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lion beanie baby

Tammy S. Pinkerton

You would expect a tin man to need a heart, and a scarecrow a brain, but it’s surprising to learn that a lion wants courage. A lion is big and burly, and evokes fear in many. The lion in the Wizard of Oz, begins as a bully, but when Dorothy smacks him on the nose, his vulnerability appears.

“My what a big fuss your’e making.”” “When you go around picking on things weaker than you are.” “Why, you are nothing but a big coward”, says Dorothy. The lion responds crying, “Your’e right. I am a coward. I even scare myself”.

“Look at the circles under my eyes. I haven’t slept in weeks.” The tin man asks, why don’t you try counting sheep? “That wouldn’t do me any good, I am afraid of them”.

After the long journey along the yellow brick road,  the lion is ready to tackle the demons, inside the castle, and accept courage from Oz, as if it is going to be packaged in a box.

Oz is a fraud, and the lion is looking outside for what is inside him the entire time.

All he had to do was keep moving forward,  and moving through each obstacle along the yellow brick road. He faced evil witches, bats, and demons on the path. Many times he wanted to quit, but he didn’t turn around. He tackled each dangerous ordeal, until it had moved out of the way.

Dorothy, the scarecrow, and the tin man gave him support to keep moving toward his goal.

Throughout history, there have been many people identified as courageous.  They found themselves in situations that tested their values, morals or principles and they persisted. It is lonely to be courageous. It is also scary.

Courage and fear walk together. You cannot be brave, unless you have some fear. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, she wasn’t seeking to be a hero, or to begin the civil rights fight. She was tired, and asked herself, why should I give up my seat, because of the color of my skin?

She wasn’t trying to be rebellious, or stubborn. She had the backbone to stand up for what she believed was right. Her values guided her forward.

While many might have agreed with Rosa Parks, most were too afraid to openly say that they did. It’s easier to be a sheep and follow the pack.

Courage Takes Nerves of Steel

The first of anything new, begins with swimming against the tide, and that can be dangerous to do. It takes backbone and grit to create change. It is far easier to give up on our values, and our dreams, and just go with the flow.

When every ounce of your being wants to move away from the danger, sometimes it takes nerves of steel to move forward. It is our value system that keeps us on track, and it is persistence and tenacity, that helps us achieve our goal.

Winston Churchill said courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.  Courage is both. Knowing when to move forward, and when to stand still, takes skill. Intuit is at the core, but heart and brains guide the tour.

Financial Social and Moral Courage

Any challenge has obstacles.  We don’t know what we don’t know. 

It is frightening to move forward when we are operating with missing pieces.

Being courageous is isolating. We are moving against the grain. There are lots of naysayers, “Forget it, just go with the crowd, this can’t change”.

You, Steve Jobs a little guy who made a computer in your garage are going to compete with IBM. Get real. Can’t be done.

You, Winston Churchill are going to warn about the onset of Fascism, and protect England.  Pick a political party and stick with it. Forget this foolish nonsense.

You Rosa Parks, are a black women who won’t give up your seat on a bus. Who do you think you are?

They were people who had the courage to move forward against the grain, and each of them changed history because they did.

There is financial courage, moral courage, social courage.

Steve Jobs and Walt Disney took great financial risks to see their dreams materialize. They had financial courage.

Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela spoke out against injustice. They had social courage.

Winston Churchill warned against fascism. He had moral courage.

The next time you find something standing in the way of what you want or believe, or something challenging your values, be willing to stand up, and say 

“No,  this has to change.”

 Keep moving forward, with a. willingness to face each obstacle standing in your way, and you will find nerve that you never knew you had. Courage is within each of us, it just takes extra muscles to find it.

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A Patriotic Song


 God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, 

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free, 

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, 

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. ” 

God Bless America, 

Land that I love. 

Stand beside her, and guide her 

Thru the night with a light from above. 

From the mountains, to the prairies, 

To the oceans, white with foam 

God bless America, My home sweet home.

The United States stood perched for war. Kate Smith needed a patriotic song, and she asked Irving Berlin to compose one. Berlin wrote a song in 1918, that was thrown into a trunk filled with unpublished songs. He retrieved it, changed a couple of lines, and a quasi national anthem was born in 1938.

All royalties were distributed to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Today it is sung at the seventh inning of baseball games. It was sung following the tragedy of 911. 

How does a song like God Bless America evoke so much controversy? Why doesn’t God bless America today?

Woody Guthrie, twenty years junior to Irving Berlin, and the child of a land developer who had gone bust, didn’t like the song because he thought Berlin  forgot about injustice, and inequity in America. He thought God Bless America was complacent, ignoring that America wasn’t fair for all.

Guthrie the child of a land developer, lived through the boom and bust from the oil industry, and learned about trust, corruption, and theft of land. He was an advocate for the Communist party. 

Guthrie wrote This land is your land, this land is my land as a rebellion to God Bless America.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;

By the relief office, I’d seen my people.

As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,

Is this land made for you and me.

That was the verse removed from “This land is your land, this land is my land”

The KKK didn’t like God Bless America, because it had been written by an immigrant Jew. Technically Berlin was an immigrant, but he left Russia at age 5, and his only memory was sitting at the side of the road watching his home burn to the ground.

 And he wasn’t religious enough to have married in his religion, as he married a Christian and raised his children Protestant at a time when that was a very rebellious thing to do.

The last thing Berlin wanted was the communist party. He was grateful for the opportunities provided to Americans. He did not want to see America become Russia.

80 years have passed since, God Bless America first played on the radio. Did God stop blessing America? Does the song still work today?

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, 

We have increased security since the world trade center attacks, and the attacks have grown in our schools, our streets, our shopping malls. They aren’t happening across the sea, they are happening here at home, next to you and me.

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free, 

We aren’t free when we are trading our liberty for oil and gas. We aren’t free when people are shot in the back for having no more then a cell phone. We aren’t free when United airlines drags off a paying passenger, because he won’t give up his seat.

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, 

It’s not fair when we are silenced, not allowed to speak, denied access into the courts. It’s not fair when we are executed through our advertisements and television stations without a crime. 

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. ” 

At no point in our common history has attendance in churches synagogues or houses of worship been so low. Have we lost our faith? Or have we lost our sense of community?

God Bless America, 

There are some very smart people who think they are God, and not operating in accordance with Gods laws.

Land that I love. 

Stand beside her, and guide her 

I love the country that we say we are, I do not love the country that we are today. We are not living according to our core values. My grandparents born on four continents, are probably rolling in their graves with the contradiction between what we say and who we are. Our country is degrading before our eyes, and we are pretending it’s not happening.

Thru the night with a light from above. 

The light will shine, when we begin building it back.

From the mountains, to the prairies, 

To the oceans, white with foam 

We have polluted our oceans, our rivers and streams with massive urban sprawl. We have sold our public lands off as private property then tried to steal them back.

God bless America, My home sweet home.

When we stop degrading people places and things for profit, and begin building our core values back, that serve the average American , God will bless America. Until that time the song will continue to be a controversial patriotic song.


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The Power of Word – That we’ll leave behind

power of word

Tammy Stoner Pinkerton

Our words matter. When we have departed this earth, the one thing we will have left behind will be our words. They will be our legacy, to our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, and family who knew us. The memory of what we said will last beyond our lifetime. Our words have the power to change the world for better, or for worse. 
In this culture that we live in today, of instant messaging, Twitter texts, Instagram, it is easy to forget that our words have the ability to transform the world. We let them roll off our tongue without thought of the impact they may have on others or on ourselves. It is very difficult to take them back.

Our words carry a lot of power. They have the power to keep possibilities alive, and the power to create lots of problems. When we have a powerful relationship to our word and are committed to choosing the words we mean, communication is effortless.

There is not a person among us who hasn’t regretted words spoken or written. All of us, have wished we said something just a little differently, not said something in anger, or not stumbled our way through an awkward situation, with poorly chosen words. None of us have perfect words 100% of the time. We are human, and as humans we err.
It’s not just important to give our word, but give our word and mean it. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard and even done it myself, given my word until something better comes up. We give our word until faced with the blah, blah, blahs of life. When our word is good only until something better comes up, then we have situations that don’t work, and create upsets.

Once we are able to comprehend that our words matter, that our words are a declaration, that they work to create desired results, that we are trying to achieve, we are able to develop workability and simplicity in our life.

Our words are our agreements. They are doing what is expected of us when it’s expected. They give form and structure and substance to our lives. They generate possibility, power, and freedom. They bring peace of mind.
When we look at sources of what hasn’t worked in our lives, we will find broken promises in our agreements or broken words. When we put structures in our place to keep our word, we have the power to transform anything.

Failure to keep one’s word doesn’t mean people are bad, it just means that situations become unworkable. In a nutshell, broken words or agreements spell unworkable situations, not bad people.

Often that concept becomes mixed up. We believe when people say they will do something and don’t, they are bad. People are good even if they break their word but when words are broken, situations don’t work. Thus, it is important to agree only to words one can keep.

Today our country is under an implosion unlike any that we have seen since the civil war. We stand divided, and fragmented. Our words are all over the place, spoken randomly, and without concern for the impact they have on ourselves or on another human being. We have become careless with our words.

If we are to begin to restore some sanity during some very insane times, each of us has to stop and look at the words we choose, and the impact they have on another and on ourselves, and recognize that while seemingly fleeting, they leave permanent marks. Our words do matter.

copyright 2019 (c)

faith hope love stacked rings
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Walking Your Way To Stress Relief

14K Yellow Gold Necklace Heart Shaped w/ Large Amethyst Gemstone Vintage Estate

By Tammy S. Pinkerton

There might be no better way to reduce stress then to take a brisk walk in the park. It is active, easy, and even free. It provides you opportunity, to move fast or slow, stop and start, and notice the woods and trees, as you go.

Depressed and anxious, get off of the computer, hang up the phone, walk outside, breathe deep, and enjoy the change in scenery.

The difficult part of walking, for those who have two working legs, is getting started. That is the challenge for all. However once you experience the mental health benefits, and added benefits to the heart, it becomes much easier to start.

Walking helps increase happiness, because when you walk, you release endorphins, a chemical that helps you improve your mental outlook. When you walk, you send happy cells into the air, and watch depression disappear.

You can see a therapist, a psychiatrist, another treatment provider, but before you lay on the couch, and figure out how you got to be this way, take a walk, it’s healthy, active and free. Plus, walking moves you forward.

It just isn’t easy to walk backwards for any length of time.

Walking doesn’t just help the mind, it helps the body too. When you walk, your bones and muscles become stronger, and you reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. This means that walking actually helps you live longer. 

Living longer and stronger, with a better mental outlook, you can’t beat that, knowing that you can add that bagel and cream cheese later, because walking just helped you reduce the fat.

 Haven’t taken a walk in a long time? Begin slow, start with an easy pace, just five or ten minutes a day. Walk three or four times in a week, and you will earn physical and mental benefits too. Then when you have some steps under your feet, add another thirty minutes or so, and walk three or four times in the week.

Fast paced walking can be a real plus, so don’t be afraid to step up the beat when moving the feet.  Brisk walking 45 minutes a day, increases the heart rate, and burns fat. If overweight, that’s like devouring a Reuben sandwich without calories. 

Find a friend to share the walk. Time speeds up, as you walk and talk, at the same time, breathing heavier, as you go, increasing the benefits to the cardiovascular system.

Do you have a dog? Take him with you. If he is on a leash, he will move at the pace you do. He has to. He is walking with you. The benefits to walking a dog, is many might want to stop and talk with you, or talk with your dog. Either way, you might meet somebody along the way. Or the dog will.

Don’t have a clear path to walk? Are you in the middle of suburban sprawl? Just walk on down to the city hall and complain, give them a word or two, and if nobody listens, just head to the mall. You can always walk there. Just remember the walk was meant to be free, so “buyer beware,” when you walk there.

(Stones like amethyst are also calming.)

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A Story of Assimilation in Baseball

Tammy Stoner Pinkerton

When Sandy Koufax put on a yarmulke and showed up at synagogue on Yom Kippur, a hungry audience stood up and cheered. He was the second major league baseball player who left the ball field during the world series, and sent his pitches to God. The first was Hank Greenberg.

Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax were two Jews who were inducted into the hall of fame for baseball. Neither were particularly religious, but both put faith above the sport. Both faced decisions, that left them waffling between assimilation, and religious heritage. 

The all American sport of baseball had it’s share of antisemitism, and Hank and Sandy endured their share. They called Hank, the “Hebrew Hammer”, and taunted him with antisemitic remarks when he stood up to bat. A major hitter, standing in par with Babe Ruth, Hank Greenberg played for the Detroit Tigers in the 1930’s, and then the Pittsburgh Pirates. He took a respite from baseball when he served his country in the second world war. Hank said every time he stood at the bat, he was swinging as if the ball was Hitler.

Nobody took more abuse then Greenberg when he slugged the ball. “throw him a pork chop” yelled some, “he can’t hit it”. As he closed in on Babe Ruth’s record, pitchers were deliberately walking him. Greenberg tried to be seen as a great ball player, not a great Jewish ball player. It was only later in life, when he said that he appreciated that he had been a great Jewish baseball player.

By the time Hank Greenberg arrived on the baseball scene, there were already 30 Jewish players in the Major Leagues, but it was Hank Greenberg who illustrated the tough choices Jews had assimilating into American culture, because he was the first major Jewish star of baseball.
Hank, a child of immigrants faced decisions between assimilation, and keeping ones culture. Simply by playing baseball, Hank was a story of assimilation. He didn’t follow the traditional path, become a doctor, a lawyer etc. He did what poor children often did. He paved his path, playing a sport.
On Rosh Hashanna, in 1934, Greenberg wasn’t sure if he was going to play. He agonized, should he bat the ball out of the ballpark, or sit in the synagogue with the rabbi, and God.

He consulted with Rabbis, and ended up playing ball on that day, leading the Tigers to victory over the Red Sox. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, he put on a yarmulke and showed up at temple. The congregation gave him a standing ovation. He said it was so unexpected, seeing the rabbi with Torah in hand, and an audience cheering him, as he walked through the synagogues door. 
The refusal to play ball on Yom Kippur, was a symbol of a refusal to assimilate. A paradox.

Some say Hank Greenberg didn’t assimilate because he didn’t change his name, but the truth is that Hank did change his name. He was born Hymie Greenberg, and advised another Jewish ball player to change his name, if he was going to play in the major leagues.

Hank Greenberg didn’t want to be known as a hero, particularly a Jewish hero. He claimed his Jewishness was an accident at birth. Hank showed character when he was one of the few who welcomed Jackie Robinson, a black major leaguer into the sport of baseball. He took tremendous abuse as a Jew, and empathized with a black person’s vulnerability in America’s favorite pastime.

Hank Greenberg set the stage for maneuvering between assimilation and holding onto ones identity.

It’s been over 50 years since Sandy Koufax refused to pitch the first game of the world series on Yom Kippur. Koufax was the first major league pitcher to pitch four no hitters, and the eighth pitcher to pitch a perfect game in baseball history. His decision not to pitch during the first game of the world series brought national attention to the conflict between professional pressures, and religious values.

30 years after Greenberg played ball, Koufax had written into his contract that he wouldn’t play ball on Yom Kippur, so it really should have been no surprise that he didn’t. His decision not to play was made a generation after Jews had assimilated into American society. It was a different kind of choice then Greenberg’s three decades earlier. Koufax wasn’t trying to assimilate he was trying to hold onto his religious faith.

The spectacular part of his decision not to play, was that it made national news, and is remembered to this day.

Sandy Koufax decision not to play transcended the sport, and honored Judaism at the same time. It was using the national all American sport of baseball to make that statement. A star really can hold onto ones identity and blend into the America’s fabric at the same time.

These two great athletes established an example in baseball that can help American Jews today. As antisemitism increases in ways, most born today have not experienced, Greenberg and Koufax paved a path, for how to assimilate, hold onto faith, and still be a star.


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Nolan Miller

In the 1980’s, Dynasty was a hit tv show that captured the life of luxury, that many aspired for themselves. Nolan Miller, fashion designer of costume jewelry created the jewelry worn on the tv series. Mr. Miller was able to take ordinary jewelry, and make it look extraordinary, and expanded the reach of glamour for the masses. Nolan Miller passed in 2012, and his designs are highly collectible, and quickly escalating in value. Pins and brooches are glittered with rhinestones and signed by Nolan Miller. This is one designer whose designs are increasing quickly.

View other Nolan Miller pieces in my eBay store.

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Miriam Haskell, Costume Jewelry Designer

by Tammy Stoner Pinkerton

Miriam Haskell born 1899 and passed 1981 was a fashion designer of women’s costume jewelry that is highly collectible today. Designing costume jewelry between the 1930’s, 40’s,50’s and 60’s, Haskell integrated themes of the day into her designs. Located in Manhattan, Haskell decorated the dresses of Lucille Ball and many Hollywood stars.

Using glass she was able to replicate many gemstones, so that they were affordable to many. Haskell’s designs can be found in Museums worldwide.

Please visit my eBay store to see some of the pieces I have from Miriam Haskell. Click here to see the piece pictured below.