Looking for love…💜

I have been wrestling with the idea of getting a dog or a cat ever since our old Bichon died. It’s a big commitment to be sure, and I’ll admit I’m hesitant because there’s a part of me that’s become downright possessive and protective about my time, my freedom AND my new floors..😉

This on again, off again, passive search for a furry companion includes logging onto ‘Pet Finder’ every so often to see if there’s a pooch or a kitty who’s clearly “calling my name.” I haven’t found one yet, but cannot help being drawn to these animals and their stories.

Pet Finder does a great job describing animals’ predilections, predispositions and personalities. A brutally clear portrait is painted and where possible, histories are transparently shared. This organization isn’t just about placing pets, they want the match-ups to be longterm, mutually beneficial and successful…. i.e. – no sugarcoating, no surprises.

I couldn’t help but compare Pet Finder to the dating site my daughter was recently using; Match.com. While the service for placing dogs puts value on being honest, the same can’t be said about the service for “placing” humans. Forget the bogus, inflated bios, you’re lucky if the photos even remotely resemble the folks searching for “authentic love.”

And heaven forbid you put anything in your profile that even hints of a less than perfect past or present day life…

When it comes to people, we simply aren’t touched by the hardships others have overcome in the same way we are when it’s an animal.  In the dating world there’s a whole different “guide book” being used.  Call it evolutionary prejudice, but we don’t want our mate to have, or to have had, any major issues. Bad prior relationships? Recently lost 100 pounds? Had to go back and live with mom and dad after a job loss? Yeah.. no thanks-  pass…swipe…delete. Whereas we are drawn in by an animal’s less than perfect history, we are often repelled or frightened by a human’s.

Of course I know there are differences between animals and humans..the biggest one being the baggage so many of us insist on carrying through life. By contrast, most animals move beyond pain and suffering with remarkable resolve.  A lot of love, newfound trust, a healthy environment, some habit breaking and most of these sweet souls are ready to slam the door on their old lives forever and move on to the new.

 In that respect, we could learn a lot from our four legged friends about what a fresh start actually requires.

But I also wish we lived in a world where grace and patience and understanding were extended as freely to humans as they are to animals .  Just think about what a relief it would be not to have to pretend to be so perfect, especially for those looking for love..

..and in the final analysis, isn’t that what we are all looking for?

 

.

.

photocredit:Orange County Humane Society,HappyTango,Adopt-a-Pet.com,Sticky Branding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good vs. Great

I have cut myself off from most television “news” programming.  It’s too opinionated, there’s too much yelling and (most disturbingly) it’s often devoid of actual facts. Most of these shows have become nothing more than platforms for the hosts to build their careers on, and frankly the best example of this would be Bill O’Reilly.

Even as a conservative, I could never get on the O’Reilly train. The guy was an ego-maniac and a cocky, condescending blow-hard. I’m sure there were many times when his reporting was spot on, but I just couldn’t get past his in ‘your face’ sense of superiority.  His rudeness was off the scale.

Did the man sexually harass women in the workplace ultimately leading to his release from the network yesterday? I guess we will never really know. But the problem with being a self-absorbed narcissist is that people can well imagine that he is guilty as accused. It’s not a leap at all to think he could have engaged in that kind of behavior because it’s just one stepping stone away from his usual, overbearing “schtick.”

Bill O’Reilly is 67 years old and no doubt a very rich man; he’ll be OK- financially speaking.  But you have to admit this is an awful way to end a very successful career with your reputation shattered at your feet. There was another famous Bill (..Clinton) who was able to eventually redeem himself in the eyes of many after his disrespectful behavior towards women, so I guess there is a path forward if O’Reilly wraps himself in more and more and more charity work..

But the lessons about the dangers of an unchecked ego and the pursuit of greatness are always the same.  It reminds me of a quote I once read and never forgot:

Amen!

.

.

photocredit:Mother Jones

 

The Red Line

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I watch the weirdest stuff on TV when I’m at the gym, especially if it’s late morning.  Yesterday I got completely sucked into an episode of Hoarders. I don’t know how long this show has been on cable, but I’m guessing they have to keep finding worse and worse examples of hoarding in order to keep the viewers coming back..

I mean seriously, where do you go once you’ve shown the house with the cockroaches, rotting food, boxes and stuff piled to the ceiling? Well, here’s where you go.. you go to the house that has all of those things with the additional roof and septic tank leaks so all of the piles of garbage are wet and covered in “you know what.”

That’s where you go., yuck.

Watching this show actually reminded me of our trip to Charleston a few week-ends ago and a super strange tour we took through one of the historic homes. The Calhoun House belongs to a wildly successful (retired?) lawyer who crosses the globe buying priceless antiques and artifacts. For some reason (taxes?) the man has turned most floors of his home into an official “museum” that is open to the public.

Here’s the deal, billionaires can be hoarders too.  It really doesn’t matter how much the stuff costs, once it reaches critical mass, once it crowds out the rooms, once there is no place to put down your glass of iced tea..you know you’ve got a problem.

At one point, as we were all crowded together at a roped off doorway, staring into the over-cluttered study, the tour guide exclaimed, “the owner’s cat is in here!” After about two minutes one of the ladies called out “I see him!” and then went on to help the rest of us locate the sleeping feline who was absolutely invisible amidst all the stuff. I felt I as if I was teleported into a page of “Where’s Waldo?”

Having too much stuff sucks. Whether it’s a collection of crock pots, creepy porcelain dolls or foot stools made out of elephant’s feet (see photo above-it was gross) at some point your stuff starts to own you…

And that’s the red line dear friends, when your possessions start possessing you..

red2

 

 

.

.

photocredit:www.calhounmansion.net,Clio,www.charlestoncvb.com,Lifewire,annachernykh.r,www.dailystar.co.uk

 

Once was lost but now it’s found..

bike4

Last fall, my daughter took her old bicycle to college.  She was super excited about being able to get to her classes so much faster on wheels. My husband replaced the tires, screwed on a new seat and added a bell for good measure.

The bike was stolen within two weeks.

Our poor girl was distraught, but ready to admit that the theft was partially her fault. She hadn’t taken the time to secure her bike before she sprinted into class that day and lo and behold, it was gone by the time she got out. Not only was it not locked up, she hadn’t registered it with the campus police so there was nothing they could do to help her.

She spent the next few weeks suspiciously eyeing every bike rack she passed. Fall eventually turned into winter and before long, the ordeal was forgotten.

Fast forward to yesterday morning.  My daughter is walking to her class passing tulips and azaleas and a lone bicycle laying flat on the ground next to the path. As she passes the bike something triggers a memory and she spins back around to take a closer look. There was the bell attached to the handlebar, the cushy seat, the relatively new looking tires.. “that’s my bike!”  she gasped.

Our daughter picked up the bike and quickly wheeled it INTO the building she was headed to, then after class went straight to the campus police to tell them she thought she may have just “stolen her bike back.” She registered it on the spot and  then peddled back to her sorority house, bringing the bike inside again where it will stay-safe and sound- until she gets her new lock delivered from Amazon.

What a way to end the school year..

reclaiming in the last month what was stolen in the first.

2nd

 

photocredit:LBB Magazine,Pinterest

Bending the Arc..

rosie

My mother is a rock star..she really is.

Her will to bend the arc of her own life is something to behold. I’ll give you just two examples:

She was feeling blue a few weeks ago that Easter was coming and they had nothing going on. We don’t live down the road anymore, no one was slated to visit and they hadn’t been invited to brunch by anyone in their retirement community. “I just need to get over it” she said during one of our phone calls but then quickly changed her mind.

As a former teacher, my mom can’t let Columbus day go by without commemorating it in some way.. let alone Easter.   So off she went to Walgreens where she filled her basket with chocolate treats to give out to her neighbors and anyone else she might run into whom she determines to be in “need.”  Then she got on the phone and invited some friends on her street to brunch.  Did I mention she bought a fluffy bunny to decorate her table?  My mom wasn’t about to let Easter hop away from her. When she saw that it wasn’t “unfolding” as she’d hoped, she took charge and created the reality she wanted.

My second example is a lot more serious. A few years back she was diagnosed with a very serious issue that required months of  daily, painful and scary treatments. As she prepared for it, she asked that I take her to the store to buy a few sweatsuit sets  to wear when she went to the doctor’s office.

She never wore any of them.

You see, my mom is a fashion diva. Wearing sweatpants isn’t something she does, but she figured this was how one should dress when going for these daily therapies. But right before day#1, my mother decided that she was not about to dress down; not even for this s***.  She was going to face the maelstrom with make-up on her face and her style securely intact.

And she did.

This simple act of defiance brought so much joy to the nurses and to the other patients she met every day..and I would dare say, the realization that she was bringing “light” to others going through their own darkness probably helped her navigate this very tough period.

So yeah,  my mom is still challenging what’s inevitable,  turning expectations on their head, and wrestling with “destiny.”  Not bad for a legally blind, 85 year old.. rock star.😊

st

 

.

.

photocredit:Free Historical Stock Photos,www.pinterest.com

 

Defending Inner Peace – Step One

Every once in a while I dip my toe back in..just to confirm I made the right decision..

And the answer is always “yes!”

You see, I stopped watching television news and news-style programs months ago..

for obvious reasons.

mouth

I now gather my news from various written sources instead and read to stay informed. It’s worked out well and has dramatically decreased the amount of tension in my life.(Let’s face it, there’s only so much BLAH BLAH BLAH a person can take!)

I want information and news, not confirmation of my own views..

and I don’t want to be provoked by those who profit off anger and fear.

.

fl

.

.

photocredit:Nautilus,Pinterest

Clueless in Charleston

I never claimed I was a travel agent…ever- and I will freely admit, I’d be a LOUSY one!

This past week-end was the second time I have visited a city completely unaware of a major event taking place that would severely impact the entire area. The first time this happened was when our family visited Savannah, GA on St. Patricks Day week-end….uh huh- yeah.  For those who don’t know (like we didn’t) St. Patty’s Day is probably THE biggest day for Savannah tourism every year..it is one of THE top destinations in the US for every wanna-be Irishman (or woman) who is serious about partying like a rock star with like minded, beer guzzling Lucky ‘Charms.’

Our first hint that something big was occurring in Charleston two days ago should have been the fact that the Ravenel Bridge was blocked by police cars.  “No worries” we thought as our navigation system began recalculating..and then went on recalculating and recalculating as pretty much every possible road into the downtown area was blocked as well. Turns out it was the annual Cooper River 10K run, and not only was the bridge blocked, so were most of the streets.

And the parking situation?

OH. MY. GOSH.

😱  Total nightmare. 😳

My husband and I forged our way through the chaos, eventually (miraculously!)  found a great place to drop off the car, and once we were settled enough to start talking to each other again..😉  had an absolutely magnificent time (as we always do) in this ever sweet & charming, southern city.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.