Swimming Upstream

Guatemalan worry dolls… been working them in over time

Hello, my friends. I have been quiet of late — very unlike me, I know. It has been a hell of a couple of years weeks. First, strep throat knocked us all to our knees. One by one, we fell. Despite hand washing, Lysol wipes and new toothbrushes, we were coated with cooties and all swilling shots of penicillin. Strep is literally, like swallowing a brick. Not fun times as an adult — I can only imagine the pain for my kinder (children). Gatsby was literally, the last man standing. Vey iz mir (OMG, but worse), it was bad. 

What followed in the aftermath was tougher to bear than the bacteria-baked bricks… Our, my journey of late has been tough. No harder than the next person mind you… of that I am well aware. Still difficult, nonetheless.

I have been living the plight of the salmon. (Not the delicious kind that ends up atop your shmear (cream cheese) on a toasted everything bagel…) I’m talking about the astounding event where the momma fish like any other but the mother would do this leaves years of comfort in ocean dwelling, genetically alters its very form to seek out and return, upstream, against the tides, waterfalls, bears, and all odds, to the roots of their birth. Without google maps, these salmon, they locate the exact freshwater stream of their birth, to lay the eggs of a new generation on the gravel river beds. And then they die, knowing the kinder are well-tended and will carry on.

These salmon, they are fighters. They are filled with courage and defiance to do what they must do — to follow their core. They are the definition of #rebelgirls and #strongwomen. They defy all limitations and persevere, despite obstacles, predators and sheer exhaustion. They do this because they have no other choice but to be true to themselves and those they love. 

This Yiddisheh momma has been #livingfearlesslyauthentic, much like the salmon. I swam hard and long. I reached my freshwater riverbed, and I spoke my truth. I did so for injustice and all that is unfair. I did so for my Mrs., my Big, and my Little. I did so for ME. And I truly believed that:

If you lie on the ground, you cannot fall. Az mi ligt oif der erd, ken men nit fallen.

What I learned, was that you can still fall. That the truth is not always enough. That there are so many who can easily look away from truths. That so many can label, misrepresent, smear (very different from a nice shmear), and lie. And that the latter group that can win. And that in itself can be mentally and physically crushing.

My silence is over. My quiet has passed. I still grieve the loss, nurture my courage. I will become whole again. After all, I have two shayneh maidelehs (sweet little girls)  that must know that despite everything, it is always an obligation, to tell the truth. That we must always stand tall and respectfully fight, not only the injustices that we face, but those of our fellow humans too. I have learned in no uncertain terms that the battles that surround us are much larger than we know. That the work ahead is complex.

And despite my loss, I would stand up again, and risk the same fall. My Mrs. and me, we will raise two mighty girls with voices to engage and take a stand for their sisters and brothers who need them.

Injustice won this time, a shonda (crying shame). But this particular salmon, I am not rolling over and playing dead.

A liar tells his story so often that he gets to believe it himself. A ligner hert zikh zeineh ligen azoi lang ein biz er glaibt zikh alain.

Plus, I know karma is a bitch for all nogudniks (someone on the wrong side of the law).

     

    

      

      

 

Stick-to-it-iveness

Doggedness as defined Gatsby. And like I always say, my glass is half full. Nu?

Sometimes, you just have to do the work, to get what you want.  mal ir nor hobn tsu ton di arbet tsu bakumen vos ir viln.

My Gatsby, this boychik (little man) can persevere. You know that with the flick of a tongue, that pea was his. He worked hard for it. He did not mind the struggle. He was tenacious and he succeeded.

May we all have such a work ethic, as our boy Gatsby!

I’ve got it. Do you? Tell me!

 

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Popular Yiddish Phrases that apply to Mr. Orange Elect

No mom, I don't think we should read the news anymore. You get too upset...
No mom, I don’t think we should read the news anymore. You get too upset…

We the people, of these disenfranchised and divided states of America, lay uncomfortably in wait for the passing of the baton from President Obama to Mr. Orange-elect ( I will not say his name). In thinking of positive ways to come to grips with this most unfortunate outcome, I am seeking solace in my inner ‘glass half-full’ / Mary Poppins approach to life. Please allow me to share with you, some very popular Yiddisheh phrases that coincide with the strangest turn of events in political history, and my lifetime. We’ll turn this into an opportunity to learn some Yiddish!

  • He that cannot obey cannot command. Er az kenen nit folgn kenen nisht bafel. We are clearly not in Kansas anymore. No disclosure of tax returns. Cancelled announcement of how he plans to divest his global businesses and their inherent flow of green. What ‘conflicts of interest?’ Chats with Vlad, and the Prez of Taiwan, like there is such a thing. Oy gevalt (geeze louise!)! 
  • If we all pulled in one direction, the world would keel over. Ayob mir ale puld in eyn riktung, di velt volt kil iber. White supremacy. Muslim registry. Women. LGBT. Disabled. Jews. Latino’s. Kaynahorah (a saying to ward off the evil eye), may he be all talk, because this is sounding all too familiar my friends. 
  • A chip on the shoulder indicates wood higher up. A shpon aoyf di axl indekeyts holts hekher aroyf. Daily security briefings? So last term. He’s smart, so smart, that this is a waste of time. He needs a security briefing like he needs a loch en kop (hole in the head). Oh, but he does need time to continue to produce the Celebrity Apprentice
  • Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side. Du zalst nisht tsugang a tsig fun di front, a ferd fun di tsurik, oder a nar fun keyn zayt. Congratulations to those of you who hired this man.
  • When you grease palms, you ride. Ven ir shmirn palms, ir for. The US intelligence community has come out in force, before, during and after the election results, to let the American people know that Mr. O’s bro, Vlad has absolutely, positively, and undeniably, hacked our democracy to sway the election in favor of the unfavorable. Nu? (So?) They played us like a violin.  Mr. O, he says this is ridiculous, it’s all a bubbeh meisah (an old wives tale). Hacking, shmacking…
  • Not everyone who sits in the seat of honor is master. Nit alemen vas zitst in di avekzetsn fun kvud iz bel.  The electoral college needs to officially vote to make Mr. O-elect the president. And, go-no, before the vote, they are asking to be ‘briefed’ further on this hacking business from the same US Intel community that Mr. O is snubbing. Hmmmm…
  • Surrounding yourself with dwarfs does not make you a giant. Arumik zikh mit dvarfs tut nisht makhn ir a riz. Look who plays in his sandbox? Vlad, Sarah (did she see this all this spying and hacking from her house?), Bannon, Tex-Rex, David Duke, Jim Crow? Gutinue? (OMG!) 
  • He who praises himself will be humiliated. Er vas shilus zikh vet zayn khiumileyitid. Billy Bush. That’s all I need to say here.  
  • You are smart, smart, smart – but you are not so smart. Klieg, Klieg, Klieg-Du bist a nar. Yup. Yuppers.
  • L’Chiam! To life! Because we must end on a positive note. And that’s a wrap for today. 

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Friendship: Wordless Wednesday

Ver gefinen a getray fraynd, finds a austr. Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.

Wanna ride on the friend train?
Wanna ride on the friend train?
Arts, crafts, friends...a good day indeed
Arts, crafts, friends…a good day indeed
Movie night at the Manor. Now playing, ELF!
Movie night at the Manor. Now playing, ELF!
No mom, I don't think we should read the news anymore. You get too upset...
No mom, I don’t think we should read the news anymore. You get too upset…
Yes! These new dresses have excellent twirlability!
Yes! These new dresses for the shvesters (sisters) have excellent twirlability!
Wasp's up?
Wasp’s up? There’s no place like home…

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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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3 Quotes / 3 Days: Game On! Day 2

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Here we are on day 2 and I have a compelling need to laugh. I woke up feeling, well, a bit meh (not so hot) emotionally, physically. Enough kvetching (complaining) already.  So today, we laugh, with my hero, Ellen Degeneres!

Day 2: About the challenge

Why? Because who am I to say no to a challenge? Well don’t you know, just a few short days ago. I’m reading some of my fave bloggers, and I see that Helen, over at At Least I Have a Brain, is in the midst of a 3 day quote challenge. As I  study her words on the page, there I am, mittendrinnen (smack-dab in the middle) of her post! Game on Helen, and THANK YOU!

Today’s quotes are designed to make you laugh. Because when we’re not laughing, we’re crying. Or maybe dead. Oy vey iz mere, poo poo! Not dead!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ellen Degeneres!

“Procrastination is not the problem. It is the solution. It is the universe’s way of saying stop, slow down, you move too fast. Listen to the music. Whoa whoa, listen to the music. Because music makes the people come together, it makes the bourgeois and the rebel. So come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody try to love one another. Because what the world needs now is love, sweet love. And I know that love is a battlefield, but boogie on reggae woman because you’re gonna make it after all. So celebrate good times, come on. I’ve gotta stop I’ve gotta come to my senses, I’ve been out riding fences for so long… oops I did it again… um… What I’m trying to say is, if you leave tonight and you don’t remember anything else that I’ve said, leave here and remember this: Procrastinate now, don’t put it off. ”
― Ellen DeGeneres

“Way, way back in the day, like in the 1990s, if you wanted to tell everyone you ate waffles for breakfast, you couldn’t just go on the Internet and tweet it out. There was only one way to do it. You had to go outside and scream at the top of your lungs, ‘I ate waffles for breakfast!’ That’s why so many people ended up in institutions. They seemed crazy, but when you think about it, they were just ahead of their time.”
― Ellen DeGeneresSeriously… I’m Kidding

“The problem with labels is that they lead to stereotypes and stereotypes lead to generalizations and generalizations lead to assumptions and assumptions lead back to stereotypes. It’s a vicious cycle, and after you go around and around a bunch of times you end up believing that all vegans only eat cabbage and all gay people love musicals.”
― Ellen DeGeneres

Of course, there are rules. Without them, anarchy! Oy vey!

  • I will provide you with 3 new quotes on many topics each day for three days, maybe in a row, maybe not so in a row. Look, today makes 2 in a row…
  • I will nominate 3 new bloggers each day for three days, or when I post other quotes
  • Thank the lovely writer who challenged you (HELEN!), always
  • Let the bloggers you have challenged, know about it (it’s a thing, part of the shtick)

My three maven (expert) bloggers for Day 1:

  1. Stephanie at MakingTimeForMe
  2. Dawn at RhymingWithWine
  3. Renee at LifeInTheBoomerLane

Have at it my friends…more to come.

A bei gezunt (As long as we’re healthy)!

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