Start spreading the news

Shtik naches: Relatives who give you great pleasure and joy! From the top: Shvoger, (left) Shvester, me, (left) Little and Big. My Mrs., she took the picture.

Today’s post is a direct result of the single most, positive, life changing visit to Boulder, CO. We went to see my shvester (sister) and schvoger (brother-in-law) and had an absolutely wonderful time.  I cannot begin to thank them for their love, kindness, support, generosity, and of course, laughter. Oh, and Alex, my ‘budmaster’ from #FreshBaked, thank you too! You see, on my shvester’s birthday, her birthday mind you, they gave me the greatest gift of all time. The gift of feeling absolutely pain-free — no side effects, no cognitive impairment… medical marijuana in the form of CBD. I felt human for the first time in over three decades. A mitzvah (good deed) like no other. To my mishpocheh (shvester and schvoger), words cannot convey my love and gratitude.

To the tune of New York, New York please, maestro (tap, tap, tap, begin):

Start spreading the news, I’m human again
It’s been a life of chronic pain, now I feel great
This Philly based girl, has found a new zen
Right in the heart of Colorado, a legal bud state
I wanna wake up in a place where I’m pain-free
And find I’m living out loud, happy, carefree
Nerve pain in my neck, has won out, too long
I see why people up and move, near a dispensary
If weed could, help me along, with a pill and, not a bong
CBD my friend, makes me pain-free
If I can, feel good there
I should be able to, feel good, everywhere
It’s up to you, P.A., P.A.
I want to wake up, in a city, where I can get
CBD pills. Pain melts away. No high or munchies. Pain melts away!
If I can, feel good there
I should be able to, feel good, everywhere
It’s up to you, P.A., P.A.

Slang words for marijuana: green goddess, bud, grass, herb, weed, pot, wacky-tobacky.

Some links to learn more about medical marijuana:

Go in good health. Gai gezunterheit. And know this yiddisheh momma is gonna fight like hell to keep feeling this good. And to allow others to get relief too.

     

      

      

  

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.

      

      

     

      

 

…on many sides

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mrt, you are #notmypresident. #yesyouareracist #neveragain

     

      

      

    

 

When your Therapy Dog needs Therapy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

also:

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

We have found a treasure indeed!

      

      

    

 

No harm, no fowl

“My work here is never done…”

Spring is here and it’s beautiful dog walking weather. I love being outside with the family, proudly walking our crazy, loud, barking, pulling, misbehaved, and foraging boychik (little boy) and grabbing some extra vitamin D. Something I’ve noticed since Gatsby arrived to rescue our family, we constantly come across what seems to me, to be a gratuitous amount of chicken bones. Legs, wings, breasts, thighs… you name it and Gatsby will find them. One can only begin to understand my love for this furry family member, as I extract his foul, fowl finds from deep within the clenches of his canines. Disgusterous, as the BFG would say.

I would not be surprised at all, to find that our building and the surrounding homes, were built atop what was once, some sort of chicken cemetery. If you just go by the gross numbers of very gross bones per walk, per day — something just doesn’t add up. Storms, wind, digging, and these bones surface.  It’s haunting in a ‘Carol Ann, don’t go near the light’ kind of way. Often we, and by we, I mean Gatsby, finds grilled chicken breasts. There is often an assortment of accompanying sauces. And dare I say it, side dishes. WTF? Has Colonel Sanders gone AWOL? Has Frank Perdue gone cuckoo?

What if there is a chicken serial killer on the loose? And my Gatsby, with a nose for a nice nosh (little something to snack on), can’t help but uncover truth and justice for all. Law and Order: Poultry, live, right here in my neighborhood. The Capon Capers. Benson and Stabler, I need you here at Johnson and Greene, and bring that trained squad of detectives that focus primarily on putrid poultry misconduct.

Keeping my glass half-full, it is possible that we are constantly on the same frigging, filthy path as some unfortunate young travelers, who leave behind banty, barnyard fowl bones and scraps to find their way back home, like Hansel and Gretel. My Gatsby, sweet little man, is probably just doing his best sleuthing in an effort to help these lost kinder (children)?

“I smell chicken…”

It is possible that while wearing my pollyanna, rose-tinted sunglasses, someone is leaving behind the cock-a-doodle-doo trail until we find the magic wishbone? Gatsby’s mania for mystery may be a search the answers to our dreams? My lanky, long-legged, detective dog, is just trying his best to look out for our family. What a good boy!

You see, in my heart of hearts, I don’t want to believe that my neighborhood has gone afoul in dreck (trash, litter). Thankfully, after a year now, I can sternly let out a geshrei (scream) for Gatsby, “Drop it!” and he does. So does everyone else around me… maybe that’s why there are so many bones? Oy vey! (OMG!)

And this Yiddish Proverb, words to live by, if you are Gatsby:

A chicken dinner is best shared by two people. Me and the chicken. A hindl mitog iz bester sherd durkh tsvey mentshn. Mir aun di hindl.

What a good boy!

     

      

     

      

 

Resilience and Observations

Stop and see the beauty in your life… I will do this more

Getting over fighting Beelzebub was tough stuff. Losing, maybe hell, effing yeah a bissel (a little bit) worse. It has already taken up a lot of time, effort, energy and wellness for me, my Mrs., my kinder (kiddo’s) and the wonderful people who were helping me scrimmage. Still, my glass, it stays half-full. If there was an award for, ‘Most Resilient,’ this one would definitely go to me. Knock me down, and I come right back up again. Spunk, integrity, and Energizer Bunny. Pliant, flexible and rebellious. That’s me.

In this latest round of rebound, I am working on being present and mindful. Here are five things that I have noticed in myself

  • Currently, I can go batshit crazy frustrate easily. I’m aware of this and determined not to take it out on others. But, no lie, I have channeled my inner Mohammed Ali, and I punched the roof of my car when driving this week (technically, I was at a red light). Like texting, no punching and driving. Not at all smart. This helps no one. Not my hand, not the car. Not my emotions.

In Yiddish, they say, Bad temper and anger, they shorten the years. Der ka’as un der tsoren farkirtsen di yoren.

So, I must do more tai chi and learn to meditate. Stat! Plus, the anger is just sadness in disguise.

Tai Chi during sunrise, good. Punching roof of the car, bad.
  • Sleep, not so hotsy-totsy. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Staying asleep — a whole other animal! I get up to pee. I try to make my way back into bed. I have to push aside a Little or a Big, who has usurped my precious, yet small mattress real estate yes they are all in the bed, and I am at the very edge, practically outside the apartment. Reclaim my swatch of the blanket. Find my special neck pillow. By the time I do this, Gatsby, he makes his way over with his waggity tail and kissy, shana punim (face).  I finally try to get my head to the pillow and arrange my neck in good fashion. Don’t you know, now my brain, it begins to churn with thoughts and activity. With this, I am hopeful that this Yiddish Proverb holds true:

Kirtser geshlofen, lenger gelebt. Translated to, The less you sleep, the more you get out of life. 

A nice positive spin on fricking insomnia. Nu? Leave it to Yiddish! Oh, how I love this juicy language!

  • If you (and by you, I, of course, mean me) experience a hot flash while blow-drying your hair as I did today, it feels as though you are sitting in a steam room, grabbing a nice shvitz (sweat), while doing hot yoga (like my Mrs.) inside a convection oven, in August, in Florida. The hair simply will not dry (it re-wets itself from the inside, underneath, out!) I am more than a little concerned — It is quite possible, that me, and me alone — I am responsible for global warming. Forget the cows farting methane.  “THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE” is my anthem! She’s just a girl and she’s on fire… Oy vey! (OMG!) How does Alicia Keyes know so much about me? Nu? PS, this was lovely during winter.

A fool doesn’t age and cold water doesn’t spoil. A nar vert nit elter un kalteh vasser vert nit kalyeh.

Yiddish! Beautiful… a phrase for every life moment!

  • I am slowly reconnecting with the people that I have knowingly detached from —  my own feelings of shame and self-worth caused this silence. And what I have learned this week, a friend is a friend is a friend, as a rose by any other name, would be a rose… If you haven’t heard from me yet, you will. Or if you call, I will answer, and explain the battle that has tied me up.

To fall down, you manage alone but it takes friendly hands to get up. Falen falt men alain, ober oifsuhaiben zikh darf men a hant fun a freind.

Thank you dear friends. ❤

Oh how we have fun with SnapChat. And my Mrs., oh how she laughs!
  • Nothing, and I mean bupkis (nothing) makes me happier than seeing my family happy and hearing their laughter. Those priceless giggles that stem from deep inside, fill my heart with joy and simultaneous calm. I must crack the code on this one, bottle it and imbibe daily. And if I do? I will share the tonic.

Happy mamas, and an easy upbringing. Freylekhe mames, un a gringe hodevaniye. 

So true!

And I continue to move onward! Karma will win in the end. It must! As for resilience, I must figure out the lesson to be learned here. It’s a bit tiring to keep reinventing the wheel.

An ounce of luck is worth more than a pound of gold. Besser a loit mazel aider a funt gold.

      

   

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).