My day jobs are being a mom to a great kid—my son River—a writer for Isthmus, Madison Magazine, ediblemadison.com and my food blog (wisconsinfunnextexit.com), which was inspired by Molly Wizenburg, who’s written some great books about food and also has a food blog: Orangette. I also run the Young Writers Camp program for kids at Olbrich Gardens in the summer and last summer I made popsicles for Annemarie, the owner of Bloom Bakeshop.
Before my son was born, I was a teacher in the Madison public schools. I love getting to be part of the experience of getting kids excited about words and language. My dream would be to get a “writers in the schools” program up and running in Madison and serve as a writer in residence.
Writing has been a wonderful way to learn about and try all the things I’ve never done. Creative non-fiction is my favorite type of writing and I’ve gotten to learn about everything from kosher food prep to the steps involved in making an acoustic guitar by hand. It’s great fun and I feel really lucky.
My most memorable caffeine is my morning French press—it’s supposed to be four cups, but those would be some very tiny cups! I make it with freshly ground coffee beans, but it’s nothing fancy. And recently I’ve started to get more into tea. I had a Scottish grandmother so we always made tea with a tea bag, served with milk, but I’ve started to learn more about tea and am just starting to appreciate the great variety.
My current caffeine of choice is usually a coffee with some half and half.
My favorite place for caffeine is The Victory on Atwood—and they also have amazing waffles. If I’m being indulgent I might have an iced latte with coconut from Indie Coffee on Regent Street. That was the first caffeine I had after my son was born.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is my Grandpa Love. He was my mom’s adopted father—her biological dad died in WWII and he married my grandma and adopted my mother when she was six.
Grandpa Love was born on Christmas Eve in 1911 and he owned a tire shop in Cherokee, Iowa. When he came to visit us in Madison (I spent much of my childhood here), we’d go to Rennebohm’s—he’d have coffee and I’d have a donut. And I’d also have a donut with him and his buddies in Cherokee or at the Koffee Kup Café in Okoboji where he and my grandma had a cottage.
He was just one of those people who loved life. He was my favorite person: sweet, kind and a real character. I thought he would live to be 100 but he died when I was about 21 of skin cancer. I’d be over the moon to see him again.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: learning how to live by the Golden Rule. The world would certainly be a better place if we could have empathy and learn to be kind.