“Can One Bake a Stick?”: Making Plant Hangers and The Art of a Stick Hunt

You guys. I think it’s happened. I think that it could maybe have possibly happened. As I type this I’ve checked the ten day forecast three times because I don’t want to jinx it, but I think we’re here. After Winter had to get in a couple more storms, after my new tires needed to flex their muscle on the icy-slush covering the roads, after I pulled my warm-weather clothes out of storage, just to keep them in their Rubbermaid container in the middle of the floor because I pulled them out too soon, it’s here.

I think it might be Spring, you guys.

I won’t lie to you. This Winter was a nail-biter. Would I make it? Or would I go screaming into the night because I couldn’t face another night getting my exercise in by walking laps around my parking deck because it was a literal two degrees outside, only to be found the next morning mumble-singing “Vacation” by the Go Gos? Well, I think I made it! Good thing I was so cool and level-headed about the whole thing!

Progressively over the last month, in a desperate attempt to bring nature back to my life because Nature herself was surprisingly obstinate, I’ve slowly been building an indoor plant collection, but because my apartment only has one entry-point for sunshine, prime territory for photosynthesis has gotten kind of crowded.

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Too Much Embroider-Drama For Your Embroider-Mama

We always reach a point in the season where Winter gets the best of me.

I’ve been trying to stay normal, guys. I’ve been really trying.

Knowing that there’s always a point in Winter where I lose it, I’ve tried to be very philosophical about everything. “This is temporary. It will get warmer. You will wear sandals again some day. This is not Narnia. It is not always Winter. You should stop mumbling under your breath now.”

But that doesn’t always work.

I have tried to keep myself distracted. I signed up for a ballet class. I signed up for a woodworking class. (I’m making a cheese block! For all my cheeses!) I’m even researching welding classes at the local technical college. “It’ll be like Flashdance!” It won’t be like Flashdance, but I feel like “welding” would fit nicely in my list of skills. Right between a “can make a chicken,” “claps good,” and “has a cheese block.”

I’ve really tried to keep myself together this year with mixed success, but ultimately one of the most sure fire ways I’ve found to keep the Winter crazies from getting to me is putting my hands to work.

Baby’s First Bohonkus Bag

My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was little. I remember embroidering my dog’s name on a Christmas stocking we made from a Precious Moments’ pattern. I remember her teaching me about forward stitch and back stitch on a sewing machine as she made my Glenda the Good Witch Halloween costume.

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“When one week closes… something about a window”: Ideas for a Better Week

The week has its eyes on you.

Signs Last Week was Rough

  • You catch yourself pondering the best methods of barricading your office door with empty coffee cups and hoarded highlighters from the supply room. Answer: ditch both and use your office mate’s desk chair instead. Where will your office mate sit? He’ll stand. Sitting is bad for you. How do you get your office mate on board? Yell, “GIMME THAT DESK CHAIR! IT’S IMPORTANT!”
  • Writing poetry in your head about how punching coworkers is bad (I have a small and sneaking hunch, that my coworkers, I should not punch)
  • The highlight of your week was trying out a new grocery store. Things they had: a special section for gravy boats, “fashion flyswatters,” a garlic sauce called “the pink stuff,” that was bubble gum pink, very confusing, and on sale.
  • You cried reading a story about Obama calling one of his staffers when her cat died to express his condolences. 1) To my credit, it was a lovely, heartfelt story about a president being kind, and we haven’t had one of those in awhile; 2) the book was Who Thought This Was a Good Idea by Alyssa Mastromonaco, and if you’re a woman in any leadership role, I think you should read it; and 3) I don’t even like cats very much. That’s how lovely this story was.
  • By the end of the week, every time your work phone rang, you yelled a prolonged, “NOOOO!”

The pink stuff in question.

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Respect My Journey: The Art of Mah-Crammie

In much the same way a person decides to have Mexican instead of Italian for dinner, Wisconsin finally decided it was time for Spring.

With a “yeah, I guess that’s fine.”

Though given the fact that my spirit animal is a fish taco, I’d say those people need to learn about proper dinner choices, and how it was never a choice to begin with.

Wisconsin Spring is a cruel dance that entices you with shoes that aren’t boots and clothes that don’t include down or fleece and drives that don’t require you to make deals with God as your car won’t really stop because of the ice, and then rips it away from you like a tornado. But like…a tornado you wronged. You were like “don’t worry, tornado! I’m definitely going to bring you some Mexican food for dinner.” And then you forgot because you wanted to see what happens next on Grace and Frankie, and by the time you remembered, the tornado was already mad because it had to eat applesauce and noodles because that’s all we had in the apartment.

And that’s the exact amount of metaphorical drama Wisconsin Spring deserves.

Also, I’d like to have Mexican food for dinner. 20 metaphorical bucks to whoever can make it happen. Not metaphorically.

For about a month, Wisconsin has been swinging back and forth between almost-beautiful Spring, and almost-freezing rain.

And let’s face it, that easily cracks the top ten worst types of freezing rain.

But this week, it seems finally, finally, Spring has arrived. 

Wisconsin heard our complaints and gave a “all right, fair enough. Here’s some sun.”

And with it, the grand reopening of my patio. You see, I call it a patio. It’s more of a cement patch. I’m like Brer Rabbit and his Carrot Patch, but less trickery and 100% more Herbert.

This is Herbert. He’s mostly useless, but he tries hard.

But I love my weird little cement patch. Once Spring decides to linger, my pots and plants and marginally green thumb and my will to live come out and I try my hand and growing things. I’ve had this patio for three Springs now, and this year will be my fourth. And each year my garden grows a little taller and a little less embarrassing.

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Paint too Proud to Beg: The Art of the Useless Sartorial Paint Splatter

Every now and again, life catches up with me.

When the work-induced sighing reaches its peak. When, if you listen closely, you can hear my left-eye-twitch asking, “have you considered yoga or like, not so much cheese? I’m working a full time job, here.” When the mere sight of the neighborhood Quiznos gives you claustrophobia-stomachache, and when I remember I have loans and will never be able to take a year-long Eat, Pray, Love trip around the world to center myself, I do the next best thing.

I go to Milwaukee for the day and hope for the best.

For those who have never been to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s pretty cool.


I could tell you about the Milwaukee Art Museum, a small, but well-curated and creative institution right on Lake Michigan that houses and designs some of the most creative exhibitions I’ve ever seen. I could tell you about the Milwaukee Public Market, where you can get a meal, then a drink, then coffee, and then buy kitchen things for your kitchen because you always forget that you’re out of kitchen space. A person always needs more kitchen toys.

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