Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Preparedness!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the 2-Oh-6!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Minne-snow-ta doesn't kid around.

We are snowed in. Literally. They weren't joking when they sent out a Blizzard Warning. I chose the right name for this blog!

However, we are fully supplied with cocoa, soup and Christmas music. Let the snowing continue! Being snowed in with the love of one's life is pretty great.

After a few false starts and lots of pep talks from B, my Etsy store is ready to open! Lovely things are made, photos are taken and *even before I've opened* I have 10 custom orders!

Check me out on etsy!

Coming up for my store in 2010:
-handmade wreaths
-handmade hair accessories
-embroidered lovelies
-some super duper gorgeous vintage items

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Speak. Hear. See.

Today is World AIDS Day. Today, we renew our commitment to fighting for equal access to preventative education, treatment and support for the people who have AIDS, and for their loved ones. 33 million people live with AIDS. The need has never been greater.

On October 5, 2006, my uncle Sean Robert Donovan, died from complications due to AIDS. He was 36 years old. No one knew he was ill prior to July 2006. In that short period of time, our family, especially my mother, was thrust into a situation millions around the world face. 

Our first question was "How sick is he?" Immediately, our thoughts turned frantic. What about all the people who may have been exposed to the virus and not known it? I had lived with my uncle for a short while, during which there had been construction on his house and the cafe he owned (where I also worked at the time). What about all of my cousins (most of whom were under 10), grandparents, aunts and uncles... my mom cleaned up his bloody nose just a week ago. 

Fortunately, after being tested, we found no one else was infected. It was a miracle. It was also the most terrifying experience of my life. The thought that not only my mother, but my 19 and 13 year old sisters, 8 year old brother could be sick... even now, when I know everyone is okay, the thought paralyzes me.

That is how AIDS spreads. The virus is not limited to addicts and prostitutes. It doesn't live only in far away developing nations. It's here. And we need to do something about it.

For more information on what you can do, please visit:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Handmade Neighborhood, Day 1

I sold out! In three hours. So I'm making lots more tonight! I definitely underestimated Winona's desire to buy handmade and support local artisans. I also forgot my camera. Insert forehead slap. 

I will more assuredly snap photos tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009 have ignition.

Oh my goodness, oh my goooooooodness! Tomorrow is HANDMADE NEIGHBORHOOD! This is my first solo fair! In honor of that (and because I had to change my name anyway) I have a new Etsy store! Currently it's on vacation until after Thanksgiving. I need a little break.

It's been a little intense with our little apartment and all this craftiness. I'm sure B. will be thrilled to have a clean den again! Currently, the floor and sofa are covered in pieces of this and that. It will be nice to craft slow and steady again.

I'll make sure to take lots of photos, and post them. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Handmade Holidays

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

This holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, secular Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, take the Handmade Pledge!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh there ain't no bugs on me!

Darling Husband and Dearest Wife are flu-free! 

Take *that* you nasty virus!

Clearly the cure is to be found laying on the sofa and watching movies together. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Before and After

Take that garage sale chair!
This wingback chair is really well built. Everything but the (dusty rose linen. Ack!) fabric was in great shape. I temporarily recovered it with some fabric from Target. I don't have a sewing machine in The Nona, so it's just stapled, pinned and hand sewn for now. I think that will work for a few months or so. The two (same garage sale) arm chairs are orange. They will eventually be changed, but we thought the print was a nice way to go. It makes the chairs seem a lot less 1970s than it was before.

Whoa Baby!

Oh my goodness, it's been nearly two months since I last posted something on this blog! I'd hate to see how badly my other inter-webs projects have been suffering!

What have we been up to lately? Well, nothing too exciting... except being married. It's pretty exciting, actually. B. and I are pretty good at this newlywed thing. We're big fans. Huge fans. 

Thank you notes, getting to know the Winona area, visits from In-Laws, getting the flu, and re-adjusting to working in a cafe while trying to find a new job have been the name of the game from my end. B. is no slouch on his end either. He's been working hard and taught several units in one of his grad courses.

My etsy/handmade business was going pretty well... until I was informed that the name was already taken. So I need to find another name, register a domain, and other such business stuff. 

Last but certainly not least... I am participating in a local craft fair! Eeep! I am so excited! 

Check it out!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Heath, assurance.

We are Americans. We consider ourselves one of, in not the most, developed nation on the planet. We are as much a nation as we are an idea. We should be ashamed if just one man, woman or child dies from lack of adequate care within our borders. We should be ashamed that an illness that we are able to treat, an injury we can heal, claims any life. That you would declare one person more deserving of health than another speaks to an evil, a disease of the soul, that should be addressed. It is unacceptable and unjust. 

If someone is ill, and we are able to cure, heal, help or comfort them, we should. We should want to. Medical professionals should not be in the healing arts for money. They should do their job because it is their calling, because it is their life’s work. 

For the elderly, the chronically ill, the poor, the young, and all other uninsured Americans, we need to change. And soon. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Paul Newman,

Dear Paul Newman,

Your Sockarooni Sauce is marvelous. In addition to Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, this should be included among your great achievements. 

Sockarooni + any pasta + any veggie + a little grated cheese = oh goodness! 

It's expensive at the local supermarket and at the co-op, but cheap at Target. Go figure. 

Just don't mention it to my grandmother. She might not forgive me for using jarred sauce. 


Saturday, August 22, 2009


Today was my first foray to the local Farmers' Market. At seven thirty this morning. It. Was.Wonderful

Seven-thirty was completely worth it. I was one of the first people there. I wish I had brought my camera! It was colorful, well organized, beautiful, and all the offerings were spectacular. 

There are about fifteen or so vendors, but each of them offer a staggering array of items. I stopped at a bakery stand, and found that it is the baker whose bread I buy at the food co-op! I purchased a few orange-chocolate-pecan scones for breakfast tomorrow. I skipped the Amish pies, local honey, cut flowers and homemade jams. A girl needs to stick to her budget, right? But I hit the jackpot when it came to produce! The haul included:
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • about two pounds of patty pan and other squashes
  • a japanese zucchini
  • 3 small heirloom eggplants
  • a pint of blackberries
  • a large bundle of basil
  • a pint of heirloom grape-sized tomatoes
  • a pound of heirloom tomatoes
  • half a pound of spinach
  • half a pound of green beans
I also discovered a fruit heretofore unknown by me... the ground cherry!

 It looks a little like a super tiny tomatillo. It's yellow, sweet and just lovely. 

I rounded out my groceries with some cereal, yogurt, bulk almond dish soap, crackers, bananas, bulk vegetable farfalle, and bulk hummus mix. I did all our shopping for less than fifty bucks! And we will be good for at least a week... until the next Farmers' Market!

Halfway only counts in relay races.

Sometimes you meet your significant other halfway. You do your part, they do their part, and you make it there together. Compromise and communication don't make things equal in every situation. Understanding is about more than one-for-one trades. Sometimes, you have to go the whole way. Sometimes your s. o. has to go the whole way. You will still get there together.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well, Blow Me Down

We had a very exciting day! Brendan's staff had a scavenger of the things to scavenge was a photo with me. We also had his staff at the apartment for some pizza while they did a little work. In even MORE exciting news, there was a tornado a town or two over. It was supposed to hit Winona at 5.15 pm. Thankfully, no tornado touched down here. 

Over the weekend, my sister Mary came to visit! I was completely surprised. I actually thought Brendan was getting us a puppy, or a fish or something. I opened the door, and it was my little Newsome! We took her to see the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and we saw Julie and Julia at the little movie theater. It was wonderful to see her. I missed her so much and was feeling so homesick. Brendan arranged it, and kept it secret. He is the sweetest husband ever. 

He was at Dunrovin for a few days last week, and that should be the last time he has to leave for an extended period for awhile. He is going to have an incredibly busy few weeks coming up. Students move in, and the year starts in earnest. Before we know it, summer will be over and it will be Halloween!

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Nona... Part Deux

I'm trying to be better about this blogging business, so please bear with us. 

Things we have accomplished:
1. All the laundry is finally done. (The moving truck leaked, and quite a few textile items got wet. Every thing we washed in the laundry here smelled funny, and the washing machines left rust on some of our things. We had to find another laundromat.)
2. The kitchen, bathrooms, closets and den/office are finished. ALL the books are off of the floor! Yay!
3. We made a few improvements here and there: a new showerhead; some organization and storage solutions; a bar in the kitchen with baskets that hang; two small cabinets forming a little sideboard in the dining area; etc.
4. B has been getting tons of work done.
5. K has been looking for work and obsessively organizing and re-organizing things.
6. Twin Cities Ikea trip number 2!
7. Spending lots of time together, just hanging out. Things are going to get pretty crazy in the next few weeks, so we are just trying to enjoy this quiet(er) time as much as we can.
8. Wedding Thank You notes!
9. Matilda (the car) needed a new battery. As much as we don't like Wal-Mart, we really like that we can buy the battery and they put it in. Total time... about fifteen minutes. 
Also good news... no rattlesnakes. Wahoo!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Nona.

While He is on a work trip  to Northern(er), Snowta, She will be posting all by Her lonesome. Le sigh.

Winona is a lovely little place. We are surrounded by bluffs, all the way around. The Mississippi is the border between us and Wisconsin. It's not often cloudy, and the sky seems huge because there are no tall buildings. It's really strange for me to stand near the Lake and be able to see the other side! 

Winona is different enough from Cleveland to not be familiar just yet, but not so different that I'm entirely uncomfortable. I haven't really figured my way around this place yet, but I am able to get to Target, the Post Office, the Bank and His office. Pretty much everything else remains a mystery. 

Once I unpack my camera cord, I will be able to post photos of Winona, the campus, and the Homestead. It's coming together pretty well. We've had to be creative with storage, but it is starting to look like home (!). 

Monday, July 27, 2009

We live in the 'Snowta!

So, as far as updates are concerned, the following has occurred:
-He and She are married.
-He and She arrived in the 'Snowta.
-He and She are involved in The Unpacking.

Monday, June 22, 2009

U-Haul, He Hauls, She Hauls

Mostly, he hauls.

We have reserved a seventeen foot (!) U-Haul for the move. Plus, a car dolly to haul Matilda (vehicle 1).

We are driving from Ohio, through Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and finally Minnesota. Whew.

I'm so glad He will be driving!

Things to DIY (or DIWH) Before Moving... The Remix

  1. Do not refinish the kitchen table on the off-chance we give it back to Caroline in the next two years.
  2. Reupholster the wingback chair when in MN, because I haven't found a fabric I like enough...yet. It really all depends on where we decide to put the chair.
  3. Refinish the coffee table/side table.
  4. Use slipcovers on the orange chair for now... see No. 2.
  5. Paint the Rose Lamp.
  6. Uncle Sean's steamer trunk upcycle is now in progress.

7. Wedding stuff chugs along nicely.
8. The sewing table is mine!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2. To DIY or DIWH (Do It With Help) Before the Trek to MN.

1. Refinish the kitchen table and chairs. Or at least the chairs. The table can always be covered with a cloth for the next few months.
2. Refinish the coffee table/end table Caroline's grandfather made. I think there used to be a drawer underneath, so we might try and fix that too.
3. Reupholster the wingback chair. Must be done. Slipcovers not an option.
4. Reupholster the 2 orange armchairs. Must be done. Could possibly use slipcovers.
5. Paint the Rose lamp Gramma gave me. It's my favorite. Ever.
6. Attempt to fix Uncle Sean's steamer trunk he used as a coffee table.

7. Obviously, wedding stuff.

8. Talk Gramma into giving me the sewing table in my bedroom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

1. Introductions.

-loves Him.
-currently lives in Cleveland.
-is currently unemployed.
-is using this time creatively.
-has decided it is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends before she moves.
-is a feminist, activist and advocate.
-loves being crafty.
-is handcrafting many elements of their upcoming wedding in rejection of the Wedding Industrial Complex.
-is excited to move to Minnesota and start life with Him in earnest.
-is not ashamed to admit she likes cartoons, X-Men, Bruce Campbell, bad vampire movies, bad action movies and environmental documentaries.
-also loves cupcakes, Elvis, mariachi music, being vegetarian, social issues, reading, and writing.
-really, really loves Him.

-loves Her.
-has been living in Minnesota for nearly a year.
-moved to Minnesota for work, without knowing a soul.
-is currently working on his graduate degree.
-is clearly very brave.
-is creative and loves to make music.
-can't wait for Her to get here.
-likes bad action movies, comedies, Venture Brothers and Boondocks.
-is an activist, and is especially interested in diversity and class issues.
-has a passion for music.
-is a very good cook.
-also loves good smelling soap, reading, brewing beer and taking walks.
-really, really loves Her.