Monday, August 31, 2020

TWTW - the end of weekly rental season

Friday I meant to head back to the shore at lunch but j-o-b prevented. New purse from blog reader friend Susan made my petty feeling heart happy. It's gorgeous. Canine coworkers. Gus and I drove to the shore and arrived around 8:30. 
Saturday Gus was up at the ass crack to start his 15th birthday. He had a walk and breakfast and a lot of naps and all the treats, a visit to Dog Beach, and a cheeseburger for dinner. Our last weekly renters of the summer checked out in the morning, and I stripped the beds and couches and did some couch stuffing of them, but mostly I sat on my ass enjoying the fact that I did not have to hustle and stress. The people who rent for the summer next door dropped me off a tomato pie and eggs from their chickens. I freaking love them. I painted my nails (Essie you, me, & the sea), got lunch from Farmstand (vegan brussels sprouts grilled cheese), and ordered pizza for dinner so Gus could have a burger. MFD and the other dogs arrived around 11 pm.
Sunday Despite going to bed at 12, we were up by 6. I did some more couch stuffing and put the slip covers on, then did some food prep and drove all the way to the Rio Grande Marshalls, shopped, got to the register, and they were only taking cash. I had $13 and a credit card, with my full wallet in my car and I was driving MFD's. So, fruitless waste of an hour and a half there and back and in store. 
Despite the Marshalls snafu, Sunday was a great day. When I got back my Dad & Carol had arrived. We while away the afternoon on the porch, enjoyed a lovely breeze, since flies were on the beach. We went to the North End to see the sunset, then came back and ordered apps and pizza from Randazzo's. I was dead asleep by 10:15. 
Weekly food prep: I made some food for Gus (farm ground beef with organs for pets) and squash, a salad, and pork tenderloin for lunch for a few days. 

How was yours? 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - I'll just keep on throwing middle fingers in the air

1. If the way you support police is by saying "he should have" every time a black man is the victim of excessive violence that plays out over and over and over again in all forms of media, what you are actually supporting are not the community peace keepers police should be, but a law and order justice system that was born from slave patrols, specifically formed to control the movements and behavior of enslaved populations (that's a direct link from the Law Enforcement Museum). It was considered a civic duty to beat and terrorize enslaved people. How can the system born from that not be systemically racist? After all that has happened and all we have been shown, how can you not see that it is systemically racist? How can you support that? Blindly supporting police working in a system that is systemically racist and, because of that and where we are at this point in our nation's growth, dangerous to ALL people, needs to be acknowledged, addressed, and changed. If you personally know a good cop like most of us do, they are at risk working in this system. If you actually think the lives of police officers matter, blind support and Back the Blue is not the way to show that. I used to say "he should just stop/put his hands up" do this do that. I have been where you are. Normal evolutionary behavior is changing opinions when presented with new information. 

2. What else. California is on fire, Colorado too, Laura is about to devastate people. Weather is dog pile on the 2020 rabbit. Hang in there, everyone. I am extremely worried about these things with the current federal government that is unresponsive and unwilling to coordinate federal response to anything, which is crippling our entire country and is responsible for 180,000 Covid-19 deaths. Because yes, there's still a global pandemic happening, even though an increasing number of people I personally know seem to have ingested the QAnon Koolaid and I don't even know what to say. If you think this is a hoax there is a problem in your brain. I'm not sure how to say that nicely. 

3. I am unsure how to say anything nicely because I'm fresh out of fucks and niceties today. Yesterday at 11 am I got an email from the person who was checking into the shore on Saturday wanting a refund because I changed my listing. Here's how I changed it: added a line that one of our few house rules is no eating in bedrooms and that going forward I will keep a security deposit over finding food or food wrappers. I have never kept a dime of a security deposit in the five years we've been renting despite bedding being ruined, carpet being ruined, lamps/dishes/furniture/toilets/shower pans being broken, so that should tell you how many people have allowed their kids to eat in my third floor bedrooms this year.  She was also upset that I added a photo of the exterior of the house...and that I do not own the house next to me. I'm not kidding. Even though it's clear in my listing that we're a side by side like so very many rentals in Ocean City (that or a top/bottom). It is my prerogative (and marketing-wise, actually the correct thing to do) to update my listings at any time and I am not required to inform people when I change text or photos unless I am removing access to a service or amenity. I could have been a total fucking asshole because she clearly wanted to get out of it and kept her money, or forced her to come but who wants someone like that in their house full of resentment? I am just trying to get out of this summer alive with my karma intact so I gave her money back and peaced the fuck out of that. For a few hours I had my calendar open before saying fuck it, blocking it off, and immediately feeling relief. Peace of mind has a price and it is the cost of this week's rental and we're paying it. This summer has been absolutely brutal property management-wise and I have to stop. People are not operating normally under this pandemic so I get it, but at a certain point it's enough. Our first year in we stopped the week before Labor Day so it's like old times LOL. So my last weekly check-in was last Saturday. I have a few weekend rentals in the fall, but they are typically much easier and if they're not in 2020 because absolutely nothing is, at least they'll be shorter. 

4. Now that all that's vomited out, I came back to Philly on Tuesday morning early, and I've had myself a nice little week. I got an awesome massage from my sister-in-law Sarah and got to see my dog nephew Harry. Today I have acupuncture, which is an important part of my wellness and which I've been without since freaking February. 

5. I had my tattoo consultation at Jaybird's Tattoos last night, where I got my first tattoo when I was freaking 19. It's of the character I most identify with from Star Wars. Just kidding.

6. I met up with our guest from last week to give her sheets her girls left and chatted with them. also tried to find this bed in a local Marshalls with no luck. My dogs love it. 

7. I returned spray paint I've had since March. I mailed out a bunch of books to people. I got a lot of work done at my dining room table, did a lot of laundry, got a hoagie from Reen's, even cooked a little. Everything I've done, I've done with a mask and without a complaint. We can live through this if we stop being assholes. Mask up. Wash your hands. Maintain distance.
8. But back to this tomorrow. And not as a landlord for a few weeks.

9. Reminder - Always, but especially right now.
10. E-cards 

Happy birthday to our niece Aly!

The words following the hyphen are the song I am listening to when I start the Thursday Thoughts post. This week is Middle Fingers by Missio

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Are crickets harmful?

You know when there are crickets in the area, they tend to make a lot of noise! Crickets are insects with large rear legs, it's these that allow them to jump so high in proportion to the size of their body. Of course, they also have wings and some of them are capable of short flights.

The sound they make is a result of them rubbing their front wings together. The tough membrane is leathery yet makes a distinctive noise when rubbed against itself. It is worth noting that other crickets hear through their legs!

The noise is sung by males attempting to attract females to them, they generally sing as it starts to get dark. There are many different types of crickets which is why it’s a good idea to speak to your local pest control expert and find out more info regarding which type of cricket you’re dealing with.

Cricket Danger

The good news is that crickets aren’t dangerous. Their song may be annoying, especially if they are doing it while you are trying to sleep. But, they don’t carry disease and won’t bite you.

However, that doesn’t mean they don’t cause any damage. Crickets can feed n a variety of fabrics, including cotton, silk, fur, and even wool. They are particularly fond of ‘dirty’ fabrics that have been tainted by food or sweat.

They will eat this and can cause you inconvenience when you go to put on your favorite running top and find it has holes in it.

Identifying The Cricket

It’s essential to note that there are many different types of crickets and they can often be confused with grasshoppers. Crickets tend to be darker colors, such as brown or black, while grasshoppers are generally green. However, some crickets can also be green.

Perhaps the easiest way to tell the two species apart is by looking at the antenna. Crickets have long antennas, grasshoppers have short ones. Again, click here to check with your local pest expert. You need to ensure you’re dealing with the right issue!

Keeping Crickets Out Of Your Home

The simplest way to ensure crickets are a noise nuisance and nothing else is to try the following:

  • Minimize outside lights or use yellow lights as these are less likely to attract crickets
  • Check your home, especially around doors and windows. If you find any cracks you need to seal them straight away, this will deprive the crickets of their entry point. In fact, sealing up cracks around your home is a great way of keeping mot pests out.
  • Keep your grass short, this is less appealing to crickets. They like long grass as it gives them somewhere to hide
  • Your home should be dry! Damp areas attract pests, including crickets. Eliminating damp will help to ensure your home is not appealing to crickets.
  • Remove all clutter. This removes potential hiding spots for crickets and other pests, it’s also much nicer for your home!

With a little effort, you can prevent crickets from getting into your home, effectively protecting your belongings from being eaten.


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Monday, August 24, 2020

TWTW - the one winding down the summer season

Friday was a mover - I started out finishing a book on the porch, ended the day on the porch too. I had a big deadline and after that my brain was shut off so I killed the work day around 4. My guests for the week left early due to Saturday work so I was able to do all of my ass breaking parts of Saturday turnover on Friday, which was awesome. The house was in pretty good shape which is always a huge relief. I also did things you typically can't do during the season because there is no time: touch up paint in the powder room, cleaned the top of the cabinets. 
Saturday While doing my stuff I realized the oven drawer was stuck, so I had to get some pans in case no one could get it un-stuck (as ended up being the case, none of my cleaning crew ladies could budge it either). Since I had time on my hands I went to Marshalls in Rio Grande and man what a store. I went for pans but came back with dog beds and plans to go back once I truly see the state of things in the house after the summer season. There's an Aldi next to it too so I got some of my coveted frozen berries. Bruce loved the bed, but then he peed on it and drank my coffee while I was out talking to Walter my exterminator friend. RUDE. I painted my nails (Orly Confetti) and had a total rest day on the couch which was amazing. I meant to go to the beach at the end of the day, but I didn't make it. 
Sunday I was up doing my thing with the best friend dogs by 6:30. Bruce drank my fucking coffee again. MFD and the old dogs arrived around 9 and we had a nice morning waiting for some rain to pass over before heading to the south end of the island for a great beach day. Beautiful sun, nice swimming weather (went under for the first time this year), awesome shelling, tide pools, good reading conditions. A nice way to get lost for six hours or so. We left right as a downpour was coming in.  
I made caprese salad, we walked the dogs, the sunset was amazing. I read for the rest of night and MFD was asleep by 9. A very good day.
The only things I made this weekend: hard boiled eggs and chicken drums. Oh and caprese salad but no pic.

Back at it this week. I will be in Philly for a few days taking care of some shit. 

How was yours? 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - tell me your troubles and doubts, giving me everything inside and ou

1. Don't be alarmed,  but in addition to making dinner Sunday I also made dinner last night. Maybe cooking is coming back for me? London broil in the air fryer (my first time and just a bit overdone, but now i know the modification for next time), ripe heirloom tomato on a bed of arugula tossed with olive oil and drizzled with balsamic, and a hunk of rosemary focaccia bread. Tomato and rosemary from the farmers market. I hit that before the skies literally opened up yesterday. I have more tomatoes and fresh mozzarella that are going to be making an appearance on my counter today before being quickly devoured. One of my favorite things about Corona Summer has been being able to get to the Farmers Market. 

2. I did some back to school shopping this week even though I haven’t prepared for back to school at any educational level since senior year of college, which began in fall 1998, and even though I don’t have any plans to go anywhere. I bought two dresses and scored these beauties on PoshMark. Can you even. 

3. For those who like recommendations, I put a new highlight up on my Instagram of recommendations, which I will populate as they come to me as I'm using them. I'm going to try to get the stuff I've been using for a long time/have talked about multiple times up there quickly. My monthly recommendations posts here have become sporadic like everything else in 2020 but I do believe in sharing what I love that works for me whether it's a product or a method or a philosophy. Also it's easy to bop over to IG to find that stuff. 

4. Dogs of the week, some from when the old dogs were here Sunday night, Monday, and Tuesday morning.
5. Porch sitting is back. Reading is also back, this week at least. 

6. Is this where I drop other unrelated to text photos from this week? Cool cool. 

7. I've been to the hardware store six times since Saturday morning. I just thought someone should know. If I go missing, look for me in those aisles. Today I have to go because when I went yesterday they were fucking closed by six minutes. They changed hours when COVID hit and didn't update their Google Business hours, which obviously a lot of people have forgotten to do as they try to operate in this world right now and google business isn't super user friendly to just pop on and do that. I am the dumbass for not calling first. 

8.  Are you registered to vote? What is your voting plan? Yes, I know it’s August. 

9. Reminder via - free yourself, people

10. E-cards 

What've you got?

The words following the hyphen are the song I am listening to when I start the Thursday Thoughts post. This week is Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Three Things August 2020

The last time I did this was February. Where has the year gone? Down a corona hole. 

Three things I like about August
1. Later sunrises
2. Some cooler nights and mornings at the shore
3. Tomatoes

Three things I dislike about August
1. Earlier sunsets
2. Jellyfish
3. I start getting back to school angst even though I am not going back to school and have not gone back to school since August 1998.

Three goals for the rest of August
1. Stop letting work day bleed out into personal time on both ends
2. Less scrolling
3. Move bed and clean under it

Three things I thought I'd use more this year
1. My car
2. The oven
3. The library

Three things I never thought I'd use as much this year
1. Our shore apartment
2. The air fryer
3. Bleach

Three things I'm into right now
1. Masks matching outfit, always
2. Reading actual books, not kindle books, which sucks because I have a zillion on the kindle to read but my eyes need screen breaks
3. Voting the White House squatter out

Three websites I landed on in unrestricted googling last night
1. (Googled Animal Crossing, despite people talking about it all Corona Life I have no idea what it is)
2. (Googled shore network)
3. (Googled charcoal neutralizer. That is not this but this is cool too)

Three favorite fruits
1. Strawberries
2. Hard, tart plums
3. mango

Three foods I've survived on in Corona Summer
1. Caprese salad
2. Raw veggies & Lipton onion dip
3. Snickers ice cream bars

Now you.

Monday, August 17, 2020

TWTW - the one of work and rest

Friday do you know how long it's been since I've worn shoes? A very long time. I just bought some so I tried them on. Both Toms, both love. I worked like mad all day, then actually drove to the shore leaving Philly at 5 pm like I would never, ever do in a normal summer. It was still semi-ridiculous on 95 because it always is, but I made it by 7, talked to favorite guests, was filled with joy at the key lime pie and other goodies Dad & Carol left for me, walked up to the boards to get some pizza by the slice for the first time this summer (!) to eat at home, and did to my water cooler what you can't do to most work water coolers. 
Saturday I was jamming from 6 am on. First and of course most importantly, to feed Bruce and Ben a birthday cheeseburger for Bruce's birthday! Then off to Somers Point to the hardware store for the outdoor trashcans I've been meaning to buy since March. My best guests left the house great, but I had some maintenance stuff to do that had me back over to Somers Point to get something my local hardware store across the street does not have (they don't have trash cans with attached lids either, obvi) and back and just running like mad until check in time. I also spray painted our house number on the trash cans and weeded the front side of my abandoned neighbor's property. I need to get to the side of it tonight to get all that shit in the trash. After all that we were toast. I ordered fries and a hoagie and didn't move all night. 
Sunday After a 6 am Bruce wakeup and walk, I was slow to get going. I went to Walgreen's to get supplies to get the expanding foam off of my hands. I shellacked myself on Saturday and it was not good. Nails are one of my favorites, OPI My Private Jet. It was windy and rainy, but not hard enough to make me miss two hours of shell trolling at low tide. That is therapy for sure. The ocean was churning, which I love as long as I'm not in it and I got a good haul of beautifully broken shells and the pebbles I love. I heard from my upstairs guest that there was a g.d. drumset on the porch next door, so I had to call my neighbor to get in touch with his tenants. Of course there's a drumset on the porch. It's 2020. Why wouldn't there be? 
Let the record reflect that I actually cooked dinner and made HBE for the week, but that is not unusual. MFD and the old dogs arrived around 8:30 so the gang's all here until tomorrow when he heads back to Philly. I finished a book and that's all she wrote. 

How was yours? 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Where did that 45 minutes go?

Last night as I slumped on the couch, I thought about how much easier and simpler everything felt last year. Of course there were hard things and pain in the ass things. This is life, there always are. But now everything is its own hard and pain in the ass coupled with the weight of covid world and it is fucking exhausting to me. 

While I was reclining, I was googling foot pain - I am always barefoot and my feet striking hard surfaces is not good for them as they age. I kept getting recommendations for crocs or plantar fascitis orthotics. I also somehow landed among tough plastics and landed on Jeco Plastics, which sent me down a rabbit hole of printing press info and diverted along the way to splicers and

I looked up and 45 minutes had gone by, poof. That's happened a lot in Corona Land. I'm off on wild google chases, which is why I've been mentioning them more here, and I end up so far from where I started from it's sort of wild. I hate wasting time and I also hate feeling so fleeting. I find it hard to sink into books but I can follow a thread through google and end up seven miles from where I started. 

Anyway...distraction is a sign of burn-out, and I can safely say I'm burnt out. I did a lot of resting today and I hope this week is kinder. Or that I am more aware of hard stop times. Sometimes the work has to wait until tomorrow. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Why You Should Spend More Time Alone

Happy Friday friends! Since I am the queen of alone time, it always surprises me that spending time alone is a foreign concept for many people or something they actively avoid. I cannot stress enough how important time alone is, especially for women who are often putting themselves last. Spending time alone helps you appreciate yourself or deal with yourself, whatever you need at the time, and the more time you spend alone the more self sufficient, self aware, confident, rested, and happy you'll be.

If you feel like you can’t have fun or be happy if you’re not with friends or a partner, then this is a sign you have some work to do. Some people are naturally more self sufficient than others, and in some cases, too much self sufficiency can also be a problem. This might be a sign that a person has a problem asking for help, or that they keep people at arm’s length as a trauma response. I have to work on bringing people in as much as some of you have to work on being comfortable being alone. Either extreme is not good. Learning to spend alone and more importantly ENJOY time alone is healthy and will make you happier in the long run. Here are some great ideas for those of you just getting started on alone time:

Write Poems, Stories, Songs, And Journal Entries 

You might not think you’re very good at it or see yourself as a creative person, but that doesn’t matter. You don’t need to share these things with anybody. Simply see them as a therapeutic way to get your thoughts out of your head, and a way of getting to know yourself. You might learn a thing or two. You might even sharpen your skills and have fun doing it! 

Have A Movie Marathon

I don't do this one too often - zoning out in front of the TV and not moving for hours is not my comfort zone. I feel unhealthy and sluggish when I'm not moving for long periods. That being said, doing absolutely nothing occasionally can absolutely what the doctor ordered, If you’re planning a movie marathon, you'll want fast downloads from your vpn so make sure you do plenty of research. All that’s left to decide then is whether you’re going to go for a movie series, a director’s back catalogue, or an actor’s portfolio. My go to is almost always my favorite 80s movies - Dirty Dancing, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Vision Quest...the options from that time period are endless for me.

Immerse Yourself In A New Hobby

Try immersing yourself in a new hobby such as DIY home improvement, organization, paint by number, needlepoint, singing and dancing like you are putting on a concert, or playing an instrument. There are so many amazing free resources out there that there’s no way you won’t be able to learn a thing or two. Thanks, internet.

Take A Relaxing Bath And Pamper Yourself

Pampering yourself is the easiest gateway to spending time alone. I'mnot a bath person, but I know a lot of you are. Get yourself a bath bomb and relax. Face mask, hair mask, full body exfoliation, manicure, pedicure, all in the comfort of your own home.

Travel Somewhere Alone

Go somewhere you’ve never been for the day just to explore. This is such a liberating experience, especially since you can do whatever you want! I love driving off by myself.

Go For A Walk In Nature 

Nature walks are a great way to get fresh air and sunlight. Try to appreciate the little things that we look past in every day life. I am always doing this and creeping on other people's flowers in spring and summer.

Take Yourself For Coffee

Find a quiet corner of a local coffee shop and read, draw, or do whatever you like - just do it alone And these days, likely outside and at least six feet away from anyone else. Bring a book or a notebook and relax in your solitude.

How do you spend your alone time? Are you an alone time queen or just starting out?

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