Tag Archives: Love

Lovers Gonna Love

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Can’t see the haters with my love glasses on.

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!

Got Data?

piscesI’ve done an unofficial study of sorts over the past few months and it’s not my first. Just when you thought you knew me.

I’ve done several studies over the years, not that they find their way to a medical journal or get me a Nobel prize nomination, but I track certain things that raise an eyebrow because I feel like it. Interesting indeed I know.

My first study started several years ago when I read that the weakest part of a person born under the sign of Pisces, like me, is their feet. Why is that Lisa?  Well, because the symbol for a Pisces is two fish and as we all know fish do not have feet. If you did not know that, please move along.

Since I just happen to work for a Podiatrist I started to take note on how many patients are born under the sign of Pisces. The answer is … a lot. I won’t bore you with graphs and charts because I don’t like being bored and they don’t exist. 

Another study I’ve been working on is calculating the number of people who have Diabetes and Hypertension, again the answer is … a lot. Notice I keep my data very simple. 

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Peanut on the Left Landon on the Right

My latest investigation of sorts pertains to my two little love bugs Peanut and Landon. It never occurred to me until we got Landon, that Peanut is either gay, highly metrosexual or something else. As if I have all the time in the world. 

These two are the Felix and Oscar of the canine world. Peanut always the serious rule follower and Landon, well he is just Landon.

DATA COMPILED TO DATE: 

HYGIENE:

Peanut, when the slightest bit of dirt is on his paws, he walks directly into the shower stall and demands we cleanse the filth while Landon is under the impression that dirt builds character.

Peanut will then stand on a floor towel like cement until I get the blow dryer out to properly dry his feet and Landon is already out the door running in circles at 90 mph for a more natural approach.

1374748_10201062269823604_1627531393_nFASHION: 

My little Pee Wee also has a serious sense of fashion. Call me crazy, but it is true. This little guy loves to look dapper. While he enjoys sporting an occasional bow tie with his collar, his signature look is the turned-up collar of his coat. He hides behind the chair if I choose a less fashionable piece from his wardrobe.

As for Landon, he wears a coat out of necessity since he is the size of a snowflake and would most likely become popsicle if he weren’t wearing something to keep him warm, he opts for whatever we put on him.

EATING:

Where do we even begin? Peanut waits patiently then walks quietly into the room to approach his bowl while Landon repeatedly checks on the status of his order and resembles a Mexican jumping bean until I put the bowl down.

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Peanut is very selective in this department. Oh, he isn’t going to sniff any ole ass no sirree, they must be the right size, shape and color. Peanut has very high standards in this department.

Meanwhile, Landon is all over the first piece of fur that crosses his path. No need for names or numbers, if there is tail … he is all about that ass.

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I’m starting to see the resemblance …

Conclusion:

Dear Lord …

It occurred to me during the proofreading portion of this post, that Peanut is not gay or metrosexual, he has taken on the characteristics of MY HUSBAND. I feel another study coming on …

Do you realize what that means? I am Landon! A low maintenance social butterfly, who  has been known to jump for food. I’m dying right now!

Life certainly is a trip … Enjoy the Ride!

P.W.E.E.

a611f924fdd97685ea092e94e7c58c5dThere is so much hubbub out there about the Government spying on average law-abiding citizens, but honestly I’m not sure what all the outrage is about. I was trying to think when the last time was that I actually had an ounce of privacy and I’ve concluded it was during those 9 glorious months in the womb. Peace on earth.

Once you’re exposed to this big bad world all bets are off regarding privacy. If you grew up in a house with other people a/k/a family members, you better believe your phone calls were being listened to by someone in that house. This task was not easy in the 70’s when your phone receiver weighed a good 50 pounds. 

Even though we didn’t have Facebook, we did have diaries with “locks” that were easier to pick than a nose, which were also much less private. Parents could easily walk into your room, lay on your bed with a glass of wine, light up a cigarette and enjoy all of your deep dark secrets. All privacy bets were off when you lived under the roof of old-school parents. 

If you are a parent or have ever been in the company of small children forget about EVER having a secret again. Kids 7a6d0c06c37c5db6701d882985deb8cdtend to follow you everywhere and drill you with the most personal questions with ease and endless resilience. “Where do babies come from?” “Why does Billy have 2 moms/dads?” “Why is the sky blue?” “Where are all the dinosaurs?” “What does God look like?” “How old are you?” “Did you live on a prairie?” “Why don’t girls have jiggies?” Even the most skilled interrogators don’t tread in those waters. Oh and please be selective in your responses because your answers will be shared with anyone who will listen!

This does not include what they overhear you saying. Oh, they are so good acting as if they are just playing quietly while you are discussing the outrageous overprotectiveness of a certain mother on the block. Who needs drones when you have these stealth listeners around? The three small words “My mom said” have the power to leave even the strongest of parents groveling for an explanation.

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Ok Brian thank you for …. sharing.

I had the pleasure of volunteering in my son’s pre-school class, which just happened to be a Christian run school. Let me just say that what happens in your house, does not stay in your house. It will be shared during Circle Time faster than you can say animal crackers! The subject on this particular day was discussing the dangers of smoking. There was a request for a raise of hands on who knew someone who smoked. This gave little Brian his golden opportunity to reveal “My mommy has  3 boyfriends 2 that smoke and 1 that doesn’t. I go in the closet when the smoking boyfriends come over.” Three year olds have a way of throwing their parents under the bus like no other age group. Honest to God there are moments in my life that will never be forgotten…this is high on that list mainly due to the look on  Mrs. Gumble’s face.

The reason I’m even discussing privacy or the lack there of in this world? Well, that would be because a certain member of my family is either working for the NSA,FBI,CIA,KGB … I probably just opened a big ole door publishing those trigger initials, or he is so head over heels in love with my every waking moment that he feels the need to make sure he doesn’t miss a second of my every day life. I’m leaning towards the latter, but who really knows. That’s right ladies & gents I’m talking about P.W.E.E . Peanut Watches Every Everything a/k/a Peanut the Maltipoo!

Here are just a few examples of how the P.W.E.E. operates:

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Whatcha writing about?

Does your life really consist of folding laudrey every dang day?

I love the way you fold the laundry momma. I could watch you roll those socks for hours.

You took exceptionally long in the shower this morning.

I could watch you blow dry your hair every day and never be bored…oh, wait that’s what I do.

You will never be alone again.

I’ll just watch you while you watch the Voice.

I'll get the bed warmed up for you.

I’ll get the bed warmed up for you.

I don't always watch you, but when I do I make sure I sit like a human and glare you down.

I don’t always stare at you, but when I do I make sure I sit like a human and glare you down until you summon me to cuddle.

Just remember, you never know who’s watching so make it watch worthy and Enjoy the Ride! 

That’s Amore!

Peanut

Peanut

Hey everyone how we doin? I just stopped by Life With The Top Down to introduce myself. My name is Peanut and I just arrived last night. I’m a Maltese/Poodle mix a/k/a as a Maltipoo. My zodiac sign is Leo and I enjoy long walks, squeaky toys and love … lots and lots of love. Don’t let that serious face fool you … I’m just nervous. 

Apparently my other owner loved me so much he decided to let me move in with Lisa and her family. See, he is a hardworking single professional who really couldn’t keep up with all of my needs. Someone had to bring home the bacon, ya know what I mean? 

Well, since my arrival I’ve been having a good time. I still miss my other roommate, but this family seems pretty nice so far. Last night they took me for a long walk and met my Aunt & Uncle who live down the street. A little  guy could get use to this life … just sayin. When we got home I snuggled up with Lisa on the chair to watch a lame predictable LifeTime movie until the kids came home. What we don’t do for these kids….ugh. 

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We’re both Leos! Good luck Lisa.

There is a girl here, but I don’t think she’s staying. I keep hearing that we will be “taking her back” on Sunday. As long as I’m part of that “we” I don’t care. She seems nice, but I think she’s still trying to figure me out. Look at this face….it won’t be long. Now the boy, whew he is another story. I thought I had energy, he had me running, jumping, barking and chasing the minute he met me. Oh yea, we’re going to have some fun. Last night I slept in his room, actually in his bed. I think I surprised Lisa this morning when she opened the door. She seemed happy when she saw me cuddled up next to Zac. I heard her mumbling something about “no condoms necessary” whatever that means. 

That guy over there on the right, he got down on the floor with me to make me feel more comfortable. We are already buddies! We were laughing, playing and having a great time. Today he gave me a bath and fluffed my fur. Oh, yes he did. Later he let me sit out front while he did some yard work. It was a win/win decision.

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Make sure you mention the new toy…did you say it squeaks?

I really had a full day today. Lisa took me for a few walks. She kept calling me Jillian … sorry, no slackers on my walk. I met some neighbors, took a trip to the pet store, got a new toy, took a little nap and tonight we went for a real long walk. Now I’m sitting with Lisa while she’s types this masterpiece up for me. I think it’s safe to say she is my favorite. 

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sensing this family needed me in their home. Ever since I got here they seem extra happy. Good looks and a charming personality has a lot of leverage.

Just remember, all you need is Love and a Dog to Enjoy the Ride!

Music Is Played For LOVE

Love is....Greg & Lisa

Love is….
Greg & Lisa

Cheers to all things LOVED today! 

Today there is just a little extra LOVE in the air over here at Life With The Top Down.Why you ask? Well, because it’s also my 22nd wedding anniversary. That’s right folks we were married on the same day that LOVE just happens to be bursting at the seams all over the globe.

We even had The Honorable Judge Goodheart perform our nuptials…you know, to really seal the deal.  

 Keep on cruisin’ while you Enjoy the Ride! 

Love & Power

Below is a message that was shared by Parker J. Palmer. Mr. Palmer is well known Quaker, who I admit has influenced me in many ways. Listening to his words have made me a better person. Here is his thought for this very special day.

Take time to reflect this important message:

On Monday, January 21, Americans will celebrate our 57th Presidential Inauguration and the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here’s a quote from Dr. King about the relation of love and power that’s worth pondering on this or any other day. I kept this quote close at hand as I wrote my new book, sub-titled  “The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit”

The best way to honor the gift of American democracy is to do whatever we can—in our homes, schools and workplaces, in our communities, states and nation—to help create a politics that joins love and power.

An impossible dream? Of course. But where would we be if people like Dr. King had been unwilling to dream impossible dreams, confident that others would come along to pick up where they left off?

Was their confidence well-placed? The answer to that question is in our hands…

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Momma, You Were Born This Way

On this Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to pay homage to my mother … Venita.  My mother is the oldest of three children born to her Italian immigrant parents Vincenzo Torcini and Maria/Mary Landini in 1926.

Vincenzo left her life at 4 years old, shortly after the Great Depression entered. This left her mother faced with the burden of raising her young children alone, without any means to do so. After this abandonment, she suffered from what would most likely be considered a nervous breakdown today.  No welfare, free housing or valium for Mary. 

Years later my mother was told that the apartment they were living in had caught fire and her mother was under the impression that the children perished. That pushed her over the edge and lead her to the breakdown.

Scenarios like this were not uncommon especially amongst immigrant families during the Great Depression. Many of them could not find work to support their families, because they could not speak English. This frustration, piled on top of economic pressures led to abandonment and in some cases suicide.

This tragic set of circumstances left my mother and her siblings in the care of the Catholic Charities in Philadelphia. They were placed in an orphanage, followed by what was called a Shelter. This was emergency lodging that was set up in order accommodate all of the families that had become homeless following the Depression. Some were run privately and were set up to serve cases like that of my mother’s family. These children needed homes until their parents were able to support them again.

My mother and her brother, who were only 14 months apart, were separately placed into homes. Unfortunately, their sister and youngest of the three, died of malnutrition while waiting for placement. The children were taken to several different homes before settling into somewhat permanent residences. My uncle was raised by an Italian family in South Philadelphia, while my mother was raised by an Irish woman in North Philadelphia. To this day my mother refers to her as “the Irish woman who raised me.” She rarely refers to her by name, which was Ellen O’Malley. Ellen was a widow at a very young age, never had children of her own and never re-married. It was her single lifestyle that allowed her to open her home to these children.  Giving children to single women..now that’s a switch. 

Ellen O’Malley a/k/a “Auntie” cared for my mother from the time she was 7 years old until she was 16. There were other children placed during her time with “Auntie,” however they had parents that remained in their lives with weekly visitations. These children were just waiting for their parents to get work to rebuild their lives, but this was not the case for my mom. Her father never did return, and her mother remained at the hospital until her death. This left my mother to just wait, wonder and hope.

Auntie did the best she could to raise her. However, she did not express herself in a maternal manner. This is understandable since the other children had mothers in their lives and she most likely didn’t want to impose.

Mom “Venita” enjoying lunch prepared
by Evan, one of her 8 remarkable
grandchildren.

To this day when my mother talks to me about her own mother, I can hear the yearning of unanswered questions in her tone.

At 85 years old she is still left to wonder if her face resembles that of her mother or father. No pictures, no trinkets, no memories of her own and surprisingly…not one ounce of resentment.

What is her secret? How did my mother raise (4) children of her own without ever experiencing the love and nurturing of her own mother?

I have to conclude … Momma, you were born this way.  She is a humble and loving person who gained strength from her hardship that resonates into the enormous love she has for her own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

The reason I chose the title for this Blog is because my mother Venita enjoys Lady Gaga. You heard me…the same day the photo above was taken “Just Dance” came on the radio. My mom asked “Is this Lady Gaga? I saw her on The View in the cutest black and white outfit. If I were young, I would have that dress.” This was followed by “she’s a smart girl.”  I was so grateful she wasn’t referring to the Meat Dress. 

At 85 she is a hip hat wearing, organic eating, interesting, funny, strong Lady Gaga loving Democrat, who enjoys going to the movies, solving crossword puzzles, dropping hilarious one-liners and LOVING her family with all her heart. But most of all … she is my Mom. Enjoy the Ride!

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