The value of time? Priceless.

There are many things we cannot put a price on; love, trust, time…especially time… The value is priceless – it is just that simple.

goose

My daughter’s laugh; priceless (and contagious)

There is just not enough time for us to have fun together; we always want more.

If I could pay for more time with her, I would surely rob a bank.

just-dirt

finished

close-up

We paint, we plant, we indoor skydive, we vacation, we explore, we adventure…never enough time… value of time is priceless.

Quirky habits are not finger licking good

We all have quirky habits, and typically we don’t even know about them until they are brought to our attention. Case in point: apparently with every bite of food I take, I tap the utensil thrice (not once, not twice… but thrice…you saw that coming right?) before bringing it to my mouth. I was completely oblivious to this fact until my very astute boyfriend brought it to my attention.  I caught myself doing it and realized it was a subconscious effort to keep any droplets or loose food from falling off my utensil while on its way up to my pie hole.

Some may find that endearing while others may want to stab themselves in the eye with a rusty fork; to each his own.

Quirky habit of my boyfriend which I find completely hysterical and endearing at the same time is watching him flip out when he sees someone lick their fingers before separating the plastic grocery bags or better yet when the food prep person licks their fingers to separate the sheets before placing a sandwich on it. He completely loses his mind, looks me straight in the eye and says, ‘why don’t they just spit directly on my food, it’s the same God damn thing’….only this goes on for about 10 minutes as I try to hold back my laughter and sympathize at the same time. He has an excellent point it just doesn’t bother me the same way.

plastic bag

Have a nice day? Not if you lick your fingers before touching my grocery bag!

This post is in response to the prompt of the day:

Quirk of Habit

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others

Indoor Skydiving Anyone??

giselleflyingNever did I think I would step out of my comfort zone for this type of ‘adventure’ but at the same time, I do like to try something new; paradox, right? So time for an Adventures in the Mini segment – bring it on!

toriaflying

What is indoor skydiving? A large indoor vent/fan pushes you upward with I have no idea how many psi. But it must be a whole lot because it can push you 20 or so feet in the air.  

After check in, there is a short class on hand signals from the instructor (chin up, relax, legs straighter or bent) to fly more evenly. They forgot to mention ‘tighten up your core and you shoot straight up’. I learned that very quickly and was close to out of reach with the instructor jumping to bring me to back to ‘controlled’.

At that moment I had a Charlie moment from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Faculty – Charlie moves skyward from swallowing too many bubbles from the new drink. Up I flew and laughed so hard I was drooling… no picture… not that I would post it if I had one.

It is a very similar feeling to skydiving without the 10,000 feet fall (and the prayers to please allow the shoot to open).

I strongly recommend you trying it. I have always wanted to fly and this is the close I will ever get to it.

A post for Adventures in the Mini but also fits the category in the Daily Post: Beyond the Pale: When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?

 

The city I love to hate

smiley-face-1
An original Harvey Ball smiley face (image: The World Smiley Foundation)

Worcester: A stale lifeless zombie with empty eyes longing for fresh blood and tasty brains to create life once again and live up to the potential it had for so many years prior. Through no fault of her own, the townspeople have beaten her into this vegetative-zombie state and so she will remain until a hero can save her.

Before we move on, let’s get one thing straight, the zombie’s name is pronounced Wista. Not Wor-cess-ter, nor Wor-chester. She gets very angry when you mispronounce her name. I won’t lie, I get very angry, not her.

I didn’t always hate the city of Worcester. When I was young it was a great place to raise a family. Parks with baseball games, super tall swings, ‘petting’ zoos full of goats, sheep, peacocks, deer and buffalo that roamed in their pens, throwing bread in the pond to feed the fish, swimming in the lake or being brave enough to enter the water using the tire swing… everything you would picture the Norman Rockwell picture of America to be like. A blue collar working class city and as the second largest city in all of New England, if you didn’t know everyone, you know a person who knew that person or someone related to that person. It was that kind of place.

Probably the second most iconic smiley face (Mona Lisa being the first) was created by Harvey Ball 50+ years ago in, you guessed it, Worcester! That big yellow ball with its quirky smile has been seen world-wide hundreds of times over. While there is much controversy over this well-known smile due to copyright issues, until history wants to give me a definitive answer, I give credit to Mr. Ball.

Here is a little background on Worcester:  The city is built on seven hills, they create the topography and explain why there are very few bicyclists among the traffic…their common English names are: Grafton Hill, Bell Hill, Airport Hill, Bancroft Hill, Green Hill, Pakachog Hill, and Vernon Hill. The 4-mile long lake that runs through it is Lake Quinsigamond, glacier created and home to the inter-collegiate regatta since 1859.

If you came from the Salisbury Street/west side area, you had money (period), if you lived on ‘the hill’ you were probably lower middle class, if you lived in the South end, more than likely you had a harder life but just didn’t know it at the time, and if you were from the Piedmont Street area well… it was known as the shall we say ‘working girl’ section of town, and like any good city, it knew to keep itself in check, not seeping into other neighborhoods.

Worcester is deep in history; it boasts such names as Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, Abraham Lincoln who visited and spoke at City Hall (1848), it is home to Marshall “Major” Taylor who held seven world records for his professional bicycle racing and the second African-American to hold a world record in any sport (1899), and John Adams worked as a school teacher and studied law (1755-1758), just to name a few.

The Blackstone Canal (1828) allowed the city to thrive and become a huge source for textiles, shoes, and clothing and known to be the largest inlet port on the east coast. This canal also led to a huge immigration of Irish, French, and Swedish in the mid-19th century.

In 1831, Ichabod Washburn opened Washburn & Moen which shortly thereafter became the largest wire manufacturing company in the country, then brought more manufacturing to the area and became the center of machinery and wire products for companies such as Wyman-Gordon, American Steel & Wire, Morgan Construction and Norton Company. The Royal Worcester Corset Factory (1908) was the largest employer of women in the United States at the time.  If you have ever had a soda made by Polar Beverages (1882), you are drinking from a fourth-generation family owned business that abuts Rte 290 and has the smiling blown up mascot Orson the Polar Bear waving to you (who has been the butt of many college pranks and stolen many times over). In the years 1949, 1960, 1965, 1981, AND 2000 Worcester was voted All-American City!

You want inventions? We gave you Candlepin bowling in 1879 (which is still a New England thing where you bowl with pins that are a different shape, the ball fits into the palm of your hand and you throw three times as compared to twice with 10-pin bowling), the first massed produced Valentine Day card in 1847, the first organized protest against the U.S. Government (known as Shays Rebellion), the first monkey wrench (1840), the first envelope folding machine (1853), the typewriter as we know it today (Charles Thurber 1940) the first pressurized space suit developed at David Clark Company who are still leaders in aerospace developers this day and age, delicious Table Talk pies of all flavors (to include the one of the best Boston crème pies you will ever taste) and more…

It is home to some of the best and brightest who attended the schools: Worcester Polytech Institute (WPI), College of the Holy Cross, Clark University (Albert Einstein spoke here), University of Massachusetts Medical School (and Nobel Prize winner for Medicine 2006), Assumption College, Worcester State College, Becker University, and Quinsigamond Community College – all right here within the city limits!

But what have you done for me lately and why all the hate? Sadly, as hard as this city tries to regain some of its grandeur, the residents will not allow it, and they are in essence, the living breathing ‘city’. More drugs, more crime, and more violence pushed the working class (the backbone and those financially sustaining the city) to move out and rely on being subsidized by state and federal monies instead.

Does she try very hard to cater to the families of young children with classes at the library and Y, yes. Does she cater to the many colleges with plenty of bars to decompress from finals, yes.  She also has one amazing (and second largest in New England) art museum established in 1898, the Higgins Armory which was the one and only of its kind, (closed only recently 1931-2013) and was dedicated to arms and armor in the country, one ‘acoustical masterpiece’ known as Mechanics Hall, one theatre for plays/comedians (Hanover Theater), one civic center (the Centrum as it will always be called I don’t care who has the bigger check to rename it) but that is pretty much it.

Back in the day, the Downtown/Main Street area would ROCK; live music, DJs, dance clubs, all genres of music and all within walking distance of one another. These days, walk around on Main Street on any given night and you may find one or two places to have a drink but the distance between them and any other establishment would be cause for concern as there are blocks and blocks of abandon buildings or shops that close at 6:00 pm.

Thus the zombie is born…dutifully obeying its master, not growing, not thriving, day in and day out simply existing…and it just breaks my heart…no big yellow smiley face here Mr. Ball.

 

In response to today’s prompt-We Built This City: What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?

 

Look at me, I am flying!

flying turtle

Go big or go home. If I cannot fail– I want to fly. Not in an airplane, or a light craft, or with some other device, I want to truly fly…I want the force of the air to hold me up. I don’t care if it’s a simply as sticking my arms out like a plane, flapping them like a bird, or take a running start to lift off, I want to fly.

The closest to this feeling I have ever experienced is being on super huge swing – the feeling of zero gravity at that pivotal moment, the breeze blowing through my hair, my eyes tearing from the force of the wind and then looking up at the sky as if I were just mere inches away to touch it…

Flying is the one thing we cannot experience, no wholeheartedly anyway. We swim with the fishes and yes we need to come up for air here and there but we still swim. But fly?! Not only are we not built to fly (aerodynamically), Mother Nature did not equip us with an internal gyroscope necessary to navigate the 3 dimensional aerial world.

Something like a wish or a superpower, but hey, I didn’t come up with the daily question and there are no stipulations.

In response to today’s question: Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail.

(tutle photo: gchewlin.blogspot.com)

Happiness is a dirty smiling face

In response to today’s prompt question, this is what happiness means to me:

???????????????????????????????They say the first thing that pops into your head is usually the correct answer and this was it.             Happiness is a dirty smiling face.

One of the many adventures Goose and I have had together, destination: Aruba. The endeavor that was in store for us on this particular day involved several broken down ATVs, a swim in the Natural Pool, stepping on a sea urchin (and therefore having them stick 4 inches out of her foot), and the guide forgetting his wallet at the beach and having to wait until dusk until he arrived back to guide us to the garage. Although Goose was in pain from the sea urchin, she didn’t complain, still drove the ATV back, and then dealt with the ER wait and doctor’s remedy of, ‘sorry there is nothing we can do, it has to work itself out’….

Yup she is a trooper, amazing, my daughter, my Goose, and my travel partner until the end.

Happiness is indeed a dirty smiling face….through the good times and bad….love you more

 

I have to wait my turn to pee

ghosts

In my house there were two adults and four children, all on the same floor, all sharing the same bathroom. Those were the days right? One person in the shower, one brushing his teeth and one having to pee; everyone minding their own business and keeping on schedule….nothing to see here, just keep moving.

My bedroom was only three short steps away from the bathroom but during the night it seemed like a dark wooded scene from Sleepy Hollow with miles before I found a place to assist me in my quest for relief.

As I stood in my doorway, I could feel the fear of anxiety fill me. Darkness. Who knows what lurks in the darkness. It can’t be seen and the thought of the unknown is usually more stressful.  I had little to say in the matter for Nature was calling but hated to leave the safety of my bedroom. So as I stood there contemplating my situation, I would picture ghosts passing in front of me like cars and I was the pedestrian waiting for the crosswalk sign to light up indicating my turn; only then would I take those quick steps into the bathroom. True story.

I think that was my coping device to handle my fear of the dark. If I had to wait for the coast to clear the ghosts would abide and let me into the lane when I got the green light without incident; that’s how the adults typically do it when they drive anyway….

In reply to the Daily Post nudge… #5 your childhood fear

(photo: theguardian.com)