Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Smiling through Life

Next week I will add another 20 something year, to my 20 somethingness. I'm not too worried about adding another year as I would be ridiculous to worry about being in my twenties. I've felt like an adult for a while now, getting married at a young age and accepting the responsibility that comes with that will do that to you. (And I wouldn't change anything about it!) I will admit that I have begun taking fish oil to help prevent any heart issues and getting blood work done to make sure everything is working the way it's supposed to. (So far so good…) I also work out and have a healthy diet, but these are just preventative measures so that when I am 50 I won't be in a hospital bed complaining of chest pain and told I'm prediabetic. There is one thing I have been slightly concerned with as adulthood has basically become official: Wrinkles. Yes even my young adult 20 something self, is concerned with wrinkles.‏

I have a small secret to admit to cyberspace and those who actually read my silly little blog. I’ve used under eye wrinkle cream since I turned 20. My tall, Dutch, nursing school, friend Alice was the one who got me started. She was talking about how she knew she would get wrinkles because her parents weren’t even that old, and the signs of the sun had creeped upon their faces. I wasn’t super concerned because my mom looks pretty darn good for her age, and my dad looks pretty good too. Still, I didn’t want to leave it all up to genetics, so I bought some eye cream and started using it religiously.

My little preventative winkle regimen isn't an exact science. Sometimes I will buy a generic brand, sometimes some Oil of Olay, once I used Garnier, or Kirkland brand. All of them pretty much have the
same ingredients, but for science’s sake I should have been more consistent.

As I approach my additional 20 something year, I have noticed that my anti wrinkle regimen has not worked. I have a few little lines starting to show under my eyes. This really isn't the biggest deal in the world, but I
mean, I'm supposed to have genetics plus my preventative creams on my side! I tagged teamed those wrinkle with my best ammo, and I’m still seeing the tell tale signs of aging.

I have come up with a list of possible reasons as to why I have some under eye wrinkles and the list is as follows: Make up, perhaps Bare Minerals isn't as amazing as it claims to be? SPF, maybe I should have listened to my mom and put on that extra coat of sunscreen? Or perhaps my circadian rhythm disorder from night shift nursing is getting to me? Maybe generic brands don't work? Maybe my parents passed on the nondominate wrinkle gene? There are endless possibilities.

The other night we went to dinner with my parents and brother for a pre birthday celebration for my mom and yours truly. I told my dad about my winkle predicament. Of course he knew just what to say, "It's because you are smiling your way through life!" He was half kidding, but I like the idea of my smile wrinkles, and I'm going to roll with it. I'll still use my various eye creams, (because who knows maybe I would have more wrinkles?!) but I'm definitely not going to stop smiling. Bring it on wrinkles. Bring it on.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Multitasking Marcher

There are times when I do two things at once. I can cook dinner and do the dishes. I can do laundry and workout. I can read and listen to Danny tell me about his day. I can walk for a good cause and help the environment. Danny says that there is no such thing as multi tasking, that in fact I am doing one thing, stopping what I am doing and doing the other. Until recently I understood where he was coming from, but pretended to be a good multitasker anyways. After all I am a woman, and that’s what we are supposed to be good at.

This past Saturday I participated in the March of Dimes walk for babies. Being a NICU nurse, the cause is one I hold near to my heart. Plus I could get a nice little walk in after my long night at work…then go home and sleep like a baby.

I walked with some of my friends/coworkers and their beautiful babies. My godson Ryan came along for the ride. He was a late pre term infant…who has been growing like a weed into a big healthy boy. During our march, it was brought up that the March of Dimes was started by Franklin D Roosevelt in his fight to find a cure for polio. (Yay vaccines!) People were asked to donate a dime towards the cause. My sleepless/ignorant mind had no idea that this was how the March of Dimes started. Of course I knew FDR had been paralyzed from polio, but clearly I should have looked into the cause I am supporting a little more.

This news was very exciting to me. In fact it reenergized me. I mean we basically cured polio! How amazing is this?! I definitely started walking with more purpose. If a group of people donating dimes and marching 4.2 miles can help some scientist discover a vaccine against polio, think of what else we can do.

As we were passing one of the rest stops, I noticed tons of tiny Dixie cups littering the sidewalks. I was hoping that the litter was the result of little children and not adults. Either way, it needed to be picked up. As awesome as the March of Dimes is, I’m sure they don’t have a street cleaner like New Orleans does during Mardi Gras.

I decided to take action. If we can cure polio we can do anything. I can pick up all these Dixie cups while marching for babies. My friends helped out with my additional cause. We can help the world in more ways than one, in a single instance. We can multitask.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Swiss Club

A few thoughts come to mind when I hear the word Swiss. These thoughts include: chocolate, the Alps, yodeling, army knives, neutrality, and delicious holey cheese. These thoughts alone should have made me more curious about this far off land. I mean the idea of cheese, chocolate, and knives (that can scale a fish, remove a splinter, open a bottle, and has a tooth pick to get the left over cheese out of my teeth) should have prompted me to book the next flight to Switzerland. Since I have moved to Ripon, my thoughts about the Swiss have expanded. Along with my previous list of all things Swiss, I must add the city of Ripon.

I know this is confusing, as my normal thought pattern is Ripon = all things Dutch, however there is a small plot of land in this almond stuffed town that is solely dedicated to all things Swiss.

The Swiss Club has always been synonymous with mystery for myself. When I was a young child, I assumed the building was part of the Red Cross. I should have thought harder about that one, as the Swiss flag’s cross is actually white surrounded with red. My fascination with the Swiss Club grew, when Danny mentioned he had heard a rumor about some of the activities that take place inside the secretive Swiss club. Since moving to Ripon and purchasing a home near the Swiss club, I am reminded almost daily of its mysteries. This has set up the perfect opportunity for me to write an investigative blog.

As I usually do for my investigations, I was going to go on a lovely little bike ride to closely inspect the Swiss Club surroundings, however the weather is not permitting it. This is okay because my brain is a steal trap, full of Omega 3s and detailed pictures of the Swiss Club.

The Swiss Club is partially surrounded by a tall cement block wall. The other gated section is a tall chain link fence. It probably has barbed wire atop of it to keep out all those non Swiss Riponites. Although, my steal trap might be failing me with this image. Behind all these cautionary walls are tall evergreen trees, so that even a 5 foot 5 girl standing atop of her bike pedals cannot see the Swiss happenings. Fortunately, there is an iron gate with spaces wide enough to see through. The iron gate has a Swiss flag on it, as well as an American flag. The American flag is probably for show, to avoid any questions of patriotism. The actual Swiss Club building looks exactly like one would imagine a Swiss Club to look like. It’s a white building with faux dark wood shutters outside each window. The windows also have Swiss flower boxes under each of them. There is a large parking lot in front of the building, some of it is paved the other part is dirt. On Friday and Saturday nights the parking lot is always full of Swiss vehicles. There is a house on the Swiss grounds where either the groundskeeper or president of the Swiss Club resides. Behind the building is where all of the outdoor Swiss action takes place. There is a bbq pit, a playground for the little Swissys, and a cedar pit surrounded with bleachers. I have never been inside the Swiss Club, as I am not Swiss and have not been invited by a Swiss , but I imagine it has a dance/dining hall with wood paneling everywhere and pictures of the old country. There is likely an indoor cedar pit as well.

My possibly Swiss husband has heard that Swiss wrestling takes place inside/outside these walls. Of course Danny is interested in all things wrestling, so whenever he is talking to someone who has dared to enter the club, he asks about the wrestling. Our real estate agent, Bob, happens to be Swiss. I mean super Swiss… his sister…or maybe sister in law…lives in the old country. Naturally Bob is an active Swiss club member. When he was trying to sell us a house he must of caught on to our interest in the Swiss happenings, as he offered a few bits of top secret Swiss information in exchange for commission.

Swiss wrestling may or may not be, exactly what you imagined. Bob said whenever an event takes place there is wrestling, dancing, eating, and “being silly.” “Silly,” was Bob’s semi professional way of saying drinking. Swiss wrestling typically involves old Swiss men wearing potato sack looking underwear outside their clothes with either suspenders or a belt somehow attached to the underwear. The wrestlers use the belts/suspenders to pin their opponent. The wrestling takes place on a soft bed of cedar saw dust. Once someone is pinned, the winner brushes the saw dust off the loser's back after the match.

If you have ever been to a wrestling match, you know how thrilling it can be. I imagine Swiss wrestling blows high school wrestling out of the water. With each grunt and drunken throw, a cloud of saw dust must fill the air. For even more drama, a drunken crowd sways their beer steins back and forth as a fast paced wrestling yodel occurs.

After the dramatic wrestling event, a traditional Swiss dance takes place with more drinking and yodeling. The champion probably gets to sit in a special Swiss chair and all the Swiss ladies flock to him.

Besides the top secret information that Bob offered up, I am unsure of what else happens inside the walls of the Swiss Club. I assume there are meetings about chocolate and cheese. There may be yodeling concerts. There are slide shows presentations on the Alps and neutrality. Of course there are meetings held on what the newest addition should be to the Swiss Army knife. I hear the knife is getting Wi-Fi.

With my investigation I have discovered that Ripon’s Swiss club has a website, in fact they even have a Facebook page. I skimmed the website and found that parts of my investigation could be totally false or totally true, and it may or may not be easier than I think to get into the Swiss club.

Watch this quick video for a taste of Schwingen:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CSA Time

Community sponsored agriculture groups are the coolest. Not only do you get a bunch of random fresh vegetables for a decent price every week, but being part of one is excellent for the earth. What’s good for the earth is good for you and me.

What exactly is a CSA you may ask? A Community Sponsored Agriculture group is exactly what its name says. Farmers sell a share of their vegetables (sometimes fruit too) to people interested in vegetables and all the goodness they have to offer. The vegetables usually come in a large box/crate. The vegetables are always seasonal and therefore super fresh (and full of all those good vitamins and minerals).

What’s so much better about a CSA than the conventional grocery store you ask? Because CSA’s work on Mother Nature’s time, like I previously mentioned, everything is fresh. Of course you can go to the local super market and get a tomato that appears fresh, but that tomato has a hidden secret.

The grocery store tomato may appear perfectly shaped, perfectly colored, and have the perfect amount of shine to it, but these are typically false advertisements. How do those perfectly red tomatoes make it to our local grocer in the middle of winter? They are either shipped from somewhere ridiculously far away like Israel, or they are picked green and gassed with ethylene to make them appear ripe. The tomatoes are then refrigerated to make it from across the country. According to tomato experts, (even non tomato experts like myself) tomatoes should never be refrigerated. The red tomato never really was red.

I won’t get into pesticides and all the horrible things surrounding their use. I will mention that because the CSA grows such a variety of vegetables, they don’t have to use pesticides. If they do, they are the all-natural-not-going-to-hurt-you pesticides. Many grocery stores are selling organic, pesticide free, veggies now which are good, but not great, as they have to travel from far off places (which I will discuss in a moment). The “red” tomato at the grocery store, unless labeled organic, definitely has been treated with pesticides. Pesticides kill bugs…what makes us think we are so much better than a bug….

Since all this CSA veggie goodness is grown locally, the food doesn’t have to travel far to your lovely dinner plate. That means there is less oil consumption, less pollution, etc. For those of you who would rather vomit than care about the earth, that means less diesel trucks on the freeway so you can get to where you are going faster.

A selfish reason for joining a CSA is that the vegetables simply taste better! And why wouldn’t they? A scientifically ripened tomato will never taste as good as an all natural one.

CSAs are also affordable. Danny and I get a half share of vegetables every week. We pay for 12 weeks at a time which is $200. That may sound like a lot of cash, but if you do the math that’s only $16.67 per week for a huge box of veggies that will last all week and feeds a family of 2-4. I guarantee if you eat vegetables on a semi regular basis, this is cheaper than the super market.

Perhaps the coolest part about a CSA is that every week is a surprise. Since the farmer doesn’t force anything to be red when it’s not supposed to be, you eat what is in season. If the tomato needs another week to ripen, so be it. Granted I don’t like every single thing that I get in the share, but I always give it a try or find someone who does like it. Eating something that doesn’t send me begging for seconds every time isn’t going to kill me, in fact it probably has a nutrient in it that will help to not kill me. (Shout out to you beets!) Generally though, all the weird squashes and funky looking leaves taste pretty darn good.

Did I mention because we have a share on the farm, we can visit it when we want to? That’s right Danny and I can go hang out with Farmer Bob Whitaker. (I know what an awesome farmer name!) We can actually meet the man growing our food…and not the machine shaking it off the bush.

There is so much more to say about the benefits of a CSA, but I will let your wondering minds discover the benefits yourself. And if the CSA thing is too much for you, or you are not a huge veggie fan and just want your red tomato, then plant a tomato plant. That’s the ultimate gift to yourself and our world.

Here is a link to the CSA I am a part of in French Camp, CA

Or you can check out for a CSA closer to you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

(Warning this is a super long blog!)

There is something so wonderfully magical about Disneyland that even hoards of whiney children, massive strollers ramming into you at every turn, and 50 minute wait times cannot bring you down. Even technical difficulties on Splash Mountain, couldn’t dampen our 20 something year old spirits. Walt Disney truly got it right when he made this fantasy land.

Our morning started out by Melisa and me waking up with far less sleep than recommended by the sleep gods. Alisha made us her famous 50 cents breakfast. Breakfast was scrambled egg with chives and cheese atop of a cheese roll. The carbs were for an instantaneous burst of energy and the protein was to give us the stamina needed to outlast even the most sugar fueled 7 year old. It was delicious and nutritious.

Our next stop was coffee and the ATM machine, because even dreams come at a price. The drive from Long Beach to Disneyland was a short one, and the only traffic we encountered was in the Disneyland parking garage. As we took the escalator down, the excitement was tangible. Our chariot (tram) awaited to take us to our magical destination. We did a quick elementary school group high/low five to pump us up, and off we went.

As we entered the gate the first priority was a bathroom stop. I almost held it. As I took in the sights and sounds of Main Street USA, I let out a small “awwww.” Disneyland does not skimp on details. Everything from the flowers in the window boxes to the Juliette balconies look authentically cute.

Walking down Main Street we saw Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The castle is synonymous with Disney. It symbolizes every child’s dream before they become jaded by the harsh reality that life is not a fairytale after all. The castle seemed smaller than I remember, however I am bigger. Even though life isn’t a fairy tale, Disney gave us three musketeers a chance to forget about all the evils in the world for one long imaginative filled day.

We took out our trusty map and planned our day. Our plan of attack was to start in Adventureland and make our way around the park. However, our plan was flexible. Indiana Jones was our first stop. After waiting for 5 minutes and the line moving 2 feet, we decided to get on the “Fast Pass” plan. Next to staying the night in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the fast pass is Disney’s best idea. We simply put our tickets in the fast pass machine, and received a pass for Indiana Jones, that had an hour block of time where we could return and skip ahead of the line.

Fast pass in hand we went on to the Haunted Mansion. The magic of Disney was on our side, as there was no line for the Haunted Mansion. The three of us shoved our cheese roll filled hips into a single cart and off we went. The ghosts and goblins had their little party…as Madame Leota summoned the spirits in the séance room. We even picked up a ghostly hitch hiker on our “doom” buggy. I’m surprised he found space between our cheese roll hips.

With a few minutes to spare before Indiana Jones we attempted to go on Splash Mountain, unfortunately it was out of order. This is a shame because Alisha and I convinced our gullible friend Melisa that she wouldn’t get wet at all. So on to Winnie the Pooh's adventure. This ride may be for little kiddos, but the day was all about rekindling our childhoods. It was a blast; Pooh bear sure knows how to have a sweet time.

Pirates of the Caribbean, yet another Disney favorite, had for some reason a short line. So on we went. Pirates of the Caribbean has been updated since the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Some extremely convincing Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow puppets are now on the ride. This prompted me to ask Alicia, “Is that an actor?” Thankfully Disney left many of the classics, like the auctioned off brides chasing the pirates around in circles, in the ride. The best part of the ride had to be us three ladies simultaneously swinging our arms side to side and singing along to, "Yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me!"

To waste time we took a gander up the Tarzan tree house. The steps went on forever. At the end we agreed that made room for more theme park treats. The tree used to be modeled after the Swiss Family Robinson’s tree house, which I much prefer to Tarzan, however Disney has to keep up with the current kiddo trend. Oh well, I’m probably the only person concerned with the Tarzan tree house formerly known as the Swiss Family Tree house.

Finally it was Indiana Jones time! Fast pass in hand, we skipped past the sad little line waiters to the front. Fortunately we got to sit in the front car. Alisha drove, and she did a fine job avoiding the giant snake, weaving in between arrows headed straight for our dream filled brains, and ducking under a boulder that was bound to crush us. As we got off we were pumped. We hummed along to the theme song, “Dunn du-dun dun, dun dunnn dunnn, dunn du- dun dun dun dunnn dunn.”

We grabbed a fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and were forced to skip over most of Frontierland as Tom Sawyer’s island was closed for renovations. We tried the Matterhorn but the line wrapped around the snow covered mountain. Disney forgot to put a fast pass machine on this ride (silly Disney!) so Mr. Toad’s wild ride was in store. Alisha flirted with Mr. Toad. I drove Melisa and myself, with our destination being the same as all others who dare to ride: Hell. Luckily it’s just pretend and our angelic selves exited the ride unscathed.

Thunder Mountain railroad was fun. The western themed ride jerked us around and caused concern as to whether my head band was going to fly off. If it did, it totally would have been worth it.

Lunch was in Fantasyland as we couldn’t bear to watch a western musical show at the bbq place in Frontierland. We were unable to find places to sit inside or outside the restaurant, so we ate our underwhelming hamburgers next to the Dumbo ride.

Fantasyland, my favorite, was packed with strollers, tiny children, and long lines sans fast passes so we went to Tomorrowland to get a glimpse into the future. While we got a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blast, we rested our laurels on Captain EO’s 3D adventure. With the recent passing of Michael Jackson, Disneyland brought back the version with him in it. (Not very futuristic of you Disney.) Still there was no wait, and it was fun to put on large yellow glasses. Alisha particularly loved it, because she got to put the glasses over her glasses. Captain EO turned Alisha from “four eyes” to “six eyes,” now that’s futuristic…

Autotopia was next. Autotopia was not as awesome as I remember. Maybe because I now can drive a real car that is more powerful than a lawn mower? Whereas last time I drove the little car, my driver’s license was a distant dream. Alisha’s car kept dying, and Melisa got the periwinkle convertible that I desperately wanted. Still it was fun, since Alisha’s car kept dying I accidently bumped her, which caused Melisa to bump me, creating our own mini version of bumper cars.

The Buzz Lightyear Astro Blast awaited us. Riding in the space car and shooting targets with little laser guns was just the ticket to make up for the lackluster Autotopia cars. Alisha, a budding video game expert, won, I got second place, and little Melisa bless her heart, came in last.

We decided to wait in the regular long line for Space Mountain. Melisa and I had never been on it before. When I was little I was too afraid, and during my high school senior trip it was closed. While waiting in line a group of about six 12 year old girls were trying to keep themselves entertained. They loudly chanted “boom chica boom boom boom boom” and did silly looking dance moves as they got louder and louder and increasingly annoying with their boom chica chant. After 40 minutes of ear splitting tweenage chanting they were finally let on the ride, and our headaches went away. Once we finally got on Space Mountain, Alisha warned us it was very fast and very dark. Mine and Melisa’s stomachs did a little flip flop, but we put on a brave face. The ride flung us around seemingly defying gravity as stars shot past us. The three of us could not stop giggling/screaming. We aren’t really a screaming bunch, but it felt appropriate, and for a moment we were probably as annoying as the tweenagers chanting boom chica.

On a hunt for ice cream we went to Toon Town. We played around in Goofy's play house, disappointed that we could not find the kind of ice cream that we wanted. A newly single Melisa wanted to get Mickey’s number, (because after all he has a job) but the line was way too long for me and Alisha. Pluto would have to suffice, sorry Melisa.

We tried our luck on Splash Mountain again. We were making good progress when we noticed the logs had stopped making their way over the edge of the waterfall. Once again we couldn’t get on and once again, mine and Alisha’s plan to mess up Melisa’s perfect hair was foiled.

Our dogs were barking, so we exited the park to get some food. Rain Forest Café seemed appropriate for our Disney themed day. Unfortunately the wait was an hour and forty five minutes. Where was the fast pass when we needed it the most? Espn Zone was next door, and while I may be the only person remotely interested in the games being shown on the screens, no one cared because we wanted to sit and fill our belly’s with grub. The food and service was mediocre, but our child like energy was fading and a rest was just what we needed.

After a quick stop to purchase a Nightmare Before Christmas sweatshirt for Alisha’s cold self, we went back to the park. The Matterhorn line was still wrapped around the mountain, so It’s a Small World it was. As annoying and cheap looking as It’s a Small World is, it’s still fun to look at all the puppets and think that my parents probably rode a ride very similar to the one I rode that day. A little Dutch lady greeted me, reminding me of home, and a Mountie greeted my Canadian born friend Melisa.

I desperately wanted to go on the Peter Pan ride before we left. We went to get in line, but were told the ride was closing for the fireworks show. I was disappointed. Peter Pan’s Flight has to be my favorite ride in the park. After boarding a pirate ship with a sprinkle of pixie dust, the ship magically flies over London and Neverland. It is one of the few rides left from the original Disneyland opening in 1955. It reminds me of eating air popped pop corn out of my mom’s old aluminum pot with my brother, while my mom put on Peter Pan for us to watch. Fortunately for me, I have a good memory and can imagine being on the ride like yesterday. That’s part of the magic of Disney, it leaves lasting impressions.

Our luck returned as we were the last ones let on Pinocchio’s adventure. I haven’t seen Pinocchio in forever, but the movie came back to me as we rode the ride. Pinocchio has to make life decisions: whether to go to school, go to the gluttonous-no rules Pleasure Island, or Stromboli’s marionette show. Disney may be about fantasy and dreams, but there certainly are some life lessons to be learned.

Exhausted, we decided to watch the fireworks show and call it a day. Huddled in the center of Main Street USA all eyes on the castle, we waited for Tinker Bell to fly above the castle and start the show. I’ve seen fireworks before and I thought to myself, what could they possibly do to make them any better than your typical Fourth of July? Of course Disney exceeded my expectations and outdid itself. The show is choreographed to various recognizable Disney songs, parades, and attractions, including a part dedicated to the evil Disney characters. It’s simply amazing. Julie Andrews, (Disney royalty) starts the show off discussing wishes and how they can come true. Later, Walt Disney’s opening speech is played on the loud speakers, “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Watching the fire works with my friends, I couldn’t help but feel like a little kid again. In a world of wars, earthquakes, and illness, it was refreshingly uplifting to think of America as a great place. As we got back on the tram, we were deliriously tired. The three of us girls kept laughing incessantly at silly little inside jokes. We were giggling so hard our faces and stomachs ached. Childhood memories were revisited, friendships strengthened, and our hearts were happy:  what a magical place indeed.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Commerical Crying

I’m a female (obviously) which as stereotypical as it sounds, makes me prone to crying. Danny thinks I cry a lot. I really don’t. I believe this is because he didn’t have any sisters growing up to compare my crying habits with.

On a crying scale of 1-10, I would say I’m about a 6. Sure it’s a little above average, but not ridiculous. Of course crying depends on external forces as well as hormonal forces…when the two are aligned, I will admit I’m more of a 7 on the crying scale.

I cry at typical things: Sad sappy movies, intensely sad love songs, when someone I know is hurting, or when I’m hurting. All are fairly typical. There are a few exceptions that even though I cry during them, if someone told me these things made them cry I would giggle (to myself).

The first is the Cymbalta commercial. Cymbalta is an antidepressant. Anyone who watches television has seen it. You know the one “Depression hurts,” camera pans out to show a sad looking lady staring out the window…"everywhere.” The commercial goes on to show other people laying in bed all day, the dog looking sad just wanting to go on a walk, and the kids wanting to play. It’s sad, such a sad commercial. I’ve seen it so many times that my crying has stopped, but I still feel down after I watch that commercial. At the end Cymbalta claims it can help with depression, yet after watching the commercial I’m not sure if anything can help. Maybe that’s Cymbalta's plan…to make me depressed so I’ll start taking their wonder antidepressant. In all seriousness, I hope that the lady staring out the window…and real people staring out the window, find something that will help them: Be it Cymbalta or a hug.

The other commercial that toys with my heart strings is the Liberty Mutual commercial. I’m beginning to think that these advertisement companies want my emotional reactions. Liberty mutual is actually a nice “feel good” commercial. It’s the intense kindness that makes me tear up. The commercial features strangers doing good deeds for strangers, and the onlooker then passes it on. At the end it says, “When it’s people who do the right thing they call it being responsible, when it’s an insurance company they call it Liberty Mutual. Responsibility what’s your policy?”

I think there is something so wonderful about people doing good deeds for each other, even little deeds, like letting someone with a small amount of groceries ahead of you in line. These things don’t happen all too often enough. I am just as guilty as the next guy…hastily driving past a person who is desperately trying to merge over into my lane… Would the 5 seconds it took to slow down and give a little hand wave really have disrupted my day? I don’t think so, in fact I probably would feel better about my day.

A couple of days ago, I had a Liberty Mutual moment. I went to the new Save Max in town. 29 cents avocados can’t be beat. Apparently everyone else in Ripon thought this was a great deal. Save Max, formerly known as Mar Val, has just reinvented itself into a discount grocer. The problem is they have not reinvented the layout of the store. There are still only 5 checkout lines, and no express line. All I wanted were my avocados, lettuce, and eggs along with a quick exit. I got to the lines and saw that people were purchasing much more than avocados. Disappointed, I got in line behind a man with a shopping cart filled to the brim. He turned around and looked at my pathetic avocados and told me to go ahead. What a nice simple gesture. Maybe he saw the Liberty Mutual commercial earlier that day?

On my way home I came to a stop sign with a long cross walk. There was a lady a few yards back from the corner getting ready to cross. I could have gone, she was far enough back that I still had the right of way, but I decided to wait and let her get to the corner then cross. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. She looked like a modern day gypsy. She had a skinny leopard print umbrella that she used as a walking stick and long black hair. As she got toward the end of the long cross walk, she turned toward me and blew me a little kiss. That may sound weird, but it wasn’t weird at all. It was a kiss of gratitude from my modern day gypsy lady. I smiled back. How funny that a lady could be so grateful, just because I took 5 extra seconds out of my day. As I made my way home I got a little tear in my eye thinking about my Liberty Mutual moment. I decided I should have more of those moments.

Some people watch a movie to get a good cry in, others read a romance novel, and apparently all I need is a good commercial. All the commercial companies want is for me to buy their products. Unless my crying becomes an everyday occurrence, I don’t think I’ll be using Cymbalta anytime soon and sorry Liberty Mutual, but I’m a loyal State Farm Insurance lady. I will however try to be more considerate of someone who hurts…everywhere… and have more Liberty Mutual moments. Hopefully a new tear worthy commercial will come out soon, so I can have another life lesson.