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Perfectly Wausonian No. 2: Cheryl Wolken of Wausau Mama!
In this series we ask some of the better-known Wausonians for their recommendations, and in doing so, get to know them better.
One of my favorite new Substack publications is Perfectly Imperfect. It’s another Substack publication in which the three authors collect recommendations from some of the cooler folks out there. The result is fascinating because they end up being mini-profiles of some of the more interesting figures in New York life.
Well, good artists borrow, great artists steal, right? So I thought I would try out a version for The Wausonian. It would add a little lighter content and plus, I love recommendations. It used to be one of the primary ways I would find new shows to watch, along with music and local restaurants.
So each Wausonian featured will be instructed to provide a little bio about themselves and provide 5-6 recommendations. They could be anything and everything; they could all be Wausau-based, none of them Wausau-based, or some combination thereof. They will go out to paid subscribers first, and release a week later to all readers.
If you’re a parent in Wausau, then you probably already know Cheryl Wolken, aka Wausau Mama. She wrote the book on parenting in the Wausau area: literally. Her book The ABCs of Wausau has been a huge success and can be picked up around town and on Amazon.
Her website is a guide for parents in the Wausau area, full of tips and tricks to get the best out of the Wausau area. Now she also works as the Wausau Area Marketing Specialist for the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. And who better, really?
So we thought Wolken would be a great candidate for a Perfectly Wausonian profile.
This restaurant is truly a hidden gem on the North side of Wausau. I say hidden, because unless you know where you’re going, you’ll never just happen to drive past it. Everything I’ve had there has been great. My favorite dishes include: Pad Thai, Bao Bun, Vermicelli Noodle Salad, Fresh Spring Rolls, and Pho. Yum!
This year I gave up wearing uncomfortable shoes. These boots may not be fashionable, but they sure are comfortable! (And yes, even though this will make your more fashionable readers cringe, I even wear these boots with dresses…) They’re waterproof, cushioned, and insulated. I love them!
For the past three years my kids have participated in Wausau Nordic’s Snow Striders kids classes. The volunteer instructors have all been awesome and it’s such a great way to get kids outdoors and active in the winter! The fee is only $30 per family and includes ski rentals at all five classes. Wausau Nordic also has free classes for adults every winter, which I’ve taken advantage of in the past. You can check out their website for more information about these programs and more.
Yes, the country! I love to travel, so I was super excited that my husband and I were able to spend two days in Iceland this past October. During our one full day we drove around the Golden Circle and visited geysers, waterfalls, a volcanic crater, a hot spring, and even saw a glacier from afar. It was a great place to visit and I’m hoping we can return some day for a longer visit!
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but before becoming a local maker myself, I didn’t fully understand the importance of buying local. Local shops not only benefit their community by giving residents a unique place to shop, they also give entrepreneurs and small business owners a place to sell their goods. Shopping online has its time and place, but sometimes you just need to smell, see, feel, or try on a product before you buy it! A few of the places I’ll be going to purchase holiday gifts this year include: Janke Book Store, The Milk Merchant, Sweets on 3rd, and The Local. I also wanted to give a shout-out to WendyWorkArt and Agra Pottery who I have/will be patronizing as well!
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
For the past 4 or 5 years we’ve purchased CSA boxes from local farms and I would highly recommend it! For those who don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it’s a way to receive local produce on a weekly basis. When a farmer offers a CSA option, it is usually a ¾ or ½ bushel weekly share for 18-20 weeks. You pay for the full cost up-front, which helps the farmer plan and invest in supplies and equipment for the season. In addition to the standard summer share, some farms offer spring or winter shares too. The CSA farms that have drop off locations in the Wausau area include, Cattail Organics, Lonely Oak Farm, Red Door Family Farm, Stoney Acres Farm, and Whitefeather Organics LLC.
Big thanks to Wausau Mama for participating in the second Perfectly Wausonian feature! Got a suggestion for who should be next? Comment below to lets us know who you think should be next.