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-worker’s 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!
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!
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.”
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.
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!
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 received 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.
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
I 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 expecting 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.
This 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.
Good energy is contagious … Enjoy the Ride!
Originally Posted On: Uncle Spike’s Adventures
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Here’s how to add your support to our message of peace:
1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter (#BloggersUniteForPeace) and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
5) Add an image Widget using this image URL and link to this post
Out in the real world I try my best to spread this message everywhere I go via my license plate. Some days are easier than others.
Driving around with this message on a daily basis carries a huge responsibility. It forces me to control my urge to get angry at other drivers, even when they deserve it. It reminds me to be courteous; mindful and respectful of those around me.
Believe me when I tell you these are not easy tasks to accomplish! Living in a world where everything is moving at the speed of light, patience are sparse and tempers run high make it challenging at best, but I try and that is a start. Trying and succeeding are not the same.
“True peace cannot be dictated, it can only be built in co-operation between all peoples. None of us, no nation, no citizen, is free from some responsibility for this.” Quakers in Britain in 1943
So fellow bloggers stand together for Peace and … Enjoy the Ride!
For centuries women have had to endure inappropriate Neanderthal comments from the opposite sex … a/k/a men.
Simmer down guys there is no reason to get the torches ready. I’m not talking about ALL men here, just those creatures who sadly try their best to give you all a bad name. True fact!
Recently there has been a stir about street harassment from some very outspoken young women. Oh how I wish I was one of them back in the 80’s.
When I worked in Center City Philadelphia, as a young lamb just entering the slaughter known as the working world, I experienced a group of Neanderthals. Young, naïve and right to the wolves.
It was a beautiful spring day waaaaaaay back in 1989 when I left the confines of my office for that hour of peace called lunch. I remember this like it was yesterday because of the outfit I was wearing.
I recently purchased a coral colored straight skirt with a thin gold chain belt; a cream-colored blouse and chunky gold necklace. It was new, sophisticated and never worn again after it debuted that beautiful spring day.
Never is my wildest imagination did I think this outfit would cause such a stir among the construction workers, but you just never know what will provoke a crew of Neanderthals. Do not feed the animals!
Me: Sitting in the courtyard just enjoying the beauty of the day.
Construction workers: “Hey Creamsicle”
Me: Oblivious just chillin in the sun.
Construction workers: “Creamsicle! How bout a lick?”
Me: Curious, but still oblivious to what or who they were talking to.
Construction workers: “I love that creamy middle Creamsicle”
Me: Then the lightbulb F I N A L L Y went off and I realized … I am Creamsicle!
Have you ever seen a creamsicle run? Well, you missed that boat folks.
I couldn’t get back to my office fast enough, with a slew of emotions in tow. Is it possible feel ashamed, embarrassed, confused, pissed-off and somewhat flattered all at the same time? Yes, in fact it is thank you very much.
Having it happen to me is one thing, but hearing my cub tell me about the “old creep” who was hitting on her … Oh, this is a game changer. Suddenly putting a hit out on someone seems completely reasonable.
She innocently helped a Neanderthal to his car with his purchases. Why? Because he had a walker and was struggling. My little cub was just being kind.
As she is loading his car he said: “Thanks for your help, but it would be better if you were wearing a bikini.”
My daughter, who was still in shock when she returned home, couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that this crippled man; who was old like her father, could say something “sooooo gross.” Why is the sky blue?
This is when I filled her in on the fact that it doesn’t matter if a man is old, young, crippled or on his fucking death-bed. They will continue to make inappropriate remarks to women … drum roll please … Until The Coffin Lid Closes!
Speak up and …. Enjoy the RIde!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with nothing more than determination.
My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.
All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line.
We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.
I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit! I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!
We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!
The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us! Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.
You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long!
Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.
This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the past. Another reminder that change is everywhere.
We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.
We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome ….
It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.
- Belly laughter with a friend
- Ralking among the beauty of my city
- 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
- Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride!
This quote has resonated with me with a force that I could not longer ignore. Why? Because it’s truth on paper, or in this case … Pinterest. I’ve kept my distance on my Blog for reasons that were just not genuine and this little reminder brought me here today. I know… I know … I know.
I haven’t been “too busy” to write. Lamest excuse evah! Seriously! I’m not out solving world peace, I’m walking dogs and washing dishes. Just doing my thang.
The truth is I’ve been away because old habits really do die-hard, especially those from our childhood. Those Mother Efers are like the Michael Myers of behaviors! Just when you think you’ve beat them down, stabbed, shot, drowned, suffocated and tied them to a train track before dropping them into a 10 foot grave, someone comes along; lets out one little comment that resurrects these assholes into spring chickens! Once again proving the power of our Words.
That’s right folks, I let the words of a small group of naysayers bring me back to a place I thought was out of my life for good. Obviously that was not the case. Apparently there are a few people in my world who read this Blog anonymously. Meaning they are not included in the 712 out and about followers.
This handful of naysayers, who prefer to lurk in the shadows of my business and later zap me with my own words when the opportunity strikes are the real story tellers. That’s right folks, because every time they open their mouths to undermine my dreams, criticize or predict my doom they are letting the world know their story, not mine. So from this moment on not one more fuck will be given about their “opinion.”
My blog was born as a therapy session outside of my therapy session, not a NY Times best seller. It’s just a little speck out in the world that allows me to dump some long overdue baggage out the window and let shit go. So if a handful of people can’t deal with that the solution is simple …. stop reading it. That friends is not rocket science.
Letting go of some baggage over time has enabled me to start growing into my own badass self and I AM NOT APOLOGIZING for being ME just because a certain crew of negative people can’t seem to handle that truth.
I have spent 2 and a half years writing 180 essays on top of 3 years of counseling trying to bring my genuine self to the surface and it’s going to take more than a few mean-spirited naysayers to bring me down. Snap!
Now let me go dig into a nice big bowl of diamonds for dinner so I can continue to SHINE ON and Enjoy the Ride!
If you’ve been reading me for some time, you already know I admit to being the Mayor of Scardy Cat Town. I’m not embarrassed by this at all, it’s who I am. Lord knows I have entertained many with my fearful experiences.
Over the weekend, as I was casually walking my little lamb chop a/k/a my dog Peanut, I noticed this fucker creeping from under the bushes. Seriously! I’m not even sure what my reaction was other than a slew of obscenities with a side of what might be considered some sort of prayer. That is if repeatedly yelling “Jesus Christ!” “Jesus!” “For good sakes!” and “Holy shit!” are considered prayers.
Random mannequin heads lurking under bushes are just one kind of fear we have to deal with in our lives. These fears are sudden and usually provide a good bit of laughter in the end. Especially when you patiently wait for the next person to walk by.
Then there are those fears that get to us via the media. They just love to plant those hearty doom and gloom seeds in our heads about planes that have plummeted into the ocean or just vanish or engulf into flames or ALL OF THE ABOVE! As if my own imaginary scenarios aren’t enough to keep me grounded!
I won’t even tread into the murky waters of the World News, that shit is just too real. Information overload can consume even the strongest of minds. Thank goodness we control the “off” switch is all I can say.
Last, but certainly not least are those fears that run deep. Those lovely little gems from our childhood or traumatic events that we just love to keep close. No, not the boogieman or clowns.
I’m talking about those haunting fears of not being good enough, rejection, failure and the rest of the negative posse. We tend to keep these close like some sort of security blanket, just in case we need another excuse to move forward or perhaps when we need to point some blame in a direction other than the mirror. Safe, easy and paralyzing.
Why the hell are there so many fears in the first place? Well, I can answer that in one word … DOUBT. You know the sudden loud voice in your head that asks all sorts of negative questions just before you are about to embark on something wonderful. Guess what people? Doubt is an asshole!
At 50 years young I am finally realizing just how much of an asshole Doubt can really be. It shows up at the worst time; stays way too long and seems to ruin everything in its path. Just think of a drunk party goer who won’t take the hint that the party is over … yep that’s what Doubt is like.
It has stopped me in my tracks, whispered “what ifs” in my ear and managed to make mountains out of too many molehills. I’m not solving world peace for god sakes!
I vaguely remember my childhood aspirations to be a teacher, a judge, or a rodeo bull rider. I know a judge of all things right? What happened to those dreams along my road to adulthood? Doubt is what happened! You’re not smart enough. You’re not decisive enough. You’re not good enough.
Of course I could drive myself crazy wondering what my life would be like living on a ranch with the Marlboro Man or blaming my parents for not recognizing my passion for the Rodeo segments of the Wide World of Sports, but what would that solve? Zip.
Instead, I have chosen to little by little muster up the courage to punch fear in the face and bitch slap doubt every time they start talking shit about my fabulousness. It’s not really that easy, but it felt good writing it.
It takes time to put our fears in their place. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you so have some patience.
It’s up to you to get in the driver’s seat.
When you do decide to head down your road to happiness, make sure you buckle up right next to fear. Look back at all your accomplishments. Pick up some positive reinforcements on the way. Let the accomplishments of others blow through your hair and don’t stop until you reach your destination … the corner of Awesome & Bombdiggity sounds like a good start.
Enjoy the Ride!