Happy 4th of July from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:27-04:00 July 4th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, civil rights, Liberty, Life, military, mind/body, nyc, soccer|

I was lucky enough to enjoy a soccer game with my kids and dear friends yesterday at Yankee Stadium, which feels American in and of itself. There were peanuts and popcorn and lots of rah-rah’s! It also happened to be Military Appreciation Day at the NYCFC (New York City Football Club) game, so we were blissfully serenaded with our national anthem by the Sergeants Choir which was just awesome.

Bear waits for the flag!

Bear waits for the flag!

There were many members of the military on the field and it was heartwarming to watch the entire stadium rise to their feet even before the announcer asked everyone to rise.

Bear watches as the flag unfurls!

Bear watches as the flag unfurls!

This was definitely a beautifully choreographed scene and then it took an interesting turn, this was no ordinary flag!

American flag of America!

American flag of America!

The flag is in the shape of the United States of America!!! Never seen that one before and it was awesomely patriotic!

Celebrate safely my Totem Tamers friends, and marvel at the world we live in and keep those who are suffering and struggling and living in fear in your thoughts and prayers. We fought for independence but we are dependent on each other to stay safe.

Stay well.

Paris in our hearts and on our minds.

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:54-04:00 November 14th, 2015|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, brothers, death, family, gun violence, hate crime, Liberty, Life, loss, military, nyc, parenthood, parenting, politics, prayer, soccer, totems, travel, Uncategorized, victim|

We wake up to a new day, the sun shining in New York City, a chilly wind providing shivers and reminders that winter is around the corner. Those shivers hardly distinguishable from the ones I’ve experienced since last night while following the tragic, and horrific attacks that took place in Paris. I can only consume the news in small doses, and find that watching it is even too much, so I periodically check Facebook and Twitter for the latest little tidbits. It is just so overwhelming. Some people need to know every detail and not miss any news update, because that’s helpful to them, but not me. A friend’s status update on Facebook  helped me find the words I wanted to share this morning. She was contemplating having the conversations with her children about what was happening in Paris, understanding that her older child would be able to process more info than her younger child. This made me consider how I would talk to my children as well. I know there will be lots of counselors and authorities out there giving their tips and suggestions, and they will all surely be helpful in some way or another. Please know that I am not a psychologist, or a social worker, or some “lettered” authority, I am a parent, and that gives me a voice for my experiences, and gratitude for a forum to share them. This is not about advice, this is not about right or wrong, this is about one person’s process, mine. My youngest (9) is sitting in the other room now, blissfully unaware and playing some game on his computer. I will go to him and plainly give him the facts about what happened in Paris, because opening that communication is more important than protecting him from reality, no matter how horrible. “Honey, I want to tell you what happened in Paris yesterday because you will probably be hearing a lot about it over the next couple days.  There was an attack, and many people were injured and killed by some very angry and very bad people.” That’s how the conversation will start, and then I will take his lead while guiding him along the way. He may ask tons of questions, he may also choose to go right back to watching silly YouTube videos, and that’s perfectly ok. I am all about honesty and being very straightforward with my kids, because I have found that the imagination can color way more horrifying pictures than the truth can. That being said, my almost 16 year old will be able to handle a whole lot more information than my little one, and even my middle one, and he’ll discover it on his own on the internet. So with him, the conversation will surely be different and maybe even more philosophical, but again, he may not want to go into all the details, but I will reassure that I am here to talk if he needs to. The bottom line is giving your children permission to ask questions, and giving yourself permission to being ok with not having the answers. Also, not being afraid to be open with them, even if it is about your own fears. Because sure I’m scared, and that’s reasonable, but I have faith that the people we charge to protect and serve us will do everything they can to protect us, and that’s how I go about my days. That’s what I will share with my children as I pray for their innocence to last just a little bit longer, and as I pray for the people of Paris and the rest of the world while we mourn right along with them.

Praying for Peace in Paris

Praying for Peace in Paris

Stay well.

WARRIOR Wednesday on Veteran’s Day!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:55-04:00 November 11th, 2015|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, friends, friendship, Life, mental health, military, stress|

Totem Tamers is giving thanks to all those who have served, and continue to serve in the military, protecting us and helping to keep our country safe. You are all WARRIORS. My grandfather served in the Army, and at a towering 6’4, would happily tell you he was a great big scaredy-cat most of the time. I cherish the box of letters he sent to my grandmother when he was deployed during the war.

Letters from a veteran

Letters from a veteran

Now there’s new letters from a new WARRIOR in my life. A dear friend made the tough decision to change the trajectory of his life and enter the Army. He’s only been away at boot camp for two weeks now, but his first letter is as encouraging as it was long. I could barely get through it before wanting to get out my stationary to write him back!! Yes, handwritten letters back and forth the way it used to be!!

Letters on Veteran's Day!

Letters on Veteran’s Day!

In his letter, my friend mentions one young man who quit in the first week, and another young man who he was counseling the courage to stick it out. I am beyond proud of the role he has taken on, and I know this will be an amazing journey and certainly a few good chapters in the book of his life. That’s why “Turk” is this week’s WARRIOR. From what I understand, the soldiers don’t have access to the internet and getting mail is so important to them, which is why I am going to post my friends address. If you’re inspired to send him a card or a quick note of thanks, that would be amazing, and would certainly count you among the WARRIORS.

PVT Edwards, Ronnie

D CO 3/60 TH IN REG

2nd PLT Demon Dawgs Roster #212

5500 Marion Ave

Fort Jackson, SC 29207

Our Veterans past and present need us. The ones serving have support, but what about their families at home without them. The Veterans who have fought and served and come home, need our help, too! The VA Hospital was there for my grandfather when he needed it, but many Veterans don’t get the support they need. Here’s a helpful link on ways you can help Veteran’s today.

Stay well.

Happy Veteran's Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:51-04:00 November 11th, 2014|Life, military|

I always think of my Grandfather on Veteran’s Day, and the hundreds of letters he wrote to my Grandmother when he was drafted overseas. He wasn’t “in” long, but reading his letters, it was certainly long enough for him! I went through some of them today, and two lines from one of them brought beautiful tears to my eyes.

Heading home....

Heading home….

This is the letter he wrote telling my Grandma Selma that he was being discharged and coming home. He writes “Honey, in two weeks you will be in my arms again. Two more weeks and then I will be in Heaven.” Incredible words written by a 6’4 giant of a man with a gruff voice and sometimes the personality to match.

Big and burly, but sweet like a rose sometimes!

Big and burly, but sweet like a rose sometimes!

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for my Grandmother to raise her kids on her own while her husband was out of the country defending and protecting our country. It’s hard to imagine the many that do that today, and do so with honor! Totem Tamers thanks all the veterans who have served and continue to serve, and the many that support them.

Stay well.

Find your Totem by clicking on any of the Totems on the page and take one home today!

Happy Veteran’s Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:51-04:00 November 11th, 2014|Life, military|

I always think of my Grandfather on Veteran’s Day, and the hundreds of letters he wrote to my Grandmother when he was drafted overseas. He wasn’t “in” long, but reading his letters, it was certainly long enough for him! I went through some of them today, and two lines from one of them brought beautiful tears to my eyes.

Heading home....

Heading home….

This is the letter he wrote telling my Grandma Selma that he was being discharged and coming home. He writes “Honey, in two weeks you will be in my arms again. Two more weeks and then I will be in Heaven.” Incredible words written by a 6’4 giant of a man with a gruff voice and sometimes the personality to match.

Big and burly, but sweet like a rose sometimes!

Big and burly, but sweet like a rose sometimes!

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for my Grandmother to raise her kids on her own while her husband was out of the country defending and protecting our country. It’s hard to imagine the many that do that today, and do so with honor! Totem Tamers thanks all the veterans who have served and continue to serve, and the many that support them.

Stay well.

Find your Totem by clicking on any of the Totems on the page and take one home today!