In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 19, 2009 / 27 Sivan 5769

Family game night I-N-T-E-N-S-E

By Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In recent years, the most coveted object of desire on the husband's side of the family has been a trophy featuring a donkey standing on a base inscribed with the word Scrabble.

Scrabble Donkey's rear end is in the air with his back legs shaking like a nervous Chihuahua that has been lapping up Red Bull.

When the husband's side of the family gets together, they unbutton their collars, throw their solar-powered calculators into a dark corner, cast aside their Wall Street Journals, and morph into wild things that can turn the sedate game of Scrabble into a full-body contact sport.

Our family gladly accepts the challenge of turning a board game into a loud and frenzied competition, although we are more likely to be wearing fuzzy house slippers and casting aside Field and Stream before engaging in play.

Several years ago, when we began Scrabble tournaments with brackets— and personal assistants who gave neck massages during intense turns of play — I thought we should up the ante with a real trophy.

I bought the trophy. I engraved the trophy. I cooked the holiday meals that draw the family together to play for the trophy, yet I did not win the trophy. I know now why the Little Red Hen was such a crabby old bird.

In a near victory last Thanksgiving, I was positioned to win, poised to play all of my remaining tiles when my daughter, my own flesh and blood, eyed the spot I had staked out on the board.

"Don't take it," I warned. "I am the woman who brought you into this world."

"Is that a t-h-r-e-a-t?" she asked, fingering her tiles.

"I am going to hook on to that S, play all seven of my tiles and make the word grandmas," I say. "You've not given me any grandchildren, the least you can do is give me the pleasure of making this word, winning the game, and finally getting that trophy."

She took the spot.

"I hope you draw the Q and never get a U," I snapped.

At the close of a tournament, Scrabble Donkey is handed over to the winner in an official ceremony that is riddled with acrimony, a bitter farewell speech, allegations of cheating, theatrical pouting and forced sullenness. It is everything the people at the big televised award shows would like to do, but don't.

Scrabble Donkey has made several trips to Chicago and has even been to Rome. When the son and his wife took a trip to Italy last year, they took Scrabble Donkey along and photographed him at the Colosseum. They also must have let him go a round with the lions, as Scrabble Donkey returned home unable to kick as well as he once did.

My big break came when I received a Scrabble calendar complete with the listing of 111 acceptable two-tile words: aa, ae, ag, ut, qi, xi, wo, za, hm and nu. I can't use them in a sentence, but I can play them on the board. Scrabble Donkey is now where he rightly belongs, here in our home, the envy of our children, loved ones and extended family.

Scrabble Donkey, a mere 5 inches in height, is certainly not the first thing you see on the bookshelf when you walk into the room, which is exactly why I moved him to the coffee table.


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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Catching Christmas" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.


© 2009, Lori Borgman