Sandy and Her “Formative Years”

formative yearsWho am I?  I am a middle child of three.  I grew up in a middle-class family, and have lived in the same town all my life.  

What I have been told, and what I remember is that I was a rather curious, spunky, and mischievous child.  I don’t remember ever being bored with life during my very young years. I was always out there looking for fun and excitement much to my parent’s dismay.

One of my first memories was when I was about four or five, we lived in the upstairs of an apartment house close to downtown.  My mom had to go to the basement to do laundry.  The other tenant’s son who lived downstairs from us had rabbits which he kept in the basement.  Well, you got it, they stunk.  My mom would complain to me because I was usually with her as not to get into trouble, and she would complain that she didn’t appreciate those rabbits being down there.  So, being the cooperative child that I was, when no one was around I went down to the basement and let them all out.  I don’t remember how many there were, but it seemed to be excessive.  I must have had a reputation because while sitting on the steps out front of the house with one of my friends, the owner of the rabbits, sought me out and scared the crap out of me.  For some reason, he just knew that I had to be responsible for this.  Imagine that.
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A Summary of ‘Chelle


Watching my hero with her hamster

Of all the Sidetracked Sisters, I’d consider myself to be the most logical or systematic one…  That being said – I’ll start from the beginning and briefly tell my story.  Additional details will come later.  I’m the youngest of 2 daughters to Art & Sandy.  For as long as I can remember, my older sister (Lisa) was my hero.  I followed in her footsteps in everything (almost).  She played flute, so did I.  She was a cheerleader, so was I.  She learned Spanish, so did I.  She went to college in Eau Claire, so did I.  You get the idea.   Continue reading

Lisa Hoffman, an Introduction

I am an onion. Well, you know, not a REAL onion, I’m just talking metaphorically here.

As I age, each year wraps around and over the previous. Year by year memories are formed and covered with new layers.

I know, this whole onion person metaphor is kind of weird, but I really like onions, so work with me here…

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Once Upon a Time…

once upon a timeOnce upon a time in a small city in Mid-Central Wisconsin, there lived a family with three daughters.  The youngest daughter was born prematurely and weighed only three pounds.  When she came home from the hospital two months later, her two sisters asked if they had to keep her? They were so hoping for a brother. 

Over the years, their wish was kind of granted.  Their little sister was quite a Tomboy. She played cowboys and Indians with the neighborhood kids and was happiest when she was playing basketball or football with her classmates. Continue reading

Who is ‘Chelle?

Who is ‘Chelle?

To start with, my most important accomplishment is being the mom to 3 amazing adult children.  Soon it will be 4 as one of them is now engaged to be married!  

When I’m not spending time with my kids, I can probably be found working on the computers.  In my 30-year career, I’ve done everything with computers from teaching, building, setting up networks, and programming.  For the past 15 years, I’ve been at the same job as a Senior Solution Consultant.  It’s the longest I’ve ever been at one job.  

My other hobbies include crafts, my dogs, and spending time with my family.  I’ve also become a cat person which totally shocks me!  Recently, my oldest brought home 2 little black cats and they have stolen my heart!  I LOVE to organize and plan and especially love it when I’m recognized for things I’ve done.  If you ever want to discuss The Five Love Languages, I’m the one!  It’s my favorite book.  Lastly – when I’m not working on my computers, chances are I’ll be sleeping.  I have to say, my favorite thing to do of all time is snuggling on the sofa, binge watching my latest favorite show and snuggling with the kitties!

Sidetracked Sisters

You may ask, “What is Sidetracked Sisters?”  Well – we are 2 sets of sisters that truly embody the word “Sidetracked”.  When we get together, we have a very hard time staying on one topic.  Frequently one topic will start and before that can be completed, someone has already moved onto the next topic.  We love each other dearly, but also love to pick on each other just as much.  One of us is a control freak, one of us is a little flighty, one of us is sensitive and the other is analytical.  When I give these descriptions – I have certain sisters in mind.  Now – tomorrow – if asked to classify the sisters again – it will be a different sister that is the control freak, a little flighty, sensitive and analytical.  We are all very much alike but also very different.

Who are the Sidetracked Sisters?

#sidetrackedsisters #sidetrackedchelle #whoischelle

Who is Lisa?

I’m Lisa.

When I was a child I wanted to be an artist.  When I was a teenager, I would cry myself to sleep because I didn’t know what I wanted to be.  In college, personality tests said…TEACHER!  Ok, that stuck. So, now I am a RETIRED teacher, wife, mom, and closet artist. Oh yeah, even more recently, I’m a yoga teacher, a certified life coach, a podcaster, and a grandma!

I live in my hometown and stay sane through gardening.  Although weeds were winning the battle when I was teaching, I have gotten a second wind and am making a solid comeback!   I love to read books that give me something to talk about or think about.  I dream of projects that I want to do.  My house is in a relative state of chaos battling with occasional periods of calm and organization. Continue reading

Who is Judy?

I’m a student of life and I thrive on contact with people of all shapes and sizes. I prefer not to be judgmental of others. I would rather hear their stories and grow and learn from their experiences.

I can be outgoing. I feel it is very important to stand up for myself and others. If a spokesperson is needed, I can be that person.

Over the past fifty-plus years, I have lived in many different states and parts of the country. The hardest question I’ve had to answer is which place was my favorite. There are good points in every place I’ve lived. And yet, hands down, I love being back in Wisconsin. The main reason? My family is here and I’m back with my “Sidetracked Sisters.” The changing of the four seasons is also stimulating to me. Autumn is my favorite, and true to my nature, I find good things about each of the seasons.

So far, I have worked in banking, furniture retailing, and downtown revitalization. Currently, I’m enjoying my work as a guest service person in the hospital industry. If I can work with people, help solve problems and have interesting conversations, it doesn’t matter the industry, I’m happy.

My soulmate and I have been married for over thirty-six years. We both enjoy reading, learning and spending time together. Our son lives close-by in Wauwatosa. He has a career in the golf industry which follows his passion. We keep in touch and enjoy sharing his life. We have a dog that we spoil rotten. She makes us laugh and keeps us sane. (Most of the time)

Our happy place is at the family cottage in Door County. We often have fourteen or so family members and at least six dogs to share our time with. I find heaven on the water with the people I love, talking, walking, biking or just being. When we see the “Door County” sign, we breathe more easily.

Currently, the Sidetracked Sisters are enjoying our Facebook page, our blog and our new Podcast called “Sidetracked Legacies”. I think I have found my creative outlet. I’m looking forward to encouraging others to create their legacies.

Sidetracked Sisters

Sidetracked Sisters are two sets of two sisters one generation apart. The older sisters are as different and as much alike as two sisters can be. One brunette, one blonde, one green eyes, one brown eyes, one stayed put in Beaver Dam, one traveled a bit. Sandy had two girls. The second set of Sidetracked Sisters. One brunette, one blond, both brown eyes and as alike and as different as two sisters can be.

The name originated to label craft shows that we did in our homes each year, especially on “widow’s weekend”. Since we professionally consist of a Retired Paralegal, Retired Banker, Retired Teacher, and a hard-working Computer Engineer, Sidetracked allowed our creative sides to come out and play. It gave us one more outlet to joke, criticize, insult, tease and sometimes even support each other. We also learned that if you wanted an opinion, we had four different ones to offer.

Who are the Sidetracked Sisters?

#familyfriends #loveaffection #sidetrackedjudy #sidetrackedsisters #whoisjudy