Author Archive: Life With The Top Down

Time Is On My Side

fullsizeoutput_30d8Today I’m sitting in my sunless sunroom on day number who the hell knows of  Stay In Your Damn House life here in Philadelphia.What’s a girl to do? 

I’ve been pondering about ALL of this extra time I have on my hands, the time I must say I have longed for over the years. On more than one occasion, I’ve said, “If I were locked in this house, I would scrub it from top to bottom.” Oh, the lies I tell.

The problem seems to be the lack of clarity in my intention. I should have said, “If I were locked in this house, BY MY OWN FREE WILL, WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF MY LOVED ONES AND THE WORLD, THE FEAR OF FINANCIAL DEMISE AND LACK OF TOILET PAPER, I would scrub this house from top to bottom. It’s all about the presentation, folks.

So, what has been going on over here at my abode you ask, not scrubbing, that’s for sure. There has been some puzzle building, which started with enthusiastic joy and ended with the equivalent to a quarantined cage fight. I’m still not sure when it turned into a competition. 

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I started puzzle #3 on my own. It contains 1,000 mind-boggling pieces that, in the end, will resemble all sorts of dog breeds, including a bio. Dachsund: Loves to Play and Act Comically, Also Makes an Alert Watchdog. I think this guy is ready for Match.com. 

Last night I spent a good hour looking for the legs of an Irish Setter. This is now my new gauge on time. Do you have time? Yes, but not enough to waste looking for Irish Setter legs. 

Let’s see, there have been limited, but necessary trips to the supermarket. I knew when the parking lot looked like a trauma center with used gloves and masks on the ground; I was about to appreciate this social distancing thing even more. I’m starting to believe the first symptom of this virus is the loss of all common sense.

Oh, how could I forget my introduction to the use of Zoom? For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s a way to communicate through video chat. It’s been a real silver lining through all of this distancing. It’s also been a REALLY BIG eyeopener to my gray roots and Groucho Marx eyebrows!   

List of The Brady Bunch characters - WikipediaHonestly, my favorite part of using Zoom is watching my placement in the conversation. During my last conference, I held the spot of Mrs. Brady for a good 15 minutes! This is where I’m at people, this is where I’m at.

Do not mistake my sarcastic storytelling for lack of empathy during these uncertain times. Sarcasm is my protective shield, and lord knows it has seen better days.

Enjoy the Ride! 6 feet apart until further notice. PLEASE!

 

#ratballsmatter

 

 

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Photo by Shashank Kumawat on Pexels.com

 

How many times have you thought “Ok, I can leave this earth now I’ve heard or seen everything”? Yeah, that party isn’t ending any time soon. 

Babies are born every damn day packing a whole new series of shock and awe for the world. This is why they smile in their sleep. It’s called plotting. 

The other day a woman was leaving our office, as she has been doing for YEARS. Irene is kind, a little hippyish, and ALWAYS comes bearing a freshly baked challah loaf for the doctor. Some people might think that’s shocking, no, it’s not.

Out of nowhere, or the clear blue sky, she stated, “6 rats were castrated at the zoo today.” There was no warning. No one was discussing rats or their genitals before this statement, she was simply dropping a fact, and it was clear she was outraged. Before this moment I never thought about rodent genitals… EVAH!

I watched her mouth move, but I was fixated on the word “castration” as if these rodents were sexual deviants convicted by the other animals at the zoo. Maybe my kids are right, I do watch too much Law and Order SVU. 

In a perfect world, I would have the power to shut that office down for a one on one interview about rodent castrations. Sadly, I’m not in charge. 

So, I did the next best thing and Googled rat castration at the Philadelphia zoo. Nada. Then I broadened my search to a general rat castration window, which I admit was not one of my better life choices. I still have no idea why Irene was outraged, but now I know of several vets in my area who provide rat castration services. Knowledge is power. 

The more I thought about this, which has been way too much over that past few days, the clearer the picture became. Irene is on to something with her matter of fact approach to getting the word out about injustices that leave no room for public backlash. #ratballsmatter 

Now, let’s just say we took it up a notch. Next time you’re at an appointment, in the grocery line or anywhere human ears are present, drop a fact and go. Sort of like a smash & grab, but you’re leaving something behind for the greater good.

Now, since topics are endless, and facts come in all shapes and sizes, my advice would be if you’re the “go big or go home” type, please be an experienced runner or have a getaway car waiting. Remember, this is a drop and go mission, not a force your beliefs on anyone who can hear one. We already have plenty of that going down.

If you’re interested here are a few examples to get you started. Less is more. 

  • China has not wasted a single penny on war.
  • Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.
  • Peace takes courage.
  • Sea levels are rising.
  • Laughing reduces stress.
  • One in 5 adults cannot afford their medication.
  • Slugs have 4 noses.

If nothing else, it will provoke research on a subject, plant a seed, open a mind or make you look batshit crazy. There’s always that risk when you lay down the truth. 

I’m going to drop that slug fact on my next visit to Whole Foods. #Enjoytheride! 

The Honeymoon

Elderly couple at golden wedding holding handsAs most of you know I work in the medical field, on the administrative side, not the actual healing side. Trust me, this is a blessing for all of us. 

Although, I must say, after 15 years I do believe I could include therapist to my resume without an ounce of guilt.

I say this because, for whatever reason, some patients walk in the door with an agenda to unload. I’m not sure if it’s the glass window, my face or loneliness, but whatever the case may be, the stories just spill into the room. Some good, others require earplugs. 

Don’t get me wrong this can be a blessing or a curse depending on the schedule. There are days when I have to take things with a grain of salt, and then there are days when a gem like the one I’m about to share falls right into my lap and heart. It’s like hitting an emotional lottery.

George and Pauline are longtime patients. They are both in their 90’s, with Pauline being 8 years older. Yes, Pauline is pushing 100.

They are both brilliant, highly educated, interesting, frisky and funny as hell! The full package.

Unfortunately for everyone, Pauline can no longer come into the office, but thank goodness George comes regularly.

On Thursday, when George was making his next appointment I inquired about Pauline and he said “the honeymoon isn’t over” and I smiled. This is when he spilled to this GEM all over my desk. Hmm I hope I scheduled his next appointment.

One month after we were married Pauline was in the kitchen when I was heading out for a morning run. I yelled from the door “Pauline, I’ll be back I’m going for a run” and she replied, “hurry back and I’ll make it worth your while” The honeymoon wasn’t over. At this point, George is sporting a huge grin. 

He continues to tell me that he hadn’t thought about that moment in a very long time, but today as he was leaving to come to this appointment, Pauline was settled in with her  aide when he yelled into the room “Pauline, I’m going to see the doctor, I’ll be back shortly” and without missing a beat she replied, “hurry back and I’ll make it worth your while” As I was staring at George I noticed he was still wearing that big grin, but his eyes were welling up when he leaned in and said: “Looks like the honeymoon isn’t over yet.”

Honestly, folks, it doesn’t get much better than that now does it? Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

Change is a Thug

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Photo by Karl Starkey on Pexels.com

First, let me just say HOLLA! I guess we could all agree that’s it’s been far too long since we’ve all been Enjoying the Ride together. So let’s get down to business.

Recently, while having a conversation with one of my sisters, the subject of all things crazy going on in the world became the topic. Lord knows we all try to avoid this like the plague.

However, this conversation was different. We weren’t complaining about what wasn’t being done, because that has never gotten anyone anywhere … EVAH!

We were discussing the massive shift in our personal, professional, mental and even spiritual lives. Guess what? It’s not a coincidence.

As we enter this new decade, the universe has sent a message. No, not from Amazon. There’s no need to add anything to a cart when the universe is in charge, it has a way of landing on our doorsteps just when we need it most. Without entering a single credit card number.

Take a minute to go back to your life as you knew it in 2012. What was going on? What big, good, bad or indifferent reality came crashing down on you? For me, it was this Blog, which was born through an influx of changes in my personal life. The “C” Word

So, what the hell does all of this mean you ask? Calm down I’m about to fill you in on a secret. The universe is very generous when it comes to redemption, and it is giving us all an opportunity to grow leaps and bounds from whatever knocked us off our feet in 2012. Don’t you just love some good ole fashioned second chances?

My lesson since 2012 has been getting a handle on my reaction to the changes in my life. Whether they are everyday occurrences or things I am powerless against. The best tool I have for dealing with this is my humor. It’s my superpower. But sadly, change is my kryptonite. 

One thing I know for certain, and I’m sure you’ll all agree with my assessment. CHANGE is a Thug! My definition of a thug, in this case, is something that shakes up your world without asking permission because it was necessary. Bandannas and tattoos are optional. 

Of course, as in everything in this life, we make choices. I could have taken the Transition road to personal enlightenment, but clearly, I did not get the memo. Maybe I did and it got shoved in a drawer during a cleaning frenzy… who knows?

Honestly, though, transition sounds nice. I imagine it gliding into lives around the globe like a swan on a lake. No one is alarmed. No one is hit over the head with bricks. No one is screaming in horror. Transition is an unassuming rock star.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter the label we use to describe these experiences, the outcome is the same …. growth.

I’m heading into 2020 with my new luggage filled with lessons, humor, goals, hopes, and dreams. No worries, I saved some space for you so we can Enjoy the Ride together.

Happy 2020 Folks!

 

 

One Change

On Sunday while attending my Quaker Meeting, I was moved by the message of one of the members. So much so that it has stuck with me for days now.

She began with a story about her company looking to revamp some staleness within her department, which led to a member coming to the table with a YouTube video about the reintroduction of grey wolves into the park, and the far-reaching effects their presence has had on the ecosystem. I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already had the pleasure.

The video led to the conversation of the power of making ONE CHANGE.

Next, she shared that a few years ago, as she was stirring her coffee in the company kitchen, she looked at her plastic spoon with different eyes.

After going back to her office, she realized that she used two plastic spoons every day. One for her coffee and one for her yogurt. a/k/a … A LOT!

Just a few calculations later she realized that there is probably a landfill somewhere sporting her name in bright lights. A total will not be provided due to my loathing of mathematics.

So, from that day on she began bringing her stainless steel spoon to the office, but not just any spoon, she decided to bring a family heirloom that would catch the attention of her co-workers. Smart!

Next thing you know the idea of B.Y.O.S. caught on and not only did the company save money; co-workers got creative with their spoons, the climate in the office brightened, and those landfill lights began to dim. Bam!

Now, I know there is a large community of creative minds who read this little ole blog, so take a moment to think about what ONE CHANGE you can make in your daily routine that will change the world. We are much more potent than we let on folks. 

Please feel free to share your creative juices in the comments, and as always … Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

Blue In The Blood

Election Day is upon us, and it’s more important than ever to exercise our civic duty and cast a vote. Below is only ONE reason it’s essential!

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This is a section of the new patient registration form required by our office, and this is what someone chose to claim as an allergy. Seriously now …

Now, at first, I did laugh thinking that this guy is pretty ballsy to believe that this would go unnoticed by the two LIBERALS working the front office.

However, in hindsight, I need to remember that people are actually crazy and maybe next time I will refrain from calling to remind him to double up on his Benadryl before his appointment. Oh yes, I did!

It has never been a question for me whether or not I would vote, but in light of the current atmosphere in this country or even in our local communities, the bar has risen to light a fire under our friends, family, neighbors, and anyone with ears. It’s in my blood, my blue blood to be exact.

I was raised by two dedicated democratic servants of the community. The polling place was in our home for god sakes. No excuses.

My mother would stay up the night before making homemade meatballs with gravy for the women on the board, while my sister and I rolled lunchmeats into fancy schmancy cylinders to be displayed on a platter, and my father would go to the neighborhood deli first thing in the morning for fresh rolls. My parents fed both sides of the aisle because they were NORMAL!

During my childhood, I witnessed my parents taking on local government to ensure that our newly built, but quickly growing community, was safe with the installation of much-needed stop signs, rescue wagons, and larger street signs to make it easier for police and fire to respond. My mother walked up and down endless steps to have petitions signed, sometimes going back more than once to catch the man of the house after work.

It was definitely a family affair, whether you wanted to be involved or not, you rallied your friends to stuff envelopes and canvas the neighborhood like a chain gang. This was in the 70’s when kids had enough critical thinking skills to make things like this fun. 

Fast forward to 2018. My father is long gone, but my mother will be turning 92 this month. Her goal has been to live to cast her vote in this election … oh yeah … this is what I’ve heard for months. 

She has been following this election like a hawk. Well, a legally blind bird, with a sharp mind who is outraged at the behavior in Washington. When a 92-year-old tells you they’ve NEVER seen anything like it, be alarmed. 

I will be voting before I go to work. I’m leaving on my lunch break to assist my mother in the voting booth, and I will be sending my children unlimited text messages until they get over to the polls. Threats are not off the table to the children. 

Now, if you haven’t already done so, log off and get your ass to the polls and E!

Enjoy The Ride! 

 

 

 

 

Google Grim Reaper

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Ok, 2018 can seriously pack up now and hit the road. Bye bitch!

Hearts of all kinds have been at the forefront for me this year. The theme could indeed be dubbed hearts gone wild. 

The year kicked off big bringing the shattered hearts of parents who lost their child. One would think that would be enough.

Nope, next up the hearts of children who lost a parent weighted down with sadness and a load of new responsibilities. The circle of life at work.

Witnessing the end of young love with hearts broken in half. Ugh, it felt like 1986 all over again.

Having heartstrings pulled and tugged in every direction with news of illnesses of friends and family. Is this just another thing that happens when you get older?

Feel free to grab some black crepes at this point, maybe a sickle.

Oh, let’s not forget the feeling of an impending heart attack every time we see the words BREAKING NEWS flash across our televisions. Too many to count these days.

At work, I have been given a new title without a raise. Oh, yes, I can add Google 'Got him... got him... got him... need him...'Grimreaper to my resume. That should raise an eyebrow or two at an interview.

After 14 years of working in the medical field, you get to know your patients, so when they don’t show up for an appointment or their phone has been disconnected your heart sinks. I tend to forget we’re all 14 years older. 

Ugh, so this summer I spent a significant amount of time Googling death notices to earn my new title. Lucky me.

All of this gives us a choice to fall into the abyss of grief, pain, and uncertainty or stand tall in the gap recognizing the resilience of the human heart. Honestly, you’re not human if you have not had the experience of a broken heart.

It’s allowing that open heart to be filled with compassion, grace, and empathy.

It’s believing that our pain can be given new life.

It’s keeping faith in humanity.

It’s hope.

It’s learning to Enjoy the Ride in the process.

 

 

 

 

Flying the Coop​

 

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Oscar & Felix 2018

Well, there have been some big things going on over here at the homestead, one of the most significant announcements is my baby bird has flown the coop. Gigantic sneakers all over my house will not be missed.

My son, along his longtime friend, moved into the hottest, young hip section of the city. Yes, I’m jealous.

These two young men have been friends since kindergarten, and have been opposite since day one, yet they never parted ways. The millennial version of “The Odd Couple.”

The key to their long relationship is they are both logical thinkers. Something tells me this will come in handy real soon.

My son is a tattooed free spirit who could never work in the confines of an office, he speaks his mind and has no problem living out of a laundry basket.  Jon is a neat, organized, corporate world young man who enters a room as if he is going to run for office. It’s an awkward feeling knowing my son is the Oscar of this duo. 

Of course, as a mother, I had concerns about these two living together, mostly because I gave birth to one of them and on occasion have had thoughts of causing physical harm over his living habits. Actually, too many to count.

The biggest challenge for them to date was purchasing everything from A to Z. I will admit I was close to setting up a wedding registry for them at Bed, Bath & Beyond. 

Speaking of the triple B mecca of home goods, my mother saves all the coupons “just in case.” Thank goodness! 

After one of our outings, she summoned me up to her apartment for the exchange. I was slipped a jammed packed, plain sealed manilla envelope. It was all very mysterious. Yes, yes I did question the contents.

Just as I was about to leave I was commanded to “sit down!” Things like this rarely end well.MV5BMTMzMzc1ODEyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDY2MTU2._V1_

I did as I was told, and proceeded to listen to a sermon regarding her impending death, which according to her calculations based on a few hours of feeling bad at 91 years old, will be taking place before her birthday next month. What?! Honestly, the things I’ll endure for 20% off are alarming. 

No need to worry folks. The following day I asked how she was feeling and the answer was a firm “like Loretta Young.”

All the worry was worth it since those coupons saved a small fortune. But nothing was better than the look of horror on my sons face at the price of bath towels. It gave a whole new meaning to shock & awe. 

It’s been one week since the big move or as I like to call it “the beginning of a lower water bill” for me. I’ve done O N E load of wash all week! 

My son has called twice with chicken-related questions. How do you cook it? And is it still ok to eat? Whew for number 2. 

Everyone is still in one piece, and we’re all Enjoying the Ride into the next chapter.

 

Let’s Put The “We” Back In The People

Well, because unfortunately, it’s still relevant.
Happy 4th of July!

Life With The Top Down

31c32a1162447a8ac92a38fc195e2436If 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 overindulgence 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 essential 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!

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Got Teeth?

tooth-fairyWhen did filling in for the Tooth Fairy become part of my job description? Last time I checked my title was Surgical Coordinator/Everything else the office needs. I hung up my tutu years ago when my son lost his final fang.

Well, that changed about 3 weeks ago when someone left a couple of teeth in our waiting room. I’ll take a break while you read that over.

Now, perhaps this would be acceptable in let’s say A DENTISTS OFFICE, but I work for a Podiatrist/Foot & Ankle Surgeon, so an occasional cane, umbrella or jacket are the only things that should land in the lost and found. The jury is still out on how you can leave without your cane, he’s a doctor, not Jesus. 

So, I bet you’re wondering what one does in this situation. After the laughter of course. 

First, you start reminiscing with your co-worker about the other insanity that as left you speechless at work. Like that time a HUMAN turd was chilling in the hallway, and your office “manger” (trust me, those quotes are necessary) instructed you to call hospital security.  Umm, maybe maintenance would be better to handle this matter. That’s only one example for the quotes.

Just the thought of calling Security makes me laugh!

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Got teeth?

Ok, back to these missing fangs. If you, or anyone you know, have any form of artificial teeth, you know that they have either paid for their dentist’s summer home while putting his or her children through college, so it was imperative that we channel our inner Tooth Fairy to locate the owner. I was already thinking about how much I could get on eBay.

We had to break it down to who was sitting in that area of the waiting room. Next, it was concluded that I would not be the best candidate to make the inquiries since I have no control over my inner 12-year-old boy who finds this entire situation hilarious. Sad, but true. Then the executive decision was made that our office “manager” call all of our morning patients to see if anyone might be missing a thing or two.

Let me just say that listening to someone struggle through these awkward calls provided me with a great deal of entertainment. When I heard a woman had to check her purse, only to come back and say “no, I still have mine,” I knew the decision for me not to be involved was indeed the best decision. It really is the little things.

This story ends with no one claiming the missing fangs that sit on a shelf in our office as a trophy, and me continuing moving forward with the idea of putting them on eBay,

Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

 

 

 

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