Monday, November 22, 2021

TWTW - the one before Thanksgiving

Friday was Adele day to do my morning work to. Not a fan of the first four songs aside from Easy on Me. Loved the rest. Ben and Bruce were still out of it from their shots on Thursday and I was still not 100% after my booster Tuesday. We did get to the beach at lunch, and I had Ben and Mae on their electric blanket in the afternoon. After work I started a new book. My dad & Carol arrived in the late afternoon and we ordered from Red's for dinner. I was in bed early.  
Saturday I had my errands (drop large comforter to cleaner, groceries, bagel pickup) done by 9. Dad made breakfast, and I stuffed some Christmas cards. Carol and I ran into the Grinch & Santa on the way to the thrift store and saw lots of pajama-clad shoppers at the Earlier than the Bird shopping event in town. I painted my nails (OPI It's a Girl! and Princesses Rule!). 
In the afternoon I took the dogs on a long beach walk and they were very tired after which we always like. My admins worked very hard stuffing, sealing, stamping, and stickering my holiday cards. Seriously though they have done so much for us while they’ve been staying with us that when they move into their new house it is going to be a rude awakening. I threw some spare ribs and bratwurst in the crockpot with ginger ale, mustard powder, and sauerkraut. Carol and Dad got sides from Bennie's and it was delicious. Carol put out some of the shore Christmas stuff and I watched my first Hallmark Christmas movie ever. 

Sunday I got a good sleep and eased into the day with some reading before showering and heading out to TJ Maxx, talking to Laura on the way. The trip was moderately successful, some shit is getting returned today. I came home in time for snacks I mean the Eagles game, and did not much else aside from receive real name information on someone who sent violent threats online under a fake name to MFD and figure out where to report those since our local PD would bin them and I want a paper trail of them. 


I'm off today. I'm off all week. Huzzah. 




Friday, November 19, 2021

Like Thursday Thoughts but on Friday

1. Yesterday just past 6:30 am I spilled half of my coffee in my lap in the middle of the Walt Whitman bridge. I should have known then that Thursday Thoughts was not happening on Thursday but I held out hope until 11:45 then lunch meeting. So here we are with Thursday Thoughts, Friday-style. It's been a week, and I don't mean that it's been bad, just full. 

2. I am thrilled with the OPI holiday collection this year. I'm not a product photographer but if you want to check these out on the interwebs I got all from beyondpolish.com - the website is a little clunky but they have availability when many others don't - all OPIs...Mylar Dreams, Paint the Tinseltown Red, To All a Good Night, My Color Wheel is Spinning, and Ready, Fete, Go. All sparkly and happy which is good in January and February too. 

3. Speaking of product shoots, Kim was up for a photo shoot at Evan's Evan Leslie Images Studio for her company Yunizon (sunglass folks, check them out, would make a great Christmas gift from a small biz too). She crashed with us and it was nice to see her face to face which happens once a year usually. Michelle stopped by the next morning and that was great too. A nice Tuesday-Wednesday change from the norm. We've all always been the don't sit next to our group in a restaurant type of people. Speaking of Christmas gifts, Evan does portrait work at his studio and beyond. 
4. I know there are a ton of aerie people out there but I haven't been one of them. This weekend henley mockneck sweatshirt thing changed that. Super comfortable, presentable on the zooms. They're 40% off right now and also my new uniform. 

5. As we approach the holidays and hell every day we know the importance of seasoning our food, yes? Yes. Very good, in the words of Tabitha Brown. Loving her Sunshine seasoning on chicken thighs. I also die for Fox Point by Penzey's on fish and veggies but since I was fresh out I subbed with this and it worked. Aside from no food period there is nothing worse than bland, unseasoned food.

6. I got my covid vaccine booster Tuesday. My reaction was similar to my reaction with shot #2 - symptoms arrived at the same time (23-25 hours after the shot) and were the same (chills, fever, general immobility) but were less intense and much shorter in duration. From like 12-15 hours of being totally down to about five. Lingering fatigue and general blah the next day too. As always still absolutely worth it especially as the Delta is still swirling. Bruce and Ben got their shots yesterday too and Bruce was up at 4 am telling me how hurt he was over it. I do not argue with dog vaccine recommendations either. Here's Billy Cat sandwich for good measure.

7. Photos from the week

8. This justice system does not work and is certainly not fair and balanced and I don't need to watch trials for this to be known. Neither do you. Why are you so invested in it? There is no possibility justice will be served in this trial in particular. What matters to me at this point is the lengths people will go to and the absolutely hypocritical mental leaps people will make to defend and excuse people like Kyle Rittenhouse while they puff up their chests and push out their comply or die bullshit in literally 90% of other cases. In trials like these, the defenses are invariably built on a shit scrap pile of white supremacy, patriarchy, and colonialism; and the people whose interests are served by maintaining these systems of oppression will go out among each other and demand they be defended. Guess what. Fuck off with your law and order bullshit when you know damn fucking well law and order only applies to some people and that you like it that way.

9. Reminder all the time but especially as we enter the holiday season (art via Banana Crush)

10. Ecards - 

TGIF. I'm off of work next week and I'm sliding into it with Adele. 30. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Tips for preparing for the holidays

Pexels

The holidays are supposed to be fun and festive. However, the season doesn’t always feel enjoyable when you start thinking about all that you have to do.

Avoid stressing out by working ahead and knowing what needs to get done and by when. Create to-do lists and timelines and get organized right away so you’re not stuck trying to tackle tasks at the last minute. Learn some tips for preparing for the holidays that will help take some stress and strain off of you.

Shop Ahead

You’re going to want to get gifts for your loved ones, friends, and even teachers this holiday season. Therefore, start looking around and see what’s out there that may be suitable such as these winter teacher tees, or maybe your spouse wants new slippers or snowmobiling gear. Get an idea of what those around you want and then create a budget and start shopping.

Start Getting Out the Decorations

Prepare for the holidays and get into the spirit by decorating your home for the season. Begin getting out the decorations and seeing what you have. Declutter by getting rid of what you no longer want or need. You might discover that you want more and updated items to put out. Therefore, plan time to go shopping and invest in a few new d├ęcor items that you can enjoy this year. Focus on making your home warm and cozy and get it ready now so that you’re prepared for guests to come over at any time.

Plan Ahead at Work

It’s possible that the holidays are a busy time for you at work. However, you might also want to make holiday travel plans or see friends and family. Therefore, it’s wise to prepare by knowing what needs to get done at your job and what is most important you address before taking any time off. Get a better idea of who’s available to help you and delegate tasks to others if possible. You don’t want to be stuck sending out emails and responding to messages while you’re supposed to be celebrating Christmas with your family.

Carve Out Time for Some Fun

The holidays should be a fun time that you enjoy spending with friends and loved ones. Make sure they’re pleasurable by carving out some time for entertainment and activities you like doing. Prepare for the holidays by finding out what events or happenings are going on in your area and which ones you want to attend. It may be that some weekends you want to get out of the house and have a winter adventure and other nights you want to sit by the fire and play games.

Conclusion

You should now feel more at ease and know what you can be doing to prepare for the holidays so you’re less stressed out. Remember to take good care of yourself so you have a lot of natural energy and don’t become rundown as you get ready for the season. Most importantly, try to relax and enjoy yourself and those around you and not let a few mishaps or forgotten to-dos ruin your holidays.

***
this post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Monday, November 15, 2021

TWTW - the slow and low tempo one

Friday I could not concentrate for shit in the afternoon. I took a walk and got some Johnson’s popcorn and we spent the 4 pm hour on the beach where all dogs were consistent assholes. I finished a book and was asleep by 11.
Saturday it felt good to sleep in until 7:15. I never had a chaffle before this morning. Sold. I painted my nails, took the dogs for a long walk, then set out for the afternoon. I dropped a return off to FedEx, picked up some Thanksgiving wine, replenished items from PetSmart, stopped into Marshalls to replace one of Gus’s stank ass shore beds, and picked up a steak from Aldi for dinner. I encountered many an asshole along the way. Back at home I read, went down to the bay to see the sunset, roasted parsnips and asparagus and threw the steak in the air fryer, and dug around under beds for Thanksgiving and Christmas shit. Ben enjoyed his new electric blanket. He's always cold but will not wear sweaters. I also ordered a tray of stuffing and pumpkin pies from two local places and wrote up the Thanksgiving menu. I read half of a new book throughout the day.

Sunday Kicked off with cleaning, which...no. I cleaned up the main floor in the shore house, then our apartment, changed sheets, showered, packed up the car, took a long walk, and was back in Philly by 1 in time to tell MFD what Christmas shit to take back to the shore with him as he was heading down to pick up a client at the airport for a closing today. I hit Marshalls in Franklin Mills looking for a replacement area rug, which I did not find but I did find fully half of the people not adhering to the Philadelphia mask mandate that remains in place in indoor areas. Which makes it shit for workers and also is weird because many flaunting the mandate are surely comply or die people. Weird. I made a frozen pizza and salad for dinner, did a bunch of laundry, and watched Yellowstone. Dad and Carol got home around 8:30 and I talked to them over tea for a while.


Happy happy birthday to my friend Melissa yesterday!

Land of No Sleep thanks to old dogs and rambunctious cats. Happy Monday!




Friday, November 12, 2021

8 things I learned during 8 years of recovery from alcohol and substance use disorder


Today is MFD's eight sober anniversary. It is impossible to boil down what a life changing impact that has had for us across the board into a few sentences. 

Sobriety isn't something you do and move on from. It is commitment and consistency. It is vulnerability and honesty. It is introspection and service and healing and growth. It requires constant tending. Sometimes it requires an overhaul. It is beautiful. In many ways it is like a relationship. And in our relationship, today is the most important anniversary because without it, we would not celebrate a marriage anniversary at this point. 

Which makes it funny in the 2020-2021 brand of funny that I didn't realize today was November 12 for a number of hours into the day.

Anyway this is something MFD wrote about his journey so far. It is true to what I have seen him live these past eight years. It's good too, I only gave two edits for clarity...after he had posted it everywhere LOL. 

I wanted to share it here in case you need it, or you know someone who might. As always, mental health issues, alcoholism and substance use disorder are nothing to be ashamed of. We are removing the stigma and talking about these things out loud. Please contact me via email if you need to do that and I will share any resources I can with you, including myself. 
******
8 Things I Learned During 8 Years of Recovery from Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder

1. It takes a village
Find a supportive community to help shape your recovery. 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, Dharma, etc… There are many pathways to recovery but find one, stick with it and find someone who you admire and respect, latch onto them, and do what they say and do. (This can be an ever evolving process, but I recommend sticking to one mode for the first few years before exploring other Recovery Options.

 2. You can only control what is within your “Hula Hoop”
I thought I could magically infect everyone with what I learned, which would remove what probably seemed to them insurmountable problems and change themselves for the better in the process. I learned I can only control the changes I choose to make within the imaginary hula hoop around my body. I can be a model for others, if they choose that, but I can only control me.

3. A higher power was necessary for MY recovery
It may not work for everyone, but for me it was important. It was also very important to learn and understanding that my higher power is what I choose. It isn’t Catholic, Islam, Jewish, Buddhist, etc… It is what I want and need it to be and can be all gendered or no gender or an old man with a beard or a chair. To those struggling with the concept of a higher power, it is what YOU want it to be. The point is that I needed to understand the concept of a higher power to help me learn about humility and vulnerability.

4. Be Honest
Do not lie, cheat, or steal. It sounds easy but for many it was a way of life for so long. Also, I learned that I need to get honest with myself and with another. A sponsor or my therapist, but as long as I got honest and lived in an honest way, I would be fine.

5. Consistent mental health treatment
Following my primary care physician’s suggestion to see a psychologist and seeing that same Doctor for 8 years has been key. Incorporating a psychiatrist at year 2 was also key. Remember, it takes a village and seeking professional outside help was so important. Also, Old and Angry men who are NOT doctors are NOT doctors. Do NOT take their medical advice.

6. Promises will come true if you let them
My favorites are, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” And “Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.” There are 10 more. Contact me directly if you want to know more about them.

7. Be kind and don’t be a DICK!!!
If the people you are surrounding yourself with in your fellowship seem to be mean, cruel, dickish, unkind, condescending, childish, uncaring, etc… Find a new group of people to join in your recovery journey. Human beings will act like each other in groups, and you will find yourself becoming a mean, angry person if you surround yourself with mean, angry people. Love yourself, your spouse/partner, family, friends, and volunteers. And most importantly, learn to love and pray for those you DO NOT LIKE or have a resentment towards.

8. Recovery is malleable and can evolve
If it takes a village then make sure you are open, available, considerate, kind and loving to everyone seeking a better life. Example, If you are in AA, be open to people in NA, SMART Recovery or people still using.
**************

Happy most important anniversary to MFD. Happy Friday to you. And to anyone who needs to hear it: recovery is possible. 

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