BOULDER JUNCTION - With the holidays long gone, the ice and snow melt around the corner... what's a girl to do during that in-between period in the Northwoods? Some ladies in Boulder Junction know just how to beat those winter blahs.
The Boulder Junction Book Club has been at it for eleven years.
"Once we start talking we can't stop," says Missy Drake, a Boulder Junction Library Volunteer.
The club gathers every January to select ten books for the year. Then once a month they come to the Boulder Junction Library to talk about the book for that month.
"It started originally meeting here. We all really like that because it doesn't put the onus of preparation on anyone," says Drake.
And it helps keep them on topic without the distractions of food and drink many other book clubs have.
Co-founder Missy Drake says input from other people on the topics they read about can be enlightening.
"It draws out so many different ideas not only just from the book but everyone comes to the story with a different background. You learn so much about the people that you're talking to," says Drake.
This group likes a challenge-- you'll find no "Chick Lit" here.
"We don't do those. We do tackle some really good literature, I think," says Drake.
Members say it's the perfect way to spend your time when things might be a little slow at the beginning of the year. "We're all very active. But there are many days, up here especially, that are indoor days and great reading days," says Drake.
Most importantly you don't have to be a woman, and you don't have to be able to make every meeting if you're a seasonal resident. Meetings usually have anywhere from eight to 16 people.
"Everyone's invited. Everyone is very welcome. We are just an open group and always welcome more people," says Drake.
EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.
"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.
The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade. Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.
WOODRUFF - The state will no longer use county-by-county rules to attempt to slow the spread of deadly emerald ash borer (EAB).
Next Friday, all of Wisconsin will be under an EAB quarantine. That means ash wood can now move freely around the state.
In the current system, individual counties are quarantined only if the tree pest was found there. The state restricted the movement of ash wood between infected counties and those free from EAB, trying to keep more areas "clean."
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