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I am pleased to introduce you to my guest on Lessons Learned this Friday, February 12, 2021, when my friend Lawrence S. Katz talks BASEBALL
Lawrence S. Katz has written numerous articles about baseball for publications including Sports Collectors Digest, The Baseball Research Journal, and Primo Magazine. He contributed a chapter entitled “When Immortals Returned to the Minors” for The Perfect Game, an anthology published by the Taylor Publishing Company in 1993 and by Barnes & Noble in 1995.
This work is a revised edition of his book Baseball in 1939: The Watershed Season of the National Pastime, published by McFarland and Company in 1995 and 2012. The book, and his abstract titled “Baseball & Cultural Change in the Late 1930s,” are included in the Baseball Hall of Fame Library collection.
Katz has spoken on a variety of baseball subjects, including Depression Era baseball at the Baseball in Literature and Culture Symposium at Indiana State University, the recent return of minor league baseball to the Detroit area, and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League – featured in the movie A League of their Own – at a dinner honoring former player Rose Gacioch.
He realized his dream of appearing on a major league pitching mound before a packed house when he sang the National Anthem with a choral group at Tiger Stadium in Detroit in 1988.
He has been a member of The Society for American Baseball Research since 1983.
Katz received his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School in 1972. He lives in Michigan with his wife, author Karen Tintori Katz.
We have several topics to discuss this week – all wrapped up in creative expression. There are so many methods of creative expression: art, music, writing, dance, visual arts, drama, crafts, etc. What’s common about all of these is that they let you translate your feelings and emotions into a medium that you can share with others or keep private if you wish.
Doing something creative can change our perspective, point us down new paths, influence our problem-solving, inspire us to take risks, and much more. When we’re being creative, we might find that we feel less depressed, less stressed, more engaged, and more able to control our emotions. Feelings can be messy and sometimes irrational, but it’s healthy to express your feelings in a creative way that leaves you balanced and in control.
Many people find that creating, viewing, or discussing art can help them release or express their feelings. Art can be a healthy outlet to highlight awareness of hidden feelings and a way to communicate something that may be difficult to put into words. Reflecting on art can provide greater insight and understanding, and by sharing art, the viewer validates the feelings of the artist.
Music is also a powerful form of creative expression. Whether you’re listening or playing, music can transport you back in time, influence your emotions, set a scene, or inspire you to take action. It can console you in times of grief or loneliness, allow you to release anger in a healthy way, bring peace and calmness to your life, or encourage you to move your body. When words aren’t enough to encompass the intensity of your feelings, music can help.
The choice of creative expression is highly personal, and it includes self-reflection and self-discovery. Journaling is a creative and safe way to gain greater insight about your deepest thoughts and feelings, your most difficult challenges, what brings you joy, and what makes you uncomfortable. By writing about these things, you have the opportunity to dissect, analyze, and reframe them into something that makes better sense or presents new solutions. You gain greater perspective, insight, and understanding of yourself and others.
Whatever way you decide to create, remember the words of Henri Matisse: “Creativity takes courage.” Creativity is not about drawing inside the lines, hitting the perfect note, or finding the right words. It’s about having the courage to take chances and make mistakes. And COURAGE is important to us. It’s part of our name.
So, get out there today and try something new. Take a RISK. Be brave, bold, courageous, and CREATIVE with your day.
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers
“Have you ever thought that your relationship with your pet is one of the best in your life? Pets provide simple, supportive, confidential support without criticism, advice, or conflict. They provide unconditional positive regard and make us feel needed, wanted, and valued.” – Shawn Burn, PhD
This week’s topic is a fun one – it’s all about how much we gain from having a pet. Just think of all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits we get from pets. Pets have an incredible ability to calm and soothe humans. They don’t judge, they provide unconditional love, they are a source of empathy and companionship, and they’re great to have around during a pandemic!
If you don’t have a pet, there are many reasons to get one. Having an animal friend can help you increase your activity level, get out of the house more, be more social, and get rid of that lonely feeling. Pets are great listeners, and they can be great motivators to help you meet your goals. For example, if you need more exercise, try walking the dog a few more times each week. Or if you just need more self-care time, maybe some extra snuggles will do the trick.
If that’s not enough, here’s a list from Paws for People of some of the therapeutic benefits we get from the simple act of petting:
- Produces an automatic relaxation response
- Stabilizes blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Slows breathing in those who are anxious
- Releases hormones such as phenylethylamine, the same effect as chocolate
- Diminishes overall physical pain
And there’s more. According to HelpGuide, studies have shown that:
- Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
- People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
- Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
- Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
- Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without pets.
- Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
Perhaps most important of all, Shawn Burn notes that “the emotional bond between people and their pets is particularly therapeutic because it’s nonjudgmental. Your pet won’t judge you for wearing sweatpants 24/7, being grumpy, or having that extra glass of wine.”
In other words, pets will accept you for being YOU.
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers
Three weeks and one day is the last day you can make a difference and VOTE Blue! I am asking you if you have not voted yet, and if you haven’t requested an absentee ballot to consider early voting, call your local board of elections and get the information you need to make a change.
We have lived with Trump for 4 years and he made promises and he could have followed through on them but he spent so much time talking about his PLAN but never offered US the American people what that entailed. He gave us a tax break and took it back the following year when we paid our taxes, yet he has not paid his taxes!
Talk does not take care of the American People, you and me. Talk, discussion, weighing options, and listening to what the average Joe needs is what our President and the House of Representatives and the Senate should be responding to. Trump created such commotion in building a wall that is now crumbling and falling! What a waste of money that could have been on Health Care and or Job Creation.
Trump walked into the Oval Office with a strong economy, he made the economy worse for the average Joe but kept his cronies gaining wealth that was not shared! JOBs, let me tell you that the JOB market even before the Pandemic was meek. If you or someone you know what looking to garner a job (not even career) to put food on the table and roof over your head it was not easy, why do you think so many of us are working multiple jobs with no benefits, including sick days.
If Trump didn’t make the promised changes he eluded to over the last four years why do you think the next four years will be any better. Get a grip Trump and his cronies do not care about US. If Trump cared about you, and your well being he would, he would have listened to the scientists.doctors and would have shared REAL Information with us from the get-go. He has not taken the precautions that he needed to take and he continues to go out in public without a mask and not socially distancing, well making ‘fun’ of those of us who are trying to reduce this Pandemic!
I won’t even discuss his need to outbalance the Supreme Court and yet says he must do this because the Dems will do it if they win. The American People 52% to 44% believe the Supreme Court decision should not be made until after the Election. Why is he in such a hurry, have you caught on to his garbage yet?
Check this out and see the Republicans backing Biden https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/18/politics/republicans-supporting-biden/index.html
Also – “The last living former Republican president, George W. Bush, has said he won’t back Trump. Nor will his brother Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who was mercilessly ridiculed by Trump when they fought for the GOP nomination in 2016.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/09/27/all-the-republicans-who-have-endorsed-joe-biden-for-president/#3bc762557340
Consider the facts, Trump wants to cut or eliminate SS – if you are a senior or if you are approaching age 65 or know someone – do they have enough money to survive even one year on SS? What if they were to have less or none? Are you going to support mom and dad, your grandparents, or your neighbor next door?
Biden and Harris have a plan https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2020/09/28/the-bidenharris-economic-plan/#28cb2dcc73ce
Yes, Biden will raise taxes for those that can afford it- if they earn 400,000.00 dollars or more a year. If you earn less like many of us – guess what our taxes will NOT INCREASE. Taxes are necessary without them infrastructure cannot be maintained or improved.
Make a plan now – VOTE Blue – If you have an absentee ballot if possible take it directly to your board of elections, I am taking mine to Summit County here in Ohio today. My son, husband, and I have completed our absentee ballots and I will take them all sealed to the DropBox, and I will track them to ensure they were received and ready for counting. If you cannot deliver them personally mail them and track them. If you can get someone to drive you to your Board of Elections – not your precinct, accept the ride to place it in the dropbox!
Please note – if you do not want Trump – a vote for anyone but Biden supports TRUMP – help bring the United States back in line with the needs of the Average Citizen – do not be bullied!
First, I want to remind you that this is Mental Health Awareness Week, and Saturday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. Show your support for those living with mental illness by keeping the conversation going and working to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
As we begin the month of October, our new theme is outside interests, and this week’s topic is hobbies. During this global pandemic, and perhaps as a caregiver in general, how often have you found yourself asking, “Who has the time for fun or outside activities right now?” But that’s the point. It’s so important to set aside time for YOU, to do an activity that you enjoy, with no connection to caregiving. Having outside interests, such as a hobby that brings you joy, can help you relax, reduce stress, and expand your horizons.
One of the silver linings of this pandemic is that it has given many people the opportunity to pursue outside interests and hobbies – pandemic pastimes! Here’s an article on how hobbies have helped people stay positive during lockdowns.
People are finding the time to do many things, such as completing old projects, updating photo albums, discovering new possibilities in the craft bin, renewing their love of photography, singing, or journaling, or even finishing a jigsaw puzzle. Some have turned a love of sewing into sewing masks. Others have used their talents in the kitchen to provide baked goods for frontline workers. Maybe you dedicated some time to de-cluttering and were able to donate some clothing or gently used items to someone in need.
I have a lot of hobbies, but one of my favorites has always been gardening. Spending time outside in my garden in any season connects me with the earth. I love the fresh air, sunshine, and just digging in the dirt!
Sometimes, the smallest things can give you the greatest joy. We love this concept of finding micro-joys, shared by Thrive Global. “The secret to micro-joys is that you are aware and tuned in enough to appreciate them around you. To find the joy, you have to simply be present and ‘smelling the roses,’ even for just a moment.”
So, if you’re looking for a new hobby or outside interest, start by thinking about what brings you joy. What are those things that bring a smile to your face and make your heart sing when you just think about them? What fills YOUR soul?
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers
We are preparing to celebrate using new virtual methods, Rosh Hashannah. The other day I read a Facebook message and someone from my generation (growing up in the 50s and 60s,) asked how many of us remember getting new Fall Outfits for Yom Tov? Often they were wool or something very warm despite the temperatures that may influence something less, but it was September/October and we must be dressed appropriately for the Jewish New Year. I remember one year my mother sewed me a black & white hounds-tooth wools suit and I got this corduroy black corduroy hat that today has the 60s written all over it.
Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur were traditionally spent in shul, while my parents sat in the synagogue with all the other parents and grandparents, the three of us went to youth services and met up with our parents when their services ended. It was a solemn day of reflection and it also was a time to show off your best and make your parents proud.
After services on Rosh Hashannah, we would either walk home with friends or pack into my dad’s car for the short 5-minute drive home. Once home, the men in the family took off their jackets and loosened their ties, but we all remain in holiday finery. I would help my mother serve the traditional foods like homemade chicken soup with noodle kugel, and course after course I would jump up to assist. Momma made a tzimmis (a carrot, honey, prune sweet side-dish), sweet and sour meatballs, a sweet kugel with raisins, brisket, and or a roasted chicken (and sometimes we would go to the Shechitah days before to pick out our live chicken and watch the Rabbi, kill it, bless it, and make it kosher.) Can You Say Tradition?
That was Rosh Hashannah and ten days later for Yom Kipur again we would have our traditional meal before attending Kol Nidre Services. Much was the same as the week before, but in our home, my mother added Kreplach to the meal (a Jewish Ravioli.) After filling ourselves up to the gills with food, we began our 24 hour fast for the Day of Atonement. And just like Rosh Hashannah, my parents sat in the main chapel while my brothers and I went to youth services.
I miss those days – those were the days when my paternal grandparents attended our Shul and they were part of our inner circle, and years before my mother’s parents would join us for the break the fast 24 hours later. Again, break the fast was centered around food, fresh bagels, and rolls with condiments including LOX, also my mother baked Mandel Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, a yeast coffee cake. Food brought us together after a day of repenting.
Many of those traditions faded for me when I got married and moved away. It took me over 36 years to find a Temple where I feel accepted. However, this year I will not be able to sit in the sanctuary with my new family of Temple Friends I will be sharing in a zoom service like so many of us due to COVID. However, I hope and pray next year we can feel safe in coming together as one, and as we say at the end of the Yom Kippur service, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” May we say next year in our Temple/Shul.
2020 or 5780 has not been the best year of my life, nor the worst. However, I pray that 5781 will bring new peace to OUR LIVES so we may live in harmony. Even those of us who sing off Key should be appreciated for the value we bring to this world. We must make this year the first step to doing this and making it an everlasting journey for those that follow.
I ushered in 5780 last year with my Temple Israel Akron family. Sadly, too soon after that COVID crept into our lives and turned things upside down. However, if I have learned nothing else as I turned 70 in March, I am responsible for my feelings that can contribute to my happiness or sadness, and I have chosen Happiness! I have spent the last year reaching out and making new friends and relationships. I have continued to follow my dreams with newcleveleandradio.net. I have been a support system for my family encouraging them to follow their dreams and not settle because someone has told them to. I will go into the new yeat 5781 with new hopes and dreams and I will take the steps forward because that is what life is all about.
To all who may be reading this whether you observe the Jewish Holiday or not, know that I believe in you and all the good you too will put forth in the days to come.
Love, Karen KIKI
As I borrow the tag line from AGEMARCH.org and the founder, Barbara Rose Brooker, #AgeMagnificently, I challenge you to become the best YOU. By becoming the best versions of ourselves we allow ourselves to be open to the opinions of others and dialogue rather than argue or fight! We are all products of our environment, we bring to the table not only cultural differences but the interpretations of the culture we have (and are) experiencing.
My Jewish upbringing as a Conservative Jew is not necessarily the same as another who may identify as the same. Growing up my parent’s kept a Kosher home, however, on Pizza nights we all sat around eating Pepperoni Pizza off Paper Plates because my parents created their personal interpretation of the Kosher Laws. However, my Baube and Zayde would have said we were creating a ‘SHANDAH’ or a SCANDAL!
Whether my parents were right or wrong in the eyes of my maternal grandparents, they chose to create their version of keeping kosher.
Today we are living in a global society full of tags – we all need a tag line to be identified and often the tag lines do not give us enough information. They are often like sound bites that do not give us the whole story. However, #AgeMagnificently provides us a picture that with AGE comes Magnificent if we choose it.
To be magnificent means to be “admirable in action; displaying great power or opulence, especially in building, way of living, and munificence. Magnificent(adj) grand in appearance; exhibiting grandeur or splendor; splendid’ pompous.” However, leaving out pompous, we can be admirable in our actions if we accept that all people are created with goodness, some may need a little more guidance than others. Opulence does not necessarily reflect wealth but the rich and kindness of one’s personality. We can all build a world of fairness that will lead to the growth of FAIRNESS! We can walk straight and tall with our heads held high without stick our noses in the air, avoiding the truth. Facing the truth is not easy but no one said that change was easy!
If we age magnificently from birth we will no longer be judged by a number, a color, gender, sexual preference, or no preference. Our religion will be accepted and our traditions will not be frowned upon. We will be the BEST of OUR BEST while lending a hand to someone who may appear to be different. It is time to accept differences and come together.
It is time to make a Change – Do it!
Forty-nine years ago, I said I do for the first time. On that Sunday afternoon, I honestly thought this was a forever marriage – although as I waited behind closed doors to walk down the aisle, I had second thoughts “it was too late” to change my mind. I was more concerned about what my parents would say and how I could explain this to anyone, even myself. So, I walked down the aisle, sobbing on my father’s arm as my future husband was waiting for me with his parents.
In Yiddish, if this is your destiny, it is said to be, beshert. Sadly, this marriage was not meant to last. We went into it caring for each other and trying to please our parents by finding a Jewish Mate. His parents never liked me, and my parents never felt a connection with him.
However, if not for that day in 1971, we would not share our son, and Steve is the icing on the cake.
We eventually found our soulmates, and despite the early years of anxiety and tension between us, we moved on, putting the past behind us and enjoying the lives we detoured and created. We both celebrated 36 years of marriage to our soulmates this year.
The reason I am sharing this story today is to let you know that even when we think we are on the right road, it is possible to take several turns that will lead you in a new direction.
The direction you choose to take may create changes for others in your path and but it should be by personal choice to live our best lives. Too often, we try to please others, hoping that it will reflect on us, creating an aurora of happiness. However, making someone happy does not always make you happy, it may happen in love songs and movies, but it does not always relate to real life!
Forty-nine years ago, today, I had no idea what my future looked like. I knew I was saying “I Do,” but I was too young and naive to understand what that would mean as time moved forward. However, today with hindsight, I can look at the years that have passed and know that I am where I should be today. I have matured in becoming an authentic version of myself.