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Last week my grandmother surprised us all by having a stroke.  She is doing better for the moment—so far, she can swallow again and she can laugh, but she can’t talk—and my mom and aunt flew to be with her.  “If you can come, you’ll be glad you did,” my mother told me yesterday on the phone.  “It is being a very sweet time.”  I bought my ticket the same day.

I am unsure what the future holds for me.  Funny I should feel like saying that now.  When are we ever sure what the future holds for us?  See Grandma’s stroke above.  Somehow routines and relationships give me a feeling of knowingness.  In DC, I can pretend that I know what the future holds for me; for instance, eating chocolate chip cookie dough with Stephanie and dinner with Manfriend.  If I were staying in DC, my money would be on those things.

This next life move is cracking those guesses-posing-as-certainties wide open.  Read the rest of this entry »



In two months, I am moving to Las Vegas.  No Rebecca Smylie/Lisa Piorczynski here.  I’m telling you up front.  I got a new job—a one-year stint (something legal)—and come July, I’ll be leaving DC and moving west.

And before we start talking about if I’m excited, if I’m sad, if I’m going to return to DC afterward, let me also say this: because of my new job and the variety of our other life events, we, the women of the Apron Stage, have decided to give our two weeks’ notice.  We will stop blogging on the Apron Stage at the end of May.

For true.

Read the rest of this entry »

not so sure about the manliness of tatoos - maybe one of the other guys can address that


My name is Jed “Manfriend” Brinton, and this is Larry the Cable Guy, here to help me introduce … The Hammer Stage! **

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, an entire week in which we, the men of the Apron Stage, take the … stage, for lack of a better word, to do what men do best – kill time until the women come back.  Hopefully we won’t break anything. (we’re pretty sure the banner up top will look good as new after a little duct tape)

To kick things off, I will address the important topic of manliness.

What is manliness?  Some of you (including some of the men) aren’t sure.  Fortunately, you are reading this post, so you get to hear the answer from at least one man.***

Read the rest of this entry »


Because I’m an adult, I could decide one morning in VA to drive that afternoon to the family’s home in NY.

I could

  • rent a Toyota Corolla for $13/day from
  • stop by the airport to pick up the car, stop by my office to pick up my notes, stop by the bank to make a deposit
  • forgive myself for running late
  • forgive that driver who called me a b, when I’m pretty sure she was the one who cut me off Read the rest of this entry »


Note: I’m narcissistic enough to be bored when other people tell me their dreams, unless I’m in them.  If you feel as I do, forgive me.  Unless you are one of the people in this dream.  Then call me.  CALL ME.

I had a dream once in which I was dating the most attractive man I could imagine.  I remember thinking in my dream, “Wow, this is the most attractive man I can imagine.”  He was tall.  He was broad shouldered.  He was wearing a suit.  He smiled at me.  I was impressed I’d come up with him.

In my dream, I was carrying a big baby on my hip.  As is typical in my dreams, I was somehow responsible for the baby, but the baby wasn’t mine.  It wasn’t my boyfriend’s either.

In my dream, my suit-wearing, broad-shouldered, tall boyfriend smiled at me.  He wanted to talk.  He lifted me up, and I remember being carried, while still carrying the baby, and thinking to myself, “Wow.  Now this guy is even more attractive to me.  I didn’t know that was possible.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Taken after my early morning religious class and before school, no doubt while waiting for the family to gather for family prayer, maybe 7 am, maybe circa 1997.  The specifics aren’t important; this happened every day.  That is my older sister lying on top of me.


One day when I was 17 and in eleventh grade, during orchestra class, I went into the music office, called my mom, and said, “You need to give me a reason to stay.  Otherwise I’m coming home.” Read the rest of this entry »


Jeanette, my roommate, is awesome.  Consider:

1.  She is a novice beekeeper.  She started attending classes recently, got a beekeeping mentor, bought bee hives, and spent the last week or so assembling them and their million wooden pieces in our living room, mostly while we watched episodes of Monk or—a house favorite—Project Runway, which we affectionately and consistently refer to as “Chic and Modern.”  (As in Heidi Klum saying for the 100th time, “That Upper East Side pantsuit inspired by the circus ringmaster is very chic and modern.”)

Her bees come this weekend.  Three pounds of bees—apparently bees are ordered in pounds—which she says is about 3000 bees.  She’s hoping to have honey next year.  (The bees need a year to develop their hive, apparently.)  She’s already named her queens Cleopatra and Jezebel, which sounds to me like she’s asking for trouble.  Jeanette and her brazen bees. Read the rest of this entry »


My niece Mary loves my boyfriend, Jed.  (Mary is 2, but she has excellent taste in men.)

Jed and I visited Mary and her brother and her parents over Christmas.  Jed went over like a hot fudge sundae.  “Where is Jed?” Mary would say to me.  “I will go get Jed and we will put ribbons in your hair.”

My sister-in-law, Mary’s mom, told me that a couple of weeks ago, entirely out of the blue, Mary said to her, “Wouldn’t it be great if Jed came to our house?”  My sister-in-law, a little confused, agreed.  Then Mary said, “Do you think he could not bring Sarah?” Read the rest of this entry »

A cell phone picture of Jed and me on our first date.  Of course my roommates made him karaoke when he brought me home.  Of course.


Manfriend’s name is Jed.

Jed is short for Jedediah Grant B-something, which is as heroic and 19th-century sounding as any name I know.  When Reija first heard I was dating Jed, she said, “Jedediah and Sarah.  You sound like pioneers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Not my sock drawer.


I once painted my sock drawer shut.

I had just moved into a new house, into a new room, which had a slanty charming ceiling, big charming windows, and a cute, charming set of drawers that were built into the wall.  The paint job?  Not charming.  My cousin came over and we spent a fun Saturday painting and singing and wearing grubby clothes and succeeded in making my charming room even more charming, just by a coat of white semi-gloss.   I was delighted.

Until I realized that I had painted my sock drawer shut.  I moved my clothes into the set of drawers built into my wall before we painted, and I didn’t even think about taking out the drawers while we painted (did I mention that when I was younger I wasn’t always good about thinking things through?), and that is how I ended up having no socks to wear for almost a month.

I managed to wrest open all of the drawers in my wall except the sock drawer, which was small and painted in good.  “Eh,” I thought.  “Who needs socks anyway?”

Turns out, sometimes I need socks.  To exercise, for instance.  To wear with some business clothes.  To wear with closed-toe Doc Martens (after a certain number of days…).

Which is why I found myself repeatedly making a silent plea to the world, “Please don’t judge me.  I painted my sock drawer shut!”  It made such sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Louise Plummer

Sarah L Olson

Rebecca Smylie

Lisa Piorczynski

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