We have spent the last couple of weeks with Siegel relatives. This past weekend was the wedding of Steven, my youngest whose grandmother, Esther, was a Siegel.

Esther passed almost 20 years ago but she still had one living Siegel sister, Bertha. Bertha and Esther shared the same birthday, October 26th. Aunt Bert almost reached her 104th birthday. It was her funeral we were recently attending.

The two sisters were extremely close and used to write each other weekly. They often vacationed together and it was Aunt Bert who would come watch the boys when Esther needed her.

Esther (L) & Aunt Bert on of their vacations together…

October 26th is one family birthday that will always be a special day for me and reminder of 2 of the six very strong Siegel women.

Warm thoughts to all the Siegel family and Happy Birthday Siegel Sisters!


Taco Bell seems to have problems with folks using their parking places all over this country. What am I talking about?

I’m 2089 miles from the last time I was in a Taco Bell parking lot 2 Fridays ago in La Crosse, Wisconsin and this past Friday during a beach walk in Pacifica, California a grey salt box building with a great big deck facing the ocean beckoned me to check it out.

I’m on foot and as I round the corner lo and behold … Look who resides on this property. None other than…

Yep, Taco Bell… They even rent out for weddings.

Now that’s what I call prime estate. And you can well imagine if the surfers beach parking lot next to them is full and Taco Bell is empty, they might think it’d be okay to park in one of those open spaces.

Can you imagine how much money this property must have cost and how much time / effort are spent keeping others from using their parking spaces?

BUT their signs indicate otherwise with RED lettering. You got it, they will be towed. Later in the day when we drove by I spotted a security guard patrolling their empty parking lot. That must cost a pretty penny. You know I really wanted to ask him if he warns people/ just calls in the offenders.

Taco Bell does offer ‘some’ parking for their patrons and their surfboards… I found that pretty humorous…


There’s another public service that’s under attack by the present administration and since the trees can’t speak for themselves, we can.

They are literally on the ‘chopping block’ in our National Park system, something that does require a small admittance fee to help defray maintenance. Due to greed this public space is being approved for privatization and destruction.

Last Saturday morning our family’s newlyweds of a month asked us to join them on a hike while in the San Francisco area. The ‘original’ plan was to head to Muir Woods. Being a weekend, we knew the trails would be busy. Luckily before heading out the kids learned that a new park policy existed due to its popularity, parking had become a real issue and one now needs to acquire a parking permit in advance. All parking spaces for that Saturday had been taken even the previous night. I mention this because it shows we, the public, use our public park system.

GPS vs old map reading…

Fortunately California has a lot of other California Public Park trails to enjoy the magnificent Redwoods. We did end up at Purisima Trails where there even was a trail named ‘Redwood Trail.’

We got to enjoy the redwoods magnificence without hiker congestion as there were other trail choices.

I was wrong to say the trees can ‘t talk . They are speaking loud and clear in their magnificence. Help them get the word out our public park system is needed by the public to enjoy Mother Nature and fresh air.

It was wonderful the kids wanted to share the trails with us. It’s what public spaces are meant to do bring us all together enjoying our park system.

Don’t let the moss grow under your feet, contact your representatives to save both our local county, state and national parks.

The trees and public will Thank You!


Travelling down the highway on the opposite side we past three trucks each carrying one of these to their new home.

Can you decipher what they are?

each end is suspended on an extra long bed rig.

Amazing , right? Can’t even figure out how you connect something so big into place. Now that must be a feat to watch!

If this isn’t a Kodak moment I don’t know what is!

I’m taking guesses.


You’ve visited Wildcat Mountain with me before so in a way this annual fall roadtrip will be a flash back. One can’t always hit time peak leave time and we have been really spoiled in other years. We had two very hard frosts which affected intensity and length of certain color.

There was still beauty to be had en route via WI Cty Hwy 33 by Amish farmland… Aren’t those haystacks spectacular?

Wildcat Mountain still had some yellow just not as blinding as it can be. So I’ll try be still and let you enjoy our hike up Pisgah Mountain and eventually its scenic overlook.

The steeper parts of the trail did become more challenging with downed trees to climb over, washed away steps, some mud in low lying areas but it made one appreciate the small easier walking part of the pine needle pathway… The loop after the vista was actually closed to storm damage.

We’ll be back next Fall…


I am so proud of my city for embracing and replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day and know its popularity through education will grow from year to year.

We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier crisp fall day to welcome visitors to a day full of activities at Myrick Park from noon until 6 pm.

There was music- drumming, singing. dancers, flag posting, Ho Chunk gift presentations indigenous food samplings. other educational opportunities with presentations of family history, our area, marsh walk tours, games for both children and adults,

artifacts like arrowheads, head dresses and hides,

and traditional garb like headresses and appliqued beaded clothing,

vendors with paintings, jewelry, dream catchers, semi precious stones in addition to some food for sale.

Wagujegikok is a game that resembles the cup game only it is played in teams. A blanket was laid out on the ground like a game board with 4 fabric squares. These were custom made for their owner whose last name contrains the word Deer . Notice the blue applique deer. The squares can be lined up in a row/ strategically moved to confuse the other team. Usually a bone is hidden under one of the squares ( for Monday’s purposes it looked like a lead musket ball ) and the other team had to guess where it was.

The sticks to the side of the blanket are for keeping score and are pushed in with each correct guess. Adults and kids enjoyed it. equally.

It was a day to recognize the real residents of the place we call home!


A year ago our mayor was ahead of our country in declaring Indigenous Day to replace Columbus Day. Why? History. American History books if they had been written correctly would not have begun in 1492 with the colonists but rather the Taino indigenous peoples who lived on the Caribbean islands for centuries. In fact, Italian born Cristóbal Colón ( Columbus) never even stepped foot on the land mass we call the U.S.

Cristóbol Colón we know him as Columbus

Columbus’ explorer history was not as shiny as the gold he was responsible for bringing back gold to his King and Queen. When he depleted the gold source from both the land and its people, he decided to go into the slave trade. Besides being sold into slavery the Taíno were also tortured, raped and killed by the 1,000’s.

Columbus’s legacy therefore is him being the “godfather of terrorism, genocide and colonization.” Not the same rosy picture I nor you learned in our History lessons.

We have wrongly not called these people Indigenous. Remember the fact when Columbus thought he was landing in India and named the Indigenous people Indians? To add further insult to the Indigenous people they would also be referred to as Native Americans. Once again the word American came from another Italian, an explorer and map maker, Amerigo Vespucci who also never stepped foot in our country.

Columbus totally disregarded the island’s name of Hispaniola and renamed it Isabela for his Queen. Colonization reared its ugly head in many ways including its conversion of the people they called ‘savages’ . We weren’t taught it was the colonizers who were the savages.

And our savage colonization mentality and behavior continued throughout centuries. Besides forcing religious conversions, indigenous children were stolen in later years only to place them in Indian boarding schools with horrid conditions, where their language was forbidden as were their traditional dress and values. This made their re entry into their own communities very difficult.

As late as the 70’s, children were placed with white families because our social workers only used a white cultural norm critieria. Legislation had to be enacted for custodial care to first be in their own communities.

“Statistics of missing and murdered U.S. Indigenous women number 5712. Our Indigenous women are 2.5 x more like to have sexually assaulted women. 4 out of 5 indigenous women are affected by violence while homicide is the leading cause of death for Indigenous women ages 10 to 24.”

We have broken every treaty we had with our indigenous people.

There are over 500 tribes recognized in the states today. In Wisconsin we have 6 . Ojibwe (Chippewa)consisting of 6 smaller groups by where they live :Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Red Cliff, Bad River, Mole Lake, and St Croix .

In addition to Ojibwe there are also Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Potawatami, Oneida and Stockbridge-Mohican /Brotherton. The Brotherton tribe wasn’t originally here but had been moved 5 x and decided to settle here. They walked all the way from the east coast.

Knowing now what we do it makes sense to not have Columbus Day to martyrize a terrorist, right? We should honor the Indigenous People who have let us live on their land.

We certainly have committed way too many injustices. It’s time to make amends.

*photos borrowed from FaceBook postings.

  • Kudos to one of our city’s many activities yesterday in celebration of Indigenous Day 2019, Elizabeth Digby-Britten for the information presented above in her presentation of ” Why There is a Need for Change.”