Sunday, March 29, 2020


LEGO creation  by Angie  Shaar Maurer 

Wired Wrapped Jewelry Project

Jewelry by Victoria Heeter

Lexy's COVID-19 Dance Challenge

With the U.S entering its second week of work from home, we want to offer hope to all the people stuck inside (and those who can’t be). 

This is where you come in! You can either follow along to one of the videos I send to you, or make up your own to the chorus of “Work from Home” by fifth harmony! The ask, above all, is to have fun and spread joy.. so show off your skills or just get silly with it!

Use the hashtag #COVIDdancevid. We hope to get your friends and family members to follow, so tag 5+ people in your video to challenge them to make and post a video of their own. 

Let's spread these videos around the world. Endless love and well wishes.

Happy Dancing :) 




Dance inspiration by Lexy Lattimore

From the Bird Series

Art by Josh "Ja-key" Hurd (aka Gipsy Jak)
 @gipsyjak / Instagram

Friday, March 27, 2020

Winter Decor

Home decor by Mark Krzysiak

Baked From Frozen

Photograph by Mark Krzysiak

You Are Not Alone

Drawing by Shira Brenner
@thatsassyhealer / Instagram

Colored Pens Make Everything More Fun

If we are playing a word association game and someone says "colored pens," I can answer with one word: Corey.

Dear Corey.

Corey one of three people randomly assigned as my roommate in the dorm at Heer Hall my freshman year at Kent State University and somehow -- somehow -- she turned out to be one of the great loves of my life. 

Funny how the randomness of things defines so much of who we are, where we go, and who we go there with.

I lived with Corey all four years of undergraduate school (two years in the dorm, two years off campus) because we were extremely compatible for cohabitation.  We had different friends and didn't feel the need to be joined at the hip, so we made our way through our years at KSU in a well-balanced formation. 

One thing we often did together, though, was study at Country Kitchen, a twenty-four hour diner just off-campus.  It wasn't unusual for us to be there four or five nights a week -- more if it was closer to finals.  We'd show up at five or six o'clock and stay until well into the night.  Many other Kent State students frequented the joint and there was quite a colorful cast of "locals" who were always hanging around, so it was never a boring spot to go to.

But at least once a week before we'd head to the "Bitchin' Kitchen" (or simply "The Bitch" -- "Wanna hit The Bitch?" was a frequent question in our household), Corey would suggest a trip to Wal-Mart.

To buy colored pens.

We'd go and stroll the office supply aisle at Wal-Mart (also a wild place to spend a Friday night in Ravenna, Ohio) to buy "motivational supplies."  That might include post-its in different shapes and/or sizes, tiny staplers, index cards in any color but plain white, highlighters in any color but boring yellow, paperclips in crazy shapes (if they had them), and, of course, "fun pens."

Fun pens meant different colors, it meant sparkly, it meant clicky, it meant felt-tip, it meant so many different things.

God knows how many pens both Corey and I owned by the time we earned our Bachelor degrees.  We'd certainly bought every "fun" offering that Wal-Mart had.

We'd then take our brand new office supplies to The Bitch and sit in a booth drinking bottomless (and I do mean bottomless -- we sometimes went through multiple pitchers of it, just the two of us) cups of coffee, occasionally ordering mozzarella sticks, if we were feeling really saucy.  And we'd study our asses off.

"It's more fun to write these flashcards with this new pen," Corey would say.

From across the table, I'd nod in agreement.

This is Capitalism at its finest, y'all.

When Corey and I graduated from Kent in 2002, she stayed in Northeastern Ohio and married her college boyfriend, Mike, while I moved off to Boston to pursue another degree.  Outside of just shy of a year when she lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan, places easy for me to reach via a very cheap bus ride from Boston to New York, we saw each other less and less over the years as the frequency of our marathon phone calls decreased. 

But Corey is one of those friends who I don't need to see or speak to all that regularly in order to be completely soul-level connected with.  She is so deeply engrained as a friend, as a sister, that even if we didn't speak to each other for multiple years, when the opportunity arose to check in, it was basically a "Well, anyway, as I was saying..." level of comfort and familiarity.

That reunion happened for us in August 2018 when Corey flew to Boston for the weekend to see our beloved Cleveland Indians play Fenway Park.  By that point, I was pretty sure I was going to be moving to Ohio in a year, though I hadn't told anyone, really, yet.  I wasn't certain if I was going to tell Corey, either, though I think I waited all of three hours before sharing my plan with her.

I'll never forget it.  We were in Harvard Square, sitting at a umbrella-shaded table on Daedalus' roof deck patio on that warm, sunny, glorious summer day and our brunch had just been set before us.  As Corey took a bite, I took a deep breath and said, "It's not definite... but it's possible that I will be moving to Cleveland next fall."  Corey dropped her fork and genuine tears sprang to her eyes and started to roll down her face.  "Oh my god," she said.  "Please move back.  It would change my life."

It would change my life.

I remember feeling so loved in that moment, so valued, so connected to the life of this person who I hadn't seen in the flesh for at least four years prior to that moment.  This person who I'd picked up at the airport three hours before and dove straight into the heart of conversation without so much as an awkward breath of silence.  I remember her response being yet another signal that I was making the right decision not only to leave Boston but to choose Cleveland next.

Corey and I at Fenway, August 2018

As I sit in my Cleveland Heights apartment now, I feel overwhelmed by having made that choice, made that decision, and how it saved and supported me in so many ways.  With the current state of quarantine and lockdown and life outside of social-distancing being canceled somewhat indefinitely, I feel so thankful that I am safe and well (knock on wood), that I have stable housing and access to enough food, that I have the money to pay for my rent and everything I need.  I feel very fortunate to be in the position that I'm in.

My heart breaks for my friends who have lost their jobs or otherwise lost income that they depend on to take care of these very base-level expenses.  I imagine being in their shoes -- if COVID-19 had happened a year ago, I honestly don't know what I would have done.  With the yoga studio closed, I'm not certain if I'd have been temporarily laid off or given reduced pay -- I really don't know.

And if COVID-19 had happened when I was living in that situation with three people who I didn't really enjoy in a place that wouldn't have allowed me to stock up on food so I wouldn't have to go out to the store every few days due to my limited refrigerator and cupboard space...

To be living with roommates at all during this pandemic would be very nerve-wrecking. 

Instead, I am here, living alone in an apartment that I really love in a space I truly enjoy, that feels like my own, and with an incredible outdoor space open and available right across the street.

This apartment that I sent Corey and her husband Mike to look at for me since I was still in Somerville when I found it on Craig's List.  I'll never forget the excitement in their voices when they called me after viewing it.  I knew it was the right place for me to land when I relocated.

And when talk of quarantine started to get real, it was Corey reaching out to say, "I will come and get you.  Have a bag packed."  I haven't felt at the point of needing to leave here (yet) and maybe it's not even advisable now with this shelter-in-place -- we're not really supposed to intermingle with anyone, I suppose -- but the mere fact that she reached out with such directness, urgency, and care for me honestly brought tears to my eyes.

I'm a lucky woman -- she wasn't the only person who reached out, as my sister-in-law Jen made the same offer right on Corey's heels.  It may seem like a no-brainer or a silly thing or not a big deal, but I can tell you that being remembered, being thought of in times of crisis, made me feel very loved.

Before school started this year, I ordered some fun colored pens that are clicky, and I 100% did it because it made me think of Corey and our successful run as undergraduates.  Having those supplies on hand made me feel ready for anything, like Corey was still right by my side wing-womaning my way through another academic cycle.

Sometimes it's those little moments that feel like throwaways at the time that stick with you the most.  Corey taught me the art of "treat yo self" long before Parks and Rec came along -- and you know what, she's right.  Doing homework with purple ink is better than doing it with boring blue or black.  Friendships teach so many things.  How to add color and vibrancy is but one.  'Tis beautiful to notice.  'Tis beautiful to carry the tradition onward.  'Tis beautiful to have a friend like Corey.

Essay by Sarah Wolf
I Spy in 2020 blog