Monday, October 24, 2016

TWTW - the one before vacation

On the way home Friday, I returned clothes I did not need for vacation before getting the dogs together and heading to the shore where I zoned out watching Hogan's Heroes.As you can tell from Gus, we were all pretty beat. Goodnight Irene.
Saturday dawned windy, cold, and rainy. I walked the dogs, put some stuff away around the house, then eased into the day with some coffee and reading until MFD and Joe were ready to go. We went to Jon & Patty's for breakfast, then I picked up Italian bread at Bennie's Bread and some groceries at Boyar's.
I took the dogs for a long walk on the beach. Gus was like a Goonie - running around like a loon, all THIS IS OUR TIME! Mae was a shivery limpy mess and ended up just sitting and waiting for me to come get her while the boys jackassed around. MFD and Joe came down to fish and I carried Mae in my jacket as we walked on and all around town. That killed my back. Even though it was cold and windy, it was a cool day to be on the beach. The sky and ocean looked great.
I picked up my custom piece from Peace of Wood, finished The Mothers (read it!), made a pot of spinach tortellini soup in the afternoon, ordered Christmas cards and labels, and spent the evening blogging and relaxing while MFD and Joe went out night fishing. I also started Safe With Me
We're holding off on a lot of maintenance at the shore right now - much of what needs to be done this off season is outdoors  - but we've changed or added some decor and we just got all the exterior windowsills capped. File under: a shit ton of money you needed to spend that no one will ever notice but it had to be done. I went through some of my Gamma's things last week and brought a few of her shore themed things down here like this ice bucket. This is her town, after all. We also added the lat/long sign and the anchor Tara made for us fits very nicely with MFD's boats. 
Sunday morning I went to see the sunrise. I wasn't going to, but I'm glad I did. It was cold but peaceful. I was totally alone as far as my eyes could see, and it was a good way to center myself before an insane week ahead. It was quiet with the waves gently lapping the shore because there was a sandbar with the break far out (see second crappy iPhone zoomed photo)
After walking the dogs, I had coffee while they lounged, then I cleaned two bathrooms and the kitchen, wiped down surfaces on the main floor and in the efficiency, and vacuumed and Swiffer'd both as well. I was back in Philadelphia with laundry going before 12:30.
My face and nails were hideous, so I did a quick face mask and 60 second manicure, showered, and packed my health and beauty aids and makeup for the trip. And of course I had to go to freaking Target for a few things. I stopped to see my brother and Aubrey and Lola on the way home and ordered a fatass feast for dinner. 
Food prep can go to hell this week. Breakfasts are breakfast burritos from the freezer and lunch is frozen spinach mac & cheese cups. We're winging dinner and I need to get some honey crisp apples for snacks. 
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Last week of work before vacation and I've over-scheduled myself at night. Hold on to your pants. Hat? I like pants. 

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, October 21, 2016

Life Anthems

In the five plus years I've been blogging, I have managed to successfully avoid a soundtrack of my life post. I've done summer playlists, songs I never turn off, songs I always turn off, a Christmas Playlist, but never any explanation about anything and I think a life anthem or soundtrack of my life post deserves a little explanation. To name an arbitrary number of songs that define me or have spoken to me over the past 39 years has always seemed like an impossible task. Then I started thinking well I don't need to include them all and maybe I could write a little backstory instead of a list and they don't have to be my favorites and it can be more than one post and just fucking try it. I mean the backstory is where it's at, really...because when I think of it, the songs that are my life anthems are not necessarily the ones I love the most - they're the ones that have followed me around through certain moods and memories.

This is me trying it with three to ease into things, and go along with Alyssa's blog challenge prompt.

Have You Seen Me Lately by The Counting Crows
This song has gotten me through some things. Driving around singing it as loudly as possible. It appeals to my fuck you all, I can do this by myself mood that I get into after I've been unexpectedly hurt by someone. If my blood is boiling or if I'd rather be defiant than sad, this is a good thing for me to listen to and it starts with the clanging guitar opening it up. Listen here.
Get away from me
This isn't gonna be easy 
But I don't need you
Believe me
You got a piece of me
But is't just a little piece of me
And I don't need anyone 
And these days I feel like I'm fading away

Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
Not my favorite Bruce song by a longshot, this song has nevertheless been a constant for me for what feels like my whole life. I've shouted it out in hundreds of bars, I've sang it on roads on both coasts of this country and in foreign lands. I've sang it through all of my eras. It's never been left behind as I moved on to another age or way. The harmonica intro pulls at something in me and Clarence's solo taking it on out always gives me the chills.

Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
This song makes me feel cradled and peaceful with just a dash of wistfulness. I walked down the aisle to this at our wedding because I wanted all of those things in my heart at that time.

That's all for now, I'll be back with more in the future. 
What are three songs from your life anthem list?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: this song has no title just words and a tune

1. Today there is a pop up art installation at Dilworth Plaza highlighting the plight of homeless youth in this city. The proprietor of the Streets Dept blog is teaming up with Covenant House for this event, titled "Am I Cut Out?" Please check it out between 9-4 if you're going to be in Center City. I'll be sharing some images on Instagram when I get over there. From Streets Dept:

2. I do not operate on fear, nor do I live in fear of many things. So I'm serious when I say I am alarmed at the chatter from Trump supporters of voter intimidation at polling places. I'm also concerned about what Trump might incite supporters to do if he does not win this election. In last night's debate he did not say he would concede if he loses. Please remember that much of the world - the world Americans look down upon, mind you - has bloody battles over elections because one side says it's rigged and will not concede. This republic has always been more civilized and enjoyed a peaceful transition of power even when half has not liked the outcome. I fear the basest of his followers have been properly amped up, stoked, and fed a steady diet of conspiracy theories and that these people will act in a dangerous manner if their chosen candidate does not win. Words *do* have power...and in this case, words and ideas have the power to incite riot and civil unrest nationwide. Trump is engaging in sedition. There is a line and he's over it. God help all of us, because I fear it's too late to rein it in even if he was inclined to, which I don't think he is. In other news, there are so many more people who wear tinfoil hats and cover the windows with newspaper than I thought there were...everything is a fucking conspiracy these days. Newsflash! Just because you're losing doesn't mean the system is rigged. Jesus Christ.

3. When I was born, the triplets were seven. My mom's youngest siblings are 13 years younger than her and seven years older than me. Today is their birthday. My life is totally interwoven with theirs and I'm glad for it.

4. I never had a cousin I was thick as thieves with, and I never had a sister...only those I've chosen for myself. Lori has really fulfilled so many roles for me. I'm eternally grateful to have her in my life. I have never had to look far for support, encouragement, or friendship.

5. I find myself very jiggly right now. Less time at the shore = less activity. I need to get it moving again. Back to zumba more regularly.

6. It's time for the best apple of all apples: the honey crisp apple. My afternoon snack at work just increased exponentially in awesomeness.
7. I've been going to Central Nails on 16th & Chestnut for pedicures for the entire eight years I've been working here. They've gotten a little sloppy, rushed, and dirty. Tuesday I was walking past Young's on 16th between Sansom & Walnut and went in. I found a new BFF in Felicia and I'm going there from now on. Plus I like the pedicure basins. Is that weird? Toes are Essie's Warm & Toasty Turtleneck.
8. I had dinner with Jen, my oldest friend last night. We've been friends for 36 years. Time flies. Long time friends are one of my truest joys in life and Jen is my longest time friend.

9. Reminder.

10.  E-card of the week: Remember when the world worked like this?

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Linking up with Kristin

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Things I've changed my mind about

Saturday night I looked down and thought welp, here I am doing two things I said I'd never do: wear Toms and wear leggings out of the house. I'm still not wearing leggings with shirts that hit at the hip, mind. I haven't gone insane. I'm perpetually on the hunt for long shirts and sweaters.

If you're a regular around these parts you know I'm solidly strong in my convictions and have no problems telling you about them. I am also a creature of routine and habit, but I like to try new things and I won't ever keep doing something that is no longer working for me or serving a purpose in my life.

I used to make my own cleaning products, particularly granite counter cleaner and Febreze. When Method and Mrs. Meyers became more accessible, I started buying those.

I had it in my mind that I wanted to do certain things: make my own laundry detergent, pick strawberries, perfect the pie crust...I realized I actually don't want to do those things, they just sounded like worthy things to do. They still do sound worthy...for other people. LOL

I swore I'd never use an e-reader...then some books were only available in that format, including everything from Netgalley. My friend PJ from jr high/HS kept recommending one and I resisted forever. They are great for travel. Now I'd say I read probably 70% real book and 30% e-book.

I used to use a lot of OTC medication, now I rely a lot on essential oils.

I used to think my house had to be dusted weekly. Guess what? It's not getting dusted weekly since I started managing two houses and we've all survived. Every other week is working out fine. There have been no deaths due to dust.

In line with the above, hiring a cleaning lady. I struggled with that decision forever and honestly? Best decision ever. It has removed a lot of resentment between me and MFD over who is doing what, plus Linda is awesome and my dogs love her.

Cruising. I never thought it sounded like my type of vacation. It's totally my type of vacation.

I was a devoted user of big mama planners: Franklin Covey, Erin Condren, Plum Paper. Now I have a slim At-A-Glance that I use in conjunction with a Poppin' notebook as an organizational system.

I used to take my coffee with cream and sugar. Now coffee with sugar in it tastes terrible to me.

I used to think I could never work at a job that required more than a 20 minute commute. I've been working at a job like that for more than eight years.

I used to say I could never handle more than two dogs. We now have three dogs. There are still situations in which I think I can't handle more than two dogs. LOL

I said I'd never be able to give up cable. We haven't had cable at home in over a year and a half.

I used to use no paper towels in the house. As the dogs have aged and have more accidents, paper towels are back on the scene for clean up.

What are some things you've changed your mind about?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Breakfast Casserole

I get stuck in breakfast ruts with egg muffins or breakfast burritos or savory oatmeal. I don't try to break out of these ruts because the thing is that I am totally fine with eating the same thing for breakfast most of the time. I'm not sure what made me get a wild hair up my ass to try this breakfast casserole, but I did.

Honestly? I would probably not put this into my regular rotation for my weekday breakfasts - it makes a lot, and while I could scale it down, I'd rather not. It's also a little too much work for me for a standard weekday breakfast. This is a great option for brunch or holidays or a weekend with friends when you don't want to be a short order cook. It's hearty and delicious.

1 lb bacon, chopped, cooked, drained
1 small onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, chopped
20 oz bag of Simply Potatoes shredded hashbrowns - I used southwest
8 oz shredded cheese
9 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Spray the bottom of a 13x9 pan with cooking spray, arrange potatoes in a thin later on the bottom, and bake them off for about 10 minutes.

Cook bacon and drain (see my grease trick below). Add onion and pepper to the pan and saute for about five minutes.

Beat eggs and milk together, and add salt & pepper to taste.

Remove potatoes from oven. Layer cheese, bacon, green onions. Pour eggs mixture over. Top with the remaining cheese and green onions.

Cook for about 40 minutes, then hit it with the broiler for an additional five.
Line a bowl with tin foil, place strainer over it, and drain bacon into the bowl.
Much easier cleanup when the bacon grease hardens. 

An ode to bacon:
Savory love, sweet heaven.
Pigs would not agree. 

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