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2013 Summer Your Family

2013 Summer Your Family

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Published by: veronapress on Jun 05, 2013
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Nurturing nature
More parks, trails in county’s plan

Feasting at the farmers market

5 cool museums
Brats and more in Sheboygan

Beware of observation status


Summer is just around the corner…
Follow our Growing Up Healthy blog for tips from our physicians and experts to keep kids active, safe and healthy this summer. Weekly prize drawings are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Go to blogs.uwhealth.org/kids and subscribe today.


! s e z i r P

kl e e in W




Your Gardening Headquarters!
Many varieties of Bedding Plants and Shrubs Roses Bagged Potting Soils Vegetable & Flower Seeds

Miller & Sons

210 S. Main St. Verona, WI • (608) 845-6478
Monday - Saturday 6:30am - 9:00pm, Sunday 6:30am - 7:00pm



Accentuate the positive


’m trying something new this week. It’s called Positive Psychology. Normally, I think I’m a pretty positive person. My glass is always half-full, and the weather rarely bothers me. But there are those rare days when nothing is going right and it’s just too easy to follow the negative path. When that happens, I try to recharge by spending time with family and communing with nature. That’s a major theme in our cover story, which looks at the many recreational opportunities Dane County has to offer. I find it to be a great pick-me-up to just take a walk through the woods with my dog, watch my birdfeeder for new visitors or surround myself with good conversation with friends. So I never thought maintaining a positive attitude was a work in progress until I attended a presentation this spring by Dr. Joey Faucette, author of the best-selling book, “Work Positive in a Negative World.” The book is a guide to help you redefine your reality so you can achieve your dreams. Its recipe

When you wish upon a star...
for success is based on three key concepts: positive experience, positive strengths and virtues, and positive community. Simply put, it is a study in happiness. One way Dr. Joey suggests we can be more positive, and therefore redefine our reality, is by setting time aside each day to be positive. He recommends starting with 10 minutes each morning, with the first five listening to songs with a positive message and the next five reviewing the items on your calendar and envisioning a positive outcome. Then, just before going to sleep, write down three positive things that happened that day. This last part might not always be easy. But if you simply can’t think of three positive things that did happen, he says, you can always take the backdoor approach and say something like, “I didn’t get in a car accident.” Positive breeds positive, he explained, so it shouldn’t be long before my list will flow effortlessly. “When you end your day on a positive note, your subconscious focuses on that all night rather than focusing on a negative,” he explained. So the first challenge my tablemates and I came up with was finding positive, upbeat songs to add to our playlists. We found this difficult, as most of us enjoy country music, and there aren’t many upbeat, positive country songs. One attendee even suggested “Take This Job and Shove It,” and I don’t think he was kidding. So we ended up doing a Google search, and eventually our top pick was “It’s A Great Day to be Alive,” by Travis Tritt. It got easier after we switched genres: “I will Survive by” Gloria Gaynor; “Home,” by Phillip Phillips; “Because We Can,” by Bon Jovi; “Don’t Stop,” Fleetwood Mac; “I Believe I Can Fly,” R. Kelly; “If I Had a Hammer,” Peter, Paul and Mary; “When you Wish Upon a Star,” Disney; and probably the most appropriate: “Accentuate the Positive” which has been sung by many. Surprisingly, by simply searching for and concentrating on positive song titles, we noticed a change in atmosphere. We felt energized and motivated to remain so. If this exercise can produce such a powerful result, a focus on Positive Psychology is certainly worth a try. I can also see the benefits in using this to improve family dynamics. Taking family time to create a positive playlist to start your day, for example, could be well worth your efforts in starting each day out in the right direction. It’s worth a try. ● Lee Borkowski is the general manager of Unified Newspaper Group, which publishes Your Family magazine.




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Natural selection

Madison residents Jessica Baker (from left), Apphia Baker, 1, and Silas Baker, 3, relax and play on a beach at a Goodland County Park beach on Lake Waubesa. Places like Goodland Park are part of more than 12,000 acres of county park land, and Dane County is planning to continue to prioritize parks and recreation so that families like the Bakers will always have a place to spend a day together. – Anthony Iozzo photo

YOUR FAMILY STAFF Diane Beaman, Mark Ignatowski, Anthony Iozzo, Seth Jovaag, Donna Larson, Terry Leonard, Bill Livick, Diane Odegard, Linda Trecek, Angie Roberts, Carolyn Schultz, Derek Spellman, Catherine Stang, Victoria Vlisides, Kathy Woods



contact us Send all questions or submissions to yourfamily@wcinet.com

5 Fascinating Museums. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Day Trip Sheboygan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Summer reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Calendar of Events.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Exploring the Dane County Farmers Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Recipes Miso Soup with Vegetables and Tofu, Crock Pot French Toast, Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Chicken and Mango on Romaine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

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.



To Your Health Avoid diabetes is all about lifestyle. . . . . . . . . Senior Living Know whether you’re being admitted. . . . . . . 24

15 20


Publishers of the Oregon Observer Stoughton Courier Hub Verona Press ConnectFitchburg.com Great Dane Shopping News

Homebrewing is a bonding experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Organized Home Clear out your closet the right way.23 Planning For College Parents’ influence is important. . . 31 Chatter What’s your favorite recreation spot in Dane County.. 34

Hands-on workshops to expand minds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





fascinating museums
Story by Derek Spellman Submitted photos

hether for art, geology, anthropology, science, toys or cheese, Wisconsin has no shortage of museums. There are plenty of them out there, and this list is by no means exhaustive. But for those looking for variety, here’s a list of five museums within driving distance to consider:

Logan Museum of Anthropology – Beloit College
Founded in 1893, the Logan Museum has been a teaching museum for Beloit College, according to its website. It boasts collections from around the world, including 15,000 ethnographic and over 200,000 archaeological objects from 123 countries. One of its ongoing exhibitions is the “Cube” – a two-story, glass-enclosed facility that houses Native American ceramics, baskets and other artifacts. Other ongoing attractions include a series of “History of Man” murals, artifacts from Beloit College student expeditions and “study drawers” with other regional artifacts. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions. Currently, it is featuring “Ancient Whispers: Objects and Stories from the American Southwest.” The Logan Museum is housed on the Beloit College campus and is located at the corner of College and Bushnell streets. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, except for college holidays. For info call (608) 363-2677. Admission is free, but a donation is requested.

Mining Museum and Rollo Jamison Museum – Platteville
The Mining Museum and Rollo Jamison Museum are located next to each other in Platteville’s Downtown Historic District. Between the two, they offer such diverse attractions as an underground tour of the 1845 Bevans Lead Mine, a ride in a 1931 mine train above ground and exhibits on Platteville, area history and the history of lead and zinc mining in the area, according to their website. The Mining Museum offers dioramas, photographs, maps and artifacts to complement the tour of the mine and the train ride. The Rollo Jamison Museum, named for the Beetown native who collected items about the history of Southwest Wisconsin, includes items like a farm wagon, simple cash register and Regina Corona Automatic Disk Changer Music Box from 1903. The museums also host special events during the year, such as historical re-enactments and toy train shows. The museums, 405 E. Main St., are open daily May through October, and Monday through Friday November through April. Ticket prices vary depending on the season. Visit www. mining.jamison.museum for more information or call (608) 348-3301.



Madison Children’s Museum Milwaukee Art Museum
The museum at 100 N. Hamilton St. is well-known and was named the fifthbest children’s museum in the country by Parents magazine in 2011. Filled with all sorts of recycled treasures and educational exhibits, it can easily keep kids occupied for a whole day. The facility, which was closed and rebuilt in 2010, now fills 56,290 square feet, including 26,000 of public space and 13,775 for future expansion. The indoor attractions, spread over four floors, include a drop-in art studio; a concourse with interactive water exhibits, gear exhibits, ball runs, video pieces, and public art; and a “Wildernest” with small activity huts, a bone bridge, tree house and climbing wall. The fifth floor, mostly outdoors, consists of a four-season rooftop park. Admission is $7.95, adults and children and $6.95, seniors. The museum is free for children under 1. A $1 subsidized admission is available for those with proof of public assistance. Founded in 1888, the Milwaukee Art Museum has been collecting art for 125 years, according to its website. The 341,000-square-foot museum houses 30,000 works of art and draws more than 350,000 visitors a year, according the museum website. Its campus is composed of three buildings located along Lake Michigan. Its collections include selections of European and American paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and folk art. Other features include the War Memorial Center, designed by FinnishAmerican architect Eero Saarinen, the Kahler Building by David Kahler, and the Quadracci Pavilion (2001) created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive, is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors over the age of 65 and students and military personnel with identification. The museum is free to members and children 12 and under.

Wisconsin Automotive Museum
This museum, located in Hartford, is the state’s largest auto museum. It contains 105 vehicles, including classic and vintage autos and related artifacts, such as license plates, spark plugs, oil cans and signs. In total, it comprises more than 75,000 square feet of exhibit space for both permanent collections and changing displays on two levels, according to the museum website. The second level of the museum includes a collection of model cars and a multimedia display kept by the Southeastern Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Fame. The museum, 147 N. Rural St., is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 to 12 and $8 for seniors.


Market Fresh
It’s all good at the Dane County Farmer’s Market
Story and Photos by Victoria Vlisides



t’s hard to find a bad showing at the Dane County Farmer’s Market. That doesn’t make for a sexy topic like my initial premise, a faceoff between rival food stands. But it’s hard to compare individuals who have worked to create or cultivate homegrown products, produce and baked goods. Some of the busier stands at the market are not the small quirky farmers, but established storefronts such as Stella’s Bakery. For instance, if you go to the market, which is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Capitol Square, you’re probably there for one of three reasons: • To buy produce for the week • For a fun Saturday activity, or • To sink your teeth into the famous “hot ‘n’ spicy cheese bread.” Now, either your mouth is already watering because you recall getting the freshout-of-the-oven cheese bread at the market with friends, or your mouth is watering because fresh bread is always the best and when you add cheese, we Wisconsinites just cannot help ourselves. With a spicy crust and warm cheesy guts, the bread is a memorable, delicious part of the farmer’s market. But it is one of the more expensive baked goods there, at $8 a loaf. While Stella’s claim to fame is the cheese bread, another Madison bakery also offers a product quite


similar. Oakhouse Bakery, located off Mustang Way, sells its hot and spicy cheese bread for two quarters cheaper. Which one is better is certainly up for debate, but on this particular Sunday, early in the season, Stella’s was already sold out by 12:30 p.m. and Oakhouse wasn’t. Either way, it’s a must-try. Along with baked goods like cookies, sweet rolls and bars, other plentiful goods at the market include fresh fruit and vegetables, homegrown meats and jerkies, plants including flowers and herbs, pickled and jarred goods like jellies, honey, vinegars and relishes and of course, cheese. The other Dane County Farmer’s Market staple are cheese curds. Selling at around $4-$5 a bag, curds are another treat at the market that some save for later or just open up and eat as they circle the Capitol Square. All of the curds are going to be fresh, but keep in mind the white ones have no extra food coloring. Curds are sold at many stands, so keep an eye out for different flavors like dill, or at the Hook’s Cheese stand, pesto curds. Hook’s, like many stands, has ample samples, and it’s sound advice to sample often and shamelessly. After all, that’s one of the benefits of buying food there. Most of the cheese stands will have free samples. However, one item to pick up that needs no sampling is a spreadable honey most honey stands sell, including Gentle Breeze Honey out of Mount Horeb. It sounds odd, or maybe even unnecessary, but the spreadable honey has a thicker, creamier texture than storebought honey, with a taste reminiscent of fresh honeycomb. Bee keepers will tell you it’s ideal to put on your morning toast! Another bonus to the market is having the chance to converse with the people whose produce you’re buying. For example, I struck up a conversation with Thomas Nord of Madison, who began making flavored vinegars about two or three years ago. Nord is one of the quirky characters at the market, and so are his products. Some of his vinegars include chives, jalapeno, raspberry and catnip. The vinegar display is vibrant with color. He sells it wearing a German outfit and a green hat dotted with pins he collected from his time in Germany. While it’s hard to say one stand is better than another, it’s easy to see why the farmer’s market has become a staple in Madison’s culture. At your next trip, find the time to pick out a few new foods to try and compare. Chances are you won’t be disappointed. ●

Thomas Nord of Madison began making flavored vinegars about 2-3 years ago.

A few farmer’s market favorites
(Prices approximate based on stand)
Bison stick, $1.50 Chives vinegar $5 Mini honey jar $2 Fresh 1 lb. ground beef $6.50 Spreadable honey $2.75 Oakhouse cheese bread $7.50 Stella’s cheese bread $8 Whole chicken $20 Cheese curds $4 Empinada $5

An Oakhouse Bakery worker bags up some fresh hot and spicy cheese bread.

Eat Fresh Shop Local

Murphy Farms out of Soldier Grove sells cheese curds, starting at $5 a bag.

Empinadas are from Stella’s bakery. Served warm, they’re $5 a pop. SUMMER 2013 YOUR FAMILY 9

SHEBOYGAN The best of the ’wurst
Sheboygan offers a smorgasbord of family-friend ly activities
Story by Mark Ignatowski Submitted photos hey say there’s no place like home. I spent the first 18 years of life in Sheboygan, so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any preconceived notions about writing a travel story to my childhood city. But after living in Madison for most of the past nine years, it’s safe to say that a lot has changed since I left my hometown, which is located smack dab in the middle of Milwaukee and Green Bay along the shores of Lake Michigan. I might not have realized it growing up, but Sheboygan has a lot to offer families – whether you’re raising your kids there or just heading up there for the day. If you’re considering a day trip to Sheboygan, there are some must-do things and plenty of choice for the rest of your day.



Well, OK. There’s really only one must-do: eat a bratwurst. Sheboygan is known for their German sausage. There’s a weekend-long festival dedicated to the brat. Brat Day’s will be held Aug. 1-3 this year. Size-wise, it pales in comparison to Brat Fest in Madison, but you can’t beat the ambience of Sheboygan’s celebration. If you don’t want to plan your trip around the annual festival, there are plenty of other places to find a Sheboygan bratwurst throughout the year. The easiest is probably to pick some up from Miesfeld’s Meat Market (miesfelds.com), a local butcher shop that makes the award-wining Grand Champion bratwurst. These guys have been in business for more than 70 years, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. If you follow my advice, the first choice you’ll have to make is what bun to serve these brats on. Who makes the best Sheboygan hard roll in town is still up for debate and probably will be if you ask anyone around town. Pick up a dozen of each from either City Bakery (sheboygancitybakery. com) or Johnston’s Bakery (johnstonsbakery.com) and decide



for yourself. Besides imbibing in a link of grilled meat, there are plenty of outdoor activities, family-friendly attractions, dining options and cultural attractions.

Maybe the best place to grill your newly-purchased bratwurst is at Kohler-Andrae State Park, located just south of Sheboygan on the shores of Lake Michigan. The 1,000-acre park has several hiking trails that take you through forests, sprawling sand dunes and right up to the lake. You can find ample parking and picnic areas. Lake Michigan is a pretty big tourism draw for the area and presents a host of recreation activities for families visiting town. The Sheboygan Harbor Centre Marina is a good place to start when taking in the sights and sounds of the lake. Take a stroll out to the lighthouse or swim at the nearby beach. The lake is also home to standup paddle boarding and surfing competitions during the summer and fall months. The Sheboygan area is worldrenowned for some championship-level golf courses. The Kohler Co., known for their sinks, faucets, porcelain products and generators, also operates the American Club (americanclubresort. com). This branch of the business operates a world-class resort and restaurant experience, along with golf courses at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. The U.S. Women’s Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open and more have tour stops at these courses. Sheboygan also has a number of city parks, as well as the Maywood environmental park (gomaywood. org). Depending on the time you visit, Maywood offers nature hikes, an ecology center and more. Continued on page 12


SHEBOYGAN Continued from page 13


At a glance Sheboygan “Spirit on the Lake” Population: 49,288 Tourism info: visitsheboygan.com Directions from Madison: Sheboygan is located halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay along Interstate 43. You can get there by taking U.S. Hwy. 151 to Fond du Lac and then Hwy. 23 east until your hat floats.


There’s plenty to do indoors in Sheboygan, as well.

Bookworms Garden (bookwormgardens.org) can be found near the UW-Sheboygan campus. This family-friendly site brings books to life through a variety of gardens. Families can stroll through the grounds any time it’s open, or check out some of the special events. If the kids need to burn off even more energy (or you’d like to spend the night), Blue Harbor Resort (blueharborresort.com) has an indoor water park inside the hotel and conference center area. Restaurants and shops are plentiful in the city’s South Pier area, too. Sheboygan’s historic theater, the Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts (weillcenter.com), often hosts entertainment from local and nationally-touring acts. Find a schedule at weillcenter.com.

Blue Harbor is home to several restaurants, and more can be found nearby. Traditional English pub food can be found along the river at the Duke of Devon. Neapolitan Pizza from Il Ritrovo is also sure to please. On a warm summer day, Urbane is a good place to cool off with its large front windows that open up for a view down Indiana Avenue, one of the main drags in town. For more of a small-town diner feel, check out Harry’s Diner, Fountain Park restaurant or one of the two Charcoal Inn locations. Sheboygan is also home to plenty of taverns that serve great food. Frankie’s Pub and Grill has burgers the size of a dinner plate, while Legend Larry’s is famous for chicken wings. Eighth Street Ale Haus has a rotating selection of dozens of tap beers from around Wisconsin and the world. ●

If you’re out in Kohler (a few miles west of Sheboygan), the Kohler Design Center is worth a look around. The displays are a mixture of art and functional engineering. It’s probably not suited for young kids, but can be fun for adults to poke around. A more child-friendly stop would be the Above and Beyond Children’s Museum (abkids.org). Activities like a giant pin screen, PVC pipe organ, playrooms, shadowbox and craft areas will keep little ones entertained.

For the record, people from the Sheboygan area do eat more than just brats. Dining options in the area run the gamut from well-established local eateries to fine dining establishments, along with plenty of chain restaurants.

Sail Away in Sheboygan

Luxury Senior Living!
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5440 Caddis Bend Fitchburg, WI 53711 (608) 270-9200

Enjoy all the benefits senior living has to offer including: Salon & Spa • Workout Room • Movie Theater • Warm Water Pool Hyland Park has beautiful 1 & 2 bedroom luxury apartment homes (and we’re pet friendly) Independence, Comfort & Care are our goals! Contact Leeana Beck, Community Relations Director (608) 270-9200, ext 403 or (608) 513-0434 www.hylandparkfitchburg.com

Just down the road is the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (jmkac. org). The grounds are home to a variety of art collections, performing arts events, classes and more.

Within walking distance to UW Health, GHC, Walgreens, Copps, Panera Bread and more!

We are an active community. Come join us for lunch & see!


Your sum

d a i n e r g l i r st e m

What you should be reading this summer
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye

Local librarians offer suggestions for your summer reading list!

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
by Lorna Landvik. Are you looking for a recommendation for your book club this summer that will inspire a lively conversation? If you are then you might want to consider “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” by Lorna Landvik. The author reveals 40 years of stories that intertwine the lives of five strong women. They all happen to live on Freesia Court, somewhere in the Midwest. In the beginning they are convinced that all of life’s challenges can be resolved by good friends, coffee and rich desserts. However as time passes the friends discover that the book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons) has becomes much more. It has become their lifeline. The stories they share with each other will make you laugh through your tears. Perhaps you will see a little yourself or your grandmother in these heartwarming characters. Susan Santner, Director, Oregon Public Library

Wagons West! Series
by Dana Fuller Ross The “Wagons West” series comprises 24 volumes originally published from 19791989 and is now being republished. The first book, “Independence!” takes place in 1837 as intrepid pioneers set out to settle new county. The title refers to Independence, Mo., the historical jumping off point for so many expeditions. Each subsequent book is titled after the state or territory that is the focal point for the action: “Nebraska!” “Wyoming!” “Texas!” and so on. As the series progresses, new characters appear and old ones settle down as the action shifts from territory to territory. The final book in the original series is “Celebration!” named for the 1876 centennial. “Wagons West,” a captivating series with larger than life characters, is considered historical fiction. The original books were exceptionally popular and the reprint editions are showing the same popularity as readers from 30 years ago welcome them back and younger readers discover them for the first time. In addition, there is now a new title in the series: “Texas Freedom!” just published in 2012. Richard MacDonald, Director Stoughton Public Library

by Rachel Joyce Harold Frye is a quiet older gentleman, recently retired, no longer very happily married. One day he gets a letter from an old friend, Queenie, who he hasn’t heard from in 20 years. She is very ill and has written to say goodbye. Harold leaves the house, intending a quick walk to mail a card in reply but when he reaches the mailbox, he can’t bring himself to drop it in. So Harold keeps walking . . . and walking. He makes a snap decision to deliver his message in person to Queenie - who is in hospice 600 miles away. His journey is slow-paced inspiration, reminding us that it is never too late to do something extraordinary. Stacey Burkart, Assistant director/head of youth services, Verona Public Library

One-Minute Mindfulness: 50 Simple Ways to Find Peace, Clarity, and New Possibilities in a Stressed-Out World
by Donald Altman Imagine for a moment that you had the ability to take brief vacations from the pressures of work and life throughout the day, regardless of the activity or your situation. “One Minute Mindfulness” is a practical handbook to mediation for those looking to deepen their sense of personal peace and heighten self-awareness. From the daily routines of eating, exercising and interacting with loved ones, to contemplative acts with nature and solitude, author Donald Altman provides the basic fundamentals to practicing and integrating mindfulness in all facets of life. Pamela K. Westby, Director, Middleton Public Library


Preventing diabetes means making better choices

BY Mario Piverger, MD


see diabetes in my office every day. It is the leading cause of kidney failure and has been connected to other chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, erectile dysfunction, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations and blindness. According to 2010 statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects nearly 26 million people or 8 percent of the U.S. population. Nearly 2 million people were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010. It now ranks as the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. To determine if you have the disease, there are various screening tests involving the blood and urine that you can have done at your local clinic. But more importantly, for many people it can be prevented. In order to explain how, I first need to describe what happens inside the body of someone who has diabetes. If you are diabetic, you have all this sugar in your blood and you are still doing everything you can to get more and more. You’re tired, hungry and thirsty because the sugar is not getting to where it is useable: your cells. If you’re old enough, you will remember the days of locking your keys in a car. Every passerby wants to help, but no one has the solution, and no one else has a key. You can break a window, call a locksmith or have a very expensive new key made at the dealer. All are major consequences for this minor oversight. That’s diabetes. All the sugar stays outside of your cells because the key — insulin — is unavailable. If you have Type I diabetes, there is no insulin because of problems with the insulin-making factory, the pancreas. No insulin is being produced, and anyone with this type of diabetes must regularly

inject insulin. It’s like buying the car without the key. You have no choice but to buy one from the dealer. Type II diabetes is different. It can be caused by many things, like the being misplaced, stripped or damaged. In that case, you need to make lifestyle changes or take oral medications or insulin to control the diabetes. In this case, it is an overabundance of sugar doing damage to the body, specifically the blood vessels, long before you know anything is wrong. It is slowly setting the stage for the vascular compromise that leads to the sometimes irreversible damage that we have come to associate with diabetes. Unfortunately, while key fobs and computer chips are doing away with the problem of getting locked out of your car, there is no easy fix for diabetes. Maybe it starts with better education. After all, most of us understand our cars better than we do our own bodies. Maybe it requires a cultural shift. The pressure that we face as a society has led to greater consumption of processed foods and decreased cardiovascular activities. I can continue with the maybes, but what it comes down to is, Type II diabetes is avoidable. Keeping diabetes away depends on the decisions you make for yourself. If you get Type II diabetes, you will have to monitor your blood sugar levels, make disciplined lifestyle choices and have your primary-care physician monitor you for associated diseases, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and increased body weight. Diabetes doesn’t mean doom. Many diabetics lead productive lives by implementing proper nutrition, regular cardiovascular activity and sometimes medicine. But personal choice fuels this disease and personal choice can help prevent it. ● Mario Piverger is a family medicine physician at the UW-Health clinic in Fitchburg.

If you get diabetes
If you have or come down with diabetes, there are some actions you can take to keep your diabetes under control: • Watch your Hemoglobin levels: under 6.5 and checked every three to six months • Keep LDL cholesterol under 70 and check annually during fasting. If the level is too high, cholesterol should be checked more frequently • Keep Blood pressure under 130/80, checked twice a year • Keep pre-meal blood sugars under 100 • Watch for blood sugars two hours after a meal to be under 140 • Have foot examinations during your annual exam to check for defects caused by nerve damage. Check your feet nightly before bed • Have an annual dilated-eye exam • Have a dental cleaning twice a year • Do an annual screening of kidney function through urine and blood tests • Get a registered dietitian consultation every six to 12 months • Get the flu vaccine annually • Get a pneumococcal vaccine


Dane County’s 2012-17 plan places high priority on parks and recreation
Story by Kurt Gutknecht Photos by Anthony Iozzo


Monona resident Nadia Bidwell and her dog Ranger get some exercise in at the Capital Springs Recreation Area Disc Golf and Dog Exercise Area.

ou can have it all in Dane County. Almost. So far, the county’s park system – more than 12,000 acres at dozens of locations around the county – seems to be keeping pace with residents’ voracious appetite for all types of recreation. The county’s latest plan provides even more options. A good thing, too, for our bodies, psyches and economic prospects. Even though prosperity is increasingly wedded to bytes and apps, nondigital parks and open spaces are still key components of economic growth and the quality of life. The 118-page plan for 2012-2017 points out that parks increase property values and attract businesses and residents. In Wisconsin, outdoor recreation is credited for contributing almost $10 billion annually. It supports nearly 130,000 jobs (it’s responsible for 8.4 percent of employment in Dane County) and accounts for nearly 4 percent of the gross state product. It’s impossible to tease out exactly how much the county’s parks contribute, but there are some related metrics. The soccer fields in Badger Prairie County Park, for example, attract 225,000 visitors annually and bolster the local economy by $3 million. Trout anglers attracted to pristine streams in the Driftless Area spend nearly $25 for each dollar spent on stream restoration, which is a priority in several county parks adjacent to trout streams. And the collective decline in overall crankiness when people spend an hour in a park is worth at least $25 spent at a shopping mall (just kidding). How does the county’s plan stack up against other areas? A professional organization tried to develop comparison with statistics such as acres parkland per 1,000 residents, but Chris James, principal planner county parks, said that approach has largely been abandoned because it didn’t reflect the unique needs of a region. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to compare, for example, a dog park to a nature trail or trees. Residents apparently like the parks, as more than 2 million people visit them annually. So do voters, who a decade ago endorsed a


referendum on the land purchases for parks by a 70 percent majority. James said the county seeks to create regional parks, each containing several hundred acres, located 10-15 miles between communities. That entails a careful examination of future population growth and needs. For example, dog parks are wildly popular, and James said it doesn’t take long for canines and their companions to discover new ones. And the interest in local food production has prompted planning for foraging, community gardens and assistance for small-scale farming. Another priority is protecting water resources, which James said are the foundation of recreation and environmental quality. are removed, and cross-country skiers won’t be startled by snowmobiles. Bill Lunney, who served on and chaired the Park Commission for 24 years, hopes the county will eventually hire a naturalist or two to fix the lack of awareness and “breathe more life into the parks.” Recreation parks are perhaps the most well-known component of the system. There are 25, each usually more than 100 acres, occupying a total of 4,200 acres. Recreation parks complement other parks and facilities. They focus on “passive” recreational activities (which isn’t the level of activity, but it means those that don’t require developed facilities or maintained landscapes). Active recreational activities, like softball and soccer, are usually located on the fringes of a park. James said he’s seen several major changes in park use since he joined the county 12 years ago, including a huge increase in the popularity of trails and the emergence of disc golf, dog exercise areas and snowshoeing. In fact, two new dog exercise areas and 27 holes of disc golf were added in the 2005-2011 plan. Areas for model airplane flights are another possibility, and plans for using parks to supporting for local food production are already underway.

Working together
Before 2017, the county plans to add two new recreation parks and three new dog exercise areas. But that’s only a small part of what’s going on, as is evident in the accompanying list of uses. Work is starting on the 400-acre Anderson Farm County Park in the Town of Oregon, named after longtime County Board member and Oregon resident Lyman Anderson. The park’s ponds and rolling agricultural land will, among other uses, host hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and horse trails. It will include section of the proposed regional bike trail between Evansville and Madison. Steve Staton, president of the village of Oregon, which is just north of the new park, has worked closely with the county for several years on the park and helped acquire a $250,000 grant to plan the bike trail. “They have been very easy to work Continued on page 19

Diverse needs and landscapes
The era in which we viewed nature as an afterthought is long gone, but we haven’t quite managed the transition to a satisfactory alternative. Look at our lethargy, obesity and the doldrums supposedly associated with naturedeficit disorder, all of which experts have related to lack of convenient access to the outdoors. Most of us need to walk, run, hike, ride and just get outside more often. The park system means residents of Dane County have fewer and fewer excuses for not doing so, particularly with a wide variety of interests it serves. Despite decades of work, many residents aren’t aware of what’s in store (or what already exists). County parks accommodate everything from bird-watching to flying model airplane, biking and canoeing, fishing and snowshoeing, serving everyone from toddlers to seniors. They enlist the support of politicians of various stripes from municipalities that often don’t see eye-to-eye. With differing interests, it’s not all harmony, however. Hunters and nonhunters have different views, and cross-country skiing isn’t compatible with snowshoeing. There haven’t been any major incidents in parks but “the list of potential conflicts goes on and on,” James said. The parks classification system clearly identifies the types of permitted uses so visitors are more likely to enjoy themselves. For example, those who oppose tree removal may want to avoid county forests where invasive species

Lake Farm County Park has several playgrounds surrounded by horseshoe and volleyball areas. SUMMER 2013 YOUR FAMILY 17

All allow car parking. Most have restrooms. For detailed information on parks and other areas, visit www. countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/parks.aspx. Babcock 36 acres, campground, boat launch, shore fishing facilities for people with disabilities Badger Prairie 320 acres dog exercise area, hiking trail, soccer, cyclocross and mountain biking Brigham 160 acres, group camping, volleyball courts, panoramic views CamRock 445 acres, hiking trails, cross country skiing, softball field, canoe launch, mountain biking, cross country skiing Donald 782 acres, Hiking, bike trail, snowmobile trail, equestrian trail, trout fishing, picnicking Festge 156 acres, group camping, shelters, hiking, softball field, panoramic views Fish Camp 16 acres, boat and canoe launch, fishing pier, picnicking Fish Lake 3 acres, group camping, shelters, small watercraft launch Goodland 14 acres, Picnic areas, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, ball diamond, unsupervised swimming beach, boat launch facility Indian Lake 480 acres, historic chapel building, group camping, small watercraft launch, hiking, pet exercise areas and trails, cross country skiing, outstanding views Jenni and Kyle Preserve 160 acres, Facilities to accommodate children with disabilities, shelters, picnicking LaFollette 29 acres On Lake Kegonsa. picnicking, shelters, canoe launch, play equipment. Primarily complements nearby Lake Kegonsa State Park Lake Farm 345 acres, camping, shelter, playground, improved boat launch, fishing pier, hiking, cross country skiing, softball fields and volleyball courts Lussier 133 acres, canoe launch, hiking, bridle trail, cross country skiing McCarthy Youth and Conservation Park 289 acres, combined recreational and conservancy park for young people, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, prairie restoration and bridle trails Mendota 19 acres, camping, shelters, picnicking, canoe and small watercraft launches, fishing pier, swimming, softball, field, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts Prairie Moraine Ice Age Trail corridor, pet exercise area Riley-Deppe 13 acres, shelters, picnicking, small watercraft launch Salmo Pond 8 acres, fishing pier, hiking Silverwood 284 acres Stewart 176 acres, Shelter, picnicking, playground, canoe launch, hiking, cross country skiing Token Creek 418 acres, camping, picnicking, shelters, playground, fishing pier, hiking, bridle trail, cross country skiing, volleyball courts, disc golf course, pet exercise area and trail Viking 83 acres, picnicking, shelters, small watercraft launch, bike-pedestrian trail, hiking, pet exercise area and trail Walking Iron 317 acres, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling Yahara Heights 141 acres, small watercraft launch, pet exercise area

Recreation Parks

NAUTRAL Continued from page 17

with,” he said of park planners. “They listen well, ask good questions and are hard workers. They’re very knowledgeable.” Staton, 65, is an avid cyclist and eager to implement a hub-and-spoke system of bike trails, popular in Europe, which will link Oregon to Fish Hatchery Road to the north and the Badger State Trail to the west. “Right now, there’s no safe way to get into Madison” via bike, he said. He’s sure the new trail will spur additional economic development in downtown Oregon. The collaborative approach is sits well with officials with other municipalities around the county, especially since it would ensure the best use of other parks and resources. Even potential critics on the County Board, which has to approve the plan, tend to become “amazing and important supporters” after reviewing the plan, Lunney said. He recalls only one or two times when the board vetoed or significantly modified an important aspect of the plan, and he said that demonstrates the confidence the park staff has nurtured with elected officials. Based on his leadership roles with numerous conservation and environmental groups, such as Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy, Lunney thinks Dane County’s efforts exceed that of most counties. The county’s efforts are also evident in its “very high grades” when applying for grants under the state’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, the source of nearly 50 percent of funds for land acquisition. Lunney said criticism of occasionally borrowing to purchase land is misplaced. Since the land will be used for decades, perhaps in perpetuity, Lunney said it’s sound public policy to spread the cost over more than a year. Land is purchased only from willing sellers (the parks division doesn’t exercise the power of eminent domain), and he said the acquisition of land represents “a bit of a moving target,” reflecting changes in prices for real estate.

A wide variety already
Lunney is especially proud of the Capital Springs State Park and Recreation Area immediately south of Madison. He and his wife, Julie Pfeifer, founded the Capital Springs friends group. The 2,500-acre site, which is jointly administered by the county and the state, “will become the central park for Dane County in the next 50 years,” he said. When asked to name a few favorite parks, Lunney refers to the “outstanding views, among the most

Geese run in pairs at Lake Farm County Park.

spectacular in the Midwest” of the craggy unglaciated region at Brigham County Park and at Festge County Park. Festge Park will also join the Ice Age Trail, designated a national trail by the National Park Service, which he thinks will become as popular as the Appalachian Trail. (The Ice Age Foundation ranked Dane County as the most active county in its support of the trail.) Other parks on Lunney’s list are CamRock (440 acres) between Cambridge and Rockdale (mountain biking and snowshoe trails), Indian Lake, between Waunakee and Mazomanie (480 acres and with outstanding views and popular for cross country skiing), and Viking outside Stoughton (little known with a “fairly linear” 83-acre park on the Yahara River featuring a bike-pedestrian path and dog exercise area). Lunney pauses and admits that, although a park’s particular features may vary, he’s similarly enamored with every one of them. He credits the support of county executives during his tenure. County Executive Joe Parisi continues that tradition. “While we’re proud of all that our county parks have to offer, we are always working to do more,” Parisi said. “With most of us living just minutes away from these beautiful parks, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are. It’s hard to find another area that offers the connection to the outdoors that we do. “We will keep working to protect and improve that which contributes to our great quality of life.” James, the planner, said the patterns of recreational use here mirror state and national trends, although few counties can match Dane County’s diversity in population and landscape. The system also includes 23 natural resource areas, which protect the natural environment and create greenbelt corridors. These are large, contiguous blocks of agricultural land, lakes and streams, wetlands, hills, prairie and forests. The current plan includes five new natural areas: Badfish Creek (almost 16,000 acres), Maunesha River (6,035 acres), Yahara Headwaters (496 acres), Walking Iron (2,688 acres) and Blue Mounds (2,471 acres). Many include land owned or managed by other agencies, municipalities and groups. There are two county forests, including Scheidegger Forest in the Town of Verona, which officially opened two years ago. And Fort Blue Mounds will be added to the county’s four existing historical/cultural sites. Wildlife areas are largely undeveloped tracts usually off the beaten track, and are open to hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, cross country skiing, foraging and snowshoeing. The plans includes two new wildlife areas: Sugar River (33 acres) and adding land in the Capital Springs Recreation Area. These new wildlife areas will join existing wildlife areas in Black Earth Creek (258 acres), Door Creek (680 acres), Donald Park (70 acres), Dorn Creek (230 acres) and Walking Iron (737 acres). Trails – water, bike-pedestrian, equestrian and snowmobile – continue to rank high in the county’s plan. No wonder, since a recent study found that nearly 2.5 million Wisconsin residents bike for recreation. During public meetings, there were more comments about more single-track mountain bike trails than any other item. Plans for a network of bike/pedestrian trails at the Anderson Farm County Park typify the Continued on page 28

A fire pit on a scenic trail in Lake Farm County Park.

The Capital City State Trail stretches 17 miles and requires a state trail pass.

Lake Farm County Park is next to Lake Waubesa where there are several boat launches for kayaks and canoes.

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Homebrewing can help bring families together. No, really.
Story and Photos by Anthony Iozzo

Bonding with beer


John Puchalski filters out hops as the wort is transferred to a fermentation bucket.


Wisconsin is known for many things. Dairy farming – whether milk or cheese – hunting, fishing, camping and farmer’s markets are a few. But one aspect of Wisconsin with a long history due to the state’s German, Belgian and Norwegian heritage has recently captured my interest – beer and the growing popularity of homebrewing. Homebrewing can be practiced not just for fun, but also to help fathers or mothers bond with their older sons or daughters, a true Wisconsin family experience. We all know the transition from high school to college is a tough one, and not just for the students. It can difficult for parents, as well, especially when those college students come back home for the summer or the holidays. My family had this experience when I returned home for a few weeks in the summer when I was 21. My father and I had a beer together. My mother and I had a beer together. We talked like adults – about politics, about sports, about life – and had a re-bonding experience. The beer was almost like a passage to adulthood to them. That got me thinking about the experience of buying a homebrewing kit and going through the process of creating our own recipes. Now that I am older, I am only able to visit my parents a couple of times a year due to work and travel. But each time, I try to figure out something else to do to have fun with them. Picture yourself with your parents or kids creating your own family beer recipe, an experience just like the first time you played catch together or cooked together, but with a lasting legacy. You discuss when to add hops or when to stop a boil, but with all the time in between, you chat and spend quality time together. And you are doing so with a process that is becoming popular enough to be an interest to just about anyone. I haven’t brewed with my parents yet, but I’ve already put plans in place and have brought homebrews back for my parents. They love talking to me about the process and have never disliked one of my beers. Not everyone drinks alcohol or likes beer, but craft beer has been re-emerging and expanding across the continental United States, particularly around here. Wisconsin is now No. 7 in craft breweries (up to 6 million barrels a year and independent ownership) with


Many beers call for the addition of spices such as coriander and orange peel. The coriander has to be crushed with a mortar and pestle.

the number reaching 75, according to USAToday. That doesn’t include the microbreweries (fewer than 15,000 barrels) and nanobreweries (undefined but much smaller) that have begun to sprout up. Let’s face it. It is becoming more popular around here to drink New Glarus or Capital than it is to buy a Miller or a Coors. Meanwhile, homebrewing is also becoming more popular than ever. In Wisconsin, homebrewing became legal in 1970s, when breweries were at their lowest numbers due to the effect of Prohibition. And last year, Wisconsin passed legislation that gives more freedom to homebrewers, allowing them to not only give samples but to do so outside of their home. Before Senate Bill 395, it was illegal to do so. Brewing can be simple or challenging. It is up to you whether you want to do an all-grain brew or a partial mash, which is a process done in your kitchen utilizing malt extract and fewer amounts of grain.

My friends and I have gone through an extensive process of selecting the right grains, learning the science behind seeping, boiling, adding hops or spices, choosing different yeast strains and even deciding how long to age our creations. We’ve brewed many different styles, including IPAs, porters, stouts, wheat beers, Belgians and many others and hope to brew lagers in the future when we have the proper equipment. I would suggest to start simple and to buy a packaged brewing kit to get the process down before you begin to make original recipes. You can find them at homebrewing stores such as the Wine and Hop shop in Madison or Northwest Brewing Company in Milwaukee. So if you’re a parent who’s at a loss of how to bond with your older children, take it from this 27-year old, now is a good time to homebrew. Think of how popular you will be at the holidays bringing the family beer for dinner. ● Anthony Iozzo is a staff writer for Your Family magazine who has been brewing with friends for about two years. Continued on page 22

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BONDING Continued from page 9


Basic brewing Simple ale partial mash brewing directions
Equipment needs
(most come in a standard beer kit)

5-gallon stainless steel pot Stainless steel spoon Thermometer Grain bags 5-gallon beer bucket or glass carboy (a second is optional) A bucket for sanitizing Fermentation air lock Auto-syphon and hose Bottle filler hydrometer Bottles (about 48 12 ozs)* Sanitizing solution Funnel and filter Wort chiller (optional) *Note: You may use used bottles if they are not twist off and are cleaned and sanitized thoroughly.

the temperature between 150 and 170o. 3)  R emove grain bag. The liquid is now considered wort, since the sugars from the grain are now broken down into the water. Bring the wort up to a boil. A wort chiller is used to reduce the temperature from boiling to 70 degrees so the yeast can be added.

reading will be high at first, but before you bottle, you take another test. That reading is lower. You subtract the two numbers, and you will know the alcohol content.

Grain Hops Yeast Water Corn sugar for bottling

Before beginning, mix 1 tablespoon of sanitizing powder for every 1 gallon of water. I usually make 3 gallons of solution. Sanitize everything except the pot, which will have boiled water in it. This is very important. 1) B  ring 2/12 gallons of water in the pot to 150 degrees The first step of the brewing process is to seep the grain.

4)  W hile the wort is coming to a boil, prepare the sanitized bucket or carboy with cold water (about 2 to 2 ½ gallons) and soften the malt extract in hot water, since it is syrupy. Also, pop the yeast package to allow it to expand. 5)  W hen the wort is at a boil, remove from the burner and add the extract, stirring the whole time. When done, bring back up to a boil, stirring and making sure the extract doesn’t stick to the bottom.

The krausen, the foam on top, of a beer happens the first few days of the fermentation when the yeast is the most active. It shows that the process worked. 10) Add the yeast and place the fermentation air lock on the bucket or carboy and age in a dark, room temperature place for two weeks. 11) After two weeks, you may either bottle right away or move the beer into another bucket or carboy and age another two weeks for more clarity. 12) Before bottling, I usually move the beer into another bucket to filter out the dead yeast. Now bring a pint of water to a boil to dissolve 3/4 to a cup or corn sugar and add to the beer. 13) Use the auto syphon and bottle filler to fill bottles, leaving a few inches in the neck for gas buildup. 14) When done, age the bottles another 7-10 days and then enjoy your carbonated beer!

Hops are added at various stages after boiling to give aroma and bitterness. 6)  B oil for 45 minutes to an hour and add hops at any point in the cycle. It is up to you. You may learn about hops on websites or books if unsure of what or how much to use. 7)  R emove pot from the burner and cool to about 80o. This may take 2 ½ hours in a cold bathtub or 30-40 minutes with a wort chiller. 8)  W hen cooled, start filtering the wort into the bucket or carboy with the cold water using the auto syphon and the funnel and filter. 9)  W hen done, remove some liquid from the bucket or carboy to take a hydrometer test if you’d like. This is when you measure the gravity and the potential alcohol content. The

2) P  ut grain (from 1 1/2 pounds to 6 pounds) into a grain bag and seep for 45 to 60 minutes, while keeping


Closet space? What closet space?
Put it back together

BY Nancy Kruschke McKinney, CPO



uring the winter, we seem to spend most of our time inside. And our closets also seem to burst at the seams by the end of the season, saying, “Let me out”. With spring and summer upon us, it’s time for us to get outdoors and time to find the closet again. But where do you begin? Whether you are trying to find space in the front, bedroom, kids, or linen closet, these steps will assist you.

•S  chedule time on your calendar to clear out and organize the closet. Depending on how much stuff there is, this could take one to three hours. It is important to have the time blocked to focus on this one space and keep your focus until the task is complete. • D ecide what you want to use the closet for. What items do you want to store there? • G ather boxes or bags and label them: donate, trash, recycle, fix, and keep. For the items you are keeping, you may want to label boxes/bags with the location where those items will be stored (current closet, garage, basement, spare bedroom, attic, kids room, etc.).

• D etermine where the items that you have determined will be put back into the closet will be located and how they will be contained. It is important to contain smaller items in a box or basket to keep them grouped together and prevent sprawling on the floor or shelf. • K eep things organized. Some items you might want to consider for this are hangers for coats, shoe racks (either on the floor or hanging on the bar) and baskets or clear boxes for smaller items (toys, gloves, swimwear, etc.) As temporary containers, consider using paper boxes or bags. Before you go shopping for these items, consider a few ways to save time and money: Look around your home for unused containers, consider going to thrift or dollar stores, which carry a variety of storage options, and take measurements of the space, so you will

know what size containers you need. • S chedule time to put the new containers in place. •R  emember to schedule time on your calendar for routine maintenance. A system is only as good at the maintenance that goes into it. I would recommend at least twice a year. You may want to schedule each closet for monthly or quarterly maintenance to keep the found closet space. The more often you do this, the less time it will take and the closet will be more usable more often. A simple recap of these tips is: Plan; Clear out; Put it back together; and Maintain. Here’s to more closet space! ● Nancy Kruschke McKinney, Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Productivity Coach, is the owner of Successful Organizing Solutions (S.O.S.). For more organizing tips, visit www.SOSorganize.net.


Clear out
Pull everything out of the closet. As you do this, do two things: • A ssess if you want to keep the item. Ask yourself if it still fits, if you have used it, if you ever will use it again, if it’s broken or needs to be fixed, and if so, will it really get fixed. And then ask yourself if you still really want it. • P ut items in the respective boxes or bags that you set up • R emove the boxes/bags that will be donated, trashed, recycled or fixed. This will help you focus on those items that will be going back into the current closet. Temporarily, you might want to move them to the garage, but it is important that you schedule time on your calendar to remove them from your home.

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The ‘Observation Bed’ Dilemma
ask her physician whether she had been admitted to an observation bed or to the hospital. Fortunately for her, she had not, so she was classified as in “inpatient” and not an “outpatient.” Being classified as an outpatient under “observation” can spike your hospital costs. Most patients would regard as meaningless the seemingly slight distinction between the two labels — after all they’re getting exactly the same kind of care. But it can have costly consequences. Medicare Part A (the hospital portion) picks up the whole tab for the first 20 days in an approved skilled nursing facility for rehab or other care, but only after spending at least three full days in the hospital as an admitted patient. If instead a patient has been under observation — for all or part of that time — he or she is responsible for the entire cost of rehab. This situation applies only to Medicare coverage in SNFs — which are usually nursing homes — and not to rehabilitation hospitals or inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Be aware, if you are admitted to a hospital and anticipate discharge to a SNF or rehab facility, Medicare may not pay if you are admitted to observation. And although you may have a Medigap supplemental policy, this insurance does not pay the out-of-pocket costs of services that Medicare does not cover. Hospitals throughout the country have increasingly classified Medicare beneficiaries as observation patients instead of admitting them, according to researchers at Brown University, who recently published a nationwide analysis of Medicare claims in the journal Health Affairs. The results showed that in just three years, the ratio of Medicare observation patients to those admitted as inpatients rose by 34 percent. The decision to admit or discharge a patient who is under observation can most often be made in less than 24 hours, according to Medicare.

y sister, Mary Beth, turned 65 last December and signed up for Medicare. Then, earlier this year, she fell and broke her ankle during a snowstorm in the Twin Cities. She was taken to the hospital in Hennepin County and admitted. When I spoke with her that evening, I asked if she had been admitted to the hospital or admitted for observation. “What’s the difference?” she replied. There is a huge difference. Knowing she was on Medicare and realizing that she would need to undergo rehabilitation therapy at a nursing home (Skilled Nursing Facility, or SNF) before she could go back home, I was concerned about that difference. Medicare is a complicated and convoluted (and especially difficult for elders to understand). My sister is collegeeducated and very bright, but she does not understand Medicare. Knowing that Medicare beneficiaries may find themselves responsible for paying large balances as a result of being placed in an observation bed, I insisted she


Being classified as an outpatient can spike your hospital costs.
“In only rare and exceptional cases do reasonable and necessary outpatient observation services span more than 48 hours,” states the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual (PDF), the agency’s coverage bible. But the Brown University study found that more than 10 percent of patients in observation were kept there for more than 48 hours. And it identified more than 44,800 who were kept in observation for 72 hours or longer in 2011 — an increase of 88 percent since 2009. This research confirms the longtime concerns of consumer advocates. Two years ago, for example, the federal Medicare agency held a “listening session” at which more than 2,200 hospital administrators, physicians, patient


advocates and others were called in — far more than any other such sessions had ever attracted — to discuss the topic of observation status. Attendees told Medicare that putting patients in observation status denies them coverage for post-hospital rehab care in a skilled nursing facility, so they must either pay the full bill — more than $30,000 in the case of two patients — or forgo treatment. Not only that, it also classifies them as outpatients while they’re in the hospital. Therefore, their Medicare coverage comes not under Part A (hospital services) but Part B (doctors’ services and outpatient care).That means paying more out of pocket. The practice “doesn’t make any sense” because people only go into the hospital when they’re sick, said Judith Stein, Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “They [go] either on orders of a doctor or because, having arrived at the emergency department, they were told they should stay.” And yet, she adds, “those who ended up in the nursing home with no payment were not aware — and neither were their families — that they were in observation status until they were discharged from the hospital. And then they were informed.” Some of the Center’s clients reported stays of up to 14 days in observation. Both the AHA and the AMA have requested that observation status to be abolished — or at least for patients to be notified in a timely fashion of their status and given the opportunity to make a swift appeal against the decision. The hospital usually makes the decision on whether to classify a patient as an inpatient, in many cases overruling the patient’s physician. But Medicare’s guidelines are not clear, and many experts suggest hospitals are placing more and more patients under observation to protect themselves against new policies that penalize hospitals for unnecessary admissions and frequent readmissions of the same patient. (I wrote about this in the Winter 2013 issue of Your Family.) “Cost-control measures are “perfectly understandable,” says Zhanlian Feng, the Brown University study’s lead author. “On the other hand, those policies may have unintended consequences” that affect patients adversely. Currently, hospitals are allowed to place patients in observation at any time during their hospital stay — even retroactively. Hospital staff are only required to inform patients of their status before they leave the hospital. Consumer advocates advise patients or their families to press the hospital for information and alert their own doctors. Many primary care physicians no longer look after their own patients in the hospital — that role often is now assumed by a hospital doctor (hospitalist) — and they are not always aware of the implications of observation. To avoid those large bills, be aware if you or a loved one is placed under observation in the hospital, and check each day. You can also ask the hospital physician to reconsider your case or refer it to the appropriate hospital committee. Ask your own doctor to explain to the hospital the medical reasons why you should be admitted as an inpatient. You can elect not to go to a rehab facility, but request that your outpatient therapy be provided in the home under Medicare Part B. As in all purchases you make, caveat emptor – Let the Buyer Beware. ● Stephen P. Rudolph is the owner of Comfort Keeper of South Central Wisconsin. Rudolph has a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration, is Board Certified in Health Care Management, a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives(FACHE, is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA).

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Learning by doing
Fractal workshops go beyond the confines of classrooms
Story by Seth Jovaag Submitted photos hese days, “project-based learning” is all the rage in schools. In Stoughton, plans are shaping up for a “Fab Lab,” a digital fabrication workshop where students will be able to use tools like laser cutters and three-dimensional printers to work on projects designed to teach them about engineering and technology. Verona is adding a new charter high school next year that will forgo traditional class schedules and grading systems to let teens work at their own pace on projects that mesh with their passions and interests. Similar programs exist in the Middleton-Cross Plains and Monona Grove school districts. Heather Wentler knows all about the trend, and she thinks it has a future. Wentler, 27, is founder of Fractal, a 2-year-old company that offers enrichment classes to kids in and around Madison. Most of them are inside Sector 67, a “makerspace” chock full of tools and gadgets inside an east side warehouse that was founded in October 2010 by her husband, Chris Meyer. Fractal, Wentler says, is meeting a growing demand among parents and kids to extend learning beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. It offers two to three classes a week that span 1-2 hours and is mostly geared toward kids of all abilities, ages 5-13. Courses cost between $20 and $50 per session and include such activities as using 3-D printers to build objects, crafting hot-air balloons and learning the chemistry behind baking pies or making soap. A certified teacher who also



YF: You say on your website that your classes offer a bridge between school and the real world. How so? Wentler: Since I work in (Madison schools), I have access to the curriculum they’re using. I don’t have anything against public schools. But there are kids who don’t learn the way public schools are teaching them. They might go home and be like, “So, physics… how does that apply to my everyday life?” My job is to help make that connection. YF: Teachers don’t always have the time, space – or resources – to set up messy experiments, I imagine. Wentler: Exactly. … Take our hotair balloon class. We experience a lot of failure. When we light up the balloon, instead of it going up in the sky, it might just turn into a big ball of fire. So we ask, “Well, why do you think that happened?” The student says, “Maybe I added too much weight or I should have used less tissue paper. Then we go back and rebuild and retest their hypothesis. It’s about learning that failure is OK as long as we’re learning from our failures.

“FractalBalloon” – A course on making hot-air balloons forces kids to test hypotheses about what materials will yield a vessel that can fly.

substitute teaches in Madison schools, Wentler is naturally a supporter of public schools. But she also knows how prescribed educational “standards” sometimes force teachers to meet specific “outcomes” at the expense of letting kids’ imaginations fly. “This is an alternative approach,” she said. “I can expose kids to science or concepts in a way that schools might not be able to through handson projects, by having extra time and by really going into depth about the scientific method.” Wentler recently spoke to Your Family about her business, stealing “joules” and how pie-making can be an educational.

On the web
Information about the Fractal’s programming and class schedules is at madisonfractal. com, or check out their Facebook page at “Madison Fractal.”

Wentler: We take a spent AA battery and connect an LED to a resistor and a transistor and a couple wires, then we wrap the wires around a little metal circle – the kids call it a doughnut. And by doing that, it concentrates the extra joule energy that is coming out of the dead battery, so it makes a little flashlight. YF: Is there a thirst for these kinds of workshops? Wentler: I think so. A lot of parents who contact me say “This is exactly what I’ve been trying to find for my kid. My kid isn’t challenged at school enough, or my kid is struggling at school and this is an alternative for them.” YF: You mentioned that you are eyeing new courses based on video games. Can you give an example? Wentler: I meet a lot of kids who love to play the game Minecraft. I also talk to a lot of parents – they wonder if the time their kid spends playing Minecraft is too unstructured and they could get more out of it. Minecraft actually comes with an educational side to it. We can set up

Heather Wentler

Wentler, 27, is founder of Fractal, a 2-yearold company that offers enrichment classes to kids in and around Madison. Most of them are inside Sector 67, a “makerspace” chock full of tools and gadgets inside an east side warehouse that was founded in October 2010 by her husband, Chris Meyer.
YF: You developed most of the curriculum at Fractal. How is your teaching different from that of a school setting? Wentler: When I run the workshops, a lot of times I don’t really lead them. I tend to ask more “why” questions, those probing questions that make them think. Why do you think we use these oils when we’re making soap? What do you think would happen if we added this ingredient into our pie and took this ingredient out? It makes them think more critically about how this stuff works together to create the final outcome. YF: Pie-making sounds so analog. How are kids learning about science in that class? Wentler: It breaks down to questions like why do we use cold butter when we make crusts? What chemical reactions are going on while it’s baking? Why do we use baking soda instead of baking powder and what’s the difference between those two products that makes the chemical change? All those cool things and scientific properties you never think about when you’re cooking. YF: One short course you offer is called “Joule thief” What’s that about?

FractalGoo – Students in a 10-week class called STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learn the science behind making a sticky, drippy goo.

different challenges and outcomes we would like to see (while playing) it. Again, it’s about how can you take what you’re learning in that game and bring it into real life?


NAUTRAL Continued from page 19
The Lake Farm County Park trail has naturalist stations to explain the history and ecology of the area.

parks, but he’s not unusual in his enthusiasm for what they offer. He said CamRock Park has “greatly improved” since he began using it in 1986 for biking and canoeing with his wife and their two children. “Personally, I like anything that attracts younger and first-time visitors,” he said. “Some users bring kids as young as 1 or 2. I encourage anything that makes the park more accessible. I like the direction they (the Dane County Parks) are going. I wish there was enough money to make the park even more usable,” Jeff Knops, 43, Cambridge, has firsthand evidence that parks and open space enhance the quality of life and foster economic growth. He operates a bike and paddle shop at the trailhead of the CamRock Park, and said he’s seen “a tremendous increase” in mountain biking, paddle sports, cross country skiing and snowshoeing by visitors of all ages. “This park is critical for Cambridge’s success,” he said. “It will be awesome when there’s a connection with the Glacial Drumlin trail. Dane County parks has been doing a tremendous job.” Knops said recent visitors from Colorado – which is no certainly no slouch in its offerings to mountain bikers – recently said they found the shorter trails at CamRock “more enjoyable.” Stewardship and maintenance are the biggest challenges facing the system, since the $3 million annual budget covers only part of the task. There are already more than a dozen friends groups that support particular parks, in addition to more than 1,500 volunteers and 82 groups that pitch in. To date, the parks have kept pace with rapid expansion, which involved a near doubling of acreage in the past decade. But there are no plans to do less – and no sign that additional visitors and types of uses aren’t welcome. Dane County has several identities, all of which are reflected in its parks. One is Madison’s continued growth as a cosmopolitan urban center. Another is suburbs trying mightily to become less stereotypically suburban. Another is rural areas that welcome visitors but have little interest in jettisoning their agricultural heritage. If you and your family can’t find something to do outdoors in Dane County, maybe you haven’t really looked.

focus on interconnections, along with the preservation and maintenance of “urban escape routes,” which cyclists use to reach lesser-traveled rural bike routes and trails. Lunney enthusiastically supports a new Art in the Park program, which he said “will capitalize on the uniqueness of parks.” He said there should be an emphasis on the performing and visual arts, and not too much. “I don’t want it to overwhelm the natural setting,” he said.

Tangible benefits
Chuck Hutchens, 44, Rockdale, may not be a “typical” user of Dane County’s

Our unique camps provide three hours of fun and activities in a non-competitive, nurturing environment. Each day, di erent creative themes keep your child on their toes as they take part in exciting imaginative journeys.


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Parents play a big role in preparing for college
“college” i.e., post-high school education. Many parents also live very busy lives and seem to rely on the schools “to do it.” As a result, they tend to take a college tour or two during their student’s junior or senior year and hope for the best. This may sound a bit oversimplified, yet such a weak quality of process happens all the time. Over the years, I have found that parents who achieve success in this post-high school education process have a few things in common. By success, I mean having your student attend the most appropriate institution (including the military, Peace Corps, etc.), graduating in a reasonable amount of time, with the least amount of loans and out-of-pocket expenses. Hopefully, as a result, the student finds himself or herself happy and successful in a career field. The first of the three common denominators I’ll mention is a love of curiosity. This starts at a very young age. Each student has a basic disposition toward asking questions and being inquisitive, but the parents who value and encourage this attribute support a foundation for all future endeavors. A second characteristic is early exposure to colleges. It is no wonder that universities across the country start their pre-college program for students in fourth or fifth grade. This is true even if the student is not an academic genius. A visit to a trade school can be just as valuable, and the institution does not need to have a topranked football program. The third has to do with savings. Given the short amount of time available to save for college, parents should be cautious with volatile types of investments. I have seen countless families who have saved in 529 Education Savings Plans withdraw equal or less than what they deposited in them. Just because they have the words “Education Savings Plan” in the title doesn’t mean that they are the most suitable vehicle for that purpose for every family. Take a look at the federal government’s list of general resources at studentaid.ed.gov/resources. Ultimately, success often goes to those parents who exercise constant positive influence to the college process in an age appropriate way for each of their children. Schools are resources, but the main players are the student and the parents. ● Robert DeCock, Certified College Planning Specialist with the NICCPS, founded the Quest College Program to assist parents with the college process. For information, visit qcollegeprogram.com.


any parents are concerned about the seemingly everincreasing cost of post-high school education. They also worry whether their student(s) will graduate with a degree that will help them find a good job in a career field that will help them to be happy and hopefully successful. As parents, we often ask ourselves in bewilderment: How did it come to this so fast? The challenge for most parents resides partly in the observation that our children were “only yesterday in our arms” and now they are asking for the car keys, and with that comes


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May 31-June 2 Festa Italia, McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg: Italian food and culture, live entertainment, bocce tournament, spaghetti-eating contest, carnival. festaitaliamadison.com Motors and Music, Firemen’s Angell Park Speedway, Sun Prairie: cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles as well as a beer tent with live music, 608-333-5132 Canal Days, Portage: Community festival with a parade, softball tournament, run/walk, downtown walking tour, portagewi.com June 1 Komen Race for the Cure, Alliant Energy Center, Willow Island: Fundraiser for breast cancer research includes a 5K run, 5K walk and 1-mile course, komenmadison.org Seventh annual Cars on State, State Street, Madison: Classic cars on display up and down Madison’s most famous street, www.carsonstate.com Dragon Art Fair, hand-crafted works of more than 90 artisans, Market Street, DeForest, dragonartsgroup.org Kids Fish N Fun Day, Edgewater Park, Beaver Dam, bdlia.org National trails day, statewide: Activities and free admission at all 42 Aldo Leopold Legacy trails, americanhiking.org Jefferson County Dairy Breakfast, County Fair Park, Jefferson: milking contest, kids coloring contest, 300-pound banana split, round bale rolling, shoot the bull, milk drinking contest, and cow pie toss, 920-674-7148 Iowa County Dairy Breakfast, Dodgeville: Live entertainment and kids’ activities, thedairydifference.com June 2 State Parks open house, no charge for admission to state parks, trails, dnr.wi.gov Rock Aqua Jays water ski show, Janesville: see the top winner of national show championships each Sunday and Wednesday through Labor Day, rockaqujays.com Ride the Drive, Madison: Major streets are closed to cars so bicyclists rule the day, with games, food and music along 6-mile route, cityofmadison.com/ridethedrive Family Nature Faire, Richard Bong State Recreation Area: Enjoy family fun with food, raffles, live animals, art and nature booths, bongnaturalistassociation.org June 6-9 Summer Frolic, Mount Horeb: Beer tent, food, entertainment, Tough Truck competition, fireworks, parade, carnival, tournaments, Norsk Run, trollway.com Hometown Days, Verona: Festival celebrates community’s nickname, Hometown USA, with a carnival, parade, music, food, free activities for kids, fireworks, veronahometowndays.com June 6, 20; July 2, 18; Aug. 1 Community Band Concert, Village Park, Waunakee, vil.waunakee.wi.us June 7-9 Spring Art Tour, Black Earth: Open Art Studios exhibit variety of media, springarttour.com Wright and Like Tour, Lake Delavan and Lake Geneva Area: Food and tours of interesting architecture. wrightinwisconsin.org June 8 Taste of the Arts Fair, fine arts and crafters, Sheehan Park, Sun Prairie, sunprairiechamber.com Old-time cheesemaking, Monroe, nationalhistoriccheesemakingcenter.org Dane County Breakfast on the Farm, White Gold Dairy, Waunakee: pancakes, cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, ice cream and more, 608-577-8990 Sommernachtsfest. Heidelberg Park, Milwaukee: German food and drink and entertainment, wistravel.com June 8-9 Annual Geneva Lake Art Association Paint-In, Lake Geneva, lakegenevawi.com Marquette Waterfront Festival, Yahara Place Park, Madison: Free festival features 10 stellar bands and lots of food and good beer in the picturesque lakefront park, marquette-neighborhood.org Dells Riverfest, Wisconsin Dells: Kids’ activities, kayaking clinic and races, triathlon, 5K run, taste of event, dellsstewards.org Cambridge Art Fair, Village Square: Raffles, food, bake sale, over 40 juried artists, cambridgewi.net June 9 Tour De Food, Stoughton: Enjoy a unique biking experience as you tour the beautiful southern Wisconsin countryside and sample food from local farms & vendors along the way, yaharagrocery.coop/tourdefood June 10, July 8, Aug. 12 Summer concert series, McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg: Food vendors and refreshments available, fitchburgchamber.com Jun 10-Aug. 30 Nature Discovery and Adventure Camps (ages 2-16), Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona: aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org 32 YOUR FAMILY SUMMER 2013

June 13-16 Baseball Festival, Jones Park, Fort Atkinson, fortgenerals.com June 14-15 Stoughton-McFarland-Oregon Relay for Life, Stoughton High School Collins Field: Overnight walk/activities honoring cancer victims and survivors, relayforlife. org/stoughton-mcfarland-oregonwi Balloon rally, Monroe: monroeballoonrally.com June 14-16 Fireman’s Festival, Cottage Grove: Carnival, beer tent, water fights, tractor pull, baseball, all to benefit the fire department and youth groups, cottagegrovefire.com Roger Bright Polkafest, New Glarus: Dance-oriented festival pays tribute to local musician, swisstown.com Browntown Summerfest, Tractor pull, sports, fish dinner, music, browntown.us Horse and Carriage Festival, Historic Fireman’s Park, Columbus: Driving show with multiple breeds and carriage types, as well as barbeque and pies, popcorn and burgers, facebook.com/columbuscarriagefestival June 15 Fox Lake 175th Anniversary, parade, bands, carnival, Fox Lake, foxlakechamber.com Taste of Mount Horeb, historic schoolhouse grounds: trollway.com Beer, Bacon and Cheese festival, New Glarus: craft brewers, cheese artisans, masters of cured meats and live music, swisstown.com Waterslide-athon, Wisconsin Dells: benefits Ronald McDonald House, wisdells.com Edge of the Rock - Plein Air Art, Beloit: Artists paint in the open air, with special art exhibits, nmeyer@friendsofrockriver.com Beach Party, downtown Middleton: Entertainment, horse and wagon rides, kids’ activities, art fair, visitmiddleton.com June 15-16 Civil War Re-enactment weekend, Sauk City: Artillery/infantry drills, skirmish on the battlefield, President Lincoln address to the public, www.saukcity.net Columbus Horse and Carriage Festival, Historic Fireman’s Park, Columbus: multiple rigs and horses, Civil War experience, gun show, historical re-enactors, barbeque and pies, popcorn and burgers, 608-212-0804 Hayloft Gallery Art Fair, Oregon: Annual on-the-farm fine arts and crafts fair in partnership with neighboring “Art in the Barn” music festival, (608) 835-8462 June 16 Family Fishing Fun, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona: Celebrate Father’s Day with the Aldo Leopold Nature Center at this special program all about fish, aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org June 21-22 Isthmus Jazz Festival, UW-Madison Memorial Union: free of charge and features wide range of music, isthmusjazzfestival.com June 21-23 Lakefront Festival of Arts. Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee: Takes place inside and outside museum, lfoa.mam.org World’s Fair, Cross Plains: Music, kids’ games, tournaments, fireworks, crossplainschamber.net June 22 Strawberry Fest and Craft Fair, family-friendly festival featuring craft fair, raffles, carnival and computer arcade, Colonial Club Senior Activity Center, Sun Prairie, colonialclub.org All-American Soap Box Derby, Research Park Drive, Fitchburg, madisonsoapboxderby.com Little Norway Mid-Summer’s Eve, Blue Mounds: Celebration of summer solstice with bonfires, music, Norwegian food, littlenorway.com June 23 Lions car show, Albany: greencounty.org Circus of Chefs, Circus World, Baraboo: Sample food from various restaurants, live music, auction, circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org June 27-30 Town and Country Days: Carnival, parade, sidewalk sales, live entertainment, chamber brat stand, and lots of family fun; Lake Mills; www.lakemills.org Oregon Summer Fest, Oregon: carnival midway, live music, food and the annual parade, oregonwichamber.com June 28-29 Citywide garage sales, Stoughton: Find new-to-you treasures at many homes around town, stoughtonwi.com June 28-29; Aug. 17-18 Overnight family camp, Black Earth, Aldo Leopold Nature Center: an overnight campout at the Black Earth campus filled with nature activities and stargazing around the campfire, aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org June 28-30 Heidi Festival, New Glarus: Festival oriented around classic play about a Swiss girl includes “taste of” event, sidewalk sales, entertainment, music, wagon rides, swisstown.com


June 29 Rhythm and Booms, Warner Park, Madison: dubbed the largest fireworks display in the Midwest, rhythmandbooms.com/index.php Flags of Freedom Parade and Field Show, Main Street, Sun Prairie, spbb.org Drums on Parade, Middleton: Wisconsin’s longest running drum corps show (61st year) features drum and bugle corps, drumsonparade.com Amped Up Adventure Race , Beloit: the 2-3 hour adventure race will include paddling, running, biking and an urban obstacle course component, visitbeloit.com Green County Barn Quilt Day, Monticello: guided tour departs from Monroe, greencountybarnquilts.com June 29-30 Arts and crafts fair, Spring Green: More than 200 artists, all original, plus entertainment, springgreenartfair.com July 3 Rhythm & Booms, Warner Park, Madison: The city’s largest fireworks display set to music, rhythmandbooms.com Fourth of July celebration, Edgerton: live bands, home talent baseball, family entertainment, fireworks at dusk, edgertonchamber.com July 3-7 Stoughton Fair, Family entertainment featuring petting zoo, carnival, contests and more; Fairgrounds, Mandt Park, Stoughton, stoughtonfair.com July 4 Monona Community Festival Art Fair, Monona: Art Fair, Taste of Monona, entertainment and fireworks, mononafestival.com. July 4 Fireworks in Brooklyn, Monroe, Baraboo, Parade in Sauk City July 4-7 National Women’s Music Festival, Middleton: workshops, concerts, comedy, theater reflects many points of view, wiaonline.org July 6 Fire on the River, Prairie du Sac: Fireworks, saukprairie.com July 8-13 Flavors of Wisconsin bicycle tour, Mount Horeb; Moderately challenging route takes riders through scenic vistas, sampling craft cheese and beer, bed and breakfasts, aroundwisbike.com July 9 Concerts at McKee, McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg: A concert series in the park, fitchburgchamber.com. July 10-14 Jefferson County Fair, Jefferson County Fair Park, Jefferson: Midway rides, grandstand entertainment, Badger State Tractor Pull, Truck Pull, demolition derby, exhibits, demonstrations, and country music, 920-674-7148 July 11-14 La Fete de Marquette, South Dickinson St. near East Washington Ave., Madison: Four days of free music, dancing, food and crafts vendors, www.wil-mar.org. Beaver Dam Lake Days, Tahoe Park, Beaver Dam, community festival with music, fireworks, Must-ski’s water ski show, refreshments, and carnival rides, www.beaverdamlakedays.com Homecoming, Monticello: Music, fish boil, carnival, tug-of-war, fireworks, parade, greencounty.org July 12-14 St. Albert’s Fest, St. Albert the Great Church grounds, Sun Prairie: entertainment, chicken & ham dinner, games, 5K run/walk, concessions, bingo, bookstore, bake sale, and more, 608-837-3798 ext 36 July 13 Opera in the Park, free, evening summer concert in Garner Park in Madison, madisonopera.org Outdoor Skills Day, MacKenzie Environmental Education Center, Poynette: archery, fishing, outdoor cooking, hikes, shooting sports and more, 608-635-8105 129th Annual Fire Fighters Dance: music, karaoke, kickball, Mandt Community Center, http://stoughtonwi.com Paddle and portage canoe race, James Madison Park: compete in or watch this canoe race that starts on Lake Mendota and finishes on Lake Monona, with a post-race party in Olin Park, www.paddleandportage.com Bastille Day, Belleville: Celebrate French heritage with live music, talent show, quilt show, Belleville-wi.com River cleanup day, Sugar River: usrwa.org Pedal for Paws bike tour, New Glarus: greencountyhumane.org July 13-14 Art Fair Off and On the Square, Capitol Square, Madison: Hundreds of independent artists from across the country sell original work. Several stages of live music and a host of free kids’ activities, mmoca.org World War I re-enactment, Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom: midcontinent.org

July 17-21 Dane County Fair, Alliant Energy Center: more than 1,200 Dane County youth participate in the fourth largest county fair in the state. Lots of carnival rides, food and entertainment, danecountyfair.com Green County Fair, Monroe: Carnival, rodeo, tractor pull, music, demolition derby, greencountyfair.net July 17-Aug. 11 Olbrich’s Blooming Butterflies, Olbrich Gardens, Madison: Stroll through a tropical forest on a search for butterflies in the Bolz Conservatory, olbrich.org July 19-20 MDA Freedom Ride, Sauk City: Family activities, music, bike show judging, saukprairiehd.com July 20 Paddle and portage canoe race, James Madison Park: compete in or watch this canoe race that starts on Lake Mendota and finishes on Lake Monona, with a post-race party in Olin Park, www.paddleandportage.com Puzzling pond critters, Monona, Aldo Leopold Nature Center: naturalists will show you how to use nets to catch and identify the critters that live, breathe, and eat underwater, aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org July 20-21 Fire Muster, art fair, Kaffe Stue, Mount Horeb: Games, food, live music, fire equipment display, traditional Norwegian foods, trollway.com American Girl annual benefit sale, Middleton: madisonchildrensmuseum.org Hickory Knoll carriage competition, Fitchburg: Driving contests, free admission, hickoryknoll.net July 20-22 Tobacco Heritage Days, Edgerton: activities include a car show, arts and craft fair, family entertainment, Sunday parade and carnival at Racetrack Park all 3 days, edgertonchamber.com July 22-24 WaunaFest, Waunakee, 10-mile and 5K runs, carnival rides, food court, fireworks, softball and volleyball tournaments, soccer Shootout, beer garden, entertainment, craft fair and parade, www.waunafest.org July 25-28 Rock County 4H Fair, Janesville: carnival midway, live music in the grandstand, animal exhibitions and more, janesvillecvb.com Circus Model Train show, Circus World, Baraboo: Demonstrations of garden-scale circus trains, circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org July 26-27 Sun Prairie Sale Days & Flea Market: sidewalk sales and in-store discounts from area businesses Carnival Days, Fort Atkinson area and downtown, sidewalk sales, brat stand, Farmers Market, art walk, children’s activities and more, www.fortchamber.com Prairie Dog Blues Festival, Prairie du Chien, Saint Feriole Island July 27 Taste of Sun Prairie, Cannery Square Plaza, Sun Prairie: samples from local restaurants, music, beer garden and kids activities, 608-512-9743 Circus Celebration, downtown Baraboo: Circus-themed performances, wagons, activities, displays, tours, foods, farmers market, Big Top Parade, baraboo.com July 27-28 Atwood Summerfest, Atwood Avenue, Madison: Live music, food, kid-friendly games and lots of vendors, proceeds support the Goodman Community Center, goodmancenter.org Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Circus World, Baraboo: circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org July 29- Aug. 4 EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh: One of the largest air shows in the world, this year it includes an Erickson Goliath air crane, www.airventure.org Aug. 1-11 Wisconsin State Fair, State Fair Park, West Allis: wistatefair.com Aug. 2-3 Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival, Lake Farm County Park, Madison: Two days of live traditional music. Held rain or shine, sugarmaplefest.org Cambridge Maxwell Street Days, www.cambridgewi.com Aug. 2-4 Utica Festival, Utica Community Park. Tractors pulls, entertainment, baseball, raffles. www.uticapark.org Maxwell Street Days, New Glarus: Sidwalk sales, food, entertainment, swisstown.com Discovery Tour Weekend, Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds: caveofthemounds.com Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Dane Dances, Monona Terrace: Community event from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., free entertainment and dancing. Ethnic food and cocktails for sale, mononaterrace.com

Aug. 3 Book ‘n It Run, Sheehan Park, Sun Prairie: cross country run through natural terrain and over lovely bridges in the park, 608-825-0900 Madison Area Antique and Classic Boat Show, Christy’s Landing Restuarant: glacbs.org Cajun Fest, Mount Horeb: Music, food, trollway.com National Mustard Day, Mustard Museum, Middleton: Games, free hot dogs, mustard tasting, visiting celebrities, live music, cook-off, mustardmuseum.com Fireman’s Fest, New Glarus: Fire truck rides, competitions, water fights, music, beer tent, newglaursfd.com Aug. 4 Swiss Volksfest, New Glarus: Celebrate Swiss Independence Day choral folklore music, yodeling, flag throwing, thalerschwingen, alphorn playing and accordion music, swisstown.com Ride for Kids, Firemen’s Park, Middleton: Scenic motorcycle ride to benefit Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, rideforkids.org Tallman Arts Festival, Lincoln Tallman House, Janesville: Art, music, entertainment, food: rchs.us Aug. 9-11 Field Days, Black Earth: Reliving pre-harvest celebration with music, family-oriented activities, blackearth.org Covered Bridge Days, Brodhead: street dance, run/walk, parade, antique tractor show and pull, antique car show, historic tours, brodheadchamber.org Aug. 10 Susie the Duck Day, Veterans Memorial Park, Lodi: parade, “Duck Derby,” food and music, 608-592-4412 Stroll through Park Arts & Crafts Fair, Albion Park: live music, food, wistravel.com Oregon Kids Triathlon, Oregon Jaycee Park: kids ages 5-17, oregonkidstri.com Cranes of the World Festival, International Crane Foundation, Baraboo: Guided tours, hikes, demonstrations, special access to off-exhibit breeding facility, savincranes.org Aug. 11-12 Art in the Park: fine art festival and sale; Lake Geneva; lakegenevawi.com Aug. 13 Concerts at McKee, McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg: A concert series in the park, fitchburgchamber.com. Aug. 14-18 Venetian Festival; carnival, craft fair, water ski show, music, local cuisine and lighted boat parade followed by a fireworks display; Lake Geneva, lakegenevaJaycees.org Aug. 15-18 Sweet Corn Festival, Angell Park, Sun Prairie: corn, parade, craft show, carnival rides, concessions, beer tent with live bands, petting zoo, 608-837-4547 Aug. 17 Mud volleyball tournament, Janesville: Rotary Club hosts annual tournament, with food vendors and all the free sweet corn you can eat; also games for kids and live music all day, janesvillecvb.com Coffee Break, Stoughton: Stoughton’s claim as originator of the coffee break celebrated with car show, arts and crafts, entertainment, food, www.stoughtonwi.comcoffee.shtml Agora Art Fair. Fitchburg: 4th Annual Fine Arts Fair, agoraartfair.com. Gandy Dancer Festival, Mazomanie: Music, train exhibits, kids’ activities, food, midcontinent.org Spring Green Car Show: www.springgreen.com Aug. 18 Chicken BBQ, arts and crafts fair, Milton: 150 authentic arts & crafts vendors, ice cream social, discounted Milton House Museum tours, a craft raffle, food vendors, www.miltonhouse.org Aug. 18-19 Pec Jamm, Blanchardville: Local musicians on the lawn, greencountyspotlight.com Aug. 18-22 Green County Fair, Monroe: Carnival,rodeo, tractor pull, music, demolition derby, greencountyfair.net Aug. 22-25 Orton Park Festival, Orton Park, Madison: Live music, great food and performances by the Cycropia Aerial Dance Troupe under the oaken canopy in Madison’s first park, www.marquette-neighborhood.org. Aug. 23-25 Good Neighbor Festival, Firemen’s Park, Middleton: Carnival, arts and crafts fair, parade, live entertainment, food, goodneighborfestival.com Aug. 24 IronKids Triathlon, Middleton: Interactive weekend focuses on ages 6-15, fitness, fun, safety, ironkids.com New Glarus Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show, swisstown.com Wisconsin Pottery Association show and sale, Alliant Center, Madison: More than 50 dealers from Midwest sell antique/collectibles, wisconsinpottery.org.


Aug. 30-31 Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw, Prairie du Sac: Flying cow pies, music, parade, wiscowchip.com Aug. 30-Sept. 1 River Rendezvous, Spirit Point, Baraboo: Re-enactment of pre-1840 fur trade era with kids’ games, adult contests, food, baraboo.com Fire and EMS Labor Day Celebration, Brooklyn: Food, music, card games, tractor pulls, barbecue, water fights, www.brooklynfireems.com Wilhelm Tell Festival New Glarus: Celebrating Swiss independence story with theater, art fair, lantern parade, camping, entertainment, swisstown.com Aug. 30 – Sept. 2 Rock River thresheree, Edgerton: steam engines parade of power, family entertainment, edgertonchamber.com Aug. 31-Sept. 1 Taste of Madison, Capitol Square: More than 60 local restaurants will sell food priced between $1 and $4. Also, 16 beverage stands and 4 entertainment stages, tasteofmadison.com Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw, Prairie du Sac: Flying cow pies, music, parade, wiscowchip.com Labor Fest, Janesville: teen mud volleyball, rock climbing walls, petting zoo, puppet show, co-ed volleyball, live music, beer garden, craft fair and bike show; plus Sept. 2 parade, janesvillecvb.com Sept. 1 Wright Stuff Century Ride, Mount Horeb: Scenic bicycle ride 30-100 miles, wrightstuffcentury.com Sept. 2 Wright Stuff Century Ride, Mount Horeb: Scenic bicycle ride 30-100 miles, www.bombaybicycle.org Sept. 5-7 Quilt Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison: For pro and amateur quilters, this is an opportunity to learn and draw inspiration from quilting masters, wiquiltexpo.com. Sept. 7-8 Music fest, Mt. Olympus Resort, Wisconsin Dells: Music, food, rides, http://www.mtolympuspark.com Sept. 6-8 Sheep and Wool Festival, Jefferson Fair Park: Fiber arts classes, sheep and dog demonstrations and workshops, lambing barn, wisconsinsheepandwoolfestival. com Festival on the Rock, Beloit: Rides, live music, arts and crafts, kids entertainment, horseshoe tournament, food vendors, bingo, games, raffles, town.beloit.wi.us Sept. 8 Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon, downtown Madison and surrounding areas: Cheer on more than 2,000 athletes as they swim, bike and run. Swimming begins at 7 a.m. at Monona Terrace and the finish line is near Capitol Square, ironmanwisconsin.com Sept. 13-15 Gemuetlichkeit Days: Celebrate good times with food, fellowship, a parade and music; Jefferson; www.gdays.org Green County Cheese Days, Courthouse Square, Monroe: Festival includes yodeling, polka, tours, cow-milking contest, parade, cheesedays.com Wo Zha Wa Days Fall Fest, Wisconsin Dells: Autumn celebration includes arts and crafts, live entertainment, parade, street carnival, fun run, wisdells.com Sept. 14 Thirsty Troll Brew Fest, Grundahl Park, Mount Horeb: trollway.com Sept. 21-22 Willy Street Fair, Williamson Street, Madison: Six music stages, street performances, foods and drinks from across the globe, arts and crafts, a legendary parade, a community raffle and a kid’s stage, www.cwd.org. Sept.27-29 Wauktoberfest, Waunakee: Live music, inflatables, pumpkin decorating, storytellers, beer taste, frau carry, dachshund dash, limburger cheese-eating contest, free movies and games: wauktoberfest.com Cornish Festival, Mineral Point: Music, dance, pub night, kids’ activities, cornishfest.com Oktoberfest, New Glarus: Music, games, rides, food, tractor-drawn wagon rides, historical displays and events, www.swisstown.com Cranberry Festival, Warrens: About 10,000 take part in world’s largest, with food, shopping, education, tours, parade, cranfest.com Sept. 29 Autumnfest, Broadhead: Chili contest, music, farmer’s market, sidewalk sales, kids’ activities, cityofbrodheadwi.us

If you know of an event that should be in this calendar, e-mail it to ungeditor@wcinet.com


What is your favorite recreation spot in Dane County?
“The best experience so far this year was going to Picnic Point (in Madison) to grill out, but if Devil’s Lake is in Dane County, then I have to vote for that!” Scott Gilbert Fitchburg “I am lucky enough to live on Lake Mendota, so on numerous afternoons I’ll take the lakefront walking trail around Mendota up to Picnic Point.” Max Taylor Madison I love to run in the woods by Glendale Park because I can see the sunlight splitting and seeping through the trees. Katelyn Eaton Madison

“I love Lake Kegonsa. Oh my God, it’s so pretty. I love fishing off my pontoon boat and sharing time with my gorgeous wife, Michaela.” Tim Chandler Stoughton

“The Saturday morning farmer’s market at the Capitol. It’s a wonderful place to get local food, plants and flowers.” Katrina Morton Cottage Grove

My favorite place to hike is the Edna Taylor Conservancy that connects to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and Woodland Park because I like the diverse habitat that you see and really enjoy the Wetlands area. There is also a big willow tree that I like to sit under and read because there is a green heron that is there frequently that I enjoy watching. Alanna Medearis Monona


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