Tag Archives: compassionate ear

Man Down! Man Down!


Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis situations. Are you happy with the way you react? 

Hmm, am I happy with the way I react to a crisis? The answer is a big fat YES! I would go as far as saying I reacted to the latest crisis that crossed my path like Wonder Woman in comparison to the people  statues I was with while all hell broke freaking loose. Nothing like a crew of blank stares when you’re in the middle of a real life Man Down…Man Down crisis. 

Before the "incident"

Before the “incident”

First: As all my followers already know, I had the pleasure of being a Latex Engineer in this years Thanksgiving Day Parade here in Philly. If you’re new you can read about it right here The Oscar Goes To. That’s the victim right there on the left.  He is a Humane Law Enforcement Officer, not to mention hilarious. We were in charge of the Lorax’s head together….before the incident. 

Any who, after all was said and done we were instructed to start letting the helium out of the balloon as we all walked back to Deflation Station. Now, as someone who was new to the world of latex engineers, I was unaware of the dangers of helium exposure. Maybe it’s common knowledge and I’m just not common, I don’t know. 

I was in charge of letting the air out of the tail of the Lorax, while my new friend Officer

Hold on Wayne...I'm On My Way!

Hold on Wayne…I’m On My Way!

Wayne, who was a seasoned Latex Engineer, was working on a larger part of the balloon. Unfortunately, he inhaled a large amount of helium and started to come towards me in slow motion. I honestly thought he was joking around, but did think it was odd that his glasses were crooked, he was walking in slow motion and lost his ability to speak. Other than those small details, all seemed normal. Next thing I knew he started to GO DOWN.

MY REACTION:  I lead off with a very loud scream. This is always good to alert others who may want to assist. I grabbed him and was able to guide him to the ground slowly. This is crucial to avoid bludgeoned skulls. I crouched over Officer Wayne and began yelling in is face “ARE YOU OK?! ARE YOU OK?!” I wasn’t actually looking for an answer per se, but more for signs of life. As I looked up for assistance from Jeez, I don’t know, one of the hundreds of people in the immediate vicinity, I spotted my daughter and my friend standing perfectly still and staring at me in horror. Two statues would have served me better than these two…..dear lord! 

I am happy to report Wayne got up, straightened his glasses and continued to fold up the Lorax like a boss. I on the other hand had to answer the questions as to WTF just went down from the statues who suddenly came to life!

Considering havoc has a tendency to break loose at even the most enjoyable of events, it’s best to remain calm, scream loud and Enjoy the Ride, with your badass boots of course!



Our country is grieving. Each child who has been slaughtered belongs to each of us and each slain adult is a member of our family. It is impossible to explain the horror to ourselves and to our survivors. We need to hold each other’s hands and look into each other’s eyes and say, “I am sorry.”

~Maya Angelou

Welcome Home

Prepping the welcome wagon

My daughter is home for a short break, which just happens to be the perfect cure for Batshit Crazy.

The weekend started Friday with a big turkey dinner including all the trimmings and a side of pumpkin pie. Oh, I’m not cooking a meal like this with the damn air on for just anyone … just my starving daughter.  

My daughter’s review of the new multi-million dollar food hall on campus would go something like this…If you’re looking to lose weight this is your ticket. Yep, you can enjoy the new retro styled decor while the scent of “disgusting & gross meat” cooked in water passes your nostrils and immediately takes away your appetite. Needless to say my home is an all-night diner when she is home.

Heirloom Tomatoes & Pesto …. it should be a crime to be this GOOD

Saturday was spent on a spontaneous trip to downtown Philly. We shared an heirloom tomato and pesto pizza at Stella’s, an amazing brick oven place in Old City. It was a beautiful afternoon, so we chose to sit outside to people watch, while we enjoyed some much-needed relationship conversation. “Enjoyed” is probably a bit strong. 

My darling daughter is going through the post break-up woes. She recently ended a 4 year relationship with her first love. Insert cheering crowds, clowns, balloons, perhaps a marching band, some dancers, banners, flags and of course my joy. 

It was the typical first love where you fall hard, despite the obvious signs of relationship Armageddon that the rest of the world is witnessing. Gotta love those damn Love Goggles!

Trying to convince your daughter that you know what she is going through, you know exactly how she feels and that you are living proof things will be better, is painfully difficult. No one and I mean NO ONE tells you about dealing with this shit at the baby shower… it’s not all freaking Ooos & Ahhhs is it?  

This leaves me with the pleasure of sitting on pins and needles with my mouth shut, as I pray for her healing heart. Suddenly breastfeeding and dirty diapers are looking pretty good. 

No sails due to weather…boo.

After lunch we walked off that heavy conversation, oh yea and the pizza, by heading over to Penn’s Landing. What a pleasant surprise we had when we came across the visitation of Tall Ships to our port.

We really had a lovely time walking, talking, listening to music and taking in all the incredible sights, including two young pirates kissing on a bench. It’s amazing how quickly your troubles disappear when you get outside of yourself.  

Next on the agenda a trip to Capogiro a/k/a Heaven on Earth, for our gelato fix of the season. We were holding vigil in the car on the way to our destination, in hopes that they would have our most favorite flavor for Fall…Pumpkin. 

“Mom! OMG! I can’t leave you alone for a minute…lol”

The gelato gods heard our plea and we enjoyed every last spoonful of heaven in a cup. If  anyone was listening to the sounds coming from the car, consumption of pumpkin gelato may not have been their first thought. Life was getting better by the minute.

While Emily was in making our score, I had the pleasure of meeting Daryl. I was illegally parked when he tapped on my window to let me know a spot just opened up. He was so nice and drunk as a dam skunk, as he guided me into a ticket-free zone. Thanks Daryl that was the best 2 bucks I spent today! 

Fairy Godmother

As we were leaving the city we saw heard some yelling as we sat at the red light. Low and behold it was this wonderful woman shouting “you don’t need no man to make you happy” and “cigarettes killed my sister” not really certain if the 2 were related, but it was good advice none the less.

It’s not everyday this sort of wisdom lands in your lap at a red light. She was wearing a Jesus Loves You hat, sequined top with a gold skirt…clearly a Fairy Godmother. 

Sunday was spent at the King of Prussia Mall boosting the economy. Honestly, there really is no shame in a little emotional shopping. Hey, a new pair of shoes does wonders for a young broken heart. Not to mention the joy it brought me to see my daughter smiling.

The mecca of retail therapy

Just a collective observation, the recession was nowhere to be found at this mall. It was jam-packed and everyone had a bag or two. It was like being in group retail therapy. 

If your brave enough to let go, life will reward you with something new to experience…Enjoy the Ride!


Recently I was presented with a challenge by Miss Four Eyes to write a post about HOPE. I was given this honor in response to my recent post Democracy Is Alive which was regarding a Grassroots effort to save a piece of Open Space near my home and the HOPE that we would be successful in our efforts.

What she didn’t know was something happened between then and now that resonated the highest form of HOPE.

In the very early hours of Monday morning, a very dear person in my life, lost her daughter in an automobile accident.

At 18 years old “Sammi” was full of life, vigor & HOPE. The reality is she experienced more than most in her short life, but throughout it all she never lost HOPE.

She HOPED to turn her life around and she did just that when she graduated in June with honors.

She HOPED that she would have the opportunity to be proud of her accomplishments and she did just that when she purchased her first car and moved into her own apartment.

She HOPED that everyone would just love each other and that love was evident at her funeral yesterday where there was not an empty seat in the church.

I went to visit my friend to express my condolences, however I was the one being consoled. This woman just lost her daughter, yet she was some how at peace. She explained that up until a few hours earlier she couldn’t fathom living another moment, but then something amazing happened. HOPE?

She was told by police earlier in the day that when they approached the accident there was one dead deer at the scene, however another deer was standing next to her daughter, protecting her until the authorities arrived.

A glimmer of HOPE …

Next she went to her childhood church where the services would be held. At this point she was overcome with the unknown answers to her questions. Where is Sammi? Why can’t I feel her? Is she safe? Little did she know those questions were about to be answered.

HOPE is moving in…

It was suggested that she take a moment to visit the new Prayer Garden around back. As she entered the gate she was feeling a pull to go to the right. At first she was fighting the urge because the brick path was heading in the other direction, but she gave in and followed her instinct.

HOPE is getting brighter…

Just when she thought nothing could ever give her peace, she looked down to discover (3) statutes. One deer standing, one lying down and an angel sitting between the two.

Standing in awe at the foot of the statues a large bight yellow butterfly began flying around her, to the point of her letting out a typical mom statement of “I know, ok, ok I see you!”  Sammi?

HOPE is in the shadow…

The butterfly took a seat on her shoulder as she walked to the back of the garden where a large statue of the Blessed Mother stood, she realized Sammi was indeed in good hands.

HOPE is now a reality. 

Please keep my dear friend in a positive light in HOPE that she continues to have the peace she needs to get through each day.

I would like to pass this journey of HOPE onto a wonderful fellow Blogger who holds HOPE at its highest when it pertains to the treatment of animals. She is Susannah and her recent post Take Shelter is just one of her many posts that expresses her diligence towards the injustices against animals.

Have HOPE and Enjoy The Ride! 

Isn’t That Special

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a meeting held by the Interfaith Hospitality Network. This group does an enormous amount of good for families who have become homeless due to circumstance such as job loss, divorce and excessive debt just to name a few.

I am a regular attendee at a Quaker Meeting in my area and we were asked to participate, along with other faith congregations in the area, in a program being introduced by this group. One of the congregations has offered to open its doors to house 3 homeless families for the month of August. It will be our responsibility to make meals, host meals and chaperone over night for 1 week within the month. Sounds simple enough..right?

The evening started off with an exercise that encouraged us to introduce ourselves and provide insight to one another regarding our Hopes & Fears as we enter into this program together.  I have never felt comfortable in this arena, but like any thing else the more you do it the easier it becomes.

I shared that my Hope would be that as a group the experience would empower us to do more together either within this program or in our immediate community, followed by my Fear that our judgments wouldn’t stand in the way of making this a positive experience.

Now, I said this as a reaction to a previous experience I had a local Food Cupboard. It is important to understand the mindset of guests who are in need. For instance, if someone came in for food sporting a fresh manicure, you have to put yourself in his or her shoes and not judge that their money could have been spent more wisely.  That manicure could have saved that person from jumping off the edge. Sometimes lipstick and a hairdo make a world of difference.  As the wise director of this program stated: “You have to learn to be poor.”

We continued around the table and it was evident that the majority of the hopes & fears were coming from a positive base well, at least until we reached 2 very vocal members of the host congregation. This is the moment I realized that Hopes & Fears weren’t as cut and dry as I once imagined. I have a terrible habit of thinking everyone thinks like me….they don’t, but life would be so much easier if they did. 

One of the women, who announced she had been a member of this congregation for 52 years, stated …”I hope that there are no fights” and “I hope I don’t see a mother beating her child.” Ok, what the hell are the fears? Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, she blurts … “I’m afraid I’ll have to call 911” and “I’m afraid someone will steal chalices from the church.”  This was a game changer. Now I’m hoping I will be able to work with these people and I fear killing one before it’s over. 

These women sat across from me with their hands neatly folded on their Bibles. My fear was coming alive right before my eyes. Our homeless guests were being judged before they even crossed the threshold. Umm, yea…maybe you could open that hand rest…I mean Bible and take a peak inside ladies. 

As the evening went on, so did the fear-based questions. The behavior of these women was the
core reason I stepped away from my own faith for years. I admit I was scouting out exits at this point. 

The director of the program listened intently, but never flinched. Needless to say she has had her share of negative inquiries over the years. Once the women were done, she calmly informed them that in her 20 plus years in that position, she never once experienced any of the suggested scenarios, but there was always a first time for everything. Well played Ms. Director, well played indeed. 

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” Bertrand Russell

As soon as I committed to this project I knew it would be eye-opening, but I never anticipated it to happen during the planning stages. I was so moved by the effective listening skills of the director. Her contentment quickly altered the negative vibe in the room, which allowed us to continue planning with a much-needed positive outlook.

Note to Self:  Never follow the herd, find a spot outside the fence and Enjoy the Ride!

I Need Emotional Viagra!

Friday night I was beyond tired! After I convinced myself  it was a result of being awake most of the night before due to excessive snoring from the husband AND the dog; not the disease I diagnosed myself with, I went to bed.

Now, I was not only in the deepest of sleep, I was starring in a very STEAMY dream. I can only assume my subconscious was taking over from all that chatter regarding the blog I posted about the young man who died during the threesome. That is where we are leaving it folks…use your imagination, you are all very bright.

Well, my 15 minutes of porn star fame ended abruptly when the phone rang. My mother is 85 and my daughter was away for the weekend, therefore I’m certain that **RING** alone took 10 years off my life, not to mention what happened next:

ME: Hello?

Brother-in-Law:  Hey Leese I’m glad I got you and not my brother, I really didn’t want to deal with his attitude. I’m in prison. Can you believe I’m in prison? I went to go buy that tablet thing (iPad?), so I put some beer in an empty Gatorade bottle, because I didn’t want to waste it, (God Forbid) to ride my bike to the store and I got pulled over. Can you believe I got pulled over on a bike? I don’t know I guess the cops aren’t busy. Are you there? My brain is still stuck on the word “prison” as I headed down stairs. 

ME: Yeah

Brother-in-Law:  They found out I had a Warrant and locked me up. I was at the Police Station all day. Did you know I asked my brother to take me up here to take care of this Warrant and he didn’t have time? I told the cop that and do you know what he said? He told me I should have ridden my bike. Funny, I was thinking the same thing. It took like 2 hours to get here in a car and he expects me to ride a bike? Ya know what else, this Warrant is from 2003…come on..don’t these people have other stuff to do? I have to work in the morning so can you call my boss and tell him I’m in prison? Sure, lets just keep that shock factor going … just passing it on. 

ME: Sure

Brother-in-Law:  This prison is in a really nice area. Driving up we went through the town and everyone was eating dinner outside and having a good time and I was going to prison. Have you ever been up here?  It’s nice, you should have seen all the girls..dam. I always envisioned that whole “one phone call” thing much differently. I just always assumed there would be more fear and less chit-chat. 

ME: Oh yeah it’s very nice. Can I have your boss’s phone number?

Brother-in-Law: Here it is and just let him know I’m in prison (define “prison” because I’m starting to think that’s where I’m at right about now) and I can’t come in. Hey, when is the court thing? Monday? (that was directed at the guard) Ok Leese, well I gotta go, have a good night.

ME: Ugh..um..oh..okay..bye.

As I processed what just happened, I headed back to bed. Now, I bring you part II:

ME:  That was your brother, he is in Doylestown prison.

Husband: He woke me up for that?

ME: You never even moved!

Husband:  Ugh … I was sound asleep. Does EVERYONE realize at this very moment, it is a MIRACLE that I am NOT someone’s bitch in an orange jumpsuit writing this from the Prison Library?! 

No need to get the torches out ladies, I told him all about the dream, reminded him how tired he was and went to sleep. Please do not underestimate the power of a tired, angry woman! 

So, Saturday I found out that the Warrant was for a citation he received back in 2003 for sleeping in his truck. He was homeless when he was working for a contractor, so he thought it would be “ok” to park his truck and sleep at the job site. The problem was that this “job site” was in an upper echelon residential neighborhood. This neighborhood doesn’t even allow fast food restaurants to display their Golden Arches, because they’re hideous to the rich eye. So, lord knows they will frown upon someone using their vehicle as living quarters.

Needless to say, he has had his fair share of trial and tribulations. He was homeless for about 8 years, due to drug & alcohol issues but he always seemed to trudge along. As of today he has been drug free for 3 years, has his own place, a job, bank account and wheels (his bike).

Trust me, he is aware of the poor choices he has made and the damage he has done to himself physically and mentally. The regrets are deep, the struggles are daily and the amends will last the rest of his life…one day at a time.

So, until tomorrow he will remain in prison, where apparently you are allowed to use the phone all day. It is now 2:00 pm and I just hung up from the 5th call of the day, in which he informed me there is no record of a Warrant. It appears there was a “clerical error”, but he’ll have to wait to see a Judge in the morning. Deep breaths everyone…deep breaths. 

I think today is a good day to start being curious, not judgmental and just…….Enjoy the Ride!

Zip It..Zip It Good

There have been days when I’ve listened to the senseless ramblings of nothing for what seems like hours…even days. Maybe it’s because I’m craving some human contact, I’m bored, avoiding the other million things that need to be done or I just can’t bring myself to say “Zip-It.”  Sadly, I know the truth, I am “Zip It” impaired. There I said it! It’s the first step to recovery right?

My ears have been pimped out to these undeserving windbags for too long, working their lobes off listening to what I would consider nothing but the dreaded banter of me, me, me.

Don’t get me wrong, these drums are total sluts when it comes to other types of listening, some good music for instance is more than welcome. They are suckers for shaking elderly voices, wide open for the troubles of loved ones and they practically become satellite dishes for some sweet nothings.

The windbags are making this ear pleasure very difficult with their evasive nonsense. They scour the earth in search of eye contact. Once they have that, it’s all over for the ears. They don’t care who it is or where they are, if you have ears…working or not…they pounce. I’ve slowly become a magnet for this crew.

Perhaps it’s my compassionate nature..nah, who am I kidding…it’s not. It’s more like my inquisitive nature. Instead of a quick “Zip It”  I always make the mistake of asking a question. Well, questions to a windbag are the Golden Ticket. This is an open invitation to…you guessed it…prolong the pain. Meanwhile, in their head they are hearing nothing short of.. “OMG! she loves me! She wants me to go on and on about me..yea!”

That’s all it would take is a quick “Zip It” to end this madness….yet I can’t do it. Sitting in silence, politely listening to useless words from the windbag, as I’m chanting “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR” in my head. My inner voice is having a field day filling my head with sarcastic responses that never get spoken as I try to imagine how many socks it would take to fill the pie hole.

I think I have finally found my answer in this wonderful tutorial. Dr. Evil really touches on the basics of getting your “Zip It” on, by making it look so natural. Incorporating DEVO…well, that is just pure genius. When a windbag comes along … you must “Zip It”…”Zip It” good!

Enjoy the Ride! 

Womp Womp

Woe is me…..Womp Womp  

We all need to complain at one time or another. We call up our friends and let the gates of self-pity loose.  Whah!  “I can’t take it anymore”, “why me?” and my personal favorite “what did I ever do to deserve this?  these are all very popular topics for a good old fashion venting session.  Finding a friendly ear to listen can be some of the best therapy available, added humor is even better if you get some.  No co-pay, no weekly trips to a therapist…just a phone call and a compassionate ear. However, this so-called “compassionate ear” for some, has been extended to Facebook, Twitter and whatever other virtual “ears” may be available for some listening displeasure.

I’m beginning to think that the virtual ears are being used to invite 100 plus “friends” over for nothing more that a big ole pity party.  Think about how easy it is to write a Woe Is Me status on your wall and within seconds you’re receiving instant compassion, advice and sometimes even prayers to get you through your “crisis”, without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Who needs a therapist?  now that we have the social media solving our problems and feeding our needs…one click and a time.  No need for human connection, or dare I say PROFESSIONAL answers, not when we can get all we need from our “friends”, most of whom we rarely see in our “real” lives.

While these people are using their Facebook for some sort of attention seeking vessel, it is slowing sucking the life out of everyone else’s page. My page has a welcoming tone, a little political at times; an occasional funny photo, inspirational quote or music selection; humor and of course a dash of sarcasm; a page of pleasure if you will. So for me, it’s exhausting reading one dramatic post after the next as if they are planning for an apocalypse and frankly it leaves the rest of us looking for signs of fires and locusts. Therefore, unless its life-changing in some way or perhaps you have an actual date and time for the apocalypse, please tell the negative committee that lives inside your head to shut up. Negative draws negative and can turn the most beautiful of people…ugly in an instant.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey

Hey, I’m not always Patty Positive (far from it) and I’ll be the first to admit that Debbie Downer has nothing on the Negative Nancy that has taken over me at times, even with the knowledge that it’s not healthy. This is why it is so important to take a moment to appreciate the people, places and things that surround us every day. This is what keeps the Debbie’s and Nancy’s at at distance, sort of the same way garlic works on  blood-sucking vampires, positive thoughts keep the emotional vampires at bay.

Gratitude can be magical and when we take the time to incorporate into our day, it has the power to change our lives. Positive words and thoughts attract more positive people and circumstances.  Take a moment today to notice your fortunes, decide how you can reduce the negativity in your life, begin appreciating every day and as always…..Enjoy the Ride!

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