An open letter to the Mothers of Sandy Hook

Dear Mothers of Sandy Hook,

I am speaking for myself and all of my friends who are mothers. In fact, I am pretty sure I am speaking for the entire country. Women who are mothers. Women who are grieving with you. Women who are so incredibly sorry for your loss. There are no words. There is nothing we can say to help ease your pain.

From those of us who have lost children we understand and want you to know that you will never completely stop grieving, but time, LOTS of time does help ease the stabbing incredibly sharp pain of it all.

From those of us who have not lost a child, that is our one biggest fear in life.  That something will happen to one of our children and we will never quite be the same.  From us we send our support, tears and hugs.

Every mother in America has a broken heart with you and our souls ache for you and for your loss.  The senselessness of someone taking the lives of babies.  These children were babies, many of them still wearing the chubbiness of toddler-hood.  Many of them just losing their first teeth.  Just learning to read and write.  Babies.

We want to wrap our comforting Mother arms around you and hold you until the stream of tears lessens just enough for us to tell you we love you and we will do what we can.  But we know the tears will come again.

They will come on birthdays, and holidays, and anniversaries.  They will come when you look into the backyard at the swing set, or sandbox.  When the snow comes and you think of sledding and snowmen and hot chocolate.  When the summer comes and you think of days at the beach or the pool, or the sprinklers. When you look at pictures or videos.  When you see their favorite book, or hear heir favorite song.

We know the tears will come.  And when they do, know that somewhere in America, another mother is shedding tears with you.  When we think about this event, or see it on the television, or hear about it on the radio.  We shed our tears with you.

We love you and we hold you in our arms, and grieve with you.

What I do to make my stinky boys smell better



Many of you have been reading my blog posts for awhile.  Some of you may have stumbled on my blog from anther blog, or Facebook or BlogHer, or The Next Family.  If you are a repeat viewer, thank you!

For those of you who are new to my blog, you need to know that I live with three boys.  Three teenaged boys.  Three smelly teenaged boys!

I mean I love my boys, but have any of you all ever hung out with teenaged boys for any length of time?  They have their own specific scent.  Some people have their own names for this scent.  I call it “Boy Funk”.  They just smell funky….

They wear deodorant, and they shower daily (most of the time), but if I want to smell them clean and fresh I only have a small window of opportunity, then IT sets in…..Boy Funk…

The worst is when they have been camping with Boy Scouts with no shower facilities.  I have to roll the windows down on the ride home. Even in the dead of winter! What i really try to do is get my honey Bluebell to pick them up and then I don’t even have to smell them until they have arrived home and showered…hee hee

Truly, I thought I was doomed to spend eternity (or at least until they graduate and move out) living with Boy Funk.  Then an amazing thing happened!  I went to the grocery store and needed a new bottle of fabric softener.  My favorite is original Downy in the blue bottle, so into my cart it went.  Attached to the neck of the bottle was a little bag of a new product called Downy Unstopables.I had never seen this product before and was intrigued. It wasn’t laundry day, so I put it aside until Saturday when the boys wash their clothes.  I taught my boys how to wash their clothes when they were 14 and they know that Saturday is their day to wash.

The Downy Unstopables are not a fabric softener, they are an in wash scent booster.  They go directly into the washer and are safe for all colors and fabrics.  When Saturday came around and it was time for the boys to wash their clothes I had a brilliant idea.  I “hung out” with them when they were washing their clothes, and slipped some Downy Unstopables into the washer when they walked out of the laundry room.

WOW!  What a difference!  I was actually able to be around them more!  I mean, their clothes always smelled good after being washed because we use Downy Fabric Softener.  But when those Unstopables were added to the washer it made the fresh scent last SO much longer.  You have to understand how amazing this is!  My boys don’t use drawers or a closet for their clothes. Their clean clothes usually end up strewn around their rooms.  On dressers, chairs, the floor, pretty much any surface can have clothes on it.  Their clothes smelled fresh even after they had been on the floor!  THAT is amazing to me!

Since that free little bag of Downy Unstopables entered my house, this product has become a staple, and is used by all of us! Both the Wash Fresh Scent and the Wash Lush scent smell awesome!  This is a product that I think would be great in any household, whether you have stinky boys or not!  It is definitely wonderful to take clothes out of drawers or off hangers and have them smell as fresh as if they had just been washed! From now on it is Downy Unstopables for my house!

You can buy this amazing product at any store, but you can also buy it online at the Proctor and Gamble e-Store.  In fact, if you purchase this and other wonderful P&G products such as CoverGirl, Olay, Old Spice deodorants and body wash (a favorite in my house), Pampers, and even Iams pet food the P&G e-Store is offering some great deals for you!

15% off on a first-time order from a new customer, using promo code: A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA

Free Shipping on orders over $25

Free Samples with every order.

Those are amazing deals!  Definitely check them out at the P&G e-Store!

What is God to me?

I love National Public Radio.

Our local station is WHRV, and I listen to it most of the time. I especially love Morning Edition and BBC Newshour. In fact I also love the Cathy Lewis show, and Fresh Air. Okay, I love it all. There have been many times I have sat in my car in the driveway, or in the parking lot at work, and been late just so I can listen to a program. All the while thinking, “just a few more minutes”. I like listening to public radio because I feel smarter when I do.

I feel like I learn something new, or hear a different perspective than I had in my own head. I don’t always agree with everything I hear on the radio, but I always listen.
This morning was one of those mornings where I stayed in my car to hear the last few minutes of a broadcast. It was very interesting, and I heard someone speaking about something I had thought many times but had not put voice to. I heard a story about Eric Weiner and a book he wrote called “Man Seeks God”.

So it made me start thinking, “what is God to me?”

He talked about how he went to the emergency room at a hospital with abdominal pains and a nurse whispered in his ear, “have you found your God yet?” Being a person who works in the medical field I do find it a bit odd that she would say such a thing to a patient, but it was a good thing because it caused Eric to embark upon a quest. A quest to find his God.

In his book he talks about his journey through Islam, and Buddhism, and Christianity, and Judaism. He talks about the things he found and what it meant to him. I will probably buy his book and read it, but the whole topic hit really close to home for me. I mean, I am 47 already.

Have I found my God? I spent some time thinking about it.  I  talked to my clients about it, and my co-workers and my partner Karol. I asked myself what my religion is and I thought about my own spiritual journey.

I was raised Jewish, but we were a family who did not attend Temple. I did not have a Bat Mitzvah and cannot speak or read Hebrew. I do know the prayers and my parents always did the “big” holidays. We had a Passover Seder every year, and ate apples dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah. We fasted on Yom Kippur and had a dreidel box with presents in it at Hanukkah. It was next to the Christmas tree, but at least my parents taught me about my Jewish heritage.

When I grew up I had a roommate who was Mormon, and I married a man who was a Christian. I liked many of the things I learned in church, but could never quite wrap my head around the “only Christians get to Heaven” part. My parents were good people, but they did not believe in Jesus as their savior. Why did that make them unworthy? Why were only Christians the right ones? I never understood how they could be the only group that is “right”. To me it felt a bit elitist.

After I got divorced and fell in love with my partner I was looking for a church home for us and happened upon the Unitarian Universalist faith. That was a welcoming faith, and I love almost everything about it, but even there, I have some reservations about some aspects of it. I like some Buddhist beliefs, but can’t find my way to all of those either. I have studied some Wiccan beliefs and find those very interesting and comfortable also. When I came home today I asked my family what they believe their religion to be. My mother is an atheist, Karol said she was “raised Catholic”, but now says she “doesn’t know” what she “is”. The oldest son  also said he “doesn’t know”, the middle son said he is an atheist, and the youngest son said he is a “Jewnitarian”, (A Jewish Unitarian Universalist). So even my family is a hodge podge of religious beliefs.

So I guess there is no cookie cutter religion for me. I don’t think God is a man, yet I don’t think God is a woman either. I don’t think of gender when I think of God, I usually think of the universe, or an ethereal being of some kind without a body shape, just spirit. As Eric puts it I seem to have found an “IKEA God.” “Some assembly required,” he says. “[The] idea is that you can cobble together your sort of own personal religion, a sort of mixed tape of God.”

I liked that. It made sense to me, and somehow seemed to put the religious puzzle pieces in my brain into a cohesive unit. So I have decided that it is okay to be eclectic when dealing with religion. That you can take the pieces you like and that make sense to you and add it to the other things that make sense to you and stir it all together to make a wonderful spiritual soup that is palatable and I can live with on a daily basis!