Monday, October 29, 2018

We are broken, but not unfixable

Photo credit: Wikipedia

You've probably heard the story or seen the meme about how broken vessels in Japan are repaired using gold (kintsukuroi). Often, they are more beautiful after they've been fixed than they were before they were broken. 

Pittsburgh needs some kintsukuroi right now. Evil has come into our city and, for now, we are broken. We are brokenhearted. 

This past Saturday, Shabbat, our shalom was shattered by a lone gunman, a vessel of evil perpetrating a Satanic deed. Satanic? Yes, that's what I believe. I refuse to call this anything but. 

In a season when we are reminded of death and evil in the lawn displays and in nearly every store, death and evil became all too real for the Squirrel Hill community in Pittsburgh. Squirrel Hill, my former home, and a neighborhood where many of my friends and acquaintances live, shop, and worship.

I spent Saturday in front of the television. How could I not? First there were reports of 8 deaths then 11. Eleven. Were there people I knew among the dead? I couldn't help wondering/praying/worrying. Although I heard from some, for the most part, I, like countless others, had to wait for the names to be announced on Sunday morning, just a few short hours after the last of the bodies were carried out of the Tree of Life Synagogue

And then, there it was. The list of names, none of which I was familiar with, but all of which affected so, so many. I was relieved, yet burdened with grief for people I did not know as well as those I knew who were undoubtedly affected by this news. People who had worshiped beside those who were now deceased. 

One of my students in the Osher program at Carnegie Mellon University responded to my email on Saturday with this short reply:

Dear Hana:

Thanks for your concern. Our synagogue is affected. Still don't know how many of the dead and wounded are ours.
Stan and I are Ok. I was heading to shul expecting a normal Shabbat, but friends told me police had surrounded the building where we meet. Don't know yet how many of our congregants are dead and wounded...I fear the worst....


Don't know "how many of our congregants are dead and wounded..." Can you imagine?

Image by Tim Hindes
Yes, we are broken, but we're not unfixable. As always, Pittsburgh's resilience will shine through. We will never be the same, especially the Jewish community here, but we will take the gold dust and, like the Japanese who practice kintsukuroi, we will celebrate our unique history, acknowledging the breaks and fractures, and we will emerge more beautiful and stronger than ever. After all, we're Pittsburgh. We're united in this senseless tragedy, and we'll be united in our healing.

Join me in praying for those most devastated by the shootings at the synagogue -- the families of the victims, the injured, the first responders, the children (oh Lord, bless the children), those who will be haunted by nightmares, and for the Squirrel Hill community at large. It was Mr. Rogers' neighborhood, so I'll end with 2 quotes from him:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."


We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider these people my heroes.

Someday, it will once again be a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Until then, let's not only look for the helpers... let's be the helpers.

Sharing my heart,

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Who wants to WIN a $50 Amazon Gift Card?

Sponsored By: KarmaPets

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Celebrate my oldest grandchild's birthday (10/17) and my youngest grandchild's birthday (10/18) by entering this great giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card, because... well, because everyone can use an extra $50, right?

KarmaPets dog treats bring you a fantastic giveaway this week. A $50 Amazon gift card to spend online on the Amazon store, for one lucky winner! Available on Amazon, KarmaPets calming dog treats are very popular with pups suffering from anxiety and restlessness issues. They have developed treats to help dogs with those tough times.

Winner Will Receive:

$50 Amazon Gift Card!

Spend it on your family, save it for holiday presents, or splurge on yourself! After all, we deserve a treat every now and then too! :)

Open to Worldwide entries. Must be 18+ to enter.

Giveaway Dates

10/17/18 9:00am through 11/14/18 11:59pm

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Are you pulled in too many directions?

It happens. Our calendars fill up. Demands on our time increase. We run ourselves ragged throughout the day and collapse into bed in states of total exhaustion and weariness. Did you ever stop and ask yourself why? Maybe you should.

Image by Gerald_G

As someone who's been there far too often, I want to encourage you to do something. Sit down. Breathe. Even if it's just for a minute or two. Close your eyes and imagine being somewhere else. The beach. The mountains. In your sweetheart's arms.

Now grab your calendar and take an honest look at it. Is there anything on there you could eliminate? Do it. Is there something that causes dread when you think about it? Do you have to keep that appointment? And please note: I'm not talking about doctor or dentist appointments you may be dreading. Keep them! But maybe there's an upcoming social event you feel obligated to attend, even though you don't want to. Ask yourself why you are going.

I know a woman who used to gather with high school friends for every birthday. The group of women would go out to dinner and every time my friend would complain about it. She didn't enjoy being part of this group anymore. She'd outgrown them. So why was she still filling her calendar with these gatherings? It was an obligation. When she finally realized she didn't have to continue being part of this group, the burden was lifted off of her and she was able to free up quite a few evenings in her year. Ahhh... relief. Did the others understand? Maybe not. But who cares??

So often, we live our lives to please others. I'm not saying we shouldn't put others first at times. But there has to be a balance.

After my first husband died, I decided to go back to college and finish my degree. At the time, I was a 32-year-old single mom with two small children. I met with someone at the university and discovered that many of my credits were no longer valid because they didn't offer the courses anymore. What? That made no sense to me. So instead of being a senior, I was going to start back as a junior. I originally double-majored in theater arts and creative writing. I no longer cared about the theater degree, so I planned to pursue a degree in writing. As they looked at the courses I'd taken, they said I had already fulfilled all of my writing requirements. They set up a schedule for me. It included chemistry, calculus, and some other lame-to-me courses. One thing was clear -- I was going to hate school. I had to do some soul searching. Why did I really want the degree? It was a simple answer: I wanted to do it for my mother. Once I knew that answer, I looked at what my life would be like if I enrolled in the next semester. Since I didn't have any family in Pittsburgh, I would have to have babysitters care for my children. I would have to drive into Oakland and find parking, despite the weather. I would have to listen to boring lectures about subjects I had zero interest in. And my evenings would be spent studying the aforementioned subjects. Fun times. The end result would be a miserable mommy for my little girls. What was all that for again? Oh yeah, for my mother.

I decided to skip the degree.

And you know what? It's okay. I did what was best for me and for my family at the time. And not once since then, have I ever been asked if I had a degree. I now teach writing at Carnegie Mellon University for their Osher program. I teach writing at conferences. I present writing workshops. I run a writers' group. I coach writers. And not taking chemistry or calculus has affected me in any negative way. Sometimes, you just have to let go of other people's expectations.

So look at your calendar again. Look at it honestly. Are your kids in activities someone else wants them to be in? Are you pushing them to do things they don't want to do? Would it be so bad if your kids didn't participate in everything your sister's kids participate in? Is there a competition going on here? Just some questions for you to ponder.

Freeing up some time can rescue you from the Gumby syndrome. After all, it's really not that cool to be stretched in that many directions. Let me know if you find a way out.

Sharing my thoughts on life,

Friday, October 5, 2018

DiaResQ to the rescue when your belly starts a rumbling!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this post.

Don't you love it when you find a new product that is safe and can be used to solve a common problem. Well, maybe for some of you and your kids, diarrhea isn't a common problem. But for others, it plagues them from time-to-time. Either way, this is a product you really want to have on hand. It's always exciting to find a product that WORKS, is the first of its kind AND fits our fast-paced lifestyles. How often do busy families eat out during the week at crowded restaurants, food trucks or street vendors and suffer from it later? DiaResQ is not a drug, but rather a food for special dietary use that quickly provides relief when you feel your tummy rumbling. I mean, seriously, I hate that rumbling. Nothing ruins a romantic moment like the urge to get to the bathroom... quickly! Right?!

How Does it Work?

DiaResQ provides nutrients and immune factors that help to rapidly restore normal intestinal function – so you’re back to normal in no time. The coolest part is that, because it’s a food, it effectively reaches the digestive tract and promotes healthy digestive function. It’s definitely something you want to pack for your next trip! Plus, it is safe for children as young as one year in age.

How is it Different?

Many diarrhea relief products help to alleviate the symptoms by interfering with your body’s natural immune response when you eat something that doesn’t agree with you. This can keep that unwanted something in your body longer and delay recovery. DiaResQ works with your body’s natural defenses to support digestive health by delivering micronutrients, macronutrients, and immune factors to get you back on track in no time!

Where Can I Find it?

You can find DiaResQ on Amazon, or at Target, CVS, Walmart, and other retail outlets. Click here for a comprehensive list. If you're like me, you'll be heading out to the store to have some DiaResQ on hand ASAP! Don't let that stomach rumbling affect your next date night or family outing. DiaResQ to the rescue!

Sharing new products with you with confidence,

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