Tag Archives: outdoors

Please, Call Me Gretel

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Mom! The helmet is a little over the top.

As a parent watching shows such as Law & Order SVU and Criminal Minds take me to another level of worry. My already over active imagination suddenly kicks into high gear if my children are 5 minutes late. Hell, just watching the local news can scare the crap of you these days.

Needless to say my kiddies think I’m some sort of crazy woman for wasting an ounce of time being concerned about their safety … “Mom, I’m fine stop” and “OMG Mom just put me in bubble wrap!” Hmm…bubble wrap.

The parents of yesteryear, such as my own, may have had their concerns, but they weren’t even close to this level. Columbo and Kojack kept fear to a minimum. Things were just different I guess.

I certainly don’t recall endless lectures about “stranger danger”,  however I do remember walking home with my friend and being summoned over to a car by a man asking for “directions”, only to have the displeasure of viewing a little one on one loving … if you know what I mean.  Oddly enough I wasn’t scared. Grossed out yes, scared no. Today this story would have been on the 6 o’clock news, but back then I’m not even sure if we told our parents.

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There she is working that Fudgesicle like no bodies business.

Thinking back it seems perverts were actually all around us, including behind the wheel of the Good Humor truck. You may never think of a Rocket Pop in the same way again…read on. My sister, who was giving Dolly Parton a run for her money by age twelve, was presented with an interesting proposition by the one and only Good Humor guy. That’s all she had to do was jump rope for him and she could have FREE ice-cream. Were we running away in fear? HELL NO! She was happily jumping away for her free goodies as me and the rest of the stick figures stood in the distance green with envy. The thought that there was something wrong with this request never even entered our naive little minds. 

One, such as my daughter, may say that this naivety is still going strong within me. Her theory, after a few Sociology classes, is that I am so worried about her and her brother because in reality I would be the one getting into the van in search of that imaginary puppy. She may actually be on to something … don’t tell her I said that. 

imagesJust a couple of months ago my daughter and I were taking Peanut for his evening walk. Now, when I’m out I tend to greet people, however my daughter tends to be … well … a mannequin. I know! We are complete opposites. So, on this particular evening there was an unusual amount of people out enjoying the weather. Jackpot for this social butterfly, not so much for the mannequin. 

A few blocks from home I stopped to admire a beautiful garden. The design was spectacular. You could just tell a tremendous amount of love went into to tending to the needs of this foliage. I do not have a green thumb, so this was indeed impressive. Just as I was trying to bring a potted mix to the attention of my mannequin daughter, the owner appeared. She was elderly with a very heavy German accent. At this point my daughter was most likely Tweeting away #socialbutterflymom #annoying. 

As I was professing my love for her talents, she began picking a few springs from the potted mix explaining that they were herbs. My eyes were the size of saucers! She was insisting that I smell them, which I did without an ounce of question. Of course, not to be rude I offered my daughter a sniff as well. #Idon’ttakeherbsfromstrangers #mymomisgretel.

Needless to say I stood there sniffing away for lord knows how long as I was no doubt being slammed all over Social Media.

I can't lie...I would be all over this.

I can’t lie…I would be all over this.

We said our goodbyes and I was handed a roadie of herbs as a parting gift. I immediately began lecturing my daughter on her lack of socialization when she informed me I would talk to a stick if it had a face. I wouldn’t go that far … well maybe. 

We were walking along as I happily continued to ingest the aroma of my little bundle when suddenly I found myself slammed against a parked car, before I hit the ground. I become very dizzy. Well guess who suddenly came to life as I was laying on the ground like a porpoise? The mannequin!

There I was with my knees scraped, still holding onto my herb roadie in shock when I hear these comforting words being screamed at me … “Mom! OMG, this is what you get for taking things from strangers! You are the only one in our family who would get in a car filled with duct tape and knives!  I couldn’t deny she was right in her conclusion, but I certainly wasn’t about to reveal that I would most likely be suggesting a quick stop at Home Depot to my abductor. You know for the rope and tarp he forgot to pick up. 

420d1ed120785f3a949df543a86f5ac1In the end I was fine and we got a good laugh out of it all. I can not deny that if I miraculously came upon a house made of sweets I would be chowing down on a chocolate shingle without a care in the world. I tend to see the good, not the oven large enough to fit a human. Enjoy the Ride!

Top of the Morning to Ya!

It's about time Dawn!

It’s about time Dawn!

Since Peanut a/k/a “P” or “P-Diddy has arrived I have been taking full advantage of his energy. I’m starting to believe that he is an Energizer Bunny/Tasmanian Devil mix a/k/a an Enertaz and not a Maltipoo as we originally thought. Yes, I am jealous.

Since we are both up at the crack of dawn Since we are both nudging Dawn to get her ass up, I’ve decided to take advantage of our time together by walking. For months I’ve been wearing a pedometer to count my steps each day as a motivator, but it wasn’t working and I was becoming very discouraged by my low numbers at the end of the each day. Apparently I should have purchased a Sloth meter if I wanted “results.”

Come on Lisa, you're not going to melt.

Come on Lisa, you’re not going to melt.

I’m happy to announce that my numbers have tripled in the 3 weeks since P and I have started our routine. My highest number so far has been slightly over 16,000, which is 8 miles in one day. The Sloth has left the building … feel free to hoot and holla. 

We head out around 5:30 (yes in the morning) and I must say there is something invigorating about witnessing my neighborhood coming alive in the morning. I feel like I’m intruding. This is especially true on the weekends when even the birds are sleeping in after a long week of chirping. Sadly this early bird is incapable of doing that … even on the weekend.

One thing I know for sure is that all this stillness has certainly opened my eyes and ears a little wider to my surroundings, which just expands my imagination to another level. So far I have made myself laugh out loud and scared myself half to death. Here is a sampling of my week.

1. Every morning I see a young blonde haired woman who is always sporting bright pink from head to toe like the human version of Estee Lauder’s “Simply Pink” lipstick. I have no doubt that her ensemble was pulled right from her little Barbie Dream House closet. I couldn’t help but worry that she may just fade away if she continues to run at this level.

This does not mean GO!

This does not mean GO!

2. I live in a very blue-collar neighborhood, so it’s no surprise at the number of pick-up trucks I see heading out in the wee hours, however I also noticed something else about people who head to work early … they do not seem to stop at stop signs … EVER. Come on people at least throw me a break light and a damn roll! I guess I’ll have to assume that Ford has come up with a windshield that only recognizes the word STOP after 6 a.m.

3. One of my favorite observations to date are the people on the bus stop. There is usually a group of miserable faced teenagers heading to school and an older group of miserable faced people heading to work. No one is talking or acknowledging that anyone else actually exists. I look on hoping that one day they’ll all break out into a badass version of Sweet Child Of Mine.

4. Does anyone out there remember the good ole paper boy from a life time ago? You know, that little freckled-faced kid who rode his bike up and down the streets to deliver your paper … TO YOUR DOOR. Those days are long gone around here. Every single day I watch an overweight guy in a beat-up mini van looking like a pedophile driving down the street, while throwing the papers out of the window. Seriously? Ugh, it drives me so crazy I find myself finishing his job and tossing the papers up to the porch!

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The Walnuts of the world have been WARNED!

5.  I could probably write a short novel just on the horrors of decorating choices that I’ve witnessed, but honestly “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”  But I couldn’t let you miss out on all the fun, so I selected one of the strangest encounters.  NOTE: This house is not near my home … I would have to move. 

I tried very hard to justify why there would be Nutcrackers on display in May. Yes, there was more than one, but I was afraid to film the entire army. At first I thought that maybe someone was sick and they didn’t have time to remove them, but then I noticed freshly planted flowers, so that was out. I went from benefit of the doubt to insanity in 2 seconds flat.

Well, if it’s not an illness, it must be he works of a serial killer. Obviously, some freak who had a bad experience with a nutcracker now surrounds himself with fresh blocks of wood as he waits to whittle the faces of his victims onto his growing army of nutcrackers. Oh yeaI actually scared myself on that one! Apparently I have watched one too many episodes of Criminal Minds.

Enjoy the Ride … even if you’re walking!

Democracy Is Alive

Since August 1st I’ve been working, along with a few neighbors, to stop the destruction of a beautiful piece of land near my home.  As residents, we learned of this project the day the bulldozers rolled in to flatten the area. According to the Buck at my back gate, no members of the animal kingdom got the memo either and now they are scurrying to relocate.

It appears that a local tour bus company is expanding their parking lot to include 66 additional parking spaces to fill this once Open Space. Asphalt and diesel fumes will soon be our new neighbors, without so much as a peep on their arrival. The welcome wagon will remain in the garage for this addition. 

Collectively we have been hounding our elected officials Whew, now that’s really been a freaking joy, utilizing the social media, pounding the pavement with petitions, exercising our freedom of speech in the press and now my blog.

It’s incredible how many people are up in arms, but disappointing to know that only a handful are truly committed to do the work. Personally, I believe in the beautiful words of Margaret Mead and I will continue to do so. 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Please watch the video and be inspired to sign our online Petition at parkwood-manor-preserve-our-open-space-stop-construction-of-tour-bus-parking-lot-2

Meet The Cobs

Thank you Mother Nature for giving us a well-earned break from the fires of hell on Sunday. We took a long ride in the MLC (Mid-Life Crisis) for the newcomers.

No plans, just a ride…or so I thought. We were somewhere around Quakertown, PA when we pulled into an empty church parking lot. Of course the million dollar question is “what are we doing here?”  I heard the response, but I just wasn’t on the same page as…”this is the house I was telling you about, the one next to the church.”  Some lightbulbs were going off, but they were dim and I was still stuck on church & home being used in the same sentence. 

The house was nice, very well-groomed, empty and a good price. All good right? We turned around in the parking lot and there was nothing but CORN as far as the eye could see. My hubby asked..”so what do you think?’ I didn’t pull the guns out at first, I made some nice comments about the house, but then I had to ask “who will I talk to, there is no one here?  “Me” was the response. Yea, love is one thing, 24/7  is a whole other story.

It appeared GOD was on my side, the words SALE PENDING were covering the FOR SALE portion of the sign. Well played God, well-played indeed. 

We continued on with our day. I was enjoying the scenery along with the music, as I was continuously being reminded how “nice & quiet” it was around those parts. Yep, it really must be a hit for people who are into silence. 

The sales pitches were coming at me like darts, but I was loosing my case bad, almost at a slaughter level. My case started off with a very weak …”that shopping area looked congested, almost dirty.”  Considering I’m from Philadelphia, that doesn’t even make sense, yet it came right out of this mouth. The look was enough, no need for words to slam that insane defense. The Green Acres theme song was just pounding away in my head at this point.

One thing throughout the entire day stood out like a sore thumb, only women seemed to be cutting the lawn. I saw women on tractors, riding mowers and pushing mowers with hot pink sound proof ear phones. She was hardcore about battling those blades of grass…why? 

I started the conversation about the high volume of women cutting the lawn, only to hear yet another sales pitch. “See you could be out cutting the lawn instead of being on the computer.” Really? Yea, this was the turning point, ready…aim…fire! 

Me:  First of all I’m allergic to everything under the sun, I can’t even pick a tomato in our garden without a suit of armor and I still seem to come inside with a tick or a rash.

Meet The Cobs

The only reason those woman are cutting the lawn is to escape the madness inside those homes! If they don’t do something with their hands they will be bludgeoning someone with a frying pan.

Let me just give you a scenario of our life surrounded by corn. You’ll go to work, but now your day will be longer because we are so far from civilization. This leaves me alone with my imagination, creative abilities and CORN. So, don’t be surprised when you come home and find extra place settings for our guests The Cobs.

That’s right, I will be spending my days sewing little outfits for The Cobs, to match the imaginary personalities I created.

Of course you’ll go along with this insanity out of fear, knowing it’s only a matter of time before Pop, the disgruntled Cob shows up to wreak havoc on the silence. For the record….I don’t even like corn!

Oddly enough throughout my entire presentation Bridge Over Troubled Water was playing on the radio….it didn’t help. 

Hubby: Well, it looks like we’re going to need something between the corn and the city. 

Me:  Amen! 

We laughed most of the way back to civilization. We agreed that even though something was “moving” in our neighbor’s trash bag, it doesn’t mean we have to be exiled to the silence of corn fields for the rest of your days. Compromise is good….unless it involves bringing a “moving” trash bag to corn land to add some city spice, which yes, was suggested during the sales pitch. 

Happiness is meeting in the middle while you…Enjoy the Ride!

Let Your Bells of Freedom Ring

HAPPY 4th  of JULY    

I just happen to live in Philadelphia…where all this Hoopla originated.

Do you want to be the hit of your BBQ today?  Have you ever wanted to be referred to as “Smarty Pants”? Well, today is your lucky day folks!  I have provided you with some very interesting 4th of July facts that are guaranteed to get you avoided like the plague or envied by all…Choose your victims audience wisely. This is your time to shine…let your bells of freedom ring loud!

Now go make your cheat sheet…grab the Jell-O mold and hit that BBQ with a world of knowledge that is sure to stump your family and friends. Start with the crowd that is hovered around the alcohol, they won’t be able to run as quickly. 

Did You Know …..

• The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.

• Malia Obama, George Steinbrenner, Neil Simon, Ron Kovic and Calvin Coolidge were all born on the Fourth of July.

• These events occurred on the Fourth of July: Henry David Thoreau moved into his shack on Walden Pond (1845); the U.S. air offensive against Nazi, Germany, began (1942); Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts (1964); Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (1966).

• The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.

• Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the bald eagle.

• The musical “1776” premiered on Broadway in 1969 and ran for 1,217 performances. The production won three Tony Awards, including one for best musical.

• The number of Americans who will spend the holiday at other people’s homes is approximately 41 million

• The first official Fourth of July party was held at the White House in 1801.

• Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on this day.

• The town of Patriot, Ind., has a population of 202 people.

• Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on the Fourth. Adams and Jefferson died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.

• The percentage of American homes with an outdoor grill is 87 percent.

• The song “Yankee Doodle” was sung originally by British officers making fun of backwoods Americans.

• The amount of chicken purchased the week before the holiday is 700 million pounds.

• The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies.

• In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. (Today there are 311 million.)

Enjoy your family…Enjoy your friends…and like alwaysEnjoy the Ride!

Flowers for Friday

Last week Judy over at the wonderful Blog Raising the Curtain presented me with the Sunshine Award. Little did she know that the Gerber Daisy just happens to be my most favorite flower in all the land, which makes this award extra special indeed.

Just look at that pretty lady holding her head up high, confident that her stem will have the strength to withstand storms that come her way, knowing that no matter what her colorful face will create smiles to all those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Did you know that the Gerber is the 5th most popular flower in the world? Well it is, right behind that bitch Rose who is always stealing the spotlight with her “look at me” attitude.  Rose is so overdone & boring, the Kim Kardashian of flowers as far as I’m concerned.

Next we have the trusty Carnation, she’s cheap and serves a purpose. She finds her way into almost every event trying to shine next to the more popular flowers in the arrangement. She’s the always the bridesmaid never the bride of the flower world.

Look who’s next Chrysanthemum, the name just screams la de freaking da! She’s been around a long time, since the 15th century to be exact. She has no interest in being number one on some list that was obviously created by minions. There is no need to announce great beauty, her presence in the bouquet speaks for itself.

Number 4 is the Tulip, the tease of the bunch. This girl loves to get the juices going. She arrives in early Spring, makes her presence known, wows the crowd then it’s out-of-town until next year. She leaves everyone wanting just a little bit more….

Finally we have the Gerber, the most distinguished of the crew with her large flowering head. She just loves her bright colors of pink, yellow, orange and of course ruby-red. As soon as she enters a room it immediately fills with happiness. How could it not? Look at her…she oozes cheerfulness. That’s my girl!

We all have our own unique way of making this world a more beautiful place. As for me, it’s making people laugh or smile to brighten their day, even when I can’t brighten my own…it just feels good. Just call me Daisy, Gerber Daisy that is…

Now, lets get down to business and answer some questions.

What is a real fear you have?  Heights, for me there is just no purpose being for on top of anything that causes, ear popping, spinning or nausea.

How would you describe yourself?  A work in progress.

What Countries have you lived in?  Only the U.S., but the way things are going, I will admit I’ve looked at alternatives. No, I’m not going to the moon with Newt…for god sakes people I’m not insane. 

What is your style?  Classic with a dash of contemporary and a smidgen of retro.

What is your favorite breakfast food? Waffles with fresh fruit and powdered sugar.

What are some of your hobbies? Reading & writing this blog.

If you could tell people anything, what would be the most important thing to say?  Lying is not worth the price.

What is one of your passions?  Youth. I am always energized by being in the presence of young people, they leave me feeling happy & hopeful.

What is the one truth you have learned? Doing what’s Right is rarely popular and harder that you could imagine, but it’s the only thing that will actually encourage change.

Garden Center Swag

Holly Tree We Rescued
From The Big Chipper

What does one do on a beautiful Saturday in April?  They get their Garden Swag on of course, especially on Earth Day weekend!

Since the hubby’s truck was loaded with dirt and the teenager took the car to work, I was left to take the MLC to the garden center to pick up some flowers. So, top down, towel in the trunk and off I went.

After I loaded my cart up with some beauties and checked out, I headed for the exit. Hmm, the exit appeared to be blocked by a man and his cart. I gave a polite “excuse me” and the man quickly moved. He actually did a little dance with the cart to be funny….I chuckled at the extra effort.

As I’m loading the flowers I hear, from across the parking lot, a very loud “DAM! Are you single?” followed by “Is that your car?” O Dear Lord…now he’s heading my way..ugh.  Well, he was kind enough to help me back with the cart as I explained that I was married and the car is my husband’s Mid-Life Crisis of sorts. This somewhat of a caveman asks …”DAM! He LETS you drive HIS car?”  Well, I refrained from saying the first thing that came to mind “Jeez, this car is a seems to be ASS magnet!” and went with “We are both enjoying this ride.”  Got in, buckled up and heard the very appropriate…Rolling Stones Give Me Shelter playing on the radio.

Stockton

After our long day of gardening we decided to take a short ride on a beautiful evening. This time we headed North and followed Rt. 29 in New Jersey. It’s a refreshing ride on the Jersey side of the Delaware River. The scenery is stunning and the little towns of Lambertville and Stockton are nothing short of quaint, funky and beautiful.

Bridge to PA

We crossed back over to Pennsylvania and took a ride through the very cool and down right wild town of New Hope.  The streets were packed with people of all ages and from all walks of life…it was electrifying.

All this electricity is what most likely lead to the husband singing Wild Cherry’s–Play That Funky Music like it was nobody’s business. He was suddenly on stage, or so he thought, behind the wheel!  This is a moment that will be remembered, with a smile and some funk of course.

Watching everyone bustling around town and taking advantage of the warm weather, certainly had an impact. Being silly and ridiculous, certainly brings happiness. Mixing them all together, certainly lets you … Enjoy The Ride! 

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