Three things – 7/31/14

Three things I’m loving this week

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1. Gutenberg.org. Did you know that you can download all kinds of classic books for your e-reader for free? (They are free in the U.S. because their copyright has expired.) It’s not exactly easy to put them on your e-reader, but here are some good instructions (and options) for how to get non-Amazon books on your Kindle (transferring via USB is probably the easiest and is what I did). Word to the wise, rename the file with the book name before you transfer it to your Kindle — on the girls’ Kindle Fires, the names did not automatically come up and I had to go in and change the names, which was kind of a pain.

Gutenberg.org digitizes the classics and they ask you to make a small donation to offset the cost. You don’t have to, but it’s a nice thing to do. Especially if, like me, you download a half dozen classic books and put them on three devices. I’m reading Red Badge of Courage now.

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2.  My dishwasher. You guys, I have a dishwasher! (Cue the angels singing.) The counters aren’t on the yet the new kitchen cupboards yet (waiting on the granite guy), but the dishwasher is hooked up and operational. And it’s pretty awesome to just stick all the dirty dishes in a big metal box and let it do all the work.

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3. The cool temps. Everyone is whining about the cold temps this week, but I find it a welcome reprieve from the typically stifling heat and humidity of July. While temps in the ’60s and ’70s are not great beach/pool/summer weather, it is fantastic biking, walking, running, gardening, and outside activity weather. Yep…you won’t have to put up with any sweat trickling down into your underwear and that is a good enough reason to stop all the whining.

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4. Discovering Presque Isle via 2 wheels. This year we wised up and avoided sitting in traffic during Discover Presque Isle by parking in one of the vistas just before the Waterworks area (where all the crafts & food are) and biking our way to the activities we wanted to do & things we wanted to see, such as…

Sunset Point (kite beach):

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Beach No. 8, where all the sand sculptures and music were… IMG_1269 IMG_1274 IMG_1276

And out to Perry Monument where we tried out some kayaks…

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All the biking totally earned the Cass family a large bag of this deliciousness, don’t you think?

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Three things I’m not loving this weekend

1. The unhappy city study. Don’t even get me started on this. Exactly how do you measure happiness anyway? It’s all B.S.

2. Headaches. Thank God I don’t get migraines because the occasional run-of-the-mill tension headache is bad enough.

3. Car repair bills. I now have a car with no rattling in the front end, no warning lights lit up on the dashboard, and operational headlights, but it cost a pretty penny…or more like $860, which sucks. That said, $860 is a grand less than I expected to have to pay. I’m thankful we have the money to pay for it and I realize that a nearly thousand dollar repair bill would be a true hardship for many people today.

 

Worth reading — 7/31/14

A random collections of blog posts, articles and other things I think are worth sharing.

Bored Panda: 25 of the most creative sculptures and statues from around the world (Wow….so very cool)

Jezebel: Should  you take that selfie: A guide for teens (pretty funny stuff)

Bustle: What I Instagrammed vs. what really happened, or my entire life is a lie

The Mind Unleashed: Ten choices you’ll regret in 10 years

Waldablog: Rising with the Sun on the Ravine Flyer II (oh, dear god…but I guess this is good to know, eh? Also, how do you get that job?)

Jezebel: ‘IDGAF what you think’ is the next feminist battle cry? (Definitely not safe for work…this sucker is full of swear words (as a rule pretty, much anything I post from Jezebel is NSF), but it’s also full of real truth. My favorite part:

“Women cannot win either way — so f&*$ it. To be clear, this is not to suggest anyone ought to give up the fight. Feminism is, no doubt, about really f@#$ing caring, about what happens to our bodies and our livelihoods, about action, about daily, tireless resistance. But what Traister longed for and what I am suggesting is an attitude and a spirit that can help ease the pressure and everyday hazard of sexism fatigue. That can help lead the way when it comes to asking yourself if your choices will be scrutinized and what will they think. The answer is: They will be scrutinized, and someone somewhere definitely thinks you are a travesty. So now what? Gotta do you. Waiting around for anyone else’s approval — male or female — is a fruitless farce. I. Don’t. Give. A. F@#K.”

Just Write 105 ~ Full circle (phone calls from home)

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July, 1982

Brrrring….brrrring…..

“Purchasing, this is Willie.”

* crying * “MOM! Patrick just punched and scratched me and now I’m bleeding…*crying*  All I wanted was to watch Gilligan’s Island and he’s making me watch that stupid M*A*S*H. I hate that show. I hate him. Why couldn’t I have a sister?

“Well, who’s day is it?”

“It’s Rich’s, but he’s not here, and last time he wasn’t here Pat got to watch what he wanted, so it’s my turn.”

*sigh* “Put him on the phone.”

 

“I can’t.”

“Why?”

“He’s outside.”

“What do you mean he’s outside?”

“He’s outside and I’m not letting him back in.”

“Did you lock him outside again? He better have clothes on! If I get one more call from the neighbors, I swear to God….  Open that door, right now, Heather!”

“Fine, but if he kills me, it’s your fault.”

*muffled noise, door opening, enraged pre-teen brother storming into the house*

* sassy, sing-songy voice * “Mom wants to talk to you.”

“What the hell is wrong with you kids? You can’t be home for an hour without fighting?”

“MOM, it’s not her turn. It’s not fair. Why do you always take her side?”

* Whispered between gritted teeth * “I’m telling you BOTH to knock it off. Get away from her. Go to your room. I’ll be home in an hour and that house better not be a mess. And don’t call me again. I’m at work, and I don’t have time for this.”

***********

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32 years later………..

Brrrring….brrrrring.

“Marketing, this is Heather.”

(whisper) “Mom, it’s Kelly. They locked me in the shed and I only get one phone call.”

“Who locked you in the shed?”

“Lauren and Becca.”

“Kelly, you’re bigger than them and you’re the older sister, and the shed doesn’t really lock. Open the door.”

“Mom, I’m telling you they won’t let me out. And they said I only get this one phone call.”

“Let me talk to Lauren.”

* shuffling, muffled talk *

“Mom, she keeps taking our whale!” Lauren wails. “She has her own, but she’s taking ours just to be a brat. I hate her. I don’t want a sister. I never wanted a sister.”

* shaking my head, rubbing my eyes *

“I’m at work, and I really don’t have time for this, Lauren.”

“Well, I didn’t call you. She did.”

“Put Kelly back on the phone.”

“Kelly, why are you taking the whale? You’re starting this fight.”

“I just want to play. She’s so mean and selfish. She’s been kicking and scratching me and she swored at me… *crying*

“Where’s Eliza?”

“By the pool.”

“Go sit by her. Get away from them and stop taking their stuff. Leave them alone.”

“Why do you always take her side? You always believe her! She’s the worst sister ever.”

* sigh *

“I have to go. We’ll talk about this when I get home.”

“Fine, but if they kill me, it’s your fault.”

____________________________
About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”

Friday Funny: Hilarious notes from kids

Art Linkletter was right…Kids really do say the darndest things, especially in writing. Check out these 15 Hilarious Notes Written by Kids.

I love the notes my kids have written/left over the years. I still this one that Kelly wrote tacked up on the wall in the kitchen:

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And, of course, who could ever forget these Lauren classics (not me…that’s right, kids, mommy never forgets)?

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love notes

 

Worth reading — 7/23/14

A random collections of blog posts, articles and other things I think are worth sharing.

Salon: Engagement rings are barbaric (Pretty interesting point of view. I’d never thought much about it, but she’s kinda right — and I, too, find myself marveling at the consumerism and unhappiness that marketing has given rise to. In the 50s, advertising told you how to solve problems. By the 60s & 70s they started making up problems and convincing you that you needed their product to solve the problem they made up.)

Buzzfeed: The Sad, Strange, True Story Of Sandy Allen, The Tallest Woman In The World

Pile of Babies: Football versus Futbol (True confession: Didn’t watch one soccer game, but now that I see that hot men frequently take their shirts off…well, I just may be interested).

BNR: Your messed up Christian tradition is fetishizing little girls (I’ve always found the entire concept of a purity ball or purity ring or anything else just freaking creepy, creepy, creepy, but I’ve never thought of the message it really sends until now — you’re daddy’s until I give you to another man — that’s kinda messed up. My girls are being taught to be self-sufficient and that they don’t “belong” to anyone…ever).

Salon: My breakup with Facebook (I soooo want to do this and, I’ve tried…but I always go crawling back. I wonder if I should start small…like go without it for a day, then a weekend, then a week. The irony? I got to this article through my Facebook feed. If I quit FB…where would I get all the “Worth Reading” content I post for you guys to read each week? )

Worth watching

Good News Network: Doctor delivers babies with special tradition

Just Writing over at Runner’s Notes today

I’ve been so preoccupied with other things that I’ve skipped “Just Write” for several weeks on both of my blogs, but I did manage to get one written on my Runners’ Notes blog that you may want to check out: Scars.

I have about four things I could “Just Write” about here on Touch of Cass…if only I could find a little time (where I’m not completely brain dead) to do it!

*sigh*

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