Monday, December 17, 2018

TWTW - the one with the first birthday

Friday was my work Christmas party, which was fun as always and we made it to the train with about 10 seconds to spare so we didn't have to wait until midnight for the next one, praise the lort. There was an HVAC issue outside of the room that pissed me off as the party organizer but other than that smooth sailing. 
Saturday I took it easy all day - I was only back to work on Thursday and a long day Friday did me in. My energy is not back to where it was pre-walking pneumonia, not even close. I read a book and watched Game of Thrones all day - FINE I WATCH GAME OF THRONES NOW. MFD made monkey bread. We both made separate batches of chili and talked a bunch of shit to each other about which one was better. 
Sunday I did some food prep, moved some stuff around in the basement, took pics of shit to sell on ebay, changed and washed sheets, did a load of towels, and we went to my nephew's first birthday. Aubrey did an awesome job with the theme from the invites as she always does, with real wood centerpieces and a trail mix bar but I didn't get a lot of pics because my phone was playing the music. The birthday boy is the sweetest, happiest, cutest kid (no social media for my niece and nephew but trust me on that) and today is his actual birthday. Happy birthday Baby Steeeeeeve. I love you so much! 
Weekly food prep: scrambled eggs for breakfast, blackberries for snack, tuna salad for lunch with crackers if necessary, dinners are leftover chili and mac and cheese from the party, and I'll make something involving chicken thighs at some point. 


And you? 

Friday, December 14, 2018

An Incomplete List of Books I'd Buy for People



I'm not good at blanket recommendations of books - I'm more likely to ask well what do you like to read and how quickly do you read and how important is it for everything you read to make you feel some type of way. I'm throwing caution to the wind here and sharing some books I'd buy for people if I was looking for a gift book. I meant for this to be a pretty extensive categorically refined list but look, it's less than two weeks until Christmas and I didn't get there. If you are looking for a recommendation for the type of reader you don't see listed below, comment or email me. Like kid books. I have no kids but I buy a lot of kid books for the kids in my life. I didn't corral those titles here.

Most kindle and paperbacks I've shared are within a few dollars of each other price-wise. For gifts, I like to give actual books unless I'm giving a subscription or gift card. These are all linked to Amazon and are affiliate links - the pennies I make if you purchase through these links cost you nothing and pay for Show Us Your Books. If you hate Amazon most of these can be found at your local bookstore.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
For an in-tune teen.
Buy the hardcover/kindle

Sworn to Silence: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo
For someone looking to start a series
Buy the paperback/kindle

Becoming by Michelle Obama
For people who like strong, smart women
Buy the hardcover/kindle

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
For someone who likes a smart mystery
Buy the paperback/kindle 

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
For someone who likes an emotional, layered read
Buy kindle / hardback.

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
For someone who likes a little angst and 80s movie type-glancing over the cold, empty Midwestern landscape
Buy paperback/kindle

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
For the woman who likes chick lit with a few knives buried inside
Buy paperback/kindle

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill 
For the woman that lets you see glimpses of wild and fire in her soul and likes poetry
Buy the paperback/kindle

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
For your damn self, especially if you're white. Nothing says holiday like a book about racism! Ho Ho HO. This is a book written by a white person specifically for white people who are progressive and think they are beyond racism. Buy it over library it so you can highlight and write in the margins. My copy is highlighted to high heaven. It was a good way to look at myself and my attitudes. Give yourself the gift of reflection and the world the gift of less white fragility and the ability to talk about race. It's not bad to talk about like we've always been taught. p.s. saying "I'm colorblind" is not as good as we were taught it was, either
Buy the paperback/kindle


Other Book-y things

Kindle Unlimited/Audible
Not sure of someone's taste but know they read on an e-reader? Get them a six month Kindle Unlimited membership. If you or a loved one drive a lot, consider signing up for a free 30 day trial of Audible and listen to some books in the car. Even though I am not a good listener, I am in the car alone too much back and forth to the shore and might do this next spring.

Book of the Month Club
Send someone a month and see if they like it. If they do, they can continue it on their own.

E-reader
If you are looking for an e-reader, I recommend the Kindle Paperwhite 100%. I spend a lot of time reading outside and you can do that with this and still see even when you're wearing polarized sunglasses. It's on sale for $99 until 12/23. Prior to this I had two hand me down Amazon Fires from my aunt Lori and they were great but I couldn't read them in the sun.

Book Light
This one is rechargeable and priced well at $12. I use it when I read on the little porch at the shore in the summer.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - And there is always one last light to turn out and one last bell to ring

1. I finally left the house at lunch yesterday - I've been inside since I got home from work on Friday - and forgot to put shoes on. MFD was like it's fine, it's Aldi. Win some, lose some. Not leaving the house all weekend, working from home for the first few days of this week, and doing no hausfrauing means I have spent more consecutive time in my living room than I ever have before. I want to skip over Christmas and move on to the rearranging of the room. If I was well last weekend, it would surely be painted right now.

2. About the only productive thing I've done all week is change out the shower curtain. The last time I switched it was also in December, two years ago. It must be an end of the year thing in this house.

3. Bender loves this freaking turtle. No other dog has touched it all year. It's noisy and he likes to paw it until it makes the noise. He brought this with him to his resting spots, it wasn't placed with him.
4. Back in the office today so no more dog photos during the day this week. I'm happy, I am tired and bored of myself. Bruce and Bender adore each other and I'm so glad. Gus and Mae look to be out of the way of the always moving puppy play zone at all times.
5. Nails insider tip: I paint them as they'll be painted - AKA outside the lines - then when they dry I clean them off under water. But today you get the not cleaned off, janky over-painted nail pic. OPI Go With the Lava Flow and This Color's Making Waves.
6. Democrats, stop taking corporate money that makes you loyal to corporations over your constituents. You don't get to say you're for the people and vote like you're not. Not anymore. Stop campaigning on things you have no intention of delivering on or you're out. Everyone sign the petition, fuck who you got money from. And while you'ree in office, put bills to vote that take money out of politics. Corporate democrats, you're next on the chopping block.

7. This is not justice. Add in the Baylor rapist released with a $400 fine this week too. Please make a simple phone call on Cyntoia Brown's behalf. How can you see this type of thing and think there is racial and gender equality?

8. Famous people Instagram accounts I enjoy: Luvvie Ajayi, Sally KohnJennifer Garner, Will SmithJason Biggs (#jadonsladies), Sophia Bush, and Comments by Celebs.

9.  Reminder:

10. E-card of the week: Right? Everything is simultaneously speeding up and slowing down.


What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Mrs. Potter's Lullaby by Counting Crows.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Show Us Your Books - December 2018



Ho ho ho, here's the December issue of Show Us Your Books. Don't forget the Favorites of 2018 Special SUYB on Wednesday, 12/26 - that will remain up for seven days as usual so you have time there. This is the first linkup with a relaunched Inlinkz, so that's what's up if it looks different to you than normal. I think you have to re-sign up and verify yourselves. 

Happy happy birthday to my Mimi today!


Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup. The title link goes to Goodreads and the buy link goes to Amazon and is an affiliate link - pennies that are made from you buying through it pay for the running of this link up.

Engrossing Reads

Night of Miracles (Arthur Truluv #2) by Elizabeth Berg - If you missed the Truluv people, this is for you. Not as good as the first one but that's to be expected. I'd live in this town with these people. A good dip out from the real world. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Buy kindle or hardback 

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - I put off reading this for a long time because one of my claustrophobia panic inducing nightmares is innocent people being incarcerated. This book was so, so good and emotional and heartbreaking and so many things. Hardback, own. Buy kindle or hardback

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert - I've had this for a while and finally got around to it over Thanksgiving weekend. It took a while to get through but it was quite good. Colonialism and leprosy made real with great characters. Paperback, own. Buy kindle or hardback or paperback

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan - I couldn't put this one down. After finishing, I had some issues with it, but that's not really what I concern myself with in regards to reading - I go more with how I felt while I was reading it. Not wanting to put it down goes a long way. Philly library hardback. Buy kindle or hardback or paperback 

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo - White people, read this. Even/especially if you are progressive and think you are past racism. Written by a white person for white people. Racism is in everything, everywhere, and we've been conditioned to live with it and never think about it because white supremacy dictates that WHITE is the standard we base everything off of. No, you can't be color blind or treat everyone as individuals and skate by. This makes you think, even if you think you're woke. You can't change it if you aren't seeing it. Buy it for yourself for Christmas and change it. I wish this was required reading. Paperback, own, with a ton of highlighting and writing in the margins. Buy kindle or paperback - the paperback is $11 and worth it. Please consider it

Between the Lies by Michelle Adams - I figured out what was happening about 1/2 way through but it didn't lessen my enjoyment. That rarely does - I don't read books with elements of mystery/suspense to figure shit out and get disappointed/not if I do/don't. I read to watch the story unfold. I liked this book, good pace! Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out in March 2019. 


Passed the Time Just Fine
Believe Me by J.P. Delaney - This was what's up is down/what's down is up and I didn't know what was real for some of this. Very tightly woven and interesting but also a little what? OCNJ library hardback

Holy Ghost (Virgil Flowers #11) by John Sanford - That fuckin' Flowers is back in this novel. Not one of my favorites of the series, but totally serviceable. You win some, you lose some in a long series. Philly library hardback

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - Woosah. This book. Like the first one, the writing is excellent. Visceral. The dog fighting, I can't though. If you can't either, don't. Paperback, own. 

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman - Eh. I've liked better by her, but some of it was good. If I was sitting on a bus and had nothing else to read, I'd be happy with this. This is straddling the line of passed the time just fine and not worth it. Used paperback, own. 

Montauk by Nicola Harrison - Predictable from jump, along the Beatriz Williams line of summer releases. If you like those, you'll like this. Free ARC from Netgalley, comes out June 2019

Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks - This book stressed me out in a good way. I read it in a few hours so the pace was good too. Free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out in early January 2019.

Not Worth It
Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser - I loved the last book I read by her. This one just, no. I didn't like any character, which does not keep me from liking a book if the story is good. The premise of this book and the resulting story are not the same thing. That doesn't usually deter me from liking a book either, but it all stacked up against this one. Free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out February 2019

Did Not Finish
n/a


What have you been reading? 
Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is the annual Favorite Reads linkup will be on WEDNESDAY, 12/26 and the first SUYB of 2019 is January 8, 2019 
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
3. Visit other blogs & talk books


Monday, December 10, 2018

TWTW - the one from the couch

Friday I went to the doctor and she confirmed walking pneumonia and along with an antibiotic, prescribed a week of rest. It being a busy season and all, I took that to heart this weekend so I don't miss anything coming up. 

I didn't leave the couch for more than 20 minutes at a time all weekend, I even slept there both nights. Rest is not my natural state, especially forced rest when there are things I want to do. I'm grateful I'm in a position to just drop things and do that, and I'll be working from home at least today and tomorrow. 

I watched more TV this weekend than I have all year: the first seasons of Homecoming on Amazon and You on Lifetime, and movies: Animal House, Hot Tub Time Machine, Reno 911 Miami, Four Christmases, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, and Justice League. I read two books and started a third. And as you can see I took 498923408 dog photos while MFD waited on me and ran errands and put lamps together. 

He also did an AHTN overnight Friday and intake Sunday night so we weren't together the entire weekend because too much togetherness is not good for me. LOL. Anyone out there close to the Lower Bucks County area looking for volunteer opportunities that's a night owl? Temporary Code Blue homeless shelters can't open unless they have volunteers to staff them. There's a training coming up. Contact through this website. AHTN is a great organization that does crucial work to help those in need especially through the winter months. MFD has been volunteering with them for the past few years and he is on the board now.

I did see an outsider Saturday when he came to gave a quote to redo our floors. I said hello from the couch. And my Dad brought me a bunch of stuff from the shore that him and Carol picked up on the way home from Cape May along with a coffee, a super cute ornament, and advice to go to the doctor sooner. Noted!


Show Us Your Books tomorrow, see you back here for that! 

How was your weekend? 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Did I catch a niner in there?

Once upon a time, I posted a Friday Five most weeks. I intended to resurrect that today but it's actually a niner if we're going by number of photos so it's more like another Thursday Thoughts on Friday. I used to run every day randomly on this blog. It's nice to revisit that. Follow along the photos left to right now.
1. The title is of course a reference to Tommy Boy. There's never a bad time to reference Tommy Boy.
2. Stole that from Amanda on Instagram.
3. Nails in Set Sail from Sally's Insta-Dri line. Part of me feels like dumping all of my polishes and only using Insta-Dri going forward.
4. This sat with me all day yesterday.
5. Rice, exciting, right? That rice is made with bone froth, fockers. I'm done fucking around with this cold.
6. See Exhibit B of Done Fucking Around With This Cold: fresh batch of elderberry extract. I slacked on my daily dose of this for a few weeks before I got this illness and I know that's why I have it. I use this recipe sans brandy. Update: it's walking pneumonia, these potions aren't doing shit. Seven days of antibiotics coming up
7. Chicken enchiladas for dinner using enchilada sauce I made a while back and had in the freezer.
8. These Old Navy sweater leggings are warm and extremely comfortable. Also extremely not flattering. Like, at all.
9. I like to take photos of my dogs under the tree. Typically they are closer but not Bruce who can't leave the tree skirt alone.

This concludes another round of inconsequential shit you don't care about. I could’ve written about last night’s furniture debacle in which we attempted to move our hulk of an ikea entertainment center to the basement in one piece at 9:25 pm, failed, attempted to take only the top off and move it to have it fold in like a house of cards as it teetered on the top step, struggled to get it back in the living room so we could lay it flat to take it apart only to have it sag in the middle and drop in on itself like an imploding building, and all the yelling and cursing in between and the shit strewn everywhere and the dogs trapped on the sofa. But I won’t write about that. Nope. I’m going to pretend that shit never happened. Only one injury was sustained to the top of my foot. It’s fine, I’m fine, we’re fine.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - and the songbirds are singing like they know the score

Being insular and boring. I read books, eat too many white flour products, take photos of dogs, and try not to think too hard about anything as I recoup my energy.

Planning a quick drive down and back to the shore on Saturday to get some stuff I left down there.

Loving the A Woman's Place is in the House article in Elle magazine.


Hating the skin rebellion as it gets dry and I transition to winter skincare. 

Recovering from a heart attack. Bender got out of the yard last night in the dark and I couldn’t find him for 15 minutes. I couldn’t find a working flashlight or my phone either and MFD wasn’t home. Bender boy was down the street and a kind stranger walked him up to the crazy lady running and yelling. Thanks to my neighbors for helping my panicking ass, one of them even got out of bed to help me.

Discovering that Bruce thinks Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie votives are actual cookies, which he attempts to eat as they are burning.

Waiting to paint my living room until after Christmas - putting this in writing in hopes that I really do wait as waiting is not a strength of mine once I have change in mind.

Wishing Dad & Carol a happy anniversary today.

Hoping this fucking cold goes away. Day 10 today.

Buying a pair of booties at Nordstrom Rack that were originally $120 for $40. Damn, Grandma. They feel like slippers, too.

Listening to Songbird by Fleetwood Mac. That's the end lyric up after the hyphen.

Reading:  Montauk by Nicola Harrison courtesy of Netgalley, well I finished that at 1 am last night. Show Us Your Books is Tuesday and a special Show Us Your Books Favorites of 2018 is Wednesday, 12/26.

Doing the Christmas in Philly tour - I saw the Wanamaker light show Tuesday at lunch and strolled through City Hall and Love Park last night. 

Reminding the world: 

E-carding: 


What's new with you?




Linking up with Kristen


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Just over here drinking from the well


Many days now I sit around with my tongue in my mouth, content with silence. I am doing everything I know to do to replenish the energy I spent this year but since I expended so much across so many different areas without proper introvert recharging time, the process is slow and will simply require time and space. 

It's difficult to come back from a place of depleted energy. This is why I work so hard to never get to that place and why I am so protective of my energy and personal capital. This year was a challenge for me from beginning to end on the energy front. Some years are like that, though I haven't had one for a long time. As we near the end of this one, I am impatient with myself to rebuild my energy because I don’t feel like me when I'm on empty. It feels like I've lost my edge and the essence of what makes me me.

But it's one of those things that takes time and space and grace and can't be rushed. So time and space and grace and drinks from my well are my gifts to myself this holiday season. I am at the top of my list without guilt. 

After I wrote this I saw my friend Manhan post this and it spoke to me. Maybe it speaks to you too. 


Monday, December 3, 2018

TWTW - the one to kick off December

Friday I worked from home and blew my nose 472983048 times. MFD took some stuff down the shore to his mom and cleaned out our fridges. He did some mummery at night and then we watched The Shape of Water and discussed changing around the living room. I took advantage of the 70% off Wayfair sale and an assload of reward points I had saved up there to order a new area rug, lamps, and TV stand. 

Saturday was nails (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Blink Pink), then a pantry clean out and reorganization with a new lunch station installed on top (need to contact paper that top shelf, whew), some cabinet purging, scheduling a donation pickup for next weekend, a trip to Sherwin Williams to get paint samples and Lou's for veggies, playing in the yard with los perros, cleaning up the flower beds and leaves out front, some Christmas decorating, and about a half hour of rest on the couch that was hard to get up from.
But get up we did to head over to NJ to attend Jenn's surprise 40th Christmas spectacular. It was a lot of fun - it can't not be fun if cutouts are involved, can it?
Sunday was loungey until about noon, then I got food prep and laundry going and continued purging. I even got MFD involved with getting rid of all of his papers and shit in the basement when he got home from mummery. After Christmas we're full speed ahead moving things around and making spaces useful so until then we'll be purging and organizing which we've been ignoring for a lot of the year. Sunday night I watched the entire first season of Camping on HBO. I haven't watched a show in forever. 
Weekly food prep breakfast is scrambled eggs over broccoli. Lunch (not pictured) is spinach salads, snacks are kiwi and cheese. Dinner Sunday was kielbasa with roasted vegetables. Leftovers and chicken enchiladas as the week progresses. I also made lemon blueberry protein muffins (Kodiak mix) and my power breakfast muffins to freeze. 


December. I can't believe we're at the end of this year but I can't say I'm sad about it. Today the water gets shut off at the shore house and we close her up for winter. I'll still be making at least one more trip this year to pick stuff up and I'll probably take Bruce so he can go on the beach. 

How was your weekend? 

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