Words & Banter

PLEASE WATCH: Do You Know This Hand Signal? If Not, You Should!

Violence at Home #SignalForHelp

"This is probably the best thing I've seen come along in the 48 years I've been a patrol officer."Sheriff's Deputy Gilbert Acciardo


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Thanks for sending the link to the article about the teenager who was rescued because she used a hand signal she learned on TikTok! I had already seen the story on the news over the weekend and immediately spoke to the girls about it.


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I am guessing they already knew about it, but it is those of us who are not on TikTok that need to know about it. It is one of those rare times when I think social media is valuable and, in this case, can be lifesaving.


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As the mother of two girls, my first instinct was to make the girls heads-up in case, G-d forbid, they ever find themselves in a situation where they can't call for help or draw too much attention to themselves. Although I guess that could happen to us, too.


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I understand, but if the person seeing the signal has no idea what it means, then it is worthless. Everyone needs to watch this video. The signal is easy to do – and easy to remember.


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The girl in the story was so lucky as although she was "trapped" in a car, a passing motorist knew what the signal was. Although it seems that the police in the area weren't familiar with it.


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At the risk of repeating myself, that is why everyone needs to watch this video. And, although it was initially developed by the Canadian's Women's Foundation for women facing domestic abuse, the very simple hand signal (with the palm facing out, tuck the thumb into the palm, then cover the thumb with four fingers) can be used by anyone to discreetly ask for help or show they are in distress.


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Well, I give it another hand signal … a big ole thumbs up!
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Photo by bhofack2 for iStock

Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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