Monday, September 21, 2020

TWTW - the last one of summer

Friday I finally got one of the stupid mattresses heaved onto my bedframe to unfold to its full gloriousness. At lunch I ran errands to pick up return labels, drop returns to the post office, and to drop cardboard at the recycling center. I got hangry 2/3 of the way in so I picked up a homemade poptart along the way. No regrets. Work through and then read until the awful RBG news came down. I posted about that on Instagram and was harassed by trolls in my DMs because the world is ridiculous. If I ever go harass someone I do not follow but came across due to a hashtag in their DMs please strike me down dead. Immediately. Anyway, RBG was a fellow Ides of March child, a warrior for equality, and a personal hero. The loss is tremendous (on a high holy day no less) and the fight continues. Like, do you guys not know what fascism actually is? I don't think it means what you think it means, and same goes for socialism. 

Saturday I got a jump on the day, loading up a bed frame in my car and went to see Michelle's new place and chat for a while, then I picked up pumpkins and stopped at two places with my trusty measuring tape for side tables. No dice. It feels weird to be erranding but everyone was wearing the masks and here we are. It's also much more tiring than it used to be. I think because I'm super conscious of everything. I was gone for a few hours because if you're going off the island, it seems to always take a while, and when I got back I cut up veggies and made egg salad and onion dip and set my fall shit out. I urged the old dogs to rest in anticipation of MFD busting in with the best friend dogs, which happened around 11. 

Sunday MFD walked both sets of dogs, hallelujah. Our last renter of the season left around 11:30. We went to Dog Beach at high tide and it was absolute mayhem but all dogs enjoyed it. I spent the morning reading inside and the afternoon finishing a book on the porch with the dogs while MFD worked and napped inside. 
I hit the beach in the afternoon and it was windy AF. The wind by the water had a hint of winter to it and I was not okay. I picked dinner up from Island Grill, ate it like I was going to the chair, and took a long sunset walk with the best friends while MFD walked the old dogs close to home. I cleaned the kitchen and powder room up in the house, got the laundry together to drop off on Monday, and MFD got the other king mattress upstairs. He had campaign shit to do so I picked up around the apartment, started and stopped another book, set some blogs up, and crapped around. 

That's it. You? 

Happy birthday to my youngest brother Swan and my nephew Drew, both on Saturday.

Friday, September 18, 2020

A Tale of Three Mattresses

Hello and happy Friday and Happy Rosh Hashanah and happy birthday to my friend of nearly 40 years, Jen. 

Once upon a time, a woman had a plan to change a queen mattress out into a king. She ordered the frame she wanted, and since it was on back order and would not arrive until October 6, she cast only a cursory glance at mattresses. She had time.

Then she got a notification that the king frame would arrive September 8. Ah well, she thought. I'll just store that frame in the apartment until at least after the last rental of the season checking out September 20. 

Then she got excited about increased storage opportunities with higher clearance bed frames. When she bought an industrial storage tote and realized they were not readily available, she started amassing them. She looked around her small apartment at the boxes and thought oh dear, I can't deal with being literally boxed in. Whatever shall I do?

Lightbulb moment - she will order a mattress to arrive on Monday. Guests check out Sunday and new guests don't arrive until Thursday. This will work. She tells her husband he has to help her move things.

Sunday night he moves their king bed and installs a new higher bed frame in their apartment. She gleefully installs storage totes under it, eagerly anticipating doing the same through the main house where there is absolutely no storage. 

Monday arrives. The husband gets rid of a full bed frame/mattress/box spring down four stories. He moves a queen bed frame/mattress box spring up one flight. He moves a queen mattress and box spring out of a room and assembles a new higher queen bed frame. He moves a king bed frame from the ground floor apartment up three stories to await the new king mattress. 

The shadows grow long on the day and the mattress has not appeared. Calls to Linenspa and also FedEx assure the woman the mattress will be there Tuesday. All phone representatives are full of pep and promise. The husband was supposed to leave Monday and is now changing his schedule around to accommodate the new arrival date. 

The outlook is still sunny. Anticipation is still in the air. 

The mattress does not arrive Tuesday. The husband is really pushing it and has to leave. They decide to move their king mattress with no handles up three flights in a 120 year old house with narrow entries and doors. This is not ideal for many reasons, particularly because it has come to the end of its usable life and they are getting rid of it soon and who the fuck wants to move that 100 pound thing up two flights of steps (one twisting requiring a lot of pivots) when they're just going to get rid of it? No one. Nevertheless, they huff and puff and vault their pudgy 43 year old selves over the mattress because thankfully it bends or not a damn thing would be getting up those stairs. They crawl their aging backs under it, maneuvering it all around to the bedroom without breaking anything. They joke that the new mattress will surely arrive right after the husband leaves to go to work an hour and a half away. Which he is late for because the fascist president is in town stopping traffic on highways.

Narrator: The mattress does not, in fact, arrive right after the husband leaves. Nor at any time in the next few hours before the "end of the day" as was promised. Night falls and so do the woman's spirits.

On Tuesday evening phone calls, both the shipping originator and FedEx are less sure of the mattress's ability to arrive and in fact cannot vouch for the mattress's location. There is no pep. There are no promises. 

On Wednesday, there is still no mattress.  

Wednesday phone calls:
FedEx: We don't know where it is, but it will surely arrive today.
Me: That's what you said Monday about Tuesday and Tuesday about Wednesday. If it's lost it's cool, I know you are all overloaded with stuff especially during this pandemic, just need to know so I can cancel and place another order. I need a bed.
FedEx: uh we escalated this to an investigation yesterday, we'll call you right back 
no call back

The woman decides to cancel the mattress and re-purchase from Amazon even though the couple is trying not to feed Jeff Bezos but this is what you fucking get when you avoid Amazon. 

Mattress people: Oh no, we understand, we'll certainly cancel and refund. If it shows up you can just refuse delivery or call us and we'll send FedEx back for it. 
Woman: I don't want to be a Karen, but this is your problem now. You can try to nail FedEx down on if this package even still exists. I have someone renting my house. I don't have anywhere to store a huge 110 pound item. I have been anticipating this package's arrival since Sunday. I'm emotionally unavailable to wait for the arrival of this package or deal with it if it ever does arrive. It's not you. It's me.
Mattress people: Oooookay Ma'am. Okay. We'll issue a refund and contact FedEx.

Refund received, new mattress ordered from the Amazon machine to be delivered on Friday. Woman goes about her business. 

Thursday afternoon the mattress no one could locate on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday arrives in the driveway and is deposited next to the renter's car. No notifications of delivery are received. No FedEx trucks in sight. It's like a fairy farted it out and it dropped without a sound. 

The woman huffs and puffs and drags and pleads and busts the screen on the screen door trying to get the mattress box inside. 

Friday morning the second mattress arrives. Delivery man is super nice and deposits mattress inside. 

Two new king mattresses for the price of one. If you drive by on Monday, you might see a third king mattress being ejected from the third story because that shit is not being carried down.

The End. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - you seem very well, things look peaceful

1. I don't even know where to start. This week has blown my socks off. There is a whole ass bed saga that I don't have the strength for today - my plan is to write that real quick tomorrow and we all know how plans have gone this year am I right - but I've been without one in the apartment since Tuesday and by tomorrow I'll have two but will only be out the money for one. Don't ask. Well, do, but wait until I tell you tomorrow. Aside from that it's been get up and do shit, then work which has of course been insane also because when one thing ramps up so does everything else, then do shit at lunch, then do shit after work, and fall out exhausted at midnight, and up by 6 and repeat. I'm looking forward to some relaxing this weekend. 

2. I've also had two incidents of jamming the same pinky this week - between a storage tote and a door frame and also into a big mama exterior trash can - to the point where it would not even bend yesterday and running over toes and then jamming those same toes on two different grocery shopping carts on two different days. Jesus take the wheel. My hobo looking nails were this week's jagged little pill. 

3. Speaking of Alanis, I was scream singing songs from Jagged Little Pill all over shore highways last night. I've been running all over picking shit up all week because no larger stores are close to this house - storage totes, king pillows - and can I just say how much I really enjoy the order online and wait in the parking lot pick up services that are a result of corona? I stopped down near Corson's on the way back last night for this pic, which would have been a stunning sunset if there was not high smoke from the fires out west. Imagine sitting in your home in another country and watching America figuratively and literally burning. 

4. Our last rental of the season checked in today (two hours early) and man I am fucking beat from this year. MFD did a lot of cleaning on Monday and Tuesday and I finished it out last night and this morning. I also reorganized under all beds and he moved a lot of furniture. One more cleaning on Sunday, then it's family and friends only from here on out and they are the cleaners or they pay the cleaners. Whatever it is, I am not the cleaner for anyone except myself now and I am happy.
5. About those nails mentioned above...I painted them this afternoon and this color is amazing. I think it's from the fall or Halloween-ish collection?

6. Library days have been so infrequent this year. Yesterday was one. And I'll slip a little t-shirt of the day in there because I do what I want. I know everyone is like summer left without warning but my sweet spot weather-wise is shorts and long sleeves, or even pants and long sleeves. No coats and no socks. 

7. Let's. 

8. A trillion eye rolls at complaints. 

9. Reminder every damn person on earth should be growing like a weed right now

10. E-cards: 

Skidding in better late than never with Thursday Thoughts this week. 

The words following the hyphen are the song I am listening to when I start the Thursday Thoughts post. This week is You Oughta Know by Alanis 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Awkward writing about not writing

It's weird to write here at least three but often four to five times a week since 2011 then to abruptly stop doing so in March, like most other things abruptly stopped. To know I can come and do that, to want to do that, to think about doing that, but to end up most days not doing that. 

My friend Janet commented on one of my post shares on facebook asking if she was missing posts or if I wasn't sharing them as frequently. It got me thinking why I'm not showing up here. 

All of my fellow bloggers know one of the things I hate is when bloggers are like omg so sorry I haven't been showing up to this little space ugh, fucking gross. No one cares. 

That is true in this case also, but I have been working through why I'm not writing. It is a huge part of who I am and what I do, and always has been. I have always been writing to myself, as early as I can remember. Stupid things like what I wore that day and what I thought about x. I don't care if the writing is good or has a point, and once I started putting it out publicly on this blog, that held. This just happens to be where I write now. I don't know why I am interested in capturing absolute minutia, but it makes me happy. It's comforting. It gets out what I need to get out, even when it's awkward like this is. 

This has been the place I've shared so much shit, and not all of it is pretty or interesting or consequential. This has been how I've publicly journaled a lot of what I'm doing - which I still do, because TWTW and Thursday Thoughts are about the only things that have by and large survived the coronavirus - but I've stopped capturing a lot of the little things. No one is missing a post about how the light frames my porch in the early evening, but I miss writing that. It's not about what I'm not sharing with the world. It's about hiding from myself. 

At first it was a lack of creativity, from pandemic brain, and I had to save whatever I had for work. That is still the case a little, and it is absolutely also an issue of I don't want to stare at any screen for another minute, but it's also an issue of existing in a state of self-induced task oriented days to avoid thinking and feeling too much. 

Because I've stopped capturing a lot of the big things too, and part of that is how many times can I write about the same shit. Even if it is shit that really, really matters. That I should at least write about in how it relates to my thoughts and feelings, because I am not the same as I was in March. None of us are. I don't want to miss out on this version of myself because it's too exhausting to look at the world around me. 

Like what a mindfuck this pandemic world continues to be, in a roller coaster fashion, so that I'm feeling fine and then, as my friend Lisa said in a comment on IG, something triggers it and it rears its ugly head. None of us have lived through a global pandemic before. We don't know how to be or feel. We don't know what the fuck we're doing. 

The country burning, literally and figuratively, is something I can barely even mention in Thursday Thoughts anymore. I remember back in 2016, telling myself to just pace myself and not get outrage fatigue. I've had that a million times over. No matter what happens people still support an administration that does really fucking terrible shit daily, either in an aggressive fashion like performing hysterectomies on women they have detained in squalid cells or in a silent but deadly fashion like disbanding every damn law and rule and practice that protects the environment or deals with any way in the climate crisis and we all suffer. Writing about that is either shouting into an echo chamber or talking to a wall. No one who likes donald trump or the hideous conservative agenda we entered starting back in the tea party years gives a fuck about anything I say, they just want to win over the libs at all costs. 

And the cost is so fucking high. I see the strain on my face from all of it every time I look in the mirror. I see the strain on the faces around me, masks or not. A lot of it is in the eyes and the brow. 

I spent much of 2018 talking about MFD's run for office, and the toll it was taking on all aspects of our lives. I have spent the past few months avoiding writing about that, but that does not mean the strain is not there. 

Many days I feel like I am traveling along a long road of fine lines to not push myself over the million edges we're all walking along right now. I know many people feel the same. I see you out there. 

I have spent years talking about registering to vote, and actually voting in every election (not just presidential), and being involved in the community and how to get involved on a local or national level with making a change if you want to see one. How to register to vote if you have never registered, whether you are 18 or 49. How to help in the next under 50 days if you don't want to make phone calls or knock on doors. Whatever you want to do or are interested in, please email me. I am happy to talk to anyone at any time about any of these things. How can I help you help? 

I need to show up for myself somehow in this space, because not doing so feels like I am missing. This is a foray into that. If you happened to read it, hi, and happy Wednesday (right?), and how are you? 

Monday, September 14, 2020

TWTW - splitskies

Friday My September weekend warrior regulars were coming in so I was up in the house early doing the final things. They arrived early so we chatted for a little before I retreated for the Friday working. I finished a book at night and started another. And laughed loud and long by myself at Ben's teeth.
Saturday I was exhausted so I spend much of the morning just sitting and reading and letting that happen without guilt. I eventually got up and cleaned like moved furniture cleaned while I was waiting for a bed frame to arrive. When it did, I drug it inside then headed back to Philly. MFD got sushi for dinner and I went to Sam's to get king bed pillows the app told me they had in store but actually did not have - what they did have was Christmas shit and it is not even September 15. That is a HARD no. Do people know rushing through the rest of this year is not going to make things any better? We watched Social Dilemma on Netflix. Recommend, from a person who watches mostly nothing. I passed out on the couch hard. 

Sunday Up around 5 to do the freaking laundry. I did seven loads of laundry between Saturday at 6p and Sunday at 9a. I showered and went to Target to pick up an order but ended up having to go in and get the rest of my storage items and of course some other shit.

Carol, Aubrey, and I went up to my aunt & uncle's for my cousin's bridal shower. Outdoor and safe; a great shower with lovely touches.
I packed up my car and two of the dogs and was back at the shore by 5. MFD arrived closer to 10 and we made a bed frame switch and did the cleaning underneath the bed and all that then. Inadvisable. Lots more happening upstairs in the house today, he'll take care of most and I'll help during lunch and after work. Then at some point I need to organize all the stuff in the storage bins. 

And yours?

Friday, September 11, 2020

How to deal with an injury on holiday

An injury is the fastest way to ruin a great holiday and if you are seriously injured in a country that you aren’t familiar with, it can be very scary. You don’t know what the healthcare system is like, you’re wondering how you’re going to get home, and you don’t always have your family and friends there to support you. But as long as you know how to deal with the situation in the right way, you can get home as quickly as possible and start your recovery. If you are planning a holiday in the near future, it’s important that you have an action plan in case of injury. Here’s what you should do if you get injured on holiday. 

Contact Your Insurance Company 
Travel insurance is so important because it will protect you in the event of an injury and help you avoid some hefty medical bills. Unfortunately, a lot of people neglect travel insurance because they don’t think they will need it. It’s rare that you will get injured on holiday but it can happen and if you don’t have insurance, you’ll find yourself in a very difficult position. So, make sure that insurance is on your pre-travel checklist and you get a comprehensive policy that covers all of your medical expenses. If you do get injured, you need to call up your insurance company right away and let them know, so you can make sure that you don’t get landed with a huge bill. 

Report The Incident 
There are a few reasons why it’s important to report the incident at the location where it happened. Firstly, it stops other people from getting injured in the same way. For example, if you slipped over in a hotel lobby and injured yourself, you should let the manager know so they can make the area safe for others. The other reason that it’s important is that it leaves a paper trail. You may decide that you want to hire an exceptionally skilled injury lawyer and make a personal injury claim if you believe that the injury was somebody else’s fault. In that case, you need to gather evidence and you will need a formal record of the injury. 

Organize Travel Home 
Once you are out of the hospital and you are starting to make a recovery, you need to organize travel home. When you take out an insurance policy, you should always check that they will cover your flight home in the event of an injury. The sooner you let your insurance company know about the situation, the sooner they can get you back home again. 

See Your Doctor At Home 
Even though you received treatment while you were away, it’s important that you see your GP when you get back, especially if it was a serious injury. The quality of healthcare varies in different countries and you may not get the treatment that you need, so it’s important that you seek medical advice when you get home as well. 

Nobody expects to get injured on holiday until it happens, which is why you need to be prepared and follow these steps if the worst does happen. 
this post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down

1. Today is my first day working since last Thursday. I had awesome days off, some you heard about in TWTW. Tuesday was sunny and hot and I ran to Target to check out organizational options. If you have a house with no storage and need to utilize all spaces, you might need the zinus 18 inch bed frame. You can get a whole damn tote under here. Tuesday MFD was working, but we went to Corson's Inlet followed by 59th Street. Inlet beach and ocean beach. I always prefer the ocean beach. 

2. Good eats this week: we ordered Island Grill Tuesday night and brussels sprouts pizza from the farmers market.
3. Wednesday was not a beach day, but it was a farmers market, timed to coincide with needing your second cup of coffee because you ran out of your home brew; drop off laundry, go BACK to Target for more storage bins now that you know the size, finish a book, take a nap, order a king mattress and bed frame, reorganize your bedding, make lists type of day.

4. And look at dog photos from the week since the Old Dogs went back to Philly Wednesday morning and you miss them already.
5. And paint your raggedy ass nails. Lots of swimming in the ocean is not kind to nail polish. This is LD by Olive and June.

6. It was also a day for the best friend dogs to make their triumphant return to Dog Beach.
7. And a day to wonder what if the past week or so is finally what it will take for people who say they love this country to NOT vote for donald trump. You can't say never forget on September 11 - meaning never forget the nearly 3,000 lives lost, never forget how we came together as a country to stand as Americans -  and cast a vote for a man who considers military service members who died or were injured - many in service because of conflicts related to September 11 - losers and suckers. How did we come to a place 19 years later where an American president can say that and still run for re-election with loud support from citizens? Would Americans of the afternoon of September 11, 2001, support this man? I don't think so. Why would you do so now? 

8. He also admits downplaying the threat of coronavirus ON TAPE, choosing inaction and leaving us with nearly 190,000 Americans dead, including 7,000 on the front line in the medical field. Most of these deaths were preventable. Please think about how things connect. His inaction and the lack of coordinated federal response led to these deaths, as well as the death of a lot of businesses, job losses, kids not being in school in person, etc. Instead of doing what we know we can do as Americans - rise to the occasion and figure shit out, adapt and fund it - he chose inaction and suffering for the American people from death to financial losses to tremendous strain on parents and teachers as back to school realities hit everyone. Shit rolls downhill - if your president brushes it off, so does most of your population, leaving ALL of us caught in a spin cycle it feels like we're never going to get out of as countries around the world have all responded more effectively, doing what they needed to do early and decisively to save actual lives; and beyond that financially saving their people, propping them up individually and as businesses with more than the pittance funding these people in government have passed down, and moving forward much sooner than we are or can. 

9. Reminder that's more like advisory...also follow Buyfromablackwoman on Instagram

10. E-cards: I've had some incidents this week.

Two days of work this week. I think I can do this. 

The words following the hyphen are the song I am listening to when I start the Thursday Thoughts post. This week is Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

TWTW - settle down because it's extra long

Friday I woke up with that glorious I have many days off ahead feeling. It cannot be captured in words. But my new mug from my niece and nephew does capture it perfectly. I got a pedicure (OPI Call Me Gwen Ever), then we hit the beach for a wonderful beach day. My dad arrived back around dinner, with Debbie pulling in shortly after, and Stephen and Aubrey made a great meal. 

Saturday MFD had arrived super late, so I woke up to him there. We got down to the beach around 10:30 and it was another great beach day with Frank, Amanda, and Eva joining us and a Hulk Hogan sighting. We left around 6, Dad and Carol got Boyar's and Bennie's for dinner, we watched the Flyers lose, and had A La Mode ice cream cake for MFD & Debbie's birthdays. 
Sunday The kids come down every morning to see the dogs and I love it. I also made Gus's special million dollar food and a big bowl of macaroni salad. My Dad and brother set up early at the beach and we had a good compound for a while with many later encroachers. Breakfast sandwiches from the Beach Club, Drew joined us, and it was another perfect beach day. 
Followed by The Driveway Party! In which we sat in the driveway with peoplThere was food and water balloon tosses and fights and billowing smoke and music and drinks and neighbors waving. Old school drive way party. Bring your own chair.
We had dogs wandering and escaping, decorations, Zingo and prizes by hurricane lantern light, roasted marshmallows with the cooling charcoal, and then cigars or face masks. It was a lot of fun. I can usually keep the kids out of photos but not this time LOL. 

Monday Crying time, everyone was packing up and going home. I woke up so exhausted I was basically stationary for a few hours. The dogs were tired too. I put together my SUYB post and stayed out of the cleaning and packing way. The kids were down to see the dogs. Dad and Aubrey hung blinds and Aubrey put together a bed frame that is giving me heart eye emoji storage in the house that I currently do not have. MFD fished most of the day, and I lay around reading and actually took a nap. We went to the North End for more fishing, reading, and sunset. 

As far as long weekends go, this one was pretty perfect. I had a great weekend with family and framily, and more than the long weekend with Dad and Carol, Stephen, Aubrey, and the kids. My heart is always full after and I'm always sad to see them go. 

How was yours? 

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