Three things — 11.16.17

Things I’m loving this week

beans, beans

Fresh Green Bean Salad. I stumbled upon this recipe (above) when looking for another one last week (I really need to clean out my recipe drawer) and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so I made it and….OMG…..delish! And, it involves no cooking…none. Just cutting crap up, which I sort of like to do. Tip: Aldi’s had bags of green beans right now for $2.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Swim meets. There are worse ways to spend every Saturday than hanging around a hot pool deck. I feel bad for parents who have to sit in fields outside for hours on end in the cold, rain, snow, sleet.  Meanwhile, we swim parents strip down to shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops and get some reading down between events.

Schlage Camelot Satin Nickel Accent Keypad Lever

Keyless door entry. We bought a keyless door entry (similar to the one above, only better) on a whim at Home Depot on Saturday night. (This is how exciting “date nights” are when you’re over 40, kids!) This means Lauren won’t be losing keys to our house all over town anymore. Woot! If only they had these when I was a latchkey kid, we wouldn’t have had to use a key attached by a linked chain to a block of wood spraypainted neon orange. I guess my dad was sick of us….I mean, my little brother, losing the spare key all the time. It was totally Patrick’s fault, mom.

Things I’m not loving this week

Making health insurance decisions. I’m so very grateful to have health insurance and to have health insurance options, but it’s overwhelming and slightly never-wracking to decide which plan to pick. I opted for the high-deductible plan with the HSA this year…I may deeply regret it, but I’m thinking it might work out for us as we’re a relatively healthy crew. I could count on one hand how many times the girls and I have been to our doctor in the last three years for anything other than a flu short or a physical (which is covered 100%).

Of course…then….there’s this:

My slippy disc. Ten years ago (I think), I herniated a disk in my low back. It took nearly a year for it to get back to normal and it’s been a touchy little bugger every since. I, apparently, pissed it off again, as it’s routinely shooting pain signals up and down my leg and low back again. I’m taking some time off running/high impact exercise because I’ve learned (the hard way) that the more I push it, the longer it takes to heal. It sucks. I hate it, but I’ll make the most of the free time, tackling organization jobs around the house and writing freelance stories.

The GOP. They are destroying our country. It’s no longer a party of conservative doers, but of angry, radicalized swindlers. They ARE the swam and they’re destroying our democracy. The Dems aren’t much better, but at least they’re not trying to dismantle our institutions and undermine our constitution.



Worth Reading — 11.15.17

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

New York Times: Trump’s Legacy: Damaged Brains

NewCo Shift: Our Consumption Model is Broken: Here’s How to Build a new One

New York Times: Diana Nyad: My Life After Sexual Assault (heartbreaking….)  7 Signs You Have a Strong Personality that May Scare Others (A friend sent this to me with the message: This is you. It is me. And, I’m cool with that.).

Three things — 11.9.17

Things I’m loving this week

Image result for mini cucumbers at aldi

Mini cucumbers. I’ve never been a cuke fan because I can’t stand the seeds and/or the mushy middles, but the mini cucumbers that Aldi’s sells in a bag (currently $2 for about 6 cucumbers) are fabulous. They are crunchy and mostly seedless, so they don’t get mushy. That said, you still can leave sliced ones in the fridge too long before they get slimy.

Image result for kathy dahlkemper

Kathy’s win. There are three people who have ever made me cry at work — one is a “bishop” who is about five years dead now (and don’t think I didn’t dance on the day I found he was going to answer to his maker for all his bullish bad behavior), one man who owned an overpriced Italian restaurant, and one man (who shall not be named) who was Kathy Dahlkemper’s opponent in the Erie Co. Exec. race. He’s mean, condescending, rude, and woefully unprepared to lead anyone, so I was relieved he lost. He should’ve lost by a whole lot more, but…you know, we seem to be living in this age when everyone hates strong women and voters just want to cut off their nose to spite their face, so… I’m not surprised. Just relieved. Very, very relieved.

Image result for liz allen erie

Liz’s win. If there’s one thing I can promise you, it’s that Liz Allen will work for the people. Woe to the fools who try to get one over on, Liz.  She’s a true public servant who cares deeply for human beings. Though I don’t live in the City of Erie, what happens there, affects all of us in the county, too, so I will rest easier knowing Liz is there watchdogging for the people. I’m thankful she stepped up. We need about 10,000 more women like her.

Image result for boscov's ponte pull on pants

Boscov’s Ponte Pants. Leggins for grown-up working women for just $20. I bought one pair, then went back and bought them in four colors.

Things I’m not loving this week

Trickily-worded ballot questions. I’m willing to bet that 95% of the people at my rural voting station had no idea what the PA property tax question on Tuesday’s ballot meant, but saw “no property taxes” and were like....”Hell, yeah!” I don’t know how these tricky questions end up on the ballot, but it should be illegal. That tax money is going to come from somewhere, and I promise you it won’t be from the wealthiest. PA residents will pay for it….in one way or another….

“A yes vote means you want the legislature to move ahead with a plan to eventually get rid of property taxes. That would really be a tax shift because it would have to likely hike income and sales taxes to offset the money lost in property tax elimination.”

Overpriced races. This is the first year in a dozen or more years that Dan and I aren’t doing a spring marathon in a big city because of the high cost of race registration fees. We’re out.

Fashion retailers. I don’t know what’s more appalling to me: that the designer would make a $735 “sheer overlay cape” out of dry cleaner bags.…or that there are probably lots of really stupid wealthy women who will buy it (and likely wear it once, then throw it away because how long can a dry cleaner bag cape really stay in vogue?). What a ridiculous waste.


Worth Reading — 11.8.17


Newsner: 13-Year-Old Builds His own Mini Home

Rantt: The Forgotten Hillary Clinton Voter: A Profile of the Not-so-Silent Majority

Do you think Clinton voters have been ignored and if so, what does that say about the media?

“Yes… and it says A LOT. This: Women don’t matter. The truth doesn’t matter. Only ratings and dollars matter.”

Life on Purpose: 36 Things to Appreciate About Your Normal, Ordinary Day

Chicago Tribune: Trump’s Biggest Flaw: He’s Not That Bright

“The evidence of his dimwittedness flows as continuously and voluminously as the Mississippi River. His tweets are studded with misspellings, random capitalizations and mystifying quotation marks.

He taps out tweets that flagrantly contradict what he tweeted when Barack Obama was president, making himself look ridiculous. When he holds forth on policy issues, it’s excruciatingly apparent he has no idea what he’s talking about.

Trump relies on a vocabulary the size of a second-grader’s….”

I’ve always hated rules (Laurenism, too)

Image result for rules for dating my daughter meme

I’m sure you’ve seen those “rules for dating my daughter” memes like the one above and heard all the country songs about overprotective daddies waiting on the porch with shotguns. Perhaps you laughed or sang along…maybe you even thought those super-creepy purity balls where girls pledge to remain virgins were innocent daddy-and-daughter fun.

But, this kind of possessive patriarchal behavior and attitude has always struck the wrong chord with me.

Here’s why: my daughters are not the property of any man, including their father. It’s wrong to treat them like possessions and it’s just freaking sad to assume that they are a couple of silly little dumb bunnies who can’t decide what they will and will not tolerate from a partner.

I raised my daughters to be stronger, smarter, and more independent than that. They are not princesses to be doted on, guarded, and protected with threats of deadly force.

So I was happy to see this dad’s “updated rules for dating my daughter” making the rounds on social media last week:  Image may contain: text

Yes! Yes! Yes! J. Warren Welch gets it.

I think Lauren does, too.

On a drive home from swim practice last week, she ticked off her top 6 requirements in a boyfriend/mate. They are (and I quote):

  1. He must like and be able to make macaroni-and-cheese.
  2. He must like and play video games.
  3. He must be able to change a tire.
  4. He must share her political views. In her words, “I’m not putting up with any Republicans.”
  5. He must have a job. In her words, “I’m not supporting any lazy man.”
  6. He must not ever judge me.

I was pretty impressed with her list of rules. I mean, she covered the bases, right? Food, shelter, fun, politics, and respect—proving my point that my girls can handle themselves.

Dan doesn’t need to protect our daughters with a shotgun because we’ve spent the last 14 to 16 years arming them with better weapons, like confidence, a strong sense of self, critical thinking skills, autonomy, and self-sufficiency.

P.S. For you moms of boys….you’ll probably enjoy this hilarious—but honest—reply to those “rules”  from a mother of boys.  I think she’s my spirit mom. We could totally be BFFs.