Archive for the 'Wisconsin Stuff' Category

Bubblers – This Way

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Wisconsin is so sweet. There are no Drinking Fountains or Water Fountains here… only Bubblers. And that’s what my daughter is learning to call it, just like her father, and his parents before him.  Her little class takes a walk to the Bubbler when it’s time to take a drink.  I’m not a native here, so it still seems unusual to me. But also sweet, in that unique, unselfconscious, Wisconsin way…

Bubblers Sign in Store


4th of July 2008

Monday, July 14th, 2008

It doesn’t get any more Americana than the village of Greendale, Wisconsin (founded by FDR as one of three Greenbelt Communities, by the way). 

That’s where we watched a parade on the 4th of July, and also where Paul’s great-grandparents settled in the mid-30s and where his great-uncle used to be the Village Manager for 20 years.  The street around the Village Hall here is named after him.  And Paul’s relatives run a 50s-style Malt Shop on the street pictured here. 

Recently, some officials visited Greendale as part of a competition to select the best communities for some contest or another.  One official asked his Greendale tour guide if things there were ‘staged.’  It just seemed too cute.   

I love Wisconsin.   

 Geendale Village Hall on the 4th of July

Enough Already…

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Milwaukee’s Second Snowiest Winter Ever!

Sean O’Flaherty


As of 7 a.m. Saturday, Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee had recorded 96.9 inches of snow. [Kelly’s note: we had even more snow after Saturday at 7:00 a.m., folks, so this is already a little out of date] The National Weather Service says that amount ranked as the second snowiest winter season on record at Milwaukee. Below is a list of the top 20 winter season snowfall amounts for Milwaukee:


1. 109.8″ 1885-86

2. 96.9″* 2007-08*

3. 94.2″ 1897-98

4. 93.3″ 1959-60

5. 83.2″ 1973-74

6. 82.9″ 1978-79

7. 82.6″ 1903-04

8. 81.9″ 1993-94

9. 80.8″ 1922-23

10. 80.7″ 1977-78

11. 79.7″ 1951-52

12. 78.7″ 1917-18

13. 78.6″ 1950-51

14. 74.2″ 1935-36

15. 74.1″ 1886-87

16. 74.0″ 1964-65

17. 73.3″ 1925-26

*The Weather Service points out that totals for Milwaukee will only continue to rise as the winter season still has the rest of March and into April remaining.

[Also, no point in even counting in Madison, anymore – they’ve already broken the record for MOST snow ever over there].

Oh no, can it be…?

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Favre retires?

There is no joy in Packerland today

Monday, January 21st, 2008

That was a tough loss last night.

We got to overtime.  The game was tied.

We won the coin flip and possession of the ball.

One of Favre’s guns should have sailed us right into the Superbowl.

But.  Instead, that one was intercepted.

It’s a sad, sad, thing.

Maybe things would have been different if the wind chill on the field hadn’t been -25.

But we’ll never know.

All Packer fans can do, as a sports psychologist interviewed on a local radio station this morning advised, is to focus on what’s meaningful and positive in our lives right now.

We’ll have to try to forget this game, as Mr. Favre, himself, has already said he’ll try to do.  Though, he added, “it’s going to be very hard.”

Now, Favre is left to ponder the decision that has kept Cheeseheads on edge for each of the past several cold off-seasons: Will he retire, or decide to return for his 18th NFL season?

“I’m not going to rush to make any quick decision, but I think probably it’ll be much quicker than it has been in the past – and people will probably appreciate that,” Favre said. “But I’m just going to try to enjoy this season we had as much as I can and try to block this game out. It’s going to be very hard. I’m not going to let this game sway my decision one way or another.”

One Game to Go!

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Jimmy wearing a Cheesehead Hat

Originally uploaded by Koog Family

Where better than on a blog named after cheese than to mention that this is a great time to be a cheesehead. (Jim is helping in this pronouncment by posing as Brett Favre, right).

The Packers blew away the Seahawks in driving Snow last week, and with the Cowboys, to our surprise, out as of last night, well….

Mr. Favre and the gang might just be heading to the Superbowl!!!!!


Monday, October 8th, 2007

So last night, Paul turned in for sleep after clicking off the TV (and a disappointing football game; the Packers are no longer undefeated.  Stinkin’ Chicago Bears!).

I took out the trash and attended to other things around the house for a few minutes before finally checking on Emma and then heading for bed, myself.

When I crawled into bed, I gave sleepy Paul an update on our sleeping daughter:

Mommy Koog: “She’s fine. She’s hugging her doll.”

Daddy Koog: “Ridiculous!!”

Mommy Koog: “What!? I said ‘She’s hugging her doll.'”

Daddy Koog: “No – I mean that they lost the game.”

And that’s what happens in Wisconsin when the Packers give up the ball four times in the second half, ending up losing what initially appeared a promising game.

Poor, native Wisconsinites dream and even sleep-talk about it.


Brett Favre Rocks!

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Cheesehead Living

Originally uploaded by Koog Family

It’s extra fun to be a cheesehead when the Packers are doing well.

And with a 4-0 winning record so far this season, and with Favre yesterday surpassing Dan Marino’s record of 421 career touch-down passes, they’re doing great right now!

My Groundhog Neighbor

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Neighborhood Groundhog

I have written previously about my sightings of the neighborhood groundhog.

Well, this weekend, I saw him/her again, and happened to have my camera in my purse!  I stopped my car, got out, and got a couple of shots.  This is the best one (and it is also blown up a bit, below).

So here’s my little groundhog ‘buddy.’ (I realize that our ‘friendship’ is one-sided; he/she ran away into the woods after I took this picture and started talking to it in what must have seemed a patronizing – but for my part, purely affectionate – tone).

I think that one of the reasons I may have been seeing him/her out eating so often is that it will soon be time for hibernation. Apparently, these little guys pack on the weight at this time of year, just before going into a deep deep sleep, and then waking up much thinner in about February.

So I’m glad I got this picture of my groundhog buddy before he or she disappears into the burrow for the upcoming cold months.

(Judging by the waddle I saw as the little guy/gal ran away into the woods, I’d say the weight gaining program has been successful.  Way to go, little buddy!)
Groundhog - cropped


Thursday, August 31st, 2006

I never cease to be amazed  by the universal human propensity to believe that (only) other people speak with an accent.

Now, I happen to have what I refer to as a chameleon ear.¬† That means that I can’t help but to absorb and to speak with the type of language/dialect/accent in which I’m immersed at any given time.¬†¬†l’m convinced that this is a trait that some people have and some people don’t.¬† I find that those who are skilled in music tend much more in the chameleon-ear¬†direction than those who aren’t.¬†

In my case, my impressionability extends even to speech mannerisms and the kind of impression made on the listener.  I learned long ago, therefore, that I need to choose my surroundings carefully.  During my brief stint as a telemarketer, I always had better sales successes when sitting next to a successful seller.

I became aware of this trait in myself as a child, when I would leave the confines of Southern Indiana each year for a month-long stay with my grandparents in Bethesda, Maryland, just over the Washington D.C. city line. 

I distinctly remember being suddenly aware,¬†when calling¬†my mother from Maryland, of¬†her very southern-sounding drawl – and I knew that when I was at home, she had less of an “accent” than many fellow southern Hoosiers.¬† She would also comment on the Easternization of¬†my speaking during, and just after, my summer visits.

My ears almost fell off when, after just having arrived home from a year in Germany, some relatives at a dinner party in Kentucky asked if I wanted to “triiiiiiiiiiiiy some piiiiiiiiiiiiiie.”

All of this brings me to living now¬†in Wisconsin.¬† I vividly¬†remember that when I met Paul in D.C., I was struck by the strength of his marked and earnest Wisconsin/Minnesota accent.¬† I tried and tried, but couldn’t properly imitate it.¬† But I could hear¬†it from a mile away.¬†

And now that we live here, I must sound pretty much the same as he does.¬† When people here learn that I’m not a Milwaukee native, they express surprise.¬†

Last night – I love it -¬†while getting my hair cut by a new person at my favorite salon, the hair cutter asked, upon learning that I’m from Indiana, whether I “used to have an accent.”¬† I laughed.¬† Several different kinds of responses internally competed for expression, especially since, to my thinking, I currently have more of an accent than I did in Indiana.¬†¬†His question also presumed, in a way that I find charming, that to speak in the distinctly Wisconsin way is to speak accent free.¬†

I love that the Cheeseheads have no idea how much, to anyone outside the state, they sound unique.¬† In many conversations here, I’ve heard the assertion that Wisconsinites don’t have an accent.

And my mother, who lives here now, too, gets asked almost every day about just which part of the Deep South she is from. 

Oh, geez!¬†¬†Den dis¬†Wisconsin Dictionary mus’¬†jus’ be for hoots and hollers, next time dey’re by deir friends for a beer, hey?