Category Archives: Life

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!

 

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!

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! 

 

 

 

Reincarnation Goals

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Lesson #1:  Speak Clearly When Relaying Your Reincarnation Request.

Whether you believe in reincarnation or not I’m sure there has been a moment in your life when you thought “wow, I would love to come back as _________.” I have on more than one occasion.

I always imagined coming back as an animal, well, because they are just so much better people. Nothing but unconditional love.

I’m thinking something domesticated, nothing that prowls around in the jungle. That life seems a little tense.

Honestly, I’m not into looking over my shoulder on a daily basis because of a big bad co-animal looking for a snack or some bored rich guy looking for a new rug … OH HELL TO THE NO!

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Too Hilarious Not to Share

Being a bird might be cool, but I’m not a big fan of heights, or a world where clean windows are potential death traps. Although leaving my mark on the windshields of the world while laughing from a nearby tree does sound inviting. Hmm … maybe.

Then I thought perhaps I could be a peacock, a flamingo or one of those other birds that have wings just for show. Everyone admires them for their good looks and pities them for their inability to fly. Hmm, sounds like the Kim K of the bird world … no thanks. 

Looks like I’m a house pet kind of girl, however, I want to be placed in a house with someone who loves their pets like I do. Yes, I’m being selective. 

88d7638d6e6fce200ce1b5e31b8830ddEven though I’m deathly allergic to cats, I must say I LOVE their cattitudes. Recently I witnessed a cat walking across a 4 lane road, looking straight ahead as we all screeched, swerved and skidded to avoid killing him. ZERO folks … Z E R O ef’s were given! 

He was so badass! He marched up a nearby lawn without even turning to inquire what all the ruckus was about. He already knew people, he already knew. 

If I had the pleasure of coming back as a cat, I would insist on being Kate’s cat. Kate, over at Views and Mews, is the Carol Brady of cat moms. She’s purrfect! 

I already picked out my parents if I’m lucky enough to come back as a dog. I want gay  parents. Like Cam & Mitchel from Modern Family.40575314-chihuahua-dog-with-bags-and-luggage-or-baggage-ready-for-summer-vacation-holidays-at-the-beach-isola-Stock-Photo

I met Richard and Robert when I took Peanut & Landon to the Vet. They were dropping off their daughter dog Bette. I’m 100% certain she is named after Bette Davis.

Bette had luggage including a monogrammed tote that read “The girl that owns this bag has been untouched, she is an original sexy beast.” I was very close to asking if they would consider rescuing a middle-aged woman. 

As I sat green with envy, watching Bette sitting next to her tote as if she knew the routine. First the endless kisses. Then the hugs. Next, the reassurance she’ll have a fabulous getaway as she was swept off her paws by the young attendant, and carried to her suite. It was love at first sight for me. 

Enjoy the Ride!

 

Just Float

bull-dog-slobber-sleeping-surrender-letting-go-cute-animalsAs you know from my previous post I recently experienced the art of Floating. What is it you ask? Well, it can be described as the best freaking thing since sliced bread by me.

In the beginning, it took me awhile to get comfortable. Naked and alone in pitch black room takes a minute to absorb. 

I closed the door but left the low light and music on at first. The water was body temperature warm and soothing. Eventually, I did turn the lights and music off as I slipped into the quiet, peaceful zen. It didn’t take long before I was able to completely let go. Free at last.

The coolest part for me was having no concept of time whatsoever, and not caring about it at all. It feels so good.

Float Spas are popping up in my area, but from what I understand floating is nothing new, however, the experience has certainly changed. Once you add the word Spa it becomes sexy. 

Apparently, floating also went by the name Isolation Tank, and are you ready … Sensory Deprivation Tank, as far back as 1954. This sounds scientific, not sexy so there were no appointments needed.

Today isolation tanks are located in beautiful rooms with inviting names like “Oasis” or “Grotto” that are chock full of amenities like fluffy towels, robes, scented soap, and shampoo. Anything to divert you away from the fact that you will soon be naked as a jaybird.

My room was spectacular with its private shower, candles, and a hint of lavender. This is imageshow you get your zen on. The room my husband experienced is best described as a Pink Floyd lap of luxury fusion. Trippy with a dash of zen.

The idea behind the floatation therapy is to provide you with a way to pause the hectic, saturated world and enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. It takes you away from the endless sensory experiences that seem to consume us these days. It should be mandatory for teenagers and college students. 

Just imagine if you could go into your head and give it a good Spring cleaning, leaving not a  single dust bunny to clutter your thoughts, allowing you to focus on whatever you please. It basically brings out the best in your brain. My mind left fresh s a daisy.

img-thingAs for the physical benefits, whew there is something to be said about feeling like a noodle. My muscles take a beating at the gym at least 4 times a week, so they were very grateful for this treat.

The magnesium from the Epsom salt-infused water brings your muscles back to life. It relieves tension and makes your skin incredible.  I left looking like a smooth glow-worm.

All in all, it was peaceful, relaxing, invigorating, enlightening all rolled up into one amazing 90 minutes. This was a first for me and my husband, and we would both do it again, and again, and again. As they say, whatever makes your boat float, or in this case, booty. 

Enjoy the Ride!

Magical

Is it possible to have a lifetime of happiness jammed into one week? Yes, yes it most certainly is possible. 

It all started on Saturday, February 11th when we went on a double date with vodka and Neil Diamond. Oh, I know I have your attention now.

I’m not a drinker, not even wine, not even socially. Typically if I’m going to go “hardcore” for a night on the town, I’m doing it with sparkling water, and …. hold on to your seats… LEMON.

ed1b7cef57792aeaf400e36de226f7f3With that being said I’m really not sure what possessed me to order a Cosmo, and I have NO CLUE how that escalated to having my own damn shaker at the table (twice), but it happened. Maybe it was all the love in the air…hmm.

We went out to celebrate our anniversary, which just happens to be on Valentine’s Day, which is also the busiest night on the planet to celebrate, which is why we avoid it like the plague. We’ve lived we’ve learned.

This year we were invited by a family member to see the Real Diamond Band, a Neil Diamond cover band at a local venue, along with our two very feisty aunts. When opportunity knocks…answer. 

Let’s hear it for Aunt Jean & Aunt Sophie who at 75 & 78 make Thelma and Louise look like freaking church ladies. True story!

Once the party got started, Aunt Sophie took to the dance floor with her air guitar in tow, whispering “I feel 25!” in my ear as she headed out for her first solo of the night. Aunt Jean was in charge of replenishing the cocktails in between dances.  A task that kept her busy throughout the evening.

All I can say is there is something religious about singing Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs with a group of strangers. Hallelujah! 

No good story ever started with the word salad, this is fact.

Next up was Valentine’s Day/26th Anniversary. Nothing says I love you more than attending a therapy session with your mate. Flowers & chocolate are temporary, getting to the truth lasts a lifetime.

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Don’t let this face fool you ….

As if that wasn’t enough for one week my son turned 22 on Friday. It’s still hard to believe how quickly time passes. One minute you’re picking up their toys, the next you’re picking up the trail of socks, towels, shorts …… So, in reality, time flies when you’re bending over. 

I’m kidding, not really. 

My Zac is a determined young man making his mark in the world. He is bright, hilarious, and keeps truth in the forefront. Never ask his opinion unless you’re prepared to hear the truth. 

Just when you think there is a break, my birthday hits the floor. That’s right ladies and gentleman I have gained another year. The BEST part of my day was Mother Nature, in all of her glory, provided this February birthday girl with a recording breaking 70-degree day. Can we get a round of applause?

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Autograph Brasserie

I was showered with good wishes, food, jewelry, a new FitBit, a birthday hat at the gym, and a ton of LOVE lasting for days. Who knew turning 53 could be so grand?

Yesterday was the grand finale of the festivities. My husband planned a “surprise” for me, which would be fine if I were one to enjoy surprises outside of hitting the Power Ball, or my husband wasn’t the guy who gave me a turbo hair dryer for Christmas. He still thinks that was a great idea.

Have you ever heard of Floating? Click on the link and learn. I could never put into words how the experience was other than I would swear I saw a unicorn. Magical.

There was something liberating about the floating experience, or maybe that was just the unicorn talking, I won’t know until I try it again. 

Enjoy the Ride …. make it magical! 

Stranger Things Have Happened

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Photo by: Arhm Scrap

via Daily Prompt: Faded

fade
fād/Submit
verb
past tense: faded; past participle: faded 1. gradually grow faint and disappear.

I know we all meet sorrow in our own way. For me, it’s looking for the silver lining. Much easier said than done, but hope is always doable.

At first, I thought I might have some sort of super powers. Somehow going about my daily routine like a badass. I went to work without missing a beat. I even went out socializing without a care in the world trying my best to squash the memories. Guess what? Even the baddest of asses have their moments.

For over a month now I’ve been trying very hard to kick my sorrow to the curb. I hosted Thanksgiving like a pilgrim! I channeled my inner Martha Stewart to deck the damn halls! I got all gussied up to attend an amazing Christmas party, and I’ve been working out as if I’m being considered for the Olympics! But guess what people? IT DOESN’T WORK!

When the family leaves, the work is done, the sweat is showered off, and I come home, do you know who is waiting? Yep, just like that annoying guest at the party who never seems to realize it’s time to hit the road …. sorrow is there to greet me with open arms. It’s really beginning to be a huge pain in the ass!

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if sorrow is going to hang around for awhile, I need to do something about it. I think t’s time we become friends or form some sort of relationship. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m tired of fighting this weightlifter of an emotion. 

Wait a minute, “friends” might be a little strong, maybe I’ll start with a roomie and work my way up to besties. I’m only human. 

So, for now, it looks like I’ll be chillin with sorrow. I’ve set up some free space in my head so he can get cozy. Yes, sorrow is a man …. because I said so.

I must say since he’s been hanging around, I’ve been learning a lesson here and there about myself, so at least he’s earning his keep. If only he cleaned bathrooms. 

Who knows next maybe he’ll show me how to be strong as him. Stranger things have happened…look who is our new prez. 

Maybe he’ll even wine and dine me as he leads me to that silver lining. Where I can only imagine unicorns are running free.

Better yet … maybe one day I’ll be able to sit by a nice sunny window, sipping a hot cup of coffee, listening to Marvin Gaye while I watch all of this just fade away. Goals!

Enjoy the Ride!

 

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