Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Monday, February 20th, 2017

#BlackLivesMatter

Fredrick Douglas

Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Donald J. Trump

Hearing this silly thoughtless statement, I decided to increase my own knowledge of Frederick Douglas. I just finished reading Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas and I joined The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI).

The Library of Congress named the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave one of the eighty-eight Books That Shaped America. Published in 1845, Douglass’s first autobiography exposed slavery and helped change the course of the U.S. Abolitionist Movement. I found it shocking and revolting and yet amazed by Douglas’s honesty, strength, and fortitude.

To honor Douglass’s 200th birthday, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives will print and distribute one million hardcover copies of a special Bicentennial Edition of the Narrative and ask the recipients of this special Bicentennial Edition to create service projects addressing current social justice issues in their communities. Such important work, I’m proud to contribute and wish them great success.

Today, this opinion in the Times suggests some great suggestions for DJT to get himself up to speed.


Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

What Did The President Do And When Did He Do It?

president_knew_everything

Howard Baker’s question sliced to the core of Watergate: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

Repeated over and again in the senator’s mild Tennessee drawl, those words guided Americans through the tangle of Watergate characters and charges playing daily on TV to focus squarely on Richard Nixon and his role in the cover-up.

It’s time to use and augment Baker’s famous question.


Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Connect The Dots; Not The Tweets

Out of Despair

Oh My where to begin? How to keep this simple and clear? I humbly suggest both a reading and a viewing.

I’ll start with the American Experience documentary Oklahoma City. It’s not easy to watch the reliving of the horrific bombing of the Federal Building but the film is so instructive about the rise of White Supremacy, its influences and its evils. It brings me directly to Stephen K. Bannon, our so-called President’s Whisper-In-Chief who is nothing but evil and dangerous- a perfectly scary example of a white supremacist.

For reading, It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a book as good as Daniel Gordis’ Israel: A Concise History of A Nation Reborn for getting behind, beneath and around every reason why a Jewish State is imperative for Jews.

Read, view, put the information together as I have and then commit to the huddle nearest you ready to take actions to ensure freedom and democracy for all.


Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

A Little Inspiration To Move Onto The Huddle

No

Resist Tues

Build Bridges

Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s. Charles M. Blow

In the end, however, he will fail. He will fail because however shrewd his tactics are, his strategy is terrible—The New York Times, the CIA, Mexican Americans, and all the others he has attacked are not going away. With every act he makes new enemies for himself and strengthens their commitment; he has his followers, but he gains no new friends. He will fail because he cannot corrupt the courts, and because even the most timid senator sooner or later will say “enough.” He will fail most of all because at the end of the day most Americans, including most of those who voted for him, are decent people who have no desire to live in an American version of Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, or Viktor Orban’s Hungary, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Eliot A. Cohen

The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul. David Brooks

We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. What happens next is up to you and me. Don’t be afraid. This moment of danger can also be your finest hour as a citizen and an American. David Frum

Your daily reminder that none. of. this. is. normal. Tuesdays With Toomey @‏TuesdaysToomey

Impeach Donald Trump Now for violating the US Constitution. Sign the petition

Sign Up For A Huddle Near You


Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change

JIZO

It’s not life that causes suffering, it’s our story about life, our interpretation, that causes so much distress. Pema Chödrön

When my Dad died, I was sad, depressed and debilitated. As fate would have it, I ran into Pema Chödrön by way of her audio tape: The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. It was heaven-sent, a clear prescription of how to ride the wave of my emotions and move forward out of my loss.

Our sense of who we are is a very restricted version of who we truly are. Chödrön’s prescription is to use direct experience, who we present at this very moment, as the doorway to our true nature. By fully being in this moment of time, sounds, smells, sights, feelings, we contact the unlimited openness of being.

All of our habitual patterns are efforts to maintain a predictable, limited identity. When we keep revisiting the memory of something distressing, or rehashing and obsessing the story line, or seeing ourselves as victim; emotions fuel our static identity.

In fact, our identity which seems substantial and static, is in fact very fluid and dynamic. There are unlimited possibilities to what we might think, what we might feel, and how we might experience our reality. We must take actions to free ourselves from the suffering of this fixed identity and instead choose to connect with the fundamental change and mystery of our being.

The first step is learning to stay in the present with a meditation practice. In the present, we see how persistently we felt sorry for ourselves and do not consider alternative possibilities of long term happiness.

The next step is to interrupt the negative thoughts without denying or repressing them and accept the nature of the mind to let thoughts arise and leave. If we neither suppress our thoughts and emotions nor run with them, we find ourselves in an interesting place of neither rejection or justification but instead, embracing what is. There’s no need to respond habitually. No need to fight or flee. We can feel your true hearts and engage without an agenda.

We are in dynamic situations with unimaginable potential. The more we stay present, the more familiar this process becomes, and the easier it is to do it in the midst of everyday challenges. We will continue to face uncertainty and change. It is inherent in being alive. We are neither doomed nor completely free. We create our future with every word, action, and thought. We have all that we need to simply relax and be with the transitional, in-process quality of life. It is our engagement in the process of awakening.


Monday, January 23rd, 2017

After The March: Stop Trump’s #SwampCabinet

Resist Tuesdays

MoveOn.org is organizing every Tuesday for the first 100 days to attend a Stop Trump’s ‘Swamp Cabinet’ Rally at your Senator’s local office with a clear message: Stop Trump’s #SwampCabinet

Trump claimed he would “drain the swamp” out of Washington, but instead he has only nominated individuals that will foster corruption and destruction. Go to your senator’s local district office and tell them why Trump’s cabinet is not what America wants or needs.

To attend a “Stop the #SwampCabinet” office visit locally, enter your zip code here and find one near you or join me tomorrow at 12:00 at Crazy Mocha, Station Square to go onto Pat Toomey’s office.


Thursday, January 19th, 2017

a Prayer for the New President

Hear Our Voice

May God Bless and Keep the President
A prayer compiled from Facebook comments by Alden Solovy, January 2017

May God bless and keep the President from …
… turning his back on refugees.
… abandoning minorities, the poor, and the disabled.
… alienating our allies and empowering despots.
… destroying LGBTQ rights.
… telling women how to control their lives and their bodies.
… destroying our country.
… irreparably damaging the Supreme Court.
… abandoning the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
… forgetting the truths that are self-evident.
… speaking then denying then speaking then denying.
… establishing a national religion, abandoning the separation of church and state.
… inciting even more racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny.
… mocking the disabled, attacking Gold Star families, and denigrating women.
… disemboweling the Fourth Estate.
… unleashing sinat hinam.
… undoing this grand experiment in recognizing inalienable rights.
… being re-elected.

May God bless and keep the President …
… occupied with trivial matters to limit his impact.
… aware of all the communities he was elected to serve.

May God bless and keep the President away from…
… Obamacare.
… Twitter.
… the nuclear launch codes.
… Medicare and Social Security.
… the White House.
… acting on his misogynistic impulses.

May God bless and teach the President…
… humility, justice, and kindness.
… to keep his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
… to build bridges of kindness and trust between all the peoples of the United States.
… to build bridges of kindness and trust between all the peoples of the world.
… the true meaning of compassion and human dignity.
… to see his inadequacies and his inappropriateness for the job.
… the difference between leading the nation and humiliating dissenters.

May God bless and save the President from himself, and save us from him.


Friday, January 13th, 2017

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now bumper sticker
Trump’s circus of a press conference on Wednesday convinced me that I cannot depend on a free informed press to help me discern the actual goings for the next four years and that my best chance for an accurate media view is to commit to the best national, daily, independent news program Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. You can access it live 8:00AM or prescribe to the podcasts on Itunes. Meet you there!

From their web site:
Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts.


Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Another Win-Win

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pillows3

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I have a sizable life-time’s worth of want-to-do fiber projects. That’s why I jumped on my deeply rooted desire to make floor cushions when Steve decided to replace his futon mattress.
Step 1: Retrieve an old rejected twin size futon.
Step 2: Use a saw or knife to divide it into 6 even parts being careful not to dislodge the fiber filling. Ask for help with this!
Step 3: Go to Salvation Army on half-price day and buy 12 pair of the biggest jeans you can find. (Look first in men’s and then big women’s.)
Step 4: Deconstruct the jeans removing under leg seams, waistbands, zippers, pockets and hems.
Step 5: Determine finished measurements for top, bottom and sides. Add ½” seam allowances.
Step 6: Piece and cut to size: 12 tops, 12 bottoms and 24 side pieces.
Step 7:Sew these into 6 pillow shapes- right sides together leaving open one edge for stuffing.
Step 8: Insert futon sections into pieced covers. Smooth out stuffing. Another time to ask for help!
Step 9: Use a strong quilting thread to hand sew the open edge.
Step 10: Gift them to your favorite family members who love to use floor seating.


Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Nest

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loft5

loft2

Every morning I awaken to a heart-warning cacophony of sights in the bedroom portion of our loft. It begins with a good night’s sleep on the great invention of a memory foam mattress and pillow.
Coming to my senses I meander through the family photographs that line the ceiling beams feeling the persistent love and support that surrounds me. As valuable as the photos, is the quilt wall that Steve created where my top dozen quilts shine in the indirect light of day.
To the right of the bed is a recent addition- my desk, computer and files. It’s great for many reasons, like keeping on top of my finances, but number one is accessing videos with my yoga mat enabling increased daily movement and flow.
I’ve mentioned my huge walk-in closet with every stitch of my clothing completely visible. Since I have been working with Sarah at SilkDenim, I have amassed a bounty selection of remade clothing for daily use, making it way more fun to select my clothing.
Across from my bed is my very favorite resting place in the whole loft. I spend hours on this crewel upholstered love seat passed down from my aunt- reading napping, and playing with my phone.
An embarrassment of riches making a reliably meaningful start to the adventures of the day.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

It’s Very Very Complicated

ojmadeinamerica

rebbe

frank_sinatra

I am reading, Rebbe, a hefty 2529 iphone pages. It’s comparable in depth and size to another biography I read last year, Sinatra: The Chairman, coming in at 3386 pages. Add to that my recent marathon watching the 10-hour documentary epic on ViceLand, OJ: Made In America. Three magisterial biographies, three larger than life men, three recurring motifs of boundaries, dominance, and intrigue.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the messianic figure who transformed his movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, into one of the most dynamic and widespread organizations in the Jewish world. Rebbe explores Schneerson’s overarching philosophies, his influence on a variety of world leaders through his private nightly one-on-one meetings, and the process of transformation as he moved from spiritual leader to savior archetype.

Frank Sinatra’s unforgettable talent defined 20th century in American high-life. He was a true masterful genius of the musical note, unceasingly combining the best material, musicians, arrangers, and producers for the finest possible version of each of his songs, at the same time being a deeply flawed, erratic, callow, and thuggish personality.

O.J.: Made In America is a sobering epic that redefines domestic abuse, police investigation, race relations and the criminal justice system. The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman on the evening of June 13, 1994 remain officially unsolved but Simpson was later found liable for their deaths in civil court and then went on to commit nefarious other crimes that led to his incarceration.

These defining cultural tales of modern America are extraordinary on many levels- a rich methodical deconstruction of not just each man but his environment, community and society that created him. It will take hours upon hours to ponder and digest this powerful collection of unshakeable, and haunting stories about America, society and ourselves but trust me, it’s worth it.


Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Rosh Hodesh Tevet

chanukah16

This week along with Chanukah we welcome in the tenth month on the Hebrew Calendar-Tevet. Rosh Hodesh, the celebration of that little sliver of the moon barely visible in the sky, is a renewal opportunity for women and men to gather for Jewish learning, spiritual exploration, and life passages celebrations.

This year, along with Chanukah and Rosh Hodesh, our family used the opportunity to celebrate a graduation. Whenever I want to create a unique ritual I use this resource housed in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Ritualwell.org is an inspirational blend of tradition and innovation that encourages all of us: Jews by birth, Jews by choice, friends, and seekers of all kinds to make meaningful moments in time.

Our Rosh Hodesh Prayer:
Thank you for this holy moment of the New Moon. Renew this month with goodness, blessing and joy; with peace, forgiveness and liberation; and with service to self, family and community that we might reach our full potential.



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