Monthly Archives: April 2009

No Coffee – Day three

To my Darling Children


I am so proud of you all for waking up early. For being ready for school way ahead of schedule today. For having breakfast and showers before I even surfaced from my room at 6 am. For doing all of that quietly at the crack of dawn and not waking your sleeping beauty of a mother. (hey, they showered without me nagging – where the heck am I? A parallel universe??) I love you all so much. But, sweet sweet darlings of mine, knowing that I no longer drink coffee and that I need a moment or seventeen to “come to” in the mornings – why oh why did I have to wake up to the theme song from Hogan’s Heroes on the TV? How can you turn that stuff on at 6 am? Can we not be in denial that it’s morning until at least 7? Why were you all up so early? Was this a conspiracy?



She Who Must Be Obeyed (and Caffeinated)



Frumster Files – #78545


A FaceBook Friend of mine, let’s call him Yitz, put this up as his status update.


Would you date this woman? From Frumster: “This is what I am looking for in a mate: A quirky, thoughtful and sensitive man who is comfortable dating a woman who has dated both men and women in the past.”


I wanted to know your thoughts – the discussion on his FaceBook page was very lively.

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Yom HaAtzmaut Rally – Montreal 2009


I just got back from an amazing rally in support of Eretz Israel. It was yom-haatzmaut-2009-003called to start at 11, at Phillips Square, so I and a couple of galpals hopped on a train and made our way downtown. We got to the Square to see hundreds of other celebrants milling around, Israeli flags being handed out left right and centre, and the music was blaring. It was an awesome atmosphere.


When it seemed like the Square couldn’t hold anymore people we all started marching toward Place Du Canada. Imagine the sight of 10,000 people in blue and white, with Israeli flags, marching through downtown Montreal. Old and young, religious and secular, Jew and non-Jew, all marching b’yachad – together.


yom-haatzmaut-2009-010We got to Place Du Canada and the music was so loud but it was in our hearts too. I have to say that the old traditional folk songs were great, but I wasn’t right pleased about the way they gospelled up some of the songs…Seriously, Adon Olam sounded like they were singing it in church. OK I am a grump sometimes!


They had a bunch of the requisite politicians show up, most notably Stockwell Day representing our Prime Minister. He spoke so well, made reference to the offensive comments Ahmadinejad spewed forth the other week, and told us that Canada will not tolerate that kind of behaviour. He praised Israel and promised to stand by us. Similar speeches followed – but his was totally the best.


There was more singing and dancing, and finally it was time to end. We all sang O Canada – was pleased to see some men remove their hats / caps. Then we joined together to sing Hatikvah. I read a post yesterday (have to find it) about a child watching her parents sing Hatikvah with tears in their eyes – I thought of that today as I sang, as tears rolled down my face. 61 years of being officially a nation – how much pain and loss and suffering has gone into keeping our homeland. We sing “to be a free people” – will we ever truly be free when we are continually persecuted just because we exist? Why are we the only country in the world who has to defend its’ right to exist.


The poisonous Neturei Karta were there – not many of them though. They were kept far away from the crowds and the police kept a beady eye on them. After the rally I walked past where they were standing and a police officer asked me to roll up my flag to walk by. I did so reluctantly – I wanted so much to put these people in their place, but it would have been a wasted effort.


It was a great celebration and I was thrilled to have been a part of it.

The Power of Prayer



Last week on Thursday we left Montreal for Monsey just for the weekend. Having started the whole immigration process we were told that it was quite possible we would NOT be permitted to enter the United States. Once a name is in the system, I guess they are concerned about us moving down illegally and living there without being given the USA immigration seal of approval. (It’s the people that do it illegally that could ruin it for the honest folk).


I was advised to bring proof that I have a life to come back to in Montreal, and hopefully that would help in allowing us into the country for a few days. So – how do you prove you have a life to come back to?


I prepared well. I found the copy of my lease – however, my lease was written specifically for the first year that we lived in the apartment. The way it works here is that your lease is automatically renewed annually UNLESS you give notice. Therefore, in order to prove I still have a lease, I asked my lovely landlady to give me a signed letter stating how long I had been a tenant, and when my lease is up, and that I had the option to renew. I had bills with me that had just been received in the mail – proving I live where I say I do. I had a letter from my attorney. I had a letter of permission to take the kids and bring them back from their other parent. I had a letter from Mr. CarMan allowing me the use of his vehicle and when I had to have it back by. I had proof of upcoming appointments for me and the kids here in Montreal. I made myself nuts getting all of this information together, but I wanted to be as prepared as I could be.


I had explained the situation to the boys and told them that I had done my Hishtadlut (due diligence) and now it was up to G-d. I also told them that while we were driving to the border I needed them to say Tehillim – psalms, in order to boost our chances of being allowed into the States. I also repeated border etiquette. Do not speak unless spoken to. Do not volunteer any information other than that which is asked of you. Do not lie. Look the agent who speaks to you in the eye – take off your sunglasses in order to do this. Do not joke with the agent.


We grabbed a bite to eat before we left. We got into the car and I said Psalm 91 aloud. A friend had told me that it was a good one to say – the Hebrew letters for 91 spell out the word “tzei” – which means “go out”. I had the boys then open their Tehillim and say all the psalms for Thursday (each day has a group of psalms to be said for it) as I drove towards the border. My oldest also said the Tefillat Haderech – the prayer for safe travel.


45 minutes later we were at the border and my stomach was in a knot, my hands and legs were shaking. I gave the kids and myself a pep talk. “It’s all in Hashem’s hands. Whatever He decides is what’s best for us”. I gave it into His capable hands and I had to trust it would all be for the best. The kids were still praying as we got to the Border Guard’s Booth.


There were four open lines and all booths were empty. We picked one and when I drove up I saw there were THREE guards there as opposed to the usual ONE. Gulp. This didn’t bode well. I had the passports ready and had easy access to all the other papers I had with me. I handed over the passports and held my breath. It soon became obvious to us that this particular guard was a trainee as his superiors in the booth with him were telling him what to ask, or what they would have asked. He had wanted to ask me why I was travelling alone with my kids – and where their dad was etc, but he obviously had no experience asking that. I helped him out. I told him we were divorced and that I was the custodial parent. I gave him the permission letter. He was being fed questions all the while. He scanned through the passports. No beeps or alarms went off.


He proceeded to ask me all the standard questions – am I bringing in $10,000 in cash (I wish), any drugs or firearms, any articles for resale….., and after 3 minutes that seemed like 30 he returned our travel documents and waved us through. No awkward questions, no making me sit in a back room while they grilled my kids (yes I had imagined 100 different scenarios) – he waved us through.


We drove for 30 seconds then I let out a HUGE whoop of joy followed by a tremendous release of tears. The kids were so excited and thrilled. I had one of them immediately text the KoD to tell him we made it, and then we called one of my Montreal Mommies (Lucky me, I have a few!!) to say we made it into the States safely.


I told the kids, and I firmly believe I am right, that their prayers helped us get through. I know that every time until we get the visas there is going to be a chance that we are turned back – but I am prepared for it. Maybe the computer didn’t pick us up yet, or maybe they saw that I come and go often and can be trusted not to stay illegally. I don’t even want to know the why. I am just accepting it and am thankful to G-d.


G-d was definitely watching over us that day as He is everyday. I am glad He didn’t test me, though, by having us turned back. I wonder how I would have done.


DAY TWO – no coffee



Ok I slept better last night than I have in months, and I am wondering if it has anything at all to do with having no caffeine in my system. I woke up NOT craving the warm goodness of a cuppa joe – quite alert too (for me anyway lol).


I hadn’t told the kids that I was quitting because I wanted to see if they would notice the difference in me, also last time I quit they convinced me to take it up again because I was easier to deal with when caffeinated.


I am not quite bright eyed and bushy tailed, but am getting there!! The tea actually doesn’t taste too bad this morning.


The worst part of the day yesterday was mid-afternoon – I felt extremely sluggish and my body was telling me that one cup of coffee wouldn’t kill me. I am proud to say I resisted. Nothing like housework to keep a mind off a craving.

Happy 61st Birthday Israel!!!!

Step-parent Etiquette



I was twice asked today how many children I have. The first time I was asked “how many kids do you have” Of course I answered that I am blessed beyond belief to have four amazing wonderful sons. The second time I was asked “how many kids do you and your husband have”? I have four, he has three – if you are good at math you will know that that is seven in total. But this person isn’t someone that I know, who doesn’t know there are step parents and step children involved, that it is a second marriage – what would have been the politically correct answer to give? I didn’t want to say “I have seven kids” – or even “we” have seven kids – no matter how much I love the KoDs kids, they are not biologically mine so I cannot claim them as such. But to go into detail in this situation (nail salon) was not something I wanted to do.


How would you have answered?

Mother’s Day



This year Mother’s Day falls on May 10. Will you be celebrating (with) your mom? Will your kids be celebrating (with) their mom? What do you do for this special day?


Growing up in England, Mothering Sunday fell in March and the religious people we associated with didn’t really mark it at all. Here in North America many of the religious around me also don’t celebrate it, but its not a religious holiday, so why the heck not?! Any excuse for a party!


Here, in this house, I would love it if it were celebrated more – but the truth is that the kids show me their love and affection every day, and they often tell me how much they appreciate all that I do for them. (they mean it too). They don’t technically need ONE day in the year to say thanks Mom.


However, flowers are nice, cards are nice, especially when all the other moms are getting stuff. I know husbands that are married to the mothers of their kids sometimes go all out – “thank you for birthing and raising my kids, here is breakfast in bed, take it easy, I will do the laundry”. I wish this kind of thing would last for those mothers – one day a year is great, but it needs to happen more often. We have a different dynamic here, so that wouldn’t happen anyway. the kids and KoD spoil me in other ways, so no complaints here!


I think its lovely to have a day to fete our mothers and later in June our fathers. There should also be Brother’s Day and Sister’s Day too.


So what are your plans?

DAY ONE – no coffee



It has been 25 hours and 20 minutes since I last imbibed, since I last had a caffeine hit. I am doing ok. I had tea this morning. My stomach didn’t like that either, but I think it was still thinking I was drinking coffee. My hands are shaking badly – guess it is a good job I am not a surgeon. No headache yet which is surprising but I am popping Advil prophylactically.


I looked at my coffee maker this morning and I felt it reach towards me. I slapped it back. It took so much willpower but I did it. I thought about brewing coffee just so that I could smell it…..but I don’t think my willpower could have survived that!


I can do this……I can!

Sizeist Remarks….



A little miffed, I am a little miffed I tell you. I went to pick up Prince ChatterBox from school and bumped into his teacher. I haven’t seen her in a while – at first grade level they allow the kids to leave the building without supervision.


“Ohmigawd what happened to you?” she screeched.

“You lost so much weight” she continued.


She said it in such a way that I felt that I looked as if I was at death’s door G-d forbid. I happen to know I look healthy and am a healthy weight. Shouldn’t lose, shouldn’t gain, like Goldilocks’ porridge, I am just right.


But I came home and looked at myself in the mirror just to make sure there wasn’t something I was missing. Then I told myself to snap out of it, that it’s pure jealousy, plain and simple. This lady may have been trying for years to lose a bit of weight and my success (now at 50lbs lost since my heaviest 2 years ago) reminds her of her failure.


And let me just add this to you skinny-minny wannabes out there. Thin maybe “in” but you have to be fit too and take care of yourself. I am working on that. Far from perfect on that. KoD is trying to get me to work out as is Lady LockNLoad – I am not thrilled with the hard work it will involve, but I would rather have Michelle Obama’s arms than these sticks off my shoulders. Six pack abs would be nice too – but even tho I want some definition, I don’t want to lose my womanly softness….(I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it now…)


Why are we always looking at other peoples bodies to judge our own?