How this Memorial Day is a little bit different

This week, we lost yet another vet to the Vietnam Nam war. Yes, you read that correctly. The Vietnam Nam War.

img_5125

In the wee hours of Friday morning, May 24, this soldier surrendered his last courageous breath, with the love and comfort of his dear wife by his side.

War, it knows no end.

His family watched him wither down from a strong and able man to a frozen, frail, quiet shell. Stilled, but not by choice. Agent Orange stole his last years.

PSP. Progressive supranuclear palsy. A degenerative disease involving the gradual deterioration and death of portions of the brain.

I wouldn’t wish such horror on anyone. A shonda (shame).

And like the Marine he was, he was strong, stoic, stalwart, and brave to the very end.

Yiddish Proverb:

A shekter sholem iz beser vi a guter krig. A bad peace is better than a good war. 

This Memorial Day, I am especially aware of how war, it affects us all.  The wives, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, children…

There is another Yiddish saying we should all think about as we poke at each other with such capricious hostilities. It translates to something I truly believe to be true:

If one soldier knew what the other thinks, there would be no war.  

Rest In Peace, Captain Joseph T. Drennan III, United States Marine Corps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caught in a dream

Look, up in the sky… It’s a bird? It’s a plane? It’s a Yiddisheh momma?

Oh, the stories my brain can tell. Have you ever been caught in a dream? You know…when you lay your weary head down on your pillow. Those horrendously heavy eyelids thud shut, and you actually fall asleep, and watch the same recurring movie dream over and over again. It’s like my own personal Groundhog Day during REM only less annoying and much more personalized. Night after night, the same dream. Day after day, thinking about this same dream. Has this ever happened to you?

For me, as I slide into deep rest albeit temporarily, I magically become a superhero, very similar to Wonder Woman only less cleavage, in fact, by less, I mean none. I fight evil and wrongdoing for our planet, these government gonifs (thieves), my mishpocheh (family), for my kinder (kids) and for my Mrs. I am sleeping proof that one can be an absolute awe-inspiring superhero, even without the great ‘chest-al’ divide. And, thanks to the dark skin and bags (one might even say, luggage) around my eyes, I have a built-in mask! Nature, she’s a real hoot and works in mysterious, magical ways.

Appropriate Yiddish proverb:

If you want your dreams to come true, don’t sleep. Aoib ir viln deyn khlumus tsu kumen ams, ton nit shlofn.

So, back to my dream (as I so often do). Smart, I am! Equipped with the knowledge and wisdom of RBG, and the wit, timing and dance moves of Ellen DeGeneres. Oh, and have I got writers. Such good writers! I must channel Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin, and David E. Kelly in the wee hours when I’m not waking up to wee. I look like me, with only the very sleek and stylin’ cape  (it helps keep me afloat). Strong? Look out! As I soar skyward, flying, I am carrying a tachka (big) boulder around with me, and with ease! I’m not even a bit out of breath. What’s with the tachka big boulder?

Flying, I travel through the brisk night air, guided by the light of the full, brilliant moon. Leaving my suburb-ified city, I seek and find offenders and bad actors. When I land, have I got a mouthful? I advise, warn, counsel, check, tell off, call on the carpet, tell a thing or two, draw the line in the sand, and then, and only then do I offer a proper Yiddish proverb. Why, because a good Yiddish quote, given at the exact right moment, it’s like bread for the hungry!

This Yiddish Proverb:

Truth is heavy, therefore few care to carry it. ams iz shver, deriber veynik zorgn tsu firn es.

So by day, I feel what the world offers. I soak it in like a sponge, absorbing the wrongs, evils, deceits, and denials. And mitten drinnen (in the middle of everything), I hide my superpowers and carry on. But by the marvelous light of the moon, I am a respectful force to be feared, like Golem (a Yiddisheh savior), on behalf of all that I hold true, care for and love.

Look out. Look up. Here I come! ❤

So what are you dreaming about?

spot

There is always hope if you’re looking for it
appearing, a small
spot, barely noticeable
and not invisible
first her favorite
blouse, soon after, all were marked
stained, indelible
they never noticed
that damned spot, always there
incriminating
blind to the color
draining from her tear-stained skin
silence deafening
the stain permeated
‘neath their nose, quiet despair
inside, broken torn
timeworn agony
like a sudden storm, violent
forcing her hostage
immobilized, frail
crushed by sounds, smells, memories
past and present swirl
unsympathetic
the onerous spot survives
emotions echo
I see you, hear you
let me tend your battered heart
allow me to love you
there was radiance
joy filled the spaces between
darkness, the path awaits
for you are brave, strong
pleasures will surpass torment
love will prevail
My Yiddish wish for you all:
May you never know from such pain and troubles. Ken ir keynmol visn fun aza tsuris.
Some great folks I like to share with….

 

I have hope …

Yiddish Proverb:

If things are not as you wish, wish them as you are. Aoyb das iz nisht vi ir vilt, vil zey vi ir zent.

I have hope.

I have reason to be a bissel (a little bit) hopeful my friends. Many of you know, I can kvetch (rant) who me? about the tsuris (troubles) this country, my country, faces daily with senseless gun violence. Finally, the tides are turning in the right direction. Hard work with great organizations like #MomsDemandAction and #EverytownForGunSense had thousands and thousands of supporters hockin meir in chinik (banging on the tea kettle) and the noise went straight to our elected officials.

There is good news in the fight against guns. We were heard. The Federal Government (yes, this very government), is making way to ban bump stocks. For those of you living in safer climes (it should only stay that way), a bump stock is an evil, technical gizmo that when attached, makes an automatic rifle or a gun, fire faster, for an outcome that ensures a greater loss of life.

After countless, senseless, violent gun atrocities, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) will finally take the necessary (and legal) actions to ban these horrific firearm accessories.

Do I want more? You bet I do. Do I think they should ban (all guns) automatic rifles? Magazine clips? Should anyone who purchases a gun have to go through a thorough background check? Nu? Is it okay that it is harder to buy a decongestant at the local pharmacy than it is to buy a gun in the US?

This victory, I will take with pride. The people are speaking out. Together, we will continue to do the work to make this world a safer place for my kinder, and for yours.

Last week, I was driving home from a school meeting, and I stopped to see this memorial of t-shirts. Each shirt represents a Philadelphian, a person, gunned down and killed by illegal guns. I stopped the car, goosebumps on my arms. I walked over to see the shirts, read the names. I paid my respects.

There are just too many. Like a baby, I cried, as the sky darkened over this harsh display of lost lives.

A couple of weeks’ back, the police, ambulances, and fire trucks, sirens blaring, they all came careening down our street. They stopped in front of our house? WTF? What was wrong? What had happened? Yellow police tape rolling out, flashlights scouring the sidewalks and road.

Apparently, a young, maybe 14, 15-ish-year-old boy, shot himself in the hand too close for comfort up the street. Who knows what he was trying to do, or with whom. As choices go, smart, he isn’t. As the ambulance sped off, I hugged my kinder, my Mrs. even tighter.

Yiddish Proverb:

As long as a person lives, the entire world is too small; after death, the grave is big enough. Azoy lang der mensch lebt iz im di gantse velt tsu kleyn; nokhn toyt iz im der kever genug.

Zai gezunt. Go in good health.

Look out NRA. We are going to #BreakThePattern

I have hope.

 

Some great folks I like to share with….

How on earth will we talk about this?

As I was adding the final touches for this post, these two were listening and watching, “We Are The World” on YouTube, circa 1985. How fitting…

Yiddish Proverb:

What will become of the sheep if the wolf is the judge? Vos vet vern fun di sheps aoyb di volf iz di rikhter?

My kinder (children), they truly feel the anxiety in our home. They soak it in as they happily leap from the yellow school bus and cross the entryway into our home. They see it when I return from work each night. I am literally wearing the news on my punim (face) – and it is not a good look.

Big and Little, they know about deadly gun violence because they see me put on my orange cloak of activism and fight for gun sense laws (no guns makes the most sense to me) with Moms Demand Action. They hear my spiel (talk, like “please, don’t hang up…    on…     me!) pleading with complete strangers about conceal carry reciprocity and bump stocks, week after week.

But now, tragedy, it strikes daily. How can their naive and tender, trusting souls take in all of the madness when I have trouble simply not crying at the office or pumping the car with gas? Smart people who study such things, scholars, they say we need to tell our kinder in real-time, as the bad things occur. They say that when they hear hard/tragic news from us, the people they love and trust most, they can best take in the inconceivable and somehow still feel safe.

Feeling safe. Aside from my day job, isn’t that what I am here to do? How can I promise protection for my maideleh’s (sweet girls) in a world that can kill you while learning, praying, playing, watching a movie, doing yoga? I have read that we only tell them what is absolutely true. Live in the moment. “You, my sweet bubbelah’s (babies), are safe here, now.”  No promises that you cannot absolutely keep. Truth.

Yiddish Proverb:

Who owes her the hole in the bagel? Ver ouz ir di lokh in di bagel?

My father, he used to explain things to me and then say, “Capiche? (Understand?)  I did (well mostly), but he wasn’t hurling around huge concepts like anti-Semitism, racism, nationalism, white-supremacy. At eight and ten, hatred, violence, and grief are ‘tough to swallow’ dinner table topics. Allow them time to think, ask questions. As many questions as they need to ask. Always answer with honesty and reassure them of the many people around them, in addition to us, who are also safe havens for them. 

This past weekend, we even developed a ‘code word’ for our family after reading the news story about a little girl in Arizona who thwarted her would be captor in a potential kidnapping with, “What’s the code word? If you are picking me up, what’s the code word?” Be prepared.

And this, all of this is what I call a shondah (a shame, pity).

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, people all over America will be getting together to celebrate, sup, break bread and nosh together. Many families have been as divided as those gonefs (thieves, dishonest people) on the hill in DC. Many topics are now more taboo than ever before. Politics and sports are out. Perhaps sex is a safe, go-to conversation? Wishing you all, a safe, loving and enjoyable time. And, may we all find a way to unite. Capiche?

L’Chiam! To life!

Invisibility

Yiddish Proverb:

How many will listen to the truth when you tell them? Vi file veln hern tsu dem ams ven ir zogn zey?

Truth time.

My Mrs. and me, we did not meet at a book club. Yes, we read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and yes, we loved it (in fact this is a book everyone should read, especially today). We even convinced our friends to name their first daughter Scout, and our first pug was named Atticus Finch. If at some point in our lifetime together, we told you that this is how we met, I am sorry. We weren’t quite healthy enough to speak our truth. Thankfully, we are now well over the stigma and only want to help where we can.

Here is our real story: About one million years ago, or at least a couple or so decades ago, we both arrived at our first meeting for women with eating disorders. We were at one of the very top treatment centers, The Renfrew Center, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. As the young therapist unlocked the door and turned on the lights, not one of us in the group made eye contact. We scuttled about uncomfortably searching for a seat that could somehow feel safe. Everyone stared at the floor. No one made a sound. Occasionally, one could hear a belly growl or the sounds of digestion. If pins were to drop, we would have heard them. And after what felt like hours of bone-chilling silence at a call for introductions, the person who is now my Mrs., she said, “Oh, okay. I’ll go first.” 

Slowly, painfully, we made our way around the room. Not one of us admitted sickness. Not one of us ‘needed’ to be there. The very long, often unbearable road to health and wellness had begun. 

You might say, Lisalah, why now? Why are you telling us this? The answer, as always, is in the eyes of my Big and my Little. We want desperately for them to hold on to the joys of childhood and develop a strong foundation of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem. We are trying to raise our maidelehs (sweet girls) to be brave and mighty, rebel girls as they grow up in this harsh, misogynistic world. We also want them to become women who have a healthy relationship with food. Imagine that! Eating, breaking bread, a nice nosh, all such an important part of our life in terms of sustenance, social interaction, nurturing, and sensuality.

To the caregivers of all of the beautiful kinder that are out there, please know that children, they have ears that hear what you, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, say, even whisper. With social media, unhealthy messages are persistent for vulnerable children and adults. Know, be on the lookout, be prepared. Catch it early. Eating disorders are one of the mental illnesses that have a 20% mortality rate. That is too high. I vividly remember that day in 1983 when Karen Carpenter lost her battle to anorexia nervosa. Understand that you have an ally in me. No stigma. No judgment.

Today in America, over 30 million people of all ages and genders are suffering from an eating disorder. Suffering — that is a kind word for it. As a person in full recovery, this stat, which is on the rise, makes me so profoundly sad. I know the loneliness and sorrow that fills their people-pleasing, loving hearts and souls. I know the pain and overwhelming lack of self-worth that comes from seeking invisibility first hand.

I write about this today for three reasons:

First, so many people, caregivers, parents, and patients all, live in denial. It’s easy to look away, and say, “Nope, not me.” “Not my kid.” “They’ll grow out of this.” If you suspect your child has an eating disorder, learn about eating disorders. Educate yourself to what may be ahead. Talk to your child openly with compassion and empathy. Listen. Love. DO NOT make your talk about appearance. If you say something like, “…you are nothing but skin and bones…” you can easily validate that they are on the right path. This disease, and it is a disease, affects the mind too. Emphasize to them that it is not their fault.

Second, the holidays are fast approaching. Group meals, big meals, family gatherings will feel threatening, frightening to the eating disordered person. They will avoid it at all costs. They will feign sickness, volunteer, say they are eating with friends, all in an effort to avoid the Festivus you are so eagerly awaiting.

Third, you must act compassionately and quickly. Your silence can be deadly. My eating disorder was a cry for help, screaming as loudly as I could scream — a young woman with no voice.

Here are some important things to look for in your child/friend/neighbor:

  • Any weight changes, up or down
  • Differences in eating patterns, like avoiding family meals, or an inability to eat with others
  • Pushing food around the plate; excessive use of condiments; you may even notice the family pet gaining weight
  • New dietary regimes like vegetarianism; fear of certain foods, obsessions with other foods
  • A dramatic increase in physical activity and exercise
  • Going to the bathroom immediately after a meal; spending a long time in the bathroom
  • Missing food that may be hidden away for another time, or eaten when alone
  • Mood and social activity changes
  • Distorted sense of body image; wearing big or baggy clothing
  • Thinning or brittle hair
  • Digestion or bowel issues
  • Abnormal blood counts
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Tooth and gum problems (often times the dentist is the first to notice)
  • Fine hair growth over the body

If you see these symptoms in your kinder, offer your compassionate heart. Be a loving, nurturing part of the journey. The causes of eating disorders, as the layers of an onion, are so complex. Genetics, environmental, psychological and cultural issues all come into play. Emphasis on diet, looks and body shape only add to the dangerous mix of complex behavioral issues lurking in our society.

I had an eating disorder from the age of thirteen. I sought help, at 32. A lot of damage was done in between those years. It was an excruciating battle to overcome what I believed was ‘my very best friend.’ No number on the scale ever offered satisfaction. Tied in with anorexia, as it oftentimes is, was a major depression. I desperately wanted my outline to get smaller, lighter until it, until I, disappeared. Nothing less than that would be deemed a success.

I had an ‘entire team of people’ trying to help me, help myself. I had a therapist, medical doctor, nutritionist, and psychiatrist, all specializing in my illness. I even spent several months outpatient at a clinic. I called it ‘food camp’ and ‘my unfortunate incarceration.’ At 35, I had to re-learn how to feed myself. When I had to use the bathroom, I had to leave the door wide open and sing the entire time I was in there.

I had never really tasted a food, any food until I was 40. Yes, you read that correctly! The Mrs., and me, we went on a bike trip through Tuscany. We were both finally healthy and happy — new foods and flavors danced in my mouth in a way I had never experienced. Nu? So this is what people have been talking about?

Over time, a great deal of damage has been done to my body. I have had multiple painful gum surgeries to stop the gum recession in my mouth from acid reflux caused by not eating and from throwing up. Too much diet soda led to kidney stones. Malnutrition and missing periods for years at a time led to infertility and brought on early osteopenia and osteoporosis. I even have bone loss in my mouth and jaw.

I am so very grateful I figured out, with a great deal of help, that I was worth the fight. We are proof that this awful disease can be overcome successfully.

Yiddish Proverb:

Love is sweet but it’s nice to have bread with it. Lib iz zis ober es iz feyn tsu hobn broyt mit im.

 

 

 

Hello. Yeah, it’s been a while.

Yiddish Proverb:

Hob ich a zorg! Zoll ich zorgen! Why should I worry! I should worry.

I want to thank so many of you who have reached out to me to see if I am okay. I am one lucky Yiddisheh momma, feeling such love and support around this globe! And, please know, I am okay. I am as okay as one can be, as a woman, a lesbian, and a Jew in these ‘guns blazing’ United States. I am out of my mind with worry over the upcoming mid-term elections, and I have a very important 4-letter word I would like to share with everyone. VOTE.

Vote like your life depended on it because it does. Vote for the kinder (children) who will inherit this madness we leave behind. Vote because your voice, it needs to be heard. Vote in solidarity against the racism, rhetoric, lies, hate, bias, and bigotry. Vote for those whose lives were stolen in Pittsburgh, in Jeffersontown, in too many towns to list.

VOTE.

That’s all I got right now. Nu, voos zugt eir gits? What the good word?

Global sigh of relief!

Little meditating…

Today, I am relieved, ecstatic, joyful, delighted, and kvelling to learn that all 12 boys and their soccer coach are rescued, safe and sound. The collective global sigh of relief is holding me up and getting me through the rough parts of our world. There really are heroes in the world. We need to celebrate them!

 

Big was dancing…
And oh, how they played…
Oh, how they play…

Hold your kinderlach (children) closer today, and every day.

 

Yiddish Proverb:

Troubles overcome are good to tell. Ibergekumene tsores iz gut tsu derseylin.

 

Its Wednesday, I wish…

I wish… I wish…

Technically, it is July 4th, Independence Day in the states, and I couldn’t be farther from feeling patriotic, proud of my country or the people who are running it. Truth is, our country scares the shit out of me daily frightens me in a way I have never before experienced.

Today, I welcome the day off with my family. I welcomed sleeping in a bit, relaxing. But I am not feeling very red, white or blue — well, blue only in the sense of a deepening sadness. Human dignity and freedoms are now being stolen daily. The immigrant crisis, where children are being separated from their parents and sent to ‘camps’ technically for purposes of law! WTF and the parallels to the atrocities of the Holocaust haunt me. Please, dear friends, we cannot have another global miscarriage of morals, ethics, and values. Please, hear the cries, feel the pain. Act. Scream. Shout at the top of your lungs.

I move forward only by seeing the cries of injustice rallied far and wide. I hold strong and hard in my belief that we, the greater we of like minds, fairness, civility, compassion, and empathy can right this veering ship.

We must hold on this holiday, more than all others, the belief that the people of our world can and will come together and change the confluence of attitudes and events that are swirling together like the perfect storm. We have to raise the bar on just about everything in the world on human rights. We all need to care.

#NeverAgain #NotOneMore #NeverForget #MeToo #BlackLivesMatter #CivilRights #LGBTQrights #MomsDemandAction #Vote #worry #gunsense #Immigration #MuslimBan #SupremeCourt #Antisemitism #WomensRights

Yiddish Proverb:

I wish I could have the pain instead of you, my children. Mir zol zeyn far dir mayn kinder.

Friends, be safe. A bie genzunt. Go in good health.

I’m still wearing orange

These kids, they are the future

June is National Gun Violence Prevention Month. Shouldn’t June be, Hello, Summer, Month? Living here in these United Divided States, it’s something I take very seriously. Last year, I wore orange for Hadiya Pendleton. You can read about Hadiya and why #WearOrange became a movement here. I think about Hadiya daily, her stolen childhood and untapped, unfulfilled dreams. My heart breaks when I think about how her parents and friends must feel. And having never met her, I am deeply saddened that her bright light no longer shines in our world.

Hey, hey. Ho, ho. The NRA has got to go! HEY, HEY. HO, HO. THE NRA HAS GOT TO GO!

Top left: Me, the Mrs., bottom left: Little and Big

I look at my kinder (children) and I wonder if/when this epidemic of gun violence will stop. It is a health crisis, as virulent as Ebola. On June 2, I marched again, my Mrs., Little, and Big at my side. The crowd was little bigger, but not big enough. Hadiya deserved more people marching in her honor, a sea of orange for a necessary sea change…  Gun violence must not be the new normal. We should feel safe going about our days. Our own president ugh publicly addressed the NRA ugh ugh at their annual Convention and said, “I will not let you down. I will not let you down.”

We can END GUN VIOLENCE! We can END GUN VIOLENCE!

Movita Johnson-Harrell, at the June 2, Moms Demand Action March

Movita Johnson-Harrell. I #WearOrange for her too. This inspiring woman has lost her father, brother, and teen-aged son to homicide by gun violence. Tsuris (devastating pain, grief) does not begin to cover what she has been through in her lifetime. Her speech at our March in Philadelphia left nary a dry eye. My Mrs., she was verklempt (all choked up). Yet Movita, she gets up every day, puts a smile on her face, and works very hard to make sure no other momma will ever feel the pain she feels or experiences what she has experienced. She was even selected by our new D.A. Larry Krasner, a good man,  as Interim Supervisor of Victims Services. Who could understand victims and their families more than Movita? Through her broken heart, she helps others. A real mensch (good person, through and through).

Guns down! GUNS DOWN! Guns down! GUNS DOWN!

“Hi. I’m Lisa. I’m a volunteer, NOT ASKING for any MONEY, and I am calling for Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety…

Tell me what democracy looks like. THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!

Marching and gathering peacefully in protest is my right as a citizen, and I need to do more.  Each week, volunteering with Moms Demand Action, I make telephone calls to constituents all over the country, urging them to contact their legislators about concealed carry reciprocity. I often get yelled at, hung-up on, told that the person on the other end of the line is carrying… and I also, often connect, listen, politely inquire, challenge, and charmingly change the thought process with real facts. It is one of the toughest, yet most rewarding 60 minutes during my week.  Together with other volunteers, Moms has driven hundreds of thousands of phone calls to elected officials to battle the NRA and the ballot box.

I #WearOrange because I’m a mom who cannot comprehend losing a child, a family member, to gun violence. I #WearOrange to raise awareness. I #WearOrange because change will not happen unless we make it happen. I #WearOrange for all of the victims and their families. I #WearOrange because I know that #BlackLivesMatter. I #WearOrange for the #LGBTQ community. I #WearOrange for all the tragic, senseless massacres at schools, concerts, movie theatres… I #WearOrange for all of us who are oppressed, marginalized, hated and victimized. I #WearOrange because I believe we need to drastically reduce access to guns. I #WearOrange because we need to treat mental illness without shame or stigma.  I #WearOrange for all the families left behind from suicide. I #WearOrange because I care about the future. I #WearOrange because our elected officials need to see us and we need to vote.  I #WearOrange and I hope you will too.

 

Yiddish Proverb:

Gay gezunteh hait. Go in good health.

L’chiam! To life!

 

The Saturday Simcha

Yiddish proverb:

Even in this world, one can taste the joy of paradise. Afilu in dem velt, eyner kenen tem di freyd fun ganeydn.

Today, was a mitzvah (nice thing, good deed) for our family. We went to my machatunim (in-laws) (no, they are not ‘those kind’ of in-laws — I am so fortunate) with kinder (children) and Gatsby in tow. We always enter wearing our own coat of chaos and clamor. The maideleh’s (sweet girls) cross the threshold of the doorway, and they are starving like we never ever feed them kind of starving. They are so hungry, they are challish (faint)Nona, she is always ready for them to ess a bissel (eat a little something). She even has choices. Within moments, they inhale large slabs of thick tomato pie. Their cavernous bellies yearn for more. Next up, olives. Gorgeous gourmet kalamatas, and giant green greek beauties stuffed with gorgonzola cheese. Still, the hollows of their kishkas (intestines) cry out, “more please.” One may surmise we only feed them at Nona’s house… Bagels, cream cheese? How about some tuna and bean salad? Nona, a sincere balaboosteh (gourmet cook, cleaner, gardener, caregiver, efficient and loving too — Martha Stewart, she would be impressed, and would learn a few things from our Nona) she whips it all up in minutes. Chips? Who wants chips? Finally, the rumbling bellies begin to bloat. Success.

All the while, amidst the boisterous banter, the barking boy and the pure joy of seeing and feeding her bubbellah’s (grandchildren), Pop Pop, he sleeps soundly in the front room — a den recently turned bedroom. There’s been such tsuris (troubles, worries, grief) with his declining health of late. Our Nona, with a heart of pure gold, she deserves a little frailecheh (happiness).

So once the din of lunch was complete, and the starvation was temporarily sated, Nona, My Mrs., Little, and Big left for some much-needed, light and happy time together. I happily stayed behind, with Gatsby and Pop Pop. And hopefully Nona, she knew he was in good hands/paws with us, kaynahorah (with some good fortune). She can for a time, take her nurse’s hat off and put her sun hat on. Feel the warmth on her back and in her heart.

After about an hour and a half, he woke up. We chatted a little. I brought him his medicine (because Alexa, she told me he had must take it), his lunch (which of course Nona had already prepared) and some fresh water. I helped with the TV channels when his large fingers couldn’t navigate the proper buttons, and Alexa couldn’t make out his voice, now fainter than normal. I gave him a yummy chocolate chip cookie. We watched some golf together, quietly. Talking, not so much.

A bit later, an explosion of noise was welcomed as they all poured through the front door. Smiles on happy faces. Squeals of love and hellos to their Pop Pop, now awake. Joy in their eyes. Joy in Nona’s eyes.

Our Nona’s joy, priceless. Happiness is found in the heart…

And you’ll never guess… The kinder, they were hungry, famished even. After a nice nosh (snack), we headed outside to play. Scooters, hula hoops, and fun.

Joy for Nona, priceless.

To all, a bi gezunt (be healthy).

 

 

The puzzle that is time

Where does the time go… 24/7 is our new normal? Oy, fraig nisht (don’t ask). Eighty-one years is the average age of life on this planet in the U.S. its probably much less with mrt at the helm to live. If you’re a man, you get an average of 78.7 years. How many heartbeats? How do we spend our time? What makes us happy? What constitutes a life well lived? These answers change from person to person, and I have been doing a lot of mulling this over of late. So much so, my head hurts (se tit meer vay der kop).

Everyone’s road is different. Life, it is filled with zillions of invisible tugs of war, pulling and tugging at us — some good, some not so much. Sometimes we fly through tsuris (trouble) with ease, other times, we need more agility — extra adeptness, newfound compassion, empathy.

Can we get balance among the commotion? When do we know what feels good and what hurts, pains us? What about ethics, morals, values, pain, conflict, money, love, empathy, gratitude, compassion…is there a pattern? There is no manual, I do know that…

If our time is finite, we probably should handle it with care. Even when our email is full and voicemail is no longer accepting messages If our energy is fixed, we should do our best to expend it wisely. If we crave healing, we should actively seek restoration. If we desire love, let the heart sing. Can we afford to bargain at this table? I don’t think so… and yet I know I have danced along the ledge. I was young, pained, not yet so wise… So what? (Iz nu?) 

Tseitn derlaibt! Oh, the times we have lived to see! 

May there be many more tomorrows for us all…

Shvesters

My recipe (note, I’m no cook!):

  • Do work that is meaningful
  • Follow your heart
  • Always, always, always, be kind to others
  • Live out loud

 

Are you living your life well?  It’s never too late to change things up a bit. Tell me how you do it?

 

And the rich, they get richer…

My portrait of the “Hooded-Zuck”

And by ‘they,’ I mean the ‘hooded-Zuck’  and his crowd of gonifs (thieves). Et tu, Zuck?

My question to us all, will we continue to share on Facebook?

Yiddish Phrase:

He who has money, has the whole world! Ver es hot gelt, hot di gantsah velt!

Mr. Facebook himself, the big macher (person of influence), took a trip to DC, probably wearing his old Bar Mitzvah suit to meet with the house and the senate. His tie, ferkokt (crooked, amiss), his apology, a bit meh (so-so, or like the bleating ‘baa’ of a sheep). He left unscathed and probably privacy policies will remain unchanged.

Facebook, with a user base as big as a continent, has really f*cked with mishandled our privacy information. Forget this ‘free service’ we are getting by showing our ‘proud momma’ monumental moments, our every Insta-share, dishing and #hashtagging our favorite restaurants and movies that we google-mapped to get to… He is laughing all the way to the bank in this brave, new, technological ledge that we are teetering upon. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore This my friends, is the very dark and dirty side of tech. D-A-T-A. The new four-letter word.

My Gatsby, he is alert and watching (when not barking)

Believe me, I know because we have our Gatsby that not everyone the dog barks at is a thief  (nit yederer oif vemenhunt bilen iz a gonif), but something here, it ain’t kosher is not right. It’s veshtunkina (smells foul, bad).

Zuck allows us to think that we get all of this loving and lovely connection for free. What a price we are paying now. mrt is our president. Democracy, as we knew it is shot. Our elections have been meddled, *ffed stolen by boy-pal Vlad. Oh, and Cambridge Analytica, a data mining company, hired by mrt’s campaign thugs, now owns all of our personal data or at least over 87 million of us the number they’re telling us anyway. One might even think, he should pay us? Nu?

Now I know, I am as guilty as the next momma. I hit next, next, next until I found ACCEPT. Yup. We all did. We ACCEPTED. We were naive. We were eager to share, like, and find our friends. We wanted to kvell (ooze with joy) over our kinderlach (children), kvetch (complain) about our tsuris (troubles), and voice our meynung (opinion) over current events.

I wasn’t part of Cambridge Analytica, but a friend was? Gonifs…

And Facebook, the schnurs (beggars, moochers, leeches) are now collecting every single thing about us… every single thing. Will we change? Will we quit? Can we quit? Does it matter now?

Please tell me what you are doing about this DATA dilemma. The bitter irony, as I hit publish, this goes to Facebook. Maybe Mark, maybe he will read this…

 

 

The Recurring American Nightmare

How is this even a toy? Vey iz mir…

Mr. President, members of Congress, legislators, and elected officials,  f*ck your thoughts, prayers, flags at half-staff, and hollow condolences. Your inertia is astounding and I am angry. Columbine. Marshall High. Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Our kinder (children) are dying. What is it going to take to get you to make change?

The constant misinterpretation of the Second Amendment is reprehensible. Bloated white men in high offices are allowing young white males to steal childhood, eternally changing families before our eyes.

How is it that anyone outside of a highly trained militia, can purchase a gun meant for nothing less than mass destruction and terror?

In these United States: you must be 18 years of age to vote in an election assuming you have the wherewithal to register to vote and muster up the energy to actually show up at your place of polling.

You must be 21 years of age to legally by alcohol. Most states, including Florida, have zero-tolerance alcohol laws when it comes to alcohol purchase and consumption. ZERO TOLERANCE. As a kid growing up in sunny south Florida, we, all of us, had fake ID’s that made alcohol purchase easy.

In many states, just like Florida, at the tender age of 18, you can purchase a rifle, shotgun or, say, for example, a militaristic style, long-gun, like the AK-47 or the AR-15. In many other states, in full support of American gun culture and hunting, you can be as young as 14. Fourteen.

You can be hormonally challenged by a newly-formed pimple, bullied or rejected, and/or filled with normal teenage angst, and still legally purchase a long gun for hunting. This is not the 1800’s, and most of us are no longer ‘Pa’ from Little House on the Prairie, desperately trying to track and kill a bison for the winters’ feeding of one’s family.

In most states, including Florida, you must be 21 years of age to buy a handgun the kind that shoots only 1 bullet at a time.

I am in full support of gun safety background checks, like the majority of this country. However, now is the time that we all must come together, parties aside, and ban all semi-automatic weapons sales. Ban all assault weapons. They are not the fabric of our rich American history. Yet history, they are certainly making.

We cannot dare become numb or normalize these massacres. Nor will banning all semi-automatic weapons stop these horrific acts of terror. But it is clear that we cannot and must not sit back and watch.

If change cannot come from the top down, then we all must rise from the bottom, up. As adults, moms, dads, caregivers, it is our job to protect our kinder (children).  This #MomDemandsAction

Yiddish Proverb:

What will become of the sheep if the wolf is the judge? Vos vet vern fun di sheps aoyb di volf iz di rikhter?

     

      

     

 

I AM WOMAN, the musical resurfaces

Tonight is the eve of the 1 year weirdest year in my lifetime anniversary of the Women’s March, where pink pussy hats bopped atop millions way more than those who attended the inauguration of marching women (men and children too), across the US and in countries around the globe. We gathered in protest of violence and sexual harassment, for reproductive rights, gender equality, and quite frankly, against our new president (little p) and his band of bad men. We were and continue to be, a viable, visible force of peaceful people saying wtf just happened looking for answers and questioning truths. One dizzying, nauseating year later, what’s changed? We went from strong women proudly marching to women governing and legislating. We ran for office and we are winning! This weekend, get your walking shoes on. “Cause we still have some work to do my friends.

I’ve got my walking shoes on… so hear me ROAR!

#metoo #blacklivesmatter #neveragain #muslimregistry #strongwomen #weshowedup #resistmrt

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. (I said peacefully, not notefully!) 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 man, are going to have to deal with that!  Tell me, did you march? If so, where? And most important, everyone VOTE.
      
       
    

Eat a little, ess a bissel!

Normally, I say to my Gatsby, “Ess a bissel eppis, tatelleh,” (eat a little something, my darling boy. Then I feed him his 5,6,7 times a day nosh (meal). I always thought nothing is too good for my boy, until this happened! Oy vey…

Big is wrapping the injured hand of Millie, while our cute, but very guilty Gatsby, looks on… Millie, she smiles like all Wellie Wishers do!

Camille and Willa, American Girl Wellie Wishers, arrived from dear friends for Channukah for Big and Little. Nachas! (Joy!) Clearly, they love them! They take them everywhere and play with them non-stop. As a review, 10 stars out of 5! These dolls are a perfect size, easy to play with, less fear about ruining their well-coifed hairdo’s, and a lot lighter on the ‘wallet inflicted pain’ than their taller cohorts command. (This review is my own. I am not paid for my opinion. I should only, one day, be so lucky! Pooh, pooh)

One minute we are playing ‘Simon-says’, and the next minute, Camille (nick-named Millie) goes from 10-fingers-perfect to nine-OMG! One furry bruder (brother), guilty with his ‘jaws in the finger jar!’ Chicken bones are very nice, but the fresh, full-flavored fingers of a new Wellie doll, dee-lish! I look, I run, I scream, “DROP IT!” Out pops a very little, doll finger.

One minute we are playing ‘Simon-says’, and the next minute, Camille (nick-named Millie) goes from 10-fingers-perfect to nine-OMG! One furry bruder (brother), guilty with his ‘jaws in the finger jar!’ Actual size, less than 3/8 of an inch.

We recovered the damaged doll digit and somehow managed to save the injured soul of my Big, who did everything possible to successfully keep her emotions in check. I promised her I would soon perform a much-needed fingerectomy on dear Millie. I would reattach the pummeled pointer with the very best of my Jewish-doctor abilities. She knows I am a well-trained tinkerer, I fix things. I will make Millie whole.

Yiddish proverb:

When I am eating, everyone can go to hell! Ven ich ess, ch’ ob ich alles in dread.

Gatsby, he thinks, his only crime is getting caught! Lucky for him, he is so darned cute.

Caught, finger in mouth

Wishing everyone all the best the holiday season has to offer! Health, happiness, and prosperity! ❤

  

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.

      

   

Show me a Sign?

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

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

Yes, this sums it up pretty nicely

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

May we all wise up and have hope.

      

 

I AM WOMAN, the musical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Have I got an idea?

We are practicing climbing walls and fences, you know, in case we should need such a skill
We are practicing climbing walls and fences, you know, in case we should need such a skill

Dear Mr. President, can I call you Barack?

I mean I do feel that close to you. You are my president and the president of my family. You and the Supremes actually are responsible for making us visible, and I am forever grateful for your wisdom and intellect. You have done so much good for us all. I am so proud to have you and Michelle as our Potus and Flotus. Oy gevalt (woe is me), how I could go on and on?

But given the current situ at hand, I feel I should be less verbose and strike my point early. Things are batshit crazy in our country feel a bit unsettling with the impending Mr. Macher (scheming social climber) Elect’s upcoming inaugural. So I got to thinking. You know that phrase; I think it’s a Cherokee Proverb (we won’t tell Mr. Macher T that, it will just anger him further), “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Well maybe, as you and Michelle are packing up your things, you leave behind one pair of shoes in the Potus closet.

Maybe, just maybe, he’ll try them on. And like Cinderella, whose shoes forever changed her life, your Potus powered ‘kicks’ that you have been ‘commander-in-chief-ing’ around in for the past eight years will do something magical for the mystifying Mr. Macher T. Perhaps when he laces up, and potchka’s (keeps busy with no clear end in sight) about in the oval office, he will sense your compassion, empathy and willingness to hear and be open. Possibly, right in those moments of strolling in your very experienced and authentic set of shoes, he will f*cking quit his narcissistic and sociopathic ways and get a clue better understand the feelings, perspectives and emotions of we the people…who are all searching for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness together.

Michelle, she doesn’t need to leave any pumps or even sneakers behind, for I just learned that Mrs. Macher T will not be living in the White House. We should only be so lucky for the rest of this meshuggeneh (crazy) clan.

Now, a lot is riding on this shoe idea, but given the circumstances that stand before us, we have to start somewhere. And, it may be easier than taking out the Electoral College.

Thank you Barack, for all you have done and continue to do every day. I welcome any ideas you may have towards passing the baton with the same set of leadership, integrity, morals and ethics that you bring to the party each and every day. You Barack, are a true mensch (decent, good and honorable human being).

Very sincerely yours,

Lisa

Di shich fun oreman’s kind vaksen miten fisel. The shoes of the poor man’s children grow with their feet.

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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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When things go wrong, as they sometimes will…

"To all the little girls watching...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world." —Hillary Clinton
“To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.” —Hillary Clinton

I had to memorize that poem in grade school, and recite it to my class. I think I now know why. The poem is called ‘Don’t Quit,’ and was written in the late 1800’s by Edward A. Guest. Obviously, good old Ed had the awareness to realize that someday, here in the good ol’ U. S. of A., we would be in need of an optimistic verse to deal with the overwhelming feeling of doom and gloom from the tsuris (worry and woes) caused by the 2016 Election.

A baizeh tsung iz erger fun a shlechter hant. Ikh mura mir itst hobn beyde. A wicked tongue is worse than an evil hand. I fear we know have both.

Don’t quit. Seems easy enough. Bat-shit crazy things happen Truly bad things happen all the time. I can be heartbroken, scared, stunned and angry as fucking hell, but I won’t quit. I can’t. I have two shana madelahs (sweet little girls) who need me to energize and focus all of these emotions and inspire them into action.

What we have ahead of us is the fight of a lifetime. And my Mrs. and me, we are in it to win. We know what progress and hope feels like. We will know it again. Because we have to… Because we can’t live in a world that is so hostile, albeit anti-woman, anti-people of color, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-disability, anti-religious freedoms, anti-climate, anti-fucking freedom and liberty and justice for all.

Our battle will be one of civility. We will sign petitions. We will write letters. We will march bravely and peacefully in protests. We will use our voices. I will use my words. And we will continue to vote. Most importantly, the Mrs. and me, we will be role models to our dear bubelah’s (sweetheart girls). We will model kindness, empathy, hope and respect – things that everyone deserves in this world. Even the man whose name I cannot yet type or say aloud who won the election. We understand democracy.

“This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” —Hillary Clinton

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We will fight because this world belongs to my daughters and your daughters – and all of the kinder (children).

“To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.” —Hillary Clinton

Di velt zogt a vertel: besser mit a klugen farliren aider mit a nar gevinen. The world has a saying: better to lose with a wise man than to win with a fool.

We have a fool. Please prove the world, and me wrong. I would love nothing more than to be very, very wrong about the tsuris (troubles) that are ahead for us all.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will… don’t quit.

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