Thursday, March 31, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - don't leave false illusion behind

Picture it. Spring, 1980.
Add book, mug, and lipstick and my material life is reduced to a where you throw your shit when you walk in the door vignette

Treasures and death: a collage. Good week for treasures. Lots of dead things out there, Bruce and Ben tried to eat every single one in addition to the tiny alive crabs. 
Before. Shoulder season crowds loading. Spring is a hard time to intentionally book a trip to the shore far out - it could be so nice and it could be miserable and freezing. Every trip is weather dependent but few people like to freeze at the shore in spring when they know it's warmer inland.
Accomplishments. This week I took a bunch of returns to the post office, worked on taxes, picked up library books, ate a lot of vegetables, went through my bathing suits, purged clothes I have down here, booked two of the hotels for our New England road trip, and did my shore calendar and seasonal list. It's the little things. 

Misadventures in DIY. Who paints the bathroom floor THEN decides to have a team come in to paint walls, a plumber to replace the toilet, an electrician to fix a light fixture, and a husband to install a towel rack and toilet paper holder, requiring another coat before a top coat goes on? This dumbass. But I finally did the top coat last night, which will cure for seven days. 

You gotta get the big mama jar. The price of food has reached pearl clutching levels.

Scenic. March came in like a lamb and seems to be going out like a lion. It is confused by life in the now, like most of us. Off to secure my outdoor furniture and shit.
My constant starer.

Hope you all had a great Women's History Month and remember that every month is Black History Month and Women's History Month,  every month is the time to dismantle systems of oppression rooted in racism and patriarchy, and every month is the month to point your pitchfork in the right direction and clean up your own people's messes before you borrow messes from other people. Art by Kelly Reemsten
In the age of social media, this is a lost art. Reading and learning is so good and important and we bypass it a lot to make some sort of statement, like it's required of us. It's not. Even if we have at other times. I hope you follow Rabbi Danya. She provokes great thought in me. 

I'd like to thank the Academy in advance for cleaning up all of its messes. 

We could of course go into things we should all be talking about. Like the wife of a sitting Supreme Court Justice being in on the January 6 coup attempt as well as a conservative lobbyist and that same justice being the only one to rule against release of information instead of recusing himself for a conflict of interest. Like the former president continually being a lying liar who lies. Like misinformation and hot takes being presented as fact and disseminated to the masses by Fox News. Like the war in Ukraine and the threat Russia with an unhinged mediocre man at the helm poses to everyone. Like how we are treating Ukrainian refugees versus how we have received Middle Eastern refugees. Like high prices being passed off as "supply chain issues" and "inflation" instead of what it is in many cases - corporate greed, C-suite bonuses, stock buybacks all under record profit quarters while citizens suffer in the stores and at the pump. The widening wealth gap. The price of medications. Student loan debt crushing people. Gun violence. Violence born out of desperation, depression, lack of opportunity. Mental health. Substance abuse disorder. Black people sitting in jail on weed charges while white people are legal and licensed to distribute now. The farcical war on drugs period. Book banning bullshit and the silencing of teachers. Cutting off the ability to teach CRITICAL THINKING. The absolute disregard for nurses and their vitally important role in this world. Making sure gay and trans kids don't feel like they are legislated out of existence. And so much more. 

I hope we all have the day we deserve! Well, I hope that every day, and that we live knowing that is going to be the case. 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Eye in the Sky by The Alan Parsons Project

Monday, March 28, 2022

TWTW - already the last in March

Friday Working on a deadline but stole lunch to paint my nails (OPI Angles Flight to Starry Nights and Sally Midnight Drive, which is already looking shitty Monday morning). Leftovers and couch lounging at night. 
Saturday I slept waaaay in and didn't come downstairs until 10. We finished out the first season of Yellowjackets. I worked on a New England trip road trip itinerary and taxes. I was at the end of making a batch of power breakfast muffins and realized I was missing an ingredient so drug my unshowered, no bra, muscle relaxer taking self to the store to get freaking baking powder. I made an uncolorful but good dinner of marinated baked chicken from the freezer, rice, and sauteed cabbage. More taxes, relaxing, watched Four Good Days at night, Ben was reluctant to go to bed, and stayed up to finish Notes on an Execution.

Sunday The book I started the day reading is not the book I ended the day reading. I made a batch of spinach muffins to freeze, then roasted balsamic mushrooms and green beans and sauteed some smoked turkey sausage in duck sauce and hot mustard - I took half to the shore and left half in Philly with MFD. I was back at the shore by 3:30. Bruce and Ben were ecstatic to do some running. There were a few good shells but overall windy and very cold. The clouds were cool with rays coming through, which I love. Lots of arm icing at night, Oscars watching, and reading. 

Last dose of winter here over these next few days. I hope.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - Heartaches come and go, and all that's left are the words

Working in town yesterday. I miss being able to quickly walk to my chiropractor, to get my eyebrows done, grab lunch, a little longer walk to my acupuncturist, and see art and movement and all sorts of people along the way. If only I could work there without losing two hours a day or more to commute. It's not feasible daily with the way we have adapted our work life and times over the past two years. I was the only person in my office yesterday.
Speaking of lunch, the crispy chicken salad at Sweetgreen is amazing

Going to the chiro and acupuncturist is part of my regular wellness plan, but this time I went specifically for arm numbness. My radial nerve is compressed. Hopefully with the intense acu I had yesterday and stretching it will go back to normal and I won't need to escalate

Seeing signs of spring
Reading this as of last night. I didn't feel like reading at all most of the week and this sucked me in immediately which is always good when I'm in a not reading mood
Despite what the essential 80s music form of power ballads led us all to believe, most heartbreak is not romantic but rather attributable to the ways of the world  and the casual disregard people have for each other on small and large scales. 
Why in the shit fuck is anyone voting for a party who posts shit like this on Twitter? Do you guys know Critical Race Theory is not like...the mere existence of Black people? The insane personal and systemic racism on display in this farcical Supreme Court justice hearing yet you do not want any sort of high level (like, grad level, like above most of our heads without teaching level...not babies learning critical race theory or kids in schools) thought put into that like...critical race theory. I see exactly where you're coming from. 
The Judge is imminently qualified. The hearing is ridiculous and insane and feeds right into the mediocrity of the white men in government and puts the worst of our racism and misogyny on display. There is nothing more to say. 
North Korea? Not today. 

Meeting a coworker for lunch today. Getting back out there more regularly and it feels good. Lots of time with fam and friends coming up in the next few months too.

I always vote for patent leather, even in my athleisure shoes aka the only shoes I wear now.

Aldi pizza - recommend, for the price point and ease

Middle fingers in the air to gas stations that put one amount on the sign and charge a different amount if you are paying credit without large CASH PRICE sign. Who in the shit fuck has enough cash on them to pay for a full tank of gas right now? Probably a lot of you but not me. I'm lucky if I have $10 in cash, ever. 

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 Know What You Got Til It's Gone by Cinderella

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Three Things March 2022

Three things I like about spring
1. No more heavy jackets
2. Flowers
3. No heat on in the house

Three things I dislike about spring
1. Cleaning up the flower bed and other assorted yardwork
2. Allergies
3. Bugs return

Three things I drink most often besides water and iced coffee
1. Barry's tea combined with Stash peppermint tea
2. Bubly - usually lime, strawberry, or blackberry
3. Iced tea

Three in the house projects I want to get done in April
1. Remove/store shore winter items and (related) sort all shore supplies sitting in the middle bedroom there
2. Move couch to MFD's office in Philly
3. Go through two bins in my room in Philly

Three things I eat for lunch or dinner when I don't feel like cooking
1. Cheese, crackers, banana peppers, olives, odds and ends - we call this a fun plate in my house
2. Cereal
3. Salad

Three things I've been putting off
1. Going to the post office
2. Sorting papers
3. Taxes

Three things I've been killing it at
1. Daily vitamins
2. Night face routine
3. Walking more

Three things I'm over
1. Reels on the main Instagram feed
2. Forgetting things when I go to the store/get things delivered
3. Wiping kitchen counters

Three things I'm looking forward to
1.Warmer days
2. Acupuncture tomorrow
3. Porch sitting



Monday, March 21, 2022

TWTW - birthday weekend #2

Friday if you have to refer to your photos to see what you did that day…lol at lunch I went to the library spring book sale and grocery store. Guess which one was more fun? After work I did a beach walk, finished a book, and read another one until 1 am.

Saturday started with nails - tried Essie’s  new quick dry polish and didn’t love the application but I liked the polish grew on me as it wore. This is Essie Expressie Trick Clicque with a OPI Mylar Dreams pinky nail. After this scintillating nail appointment was finished, we went to a tour at the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May. It was an hour and it was good. If you are not someone who can pay attention in a group for an hour, this is not for you. The tours are guided at this time and by guided in basically one large room they mean we are going to tell you about Harriet's operations in Cape May. The guy giving the tour was very good. 
We were going to walk around the Washington Street Mall area after that, but there were a lot of people and no parking and I got annoyed very quickly so we headed out and had lunch at the Lobster House on the way out of town. 
Popped in to TJMaxx and Restore in CMCH on the way home, and lolled around on the couch for a while. We had dinner at Kessel’s because Instagram showed me ice cream over funnel cake fries, new this year so we had to try it. I started a new book and we watched a lot of episodes of Hacks. 

Sunday was a slow moving morning. I woke up with numbness in my arm from sleeping on something wrong and it is not going away so I'm calling on chiro and acupuncture this week. I did some sorting of shit up in the house, began the process of removing stuff prior to rental season, cleaned the kitchen, and MFD installed the no drill hand towel and toilet paper holder in the small bathroom. We went for a family beach walk and watched the remaining three episodes of Hacks. Scrounged for dinner and packed a bunch of stuff up, then watched three episodes of Yellowjackets. Hooo boy.

Heading back to Philly for some appointments this week. 

Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2022

Poking that trip planning muscle memory

Happy Friday! Happy almost spring! 

So great to see people out there planning trips, holidays, family visits, short breaks, etc., after the completely disrupted travel over the past couple of years, with the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the world. Many countries either closed their borders or heavily limited passage across their borders, and states within the United States enacted quarantine periods upon arrival or return. With vaccines being rolled out around the world and immunity or resistance against Covid-19 on the rise, travel is back on the table for a lot of people. If you are like me, you both can't wait to get away and also feel rusty in your travel planning and execution skills. Things that felt so natural now feel foreign. We'll start at the top, yes? 

Decisions, decisions
Choosing a travel destination used to be as simple as deciding where you want to go in the world and checking if it was in budget. At this current point in the world, you need to consider a fair amount more aside from where to go. Do you want to fly with airlines still not back to regular service? Is there a war nearby? What is the Covid vaccination rate on the ground? If traveling internationally, you also need to  look into that country’s travel rules and entry requirements. Some places are allowing travel as usual, while many others require certain steps to be taken by visitors like full vaccinations against Covid,  PCR tests to ensure you are testing negative for Covid before your flight, etc.. Make sure that you meet each country’s entry requirements or are willing to be vaccinated and/or tested before settling on that location.

Can't escape vaccines even on vacation
For certain countries, you are advised to get certain travel vaccinations before entering the country. This can protect you from illnesses that are present in that country but not your own, reducing your chances of getting ill. Common examples include cholera, diphtheria, or hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Make sure you get these well in advance of your trip.

Itinerary Queen
I have always been an itinerary queen. I love creating them and I find they help me see and do everything I want to and make the most of  my time away, if that's the kind of trip I'm taking. This doesn’t have to be regimented and militant but if you have traveled with me, you know some days it can be and is LOL. Mine usually have where I'm staying, driving/travel times, tourist attractions, excursions, and definitely restaurants like a good BBQ Restaurant in the area if you're in that kind of place or seafood restaurant if you're in that kind of place. You get the picture. 

Book in advance
Some attractions can see long queues or may be sold out on certain days. I book as much in advance as I can so I know it's done and I'm getting in, and it's nice that they’re already paid for before you even leave.

Right now, I need to do less thinking and talking about trips and more planning of the one we're going to do this summer with my Dad & Carol up through New England. I'm still not into possible airport fuckery so driving feels right right now.

Do you  have any trips planned/in the planning process? 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Nutrition for the whole family

Heyooh. Checking in from over here, where we have been riding the Sugar Dragon around the world. We've been talking a lot about what we eat, because let's face it is is easier to eat healthier when everyone in the household is on the same page.  

Protein is king
I personally cannot function well without starting my day with the correct amount of protein. You can get protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, eggs, and dairy products. I do best when I incorporate protein into every meal by having eggs, egg salad, or chicken salad for breakfast, adding chicken or tuna or hard boiled eggs to my salad at lunch, and having chicken thighs or fish or rice and beans for dinner.

What in the hell should we eat? 
One of the best ways to ensure I eat well is to plan and prep. If that's done, ordering out or resorting to like buttery noodles is not the game plan. I like to have stuff cooked and ready to go in the freezer, and veggies to cut up for snacks. 

Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for good health. I cannot even describe the difference in how I feel when I eat the appropriate amount of  vegetables for the day, something I've been focusing on since the beginning of February. I am looking for at least half of my plate to be filled with vegetables at every meal. They are so easy to incorporate into virtually anything - add diced tomatoes, grated carrots, grated zucchini, or sautéed mushrooms to spaghetti (the veggie meat sauce I make most frequently for one time use and large batches to freeze is based off this one from Budget Bytes) or mac and cheese. Soups and stews are amazing to add to also of course, like this delicious Italian barley soup recipe, to ensure the whole family gets their daily recommended intake. I always have frozen fruit on hand for a snack too. 

Stop Riding the Sugar Dragon
I am never looking to cut anything out, including sugar. I know how and who I am and it's not something that will be done. I am a person who can limit sugar treats and have been in the past, but not lately. Even just slowing down the Sugar Dragon ride is easier said than done. When it comes to sweets, moderation is key and moderation is exactly the opposite of what we've been doing here. Enjoy sugary treats in small amounts is the goal. 

Replace Alcohol And Fizzy Or Sugary Drink With Water
MFD doesn't drink period and I don't drink much, so this is more about his sugary drinks. Water is king for hydration of course. One of my best habits is taking down 100 ounces of water a day. When it starts to bore me, I add some slices of lemon or lime or orange. MFD says he's laying off the coke cans. We'll see! 

Easy swaps
Popcorn over chips, froyo over ice cream, eating at home to control what is in food. Small swaps go a long way.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. Even though disembarkation from the Sugar Dragon cruise can be. Our lady of victory, pray for us.

Thursday Thoughts - good night and joy be with you all

1. Happy St. Paddy's Day. You are a fucking delight and the pot of gold is inside yourself. Roasted corned beef on deck for today. 

2. I miss celebrating my birthday with my Grandmom - mine was Tuesday and hers today - we would alternate picking restaurants to go to and she always had corned beef for St. Paddy's Day. Hers was the best. 
3. I did much of nothing on my birthday, which was the plan. I had spent the weekend in reflective mode, which is typical for birthday time. MFD waited on me hand and foot, I read a whole book, unboxed my new homemade quilt made by Lori, had my favorite pepperoni & provolone bagel for breakfast, went on a long walk, spent a lot of time outside, was at the beach twice, took an afternoon nap, had a nice dinner out, and caught the tail end of a nice sunset. And of course I took the day off of work. Things of course went not according to plan also because this is real life - our street was dug up right outside my window at 7 am so no sleeping in, the restaurant I wanted to go to was not open Tuesday - but it was a good day and I am still here to age when so many people are not. This is 45 and it is damn good to be here. I wrote a bunch of phone notes that never transferred to a blog post but this is my instagram birthday caption where I try to collect my thoughts from the day. 

4. The electric work I had done in the main shore house was $300 over estimate because previous owners had cut corners. Use junction boxes, kids! I have three remaining that have not been replaced and now I'm moving that to the top of the list. Here are some of the new ones. I really love the hallway ones. Not pictured is a soft pink one for the small bath. I have a cheapie in the powder room, and need to repair the ceiling around it and put my preferred lightbulbs in all of them. All the interior door hinges and knobs are being switched out to black in May. The lights were those hideous boob lights and I'm glad they're gone. Just three more to go.

5. I am convinced that 99% of people who design sun hats have never sat on the beach all day in the slightest wind and absolutely never put their creation on with a pair of large sunglasses. Despite this belief, I continue to search high and low for one that I can lean my head back in, that won't fall off if you whisper at it, can be worn with large sunglasses, provides facial coverage from the sun but doesn't have an enormously ridiculous brim so I can't see a fucking thing, and doesn't give me a headache after 30 minutes. The first test of the season is on its way to me. 

6. We tried Crumbl cookies last week. They were fine? We got all six flavors for the week and I only loved one. The chocolate chip is straight trash, I stand by this statement. I need to get off the Sugar Dragon's back things are bad right now. My mom just loaded us up with Easter candy too. We are eating it all like fat asses then going straight to vegetables and fruit. Contact me for all of your nutrition needs. 

7. A good week on the beach, all days. 

8. The world is heavy to live in. Help people however you can, and accept help yourself when it is offered. 

9. Reminder via thepaperfern: I saw this just when I needed to, which happens a lot. This quote from Glennon Doyle is important - we focus so much on happiness that when I feel other sorts of ways, I am annoyed at myself. Like pissed off when my feelings are hurt which All of these things are a part of being human - we don't exist only in situations that feel good. Disappointment is the hardest thing to swallow, isn't it? 

10. Ecards - 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is The Parting Glass, this version is The Dubliners

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