Category Archives: Life

Get Hold Of Yourselves

XFD8tp93TXeaaieZMR125wDid you hear the one about the squirrel that walked onto a deck wearing a mask during the pandemic? At this point, it’s the only way anyone would believe that this actually happened yesterday. On the FIRST day, masks were mandatory in Pennsylvania. 

I was sitting in my sunroom, on a quiet morning, listening to the bird’s chirp, waiting for the sun to make an appearance when I felt I was being watched. Listen to your instincts.

Once my eyes registered, I realized that I was, in fact, looking at a squirrel, looking at me, wearing a mask. This little guy just stood there as if he was on the red carpet waiting for the paparazzi to get their shot, which is precisely what I did. A miracle considering the laughter!

I still have no idea what this little guy had in his mouth, so I’m going with the obvious, that he watched a do-it-yourself mask-making video like the rest of us. Well done!

Now that the squirrel community is on board with following directions, it would be great if humans would follow suit. The sad reality is that people are well, people, and they only listen to what they want to hear and do what they want to do. Educated, grown-ass adults suddenly become toddlers. 

It’s not that difficult. Wear the mask because the GOVERNOR said so. This is smart, safe, and limits make-up application to just the eyes. 

The lack of human cooperation since the kick-off of Stay In Your Damn House guidelines does not surprise me or any other human being who has witnessed the behavior of parents on back to school night. When the words “this is not the time to ask questions about your child” are uttered, the hands begin to rise. 

Disclaimer: I’m not a teacher. I’m the parent who LISTENS. 

Living in a culture where instant gratification is a necessity and impatience is at the forefront does not help. Listening to adults asking on more than one occasion, “Is this over yet?” is the equivalent to “Are we there yet?”  and that rarely ends well.  Get hold of yourselves, people!

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Honestly, the universe doesn’t always protect us, sometimes it challenges us with more than we would like to receive, and on occasion, hits us when we’re down, instead of cutting us a break. We have to remember that not every test passes in an instant, and not every threat can just be shrugged off.  So, here we are, on the day who the hell knows of this blip in our regular routines, with guidelines changing every day, and new choices to be made. We can resist. We can hide. Or, we can just react in a manner that will benefit ourselves and others.

Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Enjoy the Ride! 

 

Rise and Shine

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So, here we are, Easter 2020, and suddenly the Easter Bunny isn’t the only one sporting a mask this year.  Sorry if you still believe that a giant rabbit breaks into your house once a year to drop off life-like chocolate images of itself, it does not. 

Does everyone else feel like they’ve been living the tomb life these days? We’re way past the required three day limit over here.

All kidding aside, this experience, combined with the time of year, has me focusing on what our resurrection will be like when we get back to business. Hopefully, it will be much better than what we left. 

After the universe slammed on the breaks, leaving chocolate bunnies everywhere stranded on the store shelves, we were living in a constant state of “what kind of world are we living in?” and then, just like that, it stopped. I can still smell the burnt rubber. 

In the wake of this virus, we’ve been left with heavy hearts and death all around this world. However, we’ve also been handed a once in a lifetime opportunity. A pause that allowed us to look deep into ourselves and at the world around us with eyes wide open. It’s like a deep global breath.

Now, it’s time to get uncomfortable.

What are the lessons we should be learning during our time in the tomb?

How are we going to reenter our pre-pandemic lives?

What will we do differently on a personal, social and economic level?

What have we learned, not just about ourselves, but our surroundings?

Where have the lights been the brightest? On our climate? Our economy, education, food, and healthcare systems? Our democracy? On our greed, social injustice, disconnection, or ALL of the above?

It’s a lot to think about, absorb and change, but it’s also a time to reimagine the world we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world. One that fits all of humanity, with a side of nature, would be nice.

On day 2376457635 in the tomb, we are starting to crave normalcy or the normal we’ve been normalizing for much too long, we cannot return to that world. Just say, no!

The worst thing we can do is rush to return.

We need to remain still a little while longer.

We cannot fall victim to the influx of deals and steals that are waiting in the wings to tempt us back to our old behaviors.

We need to be diligent in remembering the good, the bad and the love revealed throughout this experience.

We need to figure out a normal that works for everyone.

We need to continue to be creative in our ideas and innovations for our communities.

We need to live and breathe the words of Margaret Mead.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

My Easter wish for everyone is that when you do resurrect, you will step back into the world with fresh eyes, clear minds, open hearts, and all of the soulfulness you can offer. It’s our time to Rise & Shine! 

Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

#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!

 

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

​I’ve Got The Power

 

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Image via The Atlantic 

As if working with the public isn’t challenging enough on a daily basis, mix in the hostile climate of the world, a stretch of gloomy weather and an overbooked schedule. Such a joy.

 

I’m not sure what goes through the minds of some people before calling for a doctor’s appointment, but it’s evident to me after 20 plus years in this field, that plotting is involved. It should be a crime.

What happened to just picking up the phone and making the damn appointment? 1, 2 3

I’m not sure if our office number is written on a bathroom wall promising a good time, but that would at least explain why it rings off the hook.

On one particular day every time I answered whoever it was calling hung-up.

Ok, at first this was a welcomed break from listening to whining voices, but that quickly changed.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard a voice on the other end that left me speechless. Not an easy thing to do.

Me:  Good afternoon, Dr. Blank’s office how can I help you?

The Voice:  I’ve been calling and hanging up to get your attention. I need an appointment because my doctor, who I love dearly, is retiring. How long has this doctor been in practice? Does he know what he’s doing? My doctor was the chief of her department. I can’t believe she’ leaving me. He never came up for air, and I was paralyzed by the first sentence.

Me:  Gave him a salute with my middle finger and stopped listening. Thank goodness facetime is not available on landlines.

The Voice:  I’m having pain on the ball of my foot. I’m walking on rocks. It’s been going on for a year or so now, and I can’t take it anymore. Do you have anything tomorrow around 11:15? No, no you did not.

Me: No. Friday is the doctor’s surgery day. Our first available appointment is the week of July 23rd. Would you like to make an appointment? Please hang up; please hang up.

The Voice: JULY 23rd???!!!! I’m a cripple now. I need an appointment now. I can’t wait until July 23rd. No sir, you’ do not have a disability, you’re just an ass.

Me:  Well, sir, you’ve had this problem for over a year, but if it’s suddenly urgent, there may be other physicians in the area with more availability. Pleading in my head for him to take the bait.

The Voice:  I want to see this doctor. Why do I have to wait? Had to bite my tongue on this loaded question.

Me: The doctor is going on vacation which limits our schedule, and that is the first available for a new patient. Not that you deserve an explanation.

The Voice:  He’s taking a month of vacation? You, sir, are the equivalent to period cramps. 

Me: No, it’s a week. Do you want July 23rd or not? Feel free to add whatever expletives you feel appropriate. 

The Voice:  I guess. Is there a cancellation list? Finally, I can lower my finger and smile.

Me:  Oh, yes and patients do cancel so there is always a chance you’ll get a call. Bawhahahahahahahahahaha! NEVER EVER WILL YOU GET A CALL BECAUSE I HAVE THE POWER you complete and utter ASS. 

The Voice:  Oh great, let’s make the appointment. Hahahahahaha! 

Me: Name …

Avoid the POTHOLES and Enjoy the Ride! 

 

 

 

Suddenly Is Sneaky Daily Prompt: Suddenly

via Daily Prompt: Suddenly

 

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Me & Mom 1968

The word suddenly indeed takes center stage with what is on my mind.  Friday, like every Friday,  is spent with my mom. Due to the nor’easter that hit the east coast this week, we decided to ditch our outside plans. Mother Nature had another idea for me. 

Our usual Friday consists of errands. Bank, bakery, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, which means we are in and out of the car a lot. Well, I am. At 91 getting in and out of a vehicle is not an easy task, now add Macular degeneration to the mix, and it’s downright difficult. Not that this stops mom from giving it her best, but knowing her limits.

So, with our change in plans, I was able to spend some quality one-on-one outside of the car. This is where the magic happened.

Suddenly I felt our roles had reversed. Not that V hasn’t given me the opportunity to play worried mother with her in the past. Like the time she didn’t answer her phone, did not let my sisters where she was going or me, which led us to frantically drive to her apartment only to see her laughing around a table with her friends. We all looked surprised as she asked: “what are you doing here?” 

My NERVES!

Macular degeneration is something that little by little, but suddenly leaves you without full use of your eyes, something that has taken a toll on my mom physically & mentally. Just imagine having your independence pulled out from under your feet. 

Now, my once never asking for help independent mother before it was fashionable, suddenly has to have her daughters read her mail. Along with everything else in print.

After reading the mail on Friday, I had the pleasure of reading a letter to my mom. Not just any letter, a letter from a friend, who just happens to be an avid reader and recently read an incredible book about Jackie O., her sister Lee and mother Janet. Knowing my mom shares the same love for Jackie O, she created a CliffsNotes version for me to share. The highlight of the day!

Over the next few hours, we not only discussed the story in the letter, but it also opened the door to discuss all sorts of subjects, including, but not limited to the fact that very wealthy people are weird. Money does not prevent weirdness, but it can pay someone to brush it under the rug.

My mom insisted on making my lunch. Considering cooking and serving are the two things she can do independently I said yes. What was on the menu you ask? A grilled cheese cut into four squares, veggie chips, and applesauce. Suddenly, feeling five years old again felt terrific! 

As we were eating my mom suddenly got serious. Not the norm. Mom began explaining to me that she has been having more bad days than good ones, along with a lecture on the fact that people shouldn’t live this long. What?! 

I’m not naive. I understand that at 91 life has an expiration date, but for whatever reason, it suddenly became very evident. Maybe there was something in the cheese?

Suddenly I realized that my days of eating grilled cheese cut into four squares are limited.

Suddenly I realized the promise I made to marry my mom when I was 3 was not going to be fulfilled.

Suddenly I realized that my daily phone chats on the way home from work won’t be around forever.

Suddenly I realized I’m not young anymore and neither is the one person in this world who loves me the most.

Suddenly has a way a sneaking up on you, so make sure you Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

 

 

 

The Loom of Life Daily Prompt: Fabric

via Daily Prompt: Fabric

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Wouldn’t it be great to go back to the days when we were that fresh warm and fuzzy little piece of cashmere that was cooed and coddled at just the right moments? The answer is yes, yes it would be great.

Sadly, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Instead, we must endure life. That’s right folks, our parents and the parents before them and so forth and so on had to make the brave decision to send their cotton balls out into the world to create their own fabric of life. One thread at a time.

I remember my days as a fresh little piece of lambswool, untethered by this thing we call life. Did you know that lambswool is the highest quality of sheep’s wool to be found? Yep, it’s the perfect combination of strong, smooth, flexible fibers just like the innocence of childhood, where everything is magical. Until puberty came along like a hot iron.  

Have you ever put a hot iron on a piece of lambswool? Well, the result was the teenage years, and it came in the form of acne, temptation, “love” and an attitude that included, but was not limited to, thinking I was smarter than, well, everyone older than me.

This is when my life turned into that love it or hate fabric polyester. Not the evolved polyester of today, I’m talking about the one that fell from grace once it went double-knit.  Better known as the lesson learning fabric. 

I spent over a decade living in this durable, lightweight, retaining my shape, easy to wash, flexible, but uncomfortable, unbreathable, cheap, ugly and highly flammable fabric. The keyword here is durable.

However, towards the end of my polyester days, I did recognize that when I blended with other fabrics such as rayon, I began to shine. The rayon in my life were work mentors and friends. 

Then ladies and gentleman, just as I reached my peak shimmer, marriage and motherhood wove its way right into this semi-retired jumpsuit to create the perfect blend of comfort and durability. Once again, let’s focus on the durability portion.

No one fully prepared me for all that this blend was bringing to the loom of life. All I can say is hallelujah Levi Straus for adding denim into the world of textiles. And a double hallelujah to the genius who decided to include lycra for flexibility. Can I get an AMEN?

s-l1000This blend of sturdy cotton warp-faced textile, with a dash of spandex, is precisely what is needed to keep a marriage alive, raise children, work full-time outside of the home while still maintaining a CEO status in the home.  Welcome to the 21st century. 

Now that my children are young adults, still living at home, and my marriage has reached a chapter that is one part wooing and another part tired as hell, I feel like I’m sporting the tattered, torn, stained yet sturdy burlap sack fabric look. Only Marilyn can pull of this look … seriously. 

Thankfully I feel like I still have some thread left on my spool ready for new experiences that can be woven right into my unique design.

Enjoy the  Ride!

 

Where Is She? Daily Prompt: Mnemonic

via Daily Prompt: Mnemonic

noun  1a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.

I have an insane sense of direction. It’s indeed a gift. Especially in the days of traveling with male drivers pre GPS devices. Sorry guys.

Ever since I was a child, I could remember how to get from point A to point B from the backseat nonetheless.

I contribute this to my keen sense of my surroundings or my mnemonic image skills. That’s right ladies and gentleman, yours truly is a human navigational system via the pictures in my head.

When I was no more than 6, I remember sitting in the backseat of my father’s Caprice Classic looking out the window while taking notes on where we were going. Mailbox, blue words, brown building. 

This came in handy when we were heading to the same place, and my father seemed to forget the left turn at the mailbox. I’ll never forget how impressed he appeared with my knowledge of direction.

Fast forward to me slaying my driving test. My sister went to Center City to get her hair cut at a high-end salon, but that’s another story. Anywho she called my father crying because she couldn’t seem to find her way to the train station to get home.images29.jpeg

So, what does a father do when he doesn’t want to miss an episode of General Hospital to pick-up his lost daughter in the city? He summons his other daughter with her keen mnemonic image skills and fresh drivers license to fetch the one he claimed: “could not find her way out of a paper bag.” The 80’s were a different world people.

Mind you my license was fresh off the presses, I had never driven to the city alone, and yet my father seemed more than confident that I would be able to pull off this mission. Good thing I was fearless at 17.

Of course, my big question was “where is she?”

Without missing a beat, my dad said “17th & Locust.” Ok, that didn’t help.

Since he was aware of my skills, he followed that up with “you know what city hall looks like right?” Um, yea.

“Well, that’s 15th Street. Just follow the numbers until you see a park on your left. Turn left at the end of the park, and you’ll see your sister crying on the corner.” Um, ok.

Considering I’m writing this story, and my sister is a married mother of two, you know that the mission was indeed accomplished without incident. Including that riveting episode of General Hospital.

Enjoy the Ride! Directions are optional. 

 

 

 

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