Well, it’s been quite interesting around these parts over the past few months. The original story is one that no one wants to hear while scrolling through their reader. And lord knows I don’t want to relive it.
The short version is my mother was in the hospital for 10 days with a flare of ulcerative colitis, Covid went through the roof in Pennsylvania, we refused rehab and converted my family room into a replica of mom’s apartment in 2 days so she could move in with us. Honestly, it’s still a blur.
That was back on November 18th, which seems like both 5 years and 5 minutes ago. For the record, let me be clear that I am not a nurse, nor do I exhibit the skills to provide medical services due to my large hands and not knowing my own strength. Trust me.
Mom was over the moon about moving into our abode for many reasons, but mainly to be around family, her family, which was the most essential part of her long life. As a Great Depression orphan, her family was important.
Let’s say mom crossed the threshold into her new digs with a bang or a Code Brown. Use your imaginations, folks. This led to a complete strip down, shower, and both of us feeling like maybe this was one of those ideas that looked great on paper, but the reality sucked—sort of like that 30 foot Homer Simpson Christmas decoration.
Once she was settled and my assistant, Nurse Peanut, greeted her with open paws, we had time to discuss, laugh, and cry about that grand entrance. We were both imagining more of a Scarlet O’Hara strolling down the staircase kind of moment. If nothing else, it was memorable.
Ok, that was Wednesday evening; by the time a REAL nurse arrived on Sunday, I looked like the 94-year-old patient! The bags under my eyes highlighted the dark circles nicely.
Meanwhile, my mom looked like a movie star! She was showered and dressed with her hair, nails, brows looking fab, and any unruly chin hairs removed. Just my two cents, if you’re in the position of caring for an elderly parent, the better they look, the less help you’ll get. Disheveled is the way to go.
If I heard it once, I heard it a million times, “your mom looks great; she’s not sick enough for more help.” Were you ever so tired that you wanted to knock someone out, tie them to a chair, and force them to step into your shoes for a night? Asking for a friend.
We entered week two, a/k/a hell on earth, with a whole new bag of crazy. I gained another patient in the house. Officially declaring myself an RN working 24/7 shifts with no pay.
While mom was downstairs having everything that went in her mouth come out the other end and insisting on eating because she was hungry, my husband was locked in our bedroom coughing up a lung with, you guessed it, COVID! Oh, you can say it, I’ll even join you. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Just when you think things could not possibly get worse, at mom’s request, I made a homemade apple cake because she was craving something sweet. The aroma of this cake makes the house smell delicious, and lord knows with all of the other odors going on, it would be more than welcome. Just one of the many, OH SHIT, no pun intended, moments that followed.
I’m not gonna lie; losing my sense of smell was welcomed for what transpired over the following few days. Can you say a blessing in disguise?
The husband started feeling better, my symptoms stopped at no taste or smell, but mom’s condition was getting worse. FINALLY, she was “sick enough” to get hospice services. They arrived on Tuesday dressed like they were stepping onto the moon due to the COVID colony known as my home.
Wednesday was the last day that I was able to talk to mom. Her last sentiment was, “be kind to everyone, no matter what, this world needs kindness.” Truth!
Mom passed on Friday, December 4, 2020, with me and my husband by her side. Hopefully, at some point, after COVID, we will be able to celebrate the Queen of our family and her life well lived.
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!
I recently saw the quote “Alcohol, because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.” This may be true but something tells me I could get a great story out of eating salad. There’s always a story.
Recently I went to the local mall in search of some fancy shoes to wear to a wedding. My feet have not seen anything fancy in years, so this was not going to be easy. I already ordered and returned two pair. Cinderella I am not.
My first mistake was bypassing Macy’s. The logic, if that’s what you want to call it, was to try stores I never shop in first. Why?
First up: Shoe Carnival. How inviting does that sound? I was in, out and emptied handed in 5 seconds. Carnival is the key word.
Next, I headed down to Boscov’s, where everyone on the planet seems to find amazing merchandise basically for free, except me. As I was browsing the shoe department my intestines began to rumble…oh yes! Glutes tight as I head to the ladies room.
I proceeded to do the shit shuffle from the shoe department, up the escalator, through the furniture department, where I was blocked by a kid throwing a full-blown temper tantrum over the lack of Pokemons. Get the hell out of my way!
This journey seemed 5 miles long through tar at this point. I headed down some godforsaken 1980’s hallway to the turn of the century bathroom where the gates of hell opened. No words.
Now that I was a least 2 pounds lighter I headed back out to the Mall with every intention of heading home. But no.
I made a sharp right and headed to Sears, because who the hell knows. There I was gazing over the shoes when a women dressed in red from head to toe, approached me with this statement. “If you keep smiling I’m going to file a lawsuit against you.” Alrighty then …
As I look for a glimmer of sanity I notice a man looking at me shrugging his shoulders. Seriously! That’s all you have is a shrug?
Ugh, I stood there alone smiling and now fearing a potential lawsuit. I decided home is where I need to go. Nope.
Just as I was about to escape I noticed the smile police browsing books at Barnes & Noble. She appeared very normal in that moment.
Next thing I know she is heading my way as if my smile was on the list of the 10 most wanted! Suddenly she is inches from me when she gave me another warning. “I told you to stop smiling!!” Good thing I hit the bathroom before this moment.
I found myself hiding in the Hallmark store texting my daughter and sisters about the incident, just in case I went missing. I learned that trick from Law and Order SVU.
At this point a normal person would have been sprinting to the car … not me.
Macy’s was my last stop. Within seconds I had a beautiful pair of sparkly shoes on my hooves. Life was good again for a nano second.
A lovely woman sat down next to me admiring my selection. I loved these shoes! I would have loved them more if I had the 4th toe on my Right foot amputated, but that was not an option. Yet.
We were chatting about the wedding, my need for an emergency amputation, and the fact that my shoes need to be beautiful and comfortable when she began digging down into her bra. I should have known this was not just an adjustment.
Just like a magician she pulls out a pair of dentures, puts them in her mouth and apologizes for talking to me without her teeth. A rabbit would have been less shocking.
My face must have been asking all sorts of questions, because she proceeded to inform me that her 70th birthday was coming up and she no longer cared what people thought. Truth!
At this point of my tale my husband asked “did you finally leave?”
Me: No, I asked her when her birthday was?
Me: I wanted to know.
Me: Because I wanted to know if she was a Leo.
Husband: Why do you care?
Me: Just be glad I do.
Although I left the mall without shoes, I did get this post.
That wedding I was talking about is TODAY!!!!
My nephew Ryan is getting hitched to his beautiful bride Monica. Hurricane Hermine is a no show in PA, and we are about to get this party started!
Enjoy the Ride … I know I will!
What a week!
We celebrated our 25th Anniversary a/k/a the Silver Anniversary on Valentine’s Day. Getting married on the one day when everyone comes together to celebrate love seemed like a good idea at the time. Not so much every year since when we try to get a dinner reservation.
Our son turned 21 on Wednesday and I turned my legal age on Friday. My mental age varies from 17 to 35.
My husband surprised me with a weekend in NYC, knowing there is a strong possibility that I might adore this town more than him. He was a NYC virgin, so he wanted to check out his competition.
As you have probably heard by now, last weekend was the coldest on record. On RECORD!
These two lovebirds grabbed a big suitcase, loaded it as if we we heading to the Antarctic and hit the road. Nothing says sexy like a pair of long johns, said no one ever.
We arrived Friday afternoon when the weather was tolerable. After a nice meal at Sardi’s, followed by cocktails and dessert, we headed out to explore all the tourist spots. I do believe my boots earned travel miles.
It was spectacular! Watching my husband love it as much as me was priceless.
The next day we bundled up for a walk to The Chelsea Market. Walking allowed us to take in some of the world-class architecture that makes this section so special. I could see the hubby’s wheels turning with every piece of wrought iron.
We spent hours in the Market experiencing everything edible. Breakfast at Sarabeth’s, Halva at Seed & Mill, and a little something sweet for later from Li-Lac Chocolates. There are no calories when you’re celebrating love.
When we stepped outside Jack Frost was there nipping at everything nipable. TAXI!
Greg wanted to go to Ground Zero, I could have passed on this stop, but I strapped my loved goggles on a little tighter and made the best of it. It was just a little too somber for me.
This part of town sits right on the Hudson River, which is not exactly a warm spot. There are no words to describe the wind and cold. Wait .. I can think of two, and they both start with F!
In order to thaw, we blew across the street to Brookfield Place, where I was greeted by a dog wearing beautiful leather boots and a Burberry coat. All I’m going to say about this place is, if it weren’t for my soul, I would really enjoy living like the 1%.
Still shivering, we sat down in PJ Clarke’s to enjoy a bowl of soup, sip a cocktail or two, and admire Lady Liberty in the harbor. My poor girl out there in a dress with no coat!
We ended this weekend sipping champagne, singing along with The Jersey Boys, eating cupcakes in bed and enjoying each other’s company. My cupcake never tasted so good.
The celebrations continue today with a birthday dinner for Zachary and mwah. We are looking forward to breaking with our offspring and their significant others. I’m sure they’re looking forward to us picking up the check!
Cheers to the last 7 days! The brightest spot of winter so far!
Enjoy the Ride!
It’s been a while since I’ve paused to do what I love so much, but better late than never folks. I bet you’re all wondering what the hell I’ve been up to over these past few months. Sadly the answer is NOT traveling the world with my lottery winnings in tow.
The biggest thing that has happened to us over the past few months is we have broken our ties with CABLE TELEVISION. That’s right people I am living the Antenna Life a/k/a Clean Livin’. Yes, I did say “no cable” and “antenna” in November of 2105.
This relationship came to erupt end when my son accidentally changed our plan via the remote when he was trying to order a movie. You know what prevents this from happening …. wearing your GLASSES.
Within minutes, I called our new server Verizon Fios to alert them of the accident. Of course, I acted as if my son were a toddler playing with the remote opposed to the 20-year old ordering some god forsaken movie in the middle of the day, but that didn’t seem to matter. He could have been legally blind, randomly hitting buttons and zero fucks would still be given!
This is when I was informed that our plan was no longer available. In less than an hour our plan disappeared? Yes. Apparently that’s how our plan rolled. I had no idea we had the playah of cable plans, the plan that jumped from one customer to the next without looking back.
After several calls to rectify this is a civil manner we were calmly told “there is NOTHING we can do.” Really? In 2015, there is N O T H I N G that can be done? Not a single button could be pushed to rectify an accidental incident for a new customer … nada! Alrighty then ….
Have you ever gone from calm, cool and collected to cursing like Tony Montana? I have.
scare the crap out of you bore you with the ugly details of these negotiations, just know they ended with more money in my pocket each month and a new pair of boots on my feet to prove it!
Leaving the 21st century wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be … for us. My son’s response was “Whew! I got out just in time!” and my daughter responded with “I think I just saw a dinosaur walk by.” They think we have lost our minds, but they weren’t paying the bill so we don’t care.
No fears people we do have a Smart TV that allows us an occasional re-entry into the current century via Netflix. But I must say, we’ve been enjoying the calmness of outdated sitcoms much much more than anything from this century. Less violence goes a long way, especially at bedtime.
I’ve been hooked on the original reality show The Munsters for weeks now. The Kardashians have nothing on this story line! Lilly and Herman recently had an awful argument, but no worries Grandpa and that hideous character Marilyn worked diligently to get them to make up. Do you see how deep I’m in? I’ll leave my other addiction, My Favorite Martian, for another post. I’m crushing hard on Bill Bixby … really hard.
Enjoy the Ride! Even if it’s in reverse, way back to the 70’s when we enjoyed life at a slower pace and weren’t polarized by fear, negativity and Donald Trump on a daily basis.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with nothing more than determination.
My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.
All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line.
We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.
I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit! I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!
We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!
The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us! Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.
You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long!
Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.
This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the past. Another reminder that change is everywhere.
We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.
We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome ….
It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.
- Belly laughter with a friend
- Ralking among the beauty of my city
- 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
- Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride!
This quote has resonated with me with a force that I could not longer ignore. Why? Because it’s truth on paper, or in this case … Pinterest. I’ve kept my distance on my Blog for reasons that were just not genuine and this little reminder brought me here today. I know… I know … I know.
I haven’t been “too busy” to write. Lamest excuse evah! Seriously! I’m not out solving world peace, I’m walking dogs and washing dishes. Just doing my thang.
The truth is I’ve been away because old habits really do die-hard, especially those from our childhood. Those Mother Efers are like the Michael Myers of behaviors! Just when you think you’ve beat them down, stabbed, shot, drowned, suffocated and tied them to a train track before dropping them into a 10 foot grave, someone comes along; lets out one little comment that resurrects these assholes into spring chickens! Once again proving the power of our Words.
That’s right folks, I let the words of a small group of naysayers bring me back to a place I thought was out of my life for good. Obviously that was not the case. Apparently there are a few people in my world who read this Blog anonymously. Meaning they are not included in the 712 out and about followers.
This handful of naysayers, who prefer to lurk in the shadows of my business and later zap me with my own words when the opportunity strikes are the real story tellers. That’s right folks, because every time they open their mouths to undermine my dreams, criticize or predict my doom they are letting the world know their story, not mine. So from this moment on not one more fuck will be given about their “opinion.”
My blog was born as a therapy session outside of my therapy session, not a NY Times best seller. It’s just a little speck out in the world that allows me to dump some long overdue baggage out the window and let shit go. So if a handful of people can’t deal with that the solution is simple …. stop reading it. That friends is not rocket science.
Letting go of some baggage over time has enabled me to start growing into my own badass self and I AM NOT APOLOGIZING for being ME just because a certain crew of negative people can’t seem to handle that truth.
I have spent 2 and a half years writing 180 essays on top of 3 years of counseling trying to bring my genuine self to the surface and it’s going to take more than a few mean-spirited naysayers to bring me down. Snap!
Now let me go dig into a nice big bowl of diamonds for dinner so I can continue to SHINE ON and Enjoy the Ride!
In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend I am once again sharing a post that I wrote in honor of my own mother Venita Momma You Were Born This Way.
I am blessed to be celebrating her once again this year, considering she was 37 when she brought me into this world, I never imagined that at 50 I would still have this privilege. Feel free to insert a big ole Awwww.
Mom is now 87 and I am so grateful that every Friday we spend our day going from one place to another. It’s usually food shopping, banking or a doctor’s appointment here or there. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we have the opportunity to be together and that is certainly extraordinary. A priceless gift indeed!
A few years back when my mom gave up driving, on her own unlike my father who didn’t give up without a fight, my sisters and I came up with a schedule to get mom out from behind her four dull walls. I for one can honestly say it was the best thing that could have happened. This gives us all the opportunity to spend quality time with our mother, which we may not have gotten if she was still whizzing around town on her own. A blessing in disguise!
These weekly outings have certainly provided me with a chance to sit back and ponder on my own challenges in raising my children who are now 21 & 19. I have to look at my mom and ask “how the hell did you survive these years … TWICE? See, I have older siblings and my brother turned 19 just a few days after I was born! Yea…let that sink in for a minute…
Just as she was about to receive her “I survived raising my teenagers” t-shirt she had to change the shitty diapers of my sister and I since we are only 15 months apart! I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Oh, as if this wasn’t enough to warrant a statue being erected in her honor, factor in that she went to work full-time when I was about 7 and was still required by Archie Bunker/my dad to fulfill her “wifely duties” of cooking, cleaning and waiting on him hand and foot. Oh … dear … lord how did she have the restraint not to murder?
I never thought I would actually say “changing diapers and breast-feeding are looking pretty good right now”, but I find myself saying it DAILY and one day I said it to my mom. Her laughter was genuine, but I must admit it was a little unnerving. Then I realized the truth usually is right? You know when there is nothing left but to laugh you don’t have a chance.
- When my mom said “believe me you don’t want him to walk too early” I thought she was crazy until my son started building his own scaffolding to unlock the front door and the gray hairs began.
- When my mom said “let her take her time driving, she doesn’t need her license yet.” Well, I was tired of waiting up to go fetch her from wherever she was, so she got her license. Yea, waiting up until she gets home safely is so much more relaxing…not!
The list could go on, but frankly it’s becoming a little embarrassing at this point. Look, motherhood does not come with a manual for a reason … it’s too fucking scary! No one is going to see that movie after reading the book .. capisce?
So, take time to listen to the wisdom of the
survivors other women in your life … your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins or honestly anyone with a vagina.
All women are mothers of the world. All of us give birth to something bigger than ourselves. All women are badass and need to be celebrated, so get out there and as always … Enjoy the Ride!
Once upon a time, in the wee hours of the morning on a cold winter day 50 years ago, something very special happened. A baby girl with jet black hair and big brown eyes made her way into this world. Oh, she didn’t enter this big bad world like one of those average babies, she made her debut with a grand arrival. It didn’t matter a snow storm was brewing. It didn’t matter that the doctor couldn’t get to the hospital and it certainly didn’t matter that the nurse said she wasn’t “ready” to be born. Um, I wasn’t a Butterball for godsakes.
This little bundle of joy wanted to make a lasting impression and that’s exactly what she did as she barreled into the world by sliding right to the bottom of the hospital bed like a wet seal all by herself. No doubt causing my mother to instantly spring a gray hair… or two. Hey, it you’re gonna go… go big … right?
Little Lisa Maria was born on February 19th, 1964. She is the youngest of 4 children a/k/a “the baby” of the family. A label she still wears today when her mother introduces her to ANYONE. But she doesn’t mind, she just smiles and sheepishly embraces her title.
As you can see Lisa continued liven things up at her first birthday party. In her defense she isn’t the one who purchased the chocolate, nor is she the one who left it in arms reach of a baby. If we’re going to point fingers, I would start with the tall people at the party.
Now let’s fast forward to today, when I once again slid to the bottom of a bed to officially hit another milestone. “Slid” may be a little strong… shimmied might be better.
Drum Roll Please ….
The Big 50
Half a Century
As I was doing a little research on turning Fiddy I found out that I am in some pretty good company this year. Aside from all those other AARP cardholders that is. Who the hell knew that so much greatness could emerge in one year? 1964 was certainly rocking some star power. Let’s kick the list off with a little name dropping shall we. Ahem … First Lady Michelle Obama, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Lara Linney, Lenny Kravitz and G.I. Joe just to name a few. There are actually 103 on the list, including yours truly, but I don’t want to
make you green with envy bore you by listing all of the awesomeness of my birth year.
I also found a very interesting historical fact about this day 50 years ago. Out of all the incredibly memorable events taking place in 1964 you will not believe what went down on this date. Are you ready?
UK flies ½ ton of The Beatles wigs to the US
Seriously? I’m left to assume that the historians were out to lunch and the lab monkeys got together and thought this was hilarious. I’m still not sure how or why this is considered history, but more importantly I was not able to find a single owner of one of these wigs. Now I sort of want one ….
Any who …. since I love to see people happy in honor of my 50th Birthday I want you to take a break and celebrate with me … Because I’m Happy! If you are the proud owner of a Beatles wig feel free to put it on now.
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
Enjoy the Ride!