Tag Archives: humanity

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!

True Colors

DAILY PROMPT: Shipwrecked!

Today’s daily prompt certainly has the ability to stir up a lot of debate on what is right or moral in the name of survival. The question posed is this:

Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?

The Cliff Note version of the story is that 4 men were stranded at sea. One of the men, Richard Parker a 17-year-old cabin boy succumbed to illness and fell into a coma after drinking sea water. Dudley, the Captain, started making decisions about killing Parker in order for the other 3 to survive. His sales pitch included “Killing Parker before his natural death would better preserve his blood to drink.” I’m not stranded out at sea, but even if I was, I can’t imagine that being appealing to me. 

My first question would be “Excuse me Dudley, but isn’t it the Captain that goes down with the ship?”  We could argue that it was actually his duty as Captain to ensure the safety of the others or you could argue that’s exactly what he was doing when he presented the idea of a potential sacrifice. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

281123201709953744_Fs8hbEnT_cPersonally, for me it would have to come down to intention. “Dudley again raised the matter with Stephens pointing out that Parker was probably dying and that he and Stephens had wives and families.” This sales pitch would leave me to believe that some how their lives had more value because they had families. Was there any discussion on the fact that Parker was just a boy who hadn’t even had the opportunity to experience the riches of being a family man? Did anyone bring up the idea that maybe if one of them took their own lives, Parker could be nursed back to health with the remains. If not, selfishness seems to have entered the lifeboat.

What would you have done? I have no idea. I don’t think that question can truly be answered until after the fact and then it would be What did you do? When we are in a situation of survival, I believe it can either bring out the best in someone or the worst in a person. Either way the true colors always shine through.

Enjoy the Ride! Just make sure you’re traveling with the Rainbows of the world.

Angel Wings

DAILY PROMPT: Ripped From The Headlines

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

I honestly don’t have a favorite online news source. My favorite way to receive news is via an old fashioned paper, you know where you get to turn pages. But, I do from time to time come across articles that I enjoy online via Facebook. The Onion is news with a twist that never disappoints. However, yesterday was different….

K2621-06I came across this article on the Inquisitor Noah Pozner’s Mom Describes Newtown Victim’s Body, And Why We Should All Listen. Within this article you will also be able to read the original interview by Naomi Zeveloff, which appeared in The Jewish Daily Forward. Ms. Zeveloff interviewed Veronique, the very courageous mother of little Noah. She poignantly describes what she saw when she viewed his body prior to the formal services.

“We all saw how beautiful he was. He had thick, shiny hair, beautiful long eyelashes that rested on his cheeks. He looked like he was sleeping. But the reality of it was under the cloth he had covering his mouth there was no mouth left. His jaw was blown away. I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don’t talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. They were brutalized. And that is what haunts me at night.”

Veronique’s methodical account of what she saw and why she needed to see Noah is raw. It’s personal, honest, horrific and necessary. She personally walks us through our own fears with dignity in this piece. This is not an easy read by any means, but listening to these horrific details is necessary in order for us to fully grasp the extent of harm that can be caused by these assault weapons.

I think Veronique says it best in this statement:

“I owed it to him as his mother, the good, the bad, the ugly … It is not up to me to say I am only going to look at you and deal with you when you are alive, that I am going to block out the reality of what you look like when you are dead. And as a little boy, you have to go in the ground. If I am going to shut my eyes to that I am not his mother. I had to bear it. I had to do it.”

We owe it to ourselves to do the same. Thank you Veronique.

Humanity Cliff

mw_1113_FISCAL_CLIFF_620x350The constant chatter about the impeding doom of falling off of the “oh so precious” Fiscal Cliff, had me crazy to the point of wanting to give it a big fat shove to help it along. Talk about beating a dead horse, or carcass in this case. Since early November we have been held prisoner to term “Fiscal Cliff.” What the hell does it mean?

Well, according to Fiscal Cliff for Dummies this is what it boils down to:

The United States fiscal cliff refers to a large predicted reduction in the budget deficit and a corresponding projected slowdown of the economy if specific laws are allowed to automatically expire or go into effect at the beginning of 2013.

What are we a bunch of wussies? I for one am much more afraid of things like Silence of the Lambs then falling off a fiscal cliff. Maybe we’ll have to struggle or god forbid sacrifice, but we’ll make it..simmer down. Remember the Great Depression? So does my mother, who was born smack into it and is still here to talk about it….you’ll all live. The imaginary money on our portfolios might take a hit, but we’ll all survive. I think some folks in that 1% category might have a much harder time than me…I’ve done struggle. 

The mascot went unnoticed

The GOP Mascot has left the building

While all of our elected officials were sweating over the demise of their tax brackets, a big ole polka dotted elephant made her way to the center of the House floor. Rumor has it she was stunning. I heard first hand that she was wearing a red tutu with flashing lights, but it still wasn’t enough to get her recognized. What does a girl have to do to get noticed on the House floor? Please don’t answer that. 

Her name was VAWA, she would have been 19 this year. Maybe you recognize her by her birth name, Violence Against Women Act. Sadly she is no longer with us since the GOP in the U.S. House of Representatives killed her this week. Yep, once again they will get away with murder. Why you ask? Other than the obvious, because they were too distracted by their own potential financial demise to give a shit, it’s because it would have expanded coverage of the law to more women including immigrants and Native Americans. More coverage, more money needed. It always comes down to the Root of ALL Evil money.

17654260Honestly, if we as a nation cannot recognize the importance of providing vital assistance, to vulnerable women and their children when they need it most, I think we all better take a glance in the mirror and ask ourselves…WHY?

Clearly there is a much bigger problem in this country and it has absolutely nothing to do with the almighty dollar. It’s the shortage of HUMANITY. We as a nation have fallen over the Humanity Cliff long ago. Where is all the hype about this freaking disaster? 

Oh, sure humanity teases us now and then when it climbs back up that mountain, all tattered and torn from its many, many journeys over the cliff. Poor thing is hanging on by a thread. We all see it peaking over the top in the aftermath of some horrific tragedy, but then as life returns to “normal” or what is then defined as the “new normal” we shove it right back down. We can’t survive on these tidbits, we deserve more. 

It’s obvious that the handful of good stories that surface in the wake of a tragedy restores our faith in humanity but it just isn’t enough anymore. These restorations need to be consistent in order to build a foundation that will prevent the fall. 

Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world -Desmond Tutu

561We are materialistic to a level that is on the brink on insanity. 

Our family units are broken.

Our children are becoming disconnected at the speed of light.

Our sense of community is scarce. We are distracted, divided and headed for disaster if we don’t collectively recognize this huge void in our daily lives. A unanimous Ah Ha moment is desperately needed for the common good. 

It really is the everyday, unnoticed actions of kindness and caring that restore our faith in humanity. Practicing simple acts every 211106301254243494_jTQXJFTk_bday such as using caring words, providing a reassuring hug, lend a helping hand and confirm the acknowledgement of our existence by smiling at a stranger is a wonderful way to get started. Practice make perfect folks…we can do this together.

Remember, in the end that’s all we have is each other. So, take a moment to recognize that our obligation is not just with ourselves, but those who live with and within our decisions.

Keep it simple, make it significant and Enjoy the Ride! 

Got Truth?

I’ve been pondering about writing on this subject, but I decided it was necessary.

On September 11th this year I had the pleasure of being in NYC one of my most favorite places to attend the taping of a very popular TV show.

My feeling was the ticket availability was due to the lack of enthusiasm for venturing into NYC on 9/11, but I don’t think that was the case. It seemed to be business as usual 11 years later.

As we headed out in the wee hours of the morning, I couldn’t help but notice how this day seemed to mirror 11 years ago, as far as the weather was concerned anyway. It was absolutely perfect with clear blue skies, cool air and bright sunshine. No one expected the darkness we all experienced later that morning and I certainly didn’t anticipate what I experienced 11 years later, which was absolutely nothing. No extra kindness, smiles, eye intact  or a word spoken the entire 2-hour ride for that matter.

The Faces of Vulnerability. LIFE

My Facebook, however, was exploding with images reflecting the towers draped in flags, flickering candles with prayers and, of course, the famous shot of the fireman planting the flag on the rubble. It was borderline annoying considering what I was experiencing in the real world.

All of these powerful images were met with the words “Never Forget.” News Flash….we’ve  forgotten something very important. Not the event, that will be embedded in us forever, but the lessons seem to be MIA. What happened to our vulnerability? 

As we were sitting on this bus, without an empty seat, I couldn’t help but notice the silence. It was deafening for god sakes, not a word was spoken.

I couldn’t help but think “If this bus blew up could I depend on this crew of statues to lend a helping hand?” Hey, I don’t walk around in fear of the sky falling, however, I don’t dismiss the possibility to the point of disconnect with the people around me.

Have we forgotten that the target that dreadful day 11 years ago was not the physical structures of these massive buildings, it was the strength they represented?

The real targets were our freedom, tolerance and decency. What happened to a sense of humanity? 

As I sat outside of a cafe waiting for my nephew to eat his 100th meal of the day, I watched a homeless man being passed by an endless sea of people. Did I mention he was an Army veteran, oh and that it was 9/11?

I understand people get tired of  giving up their dough to strangers that might be complete frauds…I get that whole thing. What bothered me was no one even made eye contact, he was invisible. 

Well, call me what you will I had to give him something before I left. He stood up, shook our hands, thanked us, complimented my nephew’s bow tie and explained his recent homelessness. He was legit, alive and very visible and long as you’re willing to open your eyes! 

Have we forgotten that we witnessed the worst of an ideology of fear and hatred, and the best of the American people? What happened to our unity? 

I was the last to enter the bus to return to Philly, only to find there were no seats..or so I thought. Apparently there was a seat being occupied by Louis Vuitton. Simmer down folks, not the man the travel tote! Seems like the designer travel tote, who was not a paying customer, suddenly had more value than me. After numerous requests, the bitch woman reluctantly moved Louis to the side without an ounce of acknowledgement to my existence…I was invisible. 

It could have been worse, it could have been a cheap knock-off! I had to justify it somehow people! 

All of this, along with the negative climate that seems to be clouding over us daily, really has me questioning my own Truth to Power. Why is it so hard for us to exercise these simple tasks? 

We speak to power in three senses:

  • To those who hold high places in our national life and bear the terrible responsibility of making decisions for war or peace.
  • To the American people who are the final reservoir of power in this country and whose values and expectations set the limits for those who exercise authority.
  • To the idea of Power itself, and its impact on Twentieth Century life.

Our truth is ancient: 

  • that love endures and overcomes.
  • that hatred destroys.
  • that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden.

You can check out more on this powerful statement right here….sttp.html

Honestly, if we want things to be different, we as individuals need to take serious action to recommit to communicating rather than acting rashly, focus more on building rather than destroying and observe wisely rather than acting without thought.

These small changes can make a huge difference, not just in our daily lives, but as a nation and a world.

We can do this folks….Truth to Power…one day at a time. Enjoy The Ride!

 

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