Monday, February 28, 2022

TWTW - the last one in February

Friday I started work early and ended correspondingly early, but was in pajamas by 3 anyway. Carol made salmon and salad for dinner, and I think I just zoned out on the couch at night. 

Saturday Bruce got up early and would not go back to sleep, so I was showered and packed up and we were off to the shore by 9. It was my first time driving with Billy in the car. I set up my new curtain system to hide the baker's rack clutter in our apartment and it makes an enormous difference. I cannot believe it took me nearly seven years to think of this. I unpacked, painted my nails (OPI Mural Mural on the wall, color fully seen in Sunday book photo), and finished a book. MFD arrived from some mummer thing and we went for a walk on the beach, then had chili out of the freezer for dinner. 

Sunday I spent the morning reading, MFD picked up bagels, and I did iced coffee flights with Amanda at Common Grounds in Oaklyn. I loved it, I mean look at the little coffee flight that was all delicious, and of course loved hanging with one of the BFF framily crew. I made it back to the shore in time to see the setting sun come through the hut on the fishing pier. I was in bed early finishing off a book. 

All while an ocean away a madman has the world holding their breath with his nuclear weapons and invasion of a peaceful people in a sovereign land. 

Donate to Voices of Children, Sunflower of PeaceTogether Rising, International Rescue Committee, Care, Kyiv Independent (become a Patron or donate via Go Fund Me at the top of the page) to keep free press operational, and Razom Ukraine has options to donate but also resources for other ways to support the global Stand with Ukraine movement.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime

1. This world right now. What insane and unnecessary pain and suffering mediocre white men have brought upon all of us throughout time. Russia's invasion of the peaceful country and people of Ukraine is fucking insane at any time, especially in 2022. We know, well, by now what havoc imperialism wreaks. The disastrous consequences of unchecked mediocre white man ego, too. On a whim this fucking guy nixes a binding international agreement to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine. For fucking what. All the good thoughts to the people of Ukraine. And to all of us, as the consequences of invasions like this are not contained inside land borders humans made. They have real global impacts: refugees, humanitarian assistance, economies, military, cyber attacks, misinformation, nuclear bullshit, propaganda, etc. We are the world, being served shit stew by an egomaniac trump and Tucker Fox News worship. MEDIOCRE WHITE MEN. What a time to be alive.
Speaking of disastrous consequences of unchecked mediocre white man ego...Why would you attempt to criminalize trans or gay people? Why does anyone vote for a party that pushes legislation forward like the Don't Say Gay bill in Florida or policy, albeit not backed up by law, like Greg Abbott's in Texas? It all connects. Donating to candidates in this party and supporting this party in any way is an unspoken agreement to let agendas like this prosper. Look, the democrats aren't doing fucking shit on the whole right now aside from talking and I'm not happy with them. The actions by republicans in power to put people - freaking kids - in unnecessary and egregious danger is Support trans people in TX and everywhere. Support gay people in FL and everywhere.  National Center for Transgender Equality Texas Action Center.
So, mood.

2. Cold again, jiggity jig. It was nice to experience a windows open day yesterday. Even Billy Hicks scored some outside time. I'm looking forward to that being the norm. I know winter is not finished, but I am officially finished with it. Birthday month is loading.

3. I've been in Philly much of the week, and I always feel like days are lather, rinse, repeat here. I am not outside walking as much up here and I'm always waiting to go back to the shore. Things I did do this week: return some shit to Nordstrom Rack, schedule some work at the shore in my small bathroom, scheduled my spring shore pest control, ordered light fixtures for two of the baths and the hallway, and pulled some clothes to donate. Things I still did not do: decide on light fixtures or peel & stick for the big shore bath. This is my iridescent pink HomeGoods happy:

4. The dogs haven't minded being home at all. My Dad and Carol made settlement on their new house last week but are back for Dad's cataract surgery this week. 

5. I had a questionable work day Monday and on Tuesday one of those brain draining/head hurting/what is the point ones reminiscent of April 2020 where it feels like the world is pressing in around you. Yesterday was much better thank god. Today is poised to be busy as hell, which Thursdays always are. 

6. Whipped up a quick veggie meat sauce with zucchini, mushrooms, onion, and ground sausage to have with pasta  last night. Carol made meatloaf Tuesday that was awesome. 

7. Aside from the weather being mostly rainy this week at the shore, I wanted to give our apartment counter time to set so I was better off not on the premises. I painted it Sunday and Monday with a leftover paint kit. This weekend I need to restore order there and in the house upstairs, and finally paper the ceiling in the powder room. Which I need a ladder for. 
8. We got in a pretty nice walk on Monday before we took off. 

9. Reminder via Breeze Studio

10. Ecards - an oldie but a goodie

Happy happy birthday to Natalia and Mrs. G today!

Hang in there everyone.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is In a Big Country by Big Country (LOL)

Monday, February 21, 2022

TWTW - the Presidents Day one

Friday I started work early, but not as early as Billy Hicks, who made it to the office first. I painted my nails on a break, color influenced by Audrey (CND Vinylux Sage Scarf, you can see it in action on one of the Saturday photos below), had big ass salads for lunch with MFD and Ben, had an unsuccessful trip to HomeGoods, spent a few hours with my niece and nephew and giugitsus (sp?) while having pizza and cupcakes, and assed out on the couch after a stop at Target on the way home. 

Saturday Wakeup time was around 7:15, but I wasn't feeling it. I ended up sleeping until almost 10:30. I needed it I guess, and I am trying to get better about not getting up just to get up if I need rest. I eased into the day with eggs with the dogs and then read a book, did a lot of laundry folding and sorting, moved some furniture around, ran to the grocery store, and made creamy sausage tortellini soup. So easy and delicious. After that I packed up the car and headed back to the shore with los perros. I unpacked immediately which I never do and was up reading late. 

Sunday I had another lie in until about 9, got a big salad from Wawa and picked up supplies at Sherwin Williams, battled between the desire to get a project going and the desire to read a book straight through, finally prepped and primed the counter top, took the dogs to the beach, and headed out.

Melissa and Jim & the kids were a few towns over, so I popped in for a visit, including a beautiful and freezing due to wind jetty walk( bottom left pic I borrowed from Melissa) and dinner. It was impromptu and great, I'm glad we could make it work. Also look at the gorgeous church across as I was leaving. 
If you've never driven on the Garden State Parkway in the southern shore area with no one behind you on a moonless night, this is what it looks like looking out the back LOL. I stopped at ACME on the way home to exchange my water jugs, put another coat of primer on the counter tops, walked the dogs, had some Jeni's ice cream, and finished a book just before midnight. 

Work today, no bank holidays here. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - I think about the implication of diving in too deep

1. I had a shit day on Tuesday. Riding the Sugar Dragon straight to hell on the fumes of Super Bowl leftovers felt good in the moment and gave me a stunning headache after. 

2. It didn't help that it was still wicked cold, the beach was super flat, and dogs were still tired from our Monday long walk in the cold. What a nice treat to get an impromptu visit from Beth and G and Lulu Monday. 

3. MFD went home Tuesday night, taking Bruce, Mae, and Billy cat. I kept Ben with me and he would definitely thrive as an only dog. Which I get, after coming from a hoarder house having to fight for food and attention. The only thing he wants is another dog near him when he eats so he can be Mr. Teeth. Bruce on the other hand was very upset to be sent home.

Wednesday was warm and beautiful and made me long for spring. Someone was already out walking in bare feet. Not too long now. I don't wait long on doing that. 

4. I love treasure hunting, but the best is when you go to the beach just for a quick 15 or 20 minute walk and come across some things just lying there you have to put in your pocket. These are Wednesday's, still sandy, and Monday's unexpected glass haul. I should really paint this counter this weekend.

5. This is the new piece of furniture we wrestled with last weekend set up as a work station. I actually put another ceramic utensil holder under the monitor to put that up more too. It works for the few days a week I'll need it in the summer. I'll put a little light in there too in the back. The countertop paint mentioned above is in that brown paper bag waiting, waiting LOL
6. I love when I catch sun or light like this. In my computer monitor before shutting down for the day, me crouching like a creep to get it.

7. I fought the long arm of Wells Fargo Corporate Facilities this week and sort of won? They installed new lighting to adhere to some NJ statute. It is like living next to a fucking football stadium. They dimmed the lights and angled them down but I still need blackout shades. Who has recommendations that won't kill my wallet? These photos were all taken before they did anything.
8. Change of scenery for a few days, and that meant dinner last night with Jen & Kelly! It's been over two years. I've been friends with Jen for over 40 years and Kelly like 32? 35? It's always like no time has gone by at all. We went to Las Margaritas & it was good. 

9. Reminder via byhappyal

10. This made me LOL

TGIAF! Windows open, lunch with a coworker, niece's play tonight. Wrestling with making it back to the shore for an appointment early.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Overkill by Men at Work - love this acoustic version the most 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Three Things February 2022

It's been quite a while. Three Things is back. Hopefully monthly but this has been in draft since September 21, 2021, so...we'll see.

Three things that make me feel free
1. Leaving my phone on another floor for hours
2. Walking on the beach when no one else is around
3. Driving over bridges with the sun roof open

Three things I am inclined to forget when leaving the house
1. Wallet
2. House key
3. Gloves

Three nail things I recommend
1.Fully preparing nails and not skipping steps then complaining nails chip on day two: remove polish, attend to cuticles, file, buff, wash, dry well, base coat, wait a few minutes, color coat 1, wait a few minutes, color coat 2, wait a few minutes, top coat. Cuticle cream when dry. Aside from the two items below, happy to share any other items I use if you need a recommendation.
3.Seche Vive Gel Effect top coat (affiliate link)

Three things I keep saying I should do and continue to not do
1. Stretch daily
2. Re-start Shit MFD Said
3. Purge my shoes

Three reading related things I don't do that you might 
1. Listen to audio books
2. Re-read books. I have re-read some, of course. And some I've read so many times in my teen years I could recite them. But that was definitely young me. As I get older, I don't do that much anymore at all. 
3. Give a synopsis of the book when I talk about the book. That's what the book jacket writer is for

Three places I am dying to go 
1. Budapest
2. Glacier National Park
3. New Mexico

Three things I do every day by noon
1. Drink at least 40 ounces of water
2. Drink iced coffee 365 days unless I'm traveling and it is unavailable/not easily accessible and there's no fridge for me to make and keep my own
3. Tell a dog to stop or, alternatively, to come on

Three fashion trends I can confidently say I will never do again
1. Stirrups
2. Big hair
3. Spaghetti strap cami tanks

Three things I'm over
1. Working five out of seven days
2. People acting like there is no systemic racism while examples fly freely around like farts on the wind
3. Exhausting shit and idiots. I am over so many things and this is a good catch all

Three things I'm looking forward to
1. Birthday month!
2. Being barefoot outside
3. Lots of quality time with friends and fam coming up in spring and summer


 I think the last time I did this was August 2019

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Pexels - CCO Licence

When your relationships are happy, you are happier and healthier in the rest of your life too. Of course, relationships can often be fraught, and it can be trickier than you might ever have imagined maintaining healthy relationships over a long period, but that doesn’t mean you should not try!

In fact, I’ve put together a few tips to help you do just that…

Set realistic expectations

Whether you are simply talking to a new date on one of these phone numbers or you are living with a husband you’ve been married to for years, it is important that you always set realistic expectations for them and for your relationship.

If you expect too much, then you are only ever going to be disappointed and that will lead to more arguments. When you are in a relationship with someone, you have to expect that they will have their flaws and so will you - no one is perfect. 


There is no getting around the fact that, if you want to maintain a healthy relationship with anyone, you need to communicate with them often. You need to be able to tell them what you need and you need to be able to listen to what they need so you can find a way through the tough times together. If you can’t talk, how can you have a healthy lasting relationship?

Look after yourself

You might be in a relationship, but you, first and foremost, are responsible for your own health and wellbeing. By taking time out to focus on the things that will help you look after yourself, whether that be meditation, a pedicure or therapy, or something else completely, you can maintain better relationships because you will be in a good place yourself.

When you feel good, you are less likely to anger quickly or be annoyed by those minor irritants everybody has, so your relationships will be much healthier too. It really is that simple.

Be reliable

If you say you are going to do something, do it. That may sound overly simplistic, but it is a fast track to relationship harmony. Why? Because your spouse will know that you can be depended on no matter what and that is really very important.

Take responsibility

If you do something wrong, don’t try to deny it or come up with excuses, own it and apologize. That way, you can all move on much more quickly without any animosity, and you know, admitting to your mistakes is the grownup thing to do.

Make time for each other

Above all, you should make time for each other if you want to maintain a strong and healthy relationship. If you fail to do this, then drifting apart is almost inevitable, so have a regular date night or whatever, and don’t cancel it for anything or anyone!

Maintaining healthy relationships will not always be smooth sailing, but it is possible, and these tips will hopefully help you to find more harmony with the people who are closest to you.

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

Monday, February 14, 2022

TWTW - February Furniture Fiesta

Friday A banner day for a lunch walk. I made stringbeans and mushrooms with a side of pesto pasta and chicken thighs for dinner. Dad & Carol arrived around 6 and I was in bed by 10.
Saturday Bruce woke up with the shits that then translated into the pukes. I tell this dog not to eat dead sea creatures. Does he listen? He does not. I painted my nails (OPI Mylar Dreams and Princesses Rule!), Dad & Carol got donuts. My dad and I went to Ventnor to pick up a piece of furniture that would not fit in his car, so the woman made alternate be continued. I picked up holds at the library, went to the grocery store, and read. It was a glorious weather day and it was so nice to ride around with the windows open and be outside without a coat. 
At 2 we had to go back over to Ventnor for no reason, just for a guy to load the furniture into his truck and follow us back to OC. When we got back, MFD was there so my Dad was off the hook after it got inside. Lots of moving furniture and arguing because the width that was on the listing is the body, not the top that juts out and prevents it from siding all the way back in the recess of the wall. It's still in progress, I'm swapping my cream colored storage bins in Philly for these white ones, but it's staying and it functions like we need it to. There is an entire desk set up inside of this piece as well as storage. Thanks to my Dad who went back and forth with me twice and endured the whole unplanned saga with me and Carol who stayed with the dogs as MFD was delayed in his arrival due to showings in Philly. 

Dad and Carol got dinner from Jon & Patty's, and I did a salad and fries. Another early to bed to read with my two black and white animals. 

Sunday Bruce was not in the mood to get up. I spent the morning purging and organizing, and we took a beach walk at the end of the island. Dad & Carol were there for a little then went to another beach to shell. I read a bit when we got back.

I am never into the Super Bowl unless the hometown team is in it then the excitement is intoxicating but I am always into the food and usually buy block pools to support organizations of kids. Carol made Mozz sticks, MFD picked up hoagies from White House in Atlantic City, and I made homemade wings. MFD was the only person in America to scan the QR code because the rest of us are over them. The game was actually good, although if I'm rooting it's for the underdog so I wish the Bengals won. Loved the halftime show - where can I get a knock off of Dr. Dre's jacket? I won $125 in a block pool from the Rhode Island Doyles. Good times. 

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you celebrate all types of love all year and that you have a lion's share of love for yourself. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - You can see through water all the way up to the sky

1. Forever mood and T-shirt of the day via True Hand Society in Fishtown

2. I went to the post office and grocery store on Monday. The irony of following a car with a sticker on it that says "I stand against socialism" driving on a public road in a town doing intense infrastructure upgrades on a barrier island connected to everything by bridges. 

3. Insert upside down smiley face here. If you said one goddamn thing out loud via your mouth hole or on social media about Hilary's emails, I expect to hear from your ass today. 
Also, reminder, because fuck. People are acting like slavery and segregation with 300 years ago and that every system in the country has not been stacked against Black people in a million ways since up to and including today. Stop. Read something true from scholars. 

4. The extreme laziness still gets me after all these years. They walk a few times a day and have a longer beach walk of 45 min to an hour, which they can spend running off-leash if no one is around. 
5. Beach walks this week.
6. I haven't felt like reading this week, which is unfortunate since I have 13 Netgalley books that publish in March and three books in for me at the library and still I want to purchase several other books. Whyyyyy. I need to read what I have and stop requesting things from the library. Thanks to Show Us Your Books peeps. Have you read through the posts? I need to get to the last five myself this morning. I have felt like eating ice cream.

7. I reported recently that I started using tretinoin on my face. Today I would like to report that I've already stopped that and am on to snail mucus serum. Yes, that's correct. My annual February nervous breakdown skincare overhaul has arrived right on schedule.

8. Reminder if you are single or with someone and think Valentine's Day is a ridiculous concept or a drag: I also think it is a ridiculous concept, but celebrating love of all kinds is not. We should do that at every opportunity. Image via thesweetfeminist
9. Reminder via Lalah Delia

10. Or at like 4:45. I mean I'll do it and do it right either time but come on, man.

Friday eve. I'm into it.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is God of Ocean Tides by Counting Crows which I have heard every time I have been in my car because apple music is not shuffling

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