Friday, June 14, 2024

Things I've been meaning to tell you 6.14.2024

Aldi coming in hot with this lovely toter. A perfect replacement for one I just lost that I got in Vermont a few years back.

Weekends gone by post here for the last three, all good ones. Someone had a bead kit at the shore Memorial Day Weekend and I swear I will be finding these for all eternity.

Our hydrangea is having a moment

How I've felt since finding out I had Lyme's disease last week - IYKYK. I've felt as crazy as Felicia. Cliiiiiiiivvveeeee. Where are my Witches of Eastwick fans? Goddamn ticks. It has been a journey for sure, and not a pleasant one. Things went south very quickly. Bless these mega antibiotics. And the fact that I had a visible and very clear bullseye rash. I've never been so sick in my life, and I've never been so scared for my own health - what a privilege at this age to be able to say that. A weird after thing is that I have not had coffee since 6/3. I tried hot and iced and couldn't have more than a sip of hot and two of iced. 
I much prefer this type of feeling...which is how I feel when I walk into a new Marshalls/TJMaxx HomeGoods that has all of my things. I found an awesome one close to me at the shore that I haven't been to before and it is awesome.
In the midst of the Lyme's shit and first shore rental checking in, I picked up our new senior dog - 14 year old Queen Victoria, a corgi who lost her owner in May to cancer. She comes from Senior Dog Haven and Hospice, the same place Mr. Rooney came from and the same awesome foster. Crown Vic is likely at the end of her lifespan (corgis are 12-15 years by all accounts), but we'll keep her comfortable in style for as long as she has left. She's acclimated to us and to the dogs, but has not been to the shore yet.
Someone who is not interested in acclimating to the new dog...
The late light in June is just dreamy.
I am in the season of more Philly, less shore as the shore population swells and I find it harder to operate down there. I estimate I'll probably spend 3-ish days a week down there and four in Philly versus all the time down there like I do in the off-season. Philly showing up and showing out this week. 
The shore rental season prep flew by this year, mostly because we left it until the last fucking minute despite intending to do it all spring. I didn't paint the trim this year so I better be doing that in the fall. We're fully booked until Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We have a few September rentals too and may rent out a bit in October. 
More people but still pulling in treasures. 
I spent a zillion dollars at my car maintenance today, and MFD spent a mil on his inspection last week. Goddamn that hurts, back to back and not expected. I still need two tires also, but I was not getting them there. It has been forever since I bought tires, like literally many many years. Tire City here I come.

The party of law and order doesn't care about law and order if you're an old white grifter bamboozler rapist misogynist who appears rich. Then you can do whatever you want and they'll still vote for your hateful, lying, law breaking ass

Sincerely - fuck the supreme court. Overturn the ban on bump stocks largely supported across the board, sure sure. The fucking MANIACAL LUNACY of guns having more rights than women in this country. You can shove the 4th of July up your fucking ass, Clarence Thomas. These people are bought and paid for, several of their wives are the hateful white ladies upholding patriarchy that memes are based on, and every blessed one of them lied to the American people with their hand in the air saying Roe was settled and they would not disrupt it. This is a rogue court acting on behalf of their billionaire benefactors. Fuck you all, I hope you have the days you deserve and that it comes with incurable crotch rot and dental pain

If your password requirement is like 12+ characters, a number, a character, etc etc to infinity, you can shove it up your butthole. Also, can hackers just like hack the fucking government and big businesses and wipe out mortgages and student loans and medical debt and siphon some off the top of that and not try to place a $99 order on my Grove Collaborative account? I am not personally offended or upset when my credit card gets compromised but like hello when it is the credit card you have hooked to everything and it happens days before things hit like your spotify, home warranty, cat insurance, etc. No thank you. Again, please direct your efforts to cancelling student loan debt, medical debt, and mortgages. Or credit debt itself thank you and good day. I SAID GOOD DAY.

Congrats to all the grads, and happy day to all the dads

SMD





Thursday, June 13, 2024

Weekends gone by

Memorial Day Weekend May 23-27
I headed up to Lori's late on Thursday, and man did I need the restful weekend we had. Lots of time reading, a trip to the farmer's market, delicious charcuterie, Cold Creek, a stop at Jack & Lori's. Deep and great sleep. Mr. Rooney's first visit. Perfect. 

May 31-June 4
My family was down for the weekend, and we celebrated my brother's birthday and had a practice smokeout for our 5th Anniversary coming up on Labor Day Weekend. First true beach day, and first mint julep kohr bros of the season. A great weekend long weekend. I was off Monday too, and Tuesday is I woke up with what would be a lyme's tick bite so that day will be seared in memory LOL

June 7-9
I didn't think I was going to make it for this one. Friday morning I was still throwing up and dealing with lyme's shit. Friday night I was supposed to go to see cousins Terri & Leslie and catch up and learn family tree stuff. I could not get off the couch. Saturday morning I was supposed to go to my nephew's all-star game and decided to rest instead in hopes of making it to MFD's cousin's wedding, as his Gram has all of her family in one place so infrequently. It was a nail biter but I'm glad I made it. Sunday I went to the shore and took like seven hours to clean my already pretty clean house. I just couldn't move faster. I could move though, and that was something. Leaps and bounds better by Sunday night.

That'll do it. I've been doing reels on Instagram with snippets of the weekend, you can always find them here

SMD






 

Friday, May 31, 2024

May 2024 Reads



Long form two months in a row. Hey ohhhhhhhh. Photos were not loading so leaving them out. I did a lot of work work and a lot of shore house work in May and not as much reading, but I was happy to absolutely love more than usual in a month.

Engrossing Reads
Lula Dean's Little Library of Banned Books by Kirsten Miller - This was like several stories within a story with life lessons taken from the content of banned books and good versus evil in which of course the evil people want to ban the books and the good people want others to be able to read whatever the fuck they want and it all plays out in a small town full of all sorts of people and yes. Yes. If a book is created for an audience, I am the audience for this book. Free advanced copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 


Her Dying Secret (Detective Josie Quinn #20) by Lisa Regan - A series that continues to deliver - some of you have read those words here probably 20 times. Kindle copy

Think Twice (Myron Bolitar #12) by Harlan Coben - The first Myron novel since 2016. A surprise advanced copy from Netgalley the week before it released. Is this heaven? Yes it is. More Myron! Myron all the time. If you have not read the Myron books, start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. I love this chosen family of people. Free advanced copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Husbands & Lovers by Beatriz Williams - I can clearly remember reading A Hundred Summers on the beach in Cape May years ago and being utterly engrossed. I've read multiple BW books since and nothing reached that level until this one. The absolute chaos of this novel, many elements I dislike in a book, and extremely questionable character actions but I could not put it down and felt like clutching it to myself. I had to stay up until 1:30 am to finish. Half wish I had saved it for a beach read but I could not control myself  - so you please use it as a summer beach/outdoor read. Free advanced copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes June 25

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Inmate by Freida McFadden  - This woman goes wild sometimes in the storylines, no? Cripes. It makes it readable in under two hours though. Paperback, given to me

Seven Summers by Paige Toon - I liked the story and this was semi-engrossing, but there was too much extraneous stuff that I thought slowed the pace. Also frustrated by the characters - like do you like each other or not why is this complicated. This reminded me of Carly Fortune novels with the same complaints on my end so it's surely meeeeeeeee, hi, I'm the problem, it's me. Free advanced copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This Summer Will be Different by Carley Fortune - See above for frustrated by the characters. No way should this have gone on as long as it did without people being adults and also the big secret was like what? LOL Still a solid read, still the problem is me. OCNJ library hardcover


Cut and Thirst by Margaret Atwood - I always have time for a weird little short story by Margaret Atwood, and bonus it was free. Amazon free bonus first reads thing

Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy - I was not prepared for the weight of this book and staggered under it a bit, and that's on me. The writing is great, but it is intense as hell so be prepared. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Not For Me

The Seventh Girl (Detective Kat Ballantyne #1) by Andy Maslen - The style and conversations are not for me. Had on Kindle, maybe a free Amazon Firsts read?

Do Not Disturb by Freida McFadden - Even I have my limits on wild ass shit in books that require suspension of belief. This is plain wilding out. Paperback, given to me

The Safekeep by Yael van der Wouden - Whew, what a main character and that's not meant in a flattering way. Really liked the writing - especially for a debut - but it reads more like a period drama in the wrong period? And I'm not a fan of those. This will be much loved by a lot of people. Free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish

n/a


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What have you been reading?















Tuesday, May 21, 2024

April and May weekending


April 19-21
MFD coordinated an Earth Day clean up with multiple participant organizations so I went up there and did the lunch run. I also filled out my mail in ballot and dropped it at a box. Sunday was back to the shore for a major rage clean due to getting my period after over eight months not getting it and then falling into an exhausted sleep at 5 on the couch, waking up at 12:30 am and never going back to sleep. Perimenopause is fucked.
Saturday night we met up with old friends in Lambertville on the tail end of Shadfest for dinner at Under the Moon. Food and company were both great. I loved the name of the restaurant and the ambiance. I wish I had a jacket with me LOL. MFD and I were unintentionally matching yet again.

April 26-28
Friday after work I headed back down to the shore and picked up my most useful, best Freecycle score ever - a plastic gate that we can use in the driveway at the shore so the dogs can be out but not run into the street which they do not do but they surely would run after other dogs. We hit the beach and melted into the couch. Saturday I did some upkeep work outside in the driveway, walked a zillion miles doing my errands, celebrated Independent Bookstore Day by patronizing two of my locals including one of my all time favorites which is a used paperback bookstore, found an awesome new shop that is totally my vibe, more beach walking, read two books, and made a clear out the pantry dinner. Sunday walked a zillion more miles, read another two books, ate cookies until I was ill, and beach dog time.

May 3-5
A doing weekend - HomeGoods, new window ACs for bedrooms, touch up painting throughout the house, sorting and organizing under bed bins and other seasonal prep work.
Saturday we got the stair carpet replaced. It was also the spring block party so I got pretzels and that's about it, as it was a working weekend. 
Otherwise reading, snacky dinners, cute dogs, Shittah's third birthday and May the 4th be with you. And a rainy walk. Imagine, rain.

May 10-12
Melissa and Jim and the kids were down, always one of my favorite weekends. And the dogs too, they get so much attention from everyone and Melissa always puts out a spread which they love LOL. It was sunny enough Saturday to sit in the driveway for a bit, paint my toes outside, and hit the beach, staying up by the dunes to block the wind.
After splitting a bottle of champagne for mimosas with Melissa on the beach I got a wild hair up my ass to paint our apartment bathroom bubblegum pink (SW6583 In the Pink) then Sunday I spray painted the hanging baskets (Krylon pistachio).

Sunday I drove to Philly and back for Mother's Day, which included a pop in to TJMaxx where in a miraculous event I had 15 minutes to get in and out and found everything I was looking for with time to spare to go to Sherwin Williams and pick up more paint. A true unicorn of an event. We celebrated Mom and Rich (his birthday was Thursday) and I got the cutest zen pug from my niece and nephew then stopped in to see Gram before heading back to the shore to hang out more with Melissa & Jim.

May 17-19
Friday I was jamming on work by 6:30 am, at Sam's by 8, and a firedrill of a day from then on. MFD's fam arrived and I made cherry cheesecake dip, brownie batter dip, and took a lovely beach walk. Cheers to the fam for dealing with the oven delivery on Saturday since the initial install date of Tuesday was ixnayed due to damage upon arrival. 

Saturday was a working day, I was headed back to Philly before 8 am, talked to Laura the entire ride, unpacked a zillion boxes, packed a zillion boxes, went to three different shipping places (including one where 10 people yelled at me in russian for having so many boxes and the mail lady was like you know everyone hates you, right? yes I know), picked up a shower curtain from HomeGoods on an in and out trip, filled my car up with gas, thought I lost my credit card, and then headed to a work Phillies game. I got free parking thanks to a pin drop from my work BFF, stood the whole time for fear of falling asleep or zoning out, Phils won, and I made it back to the shore at 10:50. I was wired so up until after midnight. Friday and Saturday were both insane Henry Hill days - which is how I reference the bust when he was running all over on precision timing dealing with jam ups at every turn LOL. 

Sunday I was done done. I went to drop off a Freecycle item, picked up carrot cake for Sarah's birthday (her birthday is tomorrow) and sung to her and Maddi's boyfriend on his actual birthday (he got an ice cream cake), and chilled out reading magazines and watching Parks and Rec. MFD was working Sunday so it was his day for back and forth. By 7 pm my racing thoughts had finally ceased, just in time for work to begin again. 

That'll do it. I've been doing reels on Instagram with snippets of the weekend, you can always find them here

SMD






 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

April 2024 Reads



Look who's turned up this month to do books in long form.

Engrossing Reads

If Something Happens to Me by Alex Finlay - 4.5 for keeping me fully engaged and anxious to pick the book back up spurring me to read it entirely within two short blocks of time. Did the story work all the way though, did everything line up, were all the characters deep and likable? Does any of that matter if I couldn’t put it down? Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes 5/28

The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean - I simply devoured this - great story and writing. This was my first Emiko Jean book but it will not be my last. Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes 5/7

Table for Two by Amor Towles - Shorter stories - I hesitate to assign them simply short because Amor Towles doesn't really do short per se - which is not my favorite type of read. I would read the packaging of paper towels if Towles wrote it though, and that holds true for writing in short form. One story I'd read before, but gladly read again. OCNJ library hardcover

What Happened to Nina? by Dervla McTiernan - I think this is McTiernan's best so far. It reads like true crime and is definitely reminiscent of one. This vibe is aided by its cover. OCNJ library hardcover

Passed the Time Just Fine
What Wild Women Do by Karma Brown - this was actually a March read that didn't make those rolls. Picked it up based on the title and a previous experience with the author. It was a bit deeper than I expected it to be with a large dose of feminism which you might imagine was just fine by me. OCNJ library hardcover

I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Enger - A not truly dystopian but feels dystopian-ish journey that read chaotic but still proved worthy of sticking with. I might have been more enthusiastic about this if actual life didn't feel very dystopian-ish?  OCNJ library hardcover

Wait by Gabriella Burnham - Appropriate given the title, I was sort of waiting for something at the end that was never coming. That's a little bit of the point maybe. I hated several people in this. More than several maybe? Okay, almost all. I liked the sisters and their relationship. Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes 5/21

Beautiful Maids All in a Row (Iris Ballard #1) by Jennifer Harlow - It took me an eternity to read this, mostly slogging through the beginning and there was a lot of repetition. Once it got going it was certainly passble. This was on my Kindle, not sure where from, it published in 2016 so who knows

Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris -  I liked the story but the storytelling and writing are the stars - they pull you in and keep you there. The characters and their relationships are developed just how I like in books too. Will definitely read more from this author Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes 5/14

A Lovely Lie by Jaime Lynn Hendricks - Every book requires suspension of belief but this took it to another level. Everything but the kitchen sink in here, and I kept reading because I could not see how these people could continue on. A ride for sure, is it one you want to be on I don't know Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes 5/28

Bless Your Heart (#1) by Lindy Ryan - Campy as hell, which I don't mind every once in a while. I love when campy is told in a matter of fact way too. A fun jaunt centered around a family of women I liked. Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

Everyone is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf - This author is an automatic read for me. Not my favorite of hers by far mostly due to the subject matter but passable. paperback, borrowed


Not For Me

Knife River by Justine Champine - I was expecting a much different book even after I started reading It ended up...fine. Edging near not for me mostly due to storytelling style so I'm leaving it here because if I knew now what I know then I probably would not have stuck with it. Early trauma and its effects on who we turn out to be. Relationships, both sisterly and romantic. Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes 5/28

Lucky by Jane Smiley - This sounded so promising but was just...not it for me. Reading it was an uphill battle and I was confused as hell at the top. The ache that is familiar in Jane Smiley novels is present in glimpses, but otherwise it did not read much like a Jane Smiley to me at all. Free advanced copy courtest of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 


Did Not Finish

n/a

TL, DR


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What have you been reading?













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