…on many sides

Charlottesville. Trying to make sense out of a living nightmare is not possible. I am for free speech and civil disobedience, and that has not happened. mrt has been fanning the flames of racism, hate, and evil since his campaign that led to his election began. He has openly uncovered what lay hidden, dormant. He has ripened the corrupt causes of the neo-Nazi’s, the alt-right, the white supremacists, the Ku-Klux-Klan, and the racists who see “Make America Great Again” as a call to action for their heinous behaviors. They backed him, paid him, elected him, celebrated with him and see him as their leader. And mrt, he has mainstreamed these groups to normalcy; normal enough to come outside by daylight. To remove the sheets and show their faces. To act on their mission.

The “Unite the Right” rally, filled with racist, ethnic, misogynistic and anti-Semitic slurs,  turned deadly when a known Nazi-sympathizer from Ohio drove his Dodge Challenger, at a high-speed, into a crowd of people gathering to protest the rally. He killed Heather Heyer and injured close to twenty others. Heather, 32 years old, died standing up for what she believed in — fairness and equal treatment for all. She died opposing those that hold hate in their hearts. Additionally, two Virginia state troopers died in a helicopter crash while on duty. Three lives lost, and mrt stood in his bunker.

mrt, our tweeter-in-chief, said in his first statement, that he condemned hatred and violence “on many sides, on many sides.” ON MANY SIDES? ON MANY SIDESWTF

Many sides? I saw two sides. The white supremacy, in their full militant nationalistic glory, and the oppositionists, who came with peace and equality, to counter the hate.

Weak. Very weak mrt. You are a spineless excuse for a leader. You made no mention of your friends who gathered in violence, and they heard that loud and clear. They cheered you on. They know you support them. You have never been quiet to call out your enemies by name. They must be your friends. Two days later, after an immense public outcry, you were forced into a more acceptable media message, only after mentioning how well the stock market is doing. Your responses sicken me, as much as the despicable events of the weekend.

I applaud leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who teaches us all how we can never go back. She owns the shame of the Nazi Holocaust and apologized some 60 years later, after WW II. Today, in Germany, every child is taught of the atrocities that their native land carried out during Holocaust. Every student visits a concentration camp. They learn what was in their history and they work hard so that such vile behavior will never repeat.

mrt keeps his alt-right friends, Bannon, Gorka, Miller, close to the chest, in his inner circle. It shows.

I am a human being. I am Jewish. I am a woman. I am a Lesbian. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am saddened but remain positive that the turning point that KKK leader David Duke speaks of, has a very different outcome. I will continue to stand up strong, united against hate, in order to make this world a better place for my kinder (children).

mrt, you are #notmypresident. #yesyouareracist #neveragain

     

      

      

    

 

Waking Up is Hard, With You

I don’t know about you, but this US-based Yiddishah momma isn’t sleeping so hot. The chaos of the world, the tweeter-in-chief, the backward direction of history, and the fears of a horrid times repeating all leave me with angst, anxiety and some pretty hefty carry-on baggage under the eyes these days. Nightmares, daymares, heart palpitations… oy vey iz mir.

a parody on Neil Sedaka’s lyrics, “Breaking up is Hard to Do”

we stupid huge win win
we stupid huge win win
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Waking up is hard, with you
Don’t take my rights away from me
You’re breaking laws and changing history
Jamming justice, we know it’s true
Waking up is hard, with you
Looking back, phone alerts were much less scary
With just one tweet, you spooked the military
It’s Mueller time, the grand review
Waking up is hard, with you
They say that waking up is hard, with you
Now I know
I know we’re all screwed
Imploding health care and refugee bans
Are all of your decisions based on the teeny-tiny size of your hands?
I beg of you, stop the racist crap
Vlad, just share with us the wire tap
Global warming, it’s making me blue
Waking up is hard, with you
They say that waking up is hard, with you
Now I know
I know we are screwed
‘Murica should not be run by a business man
Are all of your decisions based on the teeny-tiny size of your hands?
we stupid huge win win
we stupid huge win win
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Waking up is hard, with you
I don’t understand what is happening in our world. Ikh ton nit farshteyn voz iz gesheenish in aundzer velt.
Okay, if you would like to hear the real version of this ‘borscht belt’ singer and writer, click below, courtesy of our friends at YouTube:

      

     

      

BHI, our happy place

Still energized and grateful for these wonderful memories of our holiday together.  Thank you, Nona and Pop Pop! Bald Head Island, NC. 

A nice holiday with family! A fayn ium tub mit mishpocheh!

     

      

    

 

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise sunset, sunrise, sunset!
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears…

Songwriters: Lewis Bock Jerrold / Sheldon Harnick Sunrise / Sunset lyrics © Bock Ip LLC, Imagem Music Inc / Fiddler on the Roof

Sunrise sunset, sunrise, sunset! zunftang, untergang! zunftang, untergang!

      

      

 

UncommonGoods: A wallet activists’ dream

This yiddisheh momma is delighted to share with you a long time favorite haunt of mine, UncommonGoods, a mensch (really good people) of a company. They have true morals, values, and a mission that supports people, planet, profit and social justice for us all. If you like living green, styling sustainably, goodies for foodies, or state-of-the-art techie gifts, I know you will like them as much as I do. Come along… we’ll shmie around (window shop) together.

My shvester (sister), she is having a birthday very soon. In fact, lucky mishpocheh (family) that we are, we will all be together to celebrate! A mitzvah (blessing)! Let’s look together at some amazing birthday gifts with her in mind. What to choose with so many beautiful things? What do you think of these necklaces (above)? Nu?

Back-to-school is just around the corner, oy vey! Where is the summer going?  I think I need some geeky fun gifts for my girls.  Up popped a few hundred gizmos, gadgets, and cool gifts. Take a look at these knee socks, for my shana maidels (sweet girls)Stylish, sustainable, and a dab of geekdom (that’s me!).

May they only stay nerdy, naive and natty for a long time!

And soon, as the year comes to an end (what, who’s rushing!), my Mrs. and me, we will celebrate 4 years of wedded bliss (20 years together, but we had to wait for the law to catch up – that’s a whole other story, and yes, thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsberg!). Let’s take a peek at some unique and loving gift ideas. Ooh! look at this!

I can ask them to draw two momma’s, two shvesters, and our Gatsby!

Hah! My Mrs., she will love this! The pillow is customizable and even made from cotton and flax.

Should anyone be looking with me in mind, I have created a bissel (little) wish list <3. A girl can dream you know! This baby caught my eye. A lo-tech gift in a hi-tech world!

Available for pre-order, the Public Radio – Single Station Tuner in a mini mason jar! NPR all the time!

Shop! Do well and do good! That’s uncommon, yes? Not at UncommonGoods!

At UncommonGoods, you can shop ’til you drop and know that you supported the environment, sustainability, social justice – and you still have a lovely gift to give to someone you love. Happiness all around! #yesmyuncommongoods

 

*Disclaimer friends: I am collaborating with UncommonGoods on this review for a bissel gelt (a small fee). All images come to you courtesy of the UncommonGoods website. I am sharing my favorite finds with you. Every opinion and you know I am not too shy about sharing my opinion is honest and my very own.

     

     

    

The Children’s Book I read often, as an Adult

Zen Shorts, By Jon J Muth

“Michael! There’s a bear outside!”  

Nu? Is this some opening line? The book, is Zen Shorts, by Jon J Muth. The bear, Stillwater, a giant panda that has appeared in the backyard of Karl, Michael, and Addy, much to Karl’s surprise. Stillwater (very Gatsby-esque) is wise, kind, and what I envision as an animal equivalent to the great Buddha. As the mensch (filled with wisdom and always takes the high road) of a Panda relates with each of kinder (children), a different and appropriate Zen tale is shared.

The first thing I love so much about this particular book is the illustrations. Beautifully simple, yet exquisite watercolor illustrations accompany each interaction of Stillwater and the kinder. The lighting and transparency of the moment in time displayed perfectly paints the puzzles and problems that we all, as humans on this very planet, face daily. Each Zen narrative Stillwater shares is shown with the stunning, yet elegant strokes of Japanese ink paintings. Re-examine your thoughts, habits, longings, ideas, and fears as this giant bear divvies out the possibility of new insight.

As Stillwater gifts each kinder (child) with an ancient anecdote (Zen meditation), I believe he strikes a chord that will resonate with all of us, and certainly touches me with every read.

To be clear, as I know it, Zen (literally, a Japanese word for meditation) is not a religion, faith or doctrine. It comes free of dogma and one need not believe in anything (kind of like this Yiddisheh mama) to practice, or even read this enchanting tale. It is so simple, that it is excruciatingly difficult for me to explain. One must throw away all thoughts of intellect to experience Zen. Sit quietly, free your mind and allow for your own self-discovery to begin. Zen is not at all about moral teachings; it is filled with how to think, and even more so, how not to think (turn off that cruel, inner voice. What voice? Exactly!).

Many a night I offer to read this book to my shana madalehs (sweet girls) in the hopes of passing along these freeing ism’s, especially today, in this world we inhabit. And just as often, I place this book in my backpack as I head off to work, to read again during a quiet nosh (nibbles of food) at lunchtime. It greatly helps me in resetting the disturbances of daily news alerts and chaotic headlines that incorporate ‘life as we now know it.’ 

I love and treasure this book.  I have gifted it to children of all ages.

Stillwater brings me solace, entertains my Little and my Big, and hopefully provides a foundation in ‘thought process’ that will help guide them through the mundane,  the shock-filled stories, and everything in between that composes the many stories of our lives.

As a disclaimer, no one has asked me to review this book. I was not paid or given a thing for this post. However, Stillwater has proven time and again, to be priceless. I simply wanted to share him with all of you.

Peaceful coexistence, Gatsby, and our Stillwater

Even for bad luck, one needs luck. Tsum shlimazel muz men oich mazel hoben.

This review is my own, I just wanted to share this very special book with you.  If you have something you would like me to review, just reach out! I am happy to help always.

 

      

   

When your Therapy Dog needs Therapy

Sit, my boy. Talk to me, bubbeleh (little darling one)

Anyone who regularly reads this space knows about Gatsby, our stunning rescue dog we adopted. He immediately filled our hearts with furry, snuggly, puppy love. Gatsby, he is a special being. While we rescued him, he certainly recaptured our ‘dog-loving’ hearts right back. He is our little boychik (sweet boy) who has brought us all such nachas (pride and gratification, usually through one’s kinder (children)) and expanded our family in a very healthy way.

He is the most amazing dog for us all… and, pretty early on, we realized our zeiseh punim (sweet faced) man suffered from terrible bouts of anxiety and tsuris (grief, heartache). He is a neurotic ‘Vincent van Gogh – Woody Allen – Adele’ wrapped inside (in our case) women’s best friend.  His early months on the planet had left him traumatized – and with no canine fidget spinners in sight, we experienced some tough behaviors together.  Horrible separation anxiety, excessive chewing, leash reactiveness at the sight of any dog or cat, over-zealous obsession (OCD) with squirrels, birds, noises, and lights in the parking lot… you name it, and he felt it! He was farshluggineh (shaken, mixed up) and a bit, well, meshuggeneh (crazy)

Did you hear that? I heard something… Did you hear that?

We tried training, and this boy, our four legged smarty pants, could sit, give a paw, high five and lie down (My Mrs., she homeschooled him)! We added in rescue remedy, a tight fitting ThunderShirt, DAP (dog appeasing pheromones), calming canine music, exhaustive walks – and bubkes (nothing), no change in our meshuggeneh (crazy) mutt.

Our therapy dog, he needs therapy. You all already know I’m a mess, ergo, I blog for catharsis! Now my boy, we need to help him! He is proof that stress and anxiety knows no discrimination: rich, poor, man, woman, old, young, sick, healthy, feline or canine!

I was beginning to think our little man of the house needed a little chemistry to help him along. All he wants to do is please us, yet he is plagued with such shpilkes (anxiety). Oy vey!

My Mrs., she took him to the vet to talk about this new wrinkle in his care. At first, they were a bit skeptical. Then they witnessed him going batshit bonkers over a painting of a dog on the wall. Next, it became difficult to take blood – his fur was flying at the thought of being at the vet’s office. He was shrekn (terrorized with fear) and the doc, she saw what we knew. She put a muzzle on my poor boychik’s face and carried on with the exam. We left with some Trazadone to calm him and a prescription for Prozac.

The Trazadone worked wonders. He would calm, without being at all lethargic. We needed this while the Prozac built up in his system. About a month in, he is doing much better. He still prefers we stay together (as do we) and never leave him behind. He still barks outside, but he is not inconsolable. We can deflect behaviors. Riding in the car is greatly improved.

Our glass is half full. Thank you momma’s – I feel so much better.

I share this with you all because, much like 2-legged people, sometimes our 4-legged friends need a little help. I did some research and found that about 30% of dogs exhibit some form of canine anxiety. Like any of my other kinder, we will do whatever it takes to take care of him. Our CVS fills the prescription with a pseudo-affordable generic. When his Rx is ready, they call out, “Gatsby!” Medication is not always the answer, but in our case, we are grateful for such a solution.

Not everyone the dogs bark at is a thief. Nit yederer oif vemen hunt bilen iz a ganev.

also:

Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. Vas finds a gatray fraynd, finds a autsr.

We have found a treasure indeed!