Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - how many years can a mountain exist before it's washed to the sea?

1. Painting Monday night: a bench and one of only two closets in this 118 year old house. Guess which one was more exciting?

2. How to lose friends and alienate people: This is not an isolated incident for this vehicle and our driveway at the shore. Last year, diplomacy. This year, woman on the warpath. Guess which one comes more naturally?

3. I'm sucking wind. Lots going on at work, trying to keep up at home, and back and forth to prepare for our soft open at the shore, which is what I consider Memorial Day weekend to be - to get me back in the landlord frame of mind and put the house on notice that it's time to shape up. Spring felt like only a week long this year so we were behind on a lot down there but we're in solid shape now, with only wish list items left to do after this weekend. I'm looking forward to another season of nice people staying with us, three of the weeks are returning guests and the rest are just friends we haven't met yet.

4. Tuesday night I went to bed at 11, was up at 4:30, then up at 5 for good. I was on the 5:45 train in to work Wednesday, home to clean up and pack up and to the shore by 9. My dogs were like wild jackal assholes and I was grumpy as fuck by 10:30 last night. So at 11 pm I jumped on my bike still wearing my work dress and took a ride on the deserted boardwalk to blow the stink off the day.

5. Fuck trump's domestic gag rule, fuck every person who said no one was coming after women's rights when this chump got elected, fuck the NFL for their new national anthem policy, fuck every member of congress standing in silence while trump attacks the rule of law that is vital to keeping us from authoritarianism. Fuck the non-response to Santa Fe and all the other school shootings. Fuck facebook for defaulting everything I share to public again, just about fucking done with facebook.

6. Sweet haul from the OCNJ library earlier this week. Rest in peace Philip Roth. I studied him in my Jewish Lit class in college and enjoyed his work. Thanks for your stories. That's Roth, Anita Shreve, and Tom Wolfe this year already. Damn.

7. Anyone else have a partner obsessed with grass growing like it is akin to inventing fire? Kim, I've already counted you up there.

8. I made zucchini pie and egg roll in a bowl Tuesday. Neither are winning awards for prettiness but both are damn good.

9. Reminder:
10. E-card of the week: I'm ready. You? I'm hoping for an early dismissal tomorrow to make it a three point fiver.

Go get 'em today, tiger. 




Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dogs need summer refreshment too



Humans aren't the only beings that like frozen treats. Dogs do too.

Ingredients
1C organic pumpkin
1C greek yogurt
1C peanut butter
(make sure  none of those things have xylitol, it is deadly for dogs).

Directions
Mix well - I used an immersion blender but you can do it by hand. Put in ice cube trays, about a quarter of the way full in each. Freeze for 24 hours.

My dogs go nuts for these.

But now, back to people. Happy birthday to my sister-in-law Sarah today!

Monday, May 21, 2018

TWTW - the one where love is all around us

Let me cut right to the chase - I came home to poop on the dining room table on Friday. Yes, you read that correctly, We all got Bruced and i has to restrain myself from setting the table on fire. I have literally never. MFD is going down if he leaves a dining room chair out again. Once I collected myself from seeing a pile of turds on my table, I quickly changed and we headed to the wedding of our neighbor. Congrats Dana & Mike!! It was a fun night and we met nice people. And since it was literally around the corner from our house, I got two loads of laundry done before I fell out around midnight.

Saturday I woke up to pouring rain so I finished laundry, watched the Royal Wedding replay, and finished a book. I also packed for the shore, ran and unloaded the dishwasher, picked up around the house, blah blah blah.

Our oven was supposed to get fixed but we found an even bigger problem with it. While that was going down, I picked up very local honey to help with allergies, got flowers at Home Depot and planted them, and returned something to Target where I ran into Stephen & Aubrey and the best niece and nephew ever. I've sucked at maintaining my flowers the past two years so I cut back and added two more perennials so hopefully that helps. We still need some mulch and hanging plants but at least the bed is done. Oh and I'm not typically one to comment on this but WTH is with the price of gas right now?

Saturday night was Gail's engagement party in Rose's awesome house in the middle of nowhere. Such a gorgeous old home and a really lovely area about an hour away from us. I am extremely happy for Gail and Shawn and we had fun reminiscing about the day they got together at Crystal's bachelorette party. It was great to see everyone and catch up. And and and you guys there was a fucking hotdog bar. It was like I died and went to heaven. 

Sunday we headed to the shore to get our last push done before Memorial Day. This doesn't mean all the work is done, but it means what needs to be done before anyone comes in is taken care of. The stuff that will be done after is the stuff that will be nice to have done but not necessary. The day we do this is always an ass breaking day. In the middle of it when everything is torn apart and seems like it will not be put back together, l like to take a break to sit downstairs with my dogs while I curse softly to myself. Today included moving all beds and cleaning under them, moving couches and cleaning under them, cleaning blinds and baseboards (pro-tip: use dryer sheets for baseboards), tightening hooks, adding hooks, touch up paint, spackling the closet for paint later this week, cleaning all window AC units and installing the ones not in the windows, removing all extraneous blankets and personal shit, dealing with weeds, putting the porch furniture out, taking the living room rug outside and beating it, and removing the old pink cabinet and putting the new one in. I was originally going to paint that pink after Memorial Day but decided not to because I like it in the room as is. I'm going to paint a bench in the kitchen pink instead. I need my bright pink furniture in there. I still need to paint the closet, touch up paint in one more room, paint some trim, put the games back, more weeding, make shower cleaner, and make hand soap. I'm tired in advance. 
But around 5 I had to sit down and be done. We biked the boards and had dinner at Hula Grill, which we can never get into in season. 

We hit the beach and did not beat the rain home. I love when a storm is coming in and the sky is split all over so there's different light everywhere you turn. 
We watched Jersey Shore Family Reunion and I painted my nails (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Cherry Fast) and toes (Wet n Wild megalast I Red a Good Book) even though more painting is in this week’s forecast. After the rain we walked the dogs to get ice cream. It was still humid AF but gorgeous.

Weekly food prep: I am so back and forth this week between here and Philly, I did nothing. So basically eating out of the freezer or english muffins or eggs or cheese and crackers. I'm already thinking about my Memorial Day weekend menu. 



How was your weekend?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Corn Dip redux


Hello and happy Friday, you guys. Happy Royal Wedding II Eve. Alas, I am not having a Royal Wedding Party like I did the last time - have you seen that post? It was definitely one of the best parties ever. I considered trying to throw one together but ran out of time.

Last week I pulled up the ol' blog recipe page and clicked on the corn dip entry. There was no page found. Same for hoagie dip and some other ones. Who the hell knows what happened to them, but when I don't keep recipes on here, I have to find old word docs and I don't like doing that.

So, corn dip. Again, for those of you who've seen it before. Likely a similarly shitty photo to the first time, because it doesn't photograph well. It's always the way that the ugly things taste the best. Either way, maybe you need a dip for the weekend. Maybe this is it.

Ingredients
2 cans mexi-corn or fiesta corn, drained well
1C sour cream
1C mayo
2C finely shredded cheddar
5 chopped green onions
1 can chopped green chiles
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin

Directions
Mix all together and chill for a few hours. Serve with fritos, tortilla chips, or wheat thins.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - All I can say is that my life is pretty plain I like watching the puddles gather rain

1. I was supposed to go to the shore Tuesday night and come back tonight. I never ended up going which puts me a little behind on getting shit done before Memorial Day. I bought touch up paint at least? Every year without fail we hurtle towards Memorial Day and I have way more painting to do than I thought. This year was tough...too cold to paint for much of the spring. Kim asked where I was in our daily email saying she can't keep track if I'm home or at the shore. You and me both sister. My schedule has been hard this week for where I have to be when and with something Friday night and Saturday night, I won't get there until Sunday at the earliest.

2. Seriously though how the fuck is it almost Memorial Day? My legs have been bare like once and I'm still living in a sweatshirt most days.

3. I still need to get my front flowers planted at home. Maybe Saturday? I attempted to buy cheap hanging baskets at Aldi but when I got there it looked like a crime scene so no dice. I used to send MFD for hanging baskets until he started overbuying and our small patch of front yard looked like The Land of the Misfit Hanging Plants.

4.  I bought new food for Mae based on the name as if it was a bottle of wine or something. In other dog news, we've been cozy inside most of the week due to the rain, it's still superb sleeping weather according to Gus, and Bruce is head butting the flowers out back so they have to be relocated. He is also personally offended by the existence of puddles.

5. I've lived here for over 14 years and I spent 30 minutes driving around Tuesday night trying to get to two post offices within three miles of my house that were open after 5. Using GPS. Couldn't find either damn one. Pathetic. But whatever, it's fine, because then I had to go Wednesday and I was there at the same time as my BFF Michelle so that was special.

6. Are you following Shaun King? If you think all the race shit coming to light is made up, you need to be following him. That link is to his website which will give you all his links. Read his stories and investigative journalism. Open your mind and your eyes.

7. Primary day is over. MFD ran unopposed in the primary. Voter turnout was good. Now we strap in for the general election in November when he runs against the republican incumbent. This is the really fucking serious portion of the campaign for those of you not familiar with the process. It is also the part that can be nasty if people choose personal attacks over running on issues, which his opponent has done in the past. Who knows, people can change. Maybe she’ll run on issues and tell republican money that personal attacks are off limits. It’s good to expect public servants and their financers to show their best selves, don’t you think? People ask me a lot how I'm feeling with everything. It's a weird place to be in - to support and believe in a candidate 100% but since the candidate happens to be your spouse, to feel some kind of way about the impact it's having on your life. It's many, many things that are not easy to describe and are sometimes conflicting. One of them is that it's like never being alone but always feeling isolated. I saw this from Gisele Fetterman on Primary Day Tuesday (yay JOHN Fetterman!!!!) and it rang very true. Knowing how hard this is for me as a spouse at a state rep level, I imagine it times a million as it goes up the chain. Thanks to all of you who have expressed interest and shown support. Many more opportunities to do both coming up in the next few months. We need to flip this seat and have someone in it who knows the opioid epidemic first hand and will approach it realistically and with compassion and isn't anti-immigrant.

8. Freaking Yanny and Laurel. I can’t.

9. Reminder:


10. E-card of the week:

Corn dip coming at you tomorrow. Just in time for the sweet ass weekend.




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How to Plan for Home Remodeling While You're Away



Yesterday I thought it was Wednesday until like 10 am. Not cool. Did you ever feel like you have so much in your brain that it might burst? That's me right now.

Anyhoo as I do sometimes, I'm giving the floor to someone to talk about things I will not ever be talking about, in this case planning for home remodeling when you're away. Which may come in handy for me in the future as I am never doing a home improvement project in a house I'm living in again after my near nervous breakdown during the kitchen remodel. About the author: Alec Neufeld is a retired builder, now freelance writer and part-time general fix it man. He has strong opinions on the use of alternate energy and is also an avid sports enthusiast.

*********

Doing a home remodeling project and micromanaging everything is already daunting as it is. Even when you’re home all the time, the project can still go over the budget and so many things could go wrong along the way. Scheduling the project for when you’re away on a holiday is just too much of a risk, isn’t it?

Well, not really. You have to do a lot of work prior to the project but doing a home remodeling while you’re away is a great way to get around the inconveniences and hazards. All you have to do is plan for the project carefully and I have just the tips in this article.

Do a Lot of Research

By a lot of research, I mean A LOT of research. Thankfully, you now have the internet on your side. Searching for the most credible contractor to hire, the right parts and appliances to buy, and materials to use is so much easier to do when you have sites like Consumer Charts providing you with valid reviews and tons of resources.

Research is a crucial part of the planning stage. You want to go into the details and figure out everything before finalizing the plan for your remodeling project. Don’t leave anything to chance; write down the plan to the last letter and make sure you know exactly how the project will go even before it starts.

Budgeting is also something you can do at this point. Since you can also get quotes and prices online, figuring out an exact budget for the project isn’t going to be very difficult. Add up to 20% to anticipate changes along the way and you’ll be fine.

Inspect and Review

The next part of the planning stage is inspecting the property. This is something that many contractors will now do for free as part of their marketing. At the end of the inspection, you will get a more detailed quote – preferably in writing – and additional information about potential issues that need to be solved before moving forward with the remodeling.

Let several contractors inspect your home and compare the results. Make sure you mention that you are comparing contractors so that you get the best deal every time. Multiple inspections allow you to see the bigger picture and help you prepare for the project better.

Set Boundaries

Before starting the project, go through the plans with the contractor of your choice in great details. Make sure the person in charge of the project knows what you expect from the project perfectly. If you want to ask a close friend or a relative to help supervise the project if necessary, now is the time to bring that person in as well.


The contractor needs to know about your boundaries. What kind of changes are you willing to accept? Which issues need your approval? Will you be reachable on your trip? Figure out these details and you can start the project without a problem. You’ll have to live elsewhere during bigger remodeling projects anyway, so why not go on a nice holiday while your home is being improved?
*********

Enjoy what is now actually Wednesday. See you back here tomorrow for Thursday Thoughts. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

10 things I don’t wear


Face makeup. Or makeup in general really. I don’t own any face makeup. I had some it CC cream but tossed it after using it twice in a year. When you see a photo of me, assume I am wearing no makeup. A full face of makeup at this point in my life is under eye concealer, mascara, and lip something but most days it’s only lip something. I wore makeup more when I was younger and it would seem that it should be the reverse, but what can I tell you. It's not. I like makeup and admire the hell out of my skillful with makeup friends but I have finally accepted that I am a get up and go girl and that is not going to change. I am impatient and hate wasting time getting ready. Which brings me to...

Hair products.  Also, my hair is never blow dried because I don't own a blow dryer and even when I did I did not use it. Same goes for hair products. MFD owns and uses both.

Filters. I feel weird using a filter on a photo on any platform because then when you see me in real life you're like what the hell happened to you? What you see is what you get.

Aviators.  

Sunglasses that don’t cover my eyebrows. I have a thing about it. I recently learned Aub has a thing about it also.

Headbands. I love them, they look terrible on me. I wear the cotton ones, mostly on the beach to keep the wispy hairs from blowing in my face and annoying the hell out of me but the traditional headband looks really weird on me. 

Wedding rings. I go through stages. I haven’t worn them for months. That could change tomorrow or I could never wear them again. I don’t wear any of the rings I got married with - I rotate a few under $40 rings.

White pants, shorts, or dresses.

Jeans. I don’t own a pair. I do have a pair of jeggings.

Clothes free of dog hair. Even when I'm away, I bring it with me.

See also: heels, a good poker face, and lots of different jewelry (have it, love it, don’t wear it).

What are some things you don't wear?


Oh, and an I Voted sticker...only because I never get one. I always vote, I've never missed. Today is PA's primary. How are you getting to the polls? Walking, biking, public transport, driving, car pool? 

If you need to know where your polling place is or what questions are on the ballot or your voting rights, check out Committee of Seventy's page. If that doesn't have information for your area, let me know and I'll find you a resource. And if you are in the 170th district, please vote for Mike Doyle for PA! 

And finally happy birthday to my friend Jenn today!!


Monday, May 14, 2018

TWTW - the one con las madres

Bruce and I were on the beach by 5:30 Friday morning, which is my preferred way to start any workday. 

I was working by 6:20 and I killed it Friday.  Lunch included a drive and bringing my personal email box to zero. After work my aunt, uncle, and cousin arrived to stay the weekend. Bruce went for a long walk and tried the porch out for the first time. I showered and read out there after having my favorite dinner and some weird dessert of leftover ice cream and popcorn. Bruce and I feel like we live here now and go home to visit other people in our family.
No sunrise Saturday because it was pouring around 5:30 so I slept in. We took a long walk and checked out flowers around town. My youngest cousin worked on getting Bruce acclimated to people and it was very successful. My neighbors re-sided their half of the house and gave the old girl a new topper all the way across at the tippy top. I spent some time working on About the House/Around town for this summer's guests, which I should have had done at least three weeks ago, and cleaned windows before we left for Philly at noon. 
Saturday evening at Stephen & Aubrey's celebrating Mother's Day with Carol and hanging out with the snuggliest Baby Seeeeve and the hilarious Lola Jean. 

Sunday morning was a shit load of laundry and changing sheets. Weekly food prep: a big salad for Stephen & Aubrey's on Saturday, jalapeno popper dip and corn dip for Aubrey's mom's on Sunday (corn dip will be on the blog soon - it used to be on here and who the hell knows what happened to it but it's not anymore), baked chicken thighs and potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes. I am going to make a spinach egg dish later in the week too.
Debbie got me a hilarious poop set and flowers and made the Geege charm she got me for my birthday into a protection bracelet with stones I requested. She's the best!
We had a really nice and relaxing Mother's Day celebration at Aubrey's mom's. The food and company were awesome!


Hope anyone who moms in any way had a great weekend! 

PA friends, I trust you have your voting plan for tomorrow's primary? Check out the Committee of Seventy's Digital Ballot tool - dem and rep candidates, and they have the ballot questions as well - those registered as independent should be going and voting on them! Everyone can vote on the ballot questions even though PA has a closed primary.


Friday, May 11, 2018

This morning's sunrise thoughts

I love when I get to the beach for the sunrise to see the moon has stuck around to bear witness.
Insert peace sign here. 
You guys. Seriously. Please. Think before you take, use, consume. I have always tried to mind the earth, but being down here and seeing our trash wash ashore all the time is making me nuts about it. 
And yes, Bruce is still on the beach at 5:45 am despite there being no dogs on the beach in Ocean City from April 30-October 1. Of all the rules to break in life, I am okay breaking this one.  He's on a leash not harming a soul and not only do I pick up after him, I pick up all the other trash I see too. Live and let live. I will never understand why this town doesn't just allow leashed dogs early or late in the day. You would not believe the hell people give other people for doing this. Just, why? Many people do the it's the law song and dance, as if they have never gone over the speed limit, had a drink before they were 21, littered, etc. They also do the they poop song and dance, which, have you ever seen what humans do on the beach? Not always good or sanitary.

Well that was a tangent but come on they're dogs. This land is your land, this land is my land, and this land is their land too. The beach is for all of us. 

Added bonus of early sunrise season: a little extra work in early in the day. Getting shit done, my friends.  

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee

1. I wouldn't say I'm having a midlife crisis, but I am absolutely in a life re-evaluation period. Specifically, what I own and why, what I buy and why, what motivates my purchases, how I use what I own, how my consumption impacts the environment, if my happiness has gotten too related to and dependent on things. I am not full on Marie Kondo-ing, but I'm getting close. I know I'm on to something because every small thing that leaves my house makes me feel incrementally lighter mentally and spiritually. I can't argue with that. I've always been a purger and organizer but I've not approached it like this before - I never thought about halting the buying portion of the cycle, was never as ruthless as I thought I was being, and never examined my motives for buying beyond because I like it and because I can. It's interesting and enlightening and good, hard, introspective self-work, which I haven't done in a while. Stay tuned.

2. In regards to selling things: someone please explain to me the psychology of the person who says they are going to buy something, sets a time to meet/pick up, then never shows up. Does that give this person some type of perverse joy? Why say you want it, go through the trouble of setting up a meeting place and time, not show up, and never acknowledge it again? I don't get it. That’s only happened once but it really perplexed me. Overall selling stuff has actually been fun and I've met/interacted with really nice people. I used to do yard sales then stopped selling altogether and donated. This time I’m selling here and there but if it’s a hassle that stops.

3. I'm working from the shore today and tomorrow.  I'm considering taking off tomorrow. I'm not sure yet. I'm getting some windows re-screened this afternoon. I've lived in my house at home for nine years and never gave a thought to the screens. Screens at the shore take an absolute beating with storm debris and such. Suddenly the previous owners having all these screening materials in the closet makes perfect sense. LOLOL My goal in the off-season is to learn to re-screen myself. It seems easy watching videos, but I am not in a position to fuck around with a learning curve a few weeks before Memorial Day. I'll save that for October.

4. Bruce is with me and MFD has Gus and Mae at home. I'm sure they're happy to have a break from this puppy. LOL forever.

5. I really, really, really love salt. Like way more than a person who knows how bad sodium is for you should. I barely use regular table salt anymore and have been out of Himalayan pink salt for a while. I just got a refill for my grinder. Happy days are here again.

6. I haven't previously used affiliate links on this blog, but I'm going to start for Amazon to cover Show Us Your Books link up costs and hosting costs for the year. That means if you click on a link to something here that directs you to Amazon and you buy through that link, I get a few cents. I never got the point then thought hmm...I probably could have covered the link up costs if I wasn't so anti-affiliate link. While I never feel the need to explain myself to people, I also usually don't mind giving an insight into why I changed my mind on something. Speaking of Show Us Your Books, it was bumping this month! As of yesterday, 56 linker uppers. I hope you go back and read the people that link up later.

7. Since I take up a lot of space bitching about the weather, let me just comment on how super deluxe it's been this week. It's absolutely glorious windows open sleeping weather, which means it's hard to get up from the nice cocoon in the morning. I'd rather close my eyes and take deep breaths of the sweet spring air.

8. I haven't explicitly stated it in a while and don't want anyone thinking I've come to a place of acceptance: I fucking hate this government, everything they're doing and not doing, and the things they stand for and what they don't stand for. When I think about it I feel my face physically pinch and age around the eyes and in my cheek bones as I grit my teeth. Iran, the absolute mess of a State Department, the ridiculous bullying platform that is basically the opposite of what the POTUS himself uses twitter for, just fucking all of it.

9. Reminder: How you know I didn't make this - shit isn't just allowed to be

10. E-card of the week: Happy Mother's Day to all of you who mom in any way.

I didn’t blog yesterday, so happy birthday to my stepdad Rich a day late!




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