Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Steudel Residence

My parents' house as I was packing up to leave for Madison and Milwaukee.


I'm about to leave the Milwaukee area to head back to Connecticut, either tomorrow or the day after. This Christmas break has been on par with prior ones. It just plain feels good to be home in Wisconsin, visiting people and places, and being back amongst good friends and family. It's hard to describe any of it without sounding cheesy, but I'm so grateful for the warm welcome I get from so many people. It's what makes it still feel like home. (I told you it would be cheesy!)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Butcher Block Anchor

For almost exactly a year, I've hauled around this butcher block table top that my friend Kate gave me. My parents and I drove it down to Asheville, NC, after Christmas last year, and I bought steel hair pin legs for it. However, there wasn't really space for it, and I was frankly frightened to drill holes into this table top valued at hundreds of dollars. That's a lot of dollars, you guys! I thought for sure taking on the project myself would lead to a blog post ending in "...and this is why we can't have nice things."

And so it looked like this for about a year.

Butcher Block Table

Butcher Block Table

I moved it up to Connecticut when I moved and nearly ruined one scrawny college neighbor kid moving it up to my second floor apartment. At two inches thick and solid maple (I think?), it's easily the heaviest thing I own, and now I know it requires not only two people, but two non-scrawny people to move.

Months after moving in, I managed to trick a coworker with woodworking experience into helping me drill holes for the legs and pick out the hardware to attach said legs. Behold my new craft table:

Butcher Block Table

Butcher Block Table

Seeing it all built up draws this chapter of the traveling table top to a close. And now for the crafting!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Stew Leonard's

Have you ever taken a field trip with a bunch of coworkers during your work lunch hour to a grocery store? Now I have.

Introducing Stew Leonard's, the grocery store to end all overpriced novelty grocery stores. Everything's family-sized and the place is literally a maze. If you forgot something near the beginning, you have to work your way back through along the one long, zig-zaggy aisle to get it. As an upside, there are lots of free samples and there's plenty of entertainment.

Here's Cindy and Jimmy watching rice cakes being made, as Cindy, the veteran of Stew's, explains.

Stew Leonard's

There are a lot of animatronic.... animatrons throughout the store.

Stew Leonard's

Yep, that banana dances and sings.

Stew Leonard's

This apple doesn't do anything but loom overhead.

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard's

Staten Island Cleanup

This is old news by now, but over a month ago I went with a Team Pegasus teammate to volunteer for the Staten Island cleanup. Staten Island was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy, and there were lots of homes that were still cleaning out their flooded basements and first floors.

There was a motorcycle club (gang? haha) volunteering at the supply station.


Supply Tent

This was my gang for the day.

Part of the Cyclist Crew

Hey look there's me! We cruised around in a big 15 passenger van for the day. The first hour or so was more like a tour than volunteering, as we cruised around trying to find somewhere to get to work. There were so many volunteers and, understandably, it was hard to organize everyone.

Staten Island Tour

There were lots of pop-up stations with supplies in people's backyards, etc. Here we grabbed some supplies to hand out on the streets.



Distribution of Goods

Some families threw everything out, including all of their children's toys, while others spent their day cleaning off every pair of shoes, string of plastic beads and bottle of nail polish. Here we've got a nicely organized trash pile (some stuff just got dumped out on the curb, no bags or anything) with a trashed car.

All Garbage

Many junked cars still lining the streets with water still in the headlights.

Flooded Car

Lots of cars exactly like this when you peered in the window.

High water marks were apparent all over the place.

High Water Indication

The woman who lived here said that her second floor wooden floors and walls were just starting to warp from the moisture wicking up the walls from the saturated first floor.

High Water Mark

The streets looked post-apocalyptic.

Most streets looked like this or worse.

What a lot of the streets looked like.

Most streets looked like this or worse.

There was some heavy machinery roaming the streets, too. This machine clamped piles of trash and dumped them into a waiting dumpster.

Heavy Machinery

Heavy Machinery

Here's the group just before wrapping up for the day.

Katy, Grant, Peter, Ben, ?

It's interesting to see the difference between Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook shooting. With Hurricane Sandy there were plenty of things people could do to help. All you had to do was carve out some time and get dirty. With Sandy Hook, it's much more confusing and frustrating.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Introducing Kathy

At the office there's a bike room where people can park their mountain bike, or their bike that they commute on. It was recently reorganized and people were assigned one spot apiece, to keep the bikes from piling up. How does one know what spot is theirs? I'm glad you asked. They get a little piece of paper taped to the wall with their name on it. Or, if you're me, you get a piece of paper with something resembling your name on it. Mine says not 'Katy Steudel' but 'Kathy Steadel'.

I actually get called Kathy quite a bit. People just read an 'h' in there. This particular combo is one of the best I'd seen, however, and it reminded me of an older woman's name. And so my alter ego Kathy Steadel was born. This is one hip mom-type. I've been waiting to break her out, and this past weekend at a holiday party was as good a time as any.

I also made some very, very special shirts for a friend an I out of some knock-off Twilight fabric. I added the present and the Santa hat, but believe it or not that fabric is a real thing.


This is a photo my friend Lindsay titled 'A Very Candid Kathy'. (Although I usually pose for photos with my mouth agape, so it's kind of hard to tell it's candid.)


Yes, those are velvet pants. I know. I'm sorry your mom isn't as cool as Kathy, too.