Good things 2016: Weeks 45-46


Highly recommended combo

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

So there have been some icky moments in the last couple of weeks so I’m especially thankful for the good moments in the past couple of weeks.

Here’s Good Things for weeks 45-46:

  • Dirty Dancing at Proctors with some of the most dear friends
  • Hot showers after a cold night at the pool.
  • My kiddos first swim meet. I’m so proud!
  • Love My Goat White
  • Crocheting with friends
  • Gluten free lasagna
  • The Copper Fox with Daddy-O to listen to our friend Bil play music.
  • A really good craft show
  • Realizing I’m down 15lbs from June 2015 and some of my favorite pants are thisclose to fitting again
  • Laughing with friends
  • The ice machine at work
  • New babies making their way into the world
  • My Pop.
  • Paying off my car loan…
  • and the bank approving a semi-unexpected at this time car loan for me.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:
Favorite Song:

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Where do we go from here?

(I’m not a political wonk. I’m sharing my thoughts and you don’t have to agree with them. Let’s keep it civil with each other.)15036647_1117580081629618_8679546647093596601_n

I don’t often talk about political things, I have my beliefs, you have yours. I know that mostly, I can’t change yours and while I’ll listen to you, you’re not going to change mine.

I’m stubborn like that. You probably are too and that’s okay.

Last night as the votes came in and the electoral college votes were doled out (a system I believe needs to go by the way of the dinosaurs btw) my heart was racing and I was thisclose to a full blown anxiety attack.

But it dawned on me that right then, last night, I couldn’t do anything more than say a prayer and ask that my friends and family be protected and this not turn into the balagan it could become. My vote was cast and NY polls had long ago closed. I could watch and be upset, but I couldn’t change anything last night.

I chose to do something soul soothing, have some tea, and write a dear friend a letter.

I can’t say I’m surprised there is so much hatred, bigotry, sexism and old white dudes who are terrified of a female having power that they’d show it by electing Trumpelstiltskin. I also know  there were a lot of people who didn’t want him, but didn’t want her more. I guess what surprises me is that there wasn’t more love out there to balance it. (Or a better option to begin with for that matter.)

I know there are parts of the country (even my state) where this exists and honestly, Trumpelstiltskin’s campaign offered Change. There’s a lot of people out there who want change and drank his rhetorical kool-aid. I guess he was an easy answer to a complicated situation? (Yes, I’m over simplifying it. This is a blog post, not a dissertation.)

I don’t believe in my heart he is who the vast majority of this country wanted in office. The popular vote is currently reflecting that fact. The question becomes, how do we fix it so 4 years from now he (or someone worse) doesn’t get another term?

Where do we go from here?

I don’t know who dropped the ball, but the ball was dropped. Let’s pick it up and move on together.  Love each other. Hold each other up. When you see something wrong, speak out against it. Don’t forget what our mothers and grandmother’s fought for so we have the liberties we do. Be human to each other, a kind, decent human being even if you don’t agree with your neighbor. If social programs are cut, find a way to help. Build communities. Teach children love, acceptance, and kindness. Do the right thing, even if our leader(s) don’t always show they can.

And remember that while the Presidential election is a big deal, mid-term elections offer another chance for our voices to be heard – and in the current political landscape, may be a bigger deal. VOTE IN THESE TOO!!! Write letters and annoy the bejebus out of contact your representatives, know what’s on the line locally to help shape the bigger picture. Maybe run for local office (town/city councils, school boards, etc). Research the voting laws in your state so you can vote in primaries! (As an unaffiliated voter, I couldn’t in NY and that made me grumpy.)

Start with a deep breath and see what you can do to enact the change you want to see.

(Anecdotally, I counted 8-12 people in my news feed who voted for him. Clearly I’m friends with caring, smart, individuals. Or those who don’t want to share their thoughts. It’s also possible I already unfollowed them.)

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Reading more: The Red Notebook

book squareThe Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

Sometimes when NetGalley sends me book suggestions I’m so intrigued by the description, I really hope to get approved. Other times I’m like, “Meh, whatever.” and don’t even ask for it.

The description of The Red Notebook was the former.

From Amazon:

Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

Mystery? Potential romance? Sure thing. Sign me up!

I liked the writing of this book. It was upbeat, warm, and had just the right amount of detail to help you picture the setting, but not so much that you wanted to skip paragraphs.

That said, I ended up finding the concept just a slight bit creepy.

In theory, it should be a romantic scavenger hunt of sorts across the streets of Paris with two lonely people finding each other. It felt more like stalking charges waiting to happen. I feel like if Laurent hadn’t been written in such a charming lovely way, it would just have been weird.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Good things 2016: Um, lately (again)


had a tasty beer
deep cut, beautiful river
oh wait! that was two

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I’ve been remiss in doing these posts, but want to get back on track – I’m excited about somethings that can’t be shared or blogged about (no, not babies). Just some things that for personal reasons I’m keeping close to the vest. It always seems when I can’t talk about something here, I can’t talk about anything. Anyone else find that to be true?

Here’s a few weeks  months worth of  Good Things:

  • Hearing wonderful news from friends
  • Writing a haiku to our waitress at dinner on the comment card. This is something HockeyJoe and I just do.
  • Taking a step back and a deep breath
  • Receptive crowds for work presentations
  • Cleaning up email inboxes.
  • Getting advanced copies of books to review (I don’t know if this will ever get old)
  • Dogs in costumes on parade for Halloween.
  • Seeing my nephew
  • Finding the good in the crappy
  • GF pizza delivered to the pool deck
  • Reconnecting with friends in person, not just via tech

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

Notes that show up out of the blue when you need to see them the most.

Favorite Song:

I assume you’ve seen this by now. I watch it every few days.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Reading more: The Crepes of Wrath

book squareThe Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’m slowly working through the embarrassing number of books I have to read and review. For someone who used to devour books by the dozen, I’m sorely out of practice.

Luckily I have a bunch on my phone and tablet that have interesting or cute descriptions which I look forward to getting to sooner than later.

This was one of those cute description books. It’s a cozy mystery so it had a cat and a cute plot, but not a whole lot of guts, naughty bits, or questionable mentionables.

From Amazon:

When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.

After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.

I think what I find most charming about these cozy  mysteries is the general innocence of the characters. I won’t blow the plot for you, but I had this one figured out about half way through. It was a little slow in parts so it took longer than usual to get through. I wish it was funnier though.

This book was just generally cozy, lovely, and I enjoyed it. If I see others, I’ll probably read them, but I don’t know that I’ll jump out of my way to do so.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Five on Friday


From earlier this summer.
Sometimes crappy days
are rewarded with great sunsets.
(As reflected onto the Little Sentra that Could)

It’s been a busy week with work work work and hey some more work, but it’s good for me, right?

How ’bout a quick five things for this Friday? Feel free to grab a cup of coffee if you’d like. Or maybe a beer. I certainly won’t judge if you’d like a beer on a Friday!

Oooh I was just reminded it’s a long weekend! I knew that a few days ago, but seemed to have forgotten it again until just now. Not that I’m doing anything super fun that I know of for sure. Unless you count working at the pool. I know I’m doing that and it should be fun. The rest of the weekend? Who knows?

  1. I’m getting my hair cut off today. I’ve given it zero further thought than making the appointment. All I know is that it’s getting too long to reach the ends when I blow dry it and it didn’t grow evenly so it needs to go. Maybe I’ll get a trim, maybe I’ll to go Pinterest and say, “There. That.” (That’s what I usually do anyway.)
  2. I’ve spent more time face to face with people again and it’s been delightful. An old friend, Daddy-O and my former boss. Lots of laughs, good conversation, and pretty tasty food.
  3. I think tonight for dinner I’m going to make the acorn squash that’s sitting on my counter. I usually put butter and brown sugar in it. Sometimes garlic, butter, and Worcestershire sauce. What do you put in yours?
  4. I’ve decided what I want to do for my 40th birthday if some things fall into place/I get my ducks in a row. I want to have an Alice and Wonderland party complete with flamingo croquet, super fun desserts, and lots of fun people. Possibly in costume.
  5. I made a major bonehead move. The other day when I was trying to upload pics to google, I didn’t connect to the wifi properly first so it was over data. 2GB of data gone like that. Oh well, I’ll be more careful next time. Have you ever done such a thing?

So how are you? Anything to report?

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2016-10-03_12-20-07Have you ever looked in the mirror and literally not recognized the person looking back at you? It happened to me the other day and was momentarily quite unsettling.

Maybe it was how tired I was, maybe it was the way my hair was falling (it admittedly needs to be cut), maybe it was the major changes happening and I’m seeing the person who made different choices than she has for the last 5 years looking back at her. For all I know it could be the new LED lights they’ve put in my office and gives everything a crappy blue tint which looks like you’re looking though a crappy Instagram filter.

I don’t know.

The good news is after I blinked a few times and heard a toot coming from the stall (which let’s be honest, is funny) I smiled and recognized the face looking back at me.

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Saturday Survey

2016-09-26_01-59-19This one isn’t really a “survey”, but it’s sort of like what I used to post on Saturdays for some lighthearted fun. I do love a good survey, especially some of the “insightful” facebook ones.

The other night I was having a hard time falling asleep but wasn’t feeling the book I’m working on for NetGalley review so I was mindlessly scrolling through facebook even though I’m trying not to be on there as often.

I decided to see what my “life quote” would be after seeing some fun ones from friends.

In all fairness to this particular little test, it was pretty accurate.

What’s more accurate is how it lines up nicely with my picture of me hugging the giant bag of cereal marshmallows – Lucky Charms arguably being one of my great loves.

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Coffee Date


How true is that?

If we met for coffee this afternoon you’d see my new coffee cup. And that it has cold coffee in it with what might be marshmallows from my hot chocolate mix floating on top. (They are marshmallows, they just look funny now.)

You might tell me I look tired. You might not be wrong. This week has been mentally exhausting with a huge project thrown at a few of us 2 weeks ago by BigBossMan. It’s all good, it’s done and he’s happy. To make up for the work and no play, I think Saturday I’m going to mentally check out and relax with some friends after swimming lessons are done. I found out I can probally drink Coors Light as it’s been testing gluten free so I might test that out.

Seems like a good way to start off what I think is about 17 days of work in a row. (Rough estimate. I didn’t actually count. It sort of terrifies me to do it. Better to do it and look back after the fact!)

I’d also tell you that in less than the last week I’ve had drinks and lunches with friends and caught up with them on over the summer and current happenings in their lives. Laughing in person is so much better than liking something on facebook. (I did that too, but more laughing in person than time on facebook.)

I’d also tell you that I’m working on going through clothing and craft supplies in what might turn into a massive purge. Shoes too, but a lot of them have been spoken for already.

I’d also tell you that tonight I’m going to Postmodern Jukebox and I’m so excited I can’t take it.


You can see more of their stuff here Which of their videos is your favorite?

What would you want to tell me over coffee today?

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Coffee date


You know the story of the professor, the mayonnaise jar and coffee? No, I’m not telling you a dirty joke! It ends with “It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.”

I’ve missed having coffee with you. But I’ve been trying to make time with people to have a cup of coffee, grab a meal, take a yoga class, or have a drink in person. Connecting with the people around me, experiencing stuff with them, and not being worried about getting pics for the blog or other social media has been really great for me. (I’ve taken some pics, but my focus isn’t documenting anymore.) The conversations haven’t all been weird, but many have been revealing – sometimes just something about me.

If we had coffee today I’d tell you that I’m loving coaching the little kiddo swim team (3 weeks in, check back in 10 more to see how I feel!) and how my new schedule at the pool is really working for me. I would tell you that I spent a lot of time in the sunshine this summer, made new friends, and reconnected with old ones.

I’d  tell you that this summer I pulled more all nighters than is healthy at my age for no other reason than to chat with people, read a book which had sucked me in, or binge watch something on Netflix/OnDemand (Lucifer, Avengers, NCIS, I’m looking at all of you!)

I would tell you that I’m working on my To Be List and focusing on finding me again after spending what feels like far too long working on my To Do List. (I actually put “Create my To Be List” on my To Do List.)

I would also tell you I’m a little worried about today and this weekend. Historically, this time of September isn’t my best point in the year. There was the terrible car accident I was in, a really hard break up, LN passing away, etc. It just seems a lot falls in the last couple of weeks of September so if you’d be so kind, send up some good energy for me? Or am I just silly to worry about it?

But I would tell you that right now, I’m okay.

While I work on my To Be List, what would be on yours? Is there a part of the year for you that’s historically bad? What would you tell me if we were having coffee right now?

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