Have you seen Grace?
She’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!
Shells, shells, and more shells. I was just a tad obsessed with collecting these beauties on my morning walks. Maybe a little more than a “tad.”
Look at them, all beautiful in their own way. All different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some with fractures, some dull, others shiny and bright, but all with their own individual characters that make them beautifully unique. Hmm, sounds a lot like people now doesn’t it.
There isn’t a hateful one in the bucket.
As always, my children thought I was losing my mind as I ventured out every morning to see what treasures the ocean left behind. When will they realize they are the cause of any loss of my mind?
Anyway, shell searching is in my genes. As children, my mother taught us how to comb the beach for shells, and I followed the tradition by doing the same with my daughter. Why is this not on my resume?
I remember sitting in a hotel room with my sister going over our inventory from the day. We would break down our loot by size and style. Yes, serious records were kept with shells & Halloween candy.
Back in the day, we had an abundance of large clam shells waiting for us. That is not the case today. I’m not sure if it’s the ever-changing climate, Mother Nature’s hoarding or the loss of sexual urges amongst the clam community, whatever the reason, there were slim pickings. Feel free to now Google “how do clams reproduce?” I did.
As kids, we returned from vacation with a bucket of blank canvases. On rainy summer days, we would break out our watercolor sets to let our inner Monet surface. Our talents were displayed in our garden for all to view. It was like an ongoing Gallery opening without the wine & cheese.
It’s funny how some memories, no matter what, have the ability to leave a smile on your face. I’m glad that one let itself out of the vault.
The million dollar question around here now is: “What are you going to do with all those shells?” The response: “Something fabulous!”
Now that I’ve set the bar high, I’ve been unleashing my creative juices for this project. Hmm, how hard can it be to rustle up something wonderful, yet not too overwhelming, while meeting all the criteria necessary to be F A B U L O U S? What the hell was I thinking?
After some pondering while scanning the internet for inspiration, there is something on the horizon waiting to come to life. Will it be fabulous? OF COURSE! I’ll be working my magic shortly.
Embrace the differences to create something fabulous in the world. Enjoy the Ride!
Valentine’s Day has to be the most dissed holiday on the calendar!
The complaints of overpriced dinners are endless. The push or maybe shove from Hallmark to dazzle your lover with an expensive piece of paper have people bitching up a storm; and suddenly roses are the most hideous flowers, beating out a damn dandelion! Oh, haters gonna hate.
Do you really need to hire the writers at Hallmark to express how you feel? Paper, pens and personalization are priceless.
How about takeout, Netflix and daisies? If Love is already in the air this is all you need.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, just tweak your approach. Love should be spontaneous, simple and special.
Love also comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of my Fellow Bloggers Susannah & Susie shared wonderful examples of how simple gestures of kindness can keep the love going long after the 14th of February. Lovers gonna Love!
The world certainly has enough hate going on without throwing Cupid under the bus today. So get your creative juices flowing and do something to make someone else smile today. I would be beaming if someone else cleaned the bathroom, but that’s me.
My daughter is smiling at college with her Panera gift card. My son is shocked by his extra gas money. The hubby is beaming with the site of a little chocolate cake with his morning joe and Peanut and Landon are on top of the world with their new toys. Knowing that these thoughtful gestures made the ones I love happy is all I need. (But if someone wants to clean the bathroom that would be great too)
Today isn’t just Valentine’s Day for me, it’s my Anniversary … which makes it extra special for us. Love squared! We will be heading out to enjoy an overpriced dinner this evening, but more importantly each others company. Time to ourselves is priceless these days.
All you need is Love to Enjoy the Ride …. It’s Easy!
This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.
After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought.
Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!
As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.
Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.
Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet?
Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm.
What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride!
As I was driving into work one morning, listening to one of my many favorite morning radio shows “The Preston & Steve Show” on 93.3 WMMR here in Philly. I say “many” because I am beyond a channel changer while driving. But this show certainly has a way of making my ride a little brighter as I head to the
salt mines office every day.
This particular morning there was a discussion on a new book titled “Carsick” by John Waters. It’s a wonderful entertaining story about John’s decision to hitchhike across the country. As the DJ’s were discussing excerpts from the book, listeners were calling in to tell their personal stories about a time when they had no other choice but to hitch a ride. I found this all very intriguing.
Lucky for me John was making his rounds promoting his tale and I was able to catch an interview with him on the Bill Maher Show. I ordered the audio version right smack in the middle of the interview!
I must say I have never listened to a book before, because I am a traditional girl who enjoys her books written on paper, but since I have a 30-40 minute ride to the gym every day, I thought this would be a good way to pass the time and avoid my OCD channel changing … Mission accomplished John!
Many of you may already know that the then 66 year-old Baltimore film director John Waters decided to hitchhike from his home in Baltimore Maryland to his home in San Francisco. Crazy or living life?
Just the idea of such a journey in 2014, when the world seems so humanly disconnected, had me completely fascinated. I’m not sure why since I never had a wish to hitchhike … especially since most hitchhikers are usually portrayed as serial murders and frankly I’m a scardy cat. However, John did point out that most serial killers are looking for 20-year-old hookers and that did make me feel much safer.
The excitement as I put the first CD into the player was admittedly a tad over the top, but who cares … I just wanted to hear all the details of this journey … one CD at a time.
After listening to at least 2 CD’s I started to think …. “why haven’t I heard about any of this on the news?”
Well, the answer to that million dollar question was found when I decided to read up on the details of the book. Something I usually do before I hit the “Add to cart” button. This is where I learned I that the first half of the book was John’s fictional version of his trip. Let me just say If anyone has some swamp land they want to get rid of … I’m your girl.
First up are the fictional good and bad rides; followed by the real rides that got him to San Francisco. 3 books for the price of 1!
If you’ve ever seen or read any of John’s past work you are well aware that his imagination reaches a level that most people cannot even fathom and he does not hold back in the fictional version of his journey. Some might think it was over the top, others (like myself) might think … hey, you never know.
John wouldn’t be John without adding some exaggerated lewdness to the first half of the book. Hey, he isn’t known as the “Pope of Trash” for his portrayal of sunshine and butterflies. There were times when I think I might have blushed, cringed and laughed behind the wheel as I listened to him tell his fictional tale, but it didn’t stop me.
His words just confirmed that if anyone in this world was going to have sex with an Alien; be given a magical asshole for three hours that would fix a flat and sing duets with Connie Frances … well, it would be John Waters.
After all the crazy antics of the fictional adventures, I heard the words “The Real Thing” and I found myself so engrossed that I was driving in circles just to finish a chapter. It was worth every ounce of fuel … even at $3.67 a gallon!
I couldn’t help but imagine myself as one of those dashboard hula girls eavesdropping on every ride. Best seat in the house.
Does all of this make me want to manicure my thumb and hit the highway? Not one bit. It does however urge me to head into each day with my wit, optimism and belief that not every stranger is a serial killer … some are just out there to Enjoy the Ride … just like me.
The other morning I came across a reblogged post by Mimi over at Waiting For The Karma Truck that really struck a nerve. Well, it wasn’t actually the blog itself, but Mimi’s comment that got my nerve going. Read on…
I have been having many conversations with friends of mine about what the second half holds. The key perhaps is in re-defining one’s understanding of the concept of ‘doing’ – turning that energy inward and valuing it as much as one valued all those years of externalized effort. Some thoughts for this morning…
The subject of the blog was about aging, a conversation I was also having recently with a dear friend. Calm down we weren’t discussing nursing homes, if fact it was the polar opposite. There were a number of things that brought this subject to the surface, especially our looming “Special Birthdays.” One has already been celebrated, but I must wait with bated breath until February to celebrate mine.
Mimi made a wonderful point in her response to my comment. She said, “I think some of us are just at the age where we realize that we need to move not just to another chapter, but perhaps another story entirely.” Reading Mimi is like having my own personal Yoda around for a daily dose of wisdom. Shit! I hope she doesn’t bill me.
Her words immediately had me thinking about all the chapters and several stories in my own life. We all start out with the same story “New Beginnings” , but the rest, well … they’re on us. I decided to compile a Cliff Note version of some of the more noteworthy stories/chapters of my life.
- Mommy, Will You Marry Me?: When I was my sister/best friend had to go to school and leave me ALL day. In that moment I vowed to marry my mommy. That’s right I had amazing sense even at 4. I knew this woman was the best thing that ever happened to me and damn it I wasn’t going to let her get away. We had two wonderful years alone together before I had to join my sister at school, but I never forgot how special I felt as we watched Pixanne and I proposed.
- Catholic School or Scarred For Life: I think it’s safe to say these two go hand in hand. I didn’t have a chance between following in my over achieving sister’s shoes, constantly being reminded about it every time I entered a classroom and being the emotional punching bag for a group of bitter, sex suppressed woman a/k/a nuns. This may come as a surprise, but I really didn’t enjoy school…can’t imagine why. This story lasted 12 long years!
- Love Goggles: Over the years this story has also been referred to as “What The Fuck Was I Thinking?” and What The Fuck Were You Thinking?” on more than one occasion. I fell hard at 16, sealed the deal at 21 and ended the farce at 23. This story lasted close to 8 years! This was more like a series of short stories that always ended with a clear lesson for the readers, however the author was somewhat of a resistant learner who tightened her love goggles to the point of blindness and missed her own lessons.
- Cupid To The OR … Stat!: This is one of my favorite stories. Cupid certainly had his hands full with me. I walked around with my heart on my sleeve for all to see and when I fell, I fell hard. I went from doormat to a wall to wall carpet while in this relationship, so Cupid had to really push the envelope for me to open my eyes. The procedure took place over a holiday weekend in 1988. Cupid scrubbed up and prepared to surgically remove my “Love Goggles.” He led me right to my bedroom where I saw my husband in bed with another woman…**BAM** they flew right off and I never looked back. There are times when extreme measures are necessary, this was one of those times.
- Love, Marriage & Baby Carriages: After a few years of recovery from my procedure, Cupid put my name on another arrow. This time he dulled the point just enough for me to recognize what true love was all about. After 22 years and 2 great kids later I can say “Thank you Cupid, thank you very much.” This story is still going strong with new chapters being written every day.
- Lisa, Is That You?: Considering the amount of years I spent answering to Mommy, Mom, Momma, Momma Bear, Emily’s Mom, Zac’s Mom and Yo Mom, it’s no wonder that LISA was put on the back burner alongside her underwear. That’s right folks, her underwear! Those cotton sacrificial lambs that went YEARS not being replaced because “Mommy” had to make sure the little asses of her offspring were covered first with their latest cartoon character obsession. Oh, how their big smiles over Rug Rat briefs made me forget all about the missing elastic on my own panties. Until the next Chapter…
- MOM! You’re Fired!: Talk about not seeing the warning signs of this happening. I went from “Employee of the Year” to the unemployment line overnight. All my loyal service and they left me in the dust…with semi worn underwear. Of course they still “need” me, just not nearly as much. I’m proud of the young adults they have become, but I am a nurturer, so I missed shelling out the love, until I realized I had been neglecting the one person who needed my love more than anyone else…ME.
- Who Loves Ya Baby?: It took a few years of therapy, an extreme panic attack, a good honest look in the mirror and the big 50 on the horizon for me to realize that Lisa was overdue for some much-needed loving. Here I am challenging my mind, body & soul in ways that I never thought possible. I am physically seeing changes that make me proud of my accomplishments. I am participating at my Quaker Meeting in ways that enable me to walk the talk and feed my soul, but most of all, I am realizing that I am able to take pride in being whoever the hell I want to be.
Untitled: I’m not sure where I’m headed, but I know I’m going in the right direction and with a lot less baggage. You may want to brush off your sunglasses and be prepared to squint, I have a feeling I’m going to be giving off quite a glow.
Remember, if you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave and Enjoy the Ride!
I think it’s safe to say that democracy is a work in progress. So, as we celebrate the 4th of July, let’s really get this party started shall we. A true celebration means recommitting ourselves to the work that needs doing if we want democracy to survive and thrive. This excludes just sitting in the house and “liking” a democracy page on Facebook. We have a responsibility to be accountable to everyone around us…The Common Good.
We spend so much of our time divided these days, defining ourselves by our “side” that we forget something very important and frankly it’s in grave danger: We’re all in this together! Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s because you’ve heard this many times before in a wonderful document that seems to be getting some attention these days … The Constitution.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Everything after this sentence is just sugar on that big ole piece of pie.
So, today as we celebrate our Independence, let’s try to re-think how we start tomorrow. I’m suggesting an Interdependence way of thinking for the rest of the year. I love my freedom, but I’m also a big believer in collaboration. A small group of thoughtful people could change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead.
I know for me, in my personal life, I wouldn’t be where I am today without all those helping hands along the way who took the time to invest in my wellbeing. There were many times when energy and love were thrown onto my path to push me along.
Of course we would all love to take credit for our achievements, but let’s face it … it was a communal effort. We tend to forget that many of our opportunities came from the hard work of the generations before us who cared enough about our future to invest in the common good. Where would we be without it?
Let’s celebrate our Independence and our Interdependence today by being free from our hatred, fears and differences. These are the real freedoms that lay out a strong foundation for our future. Now, I’m not going to lie, I will have to remember this when my beer induced, wanna be pyrotechnic neighbor starts setting off fireworks from his weather-beaten, one spark short of an inferno deck this evening. I NEVER SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY…nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re gathered around embracing your freedom with friends & family or just enjoying an extra day away from the
salt mines work place, you can take a moment to focus on the similarities of your surroundings. Hey look we both breathe air Omg! we have so much in common. We have to start somewhere now…right? Enjoy the Ride!
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 decide 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!
Just 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!
You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.
Kids: In unison …. G R E A T!
Me: Today I’m here to fill you in on some truths about being a grown-up. Oh, no not the lies the world is selling you, the TRUTH. Growing Up Is A Trap. How many of you already knew it was a trap?
Kids: The sound of chirping crickets filled the air.
Me: First of all don’t be in such a hurry to get there, you’ll be very disappointed. Honestly, it’s not that great. Of course there are some perks like driving, sex & drinking….but, you know what kids? They don’t last forever and if we’re being honest here, which we are, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be…seriously. All of these things can be great, but they can also get you in BIG trouble. Not the “go to your room” kind of trouble, but the “time to go back to your cell” kind of trouble.
Kid: My mom said ….
Me: Your mom is lying.
Me: But nothing kid! I told you I’m here to fill you in on the big secret of life. Are you ready? Every grown-up you see, even good ole grandma & grandpa, mom, dad, teachers … all of them, wish for ONE thing….Interruption…What? You with the hand waving like you’re putting out a fire…what?
Kid: My grandma wishes she could walk faster.
Me: I’m sure she does kid, I’m sure she does. Do you know why? Put your hands down, there is no need to guess because that’s what I’m here to tell you…All grown-ups wish they were kids…just like you. That’s right guys, they want to play in the dirt without a care in the world.
Kid: My dad doesn’t like when I get dirty.
Me: Yes he does, he’s just jealous. I bet your parents don’t like when you run around the house like energizer bunnies do they?
Kids: In unison …. NOOOOOOO!
Me: That’s because once again they are jealous. Do you get it kids? Every time you do something they can’t do, because they’re too big and it’s no longer acceptable, they get angry at you. Have any of you ever destroyed something in your house, but because you are so darn cute you got away with it? You, all the way in the back with the pointy tail and horns..what did you do?
Kid: One time, I um, emptied a case of bottled water in the driveway to make mud for my trucks and when my mom asked me “what happened to all the water?” I told her “I drank it” with a straight face and she smiled.
Me: Great example kid and kudos for the straight face…well-played, well-played indeed. Now, just imagine if your dad did that, what do you think would have happened? Ok, don’t get your pigtails in a knot, what would your mom do?
Kid: First she would tell my dad how stupid it was, then she would probably post about it on Facebook so all her friends could agree that my dad did a stupid thing and then she would just talk in “one words.”
Me: Your mom sounds lovely and pretty much dead on in this case. See, when you’re a grown-up you’re no longer cute…your just big, hairy and well, stupid. So, do you understand the message here kids?
Me: Do you see how important it is to be a kid as long as you possibly can?
Me: So what are you going to so about growing up kids?
Kids: Respectfully decline. Never forget our inner child. Learn how to act in public. Have the courage to become who we really are and Enjoy the Ride!
THE DAILY PROMPT: PROUD When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you? Well, this actually very easy. Just the other day at work my co-worker told me she was in fact very proud of me. About a year ago we began the daunting task of converting to the world of Electronic Health Records. To make a very looooong story very short…things don’t always go according to plan. At the end of Summer someone in our office was under the impression that perhaps the upcoming election may let’s just say have a different outcome, therefore we put this whole electronic record transformation on hold. Lesson…do not count your chickens before they’re hatched. So, now that the Inauguration has taken place and it appears the Prez is staying for the next four years, we are back to perusing this monumental change. We all know that no one likes the C-Word, but there are moments when it’s just necessary in order to get the ball rolling. I hope you all realize I’m talking about Change…just checking. This brings us to Monday when we once again started to dabble back into this new system to see just how much information was actually retained after all these months. After a few technical difficulties that nearly pushed us all over the imaginary cliff…we started. Ok, let’s get back to the prompt at hand. On Tuesday I started to scan some records into the computer. For the record, it’s not as easy as it sounds. By the grace a God, a miracle, a fluke or some other out of this world phenomenon I was able to wiz right through the process without an ounce of hesitation. This is when I heard those magic words…. Co-worker: Wow, how did you do that? Me: I have no idea. Co-worker: I’m really proud of you for remembering how to do that. Me: Laughter. Considering I couldn’t guarantee this would happen a second time. I must say it’s nice to get a little pat on the back every once in a while…even when you might not feel it’s necessary. We live in a world where criticism comes easier that compliments. A place where people seem to have a difficult time stepping out of their own boastful bubble to recognize the very things that deserve gratitude. So it’s best to just humbly accept that someone recognizes something good in you and watch it blossom. Hey, even my dog likes to hear that he is a “Good Boy” just for pooping! Make your supporters proud, your haters jealous and Enjoy the Ride!