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DENISE FEDOROW: Changing colors, decor bring sights and sounds of fall | News

It’s a beautiful, sunny 70-degree day as I begin to write this and I’m excited about the weather forecast bringing more of the same for the rest of the week. Just a few days ago, I broke down and turned my heat on for the first time and dressed in jeans, a sweater and socks and shoes for the first time in months.

It always feels so constrictive to me putting those warmer clothes on for the first time after a summer of shorts and sandals. But I was also glad for those cooler days because they have made the colors start to pop on the trees. I always get thrilled by the beauty of the changing leaves — the deep reds, golds, oranges — even the brown against the vibrant colors has its own beauty. I love the contrast of beige or gold wheat or corn fields against a backdrop of forest green pine trees.

I love all the fall décor — corn husks, pumpkins, scarecrows, straw bales, bushels of apples, etc. I have a loose theory, based on people I know, that we tend to favor the season of our birth. I love the fall — the sights, the sounds of crunching dried leaves, geese flying south and dried corn stalks rustling in the breeze and the tastes and scents. My December-born son used to love the winter although now he resides in Arizona. My January-born grandson loves the winter and some summer-born friends like summer best.

But then I mess up my own theory when spring comes and I’m just as giddy over the new green growth and flowers of spring. I’ll blame that back and forth on my astrological sign — Libra, the scales, always looking for balance. I’m not into horoscopes but I somewhat believe

House calls bring Jewish tradition of Sukkot to the isolated

NEW YORK (AP) — Sukkot, the weeklong Jewish fall holiday commemorating God’s miraculous protection of the Jewish people in the desert, looks different this year.



Holocaust survivor Leon Sherman holds a lulav, a collection of palm, myrtle and willow branches, and an etrog, a citrus fruit, as he recites the blessings in front of his home in the Queens borough of New York, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. In an effort to bring the Jewish fall harvest traditions safely to those isolated by the coronavirus, Rabbi Eli Blokh, of the Chabad of Rego Park Jewish and Russian Community Center, built a mobile sukkah, a temporary shelter where Jews gather to celebrate Sukkot, in the back of a red pickup, making several house calls each day during the weeklong festival to people like Sherman. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)


© Provided by Associated Press
Holocaust survivor Leon Sherman holds a lulav, a collection of palm, myrtle and willow branches, and an etrog, a citrus fruit, as he recites the blessings in front of his home in the Queens borough of New York, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. In an effort to bring the Jewish fall harvest traditions safely to those isolated by the coronavirus, Rabbi Eli Blokh, of the Chabad of Rego Park Jewish and Russian Community Center, built a mobile sukkah, a temporary shelter where Jews gather to celebrate Sukkot, in the back of a red pickup, making several house calls each day during the weeklong festival to people like Sherman. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)

Many vulnerable individuals remain isolated at home due to the coronavirus during a celebration meant to highlight unity in the sukkah, the temporary shelter where Sukkot is observed for seven days and nights.



Rabbi Eli Blokh, of the Chabad of Rego Park Jewish and Russian Community Center, second from left, stands in the bed of a truck under his mobile sukkah as he recites the blessings over the lulav with Evgenia Alperovich, second from right, in the Queens borough of New York, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Blokh, his two sons and two rabbinical students began making house calls on Monday in an effort to bring the Jewish fall harvest festival safely to those isolated by the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)


© Provided by Associated Press
Rabbi Eli Blokh, of the Chabad of Rego Park Jewish and Russian Community Center, second from left, stands in the bed of a truck under his mobile sukkah as he recites the blessings over the lulav with Evgenia Alperovich, second from right, in the Queens borough of New York, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Blokh, his two sons and two rabbinical students began making house calls on Monday in an effort to bring the Jewish fall harvest festival safely to those isolated by the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)

To bring the joy and tradition to them, Rabbi Eli Blokh, director of the Chabad of Rego Park Jewish and Russian Community Center in New York’s Queens borough, mounted a sukkah of three walls with

Why Colorful, Chaotic Home Decor Might Actually Bring You Peace

I have a memory from when I was young—five or six—and I asked my mom what her favorite color was. “Green,” she said. “Because I like trees and being outside.” It hadn’t occurred to my baby brain that there had to be any specific reason for something to be your favorite. I suppose it’s not so different when you’re an adult—you learn that there is almost always a why, even if you can’t quite make sense of it in the moment. Why do we gravitate to some bright rooms more than others? Why does that bright pillow make you feel some kind of way?

The “color-in-context theory,” conceived by psychologists Andrew Elliot and Markus Maier in 2012, muses that “the physical and psychological context in which color is perceived is thought to influence its meaning and, accordingly, responses to it.” How we understand color, they argue, is not so much about aesthetics but about the associations we hold—certain colors mean certain things to us, relying on our previous experiences and interpretations to inform how we feel about them in the future. I would argue that this is how design operates as a whole. Good design is all about context.

Bright colors and kooky silhouettes have always sparked design joy for me—and as far as Instagram is concerned, I’m not alone. Brands like Aelfie, Abigail Bell Vintage, Dusen Dusen Home, and Coming Soon are just a few purveyors of the uniquely chaotic feel-good design I’m talking about. Almost the opposite of the “Tyranny of Terrazzo” or millennial minimalism—this wave of furniture that’s somehow graphically retro and bizarrely futuristic, pattern-clashing that would make your grandmother gasp, color combos that force you to wince before you eventually think they’re edgy. It’s as if the inspiring, soul-soothing parts of the internet were a tangible

Warm fall dishes bring son to the kitchen, table

Friends warned me. People who, before me, had sons. They told me that my son would suddenly and abruptly not want to spend time with me. He would, they said, leave my camp. They said he would first leave me and then leave my husband. At the time it was hard to believe. He was so joyful, so fun, so very excited about the world and all of its gifts.

And then, of course, he did. He found his own interests, his own people, his independence. That was many years ago and I did my best to let him go. It’s good, it’s fine, it’s the way parenting is supposed to be. They grow and push you away and hopefully, if everything is right, they come back.

I’m working on Elliot coming back. He’s 16 now and a pretty laid-back guy. He does what we ask of him. Mow the lawn? Empty the dishwasher? Walk the dog? Yep, yup and did it already. Sometimes, we have to ask twice but it’s not a fight. My husband and I do ask him to hang out with us and to this he almost always says no. He’s got homework. The guys are waiting for him. He’s tired. You know, anything is better than spending time with his parents.

Recently, we’ve been asking him to go for short hikes with us or watch a movie. Heck, I even asked him to sit beside me and learn to knit. That I said knowing there was no way my 16-year-old son would knit. But in asking and showing Elliot my project, I had a few more moments with him.

I’ve also been calling him downstairs when I’m cooking dinner. I’ll place an onion and the chef’s knife on the counter and when he arrives, I

Can small pieces of land bring neighborhoods together? Milwaukee urban garden, community education center proposed

An urban garden and community education center is being proposed for a central city site northwest of downtown Milwaukee.



a tree in a parking lot: Vacant lot, corner of North 15th Street and W. Walnut Street in Milwaukee.


© Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Vacant lot, corner of North 15th Street and W. Walnut Street in Milwaukee.

It would be developed on a 9,000-square-foot vacant lot, south of West Walnut Street between North 14th Lane and North 15th Street, by Venus Consulting LLC, according to a new Common Council resolution.

That resolution calls for selling the city-owned lot for $1 to Venus Consulting, which a Department of City Development report describes as a community advocacy, activism and education organization.

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The property would “be developed with garden amenities focusing on herbs, edible flowers, butterfly garden and serenity/meditation spaces,” the report said.



a large brick building with grass in front of a house: The urban garden would grow medicinal and edible plants.


© Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The urban garden would grow medicinal and edible plants.

Most of the space would be used to grow medicinal plants, which can be used to make teas, and edible plants, said Jacqueline Ward, who operates Venus Consulting.

People would be taught how to grow those plants in their yards, homes or community gardens, Ward said.

The teaching would include a focus on the health benefits of eating plants, and the importance of creating space for bees and butterflies, which pollinate other crops, she said.

It’s not a traditional garden, said Ward, former executive director of the Marketplace Business Improvement District, which operates near the garden site.

“This is a totally new concept, focused on outdoor learning experiences (especially in wake of pandemic),” Ward wrote in an email.

Venus Consulting, a for-profit firm, would manage the operation, and do some programming. Superior Care Training Center Corp., a separate nonprofit group Ward operates, would provide teaching services.

“Another component will be working with