Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - Somewhere out in the back of your mind Comes your real life and the life that you know

1. After a few months of quarantine, as we're starting to emerge in small ways I think - I hope - many of people that did not already know this are having this realization.

2.  We are fucking serious about not running out of coffee. Thanks, delivery.

3. Yes, I did purchase tie dye bandannas to work as masks. I can't even go into the amount of tie dye items I own. 

4. I hate when things arrive busted. Especially super huge things one has spent a lot of time researching and looking for to fit and serve a function in a small space.

5. It's been a good week. I've been happy to be around my widened circle of brother, Aubrey, niece, nephew, mom, Rich. Frank and Amanda and Eva came for a visit yesterday too, which the beach is wonderful for because it's outside and spacious. Seeing people has been so good, but difficult to adjust to - like how do I interact in person again? Eating ice cream has not been difficult.

6. I'm probably happiest in my tiny 400 square foot shore apartment.

7. Bruce has extreme separation anxiety, which he had as a puppy and we broke him of. It's back. 
8. What else can be said? I am guilty of saying the system is broken. The systems are not broken. The systems were designed by white males to benefit whiteness and patriarchy. The systems are working as they were designed to. White people, we need to tear them down and build anew despite that meaning that we enjoy no more added unearned benefit of whiteness. We can't just post about it online to virtue signal - we need to be about it in person to people who are comfortable in participating in the overt, socially acceptable white supremacy below. Also. AOC's tweet is real. If police benefit all of us in every community, there's no fucking way they should be political or belonging to one "side" who will back the blue no matter what. When MFD ran for office, you know who treated me like a piece of dog shit at the polls on Election Day? Who attempted to intimidate me? The people from the Fraternal Order of Police. And I'm a white lady. No fucking thanks to police being political. Something has to give. And don't let me hear anyone talking about looting and rioting in Minneapolis - especially white people. We have plenty of business to mind and PLENTY of our own behaviors to police. You know what? People are fucking done. This is what rage over systemic oppression looks like. This country runs on money. Target brings about a zillion to Minneapolis. If Target called for the murderous police officers to be arrested, they would be. So I fucking get why Target is getting burned down. White people, if you need resources to learn let me know and I'll share what has been helpful to me - we were all raised in a racist system and every white person has some shit they can work on (do not talk to me about black people being racist ever, that shows me you have not done the very basic work to understand what racism is and what it's about) with fair warning that I do my learning through books/reading. If you're buying books on race please support Harrietts Bookshop - she ships everywhere and it's a small business owned by a black woman that opened its doors just prior to the Covid shutdown. We need this place to survive. If the book you're looking for is not on the site, email her. Also check out this thread on twitter.
9. Reminder:

10. E-cards...I got this from my Dad, I guess.

Also to close, I see a lot of people like "summer is cancelled, everything is cancelled" and it's not. 
Things are bad enough. We don't need to make them worse. 

What do you have to contribute this week?

The words following the hyphen are the song I am listening to when I start the Thursday Thoughts post. This week is Rooms on Fire by Stevie Nicks. Her birthday was May 26.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Kids at Home: finding fun during quarantine

Being at home for a long period of time is hard on all of us, and for kids especially this time in our lives has been confusing and difficult to handle. I've been sourcing info for coworkers to keep the kids occupied when typical entertainment avenues may be unavailable. Some of that includes:

Have a pamper session 
It’s not only you who can enjoy a good old pamper session, the kids can benefit from this too! A good pamper session can be great for your well being and health and great for your kids too, and you can use your own natural remedies. 

For skin: a mask made from yogurt, honey and avocado is perfect and okay for everyone's skin.

For eyes: some aloe vera gel on a cotton pad under the eyes is great. Cucumber slices on the eyes are refreshing and it will provide great care for the eyes stopping you from needing to buy kids glasses

For hair: some coconut and olive oil works as a hair mask. 

Nail painting is always an option and obviously a favorite of mine. Depending on your kid's age, you can do that too. 

Get baking 
There’s nothing better on a boring and rainy day than baking in the kitchen, and the kids can get creative here too. Why not create some easy shortbread with a 1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, and sugar? You can decorate these with whatever you want or even make millionaire shortbread with caramel and chocolate. The kids will love being around you in the kitchen and they can learn a few good skills too. 

Teach them cooking skills 
Speaking of skills, one great opportunity during quarantine times is to teach the kids some simple cooking skills. When they get older, your kids will need to know how to prepare simple meals and it is important for you to teach them these skills early. You can teach kids how to cook rice, pasta, and how to cut certain fruit and vegetables, depending on age and skill level. 

Make a fort 
What’s one of the best ways to spend a day in isolation when you have children? Build a fort! Go on and grab every blanket and cushion in the house and start getting creative in your living room. This paired with some snacks and a few movies, maybe a flashlight or two and some books is the perfect way to have fun with the kids this week. 

Grow your own plants 
If you have been hoping to spend more time in the garden during quarantine, you have a great opportunity to do this now with the kids. You can get hold of some flower seeds such as marigolds or sunflowers and let the kids sow the seeds and look after them. Lots of tiny lessons about life and science during the time it germinates and grows, and once the seedlings are big enough you can plant them out in the garden, allowing your kids to feel the pride of having their own plant in the garden. 

Have a treasure hunt 
If you have more than one child it can be especially difficult for you to keep them entertained for a long period of time over quarantine. A treasure hunt can be the ideal way to keep them occupied for a few hours and give yourself a little bit of peace! When it comes to treasure hunting, you can place a prize such as chocolate or a present at the end for the winner with some backup treats for the other kids a treat too. There are a lot of resources online for this right about now. Thank you for always giving, Internet.  

Get arty 
Arts and crafts can be a great way to spend time with the kids during quarantine, and they can get super creative for hours. Lay out a table with all of the paper, paints, glitter, pencils and other art supplies you have, and to make things even more fun you can write the names of animals in a hat and allow the kids to pull them out so they have an animal to draw or paint. There are also places that are doing online art at certain times during the day via their social media channels. You can find a lot of videos on this page

If the house is looking a bit boring at the moment, why not bring the kids along  on a DIY odyssey? Get the kids involved and allow them to help paint the walls and rearrange the furniture in their own bedroom, sort through books, anything that will hold their attention based on age. It will be a good way to spend some hours and also will make the house feel brand new.

Tips for me to pass along to my peeps?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

TWTW - Q9 Memorial Day

Friday Lunch time activity was painted nails (OPI Madame President, Sally Insta-Dri White On Time, Zoya Sia). Interminably noisy work was being done in front of my house all day. My sister-in-law got the initials of my niece, nephew (not pictured), me, and MFD in before the cement set. 
Friday after work and dinner we walked up to the boards and it was sad. Empy parking lots, closed stores and rides and restaurants. Very not Memorial Day at the shore vibes. Of all the Life is Not Normal things I've seen, that was one of the hardest. 
Saturday I was up at the ass crack to walk B&B, then lay back down to read and listen to the rain and thunder. That was nice. I got up and we hit the beach for a while. I thought it would be chilly and overcast but it turned hot and sunny quickly and we had a few good hours down there. It was so fucking nice to see people with their families. We widened our circle to our immediate family outside the house this week and it's been wonderful. The afternoon was for resting and reading, then Aubrey made dinner and I did more reading at night. Good, restful day. 
Sunday A very windy and cold bike ride to get OPC from Local's. My niece and I did an alley walk to Peace of Wood to pick up paint kits. Aubrey and my brother spackled and painted in the afternoon while my nephew was napping. MFD arrived later with the old dogs and we ordered pizza and mozzarella sticks from Randazzo's and chilled out.
Monday started off with a bike ride, OPC, and then I came back and made deviled eggs and macaroni salad. I got Gus's CBD oil dropped off by a local store (The Road to Living Well, if you are looking for CBD for your pets they ship and my dogs do well with the Bluebird) then headed to the beach for a few hours to read and watch the kids play while MFD went fishing. The wind was a whipper though and I was happy to come home. I always look frightful on the beach and the mask I pull up when I am passing people closely on the access or the boards adds to the fright night appearance. After the beach I picked up a DIY sundae bar from A La Mode and my brother grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. I collapsed on the couch around 8. Being outside so much makes me tired in a good way. Plus I feel every piece of candy I've eaten in quarantine when I ride my bike into the wind. Friends, I've eaten a lot of quarantine candy.

I could use 50 more weekend days but I'm back at work today. 

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - I want a house with a crowded table and a place by the fire for everyone

1. My photos are all the same recently. Dogs, like Bruce loving Gus to distraction...
2. Or beach. It has been super freaking cold for May. Like I can still feel winter riding the underside of the wind coming in off the ocean. 

3. And the sunsets look wintry sometimes. Sorry I missed this one last night in its full glory, but I did catch a glimpse from the porch.

4. I finally went to the boardwalk for the first time all year on Wednesday night. I do love an empty boardwalk, but an empty boardwalk the Wednesday before Memorial Day because it feels like 46 degrees + global pandemic is not cool.

5. I've been reading, but still not as much as I've been zoning. I think I finished two books this week and started another. I'm trying to work through my Netgalley box. They've all been beach themed and not my typically murdery shit either.

6. How did we get from my birthday in mid-March to Memorial Day weekend in what might have been five minutes, when the time between alternately felt like five seconds and five years? 

7. I'm behind, but this week I started using my face self tanner. I'm trying a new one (Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster) this year so a self tanner incident is even more of a possibility than normal. Keep your eyes peeled for that on this face.

8. I wish I could see people's faces as they try to make only one of these things fit their narrative.

9. Reminder: We are multi-faceted beings capable of feeling so much at once. Don't shame yourself or anyone else for that...even when it's the little things you're missing that you might think are stupid.

10. E-cards...Keep a blessing for those who have died for this country while you're grilling your meats.


The words following the hyphen are the song I am listening to when I start the Thursday Thoughts post. This week is Crowded Table by The Highwomen

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Maybe tomorrow

Most days I have intentions of sitting down to write a blog post or to dabble in my offline writing notebooks.

Then I get up early and I get lost down on the beach walking longer than I expected to, or I try to get some housework in before work.

Or I sleep in until the last possible second before planting myself in front of my computer...take a long walk at lunch and sit outside instead...put my computer away at the end of the workday, unable to look at it for another minute and desperate to get outside for some air.

Sometimes I have a minute but I'm not sure what I want to write about or the words don't come. The first time I remember that happening was when I was working on my Young Authors submission in first grade. If I was in Philly, I'd dig that baby out and put a picture right in here for you.

I  hate that feeling and I always have, because what it feels like is failing at something you know how to do. And when it happens many days in a row, it feels like losing something about yourself, losing an instinct, that you think will come back if you work hard enough even though creative blocks have very little to do with hard work.

I saw something from Glennon Doyle on Instagram Sunday: "I have not written a word during quarantine. Just a reminder to worried artists - there are times for creating and times for becoming the person who will create the next thing. For many of us, this is a becoming time. Rest and become. Love you."

I felt that deep in my bones. Every ounce of creativity I have in reserve has gone to my job, because I'm getting paid to do that. My personal creativity, I'm just watering and feeding her for now. If you are having trouble creating in your way of creating right now - there are so many of you out there who are creators in some way but don't consider yourself as such - I hope you know resting and becoming are not failures at what you know how to do. They're preparing you for what you'll create next.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. But definitely again.

Monday, May 18, 2020


Friday I was on the beach at 5:30 am, then work work work work work, then zoom happy hour with work fam, followed by a visit from Melissa, Blane, and Alex on their way home from Wildwood. I have zero recollection of anything else from Friday night. Oh, now I do. I went to bed at 12:15 despite being up super early, was woken up at 2:20 am, then at 4:30 am by dogs. 
Saturday After the early wake up I eased into the day. MFD headed back to Philly to do volunteer work. I painted my nails (Essie Flying Solo) and toes (Zoya Charla). MFD's fam arrived to clean out my mother-in-law's apartment. I checked out the new shower curtain up in the bathroom and sat in my driveway until my overspray and weeding that needs to be done distracted me and I moved to the porch watching all the people head to the beach that opened for full access Saturday. Photos online made it like people were up each other's asses. My neighbors who walked back and reported to me on the porch told me people were maintaining distance and respectful. Who knows. Anyway I stayed where I was. We are porch people and my old dog Gus is happiest when I am sitting with him. When they got back from my MIL's we had a big ass seafood meal and I ate a fried platter against my better judgement and was overfull all night. 
Sunday Coffee on the porch, then MFD and siblings headed back to do more clean out work at my MIL's. I chilled and read and walked dogs. When he got back we both fell asleep, then ordered for pickup from Luigi's and watched Back to the Future. I was in bed by 10. 

I'm pretty sure 95% of the people I know have seen people at this point  - whether you made the decision or it was made for you to see your parents/grandkids/etc due to circumstances beyond your control or an outdoor set up that makes it possible to do so - here are some good guidelines to follow as we are opening back up in various ways or at the end of our ropes without seeing people in person as to risk/reward weighing and how to do things a little more safely. And as I said Friday, if you have a reason (justified or not) to do it, others have also, so give grace. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 15, 2020

Reopening is what will drive me off the internet

It's been a long time since I skipped a Thursday Thoughts, which happened yesterday. That standard weekly blog post and TWTW are usually ones that carry on through vacations, etc. Yesterday I full out forgot it was Thursday until almost 2 pm. If I don't have a post written before or in the morning, I would usually do it at lunch, but I forgot about lunch too yesterday until I was hangry. It's been a forgetful week. 

I have not forgotten to stay off the internet. I'm doing that more than ever. 

I'm doing that because you literally cannot fucking win, no matter what you do or don't do. I swear the reopening of this country is what will drive me into myself because people are fucking ruthless about other people. Just absolutely ruthless. This coming from someone who has dabbled in over four years being anti-trump and anti-MAGA and gone toe to toe on that about a million times. I have found haven amid people with beliefs that align with mine. Corona Land is splintering even that. 

I am sick of the People Police judging other people for existing. When protocols are relaxed in their states/municipalities and people start doing things, other people do not fucking like that and they make it well known. I get it. You disagree. I also believe in science, but I know where I live. In a country that will not allow for the most caution to be taken. All of these things do not change the fact that people are going to do what they are allowed to do and they are going to do what capitalism demands they do. They're out there licking doorknobs and coughing on people? Threat to public health. They're out operating in line with the current restrictions but not in line with what I'm personally doing? Nah. There's not an award for best quarantiner. There's more than one person doing this right. We're all constantly weighing risk vs. reward and have been from the start. 

I wish people would channel communications and anger at the fucking government who completely fucked this eight ways to May from the start. Yes, this means you too, people on "my side." Complaining on the internet is not calling your government representative every hour. If you want everything closed for two years, talk to the government about freezing everything and providing economic relief as well as testing and free medical care to ALL people, adequate PPE without a fucking bidding war to ALL healthcare workers (as well as those in other essential industries) as well as whatever fucking state they're in - blue or red, free masks for those who cannot afford them or make them, and a hold on businesses who cannot operate as essential with no penalty or taxes or evictions or any damn thing. 

And at this's too late. That shit should have been done from the start along with a million other things the federal government failed at. Don't how would we pay for that at me either. We fucking have it. 

And. My people have forgotten something very important in all of this. 

Stay Home is a privileged concept, especially if you are staying home and still have one or two full salaries, work for a company that enables work from home and will continue to, have the ability/provisions to work from home, have savings if that is not the case, do not work in a business deemed essential (raise your hand if you live in a state where you are surprised at what was deemed essential - beer distributors? weird), don't own a small business your entire life savings is tied up in, are a citizen entitled to unemployment benefits, live in a home without any type of abuse, live in a home with a dedicated outdoor space, live in a home with a yard where you can see family and friends, and can still afford food which has gone up by at least 20% and is unlikely to come back down etc etc etc. So, yeah...people who live in 500 square feet with no outdoor space and have been out once a week are absolutely going to go to the park or beach when they open. People who work in nail salons are absolutely going to go back to work when they can because they can't afford not to, and people who get their nails done will support those people because they want them to survive, too. Likewise, as things open, people with compromised immunity need protections and, yes, likely economic support. 

Am I saying everyone do whatever they want? No, of course I'm not. Do you know me? But putting people on blast for operating within the protocols is a complete misdirection of our collective energy. Especially because unless the government freezes everything and provides for everything there is no outcome that is good for all people. Not one fucking outcome. There is risk in everything aside from that thing where everything is closed and everyone is looked after health-wise and economically until this is under control. Which we have seen will not happen. Not with this government.

So, onward. Only the road to onward is full of hellish judgement from everyone about everything. 

 What I have feared all along is happening - people are afraid to leave their homes when restrictions are lifted, which is understandable and absolutely fine, but they are freaking out because other people do not have that fear. And people who are not afraid are fucking furious that people are afraid. People leaving their homes to do what is essential to them or support small businesses they deem essential are judgmental of others doing the same, as if everyone is doing it wrong except them. As if they are the only ones with the correct intentions and essentials. I have seen people post things online shaming other people then in comments refer to doing the exact thing they were shaming people for. Whaaaaat. As if only businesses they patronize are essential and worthy of surviving this. Stop. You cannot lash out at other people  who are operating correctly in the world as it is at this time, mindful of space and their own immune systems and yours. They're not making the rules. The government is. 

This is a public health crisis we will not fully understand for years until it can be studied by scientists. In the meantime, people are not going to stay at home for two years because as mentioned above, it's not possible here, and by all accounts, that was not the intent - the initial shut down was meant to flatten the curve and not overwhelm the hospitals. 

So now we have people who want everything shut down until there is a cure, people who will not get a vaccine when one becomes available, people who are ready to get back to living hut adapted with new protocols, people who refuse to adapt and want to live the old way, people who want safety guarantees for something we don’t even fully understand, people who are rejecting science because it is not working quickly enough for them, and people who think it’s a hoax or man made. 

And everyone thinks they're right and it is fucking exhausting. 

On one side there's people screaming about reopening every damn thing and I don't even know what to say there. On the other side Governors who have been lauded for their lockdown policies and listening to science and healthcare professionals are slowly re-opening their states and the same people who lauded them are convinced those governors are no longer listening. What? Where are we right now where we believe what we want to all the time, and stop believing it when it no longer feels comfortable for us personally? On both fucking sides. Both fucking sides. 

Spying on neighbors and photographing them doing things you don't think they should be doing and all sorts of other bullshit is very reminiscent of a lot of bad history. It fills me with rage and a deep, deep disappointment. If you are so concerned about how people are behaving and have nothing better to do, turn your energy to the government and ask where the tests are. Where the economic support for all people and businesses is. Don't fucking turn on your neighbors because you think they're making the wrong choices when the choice has been opened up for them to make. 

People can be taking this seriously, worried about the economy, grieve the loss of life as we knew it, be out in public, be afraid, support healthcare workers, support small businesses, AND STILL DO THE RIGHT THINGS. All at once. Do some people not give a fuck? Sure. Are there more of us who do? YES. 

It's all just too fucking much. I can't get through this period in time sitting in judgement of people doing the best they can with what they have where they are. I just don't have it in me to have a worldview where only I have good intentions or an acceptable impact and believe the majority of people suck. That's not me. And I can’t watch other people do it either. I need to come out of this with my sanity intact and if that is with a smaller online circle, then that's what it is. If you need to remove me from your circle because I'm not participating in this online stoning, that's okay too. We all have to do what we need to do to come through this. 

Whew. Sorry. That was a lot for a Friday. Since I missed Thursday Thoughts, this is the week in pictures. I've been sitting on the porch, looking at my plants, hanging with the fam, walking on the empty beach before dawn, spray painting and organizing shit, making one of the only crockpot meals I like thanks to my sister-in-law, working from home while the dogs sleep from home, catching bay-side sunsets, checking out provisions the shore is putting in place for reopening. 

Oh. And Corona Land...but make it fashion.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Show Us Your Books May 2020

Hey hi hello. Continuing the light quaranreading months up in this piece. I'm picking up books and putting them down so quickly that I haven't even been tracking any do not finish books that I don't get more than 30 pages in. I'll probably go back to most of them at some point, because I'm operating from an it's not you, it's me place. I've also been forgetting to update Goodreads and have to rely on my camera or bookshelf to show me what I've read LOL. 

How have you been? 

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

Engrossing Reads

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer - The writing was good. The story was sad as hell speckled with joy. It t was a quick read and kept my attention which is not an easy feat in quarantine times. Netgalley read in exchange for an honest review       

Find Her Alive (Detective Josie Quinn #8) by Lisa Regan - When in doubt, series it out is something I stand by in Corona Land and out. Loved this latest installment of the Josie Quinn series and I hope Lisa Regan churns another out soon. I love following her and her dog on Instagram LOL. If you like these kinds of books and haven't dived in to Josie, what are you doing? E-book, own 

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin - This broke my heart a lot, especially the flashbacks. I liked the premise of the present, which reminded me a tiny bit of Sadie. Solid read. I'd pre-order either to purchase or from a library. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out August 4. 

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Safe Place by Anna Downes - I didn't see a big piece of this coming, and thought many things along the way, which is good. A bunch of this could be cut out, but overall a quick read that had some pizzazz. Netgalley read in exchange for an honest review, book comes out July 14

Open Book by Jessica Simpson - I liked this more than I thought I would. She's not the idiot she's been molded into in the media (not without her knowing). I liked the tea in regards to John Mayer and Nick Lachey as well, I mean that's why I read it in the first place, but came out liking her a lot more than I went in. E-book, own

Conjure Women - I was drawn in by the cover art and super pumped to read this. I think the experience would have been different outside of quarantine. This was a slow build and I don't have  a lot of patience for a slow build right now, even if the writing and characters can sustain it. Hardcover, own 

Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll #1) by Tami Hoag - Crime shit set in the mid-80s and 90s always feels like The Wire to me. Part of the fun is all the stuff we're used to now having been schooled on CSI and Kay Scarpetta, etc., that they didn't have then. This was a easy read. Paperback, own

Parable of the Talents (Earthseed #2) by Octavia E. Butler - I liked this better than the first, but the post apocalyptic nature is still not the right time to read these books for me personally. If you like Dystopian novels, check the Earthseed books out. Paperback, own 

Not Worth It

Did Not Finish

What have you been reading? 

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, June 9, 2020
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