Tuesday, June 15, 2021

This morning I was sitting out back thinking


-How fucking great it is to have the ability on a work day to sit out back and think with a cup of coffee instead of rushing out the door like a fucking crazy person.

-Mae makes a an awful keening sound that sounds distinctly human and is very jolting. 

-About my BFF Michelle, who celebrates her birthday today. When I talk about the people who have seen the literal worst moments of my life and never looked away but instead either sat beside me in my pain or grief or rage, or helped me figure it out, she is at the top of that list. It's funny how life brings you people that you need. We met about/over 18 years ago now at the Hulmeville because she was dating a friend of ours and bonded over soap operas of all things. Life went on and she didn't keep him, but I kept her and will forever. I keep all the real ones who see me and let me see them. Everyone else falls off when they're meant to. Happy birthday Michelle!

-The glorious smell of in-season, perfectly ripe strawberries that wafts out when you open the fridge

-The comfort I get from having furniture of my grandmom's and great grandmom's

-How sad it is when people do not have true friends who really see and accept and love them 

-How fucking bizarre the concept of an influencer is, and in that same internet vein, how heavy and hard it must be for some people to have an online persona and a face to face persona and those people are not the same people. We are here to be our authentic selves in this one life, and not doing that removes authenticity, truth, and imperfect human beauty from the world. Be who you are. Everyone else is taken. 

-Summer rain rules because then you don't have to water plants. 

-Dogs have become clingy monsters in pandemic life. I will never be sad to have all the extra time with Gus as his body breaks down and he approaches 16. 

-I put two seriously late birthday cards for the Kims, Michelle's card, and my bonus grandfather's Father's Day card in the mailbox today. Do mail people still take letters to be mailed from the box or do they have to go in the actual mailbox on the street? Update, I know you were on the edge of your seat: my mail person took them

-Birds are pushy squatters. 

-Actually flexing flex time is a whole new world. Gus was up shitting at 5 am and I had been up until midnight reading. I got all the dogs up and out, fed them, pulled the sheets off the bed, gathered towels throughout the house, threw a load of laundry in, got a bin out as the trash still hadn't been picked up, and went back to sleep for an hour. I started work at 9:30 and will just extend. I didn't stress or run around and it is such a nicer way to exist. We've always had flex time, but it's harder to flex when you are commuting and dealing with train schedules. They start to suck after the 6 pm hour.

-I am up to my armpits in deadline driven work for the next month.

-I will never understand the unwillingness to get a vaccine in a global pandemic especially when the excuse is big pharma or govt using you as research. What the fuck do you think they're doing through the device you're reading this on right now? Or because you don't want that in your body, but you ingest chemicals through your skin, mouth, and nose in the products you use on your body/face/hair, how you care for your lawn, what you eat and drink, what comes through your pipes. Man alive.

-Life has become a series of the eating same foods over and over prepared just a bit differently. I'm making greek orzo salad today.

-I have to start stretching. I think this all the time but I have to.

-There is a shit load of organizing, furniture moving, and painting to be done in the Philly house. I am a broken record with this as I swear projects lag here like they don't at the shore, probably because they can't at the shore due to it being a vacation rental for some of the year. We're in a holding pattern for a while as everything is off the walls through quite a few rooms as we paint and move stuff around. The gallery wall alone going up the steps has so much on it. One of the bedrooms is basically empty as we wait to paint it. We're living among piles. I want to throw it all out.

Love, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy and also me.








Monday, June 14, 2021

TWTW - the one sliding into summer

Friday My first shore commute snafu of the summer season - I was going to leave before work, then at noon. I left at 3 and there were accidents and bullshit all the way and it took me almost three hours. I ended up taking the back roads after I finally made it over the Walt Whitman, and I haven't done that in years.  It's a much more enjoyable ride. I got food from Boyar's and was super jazzed to find my pre-ordered copy of The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living With Less by Christine Platt had arrived. It's officially out today or tomorrow. I was up reading until about 12:30. I had Bruce and Mae alone and it was weird for all of us. I never split Bruce and Ben. They were suspect. 
Saturday I slept in and had a leisurely morning. I made hard boiled eggs and did some organizing. Guests left and I headed up in the house to do my turnover tasks before our cleaning crew came. MFD arrived at about 10:30 and joined me in the house then took care of outside cleanup. I saved a highlight for vacation rental ownership stuff on Instagram and will probably try to share a little more about that this summer, primarily on Saturdays which is when we do turnover. It's something not super usual so I figured why not.

We went down to the North End but the wind was wild and the only thing biting were crabs. The island is coming into full bloom and it is glorious. I was hangry so we had lunch at Sand House Kitchen on Beach Road. It's a new restaurant, but the location and bones are the shack I used to get  hotdogs, sodas, and french fries at on North Street Beach when I was a kid. It feels the same in the shade LOL. The food was good, we split dirty fries with crab meat and cheese and I had a calamari po boy. When we got home I did my nails (9th & Maxwell eggplant, Essie suits you swell topped with OPI rainbows a go go on the pointer fingers). 
We went up to the boardwalk for a stroll and MFD was on a headband buying binge, for "us" even though only one of us wears them now. We tried Ocean's South End Pizza which is new this year and it was two thumbs up from both of us. It was a nice night capped off with a big bucket of Johnson's buttered popcorn.

Sunday I was up a little around 6 then slept until 9:30 and it was amazing. MFD got breakfast sandwiches from Boyar's (mine came with cheese even though I asked for none, anyone else out there a no cheese on most sandwiches person?). I stopped by the library to pick up holds. Parking next to a pickup of surfboards is definitely not something that happens in the city. We went back to the North End and it was much nicer wind-wise. I finished a book and we were back home lounging by 3. After a long walk the dogs were tired out. I brought them all home with me around 7:30 and got all the trash out. 


This week is set up to be busy on the work front and on the home front as I try to get some shit done. 

Let's do it!









Saturday, June 12, 2021

How to prepare for the practicalities of an extended holiday

Image Pixabay CC0 License


The anticipation and the excitement of looking forward to a trip is always a great feeling whether you are going on a short weekend break or a fortnight away. But, when you are heading off on an extended holiday, there is even more to look forward to. Taking an extended break and travelling for weeks or even months is an ideal opportunity to get even more enjoyment from your time away. However, to ensure your trip lives up to your expectations, it is wise to plan it as carefully as you can. If you love spontaneity and prefer just to wing it when you go away, you may want to make a plan for this trip to ensure you make the most of every moment of your journey; after all, it is not every day you get the chance to escape from ordinary life for months at a time. To help you make the most of this exciting opportunity and to keep any stressful situations at bay, you may want to consider some of the following points:


Check Your Documents


Whether you plan to stay in the same location throughout your trip or travel around, it is essential to check which travel documents you will need. Depending on where you are travelling, you may need to apply for a visa, or you may be allowed to travel without a visa but need to comply with restrictions on the length of your stay and when you can return to the country. Either way, it is wise to understand which pieces of documentation you will need as soon as possible to prevent a stressful rush to complete the paperwork when your travel date gets closer.


Don’t forget to double check the expiry date on your passport before you travel too. If you are visiting countries that require you to have at least six months left on your passport, it is helpful to think about this before you take your extended trip and ensure you have plenty of time left before your passport expires.


Make Arrangements for Your Responsibilities


While it is a great feeling to have the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you like, as an adult, it is usually necessary to balance your everyday responsibilities against your wanderlust. Unfortunately, this often means sorting out some practicalities before you can head off on your travels. This is not too much hassle to arrange for a regular holiday, but when you are planning a more extended trip, there is a bit more to think about. 


If you will be away for several weeks or even several months, you may be concerned about leaving your home for this amount of time. Leaving your home empty can be concerning both from a security point of view, but also financially. So, you may want to consider having a friend or relative house sit for you while you are away. Or you could even explore the idea of renting out your home as a short term let to make some money while you are away if that is something you are comfortable with. 


If you have pets, you will also need to arrange for them to be looked after while you are on your trip. Starting to make arrangements for pet care early is the best solution to ensure your pet is looked after well until you return back home. Knowing your pet is in safe hands will prevent you from worrying while you are away and enable you to enjoy your holiday knowing they are being taken care of by someone you trust.


Protect Yourself


Of course, staying safe and healthy is a major priority when you are travelling, especially if you are far from home. Thinking about the best ways to protect yourself while you are away is essential. The first thing you can do is stay up to date with all the latest travel advice issued by the government. Monitoring the foreign travel advice provided on the government website will help you to stay informed about any changes in advice that could impact your trip, such as health warnings.


Suppose you will need vaccinations to protect yourself while travelling or require malaria medication. In that case, it is best to get your appointments for these scheduled so that you allow yourself enough time to receive the doses needed before you travel. If you take regular medication for other conditions, you will also need to discuss your prescriptions with your doctor so that they can issue you enough medication for your trip. Don’t forget; some countries have different rules about which medications you can bring into the country, so it is essential to check this before travelling.


Researching the best travel insurance offers is also a wise idea when you are travelling for a more extended period. Finding the right level of insurance cover to match your needs will provide you with added peace of mind while away and allow you to relax and enjoy your trip.


Image Pexels CC0 License


Final Thoughts for Planning the Perfect Long Break


Planning a longer holiday can feel overwhelming. You may feel stressed about preparing for a long trip and feel under pressure to make sure you make the most of this opportunity and do not let it go to waste. 


The best way to avoid any of the pitfalls that can scupper your trip, it is a good idea to start your planning as soon as you can. Getting the formal details, such as your documentation, sorted out early will enable you to focus your attention on the more exciting parts of your trip. With the paperwork out the way, you will be able to spend your time putting together your must-visit list of places to visit, plus things to see and do while you are there. With all the planning complete, you will be able to look forward to and count down the days until your exciting adventure, and then enjoy every second of it while you are there.


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


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - time cast a spell on you but you won't forget me

1. As the title indicates, another week with time spent down the Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham rabbit hole. If I had a dime for all the time spent down that over the course of a lifetime...

2. In case anyone was wondering if I managed to cure my smize behind my mask over the pandemic months...I did not. Thanks to Kristi for the summer juj on my hair!

3. Getting back into a rhythm of a few days in Philly every week is going to take me right through September adjustment-wise, and then I'll be back to mostly full time at the shore. There's so much shit in this house. We've gotten rid of a lot and there's just freaking more. I pre-ordered The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living with Less by Christine Platt and it publishes next week so I cannot wait. 

4. My cooking rhythm is better in Philly though. Always has been. Last night I made breakfast burritos to freeze and power breakfast muffins to freeze for the first time in a long while. 
5. But wait, there's more! I made tacos and ensuing taco salads and grilled london broil to serve with little creamer potatoes and salad. This is the salad before I dumped the glorious Ken's Thousand Island on it. We only have this one life and mine has full fat dressing in the amount I want it in. 

6. MFD has been at the shore, so I've been on dog duty 100% and we've done a lot of sleeping. Most of us have not sat directly on other people on purpose though. 

7. We still have a problem recognizing what privilege is and who has it in this country, and what not supporting expansion of voting rights for all is actually doing, which is just propping up systemic racism. It's never too late to think critically and learn what privilege is, who has it, and why they might want to hold onto it for dear life even if it means things like not supporting democracy. Which is nonpartisan, by the way, democracy. We all know that, right? If one party in a democracy is trying to limit voting rights, that is partisan though. 
Also. It's never too late to stop watching Fox News.

8. This is a pretty accurate representation of Tuesday from like 2 pm on. Sometimes Tuesday's gotta fucking Tuesday even more.

9. Reminder: 
10. ecards

What's happening in your neck of  the woods?


What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac




Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The five best energy boosters for fitness

When you need a booster to get you off your backside and finally workout, you need the best food and drink specifically for this purpose. That means, food that is easily digestible, drinks that will sit well in your stomach and possibly supplements that will be short and sharp. There is a multitude of options, some of them that have been around forever and some of them that have taken the fitness world by storm recently. Let’s see how each of these five could help you.


Coffee


Good old caffeine, it works every time. This has been a key ingredient in many energy drinks because it gives your body a quick boost of energy and is usually quite clean. Caffeine is known to heighten your alertness, so it's not just that you’ll want to run further and workout longer, but you’ll be more cognitively aware of your coordination. It also raises your heart rate, which is the key to burning fat. 


Oatmeal 


Oats have always been a fantastic source of energy. These slow-digesting carbs have been found in the knapsacks of uncovered Roman soldiers. Oats are cheap and they can be stored anywhere. The iron in the oats will help to transport oxygen to your muscles. Oats also have an abundance of vitamin B, which helps the body to convert food into energy. A small bowl of oatmeal can be eaten 30-minutes to 1-hour of a workout and you’ll have energy all the way through. It's a favorite of professional athletes for a reason. 


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Chain amino acids


Look for supplements that have chain amino acids like the Charged-AF. You can try it out for almost nothing, as each sample is a few dollars. Pour the supplement into water and blend it. The amino acids will help your body to make more glycogen which is the energy source your muscles use.  


Chocolate 


Chocolate bars are a cheap way to give you an energy boost before your workouts. Sugar will be the main ingredient that gives you that boost, but cocoa is also valuable. It will reduce inflammation which is why runners eat dark chocolate before an event. Chocolate also tastes great, so it will give you a mental boost in satisfaction. If you have trouble getting out of bed to workout, knowing you have a chocolate bar waiting for you if you do, is a great motivator.


pixabay 


Eggs


Eggs have always been a brilliant way to boost your energy. Most of all, eggs do it cleanly. The white has plenty of healthy protein and the yolk has fats which your body will burn quickly, as they are easily digestible. The yolk also contains many vitamins (A, D, E & K), omega-3 and minerals to help your muscles and bones grow strong.



These 5 energy-boosting foods and drinks have ingredients that have stood the test of time. Anybody can afford a bag of oats, most of us can tolerate a small cup of coffee and who doesn’t want a chocolate bar before a workout?


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


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