Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - And whatever you're looking for hey don't come around here no more

1. Obviously I am fucking thrilled we have a woman Vice President, that adults who speak in full sentences and work are back in the White House even if they were nowhere near my top picks, I can follow the White House on social media again, some egregious shit of the previous administration was addressed immediately yesterday, there were no inaugural balls, someone has a fucking plan to get this pandemic under control, Eugene Goodman (the Capitol police officer who diverted the insurrectionist MAGA mob) escorting VP Harris and serving as acting Deputy Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate, and that The Grifter and his Grifter Family are gone, but the best things to come out of the 2021 Presidential Inauguration are the Bernie memes. By far. I saw a Fleetwood Mac Rumours album version and a Springsteen Born to Run album version today too. I am here for all of them. I want to see all of them. I wish I took the day off to see all of them. They are so on brand, and the freaking mittens are made out of recycled materials by a woman in NH. I love it all. 
2. I had myself an early lunch for the festivities, wore purple/gold/white for suffrage, and got some white roses to mark the occasion. No matter how you vote or if you like Kamala Harris, electing a woman VP is a massive milestone in this country.

3. Work is busy, and my spare time has been spent trying to figure out who someone local named just John Michael with the profile photo of Clark Griswold as Santa is. It is a locked down and/or a burner account. Anyone know this person or know someone who knows them? They are extremely comfortable mentioning me, my mental state, and my physical location for someone I've never met, spoken to, or interacted with. I want to know if their online obsession of bringing me up in conversation over the past eight or so months (well, I'm only aware of it in the past eight months, it could be longer) is going to manifest itself physically and be a danger to me or my property. I confronted them online months ago in a neighborhood facebook group and they never answered/disappeared. MFD has also confronted them yesterday since they bring me up in relation to him. No response there either. That's two opportunities to answer that were not taken. I have no mutual friends with them and have no idea why they are fixated on me. Plenty of people hate MFD and don't extend it to bring me into it. If you and I are not friends on facebook and you know who this person is, help me out with a name or at the least a "they are/are not a danger to you." We have cameras at home obviously but I don't walk around with a camera on me obviously. If all they want to do is be a creep about someone they don't know online, that's fine. I just want to make sure that's all it is. Especially in the days of MAGA men angry enough with life to become domestic terrorists with no provocation. 
4. What else. Oh yes. Remove Biden flags, your trump flags, your Confederate Flags, and any bastardized version of the American flag. There is only one flag and it's the American flag and that flag belongs to all of us. The flag display was magnificent this week. 
5. Since we do not consider Biden or Harris gods, we will be holding their feet to the fire to deliver better to the American people. We do not deify leaders or install them on pedestals. They are mortals and they get paid BY us to work FOR us. Don't get twisted again, please. No one was sent here by freaking God to save you, and if they were they are certainly not going to be holding office in D.C. I hope everyone holds the new administration accountable. If your version of accountability or criticism  in regards to Harris is rooted in misogyny or racism, I will come for you and I will be relentless. 

6. As relentless as Ben is in loving the toys he cherishes to death. 
7. I attended a ticketed event with Ijeoma Oluo at the Free Library Author Events on Tuesday for her new book Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America and it was cold and I was tired so I was freaking glad it was virtual and I could lay on my bed looking like a troll throughout. If this was non-Corona Land I would have bought the ticket months ago like I did for this and when the day came I'd be sour because I would just want to go home and put pajamas on. You can skip the sourness and wishing for pajamas and to be horizontal when shit is virtual. 
8. Skies have been stellar at night this week.

9. Reminder: Don't entertain a damn thing. (via)

10. E-cards: Looking forward to Friday in a big way



What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Don't Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers





Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Secret to a Pest-Free Winter

Pests are a nuisance and don’t belong in your home. They can also be destructive and dangerous. For example, termites will eat the wood in your home, potentially causing structural issues. Rodents can gnaw through wires and cause fires, and a wide array of pests carry diseases that can make you ill. In some cases, these diseases can even be fatal.

Aside from the fact that these pests don’t contribute toward your mortgage payments, they are not something you want in your house. You need to prevent their entry and the best time to do his is during the summer before winter arrives.

Of course, you can instigate the following tips at any time of year, they will ensure no more pests can enter.

Get An Inspection
Speak to your local pest control company and book an annual inspection. The experts will check your home for any signs of infestation. They will be able to quickly and effectively deal with any issues your home has. In addition, they can help provide advice regarding the most common pests in your area and tips to keep them out of your home. 

Having an inspection annually helps to ensure that the pests stay out of your home.

Examine The House
This is something you should always do as winter approaches but it can be useful to do several times throughout the year. All you have to do is walk slowly around the outside of your property. You’ll be looking for any cracks and gaps that will allow pests into your home. 

Pay particular attention to areas around doors and windows. Don’t forget, pests can get through the tiniest of gaps, seal them all. It can help to keep your house warmer.

Cleaning 
Pests are attracted to places that are warm and have food and water. Your house is going to be warm, you need it to be. But, you can make sure there is no food available for the pests. You need to place all open food packets in sealed containers, wash dishes up as soon as you’re finished with them, and wipe all surfaces down with disinfectant spray. 

It’s also important to vacuum and mop regularly, eliminating the smallest of crumbs. 

The cleaner your home the less appealing it is to pests. This works all year round.

Remove Water
As mentioned, pests need water to survive. You can make your home less attractive by eliminating any standing water. This can be difficult if you have pets as you may have water down for them. Other than this, you should trace all sources of standing water and eliminate them.

It doesn’t just deprive the pests of water to drink, it prevents mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

Check Your Plants
If you have indoor plants make sure you take a look at them and verify pests aren’t hiding on them. It’s the perfect spot for most pests to use as a base. 

You need to make sure they are not overwatered and they are cleaned-out often, this prevents them from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.

Monday, January 18, 2021

TWTW - getting hygge with it

Friday was a grind, so I took the best friend dogs to the beach at lunch to clear my head. It was a great day out there. MFD arrived, we had a contractor out to look at some work, and we ordered pizza for dinner. I was dead asleep on the couch before 9. 
Saturday Thanks to Gus's early rising, I was up and at the laundromat by 7:30. It was a big day out for me. I got Bruce a jacket and picked up a scarf at one of my favorite stores in town, and did curbside pickup from the library. 
We did a family beach walk in the afternoon. 
A post-walk rest before I spent a few hours working before groceries got delivered. Melissa, Blane, Stephanie, and Alex stopped by on the way back from WW/Cape May. It's so good to see people in person even when you can only see half their faces. I made wings and salad for dinner and we watched Palm Springs. Also perused homes for sale, candles at Kevinfrancisdesign.com, and best heat pipe tape because some cold cold is coming for us in the next few weeks. 


Sunday I finally addressed my fucking terrible heels and did my nails (OPI This Shade is Ornamental). I did my toes with OPI Rainbows A Go Go and why does Marshalls have to bugger things up with the price tags. I also exfoliated everything and washed my hair. 
We did a long walk down at Corsons Inlet. Even Gus did the whole way with only a 15 minute carry by MFD. 

Of all the damn shows we haven't watched and we started re-watching LOST. I also did some work, some reading, some shore house booking business (one week open for the whole summer, and one I'm holding off the market for now). Dinner was a Trader Joe's pot roast I had in the freezer along with TJ's carrot coins in the air fryer, mashed potatoes a la MFD, and the beloved Grands Flaky Layers biscuits. 


And it was the last weekend trump was president. Hallelujah and amen.

MLK Day. If you have not read Letter from a Birmingham Jail, please take the time to do so today. If you have, but it's been a while, maybe another read. I've been reading it every year the last five or so. 

Let's go beyond sharing a MLK quote today and live a little like he and all the other people before and after him pushing for Black freedom lived. I hope we can find a way to be in service to our communities despite the pandemic (let me know if you need some ideas) and anti-racist today and every day, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and all the Black people who have existed within structural and systemically racist systems and dealt with personal racism because white people have refused to address white supremacy. This is our work. It's past time. Let's do it.





Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sinking into Sunday thinking


Best friends dogs, how will you survive when coronaland is a memory and I am not in front of your face 24/7? 

All I could think about since New Year's weekend is cannoli cake, so I ordered it from ShopRite this week...it tasted like lemon. I was pissed. I ate it anyway. My new year is not starting out new me or weight loss like this website

Okay not all I've thought about. I have been thinking so much about travel. I found myself on best vista cay resort Orlando this weekend. As well as some Keys websites. and Glacier in Montana. 

I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what to watch and also what I should read - as in the library books that came in - versus what I want to read, my standard mysteries that have been on my kindle forever and I can read at any time. I'm sticking myself in a non-reading few days by doing that and I need to just stop.

I am not thinking about best snow removal because I just want to make it clear to the universe that I'm not now nor am I at any point in the near future welcoming snow into my life. 

I'm also thinking about the work week and staying on task again like I did last week. It feels so good, I need to make it happen.





Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Five 1.15.2021


1. We all need things to look forward to. Anticipating the arrival of pie crust cookies is mine right now. Pandemic winter survival tip one

2. I'm back on my weekly fresh flowers and candles lit every night bullshit. Pandemic winter survival tip two

3. The calls for unity and healing without accountability and a dismantling and reconfiguration of systems that bend to White Supremacy (uh, that would be all systems) are tone deaf. This country chose the wrong path post-Civil War, which led to Jim Crow. We are poised on another precipice. Unity and healing make things better for people who benefit from white supremacy - people who look like me. This is not the time to try and take the quick and easy way. True healing and unity require work and uncomfortable conversations and changes. 

4. I've been reading a lot of Netgalley books, but I have some books in for pickup at the library. For those of you who like Courtney Summers (she wrote Sadie, which I loved, and Some Girls Are, which was a brutal but good read) - she has a new book coming out on February 2 called The Project. The subject matter is cults, which is one of my favorites. I finished it last night. It was fine - I know that's not a ringing endorsement, but it held my attention...which is. The past month of reading feels more like me than I have since March 2020. It feels like being at home in myself. 

5. Walking into the weekend like it is salvation. I was able to stay on task every day this week for work, which is one of my main goals aside from hydration (hit that shit also this week) so I'm feeling like a rest is in order. 

I've also committed to try other blue light blocking glasses which I eventually bought from La Piazza which has sunglasses I want too (learn more), am planning to haggle a little on my car this weekend and looked through Craft Customs to get a description of the steering wheel look I had in my old car and want in my next, and perused some private chef experiences on Food Fire + Knives for post-Covid world plans.

Happy Friday!  


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - Inside you the time moves and she don't fade

1. Last year BarkBox was sold out of roses and this year I got them and my life has been made. 

2.  Outside views
3. Inside views. Not much happening here. I have watched more than an advisable amount of weasel motherfucker Congress people advocating for healing and unity after they've spent four years doing the opposite. Cry me a fucking river ya fucks. I've also watched The Wilds and that is...wild. Disturbing.
4.  Hydration is one of my only goals this year. I met it every day this week. My key is a bottle I know. Like this is 40 ounces. So I need to be finished two and working my way towards the end of three by the end of the night. Done and done. I’m also in the peppermint tea every day phase of winter. STASH only.

5. My return to a paper to do list has served me well this week. I'm back to focusing on tasks and completing them but my brain still moves slower than it used to before the world stopped. Tomorrow I might even add in some external errands like return library books. Get salad things. Go to post office. In Covid times I feel an illicit thrill to go places. 

6. Things my phone advertised to me yesterday: living walls (learn more, I actually think these are super cool), Dsoro.com which showed me shoes initially but I also saw a purple sweater advertised with jeans I am now obsessed with finding and of course, cannot; and https://cruitscout.com/ I guess because I have been sourcing content creators online. Where are my Philly area freelance writers?

7. The outgoing president and everyone in government who has propped him up even after he incited a violent insurrection is going to be a long lasting shitstain on this country. Less than a week until he leaves the White House. The white supremacy does not leave with him. 

8. I freaking howled over this:

9. Reminder:

10. E-cards: Remember wearing clothes to work?


What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is The Ghost in You by The Pyschedelic Furs




Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Today is


Impeachment #2 day. Second impeachment? Impeachment squared? Impeachment take two? Insurrection Rejection? See you Later, Traitor? End of Treason Season?

My sister in law’s birthday. Happy birthday Aubrey!

Trash and recycle day, which I missed last week and was happier than usual to participate in this week. 

The day I run out of tea light candles 

My third day with  a major tension headache due to some neck issue 

The third day in a row I will drink over 100 ounces of water 

Calling general contractors day for some work we're looking to have done at the shore. We had a structural engineer out Monday.

Hair washing day, unplanned. I surprised myself so I couldn't dread it beforehand. 

The finish reading the Show Us Your Books linked up posts day

The first day without cupcakes since Sunday 

Searching for hypoallergenic earrings day and this site popped up for best gold plated earrings . I never do gold plated and might try them. I change my earrings once a year so I am always looking to get it right on the front end. this website comes up too, but I don't think they sell earrings at boarding schools. My phone must have been listening when I was watching The Wilds last night.

Re-creating all the work I did yesterday day

The first time I saw the fire This is Your Coup ad from The Lincoln Project. 

The day I should vacuum but won’t day



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Show Us Your Books January 2021


sweatshirt from Harriett's Bookshop

New year, new books, same Amerikkka. Until we confront white supremacy, it will continue dragging us all to hell with it. In June, I shared some books that have helped me understand and confront white supremacy in the systems we live in, and how those systems have manifested within myself. I've read more since. At this point after the white supremacist violent insurrection a the Capitol last week, if you cannot see that two Americas exist, I don't know what is going to help you, including a book. I do know that if the godchild of David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, can come to recognize and understand the harm of white supremacy, so can I, and so can you. If you think too much is made of race and want to brush all this shit off and distance yourself from it as a white person so you don't have to see how it has poisoned everything from the root from the start and continues to do so by design, maybe read his book. This is a book linkup. This commentary is not political. It's about human beings and white supremacy. Even literature and how it is presented to us is defined by white supremacy. You can't avoid confronting it. Well, you can. White people can avoid confronting it and nothing will happen to us. But the world will crumble around us if we continue to choose whiteness over everything. The country is already crumbling. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkupBooks with an asterisk were read in December 2020.

Engrossing Reads

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins - This was darkly funny and had a great pace. I tore through it. There were two separate stories that were woven into one and I enjoyed this read a lot. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Breathe Your Last (Detective Josie Quinn #10) by Lisa Regan - I am continually impressed with the quality of the Josie books given the speed in which they're turned out. I like the stories almost equally, and at 10 in, the same as I liked the first.  Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Death in the Family (Shana Merchant #1) by Tessa Wegert - I tore through this book despite there being a whole heck of a lot of suspension of belief required. The main character does (or doesn't do) shit that just would not fly literally anywhere in the real world. But I liked it and the way it was built. I got this off of an Instagram recommendation.  Kindle e-book, own



Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie* - Like all well done short stories, I was pissed off reading this because it was not at the least the length of a novella. Kindle e-book, own

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person by Frederick Joseph - Quite a few things were written so plainly in this, I hope it gets through to someone who might have struggled in the past. If you have a kid in high school or mature in middle school, consider co-reading this with them. hardcover, own, purchased from Harriett's

F*ckface: And Other Stories by Leah Hampton - Nice collection of shorties from a favorite setting: Appalachia. Short stories are not my favorite format of lit so it’s always nice to enjoy them. Hardcover, own, purchased from shore indie 

Possession by Katie Lowe - Another book in the Sadie/true crime podcast story within a story vein and the one I've liked the least. It is literally just fine. There was a lot in the book that didn't need to be in there and it felt muddled. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Troubles in Paradise (Paradise 3) by Elin Hilderbrand - I have read the previous two in the series in late January or February, where transporting myself to island life in my head seems most desirable. In these largely non-travel days transporting myself to anywhere seems desirable. I didn't wait long into January for this one - it was the book I started on New Year's Day (same as Nadine) - and that was just as well because it was more about wrapping up loose ends and less about island life. It's fine. It was a good run. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

And of course my google dives on private schools in Canada, Mato & Hash, and Montreal Weights - Articles and research belong in reading too!

Not Worth It
My Sister's Husband by Nicola Marsh - This was a train wreck, and not in a good way. Kindle, own

Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker - I probably should have DNF this. The story was good but the pacing was off and it killed my vibe for a while. OCNJ library hardcover

The Restaurant by Pamela M. Kelley - This was an it's not you, it's me scenario. Also a good for you, not for me scenario. Also a wrong book at the wrong time scenario. I might try the next in the series in the summer. OCNJ library paperback

Did Not Finish
n/a. 

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, January 14, 2021
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter










Monday, January 11, 2021

Ideas for fun times with the whole family

Written for the Life According to Steph audience by Maggie Hammond. Proud mama to two little people, and has one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors and animal welfare.

If you feel as though you want to show your love for your family, or simply perform a gesture that says, ‘we made it through 2020, together’ then gifts that all of your loved ones can appreciate are a wonderful way to help cement that feeling of unity and togetherness.

When life seems like it rushes by at a speed that is frankly unfair, taking the time to let your family know you are thinking about them is a great way of capturing moments that can last forever. 
Here are some ideas that you might find helpful if you are thinking of providing your family and loved ones with an uplifting new year surprise. 

A Family Photograph
Important moments like a family dinner or a birthday party offer you the chance to come together and appreciate the support that you might provide one another. 

It seems only natural to want to capture these moments in order to look back on them with fond memories. Organizing a family photograph is one way to make sure that these moments are not lost to the annals of time and finding a great photographer can be the perfect way to realize this. 

If you happen to currently reside in the area, you might want to check out a wonderful Chicago photographer to meet your requirements. 

A Karaoke Evening
Whether you sing like an angel or you reserve your voice solely for the shower, a karaoke evening is great fun for the whole family. Alongside the health benefits of singing, karaoke can be a marvelous social opportunity. 

Finding the time to get everyone together and sing your favorite songs at the top of your voice whilst abandoning all embarrassment can be a delightful experience. It can also help with the elimination of loneliness, as even when you cannot physically be together, you can organize a virtual karaoke party online

A Cookery Extravaganza
For those of you with a passion for cooking, or a desire to get better at the culinary arts, organizing a family cooking competition is a brilliant way to get everyone involved. You also get to have meals cooked for you, which is always a bonus. 

If you have some relatives who live far away, why not try a brand-new recipe together whilst on a video call? This can be a fun activity to indulge in together, without lockdown restrictions having to impose too much of an issue. 

Solve a Mystery
There are plenty of online mystery games to try your hand at, for those among you who fancy some detective work. 

Committing to a character right down to the outfit can make way for hilarity for the entire family, all from the comfort of your own home. 

Staying connected is vitally important going into the new year, as no one enjoys having to feel left out or lonely on a regular basis. 

Making the effort to contact your loved ones and arrange a catch-up is a great way to let them know you are thinking of them, plus you might have a great evening of merriment and games, a much needed relief from the stress of the current times. 

TWTW - not much happening in January

Outside. Beach time Friday morning, Saturday midday, Sunday at sunset. 
Inside. Friday night nails (Essie suits you swell) and tea since Friday was so raw out. Cleaning and errands Saturday morning. Sunday Mama Lew's hot chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow frosting on Sunday night for no reason. Pepper Thai's scalloped potatoes with a big salad on Saturday. Reading in the sun. Drinking the required amount of water both days. Taking vitamins. Getting rest. Sunday dinner takeout from Boyar's.
Some work on Sunday. Research on this website. Canada buying (learn more). Hawaii browsing, never knew this existed https://soldiertosoldierhawaii.com/ 
Two seasons of Derry Girls. Finished a book, read another, started a third. 


Tomorrow is Show Us Your Books. See you here for that! 



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