Question Time Over Coffee 24th December
Tonight it’s hot chocolate for me, with a dash of egg nog and whipped cream. Rory is our generous host, and you can join in here to answer some inquisitive questions.
1. Are you more socially or community-minded regarding people, or do you not think there is a difference between the two?
I’d like to think I’m both. I care about the folks close to me and those in the community.
On a scale of 1 – 10, how ethically minded do you think you are?
What behavior do you consider to be ethical?
Hmm, I believe I once was ethical to a fault, probably a 10, due to being conditioned to fear not following the appropriate rules of society compliments of my Catholic upbringing. Now I take the hypocrisy of those teachings into account and drop myself down to a 7.
3. Tattoos are a very personal lifestyle choice by those who have their bodies inked.
So – Do you think tattoos make people more confident or less?
Do tattoos look good on everyone?
I don’t think it’s a matter of confidence, especially today when young people don’t think twice about inking up. My son got his first one when he turned 18. He now has an arm sleeve with an ocean theme and a leg sporting a wilderness theme. It has not stopped him from being a successful member of society.
I think some tattoos look better on some people; for instance, Jason Momoa could sport a turd across his chest, which would be stunning.
4. What enrichment do you personally receive from being social?
Have you become noticeably more socially isolated or socially interactive after the pandemic and the lockdowns? There may be no difference in your social behaviour; if this is the case, let me know below.
I get energized from being social. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brief conversation at the supermarket or a deep conversation with a friend.
I think, if anything, I’ve become more socially selective. The lockdowns certainly spotlighted who and who I don’t want around me. I believe this resulted from my learning more about myself during that time.
5. What would be your top sustainability tip?
Be consistent, and don’t think that your one small change can’t make a difference.
6. We live in a world that treats being open and vulnerable as a taboo and something to be frowned upon, so –
Do you find it easy or hard to talk to your friends and family about your health?
I was raised in a generation where things were not discussed; they were buried under a rug. Therefore, being vulnerable was not front and center. I don’t have a problem discussing health, but I admit I don’t discuss it with everyone.
The younger generations today seem very open, almost shocking us when they start dropping their vulnerability. I love that they feel free enough to do so.
7. What will you be doing this weekend?
Our daughter is in town for the holiday. Today we did some volunteering and went out to a late lunch. Tomorrow we plan to have a big breakfast, open gifts, and go for a walk once the temperature hits 30. It’s brutally cold here today, so staying warm is also on the list.
8. As the writer and author of your blog, how connected do you feel to your audience?
It’s funny you asked this question. I was just saying I feel closer to some of my fellow bloggers, whom I’ve never met, than I do to those in my life.
9. Does your blog reveal too much, too little, or just the right balance of you to your readers?
It’s a potpourri of information.
10. If you were granted a day at being one of your favorite book characters, who would you choose to be and why?
Ok, my choice comes from a series of children’s books I read to my daughter called Eloise. I loved her spunk and the fact that she lived in the Plaza Hotel in NYC.
11. What do you believe is the greatest threat to our planet today?
It’s Not Monday’s Fault
Whew, yesterday was quite a day at the office. They missed out on some good footage if hidden cameras were not installed.
The phone rang, and the voice on the other end was soft, so soft that I wasn’t sure anyone was on the other end. Not a flag at first, but now I know better.
I retrieved the necessary facts to schedule the appointment, and this is where the fun started.
This person is no doubt what gives Monday a bad rap. Monday is out there just doing their thing, and someone or something like this happens on a Monday, and suddenly it’s Monday’s fault. No doubt this person is out giving grey hairs every day of the week.
The first standard question from all doctor’s offices across the land is “do you have health insurance? or “what is your insurance plan? This is common knowledge unless you’re from another planet.
Me: Do you have health insurance?
Me: Which plan is it?
Nemesis: I don’t know.
Me: Do you have the card handy?
Nemesis: Screams to the husband, who screams back “medicare” that she doesn’t hear, so she screams again. Oh lord.
Me: Already dreading asking for any type of number or, dare I say, secondary insurance. I had to do both while eyeing the scissors in front of me. Oh, the thoughts I was having during the eternity this took.
I survived retrieving the name without incident. However, the birth date did not go as well.
Me: Date of birth?
Nemesis: 9/14/56, no 8/14/56, wait no, 8/15/57. This was followed by one of us laughing, and it wasn’t me.
Me: Slowly picking up scissors. I knew I might need them to get through the email address.
Even though I was having murderous thoughts, I gave the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, she had a medical condition causing all this confusion. So, I asked the million-dollar question, “do you take any medications?”
Nemesis: No, none.
Me: Ok, back to business. What is your email address? Refer back to the date of the birth question because it was a repeat performance.
Nemesis: Nonsense, complete nonsense.
Me: Scissors in hand. Ok, I’m going to email you an invitation to join our portal. Once you complete the new patient paperwork, I will contact you to set up your appointment.
Nemesis: What’s the name f the doctor again?
Me: Dr. Dodged A Bullet.
Nemesis: Oh, I wanted Dr. First Choice.
Me: I told you she wasn’t taking new patients at this time.
Nemesis: Nevermind, then I wanted to see Dr. First Choice.
Me: Am I clear that you don’t want to make an appointment at all?
Nemesis: Yes, I really wanted the other one.
Me: Under my breath, hopefully, “are you f@%$ing kidding me?” Ok, then, will that be all?
Nemesis: I guess.
Me: So, are we clear that you’re aware you do not have an appointment with anyone in our practice?
Me: Ok, have a nice day. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK! It’s times like this when a phone with a handheld receiver comes in handy.
Enjoy the Ride, with patience riding shotgun!
Rory’s Question Time Over Coffee 10th December
Rory is our gracious host, and I have met my coffee quota for the day, but here goes.
What motivates you to get up every day?
No motivation is needed from me. I just enjoy getting up every day.
What words have always struck you as funny or odd when looked upon?
Cattywampus. My hubby uses it more than most humans. Why? I have no idea; all I know is no one questions him about it. It’s usually followed by awkward silence.
How often do you read the comments left by other bloggers on other bloggers’ published posts?
Always! It’s the curiosity in me I can’t help myself.
How hard do you work to keep your long-standing friendships alive year in and year out, and do your friends work the same way to keep you?
The friends who did not put in the work have recently been dismissed from their friendship duties. If I have to work hard at a friendship, it’s not a friendship, it’s a job, and I already have one of those.
How many emails do you delete every week?
Oh, sweet baby Jesus, I don’t think numbers go that high.
Are you easily distracted, and what delights you the most?
Yes, and let’s face it, it doesn’t take much.
Have you ever had a strange unexplained encounter that left you shaken and baffled, and if so, what do you think it was? Or what did your brain make you think it was?
Yes. I saw a female ghost floating at the foot of my bed, holding a small box. If a police officer asked me to describe her, there is no doubt I could give a vivid description. I thought it was a female ghost.
Are we more scared of things that go bump in the night when in the dark or equally as concerned if the same thing happens during daylight hours? If so, why do you think that is?
Bumps at any time of the day are alarming because I’m not a big fan of surprises. Bumps in the dark raise the fear factor bar.
What are the magical ingredients for writing a bestseller, and do you think you could write one?
Considering some current bestsellers, I would say the magical ingredients are a boatload of money mixed with notoriety and a hint of basic writing skills.
Well, I don’t think I couldn’t write one, but I currently lack a boat with a load of money or notoriety.
When was the last time you stayed awake all night having fun with another person, and what were you doing?
February 23, 2022, in New York City, enjoying the Elton John concert with a friend.
Would the 18-year-old you recognize the older you if you both collided on the street today? If not, why?
Hell no! That girl would be too naive to accept the possibility of it even happening.
What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
Being the best possible version of myself by raising my consciousness.
Are you more curious, are you more passionate, or are you both?
Hands down curious first, passionate second.
Can you easily recognize your flaws, and do you think it is important?
More so now than when I was younger. I spent too much time focusing on my outer “flaws” while the inner flaws were screaming for attention.
The musical album you loved the most in the last twenty years was…?
This is tough, but I think I’m going with Amy Winehouse Back to Black.
What could you do less of?
There are several answers, but the one that comes to mind is, wasting time.
What In The What?
One of my early childhood dreams was to be a mailman. I say “mailman” because when I was a kid, women were busy being housewives. We did not have “carriers”; we had “men.”
To this day, I can’t explain my attraction to this career path, but if I were to guess, it was probably all of the “hello, how ya doings?” Everyone loved to see him heading down the street.
What was not to love? He was the bearer of cards celebrating special occasions, letters from loved ones, and an occasional check. A celebrity every day.
Don’t get me started on the idle chitchat with folks on the route or an unplanned life-saving event due to mail piling up and actually noticing. I do this now for free.
We’re not going to discuss the bills; they were a given.
I was probably deterred by the rain, snow, and sleet motto, only to find out when writing this essay that it was all a LIE.
“The U.S. Postal Service has no official motto. Nope, it’s not this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But we certainly appreciate the sentiment.“US Postal Service
No doubt I heard “gloom of night” and said, “I’m out!”
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when I went to the post office to mail a package containing a book. The book recipient informed me of a book rate that cuts the shipping cost. Who knew? Not me.
However, I was not informed then that an FBI-like interrogation went along with using this discounted rate. Folks, there is always a damn price to pay!
As always, I waited in line for the lone over-worked employee to address me.
Me: I want to mail this box at the book rate, please.
Overworked employee: Is there a book in the box?
OE: Is there anything else in the box?
OE: Is there a card in the box?
OE: A letter?
Me: Um, no.
Me: There’snothing else in the box.
OE: Ok, fine. Can I get you anything else?
Me: Yes, can I get two books of Christmas stamps?
OE: Which ones?
Me: Not the religious ones, the other ones.
OE: The Elves or the Otters?
Me: One of each, please.
OE: You know they’re brown?
OE: The Elves.
Me: (Looking at the stamps.) They’re Elves.
OE: Yeah, but they’re brown.
Me: Elves aren’t real.
OE: I know; I’m just saying they’re brown.
Me: So are the Otters.
I got my tracking receipt, turned around to leave, looked into the dead stares of a long line of people, and went my merry way. What in the what?
Enjoy the Ride!
Good JuJu Only
I’ve been contemplating whether or not to go to the grocery store for way too long this morning. It’s not that easy anymore.
There are two more factors added this morning. The Eagles game, which I hear might be a big deal, and impending bad weather for this evening. This combo is enough to deter the strongest of shoppers.
I started looking around the kitchen to see if I really needed anything. I could use chicken stock, or I can just make something else. Hmm, maybe I don’t need anything. This conversation went on for way too long. I will never get this time back.
In my defense, going to the supermarket is now a full-blown event that requires decisions that have never entered my mind before 2020.
It was bad enough that I had to make sure I had a mask and hand sanitizer, but now, oh, it’s much more. I long for the days when it was just a mask.
Before I head out, I say a prayer of protection, load my bra with energy protecting crystals; yes, you read that correctly, then, and only then, do I grab my mask and sanitizer.
Covid is frail compared to the energy-sucking, opinionated audience I might encounter in the produce aisle. Some folks are looking for potatoes, and some are looking for a debate.
Believe me, I get the urge to debate; I’m just as frustrated. The never-ending confusion is enough to bring anyone to their knees. We are all tired of being tired. We can’t deal with asses too.
Needless to say, I did not go to the supermarket. Instead, I have a creative meal in the oven. I wrote this essay, and I didn’t have to put my bra on, let alone load it with chyrstals. Good juju only!
Enjoy the Ride!
Get Hold Of Yourselves
Did 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!
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!
As 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!
World Peace Is In The Kitchen
Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the 15th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation with members from my Quaker Meeting, and it was an enjoyable experience. This country could use one of these on a daily basis.
The theme for the walk this year was “Recognizing the One in All of Us.” This is appropriate for many reasons, in and out of religions.
Although this is something that has been going on for 15 years, it was my first, but certainly not my last. There is just something fulfilling about being surrounded by a group of like-minded folks that energizes me in a way I cannot put into words.
We started our journey at the Arch Street Meeting House in old city Philadelphia. The Meeting room was filled with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i, secular humanists, and others who share the values of peace and justice. We sat in silence, as we do in Quaker tradition before heading to the streets.
Our first stop was the Society Hill Synagogue where we were greeted by members lining the entrance. Musicians were playing inside that filled the room with joy. The Rabbi welcomed all of us with prayer and a dash of humor. We then enjoyed a musical prayer performed by the Philadelphia Sikh Society youth group. A reading by Philadelphia Youth Poet Laurite, Husna Hashim, that rose the room to their feet in applause, and a Recitation from the Qu’ran by Muhammed Shehata from the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, which thankfully was translated for all of us to interpret. Notice the Rabbi & the Muslim embracing in the background. Who would have known ….
All throughout the walk, we were encouraged to use this opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone outside of our comfort zone and LEARN. Questions like “does your turban come pre-wrapped or do you do it yourself?” were not off limits.
Just in case you were wondering they are not pre-wrapped and there are YouTube videos for guidance. According to his smile, I would say he was relieved at the lightness of my question.
Once we left the Synagogue, we made our way back to the street and headed out for a 60-minute walk to Al Aqsa Mosque. We were greeted by the sounds of music compliments of a woman DJ wearing a hijab and Beats by Dre headphones. Something you don’t see every day.
The parameter of the facility was lined with the World Peace ballons in the above photo. It was indeed a site to witness. The air was consumed by the fragrance of dinner being made by the members of the Mosque, and dessert prepared by the Sikh community for all of us to share. All I can say is …. YUM!
As we were all settling in I took a moment to look around, I mean really look around at the oneness surrounding me.
I watched the men carrying out trays of food, and the women were not only directing where everything needed to go, but they were also getting annoyed if the men did not do it accordingly. Every woman reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The children were running around excited to have company in their “home.”Look what I can do! Look at me! Watch this! Free entertainment.
I realized that the ONE woman in our lives who insists you try her dish over the everyday meals made by the other women even though your plate is already overflowing exists in EVERY culture. You know who you are ladies.
This was when I understood that the core ingredient to solving World Peace is FOOD. We really need to stop overthinking, start cooking and
Enjoy the Ride!
Verb: demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.
This right here is the story of my life Monday through Thursday as I’m slaving away at my job in the healthcare industry.
I’m not sure what occurs before a potential patient contacts our office for an appointment, but it’s not a moment of zen.
I imagine more of a good look in the mirror for a one on one pep talk. “You got this!” “Pick up that phone and DEMAND to be seen TODAY because everything is ALL about YOU!”
The other explanation would be that they just live their every day lives like the entitled e’ffers they are, and this is their norm. This right here is the winner.
Me: Good morning Doctor’s office.
PITA: I need to be seen today around 1. Have you been eating your make-up again?
Me: Are you already a patient?
PITA: No! Bitch in the house.
Me: Did you have a trauma?
PITA: No! Ok, I see where this is heading.
Me: Are you a diabetic with a wound?
PITA: No! God help us all.
Me: Why do you need to be seen today?
PITA: I have a painful corn on my toe, and I’m leaving for Florida tomorrow. Tragic, absolutely tragic.
Me: Well, that’s not something we would consider an emergency.
PITA: But I’m in pain, and I have things to do before I leave. Sounds like a first world problem to me.
Me: You would be a new patient, which takes extra time and you do not have an emergency.
PITA: You mean to tell me you don’t save time for emergencies? Can you please Google emergency?
Me: Yes, we do, but your situation is not an emergency.
PITA: Being in pain isn’t an emergency? You are being inconvenienced, there’s a difference.
Me: Not the type of pain you’re experiencing.
PITA: Well, what am I going to do? I hoping for death.
Me: Call around to see if you can get in with another physician.
PITA: I don’t have time for that today. I told you I needed to come today at 1:00. Because you are who again?
Me: I’m sorry, but I already told you that would not be possible.
PITA: Huffing and puffing. The agony of defeat is music to my ears.
PITA: I guess I’ll have to try someone else since you don’t want to help me. Bye Bitch!
Me: Silence. CLICK! BAM! BOOM!
Enjoy the ride!
Have you seen Grace?
She’s the gal that spent her days roaming around within the majority of people for decades. Yes, it’s true.
You could find her on the street, the supermarket, and in fact, running free in most public spaces. I know, right?
So where did she go? One day did she decide to say “fuck it I’m outta here!” due to the overwhelming ignorance surrounding her kind soul or did she silently grab her box of kind words, gestures, and courteous goodwill and slowly walk off to the ends of the earth? Inquiring minds need to know.
In her youth, Grace was on her game spreading her attractively polite manner of behaving across the land. She was one of the popular girls.
That’s right she was regularly mingling in our daily lives lending a hand or two when needed. Providing words of wisdom, a tissue, a seat or a shoulder without her motives being in question.
Now it seems as if Grace only makes special appearances, sweeping in to give a kiss on the cheek, warm a heart, or soothe a soul before leaving Dodge. Today, Grace is a minority. I’ll just assume she’s on that dreaded travel ban list because of her good nature.
Yep, that’s right she’s been overpowered by the likes of Fear, and we all know Fear is too much of a kitty kat to travel alone, so he rallies his buddies suspicion and mistrust along for extra muscle.
Fear is doing his best to run the show we call everyday life. (yes, fear is a man because men have more power, and I said so) He is out slithering around insisting that we now question Grace and her posse of possibilities, kindness, and dare I say compassion.
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. Franklin D. Roosevelt
This change didn’t happen overnight, oh no, it’s been going on for some time now, but it’s evident that it has recently escalated. Hmm, I wonder why?
Grace needs us more than ever now that fear has gotten his cloven hooves on the internet to spread at the speed of lightning. She needs us on the ground to defend her motives. To ensure that her kindness is trusted, and to regain the best that humanity has to offer. We need more than a glimmer of our girl.
So, if Grace happens to cross your path, embrace her offerings with open arms. Encourage her to stay for a while. Let her know how much we need her in our lives by spreading her around like glitter while you… Enjoy the Ride!
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