Category Archives: Inspiration

Pet Power!

Immediate Smile

Immediate Smile

This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.

After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought. 

Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!

As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.

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Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.

Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet? 

Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm. 

What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

 

Yo! Adrian

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Rocky Run 2014

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with  nothing more than determination.

My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.

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What Not To Wear … Ever

All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line. 

We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.

I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit!  I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!

We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!

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Crack Kills

The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us!  Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.

You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy  for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long! 

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.

This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the pastAnother reminder that change is everywhere.

Lucy & Ethel

Lucy & Ethel

We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.

We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome …. 

 

It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.

  • Belly laughter with a friend
  • Ralking among the beauty of my city
  • 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
  • Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride! 
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Whoot!

 

 

 

 

 

Doubt or Do It’s Up To You

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G.I. Joe? Chuck Norris? or Jesus?

If you’ve been reading me for some time, you already know I admit to being the Mayor of Scardy Cat Town. I’m not embarrassed by this at all, it’s who I am. Lord knows I have entertained many with my fearful experiences.

Over the weekend, as I was casually walking my little lamb chop a/k/a my dog Peanut, I noticed this fucker creeping from under the bushes. Seriously! I’m not even sure what my reaction was other than a slew of obscenities with a side of what might be considered some sort of prayer. That is if repeatedly yelling “Jesus Christ!” “Jesus!” “For good sakes!” and “Holy shit!” are considered prayers.

Random mannequin heads lurking under bushes are just one kind of fear we have to deal with in our lives. These fears are sudden and usually provide a good bit of laughter in the end. Especially when you patiently wait for the next person to walk by.

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Sing off key and live!

Then there are those fears that get to us via the media. They just love to plant those hearty doom and gloom seeds in our heads about planes that have plummeted into the ocean or just vanish or engulf into flames or ALL OF THE ABOVE! As if my own imaginary scenarios aren’t enough to keep me grounded!   

I won’t even tread into the murky waters of the World News, that shit is just too real. Information overload can consume even the strongest of minds. Thank goodness we control the “off” switch is all I can say. 

Last, but certainly not least are those fears that run deep. Those lovely little gems from our childhood or traumatic events that we just love to keep close. No, not the boogieman or clowns.

b183397faab0430ea8b56cde8efa4576I’m talking about those haunting fears of not being good enough, rejection, failure and the rest of the negative posse. We tend to keep these close like some sort of security blanket, just in case we need another excuse to move forward or perhaps when we need to point some blame in a direction other than the mirror. Safe, easy and paralyzing.

Why the hell are there so many fears in the first place? Well, I can answer that in one word … DOUBT. You know the sudden loud voice in your head that asks all sorts of negative questions just before you are about to embark on something wonderful. Guess what people? Doubt is an asshole! 

At 50 years young I am finally realizing just how much of an asshole Doubt can really be. It a2ec50f46abbf671c202b28284008b5889470a9998aa958f53939935a6502bfbshows up at the worst time; stays way too long and seems to ruin everything in its path. Just think of a drunk party goer who won’t take the hint that the party is over … yep that’s what Doubt is like. 

It has stopped me in my tracks, whispered “what ifs”  in my ear and managed to make mountains out of too many molehills. I’m not solving world peace for god sakes!

I vaguely remember my childhood aspirations to be a teacher, a judge, or a rodeo bull rider. I know a judge of all things right? What happened to those dreams along my road to adulthood? Doubt is what happened! You’re not smart enough. You’re not decisive enough. You’re not good enough.

Of course I could drive myself crazy wondering what my life would be like living on a ranch with the Marlboro Man or blaming my parents for not recognizing my passion for the Rodeo segments of the Wide World of Sports, but what would that solve? Zip.  

21919a5445b98e7745a02d887721b241.jpgInstead, I have chosen to little by little muster up the courage to punch fear in the face and bitch slap doubt every time they start talking shit about my fabulousness. It’s not really that easy, but it felt good writing it.

It takes time to put our fears in their place. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you so have some patience.

 It’s up to you to get in the driver’s seat. 

When you do decide to head down your road to happiness, make sure you buckle up right next to fear. Look back at all your accomplishments. Pick up some positive reinforcements on the way. Let the accomplishments of others blow through your hair and don’t stop until you reach your destination … the corner of Awesome & Bombdiggity sounds like a good start. 

 Enjoy the Ride!

A Ride to Remember

51woxOQWgQLAs I was driving into work one morning, listening to one of my many favorite morning radio shows “The Preston & Steve Show” on 93.3 WMMR here in Philly. I say “many” because I am beyond a channel changer while driving. But this show certainly has a way of making my ride a little brighter as I head to the salt mines office every day.

This particular morning there was a discussion on a new book titled “Carsick” by John Waters. It’s a wonderful entertaining story about John’s decision to hitchhike across the country. As the DJ’s were discussing excerpts from the book, listeners were calling in to tell their personal stories about a time when they had no other choice but to hitch a ride. I found this all very intriguing.

Lucky for me John was making his rounds promoting his tale and I was able to catch an interview with him on the Bill Maher Show. I ordered the audio version right smack in the middle of the interview!

I must say I have never listened to a book before, because I am a traditional girl who enjoys her books written on paper, but since I have a 30-40 minute ride to the gym every day, I thought this would be a good way to pass the time and avoid my OCD channel changing … Mission accomplished John! 

And so the adventure begins….

And so the adventure begins….

Many of you may already know that the then 66 year-old Baltimore film director John Waters decided to hitchhike from his home in Baltimore Maryland to his home in San Francisco. Crazy or living life? 

Just the idea of such a journey in 2014, when the world seems so humanly disconnected, had me completely fascinated. I’m not sure why since I never had a wish to hitchhike … especially since most hitchhikers are usually portrayed as serial murders and frankly I’m a scardy cat. However, John did point out that most serial killers are looking for 20-year-old hookers and that did make me feel much safer.

The excitement as I put the first CD into the player was admittedly a tad over the top, but who cares … I just wanted to hear all the details of this journey … one CD at a time.

After listening to at least 2 CD’s I started to think …. “why haven’t I heard about any of this on the news?” 

Well, the answer to that million dollar question was found when I decided to read up on the details of the book. Something I usually do before I hit the “Add to cart” button. This is where I learned I that the first half of the book was John’s fictional version of his trip. Let me just say If anyone has some swamp land they want to get rid of … I’m your girl.

First up are the fictional good and bad rides; followed by the real rides that got him to San Francisco. 3 books for the price of 1!

If you’ve ever seen or read any of John’s past work you are well aware that his imagination reaches a level that most people cannot even fathom and he does not hold back in the fictional version of his journey. Some might think it was over the top, others (like myself) might think … hey, you never know. 

How could you not respond to this clever sign?

How could you not respond to this clever sign?

John wouldn’t be John without adding some exaggerated lewdness to the first half of the book. Hey, he isn’t known as the “Pope of Trash” for his portrayal of sunshine and butterflies. There were times when I think I might have blushed, cringed and laughed behind the wheel as I listened to him tell his fictional tale, but it didn’t stop me.

His words just confirmed that if anyone in this world was going to have sex with an Alien; be given a magical asshole for three hours that would fix a flat and sing duets with Connie Frances …  well, it would be John Waters.

After all the crazy antics of the fictional adventures, I heard the words 18s4bouiebbr9jpg“The Real Thing” and I found myself so engrossed that I was driving in circles just to finish a chapter. It was worth every ounce of fuel … even at $3.67 a gallon!

I couldn’t help but imagine myself as one of those dashboard hula girls eavesdropping on every ride.  Best seat in the house. 

Does all of this make me want to manicure my thumb and hit the highway? Not one bit.  It does however urge me to head into each day with my wit, optimism and belief that not every stranger is a serial killer … some are just out there to Enjoy the Ride  …  just like me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Bee Takes A Breather

cec7bb842b872221a742b40c6e83177bGreetings! I thought I would take a moment on this beautiful Fall morning to give you all a shout out and a little explanation on what I’ve been doing lately that has kept me from writing as much as I would like. I’ll just assume you are all sitting on the edge of your seats right now. 

First, I’ve been working very hard trying desperately to get into shape. Something other than a rectangle. This has consisted of attending a high intensity Cross Fit class 3 or 4 times a week. In other words I’ve been a sweaty bruised pain stricken woman who feels surprisingly great. Attending this class with a great friend is a bonus, but being surrounded by a  group of people who just have a way of bringing out the best in us, well that is priceless. We have both come a long way over the past 8 weeks, physically & mentally. 

177329150_640I have also taken on a Paleo Challenge.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this term I will explain. Just imagine being a caveman or woman … without the cave and with a razor.

The key is to eat like a caveman. No grains. No sugar. No flour. Nothing from a box and brace yourself … no Alcohol. In other words, NONE of EVERYTHING I have come to LOVE. However, something tells me if there was a big fat piece of sugary cake in the cave the females would be fighting over it like a pack of wild dogs. There is no scientific proof to back up that statement, just the personal knowledge of female hormones.

So, I have been consuming meat, fish, chicken, fruits, veggies and nuts since September 23rd. Thank GOD for the likes of cocoa and coconut to satisfy my sweet teeth…yes, that was plural. I’ve been splitting my hunting & gathering between Whole Foods and Local Farmer’s Markets, which by the way can be equally as dangerous as a jungle, especially on the weekend. We can not even discuss how expensive it is to eat like a cavewoman, but then again so are visits to the doctor’s office…right? Looks like I’ll be working some over time at the quarry. 

Note: I spent $9.99 on a loaf of Paleo Bread after CRAVING some sort of grain. I have concluded that price in no way 6264128a70cb15243417de617a3d4e3ddetermines goodness…AT ALL!  I will painfully finish eating the entire loaf of dry wall bread due to the memory of my father’s voice saying “Are you out of your god damn mind?” I remember when he would complain over the increasing price of things like milk, bread & bridge tolls, so I’ll assume he is spinning in his grave right about now. Sorry dad…

This challenge is a learning tool to be used in making better future decisions. Honestly though the transition hasn’t been too hard and I do feel very good, but come November 4th you better believe I will be indulging in a Pumpkin Muffin … made from all natural ingredients of course. 

496d8006f5e83c27a87fe47cbba6a579One of the other things I was able to do this month was attend my 35th Grade School Reunion. That’s right, 35 glorious years ago I graduated from 8th grade and headed into the hell hallways of high school. Can you feel me shuddering?

One thing I know for sure after this evening is that women, at least the ones from my class, aged much better than the men. I was only able to recognize 4 on site, the rest … well, they needed to be reintroduced. Yikes! Also, the most asked questions of the night “are you still married?” and “how many times have you ben married?” All in all it was a wonderful evening filled with old friendships and laughs…lots of laughs.

Next on my list is the request to appear in Federal Court today for jury duty. Yea me…NOT!  I was all prepared to spend the 6dceebb3c3b5b0cb4c80b2b2e8bd985bnext (3) days waiting to find out if I’ve been chosen to serve on a federal jury. I had my David Sedaris book ready to go, just in case I needed some random outbursts of laughter to make me look a little cray cray.  I worked liked a dog to clear my desk, for the sake of my co-worker who will be holding down the fort. That is a post that has yet to be written. All these arrangements only to call the 800 number yesterday and hear the words “Report to your normal place of employment tomorrow.” “Do not report for jury duty.” This was equivalent to hearing All Public & Parochial Schools are Closed, after you already did your homework. Cross your fingers that I hear that message again today!

As if I weren’t busy enough, this weekend I will participating in 2, yes 2 fundraisers. One is being held this Saturday 10/26/20131379218_562393060482742_1940322726_n at the Cross Fit gym and it is appropriately called Barbells For Boobs. For every $80.00 raised a woman will be able to receive a Mammogram. My participation in this challenge will be on behalf of Susie over at Susie Lindau’s Wild RideShe knows first hand the importance of Mammograms and early detection!

2305.1251415141.customThe next event is a 5k walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. My family, including Pea-Wee (Peanut) will be walking on Sunday 10/27/2013 to support our neighbor Joey. He was diagnosed in February and this is his first attempt to raise some money to Stomp Out Juvenile Diabetes.  

This little boy is a wonderfully sweet, smart and creative kid. He has taken on his challenge with encouragement and hope that some day he will be the one known for stomping out the likes of this disease.

Live your life and Enjoy the Ride!

Ready To Make The World Squint

The other morning I came across a reblogged post by Mimi over at Waiting For The Karma Truck that really struck a nerve. Well, it wasn’t actually the blog itself, but Mimi’s comment that got my nerve going. Read on…

I have been having many conversations with friends of mine about what the second half holds. The key perhaps is in re-defining one’s understanding of the concept of ‘doing’ – turning that energy inward and valuing it as much as one valued all those years of externalized effort. Some thoughts for this morning…

The subject of the blog was about aging, a conversation I was also having recently with a dear friend. Calm down we weren’t discussing nursing homes, if fact it was the polar opposite. There were a number of things that brought this subject to the surface, especially our looming “Special Birthdays.” One has already been celebrated, but I must wait with bated breath until February to celebrate mine. 

Mimi made a wonderful point in her response to my comment. She said, “I think some of us are just at the age where we realize that we need to move not just to another chapter, but perhaps another story entirely.” Reading Mimi is like having my own personal Yoda around for a daily dose of wisdom. Shit! I hope she doesn’t bill me. 

Her words immediately had me thinking about all the chapters and several stories in my own life. We all start out with the same story “New Beginnings” , but the rest, well … they’re on us. I decided to compile a Cliff Note version of some of the more noteworthy stories/chapters of my life. 

  • Mommy, Will You Marry Me?:  When I was my sister/best friend had to go to school and leave me ALL day. In that moment I vowed to marry my mommy. That’s right I had amazing sense even at 4. I knew this woman was the best thing that ever happened to me and damn it I wasn’t going to let her get away. We had two wonderful years alone together before I had to join my sister at school, but I never forgot how special I felt as we watched Pixanne and I proposed. 
  • Catholic School or Scarred For Life:  I think it’s safe to say these two go hand in hand. I didn’t have a chance between following in my over achieving sister’s shoes, constantly being reminded about it every time I entered a classroom and being the emotional punching bag for a group of bitter, sex suppressed woman a/k/a nuns. This may come as a surprise, but I really didn’t enjoy school…can’t imagine why. This story lasted 12 long years! 
  • Love Goggles:  Over the years this story has also been referred to as “What The Fuck Was I Thinking?” and What The Fuck Were You Thinking?” on more than one occasion. I fell hard at 16, sealed the deal at 21 and ended the farce at 23. This story lasted close to 8 years! This was more like a series of short stories that always ended with a clear lesson for the readers, however the author was somewhat of a resistant learner who tightened her love goggles to the point of blindness and missed her own lessons.
  • Cupid To The OR … Stat!: This is one of my favorite stories. Cupid certainly had his hands full with me. I walked around with my heart on my sleeve for all to see and when I fell, I fell hard. I went from doormat to a wall to wall carpet while in this relationship, so Cupid had to really push the envelope for me to open my eyes. The procedure took place over a holiday weekend in 1988. Cupid scrubbed up and prepared to surgically remove my “Love Goggles.” He led me right to my bedroom where I saw my husband in bed with another woman…**BAM** they flew right off and I never looked back. There are times when extreme measures are necessary, this was one of those times. 
  • Love, Marriage & Baby Carriages:  After a few years of recovery from my procedure, Cupid put my name on another arrow. This time he dulled the point just enough for me to recognize what true love was all about. After 22 years and 2 great kids later I can say “Thank you Cupid, thank you very much.” This story is still going strong with new chapters being written every day.
  • Lisa, Is That You?:  Considering the amount of years I spent answering to Mommy, Mom, Momma, Momma Bear, Emily’s Mom, Zac’s Mom and Yo Mom, it’s no wonder that LISA was put on the back burner alongside her underwear. That’s right folks, her underwear! Those cotton sacrificial lambs that went YEARS not being replaced because “Mommy” had to make sure the little asses of her offspring were covered first with their latest cartoon character obsession. Oh, how their big smiles over Rug Rat briefs made me forget all about the missing elastic on my own panties. Until the next Chapter…
  • MOM! You’re Fired!:  Talk about not seeing the warning signs of this happening. I went from “Employee of the Year” to the unemployment line overnight.  All my loyal service and they left me in the dust…with semi worn underwear.  Of course they still “need” me, just not nearly as much. I’m proud of the young adults they have become, but I am a nurturer, so I missed shelling out the love, until I realized I had been neglecting the one person who needed my love more than anyone else…ME.
  • Who Loves Ya Baby?:  It took a few years of therapy, an extreme panic attack, a good honest look in the mirror and the big 50 on the horizon for me to realize that Lisa was overdue for some much-needed loving. Here I am challenging my mind, body & soul in ways that I never thought possible. I am physically seeing changes that make me proud of my accomplishments. I am participating at my Quaker Meeting in ways that enable me to walk the talk and feed my soul, but most of all, I am realizing that I am able to take pride in being whoever the hell I want to be. 

Untitled:  I’m not sure where I’m headed, but I know I’m going in the right direction and with a lot less baggage. You may want to brush off your sunglasses and be prepared to squint, I have a feeling I’m going to be giving off quite a glow.

 Remember, if you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave and Enjoy the Ride! 

Age Is Just A Number

It’s time to be inspired by the passion, the message, the power and the determination that can not only be heard, but can be felt through the voice of Lillie McCloud. Personally, I have never heard this song and if I’m being honest, it’s not something that I would seek out for my playlist…until today. Age is just a number folks! 

May you all have goosebumps while you Enjoy the Ride! 

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