This is an updated version of a post written for Father’s Day in 2008. Ralphael Benjamin Fischer passed peacefully on April 9, 2014, at age 91, surrounded by his loving family.
I don’t’ really see myself as a “daddy’s girl” but I sure do love my dad, and yes, he spoils me.
In some ways he’s typical of his generation, distant but close. Born in Poland in 1922, he lived through the horrors of WWII, lost his entire family, and amazingly rebuilt a life in France then the U.S. Both he and my mother worked in garment factories in New Jersey, then their own lumber and hardware store in South Central, L.A.; immigrants dedicated to giving their children everything they didn’t have.
In many ways my father Ralphie, as we liked to call him, was special — an unedited, unfiltered, tell-it-like-it is person, with a wicked sense of humor. He spoke his truth and people appreciated it. To say that he was a “character” is an understatement. Read more
Cathy examines social interaction and social change in an ever-shifting landscape
Navigating the social graph is fraught with obstacles. If I were to draw a diagram, it would probably look something like a dream catcher with extra large holes. You’ve got your Real World Friends, and you’ve got your Facebook Friends: you’ve got your Facebook Friends who aren’t Real World Friends but work associates, your Facebook Friends who are old schoolmates, but not currently Real World Friends, and then you’ve got your Facebook Friends who are inspirational, famous or dead, who you wish could be your Real World Friends. It’s as exhausting as high school, navigating the world of cliques and mean girls. Read more
Cathy contemplates the source and the cure for her perfectionist ways
This is revolutionary… get ready for it…
Being a perfectionist is a waste of time.
There I said it.
Perhaps it’s the energy suck of hot flashes and other midlife maladies, or just the wisdom of the years, but lo and behold, I have come to realize that I must conserve and preserve my time and energy, and that no one really cares if what I do is less than perfect—no one, that is, but me.
Cathy finds inspiration for lightening up in dark times
The world seems to be in an upheaval these days. There’s so much bad news, it makes me want to burst into tears. But, I’ve decided to take a different path, to turn away from the sad and focus on the good.
From soul stirring to silly, brilliant to ballsy, here are ten things to get your face grinning.
#1) Smile! It’s Good for You
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we look at ourselves in the mirror each day and smile. “What better way to start the day than with a smile?” he writes. “Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy.“
Smiling lowers blood pressure and relieves stress, it’s contagious, and everyone looks better when they smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, try smiling and get some sunshine from deep within.
#2) Hop on the Bus Gus!
In Los Angeles, where wheels rule, the Do Good Bus gives participants an opportunity to get involved in their community. With no religious affiliation, each trip is different and assignments are kept a secret until on board. Read more
Cathy finds a beautiful day in the bay, sunny, cloudy and confusing
There’s a new girl in town: a new weather girl. Yes, they still use that term. Even though she’s a full-grown woman and an ordained meteorologist, she’s the new Bay Area “girl” and she’s H-O-T.
Meet Christina Loren, Today in the Bay’s morning cup of sexy; and boy does she pour it on. Case in point: see screenshot above. While she’s got a rockin’ bod (if you’re into the Barbie look), she’s actually got brains too and a fun on-air personality, but what she’s selling isn’t what’s behind her botoxed forehead or what’s coming from her bee stung lips; she’s selling what sells, S-E-X. Read more
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Cathy reflects on the positive reverberations of kindness and connection
It’s a new year, a new decade and time for a fresh start. Sometimes moving forward is just about going back, back to basics—and human kindness is about as basic as you can get.
In my last post, I wrote about my “funkified” state, concluding that self-kindness, loving-kindness, might be the best approach for calming the turbulent seas of my funk. Now, less than two months later, I believe it to be true. The cloud has lifted and despite many days of gray skies and rain, my enthusiasm has not dampened. My success was in large portion thanks to the kindness of others and finding out that I was not alone in my predicament. That and accepting that time was not on any particular schedule of my making, thus waiting for change while wading through the muck using patience and breath to get me through.
Kindness is free and limitless. It is a practice, an attitude, an approach. It’s an openhearted form of generosity that goes hand in hand with compassion; the more you practice kindness, the more natural it becomes. Jews speak of Tikkun Olam, to heal the world. Buddhists practice loving-kindness meditation. What would Jesus do? He’d be kind. Read more
Joy to the world, Cathy unearths her recipe for it
What brings me joy, year-round, is my local farmer’s market. What a feast for the senses—all six of them!
1) I see… a bounty of color and beauty.
2) I hear… people talking passionately about food, sharing recipes and wisdom from the farm.
3) I smell… fresh greens, damp dirt, flowers and sugar (from the waffle seller).
4) I taste… sweet fruit ripened on the vine, spicy hummus and rich almond butter.
5) I touch… everything. Is it soft enough, hard enough, ready now?
The sixth sense? A connection to the Earth, a sense of community, a reminder that food comes from the soil and not the supermarket—and an appreciation for life.
Find happiness at a farmer’s market near you. Check out Local Harvest’s zip code search, and even if you have to wait until spring—go local!keep looking »