Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - ice ice baby

1.  If the weather was a person I'd kick it in the crotch. It flurried on Tuesday and was cold AF. There's still a winter under bite in the air. The flowers are blooming at least and I hold out hope that this morning I grabbed a top heavy fleece. As a beach adopter, I have to do a beach clean up for Earth Day from 9-noon on Saturday. Anyone want to join me? You can sleep in the bedroom where I'm not painting furniture or just come troll around for the day. Bring layers. Seriously though it should be 55 with light winds.
2. When I work from home, I like to eat dinner at 4 pm. I'm going to be the best senior citizen ever.

3. My boy dogs have no work from home chill. They want pets all the time. Mae knows it's work time and leaves me alone. 

4. Mostly because she spends the days hiding under blankets.

5. I got a wild hair up my ass Tuesday night and made a million things, the biggest of all being a complete mess of the kitchen.

6. I ended up with two pots of pasta e fagioli, brown rice to use in a made up chicken and broccoli casserole that I threw some bacon and chicken gravy into (cleaning out that pantry) and to freeze. Monday night I made bread and a vat of iced coffee. Last night a vat of sweet tea. I did not read a page of a book Monday through Wednesday so I had to occupy my time in some way.
7. I actually saw white people complaining that this is out of hand because Starbucks is closing for a few hours on May 29 for racial bias training. Oh, it's out of hand alright, but not because Starbucks is doing a racial bias training. You know no one is forcing Starbucks to do that, right? It is a choice they made as a company, what they think the right response is. They are doing it because there is an obvious need among their staff because they know no one sitting in their cafes needs to make a purchase, despite how many people on the Internet are insisting you can't sit in a business without making a purchase. Well, you can in Starbucks, that's pretty much their model and it doesn’t matter if you personally agree or not, the fact here is that there’s no way in hell that employee would have called the cops if those guys were white and Starbucks corporate knows that so this is what they’re doing about it. The direction the company is taking is called working towards a solution instead of acting like a problem doesn't exist. We’d each do well to examine our bias and ask ourselves if there are situations where we might not say or do something overtly racist but still feel something racist or anti-black inside. But if you're looking for some alternatives in Philly coffee-wise, check these out.

8. Between the multiple international news racist incidents of the past week, the Syria bombings, the Michael Cohen shit, I am just so fucking tired of all of it. Life feels punishing under the trump regime. I’m still calling my Congress people, writing my post cards, and using ResistBot, but I’m drained.

9. Reminder: This. You know I like it because I'm sharing it when its should be it's

10. E-card of the week:

And a happy happy birthday to the always fabulous and funny and newly engaged cousin Gail. Xoxo

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pasta fazooooool

Yes, I know that's not how you spell it. Almost as cringe-worthy as seeing someone type wah-lah or viola! for voila!, right?

Anyway. Soup. On April 18. Not that there's anything wrong with soup year round, but I'm usually moving on to grilling things and fresh things now but it's still winter feeling so today, soup.

I like to say the name of pasta e fagioli  more than I like to eat it. Quick, cheap, and painless to make; and filling to eat without meat. I made 678 gallons of it last night to get rid of some ditalini and beef stock as I continue cleaning out my pantry.

2 tbs olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp already jarred minced garlic)
Crushed red pepper - to your taste, mine is a few shakes. Some is required!
Oregano - 1/2 tsp
Kosher salt
15 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed
15 oz can of pinto beans, rinsed
Half bag frozen cut green beans
15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes with liquid
15 oz can of tomato sauce
3 cups beef stock (you can use chicken or vegetable or water for that matter, but you'll need a little boost if you just use the water)
Half a box of ditalini

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and saute about six minutes or until onion is soft and translucent.

Add beans, tomatoes, sauce, stock, and spices. A word about this - I do not like crushed red pepper and even I add a few shakes to this soup. It requires it. If you have bay leaves, sprinkle a few of those in there too. I couldn't lay my hands on mine quickly enough and shit was burning.

Stir well and bring up to a low boil. Add ditalini and cook over medium until pasta is done, about 10 minutes. I personally turn it down to low and leave it on longer so the liquid goes down to almost nothing and everything soaks in the flavor.  I don't like a lot of broth in my soups. MFD does so he adds more on the back end when heating up. 

To Freeze
I gave you the measurements for a single pot which will feed four. I doubled it and it made enough for at least two more dinners for two or more than a week of lunches for me. If it's just you and you don't want to eat it more than twice, freeze half of one pot. Remember not to fill your containers to the very top - what you're freezing needs room to expand and breathe.

I spent all last night thinking it was Wednesday night so today actually being Wednesday is a low blow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Things I’ll Never Get Over

Dylan choosing Kelly over Brenda
Beverly Hills 90210 going off the air

Spending two hours a day commuting. It’s been over 10 years and I still miss my seven minute commute.

Creaking bones in the morning. Whose body is this?

Having freaking hair on my chin. Again...whose body is this?

The terribleness of Tuesdays

Feeling small in an awesome way in the Badlands, Grand Teton, andYellowstone National Parks

How much we know if we listen to our gut

Losing my handmade by Mom Mom childhood quilt

What a dick Dr. Houseman is - I know, I know, when he's wrong he says he's wrong but man.

The realized dream of owning a shore house

These outfits

Geege’s physical absence

donald trump as president

How casual I am about dogs peeing or pooping in the house

The importance of being a part of the community

The fact that we can all make bread and it's so simple

Thinking farts are funny / poop talk

Chi Chi's closing. I miss the taco salad and nachos every weekend.

How it feels to be alone on the beach before dawn

How different things were before cell phones, and how so many people will never know that life

The cognitive dissonance in this country right now

How I felt reading my favorite books for the first time

How much I love hearing Clarence Clemons sax solos

Needing a lot of alone time

What are some things you'll never get over?

Monday, April 16, 2018

TWTW - the one where it was nice outside for five minutes

Friday was another WFH day and due to an alarm snafu at night that required a visit in the morning I was unable to get out and get my gift card manicure and pedicure on so I did them myself: nails in OPI Purple Palazzo Pants and toes in Excuse Me, Big Sur!

Friday night was MFD's campaign benefit to celebrate getting on the ballot. I have literally two photos and none of us together. Thanks to our friends and fam who came out to support MFD! It makes this whole thing feel much less isolating. because that's something else no one tells you about your spouse running for office: it's isolating and the importance of my people has never been clearer. After cleaning up we got home around 11:40 and I fell asleep around 1. 
Saturday morning he was off to DC and I was off to the shore with los perros to chill. And chill I did in more ways than one...the wind had a winter underbite to it. I went to the library, walked the beach and boards, took the dogs on 408 walks, cleaned the apartment, and decided to come home at night in lieu of waking up to a 40s and rainy Sunday there.  I just needed to put my bare feet in the sand and connect with the earth
Sunday was a very slow start. I got up late, only had one cup of coffee, and trolled around. It was gray and cold outside and I wasn't inspired to do much aside from some laundry and shower and reading.  That sounds sort of like what a recipe for Sunday is, I guess? 

Weekly food prep: hard boiled eggs and power breakfast muffins for breakfast, hummus/veggies/pita for lunch, dinner is deconstructed chicken parm over farfalle with a spinach/cucumber/onion salad - dregs of the produce drawer. I also made Kodiak blueberry lemon protein muffins to freeze. Still cleaning out my freezer and pantry and I'm actually using most stuff in a way that makes sense. I'm impressed. 

How was yours?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Guide to Spending 24 Hours in Milwaukee

Happy Sunday friends! It's cold and dreary here in Philly, what better time to think about being elsewhere? Not written by me though, I've never had the pleasure of visiting Milwaukee. 
This one written by Maggie Hammond, a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations.


24 hours seems like a long time, but when you’re visiting a city as beautiful as Milwaukee, it can seem as short as a heartbeat. A fun, vibrant town with scenic views of Lake Michigan at every turn and home to an array of food and wine festivals from various ethnic regions, you can quite easily fill your time (and your stomach!) in no time at all.

With a population of 600,000 and a nice mix of Old World character and New World big city living, spending 24 hours in Milwaukee is good fun and a chance to learn a little about American history at the same time. Below are fun ideas on how you can spend your morning, afternoon and evening in this gorgeous city:


If you’ve woken up in Milwaukee, take advantage of one of the greatest sights on earth: The sun rising over Lake Michigan. There’s nothing quite like it, and whether you take a walk to McKinley Beach to see it or you’re sitting on your hotel balcony, it’s a sight to behold. Make your Instagram followers jealous by posting a few snaps of this little wonder.

Head for a coffee and spot of breakfast on the lakefront and then visit one of the many museums that Milwaukee has to offer for some culture and education. If you like some petrol with your culture, why not try the Harley Davidson Museum and see some of the greatest motorbikes in the world up close and personal.


Take a walk through the public markets and explore the Cheese Mart for sights, tastes and smells that will blow your mind. The restaurant next door is fantastic, and you can have a craft beer with your lunch. Always a good idea.

If you feel like doing something to challenge your mind after your lunch, you can head to the Escape Room Milwaukee. Don’t worry; you’re not going to prison! An Escape Room is a fun and challenging way to spend 60 minutes or more (depending on whether you take on one task or several) solving a mystery with your family and friends. You have to work together to solve a variety of tasks in order to make it through to the next section and then finally escape the room altogether. It’s worth taking on an Escape Room just to see who works well together and who falls out and spends the next few hours arguing over who made the mistake that failed them the task.


With your mind challenged but your mouth a little dry, head to any one of the great restaurants on the Lower East Side before heading down to the waterfront for the outstanding Edelweiss river cruise. It’s the perfect way to end a Friday or Saturday night, and with a fully-stocked bar on board, what could be better than watching the sun go down on the river with a glass of bubbly in your hand?

Once back on dry land, you need to head to the ever-awesome Ale Asylum, pull up your bar stool and indulge yourself in a beer or two, before taking the two-mile River Walk back to your hotel for the night-time crash.


Have you ever been?
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