LEGO LAND is a big win for all!

My littles and me, we went to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. We are fortunate, it is only about 15 minutes away, and it opened this past summer. My Mrs., she has been taking the shana maidelehs (sweet girls) time and time again.  She was off on a photo shoot, so I had some time all to my kinder (kids). The air, it was a bit nippy, so they wanted to stay inside. Truth be told, I was hesitant. I mean, I love LEGO’s as much as the next momma except when I step on them barefooted and scream like a meshuggeneh (crazy person) but to make a whole land of them? I had my doubts. I made sure to keep my shoes on, no matter what the policy!

To say my Littles love coming here is an understatement. They chattered excitedly the whole car ride over about the pirate ship, the ninja training, and about how they were going to be my guides and show me absolutely everything. I was feeling excited through their passion and a bissel ( a little bit) of osmosis.

Waiting in line for the ride in on the Imagination Express…

We have annual passes for 3 of us I am mostly always at work during such fun, and despite being a Star Wars special weekend, we got in rather quickly. It was lively and crowded inside. Despite the parties of people, it felt like a safe place to be playing.

Yup, we got the red car!

I couldn’t take photos during the Imagination Express ride in our red car — I was having too much fun taking part in the giant laser game we drove through to get inside. We all had a magic wand equipped with a red laser to score points at every twist and turn of our giant LEGO car adventure.

Once inside, the colors, the shapes, the LEGO sets and play stations for all levels… eye candy in every direction. My Big, she met up with life-sized LEGO friend, Andrea, while my Little, she hung tight with Emma. I could tell we were in for an afternoon of colorful, creative play — exactly what we all needed!

The vibe inside was festive, albeit magical. The girls, they ran over to the big LEGO pirate ship of Pirate Adventure Island. Momma got to sit down and watch had to stay back, and no joke, I was happy. You have to take your shoes off to enter the Pirate Adventure Island. Short of passing a kidney stone or a festering flesh wound, nothing, I mean bubkas hurts like stepping on a random lego brick in bare feet….

Playing on Pirate Adventure Island!

The girls, they ran, jumped, slid, screamed, squealed, climbed, scurried, hoisted, heaved and hurried themselves up, down, and all over that ship. About 45 minutes later, they were tuckered out, damp, and ready for our next juncture.

So we made our way to the LEGOLAND version of Philadelphia! They built this city… They built this city out of on rock -n-roll LEGO’s. Miniland is AMAZING! Literally, the entire City of Brotherly Love was scaled down, brick by LEGO brick.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, complete with the “Rocky Steps”

While searching for Yoda and the Star Wars Ninja’s for the scavenger hunt, hidden amongst our town, we saw the Art Museum and the famous Rocky steps. We strolled over to City Hall, and I thought about setting up a LEGO soapbox but held back. We were playing! And I ranted fairly well enough yesterday…

Philadelphia, City Hall

We went to LOVE Park and saw Robert Indiana’s famed statue, and even made out Claus Oldenberg’s, Giant Clothespin on Market Street.

LOVE Park

The lights dimmed, and our city center skyline filled the night. Behind us, on boathouse row (not pictured) fireworks erupted like the fourth of July! It was nothing less than stunning!

The city lights at night!

After our walkable Philly adventure, it was time to relax a bit. We headed to the 4D movie theatre. There were four shows playing and we walked into one of them timed oh, so right.

Movie time, in 4D: That’s 3D adventures, plus environmental (rain, snow, wind, etc) effects!

I was mesmerized!

The movie was 12 minutes of pure fun and adventure. After the film, we knew it was time for some serious LEGO ninja training. We stretched and headed over to the Ninjago Training Camp. All three of us excelled, with the sharpest of moves, skills, and mind. Who knew we were such talented Ninjas in the making? I’d show you, but then, well, you know…

Extra Ninja training for my Little
and extra Ninja Training for my Big

My Little and Big, they are strong, proud ninja’s through and through. I will not bat an eye if they are asked to be in the next LEGO Batman movie… We all wished we had cupholder hands rather than opposable thumbs, and left with great memories of fun times in LEGOLAND.

Yiddish Proverb:

When you look to the heights, hold on to your hat. Ven ir kuk tsu di keyts, haltn aoyf deyn hut.

This post is a totally unsolicited and true review. We paid our own way, and will gladly do it again. We love it here and since we don’t have cupholder hands, we give it a hefty 5-star, thumbs up review! Have you been a LEGOLAND Discovery Center?

     

     

The Harry Potter Festival!

It must be wizards… but what is a Yiddisheh muggle like me to know? Every October, Harry Potter and friends land in Chestnut Hill, a stone’s throw from us, where the whole town is magically transformed into Hogwarts. Even the local train station!

Friend of Hedwig?
Here’s Hedwig!
Yummy chocolate frogs…
Yes, eat the whole thing!
Ron’s car! The one that can fly…

4 Privet Drive
Wait, I have a letter for Harry too!
We even hung out with the Dursley’s!

Butter Beer, Diagon Alley, Sorting Hat stations, Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans that taste like vomit, grass, and boogers… Quidditch anyone?

and besties…

“There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

It was a day filled with wise wizards, witches and witty bits of Potter wherever you looked! What’s not to love?

And in Yiddish:

Fraynds. Mishpocheh. Mishpocheh. Fraynds. Friends. Family. Family. Friends. ❤

     

     

    

Notorious R.B.G: you are my hero!

This is me, doing my best RBG. Perhaps we could be shvesters?

Tell me a story about a young girl, born in 1933 during the height of the depression, growing up facing antisemitism, blatant sexism, and inequality, and I’ll know you are talking about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my hero. Oh, Ruth, you are one powerful Yiddisheh momma that dares to live every day #livingfearlesslyauthentic. Let me tell you about her.

Nothing ever did or will stop her. If she disagreed, you knew about it. If she ever wanted something to change, she stood up and fought for it — and that is still true today. She lives and breathes strength, integrity, and elegance. She stands up for equality when others don’t even recognize the discrimination. She is a graceful heavyweight, a leader among all leaders, and at five feet tall, 84 years old, she heads up the liberal wing of the Supremes. She makes me proud to be a woman, a Jew, a feminist, an activist, a mom, and a human being.

Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice

Joan Ruth Bader was born to Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Her sister died when she was just a toddler. Her mother, Celia, always stressed the importance of education (Celia was a very good student, graduating High School at 15, yet her family chose to send her brother to college. It was a time when sons were valued and daughters were meant to find husbands.). As a mom, she wanted more for her daughter. What momma doesn’t? Celia noticed that many girls in her class were named Joan, so to quickly avoid any tsuris (trouble), she asked her teachers to call her Ruth. She brought her to the public library often, where Ruth consumed Nancy Drew books, realizing that Nancy was a young girl in charge, who thought for herself (perhaps we add this series of books to our collective daughters’ gift lists? Nu?) both in her mystery solving and in her relationships. Ruth’s dream of becoming a lawyer was underway and early signs of Notorious R.B.G had begun.

  • Ruth was an excellent student (she listened to her momma, like a glikt shana maideleh (good girl)). Sadly, her mom died the day before her high school graduation
  • She went on to attend Cornell University, where she studied in the bathroom stalls, hiding from parties and social activities — she graduated as the top-ranking female student in her class
  • At Cornell, she met Marty Ginsburg, whom she would later marry. Ruth was demoted from her job for being pregnant. Marty and Ruth gave birth to a bouncing baby girl.  Everyone said she belonged in the kitchen, and at home with her daughter. Marty and Ruth knew better.
  • Marty ( a successful tax attorney in his own right) was supportive, unlike many men of their generation. He understood Ruth was no balaboosta (organized and efficient home-maker). He handled all of the traditional ‘mommy’ roles. Middle-of-the-night feedings, cooking, cleaning, baking, and tending to the kids… he was proud to do these things so that Ruth can later become the Notorious R.B.G. that we know and love.
  • She attended Harvard Law school and was often ridiculed by the dean for being a woman, taking up a man’s spot.
  • Marty took a job in NYC and Ruth transferred to Columbia University, where she graduated tied for top honors in her class.

She had a law degree and top honors, but being a woman, wife, mom, and a Jew made her dreams of becoming a lawyer very difficult. To say she became passionate about women’s rights and gender equality would be an understatement. After co-founding the Women’s Rights Project for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), Ruth went on to fight six landmark cases on gender equality before the US Supreme court.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History gave a species of praying mantis the name llomantis ginsburgae, after RBG. They say this species has a neckplate similar to the fancy neckwear Ginsburg wears at the outcome of a verdict. It is also based on how the insect was identified by her female genitalia – a nod to RBG’s lifetime fight for gender equality and women’s rights. Please note, this is a praying mantis I happily found on my car, not the newly, super cool RBG version.

President Jimmy Carter appointed RBG to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served there for thirteen years. President Bill Clinton, looking to increase the diversity on the highest bench in the land, appointed her to the US Supreme Court. She joined the Supremes as only the second female Supreme Court Justice (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first). She refers to the former justice as her “big sister.”

RBG battled colon cancer in 1999. She fought off pancreatic cancer in 2009. In 2014, she had a stent placed in her right coronary artery after feeling uncomfortable while working out with her personal trainer. Yes, she can probably kick a*s and take names in any gym she enters.

As for the name, Notorious R.B.G., that comes for her feisty and fiery dissents. A meme virally toured the social media realm, comparing her rap star Notorious B.I.G.

On retirement, at 84, she is a self-proclaimed flaming feminist litigator and is showing no signs of losing her efficacy or her memory. Take a look at this recent tweet from our own twit-in-chief, and you know she still is a powerful force.

Guess who you think I wish would resign?

Ruth, I admire you and hold you in the very highest regard. You influence my life and my decisions, and I know this world is a better place because of you. Thank you for all you do.

A wonderful read for all ages!

What a gutte neshumah, she is. What a good person with a big heart, she is.

 

      

      

      

     

Rubber Ducky, you’re the one

No rubber ducks, not one, were injured in this photo. This, I can assure you.

Appropriate Yiddish phrases for this post:

A fool goes to the baths and forgets to wash his face.  A nar gait in bod arein un fargest zikh dos punim optsuvashen.

When the streets are muddy, the cobblers rejoice. Az s’iz in droissen a bloteh, frai’en zikh en shusters.

What’s really going on in the photo? Fun with potholes in the streets of Philadelphia… (Ellen, I promised you this, remember!)

 

   

 

Detective G is turning up the heat

It has become even more evident in our immediate vicinity, chickens are being slaughtered at a pace that far exceeds anything resembling normalcy. It’s cuckoo. Bones are strewn about the pavement, the grass, the bushes. Those that leave these skeletal remains behind are becoming cavalier; downright cocky. Gatsby’s nose knows a nice nosh (snack) exactly where to find the latest crime scene. No ruffled feather goes unturned while he is patrolling the roost.

As his sniffer snarfs, the clucked remains are quickly unearthed, exposed. We pace the pavement, seeking answers. Where before he found entire grilled chicken breasts, wings, a sprig of celery, dare I say, special sauce; now only blanched bones, clean cartilage lay before his paws.

Careful, this may be a sight to keep away from young eyes

The unlawful cockerel crooks have upped their game. Their hunger shows and they are getting sloppy. Gatsby, my lone detective dog, is determined to stop this flock of felons if our neck of the woods is ever to be free from dreck (litter) vindicated. It is his passion unless you are a passing squirrel or a fleeting feline and he forgets his mission to chase you and fits his penchant poultry palate.

They are toying with him, taunting

Nary a strut about the ‘hood goes by without a need for his deputy sidekick (me or the Mrs.), to extract the nasty osseous matter from his tight-lipped lips. I’ve explained about the proper protocol in bagging evidence. How he needs to be clean and methodical or we’ll have another OJ Simpson on the loose, despite the power of DNA. He prefers his way. Every thigh, neck, breast, leg, and wing carefully clenched in his canines. He will eat his way through thick and thin, unrelenting and stoic until the pecking peccant perps are reduced to jail-bird status. He knows why the caged bird sings, and he is waiting for the music. He was not born to kvetch (complain), but to serve.

The world is becoming safer for all fine feathered friends

Perhaps as the season turns, the sun lies low in the sky and the dark of night comes about earlier and earlier, Detective G will get to the bottom of the bucket this constant putrid poultry perversion lurking and littering our residential roads and pathways. Wish him luck as he continues his beat in search of truth, justice, and the American way, well, that means nothing anymore with our government a peaceable kingdom. He will make the streets safe again for all fine feathered friends, for his eyes see beauty in all things fowl.

Appropriate Yiddish phrases for this Post:

The eggs, they think they are smarter than the chickens. Di eyer viln zayn kliger fun di hiner.

May your bones be broken as often as the ten commandments. Zolne dayne beyner zich brechn azoy oft vi di Aseres-Hadibres.

And the kinder, they feel safe, knowing Gatsby is in control of our hood

Now, my dear neighbors and friends, we all share this world. Please stop littering! Oy vey iz mir!

      

      

      

     

Busy, Shmizzy: Eat Together for a Better World

Folks, it’s time for a post update. We still fearlessly, tirelessly, endlessly march on, supping together in hopes of a higher purpose. Manners are hard to come by here at the Manor. This week I see that mac-n-cheese is still perceived and approached as finger food. Opposable thumbs do not impress our small humans. The Mrs., and me, our voices continue to make no sound at all to our giggly little, pierced ears who nosh (eat a little) during this very important nutritional act of derring-do. My glass, it stays half full yes, they spilled again, but I am using the metaphor now

and this is how we eat noodles
and this is how we eat noodles, in stereo with Cousin Max, at a restaurant no less, in public… Oy!

I’m always telling suggesting to the Mrs. about the importance of sitting down together to ess a bissel (eat a little). How we need to dine with the full mishpocheh (family). Studies by big machers (hot shots) like scholars and doctors all laud the big meal get together as the solution to practically all that plagues the planet (don’t get me started, oy vey iz mir).

Jointly sitting and supping brings benefits to the body, brain and overall ‘mini-mojo’ of our kinder (kids). A nice nosh (proper meal) together makes for little Epicureans that become ‘epi-curious’ eaters who will choose more fruits and veggies, and pick less fried foods and sugary beverages. If mealtime is conquered correctly, the consuming kinder (children) are less likely to kvell (be happy) over a ‘happy meal’ that is loaded with tasty toxins, added fats, oils and who the hell knows what other unsavory ingredients. They won’t hunger for the little tchotchkes (small, unnecessary plastic toys), that promote future gluttony and materialism. They will be less likely to become obese. That alone equals a healthier lifestyle with fewer illnesses. Kaynahorah (to ward off evils — like the big C, heart disease and stroke), all this magic with one familial sit down a day?

Wait! There’s more. Those same above-mentioned mavens add that clever conversation over a nice meal boosts vocabulary for our kinder (kids), which makes for stronger, happier readers. Nu? If you can survive manage regular family mealtimes as the kinder mature, higher test scores, better grades and overall academic performance are in your future.

Add an avocado to the meal, and you win top honors in Nobel nutrition.

Well, it is obvious that no maven of any sort has observed the goings on at our little corner of the dining room here at the Manor. The Mrs. and me, we do our best to offer nightly variations of healthy, overly expensive organic suppers while trying to stick to our frugalista rice and beans every night still ways. With you, I must be honest, dinners hock mier en chinikeh (drives me bat-shit crazy). Etiquette and decorum have left the building by this witching hour!

Things usually start smoothly. The girls, they clean up a bit and set the table when we beg, plead and bribe. They help bring out our food (beans and rice). We all sit, and the Mrs. and I, we ask open-ended questions like a job interview to try to get them to respond speak with us. They sit with their knees up, spread eagle (vey iz mir), and have clearly left their listening ears in the ‘OFF’ position. They seem to have their own form of communication that is specifically designed to exclude us. They use their fingers instead of utensils even for soup. In fact, just last night, I was prompted to wax eloquent on the beauty of our opposable thumbs and how they separate us from the animal kingdom in hopes they would just pick up a g-damned fork or a spoon and eat like humans.

Little, she has a tendency to lick random and incredibly disgusting things WTF. She gets up from the table an average of  267 times per meal. She may need more water, go use the bathroom, want something better to eat, have an undeniable urge to dance, jump on the trampoline, or simply incite an enormous giggle-fest with Big. And I won’t kid you when I say it, she ‘toots like a trumpeter’ at the table. My madelah (sweet little girl)!

Big, she started with the whole knees up posture. She may use a fork for a moment or two, then she will quickly resort to her more primal instincts and pick up everything with her fingers, especially condiments. She can tell a story or two during dinner, and get up to act it out, share via interpretive dance, or become totally taken in by the mishegas (craziness) of Little. This leaves the Mrs. and me sitting table-side for what must be days, weeks, months hours, getting all cobwebby, and stiff-jointed, waiting for her to finish the feast.

And mittendrinnen (in the middle of everything), Gatsby, will jump into any temporarily vacated seat, and make a quick and successful quest for any food sitting idle.

Gatsby, on the prowl
Gatsby, on the prowl

The shvesters (sisters) behavior has the Mrs. and me chugging the Apple Cider Vinegar (an excellent indigestion remedy) nightly, straight from the bottle. It’s a mitzvah (good deed) we don’t drink enough or at all!

Lo and behold, we will endure these rituals because we have put our trust in the big macher alrightniks (good people).

Charlotte, she will weave her nightly web around us. We make this sacrifice night after night with the promise that our girls will not engage in high-risk behaviors like smoking, drugs or sex ever, ever, ever. They won’t have depressed or suicidal thoughts. They will avoid bullies at school and online. They will be self-confident and self-loving and avoid eating disorders.

They will be strong, mighty girls who can lean in at any table. And they will have empathy and compassion, because each night, we do our best to make it through another make your own burrito bowl.

I wonder if there are any studies of what happens to us mom’s as we suffer go through this phase?

A bei gezunt (Live and be well).

 

Linky’s:

      

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Helping Hands

It’s been an ‘all hands on deck‘ kind of week. School is in full swing, dance lessons are back, and as they say in this Yiddish Proverb:

If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.  Aoyb ir alts darfn a helping hant ir vet gefinen eyner in di suf fun deyn orem.

Take a look at my kinder (Sweet kids) and their hantalehs (hands) at work play!

They were so fascinated by the typewriters! They didn’t want to leave! Azoi!

Shana Tovah to all who celebrate! May it be a sweet and happy new year ahead for us all.

    

      

Summer lovin’ had me a blast…

 The last trip of the summer holidays had us off to Boulder, CO to see my mishpocheh (family). Here are some of our favorite pics…

And boy, did we ever! L’Chaim! (To Life!)

Our very happy Gatsby on return! My boychik…

Travel in good health! For gezunterheit! We did!

     

        

      

      

Easy ways to make cleaning fun so children will want to help you

Greetings all! I hope you are enjoying the weekend. I am very happy to share with you today, a post from guest blogger, Nicole Gardiner. Nicole, she is very passionate about topics related to home improvement, cleaning, and organizing. All things, we  could use help with. As we get ready for school to begin, I thought you all would enjoy and learn from Nicole. Let’s all find our inner “Mary Poppins” and make clean up fun, “Spit-Spot!” 

If you are spending your entire weekend doing house cleaning chores, then you might want to consider involving the rest of the family in the housework. Teaching your kids to help with the cleaning chores will not only help you to cut the time it takes for everything to be done in half but it will also teach your kids to be responsible and organized adults. Of course, no one likes cleaning chores and for your kids, there are definitely things which are way more fun. However, there are a few tricks which can motivate your little helpers.

Turn everything into a game

If you want to get the attention of your kids, you must know how to make the cleaning chore more fun. And the most common thing which children think when hearing the word fun are games. If you can turn every chore into a game, you are guaranteed to catch the attention of your young cleaners. Make an effort to come up with different missions for you children to complete and make every chore a competition. This is definitely a fun way to make cleaning more pleasant.

 

Turn up the music

Have you tried this method? It is guaranteed to make the cleaning chores more fun not only for your children but for you, too. Blasting the radio with the new hits of the station is a fun way to pass the cleaning time faster. If you want to involve your children in the cleaning, you can let them choose some of the songs on your house-cleaning playlist. You can be sure that if your kids are having fun, they don’t care what they are doing in the meantime.

Buy them child-size tools

Often cleaning tools are way too big and uncomfortable for your children. To make everything more personal and fun, you can buy them tools which are smaller and more appropriate for their age. Having their own equipment will definitely make them more excited next time they are tackling the house chores.

Give only age-appropriate tasks

Despite the fact that you can teach your children to be more responsible by having them to help you with the house cleaning, you should choose the chores that suit their age. That doesn’t mean that you should give them a task which they can finish in 1 minute and let them rest but you can’t expect from a toddler to do the job which a 10-year-old does.

Give rewards

One of the most fun ways to motivate any child is to promise a reward. It doesn’t have to be something big but the idea of getting a reward after completing a chore is one of the best tricks to get your children to be interested in cleaning. Rewarding with a favorite snack or a day by the pool is more than enough to motivate your children to help around the house.

Cleaning is not something adults like, so we can’t blame our children when they don’t feel motivated to help us around the house. However, learning how to handle basic house cleaning chores can help them tremendously when they become adults. Helping around the house will not only cut the cleaning time in half but it will also teach them how to be more responsible and organized. Those are qualities which every adult should possess. If you use those simple methods you can make the cleaning chores a bit more fun for your children and get them motivated to help you around the house.

The whole world is on fire, and grandma, she is mopping the floor. Der ganster velt iz aoyf fayer, aun nannalah, zi iz maping di shtik. Nu?

Thank you, Nicole!

      

    

My faith in humanity is restored!

I came home from work, and the pain in my neck was excruciating. On a scale of 1 – 10, it was a 46 (that should only be my age). Ugh! My shana maidelehs (sweet little girls) were so excited to see me; Gatsby, my furry boychik, was jumping and barking at my feet.  My Mrs., she could see the pain in my eyes and she gently kissed me on the check. Heroes welcome for certain.

Apparently, a note was left at the front door entrance to our apartment building to my attention. Big, she was very excited to tell me all about it. Someone found something of mine in the parking lot… call a phone number and they will give it to me. I had no idea what that could be and I had no intention of finding out immediately due to my ‘pain in the neck‘ neck pain. My family, they went out to a birthday party for Little’s friend — I wanted to go, but without full body cooperation, I listened to the siren song of the sofa calling my name. Gatsby and I snuggled in tightly, arranging my head just so, and I asked ‘Alexa’ to play Rachel Maddow as I closed my eyes.

A little bit later, I heard a ping on my phone, so I took a look-see. I noticed a few notes in my Facebook messenger. Delving a little deeper, there was yet another note for me from a person I did not know. It was brilliant! Take a look at this:

Someone found my wallet, and wanted to return it to me! All of the sudden, I remembered Big’s excitement and put 2+2 together… I lost my wallet.

Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? Nu? When did this happen? Where? How? Obviously in the parking lot…  

My penchant for the penny-wise is so strong, I only reach cash/card if I really have to make a purchase. I met a friend for coffee today, but that’s a luxury, so no wallet. I didn’t even know I lost it!  This could have easily been disastrous! 

I dialed up my very kind neighbor right away. She was so sweet and caring. She said she was eagerly waiting to hear from me and she hoped I wasn’t going crazy looking for this missing wallet… Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? She was at work, but her hubby was home and would be happy to deliver my missing property. I insisted that I go to him – It was the least I could do! Gatsby and I ventured across the parking lot. As we made our way, it dawned on me that the previous day, me and this boychik, we walked to the local coop for some dog food and treats. My wallet must have fallen out of my pocket on the way home… I lost my wallet?

I pressed D9 and the most delightful man answered, in a British accent too! He buzzed me in the doorway and came straight away, with my red wallet in hand. As he handed it to me, he reached out his hand and said, “My name is Jim.” I happily took his hand in mine and smiled, gushing gratitude! He bent down and played with Gatsby. These two people who found my wallet, Kristy, and Jim, they are mensches (good people filled with honesty and integrity). And, they like my Gatsby. Dog people are good people! ❤

I love a kind human!

Today, in a world filled with chaos, hate, divisiveness, terror… I experienced the ultimate in human kindness. I saw proof that people, all people, can choose kindness.

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. A kleyn bissel fun likht pushiz a vek a plats fun finsternish. 

Kristy and Jim, thank you for my light.

I lost my wallet… My Mrs., Liz, Biz, Nona — it’s official. I’m a true part of this family! Expect a lost/stolen iPhone next, and, wait, where did my keys go? Oy vey. (OMG.)

Shalom, Ahava, and Simcha. Peace, Love, and Joy. May you all find some kindness today and every day!

      

     

      

Mary Tyler Moore taught me the “F” word

You're gonna make it after all...
You’re gonna make it after all…

Yes, she did. The ‘F’ word in question is feminist, and she was the first  feminist for this alta kocker (old fart) of a baby boomer, to witness and learn from, on TV. She very easily and seamlessly showed the world, and young madelahs (girls) like me yes I was a young kinder, that you can be a woman and do things differently. It was okay.

As a little pisher (kid), I grew up admiring and dreaming of becoming ‘Mary Richards.’ I know, you’re thinking, Mary, she’s a shiksah (non-jew) with a cute little turned up nose… and me, a Yiddisheh momma? Well, at the start of every episode, she tossed that hat up into the air, and knew, she was ‘gonna make it after all.’  She was a smart, single woman in the ’70’s, living alone and carrying a big job at WJM-TV. She demanded respect, and was incredibly kind. A true mensch (good person). Once, she bumped into her desk, and actually said, “excuse me.” I’ve done that. Really! I have channeled Mary Richards and her kindness, and I have brought the Rule of Kind to our home.

I remember the very first episode, when she interviewed for the job of TV producer. Mr. Grant (Ed Asner) was giving her a real tough time and she flat-out stood her ground and stated that he should be asking her about her qualifications, not her personal life. Zing! Ah-ha moment. Click. Save.

Over the seven years her show spanned, she taught me about equal pay (and we are still fighting that fight) for women in the workplace, birth control, being single and having sex, not conforming to society’s view of women — married with children, dressing differently (yes, the very first member of the pantsuit nation), mixing skirts, dresses, and pants in her wardrobe both for work and for play. All the while, I baby sat and ich macht a labent (made a living), as pint-sized pishers did. Click. Save.

As I mourn Mary Tyler Moore, and Mary Richards, I sure hope she meets up with Chuckles the Clown in the big TV studio in the sky. Perhaps one of the funniest episodes ever, Chuckles Bites the Dust, where Mary really lost her sh*t couldn’t contain herself. He worked down the hall from the studio and was killed by a rogue elephant when he was dressed as Peter Peanut. The gang kept relentlessly making jokes and Mary was appalled. Then at the actual funeral, the sermon began it finally hit her and she laughed louder and heartier then ever before. It was comedic genius and showed fear of the ever after simultaneously.

*Video courtesy of You Tube

Mary, wherever you are, I hope you can laugh. For your life looked easy to us, but it was much harder than ever imagined. Go find Chuckles, and laugh, and know that you made a real difference in the world that is so very important today, especially today, in 2017. RIP MTM, and thank you for your wisdom, comedy, and insight.

The only true dead, are tose who have been forgotten.  di bloyz ams toyt, zenen di vas hobn shoyn fargesn. 

Long live on Mary…

L’Chiam! To Life!

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Oh. Oh. Uh-oh.

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This is Lisa.

Lisa suffers from very bad pain in her neck.

You can’t always tell. She hides it very well.

Lisa has chronic occipital neuralgia.

Poor Lisa.

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Her kinder (children), they like to walk dance on Lisa’s (mommy’s) back to help her.

This feels so good for Mommy.

Such good kinder they are!

Lisa loves her kinder so much.

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This is the Mrs. with our kinder.

The Mrs., she is so good to Lisa.

The Mrs. rubs her neck and back for her when she is in horrible pain.

Lisa loves the Mrs. so much.

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This is Gatsby.

Gatsby is a good little boychik (boy).

While the Mrs. rubs Lisa’s neck, Gatsby chews.

What a good boy Gatsby is!

Lisa loves the Great Gatsby so much!

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Oh. Oh.

Uh-oh.

Gatsby chewed Lisa’s glasses while the Mrs. rubbed her neck and back.

Gatsby ate the sides and broke through the lenses with his puppy teeth.

Gatsby is a mischievous boychik (boy).

Lisa loves her very adorable, yet mischievous boy Gatsby, very much.

Even with this killer watch dog, those thugs came after us!

Poor Lisa.

Lisa’s glasses are dreck (crap) now.

Lisa’s glasses make everything look as if she is looking through a snow globe.

How nice of Gatsby to make everything Lisa looks at, look like she is looking through a snow globe.

 

Oif tsalochis. As luck would have it… Lisa is tardy for a trip to the ophthalmologist.

What a good boy Gatsby is!

Zie gezunt! Be healthy, be well!

 

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Minimalism is Fun: Take a look

Okay, so in 2017 I (hopefully we) have replaced ‘Frugalism’ for ‘Minimalism.’ It admittedly has a nicer sound, nu? You agree? Frugalism has such a negative connotation – as if one is a tightwad. Minimalism and its glorious way, appears to offer more of a choice, well at least to me. In fact, there still is no choice. It’s what’s gotta be…

So, in a pure minimalistic bent, take a look at a beautiful outing with friends, to IKEA of all places. For those of you who have kinder (children) and don’t know, IKEA is the poor person’s Disney World. Admission is free. Climate is always appropriate. Each room brings with it a new and exciting adventure to explore, pretend and play. Whether mattress hopping, imagining living or working in each showroom, or playing hide and go seek in the ‘grab it yourself’ warehouse, it is fun for all ages.

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Oh, and ice cream (which is really frozen yogurt) is only $1. Add to the fact that on Monday through Friday, kids eat (meals, entire meals, nice meals) for free… And in this past year, they have taken that famous Swedish meatball and turned it all millennial! Yes, it now comes in a gluten free, vegan version! This is no joke!

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What is not to love about IKEA? Keep your glass half full and take a nice visit.

If time is money, I don’t have any time. Oyb tsayt iz gelt, hob ikh keyn tsayt nit.

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I’m feeling a little ‘Pre-Inaugeral,’ You?

This picture illustrates how I feel post election, pre-inaugeral. Yes. I'm definitely a little pre-inaugeral.
This picture illustrates how I feel. Pre-inaugeral. Yes. I’m definitely a little ‘pre-inaugeral.’ I’d like to be re-inaugeral.

“Are we going to lose our insurance with Mr. t-elect,” The Mrs. said as she sobbed into the phone.

“Honey. We may. But at least we know they will offer free conversion therapy!”  (whaaah – whaaaaah)

“No really, it’s a shanda (real shame, scandal) what can happen. It’s starting already.”

 

“What does ‘pre-inaugeral’ feel like?”

It’s like, you know.  When you look at at him and his cabinet. You see a crowd of people, and not one person among them. A groyse oylem un nito uyn mentsch.

 

“Are you going to watch it, next week?”

“I thought a lot about this. Yes. I must. Nancy Pelosi says it is her job to be there. Hillz will be there. I must watch. I must know.  It is history. Who would have believed it? Ver dolt dos gegleybt?”

 

“Will we be okay?”

“If the world will ever be redeemed, it will be only through the merit of the children. Oib de velt vet verren oisgelaizt, iz es nor in zechus fun kinder.”

 

Here we go.  A bi gezunt. As long as you are healthy.

 

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The sun shines on everyone for free.

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Less is more.

Less stuff, please

Spend less, how?

Do it…

Memories mean more.

Always.

Clean out, share. Give.

De-clutter, free the brain.

Start anew. Now. Today.

Happiness is there for the taking.

 

Not really much more to say.

 

The sun shines on everyone for free. Di zun shaynt far itekhn umzist.

 

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Presence vs. Presents: A wordless Wednesday

My Bashert (my heart)
My Bashert (my heart)
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul! And this family can laugh!
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul! And this family can laugh!
The love of eating goes deep, shows early, and can't be taught. Hymie's whitefish salad!
The love of eating goes deep, shows early, and can’t be taught.
Hymie’s whitefish salad! TDF…
Frayndshaft (friendship), nothing like it!
Frayndshaft (friendship), nothing like it!
Shep naches (get such pleasure from) these faces...
Shep naches (get such pleasure from) these faces…

What a wonderful couple of weeks we have had, this holiday season. We are so rich with love! ❤

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To the moon, and back again

A little break on the way to the Tolerance Statue
A little break on the way to the Tolerance Statue

In this space, many a time, I have spoken ill of my kinder (children) and their need to gai schluffy (go to sleep) on their own and in their own room. Last night, the first sleep over of 2017, had our Little and Big’ with their own Little E. and Big M.’ in tow. Sibling birthed besties! Literally, friends ‘in/out of utero,’ ‘of/for a lifetime.’

Let me preface this bubba meisah (a bit of a tall story) with the fact anecdotal evidence that up until now, and for three short months shy of nine years, the Mrs. and me have been a part of some irrational scientific lab experiment on sleep deprivation. I gotta say, our ‘sleep banks’ and our ‘regular banks’ are probably equally underprovided…

I have so many girls to look after!
I have so many girls to look after!

Knowing that our Little shana madelah was going to be the cause of the majority of any anticipated schluffy tsuris (sleep trouble), we started our adventure with our first hike of 2017. We had two cars, 4 girls 8 and under, and Gatsby (a barking meshuggeneh boychik on a leash) and headed off for the beautiful trails of the Wissahicken. A little fresh air, a new trail and a New Year! Surely we were finding our true north early in the year. We chose to head over to the Tolerance Statue, Mr. William Penn himself, in full-marbleized regalia. 2017 is going to need a lot of ‘tolerance,’ more than usual given the unfortunate circumstances of our hacked democracy. The weather was perfect, the lighting gorgeous and the adventurous state of the girls was scary thrilling!

These ‘explorer kids’ ran, chased, scaled, and reached for the stars as we made our way to the statue. There was a lot of joy on the trail that day, as everyone who passed was filled with smiles and well wishes for a Happy New Year. It felt quite lovely. The maidelahs and the boychik felt the holiday spirit too as they giggled and climbed. Wink. Wink. Nod. Nod. The Mrs. and me thought for certain that we were golden; a promising quiet night with 4 sleeping beauties, nestled snug in their beds.

Home Alone. Popcorn is cooking
Home Alone. Popcorn is cooking

We filled their tiny bellies with pizza and ice cream, the entrée of all sleepovers. We brought out the trampoline for some additional arduous, aerobic activity, then stoked up the TV with Home Alone, the original. The smell of buttery popcorn wafted through the hallways of the Manor, a nice nosh (nibble) for a movie. It was a night of memory making, a simcha (cause for happiness) over these beautiful friendships.

Entertainment: Home Alone, the original
Entertainment: Home Alone, the original

Hugs, kisses… “Goodnight girls! We love you to the moon and back again!” Oh, how naïve we were.

The Bigs, they had their books to read and set off to our bedroom to quietly read. Our Little, she flipped a switch and began an award-winning melt-down, complete with alarming geshrei’s (screams like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween), stomping feet and kicky legs too! Totally expected. The Mrs. spent some time in the room with them. I came back from walking boychik and headed for my tour of duty.

Many hours later, I lay motionless in the dark, essence of oils diffusing ‘balance’ into the air, two sleeping Bigs and two wide awake, albeit loud, Littles. It’s time for the Mrs. again. Soon after, I am called back in for a song. The Mrs., she cuts it off at a song. So Little E. requested a ‘lullaby’ that her mom sings her each night. Oy vey…

So, I pull out my very best lullaby. Like a jackrabbit, Little E., she jumps up and says, “That was good, but the one my mommy sings goes like this.” She sang proud and strong, and with the largest, wiggly-jiggly toothed smile shining by the light of the diffuser. It made my very tired, post-tantrum, miserable kinder (child) smile too.

From that moment on, they held hands, smiled, and fell fast asleep. Long night, but completely adorbs all around. Oh how I love these girls!

And chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Another nice nosh...
And chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Another nice nosh…

Gut-yor (A good year) for all!

Yeder kind offers zeyer eygn eyntsik talant fun glik tsu di velt. Every child offers their own unique gift of happiness to the world. – Russian proverb

 

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For richer or poorer…

Our bubbelah's (sweethearts)
Our bubbelah’s (sweethearts)

In December, on the very day that follows jolly ol’ St. Nick, traipsing (trudging) soot through the Manor, schlepping (hauling) holiday gifts aplenty, the Mrs. and me, we will be legally married for three years. We’ve been together for just shy of 19 years. There was a bit of lag-time before the Supremes sang out to the world that we are in fact, equal. That our love counts too. Hey, that it happened in my lifetime! Pthui, pthui, pthui… So what, our engagement was long (16 years), and we had a couple of kinder (kids) out-of-wedlock. Nu?

Now, like all of you, we live through sickness and health, for richer or poorer… And what I have learned is that ‘poorer’ carries so much more in definition. Oy vey iz mir (Woe is me)… Poorer doesn’t always refer to insufficient bank funds. Sure we are shy of green and becoming quite the frugalista’s. We are actually quite rich in our poverty! Let me tell you three ways how:

Sleep. They say, a nacht on shlof iz di gresteh shtrof (a sleepless night is the worst punishment). Well, how about 3,285 of them! Yes, our kinder (kids), sweet shana madelahs (little girls) that they are, they lack the skillset to gai shluffin (sleep) like normal children without us mommas in tow. Often times, as we try our best to lull them to slumber, you can hear either the Mrs. or me mumble under our breath, “FCKITY F#CK FCK, will you please just go the F%CK to SLEEP!”

This is a far-reaching problem. It means neither sitter, grandparent, family member, sleep doula, nor even Mary Poppins herself, can lay them down for the necessary night’s worth of zzzz’s. Co-sleeping wee-sized infants have grown into co-sleeping small humans. They stand tall as trees, long limbs kicking, elbowing and stealing our snuggly quilt nightly. Our oversize king mattress, well not so much.

Our sleep bank and our cash bank look all too similar. Oy.

Yes, I co-sleep in their bed too.
Yes, I co-sleep in their bed too.

Kid-free zone. I’m talking about ‘alone time.’ Adult time. For schmoozing (talking), to catching up, binge watching Grace and Frankie or Orange is the New Black while spooning on the sofa. Even having actual time to talk about our dear kinder with each other. Taking in ‘a nice meal’ together, when we are both showered, dressed like we put in some sort of effort in the game, and totally tantrum free.

Thankfully, the Mrs. and me, we have some truly remarkable friends who have recognized our severe insufficiency in the kinder-free’ zone and have started with sleepovers. Big, she loves the sleepover, and Little, well, she is trying the best she can. We are not quite there. Last night’s pick-up (mid- Downton Abbey, season 6, episode 3), and todays screeching fits, outbursts and hysterics are proof.

Time. Not great bits of it mind you, but an occasional late slumber, where my body awakens because it’s met some sort of natural and healthful internal quota. Grabbing a shower without a cutie little punim (face) opening the curtain and asking, ‘do I know where her shoes are,’ or, ‘do you have any money.’  Uninterrupted time to poop, alone. Yes, I said it. That would be f#cking amazing.

So my Mrs., as we tackle the richness of poverty in our lives, please know we are in it together, for now and forever. That alone brings me such nachas (joy, pleasure), no gelt (money) can ever buy. I love you my sweet. And those kinder, kaynahorah (warding off the evil eye), they are happy, healthy, wonderful, meshuggeneh (crazy) girls.

Wow, I am rich.

Hnah lebn. Das iz nit a kleyd repetitsye. Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.

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Let the Sun Shine: wordless wednesday

Di zun shaynt far itlekhn umzist. The sun shines on everyone for free.

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Ven nit di shein, volt kain shoten nit geven. If not for the light, there would be no shadow.

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Forget your tsuris (troubles), c’mon get happy…

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While I don’t think I’ll be shouting ‘hallelujah’ anytime soon, it’s time. I need to stop brooding over the literal dreadful future state of the union and turn my frown upside down. After all, I’m a kveller (one who bursts with pride and positivity) not a kvetch (complainer). Remember my glass half full look at life? Well, I’m trying hard to conjure that back up since the events of November 8. So here goes… My top five, Nu? I’m lucky to find three things to get my ‘happy’ on, ASAP:

  1. Smile. It’s contagious. Smile at a stranger, a coworker, a spouse, a kid, and mostly, they will smile back at you. It’s like a yawn, without the tired, hazy, breathy feeling. It’s a necessary contagion to release into our world right about now. For those who don’t smile back, well, they must be having a really bad time. Perhaps they are constipated (okay, we are adults here you know – constipation can be quite unsettling and cause severe cantankerousness). A smile may help the stuffed-stranger release endorphins to help them, well, ‘go,’ if you know what I mean. At the very least, we will have one smiling person, and one on the run… Before you know it, prior puffy person will be a bit lighter on their feet, grimace-be-gone, and they can head into the world spreading more smiles. See how this theory works? Smile begets smile. It’s quite lovely and much more sustainable than tsuris (troubles).

Tsuris tsezegen di harts. Trouble cuts up the heart. Dem bitersten mazel ken men farshtellen mil a shmaichel. The bitterest misfortune can be covered up with a smile. 

  1. Enjoy the moment. I don’t know about you, but I need more bad news like I need a luch in kop (hole in the head). Perhaps I need to turn off those CNN alerts on my phone and stop worrying about every scenario from this meshuggeneh (crazed) new administration. Relish my time with the Mrs., my Little and Big. With Gatsby, the most present of us all! At work. At play. With friends. Worry eats the present, delays the future and causes some scowl on my punim (face). Nothing says you are an adult more than a scowling punim! And, to extrapolate further, a scowling punim makes those horrid lines appear around my mouth and in between my eyebrows. I need to look more like an alta kocker (for real, this means an ‘old shit’) and get more gray hairs over this? Fuck that! I think not.

Zok nit kin vey. Don’t worry about it. Mit mazel ken men alles. With goodness, everything is possible.

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  1. Laugh more. Open your eyes and find the funny. I know, these times, they are not the best. But they are the times we now must knowAnd somehow, I hope we can realize and learn how similar we all really are. Let laughter be our joiner. The thing that unites us. That allows us to coexist, and then grow. Nothing sounds better to me then my kinder (kids) chock-full of chuckles and merriment. My weekly coffee klatsch (you know who you are) having a knee-slapping good time. My shvester (sister) and I chortling so hard, yes, we may pee a little! The sweet sound of the Mrs. in a hearty guffaw… (Maybe, that last one is just for me). But you get my drift. Euphoria is there. Make people laugh, laugh more with people. It may not change the world, but it sure will make this world more enjoyable.

A gelechter hert men veiter vi a gevain. Laughter is heard further than weeping. L’Chaim! To life!

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I found myself in tears last night

Mighty girls become strong women
Mighty girls become strong women

Hello all. This is a post for a dear blogger friend. She does not live in the US. She did not get to vote in our election. Yet incredibly, she found herself in tears discussing the outcome. I know that the Mrs. and me spent a great deal of time crying. I think we are grieving and in mourning too. It feels like a death has happened. The death of progress, hope, equality. We are left with misogyny, racism, xenophobia, sexual assault, bullying and hate for religious freedom and the disabled.

Without further ado, please read this brave, real, honest post from my friend in the ether-world, Mac at reflectionsfromme.com .

Women all over, please know that together, we are stronger. We have a voice.

This is Mac. Check out her blog at mac@reflectionsfromme.com
This is Mac. Check out her blog at reflectionsfromme.com

I am not American, and I am first to admit I know very little about American politics. I am not going to pretend I am an expert or that I have followed the campaign closely enough to write a highly educated post. Admittedly I know little about Hilary, I know little about Donald and I have even less knowledge on the other candidates.

What I do know though is I found myself in tears last night. Unexplained tears. I was talking to my mother over the phone and I found myself starting to cry, I was shocked. Somehow this vote left me feeling extremely vulnerable and brought feelings out in me that I was surprised by, feelings I thought I had dealt with many years ago. Yet somehow hearing that Donald Trump was to be America’s President tore open old wounds, and left me feeling violated as a woman, and as a mother.

To say it upsets me is an understatement, I, and I am sure many other women and men are in shock! I feel disgusted, and I feel let down. I am not naive enough to believe that women have equality in this world, far from it. I am blessed to have been born in a country, and a point in time where women where I live have it pretty great. I guess in some way though this is what gave me the false sense of security that a person like Donald Trump could not be seen as a leader. Don’t get me wrong I am not in any way saying Hillary was not voted in because she is a woman and I understand that she is not well liked by many Americans, this post is not about her. It is about how let down I feel as a woman, no scrap that not just as a woman, it is about how let down I feel as a human being that anyone would support a man who can be OK with talking about grabbing a woman by her “pussy”, and how they let him do it to them because he has fame, because he is a “star”! He can talk about trying to “fuck” his words not mine, married women as if it is his right to sleep with anyone he pleases. And apparently he doesn’t wait to start kissing someone he just does it!

Oh and here is another Donald Quote, he tweeted,

“26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

I mean what is he saying Here? Because it sure sounds to me like he is saying that of course women should expect to be sexually assaulted if they are part of the military? And what is it saying about Men? As a woman this disgusts me, and if I was man I would be so offended!

This is a man who openly insults women, who has even gone as far to say that if his own daughter wasn’t his daughter that he would be dating her! I mean what father says that????? It is sickening! It is fine to acknowledge your child is attractive, but that you would date them is just a weird statement to make in my opinion.

I am not saying that Hillary Clinton is perfect, and I know that people saw Donald Trump as the better of two bad choices, but I just don’t understand how they can justify that thought? As a mother I want my daughters to be respected, not looked upon as sexual objects, as a mother I want my son to know he deserves respect and that he must also respect women and their right to say no to any unwanted advances. I want both my daughters and my son to see everyone as equal and know everyone deserves to be treated with respect regardless of their gender, financial status, colour of their skin, or sexual preferences.

Like I said I am not an American and I don’t live there so who am I to judge anyone who voted for Trump? I know you had your reasons, I know that many Americans are scared and live in fear especially after September Eleven. But still, I just can’t understand voting in Trump. I feel so confused. I don’t feel I could ever vote for someone with such a vulgar opinion of women. I would never want my daughters to think I would vote for a man who speaks about women that way. I would never want my son to look up to the leader of his country as a role model. I feel like voting in Trump is like saying “hey men of the world you can treat women however you want and still lead a great country like America”! “You know what go ahead and insult women, grab them by the pussy, kiss them without permission and you will be rewarded with the presidency”! Is this a joke????

Mummy why are women not treated the same as men?"
“Mummy why are women not treated the same as men?”

Maybe I am being too sensitive? Because clearly the majority of voters didn’t see it that way. They excused his behaviour, or as a close friend of mine who is an American citizen said that she voted for Trump “despite his many character flaws” because he offers something “different” which she and many others believe America needs. I understand that, but still I struggle to excuse or ignore his character flaws. I can’t justify his character flaws. I know my friend and she has the most beautiful heart, she wouldn’t be my friend otherwise. She is very intelligent and works very high up in the Nursing Industry, but still I feel let down by her. Very few people know this about me, but I was raped and beaten on a regular basis by a boyfriend when I was 19 – 20. Me saying NO made no difference! Me screaming and fighting meant nothing to him. I lived in fear daily, and it was a dangerous situation whether I stayed or left. I left, but it didn’t stop, I was stalked and attacked for a long time after. I have now been safe for 14 years. Although something like that never really leaves you, hence why I use a pseudonym for my blog (something I only revealed a little while ago). Like I said hardly anyone knows, but my friend knows and it blows my mind that she can vote for a man who seems to think sexual attacks on women is expected! I am not mad at her, I am not mad at Americans, I just feel sad. I thought we had come further than that. What scares me is that Americans and many people around the world think he is the only choice. It makes me feel like we are all running scared, that Americans are so in fear of where their country is headed that the feel the only choice is to vote for Trump.

I hope he helps America, I hope that he does amazing things and heals the country. I hope he is the best leader we have seen so far! I truly do! I also hope that he realises upon reflection that he has treated women badly, that he has made men look bad, and woman look weak, and I hope he apologises for his disgusting behaviour. I hope he can become a positive role model, that he can lift men and women up and stop putting them down. Is that possible I don’t know? I honestly am not sure a man like him can ever see himself as wrong. But I hope I am wrong about that!

This man sickens me, but more than that it just breaks my heart that amazing strong women, intelligent people have somehow excused his behaviour, that they believed it was justified to vote for a man who has no moral compass. I am left baffled. We need leaders who stand up for equality, who want to heal our world, is Trump that man? Is Trump the man I would want my children seeing as a role model, someone to set your morality standards upon? NO. I could not vote for him and look my children in the eye and say “Mummy is proud of her vote”.

Last night my daughter who is 12, asked me right before she went to sleep, “Mummy why are women not treated the same as men?” I knew this was an important question. I knew my answer would set a standard for her, yet I didn’t know how to answer. I hadn’t discussed the election with her, but she had heard things at school. It is a topic I really need to talk to her about, but it was late and I needed to really think. I told her we would sit down and have a big chat about it, but in the meantime I told her that

“Women are strong, we are intelligent and amazing, and that we are equal to any and every man.”

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The first Tuesday after the first Monday…

Vote on Tuesday, everyone, please!
Vote on Tuesday, everyone, please!

Du zalst nisht bu, Shtimen! Don’t boo, Vote!

I share the sentiment of the quote above, by President Barack Hussein Obama. I can only hope that everyone of voting age here in the US, living abroad, or via absentee ballot, exercises their civic duty and votes on Tuesday, November 8th, if not before. We have a democracy, so dammit, go out and vote!

There are many more of you than I’d like to admit, that I staunchly disagree with in your choice of nominees. That gives me great shpilkis (stomach upset, jittery) as we approach the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, election day.

What I do know is that I am sick and tired of hearing about the lies of crooked Hillary. I am sick of the Donald getting a free ride in the media, even after the famed, “I grab them by the pussy” tapes and the uprising of victims saying, “uh, Yeah! He does!”

I am so exhausted by the Wikileaks emails from famed ‘nasty woman’ Hillary? Have you read any of them? I hope you are sitting down, because this stuff is hard to take in:

  • She was eager desperate to help a 10-year old girl from Yemen who managed to get a divorce (she was fucking 10 years old) have a better life, get to the US, attend school and seek counseling
  • She was finding ways to help dying patients get faster medical care, food and water in Haiti after the terrible earthquakes
  • She wanted to put a stop to child trafficking in Haiti
  • She worried about the closing of a home for abused boys in Illinois
  • She planned her daughter’s wedding

She was checked, examined, poked, prodded and cleared — unable to indict of any wrong doing. FBI case closed.

Now because of yet another misogynistic texting perv, Anthony Weiner (duly named), she comes under fire and examination yet again, causing a spiraling fall in the polls. The emails in question belong to close Clinton staffer of decades, Huma Abedin, and her estranged, very strange hubby. Emails were found on the laptop and iPad of Weiner. I sure hope they washed their hands after picking up those bits of technology! This new FBI action comes with no evidence of any wrongdoing by Hillary, or even a single connection. Comey, the FBI double-naught spy in question said, “They appear to be pertinent.” He said this without ANY examination at all of said emails. With four days until the election, it still remains unclear if these alleged emails found have anything to do with Hillary and if there is enough antibacterial soap to help those who handled them.

Yesterday, Melania Trump stumped in mainline Berwyn, PA. Wearing a very tight, pink blouse, she spoke eloquently to a room filled with Trump supporters, mostly men clad in red Trump hats. She spoke out against bullying. For real! She did. Bullying. Alanis, please add this to your song about irony. This epitomizes irony! Her hubby, the Donald, is the most infamous bully of our time.

Perhaps Melania doesn’t know her hubby very well. Perhaps he has moved on to a younger, more cleavaged immigrant and this has caused her to forget his xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, anti-disabled, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, anti-Latino, anti-Mexican, pro-violence, and lying, cheating flip-flopping ways.

And while the world is immersed in the email scandals, lest we forget Trump’s:

  • Fraud scandal at Trump University
  • Declaration of bankruptcy 6 times
  • Rape case of a minor pending in federal court
  • 75 open pending lawsuits against him and his businesses
  • Trump Foundation activity
  • Inability to show us his tax returns
  • Ties to the Kremlin

Those of you dumb enough wasting your vote on the Green Party, did you know they just endorsed Trump? So even before, when we told you a vote for Green was a vote for Trump, now there is direct proof.

Which brings us to Tuesday, one of the single most volatile days for our country. A day that will truly go down in infamy. A day I fear. If you care about women, equal rights, healthcare, marriage equality, global warming, black lives matter, religious freedoms, the Supreme Court, any of the freedoms we have won over the last 8 years, and the generations to follow in our footsteps, please choose Hillary. Even if you don’t like her.

Please don’t fall for that reality show dolt who basically, day in and day out: Du kanst nicht oif meinem fus pishen und mir sagen klass es regen ist. He pees on your foot and tells you it’s raining.

What’s worse? Too many of you believe him.

Big, Little and the Mrs. Photo credit: @willowandsage1 on IG (my Mrs.)
Please help me protect my mishpocheh (family) Big, Little and the Mrs.   Photo credit: @willowandsage1 on IG (my Mrs.)

And my last plea before I enter the polls on Tuesday is this: If you care about my family, The Mrs., me, Little and Big, please vote for Hillary. I am one proud, nasty woman who applauds the pant suit crowd and will happily pull the lever for our first ever, incredibly qualified, woman president. 

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UPDATE: The Rule of Kind

Silly shvesters
Silly shvesters

A Kinder Kinder 

I thought now a good time to provide you all with some good, hard data anecdotal evidence on how we are doing as a family, with our one, single, solitary family rule: BE KIND. Some of you may recall this inspired post meant to get our little mishpocheh (family) out from under the tiny terroristic grip of Big and Little’s mood swings, urges and tantrums and back to the matriarchal quasi-control of the mamelehs (me and the Mrs.).

It was mid-August. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We were feeling the worst of the heat, reeling from the weariness of endless pool days and we had hit the ceiling on late night movies. The kinderlech (kids) and the Mrs. had become nocturnal. By the time I joyfully strolled up the Manor steps after a hard days work, it was batshit crazy with a capital BAT all hell had broken loose. We had grown accustomed to our tsuris (troubles). It was pure mishegas (insanity and chaos).

Dos leben iz vi kinderhemdel—kurts un bash. Life is like a child’s undershirt—short and soiled.

Shvesters and goodies
Shvesters and sugar

Be Kind. How f@cking hard is that to do? I knew we could do it. I believed. The first coupla’ weeks were exhausting and awful filled with tears, apologies and repetition of our golden rule. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.

Siri, How long until something basic, simplistic, and all encompassing becomes a damned habit?

It’s a shondah (pity) how my Little and Big, such sweet little maidelahs (girls), put each other through fisticuffs, scuffles, scrapes and screeches. Glass shattering screams, pushes, slaps and hair pulling. (It’s almost as if they had watched old reruns of Dynasty from the ’80’s?) I cried me a river. So did the nextdoorikeh’s (neighbors).

Time went on, as it does. We stuck to our one rule. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Patience. We had such effing patience! We were so very, very virtuous with all of our patience. And then, it started. 

  • Listening ears, they listened
  • We heard ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ fairly consistently
  • ‘I’m sorry’ flowed from their tiny little mouths appropriately and sincerely
  • Random acts of kindness happened without begging, yelling, nudging, cajoling any parental prodding
  • When Little ate all of her marshmallows before the hot chocolate was ready, Big happily handed her a handful of hers
  • When Big cried about not wanting to take a shower, Little volunteered to take one with her
  • They shared
  • If one was in need, the other helped
  • When one hurts, the other says, Vu tut dir vai (where does it hurt)?
  • If we said clean your room, they did it together

It was working. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Slowly and steadily our kinder (children) began to treat each other as if we were not behind the walls of the Manor, but as if we were in public and on their best behavior! They began to give one another the benefit of the doubt. My little bubbelah’s (term of endearment) were becoming menches (good, respected people) to one another. Loving shvesters (sisters), friends.

Shvesters plotting
Shvesters plotting

Now, I do not for one minute want you to think that we are all hotsy-totsy and blissful over here. We still have plenty of our moments. We will always have work to do and we still can be kinder, gentler, nicer and more empathetic. But so far, dos gefelt mir (this pleases me) very much! I’m kvelling (oozing with pride)!

Be Kind. Zeit gezunt (Be healthy)!

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The Great Pumpkin: Wordless Wednesday

Linus: “Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”

The Great Gatsby 'Tail-o-meter' at work
The Great Gatsby ‘Tail-o-meter’ at work
We got 'em Moms
We picked ’em Moms
I think we've been here before
I think we’ve been here before
Potter. Harry Potter.
Potter. Harry Potter.
Is it Hedwig?
Is it Hedwig?
All play an no work make us Miquon Kids!
Even work is play with Little and Big!

Altz iz gut (all is good)!

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The Vulnerability that is Time

Oh time...
Oh time…Lisalah

I’m no quantum physicist maven (expert) by any means. I’m just a Yiddisher momma trying to put some pieces together to better understand this thing called time. Does it always go forward? Does it really flow? My coffee is getting more and more chilled as I type and I like it piping hot, especially in the quiet of the morning, when the Mrs. and the kinder lay keppe a schluffy (are still asleep, heads on pillows). If I could turn back time maybe my cuppa would be hotter, or better yet, alevai (it should come to pass; it should only happen), maybe events would be different.

Nit af alleh mol shlecht, un nit af alleh mol gut. Things can’t be bad all the time, nor good all the time.

What am I trying to get at here? I’m stretching to find meaning in the meshuggeneh (crazy) world we are living in. Remember that commercial, “Time to make the donuts…” with the perpetually exhausted donut maker readying for the early morning rush at Dunkin Donuts? It’s always time to make the donuts and I’m looking for my epiphany. I started thinking of song lyrics (can you name the artists/songs below?), after all Dylan just one a Nobel in literature. Poets, they have answers.

Let me forget about today until tomorrow…

Get it right the first time, that’s the main thing

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future

Does anybody really know what time it is

If I could save time in a bottle

Time after time

The first time ever I saw your face

Let’s do the time warp

I had the time of my life

This is the time to remember ‘cause it will not last forever

A time to be born, a time to die

It’s closing time

Gatsby, my editor
Gatsby, my editor, he’s probably questioning this post too

My Big, she is learning about time in school. Taking all those pieces of perspective, theory and momentum and understanding the very things I am struggling with today. It will no longer be, “How many sleeps until we see Audrey and Steve?” I still don’t know if time is an illusion, or if our perceptions, my perceptions are simply flawed.

Some lifetimes are minutes

It was the best of times

Some minutes are eternities

It was the worst of times

The kinder (children), they grow up so fast

This is no cliché

Slow it down

Good times

Speed it up

Oy a brokh (Hard times)

The first half of the gas tank goes slowly

and WTF then you are on E

It’s faster than the speed of light

It grinds to a halt

It’s time for a change

Nothing stays the same

Everything stays the same

Nothing changes

Past, present, future

Oh, there’s always time

There’s never a good time

Free time, hah!

Time heals all wounds

 Nu?

What to do about my time conundrum? I will try very hard to…

Live in the present, using time wisely

Choose happiness, smiles and nachas (pleasure and joy)

Put the damned phone down and take in new adventures and experiences

Be in nature, making memories, creating more firsts

Love myself, because who gives a flying f*ck cares what people think

Read, explore, learn, and give

Walk in others shoes and be a gutte neshumah (good soul)

Inject novelty and spontaneity

Grab the ones I love and love them well

Live out loud

Vos lenger a blinder lebt, alts mer zet er. The longer a blind man lives, the more he sees.

Anyone have time to spare some insights?

Gay gezinteh hait.  (Go in good health)

 

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