Monday, July 31, 2017

TWTW - the last in July

This weekend was the first weekend I was home for the whole thing since April 22. Friday I kicked ass at work - four major deadlines all met with two hours left in the afternoon to play catch up.  Friday night was lounging, tomato sandwiches, and seeing MFD off to the shore. 
Saturday I ran out for some $5 flowers, painted my nails (nails OPI Black Dress Not Optional, toes Lost My Bikini in Molokini), and read. It was like the stress of the past few weeks was just hissing out of me and it was awesome. 
Saturday night was Frank's 40th birthday party. It was a lot of fun. Whenever I see my friends, and friends of friends, I find myself hoping that everyone has people they genuinely enjoy in their lives, people they can laugh with and love regardless of if you last saw them yesterday or six months or a year ago. 
Sunday was a clean up day - finish all laundry and put it away, empty the dishwasher, pick up around the house, lay out clothes for the week, finish a book and start another, and take a nap with the dogs. I woke up not as a troll. Miracle. It was a gorgeous day and the windows were open and it was so nice to just be and ramble around getting things done. I did make eggs in bacon in the oven for breakfast and got another 50 laughs out of a gift Mrs. G gave us at the party - his and hers nail clippers. 
Weekly food prep: breakfasts are scrambled eggs with cheese/mushrooms/green onion; lunches are loaded cauliflower bowls; snacks are pineapple, almonds, and cherry vanilla noosa yogurt. Dinners are a cold pasta salad with grilled chicken thighs and chicken cacciatore over rice. I also browned some ground beef for the dogs, of a higher quality than I eat myself naturally. Sunday dinner a la MFD was ribeyes, grilled veggies, and corn. And cherry pie because YOLO, damnit.

Tomorrow is August 1, and I am making the month of August pure list blogging aside from Thursday Thoughts (which is technically just a list of shit from the week), Show Us Your Books (August 8), Shit MFD Said at some point, and a sponsored post or two. I will reduce TWTW to list style too which is an iteration of this feature that I preferred back in 2012.

Since I think in lists, this excites me more than it should.

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, July 28, 2017

Five Things I Love About Raising a Fierce Little Girl

Our BFF Frank joins me on the eve of his 40th birthday to give you a special Friday Five. Frank does a guest post for me every year around his birthday and I love it. I also love him and Amanda who I would be friends with without Frank and their fabulous daughter Eva the Diva. And how could I not love a post about a fierce little lady? Happy 40th eve Frank! 

When my daughter Eva was born Steph introduced us to an old Shakespeare quote "And though she be but little she is fierce" and Eva has lived up to that quote and then some. She is tiny but she is a powerhouse of personality and strength. It is equal parts fun and struggle. There are hundreds of things that I could list but here are the five things that I love about raising a fierce girl:

1.  It's funny.  

In the moment it can be very hard and frustrating but her faces, actions, and comments always make you laugh later on. She can explode or just give you a quiet stink eye. Either way its a riot to watch this tiny girl give off so much attitude.

2. It's rewarding. 

Anything worth doing is usually difficult and making her try things and learn new things is hard because of her strong will but once it clicks it is a thrill to watch her. I have learned that being fierce means that it has to be her idea.

3. It's inspiring. 

One great thing about her fierceness is the fact that she has no fear. This is a trait that she did not get from me and she inspires me everyday to get out of my comfort zone.

4. It's comforting.

Eva is very comfortable being on her own and doing her own thing. This gives me great comfort because I know that she is confident and sure of herself, something I hope she never loses.

5. It's taught me what fierce really means.

The fights, the sass, the attitude, and stubbornness are what people think of when they think fierce little girl. While all of those things are a huge part of my daughter, it is only half the story. The other half of her is intensely fierce in terms of love, caring, encouragement, and concern for everyone. If anyone has the tiniest thing happen to them she is the first one to ask if they are OK. In her class she always made sure that a child who was developmentally behind and a little ignored by the other kids was OK and included. That is fierce!! 

She will boss you around and mouth off but she will also tell you how great of a job you are doing and give you a giant hug if she thinks something is wrong. You need the mix of both to be truly fierce. A person who doesn't have the second half of the mix (encouragement and love) isn't fierce, they're just an asshole! I am so glad that she has taught me this and will make sure that she never lets go of these traits. 

Cheers to everyone out there raising fierce little girls who will be the civic, professional, and community leaders of tomorrow, shaping our world with their fiery vision. 

Thanks Frank - and happy 40th tomorrow. Welcome to the club! Love you!

Have a great weekend you guys! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - time has wings

1. I'm pretty sure my best boy Geege has close to no teeth left. He was under for yet another dental surgery yesterday at the ripe old age of 13. He is not doing great this morning, he still has a ton of mucus from being under and he's generally pissed off and in pain. Spare a good thought for him if you have one please!
2. I'm coming into this Thursday Thoughts on a wing and a prayer today. I'm getting hammered at work and with personal commitments and to dos for the second week in a row. I am a rabbit on the run. Hell I have not even blogged about our time in Emerald Isle and I have no Shit MFD Said prepared for this month. My plan on Sunday is to go nowhere, do nothing, and talk to no one. I need to just stop.

3. Sunday night it rained like mad at the shore. I had to get up at 12:30, walk through the flooded streets, and move my car. I fell asleep after 1 and got up at 4:30. Not a good start to the week. There are curbs and roads under there somewhere.

4. Tuesday night I had an unexpected outing to the Trenton Thunder game with MFD's company and some clients who happen to be framily. I say unexpected because he told me I didn't have to go then at 4:43 pm he was like it would be weird if you didn't go. So I went and when we left I said I totally didn't need to go and he said nope. But don't worry, it was fine. Like 60 degrees and raining. tra la la la laaaaaa

5. Happy Nordstrom sale to me. Look at these fucking sweet athleisure shoes.

6. Every once in a while, something happens that makes me so insane I am nearly frothing at the mouth. It is often not a big thing, but a little that signifies the erosion of American ideals and norms. Your president's speech in front of the Boy Scouts of America is that thing. If you missed it, here's the 14 most inappropriate moments from the speech. There is no excuse. It is downright inappropriate and bizarre. The crowd interaction is reminiscent of Hitler Youth rallies, which makes sense because like Hitler this would be authoritarian figure attacks the free press, has vilified a minority group, created a list of crimes committed by immigrants, uses nationalism to stoke the flames in failing communities, and is now spreading propaganda at youth rallies. Do not look away from this. Do not normalize it. There is nothing normal about attempting to influence or corrupt young minds and hearts this way. It is the Boy Scout tradition to invite the sitting President to speak at their Jamboree. He abused his privilege as that speaker. It's shameful and embarrassing to inject adult themes and politics and harassment and insanity into a speech made to a group that was largely under the age of 18. He's a 70 year old grown ass man and president of the fucking United States of America and he should know better or he should be under the care of a physician because he is delusional and insane like all dictators. Plenty of republican and democrat presidents have made speeches to a mixed crowd without a partisan bias, many of them at this very event. This president seems incapable of that and indeed incapable of making a speech that is not me me me mine mine mine. It is disgusting and it nips at the norms of our nation to make a speech like this one to our children.

7. Every morning, donald trump wakes up with hate in his heart, logs on to twitter, and tries to make himself feel bigger by being a fucking asshole. Transgender peeps, I'm with you. And from what John McCain released as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, trump basically made that shit up because as of right now nothing is different than it was when the study started in October. So now the military needs to clean up his mess on this front and don't we all think they have better things to do? This total twitter tantrum lie diversion tactic to take eyes off the shitburger healthcare bill is why people feel like burning shit down in this country. American presidents do not announce policy on Twitter. Also, remember the top tweet? Then, the following actions that were, you know, directly opposite. And don't forget, this week Department of Justice filed an amicus brief that says Title VII does not protect sexual orientation. Fighting for LGBTQ all over the place, this administration. LYING LIARS WHO FUCKING LIE.

8. Ladies, it is important to stay well when you are trying to enact social or political change. Read this if you feel like you look like the below barely six months into this administration. The piece is written to women but applies to men too.This is one of those weeks when I could write 498 points on the state of politics and society and still not be out of words.

9. everything else, peace is something you work hard for.

10. E-card of the week. Me times one million.

If you do one thing today, call your Senator about healthcare
Do you struggle with calling? Read how to call your reps if you have social anxiety
Use ResistBot. 
Show up at their office.
This is your country. These people work for you.
They require your oversight and you need to participate. 
Look where we've gotten to by not participating. 
They act like our lords and rulers, not our employees. 
If their healthcare bill was so good, they'd subject themselves to it. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I spent all of my spare cash on dry shampoo and this is what I have to show for it

I can't even name all the brands of dry shampoo I've tried. If you named one, I could confirm if I have or haven't, though.

I can recall with fondness my first foray into dry shampoo (Tresemme), my first monogamous relationship with dry shampoo (Not Your Mother's Clean Freak), and too many one night stands with dry shampoo to count (Batiste, Suave, Dove, Not Your Mother's Plump for Joy, L'Oreal, Psssst, Garnier Fructis,  Herbal Essences, Drybar, Big Sexy Hair, Alterna, Bumble & Bumble)...the list tumbles down through the years.
Me being me, of course I prefer the more expensive shit. These are my current top two. Basically for the past few years I have been buying a bottle of Living Proof, feeling foolish for spending $22 on it even though I spend more on other beauty shit, then wasting $20 in drugstore brands I end up hating. I both love and hate this cycle - I love trying new things and hate wasting money. Klorane is new to me this year and I like it a lot. Of course I do, because it's $20.

I want to tell you that I will never again waste $5-20 on a hope and a dream, but I don't like to lie. If someone says this is the best! my mind will say let me be the judge of that, for I have more experience with different types of dry shampoo than Jacques Cousteau has with the sea. I have not yet covered all the territory. I have my sights set on trying Aveeno, Amika, John Frieda, and Ouai next.

And of course, any you recommend that I haven't tried. Hint hint.

I'm linking up with Lauren & Bre for their Add it to my list linkup, which they're doing the last Tuesday of every month. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

TWTW - the one to recharge

Last week was a killer and Friday provided no safe harbor. From peeling myself out of bed with snuggly dogs suggesting I stay to a busy work day to another crappy commute due to someone on the train tracks for the second time in a week to a late, traffic-filled drive to the shore...stick a fork in me, I'm done. I did get down in time to meet Jen, Neil, and the girls on the boards for a little under an hour. It's nice when everything is still open at 11. I fell asleep around 1.
 The damn dogs had me up before 6 Saturday. MFD arrived close to 8 and we spent a few hours in the house at turnover re-stocking, putting new zippered mattress encasements on all the beds, and tending to what needed tending to. When that was done I pieced the hell out and went to the beach for some peace. I read a book (Girl in Snow), enjoyed an ice cold LaCroix grapefruit sparkly water, lounged under the umbrella, had organic frozen yogurt with fruit from Yoassis for lunch, took 479823 shots of seaspray, and stopped to smell the flowers on the way home. A lazy night followed.
Sunday sunrise was hopping, lots of people on the beach doing their thing before 6 am. I also encountered the weirdest trash I've picked up from the beach - a half full bottle of a household cleanser. I opened it before I put it in the recycle, and it was indeed the cleanser and not sea water or something else. What are people cleaning at the beach?
MFD left around 8 and I painted my nails (OPI Gelato on My Mind) and lounged with the dogs.
Then the perfect Sunday morning errand outing: I was off on my bike to Bookateria II to trade books and get some new ones (all Anne Rivers Siddons books that I'm not sure if I've read or not...we'll see), Drip N' Scoop, and ACME. If it can fit in my bike basket, I can buy it. I love not having to use my car down here.
Sunday afternoon I put in a few hours of work work, then I put in a few hours at the beach. I came home to a tray of awesome blondies left at my apartment door from our Memorial Day Weekend renters. Some people are A+. Dinner was a chicken cutlet and grilled asparagus courtesy of Bennie's Bread. I chose lounging and reading over cleaning our apartment so I'll be doing that next weekend. 
Weekly food prep: breakfasts are hard boiled eggs and bananas; lunches are tuna salad on Dave's Killer bread and peaches; snacks are hickory smoked almonds and cucumbers and blueberries. I'll be going light on dinners: corn on the cob, tomato and mozz salad, a cold pasta salad with tuna and peas, tomato sandwiches - the hit parade of summer. And pizza with the family tonight for my cousin's going away party.

Sunday crying time doesn't seem to come when I sleep at the shore and leave Monday morning.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hey guys! I got my poop in a pile

Can you resist the siren song of using poop in a title or an image of poop as a weapon? I can't.  What a world. What a world.

It's a good thing vacation is worth it, because the prep going into it and dealing with the cyclone coming out of it is a bitch. Yesterday I worked from home to concentrate on a lot of writing I had to do and knocked that out like a boss, even though it took me until 11 pm. With two more hours in my day because of the lack of commute and the ability to do a quick task on my way to or from the bathroom, I was able to get my house back in order, which was no small feat given the destruction on each level in every room. It's like we returned from vacation and vomited all over our own house with our own things.

Some things are still out of place as always - I don't have the fire within me to finish the basement purge and reorganization right now, so things are still going down there to sit and collect dust - but I do feel like things have been set pretty much to rights.

What needs to go back to the shore is packed up and in the basement ready to be loaded into cars, including my new beach chair, and the cluttered dining room table from hell was mostly cleared.
New sheets are on the bed, and that's the only place I am okay with pattern mixing. Five loads of laundry were done and some was put away. This is not dream life, this is real life. In dream life all the laundry is put away immediately, no one is a fucking asshole, everyone has more than enough of what they need, you can eat what you want and never gain too much weight, no one puts the toilet paper on so it pulls from underneath, we're all equal, you can always find the shoes you want in your size, there's no litter, and dogs never pee or poop inside.
A vat of iced coffee is turning itself into magic in the fridge, a fresh pitcher of mint green iced tea was made, power breakfast muffins were made and frozen, and mexican stuffed shells were made and half frozen. The ones with cheese are dinner tomorrow.
My reusable bags have made their way back to my trunk after a big Target re-stocking trip and I returned shoes to Famous Footwear that I kept forgetting to return. Hey Target, why the F would you sell a light up Hangry sign? It is a state of being that is frankly dangerous for the people in its line of fire. No one is safe. Bring food. 

Geege got his pre-dental bloodwork done at the vet and my furry coworkers got a shit ton of attention.
I used the sassy oven mitts I picked up on vacation and put some of my treasures in my living room shell jar. I like looking at my various shell spots and knowing they're from so many different places.
And I displayed a little art card I picked up on vacation. My God does not care what you look like outside but my God does care what you look like inside and my God don't like ugly. 
We're heading to the shore tonight, and I feel a lot better about my life getting my poop in a pile at home and work. I hope you're heading into the weekend feeling good about where you are today. If you're not, there's always tomorrow.

Toodleoo and TGIF, mofos. And happy birthday to my friend Mr. Chris.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - plunged back into reality

1. I was expecting a tough first week back after two weeks out of the office and over 10 days away from home but christ on a crutch both of my eyes have a twitch and I'm hanging on for dear life for the weekend. I have dropped every basket I have at this point.
2. It did not help that I scheduled things for Tuesday (Lola visit and later a massage), Wednesday (hair appointment and Target trip), and Thursday nights (Geege vet appointment and library trip). Dumbass, party of one. All of the things were good and enjoyable or necessary, but it was stupid of me to load up most of the weeknights this week because my house looks like a bomb went off in every room on every level. You know the damn dining room table is on that list. Michelle saved me a Friday trip to her house to pick up linens. Praise the lort.

3. Thrive Market, who uses it? They had something I wanted, so I placed an order. Then I did a little more research on them. Fair warning: if you use the link I gave you get 15% off of your first order and I get $25 if you end up signing up after the trial basis. If you do join for $60 a year, you get discounted prices on healthy, organic stuff and you sponsor a low-income family so they get a free membership. Get good and do good. This is right up my alley. And since ordering most of my stuff online is how I buy myself more time, I thought I'd share it in case that's how you buy yourself time too. 

4. I kept my Amazon Prime Day purchases to books. I also have a bunch of books on my kindle so I think I'm officially on a library fast. I don't buy new books often but when I do I do it in bulk. I am more likely to buy used paperbacks on a more frequent basis.
5. This weekend officially marks the halfway point of the rental season at the shore. It's been easier this year than last year - I have less anxiety about the entire process and know better what I can control and what I can't control. We've been blessed with really great people who treat our home like their home. I haven't been to the shore since July 3 and I'm anxious to get back there this weekend.

6. Yesterday MFD attended the National Sit-In at the Capitol Building with some Philly-area healthcare warriors. This link takes you to some footage outside of Toomey's office yesterday. In the last video, MFD is the guy in the white shirt walking out first. He was arrested along with over 150 other people from around the nation - Joe Citizens, doctors, nurses. It's kind of weird to see your husband being arrested on video on a CNN reporter's Twitter feed. He was sprung a few hours later. Here's some footage of his testimony on The Hill.

I don't even know how to talk about this healthcare debacle. The shitstain of a replacement plan failed, yay. Your president wants to repeal without replacing, which will plunge many into despair, dire straits, and death, boo. And I actually think that's the long game, the TRUE that what would have happened under the shitstain plan will still happen if there is an ACA repeal without replacement but can then be blamed on the failing ACA which has been the conservative banshee wail for the past eight years instead of placing the blame where it belongs - on the people who are choosing greed and corporate welfare over actual people. Instead of improving upon anything that was conceived under President Obama, they will choose to let people DIE. What is more devastating than that is the comments from citizens who support it. They don't fully understand what a difference the ACA made for all of us, even those on employer healthcare, and there are people out there who will not understand a damn thing until it happens to them or their family. Health is a fickle have it until you don't. People are more worried about people mooching off the government (I'm not even going to go into how that is not the case in regards to the ACA, in any way) and by extension, them, than they are about fellow human beings suffering terribly and dying. If I had to choose between giving someone I didn't know who I didn't think deserved it $100 or watching that same person die because I didn't give it to them, I'm giving them the goddamn $100 because that's the human thing to do. Are you? If the choice is my money or someone's life, I'm going to say take my money, every time. 

If you refuse to give poor or even "lazy" people affordable access to healthcare but don't bat an eye when CEOs collect millions in bonuses because their companies pay very little in taxes, something is very fucking wrong.

Here's the thing...we both have jobs and pay taxes and are lucky to be covered under a generous healthcare plan through an employer. This healthcare thing is important to us even if we are the least affected individuals because we are younger and healthy (for now). There seems to be some misinformation on the internet (say it isn't so) that people demonstrating on this healthcare issue are jobless miscreants that just want to take from the government. Or that people demonstrating and showing up are being paid. We are proof that neither of those scenarios is the case. Why are those ridiculous notions more preferable and comfortable for people to believe than the fact that the people showing up to demonstrate on any issue are people who care about their country and their fellow citizens - indeed, they care enough to use time off or personal time and to knowingly risk arrest to be heard? Instead of being hateful to people who care about something, turn your energy to your congress people and ask what the hell they're doing for you while they're in their offices avoiding constituents ON YOUR DIME. I will keep fighting for medicare for all because fuck, what if you get sick and somewhere along the way you lose your job and then you can't get insurance because you now have a pre-existing condition? You're not dying on my watch because you can't afford care. Fuck that. This is America for Christ's sake. Don't fucking tell me Europe can figure this out and we can't.

p.s. Thoughts to John McCain and family. A survivor, a hero, and one of the last respectable moderate republicans. Stay strong. Be well.
7. Local friends, I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for a place to donate school supplies. Here's where I'm doing it this year. You can also use this wish list to send supplies direct to the most poorly funded school district in the country: Reading School District here in PA. From the Reading wish list, the items needed most are colored pencils, pencils, colored copy paper, glue (glue sticks are best), markers (thick, thin, whatever), and lined paper.

8. Since MFD was in DC yesterday for the Senate Healthcare sit-in and I forgot I had a hair appointment right after work, my Mom let the dogs out for us. She always sends video and gives a poop report. She is the poophawk. Good thing because I was a half hour late to my hair appointment because of a fatality on the train tracks. Someone died somewhere down the line, had to get on a different train track, took a short walk through a small dead town, got some blonde in my hair, and my husband got arrested so I had to uber home. Last night was a verse from a country music song.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week...since we already introduced poop as a point.

Hasta la vista, baby.

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