Fred Wasn’t Impressive

After preparing our home for the approach of Tropical Storm Fred, was a bit disappointed that all we are getting today are clouds and a light rain. Regardless, we are very thankful Fred wasn’t a category 4 or 5 that smashed into our section of the Gulf Coast. My prayers are with those folks in the Florida panhandle area.

The next storm, Grace, is strolling up along nearly the same path. That’s bad news for Puerto Rico, Cuba and the areas Fred just came through. The current path has the storm again heading out into the Gulf. Nevertheless, we shall stay prepared. We have plenty of water, canned goods (a manual can opener) and have moved and outside furniture that could become airborne, into our shed.

Still, I love living in Florida. This area has a few weather challenges, but nothing we can’t handle. I grew up in Northeast Ohio, a survivor of the Blizzard of ’77-’78. I come from hearty stock, rooted in the hills of West Virginia and Kentucky. A little rain and wind, ah, we got this…hold my umbrella drink!

Take care, Friends! Be kind to one another!

Masks Debatable, but Wash Those Hands

Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Are there two more popular phrases in our world these days?

I’m certainly in favor of hand washing and using those personal hygiene practices that we all should have learned as children.  Most of my adult life I’ve been fascinated by those folks who use the restroom and leave without washing their hands. Yes, ladies as well as men…and at public restrooms, no less! What are you thinking? I’ve no clue how one exits a restroom without proper hand washing. It must be something either missing from their genetic make up, or maybe extra piece that makes them a superhero incapable of any germ infestation at all.  Either way, ya’ll still need to wash your hands!

Masks are a constant debate. Do they prevent infection? Are they really only suitable for the medical profession? What about the breathing implications for asthma patients? Are children okay without a mask? How do we avoid our face breaking out with “maskne”? What if I just don’t want to wear one? So many questions, so few answers.

I’m required to wear a mask at work, but that has been the only place I’ve consistently worn one until recently. Since I live in Florida, a blazing hot spot for positive Covid tests, I’ve begun to wear one in public more. I hate it. No way around it, they are very uncomfortable and sweaty in the Florida humidity. And my glasses fog up. But I do it.

Now our leaders are saying that the younger generation are the highest in positive cases. Well, yeah…so you open bars and beaches, they flock there. Makes sense to me. Social distancing? Not so likely. I work at a college…not looking forward to students returning to campus from all over the country, bringing whatever they’ve got with them. Young adults and teens are social beings for the most part and hopefully they will take to these new social requirements easily. Many feel they are young and invincible…just like we all did at that age! We all need to be open to these new changes and regulations in our world. We keep hearing the term “new normal”…time to embrace that, whatever it is!

Now…pull your mask up off your chin, and go wash your hands!

 

 

Hand Sanitizer

Life’s little paper cut finder!

And who is getting rich off the increasing price of this stuff? First there wasn’t enough to go around. Now that it’s everywhere, it’s double or triple the price it was before the pandemic started.

There are three hand sanitizer stations in our office at work. We are prompted by signage to use it each time we enter and leave the building. I got a paper cut earlier this week that will not heal because it keeps getting deep cleaned by 80% alcohol 15 times a day! I know it can’t be infected, but it is an open gash.

And don’t even get me started on toilet paper hoarding…

So This is 2020

I know I’ve been away from writing here for quite awhile, but this change in our world is ridiculous!  Who knew back on New Year’s Day that at the end of June we would be in a worldwide pandemic and wearing masks? Cuz if you did know, why the heck didn’t you tell the rest of us?

I’m not always sure what to make of this virus/pandemic/weirdness that we’ve come to know. Is our society even ready to adapt to wearing masks? I’m not sure everyone is, though most seem to be trying.  I see young children wearing them and it breaks my heart that they have to experience this. I certainly don’t enjoy wearing one, my guess is they do not either.

But this is what is called our “new normal” and we have to learn to work with it. I’m certainly not going to be one of those people who storm into a business that has posted signs requiring masks and proclaim that I an not obligated to comply. I know that I am obligated, for not only my own health concerns, but the others around me. I still don’t have to like it, and I honestly do not like being told I must wear a mask. But I’m doing it.

I’m required to wear a mask at work now. It’s hot and uncomfortable, and every chance I get, it comes off. I hate it. When alone at my desk, or sitting outside alone and away from others, it comes off.  It does make sense, though I do see where some would think it will harsh their mellow to be required to mask up.  Maybe it does, but so does dying from a virus that you might contract if you had not worn it.

I know we will all come through this eventually. Whether we are a smarter and more aware society when we emerge, remains to be seen. There are some lessons we can learn from this. The main one, the basic lesson of wash your hands. Really? Did it have to take a pandemic to pound that into our heads? Apparently so, and that is a point that concerns me. Did our Kindergarten teachers really fail is so badly that we don’t wash our hands effectively enough? Sad.

I live in Florida, which has recently emerged as a growing “hotter spot” for new virus cases. I have not, to be honest, consistently worn a mask when out and about. I do believe in the concept of “Herd Immunity”…if we all are exposed, then we build up the immunity needed to fight this and we get stronger. I don’t know if this is the answer, and Dr. Fauci hasn’t really asked my opinion, but I’m putting it out here anyway. Take it for what it’s worth, just my viewpoint. We all need to be comfortable in our own opinions and feelings, so if you don’t agree, I respect that.

So take care out there, my Friends! And wash those hands frequently…twenty seconds with hot, soapy water.

 

 

Here Comes 2020

Ready or not, right? We leave this decade behind to start a new adventure.

I’m ready. I love a clean, fresh start. Similar to gathering ingredients and putting together a great meal, this new year needs your talents and expertise.

Maybe you don’t know what all your strengths are, but you know what you like. Start there, focusing on what makes you happy. Expand your horizons, step outside your comfort zone. Make a difference this year in the world around you.

Above all, be kind. Be thoughtful. Be generous. Be YOU.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2020, my friends! Cheers!

Believe in the Magic of Christmas

How many of you believe in Santa Claus? It’s OK, admit it…we all should believe in Santa!

It’s the magic of Santa that draws me. The wonder of how the reindeer fly, the elves making the toys, and the sleigh flying around the world in one night.  I love the sparkle in a child’s eyes when listening to the tales of Santa, all the while imagining just how it all might work. I still try to work out the logistics of a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, but have yet to come up with an answer!

But the thing is, we don’t need an answer. What we do need is something that evokes wonder and innocence in our lives. Even if it’s only during the Christmas season, we can all use something to believe could actually happen, simply through the power of magic.

If you don’t see any magic in your corner of the world, create some. Do something unexpected for someone. Give of yourself and your time. Make a difference for someone else today and I guarantee you will also make a difference in your own life. That’s kind of how magic works.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a bit of Santa magic in your day!!

 

Life is to be lived

I heard this quote from Bruce Lee today, “The meaning of life is that it is to be lived.”

Do we focus too much energy on worrying about what others think of us? Are we wearing right clothes? Did we buy the right car? Do we live in the right area?

We do, and who cares?? Live to be happy. Live to be kind. Live to share your knowledge. That’s what matters in the end.

Wear what is comfortable. Take an extra moment to smile and talk to someone. Give of your time to volunteer. Talk to and pet dogs you pass on the street.

Count your blessings. Every moment is precious that you spend with someone you love. It is important to not take yourself too seriously, laugh a lot!

Attitude makes all the difference. If we aren’t happy with a situation, we have the power to change it.

Get out there and live your best life today!

First Tattoo

No, not me! I already have several, but today is a big day in our family. Our youngest son is getting his first tattoo! The Hubby and I both have tattoos, although none of our three sons do. Finally, after about four years of thinking about it, he is ready!

He’s getting a memorial tattoo for his dog, Domino. He was a mix of Black Lab and Sharpei, with the Lab body and wrinkly head of a Sharpei. Big as a pony, strong as an ox, Domino was something to see!

Our tattoo guy, who has worked on us the past five years, is going to do the honors, and he’s pretty excited to be doing our son’s first. I’m nervous, almost as much as when I’m getting my own. Only because I know what to expect, that it will hurt, and be life changing. I also know the experience is worth going through when you finish with an amazing piece of art permanently on your body!

I worked hard to stop myself from teasing him about the pain. No doubt, it hurts. Feels something close to sharp, hot glass slicing across the skin. But I’ve not mentioned that, not once, even though I really, really wanted to! And the first time cleaning a new tattoo…oh my Lord! The pain and sting from the shower water! He will learn quick not to let water run directly over it!

One thing I’m very happy about it the way society has overall changed its view on tattoos and those who have them. Body art is much more acceptable to employers, depending on placement and subject matter. I love that artists can create beautiful pieces that others are wearing and showing off. I’m proud to tell anyone who asks where I had my work done. And maybe most importantly, these truly amazing artists are getting to make a decent living doing art!

So off we go to the tattoo shop! We expect to be there all day. First the boy gets his, then the Hubby is having an older one reworked, maybe add some new stuff.

It’s going to be a great day! Get out and enjoy it!

Thots on Valentine’s Day

Hey, Readers! Bet you were thinking I’d fallen into the Gulf of Mexico and floated off towards Cuba…but no, just haven’t had the time to write in awhile.

So, been thinking about Valentine’s Day.  First point, it is not ValenTIMES Day…it is Valentine’s Day.  Please, let that be enough said.

We can keep being drug into the Hallmark version of what retailers think Valentine’s Day should be about.  I’m not into that.  I’d like it to be another day where we remind ourselves how fortunate we are that someone does love us even though they know we are truly flawed, and return that sentiment. This may be your spouse, significant other, child, or best friend.  See, we don’t have to be talking about that mushy kind of love, but someone who genuinely cares for you, respects you, loves you, or would carry your trash out should you break a leg roller skating.

The holiday hype in stores is ridiculous.  As is the price of a giant Hershey’s Kiss! Have you noticed the size has shrunk significantly while the prize climbs ever higher?  I love a heart shaped Reese’s as much as the next girl, but really, can you expect people to pay half their monthly car payment for peanut butter and chocolate?  How about a life-size stuffed Teddy Bear? Nope. Cute, but the dog would likely sleep on it!

Even if you are spending the day by yourself, make a point to be kind to yourself in some way.  Maybe get yourself a little gift. Or at least pick up some dinner so you don’t have to cook…or take yourself out for a walk around town to window shop, or for ice cream.

My perfect Valentine’s Day would be to spend the entire day with my husband, maybe a stroll on the beach at sunset, a nice dinner neither of us has to cook, a movie (either out or at home)…just simple stuff.  Enough to remind him “I Love You” without needing to take out a loan.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Tribute to My Friend

Like so many of you, I lost a dear friend way too early in life, leaving a vacancy like no other in my soul.  Today is her birthday.

A few years back I received that devastating phone call one morning telling me Kelley had passed away. Knowing I would never again spend time with the sweetest person to walk through my life left me paralyzed in sorrow.  Before then, I had never cried so hard or felt a loss so deeply.  Kelley was the rock in our group of friends.  The one who organized and encouraged get-togethers.  The life of every party, the compass when direction was lost.  She knew the innermost details of my soul and still thought I was worthy of her time.  Most importantly, she showered love and devotion on her family, keeping them close.  Her three children being the center of her universe.

After crying out more tears than I thought possible, I started remembering everything Kelley and I, and also our many friends, had experienced in our time together.  We met in middle school, at that painfully awkward combination of thirteen and seventh grade.  Her beautiful smile and bubbly personality grabbed me, we quickly became friends.  Throughout high school, I spent a lot of time at Kelley’s house.  We thought her Mom was amazing, allowing her to host the whole gang, sometimes for an entire weekend.  Now I realize it was likely so she could keep tabs on us, hoping to limit the trouble we found!  The fun really kicked in when a group of our friends who started a rock band began practicing in her mom’s basement.  We’d arrange concerts with 20-30 kids crammed in there some nights.

Kelley loved the band Journey, convinced Steve Perry was the sexiest man alive.  The Frontiers album became the backdrop to our high school days. Now tears slide down my cheeks when I hear their songs, prompting me look heavenward and say, “Hello, Kel!”  Her favorite color, purple. She had a gentle approach to whatever came her way.  She was not easily rattled, could think through any situation to come up with a plan. She hugged everyone, never judgmental, always reminding you she loved you.  As I went through a divorce, she was my confidence to go forward.  She helped me see that better days were coming on the other side. She was right.

My favorite memory has to be the night Kelley, our friend Cass, and I got together after too many years apart. We both lost track of Cass, not seeing each her since high school graduation.  We all had husbands, kids, two of us divorced and remarried, and so much to talk about.  We had dinner, then at Cass’ urging, went to a karaoke bar. Not a challenge for Cass, as she and her husband run a karaoke business.  I wasn’t sure at first, but with Kelley and Cass by my side,  I conquered my fear of the stage.  The three of us sang “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.  We were drunk, but there are pictures to prove it happened.  We laughed and enjoyed each other very much.  I am grateful we did, as the chance to make this memory never came again.  Cass and I again sang the song together in Virginia Beach at her husband’s show when my husband and I visited there in 2012, a tribute to friendships that last forever.

Life goes on here on earth, but anyone who knew her cannot forget Kelley’s smile.  She and I often joked that we would know we were getting old once Cindy Crawford started looking a bit long in the tooth!  Well, Cindy is still stunning, and so my dear, sweet Kelley, are you.  Your smile now lights the heavens, forever young and beautiful.