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30 Ideas for Bored Bubbies (Grandmothers)

The Case of the Bored Child goes like this: The child has a day off from school, and flops around while whining, “Mommy, I’m soooo bored! What should I do?”

To which the mom calmly points to the Bored Check List that is posted on the fridge door. The boldly typed fridge list has 30 ideas faster than a child can utter,  “I’m bored.”  And the kid gets the unspoken message – loud and clear from mom: Listen, it’s time for you to figure it out and find a way to entertain yourself.

Okay, so that’s what’s done when kids are bored stiff.  But, what about when grandmothers are literally bored out of their minds? How do they occupy their time? Continue reading

Candles in My Window: A Book Review

Many of us write non-fiction or short story fiction works. Yet, it takes a special skill to write a full length novel. My friend, Beth Firestone wrote Candles in My Window, a wonderful young adult novel about a teenage girl’s experience deepening her religious and spiritual awareness and observance. It is a story about adolescent friendships, conflict and growth. Adults and teenagers each will enjoy reading this exciting story.candles Continue reading

An Itty Bitty Blog Post

No time for a long or even medium post today, so I’m blogging a short, itty bitty blog post.

This one’s for you, Jay.

Now, all my readers are wondering, “who the heck is Jay?”

Well, Jay is short for my dear friend, Joan’s name. I call her Jay. She calls me Em (get it? M? Miriam?).

Anyway, here’s the thing. Jay is a playwright and that’s how we met; I was in one of her plays that she wrote for a school performance. No, I wasn’t a student in the play. I was a teacher that performed for the students.

Well, that’s another story. Never mind that right now. Jay wrote a play, and I was in it.

Years later, Jay came to a group I organized for writers, and the rest is history. Jay is a part of our group till today. Even if she is not always able to attend, Jay responds to queries for feedback on my drafts.

Jay also is working on a huge project together with her husband, Mr. Ziff, who can rival Mr. Rogers (may he RIP)  in ability to reach kindergarten aged children through self esteem building.

Mr. Ziff and Jay have been working on a special curriculum for teachers to teach writing to children in preschool, and through their writing, they become excellent readers.

Find out more about that on their website for early childhood education and beyond!

Jay is also a fabulous teacher at LAUSD’s  Warner Avenue Elementary School in Westwood, Ca.

And that’s the end of my itty bitty blogpost.

Passions + Addictions = Passiaddictions!

Passions are hobbies. Painting, coloring, drawing, knitting, playing music, and so forth.

People are “into” their hobbies. They enjoy doing them and keeping busy with their pastimes.

Hobbies and Passions - Or Addictions?

Hobbies and Passions – Or Addictions?

These days everyone is talking about their addictions – otherwise known as things that they can’t stop doing, which by the way is the actual definition of “addiction.”

When someone  is addicted to alcohol or drugs, they cannot stop.

When someone is “addicted” to carbohydrates (that would be me!), they can’t stop (but wait! I haven’t had carbs in several days, right?).

But lately the word “addiction” has become loosely used for folks who have passions and interests that they enjoy. Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., discusses addictions in his own writings.

For the purpose of this post, we can call many passions “addictions” if we enjoy them so much that  “cannot stop” doing them.

For example, writing. Continue reading

Meet Bottledworder – Good to the last drop!

Many of us bloggers read other blogs that are out there in cyberspace. Some of these blogs are written by friends or acquaintances of ours, and others are written by total strangers – blogs we just come across, or “stumble upon” to use a social media buzzword. Continue reading

UnBottled Thoughts

I have some thoughts inside me that need to be released or “unbottled.” These are thoughts tangential to my usual topic of being a grandmother – a “bubby” in Yiddish.  Since I am a grandmother who writes, I find the theme of  “writing about writing” to be quite intriguing. Recently,  I read a brilliant post by one talented  writer/blogger of that topic on her  site.  I agree with her premise, and I’d like to express  my own bottled thoughts (soon to be unbottled) regarding her post.

In her essay, Ms. Bottledworder  posits that writers are different in their sensitivities and insecurities from other professionals or tradesmen. For example, when a writer writes an essay, he throws his whole self into the process. Whether or not he writes about himself, he is allowing himself – his voice if you will – to be out there, to be vulnerable to others. Continue reading


I couldn’t resist. It’s Friday, a day that I’m usually occupied with preparing for Shabbos, running myriad errands, and getting my final paperwork into my work supervisor’s box. And yet here I am blogging. I had to get something down, and fast. Before I forget it. Before the inspiration runs out.

That is the pattern of communicating for me. I get ideas, and I jot them down. Sometimes in my notebook for a to-be-developed-later article. And other times on this blog.  It’s a good thing as a writer to do that. Ideas don’t fly away, and inspirations get used.  But sometimes what is good for one area, can be a flaw in another area. Writing can be tweaked and revised; words on paper can be edited and cut.

But, when we say things too fast, before thinking them through, or planning for how the other person will take it, we run into problems.  My close friends know that “yeah, Miriam is just venting; don’t take her too seriously. She’ll calm down later. She’ll write an article and figure it all out, or she’ll compose a song, or she’ll just forget about it. No worries!” But still, I try to curb that need to speak things out, and often I write it out in my notebook or process it, or let it ride, before speaking it out.

I have realized lately that we all have our styles and “languages” of communicating with speech. I have also noted that some other people I know speak quite a different “language” than I do, and my job in these relationships is to understand that language. One of these patterns is regarding punctuality and time management.

For example, when I invite someone to my home at 8:00 for dinner, I figure they will come to my home around 8 or 8:10. Maybe 8;15. If they are going to be later than that, I suppose they’d let me know. But I have learned over the years that for some people, “Come over at 8:00 to our house for dinner,” is translated in their mind as “Oh – we’d love to have you over for dinner. Please come at 8:45 or later. That would be great!”

That is what the speakers of the non-Miriam-language hear. Have you ever been to a wedding that was called for 5:30 pm, and when you arrived at 6:00 pm, you were the only ones there? Even the bride and groom had not arrived yet? The family of the bride and groom usually trickle in at around 7, maybe.

Some grandmothers (that would be me!) are famous for expressing things to their family), and others may need translating. How about this?

“What’s the matter with you? Can’t you put on a clean shirt on the child?” (uttered in supposed-English to English speaking adult child).

Grandmother-Speak Translation: “I love you so much and I really want you to look nice, so make sure the child looks nicely all the time  (read: when I’m around).”

I’m still not so sure that the latter translation is that different in tone than the previous one, but it somehow conveys a different message – slightly more positive and loving.

In short, there are many ways that we can communicate. But make sure when you speak to someone else, you are speaking the same language. If not, make sure to get a good dictionary and translate accordingly. You will be happy you did.


Busy Bubby – Blogging Break

The title says it all. I’m taking a break from Bubby/Grandmother themed blogging. As Sukkot is almost upon us, music is blaring at our house with our kids’ favorite CD’s, and grandkids crawling around, biking in the backyard, and mess all over, I’m taking a break.

I’m taking a hiatus from writing. Going to do my second favorite activity – cooking. (Ha!). Well, you get the idea. I’m going to actually enjoy the kids who moved into our house for almost two weeks.

Will be back in a few days or more — when I feel the urge to write.

Until then — enjoy your Sukkos, your families, and your special times together.

Hey by the way – who took the car???

Aargh. Gotta run…

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