Domestic Violence and Guns: Not just for Married Couples

IPHomicidesandGunsUSMapJLHLCEdone_0Let’s stop pretending that gun violence is all about mental health. I know. If feels good to say that only the “crazies” commit violence, especially the worst kind of violence. It’s all about the other. But the fact is, over half of all mass shootings are related to domestic violence. And the vast majority of violence committed in the United States is a result of escalating arguments or as a part of a cycle of violence. Maybe we should start saying that losing one’s temper is a deficiency of mental health? Continue reading

Posted in Activism, volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Glad I Saw It: Fantastical Reading

photoAnyone who knows my son knows he has been Harry Potter obsessed for the last year. He tore through all seven books and watched (curated) versions of the films. He then quickly moved on to The Spiderwick Chronicles, which took about a week to read. And instead of moving on to Beyond Spiderwick books, he decided to try out The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Admittedly, I played a part in this by 1) buying the book at a garage sale and 2) taking out the audio books from the library. Guided reading at its best.

I have no qualms about nudging my kids into the types of books I loved as a child. And still love. We are starting the Little House books as well. I can’t wait to share the joys of The Hobbit and the adventures in A Wizard of Earthsea. But I am sad, in a regretful, slightly morose way, that there are films out there already. I know it’s so hard to resist — and it absolutely informs the interpretation of characters to see stills and clips and entire tellings. But still — it’s totally worth it for the companionship of these stories.

Posted in Parenthood, Things I love | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chris Christie Veto Exposes Lack of a Moral Compass

via Sandy Hook Promise

via Sandy Hook Promise

Exposing his extreme cowardice and an utter lack of leadership ability, Christie eviscerated A2006, a bill to reduce the legal limit for firearm magazines to ten (down from 15). Parroting NRA claims that it’s mental health and not the amount of bullets, Christie showed his ignorance of mass shootings around the world (the USA doesn’t have a monopoly on mental health issues) and common sense (more bullets = more deaths and injuries). Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Parenthood, volunteering | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Glad I Saw It: S’mores


Gently toasted or burnt and crispy? Which one are you?

Posted in Glad I Saw It | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Seagull Picnic: yeah write gargleblaster

seagull picnic

Seagulls fight over forgotten fruit and crustless triangles. Unable to raise his eyes, knowing that the lack of joy in hers would harden concrete over her words, he studies a footprint in the wet sand and wishes he’d never answered her song.


Posted in yeah write | Tagged | 30 Comments

Lazy Mom’s Guide to Overcoming (your own) Anti-Social Behavior

ritas_150On the last day of school, my son was so excited for summer that he practically bounced over to me as he left his teacher’s hug. “What kind of fun will we be having, Mama? Who will be there?”

I didn’t know. I hadn’t planned anything.

His excited and happy eyes waited expectantly, and my mind flipped frantically through the rolodex of ideas fueled by Pinterest and “Last Day of School!” blog posts and my own goals as a Mom. Continue reading

Posted in Lazy Mom, Parenthood, People are Good, People do silly things, random observation, Suburban Life | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Glad I Saw It: Make Music Day

photo copyIt was a great day of free music that gave musicians a chance to be heard, music lovers a chance to hear tunes they might not usually hear, and towns and cities a chance to promote community.

Featured here is The Abandon Ship Band performing various tunes of Rock & Roll.

Posted in Glad I Saw It, Things I love | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

First Comes Talk, Then Comes Action…

Gun Sense Voter

This weekend was an active one for gun violence prevention in the Tri-State Area. (In NJ, the tri-state area means NJ, NY, PA.) In Newark, there was an Anti-Violence Rally that shut down an intersection. In NYC, Moms Demand Action held a rally for gun sense over Brooklyn Bridge and at City Hall Park. And in Philadelphia, Million Hoodies held a power summit to move gun violence prevention forward. Lots of people are talking.

Lots of people are also writing. The Times of Trenton printed a letter in support of the Ten Round Ammunition limit recently. The Star Ledger printed this letter asking ALL of NJ’s Congressmen to support expanded background checks on firearms. And the Montclair Times printed this letter supporting the campaign. And there are more. Many more.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of violent and unbelievable news stories, know that you CAN act. You can CALL your elected representatives. You can TALK with your neighbors and friends. You can WRITE to your local newspapers. You can COMMIT to voting only for candidates that support common sense gun reform. You must ASK about firearms and whether they are properly secured before leaving your children at a home.

Don’t let the news cycle of horrific and preventable tragedies dishearten you. Staying mute and still is not required. Feeling helpless is not a given. Be bold.

Posted in Activism, volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father to Son: “The only way you can truly be strong”

storycorps_logoFathers show strength in so many ways. Sometimes it’s a literal strength, like carrying a stumbling drunk daughter into the house. Other times it’s by holding in emotion to help family and friends bear their own pain more easily. And sometimes the greatest strength is shown in exposing what others might call weakness.

This StoryCorps submission shows that last example of fatherly strength with intense clarity. Please give it a listen today.

Thompson Williams’ son, Kiamichi-tet, sat down with his dad to learn more about his grandfather.

Posted in Memory, Parenthood | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Glad I Saw It: Sprinkler-Sized Yard

sprinkler Our backyard is roughly twice the size of what it would have been in Brooklyn. Which means it’s about three times the size of a four-door sedan.  And while it would be nice to have grounds resembling Pemberley, we can barely keep up with the weeds as it is. Besides, it’s just the right size for a sprinkler break on a hot day.

Plus, the entire yard gets watered as the kids play.

Posted in Glad I Saw It | Tagged , | Leave a comment