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a loving caress for this sweetheart.

Pre-Covid, I regularly hunted for Caboodles at my favorite thrift store, but I never found one. And by “never found,” I mean, “never found in a condition I was comfortable bringing home.” Occasionally, there would be dingy ones on the shelf, but I just couldn’t do it. The Caboodles cases of my ‘90s memories—and thus, the Caboodles cases of my 2020 dreams—were pristine.

For those who missed Caboodles during their first wave of popularity, the concept can be summarized as: pastel tackle boxes with rounded corners, marketed to girls, because…beauty products. During my tween and teen years, I grew a whole collection of them. Each case served her own, important purpose; one kept beads and beading supplies, one kept jewelry, one had trinkets and stationery, and so on and so on. …

What’s a planner to do, when it’s impossible to plan?

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Let’s pretend that all planning is this peaceful and luxurious. Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Every December for the last five or so years, I’ve done some sort of goal-setting process, designed to bring closure to the current year and prepare for the upcoming one. Depending on circumstances and mood, there may be lots of lists involved or maybe I follow along with an online course, or print a workbook. If I’m feeling particularly sassy, I may even make a binder with tabs and everything.

I know this all sounds pretty nerdy and very Hermione-Granger-meets-Leslie-Knope, but I tend to really enjoy it. There are always prompts and questions about what went well this past year, and what I hope to achieve in the coming year, and I usually come away with a fairly clear path toward work and personal goals. …

Four for me. Go me.

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image grabbed via The Paramount Vault. (Fair Use)

You can just delete those discounted twinkle lights and flannel pajama sets from your Amazon cart now. There’s no point. Not now, not ever.

I have felt peak holiday cheer and experienced an inner warmth that burns hotter than all the fireplaces adorned by all the stockings. That shines brighter than all the stars atop all the trees. That provides more comfort than all the weighted blankets piled on top of each other and arranged in such a way that you can still breathe comfortably.

When I was in eleventh grade, my school did Candy Cane Grams, where we could buy candy canes and send them to each other under the guise of holiday spirit. Everyone saw exactly how many friends cared enough about you to spend a dollar and write your name on a card. And I received four — FOUR! — candy canes. And not those tiny stupid ones that come in sleeves of plastic. …

Please enjoy this actual 2001 mix CD from my archives.

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Image via Eric Napanen on Unsplash

These past few months, I’ve had a few long-distance errands which have required me to drive alone in my car for hours. Because my phone perpetually has little to no room for new music, I’ve dusted off the remnants of my CD collection for these drives. Most of what’s left is around 20ish-years-old, and burned by teenage me, so I fully expected a wave of nostalgia when I first played them.

But something else happened, too.

These old CDs transported me to a completely different mental space than I’ve otherwise been in this year. They are one-part time machine and one-part scrapbook, and listening to them felt like an old diary opening up and swallowing me whole. …

Congratulations, peasant!

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Don’t you DARE make eye contact with Dame Judy Dench!

We are pleased to inform you that all 58 required photos that you submitted with your application for SEATFILLER passed muster. This confirmation email serves as your ticket to attend “Upcoming Elite Gathering of Hollywood Elite in Celebration Of Our Elite Accomplishments, Elitely.”

Please read this email in its entirely. If you don’t, we will know, and you will be seated behind someone tall AF.


1. Your check-in time is: 4:15am.

2. Dress code is: Family Friendly Whimsical Flawless Cocktail Perfection.
For women, we recommend: hand-sewn cocktail dresses in muted jewel tones, hand-dyed with the blood of virgins and/or organic local berries harvested ethically by workers approved to work legally in our state. Vintage baroque ball gowns are also acceptable, if authentic. Note that all pastels except seafoam green are prohibited, as are all animal prints except skin of elephant. …

Hello hello!

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Greetings from our respective PNW hollows. We’re writing today with updates about the newsletter you so kindly subscribed to within the last two years. As you may have guessed by all the quiet in our corner of the internet, we have gone on an indefinite pause. A hiatus, if you will. We — Dena and Julia, The Woodsy’s founders — continue to wholeheartedly believe in the mission and goals of this project, but life circumstances have taken over, and we’re simply not able to do it justice (for now, at least). …

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Celia and I were both part of the 2nd co-hort of Creative Enterprise, a program for creative entrepreneurs here in Spokane (which happens to be run by the amazing Ginger Ewing, a friend of The Woodsy). Throughout the fall of 2017, I saw Celia on a regular basis, learned about her business, and secretly wondered if I could hire her to overhaul my entire house (a girl can dream, right?). …

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A few years ago, Sandy and I worked down the hall from one another; she at Eastern Washington University’s Pride Center, and me in their Career Services department. We, quite literally, would often cross paths in the hallway of our building. When I learned that she’d launched The Black Lens, I was intrigued, but as I’ve learned more about it, and seen signs of its impact on the Spokane community, I’m in awe. Spokane is lucky to have Sandy. — Dena

Name: Sandra Williams

Where did you grow up?: My dad was in the army, so I grew up in a number of places. I was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but my dad was stationed in Germany, California, Hawaii, South Carolina, and finally at Gonzaga University, which brought us to Spokane in 1973. My brother and I went to Cheney junior high school, Cheney high school and Washington State University. …

The season of new year’s resolutions has come and gone. It’s solidly into March and spring is just around the corner. I (Julia) came into 2018 bright with excitement for all of the new tasks on my list, and ready to get to work. I had plans! I had ideas! I had a word of the year all picked out months in advance! Unfortunately, 2018 had other plans for me. Due to a seriously Lemony Snicket style series of unfortunate events, it’s MARCH and I have barely checked a goal off my list.

My type A, recovering perfectionist self is twitching just writing that. …

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Genevieve introduced herself to us this past fall, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share her profile here. She makes traveling the world sound both accessible and important, yet she still manages to appreciate the PNW (something we can relate to). Enjoy her awesome insights and if you need us, we’ll be over here, trying to find the closest camel.

Name: Genevieve Hathaway

Where did you grow up?: Issaquah, Washington

Where do you live now?: Bothell, Washington

Tell us about your career path: It definitely wasn’t a straight line. I earned a BS in Biology, BA in Archaeology: Emphasis Osteoarchaeology and Egyptology. After taking some time to focus on mountaineering and climbing; I launched a woman’s climbing magazine. From there I began working as a freelance editorial and commercial photographer and videographer. I moved back (that’s another story) to Egypt during the Arab Spring. From my time working as a photographer in the Middle East, I decided to launch a tour company, ArchaeoAdventures Tours running adventure tours to the Middle East and North Africa. We employ an all-local female staff of guides and local women tourism professionals as a way to help economically empower local women through good jobs. With my career path — which is a work in progress, still changing and growing — each opportunity led to next opportunity, and they built on each other. …


Dena Ogden

writer | part 80s/part 90s | very PNW | words also on The Atlantic, R29, Bustle, Romper, et al | she/her

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