What Made You Smile Today?

thIZVZS9ZSWhat brought you happiness today? If you are one of the millions with broken brackets, it’s not March Madness. Unless you are an alum of UMBC and their fiery little nun. Don’t get me wrong, I love an underdog and cheer for them. Unless of course they ruin my bracket.
As you’ve guessed what brings me happiness today isn’t my tournament brackets. It is my two dogs and all their silly antics. As I write this, my Weimaraner has his head on my elbow trying to keep me from typing. Dogs have the right attitude. Play hard, eat with gusto, nap often and never worry about how you look. Weimaraner’s are silly dogs with their ears flying or sleeping on their backs with all four feet straight up in the air.
I think dogs have it right. They never worry if a person is happy to see them or not. Their assumption is everyone loves them. Everyone deserves a cold nose and a snuggle. Never one to take no for an answer when the head on my lab didn’t stop my typing a seventy-five pound bundle of enthusiasm squirms into my lab. Successfully, separating me from my computer.
Undaunted I resume my blog after rubbing ears and hugging my canine bundle of joy. I hope you found something or one to make you smile today.

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What I Meant to Say

thListening to the lyrics to a song today I reflected on the refrain. The song was “What I Meant to Say, by Wade Hayes.” I was struck by the idea of what I meant to say. How many times have you reflected on what you meant to say instead of what you did say? If I’m being honest, probably not often enough.
Many times, I’ve had a retort on my lips ready to launch and thankfully didn’t. I’d undoubtedly have gotten my ass fired. Retired now, I volunteer for the police department. I write handicapped parking violations. This doesn’t make me a popular person striding through a parking lot. I’ve been cussed at, blessed and blasphemed. Snappy retorts while in uniform are not professional.
On a serious note the song made me think of the times I wished I’d said I’m sorry. The times I wish I’d told my daughter I loved her more. Wished I’d told my mom and dad thank you. All the opportunities I missed to bless someone’s path instead of not acknowledging their presence. Better late than never, I send my love to my daughter, an apology to whichever sibling I wronged, and a thank you to all those people who have blessed my life.

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Stop the Madness

thI find it comforting to turn to the wisdom of the past when the insanity of the present makes no sense. The Roman politician and orator Cicero had a keen intellect. His no nonsense statements make me smile. We need a Cicero or two in Washington or a B.S. monitor.
One of my favorite quotes by him is, “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.” Apparently, the men and women we elect to public office didn’t get the memo. Doing nothing is not a choice. Pick a topic, any topic.
Gun control, affordable healthcare, affordable housing, homelessness the list is long. What progress has been made on any of these issues. All congress has to show for their time is partisan bickering. No meaningful legislation has passed, no solutions and no measurable improvements.
People are still homeless, hungry and the mentally ill are left to roam our city streets. The only progress comes from concerned citizens and churches who step in to offer aid and shelter. I am confident we the people could do a better job. Lock a handful of concerned citizens in a room with no agenda other than to improve the situation. I guarandamnteeyou we’d make a difference. It’s time for Washington to put up or shut up.

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Five Moments that Changed Your Life



Albert Flynn DeSilver has written extensively on the path to awakening. I find his insights enlightening and thought provoking. He offers suggestions to help expand one’s consciousness. The one resonating most deeply with me was his charge to write down five moments that shock me emotionally and spiritually.
I ticked off adopting my daughter, the deaths of my mother and father, being fired, 9-11, and Sandy Hook. My mother passed in 1992 a month before I adopted my daughter. I wish my daughter had known her and I miss her every day. My father lived another twenty-two years. It’s hard to feel sad over a man who lived ninety-two years. We weren’t close, still his passing left me an orphan.
Adopting my daughter is the single greatest thing I’ve done in my life. She has taught me more about patience and unconditional love than I ever thought possible. No one makes me smile faster or worry more. She’s on her own now and I’m proud of her. Children are our greatest legacy and just before she arrived I was fired from a job I’d held for twelve years.
Friends and colleagues weren’t sure what to say and often said nothing. I thought briefly about postponing the adoption. Deciding there never would be a perfect time I proceeded. A month after my daughter arrived I had a new job. A job leading to the place I called home for the next twenty-one years. It is my experience circumstances which seem terrible at the time often turn in to wonderful experiences.
There is little I can say about 9-11 and Sandy Hook which hasn’t already been said. There are no words for such death and devastation. Comprehending the loss isn’t possible. Nothing explains why or how to heal with the pain. The day after 9-11 my church called and opened the sanctuary for people to speak and grieve. When one or more are gathered in prayer healing occurs. Slowly. Sandy Hook robbed us of our innocence and our children. All I can say is my heart broke and my spirits never will.
What they all taught me is to never stop believing in the greater good and in the power of prayer.

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We’ve Lost Too Many Children


Stop the madness now, how many more children need to die in our schools? It’s been nineteen years since Columbine and we still bury the dead. The United States has taught nearly two decades of students to evade an active shooter. This is a national disgrace.
None of these 297 students deserved to die. Our government needs to act. This is not a political issue or a gun owner’s right to carry issue. What we need is a common-sense approach to end the violence. Our children deserve nothing less. Assault style weapons and huge capacity magazines belong only in the hands of the military or police.
No hunter or person carrying a gun for personal safety needs an assault weapon. If the NRA and gun enthusiasts can’t agree on this, then something’s seriously wrong. This won’t stop every mentally ill or deranged person, but it will help. It is time to act.


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Dental Denial No Longer

funny_dentist_office_humor_mousepad-rd4041a1a93a84ef1950a712e666d5451_x74vk_8byvr_512I’ve moved many times in my life. This taught me to travel light and reach out to make new friends. I moved a year and a half ago to a new area where I knew no one. The first time I’ve done this while retired. This is harder because I have no work connection-a blessing. I love retirement.
Along with learning about my new hometown, I’ve had to find new doctors, dentist, hair stylist. All the necessities of life. My doctor is wonderful and my hair stylist does inspired work. It isn’t easy taming these locks, and she is no miracle worker. Still, I appreciate her efforts.
My quest for a good dentist has been a huge failure. My first dental office ran forty minutes late every visit. I decided not to waste my retirement in their waiting room. My second try is only marginally better. A smaller office with a wonderful dental hygienist. He is the only saving grace. I will miss him.
The dentist’s all have degrees. I’ve studied them while waiting my turn in the chair. The owner has the impatient touch of a madwoman. No problem, I schedule my appointments on the days she doesn’t work. Unfortunately, the gentleman who does work has the touch of an old school longshore man. He tilts the chair back until my head is only inches from the floor. Admittedly, an uncomfortable position.
As he cleans or drills the drill, he uses leaks. I’ve never been water boarded, but I think there are similarities. Told not to close my mouth, my head down he maniacally drills as I try not to drowned. The only instructions are to raise my left hand if I want him to stop. The first thought wasn’t raising my left hand, my middle finger perhaps.
I’m writing this so I survived my water torture. Have you ever had your dentist fill the mold with the tar like goop then tell you to sit still until it sets? Leave it to my resident caveman/dentist. He puts his forearm on my head and grabs my chin. Forcibly holding my mouth closed. Shut my mouth indeed. Suffice it to say I’m still looking for a dentist.

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No Redaction Needed

thI read Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten”, when I was in college. Returning to the sage advice often in my life. Marveling at the simple, genuine truth of the book. Sage advice for a world desperately in need of a dose of common sense. How has our government gone so badly astray? How can our justice department break our laws without being held accountable?
“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do”, stated Fulghum. How right the man is. No matter who one voted for it is their right. This isn’t for me a political issue. Rather, one of integrity. Honesty matters and lying has consequences or should.
I do not need nor want anyone to tell me what to think, who to vote for or how I should feel. It is my responsibility to seek the facts and vote my conscious. Right or wrong, the choice is mine to make. People are free to vote as they see fit and I respect their right. Wouldn’t it be nice if the politicians and back alley movers and shakers butted out?
What if all the money spent on lobbying, digging up dirt on people or special investigations was spent on homelessness, hunger or infrastructure? Better yet, lets make the senators and representatives pay merit based. The next time they dither and waste our money on partisan politics we deduct their salaries. Perhaps, they might accomplish something.

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

10022It seemed like a good idea at the time. Has this ever happened to you? I decided to take out the small Bird of Paradise in my front yard. When I moved I went from a large yard to a small one. This is a good thing, except I miss my roses. Hence, I decided the Bird of Paradise needed to go.
I started Friday afternoon and finished Sunday afternoon. It took me two hours to remove all the river rock and the plants foliage. Saturday, I tackled the large, tangled root ball. OMG the plant has dense, deep tuberous roots. All entwined around the two sprinklers in the small square space. I thought I was proceeding carefully until I nicked one of the PVC pipes. A small trickle sent me to Lowes.
I bought the materials to patch the pipe and called it a day. Sunday, I started on mending the pipe. Getting down on all fours on concrete is no picnic. The small trickle created a muddy mess. Add the nearly ninety-degree heat, sunscreen dripping in my eyes and I’m not loving life. Dogged determination powered me through the mud and stinging eyes.
I let the patch dry and tested it. Yes, happy dance it held. Then I removed any remaining evidence of the devil plant. The hole prepared I planted my rose, which thanked me for my three-day sacrifice by imbedding thorns in my forearm. Expletives withstanding the rose is one of my favorites. A Double Delight, fragrant and beautiful it is now planted. I’m icing, stretching and wondering why I ever thought this was a good idea.

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A Battle of Wills

My best friend visited for the holidays. She had never met the puppy I’m raising for Canine Companions for Independence. His name is Narley, and he is a year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever cross. He looks like a black lab. I assured her his hearing is fine.
Rather, he has selective hearing. He’ll come if he feels like it or sit if the spirit moves him. If a reward involved, he’ll break dance. A cookie will have him sitting like a pro or coming to you like a homing pigeon. No cookie, no compliance. Definitely, not a desirable trait for a service dog.
I spoke with his trainer and received valuable tips. When he is asked to do something, he already knows he doesn’t receive a treat or lurer. Since he knows sit and down no lure is needed. He gets praise for complying. A treat after he complies. I get it and he hates it. The boy lives to eat, what can I say he’s part Labrador.
After a battle of wills, he’s reluctantly complying. I know he’ll make a wonderful, willful service dog for someone. Now if we could just train congress to take care of business. They apparently can’t communicate respectfully or take care of business. I say we withhold their salaries until they reach a bi-partisan agreement. If Narley can do it so can they.

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Grinning and Baring It

thCredit Bette Davis or the bible, I’ll let you pick which said, “old age isn’t for sissies.” Whatever you decide they knew what they were talking about. I’m blessed with amazing health and energy. A fact I work diligently to keep. Leaving me fitter and healthier than most people of any age. Yet, a visit to my dentist leaves me wishing I’d flossed more, never eaten candy anything.
I’ve managed to keep all my teeth, except for my wisdom teeth. Amazing considering in my post college days I decided I could skip twice yearly cleanings etc. Thinking it more important to pay college loans. Bad choice. Countless fillings have morphed into crowns and at least two root canals.
Root canals are never fun, but today’s adventure is enough to make me vow in any reincarnations to never ever neglect my teeth. Perhaps only my dentist likes to put the chair back until my head is only inches from the floor. Never a comfortable position. Then they numbed me and spent the next two hours filing, drilling, and tapping. The drill uses water and gives me a new respect for water boarding.
The final indignity came when they made the form for my crown. Placing a tar like substance into my mouth and telling me to keep my mouth closed. As if I had a choice, the dentist proceeded to grab my chin and clamp my mouth shut. Fortunately, baby boomers are tough. No sissy here.

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