Simma Down Now​

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The laughter this crew provides is unmeasurable

November was a hectic month on its own, so when you throw in some birthdays, and a couple deaths things escalate. Toss in the sale of two cars, the purchase of a new one, a wedding and running the 5k you signed up for because you’re too cheap to cancel while preparing to host Thanksgiving and your teetering on crazy. Simma down now, simma down.

Then, just as your about to welcome December with open arms, you receive notice from the City of Philadelphia that a neighbor filed a complaint against you for parking a commercial mower in YOUR OWN yard.  I think it’s safe to say that the big fat December full moon was not helping matters. 

Meanwhile, all of this has caused my heart to ride an emotional rollercoaster. Sadness from the losses, joy from the celebrations, racing from exercise and crushed by the actions of this neighbor. She needs a break!

The loss of two extraordinary people was significant. David, a gentleman in every sense of the word, passed early in the month. After attending his service, I felt better than when I walked in the door. This is a testament to the level of goodness in his soul, which I had the pleasure to witness before and after his passing. 

Next, my husband’s Aunt Sophie who was my favorite in-law. Earlier in the year, she joined us for a fantastic night out on the town that I actually shared in my post Magical. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the same woman, who was a lively 78-year old playing air guitar on the dance floor in February, was diagnosed with cancer and died 4 weeks later. Just another reminder to live your life folks.

The new car has challenged my intelligence, not to mention my driving skills. I’m not positive, but I would bet money I am experiencing the same emotions that Buzz Aldrin felt when he hopped in Apollo 11 and headed to the moon. Wow! Just Wow!

When the bells and whistles have their own set of bells and whistles, it can make a girl feel inadequate. Apparently, I continuously drive over the lines on the road. How do I know? Because I’m reminded every 5 seconds. I’m questioning why I haven’t been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence … EVERY day.

fullsizeoutput_1ea4My daughter wanted to run a big race here in Philly, the Rocky Run. So, like a good mother, I signed us up. FYI: My daughter has never run a day in her life.

I’m still not sure how she pulled off being out with her girlfriends, rolling in just a few hours before she had to get up and managed to beat me by one second. Isn’t youth grand?

Thanksgiving was terrific from start to finish. Food, family, and laughter through the roof put it in the books as one of the best. Who am I kidding, they’re all in the books.

Ugh, and finally this notice from the Department of Licenses has turned my current living situation into the modern day version of the Hatfield & McCoy feud. Can we settle this on Family Feud, please? 

That story is to be continued. However, I will say that when people make decisions based on their emotions at that given moment, there are no winners. Those actions have far-reaching effects and do much more harm than good. Live and learn is the motto around these parts folks. 

Enjoy the Ride and Keep the PEACE!

 

Daily Prompt: Neighbors

via Daily Prompt: Neighbors

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Hmm … where do I even begin? I grew up in a city neighborhood where the typical household held anywhere from 4 to 12 children. How we were all conceived and raised in a three bedroom, one bathroom rowhome is still a mystery.

The best part of this upbringing was you were never without entertainment. There was always an active pulse ready to play.

We were never indoors. Never wore protective gear while riding our bikes. Never played organized sports, unless you count the games we organized via our imaginations, and we never had to worry about our parents hovering over us every second of the day. Ever!

We had an understanding with our parental units. Kids play outside until the street light comes on and then you scatter like roaches into your homes. Simplicity works.

Neighbors from my youth rocked! It didn’t matter if it was a sickness, new baby or death the neighbors organized meals, money, and services better than the Red Cross. No questions asked.

If you had a problem with a neighbor, you knocked on the door and dare I say expressed your concerns. Hey Bill are you hurt or just not keeping up with your lawn?

Life was simple.

54a9af2eebe436c1e332e0f14ed62a9d--fred-rogers-heroesToday I live in the same type of close-knit city dwelling and my oh my how things have changed. Now there’s a neighborhood FaceBook page. 

The kids on my block if they come outdoors on their downtime from being carted from one organized activity to the next, are usually huddled around a tablet playing a video game, watching YouTube videos, taking selfies or snap chatting. Missing out on their surroundings.

I do on occasion see kids riding their bikes, running, playing on swings and giggling with joy, but the parents ruin it with their “rules,”  and the parents who don’t participate in the rules are crucified. Stop running, slow down, stop screaming, not so high, get off the grass, get out of the street … nag, nag, nag.   

Now, as for the adults, I’m speechless at times. A lot of the time actually.

Instead of knocking on doors to settle concerns we now call the authorities. Oh, yes. The neighbors find it easier to call 911 on their fellow neighbor than to walk across the street, knock on the door and say “hey, could you move your car so I can’t get out.”  Having your neighbor ticketed is better how?

Oh, please for the love of God do not have a sickness or injury that prevents you from cutting your lawn, because there’s a number to call for that too.  The city will send a service over to destroy your lawn and give you a fine. The days of asking “do you need help with your lawn? I’ll send Bobby over to provide you with a hand are over. 

e10bd23bfcfe26c1fc87d70dd350aca4--the-way-you-are-i-like-youWorse than these two examples would be the dreaded neighborhood FaceBook page. Don’t get me wrong the page is great for recommendations on home improvement repairs, lost or found pets and keeping us in the loop on activities in the area, but unfortunately, it has also become a place where free reign bitching is allowed.

Recently there was a post regarding an older neighbor installing a bright lightbulb on their porch. The post read “what should I do? My neighbor installed a high wattage bulb, and I’m blinded when I come out of my door.” This is what I’m dealing with people. 

There were plenty of suggestions; however, none of them included knocking on the door to inquire about the bright light. This “man” was considering replacing the bulb himself.  I just don’t get it. 

As for me, well, I will continue to live by example, share responsibility and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Geenie

With the Summer hightailing it out of dodge while EVERYTHING pumpkin is busting through the door I decided it was a perfect time for some much-needed pampering. A mani pedi does wonders for this girl.

Recently I switched up facilities that tend to my hooves. I was no longer feeling the love at Style Nails, so I started an affair with Cuticle Corner.

No fear people my feet are still snickered about in foreign languages as if they’re not even in the damn room. I really wish I knew how to say “maybe it’s your freakishly small hands that make my feet appear exceptionally large!” That seems like a lot of work, so I just let them gossip.

I must say I LOVE the way Geenie works her magic, however, like everything else good in this world there is a price. Mine is being told “RELAX” “Stop finger fighting me!” and my very favorite “I will charge you one dollar every time I tell you to relax.” Yes, I keep going back. 

On Friday, I had an appointment for 3:00. I arrived at 2:40 with the intention of scanning the polish selection and catching up on the latest issue of People magazine. Unbeknownst to me, this is against the obvious secret code of nail salons. 

First Geenie asks “why you come so early?” I innocently responded with the facts about color choice, which was not the correct answer. Next thing I know I’m being escorted to the pedicure chair of shame where “Helen” will now be doing my pedicure. Pedicure prison is a real thing at this salon. 

Why I felt the need to explain to “Helen,” who could care less, that I just wanted to take my time choosing a color and read the People magazine is beyond me, but I did. Negative zero Ef’s were given by Helen who bitched in Spanish to her co-worker the entire time. 

Once I was paroled over to the manicure station I was greeted by Geenie, where I sat relaxed in silence. It might have been the fear of being sent to solitary that kept me on my toes.

Just as Geenie was done, I asked if she had time to do my eyebrows. Because at this moment I had lost my mind.

I hopped up on the table, and without missing a beat, the crucifixion of my eyebrows began.

  • Your brow wild.
  • They so thick this will hurt.
  • A slew of under the breath disgust.

What would an eyebrow crucifixion be without dragging other body parts into the mix? Pretty freaking awesome if you’re asking me! 

 

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Tony or Lisa?

Sadly the words “what about lip?” were uttered and I responded with a very optimistic yet clearly wrong “why? Do you think I need it?” If only I could go back in time.

 

  • I make you look like woman again.
  • This hurt bad, very bad.
  • Welcome back to woman.

 

Conclusion: My friends and family are either too horrified to inform me that I missed my calling as a Tony Orlando impersonator or Geenie is a bitch.

Enjoy the ride!

 

 

Shells Bells

Shells, shells, and more shells. I was just a tad obsessed with collecting these beauties on my morning walks. Maybe a little more than a “tad.”

Look at them, all beautiful in their own way. All different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some with fractures, some dull, others shiny and bright, but all with their own individual characters that make them beautifully unique. Hmm, sounds a lot like people now doesn’t it.

There isn’t a hateful one in the bucket.

As always, my children thought I was losing my mind as I ventured out every morning to see what treasures the ocean left behind. When will they realize they are the cause of any loss of my mind?

Anyway, shell searching is in my genes. As children, my mother taught us how to comb IMG_6357the beach for shells, and I followed the tradition by doing the same with my daughter. Why is this not on my resume?

I remember sitting in a hotel room with my sister going over our inventory from the day. We would break down our loot by size and style. Yes, serious records were kept with shells & Halloween candy. 

Back in the day, we had an abundance of large clam shells waiting for us.  That is not the case today. I’m not sure if it’s the ever-changing climate, Mother Nature’s hoarding or the loss of sexual urges amongst the clam community, whatever the reason, there were slim pickings.  Feel free to now Google “how do clams reproduce?” I did.

As kids, we returned from vacation with a bucket of blank canvases. On rainy summer days, we would break out our watercolor sets to let our inner Monet surface. Our talents were displayed in our garden for all to view.  It was like an ongoing Gallery opening without the wine & cheese.

It’s funny how some memories, no matter what, have the ability to leave a smile on your face. I’m glad that one let itself out of the vault. 

The million dollar question around here now is: “What are you going to do with all those shells?” The response: “Something fabulous!” 

Now that I’ve set the bar high, I’ve been unleashing my creative juices for this project. Hmm, how hard can it be to rustle up something wonderful, yet not too overwhelming, while meeting all the criteria necessary to be F A B U L O U S? What the hell was I thinking?

After some pondering while scanning the internet for inspiration, there is something on the horizon waiting to come to life. Will it be fabulous? OF COURSE!  I’ll be working my magic shortly.

Embrace the differences to create something fabulous in the world. Enjoy the Ride!

Sandy Paws

 

 

The Fur Balls!

Leading up to our vacation the concern was growing about the fur babies and their reaction to everything salty & sandy.

Peanut sat on my lap shaking like a leaf for the 2-hour drive. The poor little guy did not know what the heck was happening, other than his toys and bed were going with him. The last time this happened his previous owners left him at our house and never came back. Can dogs have PTSD? Yes. 

Landon, on the other hand, slept like a husband, occasionally opening his eyes to check on his surroundings. Oh, it must be nice to be Landon.

IMG_6373Ocean City, NJ does not allow dogs on the beach during the regular season, however, the dog-loving beachfront homeowners paying a zillion dollars in taxes say “Oh please, just tell me to get off.” Gotta love the rule breakers who welcomed our pups to their protest.

Peanut & Landon LOVED the beach during the very early morning and late evening as much as we did. I think they sensed the peace.

Peanut channeled his inner mountain lion while climbing the dunes, and Landon played tag with the waves. Sandy paws are happy paws.

 

It’s strange, but I swear dog owners have some sort of magnetic force that attracts them to other dog owners.

Look who I met on my way to the way to the beach. Shhh … Peanut & Landon do not 645c91957ce3f6c2e5b0df4ea1fea185know about my Summer Fling.

Ladies and gentleman, meet Lucy. Could a name be more perfect? 

This little-redheaded beauty is a 12-week old Cavapoo. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossbred with a Poodle a/k/a freaking adorable.

Her owners picked her up in Rochester, NY on Friday and drove her straight to their Summer home on the beach. Sadly, I only received a blank stare when I asked if they would consider rescuing a middle-aged woman.

I had the pleasure of seeing Lucy every day. We mainly discussed how the salt air was not friendly to our hair. You know, girl talk.

IMG_6340Ok, back to the fur boys that stole my heart. Spoiled is an understatement.

Here they are sitting outside of the ice cream parlor waiting for their order. Vanilla soft serve is their favorite.  

They definitely received the memo about ice cream not having calories at the shore.

They went for walks.

Ate ice cream more than once.

Ran on the beach.

Went to the Chatterbox, a dog-friendly restaurant in town.

Enjoyed the beautiful sea breeze on the deck every night.

They were surrounded by all the humans they love unconditionally for 7 solid days.

“They’re on vacation” was the justification for all of the extra spoiling.

Seems like they’re on vacation every damn day while their home, but who am I to judge.

Surround yourselves with those you LOVE and Enjoy the Ride!

Beach Therapy

IMG_6360We are just returning from a much-needed family vacation. The last one was 9 years ago. We weren’t in the door 12 hours before I received a call that my brother has passed away. That kinda left a mark.

After the past 10 months, all I can say is “IT WAS TIME”.

the-hillbilliesThe destination of choice, the Jersey Shore. Why? When we could have been on an island in the Caribbean for what this cost. Well, because this is where our happiest family memories were made and that is priceless. 

So, on August 12th, we loaded up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and headed to Ocean
City, NJ for 7 glorious days of fun in the sun. 5 adults, 2 dogs, 2 vehicles, and everything but the kitchen sink hit the road.

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Honestly, does it get better? I spent EVERY morning walking the beach without a single care or concept of time or distance. A bathroom for this middle aged bladder would have made it perfect.

It’s safe to say that I could live happily ever after just watching a mother seagull looking over her tribe as they ate breakfast. If only it paid well.

Lisa G., S.O. (Seagull Observer) Has a ring to it doesn’t it?

Quiet mornings on the beach are also made for surf fishing. According to my IMG_6426fish loving son anyway.

He caught the surf fishing bug 17 years ago when he was just 5 years old. I’ll never forget the image of him heading to the water like a boss with his Lion King fishing rod in hand and a lollipop in his mouth. Today it’s high-end gear in one hand and his beautiful girlfriend on the other.

Of course, we were reminiscing about that day because it was indeed memorable. For many reasons.

What happens when a 5-year-old somehow reels in 6 King fish in a row with his $5.00 fishing rod? Other than crowds forming, people cheering, paparazzi and giving high-fives to the happiest 5-year-old on the planet of course. Well, I’ll tell you.

20914453_1784753428204828_273169236215177351_nA grown man who was fishing about 10 ft away, with 6 ocean rods lined up like soldiers came marching over to fill my son in on the amount of money he had tied up in his rods and the unfairness of him catching all the fish. Remember, my son was FIVE.

Up until that moment, I had never been in such close proximity to a giant man baby. This “man” actually walked back to his “million dollar” rods, smacked them all to the ground while my 5-year-old looked on and stated, “He’s stupid!” Out of the mouth of babes. 

Hmm, where have I witnessed that type of behavior recently? Bye bye reality back to my happy place. 

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Another joy was sipping a cup of coffee with my toes in the sand. A little sand between my toes was just what the doctor ordered.

As a child, my mother always told us “the salt water heals everything”, and I must admit she was 100% right.

The healing powers of living the salt life surpassed months of doctor appointments and medications. Mother Nature does not accept insurance … it’s free.

A little beach therapy is just what we all needed.

Enjoy! This Ride Will Be Continued.

 

 

Let’s Put The “We” Back In The People

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If this gem doesn’t just scream my name I don’t know what does. That’s right folks, I’m officially hanging with the pigeon squad. 

I am EXHAUSTED!

Not by the hamster wheel of life, but by the behavior of my co-humans.

By the increased hatred and decrease in common decency.

By the lack of truth and over indulgence of misinformation and lies.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the loss of common ground and the divided beliefs.

By the daily negativity of, he said she said while important issues sit silently.

By the rise in civil obedience and the lack of active participation in the process.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By being told who to hate by our televisions, while books collect dust.

By judgments, labels & stereotypes in one hand and Bibles, flags & hypocrisy in the other.

By the absence of faith, hope & charity and the escalation of greed.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the Social Media scholars and their ignorant followers.

By the callous treatment of the less fortunate and the misguided definition of fame. 

By fear dictating our decisions, while common sense faces extinction.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the abuse of our first amendment and the overextended defense of our second.

By selfishness leading the way, while collaboration sits on the sidelines.

By the misconception that strength is loud and quietness is weak.

I am EXHAUSTED! 

By the thought of war being the answer and not giving peace a chance.

By the short memories and selective truths.

By the thought that I’m too optimistic, while others have surrendered hope.

Let’s TRY to celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears, and differences. These are the freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. These are the freedoms that unite. These are the freedoms that will thrive. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember all of this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…anything worthwhile rarely is easy.

We’re all in this together, so hop in and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Those Were The Days

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY GUYS!

Life With The Top Down

Father’s Day has been different for me over the years. My father died on Father’s Day in 1994. It’s ok, don’t be all sad, he planned the big exit so we would never forget. 23 years ago on the 19th of June.

Honestly, I always thought it would be Christmas, the big guns of the holidays, but having your father die on Father’s Day…well-played Jim, well-played indeed.

This was a man with a very large presence, who wanted to be remembered in a very grand way so I would say…mission accomplished dad.

My dad was almost 58 when I born..oops, which made my childhood a tad interesting, to say the least. It’s funny because I never thought my dad was old, he was just my dad. Until that Summer afternoon in my driveway when my best friend invited me to come to her Grams surprise 60th birthday party. She informed me…

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Emotional Fart

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DONE

Just when I thought everything was going smooth the universe made the executive decision to throw a wrench into my peace. Does everyone agree that Lisa appears to be content? Good, bring in the wrench, please. On second thought, make it a double.

It’s been 6 months since I was blindsided, and the universe has been somewhat kind, but recently it has decided to shake things up a bit. As if watching the News wasn’t enough. 

My son decided to move out of his apartment and back HOME. The problem with this big fat wrench is he didn’t come alone. He brought his endless appetite, wash, sneakers the size of Pennsylvania and a school project that entails constructing something that has now taken over my entire house. Remember the movie The Blob? It’s like that over here.

My nature is very easy peasy. Little things like gigantic sneakers and piles of wash have never bothered me before, well, maybe not never. But, certainly not at the level of wanting to set the house on fire to make them go away. This is the result of holding in an emotional fart.

Clearly, there are some underlining things going on with me to stir up this level of emotion, and now you lucky readers who were drawn in my clever title get to read about it. Sorry, not sorry. 

Although my life keeps moving forward one snail slide at a time, and the memories start to fade, they don’t leave, they linger. Like the crowd you see at Starbucks sucking up the free wi-fi ALL DAY.

The problems I’m facing now are the reminders. Not the “don’t forget we need milk” kind, the “my therapist would like you to come in next week” kind. It is the equivalent of being shot out of a cannon right back to October 12th. Why can’t I take a cannonball ride back to 1974 when I was free of concerns, other than the daunting decision to ride my bike or play jump rope?

In some ways, it’s good to go so I can get a feel as to what’s going on inside my man’s head. In other ways, it drains me for days. Literally paralyzing me from doing what I enjoy. I don’t read, write or go to the gym. I find myself stuck in a cloud of never ending thoughts. In my head, it’s like trying to figure out a math equation that has multiple answers. I HATE MATH!

Of course, I know it’s all part of the process, and that the process is the best thing for everyone and that it’s working, but for god sakes, it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to deal period. Hence the thought that FIRE would be the way to go with ridding my house of clutter.

At this point in my life, I think it’s safe to say that the universe shops at Sears and there is just an obvious endless sale on Craftsman wrench sets, so I need to take responsibility, tighten my helmet, fasten my seatbelt and just … Enjoy the Ride! One long speed bump at a time. 

 

Nailed It!

Just a little update to let the world know that yes, Peanut and Landon have been accepted to Camp Bow Wow! I know, I’m still in awe at their success. 

As you can see during their interview they clearly nailed it. Just look at those wagging tails working the room like they own the damn place.

I was able to witness everything through my Camp Cam App. I think I missed my calling. The level of enjoyment I received stalking my dogs was alarming at best. Surveillance engineer or stalker … that line is very thin.

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Dazzling the interviewer

After some initial formalities of the meet and greet portion of their interview, Peanut & Landon were taken to socialize with the other members. I’ll assume this is where business cards and bones were exchanged.

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P & L are on the left getting the low-down from Ben the Beagle.

I know what you’re thinking, “everyone gets in Lisa, it’s a game.”  I’m not going to lie, this did cross my mind. Part of me thought I was being forced to jump through hoops in order to make me believe my fur babies were extra special, but then I witnessed Bella, the 6-pound chihuahua mix shaking like a leaf in her Burberry knockoff coat as her owner told her “you flunked” while he was handed her rejection notice. Oh yea, right in front of us. 

For the record, Bella seemed quite pleased with this outcome, however, her owner was now forced to continue making Martinis for her all day. I’m guessing she likes them dirty at night. 

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I can only assume this is Bella at home

It was all good at the end of the day. Peanut proudly received his acceptance notification as he posed for the camera, knowing full well this beauty would be on display for the world to see on the refrigerator a/k/a … the box of honor.

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Look at those pearly whites!

Landon on the other hand  …….

Something tells us he was “accepted” because siblings are an automatic admission.

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The bottom photo cracks me up every time!

It doesn’t matter if you’re shaking like Bella, smiling like Peanut or winging it like Landon just make sure you … Enjoy the Ride! 

 

 

 

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