Friday, April 29, 2022

Dog stuff for people who want a dog but can't get one

Happy Friday everyone! Look at t he best friend dogs this morning, not working, sunning themselves while I toil away to earn money to keep them in the style in which they are accustomed. 

I was talking with a friend recently who really wants a dog but can't have one due to her rental agreement. That was us at one time, and then we moved to a place where we could get a dog (thanks Maria!) and got Gus. Then Geege. Then we owned our own home and could have as many as we wanted, which was at one time four and while I do not necessarily recommend that number, I do remember what it was like to really want a dog and not be able to get one. 

You might also be in that position - maybe you can't due to lease constraints, or you don't have the space, time, energy, money, physical ability, or mental capacity to care for a dog all the time. If any of those things apply by all means please DO NOT GET A DOG. It rarely works out well when people insist on getting a dog they can't look after. 

Even if having a dog isn't in the cards for you right now, it doesn't mean your life has to be dog-less. There are still plenty of ways you can have dogs in your life without actually owning a dog. 

Be a dog walker or a dog sitter
When you can't have a dog of your own, consider borrowing someone else's. If you have friends and relatives who have dogs,  they're grateful for someone to help look after them. You can volunteer to walk their dogs when they don't have time or to look after them when they're away. You might also have neighbors who could use the help. 

I'm looking for an in-home pet sitter for a week in June. I frequently need someone who can pop over and let the dogs out. People like me need people like you, and I prefer to use people I know or who know people I know. And in addition to getting to be around dogs, you get paid to do these things. Of course, you should have some experience with dogs before you start offering your services. But dogsitting is a great way to earn a little extra income while living your life and working your job if you have one.

Work with a shelter or rescue
Getting involved with a dog rescue or shelter is a great way to keep dogs in your life, and there are a lot of ways to do it. If you just want to do a small part to help a rescue, you could donate to or buy from an organization like Redemption Paws. It's a good option for showing your support and your love of dogs by wearing something that tells everyone how much you like them. You could also look for opportunities to volunteer with a rescue or shelter. If you're able to have a dog at home but not on a permanent basis, you could even consider fostering. There's so much need for donations of money and time. 

Dog Show! 
Mr. David Larry and Miss Colleen and Mr. Rocky Balboa and Mr. Bojangles (who knows this skit?) One of the most hilarious of all time
If you just want to be around dogs, you can find events that are centered around the four-legged, furry creatures. This could include competitions such as agility shows, as well as events that are just about dogs and their owners having fun. Sometimes these events might be held at dog-friendly places such as dog parks or beaches. Ocean City had a Doo Dah parade a few weekends ago, which is full of dachshunds. They also do a Howl-o-ween parade here. Look for events held in your local area to find fun things to attend that are usually free too, and full of so many people that showing up without a dog is a fine flex. 

It doesn't matter if you can't own a dog. There are still ways to keep dogs in your life.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - I think you're sweet like rock candy

Essie Expressie, recommend. I hate the brush, but cannot deny the love I have for the punchy colors and the way it wears. This is my second time wearing the pink and it is perfection. Sometimes you need a quick dry polish, and this wears better than Sally's, which was my top standard for a quick dry. I have it in Trick Clique and just got it in the red this week, so I'm excited to try that. 
Don't you forget about me. 
End of dogs on the regular beach season tomorrow. We are sad. Dog Beach is only 10 min away, but in season we will go less because it's more of a pain to lose a parking spot, and the insane crowds over there mean it's like a 6 am or 7 am trip which I am not as keen on these days. If Ben didn't really love to run I wouldn't take them nearly as much.
Spackled several spots that I've been meaning to spackle for three years. Victory. I'm not great, but I'm passable, and I'll slap a coat of paint on it this weekend. I'm also an absolute fucking mess with things like this because I do not cover anything or remove anything I just start things and leave myself with a lot of cleanup.

Ben is happy for a laundry basket ride. Only when it's dirty.

PA Voters, Monday is your last day to register to vote in the primary. The primary is May 17. Only registered democrats or republicans can vote in it, not independents, because PA is a closed primary. Fart noise. If you are a registered democrat or republican, please make a plan to vote in the primary on Tuesday, May 17 - we have an open Senatorial seat and both parties have an array of candidates up. Make sure to vote for that and all other races - local politics impact your life more than a presidential election any day. Vote twice a year, every year. Believe me, I know that it feels like no one is listening to jack shit but less engaged voters is not the way to address that. For more info on elections and what is on your ballot, visit the League of Women Voters Education Fund site - anyone can do this, not just PA voters - you input your address

Yesterday was packed AF and I did it all on five hours of sleep from the night before. I was up by 6, on the train, OPC, set up at my office, dentist appointment at 8, picked up a bagel, work, pick up salad for lunch, work, lyft to acupuncture appointment, killer painful but necessary appointment to address arm nerve issues and numbness, lyft back to work, finish up at office, train, home, eat, more work, return things to two stores, hair appointment, home at 9. Whew. Art outside of Salon Harmony below. Always a fun night with Kristi & Maria even if I am dog ass tired and delirious.

I've missed train reading.

Forever a fan of Philly street photos. 
Looking good, Philly. The news shows so much bad shit, but on the streets to me it feels like a comeback. 
Yesterday's out of home food. A bagel after my dentist appt from Philly Bagels. A chimichurri salad from sweetgreen. 
Home food of the week. Grilled cheese on rye, always a little burnt please. Breakfast burritos to freeze. If you eat bone in chicken thighs and are not making them in the air fryer, what are you even doing? Pre-heat air fryer. Season well. Cook skin side down for 12 min on 380. Skin side up for 11 or 12 on 380. My basket fits four perfectly. Serve with salad, boom and done
Billy Hicks turns 1 next week. I feel like securing a tiny cat hat. He would loathe it.
Testing Password keepers. So far I like LastPass best. It feels the most intuitive. 

For your perusal. The New York Times continues to whitewash right-wing extremism in Chris Rufo profile,  Mainstream coverage adopts Elon Musk's "free speech" framing - despite his anti-union, anti-speech, anti-worker history

What public ed. Biden is republican lite. Defending Elon Musk's billions as if you might one day have them is a fucking joke. Close the racial wealth gap. Drink your water and stretch today. If you are woman of a certain age consider taking Magnesium/k Aspartate supplements. Peace. 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Watercolor Eyes by Lana Del Rey

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Three Things April 2022

Three things that make a lot of sense to me
1. Always having water and a book with me wherever I go
2. Reusable everything over convenience trash
3. Batch cooking

Three things that do not make sense to me
1. Eating meals off of paper plates in your home as the rule, not the exception
2. Being out here on Al Gore's internet and saying you are sick of hearing people's opinions about current events and issues, as if the internet is a place where only opinions on things you give opinions on are allowed
3. Why humans chose taxes and credit scores and 40 hour work weeks out of any damn path. We work more than medieval peasants. What the fuck are we doing out here, fam? Add onto this defending Elon Musk, as if he needs defending or as if you will ever be the same richness and need the same defending. This is not the way and he is not the one.

Three things I’d like to explore 
1. A long road trip, dogs in tow, in which I work remotely along the way
2. DIY YouTube
3. If I can/want to make it through a season using only five nail polishes out of the zillions I own

Three things I have no interest in 
1. Royal family squabbles
2. Side hustles
3. Self help/motivational books

Three things I have more than enough of but always want to buy
1. Hand towels
2. Pretty ceramics and unique dishes/glasses
3. Sunglasses

Three things I am always in search of
1. The perfect lip balm that has color that stays more than three minutes and is hydrating
2. Brown spot corrector that actually works
3. The perfect pillow

Things I've recently checked off of my To Do list
1. Deep clean using cool grout scrubber I got for Christmas 
2. Small spackle spots at the shore
3. Dentist appointment

Things I have had on my To Do list forever
1. Blog posts that contain actual writing. Almost everyone I talk to is not feeling bad, but definitely not feeling like themselves in this world right now, which we communicate to each other in an almost bewildered manner? If that's you, you probably understand why the blog posts sit there, unfinished. Managing existence continues to be more challenging and tiring than it was pre-Covid, and I'm pretty sure as we "return to normal" most of us have no fucking idea what normal should look like for us in daily practice anymore
2. Renew passport
3. Find someone to replace Philly doors

Three things I'm loving right now
1. Sleep
2. The look of everything in bloom - not the feel of it in my head/nose, but the look is on point
3. Back to 1-3 days a month in the office

Three things I'm hating right now
1. Passwords. MF'ing passwords
2. Contractors that won’t get back to me. Are you still in business, MFer?
3. Running for the train



Monday, April 25, 2022

TWTW - April days

Friday I had a big deadline in the afternoon, so I was up working at the asscrack and finaling things out around 1. After that I ran a few errands to pick something up at Home Depot, peruse TJ Maxx (got the new mat below), and pick up at Target. I got a package from Pam with stickers, bookmarks, & sea glass, which was awesome. After work we sat out back with the dogs and cat and had leftovers for dinner. I was done done done like Bruce here and shut my book to watch What We Do in the Shadows on Hulu. It was funny. I fell asleep on the couch and never went up to bed after I let the dogs out. I crashed on one of the basement couches. 
Saturday Since I was in the basement with the dogs, MFD woke up Saturday thinking it was Night of the Comet. I had leisurely coffee, cleaned out the fridge, and made lists for shore errands. Stores aren't super close down there, so this year my goal was to get everything done in groups every time I was in Philly since things are closer and gas is a million dollars. I hit HomeGoods, TJMaxx, and Homesense, two of which will require returns when I'm up there next week. I stopped at Aldi on the way home, did some shore house paperwork, packed up for shore return, and went back out to Marshalls to return something while MFD made salmon and salad for dinner. I made a batch of spinach muffins and power breakfast muffins to freeze. I was up until 1 am doing I don't even know what. 
Sunday Coffee out back with the crew to start the day. I was at the shore with the dogs by 11:30, cleared out apartment cabinets and reorganized, did a first coat of patch and spackle on the bathroom ceiling in the powder room upstairs and our bathroom ceiling in the apartment downstairs, tried to figure out my drawer pull situation to swap out on some dressers, measured for blinds, and had some delicious rye toast with a ton of butter sitting outside in the driveway in the sun. 
Beach to ourselves season is officially over, and there's an aggressive rent a cop on a quad on the beach zooming back and forth loudly and aggressively between two blocks eagle eyeing everyone, and by everyone I mean me and my two dogs, two people and their photographer on an engagement shoot, and three kids sitting on the pipe. Come on dude. I had a Wawa salad for dinner and finished a book, bed around midnight.

Barreling towards May. Time is a thief.  Except I have lots of stuff coming up with chosen family and I'm pumped!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - are you really gonna talk about timing in times like these?

Big sea glass score. I was a troll under the bridge, literally, collecting this.
Good views while doing it. 
Sometimes I like graffiti. 
Excuse me sir, is this in reference to the 2016 election? If so hard agree but also why the z. Sitting members of Congress who supported an insurrection had better be dealt with.
If we were raising hands, mine would be up. 

Combining errands. I've long done this - with Earth Day approaching Friday it's a good time to re-share this post. Anyhoo combining errands saves time and everything is done at once, but it is tiring. Last night I drug my ass to return some Amazon shit I've been sitting on, to pick up a new mirror for the shore from Marshalls (got it, but not in love with it, so it's a placeholder for right now, and looking back at a photo I think I should have gotten the below instead so will obvi be going back), then to pick up an order at Target. 
Ruminating on this. It’s an excerpt from an interview Maya Angelou gave to The Paris Review in 1990. 

Solo with Billy cat. MFD took the dogs to Philly Monday and I went back yesterday. This cat pulled all the treats and food out of a freaking armoire. 
Two weeks of laundry.  More than two? Possible. The hot water heater in Philly was replaced yesterday, now just two weeks of laundry to do tonight since I'm headed back to the shore tomorrow and I am in the office today. At least it’s not raining like it has two out of the last three times I’ve been here.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Renegade - Big Red Machine featuring Taylor Swift

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

On Wednesdays we talk weather, weed, and waiting on full spring

Checking in. It's Wednesday. Weather chat like old people do. It's seasonal spring and it's calendar spring, and it is probably climate change spring in the northeast. The wind has been absolutely inhospitable, a burning assault one needs to lean into and push through. The morning chill remains through most of the days. It's always colder at the shore in the spring by a mile, but this is absurd right now. Upstate in PA Lori is under a lot of snow and without power going on day two, and can we just say screw an April winter? Really. Screw it. Go away, Third Winter.

I want chapped lips and dry skin to miraculously disappear. 

I want to spend lunch hours outside feeling sun on bare arms, mainlining the vitamin D right through the skin, be out on my last dog walk of the night moving through air that is so perfect it feels like a whisper of silk, exist with windows open day and night, and drink morning coffee and watch the day fade away both comfortably from the front porch. Comfortably is the key word. I don't mind a light blanket but I'm not doing it shivering in a coat. 

I want to put the socks, winter coats, and electric blankets away.  

At least the food is good in this period of fool's spring - I made beef tips with gravy and served it over rice with a side of asparagus. It was delicious and easy. I'm cooking through the freezer and pantry and I had all the items. Also on the menu this week are long pants, two layers up top, socks, heavy duty lotion and big guns lip balm.

I'm not even a person that tends to be cold, I swear.

Is it too much to ask that spring arrive and stay for a while instead of shooting us right into heat and humidity? Probably.

You know what is here on time? The tree pollen, which kills my eyes in the spring.

I'm existing on Netgalley advanced reader copies, Fleetwood Mac, coffee, cardigan sweaters, and dreams of perfect weather this week. 

Happy belated birthday to Gail! It was yesterday.

And Happy 4/20 - decriminalize weed, expunge records, legalize it, and give the licenses to Black people as a form of reparations. Alcohol and opioids, both legal, have destroyed more lives, futures, families, and communities than marijuana by a mile. And that's that on that.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Kick it up in the kitchen

Let's start this off by saying SEASON YOUR FOOD. 

Now that that's out of the way...I am not a spicy food person, but I do like a little kick now and then. It changes things up from my usual array of spices and my taste buds appreciate it. If you are also leery of food being too spicy, there are ways to add flavor and a little kick without burning your mouth off. And ways to season your food without overdoing it.

Check your Pantry
What spices do you have in your pantry? I hope you at least have a solid selection to season your food with, including some that are going to kick it up a notch to borrow an Emeril saying. Think about which spices you would prefer, and make sure you have them easily to hand as you cook. Chef  Curl Ardee is Black-woman owned spice company and her mild seasoning is kicky AF. I love Penzey's, of course - their Fox Point and Roasted Garlic are two of my favorite seasonings of all time.. I am also hugely into the McCormick blends, which I didn't even know existed until I started following Tabitha Brown on Instagram. 

Slow your Roll
When seasoning food, start slow, especially if it's spice you're adding. You can always add more but you can't subtract. Keep that in mind, because it can be all too easy for the spice to overpower the actual taste of the dish, and that is not what you want. Subtle and delicious is the goal. 

Understand How Spices Work Together
Spend some time considering how different spices work together. This will help you know something of equal importance - which ones simply don’t go together at all. Once you are clear on this, it'll be easier to create delicious meals that appeal to your palate. I promise you will look forward to vegetables more when they are seasoned well. 

Being Basic is Cool
A lot of cooking comes down to having the right sauce for the dish, which is why it’s important to be able to cook some of the most basic essential sauces out there, including ones you can add a spice to, like an aioli. MFD does like spicy food, and a sauce like this is a good way both of us can enjoy it - I can make it and split it and MFD can add more. This is a great, super simple recipe to make sriracha aioli from scratch. That can then be used as a side to so many dishes, or as a dip. Aioli is king, but it's a straightforward and easy thing to put together. If you add a feather to your cooking cap this year, let this be it. A nice sauce elevates boring old baked chicken breasts or pork loin, you know? Once you master this, move on to hot mustard - I'm going to try the one from Dwardcooks this year.

What new cooking ways are you trying this year?


Monday, April 18, 2022

TWTW - the one with the Easter

Thursday I flexed a lot of the day since I worked a full day Sunday. Beach walk in the morning, some driveway play and chalking, beach again with Mom while Rich went on a bike ride, salad for dinner, glimpse of a good one, and Easter nails. I was early to bed, passed out before Kate and Dan and kids even arrived.
Friday I worked in the morning. We got caught in the church's Easter procession on our way to the beach just as they were whipping Jesus carrying a cross down the street. That brought some questions from the kids. It was hot and nice on the beach until it was arctic cold, but we got a few solid hours in. Porch afternoon, and some of the crew went to Cape May Brewery. Aubrey made spaghetti, sausage and meatballs, and we had a chilly walk on the boards. The pink moon looked amazing out there. 
Saturday The ladies did the Asbury Avenue shopping and saw the no pants Easter Bunny. We all headed to the boards later which were so crowded. The kids did rides, I had my first Kohr Bros of the season (no mint yet) and the wind absolutely assaulted us on the way back. 
Saturday night was laid low lounging, Sixers, egg dying, more breweries for some of the gang, and early to bed to finish a book for me. 
Sunday I was up early making eggs. MFD fished in the morning and we did a family beach walk, then cobbled together an Easter spread with everyone adding something. All good things must come to an end, and everyone was cleared out by 5. We put the dresser that was a joint effort getting out of the house (thanks everyone!) out to the alley for someone to grab, had salad for dinner, and I read on the couch until I fell asleep. 

It was a great weekend, and this week will be busy enough for me to really want another one soon. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Keeping your dog in good health

Dogs are a part of the family, but since they can't talk, make decisions for themselves, or drive themselves to appointments, as humans we need to be vigilant stewards of their health. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure your dog is healthy and happy. These are some things I do.

1) Daily Checks

Like a daily eye check to make sure nothing is weird, they're not acting hinky or walking funny or markedly different in temperament and actions day to day. We wake up and assess ourselves daily. We need to do the same for them. 

2) Exercise Every Day

Just like humans, dogs need to exercise in order to stay healthy. Exercise helps to keep their muscles and bones strong, prevents weight gain, and can even improve their mental health.

How much exercise your dog needs will depend on their age, breed, and overall health. A good rule of thumb is to give them at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This can be a mix of walking, running, playing fetch, or anything else that gets them moving around. Please do not get a dog if you are unwilling to make this commitment in all weather. 

If you’re not sure how much exercise your dog needs, talk to your vet during one of their regular check-ups. They will be able to recommend an appropriate amount based on your pet’s individual needs.

3) Feed Them A Healthy Diet

What your dog eats plays a big role in their overall health. A healthy diet will help to keep their immune system strong, give them energy, and prevent any weight-related issues.

There are a lot of different types of dog food, like refrigerated dog food walmart, available on the market, so it can be tricky to know which one is best for your pet. Talk to your vet about what type of food would be best for your dog based on their age, health, and activity level. They will be able to recommend a few good brands that meet all of your dog’s needs. I do a lot of reading before switching foods. You can find good food at a mid-level range, but please do not get dogs and think it's going to be a cheap endeavor. It is not. Ben is a picky eater and will not eat unless it's topped with some wet food, but in regards to dry foods I like Instinct Be Natural, Acana, Whole Earth Farms, and Canidae. I buy from Chewy. They have good sales sometimes and I stock up.

As important as the type of food is making sure you are giving them the right amount of food. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so the amount they need to eat will vary depending on their weight and activity level. There's a guideline on all foods based on pet weight. Use a measuring cup and get it right. If you are still unsure, ask your vet how much food you should be giving your dog each day, and stick to that amount.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause a whole host of health problems. It's important to make sure they are getting the right amount of food each day.

4) Visit The Vet Regularly

It is essential to take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations. By doing this, you can catch any potential health problems early and prevent them from becoming severe.

Make sure to visit the vet at least once a year for a check-up, and more often if your dog is elderly or has any existing health conditions.

During these visits, the vet will  give your dog a physical examination and update their vaccinations. They may also recommend other tests or procedures depending on your dog’s age, health, and lifestyle. Regular vet visits are essential for keeping your dog healthy. I prefer a holistic vet that is not crazy with dog meds or unnecessary tests or procedures and will try alternative therapies, such as dog acupuncture. Both Gus and Geege benefitted greatly from that. I want a vet that works with CBD for dogs also. That kept Gus alive for years. 

Having dogs is so worth it, but it absolutely requires work and effort to keep them in good health. It's the least we can do for the love we receive from them!


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