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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mental Meanderings

Don't you just love it when you do something that ends up spreading more happiness than you imagined it possibly could? Last night I saw an adorable meme on one social media site that I knew would appeal to a dear friend who is on a different social media site. If you're curious, it was a picture of a sleeping beagle, focusing on the face, and said that a beagle was a nose on four legs. I know that Ali has shared her heart and home with beagles, and she was the first person I thought of when I saw the meme. Within a minute, I had downloaded it to my phone and posted it on the other network.

To my great delight, Ali loved the picture, and it made her think of one of her beagles' antics. She told me that one morning she had put her son's cereal bowl on a table, as was her usual habit, and gone to wake him up. When she came back to put some cartoons on the tv for him, Sparky the beagle was happily enjoying a bowl of oatmeal and milk. Apparently Sparky was usually asleep when the cereal was set out, but this time, he saw the bowl go on the table. And when he saw it, he just assumed that she had put it there for him. She also observed that the comment about the nose was right - Sparky would have walked across her state and mine following his nose, and never lifted his head until supper time.

When I read this, I could hear Snoopy singing his "Suppertime" song from the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I quoted a bit of the chorus, which she used to sing to her dog (adorable!) and then went to YouTube looking for a video. Ali beat me to it, but I was so happy to have had a part in helping her recall some warm memories of her dear Sparky. I spent a good part of the evening with a big smile on my face because I love it when something like that happens. Being the kind and considerate person that I have always known her to be, Ali was worried that she had hijacked the post with her comments. To the contrary, her comments made my day. Anyone who has had the sort of relationship with a pet that leaves behind all sorts of delightful memories just waiting to be stumbled upon knows how delightful these unexpected moments can be.  

After reading about Sparky and his cereal, I remembered a young Paris helping herself as well. When she was just a few months old, I was drinking some orange juice out of a margarita-style glass. I set it on the flat wooden arm of my chair and went into the kitchen to get something. As I looked up from the kitchen counter, I saw that Paris had jumped up on the chair to see what it was that her mommy had left behind. Here was my little girl, drinking orange juice out of my glass and not spilling a drop. It was so cute that I couldn't be mad at her, although I did make her stop drinking. This was the beginning of a lifelong love of oranges and their juice on her part. In fact, there were a couple of instances when she stole plastic cups of juice that Trent left next to the bed while he was dealing with a cold. We caught her once, red-handed (or red-pawed), with the glass in her mouth, trying to see around it to jump down off the bed. When she got there, what juice hadn't spilled would be lapped out of the glass which she placed very carefully on the floor.

She was also notorious for occasionally helping herself to things in shopping bags that she was certain were hers. Paris was very bright and therefore very curious. Every time we went shopping, she did her best to check out the contents of any and all shopping bags. Since she weighed all of eight and a half pounds, she occasionally climbed in the bags to make sure she was getting a good look. The first time she helped herself was when we got her a specially prepared bone at the grocery store. We were upset when we got home and it wasn't in any of our grocery bags because we were looking forward to seeing our poodle revel in her wolf ancestry when she got her treat. Just when we decided that the bone was gone forever, she came trotting proudly down the hall with her shrink-wrapped bone. "Look what I have!" her posture seemed to say.

When we left today to go to the grocery store, our neighbor was coming back from walking her West Highland Terrier. When Trent went to pat his head, the dog decided that Trent's mittens were a toy to be grabbed and played with. It made us chuckle because it reminded us of Paris and her shopping bag selections. When Trent bought a warm winter cap with ear flaps, he had a hard time convincing Paris that it was not a toy that we had picked up for her. She was upset and almost indignant when he took it back from her and put it on his head. I'm pretty sure that we made up for it a few days later by buying her a small toy and letting her take it out of the shopping bag herself. I understood exactly how Trent felt, though, having had to follow her around the house and explain that the small box of tampons that she was carrying around were indeed for females, just not for canine females.

I am hoping that my meanderings down Memory Lane have given you something to chuckle about. What I really hope, though, is that my memory meanderings have awakened some of your own. Some things are just too precious to be kept sitting on the shelf. Enjoy them. Let them warm your heart when the world feels like a cold, dark night. And when your oatmeal or orange juice goes missing, you may want to check on the dog...


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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Mass Confusion

I'm fascinated with the way our experiences can shape not only our behaviors but our tastes. That's probably also why I love the moments when a light bulb goes on in my head and I realize why I feel the way I do about something, or why I think the way I do about something. I had two flashing light bulbs within two days this week, both related to the Christmas holiday.

A couple of days ago, someone ended a post on social media by observing that a certain song was not a Christmas carol. Being familiar with the song in question, I totally agreed. I wanted to comment about a song I have heard on the Christmas playlist of one of our Denver radio stations. Neither Trent nor I consider this a Christmas song, and are always a bit stymied when we hear it on the radio amidst the holiday music marathon. The song I am referring to is Julie Andrews singing "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. Although the song is about things that make the person feel better, I don't think of it as a Christmas tune.

The person to whom I had replied responded that it didn't bother her to hear it played as a Christmastime song. Huh, I thought. I've always thought of that as a summertime song. Flash! The light bulb came on in my head. When I was a new teen (or an almost-teen), one of the local movie theaters was playing The Sound of Music for several weeks during the summer. I don't know if it was an official re-release or a shrewd deal on the part of the theater, but I didn't care. My friends and I must have seen the movie at least five times. Well, at least four, but I know we went to see it at every opportunity. Suddenly everything made sense. Since I saw it in the theater so much during that magical summer, it became a summertime movie in my mind. I imagine it may always be that way in my thoughts, but I am okay with that.

The other thing had to do with my brain's confusion regarding Christmas Day. While we were on our travels yesterday in rapidly-falling snow, I made the remark to Trent that the timing of the storm was inconvenient because we had to go to a doctor's appointment the next day. Trent gently reminded me that it was Friday and the doctor's appointment was on Monday. Why do I always seem to think that Christmas is a Sunday?

Again with the light bulb. I don't remember what it was like with my parents in Chicago, but Alice and Bill always went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. In some dim area of my mind, Christmas=church=Sunday. Hey, it's not genius quality, but it's my brain and I intend to keep it. Incidentally, I was never a big fan of Midnight Mass, and was quite relieved when I found that Gram didn't care for it very much either, relieving me of the dreaded occasion. It wasn't the Mass that bothered me. I appreciated all of the ceremony and joyous reverence. The priest walked down the aisle with incense, filling the air with a scent that told our brains that it was, indeed, Christmas.

What I hated was the bigger picture. It was the middle of the night and even though you were excited for Christmas, you were also very tired. You were roused up and got dressed in your best and warmest dress. Boots were pulled on, along with hats, gloves, and scarves. The church, which was very well heated, was full almost beyond capacity. So there you were, in a very hot church full of all of the people that only went once or twice a year. The pews were packed and people were standing in the back. Although I was allowed to remove my gloves and unbutton my coat, I had to keep everything on in that horribly hot church. As the Mass progressed, the church and I both got hotter and hotter. I felt sicker and sicker. Heaven forbid that I get sick, though! It would end up with punishment from Alice, perhaps even a beating accompanied by her litany of me doing stupid things like this because I just wanted to get attention. Whatever kind of attention she was giving, I didn't want it. I tried very hard to keep it together so that I'd still be able to get some gifts from Santa.

So I learned the reasons behind a couple of my mental quirks this week. Like I said, I will probably still feel summery when I hear Julie Andrews singing, but maybe I will also have memories of a delightful summer watching a wonderful movie. As far as Christmas, maybe I can reverse the Mass confusion some day. It could be worse, though. I could have a mental mixup that turned Christmas into a Monday... 


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Monday, December 21, 2015

Not A Dummy

I think we all have things, whether large or small, that can push our buttons and really irritate the living tar out of us. I could name various things that irritate me, and I'm sure that you could name a few things that irritate you as well. Please say that you can - if not, I'll feel like the title of The Meanest Woman in the World really does belong to me!

I've had several reminders lately of something that irritaties me to the point of great anger. I hate to be treated like I'm a dummy. No, not the kind that a ventriloquist uses, but the kind that must have a brain like Swiss cheese, with all kinds of voids where knowlege and information should be. And no, I don't have any misconceptions about my level of intelligence. I am of at least average intelligence, and have quite varied interests. In fact, when I was young and Gram would brag about my report card or me being in the State spelling bee or being an honor graduate, it made me terribly uncomfortable. I felt embarrassed to be praised, perhaps because of the many times that Alice, my legal guardian's wife, told me what an idiot I was. She also often told me, after being sick or skinning a knee, or who knows what, that I just wanted attention. With those things in mind, I suppose it makes sense that the praise and attention made me feel uncomfortable.

The other side of that coin for me, apparently, seems to be a deep seated resentment for anyone who tries to treat me as if I am an idiot, or far less intelligent than they are. Personally, I find educated people who act as though everyone else is stupid to be completely vile and revolting. Heck, that's one of the reasons that I like Doctor Mike and all of Trent's doctors so much. They have many years of in-depth education but they never talk to us as if our little brains are too weak to understand. And if you think about it, if they can't make their patients understand what they're talking about, maybe they aren't the smartest people on the planet after all. You simply speak clearly in terms your audience can understand. If the audience is a national physicians' convention, your vocabulary will undoubtedly contain more scientifice jargon than an office visit with the average patient.

Years ago, when I was working in telephone customer service for a large banking corporation, a job which I really loved, I knew how important it was to explain things in a way that was simple for the caller to understand. Sometimes the caller was a customer who had very little experience as a banking customer, and other times the caller was a bank employee from another department. Because of their varied experiece levels, the exact same information might be relayed to two different people in entirely different ways. Making sure that the caller understood the situation was what it was all about.

I'll never forget the call I got from an attorney who assumed that since she had earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence, she was far superior intellectually to some drone who worked in a banking call center. Having two attorneys in my family, I knew that they're just people like everyone else. Her voice was filled with disdain as she asked a question, assuming that I was just too dumb to waste time and breath on because, well, just because. Having been repeatedly called an idiot and a fool by the wife of a brilliant attorney during my childhood, this really got my dander up. So I released my inner smartaleck and let her run free. "Well, ma'am, in a matter such as this, X Bank will assume no culpability whatsoever." Silence. Then her reply of, "You're not stupid, are you?" I answered calmly that no, I wasn't, and in fact, many of us in the call center were college students or graduates. The rest of the call was a delight, and I felt that maybe I had opened someone's eyes as well as striking a blow in the war against making assumptions.

What made me write this tonight? Trent received a telephone message requesting he call our online pharmacy about a prescription that we had requested to be refilled. Heck, I'm going to refill everything I can before January rolls around and we're once again subject to the dreaded deductible. Now, I am the one who gets online or on the phone and orders all of our medications. Trent had no idea what I had even ordered. Okay, he had an idea, but you get the picture. Well, the young man I spoke with felt compelled to test my knowledge of the medications that had been ordered, even though my name is on the same plan. I felt my temper simmer as he asked if my husband knew I was calling (yes, he was sitting less than three feet away from me). Trent was about to blow up when he heard the sly superiority when I was told that I had neglected to name one of the refills that had been requested. Yes, I forgot the one that has the name that's easiest to pronounce. From there it went downhill, including him tossing out a snide, "I didn't say B, I said D." Ugh. 

I am now over the anger I freely admit experiencing from the phone call this morning. I'm not a great intellect and I won't go down in history as an incredible philosopher, but I do know a few things. We are all worthy of courtesy. Everyone is different, and we don't know what amazing surprises may be hidden in the treasure room that is their mind. I believe that life is much more pleasant if you don't assume stupidity, among other things. Most everyone I know is not a dummy. And I certainly don't think that I am!


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Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sloshed! The Sequel

I was going to write last evening, but the internet connection here was very odd last night. From one moment to the next, there was no telling whether the internet would be connected or not. It got to the point of having ten minutes on, ten minutes off, then four and a half minutes on and ten minutes off - it was enough to drive me crazy. As those of you who have been with me a while know, at least it's a very short drive. Since all of you were so kind as to listen to my tale of bad test results and having to drink so much fluid that my eyeballs were floating, I thought it would be polite to follow up with some results.

I mentioned that there were some results that made it seem as though my kidneys were declining in function. As I mentioned in the previous post, I don't want to travel that road again. On November 30, my blood pressure was 130/86, which was a bit too high. When I came back for my blood draw on December 9, it was 118/66 which is wonderful. Wow, I thought, these results are going to be good!

Yesterday the last few results finally came in. My blood sugar was nice and low for a diabetic, coming in at 89. I won't bore you with more numbers than are necessary, but one of the results Doctor Mike had his eye on was my uric acid levels. I had told him I'd had two attacks of gout within one week, and if uric acid builds up, attacks of gout happen. It's quite painful because the crystals of uric acid collect in the joints, so it's like having stuff grinding inside your joints. It hurts as bad as it sounds. If it happens too frequently, it can cause joint damage, so we need to keep on top of it. (An interesting side note: According to Dr. Mike, colchicine, a drug that was generic and used to treat gout, had come to a point of needing more testing to be re-patented or some such thing that makes no sense to me. The company didn't want to spend for testing and now another company has done so. The drug is now called Colcrys and costs tons of money. Sound familiar? Drug companies, ugh!) Anyway, my uric acid level decreased from 11.4 to 7.5. It's still a tad high, but a huge step in the right direction, yay!

The test that was really a cause for concern was my serum creatinine level. Creatinine is a byproduct of muscle metabolism that is excreted by the kidneys. If the creatinine level is too high, it is an indication that kidney function is impaired. With me also being diabetic, there is additional stress on the kidneys, well, on all of the body parts, really. If there was a decrease in kidney function, we'd have to re-evaluate my whole diabetic treatment program as most of the pills are metabolized in the kidneys. I was not looking forward to going through another period of trial and error to find an effective diabetic medication, especially since my sugar levels have been doing so well.

Normal creatinine levels for females, depending on your source material, run from about 0.6 to 1.3. 1.0 or lower is the magic number Trent and I have aimed for ever since we heard of creatinine. Back when I was diagnosed with lupus, the readings were done as 1.1, 1.2, etc. Now they go two numbers past the decimal point. I've been told that a good way to think of it is that when the number increases from 1.2 to 1.3, for example, that actually means the function has gotten ten times worse. So when I went from 0.92 to 1.22, I was every bit as concerned as Doctor Mike was. The good news is that it went back down to 1.02, which is a very respectable number that would make most nephrologists happy as far as Trent's case and mine are concerned.

I'm sharing these possibly boring results with you for a number of reasons. I certainly have nothing to brag about, but everything to celebrate. Numbers can change. When they do so quickly and in the undesired direction, they are a sobering reminder that we need to remember to take care of ourselves, especially when we feel great. The human body is an amazing and resilient thing, but it is also a delicate one. When one thing goes out of balance, it can have an impact on the entire body. And I can attest to the effect it can have on the mind with stress and worry as well. 

Guard your health, whether it is robust or suffering some challenges, like a precious gift. It can change quickly when we're busy paying attention to other things. As I have said before, one of the best wishes I can give to you or anyone is very simple. Be well! And as always, I hope that you will be happy. 

p.s. As Doctor Mike said in his notes on my test results, keep hydrated!


The Tip Jar:

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Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


First and foremost, I would like to state emphatically that I am not intoxicated. In fact, I am not even on the road to being intoxicated. I am, however, drinking pretty heavily tonight, and have been all day as well. Are you intrigued by this set of possibly conflicting statements? Well, then, sit down for a few minutes and I'll explain everything to you.

Many years ago, when I was diagnosed with lupus, my kidneys were failing. If you aren't sure about what lupus is, it's an autoimmune disease. There are times when the body's immune system starts up and doesn't know when to stop. For someone with lupus, the immune system can and will attack any or all systems of the body. This includes the skin, muscles, and organs, including the brain and nervous system. Lupus is often considered The Great Imitator because the symptoms can be like those associated with many other diseases. 

In my case, I went to the hospital on a Sunday afternoon because my chest hurt so much the night before that I couldn't sleep. When I called Doctor Mike he told me that I needed to get in right away. Well, it turns out that I was retaining so much water that my weight was up 25 pounds and my lungs were filling with fluid. A biopsy a few days later showed that my immune cells were trying to kill my kidneys. It took a good long while and steroids and chemotherapy, but my kidneys were spared with only slight damage.

Now I am a diabetic, and that can cause problems for lots of body parts too, including the kidneys. When I had blood tests in July, my kidney function was phenomenal. I mean better than it has been in all of the years since I learned about the names and numbers and what they meant. In October, however, there was a bit of a jump in the wrong direction as far as my kidney function numbers were concerned. Doctor Mike said that it might be because of dehydration, but that we needed to check it again and protect my kidneys.

I had a visit with Doctor Mike last week and he said he wanted to do a blood draw to check on my kidney functions. His question was whether or not I was sufficiently hydrated for a proper reading. I knew I wasn't, so I scheduled to come back for a date with the needle. "I want you sloshing," Doctor Mike said. "You need to be drinking three liters of fluid a day."

Yikes. I am a chronic under-hydrator. I'm sure that it has a lot to do with spending years working in customer service and retail positions. Employers tend to not like it when you have to vacate the area or phone line frequently to have a tinkle. I trained myself to not let it interfere with my job, and now not drinking enough has become an unhealthy habit.

Tomorrow is my blood draw. I am trying really, really hard to drink a lot of fluid today. I'm at about 2 1/2 liters, and I have to say it's a real pain. I have been trying to drink several swallows every 10 to 15 minutes. When it started to get late in the afternoon, Trent asked what I felt like having for dinner. Honestly, my stomach is so full of drink that I can hardly think of eating any food. It's the drinking equivalent of eating too much Thanksgiving dinner. My stomach is so full of liquid, if anyone bumps into me, I will make a sloshing sound. It's so full of liquid, it's a wonder I can even breathe.

That's not even the best part. I can't get more than ten feet away from the bathroom because I have to pee every twenty minutes! Hang on a second, it's time for me to take six more swallows. And yes, I went before I started writing, and have already had to take a potty break. And I may need to go again before I finish writing this post. It may be a very unrestful night.

My complaints are partly in jest. My kidneys are very important to me. Also, we already have one kidney transplant patient in the house, and we don't need another. I am taking this more seriously than this post might make it seem. I've been down the impaired function road before, and that's a trip I don't want to take again. Please send me some positive thoughts for this blood draw tomorrow. I'd love to get a call from Mike in a couple of days saying that it was a false alarm and that my kidneys are doing their job and doing it well. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, I'm going to take a few more swallows. And then I have to go. No, really, I mean it, I have to GO!

Yours truly,
The (Sloshed and) Raving Lunatic


The Tip Jar:

As always, I am happy and honored to write for you. It brings me great joy, and I hope that it gives you joy and/or food for thought. If you'd like to support the cause, please visit:

Thank you for reading! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Opposite Effect

I've noticed recently that I seem to be living with the vagaries of The Opposite Effect. Actually, we all live under that effect from time to time, and I've had little bouts of it all through my life. Lately, though, I seem to be on a roll. I recently wrote a post in which I expressed my desire to enter the golden and glorious portion of womanhood known as menopause. Well, wouldn't you know it, that ship has since sailed full steam out of the port without me either on board or even on the passenger manifest. Heck, I wasn't even on the pier waving and calling bon voyage. Oh, well.

I've also written recently that one of the ailments that I hate above most others is vomiting. If given the choice I think I'd just rather not. Well, here's how that one played out. When I wrote my last post (6 days ago! you'll understand why it's been so long in just a moment) I did a few things on the computer and decided to make some popcorn. I walked into the kitchen and popped the corn, melted and drizzled the butter, salted, grabbed some napkins, and headed back to share some with Trent. When I sat down, I realized that I was suddenly feeling strangely tired. The kind of tired that means you need to get to bed really soon unless you really enjoy ferocious headaches.

I told Trent that I thought I needed to get to bed early (it was about 8:30 in the evening at this point) because I was feeling pretty worn out. He was surprised but didn't object to the early bedtime. As I munched on the popcorn, I began to realize that my tummy wasn't very happy. What an understatement! By 8:45 I was yakking, barfing, hurling, whatever you want to call it. It was the violent kind of sicking up that makes every muscle hurt, even down to your wrists. It was so bad that my diaphragm hurt three days later. My head was splitting. I may not eat popcorn, one of my favorite foods, for another year or more. But I retained my sense of humor!

I called to Trent from the bathroom, "Okay, here's the thing, honey. I write about menopause and the opposite happens. I write about hating to barf and the opposite happens. I think maybe it's time for me to write about how much I would hate to win loads of money in a sweepstakes or lottery or whatever!" Trent laughed and said that maybe that was what I needed to do. Therefore, with tongue firmly planted in cheek at the beginning, at least, I am about to write about some things that I would "hate" to have to endure. Opposite Effect, are you listening?

I really think it would be awful to win some money. I can't imagine anything so boring as having no debt unless it's going to the supermarket and just grabbing things off of shelves and tossing them into the shopping cart without any concern for the cost. I'd far rather have to make the decision on whether to buy item A or item B and put off buying item C until next pay period. And being able to give to others...well, you get the picture, I think. 

Being healthy is probably highly overrated as well. If Trent and I, and others that we know or don't know, were free of pain and illness, just imagine what would happen! There would be doctors without people to cure. Pharmaceutical companies would lose billions of dollars, and insurance companies would have fewer claims to review and refuse fulfill. It might result in utter chaos.

And then there's the whole world peace thing. Imagine what would happen if people just decided to live and let live. If people decided that their faith, or non-faith, was not the only path that was reasonable or possible in this life. If they came to embrace the things that we all have in common and realized that most of us want the same things in life. If they realized that all humans have basic needs for food, shelter, security, and things to believe in, whether they be gods or science or art or literature or even nothing at all. What on earth would happen? Feelings of fear and hate would be replaced with feelings of love and acceptance. Instead of pushing one another away or killing others for not being exactly as we are, we would try to learn from each others' lives and experiences and cultures. Are you listening, Opposite Effect? Please listen. Maybe we need you more than we think.


The Tip Jar:

As always, I am happy and honored to write for you. It brings me great joy, and I hope that it gives you joy and/or food for thought. If you'd like to support the cause, please visit:

Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Turning On A Dime

I think all of us have moments from time to time that have us shaking our heads or making little silly comments. For me, this often inspires the writing of a blog post. Depending on my readers' opinions of said posts, this could either be good or bad. I will, of course, leave that up to you.

Is it just me (actually us, as Trent is in the same mindset), or do you have moments during driving/riding in automobiles that just make you shake your head in dismay and wonder? We had a moment recently that had that effect on both of us. We had just pulled out of our parking spot at a local shopping center and were attempting to turn onto one of the driving lanes to exit. That's when we almost got smooshed by a big, shiny Lexus. It was in the middle of the two-lane thoroughfare before turning into the lane we were occupying. The driver had swung wide to make a left turn into the parking lane. After we recovered from the fear of nearly being smashed by a larger car, we observed that the driver apparently thought that their car was so huge that they had to swing wide to make the left turn into the driving lane. Or maybe they were afraid of an invisible curb causing a curb check? I had the problem figured out in a flash. "Trent, it's simple," I said. "It's a fancy, expensive car. Older, less expensive cars like ours can turn on a dime, but this one is more expensive, so it can only turn on a dollar." Problem solved.

A few weeks ago, the powers that be decided that the main thoroughfares of the shopping center that houses our supermarket, and several restaurants that serve wonderful deliciousness, needed to be resurfaced. When we saw that the project was starting, we were thrilled. I can say without reservation that there were holes in there that could have swallowed a human adult on a bicycle. Or at least big enough to let an entire automobile tire sink in six or twenty inches. I've been on smoother rollercoasters that were shut down for being dangerous.

As I said, we were thrilled. Until the slalom event began at the shopping center. In skiing and snowboarding, slalom refers to a course that zigs and zags as the skiers/boarders go through gates on their fast journey downhill. We made the bad decision to get some food from one of the restaurants in the center on a lovely Saturday afternoon. We saw that it was quite a challenge to get from one side of the center to the other, but Trent was undeterred. We set off down a sideways route to our destination. As we turned the first corner, we both gasped as we saw a huge pickup headed straight at us. This was one of those gigantic pickups that, if you were standing next to it you wouldn't be able to see over the hood. The driver remembered that this is the USA, not the UK and that we drive on the right, not the left, and we were unscathed.  But here's the thing. Every single person that we saw, and we saw several going the opposite direction, was driving in the middle or the wrong side of the road. I don't know what it is about road contruction that makes so many drivers lose their stinking minds. Although I am not a drinker, I had my UK moment when I got home. I was wishing I had the British cure-all, a glass of brandy, to calm my nerves. I made do with food, and we avoided the shopping center for a week or two.

We found ourselves back at that same shopping center today. We like the effect the holiday season has on people during their comings and goings. You see people taking turns, allowing others to turn in front of them, or having someone follow them to a soon-to-be-vacated parking spot. It's inspiring. It's also missing right now. We were lucky to simply observe this time around, but we decided that we hadn't received the news of the new holiday philosophy this week. Peace on Earth, and get the heck outta my way! I jest, of course. I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in our chores and lives that we forget to be aware and considerate of those around us. We lose track of a very simple thing, that being kind to others makes them feel good, but it makes us feel even better. We have a great power at our disposal, the power of goodwill and kindness. I think it's high time that we started a kindness revolution. The snowball effect would be tremendous. What do you say, are you in? I am!


The Tip Jar:

As always, I am happy and honored to write for you. It brings me great joy, and I hope that it gives you joy and/or food for thought. If you'd like to support the cause, please visit:

Thank you for reading!