Category Archives: Laughter

Small World

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“It’s a small world.” How many times have you heard this in your lifetime? I remember my parents saying it and thinking, “What are you talking about?” Now, here I am saying it at least twice a week! It’s official, I’m my parents.

The community had a huge yard sale on Friday and Saturday at the new abode. According to the neighbors, this is a twice-a-year function that is heavily advertised and equally as popular. Perfect timing for this professional box unpacker.

The weather was damp and rainy, but that did not stop the crowds. Yes, crowds. I made a good chunk of change selling crap left by the previous owners and some of my own crap. I’m very close to getting a “less is more” tattoo or t-shirt.

This lovely couple, Frank and Joanne, stopped by to browse yesterday. There was an instant connection. They had a good sense of humor, especially Frank’s quick wit. People could have been shoplifting, and I wouldn’t have noticed.

As we were exchanging backstories of how the hell we wound up in Lewes, DE, Joanne was surprised to learn that I had never vacationed in this area. I explained I’m a Jersey Shore girl, Ocean City. NJ, to be exact. Her parents lived in Ocean City, NJ.

I explained that my husband was familiar with this area through his job, and my only introduction was when we looked at this house. Now she is intrigued.

Joanne, “How do you just move to a place you’ve never been to?”

Me, “I don’t know, but here I am.”

Frank, “Wow, there’s more than one!”

Me, “You know someone else who just packed up to Lewes?”

Joanne, “Yes, our dear friend from college. She just called me one day and told me her boys were all out of the house; they sold their home in Villanova and bought a place in Lewes.”

Frank, “I asked her if she bought it on Amazon because she never asked us to check it out or inquired about the area.”

Joanne, “We couldn’t believe they made such a big purchase without a second thought.”

Me, “I looked at Frank’s Mount St. Mary College sweatshirt while Villanova and boys ran through my mind when I asked, wait a minute, what is your friend’s name?”

Joanne, “Marie _______ _______.”

Me, “WHAT!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

Frank, “You know Marie?”

Me, “Yes, we were paralegals together back in the day and work besties.”

All of us, “OMG! It’s such a small world!” Along with laughter.

Frank takes out his phone, captures a photo of the three of us, and sends it to Marie.

We are all meeting for Happy Hour on Friday!

Enjoy the Ride!

Spirited Boys

I just finished a book at record speed. Why? Well, because it grabbed my attention from page one, and I couldn’t get enough. The title is “The Day John Died” by Christopher Anderson. John, as in, John Kennedy, Jr.

First, the story grabbed me because I, and anyone with eyes in my age group, had a crush on John. He was like your forbidden best friend’s older brother crush. You don’t have a chance, but it’s fun to gaze. 

Secondly, I had no idea that John was “a spirited boy” or in today’s terms probably had a little ADHD going on. I prefer spirited boy.

Oh, how do I know this? Well, because I raised one as well, just not in the public eye.

John’s early days in the White House were described as “active” and “curious.” Running the halls like he owned the place and asking any adult, including Secret Service agents, every question a toddler could wrangle up. Yup, he’s spirited all right.

I’m not going to lie here. I was getting envious thinking of Jackie’s help in handling her handful. I know I could have used a couple of agents and a Nanny during those primitive years.

I imagined meeting Jackie at a parent-teacher conference, realizing we were in the same boat. FYI: My boat is a raft and hers a yacht.

Throughout my son’s education, it was obvious that the mothers of these little spirits also magnetize towards each other, and remain lifelong friends. The cry for help must be written all over our faces.

There are two scenarios: Jackie and I would have been best friends, or I would have been served with a restraining order. It could go either way, but I’m leaning towards friends. I know me, and I know I would be starstruckso there are no guarantees. 

On one of our many playdates at the park, we could discuss the need to have our colorist on speed dial to touch up the never-ending grays caused by the shenanigans of our little overactive, curious but lovable boys. A girl can dream.

As everyone knows, Jackie was very protective over John, and rightfully so, considering the circumstances surrounding him at every corner. Still, her protection from the many, many Mrs. Kennedy wannabes had me dreaming of landlines. You go, Jackie!

One of the perks in raising a child in the ’70s was the ability to screen their calls, and Jackie had no problem telling an unfamiliar female voice, “I’m sorry he’s not here right now.” 

Unfortunately for me, my little spirit was born into a world of cell phones and the knowledge to press charges for invasion of privacy if I even tried such a move.

Of course, this story is all in jest. I would never have been in the same circle as my girl Jackie, nor would I ever be screening my son’s calls, hmm, well maybe, but I found it very interesting through the words of Christopher Anderson that our sons, had such similar spirit and curiosity. Just another reason for me to love Jackie.

Enjoy the Ride!

Timeless Lessons

I have two books sitting on my end table that get a lot of action. More than me, but that’s another story.

One is a small book of Maya Angelou quotes, gifted to me at just the right time and read many times since. Maya’s wisdom can snap me back to reality.

Broken down into five parts, all equal to sending a message at just the right time. The best house guest a girl can have these days.

Self-Empowerment. Who doesn’t need a daily dose of this now and then? I am empowered by this nugget of knowledge to stop doubting on any given day.

“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

Love. No matter how alone we might feel in this world, there is always one thing that brings us together. Laughter, especially with a friend, is highly recommended by me.

“There is an intimate laughter to be found only among friends.”

Society and Culture. This can be turbulent and beautiful on any given day. Remember, home can be anywhere.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Life. In the words of Forrest Gump, “it’s like a box of chocolates.” Between Forrest and Maya, it’s a wrap.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Herself. This is where Maya really shines. This hit me hard, considering our current climate.

“I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other humans.”

The second gem is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, a book written and illustrated by Charlie Mackesy. If you don’t know it, get it now.

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The book is dedicated to the author’s “lovely kind mum” and his “wonderful dog Dill.” How could this be anything but fantastic with that dedication?

The journey of these four unlikely friends takes its readers on a trip full of life lessons in the most superficial, most profound way to be kind, forgiving, and loving one another. Granted, it’s a children’s book, but the lessons are timeless.

Mr. Mackesy creates a world within the pages that seem foreign to the one we live in today, but the optimist in me doesn’t believe it cannot exist as long as we are willing to participate. A girl can dream.

Always let your wisdom ride shotgun and Enjoy the Ride!

Girl, We Tried

As I was stumbling through some papers this morning, not one but two fortune cookie fortunes fell to the floor. Considering the last time I had Chinese Food was New Year’s Eve, I was taken back for a moment. Where the hell did they come from?

Once I read them, I knew they hung around for a reason, and by the looks of them, they have been doing their best to get my attention, and it hasn’t been easy. I had to laugh, imagining them jumping off tables shouting, “over here, look, I’m right here!” As Mrs. Magoo walked on without notice, until today. The universe knows best.

They read:

“Present your best ideas today to an eager and welcoming audience.”

“Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential.”

Please can we get a round of applause for the author and the delicious cookie?

Well, folks, I certainly hope you’re eager, welcoming, and ready for some questions because you are about to get hit with the idea that has been pressing on me for a few months now. Ready or not, here it comes.

We seem to be living in a country where fear, division, and conflict are sitting center stage. The big nugget of knowledge that we were born from conflict seems to get forgotten. You reap what you sow.

Common sense at the most basic level has left the building. Somewhere along the line, we allowed the detrimental us vs. them mentality to migrate into our own homes, areas of employment, and houses of worship. Enough already.

How long are we willing to keep this big bag of crazy alive by feeding it every damn day? At this point, it’s morbidly obese.

I think it’s time we start asking ourselves some serious questions. I’ll get the ball rolling since I was chosen via a coffee-stained fortune cookie fortune that fell to the floor to do so. Sometimes the universe does not take no for an answer.

I’ll share my questions with my own eager and welcoming audience. Hey, I can’t help anyone else if I’m unwilling to do the work myself – right?

  1. Are my fears causing this reaction?
  2. Are my opinions coming from a place of compassion?
  3. Are my thoughts, words and actions in allignment?

Fear, as we all know, comes from the outside. Isn’t it time we elevate our consciousness above this negative narrative and look for the good? I know my alarm has sounded.

There truly is good roaming around waiting to be shared and cultivated into our society. I think I just heard my disheveled fortune say, “Girl, we tried.”

In the end, we are human. We make mistakes. It’s not easy to recognize and change our behaviors, but I believe we should look to put in some effort at this moment in time. Remember, my fortunes look like two hot messes from their efforts to be heard.

Do the work, and Enjoy the Ride!

Good JuJu Only

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I’ve been contemplating whether or not to go to the grocery store for way too long this morning. It’s not that easy anymore.

There are two more factors added this morning. The Eagles game, which I hear might be a big deal, and impending bad weather for this evening. This combo is enough to deter the strongest of shoppers.

I started looking around the kitchen to see if I really needed anything. I could use chicken stock, or I can just make something else. Hmm, maybe I don’t need anything. This conversation went on for way too long. I will never get this time back.

In my defense, going to the supermarket is now a full-blown event that requires decisions that have never entered my mind before 2020.

It was bad enough that I had to make sure I had a mask and hand sanitizer, but now, oh, it’s much more. I long for the days when it was just a mask.

Before I head out, I say a prayer of protection, load my bra with energy protecting crystals; yes, you read that correctly, then, and only then, do I grab my mask and sanitizer.

Covid is frail compared to the energy-sucking, opinionated audience I might encounter in the produce aisle. Some folks are looking for potatoes, and some are looking for a debate.

Believe me, I get the urge to debate; I’m just as frustrated. The never-ending confusion is enough to bring anyone to their knees. We are all tired of being tired. We can’t deal with asses too.

Needless to say, I did not go to the supermarket. Instead, I have a creative meal in the oven. I wrote this essay, and I didn’t have to put my bra on, let alone load it with chyrstals. Good juju only!

Enjoy the Ride!

Girlfriend?!

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Over the past year and a half, we’ve been hearing a lot about healthcare workers being heroes. Frankly, I never thought they were anything less. One stint in a hospital is enough to see the light. 

Last November, my mother was in the hospital for an extended stay. Unfortunately for everyone, so was the patient a few doors down. I think I’ll call him Pita (pain in the ass).

As if things weren’t bad enough with COVID on the rise once again, the hospital reaching total capacity, and untrained me taking care of one too many Code Browns, use your imagination folks, to count, we ALL had to deal with Pita. Trust me; I earned a cape. 

On one quiet Saturday afternoon, mom was resting, and I was reading when we were interrupted by a commotion coming from the hallway. Enough to stop the cleaning woman in her tracks right outside our door. 

I looked at the cleaning woman with a WTF glare, and she responded with a WTFK’s. Facial expressions speak volumes.

Now mom was wide awake, wondering what was going on. All we could hear was a loud voice insisting at the top of his lungs to see his girlfriend. I peeked out the door to see a 6’4′ bare assed sock-wearing hands flailing big mouth trying to escape. Superpowers would come in handy. 

Without missing a beat, my mom says GIRLFRIEND?! and we both started laughing. It was like that’s all she heard.

The cleaning woman came into the room laughing and said, “she’s on vacation.” Now, we are howling. Mom chimes in with, “she’s not coming back.” The only thing missing was popcorn.

While we were acting like three school girls laughing at all the things the girlfriend probably did after dropping Pita at the hospital entrance, he was making vulgar remarks to the nurses about their bodies. He was a real charmer. 

As security arrived, I saw one of the nurses filling up a syringe, smiling ear to ear. Pita was going down!

Mom couldn’t get out of bed, so Juanita and I gave her a play-by-play of the injection. They’re going to need a big one,” she said. The giggles continued.

Finally, silence took over, and the nurses went back to their duties as if Pita never existed. Night night.

Juanita stayed a little longer to talk to mom about her age, sense of humor, and unruly men. This was the best medicine mom received.

Remember, heroes cross our paths every day, some with needles, some with mops, but all serving a purpose. It’s important to recognize the good in everyone as we … Enjoy the Ride!

Be Kind To Everyone: 1926-2020

Mom

Well, it’s been quite interesting around these parts over the past few months. The original story is one that no one wants to hear while scrolling through their reader. And lord knows I don’t want to relive it.

The short version is my mother was in the hospital for 10 days with a flare of ulcerative colitis, Covid went through the roof in Pennsylvania, we refused rehab and converted my family room into a replica of mom’s apartment in 2 days so she could move in with us. Honestly, it’s still a blur.

That was back on November 18th, which seems like both 5 years and 5 minutes ago. For the record, let me be clear that I am not a nurse, nor do I exhibit the skills to provide medical services due to my large hands and not knowing my own strength. Trust me.

Mom was over the moon about moving into our abode for many reasons, but mainly to be around family, her family, which was the most essential part of her long life. As a Great Depression orphan, her family was important.

Let’s say mom crossed the threshold into her new digs with a bang or a Code Brown. Use your imaginations, folks.  This led to a complete strip down, shower, and both of us feeling like maybe this was one of those ideas that looked great on paper, but the reality sucked—sort of like that 30 foot Homer Simpson Christmas decoration. 

Once she was settled and my assistant, Nurse Peanut, greeted her with open paws, we had time to discuss, laugh, and cry about that grand entrance. We were both imagining more of a Scarlet O’Hara strolling down the staircase kind of moment. If nothing else, it was memorable.

Ok, that was Wednesday evening; by the time a REAL nurse arrived on Sunday, I looked like the 94-year-old patient! The bags under my eyes highlighted the dark circles nicely.

Meanwhile, my mom looked like a movie star! She was showered and dressed with her hair, nails, brows looking fab, and any unruly chin hairs removed. Just my two cents, if you’re in the position of caring for an elderly parent, the better they look, the less help you’ll get. Disheveled is the way to go.

If I heard it once, I heard it a million times, “your mom looks great; she’s not sick enough for more help.” Were you ever so tired that you wanted to knock someone out, tie them to a chair, and force them to step into your shoes for a night? Asking for a friend.

We entered week two, a/k/a hell on earth, with a whole new bag of crazy. I gained another patient in the house. Officially declaring myself an RN working 24/7 shifts with no pay.

While mom was downstairs having everything that went in her mouth come out the other end and insisting on eating because she was hungry, my husband was locked in our bedroom coughing up a lung with, you guessed it, COVID! Oh, you can say it, I’ll even join you. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Just when you think things could not possibly get worse, at mom’s request, I made a homemade apple cake because she was craving something sweet. The aroma of this cake makes the house smell delicious, and lord knows with all of the other odors going on, it would be more than welcome. Just one of the many, OH SHIT, no pun intended, moments that followed.

I’m not gonna lie; losing my sense of smell was welcomed for what transpired over the following few days. Can you say a blessing in disguise?

The husband started feeling better, my symptoms stopped at no taste or smell, but mom’s condition was getting worse. FINALLY, she was “sick enough” to get hospice services. They arrived on Tuesday dressed like they were stepping onto the moon due to the COVID colony known as my home.

Wednesday was the last day that I was able to talk to mom. Her last sentiment was, “be kind to everyone, no matter what, this world needs kindness.” Truth!

Mom passed on Friday, December 4, 2020, with me and my husband by her side. Hopefully, at some point, after COVID, we will be able to celebrate the Queen of our family and her life well lived.

Dust Covered Purpose

I’ve always been an avid walker, trust me, I have the hooves to prove it! I proudly inherited this from my mother; she set this example early on, pushing my sister and me in a stroller all over town. Walking was the alternative when your husband 2462974766840788_GJWxG6kE_ftook the car to work. Yes, there was a time when not every member of the house had a car.

So, with gyms closed during the pandemic, I was grateful to have my feet to keep me on the move. Sadly they weren’t moving quite as fast as my jaw! 

Now, here I am, four months later, and much fuller than I was in March. Between the stress, anxiety, and bulk shopping, I’m just glad I’m not ready to audition for My 600 Pound Life. Look for those bright spots people.

My gym did open a week ago, but I’m not so sure I want to be in a closed box filled with sweat, or frying out on the blacktop parking lot for a workout just yet. So, what’s a girl to do? She got her creative juices flowing and found herself a used treadmill. Facebook Marketplace has some gems. 

Ok, we’ve all been in the position where our intentions far outweigh our ambitions, I know I have. We buy ourselves home exercise equipment, and before long, they’re doubling as a coat hanger. Well, remember this, there is always someone ready to purchase that used like BRAND SPANKING NEW coat hanger for 149 dollars! One person’s exercise/coat hanger is another’s treasure.

At first, I thought 149 dollars, why not round it up? Weird, but ok. I dug a little deeper, zoomed in on the photos, and couldn’t get past the low price for this beauty. Hmm, does it work? What’s the catch? My inner Nancy Drew always surfaces, and she can’t help herself.

Well, after Nancy conducted a brief investigation, it turned out that the owner is downsizing from her MANSION, purchased the treadmill to keep active, and will not need it at her new home. Her headband probably cost more than what I paid for this treadmill.

SOLD! I Google the address and found out my purchase currently resides in a home that just sold for 1 MILLION DOLLARS. It was living in a room designated for treadmills for god sakes! I started to feel bad for an inanimate object.

I had to share this information with my sister. First, because she’ll see the humor of the situation, and secondly, I know she’ll have a comeback that will bring it home, so I shot her a text. “My treadmill is living on the Kardashian’s set, and is heading straight to Roseanne’s set!” Well, she didn’t disappoint with her response of “I bet your house will be a lot more fun!” Truth!

That statement got my wheels turning. Suddenly I’m thinking about PURPOSE. How the hell did I go from a dust collecting treadmill to living my purpose? All I know is I was walking my dogs, and it popped in my head. The universe has its way of making shit happen. 

OkBadass seagull. - 9GAG here goes. My initial judgment about the treadmill was that it was somehow living better because it had a room in a million-dollar home, but it collected dust in reality. Talk about an Aha moment.

Is that what I’m doing? Am I collecting dust with my time here on earth? In the end the choice is ultimatley mine. So, what’s it gonna be? Am I going to be the french fry or the badass mf’ing seagull? Deep stuff.

No matter what you choose, always make sure you … Enjoy the Ride!

For Rizzle

fullsizeoutput_3132Through all of the recent darkness, I’ve been trying my best to look for the silver linings and believe it or not, they’re around. Currently, the most prominent one seems to be around my hairline. 

Here are just a few things keeping my sanity intact these days.

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Good Feels

Neighborhoods all around are finding ways to lift spirits, a clear sign that humanity is alive and well on the ground. It would be nice if she took a trip to DC, but that’s for another day.

My sister lives in a small town in NJ, and she is surrounded by creative minds. While on her daily “I need to get some damn air” walk, she came across a bundle of love all along the way. Is this what it’s like to live next door to Mr. Rogers? I think it’s close. 

My neighborhood has been participating in a social media challenge to find rainbows displayed in windows or on doors. It’s a local scavenger hunt of sorts. I’m not sure if there is an age limit to participate, but I’m killing it over here with 32 rainbows! The other competitors aren’t old enough to cross the street, but that’s not my problem. 

Since my family is sheltering in different places, PA, NJ & CA, my daughter started a Family Quarantine Facebook page to keep us connected. So far, this has been a great way to share encouraging quotes, photos of my great-niece Hope (yes, that is her name), and of course, memes.  Laughter and baby photos make everything tolerable. 

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Peanut & Landon

The silver lining for Peanut and Landon has been having their human roommates home 24/7. Peanut follows me EVERYWHERE. He is under my feet, on my lap, or up my ass ALL DAY LONG. At this point, he’ll need therapy when I go back to work.  Landon refuses to follow the social distancing requirements, Peanut just wants him to stop being “that guy.”

Throughout this experience, I’ve been noticing two things every day. The number 444 and a cardinal. Coincidence? I think not. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s hit in the face with signs from the universe? Um, Google it.

Well, just as I suspected and Google confirmed, these two things are messages. I was already aware of the many meanings behind a cardinal sighting, so I welcomed my visitor with a cheery, “Good morning, Jer!” I’m assuming it’s my brother-in-law Jerry who passed away in October. If not, his name is now Jerry.

As for the 444, this is what I found.

If you see the number 444 repeatedly, it is often your angel giving you a sign that they are with you. The sign is reminding you to feel confident and supported in this knowledge.

While we’re all on pause, take time to notice the good, feed your soul, and as always … Enjoy the ride!

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!

 

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