Category Archives: creativity

One week later!

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote about starting to sprout alfalfa seeds (March 19 blog). I actually had them started a day before posting about this venture.

The first batch is ready to eat and I’m enjoying them. It’s something fresh and green in my diet.

Besides alfalfa sprouts, I’ve also started a mix with clover and another with lentils, peas, mung bean and adzuki bean–whatever that is. These just went into the sprouter yesterday and I already see little shoots starting to pop out today.

Since I’m having so much fun growing these seeds, I went searching for my old sprouter. I remember that two of the plastic levels had broken. Maybe I threw the whole thing out at that time, but maybe I didn’t.

Guess what, I found my original sprouter or at least half of it, and now I’m able to have more seeds going.

The new set up is on the left and the old sprouter is on the right.

I’ve been munching alfalfa sprouts for a couple of days. Finally, I have enough to make a mouthful. If I keep the seeds cycling through the containers, I should have something growing to eat every day.

I bought my packaged seeds online through Amazon, but from the Sprout House (

Yum, alfalfa sprouts.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Official Absentee Ballot

I usually work the election polls, but I bowed out from these duties and asked for a paper absentee ballot.

I received my paper ballot yesterday and only opened the envelope today. It looked as I expected. I was ready to fill it out and send it back to our township clerk. That’s when I stumbled across a problem.

The envelope has highlighted places for signatures. Yes, I said signatures with an S. I was to sign and have someone sign as a witness to my signature.

I was flummoxed. Who would witness my signature? If Bob was around, we would have witnessed each other. Now I only had the dog. Somehow I don’t think his paw print would suffice.

While I was contemplating this dilemma, I got a phone call from daughter Rebecca. I told her about the situation. Rebecca said to take my sealed ballot to the drive-up window at the bank. The clerk at the window can be my witness–they also have notary public services the same way.

Tomorrow I’ll take a drive to Nicolet Bank in Seymour. They know me there and should be able to be my witness.

Thank you, Rebecca.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

New and old cutting boards

Last August our daughter, Rebecca, introduced me to
Longshadow Woodworks at Art Street in Green Bay. Ever since I’ve been working with Aryn and Courtney Kern talking about replacing my three kitchen cutting boards. (

I measured and remeasured, and re-remeasured, hoping I’d get everything correct. I then emailed my measurements to the Kerns for their estimate.

They gave me their estimate but said they couldn’t do my custom work until winter. That was okay with me. We had been putting off getting new cutting boards for years, and years, and years. (Bob and I moved here in 2001.)

Today I met Aryn Kern at the Artigras event in Green Bay and picked up my three maple cutting boards–Aryn and her husband Courtney drive from Minnesota for both Artigras and Art Street.

I was extremely happy with their creations for our kitchen.

Guess which are the old cutting boards and which are the new ones.

I held my breath when I slid the new boards into place. They fit perfectly!

Susan with Aryn Kern at Artigras

Thank you, Aryn and Courtney, for doing a wonderful job. I love my new cutting boards. I love them so much I will think twice before cutting on them. The wood is just too beautiful. I don’t want to scratch it.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved


I saw a short video on the internet that braided the hanging drawstrings from a sweatshirt hood. It looked easy so I gave it a try.

made with flat cording
made with regular cording

To start, take the cord straight toward you. You will fold it in thirds. Hold the top fold and take the loose end that is on the right over your held fold. Bring it back under the cording. It is now back on the right. Use that right hand cord and start braiding over middle cord. From this point it is simple braiding.

Finally, you will have the first fold become a tiny loop. The end of the cord goes into that loop (it should be a tight fit so it doesn’t come out) and you are finished.

This is hard to give written directions without diagrams. I hope you can understand what I wrote. Otherwise, go to the internet. Here’s one link with multiple weavings:

Here’s another:

These instructions a bit differently than mine, but you’ll find many suggestions and directions out there.

It doesn’t hurt to give it a try.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Advice taken

Bob used to take food and water out to the barn for the cats that live here. He’d carry everything in one 5-gallon bucket. After a few big snowstorms, we trained the cats to come to the house for food and water.

After the change, Bob continued to carry the large bucket around. One place he took it was to the mailbox. When he had it with he could drop all the mail in the bucket and not lose anything to the wind.

Mail’s here! See the delivery flag has popped.

Bob carried the bucket all winter long. He said he did this in case he fell. Because of his bad hip, if he ended up on the ground, he needed something to push up on to get up.

I started carrying a bucket with me when I go to the mailbox. Wicked winds have caught newspapers in the past. Now they are dropped safely in the bucket.

Mail is in the bucket, safe from the wind and dropping in the snow.

Bob always had great ideas…and a soft heart when it came to barn cats.

Copyright 2020 © by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved