Today I’m sitting in my sunless sunroom on day number who the hell knows of Stay In Your Damn House life here in Philadelphia.What’s a girl to do?
I’ve been pondering about ALL of this extra time I have on my hands, the time I must say I have longed for over the years. On more than one occasion, I’ve said, “If I were locked in this house, I would scrub it from top to bottom.” Oh, the lies I tell.
The problem seems to be the lack of clarity in my intention. I should have said, “If I were locked in this house, BY MY OWN FREE WILL, WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF MY LOVED ONES AND THE WORLD, THE FEAR OF FINANCIAL DEMISE AND LACK OF TOILET PAPER, I would scrub this house from top to bottom. It’s all about the presentation, folks.
So, what has been going on over here at my abode you ask, not scrubbing, that’s for sure. There has been some puzzle building, which started with enthusiastic joy and ended with the equivalent to a quarantined cage fight. I’m still not sure when it turned into a competition.
I started puzzle #3 on my own. It contains 1,000 mind-boggling pieces that, in the end, will resemble all sorts of dog breeds, including a bio. Dachsund: Loves to Play and Act Comically, Also Makes an Alert Watchdog. I think this guy is ready for Match.com.
Last night I spent a good hour looking for the legs of an Irish Setter. This is now my new gauge on time. Do you have time? Yes, but not enough to waste looking for Irish Setter legs.
Let’s see, there have been limited, but necessary trips to the supermarket. I knew when the parking lot looked like a trauma center with used gloves and masks on the ground; I was about to appreciate this social distancing thing even more. I’m starting to believe the first symptom of this virus is the loss of all common sense.
Oh, how could I forget my introduction to the use of Zoom? For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s a way to communicate through video chat. It’s been a real silver lining through all of this distancing. It’s also been a REALLY BIG eyeopener to my gray roots and Groucho Marx eyebrows!
Honestly, my favorite part of using Zoom is watching my placement in the conversation. During my last conference, I held the spot of Mrs. Brady for a good 15 minutes! This is where I’m at people, this is where I’m at.
Do not mistake my sarcastic storytelling for lack of empathy during these uncertain times. Sarcasm is my protective shield, and lord knows it has seen better days.
Enjoy the Ride! 6 feet apart until further notice. PLEASE!
I have an insane sense of direction. It’s indeed a gift. Especially in the days of traveling with male drivers pre GPS devices. Sorry guys.
Ever since I was a child, I could remember how to get from point A to point B from the backseat nonetheless.
I contribute this to my keen sense of my surroundings or my mnemonic image skills. That’s right ladies and gentleman, yours truly is a human navigational system via the pictures in my head.
When I was no more than 6, I remember sitting in the backseat of my father’s Caprice Classic looking out the window while taking notes on where we were going. Mailbox, blue words, brown building.
This came in handy when we were heading to the same place, and my father seemed to forget the left turn at the mailbox. I’ll never forget how impressed he appeared with my knowledge of direction.
Fast forward to me slaying my driving test. My sister went to Center City to get her hair cut at a high-end salon, but that’s another story. Anywho she called my father crying because she couldn’t seem to find her way to the train station to get home.
So, what does a father do when he doesn’t want to miss an episode of General Hospital to pick-up his lost daughter in the city? He summons his other daughter with her keen mnemonic image skills and fresh drivers license to fetch the one he claimed: “could not find her way out of a paper bag.” The 80’s were a different world people.
Mind you my license was fresh off the presses, I had never driven to the city alone, and yet my father seemed more than confident that I would be able to pull off this mission. Good thing I was fearless at 17.
Of course, my big question was “where is she?”
Without missing a beat, my dad said “17th & Locust.” Ok, that didn’t help.
Since he was aware of my skills, he followed that up with “you know what city hall looks like right?” Um, yea.
“Well, that’s 15th Street. Just follow the numbers until you see a park on your left. Turn left at the end of the park, and you’ll see your sister crying on the corner.” Um, ok.
Considering I’m writing this story, and my sister is a married mother of two, you know that the mission was indeed accomplished without incident. Including that riveting episode of General Hospital.
Enjoy the Ride! Directions are optional.
What can I say? I L O V E to entertain.
I love to make my house sparkle & shine.
I love cooking with a dash of love and a smidgen of admiration.
I love breaking out all the fancy schmancy goods.
I love watching the interactions.
I love listening to the laughter.
I love feeling the love.
There is something about having the power to make people happy that swells my soul.
Of course, it might not seem like it while I’m running around like a chicken without its head to ensure that everything is just so or when I’m screaming at my kids because they’re leaving signs of life ALL over the house, but I really do. I swear!
Recently my son was kind enough to send me this video that could be actual footage of me before hosting anything from coffee to Christmas. As he explained “Mom! This is so YOU!” Please remind me again why I had kids?
Well, I guess I should be glad that I’m not the mother of Chris Fleming, the young man behind this video because he is the comedian that stars as the titular high-strung suburban mom Gayle Waters-Waters in this video, and many more that are also hilarious.
So, after the dust settles literally and the guests arrive, I put on my best hostess with the mostess attitude to dazzle them with delicious food, laughter, music, cocktails, more laughter and conversation before I send them back to reality where for days they are yearning for a little more. That’s Entertainment!
Enjoy the Ride!
The Fur Balls!
Leading up to our vacation the concern was growing about the fur babies and their reaction to everything salty & sandy.
Peanut sat on my lap shaking like a leaf for the 2-hour drive. The poor little guy did not know what the heck was happening, other than his toys and bed were going with him. The last time this happened his previous owners left him at our house and never came back. Can dogs have PTSD? Yes.
Landon, on the other hand, slept like a husband, occasionally opening his eyes to check on his surroundings. Oh, it must be nice to be Landon.
Ocean City, NJ does not allow dogs on the beach during the regular season, however, the dog-loving beachfront homeowners paying a zillion dollars in taxes say “Oh please, just tell me to get off.” Gotta love the rule breakers who welcomed our pups to their protest.
Peanut & Landon LOVED the beach during the very early morning and late evening as much as we did. I think they sensed the peace.
Peanut channeled his inner mountain lion while climbing the dunes, and Landon played tag with the waves. Sandy paws are happy paws.
It’s strange, but I swear dog owners have some sort of magnetic force that attracts them to other dog owners.
Look who I met on my way to the way to the beach. Shhh … Peanut & Landon do not know about my Summer Fling.
Ladies and gentleman, meet Lucy. Could a name be more perfect?
This little-redheaded beauty is a 12-week old Cavapoo. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossbred with a Poodle a/k/a freaking adorable.
Her owners picked her up in Rochester, NY on Friday and drove her straight to their Summer home on the beach. Sadly, I only received a blank stare when I asked if they would consider rescuing a middle-aged woman.
I had the pleasure of seeing Lucy every day. We mainly discussed how the salt air was not friendly to our hair. You know, girl talk.
Ok, back to the fur boys that stole my heart. Spoiled is an understatement.
Here they are sitting outside of the ice cream parlor waiting for their order. Vanilla soft serve is their favorite.
They definitely received the memo about ice cream not having calories at the shore.
They went for walks.
Ate ice cream more than once.
Ran on the beach.
Went to the Chatterbox, a dog-friendly restaurant in town.
Enjoyed the beautiful sea breeze on the deck every night.
They were surrounded by all the humans they love unconditionally for 7 solid days.
“They’re on vacation” was the justification for all of the extra spoiling.
Seems like they’re on vacation every damn day while their home, but who am I to judge.
Surround yourselves with those you LOVE and Enjoy the Ride!
Is it possible to have a lifetime of happiness jammed into one week? Yes, yes it most certainly is possible.
It all started on Saturday, February 11th when we went on a double date with vodka and Neil Diamond. Oh, I know I have your attention now.
I’m not a drinker, not even wine, not even socially. Typically if I’m going to go “hardcore” for a night on the town, I’m doing it with sparkling water, and …. hold on to your seats… LEMON.
With that being said I’m really not sure what possessed me to order a Cosmo, and I have NO CLUE how that escalated to having my own damn shaker at the table (twice), but it happened. Maybe it was all the love in the air…hmm.
We went out to celebrate our anniversary, which just happens to be on Valentine’s Day, which is also the busiest night on the planet to celebrate, which is why we avoid it like the plague. We’ve lived we’ve learned.
This year we were invited by a family member to see the Real Diamond Band, a Neil Diamond cover band at a local venue, along with our two very feisty aunts. When opportunity knocks…answer.
Let’s hear it for Aunt Jean & Aunt Sophie who at 75 & 78 make Thelma and Louise look like freaking church ladies. True story!
Once the party got started, Aunt Sophie took to the dance floor with her air guitar in tow, whispering “I feel 25!” in my ear as she headed out for her first solo of the night. Aunt Jean was in charge of replenishing the cocktails in between dances. A task that kept her busy throughout the evening.
All I can say is there is something religious about singing Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs with a group of strangers. Hallelujah!
No good story ever started with the word salad, this is fact.
Next up was Valentine’s Day/26th Anniversary. Nothing says I love you more than attending a therapy session with your mate. Flowers & chocolate are temporary, getting to the truth lasts a lifetime.
As if that wasn’t enough for one week my son turned 22 on Friday. It’s still hard to believe how quickly time passes. One minute you’re picking up their toys, the next you’re picking up the trail of socks, towels, shorts …… So, in reality, time flies when you’re bending over.
I’m kidding, not really.
My Zac is a determined young man making his mark in the world. He is bright, hilarious, and keeps truth in the forefront. Never ask his opinion unless you’re prepared to hear the truth.
Just when you think there is a break, my birthday hits the floor. That’s right ladies and gentleman I have gained another year. The BEST part of my day was Mother Nature, in all of her glory, provided this February birthday girl with a recording breaking 70-degree day. Can we get a round of applause?
I was showered with good wishes, food, jewelry, a new FitBit, a birthday hat at the gym, and a ton of LOVE lasting for days. Who knew turning 53 could be so grand?
Yesterday was the grand finale of the festivities. My husband planned a “surprise” for me, which would be fine if I were one to enjoy surprises outside of hitting the Power Ball, or my husband wasn’t the guy who gave me a turbo hair dryer for Christmas. He still thinks that was a great idea.
Have you ever heard of Floating? Click on the link and learn. I could never put into words how the experience was other than I would swear I saw a unicorn. Magical.
There was something liberating about the floating experience, or maybe that was just the unicorn talking, I won’t know until I try it again.
Enjoy the Ride …. make it magical!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.
Enjoy the Ride!
Don’t forget to pack your blessings!
This Sunday, September 18th, I have the pleasure of walking on behalf of LuLu’s Rescue. This wonderful organization was brought to my attention by my dear friend Marge. We’ve known each other since grade school. A/K/A a very long time.
Marge rescued the most beautiful girl named Izzy from this organization. She loves to dig holes, sit in the sun, cuddle and provide endless hours of love. What more can you ask for? Marge might say fewer holes.
I’m not sure how Marge does it, but she regularly volunteers her time and effort to this cause. I’ve seen photos of her in a pile of puppies! Yes, you read that right. Somehow she has the restraint to not fill her purse and make a run for it with those fur balls. I do not have that power.
The part I’m playing in all of this is very small. I just have to B E G family and friends to support me in raising some cold hard cash. With every $250.00 raised a lump of love will be rescued from a kill shelter. Insert a gentle tug on your heartstrings.
They will then be placed into loving foster arms where they will await a forever home. But all of this cost money. Your donation will provide transport, vetting, spay/neuter, microchip, heart worm and flea/ tick meds along with food to all of these lucky dogs. Literally lucky dogs.
Look, I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Yes, I’m channeling my inner godfather.
All you have to do it click on this LINK: Lisa’s Donation Page
Follow the directions about entering your digits and you’re done. Easiest thing you will do all day!
In return animals all across the land will wag their tails in unison to THANK YOU for saving one of their own. Animals are such grateful creatures.
Enjoy the Ride … with a wag riding shotgun!
Ah the day after Christmas. The day we all take a moment to sit back to ponder on what the hell went down over the last couple days. Wait … what?
We think about conversations we had with family and friends, that suddenly don’t seem as merry & bright without our Christmas goggles. What the hell was she/he trying to say?
As we put our jeans on today we’ll wonder just how many cookies were taste tested over the past few days. Suddenly our math skills are super sharp as the consumption count hits a record high. Wait! How many times did I say … “just one more.” YIKES!
We will sort through our gifts, now that we are down from our Christmas high and wonder what exactly the giver might have been thinking at the time of purchase. Um …. yea …. I guess that makes sense … sort of.
Let’s stay on this point for a moment while I share with you all the gift I received from my loving husband. Do I have your attention?
You’re probably imagining me on silk sheets surrounded by chocolates, diamonds and champagne right about now, just basking in the luxuries I deserve for being such an amazing wife and mother that you know I am. Dream on.
As a matter of fact I could give you 10 clues and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE would be able to guess what was waiting for me inside that big box under the tree. Including myself!
No ladies it’s nothing sparkly or silky. Not a single animal was sacrificed for this beauty. It’s definitely bigger than a bread box. The color is a beautiful shade of teal. It has duel engines simmer down gentleman, but no tires. Proceed to scratch your scalp. It can go from 700 watts to 3600 watts with the flick of a switch. It’s something that can be used every day. Hmmm It weighs approximately 25 plus pounds and wouldn’t travel very well. Any one?
When I opened the box lord only knows WTF my face said, because the first words I read were PetClubLLC. Then the lightbulb went off in my head and I was suddenly elated to THINK that it was some sort of mini dog washer/dryer that would make grooming Peanut & Landon much easier. Could someone hit the switch on that lightbulb please … thanks.
I could barely contain my excitement when I squealed “Wow! This will save a ton of money on grooming!”
Let’s just say that excitement was very short lived. When from across the room came the words “No, it’s a blow dryer for YOU, you’re always complaining that your blow dryer isn’t strong enough.”
Me: A blow dryer? This says it has duel engines and there is a wind capacity listed on the box!
Loving Husband: Well, it will dry your hair fast.
Me: It might blow the hair right off my head! At this point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even contain myself.
Loving Husband: Yea but you’re always complaining how long it takes for your hair to dry. Again with this justification … lol!
Me: This is for animals …. I’m trying to imagine packing this for vacation …. Are we going to need a bigger bathroom?
Everyone: Laughing hysterically!
Did I mention I was married to Tim the Tool Man?
My son carried my new badass blow dryer to the bathroom, where later that morning I put it to the test. I fired up both engines, put the heat on high and suddenly felt like I was standing on a launchpad waiting for take off. You’re clear for take off!
I took out my styling brush, which was blown right out of my hand with some of my skin. Again the laughter ensued! I began styling, but really couldn’t see what I was doing. The wind was so powerful I had to squint during the process. Suddenly having compassion for leaves.
My hair was certainly dry … styled? I”m not sure, unless of course you’re going for that just stepped out of a wind tunnel look.
The jury is still out on wether or not my gift will be staying or if it will be heading back to the industrial tool warehouse. I’ll give it another chance today at a lower speed to save some scalp & skin.
Enjoy the Ride!
It’s a BOY! I’m just stopping by to make a HUGE announcement about a new addition to our family. I’m still trying to figure out why we decided to expand our family, especially since our kids are just about out the door and freedom is at our fingertips, but here we are the proud parents of … Drum Roll Please …..Landon. Isn’t he just the cutest? …. after Peanut of course.
We rescued Landon from the Dutch Country Animal Rescue. This wonderful organization saved this little guy from some hell hole in Missouri. It’s unthinkable to know that this sweet boy spent 2 of his 2.5 years on this earth in a crate. He came with some issues, so he fits right into this house. This is not an “issue free” zone.
Peanut has been the center of attention around here for 2 years, so my daughter, who knows ALL about being the center of attention for 2 years before her world came to an erupt end at the birth of her brother, has volunteered to advocate on Peanut’s behalf. Looks like she is already using those Psych & Sociology classes to do some good … or … evil.
Peanut has welcomed Landon with open paws. He has dragged out every toy we ever purchased to make sure Landon understands,“These are ALL mine and NO it doesn’t matter that I haven’t touched them in over a year they are MINE. Landon did not seem fazed by this episode of toy hoarding in the least. He gave his best ” Bitch please I’m a rescue” face and moved on.
We are all adjusting our schedules to make Landon’s transition into our family a happy one. Tomorrow will mark week one for Landon in our home and he is doing well eating, walking and pooping without incident. Yippee!
According to my daughter’s faceless smile and palm emoji, I may have crossed the line purchasing matching sweaters for these furry boys, while my son was just glad they weren’t for him and his sister. Hehehe!
Landon is filling our hearts including Peanut’s with love every day and we are glad he is here to Enjoy the Ride!
Father’s Day has been different for me over the years. My father died on Father’s Day in 1994. It’s ok, don’t be all sad, he planned the big exit so we would never forget. 23 years ago on the 19th of June.
Honestly, I always thought it would be Christmas, the big guns of the holidays, but having your father die on Father’s Day…well-played Jim, well-played indeed.
This was a man with a very large presence, who wanted to be remembered in a very grand way so I would say…mission accomplished dad.
My dad was almost 58 when I born..oops, which made my childhood a tad interesting, to say the least. It’s funny because I never thought my dad was old, he was just my dad. Until that Summer afternoon in my driveway when my best friend invited me to come to her Grams surprise 60th birthday party. She informed me it was going to be a big party because 60 is really old. This moment was equivalent having a friend fill you in on the whole Santa hoax. Wadda mean really old?
Needless to say, the lightbulb went off, the calculator in my head was hard at work and 68 is the final answer. Should I be afraid that the Grim Reaper is lurking in the shadows? Yes, which is exactly what I did from that moment forward. Side note: My mother was 20 years younger, just in case you were going to look me up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the baby born to the oldest woman or something.
He certainly didn’t act old. We went to the shore, amusement parks, and rides to Lancaster, just because he liked chicken and dumplings. We drove for ice-cream on a whim to a special place 45 minutes away, because it was better. We did everything the kids with a young dad did, just with more gray hair.
As I said my dad had a big personality. He was a Jimmy Hoffa/Archie Bunker (without the bigotry) all rolled into one. If he had something to say, he said it. If you crossed him…be afraid. If there was wrong to be righted, he got the job done. How? Who knows and it’s probably better to leave some things to the imagination.
He was a feisty free spirit who lived his life according to his own set of rules. He was loud, stubborn, demanding, certainly not boring, full of life and definitely had a good sense of humor. He never smoked or drank a day in his life, which most likely helped him in the end. I couldn’t even imagine an alcohol induced Jim…I think I just got goosebumps at that thought.
He was a Teamster and drove a truck for a living, but retired when I went to first grade. So in 1971, he became the stay at home dad and my mother went to work. Let’s just draw some more attention to ourselves as being different, shall we?
Both of my parents were very politically active during my childhood, so although he was retired from his job he always had something going on politically. He did go back to work part-time until he was 81. His motto was “always work hard, but remember you’re only a number” and today my siblings and I are all incredibly loyal hard-working adults, despite being a number.
When my dad was 81 he lost part of his foot to diabetes. This was after Dr. Jim decided he would remove his ingrown toenail with pliers. Feel free to read that line again, yes you did read “pliers” and yes, as in the tool in the garage.
Of course, no one knew how bad it was until it was too late. My mother had to retire at that point to care for him for the next 7 years. She refers to that time as “serving her sentence.” The woman is a saint! There isn’t a jury in the land that would convict her if she accidentally sat on that pillow on his face…trust me.
Jim was the worst patient in the ENTIRE world. Try telling an old free spirit …” you can’t”. The sentence “you can’t drive anymore, we need to take your license” was a million times more deadly than that gangrenous foot … for all of us.
Although, I know there were highways out there cheering with joy that Mr. Magoo was finally parked for good. Sitting in the passenger seat could cure even the worst case of constipation.
Honestly, when the man behind the wheel is saying “I’ll drive wherever the hell I want..I pay my taxes” as your entering the street with the red and white DO NOT ENTER sign, you know why your bowels are rumbling!
Although I was born to an older dad, I was fortunate that he hung around long enough to meet my daughter. I found out I was pregnant with my son the day before his funeral. This was a huge surprise, considering I had no recollection of having sex. But, according to that blue plus sign on the stick, I did. My first thought was “Oh, shit!” and rightfully so, because sure enough, there is a stubborn, demanding, free-spirited, outspoken young man who looks very much like my dad, living in my house.
Just remember folks, at 58 my father lived another life. He died when I was 30 years old. So he raised me, watched me get married… twice, became a grandfather for the 7th time and taught me a valuable lesson … you’re never too old to Enjoy the Ride!