A Second Wind

img_20180617_195955006657093613.jpg

What a lovely surprise, when my husband and I stopped in town to drop off some recycling on our way home from work. We heard music that drew us across the railroad tracks to the park. Both of us were so tired we could hardly stand up, because today was day four of a roofing project on this house we are flipping. My mood was, “like a woman too hot, too tired, too sweaty and, well not exactly prettied up for a concert!”

img_20180617_195142988622519420.jpg

 

The band was in the park’s gazebo with a nice little crowd sitting on lawn chairs and quilts. There were also peculiar decorations in the park and around town called, Yarn Bombing, it’s quirky and very cute.

Looking around, I asked hubby, “Are we showing our age being here?” Sometimes when men are too tired they don’t think not to tell you the truth. “Yes, I believe we are!” It seems that most of the audience had WHITE HAIR!

The band was playing, oldies from the 1930’s era. While they played “All of Me” I walked and took a few photos as they were singing and couldn’t help but swing a bit while taking a photo of the bridge where we were married in this same park. It was a lovely surprising evening.img_20180617_195342840_hdr1870923304.jpg

Rather than go home, tired and yucky, this little concert in the park, in our little Victorian town gave me a second wind. The last song they played was, “Roll Out the Barrel” which brings back many memories for this girl who grew up in the shadow of Philadelphia and the Mummer’s Bands. I think it possibly brought out a third wind. Hubby and I even did a 30 second Polka. No, we didn’t dance the whole song, if you had been climbing 50 steps multiple times a day and carrying heavy stuff for four days up on the roof without your fiddle, would you dance a whole polka? That’s what I thought!

img_20180617_195938742906452387.jpgAll in all, this hometown Sunday evening concert was just what the doctor ordered! By the way, the name of the Band was, The Second Winds! I think I’ll get out my saxophone and go ahead and practice with them on Tuesday at the Senior Center.

Enjoying the Adventure, (and grateful for the Second Wind)

Dr. Dink

 

 

_______________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

HUSBAND!

I LOVE MY HUSBAND!

BUT . . . there are times when,

well,

you know.

We have been working hard this week taking a roof off a house that we are flipping. We are taking advantage of a 5 day forecast of “NO RAIN” (I’ll believe it when I see it) here in Pennsylvania, hahaha, that’s funny, it’s summer!

So, when you’re up on a roof, with a hammer, a ply-bar and your muscles (or lack thereof) it’s important to have a good hearty breakfast, don’t you agree?  Our staple breakfast is Old Fashioned Oatmeal with flax seed & whatever fruit might be available with yummy cinnamon or ginger spice, maybe a sprinkle of nutmeg. Yesterday morning, of all mornings, (Day #2 of roofing job) my husband decides to “surprise me” by putting ANISE spice in my oatmeal.  He says, “I only put a little”.

So, who’s complaining? ME!

Karen, if you have a man that makes you oatmeal in the morning, self says, NEVER COMPLAIN!!! NEVER!  But Anise in oatmeal? Anise is what gives flavor to licorice. In all fairness, I tried. I added a little more milk, and tried not to smell that $#!+ in my breakfast bowl. I tried to be a WOman about it, but I couldn’t bear it. THEN, I started burping, which LASTED ALL DAY LONG and I didn’t even eat one quarter of the bowl. (Burping, like a woMAN).

As if I didn’t bitch enough about that to him, here I am sharing my bitching with the whole wide world . . .

That I am so grateful

That he put something so

AWFUL

In my oatmeal!

Why grateful you ask?

It brought back to me (in all my discomfort and awful disgust and burping anise) one of  the most wonderful memories of my childhood.

When I was a little girl, every Christmas Eve, we would visit our cousins. I remember one year there was a really bad snow storm, but we went anyway. We loved visiting our family and would have such a great time with our cousins. A part of that great time was the amazing cooking of their Mom, Aunt Carol. She was the best cook this side of the Mississippi, maybe even on the other side too. OK, she was possibly the best cook in the world.

She must have spent so much time in that kitchen baking cookies. They were all so tasty and pretty, but there was one that I was convinced only she knew how to make because I had never seen them EVER, anywhere before. So, every year, I would “try” one because they were the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. Aunt Carole’s pizzelle cookies were the most tempting.  I mean, really —wouldn’t you just want to eat this lovely thing?

Photo from Ann’s Entitled Life

I think I’m right, you would. Of all the cookies, these were the prettiest.

And guess what?

Every year

I HATED PIZZELLES

Why you ask?

Because they have ANISE in them!!!!

That’s why.

Today, as I was sweating on that roof, worrying about the danger, burping anise, I ended up thinking a lot about my family.

I thought about Aunt Carol. She passed away just a few months ago after a long battle with cancer. I thought about the bonds of love that surpass time and separation with my cousins. I thought about, not my hate for anise, but my LOVE for the memory of this smiling, beautiful woman.

I find it amazing that something that I ended up bitching about to my husband turned in to a wonderful day of remembrance.  Never underestimate the wonderful power of memory, even at the cost of eating Anise! By the way, Aunt Carol also made the best homemade pizza! Back in the 60’s, who made pizza at home? Aunt Carol!

Enjoying the adventure,

Dr. Dink

 

I understand that most “normal” people like pizzelles, so please try them! You can find the recipe for the beautiful photo above, and other recipes at Ann’s Entitled Life Please visit her page for great recipes & home ideas!

_____________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

Musical Memory

img_20180614_074211185_ll753072436.jpg

I love musical memory, except for when it comes to the Purple Dinosaur with his tail swinging as he sings the, “I love you, you love me” song, or the “Noah” song that I learned in Vacation Bible School years ago, I want to scream and listen to head-banging music just to get it out of repeat mode in my brain. But for the most part, musical memory is wonderful.

The other day, I received a text asking for a verse that would be appropriate for comfort for someone who had a death in the family. It would be great if it had to do with the setting sun. Immediately I had a song in my mind that I knew came from the Psalms. “From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the Name of the Lord shall be praised!” (Psalm 113:3) — and I’ve been silently hearing and enjoying it since.

Musical memory is an amazing thing, it can bring us back to places we have long forgotten, our first kiss, that fun trip with a girlfriend, good times, bad times, sad times and times of love, joy and wonder. I love listening to what are considered “oldies” now for that very reason. (Hold on, how can songs I grew up with be considered old? OK, I’ll call them classic rock, that sounds much better!).

I’ve sang songs with people in nursing homes, and watched those who have basically no memory left at all, sing along with songs or hymns with huge smiles on their faces. These have been beautiful moments of the power of music.

What songs “bring you back?” What songs give you pleasant memories, you know, the ones you know all the words to and can’t help but sing along? The songs that you really don’t mind if it bounces around in your head for an hour, or a day. Yes, that one!

Please don’t say the purple dinosaur song, because if you do I’ll start hearing it over and over and over. Which is now, Oh no! Why did I do this to myself?  PLEASE REPLACE WITH A NEW SONG! Let’s have some fun with this one . . . it doesn’t matter if it was last year, a decade or five decades ago . . . what song brings you back to a good place and time?

Enjoying the adventure,

Dr. Dink

My song for today, you ask? Mambo No. 5, of course!

__________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

Live Into

Have you ever been challenged to describe yourself? What would be the word or phrase that “describes” who you are, or what you do? I’ve been thinking through this one, but honestly, it is very difficult to pick one word or phrase. THEN when you do, you realize that word, or collection of words can be interpreted 86 different ways. However, it doesn’t hurt to do a little self-reflection.

Back in my “leadership days”, I used a phrase quite often, “Live Into”. When I was working with a group of people, my job was generally to help them define who they were personally, or as a group. We would do many exercises to help define, for instance, the purpose of a particular group and the direction that group would take. When the essence of that project was named, I would say, “Now, Live into it!”  Meaning, if you have a goal, or hope for the future, you live NOW as if it has already begun to occur.

This is a both fun and frustrating exercise. Helpful, as it brings clarity. Frustrating, as it usually needs interpretation. The end result though is worth the frustration. One of my favorite tools for thinking is called bubbling. You begin with a word or phrase, then simply write words that come to mind. There may be  many layers, (thus secondary levels of bubbles). This is done as a brain-dump, in other words, don’t put too much thought into it, just write down what comes to mind. You can return later to refine.

This example is the result of the word GARDEN to give you an idea of how it works:

img_20180612_0923193111586937237.jpg

As you can see, a lot comes up, for instance, Plant leads to tomato, which lead to types of tomatoes, then I would have to add another category called blight because we deal with it here on our land.

img_20180612_095657426830455878.jpg

Now imagine that you put your name in the center . . . what descriptive words would be in those first bubbles? What else would be added to those first words. Which ones do you really want to describe you? What ones do you want or need to cross off the list? Yes, it’s fun and frustrating! Now, which ones will you “live into”?

Living into is acting as if it already is, therefore becomes reality. Thus one of the reasons I always close with Enjoying the Adventure!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

__________________________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

 

 

Grateful for the Everyday

Wow, yesterday was very quiet. I mean QUIET. I’m just glad it happened after I had perked my coffee. Yes, the electric went out. For 7 hours. This is the longest we’ve dealt with here. No great tragedy, storm or earthquake, just a gentle rain, that hasn’t stopped yet weakened a tree and brought wires down into the creek.

All day I kept thinking about doing “something” but it seems every something that I thought of required electric, or “it was just to dark in that room”, or sitting on the back porch, which I did a lot of yesterday, in June, dressed like it’s freaking winter out!

This seven hour electric dilemma, which when you really think about it, with all the storms and natural events, like wild fires and volcanoes, really messing up people’s lives around the globe . . .was nothing. However, it made me realize how I take advantage of something as simple as flipping on a light-switch and how that action improves my life. So, this morning while I wait for my coffee to perk, I’m grateful. I’m glad the electric went out to remind me that I’m really a spoiled brat. Today I will be grateful for the everyday things.

img_20180525_184523059_hdrDo you ever find yourself in a position like this? You know, when you realize that you take advantage of the things that make your life easier? What are those things?

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

_________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

The Terminal

The situation of my own eyes, caused me to look around the terminal. Faces amaze me. Maybe it is because I worked closely with people for so many years, I’ve become relatively good at “reading” faces. Oh sure, there is some conjecture and you don’t know all the details . . . but emotions can be a billboard.

I flew home in a bit of an emotional whirl. I was so sad leaving my heart, my Grandson. By the next time I see him, he will have so many more skills, and will continue to get taller and his vocabulary will become clearer. He will more than likely get over that “being two” stage too, (I think he’s almost there) . . . I’m so grateful for video chat and instantaneous photos. But it’s not the same as being there. Of course, I had a tear or two at the airport. I was misty eyed.

I also missed my husband and couldn’t wait to get home to see him. Love is a good thing! Then I received the text with the ultrasound photo. Oh my! There is really a baby in there! Sadness, joy, excitement, love, longing, expectation . . . All at once? Oh come on, you would be misty eyed too!

My plane was full. Evidently not one seat was empty if I heard the stewardess right, or is it steward-person now? That explains why the airport was so busy! I overheard a woman in the terminal say to her friend, “Yes, I’m heading home for a bit, at least we got Greg over from the brink of death.” They hugged. Not many heard her. Most people are so engaged with their cell phones in their faces and are physically there, but robotish, clueless as to what’s going on around them. But look, walking past, a young woman eyes deep-set, moving slowly . . .

  • she is in another world. Something has happened. She is shattered. Was it her boyfriend? Did he leave her? Or, should she leave him? Was she escaping? Did someone die? Did her brother not make it over the brink as Greg did? This was definitely a “love look.” Please, someone, give her a hug!
  • he is polite, yet guarded. He is “manning-up” but wants to cry like a little girl. Can anyone see me? Eyes averted.
  • A family . . . Mom & Dad look stressed, but the kids have sparkles in their eyes. You might think they were in line at Disney World, but this plane is heading to Pittsburgh, I wonder if it’s a connector or are they visiting someone special there?

On and on the possible stories go. I think sometimes it nice to just put the cell down, look around you. See people. Be Connected. Have a random conversation. When I do this, my world becomes larger. I think a part of this era of negativity is that (not only teenagers) are so busy looking at that small piece of electronics in our hands. Granted, I will look too, and frequently when my kids text, send videos or post cool things, but you know as well as I do that we can become quite mindless staring at our phones.

Here is a challenge in the next few days, put down the phone —look around you!

Enjoying the Adventure (Let’s all go on one!)

Dr. Dinkimg_20180522_0930389811133470407.jpg

____________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

Post-it Notes to the rescue!

A friend contacted me about this blog yesterday and said she is finding it encouraging. That makes the time and discipline of writing everyday so worth the effort. Thank you! This got me reflecting . . . the five-year anniversary of losing nearly everything is coming up soon for me and I have realized that I might just have “something to give” because I’ve learned through the horrible things of life to get to the other side. Generally, with a positive attitude, although I have confessed in an earlier blog that I can be negative, I can even be a bitch. However, that’s “generally” temporary.

One of the things that has helped me come back to myself when going through rough patches is Post-it notes. I know, sounds elementary doesn’t it?  I made the first four words of this paragraph in bold because this is only ONE thing but I found it so incredibly helpful.  When I discovered the therapeutic use of Post-its I was incredibly grateful. I had thought they were “just for office use” or “a quick shopping list”. Little did I know until learned the practice from Jen Sincero, the writer of “You are a Badass” whom I give credit for saving my life, or at least my sanity during the life-adjustment five years ago.

One of the many things she suggested in this book was to write down sayings, reminders, words and mantras that you will see everywhere. I put Post-its on my bathroom mirror, my microwave, cell phone, laptop –everywhere I could. My poor husband, yes, he puts up with me!  Here are some of my (very personal) Post-it reminders:

  • When I was a little girl I used to laugh so much that I drove my Mom crazy. She said sometimes she wished I would cry. I will become this person again! I will be filled with laughter & hope to laugh so hard that I pee myself!
  • I will be happy, joyful, full of energy, I will smile at others.
  • Be what you is cause if you ain’t what you is, you is what you ain’t.
  • Your walk walks & your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.
  • I will appreciate the little things.
  • I will be the kind of friend that I need.
  • What is the fun in waking up at 85 realizing “you couldn’t find the time” to have fun
  • You can carry a horse over your head!
  • I will make a very strong effort to talk about people that I ADMIRE (even if they are dead)
  • I will look to work with integrity and choose not to be affected by others hypocrisy.
  • I will embrace the beauty:
    • I will take walks & rides
    • I will look for beauty multiple times during the day & say out loud, “Look at that!”

img_20180606_0831288721794592330.jpg

These, and other sayings were everywhere I was. I would stop and read them. Embrace them. I would have high expectation that I would somehow believe that these simple phrases could change, not the situation, but how I chose to respond to it. Was it easy? Hell No! Were there times that I wanted to throw them all away? Hell YES! Sometimes it’s just natural to wallow in the pain & I’m a natural kind of gal, eh? So, then, I found more sayings, more things that would remind me not only of who I was, but who I wanted to be. Notice most say, “I WILL” because, what I was living at the time was nothing that anyone would want to be!!!!!!

I guess the question is, do you have to go through a miniature HELL for this to work? No. You may simply want to remind yourself to smile, to enjoy life more, to —oh, you fill in the blanks!

If your looking for change in your life, or to embrace positive thoughts and actions in a very negative world, why not try Post-it note therapy? It’s what THIS Doctor ordered!

Enjoying the Adventure! (Even though the adventure has been Hellish at times).

Dr. Dink

________________________________________

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share