Monday, October 7, 2013

Kids 'N Things

Over the summer I watched the first Karate Kid movie with the kids. After that E couldn't stop talking about karate so I took him to a trial karate lesson at the community center in our neighborhood. He loved it so we signed him up. I was also thinking that a) it might be a good way for him to expend some energy in a controlled way and b) that the discipline of it would do him good. He's been to two lessons and he comes out of the room beaming each time. The lessons are twice a week for an hour. I sat in on the first lesson and was VERY impressed with the teacher. VERY.

There was another little boy there with his friend and at one point the friend had to leave the room to pee and the little boy started crying because his friend left for a minute. The teacher told the boy to come kneel by him at the front of the class. He put his arm around the boy's shoulders and told him to close his eyes. Then in the calmest, quietest voice he told the boy, "OK. I want you to take as much time as you need to find the quiet, still place inside you that will allow you to be brave and not cry even though your friend isn't here right now. When you find that place inside you, tell me that you found it." The teacher carried on instructing the class and after about a minute, the little boy who was still kneeling beside the teacher with his eyes closed said, "I found it!" And he had stopped crying. It was very impressive and the teacher handled it so well.

Y also went to a trial karate lesson and was considering it but then also went to a trial zumba lesson and like it better so I'm going to sign her up for that tonight. That is once a week for an hour. In addition, she is continuing this year to take private English lessons which she loves.

E has been having a fairly hard time going to gan in the mornings without being clingy or crying. I'm not sure why although I have my suspicions. Yesterday I made a weekly chore chart of sorts for both his morning routine and his evening routine. The morning routine includes: getting out of bed, getting dressed, putting on his shoes, eating breakfast and going to gan with a smile. I used clip art images to illustrate each thing. The evening routine includes: brushing teeth, pajamas, reading a story with me, getting in bed and going to sleep with a smile. I showed him these charts last night and he got really excited about them and it worked wonders last night and this morning. He loves doing each thing and then running to the fridge where the charts are hung to tick off each thing he accomplishes. Maybe at the end of the week if he keeps it up I will buy him a small treat/present but I haven't mentioned it to him.

The mornings and evenings are getting colder and it's getting dark earlier and earlier although THANK THE LORD the government made the decision to leave daylight savings in effect for a month longer than usual! Why they don't just leave us on daylight savings time year round beats me. I have never understood who the switch benefits. With the darker, colder nights I feel myself slipping into hibernation mode which is my least productive mode. Oh dear.

See you in the spring!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Post Holiday Re-cap

We are now beyond the gazillion holidays of September, parents are back to work full-time and kids back in school.

E stayed on another year in the same gan where he was last year and I'm starting to think that wasn't a smart decision. Only 4 kids who were with him last year also stayed on this year and he's been having a hard time in the mornings saying goodbye to me without crying. He is also very sullen and pouty about going to gan most mornings. In addition to having "lost" most of his friends, I'm sensing that he's a bit bored maybe too. I spoke to his gannenet about it this morning and really didn't like her response at all. So I may look into switching him to the gan across the street from our house where most of his friends are.

T continues to have issues with getting up on time in the mornings early enough to get to school by bus on time. A call from her teacher features largely in most of my mornings these days. I urge T to get up earlier, take the earlier bus but she's not having any of it! I suggested to her teacher today that she require T to stay an hour late after school for being late. I'm out of ideas.

Mom is looking for a small apt somewhere to rent - somewhere with Anglos. This is going to be a tall order b/c her finances are so tight. But I am trying to help her look.

Things in the "friends department" (for me) are looking up. A number of new young moms have moved into the community and a couple of them have really reached out to me. One is very crafty like me and asked me to teach her what I know about beading and we have gotten together a couple of times to make jewelry. Much more fun with someone than without.

The weather has cooled off significantly and we can feel/smell fall just around the corner. I'm thinking that I won't be able to come to work any more with open shoes or short sleeves. The mornings and evenings are getting quite nippy for here.

On Friday, I did some more rearranging of major pieces of furniture in the living room (couch and 2 bookshelves) and I like the new configuration much better. It opens up the living room, which is very large, and gives me a place to sit near the window at the end and feel a bit like I'm sitting outside.

I'm feeling very draggy today. Guess it's the Sunday Blues. However the morning has flown by b/c I was busy with something. It's now lunchtime so I'm going to run.........

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Is it Just Me?

"He who dirties The Land, his prayers will not be answered for 40 days."

This was the quote from some text (the source of this quote was written there but I didn't make note of where it was excerpted from) and printed out on a paper and tacked up onto a tree near where the refreshments are served outside after Shabbat morning services at our synagogue.

The first thought that went through my head when I read it was,"WHAT?! Now you're THREATENING me?!"

The second thought was, "My MOTHER taught me not to litter!"

How utterly PATHETIC that this even has to be said!

I DUNNO, people. Is it just me or does that quote grab anyone else the same way?

Whatever happened to the old adage "Cleanliness is next to godliness."? Let me guess. Too many Xtian overtones in that adage for some, I suppose.

Me? Let's just say I think those Xtians are on to something.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I have been very bad at keeping up with this, haven't I? Work has been hectic for a while and home....? Forget it!

I can say that the we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the renovations in the new apartment. We are once again a two toilet family as of last week! Hurrah. The smaller bathroom, which we expanded and remodeled, came out GREAT and is meant for the use of the two girls. The tiling in the kitchen and laundry room is being finished up today (I hope) and also looks great. There are a few other things that need finishing up but the major things are basically done. So hopefully all the workers will go home soon and I can do a deep clean.

S's 60th birthday is mid-August so we're hoping to make him a 60th birthday party and make it a housewarming party as well. Kill two birds with one stone.

I am taking Tuesday off work for Tisha B'Av and might pop into IKEA. They're having a huge sale right now and I need some curtains for the living room.

Desmond the Dove is still with us and turning into a beautiful bird. Y and I take him out of his cage whenever we have some spare time to handle him and let him fly around the living room.

I have been taking a beading workshop once a week for 6 weeks however the class has been cancelled for the last 3 weeks running for various reasons. The owner of the store said she would give me a free lesson as compensation! So I'm happy.

The kids are both in camp through the end of this week. The following week, 2 young teenage girls who live in the building next to ours are doing "camp" in the home of one of them for little kids so we are sending E there.

My Mom is coming to spend a few days with us next week and S and I have our 11th anniversary coming up on the 25th.

I really can't wait for camp to be over because once it is I will be working every other day through August. I've done this for the past 2 years and it works for us. I have a few ideas of things I want to do with the kids but haven't gone crazy planning down to the second what I'll do with them. We've been to the beach 3 times recently on Fridays. It's cheap, the kids have a ball and wear themselves out and sleep great afterwards. So we will probably do that a few more times too.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Desmond the Dove

I have a new baby. Baby dove, that is.

He was "born" in the unused kitchen window box of our old apartment. The mother laid two eggs, sat on them and they hatched about 2 days before Shavuot. I wish now I'd kept better records so I'd know exactly how old Desmond is.

The mother looked after both birds until one of the babies died. Then she abandoned the other. I got home from work on Sunday 2 weeks ago at 5 pm and by 9 pm I hadn't seen the mother at all and it was dark and getting cool outside. Normally by nightfall she was sitting on them already to keep them warm. So the fact that I hadn't seen her by dark was very odd. This was 4 days before we moved to our new apartment and we were deep in the middle of packing up but I just could NOT focus knowing this little thing was out there and would die if he stayed out there all night. "He was just BORN and he's going to DIE and it's NOT FAIR!"  He had no feathers and his eyes weren't even open yet. He would have fit in a tablespoon. So small but seemed strong. I was like, "That's it! I have to do something or try at least." I brought him inside, made a "nest" for him in a tiny tupperware container lined with multiple layers of tissues and tried to get him to take food and water but couldn't get him to open his beak.

I called up a friend who has had some very odd animals as pets in the past figuring she'd know of a vet I could consult with which she did. I phoned up the number she gave me and caught the vet still in at 9:30 pm. She said she was just leaving but how fast could I get there? I said, "10 minutes or less." Me and the bird and Y were there in 3 minutes flat. I had put the "nest" in the bottom of a large plastic bucket in case the bird jumped out he wouldn't have far to fall. The vet had two containers of food ready for me - one of baby bird "formula" that you mix with water and feed it with a syringe and another of bird seed for when he got bigger. She showed me how to feed him and I was shocked at how seemingly forceful she was with him. But it didn't seem to hurt him any and after that I was less timid about prying his beak open and dumping food down his throat. She wished us luck, didn't charge us for the visit and we went home. Luckily I was off work for 3 days prior to the move so I had the time to mother this bird. He seemed to thrive and ate with gusto. The first day I fed him the formula every 2 hours from dawn to dark. The 2nd day I stretched it to every 3 hours, the 4th day to every 4 hours, etc. The day AFTER we moved, the company I work for took all of the employees up north from 7 am for breakfast, rafting and jeeping and we didn't get home until 10:30 pm. There was no one at home who had time to look after this baby bird for me and feed him so I ended up taking him with me in his bucket nest on the bus! I had all of the equipment with me that I needed for his feedings and on the shorter stops like for breakfast I left him in his bucket on the bus. During the 3-4 hours that we were doing the rafting and jeeping, it was too hot to leave him on the bus. He would have cooked. So I ran to the offices of the rafting place and begged them to let me leave him there quietly in a corner of the office somewhere in the a/c. Somehow I think they'd never had such a request before.....but they let me. So WHEW for that! Being able to leave him in the a/c was a huge relief. So all told we made it through a long day just fine.

He's getting big and strong and doing all the right birdie things - except eating on his own. He's on purely bird seed now but still hasn't figured out how to pick the seeds up off the floor of his cage and eat them. I hope I won't be hand feeding him forever. I now have him in a normal bird cage since I'm not sure when he will start flying. He's already making short hopping flights. I'm bringing him to work with me still to make sure he eats. But can't figure out how to teach him to eat on his own.

It's an amazing thing to hold this little creature who is so unafraid of us. He sits in his cage on my desk making soft "weeeet! weeeet!" sounds at me all day.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I'm in a bad mood. Therefore read the following whiny post at your own peril. This is one of those crappy days someone needs to do a "RESTART" to.

It's the WRONG time of the month. Let's just start with that.

Winter is baaaaaack. And it's DARK and COLD and WET outside. I wondered if I was in Seattle when I woke up this morning and DH wondered if he was in Manchester (the UK version of Seattle).

It's Sunday (start of the work week). Ugh.

I'm tired.

My sprained ankle still hurts.

I got to work today and the computers were down for the first 2 hours of the day. It's like being without air.

Some "outside people" are here at work today to review the filing for one of the studies I'm responsible for. I have a feeling it's not going well and I dread to hear what the findings are.

On the bright side....

A funny from DD8:
One night last week DH had gone out to pick up DD16 from a friend's house. I was getting the little ones in bed in the meantime. 
DD8: "I hear Abba and T coming."
Me: "You do?"
DD8: "Yes. I have ears like an elephant. I can hear a fly fart in Africa." <giggle>

WHERE does she get her material from??

This week is "New Apartment Key Week"!!!!!!!!!!! Our sellers are moving out on Weds. so we should get the key to our new apartment on Thurs. or Fri. Hurrah! Then we are going to have to get in there and make some renovation decisions FAST. We have one month to go before we move in.

Monday, April 15, 2013

"Warts" - Live with 'Em? Or Change 'Em?

Our city has an Internet message board which my husband started and of which he is the moderator. At times some heated exchanges take place on this board between residents of the city over various matters.

The newest gripe to be aired on this message board was started by someone complaining about the minuscule size of the new street signs - when street signs exist - and needing a telescope to even read them or the street signs being obscured by foliage that hasn't been cut back enough and the like. This was the start of the thread.

To which another woman (who I actually know and who lives on our street) responded today:
"Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch! In 65 short years has accomplished what no other nation has!!! We went from being nothing, to being a prosperous, strong, independent country. So what if street signs are not to everybody's
satisfaction? We excell in so many other fields. Let's be thankful for this piece of land that is ours! We're here by choice!!!!!!!!!!" 

This post went unsigned by its author which irked me as did the tone of her post. She is right to some extent. I guess it's just how it was stated.

I am nothing if not a writer. I know this is a strong point of mine. Always has been. But this was only driven home to me yet again after receiving floods of thank yous from others on the message board for the following response which I dashed off to the anonymous poster above and posted publicly. Here's what I said:
"Yes we're here by choice but just because we are here by choice and glad of it does not mean we have to or should close our eyes to the place's "warts". It does not mean that we have to suffer the status quo in silence or refrain from trying to improving the place, refrain from requiring some streamlining of existing methods or refrain from introducing some good old fashioned niceties and conveniences! We Anglos have a lot to offer on all fronts since we know something different which is - dare I say it? - occasionally better."

I am glad I was able to respond respectfully and yet still say what I meant in a concise manner and it seems to have hit home with many who feel as I do.