Growing up, our family’s New Year’s Day tradition consisted of watching the Mummers parade ALL day because that’s how long it took to get to the finale and then to enjoy pork with sauerkraut dinner to somehow bring good luck in the year ahead. Umm, would be roasting an entire pig be too much this year, asking for a friend?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve been doing some research to amp up the whole good luck thing for 2021. According to the Google search box I’m not alone.
It was fascinating and alarming as to how some countries around the world ring in the new year. For instance, in Spain it is customary to eat 12 grapes, one at each clock’s stroke. Eating grapes seems easy enough, but it will be a hard NO for me without being surrounded by a group of people who can perform the Heimlich maneuver. It’s still 2020 until that last grape hits the mouth.
Denmark knows how to go out with a good old fashioned release of frustration. You’ll have to grab all of those unwanted dishes, or in this house, I could use the 5000000000 coffee mugs that never see a drop of coffee. Now, according to tradition, you head over to a friend’s home and smash them on the front door to ward off evil spirits and welcome good vibes. The definition of “friend” needs to be CRYSTAL CLEAR before you get started.
As if that weren’t enough for this Danish crew of thrill-seekers, they also try to find the highest peak they can, sometimes climbing on top of chairs, tables, and other objects in the home to jump into the New Year. Let me just put this out there, folks. If you’ve been eating and drinking ALL night and are over the age of 5, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, climb or jump. Remember, you’ll be heading to a Corona virus-infested ER alone if something goes wrong.
Ok, considering the political shit show we’ve all endured this year, I think we might need to embrace the tradition of the Ecuador locals who celebrate Los Anos Viejos, which translates to “the old years”—a tradition in which you want to destroy any of your past demons. This is where it gets good.
Locals use this as an opportunity to create dolls, like scarecrows; some are decorated with signs describing sins, while others (here is where it gets good) resemble sinister people. The creations are then filled with straw, newspaper, and anything else that burns fast. As the clock strikes twelve, the look-alikes are set on fire in the front yard, representing the good riddance to the old and welcoming the new. Oh, sweet Jesus, get this girl a match!
If you’re looking for some less dramatic ways to bring luck and love into your homes, you can turn to Italy to get the party started. It is customary to wear red underwear on NYE in Italy to bring love, prosperity, and good luck. Never underestimate the power of your Valentines’ panties. In the city of Venice, people gather in St. Mark’s Square to welcome the new year with a mass kissing session. Who needs fireworks.
In Wales, you’ll see many back doors opening at midnight to let the old year out. The entry is then locked to ensure that the hot mess doesn’t return. This year they might want to open some windows as well, to be sure it’s gone. We shouldn’t rule out a security system.
Well, considering 2020 has been so extra for many of us, I think it might be a good idea to ring in 2021 the same way. Forget what I said earlier. Eat that pork with a 12 grape chaser in your red underwear while setting your sinister scarecrow look-alike on fire as you jump off of a chair, breaking dishes as you open the back door. Take that 2020!
I wish all of you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and patient 2021!
Buckle up and Enjoy the Ride!
Christmas morning 2020, quietly sitting listening to the rainfall outside. The deck doors are open, and a nice unseasonably warm breeze is blowing through the room while I bite the limbs off of a gingerbread man and sip coffee.
My children are adults, so there is no need to be awake at this time, yet here I am scrolling through my FaceBook memories of past Christmas celebrations surrounded by family, friends, laughter, and love. Jeez, talk about a mixed bag of emotions coming to the surface.
Last year our house was full to the brim. We were full of Christmas spirit with two new little ones in the family experiencing all of their firsts. They had no clue what was going on, but it didn’t matter to all of us oohing and aahing over every move they made.
Our celebration today will look much different. My mind is not fully committed to the festivities today, but my heart is aching for some sense of normalcy, so I’m going to do my best, and that will be enough.
This year it’s a party of 6, not 16, so I will not need engineering skills to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table. Although I’ll be missing the others dearly, it allows me to embrace this crew with extra love. I hope they’re all ready for the hug fest that’s waiting for them over here.
Thanks to technology, we’ll be able to share in the little ones enjoying the excitement of Santa on repeat if we want, and we can FaceTime the others around the country to spread some cheer. As for those who we lost, we will be keeping their spirits alive sharing the many memories we had the privledge of making over the years.
My Christmas wish for the future is to just continue on with life. Continue to see the good and be good. Continue to have patience. Continue to be healthy. Continue to grow. Continue to heal. Continue to recognize the love around us. Continue to surprise a sometimes mean world with acts of kindness.
Continue to Enjoy the Ride!
Did you hear the one about the squirrel that walked onto a deck wearing a mask during the pandemic? At this point, it’s the only way anyone would believe that this actually happened yesterday. On the FIRST day, masks were mandatory in Pennsylvania.
I was sitting in my sunroom, on a quiet morning, listening to the bird’s chirp, waiting for the sun to make an appearance when I felt I was being watched. Listen to your instincts.
Once my eyes registered, I realized that I was, in fact, looking at a squirrel, looking at me, wearing a mask. This little guy just stood there as if he was on the red carpet waiting for the paparazzi to get their shot, which is precisely what I did. A miracle considering the laughter!
I still have no idea what this little guy had in his mouth, so I’m going with the obvious, that he watched a do-it-yourself mask-making video like the rest of us. Well done!
Now that the squirrel community is on board with following directions, it would be great if humans would follow suit. The sad reality is that people are well, people, and they only listen to what they want to hear and do what they want to do. Educated, grown-ass adults suddenly become toddlers.
It’s not that difficult. Wear the mask because the GOVERNOR said so. This is smart, safe, and limits make-up application to just the eyes.
The lack of human cooperation since the kick-off of Stay In Your Damn House guidelines does not surprise me or any other human being who has witnessed the behavior of parents on back to school night. When the words “this is not the time to ask questions about your child” are uttered, the hands begin to rise.
Disclaimer: I’m not a teacher. I’m the parent who LISTENS.
Living in a culture where instant gratification is a necessity and impatience is at the forefront does not help. Listening to adults asking on more than one occasion, “Is this over yet?” is the equivalent to “Are we there yet?” and that rarely ends well. Get hold of yourselves, people!
Honestly, the universe doesn’t always protect us, sometimes it challenges us with more than we would like to receive, and on occasion, hits us when we’re down, instead of cutting us a break. We have to remember that not every test passes in an instant, and not every threat can just be shrugged off. So, here we are, on the day who the hell knows of this blip in our regular routines, with guidelines changing every day, and new choices to be made. We can resist. We can hide. Or, we can just react in a manner that will benefit ourselves and others.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Enjoy the Ride!
So, here we are, Easter 2020, and suddenly the Easter Bunny isn’t the only one sporting a mask this year. Sorry if you still believe that a giant rabbit breaks into your house once a year to drop off life-like chocolate images of itself, it does not.
Does everyone else feel like they’ve been living the tomb life these days? We’re way past the required three day limit over here.
All kidding aside, this experience, combined with the time of year, has me focusing on what our resurrection will be like when we get back to business. Hopefully, it will be much better than what we left.
After the universe slammed on the breaks, leaving chocolate bunnies everywhere stranded on the store shelves, we were living in a constant state of “what kind of world are we living in?” and then, just like that, it stopped. I can still smell the burnt rubber.
In the wake of this virus, we’ve been left with heavy hearts and death all around this world. However, we’ve also been handed a once in a lifetime opportunity. A pause that allowed us to look deep into ourselves and at the world around us with eyes wide open. It’s like a deep global breath.
Now, it’s time to get uncomfortable.
What are the lessons we should be learning during our time in the tomb?
How are we going to reenter our pre-pandemic lives?
What will we do differently on a personal, social and economic level?
What have we learned, not just about ourselves, but our surroundings?
Where have the lights been the brightest? On our climate? Our economy, education, food, and healthcare systems? Our democracy? On our greed, social injustice, disconnection, or ALL of the above?
It’s a lot to think about, absorb and change, but it’s also a time to reimagine the world we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world. One that fits all of humanity, with a side of nature, would be nice.
On day 2376457635 in the tomb, we are starting to crave normalcy or the normal we’ve been normalizing for much too long, we cannot return to that world. Just say, no!
The worst thing we can do is rush to return.
We need to remain still a little while longer.
We cannot fall victim to the influx of deals and steals that are waiting in the wings to tempt us back to our old behaviors.
We need to be diligent in remembering the good, the bad and the love revealed throughout this experience.
We need to figure out a normal that works for everyone.
We need to continue to be creative in our ideas and innovations for our communities.
We need to live and breathe the words of Margaret Mead.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
My Easter wish for everyone is that when you do resurrect, you will step back into the world with fresh eyes, clear minds, open hearts, and all of the soulfulness you can offer. It’s our time to Rise & Shine!
Enjoy the Ride!
Through all of the recent darkness, I’ve been trying my best to look for the silver linings and believe it or not, they’re around. Currently, the most prominent one seems to be around my hairline.
Here are just a few things keeping my sanity intact these days.
Neighborhoods all around are finding ways to lift spirits, a clear sign that humanity is alive and well on the ground. It would be nice if she took a trip to DC, but that’s for another day.
My sister lives in a small town in NJ, and she is surrounded by creative minds. While on her daily “I need to get some damn air” walk, she came across a bundle of love all along the way. Is this what it’s like to live next door to Mr. Rogers? I think it’s close.
My neighborhood has been participating in a social media challenge to find rainbows displayed in windows or on doors. It’s a local scavenger hunt of sorts. I’m not sure if there is an age limit to participate, but I’m killing it over here with 32 rainbows! The other competitors aren’t old enough to cross the street, but that’s not my problem.
Since my family is sheltering in different places, PA, NJ & CA, my daughter started a Family Quarantine Facebook page to keep us connected. So far, this has been a great way to share encouraging quotes, photos of my great-niece Hope (yes, that is her name), and of course, memes. Laughter and baby photos make everything tolerable.
The silver lining for Peanut and Landon has been having their human roommates home 24/7. Peanut follows me EVERYWHERE. He is under my feet, on my lap, or up my ass ALL DAY LONG. At this point, he’ll need therapy when I go back to work. Landon refuses to follow the social distancing requirements, Peanut just wants him to stop being “that guy.”
Throughout this experience, I’ve been noticing two things every day. The number 444 and a cardinal. Coincidence? I think not. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s hit in the face with signs from the universe? Um, Google it.
Well, just as I suspected and Google confirmed, these two things are messages. I was already aware of the many meanings behind a cardinal sighting, so I welcomed my visitor with a cheery, “Good morning, Jer!” I’m assuming it’s my brother-in-law Jerry who passed away in October. If not, his name is now Jerry.
As for the 444, this is what I found.
If you see the number 444 repeatedly, it is often your angel giving you a sign that they are with you. The sign is reminding you to feel confident and supported in this knowledge.
While we’re all on pause, take time to notice the good, feed your soul, and as always … Enjoy the ride!
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!
On Sunday while attending my Quaker Meeting, I was moved by the message of one of the members. So much so that it has stuck with me for days now.
She began with a story about her company looking to revamp some staleness within her department, which led to a member coming to the table with a YouTube video about the reintroduction of grey wolves into the park, and the far-reaching effects their presence has had on the ecosystem. I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already had the pleasure.
The video led to the conversation of the power of making ONE CHANGE.
Next, she shared that a few years ago, as she was stirring her coffee in the company kitchen, she looked at her plastic spoon with different eyes.
After going back to her office, she realized that she used two plastic spoons every day. One for her coffee and one for her yogurt. a/k/a … A LOT!
Just a few calculations later she realized that there is probably a landfill somewhere sporting her name in bright lights. A total will not be provided due to my loathing of mathematics.
So, from that day on she began bringing her stainless steel spoon to the office, but not just any spoon, she decided to bring a family heirloom that would catch the attention of her co-workers. Smart!
Next thing you know the idea of B.Y.O.S. caught on and not only did the company save money; co-workers got creative with their spoons, the climate in the office brightened, and those landfill lights began to dim. Bam!
Now, I know there is a large community of creative minds who read this little ole blog, so take a moment to think about what ONE CHANGE you can make in your daily routine that will change the world. We are much more potent than we let on folks.
Please feel free to share your creative juices in the comments, and as always … Enjoy the Ride!
Election Day is upon us, and it’s more important than ever to exercise our civic duty and cast a vote. Below is only ONE reason it’s essential!
This is a section of the new patient registration form required by our office, and this is what someone chose to claim as an allergy. Seriously now …
Now, at first, I did laugh thinking that this guy is pretty ballsy to believe that this would go unnoticed by the two LIBERALS working the front office.
However, in hindsight, I need to remember that people are actually crazy and maybe next time I will refrain from calling to remind him to double up on his Benadryl before his appointment. Oh yes, I did!
It has never been a question for me whether or not I would vote, but in light of the current atmosphere in this country or even in our local communities, the bar has risen to light a fire under our friends, family, neighbors, and anyone with ears. It’s in my blood, my blue blood to be exact.
I was raised by two dedicated democratic servants of the community. The polling place was in our home for god sakes. No excuses.
My mother would stay up the night before making homemade meatballs with gravy for the women on the board, while my sister and I rolled lunchmeats into fancy schmancy cylinders to be displayed on a platter, and my father would go to the neighborhood deli first thing in the morning for fresh rolls. My parents fed both sides of the aisle because they were NORMAL!
During my childhood, I witnessed my parents taking on local government to ensure that our newly built, but quickly growing community, was safe with the installation of much-needed stop signs, rescue wagons, and larger street signs to make it easier for police and fire to respond. My mother walked up and down endless steps to have petitions signed, sometimes going back more than once to catch the man of the house after work.
It was definitely a family affair, whether you wanted to be involved or not, you rallied your friends to stuff envelopes and canvas the neighborhood like a chain gang. This was in the 70’s when kids had enough critical thinking skills to make things like this fun.
Fast forward to 2018. My father is long gone, but my mother will be turning 92 this month. Her goal has been to live to cast her vote in this election … oh yeah … this is what I’ve heard for months.
She has been following this election like a hawk. Well, a legally blind bird, with a sharp mind who is outraged at the behavior in Washington. When a 92-year-old tells you they’ve NEVER seen anything like it, be alarmed.
I will be voting before I go to work. I’m leaving on my lunch break to assist my mother in the voting booth, and I will be sending my children unlimited text messages until they get over to the polls. Threats are not off the table to the children.
Now, if you haven’t already done so, log off and get your ass to the polls and V O T E!
Enjoy The Ride!
When did filling in for the Tooth Fairy become part of my job description? Last time I checked my title was Surgical Coordinator/Everything else the office needs. I hung up my tutu years ago when my son lost his final fang.
Well, that changed about 3 weeks ago when someone left a couple of teeth in our waiting room. I’ll take a break while you read that over.
Now, perhaps this would be acceptable in let’s say A DENTISTS OFFICE, but I work for a Podiatrist/Foot & Ankle Surgeon, so an occasional cane, umbrella or jacket are the only things that should land in the lost and found. The jury is still out on how you can leave without your cane, he’s a doctor, not Jesus.
So, I bet you’re wondering what one does in this situation. After the laughter of course.
First, you start reminiscing with your co-worker about the other insanity that as left you speechless at work. Like that time a HUMAN turd was chilling in the hallway, and your office “manger” (trust me, those quotes are necessary) instructed you to call hospital security. Umm, maybe maintenance would be better to handle this matter. That’s only one example for the quotes.
Just the thought of calling Security makes me laugh!
Ok, back to these missing fangs. If you, or anyone you know, have any form of artificial teeth, you know that they have either paid for their dentist’s summer home while putting his or her children through college, so it was imperative that we channel our inner Tooth Fairy to locate the owner. I was already thinking about how much I could get on eBay.
We had to break it down to who was sitting in that area of the waiting room. Next, it was concluded that I would not be the best candidate to make the inquiries since I have no control over my inner 12-year-old boy who finds this entire situation hilarious. Sad, but true. Then the executive decision was made that our office “manager” call all of our morning patients to see if anyone might be missing a thing or two.
Let me just say that listening to someone struggle through these awkward calls provided me with a great deal of entertainment. When I heard a woman had to check her purse, only to come back and say “no, I still have mine,” I knew the decision for me not to be involved was indeed the best decision. It really is the little things.
This story ends with no one claiming the missing fangs that sit on a shelf in our office as a trophy, and me continuing moving forward with the idea of putting them on eBay,
Enjoy the Ride!
As if working with the public isn’t challenging enough on a daily basis, mix in the hostile climate of the world, a stretch of gloomy weather and an overbooked schedule. Such a joy.
I’m not sure what goes through the minds of some people before calling for a doctor’s appointment, but it’s evident to me after 20 plus years in this field, that plotting is involved. It should be a crime.
What happened to just picking up the phone and making the damn appointment? 1, 2 3
I’m not sure if our office number is written on a bathroom wall promising a good time, but that would at least explain why it rings off the hook.
On one particular day every time I answered whoever it was calling hung-up.
Ok, at first this was a welcomed break from listening to whining voices, but that quickly changed.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard a voice on the other end that left me speechless. Not an easy thing to do.
Me: Good afternoon, Dr. Blank’s office how can I help you?
The Voice: I’ve been calling and hanging up to get your attention. I need an appointment because my doctor, who I love dearly, is retiring. How long has this doctor been in practice? Does he know what he’s doing? My doctor was the chief of her department. I can’t believe she’ leaving me. He never came up for air, and I was paralyzed by the first sentence.
Me: Gave him a salute with my middle finger and stopped listening. Thank goodness facetime is not available on landlines.
The Voice: I’m having pain on the ball of my foot. I’m walking on rocks. It’s been going on for a year or so now, and I can’t take it anymore. Do you have anything tomorrow around 11:15? No, no you did not.
Me: No. Friday is the doctor’s surgery day. Our first available appointment is the week of July 23rd. Would you like to make an appointment? Please hang up; please hang up.
The Voice: JULY 23rd???!!!! I’m a cripple now. I need an appointment now. I can’t wait until July 23rd. No sir, you’ do not have a disability, you’re just an ass.
Me: Well, sir, you’ve had this problem for over a year, but if it’s suddenly urgent, there may be other physicians in the area with more availability. Pleading in my head for him to take the bait.
The Voice: I want to see this doctor. Why do I have to wait? Had to bite my tongue on this loaded question.
Me: The doctor is going on vacation which limits our schedule, and that is the first available for a new patient. Not that you deserve an explanation.
The Voice: He’s taking a month of vacation? You, sir, are the equivalent to period cramps.
Me: No, it’s a week. Do you want July 23rd or not? Feel free to add whatever expletives you feel appropriate.
The Voice: I guess. Is there a cancellation list? Finally, I can lower my finger and smile.
Me: Oh, yes and patients do cancel so there is always a chance you’ll get a call. Bawhahahahahahahahahaha! NEVER EVER WILL YOU GET A CALL BECAUSE I HAVE THE POWER you complete and utter ASS.
The Voice: Oh great, let’s make the appointment. Hahahahahaha!
Me: Name …
Avoid the POTHOLES and Enjoy the Ride!