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Backyard Cat Salon

Cat laying next to magazine

This is one of the cats we would hang out with.

We had people over the other night. We grilled hamburgers from my parents’ farm, and melted cheese on them. Cooper sharp. It’s the best. Chad grilled some squash and made a salad. I made dessert, which we didn’t end up eating. So now my house is full of dessert, which I don’t mind at all.

Chad had been wanting to do this the whole time we’ve lived here, over a year. I’m resistant. I’m anxious about hosting for a number of reasons. Maybe I’ll share more about that sometime. Chad would often want to text a bunch of people and see who was available. I told him I needed more warning. Plan something ahead, and add it to my calendar so that I had time to mentally (and culinarily) prepare.

It was fun! The cheeseburgers were delicious. Our guests brought some tasty wine and beer. The squash was somewhat undercooked, but whatever. I hadn’t really thought about where we’d eat, but it was a nice night so we stayed outside. We have no patio furniture yet, after over a year. Patio furniture is expensive but optional and house upgrades are expensive but not optional, and also I don’t know what I want yet. So we huddled around a makeshift coffee table in various folding and kitchen table chairs. It worked out. It was fine. Nice, even. And resulted in a potential new friendship.

Today, Chad is in New York. It’s been a really beautiful day. Kind of hot, but it’s cooling off now. I’ve been enjoying the solitude. I kind of want to go to First Friday in this cute little city, but I kind of want to sit quietly in my backyard and drink wine with my cats. I said so on Twitter, and asked if anyone else would want to also sit quietly in my backyard and drink wine with my cats. But it turns out most people in Lancaster are not on Twitter and thus will not see my open invite.

I think it’d be delightful to have an unplanned Twitter cat salon, as Lauren put it. But it might not be able to be unplanned, or organized via Twitter.

So. Does anyone (please no rando internet creeps, though) want to sit quietly in my backyard and drink wine or La Croix with me and my cats at a mutually agreed upon time in the future? Conversation optional. Feel free to bring a book. Maybe there will be dessert.

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March Small Goals

photo of plants on a small tableUhhh, February was too short for this. It felt really unproductive in the home/personal department, though I’ve been busy with work stuff.

1. Make the plants beautiful. Almost. I got new hangers to replace the plastic ones from the greenhouse, but that’s as far as I got.

2. Spend an hour every weekday learning. Document it. This one is kind of hard. JavaScript30 tends to take less than an hour, and there have been days when I just haven’t been able to fit it in, usually because I’m figuring something out (read: learning) on one of my work projects. So, done-ish, I guess?

3. Make this cake.  Nope. It got too warm and springlike to be eating things like red wine chocolate cake. For VDay, we got fancy takeout pizza and watched Westworld. It was perfect.

4. Make a plan for Chad’s birthday. Done! We are staycationing. I will probably still be working. He got a Nintendo Switch and is planning to spend his 30th birthday perhaps the way he spent his 12th (just kidding, I have no idea). Playing Zelda.

5. Get some frames. Nope, despite my planned stop at IKEA on the way to Philly. Once I got to IKEA, I wandered around looking at plant pots and feeling like there was something I was forgetting. Surely I didn’t drive all the way there to look for a large snake plant? Frames totally escaped me until I was back home that night. Whoops.

So, for March.

1. Make the plants beautiful. Maybe grab some new ones if the greenhouses are stocked and I can find a free weekend.

2. Have a fun and productive mastermind weekend with Chrystina, Sarah, and Sara this weekend. We’re hanging out in Lancaster and Lititz, eating and working and talking about blog/creative stuff this weekend!

3. Start taking evening walks… Daylight Savings Time!

4. Get some frames. There is, unfortunately, more IKEA in my future.

5. Reorganize my office. It’s easily cluttered, filled with dying plants, and I currently do not have a designated spot for books. No good.

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3/3/16 || It’s a good week

flowers blooming out of season

Oh yeah, remember when this happened? I wish it would’ve lasted.

This week’s good things are comprised mainly of stuff I found on the internet, but also a couple other things.

  • This Twitter bot tutorial is really easy to follow. I’ve been thinking about making a Twitter bot for fun. I really like that this particular tutorial links to helpful and fun bots and makes a note of the ethics surrounding bots.
  • How to Survive the Next Four Years Like a Frenchwoman had me LOLing on the couch. “Don’t splurge on every knickknack that catches your eye! French women have an inborn talent for recognizing quality and buying things that last. Like a copper I.U.D., which will see you through to 2021.” Also, don’t forget to eat enough yogurt. I endorse the eating of all the yogurt.
  • I’m almost certain that Laura Turner crawled into my brain and wrote this essay: “There is no honesty for me outside of admitting that I am an anxious person, anxious to please and anxious to hole up at home and avoid all expectations, just as I am anxious to exceed them, anxious for you to find me charming and anxious to avoid all the consequences of being imperfect.”  Tbh, it made me anxious that I’m not writing, at least in a sustained and significant kind of way. I have so many feelings about writing. Ugh.
  • I’ve probably seen this before, but I rediscovered The Millions’ Forty for 40: A Literary Reader for Lent this year and I’m hoping to get caught up this week. I’ve been way too steeped in the internet (read: Twitter) in recent years, and I really am happiest and most myself when I’m a little truer to my bookish nature. Few things make me happier than a literary Lent or Advent calendar jawn.
  • My copy of Hello Web App came in! I’ve been meaning to buy it ever since I met the lovely Tracy Osborn at ElaConf in 2015, but picking up learning Python again hasn’t been immediately relevant to the work I do day to day. But I’m gonna mix it up and go through it with a friend who’s interested in learning web development.
  • Nothing gets me high on Philly like Ignite. We went in to Philly for Ignite 19, and it was so good to see hang out and catch up a little with some Philly favorites. Also, the talks were on point as usual. You can check out the Technical.ly recap here.

So yeah, it was a pretty good week! What’s good with you?

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2/17/17 // It’s a good week

Valentine's Day bouquetI’m trying to be better at marking the good things that happen every week. It can be hard, especially with the onslaught of alarming news over the last few weeks (months?), so as an act of self-care, I’ve decided to keep a list of good things that happen each week. Sometimes I’ll share them here.

  • This one is a slight cheat because it was published last week, but this interview I did with Nate Mell of Felt + Fat for Town Dish was fun. I loved looking through the photos of their custom porcelain tableware that’s all over great restaurants in Philly and elsewhere.
  • We finally made it to Bull’s Head in Lititz, and I had a delightful gin Old Fashioned. I’m headed back in a few weeks with some blog friends, but I wanted a preview!
  • We got take out from The Fridge for VDay, and ate our fancy pizza while watching Westworld. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
  • These flowers (pictured above) from Lavender Fox Florals. I have very strong feelings about those moody deep plum ranunculus.
  • I was finally able to snag the new Zadie Smith novel, Swing Time, from the library after a very long stretch of having it on hold. I’m loving it so far, and I’m realizing how long it’s been since I read White Teeth or On Beauty.
  • Cuddle Magic is playing in Harrisburg tonight! We first heard them years ago at a Lion Versus show at the Rotunda in West Philly. We’ve seen them a few times since, once as an opener for Anais Mitchell, and they are such a delight. Their live show is mesmerizing, and I guarantee that I’ll be questioning my decision to stop playing music after seeing them tonight.
  • Edited to add: The Gates Foundation will provide birth control to women who lose it under that man! 🎉

What’s good, friends? What are you looking forward to?

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Wannabe plant lady

cactus in front of blue wallMy plant collection (like many of us, tbh) has had a rough year. A bunch of them lived very happy lives on and around my desk at Urban Outfitters’ HQ, in a converted shipyard warehouse-type building, with floor to ceiling windows and a ton of light. The other cohort was pretty happy in our West Philly apartment, which was situated on a corner, so they had two sides of light. We were on the third floor, above most of the buildings around us, so nothing blocked the sun.

It’s been kind of hard to find the right spot for the right plant in the new (actually very old) house. I’ve already lost several, and sadly I think a few more are on their way out. One of my goals for February was to replace some less-than-attractive plastic hanging planters that the previous owners left with something a little more intentional.

I actually already have Magical Thinking Hand-Knotted Hanging Planter, and I really like it. It’s quite sturdy, and looks good. I got it while I was still working at UO, and could take advantage of that sweet, sweet discount!

I could definitely make them myself, but at this point in my life, I have to think about the trade offs of time versus money. Does anyone have a really fast macrame tutorial? Otherwise, I’m gonna buy a couple of these and be done with it.