What A Way To Start A Day

I was up early today. Too early. Our old cat woke me up at about 5:30 am and got me up to feed her and give her some attention. After a few hours, I was ready to start working. I was really tired from a lack of sleep, but have done this sort of effort before.


Bagels and Blocks Playgroup April 2nd

Make new friends while having fun with your child! Brattleboro Area Jewish Community is excited to
offer a Jewish-based drop-in playgroup for parents/caregivers and their infants and toddlers (0-5 years).


A Father’s Letter To His Son

A Jewish friend of mine gave me permission to share recent communication that he had with his son about their ancestry. The correspondence began when my friend asked about his son’s results from DNA testing:


Parenting for Social Justice at Brooks Memorial Library

Parenting for Social Justice Chats will be happening at Brooks Memorial Library for three Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:00pm: March 8th, April 12th, and May 10th. This initial series will focus on race and racial justice.

Parenting is beautiful and it is challenging. One of the things we struggle with as parents is having hard conversations with our kids. Many of us are seeking support and ideas for how to have the hard conversations with our kids about racism and police brutality, about transgender issues, about hatred for Muslims and many other social justice issues. And we are looking to turn those conversations into action.


Tracey Madigan, MSW, Joins InnerWell Integrative Counseling Services

InnerWell is delighted to welcome Tracey Madigan, MA, MSW, to join InnerWell Integrative Counseling Services in Brattleboro. Tracey brings a natural warmth and strong empathic presence to therapy with couples and individuals. Her approach focuses on client strengths, rooted in the belief in resiliency and potential for positive change. 

Tracey’s work as a therapist draws deeply on her extensive experience as a grief counselor, as well as her training in mindfulness-based and trauma-informed treatment approaches, and in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Supporting clients through the unique experience of grief has allowed her to bring an authentic presence supporting clients as they face a variety of difficult life transitions. Tracey delights in helping clients – both couples and individuals — to meet life right where they are, and to discover new possibilities for how things might unfold moving forward.


Winston Prouty Center Hosts 3rd Annual Indoor Mini-Golf Classic for Grownups and Families on March 4 & 5

Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development is hosting its 3rd Annual Indoor Mini-Golf Tournament for grownups and families on Saturday, March 4, 2017 and Sunday, March 5, 2017, respectively. The two-day “FUN-raiser” is open to the public.

Saturday’s tournament for grownups is a black-tie optional evening that will feature light dinner fare, music, raffles, and a cash bar. The tournament will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and tickets are $25 per person.  

Sunday’s family fun day will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost is $5 per person, or only $12 for a foursome if you bring your Saturday night scorecard.


Bagels and Blocks – A Drop-in Playgroup!

Make new friends while having fun with your child!
Brattleboro Area Jewish Community is excited to offer a Jewish-based drop-in playgroup for parents/caregivers and their infants and toddlers (0-5 years).

Our next playgroup is March 5th from 1-3pm. Join us for a Purim party! Make masks, eat some hamantaschen (yummy Jewish pastries), sing some songs, and hear a story. Come in costume or use our play clothes for dress up!


Who’s Crazy?

Every family has secrets. Mine had more than its share. If there were a way that my mother could have avoided telling me about Aunt Rose, I am sure that I would never had found out about her.

Rose had been in Rockland State Hospital since the 1930s when her brief marriage failed, and she lost custody of her only child. Now, in 1956, her three sisters (Aunt Fanny, Aunt Yetta, and my mother) were planning a visit. We went in two cars: Uncle Irving’s DeSoto Deluxe, and Uncle Mac’s Oldsmobile Rocket 88. 


Kid’s Menorah Workshop

KIDS MENORAH WORKSHOP
Build and paint your own Menorahs! Enjoy donuts, hot cocoa, and chocolate Chanukah gelt! Sunday Dec 18th, 1-3 pm
FREE OF CHARGE

Brown and Roberts, 182 Main st, Brattleboro
Rsvp requested: Rabbi@ChabadSouthernVT.com
or call :802-933-1314
www.ChabadSouthernVT.com


Loose Ends

You have to get buzzed in. This is not so much for security as it is to keep the memory care residents from slipping out. In the case of my mother flight was not a concern. Once fairly athletic she was now barely ambulatory, and mentally, more of her had already vanished than was present. Still, enough consciousness remained to converse, sort of, and to allow her to think to ask me what all the fuss was about.

I had to dig, and of course she didn’t understand agitation needed a source. Perhaps it was just in the air. I wondered, was her distress from a person living in the facility, something she was thinking?  She couldn’t say. Through a roulette wheel approach I hit upon the idea that the television was involved. Somehow. And by further inquiry, sussed out it may have been the news which droned in the background that was the culprit. “Things are messed up, I offered.” Then out of the blue she blurts, “We’re Russian, aren’t we?”


Bagels and Blocks – A Drop In Playgroup

Make new friends while having fun with your child!
Brattleboro Area Jewish Communityis excited to offer a Jewish-based drop-in playgroup for parents/caregivers and their infants and toddlers (0-5 years).

Bagels and Blocks is a facilitated parenting group as well as an activity group for babies and toddlers. These fun and friendly gatherings feature songs, stories, crafts, snacks, and free play.


To My Fantastic Bicycle Commuting Friends

Thank you for your commitment to keeping your fossil fuel intake to a minumum. You are all awesome. We appreciate you and many of us envy you! I’ve enjoyed seeing more and more of my friends peddling around town doing errands and commuting to work. This is a great example of people working together for our collective future.


Day of the Dead Community Altar at Experienced Goods

14th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration and Community Altar on November 4th

The 14th Annual Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Celebration and Community Altar will take place during November Gallery Walk, November 4th, from 5:00-7:00 at Experienced Goods Thrift Shop, 77 Flat St. in Brattleboro. Inspired by the Latin American holiday when families gather to honor loved ones who have died, staff and volunteers from Brattleboro Area Hospice create an Ofrenda, or large community altar. You’re invited to bring an item to lay on the Ofrenda to honor a loved one.

(Please use photocopied pictures and objects of no great concern since items cannot be returned.)


Halloween Costume Ideas From Previous Years

It’s almost time for Halloween, and here on Cedar Street that means hundreds of kids in costumes of all varieties.

For many years, we’ve kept a list of the costumes that were worn to our door. If you are having trouble thinking up a costume, perhaps a look through some of the older lists will spark some ideas. I’ve provided some links below.


Sufferage(sic)

Fittingly enough, it was during this election cycle my mother received her dementia diagnosis. Thanks to her stroke, she’s moved fairly quickly through the levels, like a pro-gamer unlocking ever more complex realms of challenge. When she was unable to feed herself or attend to hygiene, memory care became inevitable. My periodic visits have become studies in both specific and general cognitive atrophe, in addition to whatever else it is when a son becomes the elder to his parent.

As a way of holding on to the rail when the seas get rough, I have begun to look at the memory care facility, and mental disability, in an anthropological light. I’m always on the look out, in my mother’s case, to see what parts of personality persist, and which patterns remain as a kind of behavioral bedrock. Observing which of her symptomatic responses were there all along in nascent form. Seeing her surrounded by her ‘peers’, each with their own expeditions underway, it forces me to wonder about the so-called sanity of us all.


Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire’s Wings of Hope Butterfly Release event

SEVENTH ANNUAL WINGS OF HOPE BUTTERFLY RELEASE FLUTTERS ONCE AGAIN ON SEPTEMBER 10
Purchase of Butterflies Raises Money for Hospice Programs

Lebanon, New Hampshire, August 29, 2016 – On Saturday, September 10th, hundreds of majestic Monarch butterflies will take flight simultaneously during the Wings of Hope butterfly release event to be held in Colburn Park in Lebanon from 1-3 p.m. The annual fundraiser, now in its seventh year, is presented by Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire (VNH) and is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the non-profit organization. Purchase of a butterfly for release is $20 and proceeds help support hospice care programs, patients and their families.


Coffee Break Fundraiser

The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community will be hosting a “Coffee Break”  all day Friday September 2, 2016 at the Welcome Center in Guilford, Vt. on I-91 to kick off the Labor Day weekend holiday.   Starting at 7:30am, we will offer hot coffee and tea; bagels; hot oatmeal, apple cider donuts; an assortment of homemade muffins, pastries, and other home-baked goods; egg salad, tuna salad, and cheese sandwiches; tastes of various flavored challah; Vermont-made yogurt;  a variety of cold drinks, including freshly squeezed lemonade. 


Host a Spanish Teen This Summer

Expand your family’s horizons this summer by welcoming a student from Spain into your home through the STEP-to-U.S.A. program. The boys and girls, who range in age from 14 to 17, will arrive on June 25 and spend 3 1/2 weeks in New England, departing on July 20.

The students are all from the Basque region of Spain and are at an intermediate English level. Host families provide a warm and safe home environment for the student, as well as meals and transportation to a meeting spot on the days there are field trips ( Boston and Six Flags–host families are invited to come along).


Youth Services’ Summer Camp Fair During April Gallery Walk

Youth Services will host their Annual Summer Camp Fair on Friday, April 1, on Gallery Walk Night from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the River Garden in downtown Brattleboro.

Many summer camp providers will supply activities and entertainment for the children. The public is encouraged to take advantage of this great opportunity to arrange a fun-filled summer while being entertained. To entice the public to stop in, Youth Services is holding a free drawing for $100 credit toward a camp of the winner’s choice and giving out free balloons.