Vote Today and Always

The day is finally here. Election Day 2016 has arrived for those of us in the United Stated. We are unable to vote early in New York State, so it is the time I can go to the polls and let my voice be heard.

 Vote Today

For what seems like forever, we have been listening to constant chatter and more about this big presidential election. I think this is probably why I was burned out and over it before the day arrived. Most years I have a plan for when I will go to vote. This time around I didn’t. Then, my nine year old son begged me to take him with me. He wanted to go and witness a presidential election.

This is the same child that sat on my bed working on homework last night. He was distracted by the television commercials. He kept hearing things that he didn’t understand and asking me questions. It was my own fault for leaving the television on, but I explained about political ads and how hateful they can be. I shared that rather than explain why you or your candidate is right for the job, they shame the other person for things they claim they have done in the past or will do in the future. It’s a lot for anyone to understand, no less a child in elementary school that does not recall another big election in his life. Let’s be real, there has never been an election quite like this one in anyone’s life.

We are lucky being in New York State because most of the political ads are for local races. The ones we watch are not even for races that we are able to vote in. There are occasional ones for the presidential candidates, but usually at odd hours. One of the best things for our family was getting away before Halloween. We were able to escape from most the nasty end of this presidential campaign. Sure my smartphone buzzed with news updates, but I was able to ignore them. Of course, our get away for a conference and vacation was Florida. This key state in the presidential election was swarming with ads. If we put the television on for a moment, hate oozed across the screen in one ad after another. If this wasn’t enough, sky writers were out for some candidates as well.

All I can say is I am done. I can exhale because I did my civic duty and voted. I may be conflicted with some circles that I filled in on my ballot, but I am going to live with my choices.

My son reminded me of what this election is about. It’s about keeping the United States a democracy. One day, I want to watch him go into a polling place to let his voice be heard. I want both of my boys to be excited to have the right to vote once they turn 18. Yes, I was that geek that was more excited to turn 18 and vote than 21 to drink. It was finally my turn to be an adult and have some say in those that we elect.

While my heart may not have been into voting this year, I know the feeling of pride in being American and having the freedom to vote. Tomorrow I hope that half of this country will get up and move forward no matter what the outcome of this election is. I know it will be hard to swallow for either side, but we must work together. If we continue to divide this country more I fear what the future will be for our children and generations to come.

Please take a moment today to get out and vote if you have not done so already. Oh and please get a sticker. Apparently we never have them here and I feel cheated!

It's Me

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Do Not Blame the Victim of a Bully

Bullying continues to be an undeniable problem in this country. Not only are adults dealing with it, we often have to help our own children through their own bullying ordeals. It truly can be a vicious cycle for many of us.

October is National Bullying Prevention month. This means that more attention is focused on this critical issue. We hear stories of kids of all ages being harassed in a myriad of ways. Why are they doing this? For many, it’s all about having power over another person.

What I would like to remind you this October is the following:

Never blame the victim of a bully

Yes, you read that right. As hard as it may be to believe, the victims of bullies may be blamed or shamed if they speak up. As if it isn’t hard enough to get the courage to say something, imagine another person pointing fingers at you for being intimidated and harassed by another individual. Like you had some kind of control of this matter.

Now, imagine what this would do to your self esteem. The person you trusted enough to talk to has turned the fault of the bullying on YOU.


This is not acceptable and must stop. There is never a reason why the person being bullied should feel as if they did something wrong. They are vulnerable enough and should have support. The victim needs other to stand by their side so they feel comfortable enough to use their voice to stop the vicious cycle.

It doesn’t matter how you define bullying or harassment. The fact is that when another person is being touched, bothered, verbally abused, or feel like they are not safe – something is wrong. Nobody should have to suck it up and deal. The reality is that the victim also has rights.

Both of my children have been bullied. It’s something we have had to deal with many times over the years. I am thankful that NHL and JSL have both been comfortable enough to tell us when this has happened. In addition to this, New York State has the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) that grants rights to students that are bullied in school. This paragraph alone is extremely powerful:

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

This is a great start, but a lot needs to be done in schools and throughout our society.

How do you help others when you see or know they are being bullied? If you have been the person bullied, what do you wish others had done to help you?

It's Me

Some of my previous posts about bullying:

Bullying posts by TechyDad: My Bullied History

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Tracking What You May Misplace

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

Where did I put my purse this time? This is becoming a joke in our family. Sure, I should have one place where I put my purse down once I get inside the house. The reality is that I am often in a rush once I storm through the doors. I may race into the kitchen with perishables to put into the refrigerator. Other times, I may stop midway into the kitchen to toss my purse by the dining room table before running to get more in the car. There are also instances where I fly into the house to wash my hands or take care of some other business. (I went there.)

Tile Slim

I am also the person that could never find her keys most mornings before heading to school with my youngest. Were they in my purse, on the table, in my coat, by my laptop, or on the floor? Thanks to Verizon Wireless, my life changed when they sent me the original Tile. Once again, never in the same place or space to make my life easier. Several days a week, I calmly go to the app on my phone and ask it to help me find my keys. My boys now run to locate them and there is never any stress thanks to this nifty tech device. Now, imagine a new Tile that is super thin and can be tucked into a wallet, bag, or anything else when you travel.

Say hello to Tile Slim! This beautiful new device is able to get tucked away right into my wallet. While I may not put my keys away in my purse, my wallet is always tucked back inside. So if I know where my Tile Slim is in my wallet, I can find where my purse is currently hiding. Check out how the Tile and Tile Slim compare to one another.

Tile and Tile Slim

It was simple to add this to my Tile account. I just followed the steps and within a moment, my new Tile was named and set up. Now if (more likely when) I can’t find my purse, I simply go to my app and click on the Tile I want to find and wait to track it with Bluetooth. The music will play and guide me to where my purse is currently hiding.

Tile App view

Tile Slim will also help me on the go. I may be known to put my purse down when out and forgetting it. Could be at a restaurant, amusement park, or especially at a conference when I wander off from a table to say hello to a friend. This will be a great asset for me in my upcoming travels. I can’t wait to get away and not have to worry about my forgetful mind. I will also be picking up some extra Tile Slim to place in suitcases and other bags that will be along for the trip.

Where would you use a TileSlim? I would love to know additional ideas for the use of this product that is already changing my life.

It's Me
: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive cool goodies like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Tile Slim to test out and share ways that I use them in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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Sweet New Year Wishes for 5777

The Jewish New Year is here and my family will be celebrating it together over the next two days.

Rosh Hashanah ChallahIt’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. TechyDad and I watched our oldest become a Bar Mitzvah and start his teen years. Our youngest son is busy reading, writing, and exploring the world around him. TechyDad finished writing and publishing his first novel (more coming on that soon). I am busy working on education and special needs advocacy. Of course, I am still working on freelance and revamping my special place over here. I have so much to share and keep adding things to my notebook when they pop into my brain. I plan on getting back to what makes me happy this year and that includes sharing parts of my adventures and world on The Angel Forever.

I leave you with a favorite Rosh Hashanah song by The Ein Prat Fountainheads.

To all of those that celebrate, I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and sweet start to 5777.

It's Me

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A Letter to My Teenage Son

A Letter To My Teenage Son

Dear NHL,

Happy 13th birthday NHL! Please hold for a moment while I scream. You see, today is a huge milestone for our entire family. You are officially 13 years old and a teen. No more preteen garbage, it’s all or nothing kiddo. This also means that Dad and I are now the parents of a teenager.

How did this happen?

It honestly feels like a blur and is hard to believe that my first born is now 13 years old. I swear it seems like yesterday when I was:

  • changing a million of your diapers.
  • picking out cute baby outfits for you to wear.
  • sitting on the floor with you for tummy time.
  • watching your eyes light up as you spoke to us for the first time.
  • singing and dancing with you and The Wiggles.
  • getting you ready to head to daycare which broke my heart.
  • driving you with a box of donuts to visit Poppy Sol.
  • clapping my hands when you walked on your own.
  • preparing you to become a big brother.
  • crying on your first day of school.
  • listening to you read me your first book.
  • watching your love of learning grow more and more each day.
  • chasing you from one Disney character to another for an autograph and photo.
  • hugging you tight as we left one school to try another.
  • listening to you play percussion for the first time.
  • talking to you about neurodiversity and what it means.
  • attending your first band concert.
  • taking you to visit the middle school.
  • going to school to watch you during the honor roll ceremonies.

There are so many other moments and memories that we have shared in the last thirteen years. I never would have imagined how your birth could change my world. I am so thankful that you are my son and part of my life. Each day you continue to amaze me with your kind soul, amazing insight, and quick ability to learn and retain new things. While we may not see eye to eye every day, I know this is just a phase of our relationship that goes with the teen years. This will pass and one day we will look back and laugh at it.

It still floors me that you can look me right in the eyes. In a few months, I will likely be looking up to speak to you. We are weeks away from your Bar MItzvah. Through all of the preparations you have been amazing. You have rarely complained about anything and done what needs to be accomplished to get ready for your big day. I know it hasn’t been easy to go to Hebrew School, lessons, and more over the last few years. You followed through with this like a champion and I can’t wait to see you up on the bimah sharing this with all of our family and friends.

Two short years ago, we celebrated your 11th birthday and were anxious about middle school. You went into the building and showed us how to get it done. You set goals for yourself and never stopped once you reached them. Gold Honor roll was important, along with honors classes, and making All City Band. After Labor Day you will begin 8th grade with all honors courses, including two 9th grade Regents classes. It’s going to be a busy year, but I know you will get it done and make all of us proud of your hard work.

While I know the teen years can be difficult, I hope that you know Dad and I are here for you. We will be cheering you on from behind the scenes and ready to help if/when you need us. As always remember to Just Keep Swimming toward any goals you set. Anything is possible and don’t let anyone ever tell you something different.



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