Reaching out with both hands

pass

The video is hard to watch. A woman lays passed out in the aisle  of a grocery store in Massachusetts while her toddler cries and tries to revive her. The fact (learned later) that the mom had overdosed on drugs makes the scene especially sad, but what makes it even more tragic is hearing the voices of the “spectators,” including the person video taping  the event.

No one reaches out to comfort the distraught child who is seen pulling at her mother’s clothes and trying to lift her head. No one tries to soothe the little girl who is obviously frantic and frightened.. and it goes without saying, other than calling 911, no one offers to assist the mother.

Dear God, at what point did filming a crisis become more important than responding to it?

I actually believe there are two things going on here:

One is the desire to be famous; to be the person who captures and uploads an important moment receiving credit and comments, attention and accolades.

The other, more concerning aspect, is that the act of filming ostensibly relieves us of our “duty” to react to what we see.  We are like Nature photographers out on the African Plain, dispassionately documenting an orphaned zebra as it starves to death.  Intervention is not our job. We want to be part of the action, but not involved in it.

As with any technology, there are good and bad aspects, but I fear the raised cell phone has become a symbol of both our detachment and narcissism.

 

NINTCHDBPICT000253834632
Bystander takes selfies after police biker crashes during Olympic Torch relay in Brazil

 

Ironically, it may take a video like the one at the grocery store to help us recognize how our cell phones have impacted the way we interact with others. Maybe it will cause us to tuck them into our pockets when a crisis arises and to reach out to those who need us…

with both hands.

hand

 

 

 

photocredit:www.thesun.co.uk,pastorleo.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The potato chip trap

Can you eat just one potato chip? Can you bust open a bag of those salty, fatty, tasty disks of death..eat one and simply walk away?

chips

Not me.

If I put a chip to my lips- I’m a goner.

I thought about that  the other day as I struggled with my early morning commitment to take a long power walk. I had my sweats and sneakers on but bailed out before I made it to the door, sitting down for a third cup of coffee and a political morning show instead. It didn’t take long to be washed over by a wave of guilt. I felt lazy and yucko, and before I knew it, it seemed like half the day was over and I never recovered from my original disappointing decision.  In fact that first poor choice led to another and then another..  It was kinda like opening up a bag of potato chips…I kept going and going, sliding further and further into the depths of that dark, slippery bag.

It’s hard to stop at one..whether its potato chips or poor choices. I didn’t walk, so then I ate too much for breakfast,  I felt tired, showered late, put off some projects, flopped around aimlessly..and by the time my husband came home I literally didn’t feel well- probably because the only truly successful endeavor of the day was searching for, finding, and eating the chocolate he had hidden from me.  What a wasted day that was.

The next morning I got up determined to make that first choice a good one.

I went for my power walk (Good decision #1) and when I came home had fruit for breakfast instead of my usual less than healthy stuff. (Good decision #2) One good decision led to the next and then the next and continued on throughout what turned into a super productive and empowering day. I was on a roll again!

So clearly, that first decision of the morning has the ability to set not only the tone for the day but put that momentum train in gear. Whether it’s the choice to get up earlier, pray, walk, stretch or eat a good breakfast, you can be sure that (good or bad) you will build your day on the foundation of that first action. Depending on what you chose.. you can end the day in a happy heap having just crossed over the finish line..

stk136298rke

 

or all alone licking the chip dust off the shiny insides of an empty bag of Ruffles.

ruffles

How’s that for a visual?

😉

.

.

photocredit:www.pressherald.com,sewandsowfarm.blogspot.com,forloveofthejourney.blogspot.com,www.blisstree.com

 

 

I found it!

There is a little restaurant in South Carolina that serves the world’s most delicious, hot roast beef sandwich.  For years I have tried to unlock the secret to the spicy mayonnaise they slather on the bun. But every spice I added to my own mayo mix at home seemed to take the flavor in the wrong direction, until this past  Sunday when I literally bumped into what must be the exact recipe they use… courtesy of REAL SIMPLE MAGAZINE.

Spread this spicy mayo on top of burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, BLTs or a wedge salad. It will enhance fish, crab cakes or drop a dollop on top of those already delicious corn cakes I gave you the recipe for earlier this summer. The secret ingredient is the Asian chili garlic sauce which I was easily able to find at my grocery store.

sauce

Trust me when I tell you this will become your GO-TO mayo to elevate the flavors of EVERYTHING you use it on. The recipe is simple and strange sounding but give this a try..you will LOVE it!

SPICY MAYO

STIR TOGETHER:

1/4 cup Asian chili garlic sauce (Huy Fong Foods, Inc.)

1/4 cup dill pickle relish

1 cup mayonnaise

 

No kidding, that’s it! (No wonder it was featured in REAL SIMPLE – HA!)

 

photocredit:www.dishmaps.com

 

 

Imagining a different future..

Last night, my husband and I went into the city to watch a ballroom dancing competition.  I didn’t realize how touching and motivational the experience would be. Almost all of the competing couples were women partnered with their coaches. So these are basically women who love to dance, who practice at area studios, hiring their “teachers” to be their partners for various dances throughout the event. I’m not sure if there was a monetary prize, but trophies lined the stage.

ball3

And let me assure you, these women were serious about taking that hardware home. Their make-up and hair were impeccably done and the dresses..oh my..they were stunning!  As I found out later sifting through a pop-up dance shop, those sexy little outfits cost THOUSANDS of dollars…and they WEIGH A TON with all the beading!!!

What was most uplifting to me was watching the older women perform.  There were three over the age of 90!!  And before you get your “awww” on, these seniors were not there for a photo-op, they were there to kick some butt and win! You should have seen the legs on these grannies..heck, you should have seen the definition in their arms and backs! It was unbelievable watching them prance across the floor with men a third their age..OR LESS!

ball1

ball2
Her partner could have been her grandson’s age.. maybe even great-grandson!

I’ll be honest, sometimes the idea of getting old scares the crap out of me..but I think part of the reason is that I’ve bought into a prepackaged vision of how it’s all destined to unfold. Going to this event last night made me realize that there is an alternate reality out there. But it takes a serious commitment to follow that model and a deep passion for something outside of yourself; something that involves the pursuit of a goal. Aging does come with increased physical and mental challenges, there’s no denying it, but the question becomes do we allow our limitations to dictate our direction? Our engine may sputter a bit (esp first thing in the morning) but most of us still have the steering wheel in our hands!

ball4
Seriously now, look at her legs!! 😯

I told my husband that I wanted to come again next year, not as spectator, but as a participant. I know if we step it up, take it seriously, practice more, STRETCH MORE, and really make an effort we can do it..I really want to do it!

And he agreed.

Right before we left, a woman in a sparkling green dress with wavy blonde hair cascading down her back came out to dance with her partner. She commanded attention with her intensity and beauty as she extended her long arms like a bird in flight. Her coach was completely focused on every move as he confidently guided her through their routine. She was dancing in a wheelchair.

 

 

 

Wasting Time..

On Monday I purchased two small, snow white rugs for our master bathroom that will hopefully be “fully operational” in a few weeks. We are awaiting installation of glass shower doors and the connection of the soaking tub. ( I can’t wait to share pictures!)

I was looking for rugs that didn’t have all that rubber on the back, ones that I could easily toss into the wash.  As luck would have it, Bed Bath and Beyond had a display of the exact kind I was looking for right as you walk through their front doors. I bought two and off I went.

How easy was that?

white-rug

 

Once I got home and placed the rugs on the floor, I was pretty surprised to see that they were two different shades of white. Would my husband have noticed? Nope- but I did..so back into the car the rugs went where they sat for two days until I had time to return to the store.

Bed, Bath & Beyond’s customer service counter is located on your left as you enter, conveniently situated right across from the rug display. I showed the guy what my issue was and (no lie) he rolled his eyes at me and said that he didn’t see any difference in the rugs- but that I could “have at it” and try to find another rug to better match whichever of my rugs I preferred.

I spun around to the rug display and started rifling through the mountain of snowy cotton. There must have been 50 white rugs in the pile and suddenly I was having a hard time seeing any differences in any of them- including the ones I brought back! In an effort to get a ray of natural light to reveal their true color variations, I started laying a few rugs next to each other on a sunny spot on the floor..but each time I took a step back to look at them, the automatic front doors would open and close.

bbb

And that’s what went on for what seemed like an eternity..I’d pick out another rug, drop it on the floor, step back to take a look and those doors would open and close…

I could tell that the customer service guy was getting annoyed as it was about 90 degrees outside and the hot air kept gushing in…

In exasperation, I finally brought two rugs over to his little check out desk and asked him his opinion… I’ll admit, I wanted him to feel personally involved in my rug crisis. Not surprisingly, he said the ones I had picked out were a perfect match. 😏 I sarcastically asked him if he was going to talk about me at their next staff meeting, to which he wryly replied “most assuredly so..”

Who talks like that?…

grumpy

 

Anyway, I beelined it home and tossed the rugs on the floor under those lovely LED lights that highlight every flaw and wrinkle on my face..and guess what?

I think I may very well have brought home the exact same rugs I purchased the first time…

And guess what again?

 

scarlet

.

.

photocredit:www.fool.com,www.pinterest.com,8tracks.com

 

Where to find hope..

Yesterday I got lost, literally and figuratively, walking the aisles of a sprawling antique mall. Rodeo boots, old records and photos, hats, salt and pepper shakers of every kind..it was a trip through time and more than anything a stark reminder of how much America has changed.

antique

When I flopped into the car with my loot, (I bought a large metal candlestick that I am going to use as a base for a small accent table) I couldn’t help but feel a palpable sense of loss.  There was a talk show host on the radio ironically discussing this very same thing.  His main focus was a man involved with the Clinton E-mail deletion mess who had just that day ignored a subpoena to appear before congress.

No one ignores a subpoena..or at least no one used to.

But today life is different. The host went on to discuss the football players refusing to stand for the National Anthem and other examples of the eroding respect for our legal system, duties, morals, values, traditions and for each other.  There’s a self centered energy  in the air that is tinged with a distinct note of self-righteous anarchy.  Heck, look at the folks running for President and their loose relationships with the law & truth!

Ask any teacher, cop, doctor, waitress or council member if they have noticed the change.

cop

Most disturbing is the justification and normalization of this behavior. It makes me think of my old neighbors in Florida, one of whom is the Principal at a private school, who simply stopped paying their mortgage to get out from under the collapsing value of their home. It took Wells Fargo two years to catch up to them, and when they finally did.. our neighbors simply moved out in the middle of the night. He’s still working at the same school and his wife started her own business in town, no doubt with all the money they saved not paying their mortgage. I bumped into them once at Paneras’ a few months after they left without saying goodbye.. they engaged in small talk as if nothing had happened… as if dumping their home didn’t ultimately affect the value of ours.

fore

And what about Wells Fargo?  Well, this week it was revealed that over 5,000 of their employees were involved in a scheme to open up credit cards without authorization so they could meet quotas and rake in their commissions. 5,000 people!  I guess it’s hard to point the finger at deadbeat customers like my neighbors when you’re busy filling out thousands of fake credit card applications.

All of which brings me back to this…

Scattered amongst the silver platters and dusty, old barbies at the antique mall were religious artifacts of every imaginable kind. Crosses and statues, stars of David and prayer beads..symbols of a belief in something far greater than ourselves.

It is this belief in God that guides me daily and gives me hope in the midst of despair. My faith is my compass in a directionless world, the bright light that illuminates even the darkest corners, the one constant in an existence that keeps changing. My faith is a refuge, a sanctuary, an outlet for recharging my battery. My faith is a lifeline and a life preserver; an affirmation that there is good news and to share it with all who will receive it.

This world will never live up to my utopian vision, but thankfully my hope doesn’t rest in the world..

..or the results of this upcoming election.

rest

 

photocredit:www.pinterest.com,countercurrentnews.com,cdiannezweig.blogspot.com