Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine

1. I see you out there ladies. I'm with you.
2. This looks like a crime scene, but it was a delicious birthday month treat from Gran Caffe L'Aquila near my office: bomboloni with gelato accented with amarena cherries in honor of San Giuseppe-their version of a Zeppole Di San Giuseppe. Delicious.

 3. I am all signed up to walk again on Team Eva the Diva at the March of Dimes event at the end of April. Premature birth affects about 450,000 babies here in the United States, and in April 2014, Eva was one of them, and she is nowhere near alone - quite a few of my friends have had children born prematurely. I'm walking at the March for Babies to get the message out about this terrible problem and if you are inclined to make a donation, that would be awesome. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible. Bruce and Bender are going to be walking too.

4. Tommy John sent me some underwear and a tank to try and seriously...the underwear was like not wearing any and the tank was a v in the front and back and felt awesome to wear, like so comfortable it felt close to skin. Both are more than I'd typically pay for either item but after inspection of my undershirts and underwear when I did my Marie Kondo situation a few months back, both are on the replace list and I'm willing to pay a little more to get something that feels good. The packaging made me laugh too. Check out Tommy John's recently launched women's line at . I'm not really a product pusher especially of underwear but trust me you will not regret it. 
5. In other mail news, super cool to get my friend Rich's book in the mail that I beta read. I'm excited for you Rich! Thank you for trusting me to read it and thank you for sending the copy. It is freaking cool to see your friends published. I know Church Kids is right up the alley of some Show Us Your Books people, so I hope you guys check it out on Amazon.
6. I watched some of that HBO documentary about the insane silicon valley lady with the blood and the fake voice (why can't I just google titles?) but wasn't really into it. Her voice sounded like Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs. I am pumped for The Dirt, the Motley Crue biopic that comes out on Netflix Friday. 

7. The City Council At-Large races are heating up here during primary season in Philly. If you’re local and want to chat about candidates, hit me up! The field is huge on the dem side, the most candidates are running since 1983. What’s going on in your local elections and how are you getting involved to make sure your community leadership reflects how you want life to be? 

8. This week in dog town: I'm trying a new dry food (Whole Earth Farms) and CBD oil

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards. You all filling out those office pools?

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 The Last Resort by The Eagles

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Running down into the spring that's coming

So I said I'm a snowball running, running down into the spring that's coming all this love 
Melting under blue skies 

Belting out sunlight 

Shimmering love

Welcome, spring. I can't wait for the scenes to unfold like those pictured above from previous springs.

Happy birthday to my uncle Jack today!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Stories vs Stuff

Few things make me more aware of consumerism than Instagram.

I’m in marketing - I get ads and affiliate links. I like to share what I use and like and I like to see what other people use and like.

I do wonder what we’re promoting in ourselves and others when we are so focused on new things and what to buy or try next. Is it not worthy if it’s not new? Are we never satisfied with what we have? Are we hiding behind our things? Do we have nothing to talk about it we can't say look what I bought? Will we still own these items in two years or are we just churning items through our homes on their way to the landfill? 

My consumer habits are shifting, and I find myself more delighted in people sharing photos in eight year old sweaters than in a new one. Think of how many stories that sweater could tell. 

For me, that is the actual stuff: the stories of us and what we saw and experienced and felt and did in that sweater. The sweater is part of the story, but it’s not The Story. I’m challenging myself to rely less on stuff and show more of the story. Challenging you too if you’re up for it. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

TWTW - the one with the birthday

Thursday night I showered, changed the sheets, packed, and we headed to the shore. A plastic part on the hot water heater did not survive the winter, so surprise! No hot water. But the part is on order and we made it through the winter at the shore relatively unscathed, always a win. 

Friday was my birthday and as usual I took the day off. This year the plan was no plan, and it was awesome. It started at the beach with the gang. 
Favorite WaWa sandwich for breakfast, lounge attire all day, fresh nails (OPI Suzi Will Quechua Later!, $3.99 from Marshalls), lots of beach walks with the dogs, our freaking adopt-a-beach sign that was due last April is finally up, found some sea glass, started a new book, early dinner at the Tuckahoe Inn (fried oysters with chicken salad, key lime pie), groceries, watched the first half of the Umbrella Academy season, and in a house full of things to do, did nothing productive. It was glorious. Except for the Comcast visit in the afternoon to fix the downed internet. Otherwise, sticking with gloriously uneventful just as I wanted it. 

Saturday Sunrise with Bruce & Bender. Bender doesn't really get it. Bruce was like dude, chill, we don't bark and we don't wander. LOL. I don't think Ben is interested in being in the sunrise crew. 
MFD worked and I read, and later we took the dogs to Dog Beach but it was windy AF and they were tired. Outside of the house inspection for screens and siding. I got my car washed for the first time in forever. MFD took a freaking shower with no hot water outside because he's insane. I stuck to the heat water up and wash self inside. Bender is not used to all the shore activity so he was like what is happening but we were all beat - we're much more active at the shore than at home. Dinner at Luigi's (antipasto platter and meatball sandwich). 
We were couch potatoes all night, finishing out Umbrella Academy and I finished the book I was reading. 

Sunday Sunday morning was chilly so Bruce and I went to the beach solo. He was so happy. 

After a quick cleanup, we were on the road home by 10 because MFD had a day of showings. I went to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner, did four loads of laundry, ran and emptied the dishwasher, and started a new book. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is egg sandwiches on english muffins with cheese. Snacks are kiwis and bananas. I only need three days of lunch so I'll finish out the Italian wedding soup I made and froze last week. Sunday dinner was roasted corned beef so we'll do leftovers of that for a few days then figure out the rest. 

How was your weekend? 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - we shall survive, let us take ourselves along

1. Birthday Eve and today is my Friday because I don't work on my birthday. If I was president, neither would you. When your friends know you: a RBG candle from my work wife Beth & grammar pencils from my BFF Kim. We all know I dissent on every damn thing right now and love grammar policing and pencils are my preferred writing tool.
2. For my 42nd birthday, I got myself readers. It might be time. I don't need them per se, but when my eyes are tired they are helpful. And I used a coupon to get them. Just like I used a coupon to get my replacement paperwhite that arrived last night just in time for me to need to start a book on it. Hey ohhhhhhhh.
3. I had to sprint for the train Monday and Wednesday mornings this week. Not cool. And not a close sprint, either. It's a park & ride. It's not like 30 seconds. Hashtag not a sprinter.

4. I was handed this on Monday while on my lunch walk. The lady was old and spoke no english so I was like sure I'll take it. LOL forever. I've been walking a lot at lunch and getting in my 40 minutes of exercise a day except for Monday which is typically a hell day for me with DST and all.

5. I used my silicone molds for the first time making power breakfast muffins this week. They froze well in the pan and were great to transport muffins to work every day this week and wash out at the end of the day.

6. I am continually amazed every time I open my brown sugar to see it sitting there soft and lovely, kept that way by a piece of bread that has been in there for an eternity and manages not to mold. Yay science!
7. How sleeping goes here. And when MFD comes up everyone has to shuffle and sometimes that raises Mae's ire beyond what she can stand. It is rare to sleep through the night without getting up to yell.
8. There is some small petty annoying thing that I keep meaning to include the past two weeks and every Wednesday I can't fucking remember what it is. It's driving me insane.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards.

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 Bennie & the Jets by Elton John

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Show Us Your Books: March 2019

Show Us Your Books day falling in birthday week.. Birthdays and books, these are a few of my favorite things. 

I'm super pumped because a while back I sent my broken down Kindle Paperwhite back to Amazon. They gave me $5 for it (lol) and 25% off another kindle purchase. The Paperwhite is the only kindle I can read in the sun and actually see. It was on sale for $99 a while back but of course when I went to buy it was back to $130. Since I had a hand me down Kindle fire from my aunt Lori that still worked, I waited it out and it went back down to $99 yesterday, plus the 25% off, and Lori sent me a gift card. My replacement will arrive tomorrow, two days before my birthday and just as we're entering outdoor reading season. Fabulous  timing! 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup.

Engrossing Reads
*Buy links are affiliate links, cost you nothing to buy through, and benefit the running of this linkup*

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum - This broke me a thousand times. The first paragraph snatched me right up but I put the book down on Friday and had to summon myself to pick it up again on Saturday. It was a hard read, but if it was hard for me to read, how hard is it for some women to live? I try not to accept that in myself for reasons to avoid difficult topics. Beautiful writing and a perspective I have not read previously. Hardcover, own buy kindle / buy hardcover

I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie - This book was weird and hard to put down. Like an infinity times darker Wet Hot American Summer revisited. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book publishes June 1. Pre-order kindle 4.99 / pre-order hardcover 15.99 / pre-order paperback 10.99

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda - One of two "summer people" type of books I read in the last month. This one had my heart thudding. I didn't see the end coming at all. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book publishes June 18 and will be perfect for a suspenseful summer beach read. Pre-order kindle 12.99 / pre-order hardcover $20.72

The Girl Across the Street by Vikki Patis - This was sort of a mess at the end and escalated quite quickly, and honestly messy at some parts in the middle, but I still liked the story and never wanted to put it down. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. buy kindle 2.99 / buy paperback 8.92

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward - A collection of essays and poems meaning to be from the starting off point of The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Truly exceptional pieces in here. I am not someone who likes short essay or story collections as a rule. I liked this a lot. buy kindle 11.99 / buy paperback 10.87/buy hardcover 18.75

The Lost Man by Jane Harper - I was under the impression that this would be a continuation of stories about Federal Agent Aaron Falk and was sorely disappointed to find out it wasn't...until I started reading it. I loved it. It's a long, slow burn. And it's a good one. Philly library hardcover buy kindle 14.99 / buy hardcover 18.29 
Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets by Feminista Jones: I read this very quickly for a nonfiction read that had citations. Feminista Jones is smart as hell and stacked the information in a way that was easy to digest. This was not written for me, a white lady, but I sure as hell benefited from reading it. I truly believe that we will never advance as women as long as there are those among us who will not recognize the tremendous impact of race and white supremacy on the patriarchy and the insidious relationship between white supremacy and patriarchy. White women have chosen white supremacy over smashing the patriarchy too often throughout history. Paperback, own buy paperback so you can highlight it

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Never Game (Colter Shaw #1) by Jeffrey Deaver - A quirky lead character for a new series, I liked him. The storyline wasn't totally my bag, but I will give it another go with the next book. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski - I liked this story and it was well told. I knew something was off all along but wasn't sure with who and I liked to be kept guessing. I am the person who loves when books take place in my hometown/a place I know well but is then also overly bothered by errors that could have been avoided with a tiny bit of research. That happened here with references to our shore town. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins - I wasn't expecting much from this, and it turned out fine. For a story with so much in it, it felt very surface to read. Still an interesting premise and not bad. Hardcover, own

Mine by Courtney Cole - I couldn't believe people walked away here. A lot of the story was deeply uncomfortable all around. Lots of emotion throughout and the prevailing one left for me was hate for the husband. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book publishes May 28

Winter in Paradise (Paradise #1) by Elin Hilderbrand - I am not an Elin Hilderbrand fan girl. I needed this to cleanse my palate and it did a good job of that. Enjoyable to read in a few hours on a winter weekend afternoon. Philly library hardcover

The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite #4) by Robert Dugoni - Standard good continuation of series. amazon e-book, had to buy, library does not and will not be offering

In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite #3) by Robert Dugoni - Standard good continuation of series. amazon e-book, had to buy, library does not and will not be offering
Not Worth It

The Couple by Sarah Mitchell - There were a few story lines in this book, and it's almost like they were written in different voices. Some great twists but overall not for me. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Did Not Finish
River Bodies (Northampton County #1) by Karen Katchur - Absolutely nothing about this appealed to me. It was like a wannabe Sons of Anarchy light with some additional awkwardness. Amazon free e-book

What have you been reading? 
Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is April 9, 2019 
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Monday, March 11, 2019

TWTW - the pre-birthday weekend

Friday was my work from home day so laundry got done during the day, hallelujah. It didn’t get put away until Sunday because I’m not a miracle worker okay? I also renewed my license with a record in and out in 10 minutes at the DMV and was in and out of Target and Aldi all in a lunch hour. What a time to be alive. Friday night I made chocolate chip pumpkin bread in my nearly dead stove and stove top burgers with salad. I'm considering using sticky tile at the shore so I tried it at home on a non-backsplash space in the kitchen. I'm impressed. After work I headed over to hang out with my niece and nephew to play and read books and work at the grocery store. 

Saturday  Slow start to the day with coffee and reading before I kicked it into gear to do my 40/40, walk the best friend dogs, and pack up eBay sales before errands to the post office, library to return books, and gas station, all of which I did with my sunroof open. I started another book and we had family dinner of Chinese and cake at Dad & Carol’s. 

Sunday Weekly food prep, changing and washing sheets, putting laundry away, 40/40, and getting stuff together to go back to the shore under the watchful eyes of Bruce and Bender. I packed some more eBay sales up to mail, walked B+B, and did a face mask.

Sunday night birthday dinner of filet, mac & cheese, brussels, rolls, strawberries, and ice cream cake at Mom & Rich's. Between Saturday and Sunday I now have what amounts to a whole cake and my mom made me fat sugar cookies too. I'm in hog heaven. After that we stopped at Marshalls and came home feeling full and under water. Daylight saving, man.
Weekly food prep: breakfast is egg muffins with asparagus and cheese and lunch is Italian wedding soup. Snacks are kiwis, cucumbers, and pretzels. Dinner so far is veggie rotini with sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, onions, onions, and some truffle oil. I made the soup with chicken stock from scratch so I have some extra to freeze. 

Last night I didn’t fall asleep until after 12:30. This morning I had to run full out to catch the train. Not a good start. 

Show Us Your Books is tomorrow! See you back here for that. 

Happy birthday to my Pop today!

How was your weekend? 

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