Three things — 4.6.17

Things I’m loving this week

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Thai Tuna Wraps. These Thai tuna wraps from the Pampered Chef cookbook are not only easy, but tasty and meat free for you lent-observing Catholics and/or vegetarians. BTW…you can buy a bag of shredded cabbage & carrots (coleslaw) for, like $2.

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S-town podcast. You already know I’m addicted to Podcasts so when a friend told me about the newest “hot” podcast S-Town (S = Shit), I immediately downloaded the first three episodes. I am not a binge watcher/listener, but the producers of S-Town dropped the entire series at once and I ended up listening to the all seven episodes in two days. I would tell you what it’s about but…..well….I’m not sure I can explain it. Just listen.

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Facebook-free phone. I took Facebook off my phone about three weeks ago for a lot of reasons, but primarily because it stresses me out & allows me to waste time scrolling instead of reading a book or doing something more productive…. and it’s been so peaceful. Last weekend, I never even saw Facebook from 5 p.m. Friday till Monday morning and, not only did I not miss it, I was blissfully unaware of all the bullshit going on in D.C.


My songbird. Can I brag? I’m going to. (It’s my blog.) My daughter won first place in her high school talent show with this performance of Adel’s “Rolling in the Deep” with the help of her her sister and cousins who she recruited to be her backup “glow dancers.” They worked out the choreography…Kelly made all the “costumes,” too! (I have zero idea where she got any of this talent…it’s not from me or her father…)


Thins I’m not loving this week


Blurry photos. My camera sucks lately. I think I need a new one. Though… I concede that it could be (drunken) operator error.  Sigh.

Lack of sleep. Getting back to running means getting back to getting up at 4:37 a.m. (and not one freaking minute earlier) to run.  I’ve fallen asleep in my car twice this week (no..not driving…while waiting for kids, etc.)

Earbuds. Will there ever be earbuds that don’t hurt like a b^&* if you wear them too long? yeah, yeah…I know…it probably wouldn’t hurt if I didn’t wear them for hours on end when I’m listening to some Alabama train wreck




Worth Reading — 4.5.17

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

Expanded Consciousness: 4 Great Things That Happen After a One-Week Vow of Silence (Intriguing….)

The Verge: The 265 Members of the Congress Who Sold You Out to ISPs and How Much It Cost to Buy Them (Spoiler: Toomey = $143,456; Mike Kelly = $34,700. Chump change they sold us out for…)

Runners World: Six High-Protein Dinners That Can Replace Chicken (*mouth watering* Oh…man, I want to make at least four of these!)

Seattle Times: UW Professor: The Information War is Real, and We’re Losing it.

Earthables: This Travel Company Plans Your Entire Vacation, but It’s a Surprise (This is a pretty cool idea…also…I love that they do all the work and you just pay. This must be what it’s like to be my husband when it comes to vacation planning.)

Erie Times-News: Shortage of Empathy Divides Erie Community (Also….the country, our schools, our families, our churches, our….. )

Laurenisms: Dora is a poser

This convo happened as most do with Lauren….with no apparent rhyme or reason…just out of the blue, as we’re driving somewhere:

Lauren: You know, I’ve been thinking about Dora, mom.

Me: Dora? Like Dora the Explorer.

Lauren: Well, see…that’s thing I’ve been thinking about. She’s not much of an explorer because she always had a map. I mean, if you’ve got a map, then someone else has explored it before you and made a map. So, Dora is no explorer and that show was just one big lie.

Me: *speechless* (because…it’s true)


Three things—3.30.17

Three things I’m loving this week

Acapella Good Morning. This (above) is the ringtone for my smartphone alarm. While a part of me truly hates hearing it go off at 4:45 a.m.,  this frickin catchy song makes me happy and half the time I end up singing along. By the time I wake Lauren up an hour later, I’m singing and dancing the Good Morning song, which she totally hates. But, I’m betting someday it will be a fond memory of her borderline-insane mother.  (Tell me you can listen to that up there without dancing in your chair….)

Microwave Popcorn Maker

Pampered Chef microwave popcorn popper. I hesitated long and hard before I put this $25 rubber bowl on my order sheet at my cousin’s recent Pampered Chef party, but Lauren is a popcorn fiend. I love popcorn, too, but I won’t eat the microwave kind because it’s so full of chemicals and crap. With this bowl, you just use real kernels and real butter and…in just 2.5 minutes you have a bowl of fresh popcorn. AND…AND…its crispy. Two thumbs up (four if you count Lauren’s too) for this corn cooker.

50 in fifty.  Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper has pledged to learn more about businesses in Erie County and the challenges they face and how better to that than to get out of her office and visit them. She’s taking us all along with her, too, through her 50 in Fifty blog. I love this for about 50 reasons, but among them because:

  • it highlights that, oh, yes, Erie DOES have plenty of businesses!
  • she’s actually TALKING face-to-face with people. Who does that today? That’s awesome! Personal connection is missing in sooooo many ways today.
  • she CARES enough to ask and is sincere in her efforts to learn more in an effort to provide support to these businesses. THAT is leadership.
  • you get to a behind-the-front-door look at local businesses you probably didn’t even know existed.

I could go on, but…. suffice to say: 50 in Fifty is #myerie.

OH…..speaking of #myerie….

This video. This pro-Erie video, created in response to CNBC’s bullshit, one-sided story (and I mean story because it sure wasn’t actual reporting) about our town,  is a collaborative project of three fabulous local photographers: Rob Frank, Paul Gibbens, and Mike Conway.

Things I’m not loving

My office = Gaming room.  Video game developers/players are a notoriously slovenly lot. I know I’m painting all gamers with one broad brush, but….by and large….it true. Trust me. Just peek in the window of the game developers lab or hang out in the gaming lounge at the college and you’ll see what I mean. Or, come to my house and take a look at my home office, a.k.a., Lauren’s Minecraft building office. Water bottles, discarded clothes, dirty dishes, half-eaten food, hairbands, tweezers….and sticky stuff (I don’t even want to know…butter? syrup?) all over the desk surface and keyboard.

Voice mail. If I could find a way to take it off my cell phone, I would.

Along those lines….

Messenger’s Chat Heads. Fortunately, I did figure out how to get rid of these stupid annoying pop up bubbles that always seem to be on top of whatever app I want to use.


Worth Reading — 3.29.17

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

Erie Reader: Hear the Call  (How can you help?)

“You are welcome to sit back, drink a beer, and watch a game. You are most certainly entitled to it and you earned it because you worked so hard throughout the week. But the truth is, you are needed. These organizations are taxed with too much work and not enough hands.

But what you are missing when you don’t volunteer is so much more. The momentum you get when you participate in service is astronomical; it does more for our overall psyche and sense of community. It binds us together and in this divisive climate, we could use each other to lean on.”

HuffingtonPost: 10 Things Parents of “Normal Kids” Should Know (This. Nothing aggravates me more than other parents who tell me what Lauren needs is “natural consequences” and/or a stronger parent riding her a%^ all the time…no…no…trust me….no. Works for K, but not L.)

No Sidebar: What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life? (I seriously feel this way every day. I struggle with mandatory goal-setting at work because I think: I’m good right here. I’m doing my job…I’m doing it well….right? Why do I have to set the bar higher? It’s exhausting to continually run toward a moving finish line. Ditto for running/fitness goals, parenting goals, goals for my kids. Basically…I hate goals.)

A Napper’s Companion: Reckoning a New Name (Life…family…it’s so complicated. That complexity is something I gain more and more appreciation for the older I get. With age comes wisdom, and sometimes it brings with it your grandmother’s vein-y hands,  your aunt’s wattle, or your grandfather’s jowls.

Washington Post: The House Just Voted to Wipe Away the FCC’s Landmark Internet Privacy Protections (Cause we need ONE MORE d$#%$^ thing to worry about. It’s like he’s trying to destroy all of us. There is no way this is in any way good for consumers….this is ONLY good for businesses who will sell you — and have access to your SS#, folks! Call your legislators…not that they’ll answer or care…but….)

I’m calling Maury

A colleague of mine took this lovely photo of Lauren I at the Science Olympiad:


In looking at the photo, I realized:

A.) I should’ve removed my headphone cord from around my neck.

B.) I need to whiten my teeth again.

C.) Lauren needs a haircut

D.) This child looks absolutely nothing like me.

Later, in the car, I showed Lauren the photo on my phone and said something about us looking nothing alike.

Lauren: I know. Sometimes I wonder if I’m adopted.

Me: Well, I was there and I can tell you that you weren’t. This body right here (waving my hand over my abdomen) created you. *evil “muwaahhaaahhaaa”*


Me: Though, I was just listening to this fascinating podcast about two girls who were switched at birth and didn’t find out until they were in their 40s or 50s. Maybe you were mixed up in the hospital nursery. (BTW…this is me joking, not being cruel to my kid).

(long pause)

Lauren: But Aunt Rhonda! I look just like Aunt Rhonda.

aunt rhonda

Dan’s sister, Aunt Rhonda (and Uncle Bill)

Me: Oh…right, Aunt Rhonda. Hmmm….well,  I guess you’re ours then.

That Friday night at my in-laws house, I tell this story to family, including Aunt Rhonda who says…

Aunt Rhonda: Well, that really only proves who her father is.

Me: (LOL) Oh, man, why didn’t I think to say that? Good one, Rhonda!

all cass

Yes, she’s all Cass.