Category Archives: personal growth

The Blessed Project

The Blessed Project  hosted by none other than the QUEEN of Wild Rides Susie Lindau, could not have come at a better time this season.

It’s not that I don’t recognize my blessings, I do, I really do. It’s just that sometimes life sweeps in to rattle me in another direction. No doubt I am part squirrel. 

This is why we need to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. So a big round of applause to Susie for providing us with the chance to be still. Even if it’s just for a moment feel the peace.

BLESSINGS:

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90 Years Young

 

Recently I was Blessed to witness my mother’s joy, as she watched her whole family sing in unison the old classic “Happy Birthday” before she cast her 90th wish.

If joy had a face … this my friends would be what it looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

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#oncloudcullen

 

In September I was Blessed to celebrate the wedding of my nephew, and to gain this beautiful woman as my niece. Their wedding was spectacular!

The love for this couple was explosive throughout the entire celebration. 

It’s been unanimous within the family that we all want to go back for a few more hours on Cloud Cullen. 

 

 

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Santa, we have officially replaced the kids. Bring bones.

 

Every damn day I am Blessed to come home to these two snowflakes. 

No matter what went on in the day, these little lumps of love are there to remind me that I am indeed the best thing that ever happened to their world. 

 

 

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Outgrowing the table

 

On Thanksgiving, I was especially Blessed to have everyone I love under one roof. My sisters who are always generous with their time and efforts. My brother-in-laws for being loving and caring men. My nieces with their intelligence, baking talents and beauty. My nephews who are passionate about everything from world affairs to Harambe the gorilla. The significant others that slip right into place with the craziness. My children for being such loving beings and my husband for always helping to make my day a little easier. 

 

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Mangia!

Blessings included were enjoying each others company, eating delicious food and laughing together. Playing Cards Against Humanity until our ab muscles hurt. Finding humor in every conversation on the table and most of all NOT TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND. (There were rumors of some quiet texting on this subject, but nothing was proven)

 

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The ladies

 

 

I’m Blessed to have good friends who recognized that a night of Running Through The Lights is exactly what I needed. 

I’m Blessed that they are persistent in their efforts to get me to workout, sweat, laugh, pee and cry. 

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My version of Blogosphere

I’m Blessed to have virtual friends that are loving caring beings in and outside of the blogosphere.

I’m Blessed that they continue to show me love. Send virtual hugs. Make me laugh. Pray for me. Provide free therapy and genuinely care.

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My Family Squad

I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.

Enjoy the Ride! 

Don’t forget to pack your blessings!

Just Look For It

cf0625b43ee446559aba5956b7d94eefIt’s funny how during all of the darkness over the past month, we have been able to see some light. A glimmer here a glimmer there help the heart heal.

We are both very big believers in noticing the signs that are sent our way, and we were not blind to them even during the darkest of times. Hope comes in all shapes and sizes, the key is recognizing it.

7ec60236c914e83fb309775560d1d961Sign #1:

The day after the nightmare began, I went with my daughter to see my husband at the hospital. While walking through the lobby we were greeted by a very friendly face. Sister Kate. The world is so small.

I know Sister Kate from my job, and I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. Our relationship is she is a patient and I’m in shock that this nice, warm, funny person is a Catholic nun. Where the hell were YOU when I was in school is ALWAYS my thought when I see her.

Sister Kate immediately knew from my haggard look that something was wrong. This was the first time I uttered the words “My husband tried to take his life” and the flood-gates opened. Her warm kind hug is just what I needed before heading to face my reality. Never underestimate the power of fate.

tumblr_mup91f3ipa1rlyeulo1_1280Sign #2:

We walked into the room to find my husband under 24hr guard by none other than an Italian grandmother from South Philly. There isn’t a pill on the planet that can compare to the healing powers of this woman.

The room was stark, nothing but a bed. My husband was stripped of anything that could possibly hurt him, and yet this woman made that room feel like home. I was waiting for her to pull a portable oven out of her purse.

Lena was just what this doctor ordered…. a mothers’ love. Never underestimate the power of an Italian woman who gets joy from taking care of a man. 

During this visit is when we learned that my husband had ZERO memory of the past 12 hours. If only the rest of us had that pleasure.

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The following day my son came with me. This time the guard on duty was Lorraine, a very feisty black woman. She was definitely sent for me.

This day was very heavy as we sat patiently waiting for information on the next hospital setting. The silence was deafening. Except for Lorraine’s gum cracking which was no doubt echoing throughout the halls.

My son was saved by a friend who called insisting on taking him out to lunch. Perfect timing!

As we sat in awkward silence listening to that poor piece of gum being assaulted in Lorraine’s mouth, we heard the words “who are you all voting for?” Of all the questions on the planet to ask, this was the one she chose to ask the man on suicide watch.

This is when the unexpected public service announcement was made. Lorraine would be voting for Trump. Why do you ask? Well, because she was tired of her neighbors collecting free money for their 5 children that she named Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro & Cinco. Fast forward to 11/9 … yep, this is one reason why.

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On that Sunday I went to see my husband at the next facility. No one could have prepared me for this step of the journey. I’m not sure who decided that people with depression should be dehumanized to feel better, but they need to be fired.

I left this visit defeated, broken and wondering where is that place Dr. Drew sends his patients and do they take Blue Cross? The lack of life in this place could make even the happiest of people second guessing the existence of rainbows. WTF! 

When I returned home I was flat. There was just nothing left to feel. I was done. With a weak smile for the sake of the kids of course. 

As my son was about to head back to school, he decided to raid my change jar to feed the parking meter in town. He took out a huge pile of coins searching for quarters.

7b4ffcb78c5b2c81a8b82968db1561f1Next thing I hear is “mom, didn’t you loose a ring?”  I had lost my wedding band on Thanksgiving 2015.

I have torn this house apart more than once searching for it. Trust me when I tell you I put the FBI to shame with my search efforts. 

Sure enough, there was my ring, on the floor, with a dime stuck in the center. My eyes could just about register what they were seeing. The dam broke, and 4 days of emotion exploded into the room. 

If ever there was going to be a sign that everything was going to be ok, this friends, was it.

Still dodging potholes while Enjoying the Ride! 

 

 

In The Blink Of An Eye

 

d00f5b0392e69910d109d4bd287f7f98We all know the saying. We’ve all used it to describe various things in our lives. Those of us with children know it well. Somehow watching our children go from bottles to red Solo cups overnight. 

The seasons always leave us with this phrase, especially summer, which seems to be running out of Dodge faster each year. One minute we’re watching fireworks, the next we’re trying to escape a pumpkin invasion.

The holidays use to leave us with this feeling, however, now that Christmas hits the stores before Halloween it’s no longer the case. The Christmas season officially lasts longer than most relationships.

These are examples of what I consider a natural course in change. They are as comfortable as that old sweatshirt in our closets. 

But what about those other moments? You know, the ones that leave us numb in disbelief. The moments that leave us repeatedly asking “what just happened?” large majority have been doing this since Tuesday.

All I know is that NOTHING could have prepared me for the life changing, blink of an eye, roller coaster ride I’ve been living for the past few weeks. By the wayI hate roller coasters in and outside of the amusement park.

October 12th was nothing short of a normal day in the life of me. Morning chores, work and home. Boring at best.  

I called my husband to let him know I was on my way. Everything was normal at 6:11 p.m. When I arrived home at 6:27 I was met by my daughter outside of the house. She said that my husband was screaming, cursing and acting crazy. Out of character was an understatement.

When I walked in to try to find out what was going on it escalated. So, I got the fur babies ready for a walk and off we went while that fire simmered down. If they could talk, maybe I could have gotten a heads up.

While out on the walk I received a text stating “I’m moving on.” WHAT?! 

I called home only to hear a voice I never heard before informing me that he is “done” “moving on.” I ran with the fur babies in tow, possibly airborne, with my heart in my stomach back to the house. 

64deb0ff996b4ace8f191bc355ccf955How did I go from saying “I’m on my way home”to screaming “What is happening?”

How did I go from hearing “I’m feeding the dogs” to “I’m moving on.”?

How did I go from walking my dogs to pulling pills out of the mouth of the man I love?

How did I go from a hum drum day to rushing into an ER?

How did I go from worrying about bullshit to making life changing decisions?

How did I go from thinking everything was fine to feeling like I was hit with a bat?

How did I go from seeing the strength in my husband’s eyes to staring at his weakness?

How did I go from a happy go lucky girl to a sleepless shell?

I don’t have the answers to all of these questions just yet, but I have hope.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I have faith.

I don’t know how to live my new normal, but I have an open mind.

I don’t know if we’ll be ok, but we have our love.

I don’t know how I was blind, but now I can see.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but I’m trying.

I DO know that I have 99 problems, but my new perspective won’t allow Donald Trump to be one of them, and for that, I am grateful.

Enjoy the Ride … one speed bump at a time!

 

 

Let’s Put The “We” Back In The People

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If this gem doesn’t just scream my name I don’t know what does. That’s right folks, I’m officially hanging with the pigeon squad. 

I am EXHAUSTED!

Not by the hamster wheel of life, but by the behavior of my co-humans.

By the increased hatred and decrease in common decency.

By the lack of truth and over indulgence of misinformation and lies.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the loss of common ground and the divided beliefs.

By the daily negativity of he said she said while important issues sit silently.

By the rise in civil obedience and the lack of active participation in the process.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By being told who to hate by our televisions, while books collect dust.

By judgments, labels & stereotypes in one hand and bibles, flags & hypocrisy in the other.

By the absence of faith, hope & charity and the escalation of greed.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the Social Media scholars and their ignorant followers.

By the callous treatment of the less fortunate and the misguided definition of fame. 

By fear dictating our decisions, while common sense faces extinction.

I am EXHAUSTED!

By the abuse of our first amendment and the over extended defense of the our second.

By selfishness leading the way, while collaboration sits on the sidelines.

By the misconception that strength is loud and quietness is weak.

I am EXHAUSTED! 

By the thought of war being the answer and not giving peace a chance.

By the short memories and selective truths.

By the thought that I’m too optimistic, while others have surrendered hope.

Let’s TRY to celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears and differences. These are the freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. These are the freedoms that unite. These are the freedoms that will thrive. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, 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.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember all of 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…anything worthwhile rarely is easy.

We’re all in this together, so hop in and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Lone Cheetos

I recently wrote about three of patients, that in spite of their age, are living vital active lives and they aren’t afraid to share their wisdom amongst the masses on the importance of doing just that. When Harry, Norman & Robert Met Lisa

The jury is still out on what has been happening since that essay. Is it coincidence, a conspiracy, my vivid imagination? Or all of the above.

While food shopping, a clerk who has never uttered a single word to me before, suddenly starts discussing the downside of growing older …. with ME …. as if we were one. My cart was not filled with adult diapers so back it up lady.

Just when I thought I was safe, my neighbor approaches to strike up a conversation about bones. Pointing out how “our” bones aren’t the same when “we” get older. My bones are cool thank you very much.

It’s now obvious to me that once the post office realizes you’ve turned the big 50, your regular mailman is replaced with the Grim Reaper. When death starts to moonlight … I can’t.

The amount of geriatric mail that enters my mailbox is ridiculous. Yesterday I received a pamphlet from the Sunny Hill Crematory.  Seriously now!  I’ll assume the Victoria Secret catalogs are now being placed in those younger, more attractive mailboxes down the street.

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Not me!

AARP has literally hijacked my mailbox with their paraphernalia. The amount of literature is equal to political ads.  I’m only 2 years in bitch, save your stamps!

Back in the day the Grim Reaper kept his distance, giving nature a chance to take its course. Sooooo …. WTF happened? Why the constant notification? What’s the rush to the grave?

To put this in perspective, at my current age, my parents were working, functioning adults with active lives. My dad was 57 when I was born for god sakes, so I wasn’t even thought of when he was 52. Let that fester for a minute AARP!

It’s as if society is pushing us closer to the cliffs edge to make room for the newer improved models. We’re not cell phones, so calm your jets!

No one is spared really. I see this rush is across the board. While adults are being pushed into the grave at 50, the poor 10 year olds are being thrown into adulthood. I was basically in a playpen at 10 compared to kids today.

12cb7d4dfb89c81065f453e7c82a94a7I know, I know, I must sound very geriatric right now comparing generations, but it’s more than a “back when I was a kid” comparison.  I’m not that girl … I’m really not.

It’s just that when it comes to aging, society has become an aggressive seagull and I’m starting to feel like a lone Cheeto waiting to be swiped up by its talons. Back it up!

Don’t get me wrong, my inner geriatric has raised its snow-capped head for brief appearances, but I’m still young enough to shove it right back in the closet. Hey, those skeletons need some company. 

I’m not trying to be a teenager here folks, I’m just trying to age gracefully while I continue to … Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

When Harry, Norman & Robert Met Lisa

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Three wise men walked into a Podiatrist office. No, this is not the beginning of a joke about aging feet, it’s the story of one of the best days I’ve had at work in a long time.

Let me introduce you to Harry, Norman & Robert. Three interesting, intelligent and inspiring men who walked into the office, dropped some wisdom and went about their day.

Harry -83 years young:  Harry is a recent surgery patient with a wonderful sense of humor.

When he came in for his first post-op appointment he said, and I quote: “I want to thank Lisa for answering all of my questions, she is a fountain of knowledge.” I asked him to call my children to inform them of that fact, he thought I was kidding … I was not.

Believe it or not, the accurate conclusion that Harry made about me was not what captured my heart. But, it certainly didn’t hurt.

Harry told me that he volunteers in a first-grade classroom, and has been doing it for years. He was so happy that the teacher had the class send him Get Well wishes after his surgery, but there was a catch, they had to include a joke. Laughter is the best medicine.

This gesture filled Harry’s heart. He told me that he enjoys volunteering in the First Grade classroom because it gives him the joy to see these children enter the door not certain what to expect and leave with confidence.

He went on to explain that he has a special bond with this teacher. Harry lost his son years ago in November, just when this teacher was getting married. One young life ending as one began.

Shortly after the teacher was married she found out she was expecting and 3 months into the pregnancy her new husband died suddenly. Grief, let me introduce you to grief.

Their losses brought them together and they are wonderful friends who helped each other heal. He’s been volunteering ever since.

83 years old, still thinking, still living and still making a mark in this world.

Norman-86 years young: He came to us a few months ago via his family doctor, which is never good, and let’s just say that “the little piggy that went to the market” never came back.

When he called the other day he was very nervous that “the little piggy that stayed home” was on its way out too so we made room on the schedule. Podiatry office humor.

Norman came in as if he was the guest of honor at a celebration, not someone with a potential gangrenous toe.

He was wearing a Villanova cap to “make the doctor happy” since his daughter is a student and it was the day of the championship game. Well played Norman, well-played indeed.

Norman was excited to reveal he had recently written a paper on aging. When I took him to the exam room I had to inquire about the paper. I was very curious.

I was thinking he wrote it for the AARP magazine. Nope, he said, “I wrote it for my family, I want them to know how quickly it comes up on you.” A warning of sorts.

The title of the paper is “Getting Old Is Not For Sissies.” Norman told me he stole that line from Bette Davis, an actress I wouldn’t know because, and I quote “you’re too young to remember her.” He had me at “too young.”

Norman still can’t believe he is 86. He doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror. Still has a lot to share with this world. Has an incredible sense of humor, and wants nothing more than for his family to be happy.

Norman is going to drop off a copy of the paper for me to read. No worries, I will share.

Robert-91 years young: Robert came in for a routine appointment. As soon as he came to the window he showed my co-worker a photo of him and his wife from 1941. They looked like movie stars.

Robert is a tall man, but frail. No doubt more so since he lost the love of his life. He told my co-worker a story that left them both with watery eyes.

Later I asked her about it and of course I too was left with watery eyes. We’re so sappy sometimes.

Robert explained that he and his wife were sitting at the kitchen table and she asked: “How long have we been married?” Robert responded with “65 years dear.” Her response was “I have not regretted one day in 65 years.” Robert explained that even though she is gone, he is still stunned by her words. He is a walking, talking broken heart.

I was also taken back by my co-workers response to Robert which was “It was nice to be able to hear that Robert.”  Indeed, it was.

I must say, it was a pleasure to pick-up these three men while I … Enjoy the Ride!

 

4 Loose Tiles

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What was once the yard

There has been a lot of activity  going on here at the homestead. 23 years and not one has passed without some sort of project, so why should this year be any different. Because maybe I need a break.

I had no idea about this project until I saw the sketches. Notice that is plural.

One minute I’m attending an open house, and the next there are steel beams being erected in my yard. Confused? Me too.

Sooooooo, after a very long process the ground was broken, just in time for the holidays. Thank you Mother Nature. 

What woman doesn’t want to clean-up never ending dirt during the holidays? The answer is … NONE OF THEM!

My friends, neighbors and anyone who sees our house, constantly remind me how “lucky” I am to have such a “handy guy.” Handy is fixing a pipe, I have someone who sees a mantle inside of a tree stump. 

It’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I won’t be over the moon with the results, it’s the lonely road in between that does me in. I’m a Home Improvement Widow!

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Lisa

During these periods of “tinkering”, we can sit in the same room and one of us (not me) has no recollection of that period of time.Why? Because the wheels are spinning at a rate that I cannot even recognize. I’m surprised he doesn’t explode.

My life from now until the last stroke of the paintbrush will be solo. My other half is officially consumed into his project. His creative juices are percolating and his magic is about to be unleashed. Meanwhile over here ….

Legos for adults should really be a thing.

As if this enormous project wasn’t enough to occupy every waking moment, we had a recent mishap in our bathroom. 4 loose tiles to be exact. Remember that line. 

The solution to this was put the masterpiece outback on hold, take a week of vacation time to “fix” the bathroom and you’ll be taking a shower in a week he said….

We only have one bathroom with a shower. The other bathroom has a beautiful spa tub. You know that saying “too much of a good thing won’t be good” it’s like that.

On the Saturday before the big fix I asked, and I quote: “Are you going to paint?” the response, which will be used by me every chance I get from now, until well … forever was “Yes, I’m going to paint.”

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4….Loose….Tiles

By the time I returned home Monday there was, let’s just say much more progress than I expected. Shock and awe were more like it.

There were FOUR loose tiles people.

Yes, he said he was going to “rearrange” the toilet and the sink.

No, he did NOT say anything about demolition … AT ALL! He said he was going to paint!!!

Needless to say, the week came and went. Progress is being made, but I’m still not showering or murdering.

The tile is down. The molding is up. The shower is on BACK ORDER. The toilet, sink and walls have not been spotted, but my patience is still intact. Hanging by a thread…but still on.

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It’s all about balance

My favorite part about all of this is using my new Super Power. That’s right folks, the line “you said you were going to paint” is my new go to for everything ever wanted by yours truly.

Me: I think I’m going to order new cushions for the patio.

Hubby: Do we really need them?

Me:  You said you were going to paint. They arrive Tuesday.

I just love the Yin/Yang of life!

Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

 

Donald

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At this point in my life, why do I continue to let my Inner Critic rise to the occasion to spew its negativity? Really, it needs to just shut up!

The other day I was stretching at the gym when I noticed this young woman staring at me. For the record, the inner critic loves to come to the gym.

Now, I could have thought that she was admiring my flexibility, but nooooo not when I have the asshole in tow. 

Immediately I assumed she was looking at my faults. We all know spandex does not lie. When you wear it at 52, after years of abusing yourself with food and bearing children …. it screams the truth.

We made eye contact, exchanged awkward smiles and moved along. The smile was f17ad66469e2d358214941c55d215844received as sympathy for my flaws. Without one piece of evidence.

Later in the workout I noticed her looking in my direction  …. again!  I should have been thinking that perhaps she was looking for a date, but no not with the good ole critic by my side. It was all about body shaming from that one.

I allowed these negative thoughts to grow throughout the workout. I was ridiculously self-conscience the entire time. As if the struggle isn’t hard enough, I had to dodge some extra punches.

After the hour was over and the stretching complete, the young woman sheepishly approaches me. Mind you she was built like an instructor, not a client, so I assumed she was nervous about how she was going to be brutally honest with me. If only negative thoughts burned calories … I would be transparent.

There I stood waiting for the punch. Feeling horrible about everything spandex, everything about the workout and everything about myself. Defeat at its highest power.

This is what went down:

Young Woman:  Oh hi I was just wondering where you get your hair cut. I saw you last week and loved your cut and I’m looking for a change.

Me:  What did you say? I blamed my shock o the music.

Young Woman:  I was just asking where you get your hair cut I love it! 

Me:  Gave her all the details and made her very happy. 

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My new attitude

By the time I got to the car I was furious with myself. I could not believe I put my accomplishments in the back seat while this miserable ass drove me to the point of such defeat.  My inner critic has a name, and I think it might be Donald, after another ass I know who continuously spews negative energy. 

Think about it….

No more trips to the past for me. Been there, done that.

No more beating myself up over my looks.

No more insecurities.

 

It’s all about moving forward to crush my goals like the badass rockstar from Mars that I know I am! Yes, that is the sound of someone wearing their positive pants.

I’m off to let my fabulous hair blow in the wind while I  ….. Enjoy the Ride!

Quote: thejealouscurator.com; Photo: Huffington Post

 

How Low Can You Go?

Tell us about the most exciting big night out you had recently.

Imagine sitting in your kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, just 2 days after Christmas, trying to muster up the incentive clean-up the holiday aftermath, and go food shopping. The struggle was real.

In the distance, I heard a faint ding a/k/a as the diversion. 

I reacted like the trained lab rat I am and sprinted to find my phone.

Hmm, a private message from my BFF on Facebook, always intriguing, this time, it was like hitting a lottery.

Low and behold an old friend of hers, and a new friend of mine invited us to her East Coast wedding celebration.

The ding was received at 12:59 and the party started at 3:00.

While part of me was starting the car, the other part was anchored down with all she had to do. Celebrating love or food shopping? Once I said that out loud it was a no brainer.

Guess what? Milk can be purchased any ole time, but these friends were only here from California for the holidays. They came to celebrate their fabulous union with their East Coast peeps, and we were fortunate enough to be included in the festivities.

Needless to say, by some sort of miracle, we were both gussied up and drinking a cocktail by 3:30!! I even did my nails … it’s still a mystery.

When you say yes the universe helps you.  Dan Brule

Did I mention this was a gay wedding? Well, it was. Let me just say to the heterosexual crowd … THE BAR HAS BEEN RISEN. Game on people, game on.

We ate, danced, laughed, danced, laughed, danced, laughed …. you get the picture.

Here are a few photos of the shenanigans  fabulous time that I wanted to last all night long.

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Cheers!

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Selfie Station Shenanigans With the BFF

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The Happiness With One Of The Brides

 

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This Is What Fun Looks Like

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The Photo That Keeps On Giving

After the glitter settled I was suddenly crippled. Apparently I sprained my gluteus medius. How did this happen you ask? Well, that was determined through a conversation with the bestie and confirmed by an Orthopedic doctor.

Me: I’m crippled! I can just about walk. I think it’s from dancing.

Bestie: Did you go too low?

Me: Laughter! What?

Bestie: When the DJ said, “How low can you go?” Did you go too low?

Me:  Laughter! It was at the seriousness of the question.

Bestie:  Joined in on the laughter and added: “you go low all of the time at the gym.”

Me:  Well, If I’m a cripple, I’m glad it’s from something as fun as going too low.

Me & Bestie:  Laughter!

0856954c92e33680ca1bbc0235a04e50The lesson here folks is to make sure you say YES more often. Saying NO is safe, but lord knows it’s dull. Challenge yourself! Easier said than done, but necessary.

Say “yes” to new experiences, new people and new adventures. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn about yourself just by agreeing to learn about someone or something else. Learning is good.

If I played it safe with this invitation, sure I might have had milk for my cereal in the morning, but I would never have these amazing memories, not to mention this meme. Milk is highly overrated anyway.

Say YES and Enjoy the Ride!

 

Duty Calls

2216852825_civic_duty_answer_1_xlargeI recently had the pleasure of being Summoned for Federal Jury. Yes, pleasure. 

I’m not going to lie, going in I was torn between wanting to be sequestered and not wanting to go at all.

Since I do not know another soul in my inner circle that has been called for such a special duty, off I went.  Not sure how I hit this lottery, but I’m glad I did.

As you know, Federal Courthouses have very intense security systems in place. I thought this was due to things like terrorism, however, now I’m not so sure. It’s all about the power of the wand.

On day one I put my belongings into the designated bucket, walked through the metal detector, and  heard the Marshall say, “Whoa I was 57879578expecting sparks when you came through!” Of course, I thought he was referring to my dazzling personality …. he was not.

You’re required to serve for two days, so on day two I wore less dazzle.

This time, I was given the once over with the wand, instructed to sit in a chair, and had my boots felt up so thoroughly I felt dirty, weirdly satisfied and craving a cigarette. No dinner. No number.

Federal jury duty is indeed the country club of Civic Duty. There was a spread of food, drinks, carpeting on the floor, comfortable chairs, and cozy sitting areas. White collar crime is where it’s at!! 

First up was the premier of a 5 Star video on the importance of our service. It was narrated by a local news anchor, along with words of wisdom from some senior judges. Oscar worthy … really.

Next, Carol the court clerk explained all the details of being paid for our time. We would be reimbursed for everything under the sun and then some in addition to our guaranteed $45.00 per day. Cha-ching!

I did not get selected on day one which meant I sat, waited and was bored out of my mind. I should have brought a bigger book!

What’s a bored girl to do? Walk the halls of course.

wrsp_cov_weThis is where I came across the FBI’s list of the 10 Most Wanted criminals in the country. FYI: The longer you look at these photos the more you will think “I know him!” 

As I was standing there trying to determine if #6 was actually the guy who lives down the street, I heard “Hey are you looking to wrangle some of them in?” 

Me: “That depends on what you mean by wrangle.” 

We both laughed and I spent way too long wondering if this guy always used words like “wrangled.”

A small group gathered in one of the sitting areas. We introduced ourselves and became fast friends. It was like a cocktail party without the cocktails on the government’s dime.

Our group was a very mixed crew coming as far as 2 hours away to Philadelphia locals like myself. My absolute favorite juror was a woman from a wealthy Philadelphia suburb named Nina. Interesting and unintentionally hilarious were her traits.

It was about 12:45 or so when she realized we hadn’t had lunch. This is when she revealed she informed Carol the court clerk earlier that she is accustomed to eating lunch at 11:30. I burst into laughter assuming she was kidding … she was not.

After my awkward “oh I thought you were kidding apology ” I gracefully informed her that Carol is wearing a cow neck and a hair mane from the 80’s … she doesn’t care when you eat. Nina was not having it.

We all watched as Nina marched right over to remind Carol that it was long past her lunch time.  This is when belief met disbelief…I’m still  laughing.

The only one in our group to be chosen to serve was Tom a/k/a #79. He was a “survivalist” from a small town in upstate Pennsylvania. Think Rambo.

He wore head to toe camouflage gear both days, was able to profess love for his grand babies and describe how to break a neck without missing a beat. Intrigued is an understatement.

As for the rest of us a/k/a #’s 31, 43, 77, & 92, well, we went to a much needed lunch, exchanged emails and hugged our goodbyes.

Time served!

Good energy is contagious  Enjoy the Ride! 

 

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