Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Recommendations

Heyohhhh. Happy Halloween to all of you and happy birthday to my uncle Perry and my long-time friend Jimmy and my friend Lauren, one of the hostesses of this linkup. 

I don't have any candy for you (shit, I might not have any for anyone since MFD knows where it lives) but I do have recommendations and I'm giving them out to everyone like Oprah gives out her favorite things. You get a recommendation and you get a recommendation and you get a recommendation.

1. I could eat this by the spoonful with nothing else. Not very healthy but very tart and delicious and this might explain why I've been eating PB&J for lunch a lot. MFD is hooked also. And just as we're hooked, I can not find it in the two Targets closest to me anymore. Don't do me like that, Target.

2. Budget Bytes App - It's $2.99 and worth it. I've never made a bad thing from this site, and as you can see by the name it's budget friendly. It's nice to be able to file the recipes on my phone without having to open pinterest and find them.

3. Vitamin E Body Butter from The Body Shop - This is not the first time I'm recommending this and it will not be the last. It is the best thing for my skin in the winter. Last week there was a three for three sale, hopefully you click on that link and there still is. 

4. Voting NO to Amending the Homestead Property Tax Assessment Exclusion on November 7 (PA Only) - If you vote yes, it is a vote for stupidity - like you think they will eliminate property taxes and not tax you somewhere else: increased sales tax, new applications for the sales tax (on food and public transportation, which we don't pay now), and increased personal income tax. It's the government, people. They aren't going to just say oh, you don't need to pay those taxes anymore. Besides, this tax they want to take away funds fire, police, schools. Do we not support fire departments? Do we not need police? Do we not care about everyone getting access to education? Do we not care about our property values that are tied to neighborhoods with access to services, safety, and good schools? I honestly don't know who the fuck came up with this because both dems and republicans in my area are saying to vote NO to this. Especially representatives who have ties to fire and police departments. This pisses me off because idiots who can't think beyond their pocket are all hell yeah cut my property tax! or I don't have kids why should I pay school tax? Because we don't want to raise a generation of idiots who will take over while we're still alive, that's why. Dumbasses. I don't have kids and am not having kids and I will pay school taxes all damn day. There are many downsides to voting yes. Including you paying increased taxes out of your paycheck. If you vote yes for this I don't want to hear you crying about that. 

5. Brother P-Touch label makers - I have two, because do you know me? One at the shore and one at home. This is the current home model I have, the shore model is older. They are both awesome and easy to use and if you get a label maker you get a Brother P-Touch, which I learned from Laura, the Queen of Label Makers. 

What are you loving lately? 

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, October 30, 2017

TWTW - splitting the last one in October

-Clean shirt, new shoes and I don't know where I am going to-oo (name that tune)
-Actual cleaning of our shore apartment & putting the down comforter on the bed. I forgot how application of the duvet is like wrestling a gator. Since there are no photos of that scintillating night, please enjoy this photo MFD snapped of Bruce asleep in the toy basket on Friday afternoon.

Saturday - a true example of a living my best life day
Sunrise - not too far gone into fall that I couldn't have my feet in the water for 40 minutes. 
Coffee (solo, they're both mine LOL) - Library - Storm door research at Shoemaker Lumber
Smudge stick from Blue Lotus, Soap from LEH Soap Co., bread & pumpkin roll from Bennie’s Bread with some tomato pie for lunch...are errands done on a bike as loathsome as regular errands? No, they are not.
Over five miles on my bike including a visit to the beach of my childhood, North Street, where the dredging is beginning
Beach reading
A spectacular sun roof open music blaring no traffic ride home + a quick stop in Marshalls where I got this bed the dogs have been warring over ever since, even though we have another bed and couches. That's always the way. 
Stuffed cabbage rolls a la MFD + dog time + episode one of Stranger Things season 2 + three loads of laundry

Started off with Bruce peeing on me at 6:30 am as I was stepping over the threshold from the door to the yard...that 10 second fumble with my flip flop in the dark really cost me. I had chicken stock and laundry going by 7. 
Weekly food prep: breakfast is scrambled eggs topped with broccoli and ham; lunch is PB&J on Dave's Killer Bread; dinners are chicken and rice soup using the homemade stock and egg salad because Amazon accidentally sent me two dozen organic hard boiled eggs. I also made homemade cream of mushroom soup to freeze for use in future recipes so I don't have to avoid things calling for canned cream of soup (I quadrupled that recipe so I ended up freezing what amounts to four cans) and breakfast burritos to freeze. I froze half of the chicken and rice soup plus six cups of leftover chicken stock too. It was a good freezer prep week for me - it makes me feel better to know I have things in the freezer even though it's extra work on the day I do it and I feel like I spend hours washing pots and pans. 
We were supposed to go to my Dad & Carol's for dinner for my Dad's birthday, but Carol got sick so they had to cancel. MFD and I went to Stephen & Aubrey's to spend some time with the hilarious Lola Jean and enjoy Pop's Italian dinner and cannoli cake - the cake in the dark because the power went out. We sent him a video of Lola's favorite song, happy birthday.

Last Monday in October. Asphinctersays what?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Shit MFD Said Vol 44

MFD: No one in this house is impressed with your Coffee Town right now, okay? You could have left the pot where I had it.
Me: I put it back! Good as new. Welcome to Coffee Town.
MFD: Is there coffee?
Me: Of course there is, in that green thing where it always is.
MFD: I didn't know if you thought Coffee Town was a real, functioning place or just an imaginary staging area.

 Watching hurricane devastation
MFD: See, you'd survive this situation.
Me: Me? Why?
MFD: Because you'd be with me. I would find a clean water source. We might have to walk many miles to get to it but...
Me: But I don't want to do that.
MFD: You can just Randy it up at home I guess. I don't want to, what is that?
Me: I am not surviving an apocalyptic scenario. We have discussed this a million times. 

The night after the PA women's conference
Me: I just cleared out the sink. If you leave those dishes in there and don't put them in the dishwasher I'm going to punch you.
MFD: What did you learn today, how to smash the patriarchy without being nice?

MFD: Did you make Mae food or something?
Me: No, why?
MFD: What's in this tin?
Me: Brownies that are healthy. They taste like baked poop.
MFD: They look like baked poop too. I don't think brownies are supposed to be healthy.

MFD: What was with that pasta?
Me: It’s for my lunch.
MFD: It’s good.
Me: You ate my lunch?
MFD: Little bit.
Me: Why would you eat my lunch?
MFD: It didn’t say Stephanie’s Lunch.
Me: We’ve been over this before. If it’s packaged in a small thing, it’s my lunch.
MFD: Listen, you should get your own lunch refrigerator. 

MFD: Google blue poop.
Me: Why?
MFD: Google it and tell me what it says.
I do that
MFD: What? No. That’s not scientific. 
Me: That’s what it says on what your poop is trying to tell you dot com
Three minutes of silence
MFD: Alright then. Google bluish green poop. 
Me: I’m done googling colored poop.

All read and approved by MFD before they go live...
Shit MFD Said Vol 1Shit MFD Said Vol 2Shit MFD Said Vol 3Shit MFD Said Vol 4
Shit MFD Said Vol 5Shit MFD Said Vol 6Shit MFD Said Vol 7Shit MFD Said Vol 8
Shit MFD Said Vol 9Shit MFD Said Vol 10Shit MFD Said Vol 11, Shit MFD Said Vol 12, Shit MFD Said Vol 13, Shit MFD Said Vol 14, Shit MFD Said Vol 15, Shit MFD Said Vol 16, Shit MFD Said Vol 17, Shit MFD Said Vol 18, Shit MFD Said Vol 19, Shit MFD Said Vol 20, Shit MFD Said Vol 21, Vol 22, Vol 23, Vol 24, Vol 25, Vol 26, Vol 27, Vol 28, Vol 29, Vol 30, Vol 31, Vol 32, Vol 33, Vol 34, Vol 35, Vol 36, Vol 37, Vol 38, Vol 39, Vol 40, Vol 41, Vol 42, Vol 43

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - on the double, ralphie!

1. Remember when MFD was sitting around in a Ralphie bunny costume on Halloween? This will be the first Halloween in 12 years that my dogs will not be wearing a costume. Geege was my Halloween dog who endured the dressing up with silent dignity while the other two raged against the machine. I just can't do it this year.
2. Mae is exercising demons out of her asshole, from prednisone maybe? I have a call in to the vet. But she seems much better overall, which is weird to say after that first sentence. We're all still assimilating to Bruce Springsteen, of course. He is tiring himself and us out every day.

3. Today is my last day off of the year aside from a holiday. I'm hanging out with Lola Jean. I picked this vest up for her at Old Navy. New nephew coming soon! I got him some things too.

4. Last night we had dinner at the Continental with Melissa and Blane then went to see Trae Crowder/ the Liberal Rednecks WellRED tour at Helium. Not too shabby for a Wednesday night, am I right?

5. Every day is a good day to have a BFF sunglasses designer who sends you free glasses you like because she has them laying around since she worked on the design. Thanks KVSR for the shades. I got my plaid Toms too. Boom. And my Christmas gifts have started arriving. I'm about halfway done with the shopping.

6. I finally got my lazy ass over to see the Octavius Catto statue that was installed at the end of September here in Philadelphia. An educator, scholar, writer, pioneering baseball player, and fearless civil rights activist,  Catto fought unflaggingly for an equitable society in the wake of the Civil War. He successfully protested to desegregate Philadelphia’s trolleys, he fought to pass constitutional amendments enfranchising black citizens, and then he worked to bring those new black voters to the polls. He was shot and killed on his way to vote in 1871. It's the first public monument honoring one specific black person erected in the city of Philadelphia.
7. I walked all the way around City Hall first because I love the building and second because I was looking for the trump rat that was up near the Rizzo statue the day before. Alas it was nowhere to be found. Such a gorgeous building though and there's always something going on. This is Flores de Libertad, the installation of 1,600 hand dyed flowers, a creative action against family detention by artist Michelle Angela Ortiz. She's led several free paper flower workshops. Flowers from participants join the flowers made by undocumented mothers detained at the Berks County Family Detention Center, a prison for immigrant families in PA. Think of how fucked up that description is...a prison for immigrant families. The flowers of the mothers carry messages of freedom.
8. This week in NOT NORMAL: Amy Siskind's authoritarian list, week 49 where she points out we spent most of our time talking about the imposter's actions towards a fallen soldier instead of the scary shit on this list; the two-person company Whitefish Energy with small town neighbor ties to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke got the $300 million contract to fix the electrical grid in Puerto Rico (80% of the island is still without power as of Monday) in a no-bid process - swampy as fuck, you guys; and mothers who defend sons who sexually assault women. This week in everyone read this: I'm giving you the BoredPanda link to a tweet thread by @stealthygeek because it's hard to find the thread wading through the insane people who responded to his commentary on the assertion life begins at conception.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week: 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Two if by sea

Yesterday was two years of living the dream. It's weird, right, to commemorate the day you bought a house? It's more than that to me though. It was a life changer on that day two years ago, and it still is now. I remember throwing the dogs into the car and roaring down there immediately, crying most of the way, and never looking back.

I meant to log on and post a few photos to commemorate the occasion. Then I thought well I can just do a quick month thing. Naturally, it got long and out of hand. By the end I was like derr it's not a quick thing. So much of my life is lived at the shore. During the week our house at home feels like a way station where we do laundry and wait to go back to the shore. And by we I mean I because MFD works most weekends and now has mummery so he's not always getting a day in down there.

We didn't spend a lot of time down there after mid-October last fall because we were in Ireland and Scotland at the end of October/beginning of November, spent Thanksgiving at Lori's, and then MFD was out at Standing Rock in December. Then I had a Saturday work event, then holiday parties, you know the drill. We closed the house up earlier than normal, but I did see one last sunrise down there.
Popping in on a 74 degree day in February for a house check and beach run.
I planned to spend my 40th there and it fucking snowed, delaying the house opening more than a week. I was in a big snit. We didn't open it until March 24, and that was molasses like because we had the Covenant House sleepout the night before. Regardless, the dogs were happy to be back at the beach and so were we.
April was an ass kicking month. We replaced the railings on on apartment porch, removed old carpet there and painted the concrete, painted the wood on that porch and the upper porch, painted the two bedrooms on the third floor, got rid of a bunch of old furniture and fashioned new tables and lamps for one of the rooms up there. Lola did an egg hunt that was crowded as fuck, we spent Easter there, and a very hot April weekend with the girls. I had my first Kohr Bros of the season and got an Ocean City library card, which made my life.
May started out shitty with a Nor'Easter. And painting. Always painting. Staircases, trim, touch up paint. Two new air conditioning units, new carpet on the top floor, new contact paper on the wall up there, and the discovery that Luigi's was under new ownership and would become one of our favorite restaurants. Memorial Day was cold with the exception of Sunday. Like, wearing knit hats on Monday night cold.
June was my brother's birthday and doing the rides with Lola, a visit from Mom & Rich and trip to the Deauville, my 40th weekend with my girls, an ill-fated trip to Fortescue and the attack of the green flies from hell, late Saturday nights fishing in Corson's until the light died, late lingering Sundays spent down in the North End, and settling into summer weekend routines with the start of the weekly rental season.
July 4th fell on a Tuesday and that week was the most nuts I have ever seen the shore even though the weekend before it was so cold we were all bundled up on the boardwalk. On the actual 4th I sequestered myself in our apartment until it was time to go home. We were away for two weekends and Michelle held down the fort, then the last weekend was a major monsoon event so I sent MFD down to do turnover and stayed home.
August was new lamps, new homemade soap with soap labels, new cushions for the porch chairs upstairs, new beach cart, a college reunion, Marla sighting, cousin time, fireworks, Friday afternoons off, a surf show on the boards, and actual surfing for MFD.
Sweet, sweet September. The end of the weekly rental season. The time to reeeee-lax. And this year, the time to say goodbye to sweet Geege. It was also the Classic Car Show and the Corvette Show, new bedding, new lamps, new carpet on the steps, MFD's 40th over Labor Day, an extra long weekend at the end of September that felt like summer, a trip to Cape May, riding on the new roller coaster, and the meeting of Bruce Springsteen.
And here we are in what is technically now our third October. We did the Block Party and Laura and Chris came for a quick visit. Bruce Springsteen loves the beach. I am pretty set on an every other weekend at the shore schedule from now until whenever we need to close it for the season, which is only when the pipes are in danger of freezing. Otherwise we layer up and use ceramic heaters.
As I looked over these pictures on a little walk down memory lane for the past shore year, I alternately thought I can't believe this is my life/this is my fucking life and I love it.

It still feels like a dream a lot of the time. The battles with VRBO do not, however. Our listing is still up there but I'm hoping to switch full time to Shore Summer Rentals in the future. We have three weeks rented for next year, which is awesome.

And I have a library card. And favorite restaurants. And we know shop keepers. We are building our community there and I love it.

People remark that it seems stressful at times. And it is, sure, specifically the hours between 10 am and 3 pm every Saturday in the summer. Even that is mostly self-inflicted, because it's about me wanting things to be perfect for people checking in even though I know perfection is an unattainable illusion. But the minuscule amount of stress is worth it a million times over.

See one year anniversary post here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When I dip you dip we dip french dip

Can anyone say french without mimicking the mom from Better Off Dead? First, I have frawnch fries. And frawnch dressing. And frawnch bread.

Once upon a time I used to share recipes. Then I got in a rut and stopped doing that. I didn't feel like cooking so I did the minimal. I woke up one day and was like hey...I feel like cooking again. With my older recipes too. And fuck it, they're not always going to be healthy because I am not always a healthy eater and the season of the comfort food is upon us.

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, is it not? Let us say hello to cooking again.

This recipe is originally from Simply Scratch. The original calls for red wine and beer and makes five pounds. I do not keep alcohol in my house and I do not need five pounds at a time, so here is my version.

3 lb beef chuck roast
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 tbs olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup of this: 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar with water added up to the half cup line
4 cups beef broth for crock
3 tsp beef bouillon granules
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs worcestershire
Pull meat out of the fridge a half hour before you are going to work on it.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, sear each side for 3-4 minutes. For those of you out there like me who like to skip the searing step because it'll be fine without it trust me you want to do the sear here.

Add a smidge more olive oil and throw the onions in for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Remove. Deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar concoction, scraping up all the brown bits.

Add to a large crock: roast, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar situation, soy sauce, Worcestershire, bouillon granules, and pour the beef stock over all of it.

I cooked it on high for four hours, but you can certainly do low for eight.

Remove meat and shred with forks, add back to liquid. Serve on crusty rolls.

Despite the title, I do not dip the sandwich in au jus because I hate soggy bread but by all means, have at it.

At a loss name-wise. 
when i dip you dip we dip
seems appropriate

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