Shops I miss that were on State St, Madison, WI*

{Dates are approximate, and I’m filling them in as I learn more. Feel free to correct me or to share info!}

Tellus Mater (1959-2019)

Driftless Studios

The Puzzlebox

MMoCA gift shop

The Peacock

The Boot Barn (I mean, because)

The Den

That store that had all the backpacks and travel bags

Erehwon

Avol’s Books

Sacred Feather

The Yellow Jersey (1971- moved to Arlington, WI in 2013)

Shakespeare’s Books**

Capitol Kids**

*This is limited to retail shops. I’ll save restaurants for another day. I know you folks really want to know how I feel about those.

**On Carroll Street, but so very close.

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Me, as a type one parent

A zillion things come to mind. But two rise to the top. One, fierce admiration for my girl and her courage and fortitude and attitude. She’s amazing. And two, exhaustion. There are no days off. This shit is relentless. Site changes, sensor changes, beep beep beep. And the sleepless nights waiting for numbers to rise or fall and wondering what you did wrong or right and researching when there will be an answer for any of this—well, those nights suck. But alas, type one. We’ll fight on.

Dead to Me slayed me

I burned through the latest—and last—season in a day. No savoring here, folks. While I watched, I thought of Applegate and her MS (Jesus, that woman deserved all the awards before acting with a crazy-ass disease that affects everything), and I thought about the cool choice to bring in Katy Sagal as Judy’s mom, and I thought about the beauty of the image of the cranes. But I mostly thought about friendship and forgiveness because, of course, that’s what the show is about. And damn is it a good show.

On beauty

Like many of us, I’ve got a complicated relationship with aesthetics. On the one hand, they’re kind of everything to me. On the other, I sorta hate that. Except, if I’m honest, I don’t hate it because I care about them. I like pretty things. I like beauty. In fact, I love it. Don’t most of us?

Well, maybe. But maybe not. I spend an obnoxious amount of time thinking about art. Houses, which are art. Movies, which are art. Music? Obviously art. Wallpaper? Art. Food. Art-adjacent. Flowers? Art. Furniture? Clearly art. Lines and dots and splotches? Art.

And I think a lot about my daughter’s unfairly gorgeous face. I’ve spent an insane number of hours staring into that face and thinking about what it means to me and to those who know her. And I’ve wondered what others who don’t love her like I do see in that face. I’ll never know, of course, because I can’t unknow a mother’s love and obsession, but I can speculate.

Molly told me this week that she’s ugly. When I responded–in awe–that it was crazy that she could think such a thing, she told me that I had to tell her that because I’m her mom. I knew where she was coming from, but I tried to assure her that it’s not possible for me to lie about beauty because, frankly, it’s not. And she is–for better or worse–the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I truly don’t know how she does it. She’s so funny and smart and kind and weird. And ridiculously beautiful and interesting. For a long time, I thought I wasn’t supposed to say that aloud. To her or to anyone. But that’s ridiculous. Saying it aloud doesn’t make me conceited or diminish her charm. It just acknowledges what I know: she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Our bedding was driving me bananas. So i went all in on new.

Gertie + new bedding


January 2023
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