Three things — 4.20.17

Three things I’m loving this week

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EZPass. After a few trips through toll-loving New York last summer, I decided to look into getting an EZPass.  PA requires an initial payment of $35 per transponder (that’s $35 in toll money) plus a $3 annual fee to open your account. (So…the transponder is “free”). I got one transponder that we can transfer from car to car (It just sits on the dash). The EZPass works on many of the surrounding interstates including the turnpikes in Ohio, NY, WV, NJ, RI and NC  (here’s a full list). The EZPass was particularly valuable during our recent trip to Boston as Mass. does not have toll collectors — If you do not have an EZPass, they photograph your license plate & send you a bill.  I also learned that you actually SAVE MONEY on some tolls with an EZPass. Also…you get through the toll booths quicker, of course. If you travel at all…it’s well worth having one.  I ordered mine online and it arrived in the mail a few weeks later.  More info here.

Easy Coleslaw Dressing

This easy coleslaw recipe. I had leftover shredded cabbage & carrots (I buy it in the bag) from the Thai Tuna Wraps I told you about before and googled “easy coleslaw recipe” and found this. It is easy…and deeelish. I love it fresh because it’s still a little crunchy.

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Car travel. I used to hate traveling anywhere far away by car because, well….with five children and two adults in the car (technically six kids if we count my impatient father), when I was a kid car trips were a living nightmare of anger, hostility, yelling, and sulking. So, when I grew up…I flew everywhere. Until we couldn’t get decent flights to the Great Smokey Mountains a few years ago and decided to drive the 7+ hours. It was just Dan & I and …it was actually kinda nice to have all the time in the world to sit and read, talk, journal, scroll social media, etc.  I expected the 8-hour trip to Boston with the kids this weekend to be much like the car trips of my youth, but flying was not an option because I wasn’t going to plunk down $800 on flights and $50 to park and $100 to take luggage and $200 to rent a car in Boston….(Also…flying has become quite a freaking nightmare these days anyway), so we borrowed my mom’s car (three row seating is key!) and hit the road. We were able to take everything we wanted (no worries if our suitcase is over 50 lbs!) and left when we wanted and stopped when we wanted. We ate at picnic tables at rest stops and …you guys…my kids did not fight AT ALL. Not on the way there, not on the way back. *jaw drop*  This may have to do with the 8-hour binge on electronics & peace-keeping earbuds, but…whatevs…all I know is that flying has really fallen out of favor with me.

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Racecations. Race vacations with running friends are the best. Even better when I don’t have to race!

Things I’m not loving this week

Head cold. Courtesy of the overcrowded Boston T-line (subway), I’m sure.

Fixing my swim stroke. So, I signed up for a few private swimming lessons because I need to learn how to bi-lateral breath for the Bay Swim and I was hoping to figure out why I’m so slow — it has much to do with the fact that I don’t reach and roll enough underwater (my body sort of sits on the top like a barge as I drag myself through with my arms). I’m working on it…but as soon as I get that right, I forget to kick, or my fingers spread out, or my right arm comes in & under (reducing my “pull”). There’s just so much to remember.

 

My weekend (in photos)

Just back from Bean Town where Dan ran his 2nd Boston Marathon. We took the kids this year and had a crew of Erie friends to hang with over the long weekend.

You can read more about the marathon & get results for local runners here.

I have more to say about Boston…and traveling with kids…and traveling by car…and staying outside the city and riding into town, but…for now…you get photos:

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Worth Reading — 4.19.17

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

Spit That Out: Top 10 Reasons I Hated Disney World (I thought I was the only one…but I guess not. :))

Huffington Post: An Update for Trump Voters

Babble: Raise Your Kids Like It’s 1982 (Those were the good old days… In 1984, I was 12 and babysat almost daily for a family down the street with three kids under 5, one was an infant. Times were different then…)

Washington Post: Mitch McConnell: the man who ‘broke America’ (In the end, I think history will show that this guy has done the most damage to our democracy.  At the risk of being petty: I hate his smug smile and old-man turkey neck...and does he even HAVE lips?)

 

Things — 4.13.17

Things I’m loving this week

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Apple salad. Everyone brought a dish for Lauren’s swim team banquet, and Dan and I were happily gobbling up a big helping of apple salad. It was deeeelllliiissshhhh. Now, I know marshmallow fluff when I see it, so I knew it wasn’t entirely healthy, but…later, in talking with the swim mom who bought the “salad”, I learned why it was so good: Snickers Bars.

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New bike seat….er, cycling saddle. When I took my race bike to North East’s Lake Country Bike Shop to get clip-in shoes/pedals, I complained about the nether-region pain of getting back on the saddle in the spring and the guy suggested I get a new seat. Of course. I was skeptical, but…for the sake of my crotch, I added another $59.50 to the bill and it was the best $60 I’ve ever spent. Worth every buck…and my lady parts would agree.

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Amazon Prime Music. I don’t know what is up with Pandora but it is not playing nice with the browser on my work computer and it’s freezing up every few songs. A friend reminded me that Amazon Prime lets me stream music channels and albums for free. The best part is that I don’t even have to listen to any …not one…annoying commercials! Screw Pandora.

glenhill window - spring

Open-window weather. I love spring and the fresh air it brings. It’s warm enough to not need heat, but still cold enough to not have the A.C. on at the office and thereby enter the parallel summer/winter season (where you dress for the summer weather outside, but then must dress like it’s February inside.)

Things I’m not loving this week

Vaca planning. I know…I know…the ultimate #firstworldproblem. But, I hate all the logistics and planning and preparation for a family vacation.  It’s sort of like party/event planning — some people love it, I’d rather poke forks in my eyes. I find the entire experience to be a stressful, time-consuming PITA.

Chafing…in the pool. I got a new lap suit and realized the other day that’s it’s causing chafing under my right arm. Only I could chafe underwater. *sigh*

45s impulsive missile strike. This guy is going to get us all killed. WWIII coming right up thanks to Mr. Clueless. Also…his outrage at those “poor little babies” being gassed, while also refusing to offer safe refuge to any of them is classic Republican hypocrisy:

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Worth Reading — 4.12.17

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

Shareably: 11 Nifty Ways to Cure Household Problems with Pool Noodles (pool noodles…who knew, right?)

Feminist Current: Aging While Female is not Your Worst Nightmare

Jon Pavlovitz: We’re All Really Just Agnostics With Suspicions

At the end of all our studying and praying and accepting and rejecting and feeling and dismissing and meditating and wrestling; whether we’re completely sold-out for Jesus, or unapologetically Buddhist or devout practitioners of another faith tradition or fully defiant in disbelief of any Deity—none of us really knows anything.”

Washington Post: The double-standard of making the poor prove they’re worthy of government benefits