Category Archives: people

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!

 

Would Ya Give Me A Minute!

imagesWell, it looks like another holiday season is being shoved out the door before it’s over.

There is all this hubbub about “keeping the Christ is Christmas” yet we allow Cupid to shove him out the door before the New Year has had a chance to ring itself in. NEXT! 

Oh, and if my Catholic upbringing serves me correctly, those three wise men haven’t even made it to the stable yet with their useless gifts! I’m pretty sure Mary could have used some blankets over frankincense.

I was so taken back on Monday morning when I noticed Christmas trees already kicked to the curb. It is 3 days after Christmas people … calm down! 

Even the Hallmark store has exploded into everything hearts and flowers overnight. Cupid clearly arrived on steroids shoving all remnants of Christmas over to the clearance table without even batting those long lashes of his. Never underestimate the power of a cherub.

I know one thing for sure if I were a kid I would be having a meltdown!

Christmas was a time to be on break from school, not rush us back the minute our gifts were open. No time for savoring family, friends and the spirit of the season.

Today everything moves at the speed of light, even for kids. The days of stock-photo-a-mother-is-late-for-school-and-work-while-rushing-with-her-children-for-a-funny-stress-concept-on-188322434waking up late in your own bed, playing with your loot from Santa and hanging with your friends are loooooonnnggg over. The streets are barren today other than an occasional tumbleweed.

New generations go straight from the womb to the hamster wheel. I watch young parents on my block packing their new wheel goers into the car as early as 6:00 a.m. and they don’t stop spinning until early evening. Go, go go.

School supplies are back in isle 6 before you have a chance to empty the remains from the previous school year. Candy corn hits the stores in July and is still hanging around in November. Proving once again Candy Corn & Twinkie’s will be here long after a nuclear disaster.

August comes and the likes of the Pumpkin Lattes start rearing their spiced heads in the middle of a heat wave. The store shelves are filled with leather boots when the air conditioners are blasting, and the remains of summer are shoved in a dark corner sporting big red clearance stickers a/k/a the scarlet letter of garments. The only sizes left are lawn gnome or circus tent before we’ve had a chance to hit the beach.

Don’t think our pets are spared from this insanity. The thermometer here in Philly was still reading “Satan’s Balls” when I walked into a display of Halloween costumes at the pet store. Please…not the pets … they’ve done nothing.

The modern world thrives on speed, instantaneity, and immediate results. When you start believing you can loose 50 pounds in 3 weeks with a pill  yup, there’s a problem. 

The roads, lines of any sort, or basically “waiting” for anything over a nano second suddenly sends people into full-blown huffing and puffing mode. Umm … yea … unless you’re transporting an organ or you’re on your way to solve world peace … you’re not going anywhere that can’t wait a minute. 

I REFUSE to surrender to this lifestyle!

If you decide to ride my bumper in your quest to go nowhere to do nothing, I will slow down to the speed of a glazier … don’t make me. 

If you huff and puff behind my mother in line while she counts her change, expect the glare of death. Fear it might actually work.

If you complain that you cannot get an appointment today for that painful toe you’ve have for a month you will NOT go on the cancellation list. Yes, I am the boss of the list.

Happy New Year Folks! Use 2016 to be mindful of the present, your manners and the importance of  ….  Enjoying the Ride!

Say What? Judy

Homes_5_Construction_1914_rowhouses_BaltimoreMd_photoIn honor of Labor Day I thought I’d share a little something from my first real job out in this big bad world. It was the United States Bankruptcy Court  for the Eastern District of PA.  FYI: I didn’t even know what a Bankruptcy was at this point.

I was fresh out of serving my sentence at an all girls catholic high school. At the tender age of 18 I was officially thrown to the wolves. I was literally out of school 4 days so the wolves were sympathetic. 

Needless to say my worldly experiences up until this point were void. I grew up in a cookie cutter section of the city. Attended school with a group of girls who were also raised in this environment and my exposure to  urban life was slim. Until it was slammed in my face all in one day.  Like lambs to the slaughter, my ass.

I’ll admit going into this job could easily be compared to a lamb being led to the slaughter, but I survived. My boss was a wonderful mentor and the co-workers … well … they were certainly an eclectic crew. Some I’m still friends with, others just provide flashbacks of shock & awe. 

Since this was a Government job they didn’t always hire the sharpest tools in the shed. Let’s just say there were the brains and the who the hell knows whats, but somehow it was a good balance. This is where Judy comes in …

Judy, which is her real name … sort of. You see, Judy was born in India so I’m not sure if her parents were huge Wizard of Oz fans or she just Americanized herself upon arrival. It really didn’t matter to me Judy was easy to pronounce. 

At the time Judy came on board I had a good two years under my belt. At 20 I was already a seasoned employee. Judy was a nice middle-aged woman assigned to the desk behind mine. She would be working with me to send out mass mailings to creditors. Easy enough. 

did-you-get-the-memo_zps35306e14I knew the proper etiquette when it came to new employees. You introduce yourself, make some small talk about marital statuses, kids and education before going silent. Idol chit chat … no more.

It was clear early on that Judy did not receive the memo on this procedure when she summoned me to turn around, because she wanted to tell me something. I had an odd feeling that I was about to hear more than I needed to know when she kept insisting that I roll my chair closer. Baaaa Baaaa …. off I went.

In her broken English she introduced herself with this opening:

Judy:  “I once had frostbite on my feet.”

Me:  “Oh”  Translation: WTF is frostbite? A shoe designer?

Judy:  “My toes can fall off at any time.”

Me:  ……………………. Translation: Wait … What!?

Judy:  “I could just be sitting here and loose a toe.”

Me:  ……………………. Translation:  Umm, I don’t pick up loose toes!

Needless to say I spent the rest of the day staring into space patiently waiting for a toe or two to roll on by. Once the initial shock wore off I thought that maybe I didn’t understand her correctly through her broken English, so I went back to the slaughter-house for round two.  Probably not one of my better decisions. 

Honestly, at 20 years old this information could barely be processed. I was not schooled on the health hazards of frostbite. For god sakes I was too busy preparing to marry Mr. Wrong!

Me:  “Excuse me did you say your toes could just fall off?”

Judy:  “Yes”

Me:  “Oh …. like …. when?”

Judy:  “It can happen any time.”

Me:  …………………..

Obviously this occurred before the hype of suing anyone who dared to infringe on your personal space, especially with their loose ab62f88d629358583e4b988139509f8etoes, otherwise I would be writing this from my beach front home. Stark & Stark missed the boat on this case!

I just continued being a good citizen by going to work with the added unpaid duty of checking my workspace for random toes. No piggy that went to the market … good. All clear on the piggy that stayed home … check. The dynamic duo one with roast beef the other with none … nowhere in sight. That little rascal that went wee, wee, wee …. back at home. 

It really is ironic that I now work for a Podiatrist and Judy is not a patient … with or without her toes.

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth and Nothing but the Truth

22f3413f964e0d774e694743286a4ddcToday I am here to bitch and complain about a couple that have been driving me absolutely batty for some time now. Please let me introduce you to Politics and Religion. Not that anyone really needs an introduction at this point…they get around.

However, I’m sure you know them by their more popular names such as the Buzz Killers, Room Clearers, Fun Suckers and of course the old school … Party Poopers.

At this point in our lives I think its safe to say that we are all aware of the huge invisible SKULL & CROSSBONES displayed at the entrance to all public gatherings warning us of these two. So, unless you are prepared for a full on debate, that could potentially turn into a scene from the Fight Club, you must heed to the warning and avoid these two like a plague. People are on the brink of cray these days. 

Sadly, thanks to technology, we now have the displeasure of facing these two in the comfort of our own homes. I know when danger-Will-RobinsonI open my dear friend Mac I just want to chill. I do not want to be exposed to a heap of BS opinions about these two, but BAM! they always make an appearance. Unfortunately social media does not come with and arm waving robot screeching … DANGER LISA! DANGER! before logging on.

Honestly, how many hateful misinformed memes or “news” alerts that MUST BE SHARED to spread the misinformed hate across the land can one person endure? Not ONE more!

Don’t get me wrong, I too have had my moments. This fun-loving non confrontational Pisces has been sucked right into the vortex on occasion by … dare I say … responding to the crazy.  I actually blow my own mind at how quickly I switch to Cap Lock and fire away.

It’s so frustrating to suddenly read the “opinion” of a well-educated, normally reasonable person, because it is based on the opinion of some half-truth media source. I think that’s what bugs me most….people have transformed from armchair quarterbacks to polarized parrots over night. 

ed67d87bd7685c9357cbf9a54189d245What the hell happened to waiting for the facts or heaven forbid the truth? I know they always seem to take their good ole time getting to the surface and their black sheep cousin Distorted ALWAYS shows up first reeking so much havoc no one even takes them seriously when they decide to sachet through the door….late as usual, acting like a couple of wallflowers!

I do have a solution to make some big changes, but it sadly doesn’t have a chance in hell of actually happening … even though it’s brilliant.

During my extensive research on this subject, I came to the conclusion that the only legit Truth & Fact tellers on this planet come in the form of a 4-year-olds. An advanced 3-year-old would also do. 

These uninhibited balls of cuteness don’t play around with appropriateness, they go right for the jugular and get away with it with one flash of their dimples. They don’t worry about filtering what comes out of their mouths and they certainly don’t have a care in the world about political correctness. The truth and nothing but the truth.

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I’ll tell you everything you want to know and then some.

They just let the truthful facts and common sense spew from their mouths without an ounce of concern. Let me put it this way … if a 4-year-old tells you you’re fat, chances are that is indeed a truthful fact. They don’t play!

Look at little Nancy Drew over there on the right. She took matters into her own little hands when her Kitty Bank was stolen by her babysitter. She just let the police know the truthful facts and BAM! the crime was solved. Kids are also very good judges of character .. we need to listen to what they have to say. 

“The bad guys stole my kitty bank, they stole my iPod. They also stole my Xbox and my Wii,” the little girl said. “That was really her being bad. She’s not a good babysitter.”

Now take a moment to imagine all the decision-making seats in D.C. filled with 4 year olds. They don’t lie and they have no concept of money! Why no one has made this suggestion before is beyond me. 

I can’t help but laugh as I ponder on all the conversations that may take place during a decision-making session. “Your Bill is dumb!” “No it’s not!””Yes it is!”  “Ok.”  Lord knows they would have these sessions wrapped up before snack time if little Mateo was running the show.

As we celebrate our freedoms today, let’s make a conscious effort to use these privileges wisely and Listen … Listen… Listen as we Enjoy the Ride! 

 

 

 

Little Moments Matter Most

BadGiftsThere comes a time in any relationship when you start to dread gift giving holidays. I know, I know but if I yearn for something, I go get myself something. The thought of leaving “hints”around the house for someone to notice is exhausting. Not to mention they would need to be the size of a billboard surrounded by bright flashing lights for anyone to “notice.”  This holiday season I made the executive decision to start giving the gift of experiences to my immediate love one. Fun memories can go a long way.

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This is not us, but it explains it all…heaven.

My first decision really didn’t take much time at all. We have both been talking about getting a massage for months, so I found a cool salon in the city Body Restoration that offers a couples massage and ta-da my experience was purchased. Hmm…did you ever get the feeling that talking about something and doing something might be completely different? 

Well, our appointment was this past Sunday and I couldn’t wait to give some lovin to these sore muscles. All week I was providing my husband with a daily countdown to the big day, but he wasn’t really giving me the “OMG! I CAN’T WAIT EITHER!” vibe in return. So I finally had to ask “Are you excited about our massages?” Insert long pause along with several odd facial expressions. He was nervous because he wasn’t sure what to expect. What?! Really?! I’m happy to report all those fears left as soon as he hit the heated table. I heard him SNORING twice!

Speaking of heated tables … I was so relaxed that I barely noticed that my right nipple was practically engulfed in flames midway through my massage. You know you’re relaxed when your arm is too limp to shift your burning nipple as you tell yourself things like … “it’s cool you have another one.”

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Incredible food and service.

We must have looked like two linguine noodles as we headed over to Rittenhouse Square for a much-needed bite to eat. The complimentary cucumber water and cashews only went so far.

It was our lucky day because we stumbled into a great little eatery called Rouge. I was immediately surprised at how crowded this place was at 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Apparently this is the time of day when the extremely wealthy eat their meals.

As we sat at the bar waiting for our table I immediately started to absorb my surroundings. For starters there was a beautiful young woman fawning over what I believed to be a fossil of some sort, but then realized it was talking and footing the bill. They were all over each other like teenagers, which was bizarre, but then again money has been known to provoke odd behavior. 

Since I have what some may consider a super power of sorts … yes, you read that right. I have the ability to zero in on conversations imagesall around me. Sort of like a human radar without the big bulky satellite dishes.  This is how I learned that the fossil’s name was Jonathan and his young lady friend was Beverly. Apparently Jonathan let his penis take Beverly shopping for a Burberry cashmere wrap. How do I know? Let’s see…she never shut up about it while spinning around Jonathan like a belly dancer!

There was also a group of elders enjoying a lovely brunch at a table to my right. Just looking at them you knew they were frequent patrons. This wasn’t too hard to figure out since the entire wait staff hovered over them like a group of seagulls waiting for a fry to drop. 

Just as they were getting ready to leave a very distinctive odor filled the room. Nothing bad, just odd. Then it hit me…it was the scent of old money. I’ve had the pleasure of getting a whiff of this before from one of our patients at work. There is a huge difference between the scent of the money that regular folks use and this old money. ae24b0d08ad6bc4b0faf7e9fb5715a6c

My money, when I even have the pleasure of having some in my wallet, usually goes undetected because it’s in and out in a flash. But this “old money”, it gives off the scent of mothballs, aged scotch and wool.  I just imagine bundles of cash aging in the comforts of a luxurious safe, while without even breaking a sweat, multiplying at record speed.  I suspect the eldest money in the safe provides daily lectures that begin with the line … “when I first came to the safe.”

All in all it was a wonderful day loaded with memories. The massages were incredible! The food, drinks & conversations ours and everyone else’s were entertaining and the company… just priceless. Well, not literally “priceless”, but definitely worth every new dollar.

Take time to make some memories with the ones you love, even if your nipple is on fire and your cash flow dwindles at the speed of light, just … Enjoy the Ride! 

Please, Call Me Gretel

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Mom! The helmet is a little over the top.

As a parent watching shows such as Law & Order SVU and Criminal Minds take me to another level of worry. My already over active imagination suddenly kicks into high gear if my children are 5 minutes late. Hell, just watching the local news can scare the crap of you these days.

Needless to say my kiddies think I’m some sort of crazy woman for wasting an ounce of time being concerned about their safety … “Mom, I’m fine stop” and “OMG Mom just put me in bubble wrap!” Hmm…bubble wrap.

The parents of yesteryear, such as my own, may have had their concerns, but they weren’t even close to this level. Columbo and Kojack kept fear to a minimum. Things were just different I guess.

I certainly don’t recall endless lectures about “stranger danger”,  however I do remember walking home with my friend and being summoned over to a car by a man asking for “directions”, only to have the displeasure of viewing a little one on one loving … if you know what I mean.  Oddly enough I wasn’t scared. Grossed out yes, scared no. Today this story would have been on the 6 o’clock news, but back then I’m not even sure if we told our parents.

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There she is working that Fudgesicle like no bodies business.

Thinking back it seems perverts were actually all around us, including behind the wheel of the Good Humor truck. You may never think of a Rocket Pop in the same way again…read on. My sister, who was giving Dolly Parton a run for her money by age twelve, was presented with an interesting proposition by the one and only Good Humor guy. That’s all she had to do was jump rope for him and she could have FREE ice-cream. Were we running away in fear? HELL NO! She was happily jumping away for her free goodies as me and the rest of the stick figures stood in the distance green with envy. The thought that there was something wrong with this request never even entered our naive little minds. 

One, such as my daughter, may say that this naivety is still going strong within me. Her theory, after a few Sociology classes, is that I am so worried about her and her brother because in reality I would be the one getting into the van in search of that imaginary puppy. She may actually be on to something … don’t tell her I said that. 

imagesJust a couple of months ago my daughter and I were taking Peanut for his evening walk. Now, when I’m out I tend to greet people, however my daughter tends to be … well … a mannequin. I know! We are complete opposites. So, on this particular evening there was an unusual amount of people out enjoying the weather. Jackpot for this social butterfly, not so much for the mannequin. 

A few blocks from home I stopped to admire a beautiful garden. The design was spectacular. You could just tell a tremendous amount of love went into to tending to the needs of this foliage. I do not have a green thumb, so this was indeed impressive. Just as I was trying to bring a potted mix to the attention of my mannequin daughter, the owner appeared. She was elderly with a very heavy German accent. At this point my daughter was most likely Tweeting away #socialbutterflymom #annoying. 

As I was professing my love for her talents, she began picking a few springs from the potted mix explaining that they were herbs. My eyes were the size of saucers! She was insisting that I smell them, which I did without an ounce of question. Of course, not to be rude I offered my daughter a sniff as well. #Idon’ttakeherbsfromstrangers #mymomisgretel.

Needless to say I stood there sniffing away for lord knows how long as I was no doubt being slammed all over Social Media.

I can't lie...I would be all over this.

I can’t lie…I would be all over this.

We said our goodbyes and I was handed a roadie of herbs as a parting gift. I immediately began lecturing my daughter on her lack of socialization when she informed me I would talk to a stick if it had a face. I wouldn’t go that far … well maybe. 

We were walking along as I happily continued to ingest the aroma of my little bundle when suddenly I found myself slammed against a parked car, before I hit the ground. I become very dizzy. Well guess who suddenly came to life as I was laying on the ground like a porpoise? The mannequin!

There I was with my knees scraped, still holding onto my herb roadie in shock when I hear these comforting words being screamed at me … “Mom! OMG, this is what you get for taking things from strangers! You are the only one in our family who would get in a car filled with duct tape and knives!  I couldn’t deny she was right in her conclusion, but I certainly wasn’t about to reveal that I would most likely be suggesting a quick stop at Home Depot to my abductor. You know for the rope and tarp he forgot to pick up. 

420d1ed120785f3a949df543a86f5ac1In the end I was fine and we got a good laugh out of it all. I can not deny that if I miraculously came upon a house made of sweets I would be chowing down on a chocolate shingle without a care in the world. I tend to see the good, not the oven large enough to fit a human. Enjoy the Ride!

We, Us & Our

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I think it’s safe to say that democracy is a work in progress. So, as we celebrate the 4th of July, let’s really get this party started shall we.  A true celebration means recommitting ourselves to the work that needs doing if we want democracy to survive and thrive. This excludes just sitting in the house and “liking” a democracy page on Facebook. We have a responsibility to be accountable to everyone around us…The Common Good.

We spend so much of our time divided these days, defining ourselves by our “side” that we forget something very important and frankly it’s in grave danger: We’re all in this together! Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s because you’ve heard this many times before in a wonderful document that seems to be getting some attention these days … The Constitution. 

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Everything after this sentence is just sugar on that big ole piece of pie.

So, today as we celebrate our Independence, let’s try to re-think how we start tomorrow. I’m suggesting an Interdependence way of thinking for the rest of the year. I love my freedom, but I’m also a big believer in collaboration. A small group of thoughtful people could change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead.

I know for me, in my personal life, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all those helping hands along the way who took the time to invest in my wellbeing. There were many times when energy and love were thrown onto my path to push me along.

Of course we would all love to take credit for our achievements, but let’s face it … it was a communal effort. We tend to forget that many of our opportunities came from the hard work of the generations before us who cared enough about our future to invest in the common good. Where would we be without it? 

Let’s celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears and differences. These are the real freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re gathered around embracing your freedom with friends & family or just enjoying an extra day away from the salt mines work place, you can take a moment to focus on the similarities of your surroundings. Hey look we both breathe air Omg! we have so much in common. We have to start somewhere now…rightEnjoy the Ride! 

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Summer, Summer, Summertime

 

It’s finally here in all it’s glory…WHOOT!  

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Grab a friend and hit the beach.

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Be a BadAss in a tutu…you only live once.

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Do what you love, love what you do.

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Let your inner child run wild.

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Try something new. (These ladies set the bar pretty high)

Vintage Snapshots of Summer Fun on the Beach (16)

Summer isn’t going to last forever, so hang on tight and Enjoy the Ride! 

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Stay Awake

tumblr_mctl04mveM1rabieto1_400People never cease to amaze me! Just when I thought it was safe to be line at the grocery store, something changed. Little did I know that someone, most likely the Fox network, must be dispensing portable soap boxes to their loyal listeners. This is what I’m going with since I have no other answer.

Hey, I am a huge fan of Free Speech, but for the love of God I can not tolerate when it is abused. Why on earth would a complete stranger feel that a hateful political rant would be a good way to strike up a conversation with ME of all people on this planet? guess the days of “hey baby what’s your sign?” are long gone. 

There I was minding my own business in the check-out line, reading the headlines on all the rag magazines, catching up on all the Kardashian bull shit news, when out of nowhere this person decided to egg me on while he ranted over everything under the sun. Maybe my peace sign bracelet set him off…who knows.

Well, that’s all I can say is THANK GOODNESS I’ve been graced with the gift of having my face come8a83b3cdb5d142b58ffcf58f0c7d9487 up with a quick response long before my mouth has a chance. Sometimes this can be a curse, but not this time. 

I have no idea what my face said, but I can only imagine it was something like “WOW!” or “Shut up you bigoted ass!” or perhaps both since I was then referred to as “one of them” shortly after my face had spoken.

There really were no words to respond, well I did think of two, but I wasn’t going that low. One would think that having a 5′ 9″ cricket as his only audience member would make him stop.

34f61adfcaba647773cb17bf7c5b7071Oh, this guy had all the answers. He was explaining everything that should be getting done “down there in Washington” and everything that would be getting done if “all the idiots” didn’t come out to vote. Can you feel my pain?

At this point I began chanting the ole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” lecture in my head for sanity purposes. I’ll be honest, after the 3rd time there were F-bombs tossed in to keep me out of jail.

I stood in silence wondering what would happen if this guy spent a quarter of his energy actually contributing to something good instead of spreading his relentless mouth farts all over the place. Hmm, maybe … just maybe, it would loosen that padlock on his mind. 

Since that didn’t seem to be happening any time soon, I continued to silently ingest his gases while loading my groceries at the speed of light. As if food shopping wasn’t enough to suck the life out of me…seriously. 

“All of us wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.” Robert Kennedy

As you can imagine this left me with a huge social hangover by the time I got home. You know that wonderful feeling you get when you’re around exhausting people for a long period of time. It was going to take something much stronger than CALGON to take me away from this one!

I decided that the toxic remnants of this encounter had to leave before they did any more damage so I went out on my deck, flopped onto my swing and turned on some tunes. I was swinging in the silence when out of nowhere BAM! Teddy Pendergast saved the day. Thank you higher power, thank you very much!

I’m glad I didn’t waste my words on someone who didn’t deserve to hear my voice. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all. Stay awake and Enjoy the Ride! 

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