual Great Electric Children’s Christmas Parade, Lake Geneva: Tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment including the arrival of reindeer and Father Christmas, shopping and more, lakegenevawi.com Christmas Light Parade, Lodi: tree-lighting and visits with Santa and a chance to learn how to curl, travelwisconsin.com Dec. 2-3 A Wade House Christmas, Fond du Lac: 19th-century Christmas theme, activities, period games, holiday refreshments, wadehouse.org Classic Christmas, Cambridge: Horse-drawn hayrides, visits and photos with Santa, kids activities, shopping, cambridgewi.com Old World Christmas, Eagle: 19th-century Christmas celebration, Old World Wisconsin storytelling, horse-drawn bobsled rides, caroling, oldworldwisconsin.org Dec. 2, 9, 16 Holiday open house and pictures with Santa, Madison, DreamBank: Holiday crafts, free hot cocoa and photos with Santa, dreamfearlessly.com Dec. 2-31 Holiday Express, Madison: Model train sets zip through miniature landscapes lined with hundreds of poinsettias at Olbrich Gardens, olbrich.org Dec. 3 Schumacher Farm Christmas tea, Waunakee: holiday music, stories, games, tea and three courses of light holiday fare, schumacherfarmpark.org Gale Singers Holiday Concert, Portage: Portagecenterforthearts.com Holiday Bazaar, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona: Peruse and shop from sustainable businesses, aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org Dec. 3, 10, 17 Holiday Concerts, Olbrich Gardens: Enjoy holiday music in the Evjue Commons each Sunday in December, olbrich.org Dec. 4 Canadian Pacific Railroad Holiday Train and Music Show, afternoon stop in Wisconsin Dells, concert, raffles, cpr.ca/holiday-train Dec. 7 Get Festive with the Agora, Fitchburg: Free carriage rides, music, appetizers, s’mores, ugly sweater contest, Yahara Bay Distillery tasting, agorafitchburg.com Lighted Christmas Parade, Monroe: Arrival of Santa, monroedowntown.com Taste of Chocolate, Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville: Features holiday light show, janesvillecvb.com Dec. 8-9 Very Merry Holiday Fair, Baraboo: Crafts, books, food, theverymerryholidayfair.com Dec. 8-10 Madrigal dinner, Stoughton: Stoughton High School Madrigal Singers provide entertainment during a multi-course dinner in a medieval atmosphere, stoughton.k12.wi.us A Christmas Carol, Milton House Museum: holiday classic performed, janesvillecvb.com

Dec. 8-10, 14-23, 26-31 Holiday Light Show, Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville: 400,000 lights, 100 decorated trees and more than 2,500 luminaries in 20-acre gardens, rotarybotanicalgardens.org Dec. 9 Gifts with a Natural Touch Exploring Nature, Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit, dnr.wi.gov/calendar Downtown Historic Living Windows, downtown Portage, live actors fill the stores with holiday entertainment, travelwisconsin.com Kiddie Christmas at Indian Agency House, Portage, meet Santa and his reindeer, agencyhouse.org Breakfast with Santa, Monona Community Center: Arts and crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, mymonona.com Cookies and Milk with Santa, Horicon: horiconchamber.com Jingle Bell Run, Verona Area High School: 5k run/walk or a 10k run to benefit arthritis research, arthritis.org Verona Youth Ballet “Nutcracker Suite,” Verona Performing Arts Center: veronayouthballet.org Downtown Historic Living Windows, downtown Portage, live actors fill the stores with holiday entertainment, travelwisconsin.com Santa Lucia crafts workshop and ceremony, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: Swedish winter tradition, making crafts, food, learning songs, folklorevillage.com Dec. 9-11 A Christmas Carol, Performing Arts Center, janesvillecvb.com Dec. 10 Kids’ Art Adventures, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: Kids and their families can make art together following guided discussions of pieces around the museum, mmoca.org Children’s Holiday Party, Fitchburg Community Center: Meet Santa, face painting, crafts, games, fitchburgwi.gov Hero Club Breakfast With Santa, Waunakee: take photos with Santa, waunakeechamber.com Dec. 16 Candlelight Snowshoe Hike, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona: Enjoy guided twilight hikes, a campfire, crafts for the kids and snacks, aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org Cave after Dark, Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds: Adults-only, specialty cocktail tasting and live “lounge” music inside the cace as well as holiday music, tasty treats and cash bar in the Visitor Center German Tree Lighting, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: Singing, dancing, candelight, potluck supper, folklorevillage.com Lighting of the tree, Mount Horeb: Fire truck parade, Christmas music, potluck dinner, fdmh.org The Nutcracker Ballet, UW-Whitewater: The Dance Factory performance, uww.edu/youngauditorium Dec. 17 Beloit Janesville Symphony Holiday Pops Concert, Janesville Performing Arts Center, janesvillecvb.com Dec. 21 Winter solstice night hike, Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit, dnr.wi.gov/calendar Dec. 28-Jan. 1 Festival of Christmas and Midwinter Traditions, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: Learn international dances, singing, take part in games, crafts, blacksmithing Dec. 29-Feb. 18 Phantom of the Opera, Fort Atkinson, The Fireside Theatre, firesidetheatre.com Dec. 30 Winter Star Party, Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo: Stargaze at the winter sky, with a bonfire and refreshments, chamber.baraboo.com Dec. 31 U.S. Bank Eve, around Madison: Ring in the New Year with celebrations around Madison, including at Olbrich Gardens and the Monona Terrace


WINTER 2017/2018 CALENDAR Jan. 1 New Year’s Day Dash, Quaker Steak and Lube, Middleton: Benefiting the Autism Society of Greater Madison, fleetfeetmadison.com Jan. 5-7 Home Expo, Monona Terrace, Madison: Vendors and displays spark ideas for home improvement projects, homeshowcenter.com Jan. 6 Candlelight ski, hike and snowshoe: Mirror Lake State Park, dnr.wi.gov/calendar Jan. 12-13 Bald Eagle Watching Days, Sauk City: Birds of Prey shows, guided bus tours, wildlife photography seminar, Native American legends, aerial antics and family activities, saukprairie.com Jan. 12-14 Winterfest Veterans Rally, New Glarus: Parade, dance, music, run, auction, social gatherings, swisstown.com Jan. 13-14 Winter Wedding Show, Alliant Energy Center: A show to help calm the stresses of wedding planning, wedplan.com/shows Jan. 19-20 Well Expo, Monona Terrace: Local resources for healthy eating, weight loss, wellness programs, wellexpomadison.com Jan. 20 Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest, Alliant Energy Center: Find the best Wisconsin has to offer in cheeses and beers and meet the brewers and cheesemakers behind the magic, isthmusbeercheese.com Snowshoe/hike into Fern Dell Gorge, Mirror Lake State Park, dnr. wi.gov/calendar Candlelight Snowshoe and Hike, Horicon: Bonfire, warm refreshments, horiconmarsh.org Jan. 20-21 Winter Free Fishing Weekend, all inland waters, Great Lakes and Mississippi River: dnr.wi.us Jan. 21 Ice fishing clinic, MacKenzie Environmental Education Center, Poynette: Learn how to ice fish during this free clinic, dnr.wi.gov Jan. 26 Comedy on Main, Janesville: nationally acclaimed comedians and superb up-and-comers Jan. 27 Jane Farwell Night, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: Dancing, games, family activities, folklorevillage.com Jan. 26-28 Monster Truck Nationals, Alliant Energy Center: Monster trucks from around the country compete, monstertrucknationals.com JanBoree, Waukesha: Family fun winter celebration, janboree.org Hot Air Affair, Hudson, winter ballooning event with parade, a craft fair mooshboarding, volleyball in the snow, geocaching, bird watching, dances and other winter activities, hudsonhotairaffair.com Jan. 27 Folk at 408 Education and Outreach Fundraiser, Janesville Performing Arts Center: singer/songwriter showcase and scholarship program benefit: janesvillecvb.com Stoughton Conservation Club Ice Fisheree, Lake Kegonsa: Ice fishing contest, outdoor activities, stoughtoncc.com Jan. 27-28 Cabin Fever Fest, Beaver Dam: Chili cook-off, wagon ride, bonfire, ice sculpting, beaverdamchamber.com

Jan. 28 Bridal Fair, Watertown: Annual fair with booths, bridal show and prizes, watertownchamber.com Jan. 31-Feb. 4 Winterfest and National Snow Sculpting Championships, Lake Geneva: Music, magic, food and refreshments and the magnificent snow sculptures, lakegenevawi.com Lake Montesian Fisharee, Monticello: Prizes for largest, most, smallest fish, chicken barbecue, greencounty.org Feb. 2 Jimmy the Groundhog Prognostication, Sun Prairie. Jimmy will arrive by fire truck at 7 a.m. to give his prediction. Feb. 2-3 Lake Ripley Fisheree, Lake Ripley, visitcambridgewi.com Feb. 2-4 Scandihoovian Winter Festival, Mount Horeb: Outdoor sports activities, bonfire, carriage rides, vintage snowmobiles, crosscountry skiing, ice skating, trollway.com Feb. 3 Candlelight hike, ski and snowshoe, Mirror Lake State Park, dnr.wi.gov/calendar Knickerbocker Ice Festival, Lake Mills: Ice sculptures, golf tournament and fisheree on ice, chili cook-off, raffle, legendarylakemills.com Healthy Hoedown Barn Dances, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: folklorevillage.com Feb. 4 Winter Carnival at Christmas Mountain, Wisconsin Dells, dog sled races, snowman-building contests, log splitting, turkey bowling, live music and more, dells.com Feb. 9 Night snowshoe hike, MacKenzie Environmental Education Center, Poynette: Hike or snowshoe around trails, dnr.wi.gov Feb. 9-11 WPT Garden Expo, Alliant Energy Center: A midwinter oasis for those ready to go out and dig their hands in the dirt, wigardenexpo.com Feb. 10 Snowshoe/hike into Fern Dell Gorge, Mirror Lake State Park, dnr.wi.gov/calendar Dip for Dozer, Cambridge: Dip into frozen Lake Ripley for a football scholarship fund, dipfordozer.com Feb. 10-11 Snow Train, North Freedom, Mid-Continent Railroad: scenic ride through Sauk County, dinner available, midcontinent.org Sturgeon Stampede Ice Extravaganza, Fond du Lac: Ice bowling, games, bonfire, fdl.com Feb. 11 Norse Afternoon of Fun, Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers: Authentic Norse costumes, Scandinavian dancing, music, bake sale, raffle, stoughtonnorwegiandancers.net Feb. 16-18 Zor Shrine Circus, Alliant Energy Center: A classic circus show, shrinecircusinfo.com Feb. 17 Polar Plunge, Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center: Grab some friends and jump into freezing water to raise money for local Special Olympics athletes, polarplungewi.org Feb. 17-18 Model Railroad Show, Alliant Energy Center: Over 90,000 sq. ft. of models train exhibits, merchandise and activites, nmra-scwd.org

Feb. 17-19 Sky Circus on Ice, Delavan, kite performers and ice and snow sculptors, delavanwi.org Feb. 22-Apr. 8 Newsies, Fort Atkinson, The Fireside Theatre, firesidetheatre.com Feb. 23-24 Bald Eagle Appreciation Days, Prairie du Chien, educational exhibits and displays, birding experts on hand, outdoor viewing of Bald Eagles through spotting scopes, prairieduchien.org Feb. 23-25 Fishing Expo, Alliant Energy Center: Featuring a diverse lineup of fishing tackle, equipment and boats, wifishingexpo.com Feb. 23-March 4 Beloit International Film Festival, beloitfilmfest.org Feb. 24 Bockfest, Capital Brewery, Middleton: Age 21-plus, food, music, costumes, 1K race: capitalbrewery.com Overture’s International Festival, Overture Center: A day of food, music and entertainment from around the world, overturecenter.com Iroquois raised beadwork course, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: folklorevillage.com March 3 Madison on Tap Craft Beer Festival, Madison: More than 150 releases from craft breweries around the U.S., madisonontap.com World’s Largest Weenie Roast, Cable, annual snowmobile race and polar plunge with the longest line of hot dog cookers over one fire in the world, lakewoodsresort.com Wollersheim Winery open house, Prairie du Sac: wollersheim.com Healthy Hoedown Barn Dances, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: folklorevillage.com March 3-4 Madison Kids Expo, Alliant Energy Center: More than 100 exhibitors showing products, and services in family health care, education, recreation, food, fitness, safety, entertainment and more, madisonkidsexpo.com March 9-11 Midwest Bicycle Show and Sale, Alliant Energy Center: Test ride, accessorize and more, bikeorama.com Canoecopia, Alliant Energy Center: Giant sale of canoes, canoecopia.com March 16-18 Spring Swedish music and dance weekend, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: folklorevillage.com March 17 St. Patrick’s Day parade, Monroe: Led with Irish flag, bagpipers and plenty of green, mainstreetmonroe.org March 18 Natural Family Expo, Monona Terrace: Venue for families to explore local resources, naturalfamilyexpo.com March 23-24 State Kids Folkstyle wrestling tournament, Alliant Energy Center, Madison: visitmadison.com March 23-25 Cajun music and dance weekend, Folklore Village, Dodgeville: folklorevillage.com

If you know of an event that should be in this calendar, email yourfamily@wcinet.com. WINTER 2018 YOUR FAMILY 33


B usiness S potlight

A growing business

Trees and more at Hann’s Christmas Farm Story by Scott De Laruelle Photos submitted

Name: Hann’s Christmas Farm Owner: Greg Hann Address: 848 Tipperary Rd, Oregon Website: hannschristmasfarm.com Contact: 8 35-5464 or hannsfarm@hannschristmasfarm.com Santa and Mrs. Claus meet guests at Hann’s Christmas Farm.


hether you like to cut your own Christmas tree or have someone else do all the work, it’s just one of many things to do (or watch) at Hann’s Christmas Farm in Oregon. Second-generation owner Greg Hann has operated the business since 2000, taking over for his parents, who opened the farm in 1969. Offering cut-your-own or pre-cut trees and wreaths, the farm also sells tree stands, decorations and “anything else you

At Hann’s Christmas Farm, people can cut their own trees or leave that up to the professionals.

need for your tree.” They also have wagon rides and a wood carver among other attractions, as well as refreshments for sale this season, which runs 9 to 5 daily through Dec. 24. Hann’s handiwork will be adorning the State Capitol this holiday season, as a collection of its hand-made wreaths will be on display. l

Q&A with Greg Hann YF: How has the business developed over the years? Hann: My parents started in small scale, only two acres, then in 1984, they bought 40 acres to expand because they saw the business was going well. When I took over, we kept on growing, expanding the store to a 1,500-squarefoot retail space and added quite a few more pre-cut trees and some other station wagon ride and attractions more ag entertainment attraction so we could make it a full-day experience here YF: What’s your biggest challenge in owning and operating a tree farm? Hann: Rain and weeds. It’s more growing the trees than selling them, because there seems to be a good demand. With the change of climate – the weather pattern has changed 34 YOUR FAMILY WINTER 2018

substantially in the last 25 years, where you just get flash flood downpours instead of nice, gentle rains in the summer. I make 80 percent of my money in seven days – our three busy weekends are the three weekends after Thanksgiving – and if those are bad weather, it does substantially affect business. It’s weather in the summer, weather in the winter. YF: What are the most popular trees these days? Hann: Short needles are very popular this year – Fraser fir or Balsam fir – it really just depends on what your tradition was, and what you like for a tree, the shape. A lot of people don’t really think about the needle type, they just like the tree and fall in love with it and say, ‘This is the perfect tree.’

YF: What’s the best part about your job? Hann: It’s knowing I’m growing something somebody wants to put in their house for such a special event. It’s a labor of love – it takes seven to 10 years to grow a tree – and they will take something that I took that much time to grow and put it in their house and look at it for a month-and-a-half. It just means a lot to me that I can do that kind of farming. YF: How long do you plan on doing this? Hann: I’d like to stay in it as long as I’m still standing. It’s a great business – a lot of hard work but the community has been great about supporting me, and I’m very fortunate to be able to do this kind of business.

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Your Family Winter 2018  

2018 Winter Your Family

Your Family Winter 2018  

2018 Winter Your Family