Friday, October 20, 2017

Tribe of kick ass women

As I have said many times in this space, I believe your life is only as good as the people around you. My life is excellent even when it's shitty because I have the good fortune to be surrounded by amazing people. That includes, of course, my husband, some family members, and friends. But nothing in my life has carried the weight of my female friendships. They are sacred to me. I am the person who does not trust the women who have no true female friends.

I have found women for my tribe in every stage of my life, starting at birth and continuing through today. Most of them know each other. Most of them are now friends with each other even though they come from different Stephanie eras. There have been some throughout the years who I thought belonged but in the end did not. They are rooted out relatively quickly, falling into one of two categories: friends for a reason or friends for a season.

The ones who stay are lifers. They are so different from me and from each other but they all have some things in common: they are fierce ladies who would do anything for me and know without asking that I would do anything for them, they provide me with a safe place to be my smallest self without judgement, they hold me up, they're people I am comfortable with in silence or noise, in laughter or tears. I have never felt alone in my life because I have these women. I click with all of them. They are my people. I find this hard to write about because my bond with them is so strong that at this point it is more something I know intrinsically than something easily put into words. It's a part of my bones. I'm too close to it and have never operated without it. These women are a part of who I am.
 And today one I've had in my tribe since birth celebrates her birthday. It is hard for me to put into words what a tremendous impact Lori has had on my life. Officially my aunt, she is also my friend, fairy godmother, and someone I am so comfortable in the presence of that it's like sitting with myself except we are quite different people. I couldn't begin to say how many times she has helped me in the time we have been together on this earth or how much her unconditional love has meant.

Happy birthday Lori, and to the other two triplets Dawn and David!

Wherever and whoever you are, I hope you have a strong crew around you that you value and that values you.

Peace, love, and Friday.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - for your consideration

1. Conservation: wearing an outfit for three hours on Sunday then wearing it again Monday. Unfortunately there was an over 25 degree temperature difference so I left the house feeling like Miss Smart Conservationist and returned feeling like Miss Inappropriate Clothing which is of course a job for a pair of big warm sweatpants to fix.

2. Dedication: Emailing Dunkin Donuts once a month requesting that they sell a reusable cup that fits a large iced coffee. I know this is possible, Dunkin Donuts.

3. Elation: The universe has answered my call and re-stocked these in my size. They're on their way to me.
4. Beautification: three new nail polishes (OPI Suzi & The Arctic Fox; Excuse Me, Big Sur!; and Less is Norse - sorry for the shit lighting here) and two new Lipsenses plus a gloss (Sassy Z, Bella, and gloss in sand). Sassy Z is my daily color and they've brought it back, hopefully forever. It was previously unavailable and I felt like I was looking for this stuff like people look for drugs - y'all got some of that Sassy Z hidden?
5. Hibernation: Mae will see us at the end of May since she hates anything below 74 degrees. She's extra cranky because she went to the vet Tuesday (where I wore an outfit that resembled Ronald McDonald) and we think we finally figured out what's going on with her - she has chronic contact mucocitis in her mouth.  It's not common, the vet had not seen it before and actually had to call a vet in Wisconsin to see if he'd give her info on a case of his she found online while we were in the room. Mae is on prednisone right now, but I need to find a way to manage this as it is chronic. And rare. Of course it is. I have a call in to my acupuncture vet to see if she can help with some ancient chinese remedy. These dogs, I fucking swear. Anyone have any dealings with this in their dogs? Or a dog autoimmune issue that you manage with diet and supplements? 

6. Appreciation: Gladys sent me this and I was so surprised and touched and love it so much I cried for five minutes after opening it. Gladys sent this post to the artist (Vita Kobylkina) she had heard on a podcast and the likeness is freaking amazing (see below). Soon after opening this gift the dogs went to sleep and there was an extra snore coming from across the room. I hear you Geegie boy. I know you're around. Thanks also to Aunt Nancy for her donation in Geege's honor that we got notified of via mail this week. Last weekend at the shore I was sitting on my porch listening to the Geege chime Amanda and Frank sent and thinking of all the love and kindness people have shown us through this loss. We are so fortunate to know tremendous people.

7. Condemnation: this lying liar president who tells blatant lies about his predecessors that are so easily shot down and his sick as fuck "joke" about his gay hating sidekick wanting to hang gays which the White House tried to walk back as fake news as they always do, everyone who railed on Benghazi but is radio silent on the imposter president's non-response to Niger, people who walk and type on their phones, anyone who reads InfoWars for anything other than to study crazy people, people who ask women to answer for the reprehensible behavior of men instead of focusing on that reprehensible behavior

8. Explanation: I thought my iPhone camera was fucked but guys...there was a dog hair too close to the lens. Insidious dog hair. I didn't discover that in time to have a super clear photo with Lauren who I was so pumped to meet for coffee before work on Wednesday. After talking solely via email and text and reading each other's blogs it was nice to sit together and be ladies who have coffee and talk about random shit. I did make us move from the couch we were sitting on because I feel like it smelled. I like people I can wave my freak flag in front of and Lauren is in that group.

9. Contemplation: You know my answer is freedom. Thanks to Gena for bringing this across my path.

10. E-card of the week: I found the perfect e-card for the week but it had a grammatical error and neglected to use the Oxford Comma so I had to burn it. This will do.

What do you have to present to the class today?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What living my best life looks like

As I get older, the concept of living my best life is one I think about a lot. That can mean different things depending on the day but mostly it's things I do or ways of being that are in the best interest of my mental health and enable me to look in the mirror without disappointment at the end of the day.

Living my best life is doing what actually makes me happy, not what should make me happy

Living my best life is pursuing happiness and not getting caught up in bullshit

Living my best life is being a helper

Living my best life is not finishing books I don't want to finish

Living my best life is spending as much of my time as possible at the shore and continuing to make my life bigger there

Living my best life is eating the cupcake

Living my best life is not waiting for tomorrow or next week or next year or the right time because sometimes there is no right time

Living my best life is being open to things on my path

Living my best life is knowing how crucial my tribe is to who I am 

Living my best life is being okay with people not liking me because I am not for everyone

Living my best life is wearing lounge attire a large percentage of the time

Living my best life is encouraging and empowering others

Living my best life is buying the sunglasses

Living my best life is saying no to something in order to say yes to myself

Living my best life is saying screw the to do list, I'm going on a bike ride 

Living my best life is being invested in other people 

Living my best life is not defining myself by my appearance because I will look a lot of different ways in this life so I can't tie my identity or worth to that 

Living my best life is playing to my strengths while recognizing the limits of my weaknesses

Living my best life is appreciating everylittlething

Living my best life is stretching as far between hair washes as I can

Living my best life is not being a people pleaser or aspiring to be described as nice

Living my best life is sleeping at least seven hours a night 

Living my best life is alone at dawn feeling peace settle down into my bones while watching the sunrise 

Living my best life is choosing every day whether I'm going to be a good person or a shitty person, knowing one feels much better than the other,  not always making the right choice, and trying again the next day

Living my best life is letting go of things and people that interfere with my energy. Nothing occupies space here unless I allow it and I don't owe space to anyone regardless of who they are

Living my best life is growing and changing a little bit every day 

Living my best life is living as me according to my own definition, not anyone else's, and allowing myself to be who I am, warts and all

What are some of the ways you live your best life?

Monday, October 16, 2017

TWTW - the one with the chill

Friday night was a slow mover, I packed up and sailed down the shore for a 9:30 arrival. Saturday I read, painted my nails (OPI Black Dress Not Optional), made some daily shower spray, took myself out for coffee, road my bike all over town, and took the dogs to the beach. Gus had a sidewalk shitting incident that I cleaned up with leaves and my hands basically and during the cleanup a man thought it would be a good time to come close with his dog and make conversation while Gus and Mae went nuts and the puppy cried. Laura and Chris arrived late afternoon and we had lunch at Jon & Patty's, walked the boards with Bruce Springsteen, sat on the beach, and had dinner at Luigi's. My pizza is aglow in the neon window lights but it was freaking good - all manner of Italian meats on a pizza with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe. 
Sunday morning we hit the Sunrise Cafe for breakfast before they were off. It was so good to have facetime with them even for a short time just bumming around unshowered. They wouldn't even let me pay for a meal. When they left I cleaned our apartment up a little and rode my bike to the library before packing it in for home. It soothes me to be in a relatively empty quiet shore town off-season even though the weather both days was different than the forecast. Hashtag should've been a weather person.  

I was home at 2 with the laundry and food prep and dishwasher going shortly after. Weekly food prep: breakfast is crockpot breakfast casserole from Steph only I made it in the oven and cut the potatoes; lunch is spinach salad with walnuts, cranberries, feta cheese, and red onion with an olive oil and balsamic sauce and a squirt of lemon (made nightly because I hate when shit sits); dinners are maple dijon chicken thighs over rice with steamed broccoli (planned on making Sunday but someone who shall remain nameless did not defrost the chicken thighs as requested) and baked chicken breasts served with butternut squash. Snacks are honey crisp apples and cherry and vanilla noosa yogurt. I'm also making healthy three ingredient flourless pumpkin brownies with this frosting that I saw Amy share on IG
Sunday night we went to the Peace Center Gala. A few months ago I was like hell yes but as Sunday early evening rolled around I was like whyyyyyyy. I'm sure some of you feel me on that. MFD was a sponsor though and the Peace Center is a freaking phenomenal organization that does such crucial work in the Bucks County community. It was a wonderful event. If you're not familiar with the Peace Center, I urge you to check them out. They put on workshops frequently. Unfortunately Bucks has recently had a spike in hateful acts like the N word on school signs and carved into cars and rampant anti-semitism. The Peace Center responds to these events and helps support and heal the community. They also do a lot of work in schools with bullying prevention.

How was yours?

Friday, October 13, 2017

I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.

What is today? What did I do last night? What do I have to do at work today? What do I have to do tonight? Is it Friday?
Me all week

So happy Friday, for real. Friday the 13th.

Here's a video of Bruce snoozing and snoring from last night with Mae growling at Thor barking over the fence. Far away. Not bothering her.

 Bruce report: He's insane. He goes up the stairs by himself - he is not yet eight weeks old. He walks on a leash, he goes outside with the other dogs, he loves food and already knows where Gus's is kept... right now all three dogs are eating different food. I'm transitioning Bruce to dry food and he's fine with it because he wants to be just like Gus. He loves to fuck with Mae and thinks it's funny when she growls at him. He was doing great in his crate but now does not want to be apart from the pack so he is doing the terrible terrible screaming and thrashing against the crate for more than five minutes so we're trying to get back on track with that.

I think I'm getting a cold or I'm just tired from keeping puppy hours, but I do feel better than yesterday because I got some shit organized last night and will attempt more on Sunday. MFD did indeed move his boxes out of that basement room is still a fucking mess and my kitchen needs a good purge too.

This weekend I'm going to chill the fuck out at the shore, drink a lot of coffee, lay around, read, play with my dogs, hopefully see my BFF Laura, and avoid the news because it has been fucking soul crushing. What is happening - or not happening - in Puerto, we have the world's largest and most robust military who is more than able to drop food off so people don't starve to death. Our OWN people. But we're not doing that. That kind of order comes from the top. Does the president not know he needs to give that order? People are dying. And the recent executive order designed to take healthcare away from the most vulnerable Americans: the poor, the working poor, the elderly, and the ill. I'm just sick. I know, I'm a broken record.

I'm also off of Twitter today in solidarity with Rose McGowan and any woman who has been assaulted, spoken up, and then silenced. If you stand in solidarity with those people, I hope you're off it too for the day.

Weekend plans?

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