Monday, December 31, 2018

Clean Slate Fan Girl, reporting in for 2019

If you've read here for any period of time, you know my standing belief is that every day is a clean slate; a chance to change something big or small, start a good habit, break a bad habit, refresh my attitude, cleanse my energy.

That being said, I've been waiting for this day for what feels like all year. The symbolic big clean slate associated with the turning of a year is important to me this year in particular, where it has not been in other years. If I had to guess why, I'd say it's because I spent the majority of 2018 operating from a reactionary position, which is not personally desirable, and struggling to keep my head above water and my house intact. As my friend Gladys said, it felt like one long Tuesday and shit I hate Tuesdays. I learned a lot and grew a lot - a lot a lot - and I don't grow in easy, halcyon days. I grow in the trenches. That’s what kind of year it was. And while it was certainly not the worst year - no year in which I learn and grow so much can be classified as worst, plus I experienced a lot of beauty, fun, time with loved ones, great books, new friends, a challenging in a good way year at work, a new dog, good health, generosity, and support - it was also not my favorite. The lessons were necessary, hard, and took up a lot of space. I’m grateful for them and happy to be finished with that class for now. Today I feel like a graduate staring down a long stretch of open road, inhaling air that tastes like freedom and possibility. I’m not remotely sad to move on with intentions. 

What's the plan for 2019? Be happy, be solvent, consume less resources and things, work for a better world, and mind my energy. If I had to boil it down to a phrase it might be consume less, be more.

I'll write about those things of course, that's what this space is for. I've been thinking a lot about consumption and fast fashion and what I own versus what I actually use. I also promised some posts about why it is important to get involved in local politics and how you might best do that if you want the backdrop of your every day life to reflect a country that involves equity and equality for all people, along with some of the things that must change in order for real people like you and me to be represented in government. This is not a presidential election year or a general election year but that does not mean it's not an important election year. Every year is important, every elected position is important. The dumpster fire of this administration makes it hard to look it in the face every day but you can’t turn away. I won't. You shouldn't either.

I'm also stretching my writing muscles - there will be more tech writing (like this travel post I wrote Friday or the reading raft post from the other week); more highlighting of monthly contributions I make and value to things like Real Justice PAC, Rosa's Pizza to feed the homeless, Ronald McDonald House Philly for families of seriously ill children,  Patreon accounts of women of color who are doing a lot of work to set white supremacy and patriarchy on fire, and Building the North Star. It's good exercise for my mind to get back to short article writing that relies more on information and research and less on emotion and opinion, which helps with some off-the-blog writing I'm planning this year. I hope you enjoy the more article-ish, informative posts but if not, try back the next day. I will write more in general this year as well and try fiction writing which I haven't done in a while, but I don't know if any of that will appear on this blog.

Of course TWTW and Thursday Thoughts will remain staples, Show Us Your Books the second Tuesday of every month, real life/honesty/no sugar coating all the time because you know how I roll...Shit MFD Said will probably make a comeback but I am out of practice writing them down since we spent so little time together last year. I might even share recipes again. I might also have said that last year and never delivered but there's hope.

Thank you for spending another year with me in this space. If you'd like to see me write about anything in particular, I'm your Huckleberry. Leave a comment below or send me an email to

Don't leave 2018 without extrapolating all of its lessons so you are in the best possible position to act on your intentions in 2019. And if possible don't leave without making a charitable contribution to a group or cause that will benefit from it - I like to leave the year with a piece of the best part of myself behind in the form of generosity. Some years it's big, some years small, but it's something every year on 12/31.

Cheers to clean slates and living with intention.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

TWTW - the one with the living room refresh

Friday I went to Sherwin Williams, came home, and started painting without even removing everything from the living room. MFD got home from his uncle's and was like whaaaaaaaat is happening and started helping. We called it a night around 11.
Saturday I was up and out to get more paint, hit two grocery stores because one didn't have my coffee for cold brew, put gas in my car, and we were painting again by 9:30 am. MFD did a great job cleaning up my crappy painting and the dogs were much more chill than I was. 
The living room was cleaned and put back together by 6. I don't have true before and afters, just some shitty befores where things are in the background, but the top pics are as it is now and the bottom are various stages of before. Still some things to do and the dreaded trim to paint but I'm happy with the changes. It's much more open and brighter. The couches are NOT new - they are slip covered, we have a blue set and white set, we just rarely use the white. The rug is new from Wayfair on super sale, as are the lamps and most decor has just been moved or brought in from other rooms in the house. 
I made dinner, painted my nails, showered, and became a scary mask person while MFD changed the couch slip covers out. My mother-in-law was with us overnight and we had brownies and watched Bird Box (not scary but still fucked up and as always the book was better, this is why I rarely watch the movie). 
Sunday I was up and out early for a road trip with my mom to Dawn's to see Lori & Jack for a short visit. Then back home to let the dogs out and off to the grandparents' (Carol's parents) then to Costco for the first time since Stephen & Aubrey were bringing me home. I wish it was close to me, prices and selection are superior to Sam's. I got home around 6, listed some stuff to sell on eBay, watched The Office, and read. 

Sunday was also Angie's birthday. Happy birthday Ange! Love you.

Last weekend of the year, and it was productive and good. Debbie comes back into town tonight and tomorrow we'll be at the Mummers Parade. For those who follow, I'll have a post up as usual with info on that tomorrow. 

Happy New Year's Eve! Safety first.  

Friday, December 28, 2018

Living the High-Life: Cities That Put You Right in the Heart of the Action

Those cityscape photos, how I love them: you often see a cluster of towers surrounded by lower-lying buildings, and perhaps a stretch of water - a river through the center, or a marina. I especially love cityscape photos taken at twilight or full night, with the lights glittering. But while these buildings look impressive and the photographs always wow me, they’re usually not of much interest to travelers because most of them are office buildings. I hate when I get to a city and I'm like oh, nothing is in those buildings there for me to see or do.

In London, for instance, there’s a separation between the square-mile - the area packed with head offices of financial institutions - and the entertainment quarter around Oxford Circus, Covent Garden, and Leicester Square. New York City is similar in a way with the financial institutions huddled around Wall Street and the entertainment areas of midtown, Greenwich Village, and Chinatown located to the north, along with Central Park. I work in the business district in Center City, Philadelphia, and am surrounded by mostly office buildings. When the work day is over, street traffic is scarce around these parts.

But while the pattern of separating business from pleasure is typical in most of the world’s great cities, some don’t make that distinction, so you can live the high-life and be right in the heart of the action. Cities like...


Image result for dubai

Back in the late 1990s, Dubai’s leaders realized that oil’s days were numbered and that, eventually, the world would begin to use alternative sources of fuel. Although unfortunately things haven’t progressed as much as many expected, Dubai has been transformed by the policies of the wealthy leadership. As one of the most prosperous of the Emirate city-states, the region enjoys some of the best architecture in the world, with almost all of today’s high-rises being new construction.

What’s so exciting though about the high-rises in Dubai is that few, if any, are solely dedicated to office workers. The Burj Al Arab - the impressive 300+ meter hotel on its own island - is wholly dedicated to hospitality. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is a mixture of entertainment, shopping, hotels, and residential. Many other towers in the downtown district can be rented, providing spectacular views over the Arabian Gulf. I love that these buildings are accessible to nearly everyone, not just the people who work in them.

Singapore is often referred to as the City in the Garden - such a romantic name, yes? When you stand on the ground, you can see what people mean. Yes, there are tall buildings that penetrate the sky, but between blocks of towers, there are vast green spaces, even in districts like Tanjong Pagar, right next to the business core.

Singapore isn’t like most Asian cities. There’s order here, and a lot to do in the central business area. Visitors can enjoy a range of restaurants and bars right in the heart of the city, even though office complexes dominate the area. The marina is also a great place to hang out and go for a walk on a hot, summer evening, in almost perfect safety. As perfect as the illusion of safety anywhere gets, anyway.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, more so than even New York, although it’s not quite as populated. The reason is that a vast number of people have to cram onto a tiny island which itself is dominated by mountains, preventing developers from using all of the available space.

Because space is so limited, you can often get in among the action no matter where you are in the city. Residential is built right next to, if not on top of, commercial, with hotels dotted throughout buildings in the town.

Hong Kong first developed because people wanted to escape the mainland for better opportunities under British rule. From humble beginnings, the city grew as a merchant capital, providing insurance and banking services to commerce in the Far East. The town soon took on a life of its own, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to low taxes, a highly educated population, and opportunities to make money in high-value-added sectors like financial services. The result is a vertical city where tourists can be right in the center of the action but still find exciting things to do. The city doesn’t suddenly shut down at the weekend when workers go home: instead, it comes alive.

Although Australia’s most populous city isn’t particularly vertical, it is an excellent example of a place where you can be right in the core and still enjoy yourself. Sydney is organized around the harbor and the harbor bridge. Nearby is the Opera House, a place that is undoubtedly on most traveler’s bucket lists.

If you’ve got family, the city is also particularly good for bike tours. Bike tours start from many locations, including the Opera House itself, and take you around the sounds and sights of the city. On your trip, you could also visit the Sea Life Aquarium, the Sydney Tower Eye, and the Wild Life Zoo, or visit the Sydney Tower Restaurant Buffet.

I've not been to any of these, but a few are on my long list. I didn't travel much this year with life matters keeping me close to Philly, so am contenting myself with some travel writing in the meantime. Have you been to any? Are you a city vacationer?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - and you may ask yourself well, how did I get here?

1. The last Thursday of 2018. How did I get here? This year is largely a blur. My head has been so far into next year and my intentions and plans and desires that I've had a hard time tethering myself to the present.

2. Snaps from Christmas Eve at Sandy's and my uncle's. The evening topped off with a bayberry candle burning down to the socket to bring good in the new year.
3. Christmas Day at home, my brother & Aubrey's, and Mom's. While MFD was catching a few hours of sleep (he does the overnight Code Blue shift with the homeless every Christmas Eve), Debbie and I did face masks and jade rolling (I tested hers before getting my own). Aubrey made awesome shrimp tacos at our first stop and I ate more than my fair share of candied bacon at my mom's and am feeling quite fluffy. It's not about the stuff, but that being said I got awesome stuff and am thankful for the generous people in my life.
4. Christmas was good, but it's a lot. Too much for me. And that's okay. I was sad to see people who demand no judgement for putting Christmas up November 1 shaming people for taking it down on 12/26. That's not how it works. If you want to decorate whenever with no comment, people should also be able to remove decor whenever with no comment.
5. Our tree will stay up until the weekend because I like the lights - it was never decorated this year because have you met Bruce? - and MFD's window will remain up until after the New Year. The rest of the stuff is down and put away. We rearranged the living room yesterday. Paint and laying out the new rug following soon. It's been set up the same basic way for the past 10 years now. It feels good to have a change.
6. Wednesday in this week of what the hell day is it was Show Us Your Books favorite reads of 2018. I hope you check some of those posts out if you're looking for a book! If you want to link up, it's open until 1/4. Books I got for Christmas:
7. My Instagram Top Nine. Get yours here. Of course more than half are dogs. I LOL'd at two Christmas photos in there.
8. I'm working from home today and in the city tomorrow for the last workday of the year. I have a freaking dentist appointment to replace fillings. Deliver me. I was the errand queen yesterday and plan the same for today and tomorrow though. I mailed out a bunch of stuff I sold on Ebay. Gotta start the year fresh.

9.  Reminder:
10. E-card of the week:

I hope you had an awesome Christmas and are still holidaying it up this week. 

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 Once in a Lifetime by The Talking Heads

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Show Us Your Books: Favorite Books of 2018

Another year of finding solace, escape, verification, wonder, joy, rawness, realness, sadness, happiness, and pure comfort between the pages of many books. I am so grateful to absolutely everyone who writes for others to read. 

To put this list in perspective, as of 12/23, I've read 135 books according to goodreads, plus two beta books written by friends for a total of 137. I've narrowed down my favorite reads of the year to 10 for the year. Here they are in no particular order. The title link goes to Goodreads and the buy links go to Amazon, cost you nothing if you buy from them, and earn me pennies which go towards running this linkup.

Verity by Colleen Hoover - Not your typical Colleen Hoover and I was there for it. A story within a story, which is not my favorite thing but I could not put this down. I read it in a few hours.
Buy kindle / buy paperback 

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - Complicated, emotional, nuanced, superbly written
Buy Kindle  / Buy hardcover 

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier - For my fellow creepy thriller lovers
Buy Kindle  / Buy hardcover 

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Like you're living in a rock and roll book. This comes out March 5, 2019, and I'd either place a hold at the library now or pre-order it, that's how much I liked it.
Buy kindle / Buy hardcover

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell - Tightly woven, well written mystery
Buy kindle / buy hardcover / buy paperback

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus - A YA novel that had this adult tied to it the entire time
Buy kindle / buy hardcover 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - In which geography and time are characters
buy kindle / buy hardcover

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez - Another YA that hits it out of the park
buy kindle / buy hardcover

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo - Written by a white person for white people who think they are beyond all racism, I wish this was required reading.
Buy kindle / buy paperback

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow - Yes, there are two nonfiction books on my list this year and both have to deal with white supremacy. This is straight from the reformed white supremacist's mouth.
Buy kindle / buy hardcover

I took a bunch of screen shots of my year in covers on GoodReads but then I saved over some, poorly cropped some, and fucked some up. A classic case of good idea, poor execution. So here's some of them.

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. This is a special year end linkup. The next regular linkup 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 who've linked up and talk books as booknerds are wont to do

What were your favorite reads of 2018? 

Inlinkz Link Party

Monday, December 24, 2018

TWTW - the one before Christmas

Friday I dipped into a surprisingly empty Liberty Place to see the tree before a Festivus lunch at work. At home we did some purging (five bags, a box, and a magazine holder), I took photos of stuff to sell on eBay, I sat with intent for Winter Solstice, we made a trip to Home Depot, and MFD W. Griswold was like an elf overnight decorating for Christmas. 
Saturday I watched my niece and nephew for a couple of hours (most time spent in a makeshift car with Lola driving me, two dogs, and a bunch of babies around), painted my nails (nail art crime scene, while it was happening I told Lola I'd give her dots and after Lola saw mine she said, "aunt steph I not want dots." I understand, Lola Jean.), rambled around the grocery store like a lost child, and did some food prep. MFD cleaned most of the house thank God. We hosted Friendsgivingmas at our house. Everyone brought an app and/or dessert and that is my favorite type of party ever. It is always so easy and great to spend time with friends of 25+ years. Mae was up staring at the door until 2 am because Debbie brought her cat with her and Mae is freaking obsessed with him. 
Sunday I put my Show Us Your Books: Favorite Reads of 2018 post together, changed sheets, did a little laundry, made macaroni salad and iced tea, and threw a ham in the oven. MFD's gram is 90 this week so we celebrated a few days early. The dogs were all up on her immediately, of course. When MFD was taking her home carolers were out front and they sang happy birthday to her before singing a Christmas song. It was awesome! Screenings of Christmas Vacation and Rudolph rounded out the night. 

I thought it was Christmas Eve all day because of how the holiday is falling this weekend. Anyone else?

Happy Christmas Eve!

What A Typical Day Out In Miami Can Look Like

Happy Christmas Eve friends! Because I'm dreaming of a little sunny getaway right now, it's the perfect day to share a post written by my friend Jessie. Is anyone getting a weekend away for Christmas? If so, can I come?

Miami is known for many things around the world and chief among them being how well the football team is doing. Aside from many sporting stars, the city has grown fond of pleasing tourists that have come looking for the three things that make a great vacation. Sun, sand and sea are the currencies and Miami has truck fulls of them. You could cart away fort knox twice over if you could measure how much in real money. It's a place where you can rest easy on the golden beaches, enjoying the sand that is soft to the touch but pliable enough to make great sand art with. You can ride the waves and surf while enjoying a sighting of dolphins every now and then. You can also glance across the waves in luxury, and sunbathe on the top deck of your own yacht if you wish. Seafood it waiting ashore, with some of the best barbecue shrimp you will ever taste in your life. You should be looking to do all three, and preferably in one day. Why? Because you can in Miami.

Going down south

You have to visit the South Beach if you’re ever in Miami. The most iconic beach in all of America, this is where many Hollywood movies have been filmed. However, make sure to come here by lunchtime or you won’t have the best spots still open. It's very popular among tourists and locals because the sand is actually quite fine and not coarse like some other eastern beaches. Spread out along the beach there are lots of sports and activities you can do. Volleyball is among the top things people like to do and renting your own net and ball is quite easy to do as small vendors are littered around. But it's better to bring your own things such as frisbees, soccer balls, beach balls and more.

Out in the open

Since you are so close to the water wherever you go onto the beach, why not book yourself a boat rental Miami Beach? You can take out your own yacht for the day and cruise around in luxury. You can have boats that are powered and drive very easily as the engines they use are not overpowered, or you can have yachts with a little more pep. There are also sailboats that you may wish to rent if you are handy with a little bit of sailing. However, not all the yachts are the same in their booking, such as some that offer you more time during the day, while others offer you more during the evening hours. The three key areas in which this service is accessible are Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. If you’re in any of these areas, you can book and sail away in just an hour or so. You can take a tour guide with you or simply go out in the open and enjoy the waters to your leisure.

A typical day in Miami is enjoying the beach, lazing around letting the sun bathe your skin in a healthy glow and then cease flirting with the ocean and just go out on the blue waters yourself.

Have you ever been? 

Merry all the way

Wishing you the merriest. See you here Wednesday for Show Us Your Books: Favorites of 2018. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Festivus 2018 - The Airing of Grievances

Happy Festivus. If you need a time out from the merry holly jollies, this is the place. Today we air grievances of the things we are sick of in honor of Festivus, which is Sunday.. I'll go first, then you.

trump everything, let’s just get that out of the way up front

Beets are good for you and cookies are not

Commuting - I shit you not, it was raining inside my train yesterday on the way home

Bills - things you did not know about when you dreamed of being an adult who can do whatever they want

Up and down dogs - when MFD moves downstairs, Bruce and Bender erupt from under the covers like a volcano and take off downstairs like their lives depend on it. Up and down up and down 

47690579 gift guides from the same source 

Knowing Christmas shit has to be put away

The absolutely vile and gross state the election/campaign system is in now, if we don't get money out of politics we are truly fucked 

Not having powers like Samantha Stephens on Bewitched, it seems like that should be a thing by now

Being really tired but getting into bed and not falling right to sleep

People giving money to build an idiot border wall. This fucking wall is immoral, expensive, and ineffective (have you seen Big Bend?). I hope none of the donors consider Jesus their God and savior because I don't think he'd build a wall over feeding, clothing, doctoring, housing, and educating those in need. That is the absolute opposite of what He did. Even if they don't believe in Jesus and I don't believe in telling people what to do with their money...give that money to veterans or something. Man. 

Full trash or recycling cans - take that shit out

Unnecessary comments - yes, Karen, you actually can scroll by Lands End’s sponsored Facebook post without commenting how you don’t like them anymore. No one cares.

The I’m so sick of everyone being offended bitchers actually being most offended over things, like you are literally in an uproar right now over how you think other people feel

The overuse and misuse of the word offended

Chipped nail polish - must replace immediately

What are your grievances? 
And are you ready for Feats of Strength? 

My company is having a Festivus pizza party today and I am filled with glee.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Building a reading raft to help you through tough times

The readers among us know more than most about the power of the written word. Readers know nothing can transform your thinking like the perfect book at the right time, or the blog post you needed to see written. The moment you absorb the words on that page or screen, you feel better able to face whatever is ahead of you. You may even change your mind about something or firm up your thoughts. Either way, you feel stronger and better about your choices with those words in your mind. It doesn’t matter whether you read them on a page, a screen, or a Kindle. The point is that you read them and let them work their magic. 

For you non-readers out there, it can be hard to understand the power words can have. If a book has never changed your life before, it can be difficult to see how that would be possible. If you’ve never read a sentence that's reached in and spoken directly to your soul, it’s easy to underestimate the power of the written word. But even those who don’t enjoy reading may come to find that words can transform their lives at certain times. To prove that point, here are four times of strife when words could be more than enough to see you through. 

At times of change

Even if you're embarking on a change you want to make, it can be a fraught and sometimes unpleasant experience. We're creatures of habit, and change can shake us up in ways we don’t want it to. You might be relocating, changing careers, trying something totally new, facing a fear...whatever it is, you may experience doubts and struggles along the way. Luckily, there are endless books on shelves about changes like these. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing explores the concept of loneliness to the backdrop of her own time moving to and living in New York. A memoir like this could become There are endless business books if you need a push with the career change, but business blogs like The Balance Careers can also be a huge help in that arena. Blogs like that one also provide you with posts written from different perspectives. Unlike a book, that can ensure that you consider things from every angle which can help you overcome hurdles and prepare for every eventuality. That’s a benefit you'd never be able to experience if you didn’t read.
In the face of new challenges
Reading in all forms can also be a lifesaver during times of challenge in your life. A prime example of this would be parenthood. Even though many moms I know say their reading slows with a new baby at home, many parents turn to books like Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. These outline a frank side of parenthood you’d struggle to find elsewhere. Many parents also find that blog posts like this one are lifesavers when it comes to easing parental worries. Rather than phoning the doctor for everything, blogs like these prepare you for what’s normal and what’s not. Of course, parenting isn’t the only challenge which is made easier through reading. Marathoners like my coworker turn to books like Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor. There are even memoirs which can help us through serious illness by showing how people have coped before. And, all this comes through the power of the written word. 

How to cope with heartache

We all know songs can be fantastic for getting through heartache because lyrics that perfectly describe the pain we're all belting out alone in the car are a form of lyrical poetry. Like the song that displays your pain perfectly, nothing beats finding a book or article with words describing the pain you’re feeling. It can help you feel less alone and show you a way through the darkness. Books like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, as found on her site has been a balm to the souls of many (the Eat part spoke to me, the Pray and Love not so much). This is why we get invested in someone else’s real as hell blog posts - it helps us see ourselves and our situations and realize we're not alone. Through reading, we process. Sometimes we process without even knowing it. By the end of the book, we might realize the relationship we're mooning over wasn’t as healthy as we thought, the loss not that great. With a travel heartbreak memoir like Gilbert’s, you can sort of feel you yourself have been on this transformative journey without leaving the couch. Books can take you anywhere without leaving your couch. And trust, a book is much cheaper than an actual trip around the world.

In the face of self-doubt

If you've read here a while, you know self-help books aren't my thing but I know some of you love them. I still skim articles like this one on Goalcast (because if there's a 5 books you should lead in, I'm likely going to read the article). Anyway I do think well written books have the power to transform thought processes, and self-help books written by renowned counselors mean you basically get expert advice for the cost of a paperback. And if you buy it, you have it as a resource that's always on your shelf.

Readers know these are by no means the only times that reading can transform your life. Books are constant companions to me through every situation - good, bad, ugly. If you’re a reluctant reader, though, it may be worth turning to a book in one of these times to jump start yourself. If reading helps you through one of these scenarios, you might turn to it in other times as well.

Peace, love, and books -

Thursday Thoughts - and the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day

1. One of my favorite views in the city from Monday's walk to the library. Of course I prefer when there's water in the fountains, but it's still beautiful without.

2. Other city scenes from the week: don't call the Vatican, those are not photographic evidence of windows to heaven in the sky, they're a reflection of the office lights in the window.
3. I had to go to the dentist on Tuesday, which longtime readers know is my major fear and loathing visit. The words "I don't need a lecture on flossing" were out of my mouth like I was a 16 year old with an attitude before I even knew what was happening. My dentist laughed because she is awesome and accepting of my neurotic feelings about her profession. I was rewarded with a follow up appointment next Friday to repair some fillings. Kill me.

4. I continue to be easily tired, which I was told to expect for quite a few weeks recovering from walking pneumonia. That means most nights are spent sitting on my ass regardless of how much there is to do. I walk every day at lunch to get fresh air which I think helps but also tired me out early.

5. Except last night. Last night I got my hair done by the fabulous Kristi, went to Target and found bare food shelves, and put some things away before sitting my ass down at 10:20 to finish the above book and wasting an hour reading about enneagrams. 

6. I did not think Gus would still be with us at this point and have taken to calling him the Crypt Keeper. He can't really hear well so he doesn't care. He also lets me carry him around facing forward like King Tut on a throne.

7. Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. Blessings to you.

8. I know many of you listen to Christmas music 24/7 from like Thanksgiving on, but I don't like Christmas music enough for 1/30th of that listening. Aside from Last Christmas and Fairytale of New York, I don't listen to Christmas Music outside of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a dash of it the weekend before (specific playlists, not willy nilly whatever comes on the station). So my personal Christmas Music Season is nearly upon us.

9.  Reminder: As we come up upon a new year, consider...

10. E-card of the week: ho ho ho mofos

That’s all for today.

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 Fairytale of New York by The Pogues
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