Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dr. Nancy Homburg Interview 4-16-2015

I don't often let the streams of my work and home life cross paths, but this Story Corps Interview with Dr. Nancy Homburg is something I am particularly proud of.   ;-)

If you have a little time over the Holidays, I would encourage you to listen to this Story Corps-like interview I did with Dr Nancy Homburg in 2015. This oral history project is one of the fun and rewarding things I get to do in my work as a Medical Librarian. Dr Homburg is one of the most eloquent, passionate, and professional people I've ever met. Treat yourself and listen! It's the first link in the blog post below.

Dr Nancy Homburg Interview 4-16-2015

Dr. Nancy Homburg talks about her career as a Family Practice Physician and how Hospice and Palliative Care came to the Fox Cities of Wisconsin.

In the photo above, Dr. Homburg is strategically standing next to the orange and purple binders for Education for Physicians in End-of-Life Care (EPEC), the program she coordinates in the Fox Valley.

Dr. Homburg's Quotes from the session :
"Dying is about who you are, and who you're connected to, not the disease.  It's about community and relationships."

"All beauty is infinite--and nothing lasts forever."

Dr. Nancy Homburg's Interview at Story Corps (Audio Link)
          AHS-OHP-001  April 16, 2016       (63 min.  14 sec.)
          Interviewed by Michele Matucheski at Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh, WI.

Field Notes for Dr. Homburg's Interview (doc)

Transcript for Dr Homburg's Story Corps Interview 4-16-2015 (doc)

1979 Parade Article featuring Dr Homburg as "a new breed of women physicians specializing in family practice."

Women Physicians of the Fox Valley 1993  Holiday greeting from 1993 Post Crescent newspaper listing the area Women Physicians that year.

This posting first appeared on The What's New at Ministry Libraries Blog in December 2016.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Goodbye Maggie

On December 2, Maggie, my beloved second-hand Newfie died, after 10 years with us.  She came to us as a rescue who needed some work.  Ok, a lot of work.  I signed up to foster her, and fell in love with this shy and scared-of-everything dog who absolutely blossomed with us.  Yes-- I believed in her early on, and she knew it.  All that time, I thought we were helping her, when in reality, it was a definite Partnership (with a capital P).  I needed her as much as she needed us.  Since she's been gone, I'm remembering how closely my mental health is tied to having a dog to stay grounded.   

I am so grateful for our time together, that she decided to stay with us after being so far down and out, and finally have a normal dog life filled with Love and Joy.  You were meant to be here, Mags.  Thank you for coming into our lives.  And thank you to Joni G. and the Oshkosh Area Humane Society for doing right by her in 2006, knowing she couldn't stay at the Shelter, and placing her with us.  Please consider giving OAHS (or your local Humane Society) a donation this holiday season for the important work they do.

I carry her with me.  I can't touch her anymore, but I can FEEL her again.  So welcome!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Story Corps : Vicki Moen Remembers Lee Smith and their First Date

On the verge of her moving out to Colorado from nearly 20 years in Wisconsin, Vicki Moen remembers Lee Smith, the Love-of-her-Life, and their first date.  I've heard most of these stories before -- usually in a car on our way to a Ren Faire, or Dickens-of-a-Christmas, or some other fun cultural event filled with music.  Before Vicki left, I wanted to hear some of these stories just one more time.  This is my farewell gift to Vicki.

Who : Vicki Moen remembers Lee Smith
Interviewer : Michele Matucheski
Where : Neenah, WI
When : October 5, 2016

Link to Audio Interview (92 minutes)

Link to interview at Story Corps (92 minutes)

Note : There's about 36 seconds of dead air at the beginning of the recording.  I should have edited that out, but wanted to get these up ASAP.  Skip ahead, or let it run ...

1. Tell me about when you and Lee first met.
      When did you know he was "The One"?
2.  Now tell it from Lee's POV.
3.  I know you had certain dating rules and expectations for the relationship.  What were they?
4.  Tell me about your trip to Texas, where you learned that you could travel together.
5.  Tell me the story of how you got engaged.
6.  Why did you wait so long to get married?
7.   How would you describe Lee to someone who had never met him?
8. What are the most important lessons you learned from Lee?
9.  Tell me about your happiest moments together.

Lee Smith and Vicki Moen at the Bristol Ren Faire.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Outlander Tour of Scotland 2016 - Falkland

This Missing Poster was in a shop window down a side street in Falkland -- just for the Outlander visitors who would "get it."  Falkland is the little Scottish town where they filmed the scenes of Claire and Frank taking some time off after the war in Inverness -- but because Inverness is now so built up and modern, it's difficult to find a quaint retro place like it used to be.  Enter Falkland.

In July/August of 2016, I took a wonderful Outlander Tour by Visit Scotland, where we visited many sites relative to the novels and the filming of the Starz tv series.   It's a quaint little town, easy to walk around and explore.  Here are some of the sites :

 The Covenanter Hotel in Falkland - used for filming Claire and Frank's getaway reunion, and the town near where Claire disappears.

 Church of Falkland with blue and white skies emplematic of the Scottish flag.

 Scottish Textures - Cobblestones

 A door matt -- Interesting textures for quilting?

 Flowers at Gate in Falkland

 Black Cat in Falkland

 Scottish Textures - Rusty stone

 I thought this sign was amusing.  ;-) 
Wondering of someone picked off that particular "o" on purpose?
 And because I'm a Librarian by trade, I like to visit libraries when I travel.  
Call it a pilgrimage.

 Outside the Falkland Public Library.

 Castle Palace at Falkland - where Mary Queen of Scotts Father died.

 Campbell's shop in downtown Falkland - for Janna

 Entrance for The Covenanter Hotel in Falkland - where Claire and Frank stayed for their getaway.

Another shot of The Covenanter.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Taco Dip Recipe

Taco Dip

Taco Dip
Ingredients :
8 oz. Cream Cheese
8 oz. Sour Cream
1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix
   (OR  2 tsp Chili Powder plus 1 tsp garlic powder)
 Blend with a mixer until creamy and smooth. Spread in a pan or platter as the base layer.

1 can refried beans
1 can Herdez Verde (green chili sauce)
Mix these together and spread atop the cream cheese layer.  You won't need the whole batch of beans for the taco dip, so save the rest for dipping chips directly.

Additional layers as desired.  Here are some of our favorites, chopped :

Shredded cheese (as you'd use for tacos)
Black Olives
Red and/or Yellow Peppers
Green Onions

Serve with nachos.

I usually make this for Thanksgiving and Christmas-time feasts as an appetizer.  Time to post the recipe here for easy access.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Remembering Rosita

November Gratitude Day 3 : Love. My beloved Aunt Rosita is fading away in Hospice as I write this.

She and my mom got me into quilting back in 2004. A few years ago, I made a quilt for my Unca Ray (her husband). It was a Red Barn Quilt--because he grew up on one of those classic Wisconsin Family Farms with a Red Barn. While Auntie has been so sick these past few months, she sort of "took over" that Red Barn Quilt. My mom told me today that very Red Barn Quilt covers her now in Hospice in her final days.  She is wrapped in Love.  If you are a quilter, you know what an incredible honor that is! I can't be there in person, but I am there in spirit.

 Photo from Quilt Camp in 2010.    
Holly Matucheski (Ma), Rosita (in red), me and Carrie Z.

From Quilt Camp 2009.
Rosita, me and Holly (Ma)
Though Rosita and my mom were sisters-in-law, many people thought they were blood sisters, or Mother and daughter.  An honest mistake : See the resemblance?

It was my Birthday.  ;-)

This quilt top was made by my Aunt Rosita in her Quilting Connection class at Cutting Edge Quilt Shop in Antigo, WI. When she showed it to me, I liked it so much that she gave it to me, along with the book. - See more at:
This quilt top was made by Rosita.  She'd taken a class on Twisted Bargello Quilts.  I liked it so much she gave it to me.  I finished the quilting on it and got to keep it.  I brought this quilt to put on display at her funeral.   There were MANY of her quilts there.  Her specialty was machine embroidery.

Here's a link to Rosita's toffee recipe.  She would bring this over on Christmas.  Yum!

Every time I would go home to visit my parents, Ray and Rosita would come for dinner.  I saw them almost every time I went back home.  They sort of took the place of the grandparents in our family after Gramma and Grappa Matucheski died.  They became the kindly, funny, and encouraging elders of the family.

Saturday-After-Thanksgiving in Oshkosh 2012 :

Farewell, Mike

We lost a family friend last weekend.  Mike Clark -- May he rest in peace.

This is from a March day in 2004 at Cherokee Marsh, one of my all-time favorite places in the world.
Mike and Caroline liked it, too.  Mike wanted to go there for his birthday that year.  And we got to go along.

Mike and Caroline were the adults who watched over me when I lived in Madison during my college years and after.  I am still grateful for their friendship, and gentle guidance.  Such kind and interesting people, reading great books, and traveling the world.  And their kids were really interesting people, too!

I met Caroline when I worked at the Cancer Prevention Clinic on the UW campus.  When Dr Love lost interest and moved on to other projects, Caroline told me to go down to the Health Science Library, that they'd give me a job.  They did ...  and every time I needed a job, they hired me in the ILL Dept.  After I got my Masters in Library & Info Studies, they hired me as a professional Librarian.  That's when I got to work with Mike.  He took care of the computers there -- back when Medline was updated with a dozen CD-Roms that had to be installed on a tower.  Mike would load them to a test server, and he wanted me to search on it, try to break it, and figure out if things were working as it should before he made it live.  Although he knew the computer end of it, he wasn't a searcher.   It was the best of both worlds.  I liked working with Mike -- It was a tempo thing.  He was quiet, but content, and a much calmer pace than the usual fray.

Farewell, Mike.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb Crisp

5 cups diced Rhubarb
1 cup sugar
3 T. flour

Topping :
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (or less)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup butter (aka 1/2 stick)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix together first 3 ingredients and put into a 9-inch pie pan (or other glass baking dish--avoid metal, if possible).

For topping, combine all dry ingredients.  Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 375 degrees F  for 30-35 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender and topping is golden.

We remember this fondly from our days at Summit Ave. Coop in Madison, WI, where Susan Hollingsworth used to make this delicious treat!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Crock Pot Cream of Broccoli Soup

I found this recipe here.   It's remarkable how much it comes out looking like the canned soups -- except, I know exactly what's in this soup!  No mystery ingredients.

Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 5-6 hours



  1. In a skillet, heat butter, add onion and simmer about 5 minutes or until soft but not browned.
  2. Stir in flour and seasonings.
  3. Add onion mixture to crock pot and slowly add milk and water, stirring until well blended.
  4. Add broccoli and cook on low until soup reaches desired consistency, approximately 5-6 hours.
  5.  Add the cream in the last 20 minutes
  6. Add additional spices to taste -- ie, thyme, garlic powder, etc.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pumpkin and Harissa Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe has earned it's place in our family's favorite recipes.  Time to record it here on the blog for safe-keeping.   I've tried other pumpkin muffin/cake/bread recipes, but this is the one we like the best. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 10 x 15 inch baking pan.

Harissa Chili Paste - for an extra kick of flavor
We have to order it from, as no one around here sells it. Copper Olive sells the harissa-infused olive oil (quite pricey, though). 

Wet ingredients :
4 eggs, beaten
16-oz can pumpkin
1-1/2 - 2 Tablespoons Harissa Paste
1-1/4 cup sugar  (2 cups in the original recipe)
1 cup vegetable oil
Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, sugar and oil.  Add the eggs and mix well.
Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well-blended.
Pour into the greased 10-15 inch baking pan.  Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Wait for the cake to cool before adding the frosting.  It's the cream cheese frosting that tames the hot pepper in the harissa. 

Cream Cheese Frosting 
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons milk
chopped nuts for the top, if desired.

Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the vanilla and blend until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Add the milk a bit at a time until you get it to a spreadable consistency.


The original recipe came from here.  We amended it slightly to our own tastes --  with the addition of 1-2 tablespoons of harissa hot pepper paste.   I swear, this particular pepper from North Africa was MADE for pumpkin!    My friend Vicki made some pumpkin muffins one day, but instead of the regular olive oil, she grabbed some harissa-infused oil.  It was an accident, but they were so good, and we craved more of that harissa heat, that now we make them on purpose!

My husband's mother used harissa in small quantities when he was growing up.  You had to be careful with it (as in consider wearing a haz-mat suit) because it was so hot!