Jewish Geography by Shari Moraga

an embraceable life Jul 01, 2018

Tonight I went to see a show with traditional Irish dance and song. There was storytelling in between: hardships, love of country, war, leaving home and settling in a new place. It got me thinking about my ancestors. No matter where you are from the common thread we all share is the varied history of race, religion, love, and persecution.

I am not Irish, not one drop, much to my dismay, but I was able to identify with the stories because they reminded me of stories I heard from my elder family members. The dance was more in line with Russian folk dancing and the Hora. The language, instead of Gaelic was Yiddish. The stories of persecution were the same, hate based on religion.

I come from a long line of proud Jews, although my grandfather on my father’s side did change his name at the young age of 13, so he made not have been so proud of flaunting his Jewish identity or perhaps just felt the need to hide it. I don’t think he really wanted to hide it though because it...

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This Week's Theme - Ancestors

an embraceable life Jun 25, 2018

The week’s theme is ancestors and here I am in the heart of my father’s ancestral home, County Galway Ireland.  We landed this morning and it is so nice to be back here in the warm sunshine with breathtaking views in every direction!  Lucy and Violet are here with me.  As we touched down at 6am Irish time this morning my dear friend (and fellow contributor here) Shari Moraga met us at the airport with her son.  They arrived here from Boulder Colorado a day ahead of us and we are planning all sorts of active fun and history (herstory) for the 10 days we have in store.  This post, while tipping the proverbial iceberg of ancestors is sure to be followed up with stories with more detail this week – please stay tuned by checking in over our stay.

Plans include a visit to my father’s childhood home, with my...

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Mini Roadtrip, History Included by Nancy Fitzpatrick

an embraceable life Jun 24, 2018

It doesn’t get better than frolicking in gorgeous Vermont! Lincoln and I were on our way to the burial of my mother’s cousin, Bob Fletcher (more on that next week when the theme is Ancestors). Why not head out a day early to loop up through the Adirondacks in New York State to Lake Champlain? 

It was just your basic rare and splendid moment…sunny and not too hot. To be driving north with nothing ahead other than forty-eight hours of pleasure and escape was a balm. Lake Champlain, between New York and Vermont and nosing into Quebec, is long (more than 100 miles) and mostly narrow, though it does swell to 14 miles wide in the northern part. It was a key strategic waterway during the colonial era and, strangely enough, the birthplace of the U.S. Navy. (For sure, an interesting story but not something I’ve delved into.)

In three hours, we arrived...

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Travel Plans

an embraceable life Jun 18, 2018

Travel Plans for me involve taking care of the things that would have been done at home in the time I am away.  A week from today my daughters and I will be heading to Ireland for a little more than a week. We plan to spend time with my sweet and 99 year old auntie who needs a little loving and homemade soup.  She is our last living relative of her generation and might have surpassed her siblings in longevity, as she never had kids!  I say this in jest but really – I mean there is so much stress involved in parenting!  And, there is so much stress involved in managing care for a childless auntie who lives across the ocean.  Thankfully my cousins are able to take that on without much need for my input.  I like to lend my support as often as I can.

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Back to my travel plans, this week Ben, my eldest (25) will be admitted to Children’s’ Hospital in Boston for a night or two so the cardiology team there can switch out one of...

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Staying the Course by Monica Callan

an embraceable life Jun 14, 2018

I’m a dreamer--not because my nationality is being questioned at the border, or I stare out windows at clouds instead of doing my work, but because I love to look for possibilities that may not be obvious and I get excited about what those possibilities may present. For the past couple of years, I've been dreaming about buildings.  It's always fun when my ideas are met with collaboration and enthusiasm and there is already a momentum of current behind it, providing me an outlet to serve an effort.  For the past couple of years I've been dreaming about buildings-- a lot.  And lately I find myself the one establishing the current and this can be personally challenging for me.  Sometimes these ideas do not fit the “norm” or pose the path of least resistance.  Sometimes sharing these visions evokes an amused chuckle, or gets me a pat on the head with a “What a great idea!  Good luck with that!” and in some...

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Staying the Course

an embraceable life Jun 10, 2018

My commitment is strong to this new path where there are a whole lot of fresh methods, recently discovered and implemented help and ongoing inspirations leading me along.  It is not often, in my life that I run up against personal pushback but here I am, confronting what might be holding me in this familiar place rather than skipping along the path to my desired paradigm shift.  Seems as though my past holds the key.  Release happens when I allow myself to be vulnerable and share the nitty-gritty about the experiences that have punched me hard in the stomach – and there have been a few.

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I am staying my course and more determined than ever to snip into these blocks and, here, on this blog, release will happen.  My story is long and some of it heavy.  It is hard to know where to begin.  Once the can is opened, it is hard to know where to stop, or how to take a break.  It all just comes flowing out of me in an...

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Groundwork: Wading Through It by Nancy Fitzpatrick

an embraceable life Jun 09, 2018

My life is a mess. 

I don’t mean that I’m in legal hot water or that my relationships are screwed up or that my house is battling grime and dust balls.Au contraire, my current daily existence is like a bumper sticker. Life Is Good. 

I am retired, or as I like to say, post-career. I am not crazy-busy every second. Barring the usual aches and pains, I’m healthy. I’m married to a kind, funny, smart, good-looking man who indulges me beyond belief. (Think coffee in bed every morning while I read novels.) I can prioritize exercise and seeing friends instead of squeezing those things into leftover spaces. My adult children are pleasures to be with and my ex is a friend. And…the clincher…I have a new granddaughter, the world’s most...

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Groundwork: The Key to Staying Regular by Monica Callan

an embraceable life Jun 08, 2018

I am not someone who fancies themselves a lemming.  I suppose no one really does, but a little bit of conformity in thought and action is something I’m trying to achieve right now.  It’s hard for me.  I don’t like other people telling me what to do, think, act.  I get bored easily when I surrender to that state.  I feel like I’m being irresponsible if I let others tell me what to think and do.  I hate to be a fashion victim.  I find I always am different from the masses without knowing how, and so I’ve learned to embrace that by necessity.  This necessity has become my normal, but I’m trying out being “regular” right now. Staying on a routine, doing my best to stay organized and less impulsive, resisting the internet, slowing everything down, being on time, taking my vitamins, exercising, balancing my checkbook—simple things.  But...

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Groundwork: Art From a Horsewoman's Perspective by Sierra Wilson

an embraceable life Jun 07, 2018

One of my favorite phrases to use is “if six-year-old me knew what 23-year-old me was doing- she’d pass out on the floor from excitement.” I use this visual frequently when I am describing my current career path. I am a full-time, year-round professional wrangler in Big Sky, Montana.  My job encompasses horsemanship, a deep knowledge of the natural world and outstanding customer service. The combination of such efforts ultimately provides clients with the adventure of a life time. I have been entranced and enamored with horses as far back as I can remember. Throughout my life, I have found horses in various ways and places. My experiences and lifelong passion have helped me realize dreams I never even dared to dream were possible. In order to get the horses trained and safe for clients, we must begin with groundwork. Groundwork, in regards to horsemanship, traditionally refers to exercises done out of the saddle with the purpose of building a...

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Embracing the Garden: Working the soil and being OK with never growing that perfect Jersey Beefsteak Tomato

an embraceable life Jun 05, 2018

Groundwork: setting a foundation, beginning anew, the root of a project.  Applicable to gardening and a new blog post. 

I am in awe every time a wee seed sprouts. I am grateful when meals are made from the food we grow. I am content knowing we are feeding our bodies with clean, organic, fresh food. 

I wasn't always an avid backyard gardener. I seemed to fail more than harvest, but I learned a lot along the way. Growing up in New Jersey it was mandatory that we grew Beefsteak tomatoes. It was my Grandpa Leo that always took care of that. Mmmmmm. Fresh picked tomatoes with kosher salt. I'm salivating as I type! Needless to say, living in Colorado for 23 years has been a challenge on the tomato front. 

I'm not a great gardener, I know this, but it's ok. I love being out in the garden. I love watching things grow, I love making it a lovely place to be.

Our garden consists of ALL recycled materials. I suspect that would have to include the seeds and starters...

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