Who’s Your Rock of Gibraltar? ⛰️

Rock of Gibraltar

Image Source: Quora

My Uncle Mookie (my father’s brother) was quite the comical character. When he came to visit, he and my father would get into some sword-slaying discussions where Uncle Mookie would have the last laugh. It cracked me up. On one particular occasion, he and my father were discussing life insurance. My father said that he didn’t think Uncle Mookie was serious enough to get some. My Uncle Mookie, never missing a beat said, “Of course I have life insurance. I got a piece of the damn rock!” We rolled on the floor from that rapid comeback.

Well for those of you who are unfamiliar with that reference, it was for Prudential Life Insurance Company, because their logo was an illustration of the Rock of Gibraltar and their slogan was “Get a piece of the Rock!” The Rock of Gibraltar means very solid and strong, and will not be destroyed. It is also known as the Jabel-al-Tariq (named after the Berber commander who conquered Spain). It is a monolithic limestone promontory located in the territory of Gibraltar, near the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.

Rock of Gibraltar

Image Credit: Guy Percival

Do you have someone who is your “rock,” you know, someone who is dependable, unshakable, and resilient? I think everyone can use a “ride or die” in their corner, but most importantly you need someone who will not bail out on you just when you need them the most. I have a couple of people who are like that in my life, different in their own way but are rock solid in their character, conversation, and conduct. I think we all need that “rock” to help sustain us, especially during those times when we feel weakened by unimaginable circumstances. Some of us look to the spiritual reference of “The Rock” on which we stand, and some of us know that all other ground is sinking sand. Get your piece of the rock and insure your life with confidence. 

Rock of Gibraltar

Image Source: The Guardian

Solid as a Rock!

Sly as a Fox

Fox, Fennek Fox

Image Credit: Vincent Loof (Fennec Fox)

upright bushy tail

pointed ears, crafty prowess

the fox, the hunter.

Red Fox

Image Credit: Jeremy Doorten (Red Fox)

Marble Fox

Image Source: BoredPanda.com (Marble Fox)

Gray Fox

Image Source: BoredPanda.com (Gray Fox)

Silver Fox

Image Source: BoredPanda.com (Silver Fox)

Brown Fox

Image Credit: Pixabay (Brown Fox)

Arctic Fox

Image Source: Arctic Focus (Arctic Fox)

How Are You Wearing Your Mask? 😷

Face Mask, Surgical Mask

Image Source: hive.rochesterregional.org

You know, by now you just might think that after a year people should know the proper way of wearing their face masks during this pandemic. Surgical masks most commonly seen in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, pre-pandemic, were worn properly in such settings. But practically every channel of communication these days has set the record straight on how to correctly wear our face masks.

I decided to go into a fast-food restaurant over the weekend to order take-out since the drive-thru line wrapped around the building. Face masks in our state must be worn in indoor public settings. It simply amazed me that while waiting in line, I saw some of the most haphazard ways a few of the people who were ordering in front of me were wearing their masks. A few were wearing their masks like a chin or neck support. I saw another person on a different occasion wearing a bandana that while he was partially covering his face, it did not offer the type of protection they needed for their nose and mouth. Had this individual folded his bandana differently where he could have protected his nose and mouth, that would have been a safer alternative. Still, I applaud these individuals for taking this virus seriously with the intention of following CDC guidelines.

So, do you know how to properly wear your face mask? Why of course you do! I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it is a legitimate question from the few incidences I have seen lately whenever I am out and whenever I have to be out. I’m sure the audience reading this post has probably seen the same thing too. Albeit kind of comical, it is a serious matter… vaccine or no vaccine. Ahhhh…nope the image below isn’t the kind of mask I was talking about:

Face Mask

Image Credit: Sam Lion

This is how you wear it, although social distancing is still key! Stay safe y’all!

Face Masks, COVID-19

Image Credit: Charlotte May

Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down in my Heart!

The Beverly Hillbillies, Jed Clampett, TV Sitcoms, Wealth, Joy

Image Source: MeTV

You know, sometimes something comes up in a conversation that jolts your mind back to an unforgettable memory. I was actually listening to a Sunday morning message and for some reason when the word joy was mentioned and the way it was delivered made me think about a song that Granny (Irene Ryan) from The Beverly Hillbillies sang in one episode, “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart.” The series ran from September 26, 1962, to March 23, 1971.

I think those of us who remember the opening theme song for this sitcom “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” can still sing the song (word for word). 😀 This reminder made me revisit the very message I missed that this show embodied. While most people would be happy because they became instant millionaires, would this expected reaction give them true joy?

The message I was reminded of was that their circumstances changed quickly, moving the family from being extremely poor to instantly becoming rich. This brought them great happiness. What brought them greater joy was the spiritual relationship, that internal connection which served as a reminder and kept them grounded to the peace they embodied whether they were wealthy or not. While melding their old lifestyle with the new, they were truly unconventional in the way people would typically respond and live if they instantly became rich. Mr. Drysdale and Jane Hathaway can certainly attest to the Clampetts unconventional lifestyle of what people customarily expected from the rich and famous. 😉

Come and listen to a story ’bout a man named Jed
Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed
Then one day he was shooting for some food,
And up through the ground come a bubbling crude
(Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea)
Well the first thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire
Kin folk said Jed move away from there
Said California is the place you oughta be
So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly
(Hills that is, swimming pools, movie stars)

A Passionate Skywatcher

Space, Universe, Astrophysics

Image Credit: David Cowan

I wonder what’s out there 
skywatching I see the same elements
day in and night out, yet they are not
my cosmic curiosity, a broad universal perspective
opens my mind, enthusiasm, and imagination
to new ideas, new dimensions, and a new awareness
I climb the clouds where the cosmos awaits within me.

~~~

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, Space

Image Source: Amazon

How to understand humanity’s place in the universe is the question. I just finish the book, “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Every time I listen to him during interviews or watch him host shows like “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” his intoxicating enthusiasm about space science, galaxies, stars, extrasolar planets, and the entire cosmos simply blows me away and gets me excited too.

If you’re a science geek, you would be “geeked” out with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s storytelling narrative about the laws of physics and the periodic table of elements. Somehow, my high school chemistry class is haunting me all over again, especially when I see that periodic table of elements. While I may not have understood all of the astrophysical jargon Tyson seduces us with, I am humbled to learn more than I had about our world compared to the universe, which is much bigger than I could have ever imagined.

 

The Unsung, the Heroes

Heroes

Image Credit: Linnaea Mallette

To the unsung heroes, those who never get any credit for their good and who sing their own songs, to their own music, and march to their own drumbeat, we salute you. Those unsung heroes, whose voices were stifled in silence, warriors whose footsteps were quieted as their life faded and newborns evaded…the unsung are more than conquerors.

Who are these heroes? They are the ones who do not demand attention but exude purpose through their unselfish acts of kindness and compassion while risking their lives. These heroes could be friends and family members like our parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, teachers, the gas station attendant, the fast-food worker, or the person down the street who no one really pays any attention to. These heroes are unselfish caretakers, medical frontline workers, firefighters, law enforcement and military personnel, humanitarians, and soup kitchen servers.

Yes, the unsung heroes are too many to mention and too few who are mentioned. You may not have heard their songs, listened to their drumbeats, or touched their hands, but you see evidence that they were here and instrumental to our survival.

Kick Back and Relax

Kickback

Image Credit: Julie Aagaard

Kick up your heels, sit back, and relax. Wherever you are, take a load off. Put your feet up, even for a just moment, then pause, breathe in slowly, and soak in the energy and rejuvenation as you exhale gently.

Feet up, Relaxing

Image Credit: Asya Cusima

Kick Back, Relaxing

Image Credit: Marcelo Moreira

Feet, Relax

Image Credit: Richard Style

Feet, Relaxation

Image Credit: Liany Cavalaro

Feet up, Relaxation

Image Credit: Taryn Elliott

Feet up, Relaxation

Image Credit: Ravi Kant

Feet, Relaxing

Image Credit: Ryutaro Tsukata

Are Social Media #Challenges Exposing Too Much or Going Too Far?

Social Media Challenge, Tik Tok

Image Source: Strategic Social Media Lab

We have seen a myriad of #challenges on social media that tests the bravery of those willing to do it. We have witnessed an increase in participation, especially during the pandemic. I have not personally participated in any of these #challenges and I don’t knock anyone willing to indulge in these viral micro-video posts.

We’ve seen some fun, entertaining, and positive #challenges like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Flip the Switch Challenge, Between Art And Quarantine Challenge, or Tik Tok Dance Challenges. But we have also seen some #challenges that pop up on various social media platforms that are outrageous, graphic, and downright dangerous.

Certain influencers tempt the senses and intensify the audience’s competitive nature. Participants identify with the excitement through other people’s posts seeking “Likes” for their unique, much talked about performance by taking part in these challenges. Have you ever taken part in a social media challenge regardless of your age, gender, or technology savviness? If so, what motivated you to do it? Have you ever regretted participating in a #challenge?

Do I Need a Commendation to Feel Adequate?

Commendations, Awards

Image Credit: Engin Akyurt

Awards. Who doesn’t like receiving a trophy, a certificate, or some other type of commendation to validate your achievements? You strive to be the best in what you set out to do, and like getting a raise on your job you look for some type of recognition or reward for your hard work.

When we see others achieve certain accolades, especially when we work so hard to accomplish our goals, we become dismayed when we don’t even get a nod for our good works. We feel like a deflated balloon, and we shouldn’t. I know that’s easier said than done because I need to follow such advice more often than I do.

We have a habit of focusing our attention on comparing the abilities of others to ours. Sometimes it seems like those individuals did little or nothing to get such acknowledgments. They make it look so easy, but then again their makeup, access to opportunities, or commitments are cut from a different piece of fabric than our own. We feel the burdens of competition. Do we dream dreams and align our aspirations to those that others set for themselves? Do we strive for something dictated by a standardized system of philosophical ideas that lack equality or ethics? Look at the fine print.

Years ago, I sat down reexamining the myriad of rejection letters I received after submitting so many compositions of the best work I had back then to various publications and media outlets. As deflating as it was to read those rejections, I finished my brooding and continued writing, researching, and working. I got an adrenaline rush to hit my restart button. I told myself that my achievements are not determined nor defined by those that others have been recognized for or what someone else determines my level of the bar should be. Focus on what you have to move forward and you can make more monumental achievements than you thought you could. No, I neither you need a commendation to feel adequate. Sometimes inadequacy can work out on your behalf. That just might be the time when you see your positive good work helping so many others in need.

“When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” — George Washington Carver

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” –Theodore Roosevelt