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Final Friday …

18 Sep

It was her Final Friday and a tough one to hear about.

One of the strongest women giving others hope.

It’s an unfortunate loss that many are grieving.

Rest In Peace.

Notorious RBG

Neighborhood Watch 2.0

16 Sep

It’s the MacGyver of door peepholes. The caller-ID of doors. You’ll never miss the Prize Patrol from Publisher’s Clearinghouse ever.

Supposed to help you answer the door in case you’re in your backyard, in the garage, in the bathroom, or just out and about.

Ring.

Image result for ring doorbell

One of the best doorbells on Earth for people who don’t want to answer the door. You don’t even have to get up from you Netflix binge watching session to check who’s at the door or what they want.

A lot of places put them on their front door steps to make sure no one tries anything funny. Although the backyard, or alley way is something they like scoped out too. A whole security system.

But people still try funny things.

Amazon packages are still being taken in mad dashes, now you just have a picture of the hoodie suspect and the police still won’t do anything for you. Just file a report. Nothing much else. Unless you have one of those awesome pop-up glitter explosions with a camera so you can see the thief’s face as they unwrap the trap you sent them.

But other than watching people steal packages from your doorstep, or see how many people park outside your house, or visit your neighbor across the street, it also provides the most intense neighborhood watch program I’ve seen ever.

My friend says that there are multiple crime bulletins posted, people put their captures, pictures, or videos of thieves stealing their packages, shoes, bikes, mail and mailboxes. Warnings posted of car break-ins or stealing catalytic converters, which apparently is a popular item. Sometimes just random people trying to open their doors at 4 a.m.

Who does that? Who’s awake at 4 a.m. trying to unlock doors?

People who aren’t afraid of getting punched in the face or confronted with a hostile encounter if they wake anyone up at 4 a.m.

But Neighborhood Watch 2.0 Steroids Edition has got your mug shot and description. They’re taking notes and passing it along. People see you in daytime and nighttime hours. Got your stats and they’re posting it everywhere. So if you haven’t been caught it’s only a matter of time, unless you’re Batman.

They got it all on camera, just in case. But don’t ever know if the case is ever solved. But Ring Neighbors are onnnnnnnnn it. They report crimes, speak to the police, get incident maps alerting them of new crimes, get alerts of suspicious activity within a five-mile radius perimeter, post announcements. Lost pet? They probably have his mug shot posted within seconds.

A friend of mine has had one for over a year and I’ve seen them popping up everywhere in neighborhood and city. There’s an app that’s attached to your phone and you have instant viewing. Everything is recorded.

See the source image

So if you think you’re alone walking the streets, think again. The neighborhood is watching. And the community is getting larger, and I imagine more intense. Don’t think you can steal someone’s 30-day supply Metamucil and special order diabetic socks and not have someone stop you at the 7-11 and say hey I saw you stealing someone’s packages the other day. What the hell?

In the time of coronavirus, I guess it’s still important to feel a sense of community and help your neighbor out. People trying to look out for each other, even if it’s digitally. I mean who doesn’t want the Amazon package theft to go down? You’ve become the best nosy neighbor ever and you didn’t even have to look out the window. Ring has elevated your status.

Buen Camino my friends!

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Friday Four …

28 Aug

Cancer sucks.

Especially when you lose the battle. My family knows the pain of that. A lot of families do.

I heard about a loss to cancer today and I felt sad. Shocked me really. I didn’t even know him, never met him. But his potential … what was left to give that saddened me. Another unfinished life.

I heard he was 43. Colon cancer. Chadwick Boseman.

But he still made an impact. Publicly through his works and privately through activism.

He’d made many works but his most notable … Black Panther. I love that role, it changed some people’s views of what a superhero could look like, Wakanda forever right? Changing perspectives with his work.

But my favorites were Marshall and 42. Playing historical figures is a mighty responsibility especially when their significance weighs heavily. I enjoyed the portrayals and internal struggles. The storytelling mattered. You got the whole picture, the strength and vulnerability in character.

So in honor of his memory I’m pausing Feel Good 5 Friday to remember a guy who made impactful stories. He was more than just an actor I know, but these are stories he participated in, extensions of values and beliefs rooted within. He was introduced to me this way. Friday Four, if you get a chance, check some of these out.

Buen Camino …

Marshall

Black Panther

Da 5 Bloods

42

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I Hate Elections

23 Sep

I worried, and for good reason, when that goldenrod yellow paper came home in the homework folder.

He was excited about it.

Student Council elections. It was the first time that he was excited about writing three paragraphs. Star Wars, Batman, and the Avengers only got two paragraphs, and it appeared that the reading portion was more important on that one. In any case making a difference at school appeared to be something he was really into, and I worried.

I worried because I didn’t want him to get his hopes up. There were eight students running for two 3rd grade representative positions. And he was feeling confident. He had written a really good essay, but I knew that at this age the essay was not what mattered. Popularity, that was thing, which is why I hate elections.

reese-witherspoon-and-mat-006

🙂

The thing is my son is well liked. He’s got plenty of friends on the playground and in the classroom, but in student council elections, it usually comes down to who is more popular I guess.

So he gave his speech, along with the others, but left early from school for an appointment and I got an email.

His teacher said how great it was that he had given his speech but … there was a but, followed by an unfortunately. And so I read on and I got the news that he hadn’t made it. I figured the chick that suggested no homework for a week, and the other that was planning for pajama Friday’s once a month made the top two. Pajamas. They’re big in elementary school. I mean you don’t even have to get dressed, just roll out of bed. Pajama Friday. Dude.

But he was asleep when I got the email. So unfortunately we have to talk tomorrow. I have to tell him tomorrow … and I worry.  Pajama Friday over Outdoor Garden projects and Sports Days. Some people are not fond of plants and sweat. Pajamas. It’s all about pajamas and flannel. It’s a good fabric, I guess.

Elections. I hate elections.And Pajama Days. They disappoint 3rd-grade hearts. But I know he’ll be all right. He’ll bounce back because he’s my son.

 

 

Daily Post Challenge: Fierce

31 Aug

Since I’m getting ready for some new projects I thought I’d pump myself up …

 

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Gotta be fierce!

 

 

Daily Post Challenge Courtesy of The Daily Post

 

 

40 At 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … No. 28

12 Dec

I don’t see it. I just can’t see it.

Where’s the funny?

That’s what I was thinking as I was having an emotional moment over someone passing judgment on me. It burned me out and I was feeling both angry and hurt at the same time. I couldn’t seem to find my way out of it. I couldn’t shake off the nasty taste it left.

And then an opportunity to do something for someone appeared … an accidentally on purpose random act of kindness crossed my path and I smiled.

The thought of doing something good for someone I didn’t even know changed my mood. I had forgotten the stupid words that were said about me, I had forgotten the lack of common sense and sensitivity in which they based their judgement. I had forgotten about them.

And all it took was a Blood Drive to make that happen.

I know, I know most people aren’t fans of needles, on account of the pain they inflict. But I’ve got a pretty high tolerance. Plus I’m more of a fear of roaches and rodents type of person, needles aren’t that bad.

So when I pulled into the parking lot of the Target and saw a lady dressed in blue scrubs standing in front of the blood mobile hesitantly asked me … Would you like to donate blood today?

I enthusiastically replied…YESSSSSSSS! YES I am!

She smiled as she looked for the clipboard.

They’d been out there ever since 10 a.m. so being that it was three o’clock I figured they’d had 50 or 100 people. But as it turns out I was number 12.

Number 12.

I felt both happy and sad. Happy that I was able to contribute something that would help a stranger who really needed something that only I could give, my awesome rare blood. But sad that I was only number 12.

But the nurses inside were so happy and grateful that I had taken the time to do this that they didn’t care that I just was number 12, they cared that I was a mother of two taking time out of her day to help someone, to save a life. They reminded me of gratitude. They reminded me of what was important. They reminded me of the person I was before I had a bad morning.

I was grateful for having remembered. I was grateful for random acts of kindness.

Being number 12 felt pretty good.

 

Waiting For The Lightness of Being

23 May

It happens. 

You try your best to stay on the positive tip, but sometimes you have no control over the way people are going to behave. People say things that cut through you even though you do your best to put up your defenses. People do  harmful things even if you’ve done your best to protect yourself.

It happens. 

And then you’re both angry and sad at the same time. 

It’s a weird vibe, but you have every right to feel the way you do, you’re entitled to feel that way, it’s your right.  You’re not clinging to it and you don’t enjoy it, you just feel that way, and it slowly begins to resolve itself after the apology … That’s  if one ever comes. 

If it doesn’t, the feeling festers and the recovery process takes longer, because it makes you believe the other people are not even sorry for what they’ve put you through.

It happens.

But spilling thousands of gallons of oil off the California coast, covering about 9 miles, not to mention the disasterous slick spreading to the ocean …. Dude that doesn’t just happen. That kind of stuff could be avoided.

This week there was a pipe rupture that was responsible for damaging miles of Santa Barbara’s most amazing and peaceful coast. Over 700 workers were doing their best to clean up the aftermath of this environmental mess. The fact that our Memorial Day Weekend plans were cancelled because of that didn’t upset me, it was the fact that the spill happened at all that sent me over the edge. Seeing the pictures of wildlife and the coast covered in gooey black oil really burned me out.

That’s where the anger and sadness cohabitate. I understand that the clean up efforts are working hard and I’m commending those marine biologists, workers, and other volunteers for their efforts, it’s just the fact that something like this happened (or happened again) that frustrates me the most.

The feeling won’t help the situation. It won’t. But I have it. 

Like in a relationship when your dude or lady does something and it angers or saddens you.  It hurts you, and you carry that feeling, that sense that you were wronged, until there’s  closure. Until things are resolved. Until your light again.

So that’s where I am … waiting for the lightness of being.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

13 Aug

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia

 

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia

 

Portrait or landscape either way… it still looks like a pretty spectacular place to go bungy jumping. But then again anything in Australia looks Bucket-List worthy especially when you’re on vacation.

 

 

Sandbox List Adventure II: Rocking Out STOMP-Blue Man Group Style

12 Jan

Quiet down.

Dude, no shouting.

Lower the volume.

Keep it down.

No yelling.

Not so loud.

People are sleeping.

What did I tell you about being noisy?

Shhhhhhhhhhh.

 

This is what my four-year old son and one-year old daughter heard for most of their short toddler life. I don’t really live in a country-like atmosphere where your next-door neighbor lives like an acre away. We got thin walls here in the city. Sound travels and not everybody appreciates the musical creativeness of banging on pots, pans, and empty five-gallon Sparkletts water bottles. Some people may not enjoy the Guat’s version of STOMP or The Blue Man group. They’d prefer the real thing. So I needed to regulate the noise level in our living room from time to time.

Well … in truth sometimes my son was just too loud in general, while his sister was napping, and that put an end to a much-needed nap, which was not cool.  So the shushing might have been an everyday occurrence outside of our “music time”.

But not today.

Today my kids, got a chance to rock out with all kinds of instruments on our all day music adventure. We headed out to a couple of free musical workshops where my kids got a chance to jam it without hearing one shush from me. They rocked out STOMP/Blue Man Group style and they loved it. I wasn’t sure everybody else was jamming it, but I know my kids were … Sandbox List Adventure No. 2 … Check!

 

 

At the first workshop, my kids were not shy about checking out the instruments ... We were new to the scene but made ourselves feel welcome.

At the first workshop, my kids were not shy about checking out the instruments … We were new to the scene but made ourselves feel welcome.

 

My kids jamming it with their mini tambourines, grooving to the Beatles. Yeah ... I know the Beatles.

My kids jamming it with their mini tambourines, jingle bells, and castanets. Grooving to the Beatles. Yeah … I know … the Beatles.

 

My son warming up before we hit the big leagues.

My son warming up on some little Target drums before we hit the Big Leagues.

 

The Big Leagues. We hit our second workshop: A Drum Circle.

The Big Leagues. We hit our second workshop: A Drum Circle. Our very first. And it wasn’t really a circle more like a gigantic oval. But no matter the shape, the Guats came ready to rock the rhythm party.

 

My daughter ready to jam it, as my son keeps up the pace.

My daughter ready to jam it, as my son, sitting next to her, keeps up the pace.

 

But it wasn’t only drums and  percussion beats at this awesome musical hangout, there was some microphone action, too. And as the drum leader asked for volunteers my son jumped at the opportunity to test his singing skills. After hearing the ABC song from a cute little girl, the Itsy-Bitsy-Spider song from another little boy, my son decides to sing “One Thing,” from One Direction, followed by a Maroon 5 ditty.

I was all smiles and laughter. No shushing at all.

Rocking out … rocks. We’ll definitely be back.

Keep Up The Good Work …

11 Jan

 

happyquote

Author Unknown

As my crazy 365-day-post-a-day anniversary approaches I wanted to let some of you bloggers and followers out there know that you’ve been the people who have made me laugh, and crack up. You motivated and inspired. You have been the good to my bad and ugly. You, and chocolate, have been a great support system.  You have been a good focus and I thank you.

Keep up the good work.