Thankful Thursday 17 September 2020

I’m still on cloud-9 about becoming a mod on Reddit. I made one post today before I started at the office, it received 3 upvotes, and I’m hoping to build community engagement. This will be a learning curve. I shared the news with my friends and work friends; they all congratulated me and they’re so happy for me. I feel grateful.

I said this to Kathleen this morning, “I have to start drafting my newsletter (I’ve been lazy for the past month, LOL!) and I’ll mention it there too. 😊 I was looking at Reddit, Inc. and they actually employ people. Maybe if moderating goes well and once I get some other experience up my sleeve, maybe Reddit, Inc. could be a possibility. One can only dream! 😉 LOL!”

She replied, “A future with Reddit, Inc. Sounds like a great dream!” So grateful for the support too.

Tomorrow at sunset Rosh Hashanah begins. I didn’t get the brisket at Trader Joe’s last week (Sunday) because I thought $35 for 3.5 pounds was a lot. I thought I’d look at Wegman’s, but Wegman’s didn’t have it. After the office, I went to Giant and they had it. They only had 5 lbs for $42. I asked some people if I could substitute something else for brisket, and someone recommended seeing the butcher. Sadly, the butcher doesn’t work on Thursdays.

I decided I would go with the 5 lbs. I’m going to Trader Joe’s on Saturday, but I didn’t want to risk it being out. Giant was cheaper anyway… it was $7.50/lb instead of $11/lb and while it’s two pounds more, I can freeze it. I was chatting with an older woman about this and she smiled, “yes, freezing would be your best bet.” I explained this was my first Rosh Hashana that I was cooking for, she was also going to be celebrating, she smiled and wished me well. A few men who recommended me going to the butcher wished me well with my cooking endeavor. So thankful for the kindness.

I can’t wait to cook this in the crock pot. This will be my first time cooking brisket as well. I’m thinking of using this recipe:

I’m thankful for my friends and family as well. I’m also thankful that the days are getting cooler and shorter. Some of the leaves began to change as well!

What are you thankful for today?

Being the Bigger Person : A Snapshot about Forgiveness

Since the Jewish high holidays are coming up, Rosh Hashana on Friday, which welcomes in the Jewish New Year. Next week is Yom Kippur, a day of atonement, where we work on forgiving others and ourselves. Since this time of year is the time for forgiveness, I’m going to focus on forgiveness over the next two weeks.

Please log onto your photo account before we delete it. CVS painstakingly sent that e-mail for the past month, which I disregarded until six hours before my account would be purged.

Fine… I thought and logged on. Woah, 29 September 2018. Is that Albert? It is Albert and there are the selfies from when we met at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on 28 September 2018.

He had a crush on me, big time. However, two weeks in, it wasn’t going so well. As an asexual young woman, I wasn’t feeling it and things got odd when he suggested some things that I wasn’t comfortable about. I mentioned I was involved in a crime and that’s why I felt weird. He wanted me to elaborate, but I wouldn’t. He said I was in a bad place… that might be too nice, but it didn’t end well and he blocked me.

24 August 2020. I decided to Google him and he now has an Instagram. I decided to follow him; he didn’t follow me back, but I noticed he was watching my stories.

Last week I decided to apologize. He responded, “No, I shouldn’t have left you like that.”

So, I was honest with him for once. “I want to be honest with you. I was assaulted 7 years ago and until last year, I was very afraid about being put into that situation again. I’ve been working on things and have been feeling more at peace. And I’ve been apologizing for my old behaviour.”

Albert: We should have went out more to get over it.

Me: Yeah. Ah well.

Albert: What have you been up to?

We chatted for an hour, and he stopped responding. That’s okay. I wanted to apologize for my behaviour and while I don’t think he understands totally, it was something. Maybe being honest with people about things is the best policy. Maybe hiding who I am just backfires. Why should I hide who I am and what I went through and the experiences that made me, well me? Of course, I would have to be comfortable enough with that person.

We chatted again over the weekend and once things get back to normal, he wants to meet for coffee. Why not? I have my boundaries, I made them clear, and sometimes forgiveness means being the bigger person by setting aside mistakes from the past.

Afternoon in Philadelphia (12 September 2020)

Yesterday I decided to donate three bags of clothes, books, and stuffed animals to Philly AIDS Thrift. After I walked around the shop, I decided to get my hair cut. Tina was so happy to see me because it had been a while. I’m one of her best customers and she gave me coupons for a cut and colour for the next time I visit. I am thinking of dying my hair next month with a semi-permanent red. 🙂

After, I decided to go to the River Rink. It felt odd not being able to roller skate, but they did have games and amusements. I rode the Ferris wheel with minimum fear! Hopefully these selfies show the different heights I went. I’m terrified of heights and I was brave enough for close selfies.

Meet George!I borrowed George from a nice group of gals and they agreed to take photos. George was a great photo buddy! The photos the gals took turned out lovely too. The new printer finally came, so I’m going to print these two for the Happiness Box!

Yeah, the rink was turned into a beach full of amusements. Socially distant, of course!

Barra Rossa finally reopened after 6 months. I don’t know why I didn’t make reservations when it was announced, but I missed out on dining there on their opening day. Next time. I ended up at Giorgio on Pine and had a delicious GF pizza. Giorgio on Pine is a delicious Italian restaurant whose menu is mostly gluten-free.

I had a lovely afternoon in the city. It felt nice to walk around, especially on a 74 degree day with no humidity.

Thankful Thursday 10 September 2020

Ah, the Thursday after Labor Day. The unofficial end to the summer, but where we have a few more weeks until Autumn begins. This is when we enter the awkward temperature phase – still hot and humid, then 70s, then hot and humid, yet the leaves start changing and begin to fall. I noticed some colour today, as well as some leaves falling. It’s storming now, and I’m curious to see what the colour will be like this year will look like since we had a dry spring.

On Sunday, 6 September, Mrs. Brown e-mailed me and asked me if I liked oat milk. I never had the brand she was showing me, but I was interested. It was gluten-free and dairy free, which is why she thought of me. She gets freebies and doesn’t really care for oat milk.

On Monday, Mr. Brown dropped it off and I felt verklempt, as well as grateful. I tried it and loved it. I sent Mrs. Brown a few thank you e-mails. I am thankful for my neighbours, especially since they treat me like family.

On Monday, we had brunch with Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dave, Matt, Aunt Peg and Uncle Tom at Nudy’s in Wayne, PA. It was a lovely two hours and I’m grateful for family.

Aunt Kathy asked if I was going to take any travels this fall. I said, “No. I’m going to do it like I did this spring. I had acute bronchitis three times last year.” I will probably just go to museums and hopefully ice skate, but I’m taking it easy this fall. I actually loved quarantine and I will be doing that in the fall. The only thing that is a definite is going into the office one day per week.

I’m also thankful for co-workers from both jobs, and friends. What are you thankful for this week?

In Memory of Mac Miller (1992-2018)

The two year anniversary of Mac Miller’s death was on 7 September 2020. Since it’s mental health awareness month and this week is dedicated to suicide prevention, I thought tonight I would pay tribute. While Mac Miller’s death was an overdose, I consider OD’ing a form of suicide and often addiction starts because of pain – both physical and mental. It’s not uncommon for addicts to be suffering a form of mental illness.

I started listening to Mac Miller two months before he died. I have this superstition that every time I start listening to an artist and really get into it, they end up dying. This happened with Dimebag Darrell of Pantera and Damageplan, plus some others over the years. I really liked his earlier sounds, I loved how upbeat they were. However, I could tell that the last two years of his career, he was going through some things because his sound got darker. As much as I love his earlier work, I absolutely love his later work. I feel like I got to know him a bit better through the darker and you could tell he was growing.

I was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when Caskey (rapper I heard of through Twiztid) and Machine Gun Kelly posted things. My heart broke. 26 is so young and all that talent is gone. I feel for addicts because addiction is painful for everyone. Just like mental illness and suicide. I just wish he reached out for help.

I’m happy that his family is keeping his memory alive and us fans will do the same thing.

Rest easy, Malcolm McCormick a.k.a Mac Miller.

This was the last video he released while he was still alive. It’s eery because it’s almost like he predicted the end.

Trump threatened to sue him after this song was released. You should see the old tweets!

If you ever need to talk, please don’t hesitate in reaching out to someone. Here’s the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, here is the addiction hotline number for the SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

Happy 10 months, Tattoo #2!

Tattoo #2 turned 10 months old today. I got it on the 6th anniversary of the crime, since 2013 and 2019 had the same days. I’m looking forward to celebrating tattoo #2’s 1st birthday on 7 November 2020. It’ll be a day of celebration, a celebration of life and beauty.

Since getting it, I’ve worked on forgiving myself for not knowing what I know now. I have since found some peace as well, even though that will be a lifelong process.

Horror Sideshow Market | 5 September 2020

Yesterday I took a trip to Allentown to go to the Horror Sideshow Flea Market. Anna and Alli had a stand set up and I went to help/support. Unfortunately, Anna couldn’t travel up from South Carolina because of COVID-19 restrictions; her grandmother is also very ill and she started school again. Both Alli and I took plenty of pictures to send her. Alli was so happy I made it; it was nice spending time with her and her boyfriend, Matt.

We made a few sales! It was fun drawing people in and trying to sell them some art work. We also asked for suggestions for pieces they would like to see – Anna is doing a women in horror series and we were polling people who were visiting, The suggestions were all over the place and I can’t wait to see what Anna draws next.

I walked around for a bit and took photos. I met Countess Camille and Randu, who was selling happy/positivity artwork and t-shirts. His illustrations drew me in. I also met an indie film group and a puppeteer. We were talking about the business and he said, “if you’re interested in learning puppetry, I’m training and looking for someone to join me at shows.” We exchanged Instagram usernames, and as cool as it sounds (and the extra money sounds nice), I’m not sure. It would be fun, but right now I’m not sure about the commitment. 
I left at 2 and before I left, Alli gave me a shirt. She asked me if I was going to still buy one and I was honest with her, “I love Anna’s art work, but I will order it online. Since I was furloughed from my library job, I’m only working with one paycheck and I get paid next week. I’m hoping to go back soon.” She understood and before I left she just said, “Anna and I want to thank you for always coming out and supporting us.” and handed me a shirt. I’m extremely grateful.

I left Allentown at 3:30. I was glad I could change my ticket because I was set to leave at 7:30. Most of the restaurants on Hamilton St. were closed; most businesses close for the weekend since quarantine and don’t open until the weekday, when businesses are open. 

Frutta Bowls was opened; I had Frutta Bowls in Belmar before my tattoo and I knew they had gluten and dairy free things. Breakfast and a late lunch. A fig brie gluten free sandwich and butternut squash soup was what was needed after standing 4 hours on my feet.

I don’t like WordPress’s new layout. Here’s the photo album:

Thankful Thursday 3 September 2020

Happy first Thursday in September! I can’t believe we’re in the 9th month of the year and we only have a little over 3.5 months to go until 2021. I made a post on Instagram on Tuesday about the progress of Happiness Box 2020. It grew a bit over the summer, not as much as last year’s (or the previous), but that’s okay. 2020 is a special year and I am grateful for everything I’ve learned this year.

I even decorated the Atlantic City bag.

I’m so thankful that my full-time job holds a Torah/Bible Study and that I can get in touch with learning about Judaism. Avi talked about Rosh Hoshana yesterday and even blew his Shofar. It was a neat experience and I’m grateful Joel came up with the idea. I also like how Joel connects his Christianity with Avi’s Judaism; we really are all connected at the end of the day, it’s truly beautiful.

I’m thankful for my friends. I’ve had a difficult week this week because I chose to let someone go. The friendship was adding more stress than it was worth, especially since it became passive aggressive and the person didn’t really want to communicate. I’m thankful for Anna, Christina, and Marsha for listening.

I’m also thankful for family. What are you thankful for today?

Atlantic City | 30 August 2020


Yesterday I decided to take a day trip to Atlantic City. It’s only an hour and a half by bus and I wanted to get one more beach day in before lifeguards are done for the summer. While summer doesn’t end until 23 September, Labor Day is the unofficial end to the summer in the Northeast and Midwest.

When I arrived, I was surprised that the beach was almost empty! I had someone take my photo in front of the ocean. One with the mask on, and one without. The mask has defined my beach going experience this year and it’ll be fun for the Happiness Box scrapbook. 🙂

The last time I was at this beach, on 25 May 2019, it was a day before I joined the Inked Club. The last time I was here, I was admiring all the tattooed people and dreaming of the day I would have one to show off.

Well, three later… 😂 I approached a tattooed young woman and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking a photo of my tattoos, since this was my first Atlantic City experience with them. She smiled, she understood perfectly. Yeah, my tats are still a big deal to me.

Then it was fun, fun, fun in the water! Sweet Cancer baby and her water:

After an hour of swimming, I decided to take a break to get some photos with my Polaroid camera. Taking a photo with the Atlantic City boat is always a must. As I was waiting in line, two young women were taking photos of each other. I offered to take their group photo and they agreed. I also asked if they would take mine. They agreed and one, Emily, said she loved my Polaroid camera, she had one on order and she never sees anyone use them. She hoped she made the right purchase.

I replied, “Oh, I love mine and it comes in handy for my project!” She was interested and after she took my photos, I explained to her what the Happiness Box Project is.

“That’s such a great idea! I’m doing something similar to you, but instead of a box, I’m just travelling. I lost my husband to cancer a few months ago, so I’m just travelling, writing, and blogging to find meaning. I’ve never done this before.” Rebecca, her other friend, and I began chatting. We exchanged Instagram accounts, and after 15 minutes of chatting, we took quarantine selfies with my polaroid camera. I took three of them and gave the other two to Emily and Rebecca.

Before we parted ways, I said to Emily, “if you need any help getting started with blogging or just need to chat, feel free to reach out anytime.” She smiled, and we gave each other socially distant/quarantine hugs. Not actual hugging, but the motions of hugs at a socially safe distance.

The people you meet while travelling. *Bigsmile* Maybe my project is a gift and although blogging doesn’t bring any benefits, maybe it is a useful skill to have.

Anyway, after a water and fruit break, I went back into the water and met a nice guy catching the waves. We started talking and we started talking about travelling and tattoos for a good half an hour, that was fun.

Then the surf started getting rougher and the fun began!


The rough waves also stirred up a lot of seaweed. The seaweed was attracted to me and at one point, I looked like a monster coming out of a lagoon!

At 3:15, I was done in the water and walked around to take photos, as I dried off. I saw a lot of neat sights yesterday. Let me share some of the photos:

I was going to eat dinner at Chickie and Pete’s, but since New Jersey still has the outdoor dining rules, it was a 2.5 hour wait. I couldn’t wait that long since I wanted to get home by 7:30, so I got it to go. I started eating it on the boardwalk, but I got tired of standing and the flies were biting my legs. I took it on my bus trip back to Philadelphia and on Lyft, I finally ate dinner when I got home at 7:30.

I had such a wonderful day. What a wonderful end to the swimming season. Hopefully next year, the beach experience will return to “normal”! Regardless, one more beach day to add to my Happiness Box Project, as well as new friends to keep in touch with on Instagram.