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).

     

    

      

      

 

The Wisdom of the Trees

The wisdom of the trees

There is a certain trail we take when hiking, the Mrs., me and the kinder (children), where we pass this stunning tree. I love this tree, and it’s very obvious how many others do too. I would never carve my initials in it or declare my undying love for the Mrs. atop its thick ‘barky’ skin — I’m too much of a ‘Lorax for such behavior. My Little and Big, they always ask why so many people would hurt the tree with so much engraving and writing? Who am I to know…

It’s good to behold beauty and live with wisdom. Oif shainem iz gut tsu kuken; mit a klugen iz gut tsu leben.

I do believe that this tree, (all of the trees actually), holds inside a certain shrewdness about you, me, and all of those that pass by its grace and grandeur. This tree, it feels our pains and celebrates our victories. She is a living, breathing road map of where we have been and will tell the tale of where we will go.

In the meantime, this very tree will continue to help our environment by absorbing the CO2 in the air, releasing clean oxygen, fighting against water pollution, protecting our skin from the powerful rays of the sun, and holding in its canopy, a wealth of wildlife, like squirrels, opossums, bugs, birds and the very special and much-needed, bees. I must add how this very tree is a wonderful source of outdoor play for my shanah maideleh’s (sweet girls) as we traipse about in her home, the woods.

This tree, may she continue to give me a big sigh of relief. When I look at her or think of her, I feel a little better about everything.

Zie gezunt! Be healthy, be well!

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I AM WOMAN, the musical

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

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

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

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Constant joy is a great mitzvah (a good deed). Keseyderdik freyd iz a groys mitzvah.

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It’s abundantly clear to me, that the very best parts of this life are unplanned little moments spent with those you love. Make sure you are present so you can catch them.

 

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Poems, home and perspectives

Big's Poem
Big’s Poem

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. My shanah maidehlahs (little sweet girls) made Valentine’s for their classmates, their teachers and for me and my Mrs., and Gatsby too! When I came home from work, I was stunned by the artwork left for me to see, the prizes of love. Notes, cards, pictures, 2 boxes of Egyptian Licorice Tea (OMG!!!) and a bag of black licorice. They know me well.

I read Luka’s poem and I couldn’t help but tear up. I cried I bawled Her perspective is so different from my own growing up. My only wish is that Little and Big, my beautiful kinder (children), may we do our very best to do right by you, always and forever.

My poem at 8 years of tender age would be very different:

When I Think of Home

by Lisa

When I think of ‘home’ I think of cleanliness and order

When I think of ‘home’ I am not allowed on my bed until 8pm

When I think of ‘home’ my sister is wisely absent

When I think of ‘home’ I smell the stench of pine-sol

When I think of ‘home’ I think of disappearing

When I think of ‘home,’ I am unhappy

When I think of ‘home’ I think of entering through the garage

When I think of ‘home’ I hear the voices that tried to shatter me

When I think of ‘home’ I think of the dis-ease that was enabled

When I think of ‘home’ I see rooms not to be entered

When I think of ‘home’ I think antiseptic and sterile

When I think of ‘home’ of think no life lives here

When I think of ‘home’ I am dirty and wrong

When I think of ‘home’ I don’t matter as much

As the things we acquired or the rooms we can’t touch

To all the kinder (children) everywhere, live out loud, make a mess, make beautiful and loving memories. That little ones, you so deserve.

You know what? After a good cry, your heart is lighter. (Az mi veint rich ois, vert gringer afn hartz)

Thank you my friends, for letting me share. To dare to be open and vulnerable among you.

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Vaginas, Muslims, Mac-n-Cheese, and Polar Bears

My mighty girls...
My mighty girls…We fight for you and all the kinder (children)

I am one scared Yiddeshah momma these days. I am literally swimming in shpilkas (nervous in my gut) over the tsuris (troubles) mr T has caused our world in just twelve days of domination, deception and lawlessness.

If you have a vagina, if you care about the ingredients in the foods you and your kinder (kids) eat, the water you drink, if you believe in religious freedoms and equality or cannot shake the image of the emaciated polar bears, please show up.

mr T, he began spewing the darkest, most Machiavellian mantra of inaugural messaging, while his minions behind the scenes stripped the White House website (and our people) clean of all of the hope and justice created during the Obama administration.

Rapidly putting pen to papers, he began to disassemble the accomplishments and freedoms for the people of this country, my country. The sick and underprivileged are now at risk. Healthcare is in limbo. Women’s rights, LGBT rights, and civil rights have been shuddered.  He has thrown out hard facts and true science, sacrificing the  environment for our kinder (children) and their kinder  —  all slashed with the click of a pen, held in his tiny, little, creepy hands.

He placed a gag order on the EPA. We no longer need to know what is in our food, our water; what spills in our riverbeds and oceans. He reopened the oil pipelines. 

And on Holocaust Remembrance Day, very late in the daily news cycle, he went above and beyond draconian, incomprehensible behavior. mr T, he banned all Muslims from seven majority Muslim nations, and all fleeing refugees from entering our sanctuary country.

This unprecedented, diabolical action is clear, plain as day, religious persecution. mr T’s deeds defy our American values and places us all in grave danger. He is setting the stage for his campaign promise of a Muslim registry. Indecency of this magnitude has happened before in the world. It all began with words of hate. Never again.

@POTUS44 and @MichelleObama, please stay close to us, for the clocks of history are quickly bending backward in time.

mr T, know that I wish you no ill will. I want you to leave the White House, but unless a bigger, bolder gig awaits you, I doubt this will happen. I will go back to my Yiddish ancestry and offer you up a bissel shiltn (little curse).

May you either have to use the toilet every three minutes or every three months. May ir oder hobn tsu nutzn di klozet yeder drey minut oder yeder dray khdshim.

I sure hope you have good healthcare mr T.  A yiddishah curse, is like no other!

What if we were to make him a new curse, reflecting modern times? Something along the lines of:

May your dictatorial acts, racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic views haunt you as your offspring marry a Jew (check), a Muslim, and a member of the LGBT community.

May you be more careful when you make those faces when you speak the words of puppet-master Bannon, because like all momma’s say, your face will freeze that way.

May your fortune grow and grow and grow, to incomparable levels of wealth and riches. And may the next Democratic president, elected 4 years from now, tax the f*cking shi*t out of you and the gazillionaire friends of yours who line your cabinets.

I must say, this curse making is quite fun. Why don’t you try it? Please, send me your creative thoughts and ideas!

Stay strong my friends. Our voices and actions matter more now than ever before. One need not be a lefty-liberal to know that hate has no home in these Unites States. We must proudly and strongly have the courage to stand up and say, “Never again.”

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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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