The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not


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Locals Lunch: The Belted Goat part deux

We were on a tight timeline today, so we didn’t get too crazy with Locals. But we had a new plus one (my peanut) to add to the interesting conversation. In honor of Brexit, I had fish & chips for lunch after spending the better part of the morning listening to The Beatles.

Lunch was just meh, but nevertheless I felt very continental. I figure Britain’s got a couple weeks to settle into its new predicament before we descend upon London.

My Adventurous Son regaled us with tales from behind the lens (including his work from the Women’s March in Raleigh and the Illiterate Light concert he shot last week at the Cat’s Cradle) and his excitement over the belted Galloways (he does love cows), before the discussion turned to politics. There’s a bunch of heavy shit happening in the world right now, but as I enjoyed a meal with some of my favorite people in the universe, I was reminded of how blessed I am to have strong women in my life and how fortunate I am to have equitable, #feminist men who love me. Pay attention, people … question everything, stand up for what’s right, speak out when you see something inequitable, and include people in your conversation who don’t just look like you. Enjoy the good times when they’re happening, and find a squad for locals lunch!


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Locals Lunch: The Belted Goat

Last year, my mom and I started something called ‘Locals Breakfast.’ My goal was twofold–keep her from turning feral, and be welcomed a la Norm and Cliff. After nearly every Monday morning at the same restaurant, here are the results:

  • they never learned either of our names,
  • they did have coffee ready for me and a Coke for her, and
  • they did remember our orders: scrambled eggs with bacon, sliced tomatoes and whole wheat toast for me; scrambled eggs, grits and sausage for her.

Did it chap our asses that we remained anonymous? Sorta, but two outta three ain’t bad. Now that loyalty isn’t a goal and anonymity isn’t a bother, we’re switching it up to lunch in the new year, and rotating restaurants. Sometimes it’s just the two of us, sometimes we have extras.

This week, my mom, whose colleagues referred to her as ‘Rah-Rah’ for years, came loaded for bear (check out her outfit). I complimented her wardrobe and accoutrement selection and she said, “Well, nobody’s beat the crap out of me yet.” So, winning.

I thought it would be interesting to wrap up our weekly discussion. This week’s was pretty obvious.

Rah-Rah: “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will set us back 50 years. Women have worked so hard to get where we are, and it’s just being chipped away. One of the things that’s so disturbing about voters in America is that they would support this administration no matter what happens, in order to have Roe v. Wade overturned … it’s as if no other issues matter. While that’s such a difficult and private decision for a woman to make–I wish it was something no one ever had to make–what I do support is having the option of making that decision.”

Thanks to the strong women in the world. You keep it running.


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A Nod to the Creators

I’ve been a writer for a long time. I started off at Nortel Networks in the late nineties before being sacked during the dot-com bust of the early millennium, and moved into the non-profit and then media worlds. Along the way I added graphic designer, photographer … and all the other things that are part of my interesting career. I’ve written white papers, grants, reports, essays, book reviews, newspaper and magazine articles, novels, children’s books, radio commercials, playbills, obituaries, and a daily advice column from the perspective of Basset hound Miss Fifi (one of my favorites). I pay attention to the finished product, yes, but I also pay attention to the creative process. I’ve been part of the creative process. And I give a nod to the creators.

Last month, I worked to revise and re-issue my first children’s book, Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen, which rolled off of copyright when its small indy publisher shuttered in 2016. It was both easy and difficult, challenging and rewarding, but ultimately satisfying. As a published author who is getting back in the game after a life- (and career-) altering trauma, I pay attention to the creators. The creators of the books, of the photographs, of the graphics, of the distribution … I pay attention to where I can submit my manuscripts and article ideas. When I read the news, both online and in print, I look at who wrote the story and provided the photos. Because it matters. The creators matter. There would be no content without them.

Today, the creator I honor is my son, who is an up-and-coming photographer kicking ass and taking names. It started last year with National Geographic, and brings us to today, with the moment in time he captured of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who kicked off a college tour of the Carolinas at UNC Chapel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.

Read the bylines.

Know who’s creating the things you’re reading and sharing and enjoying. Know the things they’re creating are the result of hard work, practice, talent, and skill.

Go Peyton! Go creators!


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A Dozen!

My sweet Magnolia May is 12 today.

She’s in good company, according to the ‘On this date’ section of our local newspaper. Mick Jagger is 76, Dorothy Hamill is 63, in 1775 the Continental Congress established a post office and appointed Benjamin Franklin as its Postmaster-General, and in 2016 Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party.

To celebrate, I think we’ll listen to some Stones and give Maggie a gold medal Frosty Paws this afternoon. It’s going to be a great day!


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Well, another summer in the books … which means it’s time to go back to college

I made it through another college departure, as our son headed off for his junior year after dinner.  And I didn’t even cry in front of him. much. We did it, I remind myself, as my emotions run the gamut from heartbroken to overjoyed … because all of our hoping, dreaming, planning, and saving have made it possible for him to return for another year to university, to pursue the things that most interest him, and will help build the man he is to become. But I’m sad … now it’s just me and Steve. Well, and my husband (who’s way better than Steve). Summertime is the best because we get in so much adventuring and dreaming and all the stuff. Sigh. Good luck to all the college-bound kids out there, and good luck to all their parents. You did it, even though it breaks your heart to know the future is just that much closer. If I close my eyes, I can still feel his little heart beat against my chest.

We adventured in Colorado this summer.


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Twenty-Four!

Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 24th anniversary. Wahoo!

 

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Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey are divided into 24 sections. There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. Twenty-four is the number of carats in pure gold. And 24 is the number of hours in a day that I love, with all my heart, my soul mate.

 


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Great advice from the keynote

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-12-12-19-pmThis morning I had the pleasure of going to the Durham Technical Community College 2016 Scholarship Breakfast. Sometimes it’s nice to be the only Sickles in town … I had a lovely breakfast, and got to sit with this year’s scholarship recipient and her mom.

All of the speakers were interesting, but Vinnay Khanna, the keynote speaker, was particularly extraordinary. He spoke of meeting the Dalai Lama as a child, and kicked off his conversation with thoughts on not letting others dissuade you from setting (or pursuing) lofty goals. He shared three substantive pieces of advice, and I want to pass them on. These work for short- and long-term goals.

  1. Have lofty goals.
  2. Work hard. Even if you’re the most gifted person in the world, why would you not work hard? “Set your goals so high that you have to fail. Don’t set them so low that you succeed.”
  3. Don’t worry about others. Don’t let other people discourage you from aiming high. Where you have been is not as important as where you are heading now.

So … what lofty goals do YOU have planned for today?