Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the 15th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation with members from my Quaker Meeting, and it was an enjoyable experience. This country could use one of these on a daily basis.
The theme for the walk this year was “Recognizing the One in All of Us.” This is appropriate for many reasons, in and out of religions.
Although this is something that has been going on for 15 years, it was my first, but certainly not my last. There is just something fulfilling about being surrounded by a group of like-minded folks that energizes me in a way I cannot put into words.
We started our journey at the Arch Street Meeting House in old city Philadelphia. The Meeting room was filled with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i, secular humanists, and others who share the values of peace and justice. We sat in silence, as we do in Quaker tradition before heading to the streets.
Our first stop was the Society Hill Synagogue where we were greeted by members lining the entrance. Musicians were playing inside that filled the room with joy. The Rabbi welcomed all of us with prayer and a dash of humor. We then enjoyed a musical prayer performed by the Philadelphia Sikh Society youth group. A reading by Philadelphia Youth Poet Laurite, Husna Hashim, that rose the room to their feet in applause, and a Recitation from the Qu’ran by Muhammed Shehata from the Al Aqsa Islamic Society, which thankfully was translated for all of us to interpret. Notice the Rabbi & the Muslim embracing in the background. Who would have known ….
All throughout the walk, we were encouraged to use this opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone outside of our comfort zone and LEARN. Questions like “does your turban come pre-wrapped or do you do it yourself?” were not off limits.
Just in case you were wondering they are not pre-wrapped and there are YouTube videos for guidance. According to his smile, I would say he was relieved at the lightness of my question.
Once we left the Synagogue, we made our way back to the street and headed out for a 60-minute walk to Al Aqsa Mosque. We were greeted by the sounds of music compliments of a woman DJ wearing a hijab and Beats by Dre headphones. Something you don’t see every day.
The parameter of the facility was lined with the World Peace ballons in the above photo. It was indeed a site to witness. The air was consumed by the fragrance of dinner being made by the members of the Mosque, and dessert prepared by the Sikh community for all of us to share. All I can say is …. YUM!
As we were all settling in I took a moment to look around, I mean really look around at the oneness surrounding me.
I watched the men carrying out trays of food, and the women were not only directing where everything needed to go, but they were also getting annoyed if the men did not do it accordingly. Every woman reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The children were running around excited to have company in their “home.”Look what I can do! Look at me! Watch this! Free entertainment.
I realized that the ONE woman in our lives who insists you try her dish over the everyday meals made by the other women even though your plate is already overflowing exists in EVERY culture. You know who you are ladies.
This was when I understood that the core ingredient to solving World Peace is FOOD. We really need to stop overthinking, start cooking and
Enjoy the Ride!
The other day I was walking through Target looking for another hundred things to purchase aside from what I actually needed when I overheard a mother/daughter interaction.
The mother was walking ahead of the daughter, who could not have been more than 4 years old. Her micro fashion was on point, and her pink sparkle purse did not disappoint.
Mother: Maddie, keep up you are too far behind.
Maddie: I know. I’m really slacking today. This is what got my attention. How doe she know the term slacking? She’s just a peanut!
Mother: You sure are slacking.
Maddie: Mommy! You’re not supposed to agree with me.
Mother: Well, you’re not keeping up with me today.
Maddie: I know that, but you’re supposed to tell me it’s ok that I’m slacking.
Mother: It’s not ok.
Maddie: I know that, but I don’t want you to say it because I already know it.
Me: Good luck.
This made me take pause. What was I doing at Maddie’s age? Probably eating dirt or glue.
Not looking like a miniature rock star that’s for sure. I just wore what my sister wore but in a different color.
Not using words like slacking. I don’t think it was in the dictionary yet.
Not having an adult conversation with my mother in the middle of a store. I did not speak adult at age 4, and we did not go to stores.
Honestly, I don’t think I could handle the likes of Maddie in my house. It was hard enough trying to control real children, let alone a micro adult. Yes, Maddie, once upon a time, in the United States of America, kids were second-class citizens, and they were all the better because of their status.
Without sounding like a complete fart who thinks things were better “back in the day,” I’m going to go out on a rooftop to scream it loud and clear today.
Parents need to take a step back to realize that their only function is to raise their youngins to be solid citizens. Not superheroes.
They don’t have to be the best student or athlete. They do not need to be micro adults. They do not need to be held up on a pedestal 24/7. It’s “ok” to be second.
They just need to be a benefit to the world, and believe it or not there is a straightforward lesson plan. Consistently treat others the way you want to be treated. Bam! Mission accomplished.
Now, let me go find that rooftop before the Maddie’s of the world take over.
Enjoy the Ride!
via Daily Prompt: Conveyor
con·vey·or: a person or thing that transports or communicates something. “a conveyor of information.”
When I first read this prompt, Lucy and Ethel came to mind as I remembered the most famous conveyor belt of my lifetime, which has been providing laughter to so many for decades. You’re welcome.
Life was so much simpler in the days when the only things coming at us like a train were chocolates. Sigh
We now live in a time where information conveyed is too easily received, not because it’s factual, but because it matches our belief. This information overload is preventing us from L I S T E N I N G to anything outside of our own opinions. A wall has been built folks, and it’s not in Mexico.
Now that the double-edged sword technology has entered our lives; it’s not just the bombardment of information conveyed at full throttle; it’s the follow-up investigations to dissect the truths that are equally overwhelming for me. Exhausting is an understatement.
Sadly, not everyone conducts investigations because it’s more accessible to watch “Breaking News” or accept information spewed out of the mouths our politicians as factual. Easy peasy.
Just remember, Memes have become sources of News in some circles of this country. Let that sink in for a moment.
We also endure the information our “friends” on social media are conveying to the world on a minute to minute basis. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat an endless stream of blah, blah, blah. I’ve never been happier not to be a teenager.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice to share moments that have substance, the photo of a lost pet, an encouraging quote or funny meme, but to continuously convey your every move to the world is more of a cry for help. Look at me look at me … umm … NO!
Just like Lucy said “Ethel, I think we’re fighting a losing game.” as she shoved chocolates in her mouth, under her hat, and on the floor.
It’s time to dig deep people. The time has come to silence the overload, regain our common sense and be better stewards of the information we are conveying to the world. One closed tab at a time.
How’s this for information overload?
Be kind. Be mindful. Be considerate. Be aware. Be honest. Be friendly. Be compassionate. Be grateful. Be inspirational. Be yourself. Be happy. Be strong and as always, Enjoy the Ride!
What can I say? I L O V E to entertain.
I love to make my house sparkle & shine.
I love cooking with a dash of love and a smidgen of admiration.
I love breaking out all the fancy schmancy goods.
I love watching the interactions.
I love listening to the laughter.
I love feeling the love.
There is something about having the power to make people happy that swells my soul.
Of course, it might not seem like it while I’m running around like a chicken without its head to ensure that everything is just so or when I’m screaming at my kids because they’re leaving signs of life ALL over the house, but I really do. I swear!
Recently my son was kind enough to send me this video that could be actual footage of me before hosting anything from coffee to Christmas. As he explained “Mom! This is so YOU!” Please remind me again why I had kids?
Well, I guess I should be glad that I’m not the mother of Chris Fleming, the young man behind this video because he is the comedian that stars as the titular high-strung suburban mom Gayle Waters-Waters in this video, and many more that are also hilarious.
So, after the dust settles literally and the guests arrive, I put on my best hostess with the mostess attitude to dazzle them with delicious food, laughter, music, cocktails, more laughter and conversation before I send them back to reality where for days they are yearning for a little more. That’s Entertainment!
Enjoy the Ride!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been required to complete some sort of form before my entrance into a school, hospital or doctors office. So why is this practice suddenly considered a personal attack on freedom? I have a few ideas.
Well, for whatever reason, people seem to be relating this procedure as a personal infringement on their rights as an American citizen. Hmm, I wonder where they could have gotten that idea?
As some of you may already know, I work in the healthcare system where I am in the presence of the public on a daily basis. Feel free to send words of encouragement.
So, as you can imagine, my days have been a real joy ever since people decided that every question presented, including NAME, has a hidden agenda. Items that have been routinely asked for DECADES I might add!
There seem to be (2) questions that set people off on a personal protest, lecture or comments on everything unfair. Let me introduce you to race and ethnicity. Again, why?
Um, first of all, it’s evident to anyone with eyes if you’re black, white, orange or blue and secondly, you do have the FREEDOM to not answer the questions. Places do exist where options are not a thing, and this isn’t one of them.
Recently a new patient completed his form and vigorously crossed out ALL of the race selections to write A M E R I C A N across the page. Where does one begin?
Do I ….
a) Inform him that “AMERICAN” is not a race or an ethnicity unless you are in fact a NATIVE. Based on his white hair, blue eyes and Fighting Irish jacket, I’m going to risk stating that his ancestors were not the hot guys in loincloths at the first Thanksgiving.
b) Ask WTF does that mean? Outloud!
c) Earn an Oscar nomination for exhibiting an extreme level of control while in the presence of an ass. Is there a category for “best poker face?”
See you on the red carpet folks! I have bills to pay ya know.
Next up are the folks who REFUSE to complete the ethnicity portion of the form, which is fine, and again, you have that right. In fact, there is even a little box that says DECLINES TO PROVIDE.
NO ONE, especially me is forcing you to reveal your heritage. However, one does not have to be Nancy Drew to solve that mystery or at least come close. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what makes people tick.
My faith in humanity weakens when I think about the passion associated with these “protests” and how that energy is wasted on something so senseless. Ugh!
Do they realize that their name, address, social security number, phone numbers, employer information, marital status and the name of a family member for an emergency contact have just been delivered on a silver platter, which dramatically weakens their argument and provides enough evidence to trace their roots back to a cave? Dear Lord!
Use your energy wisely and as always, Enjoy the Ride!
I’ve come to the conclusion that extreme anything is just too weird for me. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, I’m basically too lazy to be extreme. Seems like a lot of work.
Last night I popped into the grocery store for a pack of gum before hitting the gym. There is something euphoric about chewing while sweating my ass off that makes the experience a little less horrible. Clearly, I enjoy chewing or I wouldn’t have an ass to sweat off!
I noticed something going on in the line next to me. A crowd had formed. There were three-baggers in place, and I believe smoke coming from the conveyor belt. The only thing missing was paparazzi.
Of course, the Newsy Susie in me had to inquire. Turns out I was about to witness an extreme couponing moment. I confess I have watched the Extreme Couponing show more than once. Because I like to witness insanity at its finest.
Let me just put this on the record. I’m all for using coupons and saving money, however, I am not into math beyond 50% off or buy one get one free, especially while shopping. Nor to I have a bunker to store 5,000 bottles of laundry detergent that I got for 30 cents.
Just listening to the explanation as to how someone would manage to purchase 100 bottles of shampoo for 2 cents is enough to give me a headache. Literally!
So, back to the insanity at register 2. This woman had an entire cart filled with CASES of yogurt, and more waiting to be rung up. Doesn’t yogurt expire?
My bones were getting stronger just looking at that amount of calcium in one spot.
Next on the belt were stacks of Lipton side dishes in a bag. Or shall I say bloat in a bag.
I’m not sure what else she had because I was too busy watching her frantically rummaging through her purse. Oh no! She FORGOT something.
It couldn’t possibly be coupons since there were enough to build that border wall we’ve all been hearing about sitting right in front of the cashier. Who has time for that level of clipping?
I’ll never know, and neither will you because the next thing I heard was “I live right across the street, I’ll be right back.” Followed by deafening SILENCE.
Enjoy the Ride!
Well, well, well look who is celebrating their 5th anniversary with WordPress. Ah, it feels like yesterday.
Last year, in celebration of this glorious milestone, I posted an essay that is sadly more relevant today Weapons of Mass Destruction Have a Face. A big orange face to be exact.
So, here we are, one year later, with the shit literally hitting the fan. Oh, happy day … not.
In just 365 days we went from watching this country’s biggest hit reality show to actually being contestants. I’m just sitting here desperately waiting for this show to be cancelled.
The show, as I like to call it, is “The Opposite.” That’s right folks, we are all participating in a new reality where our host is the opposite of being honest, treating women or anyone else who isn’t white like people, speaking openly, confronting situations directly, having patience, and basically just being a good solid citizen. The Opposite is now leading our path. Where we’re heading has yet to be determined.
In just a little over 30 days our host has brought several teams to the surface.
First, we have Team Merica. The bible thumping flag waving team who wouldn’t know the constitution if it were narrowed down to a bumper sticker, who take pride in naming at least two of the seven dwarfs, yet cannot muster up the name of a single Supreme Court Judge. They believe every alternative fact presented, including, but not limited to, our former president being a member of Isis.
The White Team is a sub group to Team Merica that includes well-intentioned educated folks who for whatever reason cast their vote. Some say it’s because he’s a businessman, others believed that he would “clean the swamp”, but most, in my opinion, did it because they were tired of a Democrat “giving away” everything they earned.
Next, we have Team Resistance. Not hired actors or paid by a 3rd party to participate. They are a feisty group made up of men, women, children, babies & dogs. They are taking to the streets to have their voices heard bearing signs, pussy hats, and passion for all that is good for the greater good. Their voices are speaking out for common human rights for all people. They are demanding answers from their elected officials regarding our planet, our healthcare, our animals, our freedoms, our sanity and OUR COUNTRY.
Then we have Team Oh Fuck. This group really, really, really thought they were doing the right thing when they went to the voting booth to cast a vote for “something different” and now they sit quietly pondering the definition of “different.”
Next up, Hollywood. This crew brings money, glitter, glitz, glamor, a microphone and a stage to spread a message they feel should be heard. This group has members on all of the above teams.
Last but not least we have Wall Street. They bring money, mo’ money and of course, mo’ money, which can easily allow them to rule the world … literally. Just remember folks the lack of a moral compass, a soul, and their cloven hooves will eventually lead to their demise. Hopefully.
So, in just over 30 days since the season premiere of “The Opposite” we’ve certainly been kept on our toes with the daily cliffhangers. What’s next? never sounded more terrifying.
Our new host likes to keep the teams confused. As they wander around questioning whether facts are truth or if lies are now alternative facts, which in our old world were just lies, he is vigorously flushing their tax dollars down the drain on his weekend getaways, our satellite First Lady, and my favorite, the 2017 Feed My Ego Tour a/k/a 2020 campaign rally. What just happened?
While the teams scramble to fact check like Ninjas, desperately trying to determine which news is real, fake or somewhere in between, Executive Orders are being signed sealed and delivered faster than a middle of the night Tweet. Diversion at its finest.
Thing have been tense between the teams. While each team frantically attacks each other via social media outlets, the wool is pulled further over their once bright hopeful eyes. Next stop, slaughterhouse.
Let’s just hope that this show will be cancelled long before the Season Finale scheduled to air November, 2020. Until then, crank up the music and Enjoy the Ride!
We all know the saying. We’ve all used it to describe various things in our lives. Those of us with children know it well. Somehow watching our children go from bottles to red Solo cups overnight.
The seasons always leave us with this phrase, especially summer, which seems to be running out of Dodge faster each year. One minute we’re watching fireworks, the next we’re trying to escape a pumpkin invasion.
The holidays use to leave us with this feeling, however, now that Christmas hits the stores before Halloween it’s no longer the case. The Christmas season officially lasts longer than most relationships.
These are examples of what I consider a natural course in change. They are as comfortable as that old sweatshirt in our closets.
But what about those other moments? You know, the ones that leave us numb in disbelief. The moments that leave us repeatedly asking “what just happened?” A vast majority have been doing this since Tuesday.
All I know is that NOTHING could have prepared me for life changing, blink of an eye, roller coaster ride I’ve been living for the past few weeks. By the way, I hate roller coasters in and outside of the amusement park.
October 12th was nothing short of a typical day in the life of me. Morning chores, work, and home. Boring at best.
I called my husband to let him know I was on my way. Everything was normal at 6:11 p.m. When I arrived home at 6:27 I was met by my daughter outside of the house. She said that my husband was screaming, cursing and acting crazy. Out of character was an understatement.
When I walked in to try to find out what was going on it escalated. So, I got the fur babies ready for a walk, and off we went while that fire simmered down. If they could talk, maybe I could have gotten a heads up.
While out on the walk I received a text stating “I’m moving on.” WHAT?!
I called home only to hear a voice I never heard before informing me that he is “done” “moving on.” I ran with the fur babies in tow, possibly airborne, with my heart in my stomach back to the house.
How did I go from saying “I’m on my way home “to screaming “What is happening?”
How did I go from hearing “I’m feeding the dogs” to “I’m moving on.”?
How did I go from walking my dogs to pulling pills out of the mouth of the man I love?
How did I go from a hum drum day to rushing into an ER?
How did I go from worrying about bullshit to making life-changing decisions?
How did I go from thinking everything was fine to feeling like I was hit with a bat?
How did I go from seeing the strength in my husband’s eyes to staring at his weakness?
How did I go from a happy go lucky girl to a sleepless shell?
I don’t have the answers to all of these questions just yet, but I have hope.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I have faith.
I don’t know how to live my new normal, but I have an open mind.
I don’t know if we’ll be ok, but we have our love.
I don’t know how I was blind, but now I can see.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but I’m trying.
I DO know that I have 99 problems, but my new perspective won’t allow Donald Trump to be one of them, and for that, I am grateful.
Enjoy the Ride … one speed bump at a time!
Today I am here to bitch and complain about a couple that have been driving me absolutely batty for some time now. Please let me introduce you to Politics and Religion. Not that anyone really needs an introduction at this point…they get around.
However, I’m sure you know them by their more popular names such as the Buzz Killers, Room Clearers, Fun Suckers and of course the old school … Party Poopers.
At this point in our lives I think its safe to say that we are all aware of the huge invisible SKULL & CROSSBONES displayed at the entrance to all public gatherings warning us of these two. So, unless you are prepared for a full on debate, that could potentially turn into a scene from the Fight Club, you must heed to the warning and avoid these two like a plague. People are on the brink of cray these days.
Sadly, thanks to technology, we now have the displeasure of facing these two in the comfort of our own homes. I know when I open my dear friend Mac I just want to chill. I do not want to be exposed to a heap of BS opinions about these two, but BAM! they always make an appearance. Unfortunately social media does not come with and arm waving robot screeching … DANGER LISA! DANGER! before logging on.
Honestly, how many hateful misinformed memes or “news” alerts that MUST BE SHARED to spread the misinformed hate across the land can one person endure? Not ONE more!
Don’t get me wrong, I too have had my moments. This fun-loving non confrontational Pisces has been sucked right into the vortex on occasion by … dare I say … responding to the crazy. I actually blow my own mind at how quickly I switch to Cap Lock and fire away.
It’s so frustrating to suddenly read the “opinion” of a well-educated, normally reasonable person, because it is based on the opinion of some half-truth media source. I think that’s what bugs me most….people have transformed from armchair quarterbacks to polarized parrots over night.
What the hell happened to waiting for the facts or heaven forbid the truth? I know they always seem to take their good ole time getting to the surface and their black sheep cousin Distorted ALWAYS shows up first reeking so much havoc no one even takes them seriously when they decide to sachet through the door….late as usual, acting like a couple of wallflowers!
I do have a solution to make some big changes, but it sadly doesn’t have a chance in hell of actually happening … even though it’s brilliant.
During my extensive research on this subject, I came to the conclusion that the only legit Truth & Fact tellers on this planet come in the form of a 4-year-olds. An advanced 3-year-old would also do.
These uninhibited balls of cuteness don’t play around with appropriateness, they go right for the jugular and get away with it with one flash of their dimples. They don’t worry about filtering what comes out of their mouths and they certainly don’t have a care in the world about political correctness. The truth and nothing but the truth.
They just let the truthful facts and common sense spew from their mouths without an ounce of concern. Let me put it this way … if a 4-year-old tells you you’re fat, chances are that is indeed a truthful fact. They don’t play!
Look at little Nancy Drew over there on the right. She took matters into her own little hands when her Kitty Bank was stolen by her babysitter. She just let the police know the truthful facts and BAM! the crime was solved. Kids are also very good judges of character .. we need to listen to what they have to say.
“The bad guys stole my kitty bank, they stole my iPod. They also stole my Xbox and my Wii,” the little girl said. “That was really her being bad. She’s not a good babysitter.”
Now take a moment to imagine all the decision-making seats in D.C. filled with 4 year olds. They don’t lie and they have no concept of money! Why no one has made this suggestion before is beyond me.
I can’t help but laugh as I ponder on all the conversations that may take place during a decision-making session. “Your Bill is dumb!” “No it’s not!””Yes it is!” “Ok.” Lord knows they would have these sessions wrapped up before snack time if little Mateo was running the show.
As we celebrate our freedoms today, let’s make a conscious effort to use these privileges wisely and Listen … Listen… Listen as we Enjoy the Ride!
I’ve been pondering about writing on this subject, but I decided it was necessary.
My feeling was the ticket availability was due to the lack of enthusiasm for venturing into NYC on 9/11, but I don’t think that was the case. It seemed to be business as usual 11 years later.
As we headed out in the wee hours of the morning, I couldn’t help but notice how this day seemed to mirror 11 years ago, as far as the weather was concerned anyway. It was absolutely perfect with clear blue skies, cool air and bright sunshine. No one expected the darkness we all experienced later that morning and I certainly didn’t anticipate what I experienced 11 years later, which was absolutely nothing. No extra kindness, smiles, eye intact or a word spoken the entire 2-hour ride for that matter.
My Facebook, however, was exploding with images reflecting the towers draped in flags, flickering candles with prayers and, of course, the famous shot of the fireman planting the flag on the rubble. It was borderline annoying considering what I was experiencing in the real world.
All of these powerful images were met with the words “Never Forget.” News Flash….we’ve forgotten something very important. Not the event, that will be embedded in us forever, but the lessons seem to be MIA. What happened to our vulnerability?
I couldn’t help but think “If this bus blew up could I depend on this crew of statues to lend a helping hand?” Hey, I don’t walk around in fear of the sky falling, however, I don’t dismiss the possibility to the point of disconnect with the people around me.
Have we forgotten that the target that dreadful day 11 years ago was not the physical structures of these massive buildings, it was the strength they represented?
The real targets were our freedom, tolerance and decency. What happened to a sense of humanity?
As I sat outside of a cafe waiting for my nephew to eat his 100th meal of the day, I watched a homeless man being passed by an endless sea of people. Did I mention he was an Army veteran, oh and that it was 9/11?
I understand people get tired of giving up their dough to strangers that might be complete frauds…I get that whole thing. What bothered me was no one even made eye contact, he was invisible.
Well, call me what you will I had to give him something before I left. He stood up, shook our hands, thanked us, complimented my nephew’s bow tie and explained his recent homelessness. He was legit, alive and very visible and long as you’re willing to open your eyes!
I was the last to enter the bus to return to Philly, only to find there were no seats..or so I thought. Apparently there was a seat being occupied by Louis Vuitton. Simmer down folks, not the man the travel tote! Seems like the designer travel tote, who was not a paying customer, suddenly had more value than me. After numerous requests, the
bitch woman reluctantly moved Louis to the side without an ounce of acknowledgement to my existence…I was invisible.
It could have been worse, it could have been a cheap knock-off! I had to justify it somehow people!
All of this, along with the negative climate that seems to be clouding over us daily, really has me questioning my own Truth to Power. Why is it so hard for us to exercise these simple tasks?
We speak to power in three senses:
- To those who hold high places in our national life and bear the terrible responsibility of making decisions for war or peace.
- To the American people who are the final reservoir of power in this country and whose values and expectations set the limits for those who exercise authority.
- To the idea of Power itself, and its impact on Twentieth Century life.
Our truth is ancient:
- that love endures and overcomes.
- that hatred destroys.
- that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden.
You can check out more on this powerful statement right here….sttp.html
Honestly, if we want things to be different, we as individuals need to take serious action to recommit to communicating rather than acting rashly, focus more on building rather than destroying and observe wisely rather than acting without thought.
These small changes can make a huge difference, not just in our daily lives, but as a nation and a world.
We can do this folks….Truth to Power…one day at a time. Enjoy The Ride!