And no, I do not sell get rich quick schemes

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

Six months ago, I was making less than pennies. Half a cent per word writing plant care guide sheets, to be exact.

A year ago, I didn’t have a job at all.

Well okay, I stayed home to take care of my kids, but I still do. When someone asks me my job now, they don’t go “Oh wow, that’s soooo important” with that simpering, patronizing tone anymore. They recognize me as a contributing member of society.

*As an aside, can everyone just agree to stop that? Caring for children is soooo important and can be a ton of fun…


Ask any Midwesterner where they used to vacation as a child, and chances are they will immediately answer, Wisconsin Dells. Surrounded by miles of untouched natural beauty, The Dells is the ultimate thrill-seekers’ tourist trap and Wisconsinites’ default vacation destination.

The self-described waterpark capital of the world, The Dells boasts the largest concentration of waterparks on Earth — a title no sane city would ever dare challenge. And indeed, the sheer number of waterslides is overwhelming to even the biggest splash pool enthusiast.

But just steps from Mount Olympus, an inexplicably Ancient Greek-themed amusement park complete with a death-defying rollercoaster…


Sometimes noobs are better than pros

You are an expert in your field, or close to it. You know your business inside and out. What makes your business stand out, your edge over the competition, the nitty-gritty specs for your product — you’ve got it all down cold.

Your customers, on the other hand…

And now you need to produce content to get those customers to understand why you’re the best of the best.

Your first instinct is probably to just flat out tell them you’re the best. Direct, but ineffective.

Then you think again and decide, no, let’s show them with all the technical specifications…


Finches are lovely pets, inside and out.

They’re mild-mannered, stay small, eat a steady diet of seeds, and tend to be lower-maintenance as far as birds go. Give them plenty of space to hop around and socialize, and a handful of finches will reward you with a light, chirpy song.

Best of all, domestic finches are available in a rainbow of colors, from drab gray to a technicolor explosion. Not that you’d pick a pet based solely on looks, but it sure doesn’t hurt that these bouncy little birds are among the most striking pets on the market.

Here are…


Hidden Gems Alternative Travel Guide — Part 5

Colorado is one of my favorite states.

It’s home to the Avalanche (who absolutely should’ve beaten VGK last week) and the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains, I was speechless. Literally. That has never happened to me ever again — just ask anyone. This state has some phenomenal restaurants, an outstanding B&B that I never wanted to leave, and Boulder is at the top of my list if and when we ever move away from Wisconsin. Colorado, I love you.

And you know what else is cool about CO?

Weed.

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

Okay, so it isn’t such a Coloradan novelty these…


Everyone knows a friend of a friend of a friend who has a pet skunk.

But I have a confession. I’ve always kind of wanted to be that friend with a skunk.

Can you blame me? They look so soft and cuddly. And I mean, just look at this adorable face!

those nails tho

But the only skunks I’ve ever encountered have been huddled under my front porch, lumbering across the lawn, or eternally resting on the side of the road. I’ve never had the chance to pet that luscious black and white fur.

I wonder what it’d be like to cut out…


Hidden Gems Alternative Travel Guide — Part 5

Gas in the DeLorean? Check.

Pastport? Check.

Barbarian repellent? Robot milk? Better head to The Time Travel Mart in LA.

This tongue-in-cheek bodega has all the necessities for successful time travel — no matter which direction you’re headed. From canned primordial soup to evil robot memory erasers (they’re magnets) The Time Travel Mart has you covered.

If you’re an android (it’s okay, we won’t tell) you can buy instant emotions like fear, envy, happiness, boredom, or Schadenfreude to help you blend in with the humans. For forward-travelers, pick up a can of mammoth chunks. …


Hidden Gems Alternative Travel Guide — Part 4

You know that friend who has only one story? A story they tell over and over and made it their entire identity… But it’s one of those ‘had to be there’ kind of stories?

That’s Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.

Walnut Ridge is a sleepy little town in Arkansas that has only 5,300ish residents, an exceptional parks and rec situation, and is nicely situated on the Rock n’ Roll Highway between Jonesboro and Memphis. It simply exudes small-town Southern charm.

And it has a story to tell.

It’s not a long story.

It’s not even a terribly exciting story.

But it’s theirs…


Hidden Gems Alternative Travel Guide — Part 3

After the year we’ve all had, choosing a vacation destination can feel like an impossible task. Should you visit a desert, a rainforest, marsh, savanna, or an ocean climate? There’s so much we haven’t seen! So many options, so little time?

Why not visit all of the above? At once?

North of Tuscon and just south of the middle of nowhere stands a self-contained mini-Earth. This 3-acre glass house is a tourable science experiment devoted entirely to ecosystems and plants.

Lots of plants.

Biosphere 2 is home to over 3,500 species in five different biomes, each carefully tended by a…


Hidden Gems Alternative Travel Guide — Part 2

Kennicott Ghost Town nps.gov

At the precipice of an industrial boom born from copper mining, the young town of Kennicott, Alaska suddenly plummeted to picturesque ghost town status. Why?

Today’s Kennicott is home to nobody, but there are about 40 standing structures including a massive mill, a power plant, several industrial structures, and a handful of homes. There’s a dairy barn where Kennicott’s few cows were kept, a rec center that miraculously still holds events, a schoolhouse slash church, and a tiny hospital that employed only one doctor and three nurses. (Fun fact: this hospital was the home of Alaska’s first x-ray machine.)

Prospectors…

Sarah Czarnecki

Storyteller. Yarn spinner. sarahczarnecki.com

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