Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Every year is your year

The last few years I see more people saying how the year we're leaving has sucked and the next year is going to be better. Myself included a few times.

Every year is good and bad. It is the yin and yang. This is real life, not a perpetual good trip. Why do we expect carefree, easy living when everything in history and our collective adult life experience tells us that expectation is unreasonable, like Poison told us Every Rose has its Thorn? 

Especially as we get older, the reality is that there is no sustained period of time where everything goes our way, no one gets sick or dies, nothing breaks or costs a shitload of money we did not anticipate spending, nothing brings us to our knees, we make no mistakes, we deal with no loss of anything, we have no shock or disappointment or rage or upheaval. Sometimes those things happen in succession and life seems like a lot because it is a lot sometimes.

I'm not saying some years aren't harder than others. We have bad or devastating things happen that can be hard to recover from. When we don't recover within the time frame we've set up for ourselves, we think we're not okay. Not dealing with things like we expected to can take us by surprise. 

When we lose something - a loved one, a friendship, an opportunity, a marriage, a way of life, a job, whatever it is - we grieve. Grief changes who we are as people - to survive requires some internal rewiring. Likewise, when we gain something - a loved one, a friendship, an opportunity, a marriage, a way of life, a job, whatever it is - we expand to adapt, and expansion requires internal rewiring just like grief does. Trying to move forward out of grief or expansion using our old ways doesn’t work because we're not the same as we were before that loss or gain. We can't take the same paths and expect them to lead us to where we want or need to go. Life requires alternate routes and we need to give ourselves permission to take them instead of clinging to old ways that block us from going forward.

We also go into every new year thinking who we are on January 1 is who we will be on December 31, forgetting that every grief and expansion will change us a little (or a lot). 
Maybe we didn’t do one single thing we planned to this year. Maybe instead we survived some things that were unexpected and fucking hard, looked good doing it, laughed when we thought we didn’t have it in us, learned something we had no idea we needed to know, helped someone when we ourselves needed help, showed someone that it’s okay to not be okay, and about a million other small but really good things that we sweep aside when we push a year into the not my year category. 

If you come through a year where some things were great, but then some things were really fucking hard but to date you’ve survived 100% of the hard things and also laughed, connected, hugged, enjoyed, shared, learned, exchanged smiles, saw beauty, felt the sun on your face, heard music, tasted deliciousness...how can that NOT be your year? Give yourself credit and cut yourself some slack. You’re out there killing it being human, and you’re going to do it again next year. 

Here’s to 2020. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

TWTW - the one that was all a blur

Tuesday Christmas Eve I'm starting on Christmas Eve because I do what I want. My mother-in-law arrived for her Christmas stay Monday night. Tuesday morning food prep with my sister in law Mindy followed by traditional framily gathering at Sandy's started by my Dad and his friends.
Annual Christmas Eve gathering at my aunt & uncle's with apps followed by serial killer masking and peppermint tea drinking while MFD and his mom decorated the tree using no red balls because I prohibited them. MFD did the overnight at the homeless shelter as usual and arrived home around 7:30 on Christmas morning.
Wednesday Christmas My nephews were there to open their gifts, and we opened ours after that, then headed to see Lola Jean and Baby Steeeeeeve for a bit and have breakfast sandwiches. MFD went home to sleep and Debbie and I popped in on Mom, Rich, and Sean. 
We got stuff ready for dinner then took a breather. Mark, Sarah, Maureen, Maddi, CJ, and Darwin were there for dinner and desserts. I took no photos but it was a nice relaxing time. Debbie and I masked again and watched Schitts Creek. 

Thursday Debbie and I were at Target early but those aholes didn't have any ball sets for me to buy to better match the living room. Balls. I honestly don't know what I did the rest of the day? Cleaned up? It's a mystery. Oh, MFD's Gram, Uncle, cousin and her boyfriend came to visit in the afternoon. And I watched more Outlander with my mother in law while MFD went to mummery. Again, like no photos. There was some resting at some points. 

Friday I made a bunch of turkey burgers to freeze for lunches and for my mother in law to take home and jalapeno/banana pepper dip to take to Mom's. We went to Mom & Rich's for pizza and post-Christmas visiting, then to Marshalls to replace kitchen towels and get a new table runner. It was time on both.
Saturday Turned some unused space into usable space. Disregard the nail holes and the paint job that's needed and let me live. I also ordered front door paint and new flooring for the entry, washed new kitchen towels and put them out. My MIL left and I purged a lot of the utility closet and cleared up the basement bookshelves, put most of Christmas away (the rest will wait until after most of the remaining basement work gets done because it goes down there), dropped some donations off, caught a nice parking lot sunset while I picked up paint and paint chips, had pumpkin pie for dinner while watching the office, and painted the already primed bathroom door. 
Sunday More purging and organizing in the basement (including mostly emptying the utility closet so some work can be done in there Tuesday), laundry, changed sheets, changed shower curtain liner and washed the curtain, finished a book and started another, and puttered around putting shit to rights. Not really photographable items.
Weekly food prep: Nope. I did receive groceries for NYE meal (wings in the air fryer, crab legs, shrimp, mozzarella sticks, pizza bites, a dessert I still need to figure out) and NYD meal (pork loin, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, corn). Leftovers after that. I'm also making breakfast burritos tomorrow to freeze since I'm off. Maybe power breakfast muffins too, I haven't decided yet.

Hope you had an awesome Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Solstice/Weekend. 

I'm super pumped to close this year out with much less STUFF in my house than just three weeks ago. My mind is already clearer, which is never a bad place to be. Even MFD sees the light on how much better it feels with less shit that's not used laying around. 

Happy happy birthday to my friend Angie today! Love you!

Working from home today to close out the work year and the goal is email inbox zero. Let's do this.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Show Us Your Books: Favorite Reads of 2019

Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like without reading. I've been reading since a very young age, I've grown up seeing family members read, I make sure my nieces and nephews know I read and see me reading. It opens up worlds and I just can't imagine closing myself off to that or not having it in my life. Sincere thanks to every single person who writes books. There are a lot of readers out there who expect a five star read every time, or for a book to be a five star/favorite read it has to like move the entire earth for them. I expect neither of those things. I don't expect every book I read to blow me away, hell I don't even expect to enjoy every book I read. When you read a lot, that's not possible. I'm not going to like every story line, writing style, character, ending. But I appreciate that they were even created in the first place. 

As of today I've finished 163 books this year, which have led me to walk through over 54,000 pages of other lives and stories that are not my own. I've narrowed down my favorite reads to 21 for the year - not all published this year I don't think, but read by me this year. I find it interesting that I read mostly thrillers but they barely make it to my favorite reads list at the end of the year. I think because they don't stick to my ribs? This year I addressed that by including books that haven't sat in my gut but I recall as good reading experiences.

The title link goes to Goodreads and the buy links go to Amazon - buying through those links costs you nothing and earns me pennies which go towards linkup giveaways. Thanks to everyone who has submitted posts, read posts, shared posts with Jana and I for Show Us Your Books this year. We're going to do another SUYB Readathon the weekend of January 18 so stay tuned for that.

Favorite Reads of 2019 in no particular order

The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta - Like all of Marchetta's books, I loved this cast of far from perfect characters and the way they come together. Kindle Unlimited free read      buy it

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson - Woodson's writing is stunning, like it was in Another Brooklyn. The mother/daughter relationship, ambition, teen pregnancy, opportunity, class, racism, sexual identity, this has it all, and the writing around all of it weaving tales and families together is just excellent. This is the kind of book that makes me regret not using my english lit degree to teach lit at a higher level. I can see breaking this down in a circle in a classroom on a winter's day. If you don't like literary fiction or books that ask your mind to reach outside of your zone, you will not like this. Same with Another Brooklyn. OCNJ library hard cover     buy it

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - Child, this book was alternately exhilarating and terrifying. It can be read without first reading Handmaid's Tale but it shouldn't be. And no, watching the show does not count. A delicious and long awaited follow-up. OCNJ library hard cover     buy it

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane - I loved this book during and after reading it and I closed it without being able to articulate exactly why. I liked the writing and really loved Kate and quite a few of the other characters even though it felt written to give the reader a peek-a-boo look into the characters at different points in their lives rather than a serious character study. Ocean City library hard cover     buy it

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - This big mama book was funny and beautiful and fucking heart breaking on numerous fronts - women in the world, homosexuality, love, religion, repression, shame. Generally I am not a fan of long books - according to Goodreads this was my longest read this year at over 500 pages and that almost prohibited it from being on this list - but man it was worth it. OCNJ library paperback    Buy

When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal - Gah this book. My heart was in my throat the last 20% and quite a few spots throughout. So good. So beautifully written. So emotional. So many hard things. I want the world to read it and if you don't like it I don't want to know about it. Free copy from Netgalley  |   buy it

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert - I have not read any of Gilbert's fiction before this book. I read Eat, Pray, Love, and found it self indulgent and annoying - not my kind of book, at all. I slid right into this big mama. The writing was superb, I enjoyed the telling, and it was absolutely a feminist novel despite all the displays of the patriarchy. OCNJ library hard cover    buy it

Stars of Alabama by Sean Dietrich - I had no idea what this was about. I know nothing of Sean Dietrich - or Sean of the South as I've gathered he's called - except for the fact that he wrote a lovely rambling story here with characters worthy of investing in. A great read peppered with humor and beauty as well as real life suckiness. Free copy from Netgalley    buy it

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 it

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner - A few years back I stopped reading Jennifer Weiner books. This one was sent from Netgalley, I didn't need to request it, only accept, and I'm glad I did. I read the forward, which I rarely do, and that probably made me like the book more. I would absolutely buy this one. Free copy from Netgalley      Buy

She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore - This book blew me out of the water. I didn't know anything about it going in and that's my favorite way to go into a book - I have very little expectations that way and when it turns out like this I'm quite pleased. It felt like a journey. Philly library hardcover   buy it

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See - This is hard to explain, but there's a scene in this book that is so WTF and it's not glossed over in any sense but it is written so we know as readers that life is moving on even as it's happening. I had to pause and think of how amazing it is what people survive. This is not a feel good, light story. I loved the haenyeo and their matri-focal society. What a tremendous story and exceptional strength in these women. They felt so real to me and that is the mark of a very good book. Philly library hardcover   buy it

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson - A book about Appalachia, the love/power of the written word, and the advancement of women and those who are "other"?  I requested this eagerly and it did not disappoint. While I enjoyed it, it would not have made this list if not for the Jojo Moyes controversy. I hope people read this. Free copy from Netgalley   Buy

Sadie by Courtney Summers - Here's a sound byte for you: compulsively readable. I couldn't put this down. OCNJ library hardcover   buy it

Recursion by Blake Crouch - I love how Blake Crouch can write books based in science and make me feel like I understand them well even though I absolutely do not. Free copy from Netgalley   buy it

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas - I am in the minority loving this book, so if you haven't read it I ask you to go into it without expectation - it is not The Hate U Give, so let that go. This story is good, the writing is good, the point of view just as on point as in The Hate U Give, but the main character in this book, Bri...I adore her.  Pre-ordered/purchased  buy it

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus -  I liked this better than One of Us is Lying and I hope McManus is writing a Three. Philly library hardcover    buy it

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena - This reminded me a lot of Clue and I couldn't put it down. I love a simple whodunit. Philly library hardback buy it

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh - Gorgeous cover, beautiful writing for a thriller, great story. Very readable. OCNJ library hard cover    buy it

Run Away by Harlan Coben - I've read all of Harlan Coben's books and usually prefer the Myron Bolitar series over his stand alones but I freaking loved this. Layers upon layers and a great pace.  Philly library hardcover    buy it

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle - This kept me solidly interested. Great story even after the actual story reveals itself...I hate to use the word "twist" because it seems overused and people base their entire experience on if they liked the twist or figured out the twist. So much more to a book than a twist, even when it's a delicious one. Free copy from Netgalley   buy it

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 14, 2020.
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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

TWTW - the one before the Christmas

Friday  I killed my Moby Dick white whale of the work week then took a stroll through my two must sees before Christmas: The Wanamaker Light Show and Anthropologie. I ordered pizza for dinner, lost it a little over the state of the basement, and I don't even know what else.
Saturday Do you even have dogs if you don't scramble extra eggs for them? They enjoyed them and snuggling with my nephew. My new cup from Dragonfly Tumblers, thanks Jenn! Debbie came down to attend the funeral of our dear old friend's Dawn's wonderful mom. I was happy to see her and so many other old friends but sad for that to be the occasion. Fran was truly a great person. Debbie and I had lunch at Three Monkeys after, then I set up my Winter Solstice altar, ordered chinese for dinner, and watched Home Alone with my nephews. I haven't seen that movie in YEARS, and I've never seen Home Alone in NY or whatever it's called that we also watched. Michelle Wolf standup to cap the night and I was in bed by 1.

Sunday I took a few minutes in the morning to finish a book, then it was fucking go. Clean up basement, discover new problem, take all laundry to mom's, drop something off at my sister-in-law's and visit my niece and nephew, more basement purging/sorting/cleaning/organizing, got four things out for donation, drug 10394830498 trash bags to curb, wrapped gifts, I don't even fucking know what else, MFD came home and put a not-agreed-upon carpet remnant down until the floor can get done after Christmas, got both basement rooms mostly put together, made grocery lists, 10:15 pm run to Ross then Marshalls then Giant, collapse into bed at 1. If you have not been following the mayhem on Instagram, we basically made the basement which was used entirely for storage into a bedroom and a living space because it was time to get rid of shit and make them usable spaces again and my mother-in-law can stay there when she comes to visit like now over Christmas. Much more to do down there including paint the purple room (curtains hiding drywall right now), put new flooring down, blah blah blah but we're on the way.
Weekly food prep: Negative, Ghostrider. The pattern is full. So are both fridges.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule. Merry happy everything. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Airing of the Grievances 2019

You know what December 23 is. A Festivus for the rest of us. Feats of strength later. Airing of the Grievances first. 

Paying for parking at a hospital - are ya fucking kidding me? No one even wants to be there

My socks sliding down my heel as I'm walking

That shitty misting rain

Coughs that won't die

Wet pant hems

Misogynists, racists, homophobics, xenophobics, etc

Christmas mania

Whining - by adults, dogs, children, myself, any whining at any time

Asshole drivers


Non-voters by choice

Owning too much shit

People who consistently set themselves on fire so other people can be warm then act like they can't do anything about that

The entire gaggle of grifters trump family and their enablers in Congress

Not reading the article

Chipped nails

Technological difficulties

Thinking something is not a systemic problem in society because it's not a problem for you


The cult of busy

Overly packaged deliveries - huge boxes and padding for super small items, etc

People bitching about plastic bag bans like no, Gordon, you are not entitled to make as much trash as you want on this planet that will be there forever


Any series of unfortunate events that feels like dog pile on the rabbit

Stepping in dog poop and the fact that it happens often enough that it needs to appear on this list

Shower curtains left open after someone is finished showering

Unnecessary plastic packaging on fruit or veg at the grocery store in particular and unnecessary plastic in general, packaging or otherwise

That Christmas Shoes song


Food waste

Two assholes who rush up to the front of the train daily to be first off, forcing a group of familiar strangers who sit near each other to run a weird coordinated blocking game 

Authors avoiding contractions

I've made a donation in your honor to The Human Fund. 
TWTW tomorrow because I was at the grocery store at midnight last night and no, not today.
Now you, your turn with the grievances.

Friday, December 20, 2019

A Dog Owner's Checklist: Taking the Best Care of Your Pet

No, I did not write this, but I do approve this message. Second writing in a week courtesy of Maggie Hammond, proud momma to two littles and one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, the great outdoors and animal welfare.

A dog easily and quickly becomes a key part of your life. Due to the long lifespan of dogs,
they will always be seen as additional family members for any household which has raised
and loved one. Dogs provide an abundance of positives, including a reason to maintain a
healthy lifestyle, love and devotion and simply a warm greeting when you arrive home from
an arduous day.

With this in mind, taking the best care of your dog is the least you can do in return. Here are
some of the key methods you can do so.

  • Find a Dependable Vet

While all veterinary practices maintain devotion to caring for your dog in the best possible
way, sometimes it may be that you simply don’t feel confident within a particular place.

Perhaps your dog reacts badly to one veterinary office compared to another, or maybe you
prefer the layout of an alternative vet you have visited.

Don’t compromise on the needs and comfort of both you and your dog, and make sure you
take the time to find the best vet for your circumstances and location, in which you can feel
comfortable and confident, such as Cherry Hill vets who offer a variety of high-quality
services, too.

  • Plan an Enjoyable Walking Route

No matter where you live with your dog, whether it’s a bustling city centre, on the outskirts of
a small town or a rural retreat, knowing precisely where you can get the best exercise for
your dog is paramount. Having a planned route means you always know where you’re going
and helps your dog to become familiar with its routine.

The best routes to plan include a place where you can let your dog comfortably off the lead
to have an adequate run, and where you can play with your dog, such as a large park or
field. Understandably, not all locations allow for this (such as busy city centers ) so it’s
important to check for the best routes near you which permit dog walking.

  • Take the Time to Train Your Dog

In order to get the best out of your relationship with one another, dogs need to be taught to
understand acceptable behaviors and how to best deal with certain situations. Training your
dog as soon as possible – ideally from an early age if you are raising a puppy – means your
dog will be capable of understanding important commands, such as when to come when

Lack of training can lead to difficult and reckless behaviors in dogs, as well as confusion
over authority.

  • Engage in Routine Care

No matter the breed or size of your dog, routine care should always include the following:

  • Regular grooming, washing and brushing
  • Dental care, with special attention paid to gums, as well as providing dental chews
  • Nail clipping
  • Flea treatment
  • Worming treatment
  • Regular vaccinations
  • Routine checkups

If you are ever uncertain about the right procedures for routine care or if you are having
trouble administrating certain treatments such as flea products or nail trimming, you should
always consult your veterinarian and ask for assistance – they will be happy to help.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

1. Philly trees, please.

2. It's me. This week has been a fucking week and we're not finished yet. Deadlines and tech issues and house chaos and back twinges got me like whoa.

3. But aren't these dogs adorable. Bender is a hard dog to photograph. We're working on it.

4. Add these to my Christmas list.

5. I never made it to the grocery store until last night. I meant to go Monday. I've been cobbling together lunches and partaking in the office holiday food gift assortment. I need vegetables. Does your body ever tell you you need vegetables?

6. I'm going to start keeping track of how much time I spend clearing shit off the dining room table. Shit is out of hand. Basically the only good thing about the shore house being closed is there is no shore shit that lingers from week to week that's either coming back from there or going to there. Literally the only good thing.

7. Show Us Your Books friends! This is your reminder that the Favorite Reads of 2019 link up is FRIDAY, December 27. A week from tomorrow. Also, take a minute to check out the memoir of a college friend that's coming out in July and consider pre-ordering it because there is simply no better way to support a smaller author - Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir. Heather is a beautiful, evocative writer, her insights are amazing, and she gives you permission to laugh. This is about raising her daughter, who was born with an ultra-rare syndrome, Wolf-Hirschhorn. Heather also wrote Teaching in the Terrordome: Two Years in West Baltimore with Teach for America which I loved as well. The winner of the SUYB December giveaway is up too. Congrats Stephanie!

8. For your consideration: a chart and accompanying article showing how taxes on workers have essentially replaced those on corporations - when will half of the goddamn working class stop fighting for and defending billionaires and corporations and unite to fight for themselves? How the rule of law is the principle that protects every American from the abuse of monarchs, despots, and tyrants and an opinion piece on why there's a dire threat to it with the fucking lunacy going on defending this president right now. Also, impeached. In the words of The Violent Femmes in Kiss Off (and part of the phrase in the intro to Van Halen's Hot for Teacher), I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record. Even if the Senate chooses cowardice, you will always be impeached for believing you are above the law. And yes, anyone saying this is a waste of time if the Senate will do nothing...public record is important.
It's good when people get the answers they are seeking. There are a lot of people out there who are not knowledgeable about this process...some who actually participated in it when they impeached Bill Clinton in 1998, so weird. Maybe they forgot. Some who went to school with me and I know we were taught this. Willful ignorance is gross. 

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: are you with me?

This time next week, Christmas will be over. Time is crazy. 

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 Kiss Off by The Violent Femmes

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

How to Protect Yourself & Your Child During Pregnancy and Birth

Happy Wednesday that I thought was Tuesday and I could actually use an extra work day this week so not cool. I'm sure the title gave away that this is a guest post, and it's from Maggie Hammond, proud momma to two littles and one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, the great outdoors and animal welfare.

Every new mom will want to protect their child, from the minute they find out about their pregnancy. This also includes best caring for yourself in order to be the strongest and healthiest you can be during your pregnancy term and for the birth of your new bundle of joy. During pregnancy, you may face a host of challenges and fears, and nobody can say how easily you will handle the process. What matters is that you take whatever steps you can to protect both you and your baby.

Make the Healthiest Choices
Maintaining a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for both you and your baby during pregnancy. A balanced diet means a wide variety of food, including fish, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables, and staying hydrated.

Not only is a healthy lifestyle essential for you and your baby as a base need, but it can also help to limit the risk of birth defects and complications. By adopting healthier behaviors, you’re increasing the chance of giving birth to a healthy baby. 

However, it’s important to note that – despite your best efforts – a healthy baby isn’t always guaranteed. Conditions such as cerebral palsy can be unavoidable in terms of no clear prevention methods. To best protect your baby in this circumstance, your medical professionals need to detect early and take risk-reducing measures. In cases where this has failed to be done, you have every right for cerebral palsy claims against medical negligence.

Take the Relevant Vitamins 
Your doctor will be able to recommend the right vitamins needed during the course of your pregnancy, but folic acid is of huge importance in terms of preventing problems in your baby. You can take folic acid before you get pregnant if you have decided to try for a baby in order to best prepare your body, and it should be taken every day. 

This is the main vitamin to focus on during pregnancy, but you can consult with your medical advisor regarding any other vitamins. 

Exercise Regularly
It’s easy to think that lots of rest and avoidance of over-exertion is essential for the safety of you and your baby, but that’s not the case. It’s, of course, important not to strain yourself during pregnancy, but regular exercise is crucial for health purposes. Find an exercise that is comfortable for you, and be sure not to overdo it. 

While exercise is important during pregnancy, the best options will be ones that avoid contact or the risk of falling, therefore stretching such as yoga or leisurely walking is better than contact sports.

Arrange a Stress-Free Environment to Give Birth 
In order to encourage the healthiest, most natural birth, you need to make the environment right for you. Stress can serve to disrupt the natural birthing procedure and a build-up of anxiety will cause more harm than good. Decide where you would feel most comfortable giving birth, at home or in the hospital, and ensure the environment is optimized for your comfort and needs, which you have every right to. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December 2019 Recommendations

While it is entirely possible I will discover something that changes my life in the next 13 days, even then I wouldn't write about it on a recommendations post because this shit has to be tried and true to be included here. So here are December's recommendations on December 17.

Fruitables Pumpkin & Blueberry dog treats - I get them from Chewy, but Amazon has them too. My dogs love them and even the older dogs with their old dog teeth and penchant for spitting a lot of shit out like picky people snarf them down.

Kleem Organics Vitamin C Serum (affiliate link) - Yesterday this had a $6 off coupon, and it was only $16 to begin with, so run your ass over and check to see if it's still there. In case you're new here, this is the real MVP of my face. I started using it twice a day in April 2018. Every time I re-order, I will re-share, in case you missed it one of the other times I've mentioned it, because it's a holy grail item for me.

Metagenics Magnesium - I used to take other brands and they didn't help. This brand kicks ass. I get it from my acupuncturist. If you have any type of sleep issues, try magnesium first, but try the right brand. I think you can ask your healthcare provider for Metagenics.

SOJOS polarized sunglasses (affiliate link) - Sometimes cheap sunglasses please me and sometimes they don't. These do.

Enjoy yourself. This season isn’t only about making sure other people are happy and all the things are bought, done, and made. This season is for your relaxation and enjoyment too. 

Weird ass pillow for neck pain (affiliate link) - I have struggled with pillows since my pinched nerve situation for the past two years, talked with my acupuncturist ad nauseum about pillows, and spent a lot of money trying things out trying to eliminate the neck pain I was waking up with. This weird ass pillow is the thing. If you have neck pain, I would recommend this a million times. For most of my life, I was a cushy pillow and propped up sleeper and I don't care that this is none of this. The relief from pain is worth the adaptation. I bought it for $45 and as of yesterday it was $36.

What are you enjoying recently?

Happy second birthday to my nephew today!

Monday, December 16, 2019

TWTW - the last one at the shore

Friday  was a solid day - rolled into work a little late in festive plaid pants; had tacos with coworkers at Mission Taqueria; popped into MAC to buy prep-n-prime and Russian Red lipstick and instead of paying $37.5 for those two, I got those plus a gloss for $29.50; had after work drinks with a coworker at on the 60th floor of the Four Seasons; dashed many blocks in the rain to my company party at Barbuzzo which came off super well; attempted McGillin's but it was crowded and people were sweaty and I'm not 25 as evidenced by pulling a muscle in my back at lunch; and fell out around 1 am.
Saturday I was up before clearing the dining room table and putting other shit right at the house, then I tossed the best friend dogs into the car and headed to the shore for my swan song weekend. We went to the beach  that was completely shrouded in fog and had a walk and a run around, then I got my favorite bowl from Bungalow Bowls, started tossing shit and packing shit up, popped around to Bennie's to get lobster bisque to bring home for Sunday dinner, pulled the porch furniture in on the ground level, and we headed back to the beach for quite a long shelling session. It started out gray but the light came back right as the sun was going down and it was fucking magic, like a special parting gift. I ordered from Randazzo's for dinner, finished a great book, and the best friends were totally passed out from so long on the beach both in the afternoon and closer to dark. 
Sunday Up for the sunrise and it was a lovely goodbye for now.
I stopped to get iced coffee on the way home since it was a no making/bringing food from home weekend, finished packing up and emptying fridges and unplugging shit, pulled the upstairs porch furniture inside, took pics of various things, and loaded the best friend dogs up for a final run around on the beach before dropping a book off at the library, taking the trash out, and heading out of town. I filled up with gas and everyone loved Bruce with his head out the window. At home I restored some order, opened packages of Christmas shit and my awesome new strap for my cross body purse, threw dinner and laundry in, ran the dishwasher, and started making 498 grocery lists for the upcoming weeks, 

Weekly food prep: Breakfasts are breakfast burritos from the freezer. Snacks are oranges and key lime bars. Lunches are I'm not sure yet...I only need three and I don't need them until Tuesday so I'll figure that out at the grocery store Monday night. Dinners are ginger ale roasted corned beef that I made Sunday and tonight I'll roast carrots and get some potatoes going and saute some cabbage. I never did quesadillas last week so I think they're happening this week.

This is the first year that I didn't cry driving home on Sunday after closing the shore house down (well, my part...the professionals come today to winterize so there are no busted pipes in the spring). It absolutely is crying time though...I cried both Saturday and Sunday before I left so maybe I got it all out? LOL. It's hard to consciously close a place for a few months where I feel my best and clear my head and am outside more and active more and present more and all of the things that make me a well functioning person. We have plans this year to start doing things every year to make it a viable year round house. Until then it is not an exaggeration or being dramatic to say I'm not my whole self when it's closed and I can't stay there. I'll be back before I know it. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - merry Christmas time come and find you happy and there by your fire

1. In case you don't know what to get me for Christmas.
via The Sweet Feminist
2. Witness my camera getting shittier as apple wants me to update my phone.

3. I still have a cold and fatigue which makes it hard to get things done at home and I'm tired of a lot of shit right now including tired of being physically tired, blowing my nose, and coughing. Also, why can I smell nothing except urine in the street and my own sweaty feet after walking all over the city in velvet Toms? Like if you have to not be able to smell things, let’s not be able to smell those things for sure.

4. All I've managed to do consistently this week is work because everything is hurtling forward toward next Friday when many people are peacing out. I've worn Doc Martens twice and someone asked me if they still sold them. LOL forever. Yes. Yes they do.

5.  I am in the process of updating like over 500 blog posts that dropped the signatures off of them. One of them contains the recipes my mom uses for Christmas cookies which I share every year. I can't find it, so here they are again:
Granny’s Sugar Cookies
1C butter
2C sugar
2 eggs
4C flour
4TSP baking powder
1TSP salt
1TSP vanilla

Combine. Refrigerate. Roll and cut out. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Mom’s Molasses Cookies
3&3/4C flour
1TSP baking soda
1/2TSP salt
4TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
3TSP cinnamon
2TSP allspice
2 sticks butter, softened
1C sugar
1 egg
1/2C molasses

Sift dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg. Add molasses and stir well.  Combine with dry ingredients. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours. Roll and cut out. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Can be iced with sugar icing or topped with sprinkles. 

6. I’m working from home today and at lunch I’m hoping to get my dining room table cleared of the shit that has been strewn across it for what feels like months.

7. Right about now is when I start thinking I don’t have everything for Christmas.

8. Kudos to Finland, and Megan Rapinoe, and Greta Thunberg, and the USWNT. Fuck yeah, ladies. No kudos to the bully in chief who cyber shit on Greta before and after this cover. He'll go away at some point, but the people who support his behavior will remain and that's the real problem - don't lose sight of that. Double down on rooting misogyny, racism, and hypocrisy out of your personal life - there's no place for it means there's no fucking place for it, period - and triple down on Senate races in 2020. You don't win those, nothing matters. Vote and talk about voting and drive people to vote and you get the picture.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards. 

Happy birthday to Meem, yesterday. And today would be my Gamma's birthday!
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 Christmas All Over Again by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
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