Don Nedobeck, Kitschecoo, and Reminiscing

I stopped into Kitschecoo Art & Craft Shed the other day after a marvelous walk outside and around historic Greendale (Wisconsin), when I spied an entire display of books, calendars, and cards by Don Nedobeck.

Now in Florida, Nedobeck has been one of Milwaukee’s treasured artists for decades. Cats, frogs, ducks, fish, and other critters we know well populate a world we want to visit.

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Birds have red shoes. Cats have lugubrious or thoughtful expressions. Alligators. . .well, you’ll just have to see for yourself about the alligators.

I remember my parents taking me to one of his book-signings. Here’s the title page for Nedobeck’s “Twelve Days of Christmas” (in hardcover, no less). I also remember my dad saying that we liked frogs, so he drew in a frog!

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This generous author will sign and personalize any of his books with an original line-drawing for you or your child for only a small fee. Check it out (and watch out for those alligators)!

It’s How We Roll: Bicycling, Charity, and Happy Kids

Maddie loves above anything else to ride a bicycle. The trouble is, she needs a specially adaptive one, and those aren’t cheap.

Here’s what’s been happening: All this summer, different departments in my company have been supporting a charity of their choice each month. For example, last month, a department chose the Wildlife in Need Center.

This month belonged to my department and Variety: The Children’s Charity. (Here’s their Facebook page.)

It’s a great cause, serving children who are less fortunate due to severe illnesses, disabilities, or disadvantages.

We connected with Variety’s events & communications specialist, Dua Vang-Ramirez, who matched us with a wonderful young woman named Maddie.

And we learned right away about Maddie’s love of bicycling (she should meet my dad!). Except she has no bike of her own, and has only been able to ride one in gym class. She would love to ride her very own bike at the park across the street from her home.

But to do this, she will need a specially adaptive bicycle. Maddie is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, is vision impaired, and has developmental delays, panhypopituitarism and diabetes insipiday.

As you can imagine, these bicycles can be expensive.

We couldn’t wait to help. We had several fundraising functions throughout July, including “Compliment Cards” (you’ll see why if you keep reading), to give to co-workers, a very tasty food cart, and the T-shirts you see below.

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One of our charity T-shirts, temporarily worn by a cube wall

Here’s the other cool part, directly from Dua:

“Our Variety children work directly with Brent Emery, owner of Emerys Cycling Triathlon & Fitness. He is a former Olympic Silver medalist and is “the bike whisperer”. Brent will ensure that Maddie receives a bike that will meet her specific needs. Maddie will meet with Brent for a custom assessment very soon. Brent will custom build her bike depending on her needs. Examples of adaptations may include: adding a seat harness, switching out the bicycle seat, or adding a rear steer bar for the parent to control.”

I am happy to say that even though the month has not yet ended, we have already exceeded our goal amount. Maddie’s going to get her bike!

Nothing slows Maddie down. She loves to give and receive compliments, and has an energetic and enthusiastic personality. She loves music of all kinds. And now she can do it all on her own wheels!

I’m really happy to be part of a company that cares.

More about these bikes:

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Miranda & her own bike.

 

My First Henna (Of This Year)

See this:

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A freestyle design!

And yes, I’m at work while this is happening.

We are supporting the Wildlife in Need Center as this month’s charity. A coworker’s daughter does henna professionally, and came in to do both animal and freestyle designs for only $5 each.

$5 for this level of intricacy is well-nigh unheard of. Beautiful!

If you can see this…one of the Wildlife in Need Center’s videos on Facebook (you don’t have to log in to view) shows “What it looks like when 22 Wood Ducklings and 3 Hooded Mergansers have a feeding frenzy in their own version of ‘breakfast bowls’ and then forget they’re not supposed to go swimming right after they eat!”