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I’m just a girl who can’t say “NO” when it comes to helping people I like, love and appreciate. Learning that my brother’s website was not being supported by GODADDY (since it was designed in an old program) I offered to help him set up his new site using WordPress. Now, I use WordPress for this webpage and I have used it for various projects over the years and although it is somewhat user-friendly it is becoming less so as they add components without an explanation or example of what it will do. In fact, while trying to update his pages the circle of life continues to rotate, however, on mine, it is automatically updated! Can I say, WTF?
I am excited to help my big brother as I enjoy producing websites and designing a look that will get the attention it deserves. However, I am getting a migraine and I think I will be calling GODADDY as they combined his site to my WordPress account and I believe this is the issue for the lag in updates.
In addition to putting this together for Just 4 The Spell of It, I want to reach out to all of you that play Scrabble, Words with Friends, Boggle, as well as enjoy the challenges of Crossword Puzzles, and WordSwip. In reaching out I want to announce on August 24th my brother Gary will be bringing JFTSOI to a city near you as he heads out of Southern California driving North and East conducting WORD EVENTS. If you would like to host an event or know of a classroom that may enjoy having the word guru visit them, please feel free to contact:
August 2, 2016, I received a call from my brother Joel. Just shortly before he called me, he learned that our mother had suffered a stroke. That morning still stands out in my mind, as Rich left for work, I went out on our back patio and decided to dig up and transplant a spider plant. The plant was barely growing between two well-thriving hostas. As I freed this struggling plant and replaced it in front of my patio doors, I felt as if I had just completed a decisive action. With a feeling of satisfaction, I smiled, knowing that it was going to be a good day until I received the phone call. That plant today is growing and sprouting new baby shoots each year.
I remember feeling a sense of disbelief; my mom was a strong woman who was 96 ½ years young. My brother had to have his information wrong. However, after promising him, I would get myself together and drive to Michigan to be with mom, I followed up with the hospital to learn her condition was concerning. (Now what does that mean?)
After getting my family situated, Rich, Alex, and I set out for Detroit. All we knew at that time was she had suffered what appeared to be a stroke, was blind, and had no idea what happened, or if anything happened. She had no concept of being blind; she saw what she wanted *in her mind.
Arriving hours later as I approached her hospital room, I feared the worst and hoped for the best. Mom was sleeping, as I slowly approached her and woke her up. She sounded like mom, although a bit confused as she began asking questions about why she was in the hospital. She said she felt fine and wanted to go home. I reassured she would be staying at the hospital for at least the night we had to identify what may have happened. Again, she still had no idea she was blind.
August 2, 2016, took us all on a journey we never expected or planned.
From August 2, through October 11, 2019, I was blessed to spend my mother’s last weeks with her. It was during this time I was able to talk to my mama in a manner I never thought I could. We went from what I depicted as a love/hate mother-daughter relationship to a loving, trusting, mother-daughter experience. I grew up during those weeks, even though I didn’t feel ready for the challenges I faced.
I have not felt the same since the transition from Summer to Fall in 2016. I have held on to the good memories from those weeks, the stories my mama told, some over and over again, while others were in fragments that I may never know the full meaning. During this period, I felt like I was in limbo just as much as my mom. Although there was no hope for her recovery, we also had no time table of her fate. Each day was a blessing and a miracle until she died.
I have been told by the rabbis and the scholarly Jewish community that my mother’s death on the Eve of Yom Kippur, October 11, 2016, was a mitzvah. My mother was absolved of all her sins in 2076, written into the book of life, and with 2077 on the horizon, she would leave this earthly world in the presence and acceptance of G-D. However, ever year, Yom Kippur rolls around as I pray for life,I now remember my mother’s life and the love she shared.
August the 2nd will always remind me of the opportunity I had to care for my mother and create a heartful of loving memories!
This is my opinion – Karen Moss Hale
Last night I had no intention of watching Part 1 of the Democrats Debate. However, I did watch it, and I was amazed at the talent and mostly the compassion in many of these #WANT-2-B-Presidents. I went into this not wanting to like Elizabeth Warren, thinking she had her chance in 2016, but I see a different person in her now. She truly cares; she is the mom, teacher, nurse, doctor, and mentor that we need. Yet I saw the spark in the eyes of others who I felt were also believable. I have trusted Julian Castro since his introduction through Obama years ago. I understood the use of Spanish and English in his remarks last night, however, when my grandparents and yours came here from far-away lands speaking in their tongue, part of becoming a U.S. citizen was learning English and be capable of communicating with all. I am not against having a native language like Spanish, French, Yiddish, etc., but we all must learn to speak in the same language. We are a melting pot, and we must be able to blend together, bringing our strengths to the table and improving upon our weaknesses.
Personally, Cory Booker is another fine politician and human, and he reminds me of President Obama, and for my family and me although we had our own personal struggles during his period in office, we felt safe and optimistic. The stats from last night say Booker and Castro were at odds with each other and this is something that we must overcome. The Democratic System is about choice, freedom, and rights. It is also about collaboration and not compromise. Many of the #WANT-2-B-Presidents said it; it is not about starting a new project; it is about taking what we have and making it better. Whether you agree or not, that is what the Affordable Care Act was about. It was the starting point to help provide that all AMERICANS have affordable care despite their age and or income level! Why should we throw the baby out with the bathwater when we can hold tight to the baby and reconstruct the bath temperature?
Tonight is yet another #WANT-2-B-Presidents debate, and I am sure there will be a lot more rhetoric being spewed, some real and like some else says, some fake! However, we are still living in a free country where we can listen, observe, discuss, and make the right decision.
- Healthcare is a given if we are going to grow and capable of living full lives.
- Education must allow teachers to instruct, guide, and mentor, stop putting handcuffs on them, and education must be equalized for all no matter how economically rich or poor the community is!
- The government must listen to the constituents, hear what they want, need, and require to be leaders in their families, communities, and beyond.
- Stop creating wars, communication with our Ally’s and Enemies must be the focus and not threats that bring on retaliation.
- We MUST face the fact we are killing mother earth, and we have the ability to stop it. New innovations are at our fingertips, and these skills can be taught and change both the political and natural resources climate.
Before my mother died in 2016, I promised her that Donald Trump would not be elected. Sadly, I could not keep my promise. Many people enjoyed his promises about “Making America Great Again,” the problem was, it was already Great, and now it is in pain! We need a new doctor in the house.
2 June 2019
So you say life isn’t fair, it’s difficult to find a job, create a successful relationship, and find true happiness. However, if I have learned one thing in life, nothing comes easy that is worthwhile keeping. I too have felt these same pangs believing I was the only one struggling in a career, with family, friends, and most of all, self-acceptance. Acceptance does not mean not trying to improve or look for self-satisfaction, it means finding something about yourself to believe in.
This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. It began with not knowing if my husband had/has a job or not. Although the situation is not resolved after the initial shock that he may need to make some changes that will affect us both, we both had to grieve, take a deep breath, and keep taking steps in a forward and lateral direction, backward was not/is not a choice.
Change is not easy, even if it’s a choice we make. Any change can be scary and can make for a lot of discomforts. Before looking in the mirror and making any alterations, we must appreciate what we have on a daily basis — find one thing, and it will multiply to two, three, or more. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” So when a curve ball is thrown, we either catch it or hit it out of the park. Catching it may throw us off balance or even sting a bit, hitting it out of the park, however, empowers us to make a choice to change!
Empowerment is a choice and prepares us for the rollercoaster of life. Preparation allows us to be more aware of our surroundings and the fork in the road that lays up ahead.
I am asking because I am confused! When is friendly too friendly? In the past, family, friends, neighbors, and newly acquainted individuals hugged, touched, and even kissed, without sexual intent or disrespect of invading space. Most of the baby boomers were brought up in an environment was touch appropriate; it was for comfort, appreciation, as well as a common form of communication. I am not disavowing that some of these connections may go array whether intentionally or with intent. However, when did we get so sensitive to expect that a kiss on the head, hand, the cheek is something more than a mere gesture of respect or showing appreciation. Why is it ‘OK’ for men to hug and tap each other on the shoulder but when a man treats a female equally it is considered too personal and display sexually desire?.
I do not want to live in a world where people are afraid to touch each other or share a conversation that may each work and innuendo is scrutinized. The “ME TOO MOVEMENT” has does a wonderful thing by bringing inappropriate behavior to the forefront; however, it has destroyed what is natural in the human species, connection. I am not defending or accusing anyone of poor behavior while we must begin to understand that not everything communicated is in “poor or inappropriate taste,” we should be cognizant of what is acceptable in a human connection.
I have shared this previously, I have been molested by a member of the medical community, the therapy taught me to how to get through the remnant of that encounter while learning to trust my instincts while still welcoming appropriate touch and speech when making a connection. Do we want to live in a world of “Hands Off?” If so, when will experience the warmth of another human soul?
The following is something I read on Facebook today, although I do not know this mother personally, I understand her story all to well. I believe her story, as I have seen this all too familiar scenario played out due to ignorance as well as unawareness to our special needs community. Our communities are not comprised of all perfectly “normal” human specimens. In fact, the quote that normal is only a setting on a washing machine or dryer is very true. As we are all snowflakes, not one of us is identical to another, we all have our quirks.
When will we learn to be tolerant, accepting, and encompass the diversities we encounter on a daily basis? When trusted medical doctors, nurses, and other healthcare officials cannot be trusted, it is time to change the system. Approximately 17 years ago a Psychiatrist at the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation, informed my son (who was 11 at the time), my husband and myself, that he (our son) should give up his dreams and passion for baseball. She told him his dreams were too lofty and that he was destined to living in a half-way house and performing menial jobs.
As parents, we refused to listen, and we argued with her that she was wrong despite a complete case study she provided us with to prove her point. Today, not only did my son graduate high school with a 3.0+ GPA, attend college and receive a BS in Business Management, he has also been an Autism Advocate, and for over a year he has worked with the Cleveland Indians and has accepted two advancements. He is living his passionate dream despite the ignorance of a “trusted” professional. If we had listened and given into her diagnosis (not the one of our son’s neurologist) we would have not only ruined our son’s life but destroyed much of ours as well.
Anyone who knows someone on the spectrum most likely has a similar story, and we must continue to bring the REAL SPECTRUM AWARE to light. April may be Autism Awareness Month, but for the one out of sixty-four and their families, Autism Awareness must be every day. #IGNORANCENOTACCEPTED! #webothhavesonsbythenameofAlex
APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS/ACCEPTANCE MONTH
Why this is so important to me and many of my very dear friends…
Our story that changed me forever…
June 2015 Alex had a horrible sinus infection. He was in terrible pain, but because his verbal skills are limited, he did not know how to express how he was feeling. All he knew is he needed relief from the pain. He ended up hitting himself which resulted in 2 black eyes. As my poor “Gentle Giant” baby was lying in bed that night, his eye started to bleed. Although I was very skeptical on how he would be treated there I knew (thought) he needed to go to the hospital where they would give him something to make him feel better. And that my friends is where Alex and my Horrific Nightmare Began…
Before this, I think we kind of lived in a bubble. Beachwood is kind of a small town where most people know each other. So most people knew Alex for the funny, smart, fun loving, Gentle Giant he is. On top of that, he attended an Autism School. So acceptance in the community was just part of our world. Never did I imagine he would go to a hospital 10 minutes away from our house where the minute he came through the doors, he was treated like a monster.
All these doctors saw was a 6’4” man with 2 black eyes not happy. They didn’t care that he was not happy because he was in pain. When I told them he had autism, they actually said to me “We have never had anyone here with autism before” I called Bullshit on them. “Really? 1 in 64 and he is your first?”
They put him in 4 point restraints and sedated him. They would not treat his sinus infection even though I insisted. I stayed with him 24/7. I slept in a metal folding chair and only left for a couple each night when someone I trusted at the time would come so I could shower. I heard and saw everything that went on. I would tell them he is in pain. I would beg them to give him something for his pain. They would say “He is sedated he doesn’t feel anything” I could see he was in pain. They didn’t care. To them, he wasn’t a person. He got pneumonia and ended up on a ventilator. This went on for 3 WEEKS! I fought with them, I yelled they DIDN’T CARE!! I tried telling them what a wonderful boy he is. THEY DIDN’T CARE!! To them he was a very large disabled “monster” The doctors would talk around me. Like I wasn’t there. They told me if he got out they wanted to send him to a mental hospital. They treated him like a crazy monster. They didn’t care; I was his mother and legal guardian. They acted like I knew nothing about him. They didn’t believe anything I told them. Me and others that saw him never said the words but knew he was going to die there. They were going to kill him. I begged for him to get transferred out of there. I thought of ways to sneak him out. Finally, after 3 weeks, they sent him by ambulance to the main Clinic where after 2 more weeks they were able to get him off the ventilator. He was left immobile. They wanted to send him to rehab, and I said “NO. NO MORE. I WILL DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO HAVE HIM REHAB AT HOME!”
Thank God Alex has the Fershtman determination and hard work ethic. It took a while but he had to learn to walk and feed himself again. And most importantly he had to learn to TRUST again.
He had nightmares from this experience. I slept with him every night for 1 year. I still have nightmares. And unlike Alex, I have not learned to trust again.
You know how they say “Once you are in Hell nothing else frightens you” It is true. I was there and I do not get intimidated by anything anymore. Alex and I are both fighters. We are survivors. If we made it through Hell we can make it through anything!
Even making this move. I knew it was the best thing for both of us but I thought the transition might be a little hard for him. However, I knew we would get through it. If we survived our horrific nightmare we would survive transition issues. Thankfully he has been so happy here since day one! I promise This will NEVER HAPPEN TO ALEX AGAIN! I WILL DO ANYTHING AND I REALLY MEAN ANYTHING TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T!! And I also promise I will make sure everybody will always treat him as the sweet, loving funny person he is!
AND WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ALEX NEVER EVER HAPPENS TO ANYONE AGAIN!!!
REMEMBER, PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS ARE STILL PEOPLE AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS PEOPLE!!! NOBODY’S LIFE IS WORTHLESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL NEEDS!!!
And I don’t care who you are if I hear you say otherwise I will call you out on it every time!!!
THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT SO PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT ONE!
THIS IS A STATEMENT ABOUT PEOPLE PERIOD!!!
AND A STATEMENT ABOUT AUTISM AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE!!
ps. I cannot promise that this is my only Autism Post this month… so Buckle Your Seatbelts Kids!!
***Annette Scott & Sandi Fershtman – thank you for sharing and now let’s home we can touch the hearts of humanity (and medical professionals) to understand that Autism touches us all!
Good morning world, it is Saturday, March 30th, just two days before April 1st, also known as April Fools Day! Well, I don’t plan to fool you or anyone else, what I am planning to do is to fully continue living my life and appreciate each sunrise and sunset even if it is Cloudy & Grey. As I look at the various messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I am reminded that we only have one life to live and that is now in the present. We can think of the could a’s, should a’s and would a’s but that would mean something else would have transpired and we cannot guarantee that is the result we would want. However today we can choose the path and take the journey of life and see where it leads. Remember every path as curves, turns, ups and downs, the obstacles are what gives us the strength to sort through these challenges.