Have you Ever Been to Wonderland?

photo courtesy of willowandsage1
photo courtesy of willowandsage1

Talk about waiting for the weekend? This one, we have anticipated since Big and Little danced the Nutcracker this past winter. The arrival of the spring dance recital officially kicks off summer. With an abrupt flip of the temps from 50’s to 90’s (it wasn’t a hot flash – because everyone felt it) overnight, summer, she played along nicely. This year, the show was Alice in Wonderland. Little, was a sweet little blue bird, with a feathery tail and little yellow beak. Big, she was a Cheshire cat, complete with a tail, ears, and a glow in the dark smile.


My kinder (kids), they have been persistently practicing every plié and pirouette since January. The Mrs., she spends countless hours in the ballet studio, watching magic happen and a few too many meltdowns, mittendrinnen (usually Little, in the middle of everything). I know my bubelah’s (loving term, like darling or sweetie) have been grand jeté -ing and pas de chat -ing every single night and day. Check with the downstairsikah’s (neighbors below us) here at the Manor. Oy vey, don’t ask.

This Yiddisher momma was kvelling (blushing with bliss) in both the afternoon and evening shows. You know what, intentionally, I looked around at the other spectators. Clearly, I was not the only one captivated by the hard work, talent and stick-to-itiveness of every kid and young adult on that stage performing. Whether they knew it or not, everyone was kvelling. Just like the Cheshire cats prancing on stage with young Alice, we were all grinning from ear to ear. We did not fall down any rabbit hole. We were not dreaming. We were witnessing the enchanted way dance instructors magically connect with students and put on a masterpiece.

Over-kvell: Smilin' like a Cheshire Cat!
Over-kvell: Smilin’ like a Cheshire Cat!

I spent the intermission massaging my jaw from over-kvell; smiling with too much abandon. As the lights dimmed, jazz, tap, modern, and hip-hop artists confidently seized the stage and left us all spellbound. Bravo. Mazel Tov (hooray!) to each and every one of those girls and boys that got up and strutted their stuff on that stage. Big, my shana madelah (sweet girl) stormed the stage to Cheerleader with her fellow dance mates in beginner hip-hop. This dance, the entire semester, she kept every move a secret, so she could surprise me at the recital. Surprise me, she did!

It’s so clear to me that these kids, my kinder and all of the students participating, enjoy every step on the footpath to learning the art of the dance. Great big thanks to Nancy Malmed and all of the wonderful teachers at Wissahicken Dance Academy.

In addition to cultivating talent and skills, you are all providing my kinder moxie, in a world that likes to steal it from them. Thank you for that.


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The Good, the bad and the ugly truth: My Smile is Back

photo by willowandsage1 follow on instagram
photo by @willowandsage1.  Follow on instagram

Shhhh. I’m kvetching (ranting). It’s Friday.

Good News: My effervescent (not in a gassy way), cheerful, and sunny disposition has been fully restored to my punim (face) as I recently regained the use of my right trigeminal nerve. Yes, I’m a regular Mary Poppins-berg! In short, I’m able to smile, beam, and grin again like the Cheshire cat.

Bad News: Since March, my punim (face) has been fahrkrimpteh (twisted, scowling). My ability to fully smile, while usually a wonderful and somewhat contagious activity, means that the Botox treatment used to treat the nerve pain I experience from occipital neuralgia and cervical dystonia has completely worn off, shy of the 90 day term. Stop what you’re thinking. It’s not ‘that kind of Botox treatment.’ While I have the shoulders, back of my neck and scalp of a 21-year-old female, this punim (face) wears the aged mask of an alta kocker (old fart) from years of living in chronic pain.

The Ugly Truth: Chronic, persistent, prolonged pain sucks ducks. The walking wounded, we amble among you. We are everywhere. We may look just fine, and we are faking feeling great. Botox, actual botulism in a bottle, when administered by the proper neurologist, beautifully battles the suffering. When combined with bionics and meds, I’m the closest to normal I’ve been in decades. A bei gezunt (We should all live and be well)!

Good News: I am 13 12 days until my next treatment. That’s nothing! My cranium will regain its youthful glow as the surrounding nerves freeze and ease, like Elsa in Arendelle. I don’t mind needles or shots. I’m gonna “Let it go.”

Bad News: I am 13 12 days until my next treatment. Depending on how things go with the turbulent barometric pressure, stress, physical activity, posture, and luck of the draw, we’ll see how I feel day to day. How much can I fake it, and how I can avoid impending flares?

The Ugly Truth: This last round was wonderful! I had one or two days at a time when I totally turned off the bionics (occipital stimulator). On the classic pain scale where I (new-normally) live a persistent 6-7, I saw days in this past couple of months where I was a 2. Nu? Me and the Mrs., we were afraid to talk about it…I am amazed that some gantseh macher (big shot, genius) had the gumption to inject this enchanted neurotoxin to freeze nerve endings and reduce wrinkles. Who am I to judge that this mastermind’s first intention was to use his goldeneh hendts (golden hands) to fulfill the vanity needs of aging starlets? En route, there was a common oddity found among those firmer in the face. These maturing movie stars also saw benefits of less head and neck pain? Ah-hah moment!

Good News: Armed with the trifecta of Botox, meds and my stim, I get more days on my calendar than, well ever before. I have more time with the Mrs., Little and Big, more days for work, more days for play. Priceless.

Bad News: In terms of costs, Priceless, not so much. In fact, “OUCH!” This family will feel the pain in an already vulnerable wallet. There is no frugality in Pharma. They expect a lot of gelt (money). What price pain? This round, we will see how my new friends at Allergan pitch in to help.

The Ugly Truth: Soon, when I lose my smile, know how happy I really am. Pain, gay avek (go away) Neuro-paralysis, here I come.


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I found real Truffula Trees!


I walked during lunch and what did I see?

The rarest of rare — some Truffula trees!

Happy and kvelling (oozing with joy) the Lorax must be

Just knowing there still are some Truffula Trees

Those Once-lers have lost, the battle is done!

Thneeds aren’t needed. The Lorax has won. 💜




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Empathy. How in the world can we all embrace it?

For Little and for Big, I wish for more empathy in the world
For Little and for Big, I wish for more empathy in the world

A prompt that has been floating around the blogosphere this week really left me pensive. Thanks to Laura at The View from My Window and Gary from Dream Big, Dream Often for allowing me to stumble upon it, and, well, brood! Here it is:

If you could change one thing about the world in which we live, what would it be?

I would empower all people, every single one of us that inhabit the globe, to be equipped with empathy.

And why?

What a wonderful world we could be if we were all equipped with the capacity to comprehend and hold compassion for the thoughts, feeling, and opinions of others. If we mirrored the eyes and hearts of others in ourselves, envision the endless possibilities for our planet? We could really walk a mile or spend a day in one another’s shoes, and get it – really get it. If we held the depth of honor, respect, and benevolence in our hearts and minds for our fellow beings, how then would we treat each other?

The Buddha said, “See yourself in others, then who can you hurt? What harm can you do?”

If we had more empathy, would we:

  • Still battle wars over religion, oil, territory, greed and power
  • Be kinder to those less able, dis-abled, unable
  • Understand that #BlackLivesMatter, that #HumanityMatters
  • Have such high crime rates, deaths by senseless violence, sexual assault
  • Beep the horn, shoot the bird and kill over traffic disputes and parking spots
  • Bully, hate and disrespect the views of others
  • Deliberately hurt others with our words, our actions, our power
  • Have long lists of endangered species and an ailing earth
  • Assist the homeless, hungry and addicted instead of walking over / past them
  • Grasp the laid off worker, the struggling family, the plight of others
What would you wish for?
What would you wish for?

What if we didn’t jump to do something, and just stood there.

Felt first. Listened. Heard.

Were open to other points of view with respect.

Understood the pain and suffering of others; understood the joy through our own lens, our    imagination.

Then, and only then, reacted.

I think we need some more empathy — for each other, for the kinder (children). What a mitzvah (good and caring deed, act of kindness) this would be for us all.

Nu? What do you think?


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Listening Ears that Don’t Listen or Hear: What to do?

Even outdoors, the windows open to check that we are okay? Oy.
Even outdoors, the windows open as the neighbors check to see that we are okay? Oy.

Shhhh. You know the deal. Therapy is in session.

So how come I can politely shush you, my readers (therapists), and in return you give me the common courtesy of reading, a share, even a comment or comeback, and my Little and Big act as if no words are ever spoken when I speak? And, while I’m at it, how come, the very same Little and Big, my shana madeleh’s (sweet little girls) can easily overhear (and respond to) everything I say to the Mrs. that is meant for the ears of only the Mrs.?

When they were wee little bubbelah’s (affectionate way to refer to someone), we would stop and literally turn the imaginary dials on each ear. Back then; I literally and figuratively had their ears!

I know, your thinking, she looks so quiet? Big can't possibly be loud?
I know, your thinking, she looks so quiet? Big can’t possibly be loud? ❤

Now, it seems our biggest battles here at the Manor, are over listening, or more importantly, not doing so! What are two mommas to do? What’s meshugenah (The crazy thing is) is they are so good! I mean really. These two are good to the core, with hearts of gold, or platinum, if that’s better? I think I finally understand why adults on all those Charlie Brown and Peanuts cartoons always spoke like this, “Whaaa whaaaa whaaaaaa, whaa whaaa whaaaaaa, whaaa whaaaaaaa.” This, this is how we sound to them? Vas is dus (what with this?).

When Little and Big are playing, and they are getting along, such a simcha (lovely, happy occasion). But when the fun and games shift and the ‘littles’ get a bit farcokt (truly, turn into a hot mess!), the geshrei’s (ear-piercing screams and shrieks) that emanate from those vocal chords, it’s a wonder the windows don’t break. 

Oh this Little, she is a bugger! A sweet bugger, but a bugger!
Oh this Little, she is a bugger! A sweet bugger, but a bugger! ❤

Perhaps we need another approach, the Mrs. and me? After all, we cannot scream, “Stop screaming!” and set any kind of example. If this Yiddisher momma says, Please be quiet,” and this phrase is not heard, did she ever say it? If the Mrs. gives a look, and the look isn’t seen, well, you get my point.

In the entire world, no one is more important to us than these two kinder (kids). I want more than anything for them to always feel heard, but not at the price of our eardrums and the complaints of the nextdoorikah’s and the opstairsikah’s (the neighbors). Oy, the mice, I even feel for their little ears.

Surely, some of you brave mommas and papas that have come before us have an answer? Nu?

Help us, please?


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