Tuesday, February 28, 2006


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I went to pay a shiva call last night. It was a former classmate's mother who'd passed away late last week.

I wasn't out-of-school friends with that classmate, nor had I ever met her mother, or her sister, at whose home they were sitting shiva. But I felt it only right to go, even though I hadn't seen my classmate in over 25 years. Recently I got in touch with her again for particular reasons, and we were in email contact a couple of times over the past few months.

Anyhow, I'm sitting and talking with her, and there is a couple who get up to leave. My classmate's sister's husband wanted to show them out, and they said something like he shouldn't...shouldn't say goodbye.

He said, "I can say something or show you out the door. I'm not a mourner... (with a little laugh) I guess I'm a co-mourner."

Monday, February 27, 2006

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog...

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...not really.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to tell you the following:

This post is just a quick filler before I hit my pillow at 3 a.m. It's something that's been on my mind the last few days. See if you don't agree with me...!

There is a joke circulating round and round and round the Internet: How To Tell You're Jewish. One of the named ways is that if someone is in the bathroom longer than perhaps three minutes, you knock on the door and yell, "Are you okay in there...is everything okay?"

When I first read that, I broke out in hysterical laughter; my name was all over it! Perhaps it comes with my natural worry syndrome, or maybe not.

But lately I've found something to parallel my standing outside the washroom door and asking a parent/spouse/child "Is everything okay in there?" when they're in there just a tad too long for my liking.

In blogland, we are used to some people posting regularly, and I mean regularly, daily...perhaps in the evening, perhaps midday or morning. But you know when you click that blog's name on your favorites button or your links and you're whisked over to it, you can expect to find something. It's almost the equivalent of reading "Today's Special" on a menu.

Now, what happens when those regular posters are suddenly missing in action? They haven't given you a heads-up that they'll be away from the computer for a few days, they haven't said they have to rein in their blogging addiction and have been told, "Step away from your computer." In essence, they're just not there, as expected?

Do you find that person's e-mail address to write them a note of concern, just like you're yelling through the bathroom door, "Are you okay?" Do you just sit and bide your time and think of various scenarios where that person might've gone and what that person might be up to in lieu of posting for his/her rabid fans? Do you write to fellow blog friends and discuss your concern about why blogger so-and-so didn't post for the past couple of days? Is there such a thing as a bloggers' ALL POINTS BULLETIN.

APB: Missing...one citizen of the month...one Mirty...one New York's Funniest Rabbi...one Seraphic Secret teller...one PsychoToddler...one Cruisin' Mom. Be on the lookout for these bloggers. They could be hiding ANYWHERE...!

Hey, above-mentioned bloggers: "Are you okay? Is everything okay in there?"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My Blog To-Do List

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I'm a little too busy to sit and blog for the next couple days so I'm composing this in the meantime:

My Blog To-Do List

1. Write a post about LABELS

2. Write a post about my black wardrobe


My To-Do List


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Time Waits for No One

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Along with keeping a journal for so many years, I also kept date books/calendars with a brief note for each square. And as time passed I liked to look back to what I did, for example, on the 24th of each month of a particular year, or what I'd done on the same date a year or two earlier.

I didn't always know why I was recording little tidbits, but I felt the pull to do so.

Keeping a blog works in a similar fashion; I can look back a year ago, and see my entry for the equivalent day, but last year, Wednesday being the 23rd of February.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Working Mother's Woes
Woe is me...I'm a working mom. Okay, so I bring home a few shekels, and I help pay for the mortgage, the second car, the insurance, the household bills, the day care, the schooling, the day camp, the extra-curricular lessons, shul membership, the dog food, the-- Oh wait, I said I bring home a few shekels, and I help pay for... the dog food. Yup, that's about it. So why am I out there, rushing to and from work, leaving my husband to deal with chauffeuring and meal preps and homework till I get home. I'm not the main breadwinner in this family by any means, but I do help out a bit.

Recently hubby and I looked at my checkbook to see if there was a pattern to my spending habits -- oh, ya, the pattern is THE KIDS. I pay for swimming, for hockey, for chess, for other mind-expanding, brain-enlightening courses they pursue, for school expenses (of course, those are on top of tuition, on top of school uniforms, on top of supply lists) such as trips and food programs and Scholastic book orders.Yes, we spend on THE KIDS, but the rewards are plentiful. My kids will swim/skate up to me, and in a loud and clear voice one of them will ask me to join him in a game of chess. I'll refuse, reminding him that it is in fact I who needs to take chess lessons, and tell him to play with his father, while I suggest his sister read the Scholastic book I ordered. In the meantime, I'll do the laundry and wash my daughter's school jumper and her brother's zippered school logo jacket.

And littlest child, not yet in school, will look at me, and with pleading eyes ask, "Can I have a brownie?" "Sure," I say. After all, it's only a brownie, and not a cataloged list of Scholastic books he wants me to buy for him, or an after-school program he wants to take, or a knapsack he insists on having because it's the latest schoolyard look.

Thank G-d for small blessings...

Okay, so it's now a year later...hmm. Let me see what, if anything, has changed.

Yes, I'm still a working mom. And yes, I still manage to bring in a few shekels. Okay, youngest child is now in school, so he too has become of of "them" -- those school kids who has needs: needs supplies, needs to be included in the optional lunch program, needs trip money, needs his tuition paid. And instead of a brownie, he now needs to have a cream-cheese sandwich as a snack.

Okay, and there's no chess, but there's a performance class a la Broadway musicals; there's still swimming, and hockey team, and now Karate to help round out some already well-rounded-out kids.

Oh, and the dog is a different one. He also has needs -- he needs different pet food, he needs different toys, he needs to get "altered" and he needs puppy classes. I'm beginning to think that his needs will cost me more than those of my kids.

You know what I need? Nothing. 'Cause even a year later, I can still thank G-d for my small...and large...blessings!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"I Say a Little Prayer for You..."

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How many times can a person say "I'm sorry"? Not apologizing to someone because you've done them wrong, but rather because they're in dire straits for whatever reason.

"I'm sorry....that you're not well...that you lost your job... that you can't afford a vacation...that you parent is sick...that your child is ill...that your parent/child/sibling passed away...that you've been having rotten 'mazel' (luck) lately..."

Yes, the list goes on and on, and if you're like me, you always have a need to say "I'm sorry that..." to someone or other.

Sometimes we don't say it; we just think it. But I understand from experience that even though the person you're addressing might be saddened or frustrated or upset to hear that "I'm sorry" from so many people, in truth they are thankful. You are thinking of them, you are displaying your concern, and you are opening yourself to them.

There is a case in which we don't say "I'm sorry" often enough, even though we might just think it. Infertility.

I have family and friends who continue to go through the anguish and personal pain of not being able to bear children so readily...or at all. It is not a topic I probe with these people, but if they feel like discussing the heartache and disappointments, I'm certainly there to listen and lend a sympathetic ear. I am a mother of, thank G-d, three beautiful and healthy children. Pregnancy was not really ever an issue for me, and certainly childbirth was not, either. But for others, these two aspects of a life cycle are foreign...and for that, "I'm sorry."

Please take a look at his posting from one of my blogging friends. The name of her blog, Ten Li Koach/"Give Me Strength," is self-explanatory to her blog's focus. What I have learned from reading her blog for over half a year is that life's simple pleasures cannot take away all the pain of not having a child, or of having to go through fertility treatments with all its ups and downs, highs and lows. As much as an infertile couple attempt to smile through their tears, the tears are always with them.

It's time of us as sympathetic and empathetic men and women to lend them an ear, a shoulder to lean on, and the wise words, "I'm sorry."

little lamb lost in the woods...

I feel a bit lost lately.

There are so many things that I want.

I want a baby.

I want a child that I can say, this is mine. This is my daughter or my son. My wonderful husband & I are still in the pre-parenting world. I don’t know what your world is like, the world of people who worry about tuition, doctor visits, homework, soccer tryouts (or in our case, would be little league or karate!), sleepovers, and assorted other worries/concerns.

I am scared that I will never know this.

I want to be able to give all of my love to a child, not a few hours of admiration from afar when we have guests with kids.

I have to keep my distance.

It’s so frustrating. I know that parenting is not a piece of cake. But I want my slice. I am scared of it, but still yearning for it.

Please G-d, what will be?

I’m tired of having hobbies, distractions, depressions.

I fear the answer will be no.

Monday, February 20, 2006

"California Dreamin' (on Such a Winter's Day)"

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What are the chances? I rarely, if ever, travel. Last year was a bit of an exception, with my traveling to California, coming home and leaving the same week for a road trip to Orlando, Florida, with the family.

Well, I'm taking another trip to California -- two trips to California in less than one year. What am I doing...making up for lost travel time?

If I were going for business, that would be different, but I'm going for pleasure. Okay...well, I guess you could interpret it by saying that "I'm making it my business to go to California for pleasure!"

Once again, I'm flying the coop, leaving my children in the most capable hands of my husband, and flying solo. Bad enough that I haven't traveled in years; worse that I have to do it alone. Aside from the rather expensive flight/accomodations issue, childcare is an issue for us. It's already difficult to arrange for childcare during school breaks, much less during regular class time, which is what the time frame will be. So I will be the TorontoPearl family representative at a simcha.

I know that several of you bloggers live out the L.A. way, and if it's possible to hold another bloggers' gathering, similar to the one PsychoToddler and Doctor Bean partook in, I'd love to be in the mix with you folks.

I will be haunting your lovely city around the second week in March, so tell Graumann's Chinese Theatre that I'd like to leave my [blogger's] handprints in the sidewalk. See if they can arrange something quickly for my visit with the media in attendance and a Kosher reception to follow. If it's too short notice, I'll settle for a nice cup of California decaf coffee...and a slice of chocolate babka that Cruisin' Mom will no doubt tote along to my handprint debut.

But will she save a piece for me is the question???

If she doesn't, we'll just have to meet on Rodeo Drive at the crack of dawn, each at opposite ends of the street. We'll walk twenty paces forward and will meet face-to-face for a duel. She might have the advantage 'cause she's gone to the shooting range already and aims for the neck. I, on the other hand, will point out the error of her [grammatical and spelling] ways. May the better gal win...!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

"One, Singular Sensation..."

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I'm feeling pretty good right now. I was at a simcha dance class tonight and was talking to our perky, young teacher after class. She is an adorable and lovely young adult who can take a bunch of women ranging from 30 - 50+ and make dancers out of them while encouraging them with her enthusiasm and positive comments.

Anyhow, after class we were talking about university. I told her I attended university from 1980 - 1983, and then asked her the "forbidden" question: "Were you even born then?" She smiled and said no, and when I further asked, she said she was born in 1985. I said, "Oh, I feel old." "Really?" she said. "I don't see you as old."
"I'll be 45 this year." "Really? If anything, I'd have thought you're maybe 35."

I love this girl. I asked if I could keep her with me in my back pocket to pull her out whenever I needed a compliment.

Last week someone told me that I didn't appear to be anywhere close to 45.

But... This past year, when I turned 44, and people at work wished me happy birthday, I asked one of them, a newer fellow employee, if she knew how old I was. She said she didn't and I told her to guess. She didn't want to and I insisted...simply because I'm used to people thinking I'm between 5 - 8 years younger. So I thought I'd perhaps hear her say "40?" Anyhow, what came out of her mouth? "Um...45?" DAMN ME for having asked. Here, instead of making me younger than I am, she even aged me by a year!

Yes, the gray hairs are in among the brunette ones, the fine lines are slowly starting to draw themselves on my hand and along my mouth (just 'cause I smile so much...of course!), but I'm not yet needing bifocals, thank the Lord!

I think I continue to view the world (and I know I've written posts similar to this one, thus I'm repeating myself) through the eyes of my twelve-year-old self. I converse with people my age or even older, and all along, I feel like I'm a little kid, and I often wonder if others besides my parents, siblings and sometimes husband perceive me the same way. One of my best friends' favorite expressions over the years to me has been, "Pearly, you're such a child." (said with an exaggerated real downhome, Southern accent) Now, I'm not immature in any noticeable way so that's not why she's said it, or why my husband sometimes says, "You're a little girl." I think it's that wondrous, in-awe-of-the-world expression that I show, still discovering new and wonderful things and seeing life in very simple terms, content and sometimes very happy to let others take the reins and lead my horse...on the merry-go-round of life.

YOUTH? Fleeting, for sure, but for some of us, it decides to linger just a little bit longer...and for that I'm most thankful.

An Observation

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For the past month or so, I've been turning to some of my favorite blogs and finding that the writers are announcing that they're suffering from "blogger's block" or "post lull syndrome". Several have given us a heads-up that they will not be as in-your-face with their posts, taking a back seat for a while.

Truth is that I've been laughing inwardly and thinking: "How could these people not have anything to write about? There's so much going on in the world, in personal lives, in fact there are not enough hours in the day to get the ideas down on screen."

My mind works very disjointedly -- the thoughts just tumble down one after the other, shoving each other to get out of my brain and onto the screen. "How could there possibly be not anything to write about?"

Suddenly, to my utter surprise, I understand what these bloggers are talking about. You can't be "on" all the time, collecting material for your next posts...or I've decided that I can't be. The idea drawer is pretty empty lately.

Perhaps I'm just having a really good time reading others' blogs and putting in time adding my often-creative comments to their posts. Perhaps there's not much left of me after that to call my own.

I realize that although I do get personal in my blog, I truly hold back a lot. Yes, if I gave it my all, posts would continue to be attempts at "funny" or "lightly amusing" but I think they also would be deeper, more honest, just a pure release of what I'm truly thinking or feeling, with no personal barriers erected.

But of course I can't do that...the whole world is watching, and listening. And so, I hold myself and my thoughts in check. Blogging takes up a huge chunk of my day and night; I show little self-discipline when it comes to this medium. Because of writing on my blog and reading other blogs, I've shirked many responsibilities and I've seen the impact.

A couple weeks ago, my daughter -- very justly, I might add -- accused me of being "married to the computer. You like it more than you like us. You love it..." When an eight-year-old tells you to your face something you know she shouldn't have to, it's saying a lot. When my ten-year-old son tells me that I should've been making school lunches at night instead of being on the computer, and that I have to rush in the morning, it says more than it should. And when the same child accuses me of being to blame because "Abba turned off the Internet 'cause of you" that says a lot too. And when your work-work suffers because you check out blogs instead of copy editing, that's saying too much.

So, I, too, will try to back off of writing so frequently, unless something wild and wonderful inspires me to post. There are enough fine blogs out there -- most of them funnier and more inspiring than mine. If you don't get a daily or weekly Pearlie of Wisdom, you're not missing too much. You'll still see me and sometimes my words visiting your blogs.

So until next time...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Brief Spelling Lesson

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If you understand this post,
that means you're "getting it"
'cause your brain is on.

The brain's capacity to channel information
is its strength.
Wow! It's truly an amazing concept.

I accept your weakness
in spelling,
except for when you make silly errors.

If your spelling continues to improve,
I will compliment you on your progress.
And oh, how positive messages help complement your humble self.

I hope this post will help affect how you write
because the effect of correct spelling helps draw in readers --
not send them running in the other direction.

Now I'll say,
"You're welcome"
to your silent "Thank you."

The Day-After Post

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Okay, it's February 15th. What's so special about today? It's the day AFTER Valentine's Day, not even Valentine's Day.

Why is it special? Essentially 'cause "...each day is Valentine's Day" according to Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's lyrics to MY FUNNY VALENTINE.

Everybody was busy writing posts yesterday, on the day of love. Today is more suitable. Just when you thought it was over, Pearl's back to remind you of the day.

Consider this post on par with a 50%-off sale of Valentine's Day goods, ie. balloons, cards, candies, chocolates, stuffed toys, decorations. Just like those things are nice, but just a tiny less impressionable than when handled on February 14, this post also doesn't have quite the same impact.

It's the day after. The cynicism is louder. [see image for proof of that statement]

I once had a date with a guy, a nice enough guy. We volunteered together for a social program and didn't know each other all that well. But he thought enough of me to invite me to a cousin's engagement party, and enough to present me with a Valentine's Day card and a heart-shaped box of chocolates. That's nice, right? Only thing: it wasn't Valentine's Day. It was the day after.

Yes, it's the thought that counts, but I knew that the chocolate would've been discounted (I doubt he bought it in advance) and the card's message was not appropriate for two people who barely know one another.

Children exchange valentines. That's okay -- it's sort of an accepted social nicety and part and parcel of childhood, like birthday cards, Easter cards, Christmas cards, etc. But when you're at a certain twentysomething age, you don't really want to get a social nicety card from a first-time (turned out it was a one-time-thing, too) date. If you're going to celebrate Valentine's Day at all with cards, you want that card to come from that special someone in your life, that person who actually means something to you in some warm and cozy way.

I work in the romance industry. I read romance books for a living. I like some of the stories, yet I understand that they are "mythical" and often rather unrealistic. But apparently somebody likes these books and continues to buy them and help pay my salary.

Romance isn't all candy and chocolate and sweet kisses. [ Just check out that image in the top right-hand corner.] But romance is special with that special someone in your life. Took me a while to find him -- or rather, for him to find me -- but since I found him, "...each day is Valentine's Day."

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"My Yiddishe Mama," Tom Jones-Style

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If I can figure out how to attach a sound file to this post, I will, but in the meantime, I must tell you that I received an e-mail. It's a sound wave of Tom Jones singing -- in English -- "My Yiddishe Mama." That classic tearjerker of a song being sung by the timeless teenager, that English ( or is it Welsh?) musical sex symbol.

He says that his father taught him the song. (Was his father Jewish? Why would he learn such a song otherwise?)

I wonder when and where Tom performs this Jewish hit if the women in the audience fling their "woman size" or XXL brief-cut underwear onto the stage, and heavily sigh, "OY...det vas beauuuutiful. Now, eef I vas only younger and eef I could only speek English vitout det Yeedeshe eccent, Tom might be eenterested in me. To hell mit mine husband!"

Friday, February 10, 2006

To Write or To Type...? That Is the Question

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I was writing offline to a fellow blogger and signed off with: "Your Canadian pen-pal, Pearl." I quickly corrected it and said, "I mean, 'Your Canadian computer-pal, Pearl.' "

This is what he responded with: "I guess blogging puts pen-pals mostly out of business."

You know what? He's right!

Yes, blogging doesn't always offer that same formal touch that writing letters does -- in a sense, you're offering everyone in the world to be your pen-pal, to read about what's currently happening in your life. It's no longer just you and your pen-pal; it's become you and this blog pal, and that blog pal, and he told two blog pals and now they're your blog pals, too.

I was always known for my lengthy detailed letters -- I talked about things that were important to me, or at least that I thought were important to me at a particular age. Family and friends enjoyed getting envelopes addressed from me with S.W.A.K. across the back flap; I'd find the nicest stationery boxes and notecards, apply the nicest Canadian stamps I could find, write with the nicest ink pens I had.

I made my letter writing an art of sorts. And many people over the years have collected this "art" of mine. And I collected letters, too, from pen-pals I had here, there and everywhere.

So I still have pals -- here, there and everywhere, thanks to the Internet and the blogging medium. I still write detailed descriptions of things that are important to me, or at least that I think are important to me at my particular age. But I know I'm holding back a lot more than if I were to express myself on a piece of notepaper, fold it up, seal it in an envelope and send it off.

Those envelope walls, that envelope's back flap help to protect my words. The Internet doesn't.

Time is the other factor that makes me a blogger, rather than a letter writer. I can type so much faster than I can write, and if I write quickly, the handwriting is more illegible. I'd often reread my letters, edit them and rewrite them to my liking. With a blog, if I want to do the same, I just hit delete or I highlight a certain passage, delete and re-type.

Simple. Speedy. The touch of a button.

Publish post.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

With Microphone in Hand

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It is your debut. You're on a small stage in a bar and it's open mic night, thus a chance to sing and belt your heart out.

The spotlights overhead are bright, truly making it your night to shine.

I want you to find a song that truly represents you, represents your life, represents everything we need to know about you.

What is that one song that you would associate with yourself?

For me, for the past 25 years at least, that song has been Diana Ross's "I'm Coming Out."

Now I know what you're thinking, because of what the term "coming out" has come to mean. Be assured that THAT meaning has absolutely nothing to do with me.

But why I chose this song? For a shy pearl of a girl who emerged from her oyster shell in her late teens, and continued to slowly emerge and reveal her true colors, which sat latent for so many years, this song is perfect.

I amaze myself sometimes with the boldness I display, with my vocalness, whether oral or written, with my embracing of people. Looking back at who I once was, I know I wasn't what I am today. Yes, I was friendly and warm, but I didn't have close school friends in my early years. (my daughter questioned me on that the other night: "Were you the most popular loser?")

The genuine Pearl continues to unfold before my very eyes...

So thanks, Diana Ross, for helping me find a song that I could call my own.

I'm Coming Out

I'm coming out
I'm coming out
I'm coming out
I'm coming out
I'm coming out

I'm coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I'm coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show

There's a new me coming out
And I just have to live
And I just wanna give
I'm completely positive

I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never knew it
Ooh, I'll make it through

The time has come for me
To break out of the shell
I have to shout
That I am coming out

I'm coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I'm coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show
I'm coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I'm coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show

I've got to show the world
All that I wanna be
And all my abilities
here's so much more to me

Somehow, I have to make them
Just understand
I got it well in hand
And, oh, how I have planned

I'm spreadin' love
There is no need to fear
And I just feel so glad
Every time I hear:

I'm coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I'm coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Medicine Cabinet

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I've got a cold. I've got a full-blown, stuffed nose, bad cough, congested chest, sneezy type of cold. Oh ya, and I've even been lent a sexy, hoarse voice. Sometimes that's the only good thing that comes out of a cold!

This cold has been making the rounds in our house since last week, and I thought I could avoid it, but it ensnared me, too.

I'm at the point where I need some medicine -- anything from keeping me up at night, listening to my own cough. So what do I do? I head for the medicine cabinet. And what do I find there?

I find children's medicine -- a pink, bubble-gum flavored one for colds, a purple grape-flavored one for fevers and a truly medicinal "cherry-flavored" one for coughs.

Any cold medicine for adults in there? Yup, only a trial sample cough medicine. I check the expiry date: April 2005. Um, I wonder if this expired medicine will make me cough any less.

So I decide I'd better check all the expiry dates on all the medicines and health products in there. And I see that most everything has expired. Is it harmful to use Vaseline whose "best before date" was 1998? I remember buying that jar when my 2nd child was born -- in 1997. I have other items that are long-overdue but are kept for...I don't know what. I have diaper creams circa 1995 and oatmeal based bath powder circa 2003. I have antacids from long past, so long past, that I'd probably need to take a newer antacid to counteract the ill-effects from the original antacids. I have deodorants (did you know they have expiry dates, too?) that probably aren't keeping me as fresh as they could be, seeing that they're three years old!

I can appreciate actual expiry dates, but I can't accept products that have codes -- those codes mean nothing to the average household Joe or Joelene, but call a Consumer Information line at the company and the "helpful person" at the other end of the line immediately rattles off what each number and letter of that code stands for. And damn, when I get the information from them that the product I'm holding in my hand is ... EXPIRED!!

Not too long ago, there was a Canadian contest to find the person with the oldest tube of Polysporin. I had a pretty old tube -- to the point of the ends being rusty -- of Preparation H, but knew that was not what they were looking for in this particular contest. So I just sat this contest out, but discovered the winning tube was from 1955!

This contest was held to make Canadians clean out their medicine cabinets so they're prepared with effective over-the counter medications. So, effective and having an effect can mean two very different things -- just think of those old antacids I've got. Not too effective, but would certainly have an effect!

I challenge you all to go into the dark, into the unknown. Open those toiletry bags, fling open those medicine chest doors, pull open those bathroom drawers and under-the-sink cabinet doors and begin stalking -- and taking stock of -- your health and beauty products. No doubt you'll find items that no longer belong...that haven't belonged in 3-4 years. Toss them, flush those pills and the contents of those medicine bottles down the toilet, but do keep at least one item for posterity's sake.

I'll know I'll continue to hold on to my Preparation H. You never know when a contest will be held to find the oldest tube of that! And when my lucky tube of Preparation H wins, it'll be me, TorontoPearl, saying to Canada and maybe even North America, "Stick that up yours...!"

Monday, February 06, 2006

Modern Art...or Food for Thought

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This is a sculpture. This is a food sculpture. This is a food sculpture made up of peanut-butter- sandwich crusts and chocolate-spread-sandwich crusts left on their plates by TorontoPearl's children and their friends who were visiting. This is a food sculpture made by TorontoPearl's husband.

No doubt TorontoPearl's husband was at the time either: a) creative or b) very bored.

I opt for b.

Three days have passed since I posted this entry. I just told my husband that I posted it and when he asked what I said in the post, I told him. Apparently, I had it ALL WRONG.
It was not TorontoPearl's husband at all who designed this food sculpture -- indeed it was TorontoPearl's children and their friends who were visiting who designed it. My husband was just there as the official photographer.
I do apologize for my assumption. And you do know what they say about "assuming"...

The $20 Bill

Yes, I could've used an American $20 bill for an image, because most of my readers are American, but then, how would it look to my fellow Canadians? As it is, I already use American spelling for my blog posts and offline correspondence with many of you.

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A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked,"Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well, " he replied, "what if I do this?"And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?"

Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special- Don't EVER forget it."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Filler

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I learned this little bit some years ago and thought it ingenious. Even if you don't know Hebrew, you can read along -- everything is made clear by the end. It sort of reminds me of Abbott & Costello's "Who's On First?"

Ani means me
Me means who
Who means he
He means she

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Child # 4 aka Max

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Just a minute ago, I had Max the shih-poo sitting on my lap as I was surfing the Net. I recall several years ago, when I had my second child and I'd be busy surfing the Net for Jewish genealogy (that was my interest then, pre-blogging years), and the baby would sit on my lap as I typed. Of course, she'd reach and want to press keys herself.

Max is a very inquisitive dog, and also is busy sniffing the keyboard. And I began to wonder if he should maybe not have his own dog blog.

He could call it "Max's Meet 'n Mingle".

He'd talk about his life on Earth so far -- what he's seen and heard up until a week ago, when we acquired him. And of course, he'd have to write about his new family and how they spoil him and coddle him. He'd write about the new neighborhood and the people he's seen and sniffed. He'd write about his new acquisitions: stolen towels, stolen slippers, stolen socks, stolen leashes. He'd write about his gourmet meals twice a day.

Max has it pretty good so far. It's just over a week since he's been with us; and he just turned 6 months old a couple of days ago; so much to say, that I think he's got a long blogging career ahead of him. I mean, how many dogs do you know that have their own daily blogs? He might just have a head start in the blogging marketplace. He could have doggie-oriented ads alongside his own writing, and if his blog is off and running, he could start a group blog and call it "In the Doghouse".

Let's hear it for Max: "Two paws up"!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Seek and Ye Shall Find

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I don't know how I discover the things I do, or sometimes can't even recall when I discovered them.

But I'm pleased to have discovered them. Oftentimes a small discovery makes a large difference in my life.

Had it not been for once having discovered www.annaolswanger.com, a woman who'd send out quarterly newsletters of new releases of Jewish interest in the publishing industy, I would not have learned of Robert Avrech's Seraphic Press, his book, The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden, or his blog, Seraphic Secret. I would not have learned of a California-based short story and children' s book contest, which I entered, but subsequently didn't win. I would not have learned of a Jewish literary magazine, Poetica Magazine, to which I submitted a poem, and the March 2006 issue will feature that poem.

Had I not discovered Robert's blog, I would not have discovered several of your blogs. And I certainly would not have begun one of my own.

Had I not discovered Robert and his blog, I would not have forged a warm personal friendship, and made a business contact. Primarily I would not have learned about Robert and Karen's wonderful, and very special son, Ariel -- a person to emulate and certainly a person to admire.

I have found that Google searches lead to magnificent discoveries, great and small. One of those discoveries is http://www.atlantajewish.com/, another online magazine I get. It arrives monthly in my in-box and features some good writing.

I'm sure that many of you have your own tales of online discoveries to share. Why not do just that?