The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not


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Three-Cubed

Today Mr. Sickles and I are celebrating our 27th anniversary. He’s the WALL-E to my Eve. The Wesley to my Buttercup. The Jack Colton to my Joan Wilder.

That’s 3x3x3. Three-cubed. The Trinity of Trinities. We are the atomic number of cobalt. 27% of the universe is dark matter. The width of a tennis court is 27 feet wide. There are 27 cubes in a Rubik’s cube. Uranus has 27 moons. The Twenty-Seven club includes some of the greatest musicians, including Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days. Mozart was born on January 27 and produced 27 piano concertos and 27 concert arias. 27 is the only positive integer that’s three times the sum of its digits … like my family. We are the sum of our members, and we Sickles Three are mighty thankful for our health, happiness, and optimism.

Twenty-seven is a big deal. I’m proud of us!

___________________

Photo: Peyton Sickles


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First Annual Family SPAM Day Extravaganza!

I drove my cousin crazy a couple weeks ago when I posted a photo of a SPAM and egg biscuit. So when he and his family were relocating cross-country for the Coast Guard, they spent a couple of days with us in the meadow. Chief among his requests was a SPAM day. And thus was born our First Annual Family SPAM Day Extravaganza. We started out simple this year: SPAM and egg biscuits, with eggs from our girls. Next year we’re going to try fancy SPAM recipes, and to see if we can add more cousins and friends to the day. There’s a real SPAM day, but I think our extravaganza is going to be better because it’s us. Just saying.


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So long, Peter Pan

Last year, on top of stockpiling more beans than our digestive systems could handle, we stockpiled peanut butter. Because even at 23, our son has a PBJ every night before bed. For the last four years or so, his PB of choice was Peter Pan Simply Ground Honey Peanut Butter. It was anathema to me, a lifelong Crunchy Jif girl. And he was a lifelong Crunchy Jif boy until that Simply Ground crack hit his system. Since peanut butter is an affordable protein with a great shelf-life, it was an important staple in the diets of many people across the world. Hey, it was either that or Spam. But by the summer we were having trouble finding the good stuff, and did a little research. Turns out Peter Pan phased out Simply Ground, so I had everybody I knew on the lookout, whenever they braved a trip to the grocery store or Walmart. We bought our last three jars of Simply Ground in September, and spread it as thinly as possible to still consider it a PBJ. We got down to the last quarter of the last jar on planet Earth around December 5, and our son closed it up tight and stuffed it in the back corner of the pantry to, I don’t know, dip a spoon in there every couple of days to make it last. The shelf life on the jar was December 20, 2020 … well, folks, last night I pulled it out thinking we’d each have one last bite for our good fortune.

Gag. Believe the ‘use by’ dates on products in your pantry, people. Force yourself to finish your very favorite thing in the whole world, even if it’s the last one (I’m looking at you, Ho-Ho’s), because it’s even more of a punch to the teeth when you can’t eat the last bite because it’s bad. The Crunchy Jif lover in me rejoices to our return to the OG, but the Simply Ground boy in my son mourns Peter Pan’s decision to stop its production. I shake my fist at you, Peter Pan!


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Life goes on

I’m calling today the official end of the quarantine for our family, because after exactly 62 weeks (to the day) of my husband not traveling for work, today’s commute is thanks to United Airlines. In all the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, these last fifteen-and-a-half months have been an idyllic, paused moment of uninterrupted time together with my small trio. Mr. Sickles has been grounded, our son quarantined with us, and quite frankly, I’ve dreaded today’s inevitable disbursement. But it feels good to be back into a groove that is recognizable as our new normal. The one who pines the most with change is our sweet Magnolia May, who would rather spend the day under the covers. So whether you’ve already gotten back into your groove or it’s looming on the horizon, remember to budget time for a couple extra ball chases and leash walks.


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Adventuretime! Plus one edition

We decided to take it easy today and walked around downtown for a bit, then had lunch at the Small B&B Cafe. With my son, who everybody is crazy about. Neither Rah-Rah nor I bothered with fixing up our hair today because we’re still on the tail end of a super windy day yesterday. I wore my Paris beret, and Rah-Rah said she didn’t feel like setting her hair for a Cat-5, so you get what you get. What adventures have you been up to lately?

I’m adding this here because it’s one of my favorite photos. Mom’s always willing to do the craziest stuff for a photo. Here, she’s dreaming of being a hula hoop queen like Peggy Noodle, Hoop Queen, in my first children’s book. Go, mom!


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Ministry of Love and Happiness

I got ordained as a minister in 2017 as a backup for my friends Patrick and Tony, whose minister (and aunt) broke her leg days before their wedding. Fortunately, Patrick’s sister was able to fill the role, and I shelved my ministerial credentials and hopes and waited for the right friend to need them. Last weekend it happened, y’all: I performed the marriage of my great friend Cynthia and her new husband, Tim. I was nervous because there was a real McCoy priest in the family and in attendance, but as soon as I stood next to Tim on the beach, where he waited for his beloved to join him, I was calm. I’m never worried about the conversation of love and happiness, because I’m both a writer and a romance author … I just needed to get past the nerves.

Like Ringo Starr, Dennis Leary, and Debbie Reynolds, I’m ordained through the Universal Life Church. I don’t know what they’re qualified for, but I do it all but christenings and exorcisms — I’m not messing with anybody’s religion because who needs that zap to the karma — I’m as good as any captain of the sea. So, argh!, HMU if you need a wedding minister. 😉


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Adventuretime! Watercolors edition

At the beginning of the year, I started having Adventuretime! with my mom as a way to keep her active and engaged. We have a tasty lunch, do a little exercise, and use some brain power. Some weeks we color, some weeks we dance, some weeks we walk. This week, we headed to my mother-in-law’s house to do a little painting.

My MIL’s a retired math teacher, so it’s no surprise she was able to do a quick watercolor lesson. We started with a chaos background and built up from there. Lunch was a collective effort of homemade chicken and Israeli couscous soup and salad. And since we’ve all gotten COVID-19 vaccinations (the moms are finished, and I’ve gotten my first dose), we had free Krispy Kreme donuts for dessert. I mean …


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Adventuretime! Silver sneakers edition

Patty Pineapple is a force to be reckoned with, and in her late seventies still runs circles around people decades younger than her. She’s an old pro at Silver Sneakers and has great advice and resources on stretching and senior yoga. This week, she wowed us with her exercise ball … by the time I got home, my husband had ordered one for me and Rah-Rah. Now we are all badass athletes with professional equipment.


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Adventuretime! Nordic walking poles edition

Now that Rah-Rah’s an ‘active senior,’ and basically an athlete, we got her some Nordic walking poles. Or as she likes to call them, “my sticks.” My friend Denise’s mother, Omi, is German and an old pro at the walking poles and gave me some good advice: “Make sure you stand up straight, don’t reach out.” It was good advice, and jives with Rah-Rah’s habit of getting her hips under her before she begins walking … she’s got two bionic knees. Check her out:


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Adventuretime! Vaccine edition

Have you gotten your COVID-19 vaccination yet? Our family is underway. Rah-Rah, Patty Pineapple and our son’s girlfriend, Leighronious have already gotten their first shots. My husband is up next, followed by me (community college adjunct) and our son (frontline journalist). Within the next 10 days, we should all be somewhere on the vaccination spectrum. Thanks to everyone in the community who’d doing their part to keep each other safe, and thanks to our frontline workers who are keeping the country going! PS. Check out mom’s new specs. #winning