quirky

it’s the only word to describe it

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Wisconsin is full of strange things, but here’s an article that was shared with me from a coworker about quirky and hardworking family business owners. The article from Slate tells you about Carl Corey and his family business. Corey began meeting family business owners while documenting Wisconsin bars for his book, Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars. Inspired by the experience, Corey decided to seek out family businesses all over Wisconsin, from hardware stores to bakeries to organ builders. Corey’s new book, For Love and Money: Portraits of Wisconsin Family Businesses, comprises portraits of single families who’ve owned their business for at least 50 years.

After a coworker showed this to a fellow Wisconsinite and me, she decided to buy the book. I really excited to see it. In addition to her buying the book, she told us all of the places she has to check off her list…and let me tell you she’s doing a well!

 

pronunciation

is key

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

The never ending conversation of accents and dialects has surface again. Back in January, I blogged about the New York Times’ quiz: How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk, take the quiz if you haven’t already. All in all, this quiz is going to give you a break down of where your accent comes from based on how you answer a series of 25 questions. My results were rather accurate.

Last year, I shared this video with all of my friends. Based off the parody of Shit Girls Say: the Wisconsin version is classic. If you live in Wisconsin or know anyone from there this video will have you in stitches.

Similar to Shit Wisconsin Says, is this true Wisconsin accented video. When it comes to being a Wisconsinite it’s all about pronunciation! Wisconsin cities and town names can be a challenge to pronounce even for those living in the state, but, for Texans? Forget it.

Enjoy these videos and you give it a shot, can you pronounce these city names?

 

summerfest

in DC?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Over the weekend, there was an awesome summer kick off festival called “Summerfest DC”. Now, as you know I come from Wisconsin which is home to actual Summerfest. Summerfest back home is a BFD. In fact, it’s a big deal all over the place. Milwaukee holds the world’s largest music festival in the world. Yes, you read that correctly, Milwaukee holds the WORLD’s LARGEST MUSIC FESTIVAL and it is pretty spectacular! For 11 days, Milwaukee is flooded with people from around the world to nibble on cheese curds, drink Wisconsin beer and to jam out to their favorite music. This outdoor music festival is unlike any other. It’s incomparable.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of hitting up Summerfest DC. Yes, there was music and it was a kickoff to summer event but it wasn’t comparable to (my) Summerfest. DC Summerfest is THE official kickoff of the summertime season in our Nation’s Capital on Saturday, May 24th. Upon arrival we were handed a  tasting glass to enjoy more than 100+ Craft Beers and ciders all afternoon. That sounds good, but that’s not it along with the beers and ciders came wine. There were also unlimited tastes of 20+ wines, of all varieties! And because you get rather hungry when consuming a lot of liquids, food trucks were available for our munching. Thankfully Summerfest DC also offered live music all day and outdoor games, like bags (also known as corn hole).

Like I said, they are totally incomparable festivals but I am happy I have been able to attend both. If you live in the District and haven’t been to Summerfest DC yet, be sure to make it next year. Likewise, if you live in Wisconsin (or the surrounding area) check out Summerfest.

milwaukee

pride

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Maybe I write about state pride a little too often, but I don’t want y’all to forget about my roots. Thanks to a friend who sent me the link to an article titled, “10 Milwaukee Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate: If you like to get festive, love bowling and think brats are the best food ever, chances are you live in Milwaukee.” I couldn’t help, but to share this article with all of you. Plus with a Tina Fey gif starting us out in the article (which you will see below), you really can’t go wrong reading the rest of that article.

Obviously, here’s number one and the teaser:

1. Milwaukeeans Are Prouder Of Their City Than Your Mom On Graduation Day

Milwaukee Stereotypes

Sure, I am not from “Milwaukee”, but I am from a small town outside of Milwaukee, which is pretty much “close enough”. I am proud to be from a place that is so genuine and laid back that there are actually considerate people who still live here that won’t hesitate to tell you their city’s best brunch location or give you directions when you’re lost. Milwaukeeans exemplify that Midwest charm everyone hears about.

Wisconsin is something you carry around with you. Even after living in DC for almost three years, I still have my Wisconsin accent, and I am sure that will never go away. I might be living in the city, but I’m from a small town. Now, if you are from Wisconsin or better yet, Milwaukee this article will really hit home to you!

embrace it

& be proud

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I bleed red and white, green and gold, and blue and gold. I will never be able to shake those long “O’s.” Despite the season, the Badgers, Brewers and Packers are always on my radar. I can never get enough cheese, and PBR is my kind of beer. I can pronounce any place you point to on the map, and I will argue that we have more lakes than Minnesotawisconsin pride.

Folks, Wisconsin is my home and it always will be. For the past three years, I have lived in DC and I still get butterflies when I land in the motherland. I still get excited when I see a fellow Wisconsinite walking around DC repping my state. Wisconsin has state pride like I’ve never seen or experienced before. I know Texas would argue they have the most state pride, but I respectfully disagree. Wisconsin has camaraderie.

I’m sure it’s evident that I have undying state pride and love for Wisconsin, and frankly, that’s a burning passion that I will always have.

Over the weekend, I got in a heated argument with a friends’ friend I met. As we were making introductions and creating small talk, (let’s call him) Bill asked me where I was from and I proudly exclaimed, “WISCONSIN!” I countered and asked him where he was from. After much hesitation he answered, “New York…City.” With his response, this was something I was not pleased with or something that I was going to let stand by the wayside, I again asked again, “No, where are you really from?” Bill again hesitated and finally responded, “Chicago.” The conversation goes like this for a while and I finally get Bill to tell me where he is from after I told him I was very familiar with the “Chicago-area.”

I will give you the same talk that I dished out to Bill on Saturday night. Be proud of where you are from. Take pride in your upbringing and where you came from. Where you are from has a lot to do with who you are now. And truth be told, being a coward about your roots is almost an insult to your parents and how they raised you.

When you think of Wisconsin, what comes to mind? Probably the Green Bay Packers and cheese, and with good reason. The Packers are a storied NFL franchise, but as the foam cheese hats the Packers fans wear indicate, the real pride of Wisconsin are the people, the sports, the seasons, the beer, the cheese and the list will only continue.

Until the day I die, I bleed Wisconsin through and through. If it wasn’t for my Wisconsin and Midwestern upbringing, a lot would be different and I sincerely take pride in being from the great state of Wisconsin and being a true Midwestern.

wisconsin

heck yes!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After a busy day, I took a break to take the “What State Do You Belong In?” test on Buzzfeed. With no surprise, I got Wisconsin! Check out the test. I am interested to see what your results are and if they are as accurate as my results. state

boomer’s winter

wonderland

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Here’s yet again another guest blog post. I like to have guest posts featured by different people to show new perspectives, outlooks and different personalities. Get ready for it! Without much introduction, the following is a guest blog post by the one and only: Ann Marie! Most of you know her as Ann Marie, while others know her as Mrs. Franck. But, even less get to refer to her as mama! Without more of an introduction, I will let her take it away!

Hi! This is “Mom” as I am sometimes called or Ann Marie as Kendal so lovingly refers to me. I am honored to be the guest blogger today, or maybe not so much since Kendal informed me that she made a promise to herself to write a blog each day for a year and it sounded like she ran out of things to say…if one can actually believe that.photo boomer

Kendal mentioned how totally worn out Boomer looked as he sprawled out under the Christmas tree after he came in from supervising Joel’s shoveling after the big storm.  In case you aren’t aware, Boomer loves to be outside, especially in cold weather. Winter is his favorite season especially when it snows. Often it is hard to get him to come back in the house as he loves to make dog angels in the snow and run through the snow as it flies out of the snow blower chute. Supervising Joel as he snow blows is Boomer’s number one job. Sometimes the most demanding job is being the sidekick!  So is being sneaky enough to scope out each present that Kendal placed under the tree and discerned that none of them are for him. I sure hope that Kendal told Santa Paws that Boomer will be waiting patiently for his present come Christmas Eve.  An early Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night from me (and Boomer).

 

 

a holiday review

2013

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

2013 was filled with many memories, some excellent and others not so great. 2013 did go above in beyond in many life categories.MK HYR2013 Here’s a little tribute to 2013 and just a few of the good things that came from a magical year.

A few things that didn’t make the list, that are worth noting:

  • Celebrating my one year at AREVA
  • Attending two Inaugural balls: North and South Carolina
  • Attending Inauguration on the Mall, what’s up Yellow section!
  • Trying homemade (the real deal) moonshine
  • Attending the event of the season: Taste of the South
  • Chatting with Santa at the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Open House
  • Enjoyed a traditional tailgate at Miller Park before a Brewers game
  • Toured the Neuschwanstein castle in Schwangau, Germany
  • Devoured a true Austrian Apfel Strudel
  • Jammed out with Hoodie Allen and Dave Matthews

With 2013 being so awesome, I can only imagine what 2014 has in store for me.

 

 

 

my guest post

Matt asked me to write a blog about how my life was consumed by lifeguarding for six years. He wanted me to get into the details about saving, and trainings, but I spared the boring details and wrote this for his blog instead.

You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

My Guest Blog Post: Lifeguarding via Matt’s Blog

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life happens I guess. But to get me back in the swing of things, I asked the lovely Kendal Ann to write me a guest blog about her experience lifeguarding. I, myself, have never been a lifeguard (but I did get my Lifesaving merit badge in Boy Scouts), but Kendal Ann was talking about it one day and it really interested me. Check out Kendal Ann’s blog here and I promise you, she’s a hell of a lot better at updating her blog than I am.

In high school and college, I lived for summers. I spent my days stretched out in a chair, slathered in SPF 85 (yes, it’s a thing), occasionally jumping off the dock for a quick dip and always playing with kids.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. For five years, lifeguarding consumed my life. As downfalls of the job, my ginger locks would turn bleach beach blond, and it would always have a slight green tint to it. And I often found myself involuntarily yelling “No running!” at random kids on my days off.

I trained hard at 15 to become a Baywatch wannabe. The Red Cross certifies lifeguards only after an intensive, 30-plus-hour course on CPR, first aid, AED and rescue skills with both a written and physical final exam. (I was through the Red Cross and the YMCA)

Sure as a lifeguard our first priority is safety, but there is so much more to the job than safety, getting awkward tan lines and working 15 hour shifts.

Let’s get back to the trainings. I was originally hired to lifeguard at the YMCA (an indoor pool). After working at the YMCA for a year and a half—I was stolen. My supervisor put in a good word for me at the beach and the next day I was hired. I will always be grateful of her “stealing” me. (Note, I still worked at both the YMCA and the beach—I wasn’t exactly stolen, I was more of a timeshare). Working at the YMCA, we often had a training to refresh our skills. These trainings happened once every quarter (about four times a year). During the trainings, we would go over skills, back boarding, CPR and how to administer Oxygen. More often than not, they ended with the staff gathered in the hot tub.

Working at the beach was a totally different story. Before the season started, we took three days to refresh our skills on back boarding, oxygen administration, AED and first aid.  If that wasn’t enough, we had trainings every Thursday morning for two hours. It would begin with a few jokes and recognition, but beyond that, it was down and dirty—straight to business. We would swim to build our endurance (about a half a mile), and continue the meeting with saves and missing persons drills.

Yes, there are days it’s sunny and no one is at the pool or the beach so you get to work on your tan, read a book or go swimming for fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a hard job. I had to go through a 30-plus-hour course and pay money to get certified. My certifications last a year, before I have to get recertified. The money is lifeguarding is good, but everyone doesn’t get hired. So, don’t tell me I am just sitting there looking pretty, and getting paid to tan. Sir, you aren’t watching your 3-year-old in the water, and more than likely—you’ll be thanking me later.

Lifeguarding isn’t as glamorous as a gig as people make it out to be. Even though there are hard days, angry parents, and clingy children, at the end of the day I loved my job. For five years lifeguarding consumed my life, and honestly I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I met some of my best friends through lifeguarding. And thanks to lifeguarding I am not afraid of most situations, I know how to survive in the coldest water conditions and I can swim the “Bermuda Triangle” (it’s a Wisconsin thing)—no sweat.

Next time you’re at the pool and you think the lifeguard is cute and just soaking in the rays—think again. I challenge any of you to take a lifeguarding course, pass the test, get hired and then keep your job.

giving thanks round 3

30 days of thankful, edt. 3

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

As a little recpa, Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

So here is is friends, these are my last days of  30 Days of Thanks project. I must say, it sounds easy to find one thing to be thankful for everyday, but I wanted to look for more than the easy answers. Every day I am thankful for something and here are some…just to name a few!

11/21- Appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way in the work place. Today, I am thankful for these tiny thank yous and little signs of appreciations from the team I work with. My boss will often go out of her way to show her appreciation or say thank you to me, which is amazing. My team, doesn’t usually do that, but today it was apparent that they were making an effort and wanted to show their gratitude for one another. Seeing these smalls gestures and hearing thank yous gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s keep these up, team. Today I’m not only thankful for y’all, but the work you do with and for me and he attitudes possessed today. Thanks!

11/22- A Simple Hello

Today I am thankful for simplicity. After leaving the Hoodie Allen concert Zach and I got on the metro to head back home. Zach and I were talking to one another and more people would board the train as we got closer to our destination. A man said a simple hello, which sparked a conversation between us and another person. In that moment four strangers were riding the metro in a deep conversation. Those moments are simple. I am thankful for little things like this. These moments make me see that mankind isn’t totally terrible and there are decent people left in the world, we just need to find them.

11/23- The Badgers & Wisconsin Pride

With a heart that bleeds red and white (blue and gold & green and gold) for the badgers and especially Wisconsin, I will always have state pride. Sure it’s hard to be in dc when my badgers are playing the biggest game (minus the rose bowl) of the season, but I feel right at home when I see badgers walking around town. The bars are filled and people are getting into the game. Every year the badgers fight for the Paul bunion (sp?) axe against the gophers. Honestly, it’s not even a fight anymore, they really just let us have it. I am thankful for Wisconsin state pride and my badgers. Great game and thanks for keeping the axe in Madison!

11/24- Surprises

Today, it’s surprises. I love surprising people, and I love being surprised. For a little background, I was going to stay in DC for thanksgiving, but last minute I found a crazy cheap ticket. My boss told me to take it, fly home and enjoy the holiday with my boyfriend and family (thank you!). Originally I was going to surprise the whole family, but I told my parents and we kept my sister in the dark. After meeting up with my parents and doing a little holiday decorating, we made it over to my sisters new house (congrats) for dinner and (for me) to meet her new boyfriend. She was thrilled, and totally surprised. The best part about a surprise is seeing someone’s face light up with a gorgeous smile. The genius happiness makes the room glow and when you’re in that presences you can help but smile yourself. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

11/25- A Classic Date

I am thankful for a boyfriend has an unconditional love. I am thankful for my person to be so good to me. Today was classic date night. Matt and I started dating while he was on a visit from Tennessee, so we never had the chance to do the “classic date”, ie, I will pick you up at 8, talk to my parents while I am finishing getting ready, go to dinner and a movie, but today that changed. When Matt arrived he had gorgeous flowers in-hand when he greeted me. He was a gentleman and opened all my doors, kissed me on the cheek and wouldn’t let me pay for a thing. Today I am not only thankful for the classic date night, but also for Matt. #CTBOT I love you.

11/26- The Ability to Work from Home

This week I am working from home, thanks to my awesome boss. I saw an opportunity for a chance to go home and because I asked here I sit. I sit at my kitchen table with my puppy at my side, the fireplace on working. Working from home is a blessing. I couldn’t be more happy or thankful for this opportunity.

11/27- My Aunt

My Aunt Loy is a remarkable lady. Today I am thankful for her and all the bits of knowledge, wit and life experience she has to share with me.

11/28- Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is always different in my family. Sometimes it’s just the 4 of us, sometimes it is with relatives and other times we open or home to neighbors and friends. This year, it was the four of us and my aunt. We always do a few things on Thanksgiving regardless: a last minute grocery store fun, watch football and the parade, make home made rolls and enjoy a holiday movie. Today I am thankful for my family and our little quirky holiday traditions.

11/29- Family Memories

Today I had the opportunity to not only make memories with my family, but also with Matt’s family. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to remember our memories and to reminisce. I am also thankful to make new memories with another family as well as reminisce on their family traditions and memories.

11/30- Unspeakable Moments with Friends

Today I am thankful for the unspeakable moments that I am thankful for. It’s that text message received, a the way a friend smiles when you are talking, a simple let me get the first round. These are thankful moments. The moments with friends shall never be forgotten during the holiday season. Friends are the family you choose, so choose them wisely and most of all show your appreciation and gratitude. This one for you kiddos and our moments!