Tag Archives: humanity

Google Grim Reaper

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Ok, 2018 can seriously pack up now and hit the road. Bye bitch!

Hearts of all kinds have been at the forefront for me this year. The theme could indeed be dubbed hearts gone wild. 

The year kicked off big bringing the shattered hearts of parents who lost their child. One would think that would be enough.

Nope, next up the hearts of children who lost a parent weighted down with sadness and a load of new responsibilities. The circle of life at work.

Witnessing the end of young love with hearts broken in half. Ugh, it felt like 1986 all over again.

Having heartstrings pulled and tugged in every direction with news of illnesses of friends and family. Is this just another thing that happens when you get older?

Feel free to grab some black crepes at this point, maybe a sickle.

Oh, let’s not forget the feeling of an impending heart attack every time we see the words BREAKING NEWS flash across our televisions. Too many to count these days.

At work, I have been given a new title without a raise. Oh, yes, I can add Google 'Got him... got him... got him... need him...'Grimreaper to my resume. That should raise an eyebrow or two at an interview.

After 14 years of working in the medical field, you get to know your patients, so when they don’t show up for an appointment or their phone has been disconnected your heart sinks. I tend to forget we’re all 14 years older. 

Ugh, so this summer I spent a significant amount of time Googling death notices to earn my new title. Lucky me.

All of this gives us a choice to fall into the abyss of grief, pain, and uncertainty or stand tall in the gap recognizing the resilience of the human heart. Honestly, you’re not human if you have not had the experience of a broken heart.

It’s allowing that open heart to be filled with compassion, grace, and empathy.

It’s believing that our pain can be given new life.

It’s keeping faith in humanity.

It’s hope.

It’s learning to Enjoy the Ride in the process.

 

 

 

 

World Peace Is In The Kitchen

IMG_0835Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the 15th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation with members from my Quaker Meeting, and it was an enjoyable experience. This country could use one of these on a daily basis.

The theme for the walk this year was “Recognizing the One in All of Us.” This is appropriate for many reasons, in and out of religions.

Although this is something that has been going on for 15 years, it was my first, but certainly not my last. There is just something fulfilling about being surrounded by a group of like-minded folks that energizes me in a way I cannot put into words.

We started our journey at the Arch Street Meeting House in old city Philadelphia. The Meeting room was filled with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i, secular humanists, and others who share the values of peace and justice.  We sat in silence, as we do in Quaker tradition before heading to the streets.

Our first stop was the Society Hill Synagogue where we were greeted by members lining the entrance. Musicians were playing inside that filled the room with joy. The Rabbi welcomed all of us with prayer and a dash of humor. We then enjoyed a musical prayer performed by the Philadelphia Sikh Society youth group. A reading by Philadelphia Youth Poet Laurite, Husna Hashim, that rose the room to their feet in applause, and a Recitation from the Qu’ran by Muhammed Shehata from the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, which thankfully was translated for all of us to interpret. Notice the Rabbi & the Muslim embracing in the background. Who would have known ….

All throughout the walk, we were encouraged to use this opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone outside of our comfort zone and LEARN. Questions like “does your turban come pre-wrapped or do you do it yourself?” were not off limits. 

Just in case you were wondering they are not pre-wrapped and there are YouTube videos for guidance. According to his smile, I would say he was relieved at the lightness of my question. 

Once we left the Synagogue, we made our way back to the street and headed out for a 60-minute walk to Al Aqsa Mosque. We were greeted by the sounds of music compliments of a woman DJ wearing a hijab and Beats by Dre headphones. Something you don’t see every day.

The parameter of the facility was lined with the World Peace ballons in the above photo. It was indeed a site to witness. The air was consumed by the fragrance of dinner being made by the members of the Mosque, and dessert prepared by the Sikh community for all of us to share. All I can say is …. YUM!

As we were all settling in I took a moment to look around, I mean really look around at the oneness surrounding me.

I watched the men carrying out trays of food, and the women were not only directing where everything needed to go, but they were also getting annoyed if the men did not do it accordingly. Every woman reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about.

The children were running around excited to have company in their “home.”Look what I can do! Look at me! Watch this! Free entertainment.

I realized that the ONE woman in our lives who insists you try her dish over the everyday meals made by the other women even though your plate is already overflowing exists in EVERY culture. You know who you are ladies. 

This was when I understood that the core ingredient to solving World Peace is FOOD. We really need to stop overthinking, start cooking and 

Enjoy the Ride!

 

Let ‘er Roll!

via Daily Prompt: Conveyor

con·vey·or:  a person or thing that transports or communicates something.  “a conveyor of information.”

When I first read this prompt, Lucy and Ethel came to mind as I remembered the most famous conveyor belt of my lifetime, which has been providing laughter to so many for decades. You’re welcome. 

 

 

Life was so much simpler in the days when the only things coming at us like a train were chocolates. Sigh

We now live in a time where information conveyed is too easily received, not because it’s factual, but because it matches our belief. This information overload is preventing us from L I S T E N I N G to anything outside of our own opinions. A wall has been built folks, and it’s not in Mexico.

Now that the double-edged sword technology has entered our lives; it’s not just the bombardment of information conveyed at full throttle; it’s the follow-up investigations to dissect the truths that are equally overwhelming for me.  Exhausting is an understatement.

Sadly, not everyone conducts investigations because it’s more accessible to watch “Breaking News” or accept information spewed out of the mouths our politicians as factual. Easy peasy.

Just remember, Memes have become sources of News in some circles of this country. Let that sink in for a moment. 

We also endure the information our “friends” on social media are conveying to the world on a minute to minute basis. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat an endless stream of blah, blah, blah. I’ve never been happier not to be a teenager.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice to share moments that have substance, the photo of a lost pet, an encouraging quote or funny meme, but to continuously convey your every move to the world is more of a cry for help. Look at me look at me … umm … NO!

Just like Lucy said “Ethel, I think we’re fighting a losing game.” as she shoved chocolates in her mouth, under her hat, and on the floor.

It’s time to dig deep people. The time has come to silence the overload, regain our common sense and be better stewards of the information we are conveying to the world. One closed tab at a time.

How’s this for information overload?

Be kind. Be mindful. Be considerate. Be aware. Be honest. Be friendly. Be compassionate. Be grateful. Be inspirational. Be yourself. Be happy. Be strong and as always, Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

 

Got Grace?

Have you seen Grace?

grace-def-1She’s the gal that spent her days roaming around within the majority of people for decades. Yes, it’s true.

You could find her on the street, the supermarket, and in fact, running free in most public spaces. I know, right?

So where did she go? One day did she decide to say “fuck it I’m outta here!” due to the overwhelming ignorance surrounding her kind soul or did she silently grab her box of kind words, gestures, and courteous goodwill and slowly walk off to the ends of the earth? Inquiring minds need to know.

In her youth, Grace was on her game spreading her attractively polite manner of behaving across the land. She was one of the popular girls.

That’s right she was regularly mingling in our daily lives lending a hand or two when needed. Providing words of wisdom, a tissue, a seat or a shoulder without her motives being in question.

Now it seems as if Grace only makes special appearances, sweeping in to give a kiss on the cheek, warm a heart, or soothe a soul before leaving Dodge. Today, Grace is a minority. I’ll just assume she’s on that dreaded travel ban list because of her good nature. 

Yep, that’s right she’s been overpowered by the likes of Fear, and we all know Fear is too much of a kitty kat to travel alone, so he rallies his buddies suspicion and mistrust along for extra muscle.

Fear is doing his best to run the show we call everyday life. (yes, fear is a man because men have more power, and I said so) He is out slithering around insisting that we now question Grace and her posse of possibilities, kindness, and dare I say compassion.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. Franklin D. Roosevelt

This change didn’t happen overnight, oh no, it’s been going on for some time now, but it’s evident that it has recently escalated. Hmm, I wonder why?

Grace needs us more than ever now that fear has gotten his cloven hooves on the internet to spread at the speed of lightning. She needs us on the ground to defend her motives. To ensure that her kindness is trusted, and to regain the best that humanity has to offer. We need more than a glimmer of our girl. 

So, if Grace happens to cross your path, embrace her offerings with open arms. Encourage her to stay for a while. Let her know how much we need her in our lives by spreading her around like glitter while you… Enjoy the Ride!

 

Cave 219 Unit A

fullsizeoutput_2473For as long as I can remember I’ve been required to complete some sort of form before my entrance into a school, hospital or doctors office. So why is this practice suddenly considered a personal attack on freedom? I have a few ideas.

Well, for whatever reason, people seem to be relating this procedure as a personal infringement on their rights as an American citizen. Hmm, I wonder where they could have gotten that idea?

As some of you may already know, I work in the healthcare system where I am in the presence of the public on a daily basis. Feel free to send words of encouragement. 

So, as you can imagine, my days have been a real joy ever since people decided that every question presented, including NAME, has a hidden agenda. Items that have been routinely asked for DECADES I might add!

There seem to be (2) questions that set people off on a personal protest, lecture or aliem_soapboxcomments on everything unfair. Let me introduce you to race and ethnicity. Again, why?

Um, first of all, it’s evident to anyone with eyes if you’re black, white, orange or blue and secondly, you do have the FREEDOM to not answer the questions. Places do exist where options are not a thing, and this isn’t one of them.

Recently a new patient completed his form and vigorously crossed out ALL of the race selections to write A M E R I C A N across the page. Where does one begin?

Do I ….

a) Inform him that “AMERICAN” is not a race or an ethnicity unless you are in fact a NATIVE. Based on his white hair, blue eyes and Fighting Irish jacket, I’m going to risk stating that his ancestors were not the hot guys in loincloths at the first Thanksgiving.

b) Ask WTF does that mean? Outloud!

c) Earn an Oscar nomination for exhibiting an extreme level of control while in the presence of an ass. Is there a category for “best poker face?”

See you on the red carpet folks! I have bills to pay ya know.

Next up are the folks who REFUSE to complete the ethnicity portion of the form, which is fine, and again, you have that right. In fact, there is even a little box that says DECLINES TO PROVIDE.  

4534673-Cartoon-prehistoric-man-before-cave-color-illustration--Stock-IllustrationNO ONE, especially me is forcing you to reveal your heritage. However, one does not have to be Nancy Drew to solve that mystery or at least come close. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what makes people tick. 

My faith in humanity weakens when I think about the passion associated with these “protests” and how that energy is wasted on something so senseless. Ugh!

Do they realize that their name, address, social security number, phone numbers, employer information, marital status and the name of a family member for an emergency contact have just been delivered on a silver platter, which dramatically weakens their argument and provides enough evidence to trace their roots back to a cave?  Dear Lord!

Use your energy wisely and as always, Enjoy the Ride!

 

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!

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

event_photo-57a5033a5b6d5This 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!

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Compliments of Lovelorn Pup

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!

Peace Ride

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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 uncle.spikes.adventures1@gmail.com
5) Add an image Widget using this image URL and link to this post

12049679_10205727794898815_2434700194727613292_nOut 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! 

It Takes A Village

40287e1f937375987a5fa49d71cce72eDaily Prompt: Helping Hand

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.

Helping hands have shown up in my life recently and just in the nick of time if I do say so myself.  That’s right humanity came strolling in, fashionably late of course, complete with party horns & confetti to join in on all the festivities. Was I “surprised”? Not really because that’s how humanity rolls.

Considering the level of activity around these parts over the past few months, it wasn’t  too shocking to anyone that my emotions decided to go into a full-blown tailspin, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Now that was a big fat ssurprise!

Believe me when I tell you I admire the complexity of the human brain, but there are times when I really wish it had an “off” switch. Perhaps it could have been installed when I became a mother. God obviously missed the memo on “When Women Worry”, along with the follow-up memo When Mothers Worry … A Whole Other Story,” otherwise he would have included the switch. He was probably off creating a giraffe or something so I’ll let him slide, since giraffes are so badass.

I was at the point of going from mole hill to mountain in one second flat, which is what can happen when your creative juices 44dfffbc16181b21312f1da189ce787fdecide to collaborate with your fears. These 2 should never hook up … ever. Unfortunately for me they were in an on and off relationship since September, but decided to take it to another level in February and by the end of March they were nothing short of hot & heavy. Such sluts!

So, on that particular Thursday when I pulled into the parking lot at work, I could not believe what suddenly began to unfold. One minute I’m laughing along with the morning Dj’s and the next my heart is pounding out of my chest. My imagination and fears decided to get it on right there in the parking lot! 

Somehow I managed to get out of the car and right into my first set of helping hands. Lord knows I must have appeared completely crazy, but in the moment I was more concerned about dying and much less concerned about first impressions. This stranger walked me to my office, assured me I was “ok” and wrapped those helping hands around me with a supporting hug before closing the door. Suddenly I was alone with the dynamic duo again…this was not good.

Next set of helping hands to show up was my boss. Oh, yes you did read that correctly. By the time he arrived on the scene, not only was my heart pounding out of my chest, but the tears were uncontrollable. He assured me I was NOT having a heart attack, but what did he know? … he’s only a DOCTOR for god sakes!  My brain was already claiming victory over this battle!

8a855a94a51099881c9a3fc60a0e3f64Just as I was about to wave my white flag and let my brain wear the crown some helping hands joined forces. My friend/co-worker arrived and knew exactly what to do. Honestly, the only thing missing was her white horse. She held my hand and walked me down to the office of my family doctor while reinforcing the fact that I was NOT having a heart attack. Um, I still wasn’t believing it.

Her helping hands had a magnetic force that attracted more hands into my circle of need, while never loosening her grip on mine. The girls at the desk, the medical assistant and the nurse practitioner all worked together with my friend to ensure me that I would come from behind and start kicking some crazy ass very soon. It really does take a village people. 

By the time this all ended I was whipped! My brain is pretty freaking tough, but my spirit is much tougher thanks to all those helping hands. They helped me to get back on the road to Enjoy the Ride! 

Don’t Let Me Down

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Are you happy now? Next time I’m driving.

Disappointment certainly comes in all shapes and sizes throughout our lives. For me, disappointment is complex, and it usually never travels alone. It’s always out there surrounded by a posse of emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, and probably many others that just like to linger within the group. Emotional groupies … no thanks.

Right now I’m not sure what I should feel. I’ve been surrounded by disappointment and company since July, leaving me in a constant state of emotional uncertainty.

Disappointment is slick. It mastered the skill of hovering over my mind, making its way from front to back in an instant and distorting my usually bright view of the world. I really just want to get back on my unicorn and ride some rainbows. 

WTF?

WTF? I look like an old man.

How am I suppose to react when someone I know falls from grace? When this happens to the rich and famous like Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods we are all consumed with hearing the sordid details of their fall. We play judge & jury over coffee, around the water cooler or in the school yard. But, how do we deal with it when it happens to Joe & Jane Ordinary from our own inner circles? Someone just like you or I who decided to make choices that leaves us with that perpetual WTF look on our faces. This is never a good look for more that a few seconds, let alone months.

The story of Jane or Joe isn’t taking precedence on every network on the planet and Lord knows they’re not sitting back pondering “Would it be better to come clean to Oprah, Katie or Dr. Phil?”  They’re most likely just trying to survive the fall. Loosing everything to the average person is much different from loosing endorsements from Nike and Gatorade. Regular folks don’t bounce. 

faf06848e722c88b8f2f216f2ce6a2c4Sometime in December I read a post over at the The Byronic Man that touched on this subject, but it also stirred some serious emotions for me. At the end of his piece he presented a Weekly Question of the Week that certainly made me pause. Who out there – celebrity or scientist, writer or philanthropist – do you just really, really hope never has some image-destroying scandal?  Or even, if they are in fact awful, you’d just rather not know? My answer to this question was Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen’s actions represent my perception of humanity at its best. I could never know that Ellen was really some behind the scenes tyrant who chewed kindness up and spit it out.  I’m sweating just thinking about that possibility..ugh. 

While answering that question, I was thinking about something that was hitting much closer to my ordinary life. There was someone in my life every day for close to 3 years whose recent actions let me down. We worked together, laughed together and cried together as we fought a battle that at times felt like we were we starring in a Lifetime movie. These movies are much better when viewed  from the comfort of your living rooms. 

As with any relationship there are up & downs and we certainly had our share. Saying that our personalities are different would be an understatement, but they balanced perfectly together while we were in the midst of this battle. However, things changed  for me when the dust settled. Back in July, I found out that this person had taken a fall from grace. She managed to commit some of the same acts that we spent 3 years battling. Needless to say disappointment, along with its entourage, hit me like a ton of bricks. I was literally left stunned.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Maya Angelou.

I love that quote by Maya Angelou, but I have a difficult time believing, even when the evidence is obviously clear. Denial is easier than 7502811442_57c92e3656disappointment. I have a habit of giving everyone the benefit of doubt, always believing that they are in fact much better than what they are revealing to the world. I already know I would not fare well on a jury. 

Maya Angelou explains, people know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are. Don’t expect and you won’t get hurt…right? 

So here I am almost 7 months later finally ready to accept this disappointment. I recognize that I will continue to be disappointed—that it’s part of life, part of being human. That’s real encouraging isn’t it? Jeez!

I think I’ll start to focus on some happiness for now. Maybe I’ll grab a unicorn, find some rainbows and just … Enjoy the Ride!

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