Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

[breadcrumbs]

Beyond Knitting in the Rocking Chair

somegrandmasOne of the best things about being a grandmother is that I get to define my role as I go along. I can be hands-on sometimes, hands-off other times, fun-loving when I’m in the mood, and too-busy-to-take-care-of-them at other times. It’s all good and it works; my relationships with my grandsons are really comfortable. My daughters-in-law appreciate the time I spend with the kids, and the family dynamics are great (most of the time!).

So when last week, photographer Gloria Baker Feinstein from Kansas City,  emailed me and asked if I would I write a review of her new children’s read-aloud photo book called Some Grandmas, I said yes!

Some Grandmas is a collection of photos taken by Gloria of  all kinds of grandmothers from all over the world doing all kinds of things with their grandchildren. Short captions accompany each photo for reading aloud to a child.  While one grandmother might be flying a kite with her grandchild, another will be painting. While one grandmother might be in a wheelchair talking to her grandchild, another will be riding a bike. All the photos are captivating, and capture the mood of love, caring, and bonding between grandmother and grandchild.

While the stereotypical grandmother with the silver or white bun and spectacles who sits in a rocking chair and knits is one type of grandmother, she is not necessarily the only image of a grandmother nowadays. Just as 60 is the new 40, grandmothers’ hobbies are getting more youth-oriented these days. Grandmothers are free to be who they are, and bond with their grandchildren in ways that they (and the children) choose. The opportunities are endless and it is helpful for all generations to realize that.

The words on each page of Some Grandmas, as is typical of children’s read-aloud books, are few. Every page starts with the words, “Some grandmas…” and is followed simply with what the grandma in that picture is doing.

My own grandmothers who were from Europe, were the free-spirited kind of women, who liked art, photography, literature and theatre, and I had close relationships with both of them, sharing my hobbies and passions with them. I would go to one grandmother’s house and we would make arts and crafts projects together. My other grandmother took me by subway to plays on my days off from school. She helped me with my French homework and cut out newspaper clippings for me for my school projects. Some of my friends had grandmothers who were less hands-on, but were equally warm, loving and friendly.

Nowadays, with life expectancy hitting a record high,   the types of activities and pastimes that grandmothers do with their grandchildren are evolving from knitting to  playing Chinese checkers to doing sports to shopping and other active games. All of these activities – from the wheelchair bound grandmother to the hiking or bicycling one, are worthy of getting grandparent and grandchild to bond.

Gloria Feinstein is an experienced and renowned photographer living in Kansas City, Missouri, with her work displayed at various exhibitions. The idea for this book came to her after she had already written adult books. Gloria had photographed a woman, Linda Cohen in her Sukkah before the Jewish holiday of Sukkot with her grandchildren and both grandmother and child were looking up at the roof of the sukkah. Gloria noted the wonder and curiosity in both of their faces and decided to explore the expressions and wonderment of other grandmothers in their activities with their grandchildren.

That photo and her grandchild is now on the cover of Some Grandmas.

The Grandmother Appellation

A grandmother of two, with the older one only 4 1/2, Ms. Feinstein, who is called “G-Lo” by her grandchildren dedicated her book to “all the Grandmas, Omas, Abuelitas, Savtas, Gramma, Gran, Bubbie,  Nonna, Yaya…..” and listed no less than 54 (yes, I counted!) names for grandmothers. I was proud of myself for knowing many of them, although I learned quite a few. (I had never heard of Yaya!).

One on One Relationship

What I liked about this book is that each picture has only one grandmother and one grandchild in it. That is significant to me because it shows the quality time and closeness inherent in the special relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Naturally, grandchildren often share their time with their grandmothers, but for this book, Ms. Feinstein photographed the one-on-one relationship.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the books Some Grandmas, go to a large care center in Kansas City to help support their Volunteer Grandmother program. The center provides services to children of the working poor.

Ms. Feinstein also made a creative set of items:  tee-shirt and tote bag, which are featured on the site with the book. Take a look there for those and other items!

Some Grandmas is currently available from the author (gbfeinsten@gmail.com), from local stores in Kansas City, and on Etsy. For more information, please contact the author.

teeshirtgrandma

 

totebaggrandma

 

 


Don’t Be Embarrassed!

Here’s my question for you today and I want you to be very honest:

Seriously, were you ever embarrassed by your parents? Your mom? Were you one of those kids who told your mom to drop you off a block away from school, because you didn’t want your friends to see your mom and her car? Continue reading


Blast Off!

The following post was composed by my friend, the lovely PR person who has such a word with way – I mean way with words..so without further ado:

Here we go:

10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, ONE – BLAST OFF!

It’s a baby – No.

It’s a blanket – No….

Wait a minute – it’s a BOOK! Wooooooooooweeee. It’s a book to say Mazel Tov about!!!

Yes, folks, Mazel Tov! It’s a Book is a book written by the author of Mazel Tov! It’s a Baby, woops, I mean Bubby.

Yes, Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby! or: MTIAB for short.

It’s due out in less than 12 hours  – well cooked – right on its due date, completely formed….with a great, adorable cover that is unmistakably a picture of three stages of becoming a bubby.

The Kallah (bride) or mechutonim (in-laws) stage.

Then, the mother-in-law stage, and finally the coveted stage of high esteem, the Bubby or Grandma, Granny, Babi, Nana, Omi, Oma….stage.

And of course – the Mother (of older, single kids…) stage as well.

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to buy it right NOW. Well, in 11 hours, or actually whenever the stores open in your town or city or state or province….on September 5, the day that seemed so far away — but has finally come!

Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby! (out in stores on Sept 5! – or online at www.israelbookshoppublications.com)


Ode to Our Moms

I shared my previous post, “Warrior Woman”  this morning with my dear friend Joanie, who wrote an “Ode to Our Moms,” as a response to that post. I share that Ode below.

Joanie and I each have moms who were born in the autumn of 1929.  Each of our moms were raised in Brooklyn, New York. Each of our moms have daughters (Joanie and I!) who like to write poetry and prose.

And each of our moms fell last week, were bruised – but are thank G-d doing really well.

Our moms don’t know each other. Her mom, Grandma Vita lives in Santa Monica, California. My mom, Omi Eva lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her mom fell down a flight of stairs, and my mom tripped over a bump in the sidewalk.

Joanie’s poem speaks for the courage and strength of the human spirit, and all of our mothers’  spunk and will to live, to grow and to move on!

May all our Mommies – the matriarchs and model Bubbies of us all live to be 120!! May they continue to inspire us younger Bubbies of the sandwich generation, to be just like them: with the help of G-d, – strong, vibrant, and full of gumption.

ODE TO FALLEN MOMMIES:

Cheers to our moms

Who sit with their bruises

It can be a little confuses

Ahem! That’s confusing

But they keep on singing

Do you get the rhyming?

Ing, ing, ring, ring, ping, ping

Keep on sing-singing

And fix those broken wings

Learn to fly after these things

Cuz life is too short

To cry and to snort!


Welcome Bubbies, Savtas, Grandmas, Omas, and Nanas!

Hello, hello everyone:  Bubbies, Savtas, Grandmas, Omas, Nanas, etc. Welcome to my Bubby Blog.

I guess you can call me a Blogging Bubby.

Now first let’s be really clear.  I am a grandmother, and I am a Bubby. However, I am in fact a Bubby who is not even called a Bubby. Yes, you read right! I am an Oma. Oma  is German for Grandma.  My grandkids call me “Omi,” (a take-off of Oma or Omama).  And before you start asking me how could a nice Jewish grandmother from Brooklyn bear that her grandchildren call her Omi, and not Bubby? — I will answer your question with the following statement. Continue reading


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