Spartanomics

  • noun

the science branch of knowledge projection of fear tsuris (troubles) concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services buying the stuff you need today, tomorrow and the next day for your family.

  • verb

Meshuggah (crazy) behaviors or actions, that oftentimes arise with heart palpitations creatively as the direct result of the scarcity of means, in order to achieve certain common and normal ends. Huh? ex.: We need to brush our teeth, we still, really!!! have no toothpaste… Achh!

BTW, my Mrs., she is a BeautyCounter consultant. Click here to see how you can get safer personal and beauty products to help keep you and our world healthier.

Take a look at this photo. I walked into our bathroom the other day, and this is what I saw, no joke! From our loo to your eyes. I ran for my magical iPhone to snap this baby. And with this, comes a tale. After all, you that is why you are here …

Did you know, that when you run out of toothpaste, you can actually cut the tube in two or three parts, and have enough toothpaste to last a normal family of four at least five more days? Did you also know that when the deodorant thingy-mah-jiggy-holder falls from its container and bounces on the bathroom floor a few times and lands in the corner, a linty, hairy mess, you can remain odor free for about two weeks more, if you pick it up, wipe away the yuck, and rub it under your arms? Two weeks! And, that pump in the shampoo bottle… when that stops pouring out perfect spurts of soapy suds-making, you can lengthen and lusciously lather for days, maybe even a week if you take it off? The little straw itself holds two days worth of ‘do-cleaner! Then, the bottom of the bottle, don’t get me started! It’s robbery! In Yiddish, we call this, aroizgevarfeneh (pronounced ah-royz-geh-varf-ehn-uh). It literally means thrown out, wasted.

Extrapolate this scenario out across your personal purchases: think about the sunscreen, moisturizer, conditioner, make-up (like I would know, Nu?) caulk, paint, glue, … wait, don’t. It’s too upsetting to think of the money we’ve all put in the landfill left at the table. Look at this little Yiddisheh gem:

It is not so good with money, as it is bad without. Es iz nit azoi gut mit gelt es iz schlect on dem.

Living in the frugal lane, we’ve learned some very good money-saving tips and ideas. We’ve  all worked to change our anti-penny-pinching ways many years ago. It’s all good. And we’ve argued and cried learned and grown. Vey iz mir (OMG!), it is madness if any of you let the above actions go unnoticed! Think conservation! Teaching the kinder (children) about resources and savings, everyday environmentalism and, well spartanomics!

Big and Little, my kinder…

My glass is always half-full. Now, I think it may be even more full than I ever imagined!  What I do know:

To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hoben kostn kain gelt nisht.

So try these tips. See if you save. If you have tips for us, please! Do tell! My Mrs. and me, we are trying desperately to save our money for a home. Alevai! (It should only happen!) These small humans we are raising, Little and Big, they cost a fortune! And, yes, these shanah maidels (sweet little girls), they are indeed priceless.

      

     

 

Finding the laughter

You can always count on Little to make Big burst into laughter!

This is one tough world we live in… but who am I to tell you that? I wake up each morning and cautiously look at my smartphone, one eye opens at a time, and already, I get discouraged.

Stuff yourself with hope and you can go crazy. Fun loiter hofenung ver ich noch meshuggah.

Grateful? Mindful? Of course! Every day I remind myself of the good. And yet still, there is so much bad in the news, in the world, in our lives, in the lives of our friends. So what to do? I must find the laughter. Share the laughter, and add to the contagion in the chaos of the smile theory.

Laughter is heard farther than weeping. A gelechter hert men veiter vi a gevain.

So here’s a little story to share:

Right before school started, the Mrs. and me, we needed to get the kinder (kids) leggings and jeans. We went to Old Navy, you know, the cheap version of Gap? We found quite the sale, which better fits our frugal finances of $0 per month on frocks and finery. We found about 8 -10 pair, a shirt or two, and we were only lighter by $30-some dollars (That’s a -$30-some on the master budget spreadsheet). Not bad. Don’t you know, when we got home, the first pair my Big wants to wear has a dime sized hole mittendrinnen (smack dab in the middle of) her tuchas (tushy, butt, derriere)? I dry the tears and promise to sew this slit and salvage the day. After all, I am of the age that literally had to take Home Economics in school (feminism, oy vey). What part of baking brownies and crocheting toilet paper roll covers made that class economics? Oy, a whole other blog post right there. Needless to say, I made a promise.

Smiles and laughter, contagious!

A needle and thread were tough to find in our little flat, so two weeks later, I finally remember to make a trip to the local pharmacy. For $4.95, I buy a small kit to fix the leggings that were $1.99. Little, not caring a bit about the rip on the rump, had already worn them to school. Big, she has been hock mier chinik (banging on my tea kettle, yammering on and on) for me to make the fix.

It doesn’t cost anything to promise and to love. Tsuzogen un lib hoben kost nit kain gelt.

This morning, it was the first thing I set out to do. These pants, shmata (rags) no more! I make a nice hot coffee and place the new sewing kit, and the lacerated leggings all in arms reach. Gatsby, he is securely settled in my lap in support. Children nestled all snug in their beds our bed. I begin.

Threading a needle is a tad bit more difficult than I recall. Glasses on. Glasses off. Like Karate Kid, I repeat this mantra. At 654 months old, home ec or not, it took me over 25 minutes to put the blue f***ing thread through the teeny, tiny needle. Less than three minutes of sewing said slit, and I’m done. My Big, she is still sleeping. I almost want to wake her to see the joy on her shanah punim (beautiful, radiant face). I know she will wear them immediately.

Silliness spreads the joy!

I get up and proudly look in the mirror who the h*ll is that wrinkly old lady with gray hair?   (Glasses on. Glasses off) as I brush my coffee tinted breath. I laugh. Maybe this gray coif is the silver lining of optimism I need.

I hope you all laugh today, and continue to find the laughter. We need it.

      

      

      

     

 

The chaos of the smile theory

Smile. Schmaichel.

Smile theory therapy. Yup, you read that right. Today marks the day that I begin. I share with all of my fellow humans, my smile therapy, in the hopes that the contagion of a smile, made by seeking eye contact and sharing with any and all individuals and groups I encounter, will elicit a return smile.  May those strangers, knowingly or unknowingly, share that smile forward throughout their day. May this much-needed therapy for me, have a similar effect for those that carry on, unaware that they have been smiled upon… and may the smile spread across the world, like the butterfly effect.

Smile a bit in traffic at your fellow drivers if they can look up from their smart phones. Let that car edging out of a parking lot, get out in front of you, even though you may miss the green light. Hold open that door for those behind you. Wave and say hello across to the people walking across the street from you. Let’s do this differently. Smile.

I made a conscious start this morning while I walked with my Gatsby. Five complete strangers smiled back at me and wished me a fine morning. As total unknowns, we schmoozed (talked) about the beautiful day ahead, the cuteness of my pup, the way the sun felt nice on our backs. My hope is that this therapy will reach you, wherever you may be residing. And may the effect linger, lovingly and empathetically, to all in its spell. We may be able to heal this shit show of a vulnerable, unhappy world after all.

The butterfly effect is the concept that small causes can have large effects. 

Too much is going on. We need to heal. Are you in with me? Let me know how your smile therapy goes. Please. It can’t hurt. Nu?

The bitterest misfortune can be covered up with a smile. Dem bitersten mazel ken men farshtellen mil a schmaichel.

And remember, just when that caterpillar thought the whole world was over, what did she become? A butterfly. A meshuggeneh (crazy) flight pattern, some lovely flowers to flutter by, freedom, and a touch of sunshine on her wings.

      

      

     

      

 

Show me a Sign?

I woke up today, a good thing. So did you, because you are reading. Nu? Already, two good things. I looked at the news on my phone… Palm Sunday Church bombings in Egypt. Dozens killed. US Aircraft carrier heading over to get closer to North Korea. A deadly truck attack in Sweden. Sweden??

I took Gatsby on a walk on a nice sunny morning and I said, “G, we need to see some sign of hope.” On the way home, look what I saw.

Yes, this sums it up pretty nicely

The highest form of wisdom is kindness. di hekhstn far fun khkhmh iz guthartsikayt.

May we all wise up and have hope.

      

 

I AM WOMAN, the musical

Nu? This mr t, he has me farklempt (all choked up) with his evil and hatred. Not too long ago, I wrote a post, I AM WOMAN HEAR MY VOICE. Well, I’ve taken it to the stage folks. Please, bear with my (awful) voice as I stumble through my own, personal feminist anthem.

Please feel free to sing along. If only to cover up my voice! Vey iz mir…I’m meshuggeneh (crazy), but I am so motivated to peacefully make a change. Because Never Again, is now folks. 

Great big hugs and love to Mackenzie for her gorgeous participation and support! And Kristin, where would I be without the bug you put in my ear? And to all of you brave, men, women and children who showed up, and continue to show up in protest. That’s what I’m sayin.’
Why’d I do it? Well, I am trying hard to teach my kinder (little kids) to be brave, not perfect.
Hey, mr t, I Am Woman, and you, little orange man, are going to have to deal with that!
Linky’s:
      
      
      
     
    

Oy, When Health Care Is Sick

GOT HEALTH INSURANCE?

Please don’t take away my Obamacare. Officially known as the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare is part of President Barack Obama’s (my Barack!) brilliant domestic legacy. No matter what mr t and his swampsters plan to do or achieve in their terroristic plans to rid the American people of basic health care, it will remain a historical feat to be celebrated. We had a president who cared about us, authentically. Now, we have shpilkis (knots in our guts, pins and needles).

‘Repeal and replace’ are terms bandied about by the billionaires who now bully our working, huddled masses. The GOP are treating ACA like it’s ISIL. And that’s a problem. My family, we have been a part of the ACA since the beginning. We were there at the launch that admittedly was flawed. The first two years, I was on the phone for 12-15 hours at a time… And you know what? The people on the other end of the line were there to help me. They stayed on the phone too. As a family with medical issues, having a no-pre-existing condition penalty was priceless. As a family that benefits from the subsidies (paid for by taxing the elite 0.1%) in the escalating costs of healthcare and pharma, it’s a must. Obama helped me, my Mrs. and my Little and Big. Such a mensch (truly good man), he is! I am forever grateful for the Obama’s.

mr t, now he is doing his very best to gut the ACA. He says it will be less expensive if we open insurance across state lines. Oh, and get this one, he will allow us, we the people of these United States, to contribute more to our health care savings account (HSA). As if we could… Smart, he isn’t.

What we are beginning to see very clearly now is that the myopic, anemic, and uncaring Ryancouldcareless or tRUMPdoesntgiveashitcare plans will (no big a-ha here) do inconceivable harm to millions of Americans. And yes, this new plan, if successfully passed, will also assist the obscenely wealthy folk, the fat cats, the top 0.1 percenters, to line their pockets with more loot. It is estimated that:

  • Over 10 million people (that’s approximately 9.99999999999 million more than those who showed up to the inauguration) could totally lose their healthcare, including seniors and hard-working families
  • Millions of women, who count on Planned Parenthood for basic health care tests and screenings, will be shit out of luck when it comes to the ladybits department
  • Those of us with pre-existing conditions will be allowed in, but the cost of entry will be unattainable as deductibles, out of pocket costs and premiums climb higher than Mount Chimborazo
  • Big gantse machers (hot shots) health insurance executives will see crazy tax breaks in the hundreds of millions of dollars range, annually
  • Those fat cats that mr t ‘wines and dines’ at Mara Lago on our hard working dimes, will receive tax benefit savings in the mid-to-high six-figure ranges, while us ‘hundred-aires’ struggle and get bubkis (literally goat turds, also means nothing)

Call your representatives. Oh, look, here is the number should you need it, 202-224-3121. Protest peacefully and loudly. Write letters. Attend town hall meetings. Stand up for health care for all of us. Alevai (it should only happen)!

Things may get worse, before they get better. Aider es kumt di nechomeh, ken oisgaien di neshomeh.

We can do this!

Zay gezunt! Be healthy!

 

Linky’s:

      

     

     

 

      

 

 

The colors of my commute

So much darkness lately. In the news, in the world, in our lives. I try so very hard to keep my glass half-full. Some days, they are easier than others. Today is one of those days. I approached a gloomy, wet commute this morning, and I tried hard to find some lightness. An old Jewish proverb says:

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. A kleyn bisl fun likht pushiz avek a platz fun finsternish.

Let me share some of my light with you, in case you need it too.

Gold glitters, even in the mud. Gold sheint fun bloteh.

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