Current status of my living room windowsill: Plant Nursery
I have a little pot of succulents that has been growing in my window for a couple months. Unfortunately, I don’t generally get a lot of direct sunlight in my apartment and it was a pretty cloudy spring. So, my succulents (particularly the sedum variety) ended up growing tall and stem-y instead of shorter and compact. Now that I’m getting a little more sun it seemed like a good time to cut them down, propagate, and start fresh!
With a sharp scissors I snipped the tops off my two tall sedums and removed some of the leaves. I put the tops and leaves in the windowsill to callus over (so they don’t rot). After a few days I stuck the tops in some soil. The leaves I just left on a paper towel until they started to root. It’s been about a week and now you can see some tiny buds and little pink roots! I’m going to set them on some dirt and let them do their thing! Window space is quickly becoming a commodity…
This is actually the first succulent I haven’t managed to kill (habitual over water-er, I just have so much love to give!). Let’s see if I can manage to add to the family, any tips on succulent care/propagation?
Since September I’ve been going to an indoor climbing gym with Jason and a few friends. My hands are callused. My legs are usually bruised. And my biceps are bulging. OK, not really about the biceps. But they totally exist now, which is new.
To supplement bouldering and top rope in the gym, we took a class on how to actually do it outdoors! We headed out to Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, WI at 7am and got to work practicing our anchor systems. The anchor system supports the climber and if you’d like to return home in one piece, it’s very important to make sure you have a secure system.
Anchoring took up the morning and some of the afternoon. By 3pm though, we were climbing on real rock!
There’s a lot of supplies (a lot of expensive supplies) to acquire before we’re ready to go out ourselves, but we’ve got the skills to not kill ourselves doing it, and that’s really the important thing here.
On our last day I planned for us to rent a car, drive to the coast, and then double back to the airport.
Things I did not anticipate:
St. Patrick’s Day
The gigantic St. Patty’s Day run in downtown Portland
The mountain range between Portland and the coast
What does this mean? It means we were stuck in the worst traffic jam I have ever experienced between the downtown rental center and the highway (3 miles). It was supposed to take 1.5 hours to get to the coast. It took 1.5 hours to get TO THE HIGHWAY. Over the course of the traffic jam I exited the car, walked a few blocks to Starbucks, waited in line at Starbucks, came back to the car, got out of the car, went to Chipotle, had two burrito bowls made, came back to the car…. You get the picture.
Once we finally got on the highway, it was smooth sailing until we reached the mountains. The mountains that I somehow did not realize existed on BOTH sides of Portland. Geography fail. So, we nervously climbed higher and higher, signs warned us to put our snow chains (that we didn’t have) on, our ears popped, it started snowing, and FINALLY we reached the coast. Tired and grouchy, but we made it. And I found a starfish, so, let’s call it a success.
AKA, Katrina blogs part II.
When we arrived in Portland it was sunny! And warm! And green! Oh, and we were hungry (it was a long train ride). We found the nearest pod of food trucks and wolfed down some burritos.
Our hotel had complimentary bicycles available (how very Portland of them) so we biked to Powell’s Books and Voo Doo Doughnuts. Voo Doo is known for doughnuts such as the “Voo Doo Doll,” “Cock-n-Balls,” and the “Old Dirty Bastard.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing my glasses and struggling to read their menu. Per usual, I panicked and picked the first thing I saw “Raspberry Romeo.” It was quite literally the most boring doughnut I could have ordered. Just a standard, glazed, raspberry-filled doughnut. Next time, i’ll go with something more adventurous. And wear my glasses.
The second day in Portland was probably my favorite day of the trip. A former co- worker of Jason’s, now living in Portland, offered to take us to the Columbia River Gorge. It was only 20 minutes outside of Portland and we saw 5, count them, FIVE, waterfalls in one day. Afterwards, we did a wine tasting and lunch at a nearby winery. And I’ll have you know, I successfully transported my purchased bottle back to Milwaukee (still saving it for a special occasion)!
Top: Multnomah Falls
Left to Right: Latourell Falls, Sheppards Dell, Horsetail Falls, Wahkeena Falls
I’ve decided to be a “blogger” now. We’ll just ignore my 17 failed attempts. I think this will evolve into a lifestyle and craft blog. We’ll also ignore that my lifestyle consists mostly of television. So it goes.
To get the ball rolling, I’m going to have to backtrack a bit. To March, when, for a few days, I did something sort of interesting.
4 nights, 5 days
Milwaukee to Seattle, Seattle to Portland, Portland to Milwaukee
Jason (the boyfriend) and I took a quick break from the Midwest to head to the Northwest corner of the country. First up, Seattle.
We spent a quick two days in Seattle and hit all the major stops. Despite the rain we visited the public market, space needle, Seattle Art Museum… And the Seattle Bouldering Project for a little climbing! There were a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in Seattle so we decided to try some Pho. 9/10 would eat again.
Our hotel was downtown and had the most amazing bathtub. Seriously, I am not exaggerating when I say that in two days, I took four baths. Look how deep it is! And it fills from the ceiling! My next trip will be all about the relaxation.
Friday morning, we catch the Amtrak to Portland!
Pro tip: The app Uber allowed us a free town car pickup for our first use. We used it to get from the hotel to the climbing gym and felt very exclusive entering our private car.
I made some whiskey glasses for my boyfriend’s company, RokkinCat.
What, your office doesn’t participate in Whiskey Friday’s? Mine either. First world problems, people.
Glass etching is not difficult and you can create some great personalized items and gifts. Here’s what you need:
Once you have your supplies…
Cut your design out of the tape // adhere to the glass // smear a thick layer of armour etch on top// let sit 60 sec. // rinse off //
It’s really that easy.
And if you have something like a Silhouette cutter, you can get even more beautifully detailed on some vinyl.
I’ve now been back in the US for about 5 days and it’s time to officially wrap up this study abroad blog.
Overall, this experience was so rewarding and I strongly encourage anyone thinking about study abroad, go for it! Yes, it might be expensive, yes it means leaving your family, friends, significant other, etc for a period of time. But it’s just so worth it. In the big picture 3-4 months is incredibly doable and let me tell you, time flies. It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was living in Paris or that I spent almost 4 months there. blink.of.an.eye.
Au revoir Paris, tu me manques déjà.
Last weekend in Paris and going out with a bang. Friday: A table full of more Moroccan food than we could ever eat.
Dusk on le pont des arts:
And how many times in your life do you get to lay directly under le tour eiffel? At midnight? After completing a scavenger hunt through Paris?