Alexa. I taught the old girl some new tricks (downloaded some “skills” for her) on Saturday night and…now…I’m finding a use for the little electronic dot in my kitchen. Alexa can now help Dan & I do a 5-minute plank challenge, come up with date ideas, make funny sounds, tell us the temperature and weather forecast, find my phone, and tell us inspiring short stories.
Pope Francis. I have loved this humble guy from Day 1 and now I love him all the more because not only did he give 45 a 200-page book on climate change (like he reads…), but he also gave us this priceless photo. It’s like manna from Heaven…. Methinks the Pope knows a fake Christian when he sees one.
Sunset Music Series at Presque Isle
Summer in Erie. Anyone who tells you there is nothing to do in Erie, should check out this guide to all the live music concerts scheduled in the area this summer. Most of these are free, free, free, free. And, this is just the music…not even the special events, festivals and the myriad of classes and activities offered by everyone from Asbury Woods to the TREC center to Presque Isle State Park. Pick up an Erie Times-News today; you’ll want to keep the Showcase (entertainment) section which lists more summer activities than you can fit in your calendar.
Verizon Wireless and the NFL. I desperately want to pull my husband — the last remaining family member — from the greedy clutches of Verizon Wireless because he pays twice what I do for service through Crickett Wireless AND he needs a new phone. You know VW just loves to stick it to their consumers on those. But he won’t leave because…the effin’ NFL app. With the free app on Verison, he can stream all the NFL games on his phone. Verizon is the only one that has the app and you can’t buy it or anything like it if you don’t have cable. Bastards got my husband, and therefore me, by the snarglies.
Inability to find a lap suit that is “just right”. Too tight. Too revealing. Too loose. Too padded. Too matronly. Too open in the back. I keep ordering lap suits from swimoutlet.com and have yet to find one that fits me right. By now, I have probably spent the $100 I would’ve spent buying one that I could try on at a local sports store. *sigh*
A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.
Women’s running: Mushrooms Are a Rising Superfood—Here’s How to Eat More (10 great ‘shroom recipes. *drool* I ❤ mushrooms.)
Today show: My Child is Easier to Like When He’s Medicated (I hate this “click bait” headline, but…the content is pretty good).
DIYEveryhwere: 9 Reasons to Use Baby Powder in Your Gardens (Oh…man…I’m definitely adding this to my shopping list).
I know what you’re thinking….Heather, where are all the political must-reads? Seriously…I just can’t anymore. Screw it. Screw them all….all those people who vote against their own self-interest and keep biting the “libtard” hands that feed them…fine…starve then. Good luck eating oil and coal. I’m out. *wipes hands*
Remember when eggs were as outlawed from a “healthy” diet as fat, butter, and red meat?
My, my….how the tides have turned. Because, as it turns out, that bullshit pyramid full of grains, processed foods, and low-fat (fat-free) dairy products (with research largely funded by these industries) were exactly the wrong thing for all of us to be eating. Behold the obesity crisis it caused in America.
If you’re still drinking skim milk, shunning steak, and using only the whites of the eggs, you can stop. It was all lies. Eat the whole damn egg. It’s a freaking superfood. I eat them at least five days a week. (BTW…if you’re fretting about cholesterol, you should know that experts are starting to question that whole thing, too.)
When I was a “healthy” non-fat-eating vegetarian, my breakfast every morning was a plain salt bagel and a diet Dr. Pepper. I would eat it at my desk at the newspaper about 8 a.m. And I would be STARVING by 10:30 or 11 a.m.
Several years ago, when I did the paleo thing, I started eating 3 whole eggs (yep, whole eggs) in the morning (about 7 a.m.) and quickly discovered something: I wasn’t hungry at 11 a.m. I wasn’t even hungry at noon. Most days, my stomach doesn’t actually rumble till almost 2 p.m. or later.
Protein sticks with you…and as a result, you eat less. I don’t bring snacks (even healthy ones, like fruit or carrots) to work because I don’t need them to tide me over. Truth be told, I could probably go without lunch altogether and eat an early dinner, but my lunches often fuel after-work workouts.
OK…so…now you’re probably wondering where I find time to cook in the morning.
It takes me 3 minutes to make eggs and doesn’t require dirtying a frying pan. It does, however require a little meal prep on Sunday and six 2-cup Pryex bowls with lids. (I only microwave/heat food in glass now because plastic is said to leach chemicals into food when it’s heated).
I line up my bowls…and into each I put: two diced black olives, some diced scallions, diced mushrooms, salt, pepper, fresh basil. (You can put in whatever you want — green peppers, banana peppers, etc. But…the key here is to avoid anything that is really wet — like tomatoes).
Then, I cover the bowls and stick them in the fridge.
In the morning, I take a bowl out…crack three eggs into it. Add a bit of milk. Beat it. Then, microwave for 1:30. Take it out & stir it up. Put it back in for another 1:30. Take it out, add a bit of diced cheddar, stir to mix it. Cover it. Stick it in my work bag.
By the time I get to work and get settled and take out my eggs, the cheese is melted and the eggs are cool enough to eat.
My boss complains that my breakfast smells like farts, but….I don’t care. 🙂
Yes, scrambled eggs made in a pan taste better and fluffier. The microwaved version can be a little dry, but a bit of added milk and cheese can help with that and, in my opinion, it’s a solid tradeoff for a 3-minute bowl of breakfast protein that keeps you going for hours.
One tip: If you can, wash your bowl when you’re done eating. The longer the bowl sits with dried, cooked-on egg, the harder it is to scrape off later. (Soaking helps.)
I’ve been taking fewer photos lately…I think because I’ve just been trying to enjoy life and take things in without a camera between my eye and the world. Anyway….Lauren’s 8th grade dance was worthy of busting out the ol’ Canon:
Bull’s Dam/Eaton Reservoir. A hidden gem in North East, the Howard Eaton Reservoir (also known as Bull’s Dam) offers a flat 3-mile walking path around the water…or…if you’re feeling more adventurous and didn’t wear your “good” shoes, you can explore the miles of well-maintained (thanks to community volunteers!) and blazed trails. While we were walking at the Bull’s Dam on Sunday morning (my Mother’s Day request), we ran into a couple of guys who were headed to the trails on fatbikes and they told me about a new Facebook group — H.E.A.T. — where members are posting trail maps, trail photos, group activity invites.
A sister who loves to cook. We should all be blessed with a sibling who loves to feed people. And, not just like pizza or pasta, but Food channel worthy spreads with all homemade stuff — like the Mother’s Day brunch extravaganza above. That was only half the spread, by the way…. I’m still full.
Ladies in leadership positions. While the November election as a nightmare, a disaster for women, and now a global security crisis, the most recent local primaries made me happy with several awesome women — some new, some-not-so-new to politics — installed in leadership positions, including my tax collecting sister Pam, Liz Allen on Erie City Council, Kathy Dahlkemper as Erie County Executive and Lisa Vallimont as my township supervisor. Nothing effects our day-to-day lives more than the people at the local level of government and …I’m just going to say it….I believe women are more able to care for ALL people, they are more willing to listen and learn, and rarely do they have the ego problems (not counting that skinny blonde twit who lies on TV for 45) that causes so much bullshit among the other gender.
Mulching. And, yet, it must be done. Probably this weekend.
Dog-slobbered glass doors. There are four glass doors in my house and my dog feels it’s his duty to heavy breathe, snort, and otherwise leave mark on every single one of them. There are times I am cleaning one side of a door while he is looking at me and heavy breathing all over the other side. #firstworldproblems, I know, but…seriously.
45. I’m leaving that toddler-in-chief on my list until he finally takes his ball and goes home.
A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.
Boston Globe: The Benefits of Slow Parenting (I actually feel like this is much easier when they are young. Once they get older and involved with school activities/sports…well, good luck slowing down…)
Thought Catalog: The Definition of Hell for Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type (On point!)
The Atlantic: My Family’s Slave (*jaw drop*. I don’t even know how to describe it other than to say it’s as complicated and beautiful as life itself. If you read nothing else this week, read this.).
The New York Times: When the World is Led by a Child.
“From all we know so far, Trump didn’t do it because he is a Russian agent, or for any malevolent intent. He did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.”
I knew a few classmates who committed suicide when I was in junior high and high school. While they were earth-shattering events at the time, I can only name one of them now. (Though, to be honest, most of those years are blur for me now, I couldn’t name more than a couple teachers or tell you my locker number or recall the name of any secretary, guidance counselor, or football captain.)
R.B. was sweet, handsome and mercilessly picked on because he was most definitely gay. This was the ’80s and it wasn’t “cool” to be gay yet. One day, he hooked a hose up to an exhaust pipe and died in his parents’ garage. I think about him every time I drive by his former house. I wonder if his mom still lives there. I wonder if she still parks her car there. I wonder if she grieves every day or if it’s gotten better with time.
I wish he would have stayed. I wish he were here to have witnessed the turning tide of public opinion about homosexuality. I’ll bet he’d have had a happy life. Maybe he’d have contributed something cool to the world. But, unfortunately, he checked out early and missed the revolution.
If there’s one thing I hope to impress on my teenage daughters, it’s that nothing is permanent. There is nothing in this world that doesn’t get better with time and nothing that can’t change.
I heard my daughters, 13 and 15, talking about Thirteen Reasons Why, and knew they were watching it on Netflix. I didn’t think much about it until I read an article about the controversy surrounding it: some say it’s suicide fantasy and it glorifies and romanticizes self-harm.
At first glance at the plot summary, I agreed. A teenage girl commits suicide and leaves behind thirteen cassette tapes that she recorded, one for each of the people who drove her to slit her wrists.
Then, I watched it, and I changed my mind.
While I don’t remember many details of H.S., I vividly remember the overwhelming feelings — every. single. this. was. a. big. effing. deal. EVERYTHING was monumental. If some friend didn’t talk to me in study hall, it ruined my whole night and possibly the next day and entire week. So I can understand the main character’s reaction to seemingly innocuous offenses against her (some were, of course, very major, but…).
But I can also relate to many of the kids on the tapes and why they did what they did, and that, ultimately, they probably didn’t mean to hurt her. They all had their own shit they were dealing with.
What seemed like a cut-and-dry story — suicidal girl gets revenge on kids who bullied her (and they deserved it) — with obvious villains and heroes was not that simple.
Nothing ever is. Life, people, the world… it’s full of gray, layers and layers and layers of it. Thirteen Reasons Why did a great job of illuminating those layers. You think you know something or someone….you think you know how something is, but… do you? Do you ever?
In the book (yes, it was a book first), Hannah kills herself by swallowing a bunch of pills. But the producers of the Netflix series chose to change that and make it more brutal and horrifying, not for “ratings,” but to show the harsh reality of suicide and the avoid romanticizing it with a character who just “goes to sleep.”
The suicide scene was graphic. The mother’s reaction to finding her daughter is something I could have seen myself doing — trying to “fix” the situation, comfort her kid, deny the obvious reality that it’s too late. As a parent, it was absolutely gut-wrenching to watch. It’s the stuff of real-life nightmares.
In my family, Thirteen Reasons Why provided an opportunity for some serious conversations with my daughters. We’ve talked about the series — the characters, why they did what they did, why Hannah did what she did, what she could’ve done instead, how Hannah gave up the chance to ever have a relationship with Clay, how there is nothing in life that doesn’t get better with time.
Were not for that series, we’d probably never have discussed these things. Several mom friends I’ve talked with have said the same.
I’ve read that the series has given some students pause in their daily interactions with peers. They’re thinking more about how they treat people and how even the slightest gesture can destroy (or totally build up) someone. It’s not easy to teach empathy and compassion to self-centered, social-climbing teens who lack impulse control or the wisdom adults have acquired over decades of living and learning, so I’ll give the series props for that.
On the other hand, I can see how some may not feel so positive about the series. I can see how some kids may see this as a damn good way to go out and leave behind a giant “F-you.” I can see how it could cause anxiety in some teens. And, those are the reasons inspiring the well-meaning warnings to parents, letters from superintendents, and suicide prevention tips from school counselors. I suppose it can’t hurt.
Ultimately, I think every person views the series differently. We all see it through our own filters and experiences and judgements.
Just like life…and relationships….and politics… There is an awful lot of gray.