Monday, April 29, 2019

TWTW - the one with the causes and projects

Friday began early and was long and stressful. Luckily my canine coworkers were good for some comfort and laughs. I dipped out at lunch to pick up a book from the library and supplies from the city for the Saturday cleanup. MFD arrived late afternoon and did his shore chores. My dad and Carol got there around 8 and we had pizza and talked until about 10. I was up until after 12:30 finishing a book. 

Saturday I slept in until 7, then MFD, Carol and I did our beach cleanup while my Dad started on projects. 

MFD left at 10 with Gus and Mae and we got to work: I changed out bedding on the third floor, Carol and I organized mattress encasements and protectors, Carol filled my new shell lamp and went through the kitchen towels to pull the bad ones, we lined the powder room windows with film since the new curtains are more sheer, my Dad hung some stuff and moved some stuff around, and I cleaned out the oven manually. Dad also fixed the rusted out hinges on the outside shower door and removed caulk and re-caulked one of the showers.
Other Saturday stuff: windy AF, dog walks, Carol dog sitting, Dad and Carol took me to lunch at Kessel's Korner (first time!) for a delicious burger and onion rings and to dinner at Luigi's. Thanks for the project help, supplies, and food!
After dinner was the oven cleaning, some new canvas prints ordering, Phillies win, and car packing.

Dad and Carol cleaned upstairs and my Dad put a new doorknob on the door of the room he stays in because he didn't like the old one LOL. I was up  to vacuum upstairs, finishing picking up, and hit the road. Adulting is careening down the Expressway, mainlining coffee, and listening to Black Sabbath while planning a bathroom stop before the March of Dimes March for Babies walk. Team Eva the Diva killed it again with three new canine members - B.B., Bruce, and Bender. Bruce was a loon and Bender had to be carried most of the way but when he was down Nina was walking him and I could concentrate on Bruce the fool. Some pics stolen from Amanda.
I meant to do a lot of things when I got home but I was wiped. I managed a load of laundry, marinating chicken, making breakfasts, painting my nails, and cleaning out the fridge. Otherwise I was sedentary with the dogs, reading. 
Game of Thrones. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is scrambled eggs with spinach, ham, and everything bagel seasoning. I was going to make a bunch of other shit but surprise my oven which worked when the goddamn repair person came out IS NOT WORKING AGAIN and I was over it. Three lunches needed, they'll be leftovers. Grilled chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, and veggies for a few dinners and pasta with veggie meat sauce for a few

Hope yours was fab. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - I wish I was the messenger and all the news was good

1. Philly is in bloom and it is fabulous. The fountains are back on too and when that happens life is good.

2. Isn't this the happiest dish towel ever?

3. Can you even with this dog?

4. I love the Nile Livingston Grace tribute art to Grace Jones at Mission Taqueria. I saw it at lunch on Monday and it's perfect. Go have some mahi mahi tacos and see it.

5. My library tote runneth over. I have three books out from the Ocean City library right now too and I'm late on a few Netgalley ARCs. I like to read them before the publish date.

6. I love the ladies at MAC and I'm glad one opened on Chestnut. I can't recall the last time I bought a new lip color, I've been a good anti-consumer and have used four up over the past few months. I ran out of my daily Twig and replaced it with Plumful at MAC for summer. I also got Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in pillow talk to replace another and will leave the other two un-replaced. I'm trying the Coola sun silk sunscreen drops this year. I will report back on those. Sunscreen every day or bust, friends.
7. Monday night I went to Dad & Carol's for an impromptu dinner of their Easter leftovers and saw my niece and nephew and My brother and Aubrey. Tuesday I got to sit and chat with Michelle for an hour. Last night I had dinner and talked for hours with my friend of 38 years. It's been a good My People week in my world.

8. I also did reasonably well in the To Do department: finally got the Screen building people on the phone to rebuild two at the shore, ordered the bulk of my shore house needs before summer for delivery this weekend from Amazon thanks to the generous gift card from my Mom & Rich, picked out a color to paint our bedroom at home, did laundry, and packed for this weekend. We are hurtling towards Memorial Day and we still have a lot left to do at the shore. I am probably going to have to take a day off sometime soon.

9. Reminder: I want women to grant themselves this permission so hard.

10. Ecards.

That will be all. 

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 Wishlist by Pearl Jam

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Discipline over convenience

I don't need plastic grocery bags from the store. I remember reusable bags or I carry stuff out by hand. 

I don't need to take the straw that is given to me, I say thanks no straw and go without or use my own stainless steel straw.

I don’t need a single use coffee cup with a logo on it, I bring my own clean refillable cup and hand it to them when I order. I’ve never had anyone refuse to fill it and if I did I’d be finding a new coffee shop to patronize.

I don't need individual plastic water bottles. I bring a reusable one everywhere. 

I don't need to eat off of paper plates at home. I wash dishes. 

I don't need to take single use plastic utensils, I say thanks, no utensils because I carry a little reusable pack in my bag. 

There is privilege wrapped up in each of these, but most people reading here can afford the reusable bottle, bag, straw, and utensils and most of us have access to clean tap or filtered water. Not using any of the above mentioned single use items is not a sacrifice and it’s not difficult. It's being mindful of creating less trash.

Our desire to never be inconvenienced or have to think ahead is contributing to the pollution of the planet. If you use a set of throw away silverware every day and everyone else does too, where do you think the fork + knife wrapped in plastic x 365 days goes? It doesn't break down. And that’s just your trash from one encounter of single use plastic, no one else’s. 

For most of us, there is absolutely zero reason for the use of single use anything. Single use items place our individual desire for convenience over the collective need for a livable planet. When we lack discipline about what we eat or drink or how little we exercise or almost anything else, that impacts us and very few other people. When we assert our right to make as much trash as we want to, we impact the world at large. 

Because at the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing when we push back against more sustainable living or forget or make excuses about why we need the throw away item  - we are asserting our right to use something once and throw it away. We are essentially demanding to be able to make more trash. Do we realize how ridiculous that is? Most of us hate trash: it smells, litter is terrible, we don’t want to take it out...yet we excuse ourselves into being able to create as much of it as we want because it’s more convenient to use something and throw it away. That’s wild.

I'm not perfect in regards to sustainability. I never have been and I never will be. I used to excuse myself, which allowed me to act like I felt so bad while still allowing myself to be comfortable and avoid inconvenience. Oh, I forgot my bag! I hate to do it, but I'll just take the bag one time. Nope. Now if I forget the bag, I carry it out by hand or I don't go to the store. If I forget the reusable coffee cup, I don’t buy coffee out. There are consequences to actions, and we shouldn’t be letting ourselves off the hook at the expense of the planet. I got sick of my own shit so I stopped making excuses for myself. I wasn’t doing my best and it was time to stop telling myself I was. Seeing all the plastic trash washing in from the ocean every weekend for more than eight months out of the year has sent me to a more militant place on single use plastics. 

Is this coming off as preachy? I used to try to avoid doing that when discussing living more sustainably, but at this point I seriously don't give a fuck. We all know how much plastic waste is being generated. Have we not seen photos of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Are we ignoring that fish are swallowing microplastics so they're now in our food chain? At what point will we stop excusing ourselves from our part in consumption and actually stop consuming so mindlessly? And yes, I know corporations should clean their shit up before people, but we have to do something, and we should be pushing corporations to be better ecological citizens as well. If we stop taking the bags and the straws and the utensils, they’ll eventually stop making them. 

Before everything was takeaway food, people did eat and survive without all the packaging that makes our to go world run today. There are ways around mindlessly taking what we’re given. Living a life less throw away requires mindfulness and discipline. 

Is it convenient? Not always. But it’s worth it. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Things I keep meaning to do

Some things have been on my to do list for a while or I keep meaning to add them to a to do list and they never make it there or I lack discipline

-Calling someone about the screens that have disappeared from two windows at the shore and updating the about the house/town list for the shore 
-Cleaning out my work bag

-Addressing the pores on my face

-Filing receipts electronically

-Digging through MFD’s car for sunglasses missing since November

-Scheduling a Vietnam Vets donation pickup

-List the old wooden bar in our basement for sale

-Pick up paint for the bedroom

-Write blog posts on navigating local politics, money in politics, so you want to run for office, taking community action outside of the internet, host commentary on Show Us Your Books (co-writing with Jana), self discipline, and a zillion other things I have not bothered to write down

-Cleaning the inside of my car

-Making a fresh batch of shower spray

-Going to bed earlier

What do you keep meaning to do?

Monday, April 22, 2019

TWTW - the one with the Easter

Thursday I drove to the shore with Bruce & Bender. Mom and Rich were there and my Easter Basket was an awesome cooler bag with sugar cookies, a candle, and all of my preferred candies. MFD got his own candy. I hung out with them until 9, then worked until 11:30 and was up until 12:40.

Friday began with beach time with Bruce and Bender because Bruce got up at 5:40 with zero fucks given about the amount of sleep people need. It was a nice morning, with a big pink moon in the sky next to the big pink hotel. After that I made soaps for upstairs then got an early start to work. At lunch I painted my nails (Zoya Perrie) and went to the library before moving myself upstairs to work for the afternoon. 
Kate and Dan and kids and Swan arrived and after work we went to the Somers Point Brewery - it just opened last weekend. Close to the house and not bad. My mom loved the tour. We came back to relax and eat. MFD arrived around dinner with Gus and Mae and we hung out at night. It was early to bed for me due to lack of sleep the night before. 
Saturday I slept in until 9 which I obviously needed, and perfect on a rainy morning. I hit Asbury Avenue with the girls to peruse the stores. Notice MFD here with a full beard in the morning.
When we got back, MFD had mutton chops. Debbie arrived and everyone headed to Cape May Brewery while MFD and I took the dogs to two beaches. It was my first time on the beach this year with no shoes and it was awesome. Gus went in the ocean twice and Ben still doesn't have dog beach down. We're working on his barking.
I finished a book and started another, bid Swan goodbye, and when MFD next appeared he had weird sideburns and a mustache. We said goodbye to Kate and Dan and the kids after dinner and by 9 pm MFD was facial hair free because we all did sheet masks and laughed. 

Easter sunrise beach time with Bruce and Bender. 
Coffee with the blondes while Rich was out bike riding + reading and relaxing.
MFD's mom arrived and they hung at the house while we went up to the boardwalk. It was my first time walking it this year. Lots of people out and it was a beautiful day. Debbie and I had to get pics with the Easter Bunny because do you know us?
Porch time and grazing and Easter dinner. My mom brought all the food this weekend and it was awesome not to have to think about what to make or running out to get anything.
Mom and Rich left around 6 and Debbie soon after. MFD's mom hung out with us to watch Game of Thrones. I cleaned up a little, packed up, thought about things I could do and decided not to, wrote this blog, and read.

Weekly food prep: breakfast is greek yogurt with granola and mango until that's done, then breakfast burritos. Three lunches needed, they'll be freezer soups. Snacks are bell peppers and mango. Leftover ham and turkey for dinners with macaroni salad or sweet potatoes and veggies. 

Hope you had a nice Passover and/or Easter or simple spring weekend if neither is your bag. 

While every day is Earth Day, today is the designated one. Hope you are being as waste-free as you can be today!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Build a New Life Around Your New Home

Moving to a new city can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. Whether you're moving for a new job or a fresh start or just a change of scenery, the city where you move to might offer you a better quality of life or the general cost of living could be a lot lower than where you are now. Where do you begin when you're looking to move?

Choose the Best Neighborhood for You
The area you move to is very important because duh you'll be living there. In my life, community, diversity, proximity to the library, public transportation, and walk-ability are important. Price, of course as well. Figure out what tops your list and what areas might suit you. When we were looking to buy at the shore walk-ability and price were our top considerations. In Philly proximity to public transportation was at the top of the list. 

Give It Time
Your first few days in your new home might feel very strange. Even when I've moved two blocks the first few months felt weird. Getting settled into a new place takes time, so sit with it and reassess your feelings in six-ish months. Hopefully by then you'll have found some favorite spots, made some friends, gotten more comfortable in a routine and geographically will know the city a lot more, so you should feel settled in.

Join Something
Grounding yourself in your new space is important in order to form attachments. Once you know a few people and start to create a social life, it will feel more like home. Book club, gym, clean up crew, volunteer organization, pool league, whatever...join something and meet some new people using groups that relate to your interests. 

Keep Up To Date With Local
It’s also advisable to keep up to date with local goings-on. You can see what is going on at your local clubs and organizations by checking their sites, such as or the zillion facebook neighborhood pages. Of course there's always the local newspaper or local news online. Keeping up to date with current affairs and local news will tie you to your new local area.

Figure Out The Transport System
As soon as you arrive in your new home, you should take a look at the public transport information. Most cities have sites dedicated to this, such as Portland’s  which is superior to the SEPTA site, trust me. This will help you get around when you are exploring, and you won’t be so dependent on your car. I am glad I can use public transportation to get to work in Philly but I love being able to walk or bike most places at the shore. Bottom line if I don't have to use the car, I won't.

Are you coming up on a move? What's important to you when you're looking for a new place to live?

Wishing you a wonderful Easter Weekend, Chag Sameach, or just a good and restful weekend if it's not a holiday for you. Happy happy birthday to Gail today also! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - I wish I could change the ways of the world make it a nice place

1. My Monday night started this week off better than usual - my BFF Kim was down from Boston visiting her parents so I got to see her and Steve, her mom and dad, and the smartest, cutest, funniest goddaughter Libby on Monday night.

2. And I finally got a pedicure Tuesday so the springing forward world can breathe a sigh of relief. I don't even know what the color is, I'm just glad it's done.

3. Tuesday night was stellar too since my Dad dropped off chocolate peanut butter eggs Carol made for me. A Tuesday sans complaint? Who am I? 

4. Wednesday night was also amazing - MFD and I got to see Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism at the Friends Center in Philly and it was freeeee. 

5. The only personally blah-ish thing about this past week has been books. If you read every day, you can't read something that speaks to you all the time. I had two that I started and stopped and one that was just slow going. I'm on a third and it's okay. I'm pumped to pick up The Silent Patient at the shore on Friday though - I got that within three days of requesting it. I remain #119 on the list at the Philly library.

6. I still can't believe I watch Game of Thrones. I was all who cares forever. Now *I* care. I guess it was bound to happen because this has been our house for the past few years:

7. When I park my car on the other side of the street, the next morning I stand on my steps and think, dude, where’s my car. Even if I have reminded myself inside minutes before that I parked across the street last night. On those days, it only goes up from there. 

8. The fire of Notre Dame is absolutely sad and devastating. Not more sad and devastating than people living in pain and hunger. Similarly painful to pipelines being jammed through sacred lands or black churches in Louisiana being burned to the ground by a white supremacist. Sacred spaces are sacred spaces, even if they’re not ours. Yes, Notre Dame the structure has history and religious significance. So did the indigenous people of this country before white Europeans slaughtered them and stole their lands. So did families in Africa before their people were stolen, enslaved, and treated as less than animals by white land owners an ocean away. We can care about all of these things, and I sure as shit hope we can see the hypocrisy in only caring about one of them and not the others. My mind is totally blown though that billionaires have raised over $600 million in under 24 hours for a sanctuary/holy place/landmark owned by a tax-free organization that has more art/land/etc riches than pretty much any other organization. Wouldn’t it be nice to let them use their riches to pay to rebuild Notre Dame and use that raised money to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and heal the sick? Pipe dreams but I think that's probably what Jesus would do. I’m not interested in telling people what to do with their money but it would be nice if they didn’t need the suggestion.

9. Reminder: Don't sweat it. You're not for everyone and that is more than fine.

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 Everything's Just Wonderful by Lily Allen

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Things that make me low-key nervous

Not like vomit all over myself nervous...just passively, low-key nervous.

-Kids who can't swim running around a pool

-Releasing written communications

-Watching other people get embarrassed. Second hand embarrassment is real and I will often blurt something ridiculous or inappropriate to change the subject quickly

-Firing up a gas grill

-Driving over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

-Stepping onto the down escalator 

-When I get trapped in a piece of clothing trying to get it off, especially in a dressing room

-Long hallways

-People saying, “Can we talk?” instead of just fucking talking

-Taking a public transport route I haven’t taken before

-Rickety carnie rides

-Ice one is listening to anyone’s fun fact about themselves because they are too busy thinking of what they’re going to say when it’s their turn 

What makes you low-key nervous?

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