Show Them You Care, Make Fun of Them!

“I don’t feel an obligation to give everyone a hard time, but when they’re important people, it’s fun.” — Don Rickles

A couple of weeks ago we lost a comedic icon and the greatest roaster of all time.

Mr. Rickles came up in a period of time significantly different than the one we are currently experiencing. We are a bit on the sensitive side these days, and not without good reason.

While he may have meant celebrities when referring to “important” people, I think Mr. Warmth was also referring to loved ones. The great fun-poker was absolutely correct, though. It is fun to give the important people in our lives a hard time. It’s one of the greatest signs of affection.

As an admirer of Mr. Rickles, I must admit that there is nary a person that I’ve cared about throughout my life that hasn’t been subject to a scoff or two… or hundreds!! But it truly only comes from a place of love.

In a time when we watch everything we say and make sure to be PC, let’s learn from one of the least PC humans ever, Don Rickles.  Take a moment to stop and make fun of the important people in your life. Show ’em you love ’em,  THEY NEED IT!

And check out this gem of fella doing what he does…Laughter and Love, What Can You Lose?

7 Ways to Experience Mercy

Mercy in Haiti - picture by Maddie Robson

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7)

There are many ways to experience and share Mercy. Here are 7 that come readily to mind:

1- Forgive someone else – It is counter-intuitive to realize, but when we forgive someone for a wrong that they have done to us, truly forgive them, it seems to release Mercy between them and ourselves. And this release seems to reflect directly back to us in our own receiving it.  As love, mercy grows when it is given.

2- Reach the end – of our rope, of ourselves,  of our own power to a point of surrender. Almost always surrender brings an overwhelming sense of Mercy, as we realize that we don’t “go it alone”.

3- Talk to someone who you know will listen, actively listen to our thoughts and feelings. Open ears are a sure source of Mercy.

4-Make amends for wrongs we do as soon as we can. By reckoning with our own shortcomings and failures, we invite forgiveness to replace regret, mercy to overcome judgment.

5- Speak up for the broken, those swept away as inferior or without value. Justice is the flip side of Mercy, and Mercy cannot thrive without it.

6- Console someone else in their time of need. As a father to his son or daughter, as a mother to her children. The Creator of the universe does the very same for us, and consolation is an integral part of our experience of Mercy.

7- Compassion – the meaning of compassion is  “com” (with) passion (suffering). When we “suffer with” someone, it reaches beyond consolation to personal empathy and action to lift their suffering when possible. This is at the heart of Mercy.

Just some thoughts on this Mercy Sunday.  Do you have some to share? Please comment if you have the time.

Late April RitA Instagrams!

We mixed our Instagram a little between Michigan, Chicago and Florida this time. Take a look! (@rosesinthealley).

Click on our Instagram logo below or here and follow us!

Meet me at the pier. We'll watch the sunset and let our legs hang.
Trees in the city are vital to us
Sunsets are even more majestic with the sand between your toes.
Father and son on Cocina Beach
A Life Worth Saving
Nature, it may stump you, but it will never bore you

The Fisher King Estate

Fisher King Estate

The World has many types of Kings…

And their Estates vary just as much.  One could be a beautiful vineyard in Oregon. Another, a dingy boiler room in the bowels of a New York City building.

Either way, they might both be Kings!

This week’s movie and wine pairing is King Estate Pinot Gris with The Fisher King.

I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Robin Williams playing Parry. Parry is a mentally ill homeless man, a knight on a quest to find the Holy Grail. The chalice he seeks is held in the Estate (Castle) of a rich man on the Upper East Side.

Parry tells Jack (Jeff Bridges) the fabled story of the Fisher King. The Grail, brought to him by a fool, is said to quench the unquenchable thirst of the King.

The soils of Oregon most definitely yielded a deliciously thirst quenching Pinot Gris!

In Arthurian literature, the Holy Grail is said to provide happiness, eternal youth, and sustenance in infinite abundance. In a way, can’t a really nice wine do the same?

Grab a bottle of this organic Pinot Gris and throw on this Robin Williams comedic classic.  See if together they don’t evoke some of these feelings for you.

And imagine Parry with his kooky homeless gang as they give their rendition of this tune, How About You. I love New York in June….

Loneliness, Depression and Addiction – Are They Linked?


“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! How much you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” – Anne Frank

The National Institute of Health (NIH) describes the symptoms of  depression as including:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions.
  • Fatigue and decreased energy.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism.

Do you see what I see here?

On the blog on Brittany Meadows states that addiction can leave people with these feelings:

  • Feeling unable to connect with anyone – physically or emotionally
  • Feeling disconnected from others
  • Feeling sad there is no one available to talk, be with you, or understand
  • Feeling that there is no one who cares
  • Feeling abandoned
  • Feeling as though no one wants to be with you
  • Feeling discontent
  • Feeling left out
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Fearing you will always feel this way

And then there is this on the web site about the destruction of addiction on relationships caused by:

  • secrecy
  • anger
  • alienation
  • distrust
  • violence
  • verbal and physical abuse

Where in any of this is there the idea that criminalizing and imprisoning a person is “remotely” a solution? – a place of: 

  • abandonment
  • loneliness
  • distrust
  • alienation
  • violence
  • hopelessness

Does the “war on drugs” help or or just make it worse?

What do you think?

PLEASE leave a comment, and begin a much-needed dialogue. It starts with us, each one a Rose in the Alley.


“That’s How We Do Things Around Here” is Absurd!!

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.” — Bertrand Russell

The fact that something has been done one way for the longest time does not mean it is the right or only way.

Reading about Portugal’s handling of addicts is a sure indicator that change, and breaks from the way we’ve always done things can be a VERY good thing!

In this fairly absurd world we live in we MUST have more of this revolutionary thinking.

The revolution needs to start within each of us. Instead of saying “That’s just how we do things”, why don’t we ask “Why do we do it like this again ?”

Let’s be more like little kids and ask “WHY” more often, and stop accepting “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”

Remember what Bruce Hornsby told us?? That’s just the way it is, don’t believe it!