Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - And I will follow through and expect that you will follow suit

1. Look at these glorious buds which will soon rain down and cause mayhem in my yard. Still...leaves are coming.

2. How to start your day, everyone. Everyone.
Via Revolution_for_Nonviolence
3. Few things make me feel more put together in life than completing my nightly face routine.

4. Birthday month is ending quietly as it began, with a series of small treat yo'selves. This week I found myself in Shakespeare & Co. Rittenhouse staring  at bookshelves and eavesdropping on two young women talking about how literary fiction is just so throw away, you know? Mmm hmm.

5. I also closed out my birthday month spending some of my birthday money on less fun purchases. We've been in our house for 10 years this year. The outdoor cushions are the same age and they need replacing so I ordered a cheap version of replacements and am keeping my fingers crossed they fit-ish. Why the F are outdoor cushions so expensive?

6. The grill is beyond its last legs too, it's over eight years old and its insides are burned away and the igniter has given up the ghost, but I did coax it into making some delicious grilled chicken on Tuesday night. I could eat grilled chicken pretty much every day.

7. Where are you?
8. Between Devos cutting the Education budget (including Special Olympics) while increasing funding for charter schools, Barr's son being hired at the White House, the Antwon Rose verdict, activist Amber Evans found dead in the river, the NRA coming out publicly against the Violence Against Women actthe republican law maker praying for forgiveness in a state house here in PA in a hateful Islamophobic manner right before the first muslim woman to be a state rep in PA was sworn in, my idiot Senator talking out of his ass on climate change, and a host of other bullshit...most of our systems need to be broken and rebuilt.

9. Reminder:
via Indigo goddess

10. Ecards.

Happy Opening Day, Phillies fans! It’s a beautiful day to welcome Bryce Harper the Philly way.

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 Nanci by Toad the Wet Sprocket

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Consider it handled...or not

I can handle the hard seasons in life with what feels like barely blinking sometimes - the pain and sorrow and mistakes and fear and fighting to keep my head up and despair - living through it for as long as it goes on, knowing it will end because everything ends, good and bad. I can do hard things. I have lived hard things. I have survived hard things. I emerge from the hard seasons tested, true, changed, knowing more.

The Great Oven Incident of 2019 on Sunday reminded me that if I’m going to show my ass, 90% of the time I show my ass over the small stuff. 

I lose my whole damn mind to the point where I feel like I am standing outside of myself, watching with a mix of awe and disbelief as I perfectly execute an epic toddler tantrum over an inconsequential thing. When I commit to losing my shit, I really go for it. 

Things I don't handle well:

Appliances breaking. The Great Oven Incident of 2019 is not the first time I have dropped my entire basket over an appliance. My coworkers talk fondly nearly three years later of the The Samsung Dishwasher Debacle of Summer 2016 at the shore, which they remember so well because of my legendary, withering phone calls to the customer service department. The dryer was the catalyst a few times. The Great Heater Incident of 2015. And if the correct part doesn't get delivered for the shore hot water heater on the third try, a tidal wave of shit is coming.

Dogs on the run. If the leash gets dropped. The rare times they're off-leash and don't come when called. When Bender got out of the yard the night after we brought him home. When Gus and Geege used to get out of the gate and mosey into the neighbor’s yard. You dogs have a better life than many humans. Don’t fucking wander!

Being late. Is the world ending if I’m not five minutes early? Yes, yes it is.

Flight fuckery on the way home. When the trip is done, it’s fucking done, and the mere possibility of missing a connection or a flight cancellation makes me want to lay on the ground and pound my fists into the airport carpet. 

Loud TV. Zero to 60 in two seconds, especially if I’m trying to go to sleep.

A person stopped at the top of the steps down to the train platform. I encounter a lot of annoying things daily and am also probably considered annoying by others, but nothing makes me go all Brodie in Mallrats about the kid on the escalator like the person standing motionless at the top of a set of stairs all other commuters are rushing towards. 

What about you? What small thing makes you lose it? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March 2019 Recommendations

Lunch walks. Or any time of the day, really, during your work day to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and get your heart pumping a little on a walk. I always aim for 30-40 minutes but make sure I get 10-20 in at the least. Sometimes I incorporate errands into those walks like a trip to the library or tapping MAC or returning something. Sometimes I just wander. Either way I come back refreshed and ready to finish the afternoon. 

Pick up trash. Litter sucks, and no, it's not yours, but it's nice to do something small and free to make your community look better. 

Duraflame Quartz Electric Stove. I research the absolute shit out of some things before I buy them. A fake fireplace that would heat a larger space is one of them. I was looking for one with a top that could hold items (this is taking the place of a table) and is not hot to the touch on top or on the glass. Assembly was easy, all I had to attach were the legs. It puts out a good amount of heat and sustains it without drying everything out like the ceramic heaters do, and the top is warm but not hot to the touch.
Project Gutenberg offers over 58,000 free e-books. Not a lot of greatest hits here and definitely more on the obscure side, but a lot of classics and older texts for which US copyrights have expired. No apps needed to access books.

What are you recommending this month?

Monday, March 25, 2019

TWTW - the one here and there

Friday I finished a book and we watched The Dirt, the Motley Crue biopic on Netflix, which was campy as hell but I liked it. 
Saturday I showered, packed, made iced coffee, wiped down the bathrooms, and went to Target before hitting the road for the shore with Bruce and Bender. It was about 50 but windy as hell down there. It didn't stop us from spending an hour on the beach right off the bat. Just another reminder about where balloons released end up: in the ocean tostrangke marine life and then washed ashore. 
Saturday night I went to ACME, picked up one of the better cheesesteaks I've had in quite a while at Mario's, painted my nails (OPI Can’t Find My Czechbook), ate chocolate cake ($2 a slice and damn delicious, thank you ACME), lounged and started a new book, watched some of The Great British Baking Show, and put legs on the new heater I bought for the apartment. 
Sunday The best friend dogs kept barking at nothing all night so less sleep than desired but we spent 45 minutes on the beach at sunrise and it was all good. I did a run through of the upstairs pulling curtains that need to be replaced so I can see what sizes I need and mentally preparing for the upstairs clean that will hopefully happen next weekend - the hot water heater is still missing a part. I read a bit and had the coffee, packed up the car, and we took a 45 minute walk through town before hitting the road around 11:15. 
It took an eternity to get home because a tractor trailer flipped on my exit for the third time in like two months gridlocking the entire area. SLOW IT THE FUCK DOWN. It took me 45 minutes to get home from 10 minutes away. At home I cleaned up the yard a bit, much more elbow grease is required there. 

Then I went to cook dinner and my oven wouldn’t work and I lost my damn mind, did more rage yard cleaning, threw shit in a crockpot, took a shower, and ate pop tarts. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is egg sandwiches on english muffins with cheese. Snacks are bell peppers and granola mix. I only need three days of lunch so that'll be leftovers. Frying the eggs is the only thing I actually did though. Sunday dinner was supposed to be roasted potatoes and baked chicken but my oven is on the fritz, don't fucking get me started. Really. 

Monday again jiggity jig.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Stress should not be our accepted resting state

art via Martina Martian

We are stressing ourselves right the fuck out of enjoying life, do you ever think about that?

I'm not in the business of normalizing being stressed out, overwhelmed, overworked, overbooked. I wish no one normalized that. Can we stop normalizing that?

We've all seen, identified with, felt, or shared this meme:
We can't be all the things all the time and we can't do all the things well all the time. No one is getting a prize for how much they can handle, so what are we even doing to ourselves and what message are we sending to our peers and the little people looking up at us and watching how we live?

Being stressed out tricks us into staying where we think we're needed instead of where we want to be and into putting others before ourselves most of the time. Women especially. We have to do some things, certainly, but we are 100% doing this to ourselves. And we need to stop. We're putting too much pressure on ourselves and it's negatively manifesting itself mentally and physically in all of us. 

What if we all spent just 25% more of our time doing what we want to do (even if that is doing nothing) and being where we want to be? And when we spent that 25% more time doing what we want to do and being where we want to be, we didn't feel the need to explain that or excuse that to anyone? And when we spent 25% more time feeding our souls, that would pay off in being in a better position mentally, physically, and emotionally to handle all the shit life throws at us?

Puffing ourselves up like we're the busiest and omg so stressed is usually just us unconsciously signalling to others that we are important, because doesn't society tell us we are important when we are busy and stressed? That is such bullshit and we've all bought into it. We've not only bought into it, we're teaching it to kids - little kids have fucking anxiety that they don't need to be having at young ages. 

Listen carefully: 

You are important on your own, not just in relation to other people or because you're someone's partner or mom or employee. You are important if you have free time and not much to do right now. You hold value all the time, not just in your busy seasons or when you're making things easier for other people. You are important on the days you don't even look at a to do list let alone accomplish a task. You are important when you're sitting on the couch, not only when you're kicking ass and taking names.

Instead of commiserating over stress, let's bond over finding balance and what we are outside of the things we do for the roles we play in our lives. That's the real me and that's the real you, not how much is on our to do lists.

I hope you have some time to just be this weekend. Enjoy!

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? 

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