Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday Thoughts: Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do

1. What is personal space?

2. Should we talk about the weather? Or just roast silently? Unless you're in my house, in which case you need blankets once MFD gets in front of the thermostat.

3. The kind people at Maple Holistics sent me their Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo to try in mid-June. You know I never report back on things until I've had them in circulation for at least a month. I like this one as much as I like the tea tree shampoo, and I used the ACV with the tea tree conditioner. The apple cider vinegar shampoo is of course free of sulfates and parabens and is great for color treated hair - it does a great job of clarifying without stripping your head of color. My hair and scalp feel super clean post-wash. And one of my favorite things about this company is their recycling program - for every six empty bottles you return by mail, you get a free shampoo or they make a donation to the environmentally friendly charity of your choice. The returned bottles are chipped, melted down, and re-formulated into new bottles for their products., beauty companies. Come on. Get with this.

4. Steph and I will post about ways we're struggling with sustainability on Wednesday, 7/24, and how we did overall for Plastic Free July on Wednesday, 7/31. If you post about those things on Instagram, use the hashtag #sustainablestephs and tag us! Steph is here and I'm here.

5. I love seeing a Mural Arts project in progress in Suburban Station.
6. Love this sticker I saw yesterday while running an errand at lunch.

7. I've gone back to using old school blue tub Noxema on my face a few nights a week. I slather it on and let it mostly sink in for 15 minutes before rubbing it in and washing the remaining off. Bruce and Ben are so confused when it's on.

8. The demonization of brown people by this administration and the lengths that GOP congresspeople will go to avoid it and regular citizens will go to ignore or excuse it is fucking vile. Go back to your own country...said by a President of the United States, to members of Congress with the implication that it trickles down...while trump holds a rally and American citizens high on hate and what they have been told is righteousness chant send her back. It is so fucking fascist I have no idea how Congress is standing for it and the American people are not alarmed by it. Ugly and un-American too.

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 Space Oddity by David Bowie

Wednesday, July 17, 2019's complicated

We're in the thick of it now, and as it is every year, my relationship with summer is complicated.
There are things I love about summer, like

-long days filled with light that manage to simultaneously feel timeless and fleeting, so you are conscious of marinating in them and appreciating them
-better commutes without school in session
-ocean water warm enough to swim in
-the smell of sunscreen, summer rain, freshly mown grass
-no need for fleeces or coats
-ocean breezes
-spending a lot of time outside
-fresh fruits & vegetables
-everything feels possible and everything feels brighter
-being one with the sand
-shoes are optional
-dresses without leggings under or cardigans over=one stop dressing
-stepping into air conditioning and feeling instantly cool
-riots of colorful flowers everywhere

But there are things I really don't like about summer, like
-excessive heat
-too much sun. Sun is great but too much sun is not great
-city stench sets in: hot trash, BO, and ripe pee
-people whining about their allergies like no one else has ever had them and certainly no one has had them this bad as they are experiencing
-first light is EARLY in the summer, like before 5 in the beginning of the season. spring and fall sunrises are much easier to be up for
-pugs and heat don't mix
-trains with struggling AC (like today’s)
-bugs in general
-must remain on high alert for ticks
-much more leg shaving than in other seasons
-weeds grow like, you know...weeds
-people wanting recommendations for beach reads...any book you read on a beach is a beach read, Susan
-beach body talk...any body that is on a beach is a beach body, stop ruining people’s enjoyment of ice cream
-driving at the shore
-hot leather car seats
-photos of temperatures in cars
-other people's blaring beach music
-people acting like s'mores are new

What are your summer likes/dislikes?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Salami Roll Ups

I love appetizers that are easy, especially in the summer months. I've made these twice so far. It doesn't seem like it would be a good combination, but it is.

1 lb salami (if you're making a lot, get 2 lb)
whipped cream cheese
A jar of pepperoncini or banana peppers or both (you'll need two jars for 2 lbs)

Drain pepperonicini/banana peppers of liquid. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on salami. Add pepperonicini or banana peppers and roll up. Use toothpicks to secure or lay carefully with seam side down.

Monday, July 15, 2019

TWTW - the one with the end of vacation

Thursday MFD left to head home before 7. Dad, Carol, Debbie, and I went to two Bert's Surf Shops and Beaufort Olive Oil. They continued on but dropped me back at home. I did a little blogging and a little work and hit the beach around noon. We were out there until close to 7 and did the old pull all the leftovers out and eat dinner, plus the addition of chocolate lasagna by Debbie for dessert. After a Lola original concert on guitar, I went to bed and started a new book. 
Friday Last day of vacation! Morning rain produced awesome skies. I was on the beach by 10, finished a book from beginning to end and started a new one by noon, and done with the beach for the day by 3. Packing up and cleaning up, pizza, ice cream, seeing Stephen & Aubrey and the kids off, saying goodbye to Aubrey's family, and a last magic hour. I almost didn't go down because I was so tired but my Dad was like I think you should see this and I did. It was another great vacation with us on one side and Aubrey's family on the other. We all had a lot of fun and relaxed and the kids were a riot. 

Saturday The long ride home began at 4 am. Dad and Carol brought Debbie and I home since MFD left Thursday. I was trying to rest for the first two hours since I can't sleep in cars and somehow pinched a nerve in my right shoulder. I finished the book I started Friday, we stopped at a roadside farm market in Delaware, and after just a little bit of traffic we made it home by 2. 
I hugged the dogs repeatedly, unpacked what I could since my right arm and hand were pretty useless; had my first tomato sandwich of the season with tomato and bread from the farm market; ordered groceries from Wegman's via InstaCart since my arm hurt so fucking badly I couldn't imagine heaving the supplies I needed into a cart, out of a cart, and into the house; fell asleep for two hours, and started a new book. MFD was at the shore to do turnover and ended up staying the night. After over eight days of always being around people, it was so nice to be all alone. 

Sunday I was up by 7, showered by 8, and was watering the flowers before 9 when Instacart dropped off my groceries two hours early. Holler. I did five loads of laundry, changed the sheets, did more unpacking, and read some before heading over to my mom's for dinner. 
It was hot but a little breeze kicked in so we ate outside under some cool clouds. Rich's grilled pork chops were awesome and I ate both the cupcake and trifle desserts with no regrets until I got home and had to lay like a beached whale on the couch until I was less full and could complete my chores.
Weekly food prep: I made broiled chicken with artichokes for lunches and dinners (will put over rice or pasta) to start, since I had all the stuff and didn't make it on vacation last week. I also made a lot of veggie meat sauce to freeze. Breakfasts are hard boiled eggs and clementines. Snacks are zucchini slices with hummus and bananas. I didn't get to making power breakfast muffins but I'll do that this week. 

Happy happy birthday to my longtime friend Gena Ho!

Back at it. Let's go. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Now hear this

Happy Saturday! I'm on a 8.5+ hour car ride back from vacation today and lending my friend Jesse some space here today for a post on something the majority of us take for granted - hearing. 


When you’re struggling to follow a conversation in a busy room or when you find the volume creeping up on the television, you might have an inkling that your hearing isn’t quite as it should be.
The idea of losing your hearing is a scary one but in our age of modern hearing aids and technology the help you can receive is unobtrusive and effective.

If you think you might need a hearing test, take a look at our hearing loss symptoms and find out what kind of help you could receive.


As mentioned up post do you find it hard to follow a conversation in a group? That difficulty might be made even harder if there’s background noise to contend with as well. Perhaps you spend a lot more time looking at people’s mouths in this situation to try and get a handle on what’s being said.

Or maybe you find yourself coming out with phrases such as: “I didn’t quite catch that” more frequently than you have previously and wonder if people are speaking at a much lower volume.

The biggest giveaway, however, is the level you listen to your television. Perhaps friends and family have started to comment at how loud the volume is turned up when they come in the room and you’ve noticed you still miss the odd word or sentence, even with it turned up loud.

What Next?

The best thing you can do is to visit your local hearing centre and get yourself booked in for a test. There’s nothing to fear here, your specialist will simply take you through a series of sound tests to determine which frequencies you’re experiencing difficulties hearing. They will also give your ear system a thorough check up to see if there are any other factors at play, such as a hard wax build up.

If you know you do suffer from wax then it can be worth having that treated before you go, so the tests are based on your true hearing abilities.


If you do need a hearing aids, you’ve got a lot of choice. You no longer have to wear a heavy, obtrusive brown aid stuck behind your ear but can instead benefit from discrete sizes and better matches to skin tone.

You’ll choose from modern designs and companies who have been making hearing aids that have been trusted for over 70 years.

Hearing loss can creep up on you when you notice yourself missing just one or two words. But it can quickly deteriorate and as embarrassed as you may feel about getting a test done, it’s far better to find out what you’re dealing with as soon as you can.

With aids that can be tucked carefully within the ear itself, you can carry on living your normal life without feeling self-conscious about what you look like. Your family will appreciate bringing the television volume down to a lower level and you’ll be able to, once again, enjoy conversations with friends and family without worrying that you’ve missed a key word or sentence.


Friday, July 12, 2019

A Day in the Life trying to be free of single-use plastic

Steph and I are joining in on Plastic-Free July and I hope you are in some way as well, whether you're going whole hog or just making one small change in your life. If you haven't joined in and want to, please do - it is never too late to make a small change that makes the world a little less wasteful. We decided to share Day in the Life posts. Mine is coming at you from vacation, where I'm out of my routine and away from a lot of my things that make it easier to not be so throw away. I did bring some of them with me, as you'll see below. If you are sharing a Day in the Life blog post with this sustainable bent or are sharing your day on your Instagram account, please let me know so I can check it out.

After sunrise on the beach, I take a bike ride, Swell bottle in tow. I go nowhere without water including down the street to my grocery store at home. I'd like to get some coffee on the ride but I forgot my reusable cup so I nix it.

Speaking of grocery store runs, Debbie and I had to make a little run. My reusable bags are always in my trunk so that was no thing. While we were in Food Lion, an announcement came over the store PA system about using reusable bags because they are a coastal community that cares. Check and check. Now can we get supermarkets to stop overusing plastic? Does every piece of fruit need a sticker? Packaging in general...don't get me started.

I did buy a drink at the store. When I buy drinks, I try to buy them in cans or glass bottles, which really cuts down the options, but I'm at the point where I feel so fucking wasteful with a single use plastic bottle that I end up not enjoying it so if I do buy it, in addition to a waste of resources it feels like a waste of money too since guilt ruins it. My standard beach setup is a full Swell bottle of water and a 30 oz faux yeti with ice and a metal straw.
We ran out to get a few things in two stores and I didn't bring a reusable bag with me so I just carried my stuff out. Debbie did the same.

I am super proud of my family this week. Not one freaking single use plastic water bottle in the house all week (there were some red solo cups). Debbie brought metal straws for everyone and those were used too.

We used and washed the reusable sandwich bags I brought with me - these were six for $12 and they are seriously great. You wash them and dry them upside down over a cup. Easy and a great replacement for ziplocs. Perfect to tote sandwiches and snacks to the beach and they seal well and easily.

 My brother delivered my drink to the beach in glass. 

Carol brought tupperware and tins with her that we washed and re-used, and it's a good thing, because the house lacked that. That was our biggest obstacle this week - we ended up using a lot of tin foil because there was no tupperware and a lack of dishes in general. 

I wasn't sure how I'd do this week - I'm a little looser out of my routine than I am at home, but I remained conscious of what I was using and I'm pleased. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Thoughts: lazy vacation style

Wishing for a winning lottery ticket. Vacation forever. Sunrise to sunset.

Bidding MFD adieu early this morning. He headed back home to attend a conference, work, and take care of shore house turnover on Saturday so I could stay  for the rest of the time
Having a great week with my family and Aubrey's family
Drinking mint sun tea

Collecting shells
Laughing at so much
Weathering storms and laughing our asses off crammed under tents propped up with wood to withstand winds
Enjoying coffee with a view every morning

Buying tie dye while wearing tie dye 
Biking around early in the morning before it gets hot
Eating too much vacation food. The donuts from Flip Flops are so fucking good.
Sharing scenes from vacation. Last week's TWTW, today, and Monday's TWTW will serve as vacation posts. 

Tomorrow Steph & I are sharing Day in the Life posts focused on sustainability/being less wasteful - where we're good and not - let me know if you're joining us with a blog post or posting on Instagram so I can check it out from the beach.

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