Monthly Archives: February 2009

Shabbat Shalom!

Have a great weekend.

The Royal Wedding (Part Three – The Celebration)

 

Part One

Part Two

 

The King of Diamonds and the Queen of Hearts briefly spent some much needed alone time together, had some formal portraits taken for the royal album and the stamps that will soon be issued to commemorate their union. The immediate family joined the couple for photographs, and then it was time for the bride and groom to greet their guests.

 

Sir Alastair, Master of the Queen’s Music, (who is only 17 and did an awesome job) started playing the introductory music, the couple was introduced as Mr and Mrs KoD to the crowd, and the festivities started!! The Queen was carried off to dance with the ladies, KoD carried off to dance with the gents. The Queen was in her element, in the centre of her circle, dancing in turn with the two Queen Mothers, one of whom showed the younger folk exactly how to cut a rug in style. Rock On Ma!!

 

The dancing was fast and furious, and the Queen who had been fasting all day, felt the lights spin around her a little too fast for her liking. She had been dancing energetically with the multicoloured Lady Dee when she felt her balance desert her. She crumpled to a semi-upright heap on the floor – and one of her lovely handmaidens brought her a glass of water. The Queen had neglected to remember that she had been fasting all day, and had had but one cup of coffee all that day. All that exertion overtaxed her royal highness.

 

Meanwhile, over on the side where the menfolk were partying, Prince Squiggy, with a broken leg and stuck in a wheelchair, was hoisted up into the air in order to feel a part of the celebrations. I am of the opinion, as were many in attendance, that it was just as well the QoH didn’t witness this, as she would have had another collapse. I was however assured, when I enquired about the safety of this stunt, that he was belted in, and there was no possibility of him falling out.

 

The princes (the littler ones) were hoisted on shoulders by their uncles, and totally enjoyed the music and the dancing. Prince ChatterBox totally enjoyed running around with his betrothed, Princess Blondie.

 

The music ended, and all made their way to the lavishly decorated tables in order to partake of the royal wedding feast. Sir Marmaduke of Flintshire, Master of the Ceremonies, was in charge of making sure the afternoon ran smoothly. He performed his duties well – even when holding his dear sweet baby. He started off with a toast to his sister and her new husband – it was heartfelt and sweet, and the Queen was observed to shed a tear or two.

 

The KoD’s oldest brother, the Duke of LaCrosse, then arose to speak to the assembled guests. An accomplished speaker, he held everyone’s attention until he sat down to a loud applause. His words were spoken from the heart, and so apropos to the royal couple – his affection for them was obvious to all to see.

 

As the meal progressed, the happiness level in the Great Hall rose, everyone there was just so thrilled to be part of this special occasion.

 

There were more speeches, but our dear Queen chose not to speak, even though some of her closest ladies-in-waiting did ask it of her. She felt too emotional – she had held back tears for most of the day, she didn’t want to lose it now.

 

The Revered Rabbi shared some religious thoughts with us – he always speaks so well, and we were all honoured by his presence, and that of his lovely wife Lady Celia, Keeper of the Royal Secrets. Prince Lenny then briefly took the floor, giving his mother and her new husband his best wishes for their marriage. Then, as a last minute request was granted by the Queen, Lord Antony of Hallamshire, Knight Marshal, the Queen’s older brother, rose to address the assembled nobilty. Now, being an older brother, he was a little cheeky, alluding to the Queen’s actual age – but his speech was so full of love that the Queen had to giggle at his antics. However, she will get him back at some point, but will bide her time until then.

 

KoD spoke also, welcoming guests from far and near, and he even told a joke. The Queen of Hearts looked adoringly upon her man as he spoke, and more teardrops were spied falling from her eyes.

 

As I sit here chronicling the lovely spectacle of this royal wedding I am transported back to that day – I wish there would be a way to bottle the feeling in that Great Hall and sell it. The joy was just so palpable. The smiles and hugs abounded.

 

Finally, as the sumptuous meal drew to a close, it was time for Grace after Meals. Seeing as this was a celebratory meal, the honour of leading the Benediction was handed out to an honoured guest – in this case the Honorable Viscount Eli, Keeper of the Royal Chronicles, of the court of the King of Diamonds. At the end of the benediction there were seven specific blessings directed towards the royal couple. Among those honoured were Sir Julius the famed “Flying Dutchman”, Sir Redbeard of Bedfordshire and the Queen’s honorary brother Sir Curlsalot.

 

After the Grace was completed it was time for the honoured guests to take their leave, and return to the far flung corners of their respective kingdoms. The Queen and her King thanked everyone personally for gracing them with their presence. Finally, it was just the King and Queen and C/V and Lady Diddliedee left in the Great Hall. These two ladies have been awesome ladies-in-waiting, and the Queen has asked me to inform you that she has promoted them both, and they can now call themselves Dames of the Diamond-Heart’s Empire.

 

The torches were blown out as the King and Queen departed from the Great Hall, to begin their lives together.

 

Hand in hand they walked off together into the sunset. (well, they would have done had there been no snow on the ground…)

 

….and they lived happily ever after……..

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Car Tales

Just so that you know I am sitting on the floor in front of the SAAQ – the equivalent of the DMV, (not to be confused with the SAQ – alcohol society of Quebec), typing this on my laptop. It opens at 9.30, I have been here since 8.30 and am about tenth in line. Have to keep my spot. Everyone else is standing – my high heels are killing my back, plus I have important stuff to write.

 

Have you ever bought or leased a new car? What were the specifications you needed for it to have? Did you even care about half the stuff that the car salesman told you about?

 

The lease on my cherry red 2005 Chevy Venture is up at the end of the month, and I needed a replacement vehicle, obviously, what with 4 kids to ferry around and a lot of highway driving coming up in the next little while.

 

So while on honeymoon, in between visiting the schools in Monsey and stuffing our faces and doing husband / wifey stuff like groceries and laundry…. we were researching minivans. My criteria – low price AND ability to get me from A to B and back again without too many white knuckle moments. Oh yeah, and heated seats so my poor back doesn’t have to suffer too much on long drives. I am a car salesman’s dream. Take me for a test drive, if I like it I would probably buy it without haggling. Thank G-d for my husband. KoD is the kind of guy that researches everything – extremely thoroughly. Consumer reports, online reviews, comparisons, etc. We went from dealership to dealership, spent so many hours on figuring out the best deal, the best price – the best bang for my buck. The fact that many of them were offering zero down zero percent financing didn’t hurt either. No wonder there are so many layoffs – they can’t be making much money on car sales at all. At least at the end of the payment period I will actually own the car and not have to give it back after paying years worth of lease payments.

 

I have to say that as much as it was mind numbing – all this persnickety detail – I actually learned a lot. I wanted a red van again – that’s an extra 200 bucks whereas silver doesn’t cost any extra whatsoever. (I went with the silver). I learned the difference between a 3.8 engine and a 4.0 (more valves, better compression ratio, more torque and, of course, more horsepower…ooh don’t I sound knowledgeable…). KoD showed me totally how to deal with these salesman who are just trying to make a living but want to squeeze every last red cent out of you that they possibly can. Watching him in action was awesome. I just sat back and watched him negotiate for me. He was polite but firm. What really helped was knowing what we wanted when we went in, and what price WE were not willing to go above.

 

The car dealers are suffering recession too – and in I walk, recently married, and totally jobless (yep, I am suffering the effects of the doggone recession too – was let go just before the wedding. It’s really for the best anyway, I have so much else that I need to focus on right now – the move, immigration, schools for the kids, etc….) so I want them to give me a car for free, or as close as possible. Truth is we were given thousands of dollars in rebates – I could not have got a better deal, and for all the stuff that we loaded into the car, I got a total steal.

 

We were very lucky. We went into Chrysler and had this great young salesman who impressed the heck out of us, eager, not jaded, not yet a greasy salesman! We spent time there, I test drove a Town and Country Touring – she handled amazingly well. So many gidgets and gadgets that my head was spinning. (when KoD and the car dude were talking accessories and stuff – that’s when my eyes totally glazed over. I remember the days when we took a car trip and we all had to suffer listening to the kid’s sesame street cds. Now we have a van that has not one but two DVD thingies and satellite radio – I like it, don’t get me wrong, but life used to be so much less complicated).

 

We didn’t sign there and then. Funnily enough the sales manager sent us an email afterwards asking what happened, how come we didn’t buy the car that day. They are desperate for business. That’s when we went to other dealerships, made phone calls and did all the research. When we went back we dealt with the same guy, and when they gave me the price that I was ok with, it made his day. But you so have to check the fine print! We bantered back and forth, and finally agreed on a price, but when the contract was written up there was a $100 discrepancy – in their favour. Personally I probably would never have noticed it – but KoD to the rescue once again. He wouldn’t let me sign anything without checking it through thoroughly. I have no patience for these things. Again, I am a salesman’s dream. Now the hundred bucks could have been an honest mistake. But one wonders. So they fixed that….then I signed.

 

Now, naively, I thought, you decided you want the car, you sign a form or two, tell them how you will pay the monthly installments, and bam, Bob’s your uncle. Noooooo. Not so fast, lady.

 

You have to have your credit checked. And until they approve your credit, you are in limbo. I gave them all the necessary info and then we left. It was a looooong couple of hours to wait for the phone to ring to say whether or not I was approved to get the vehicle. Of course your mind goes through a million and one scenarios until you get the phone call. “What will I do if I am not approved?” – “I have good credit…..how can they not approve me?”, and then you start to doubt the fact that you will get the car, and it starts to eat away at you. We sat down to eat lunch, but I had no appetite…..

 

Finally the phone call came telling me I was approved, and that the van would be ready for me to pick up later that day. Yes, I cried. It’s a huge investment, second only to buying a house really, and it was something that I absolutely need. But the relief that it would work out the way I wanted it to was awesome. A huge load came off my shoulders. This way also I wouldn’t have to prevail on KoD to drive me back to Montreal, I could drive myself back.

 

So we showed up at the dealership for the third time, our guy was out back prepping the vehicle. We sat down and he walked us through more forms (oh joy), I signed away everything, probably rights to my first movie too, and then we went out front to learn, hands-on, just what my new Silver Minivan could do. It’s awesome. BUT we were promised a full tank of gas – and it was only ¾ full. That was again caught by the eagle-eyed KoD. They would have let us drive off with ¼ of a tank missing. They filled it up for us. He showed us how to hide the seats in the floor – why I would want to do that is beyond me, but it was one of the important features. I am leaving it to KoD to work out how to use the two DVD players, which came with wireless headphones – kids have it so easy these days! I even have a back up camera thingie – don’t my mirrors work? Technology…..

 

So I drove it back to Montreal and it handled like a dream. I drove at 55 mph all the freaking way because apparently according to the manual there is a break-in period of 300 miles on the car, and you shouldn’t exceed speeds of 55 mph so that the engine doesn’t overtax itself or something. The guys in the dealership said this wasn’t the case, they had never heard of a break-in period. KoD called the service manager to make sure – and he said that indeed there was one. I had never heard of such a thing in my life. Let me tell you, I felt like a little old lady driving up the I-87 at such slow speeds.

 

I listened to the free for one year Sirius radio on the way up – comedy all the way. It was better to be laughing while driving, instead of crying at being parted from my husband for ten days.

 

The little princes are in HEAVEN – they love love love the new van and cannot wait to be driven in it. Right now I am still driving my old piece of crap van – until I give it back tonight I may as well use up all the gas in it….

 

Yay, they are opening the doors to the SAQ – catch ya’ll later.

Could you pretend you even care?

So the Shabbat before the wedding I ordered in food because it just made it easier for everyone and hopefully would not add to my stress 2 days before the wedding. Guy I have dealt with for years without a problem quoted me on the food. It was reasonable (kosher food is never cheap) and I agreed on menu.

 

Before they delivered I call up Mrs FoodGuy and ask her how much to prepare the cheque for – and the bill is one third more than it was supposed to be. I hit the cotton-picking roof. 2 days before the wedding my stress level was at an all time high I guess! So she says “well, the food was weighed and that’s what it cost”. I don’t have the food so I can’t verify that she is right or not. 3 hours before Shabbat the delivery guy shows up, with a bunch of stuff that I hadn’t ordered, which I sent him back with, told him to credit me with that, as well as what I had ordered.

 

I will not deny that the food over Shabbat was delicious and plentiful and everyone had enough to eat. His food is good, always.

 

I went today to get back what they owed me for the food they had delivered and I had sent back. I wasn’t going to quibble over the price – food had been eaten, was good etc, but I wanted to understand how there was such a difference in the quote and the reality. The “man” sits there, slouched against the counter, doesn’t even bother to greet me. We get the credit out of the way. I asked for an explanation. “well, I wanted to make the meal lavish for you” – um, hello, mr guy with the filthy tzitizis straining over your big fat belly, I didn’t ask for lavish, I asked for decent, and if I had wanted lavish I would have been prepared to pay for lavish and you know what, I would have ordered lavish from elsewhere because if you were gonna charge me such damn inflated prices I would have gone to a better caterer, got exactly what I ordered, and not been pissed off 2 days before my freaking wedding. And you have the temerity to just sit there looking bored as you don’t even bother to hide the fact that you screwed me out of a chunk of money and there aint nothing I could flipping do about it because getting my pound of flesh from you right after my wedding was not first on my list.

 

I tell you something, fat greasy tzitzis guy – I will definitely NOT be ordering anything from you ever again…but I know you won’t even miss my business.

The Royal Wedding (Part Two – The ceremony)

(part one)

 

 

The doors to the Great Hall were thrown open, and there she stood, the Queen of Hearts, more than ready to marry her beloved. The crowd parted to allow her to proceed unimpeded to the Chuppah. As she neared the marriage canopy the King of Diamonds stepped out from under it, and walked to meet her and escort her to their canopy. This was not something that the Queen had been expecting and she felt a swoon coming on, but squelched it there and then. This was no time for swooning, even for a Queen. The Queen Mother of Hearts covered her daughter’s face with the veil, and the ceremony commenced.

 

King and Queen stood together under the chuppah maintaining eye contact for what seemed like hours. All who were present were assured beyond a shadow of a doubt that this royal couple loved each other with such a deep and abiding love. Many times during the ceremony they were witnessed to be staring deep into the other’s eyes – truly their souls were communicating.

 

The revered Rabbi made the blessing over the wine. He held the cup for the King to sip from, and then did the same for the Queen.

 

The King was asked if he had the wedding ring – he produced it from his pocket. Two witnesses were asked a very important question – was this ring worth more than one pruta (dollar) – to which they answered that indeed it was. (one would hope so, after all, this is the Queen of Hearts we are talking about here!!)

 

The King was instructed to place this wedding ring on the index finger of the Queen’s right hand. He intoned the words “with this ring you are consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel” – and slipped the ring on her finger. The Queen had explained to the King weeks before that the wedding ring was sized to fit her ring finger, and that the index finger is bigger, so he was not to try to force it over the knuckle. In the solemnity of the moment, this slipped his mind, and he tried to force it over the knuckle. The Queen chuckled, and gently disengaged her finger from his. As the Rabbi continued the ceremony the Queen surreptitiously slipped the ring onto her ring finger.

 

The Rabbi then read out the Ketubah, the marriage document, that spelled out the King of Diamond’s obligations that he has to fulfill as a husband. This is written in Aramaic, and personalized for our Queen and her King. This document was witnessed by two very respected pillars of the King and Queen’s court. The KoD then handed it to his bride, according to ancient tradition.

 

Seven blessings were then recited over another cup of wine – each blessing was given to a visiting dignitary as a sign of honour and appreciation of the part they have played in the KoD and QoH’s life. Again, the bride and groom drank a sip of wine. Once this was done it was time for the King of Diamonds to finish the wedding ceremony by stomping really hard on a glass – a sign to all present that we should remember the destruction of our Holy Temple, even at the happiest times in our lives.

 

As soon as the glass was broken, a huge cheer went up, and people started calling out their congratulations, as that was the signal for the end of the ceremony.

 

Within seconds the little princes came running to congratulate their mother and her new husband, and the newlyweds were surrounded by well-wishers, wanting to kiss and hug and congratulate them. The royal pages were trying very hard to escort the King and Queen to a private room, but found it difficult to navigate through the throngs of people. Finally the King and his Queen managed to break free and made it to their own private suite, where they shut the door on all the merriment outside.

 

(part three)

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The Royal Wedding (Part One – before the ceremony)

 

 As written by the Royal Scribe.


 Sunday morning, the sun rose peacefully over the Kingdom of Hearts, shining its happy light upon the Queen and her loyal subjects, all gathered at her court to celebrate her union with the King of Diamonds. The KoD’s court had trekked up to the wilds of the frozen tundra for this momentous occasion.


 Among the guests were both Queen Mothers – flown in on the wings of love from distant corners of the world. The Queen Mother of Hearts was joined by her husband the Prince Consort. The Queen Mother of Diamonds was escorted by her oldest son, the Duke of LaCrosse.

 

 The Queen’s brothers travelled over many miles in order to make it to this momentous occasion, traversing seas, fighting armies, slaying dragons etc – and to honour them for this tremendous effort the Queen has renamed them –Lord Antony of Hallamshire, Knight Marshal; and Sir Marmaduke  of Flintshire, Master of the Ceremonies, whose lovely wife also joined him on his long trek, the fair maiden, Lady Rose.

 

 Prime Minister Z! and her husband R rode their chariot all the way up from the wilds of New York to partake in the festivities – we honour them for this effort.

 

Early in the morning the Queen arose in a radiant mood, her warmth and happiness bestowing light and warm fuzzies upon all who came into contact with her. Her princes awoke with smiles upon their faces and with so much love in their hearts. They even showered without complaint.

 

 The first order of the day, after the royal coffee was percolated and drunk (before daybreak, as the Queen had orders to fast on this, her special day) was that the Queen and Queen Mother were to put themselves in the hands of the Royal Artist who was deputized on that special day to make our Queen look even more spectacular than she does on a regular day using cosmetics and the like. Lady Amy acquitted herself impeccably and the results were stunning. Lady Annie worked on the Queen Mother with equally spectacular results.

 

 Once the Queen had returned to her chamber, it was time to dress. She was ably assisted by the Queen Mother and the lovely Lady Rose. It was remarked by all, once the dress and veil were in place, how lovely our Queen looked – her joy was palpable and sang out to all of us as she passed us on her way to the Great Hall.

 

 With much pomp and pageantry the Queen of Hearts was settled in the bridal antechamber near to the Great Hall, and sat there in her special white throne of honour. Our Queen decided to take time at this juncture to communicate with G-d – to thank Him for the blessings she had received, and for the joy she felt at uniting kingdoms with the King of Diamonds. Once she was finished with her prayers, the royal photographer, Sir Nicholas, arrived to capture the Queen in her bridal finery on film, to keep for all posterity.

 

 At this point all the honoured guests started to arrive at the Great Hall, renewing old acquaintances and creating new ones. The Queen was anxious to hear word that the King of Diamonds had arrived and was waiting for her under the marriage canopy. The fixed hour for their marriage approached – and the Queen wanted to greet her King. (especially having not seen him for a long time nor texted nor spoken to him since the night before). The Queen kept sending minions to find out the status quo until she finally heard that her King had indeed arrived.

 

 The honoured Rabbi entered the Queen’s antechamber to bless her just before he performed the ceremony. The Queen was deeply moved by his words and blinked back a tear or two. Once this was done, there was much scurrying about while the guests arranged themselves near the marriage canopy.

 

 Four very respectable men were chosen to hold up the canopy, beautifully adorned with the tallit that the Queen Mother of Hearts and her Prince Consort had gifted to the KoD on this momentous occasion. While the canopy was being erected, the Rabbi supervised as the KoD donned his Kittel, his white garment that he wore as a sign of purity. Once the Chuppah (marriage canopy) was in place, it was time to proceed with the ceremony.

 

 A page was dispatched to call the Queen from her bridal throne. She was more than ready, having spent the last few minutes in silent contemplation of the solemnity of the occasion. As she readied herself, the King of Diamonds stood under the Chuppah to wait for his bride.

 

 

to be continued…..

 

(part two)

(part three)

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“For the one I love”

I spent hours looking for a greeting card to give to my husband on our wedding day. We are both very much into giving each other cards, always looking for the ones with deep meaning. I like to hide cards and messages for him to find when I am not around – I love seeing the smile on his face when he finds them and reads them.

 

So after many hours of searching in many stores I found the perfect one. It was simple, not too wordy and left plenty of space for me to write my message (I am never brief as I am sure you have realized). On the front it said “for the one I love” – with a very brief message printed inside. I filled it up with a message written from my heart.

 

I gave KoD the card after the chuppah – he was touched and awed. It was a perfect moment. Little did I know…..

 

So, two days after the wedding we drove back together to Monsey, where KoD had not been since 3 days before the wedding. I walked into our bedroom to see a card laying on what is now my pillow. I opened the envelope – it was the same card I had bought for him!!! How is that even possible, that 330 miles away from each other, we both choose the same perfect card to give to each other on the occasion of our marriage?

 

Fate, kismet, coincidence – call it what you want. I just call it “us”.

Wedding Story on its way

uncropped

just thought we would share a pic with you, it was an awesome wedding – everything we dreamed it would be. stay tuned for the official wedding story….

I do

Tell me can you feel my heart beat
Tell me as I kneel down at your feet
I knew there would come a time
When these two hearts would entwine
Just put your hand in mine
Forever

For so long I have been an island
When no-one could ever reach these shores
And We’ve got a whole lifetime to share
And I’ll always be there
Darling this I swear

So please believe me
For these words I say are true
And don’t deny me
A lifetime loving you
And if you ask will I be true
Do I give my all to you
I will say I do

I’m ready to begin this journey
Well I’m with you with every step you take
And we’ve got a whole lifetime to share
And I’ll always be there
Darling this I swear

So please believe me
For these words I say are true
And don’t deny me
A lifetime loving you
And if you ask will I be true
Do I give my all to you
I will say I do

So come on
Just take my hand
Oh come on
Lets make a stand for our love
But I know this is so hard to believe
So please

So please believe me
All these words I say are true
And don’t deny me
A lifetime loving you
And if you ask will I be true
Do I give my all to you

And if you ask will I be true
Do I give my all to you

Then I will say I do

song by Westlife, click here to hear it.

with this ring……..

I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long
An answered prayer, I know you are the one
I give to you my heart and soul 
With a love that will never grow old

In my life, I can see 
That you were made for me
You’ll be there to catch me if I fall
All the days, I have prayed
And the love that I have saved
With this ring, I’m giving you my all

I thank God for the gift He has given me
A love that’s strong for all of eternity
I give to you all my days
With a love for all of your ways

In my life, I can see 
That you were made for me
I’ll be there to catch you if you fall
All the days, I have prayed
And the love that I have saved
With this ring, I’m giving you my all

In the days that we grow old
The times may change but our love will remain
As we look back on this day now
We stood the test of time
Living the promise of our vow

In my life, I can see 
That you were made for me
I’ll be there to catch you if you fall
All the days, I have prayed
And the love that I have saved
With this ring, I’m giving you my all...

go here to listen to the awesome song

Words and Music: Anthony W. Carter