Tag: Wisconsin

How Do You Measure Joy?

I had a very good afternoon today. There is nothing like being around creative people and other Artists. It just makes my heart jump! I had the pleasure of joining some of Janesville’s finest Musicians, Storytellers, Authors, and Artists today at a local Art Gallery in town. And the joy was contagious today!

The room was full, the ambience was beautiful. Alicia Reid has a beautiful Gallery, Raven’s Wish, that features creations from over 70 local artists. And add to that tea and cookies, jazz music, and a room full of shoppers.

Let me share my most precious memory of today. In the crowd was a group from a local home for mentally challenged individuals. I love their spontaneous joy and laughter and lack of inhibitions. I worked in the school district in Special Ed for 3 years. And I have to say, those kids taught me so much about unconditional love and joy.

We we did a medley of Christmas Carols and my favorite memory was listening to the crowd sing along. It didn’t matter if they had a microphone, sang on key or off key, it didn’t matter who sang or who  lead or who made mistakes. It was pure joy, and it was contagious!

How do you measure joy? For me, it was the song in the heart of the crowd today. 😉


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Walk With Walker

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OK, I had my ‘rant’ yesterday.  Yep, it’s really easy to find out what our government is doing ‘wrong’. But that doesn’t help anyone.  And if I am not willing to be part of the solution, then my mama told me to, “keep my mouth shut!”.  So, funny how God works….I got this email yesterday from the Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau   I had forgotten I had signed up with them.  But they really do an awesome job letting you know what is going on around town.  And, as a blogger – you know we want to be ‘in the know’!

So back to the e-mail.  As it turns out, the First Lady of Wisconsin, Tonette Walker,  was coming to Janesville, WI today for her initiative WALK WITH WALKER.   Yeah, really!  So, guess who went? Yep, that’d be me – and about 20-30 other fans and supporters.  It was held at Rotary Gardens, 2.0 mile walk.  And I’m thinking, O.K. Ms. D, you broke your leg 1 1/2 years ago, you have this metal rod in it, you haven’t exercised in idk how long, and you wanna go for a walk?  Yep, arguing with myself the whole way there.

So, I get there, and I have to say I was humbled.  Let me tell you about some of the people I met.  There were some ladies there from New Life AOG, one of the bigger churches in our town, and we shared a conversation about kids fundraisers, (Culvers this Sunday to help their Missions Trip), mission trips, and how they just wanted to support Tonette as well. And then there was Kristi from the Janesville CVB, Mary from Rotary Gardens, and many others.

And let me tell you about Tiffany Black. She came over right away and started handing out pedometers to everyone.  Come to find out she is the Chief of Staff the First Lady.  Later we got to swap house stories, someday she will be in this gorgeous old Victorian house.  And she has a baby coming – Feb 8th or so.  How exciting! Remember that first baby?  She hasn’t found out if it’s a girl or boy yet, she and her husband want it to be a surprise!

And let me tell you about Tonette Walker.  She is real, she is approachable, and she is kind. She made it a point to talk to each of us before, during, and after our walk together.  Ordinary, everyday people mattered to her.  There was no show, no pretense, just a down-to-earth inspiring woman.  She shared how WALK WITH WALKER started when her husband Scott was Milwaukee County Executive and how she decided to keep the initiative going.  This was her 30th walk this year,  and she likes it because it is a great place to get out and experience all the great places in WI, and meet all the people. And only one thing stayed constant – the weather always changed!  We had snow on the ground, but she shared about a time walking when it was over 100 degrees!

And then, on our walk, I met Carol.  Carol is 76 and she and her husband go golfing every Thursday in Janesville with a Seniors team.  And she is the ‘baby’ of the group.  I learned about her kids and her grandkids, volleyball, and swimming, and how she loves to garden. We held up the tail end of the walk, but I was so grateful that I got to meet her.

After our walk we all had coffee and power bars.  I sat down and marvelled at the diversity of the group there today.  And I had to admit to myself, I had it all wrong. I had never taken the time to know those who serve our state or country.  And, I have to confess, I have not really done my part in praying for our leaders.  Not at all.  I was too busy criticizing them.  Yep.  I know how much we get ‘spit’ on and ‘yelled’ at, I can’t even imagine what someone who is in a public office has to deal with on a daily basis.  And can you say, “stress”?  

Join me won’t you? In getting to know and pray for  your Representatives, Senators, Mayors, Governors, President, City Council Members, their staff, and their families – and yes Lord, even the NSA.  Thank you for the pleasant surprise today Lord.  When I did have a moment to talk with Tonette, I just shared that, “we are praying for you and your family”.  Idk what her beliefs are, that is not my business.  But I do want to pray for her, and her husband  and family.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for bringing Tonette to Janesville today, and Tiffany, and Carol, and all the others that were there today.  Thank you for helping me see better today. I confess, I had shut off my prayers for those in Public Offices, but no more.  Lord, I pray that you would bless them, protect them, and fill them with joy.  Bless them in their ordinary, everyday life Lord no matter where they go. I pray that you would give them wisdom, give them joy,and give them peace that surpasses all understanding, in Jesus Name.


Look at That!

Daily Prompt: Stranger in a Strange Land

What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEW. 

I love the changes architecture, the difference in vegetation, trees, flowers, animals, etc.  I am in Wisconsin. We don’t have any palm trees here! How can a girl milk a cow with no palm trees?  And what about a cactus? I had a cactus once and I killed it, I think I over-watered it, or that’s what the plant people said.

a caslte in Germany from Pinterest
a caslte in Germany from Pinterest

And, what about a castle? I think We need at least two or three somewhere in Wisconsin, don’t you think?  It sure would be fun to visit.  Or hey, lets move in, I want that circle room.

People are different too. I love it! Ya’ll talk different you know, different languages, different culture. I admit, I’m a people watcher.  Yep, kids are shopping at the mall and there Ms D sitting on the bench watching everyone.

We sure are a strange bunch aren’t we?  That’s what makes life interesting though, there is always something new to learn and someone new to meet!

Glad to meet you! Hey should I use the cow for my logo? He’s kinda cute!

  1. Where Nobody Knows Me! | Joseph Rathjen – Freelance Writing
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Culture – Monroe, WI

Weekly Photo Challenge – Culture

My husband, Bob,  and I had a wonderful afternoon with Lee, Bob’s dad in Monroe, WI today.
I love Monroe, it’s known as the Swiss Cheese Capital of the World!

And once every two years they have CHEESE DAYS,  with the best cheese curds in the World!