Things I’m loving this week

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HANDHELD VACUUMS. We’ve replaced most of the carpet in our house with vinyl/plank flooring and it’s great except that you can actually see the dirt/dustbunnies/pet hair tumbleweeds. I swear that a broom just spreads it around. I can spend 10 minutes sweeping a room, only to turn around and find more debris or a clump of hair in a corner. I hate it. One accident one day I discovered that my handheld portable vacuum is the perfect way to clean hard-to-reach-with-a-broom areas (like under the piano bench/kitchen table and chairs, etc.). I’ve now just started dustbusting the entire floor in the bathrooms and often in the kitchen. I just bought a second portable handheld vacuum for the upstairs. This one is my favorite.

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A COVID-19 VACCINATED FAMILY. What is the traditional gift for a 27th wedding anniversary? Is it a vaccine? Cause that’s what I got Dan on Friday (our 27th anniversary). Now, the girls are done and Dan and I each have one. Though we got different shots and on different days, we both get our second shot in mid-April on the same day. Woot! (Yes, PA is still technically in the 1A phase, but…if you live in Erie, just sign up to go to any mass clinic, there is more MORE than enough for all at this point and nobody is asking questions — they are just happy to put shots in arms of adults.)

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NEW “PORCH” SWINGS ON THE BLUFFS. When they put these giant frames up, I said to the friends I was walking with: Wouldn’t it be cool if those were like giant swings over the bluffs? You know what? THEY WERE! There are now three of these giant swings on the bluffs overlooking the Bayfront Connector. Our West Bayfront (OWB) community-action group is KILLING it up there…getting grants money, making changes, and inspiring others. I love it.

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MY NEW T. The YMCA had some spring wellness initiative that we signed up for and I had forgotten that we would get shirts at the end. I love these — super soft, reddish in color (looks pink, but it’s not) and I love the messaging. The only thing I didn’t love is the length (why are t-shirts so long?!), so I just cut three inches off the bottom.

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REDHOT SPICES.  Frank’s RedHot, maker of the best hot sauce on the market, has a new line of seasoning blends. It was hard to choose, but I ultimately went with this Chile ‘n Lime. It’s great on chicken and I think it would great on veggies and shrimp, too.

Things I’m not loving this week

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A REGULAR CALENDAR. You need only glance at my Google calendar or the weekly whiteboard calendar I keep on the fridge to know that life appears to be returning to “normal.” Bittersweet, I guess. I will probably miss wide-open days with no obligations, nowhere to go, and nothing to do.

WINDY COLD RAIN. Our plan to swing by the Kinzua Bridge on our way home from a weekend trip to see the Elk was cut short, very short thanks to the nastiest of winter weather — cold, windy rain. ugh. I was bummed because they’ve made a TON of improvements to this park since we were last there (many years ago) and I’d have loved to check it all out and hike the well-maintained path to the bottom, taken the iconic photo in the iron bridge girders, but…..by the time we walked to the end of the viewing platform, we were all soaked and freezing. Wet jeans make for a long 2.5 hour ride home.