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This house draws a lot of attention to itself, and yet, it feels desolate.
This house draws a lot of attention to itself, and yet, it feels desolate.

What's up with the creepy puppet house?

I drove by this peculiar house with the large paper mache children in the store front window hundreds of times in my life, but today, I stopped the car and knocked on the door. Nobody answered.

It looks as if at one time the house -- located at 3702 N. Richards St. --  was a business, perhaps a tavern, but it appears as if currently it's occupied by a private residence. With a little digging, I learned it was built in 1922 and was most recently purchased in April of 2005.

Someone obviously arranged the front window into this creepy but artistic scene, and these paper mache figures -- that actually might be puppets -- have been in the window for at least a few years.

The house and yard are well maintained, but I never see anyone coming or going. I am totally intrigued by this property. Anyone got info?

Midlife Isis: Am I having a midlife crisis?

I have been accused of being in the throws of a midlife crisis, and maybe I am. However, the words "midlife crisis" suggest that I'm hot-rodding sporty cars and chasing tail, which, unfortunately, isn't what's happening at all.

Instead, as one supportive friend suggested, I am simply living my life in a more authentic way. I am determined to live the second half of my life -- if indeed I will be fortunate enough to get another 30 or 40 years -- in a way that truly suits who I am.

Often, we make a lot of serious decisions before we really know ourselves. At a certain age, most of us come to terms with who we really are, versus who we wished we were or who we tried to be. This is what happened to me. I didn't want the truth to be the truth, but it was, and so I had two choices: listen to it or ignore it.

So I listened. I made changes. I feel liberated, guilty, judged and relieved all at the same time. Sometimes I cycle through these feelings in the same day; sometimes in the same hour. I'm feeling all of them right now.

I recognize that this is very abstract, and I promise this ongoing weekly blog will be more detailed in the future. But for now, know this: my husband of 13 years and I separated this summer. We have two school-aged children. We are determined to create an alternative, non-nuclear family.

We are transforming into a structure that we don't have a blueprint for. We are grieving and growing at the same time.

I plan to chronicle parts of this life-altaring journey via this blog. Some friends and family members think I'm crazy, but my life has always been, more or less, an open book. I have learned that sharing my stories to make others feel connected is part of my purpose. I am not always successful at this.

I am gong to tell you about my changing life, and you are going to disike me or support me or stop caring all together. But I am going to keep writing, keep sharing, keep trying to make sense of this beautiful, wack…

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A '70s depiction of the goddess Isis. I like it.
A '70s depiction of the goddess Isis. I like it.

My new blog kicks off next week

Starting next week, I will run a weekly blog called "Midlife Isis." My life has changed a lot in the past six months, and this personal blog will focus on nearing what could be "midlife" as well as motherhood and challenging, unexpected life happenings.

I will continue to write articles and briefs, so if hearing about my personal life might is not your bag -- and I don't blame you in the least if it's not -- skip anything with "Midlife Isis" in the title. Other readers will, hopefully, relate to my new blog that's guaranteed to be honest and upbeat.

"Midlife Isis" is, of course, a play on the words "Midlife Crisis." Isis was an Ancient Greek goddess who was often worshiped as the ideal mother and wife. Although I strive to be these things, I have sometimes failed, and so I use her name as something to strive for and ironically.

Hope to see you next week in Blogland.

Are we in a "pink phase?"
Are we in a "pink phase?"

An abundance of baby girls

Six years ago, I had my son, Levi, and it seemed like almost every pregnant woman I knew had a boy. This worked out well for us because it provided my son with plenty of playmates.

And even at OnMilwaukee.com, staff members welcomed only males into their families for a few years until publisher Andy Tarnoff finally broke the cycle with an adorable daughter in 2008.

And now, it seems like everyone is having a girl. (Including OnMilwaukee.com's Julie Lawrence!)

Is this just me or is there truth to it? Does it seem to you like batches of baby boys or baby girls are born in cycles? And if so, is this cosmic or coincidence?