Things I’m loving this week

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Replay by Ken Grimwood. I read this entire book in one weekend. Granted, I was home alone (kids & hubby went camping) with a bad back that prevented me from doing pretty much any form of physical activity, but….it was a pretty riveting read anyway. The concept was fascinating and it’s set in a time period that I enjoy (1960s to 1980s).

Timmy Ho’s at Behrend. Penn State is a Starbucks University, which is to say that Starbucks pays a lot of money to be the exclusive provider of coffee on all PSU campuses. But, Behrend’s new Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center is not technically on campus as it’s in Knowledge Park and so….Timmy Ho’s has moved in….and now good coffee is just (a few hundred) steps away.  Hallelujah!

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Kelly’s baking skills.  Kelly made these “campfire cupcakes” for this weekend’s Cass Family Camping Trip to Cook Forest. (The photo doesn’t really do them justice.) They were delicious, too. I’ve been telling her she should print up some flyers and start selling her cupcake creations to family, friends and neighbors who need them for parties, picnics, etc.  Trying to spark that entrepreneurial fire.

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Weekend alone.  Dan and the kids went camping and I did not. I don’t like camping. I find it supremely boring and I hate campfire smoke in my face and, with my back, it’s good I didn’t go. No way I could’ve slept on an air mattress, tubed down the Clarion River or sat in a camp chair for hours on end. ANYWHOO….this meant I was home alone in my house by myself the entire weekend. It was glorious. I could easily be a hermit, though I did go out and do some stuff with my friends. By three p.m. on Sunday, though, I was getting bored and missing all the noise and chaos.

Cousins on the Cass side

Kids with cousins. My kids are so lucky to have close cousins on both sides of the family. They’ve got built-in friends for life. They occasionally get on each others’ nerves and fight like siblings, but they’re growing up with the shared experiences and family members that will bond them—like it or not—for life.

The eclipse. Even if it was only a partial eclipse here, it was still pretty cool. Seven years from now, Erie will get to shine (er….go totally dark) when the eclipse passes right over our area. Dan and I are already thinking about how much we can charge on Airbnb to rent out the girls’ rooms (In 7 years, Kelly will have graduated from college and Lauren will be in her senior year—hopefully).

Things I’m not loving this week

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Shattered patio table. Two hours before a dozen or more of my friends were arriving for a book club meeting I was hosting poolside at Casa Cass, Lauren did this to our poolside patio table. It was an accident, but one born out of her irritation at being tasked with cleaning the table and setting up the pool umbrella.  Blinded by indignation, she didn’t get the umbrella all the way through the hole, it tilted in the wind and smashed the table. *sigh*

Another big, dead “Smart” TV. OH. MY. GOD. This is our THIRD…third Smart TV in about five years. One Lauren broke when she ripped the vacuum cord out of the outlet and it hit the screen, now just occurring to me there’s a pattern here. One just flat out died…after the warranty period, of course. I caved and let Dan buy ANOTHER 55″ monstrosity in November and this week, it went off and would not come back on. Fortunately, this one is still under warranty and they’re supposed to be sending a repair person. I’m going to ask if I can still get a three-year extended warranty on it because, clearly, these “Smart TVs” (all different brands) aren’t made to last.

Our Jester in Chief.  Another day, another rambling incoherent speech at another “rally” facilitated by his handlers to prop up our “president’s” fragile ego. I just don’t even know what to say about him anymore….but he continues to disgust me on a daily basis. I keep hoping our country has hit rock bottom. We have, right? Please tell me this is rock bottom. How much farther can we fall?