Thursday, March 27, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Anyone Can Make A Difference

A Beautiful Song...

I just discovered this song/singer on -- it is such a beautiful and simple piece of music, and no doubt will leave you teary-eyed.

This Kid's Always Thinking...

I was preparing school lunches this morning and asked my youngest son if he wanted baby carrots or a cucumber for snack. He preferred the cucumber and I asked if he wanted a mini cucumber. He said yes but asked me to peel the skin first.

As I was washing and peeling the skin, he asked with a smile, "Do you have any dill to put on that?"

I said no, and he replied, "That way, I could have had a pickle!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


*Pre-Passover Syndrome...

Oy, this is something I'm already suffering from.


-- clenched stomach muscles

-- new stray gray hairs

--an aversion to brown shelf paper

--continually consulting a calendar

--mental listing

--bingeing on nosh food

--anxiety... I want to eat all the food in the freezer

Like in most cities, Pesach is in the air. It's not even Purim yet, but I sure got a whiff of Pesach last week already when the supermarkets' Kosher aisles were half empty, the dry goods temporarily shelved elsewhere in the stores, and brown paper was lining the shelves.

It used to be the moment Purim was over that Pesach took over, but now Pesach seems to want to have even more of a head start!

And you know how it is with those Mishloach Manot packages -- before we buy goodies to package for others, we hit our own stocks of cookies and cakes and candies and other nosherai and think , "Good, if I give this to ______, it'll be a few less items in my cupboards that I have to get rid of before Pesach."

I had to smile the other night when I was shopping. The kosher aisles in this particular store had mainly been emptied with some shelves already housing paper goods and candy and cookies kosher l'Pesach. A very frum husband and wife were slowly walking down the aisle, presumably looking for where the Purim items were hiding. The husband aimlessly ran his hand along the brown paper lining an empty shelf, and his wife exclaimed in Yiddish: "What? You're touching the Pesachdik paper with 'treife' hands!!?"

I spoke today to a cashier in one of the predominantly Kosher supermarkets nearby and she told me that some years ago, the shelves would only get stocked two weeks before Pesach, so there'd be a mad flurry of purchases. These days, four and five weeks in advance is when the "matzah" ball starts rolling...

I'm sure I'm not the only Jewish female suffering from PPS. Maybe together with others like me, we should form a support group for this time of year. But then, come to think of it, who'd be available? The others will be busy assessing their cupboards and pantries, their cleaning supplies, their paper goods supply...and will then go on to recipes.

I'll still be eating my way through my Mishloach Manot packages...and then tackling the contents of my freezers!

We have some time to worry about Pesach.

In the meantime, I wish you a Freiliche Purim. And to those who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bye-Bye, Guy

One of today's headlines is Madonna and husband Guy, after 8 years of marriage, are preparing to go their separate Fall '09.

What?! Their fans need some 18 months to mentally prepare themselves for this celeb couple's split? Or perhaps this couple came to this offbeat decision by checking their Blackberries...

"No, Guy. Next month isn't good -- the kids are off with me to visit my dad. I don't want to upset them."

"Madonna, summer isn't a good time. You know that. I play a lot of rugby and do horse wrangling -- I don't have time to make appts. with legal counsel."

"Guy, this fall isn't good. I'm hanging in Hollywood with my Kabbalah pals for the High Holidays. If we try to tackle divorce then, my soul won't be pure for the New Year."

"Madonna, I'm shooting a film from December '08 through June '09 on Malta. I'll be unavailable for legal consults."

"Guy, I think we're both clear for Fall 2009. That should give our fans enough time to mentally prepare themselves for our split..."


And on a similar note...

I was on the Yeshiva World website, which I find interesting. I'm not up on all the Yeshivish lingo that can be found in the comments, but I'm learning.

Once in a while they feature letters from the YW mailbag -- and these make for countless comments.

I've read open forum letters about THE SHIDDUCH CRISIS.

Last night there was an open forum letter about THE DIVORCE CRISIS.

What?! First there are not enough guys to match up with girls and girls to match up with guys because of all the predetermined wants/needs/have-to-haves. And now there are too many has-beens floating out there?

The theories readers offer as to why there is a divorce crisis in the yeshivish world is interesting. The theories readers offer as to why there is a shidduch crisis in the yeshivish world is interesting.

Mazel. Mazel. Mazel. Hard work. Hard work. Hard work.

That's what it takes to find a partner...hopefully a life partner.

Guess Guy and Madonna will be adding to the "crisis."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gettin' in the Spirit of Purim

For the month of Adar, my children's school celebrates even before Purim officially arrives. The halls are bedecked with magnificent thematic decorations, put together by our wonderful b'not sherut girls who come from Israel for the year to help out in the school.

Last week, the students from nursery through grade 8, were invited to dress up like their favorite teacher or administration staff member. My youngest son and at least 3 of his friends chose to dress like the same person, so seeing their interpretations of that person was interesting.

Today was "crazy hair day"... and my three children had me spray their hair this a.m. with silver, blue, and sparkles.

Wednesday is their Purim carnival.

Thursday, my oldest son has a half day because of the fast, and G-d willing, at night, we will go downtown to one of the remaining Orthodox shuls, and hear megillah there.

And G-d willing, my father is being released tomorrow from hospital and able to go home.

(I realized when I went to drop off and pick up my kids from school today that it wasn't a "crazy hair day" for me; it was a BAD HAIR DAY!!!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cleaning Up One's Act

I said to my husband yesterday that if I were a playwright, I'd write a one-act play -- a black humor piece -- about the following... How people need to settle things by cleaning: they clean and tidy up for the cleaning lady -- G-d forbid she should be faced with such a clutter; and they clean and tidy up in anticipation of having to soon hold a shiva in their home -- G-d forbid that those who come to comfort the mourners should see the clutter and whirlwind state of a family's belongings.

It hasn't been a good week: my father was rushed to hospital after midnight on Tuesday. He developed a sudden flu and fever, and with his already delicate medical history, it threw things off balance so that he was so weak and unable to walk, and suffered from a couple of seizures, confusion. He has finally been moved to a room from Emergency where he was in isolation -- Influenza A was the diagnosis -- until yesterday. I had to gown up, mask up and glove up in order to see him each time.

Thank G-d he's much better than he was and we hope he will continue to improve so that after a few days he can return home...usually a better place to recover.

My husband's mom isn't well and is deteriorating quickly. A vibrant and vital woman suddenly felled by an ugly disease...

It isn't easy to watch her nor see my husband in his worry and pain.

I said to him the other day: "I've never been so close to death before."

May we only share simchas and welcome Purim later this week with freiliche spirits.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I have found as an adult that people make a LOT of excuses. You think that stops with children and teens, but nuh-uh...excuses come out in a different way with adults.

"We [a family of six] are going to Israel...BUT it's for a family simcha...AND it's all on points."

"We're going to Florida over the school break, BUT it's ONLY for a week."

"...I'm going to Mexico JUST for a week." (I often tell people when they've given me their vacation travels and have thrown JUST FOR into the same sentence that they should never say JUST...simply because some people NEVER travel.)

I once had a conversation with someone who'd moved from a reasonable-sized, modest home into a large, well-to-do home on a posh street. When I mentioned she had a nice house, she said, "I'm glad the house looks small from the outside and not so ostentatious, so people won't talk."

Honey, you think people don't talk?! Of course they talk when you move from the equivalent of a 3-star roadside motel into a penthouse suite at Trump Tower. Your excuses don't change anything.

I know people who are bankrupt and owe tons of people tons of money yet they take mini vacations with their family. "We're under a lot of stress. We NEED a vacation."

People are continually apologizing for what they have or belittling what they have. It surprises me simply because I think that they're trying to protect themselves and what they have in some way. That's how it appears.

Money seems to set the tone for many conversations in this community in which I live; even if not overtly, dollars and cents seem to hover silently overhead.

I wish that people would simply enjoy what they have, make no excuses about it and at the same time not brag.

After all, cents don't often give a person SENSE.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

8 Years Old

As I was told eight years ago:

"To No-am is to love 'im."

So true.

Happy 8th Birthday. Yom Huledet Sameach.