Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - So how many daughters, tell me, how many sons do we have to have to put in the ground

I don't even know what to say anymore. Living in this country is fucking stressful for me as an older white lady of privilege. I cannot imagine adding in the other factors - being Black, native, LGBTQ+, any other marginalized person, having less money, having less resources, being without family, being chronically ill, being a gig economy worker, not having stable housing, being of true childbearing age while the right to my agency over my body is chopped, having kids in schools, working in a school, being a nurse, being disabled, etc etc. This is not sustainable. It's like watching society collapse in real time and not being able to do anything about it. I wish there was a quick cure for Fox News indoctrination that has functioned as a lobotomy for a large portion of our population. The call is coming from inside the house. 
There are people out there trying to meet very calmly in the middle about mass murder of children by guns. I am not calm and I am not interested in a midway point. Today, news that the cops and armed security guard did not act. Today, news of a total abortion ban in Oklahoma while a nation sits and says it can do nothing about its actual living children being slaughtered in schools by people with guns. Today, news that the husband of one of the teachers who died protecting her students in the Uvalde mass shooting dead from a heart attack. Their four children left with no parents. And today is not even over yet. What next. What else. 

How in the fuck can anyone out there say, "I don't know what the answer is?" Really, everyone? At this point we are going to dance around the fact that other countries have mental illness, bullying, poverty, despair, crime, and other countries have guns BUT they do not have these rampant incidents of mass murder by gun. Hmm, I wonder why that is...maybe because it is not fucking easy or cheap to get them, they don't operate by "well criminals don't have to get them legally,"  you need to work to keep them, white supremacy and toxic masculinity and a sentence written in a document in the 1700s by people WHO OWNED OTHER HUMANS that people today have taken absolutely wildly misinterpreted liberties with isn't fucking strangling everyone and everything. America has a goddamn gun problem and common sense gun reform that the majority of this country supports is the goddamn fucking answer. Stop dancing around it. We have TRIED more guns, more cops, active shooter drills, locking fucking doors. Sit and fucking spin on the suggestion of arming teachers, you won't even let them pick the goddamn books, accuse them of being groomers which is absolutely unmistakably top level grade A tinfoil hat Fox News drivel bullshit, and you think YOU know more about curriculum than they do. So no, we are not going to fucking arm teachers and put another item on their to do list that you will not appreciate nor pay them enough for. They are already literally putting their bodies in front of the shooters YOU will do nothing to stop. Do we want fucking schools to be prisons kids cannot thrive in so people can buy a gun in under five minutes and never have to re-up their license for it or store it correctly or insure it? Fuck off out of here with the fucking bullshit. Common sense gun reform and stricter firearm ownership and use protocols now. Universal background checks now. Universal healthcare now. Republicans stop cockblocking everything using minority rule now. Gun nuts STFU now. Revoke NRA tax exempt status now. Kill the gun lobby now. Overturn citizens united and get money out of politics now. Kids and teachers are fucking dead, AGAIN. The ones who lived through it will be traumatized forever. No one wants your tired 2A arguments being trotted out and dumped on the fucking table urging sensibility and waiting and not politicizing. Stop asking people to air grievances over this civilly while you brush your hair back with blood on your hands.You are banning every other goddamn fucking thing you can certainly make guns harder to get. SHUT UP
Regular existence is dwarfed by daily tragedies and fascism. I'm tired. From talking to a lot of you, I know you're tired. 

I would rather talk to you about my weed killer, which is white vinegar, Dawn, and table salt. 
Or how my job is really cool sometimes, and I get to see dinosaurs as part of work, and how my nephew and I just the night before were talking all about dinosaurs and what a joyful dancer my niece is and how amazing she looked dressed for her dance photos.

Or how these pull shorts for $13 and these forever soft v-neck tees from Gap Factory are going to be my summer wardrobe. 

I'd rather campaign for pockets in everything, without exception. And tell you how I'm only wearing athleisure shoes forever. 

Or talk to you about the stack of books on hold that came in at the library and how I don't even recall asking for one of them...who put me on to The Good Left Undone? It does not sound remotely familiar.

Or how we're pretty ready for the shore summer season and are testing out a new drainage system a la MFD for chair storage and a new bag Aub found. First renters this weekend.
Wait, Ray Liotta died? Another WTF today.
Or how much I enjoyed my city lunch walk when I was in the office this week. And I survived the dentist and got to see my chiro.
Or how we all need to really try to do this as much as we can even when it is hard. Via Nadia Fisher

Instead, we are talking about a mass murder event of children that was imminently more preventable while the GOP and all of its echoes tell us that nothing can be done. 

This is motherfucking America. You are telling me we can't do something here? Are you telling me the entire American persona is a lie? That's what it sounds like. 

Everything getting banned and zero reform on the thing that really, really needs it - guns. This is a  hard pill to swallow on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend. Have we not sent people to Afghanistan and around the world under the guise of protecting the American way of life? Are bodily autonomy, schools as safe havens, the freedom to learn, the freedom to be who you are without punishment, the freedom to exist while Black, and freedom of religion not the American way of life? Is the only God your personal Christian God who you think belongs in all schools, when literally the country as it is today was forced into existence by people who did not want anyone else's God forced on them by the state? Do you even know "under God" was not in the original pledge? I could keep going.

 Are we only down to one freedom? Doesn't sound like the Land of the Free to me, which means the brave have died for what, exactly? Soldiers have died thousands of times over and we say they have died for our freedoms. The freedoms are as follows: kids can be murdered in schools, Black people in grocery stores, elders in churches and Synagogues, people at concerts in clubs just anywhere while we do absolutely fucking nothing so the GOP Senators can continue to swim in the blood money donated by the NRA and the NRA can run this country, not citizens and definitely not God. Oh and the freedom to ban books, control women, inject Black people in a school to prison pipeline, and legislate trans and gay people out of existence. Sounds extremely free. Pass me a Budweiser. Did I do that right?

Something to think about this Memorial Day Weekend, before you bring out the land of the free because of the brave sentiments. 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is The Killers Land of the Free

Monday, May 23, 2022

TWTW - the one with the girls 2

Girls weekend take two, only not my junior high and high school forever BFFs, this time it's my great friends of 22 years. I saw Mimi last year, but the last time we all saw each other was January 2019 so it was a well due weekend of eating, lounging, talking, shopping, watching TV,  and just being together. Borrowed some pics from the Google album, so some are Gwen's or Gena's. We finally got a true beach day Saturday, the first of the season at the Jersey shore. It's late. 

The message remains: my female friendships are crucial to my life and well being, and I hope you have true go to these women with anything type of friends in your life too. I'm grateful to have these women for so many years. 
Since it is Memorial Day week, we also had some shore chores as we get ready for Memorial Day Weekend renters, which these ladies were recruited for here and there. MFD worked on the outside, we had the same battles we do every year when we do this, and also are feeling the rush of the last week despite thinking it was all already mostly done. tra la laaaaaa. I just have a little painting and some odds and ends left to do, and same for MFD. Whew. We are tired and smelly
ALSO. I finally invested in the Cadillac of Beach Chairs, it is its own cart. You can't tell me anything.

This is a packed week for me, I'll be here, there, and everywhere. Memorial Day weekend on the horizon. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - Within the glow that weaves a cloak of delight there moves a thread that has no end

Forever mood in tee form from yesterday
Forever mood in mug form from Tuesday
Forever mood in regards to Confederate flag and pride
Recommend: Colored Girls Bike Too doing work on the ground in Buffalo after the murder of Black people grocery shopping last week. Access their white supremacy culture resources here. We can either get comfortable being uncomfortable as we sit in the tension to destroy this or we can support white supremacy and racism. Those are the only two choices

Recommend: deprogramming and civics/government education. These people are from absolute hell and care not a fucking whit about what they have convinced you they care about. If you say anything like "Biden's FDA" you do not know not who is responsible for what in government and what actual agencies like FDA have domain over. 
Recommend: bar keeper's friend for so many things. This was rust on a tile floor. 
I'm partial to this photo from last weekend.
Partial to purple too, as you can see. 
Voters gotta vote. Turnout in the PA primary tells me people don't know we're sliding into fascism or do not care, which is going to be a shame when we are fully there. The Republican candidate for governor is for treasonous overthrowing of elections, suppressing the vote, and banning abortion. Why in the shit fuck would anyone vote for anyone of any party who has proven they would not accept the result of democratic elections? Do the recount or whatever, but if ya lose ya lose. Fascist treasonous anti-American anti-Democratic fucks who participate in stop the steal chicanery should not hold government office. For that reason and others, we'd all better vote for the democrat candidate Josh Shapiro, who is honestly republican lite in many ways but will absolutely safeguard the right to abortions. Abortion is healthcare and it is a private matter. If you don't agree with abortion don't get one, but stay out of other people's bodies. No matter who is the republican Senate candidate, the choice is Fetterman. He's not endorsed by democrat politicians because he's not establishment, he's for the people. Republicans allegedly value that so place that value in the box in the form of your vote for Fetterman in the November election. 
Pet pics of the week. It's the Billy and Ben show. This is why we will spend time and money tracking down a no longer sold BarkBox sheep. He got one from Treat Lady and I got him a backup. How cute is this. Ben also matches my car perfectly. The outside is white and the inside is Ben colored.
Huge congrats to our friend Frank who got his masters in Ed from Rutgers this week. You all know Frank from his annual birthday blogs in July, of course. Frank is going to kill it as an elementary school teacher! 

Happy birthday to Laura's MBD tomorrow! 

Second girls weekend this weekend with my original met you on the Internet friends of about 22 years now. Out of office tomorrow! Second four day work week in a row. 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is All of My Love by Led Zeppelin

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

4 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Your Family's History 

If you are recovering from the death of a loved one, you migbjh6 feel closer to your family than ever before. This is a great opportunity to help your kids get more interested in your family history, as it can provide a crucial distraction and outlet for grief and help you share your stories with your kids that they can pass on to their kids when they are older. Of course, you know that some children need some encouragement to become interested in history, so consider these four tips. 

Speak With Your Relatives 

No matter where they are, your relatives are a veritable goldmine of fascinating information that will give you something to look forward to. Interviewing these relatives, especially those who you haven’t seen in a while, gives them the chance to pass on stories that they otherwise may never have been able to tell. 

It’s also an excellent opportunity for your kids to meet more people and learn more about their families. This problem can be common for families that live in different parts of the country (or even the world) and they might find someone they can connect with along the way. 

Work On a Family Tree 

If you don’t have one yet, a family tree is a great way to delve deep into your past and connect the dots that made you and your relatives who you are today. Even if you possess a family tree, the details might be lacking, especially if no one has updated it in a while. 

This is an exciting adventure for you and your kids. You can visit different family members or track down bronze headstones with the date of death etched clearly in stone. This will give you the information you need to add leaf after leaf and help the tree blossom. 

Plan a Reunion 

The family reunion seems to have gone out of style over the past twenty years, yet something is exciting about getting everyone together and reconnecting or even meeting for the very first time. 

Knowing how to plan a successful reunion will make the experience much less stressful, and it would help find a place that’s easily accessible for everybody. Of course, if anyone can’t make it, they can always video call to say hello. 

Look Through Old Photos 

If you’re looking for a simple but enjoyable way to kill a Sunday afternoon and share some of your family histories with your kids, there’s no better way than looking through old photographs. For some families, these can stretch back to one hundred years ago, or perhaps even more. 

These photos can provide an exceptional time capsule that your kids may not have seen otherwise. They can showcase grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunts or uncles who share similar facial features, and it might feel like they are looking into a mirror. 

Generation Games 

With so much history to pour through, there is no telling what you could discover. While it can feel like a substantial and overwhelming project, you’ll come across life lessons that will make you feel connected to family members you never even met, giving you and your kids a whole new appreciation for what family means. 


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

Monday, May 16, 2022

TWTW - the one with the girls

I don't often straight copy from Instagram, but that's what's happening today because catching up from a day off with another day off coming up, time waits for no one. This blog is evolving anyway, in that it's getting less. I still want to stow some things here for now as touchstones of memory for me.
Girls Weekend 2022. Staggered arrivals and departures, barely any photos and no full group shot; lots of cheese, wine, laughter, dips, driving, rain, fog, one beach opportunity, strolling in drizzle, solving the world’s problems, and sharing. I wish everyone had true blue to the bone friends of 30+ years. I cannot overstate the importance of female friendship and the value I place on it. 
#foreverfriends #femalefriendship #lovetheseladies #throughitall #allmeansall #goodandbad #takeittothegrave #getabidet #Comfyclub #makeawill #thisiswhereweare #isthisonthelist #tuckahoe #buymyfissures #winniethepooh #pussywillows #lovethedoctor #riskreward #winefordays #morecheeseplease #crossfaded #isthatjasonbateman #porchsitting

Happy Monday! 

I hope some people running for office in primaries will actually address white supremacy, inequity, hatred, conspiracy theories, misinformation, dangerous fascist rhetoric spread on Fox News and elsewhere, and violence. No one is safe, and Black people and people of color are the least safe of all of us. It is every person's responsibility to reject racism within themselves and then in their personal relationships, politicians, political parties, government, judicial systems, education systems, and media. Stop acting like racism is a thing of the past or something not to be discussed. A fine fucking time for the fucking idiots in government to be banning books that address racism and for fucking idiot citizens to be supporting that, while 18 year olds are writing terrorist, racist, white supremacist manifestos and murdering Black people in a chilling, premeditated domestic terrorist incident. But hey, as long as the domestic terrorist racist murderer with a deadly weapon in his hand didn't resist arrest, amiright?

The domestic terrorist is not widely panned, he is actually encouraged by people like Tucker Carlson, Matt Gaetz, and an entire party of republican senators voting as a block in order to uphold white supremacy and destroying the country from every angle in the process. 

The "Replacement Theory" Tucker Carlson speaks of freely and Matt Gaetz supports is racist and antisemitic and a lot of you believe it despite it not being based in facts or logic. Wake up. People are dying and this is on everyone who does not reject racist and antisemitic rhetoric and demand their pundits and politicians stop engaging in it. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday Thoughts - In the warrior's code there's no surrender

Except for today. I give myself permission to surrender to feeling squeezed and put Thursday Thoughts up for the sacrifice. Shots from the week and that is all. 

Nice bay sunsets this week.
Trying to get ready for the season. Full bedding changes. New dove tenant. Towel rack system. Bondo. Vacuuming. Baseboards. Unresponsive contractors. Making messes. Cleaning up messes. DIY gone good. DIY gone bad. Can this marriage be saved? Many episodes of that show. Many laughs too.
Cool clouds on the way out of town. Philly yesterday. Lunch with coworkers at Mission Taqueria, which is open for lunch again! 

Girls weekend this weekend with my friends of 30 years. Out of office for sure. Looking forward to peacing the fuck out of all responsibilities and typical life things and being with my friends. 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is In the Burning Heart by Survivor, which was my jam on the drive in yesterday as I once again wished for a tape recorder I could speak into that is not my phone. I do my best thinking in the car. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Don’t Miss These Questions At Your Next Job Interview

Are you on the job market hunting for the perfect position for you? A key part of this process is the interviews. You might be focused on the questions you’ll get asked at the interview but you should also think about the questions that you need to ask them. Here are some of the options that we recommend you explore. 

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What’s The Level Of Pay?

First, you should inquire about the level of pay that a business can offer. It’s great to choose a company that can provide a fair level of pay that matches the rest of the standards on the market. Don’t fall into the trap of being paid less than you are worth or deserve for a position. Don’t forget, living costs are increasing rapidly right now. This means it’s the worst possible time to accept a job for a lower level of pay. At the same time, some companies offer other benefits instead of high pay which brings us to the next point. 

What Incentives Can You Offer?

Next, you should think about the incentives that an employer can provide if you do choose to sign on the dotted line. There are lots of benefits that you can gain by working for certain companies. For instance, you might want to think about choosing a business with a strong pension scheme in place. This will ensure that you are well positioned for the future and you won’t have to worry about struggling in your twilight years. In the short term, you might want to consider choosing a business that will provide a company car. Particularly if you do a lot of driving in general. 

What Vacation Time Do You Provide?

You might also want to think about the level of vacation days that a business can provide. A lot of companies are falling short in terms of the number of vacation days that they offer. You might want to research the average vacation and PTO time so that you have a baseline you can use to measure companies that you are considering working for. 

Be aware that some companies like Netflix are now providing team members with unlimited unpaid vacation days that they can take whenever they like. There is some evidence that an option like this will increase levels of productivity. 

What Insurance Do You Have In Place?

Next, you should think about insurance options. It’s worth exploring whether a business does have the right type of insurance in place. Specifically, ask about workers compensation. This means, if you are injured while working, you can claim the damages that you need to recover without worrying about pay. If it’s a long term injury, workers comp will also ensure that it doesn’t negatively impact your quality of life. Do note that whether a business is legally required to have workers comp will depend on location. So, you should never take this as a given. 

What Are The Structures For Promotion?

No one wants to be stuck in a dead end job and there’s no reason to commit yourself to this fate. When you take a job interview, you should always ask about whether there are opportunities to gain promotions from the current position you are applying for. You might also want to inquire about what type of training you might receive on the market. Do be aware that the majority of people will face redundancy at some point during their career. With the right training, you can ensure it’s easier to find other prospects. 

When Will I Hear From You?

Finally, it’s worth enquiring about when you will hear about a job or position. This is important if you are applying for other jobs at the same time and this likely will be the case. By checking when you’ll hear back, you’ll know when time is essentially up in terms of you claiming that position. This means that you will be able to focus your time and efforts on other opportunities and stop waiting around for a call that isn’t going to come. 

This post was written with Life According to Steph readers in mind

Show Us Your Books May 2022

Did I forget this linkup was today? Yes. Abbreviated for sure, luckily I have very few photos which is what takes time to find and plug. ALSO! Jana is on vacation right now and putting her post together later so the linkup is just here for today. Let's go.

Here's what I've been reading since the April linkup:

Engrossing Reads
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - Five star read. I really loved this. Elizabeth Zott is a great character and I love a quirky story that feels true. This reminded me a lot of AJ Fikry and it was feminist as hell which I love. I would blanket recommend this and I don't do that often. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

The Change by Kirsten Miller - I read this on kindle, and think I would have fared better with a physical book. It's 480 pages, and books over a certain length feel draggy on kindle even when I enjoy them. Plainly, I like this book. Strong women in their mid to late 40s who are no longer shying away from who they are and who are not afraid of their anger. Harriett in particular was an excellent character. I figured out what was going on very early, but that did not stop me from enjoying it and it shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying it. Another unapologetically feminist book and there are so many apologetically feminist novels and novels with one dimension women characters that I could read unapologetically feminist books for the remainder of my time here and not be tired of them. Also Heather and I discussed this on Instagram already and in case I haven't said it before I love instagram as an avenue for book discussion. I do book stuff mainly in stories now and in addition to one off reading stuff every Friday post what I read that week. If that is your jam too follow me there (and here is Heather's, as she has great book content).
Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Passed the Time Just Fine
Our Little World by Karen Winn - A coming of age tale with quite serious threads woven in. I struggle with adult books that have child or YA narrators and that was surely the case here for why I didn't like it more. Also it was a massive downer, so maybe because of that too? LOL Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

The Book Woman's Daughter (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek #2) by Kim Michele Richardson - A very strong follow up to the first - if you liked that one you'll probably like this one as well. It's impossible not to root for Honey and love the people who have her back. Well researched and well done Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf - I spent a lot of time thinking I had already read this...and it is entirely possible I had, but in the end if I can't remember what does it matter lol. Gudenkauf's books are solid reads for me. Paperback, own

Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer - I didn't read a synopsis before I picked this up and saw none of it coming. A lot of bumps in this, but also a lot of hard truths and connections. It reminded me that we can be on the side of something or someone and disagree with the path they took to get to the end where they should be. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I'll Be You by Janelle Brown - The first half seemed long, the second rushed. There's so much going on here. A few of the points in the addiction storyline gave me great pause given my personal knowledge of and interaction with addiction and recovery, and that was a little hard for me to get over. Not all people recover the same is basically the point to remember going in.While both twins are flawed, it's not hard to root for them, which made me want to like the book more than I did. Great potential.
Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Not For Me/Did Not Finish

The Vanishing Triangle by Claire McGowan - I appreciate a passion project and understand why McGowan is deeply invested here. I am not a big true crime reader, maybe many are like this? Stabs in the dark at unsolved crimes? I don't know. Not for me, prefer her fiction novels! Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan - Very quick read, but the girls are not now nor were they in the past wild. I sometimes pick books based on title and that does not always work out for me. The entire thing was creepy more than thriller-ish, and if you have lifer friends you may also be dismayed at the "friendship" here. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month and will happen as long as we post about reading books. All are welcome to join us! The next linkup is Tuesday, June 14, 2022
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

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