Monthly Archives: September 2010

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs


Simchat Torah just for the men??

From the mailbag:

Dear In the Pink Lady,

I am the biggest kvetch on simchas torah.  I do not enjoy watching the men dance and the ladies shmooze about the latest styles or shaitels.  I feel simchas torah is a man’s holiday..seems they have all the fun and we get to just stand and watch..I go through this every year!  do you enjoy this holiday, how can I change my attitude towards this yom tov?

A loyal reader

I do enjoy watching my boys dance, and this year will especially enjoy watching the KoD dance with them, but it is indeed very hard to sit there and watch seven Hakafot without participating at all. I will probably watch one or two, then go home and curl up with a good book. Some shuls I have been at do have Hakafot (dances) for the women, and some have included dancing with the sefer torah, but that’s not what’s done in my neck of the woods.

Readers – do any of you have any advice or words of wisdom?

Dinosaur Oatmeal

Can anyone help me out? In Montreal my little ones enjoyed the Quaker Instant Oatmeal with the Dinosaur Eggs in it – like little sugar eggs that dissolved to reveal coloured dinosaurs. I cannot find the oatmeal here. I have looked in every grocery store I have been to. Did they discontinue it?

This is what the box looks like:

Slice of Life

Today was cleaning day. I know, every day is cleaning day when you have kids. But today I had a lot of extra energy that I needed to vent on something safe, so I attacked the bathrooms and the carpets etc… The kids all pitched in to help according to their capabilities (if you come over and can smell the Fantastik everywhere, well, Squiggy was removing fingerprints from every wall and light switch…with lots of elbow grease (What does the bottle of elbow grease look like Ima?)).

The little one woke up late, and was therefore playing catch up. I scrubbed their bathroom down, and exited to hear the most beautiful sound. He was davening (praying) shacharit (the morning service). I never usually get to hear him as they daven in school. He was at the beginning, singing out the brachot, one by one, and I loved that I could answer Amen to every single one. He davens with such kavannah (concentration) – seems that his mind doesn’t wander as much as mine does! He is only 8 but I hope he keeps this enthusiasm for always.

Skinny Wench Mouths Off

Seriously, people!! We all know that in the month that we have Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and umpteen days of Sukkot that we stuff our faces. There is a lot of food, a lot of not always so healthy choices and we all feel like our clothes are tight at the end of the holiday marathon. Yes, even me!

Apparently, being the skinny wench that I am, it is forbidden for me to even allude to any weight gain whatsoever. Because even if I gained 5 lbs it’s sacrilegious for me to even mention it. No one wants to hear me comment on it. Even if the conversation around me is about the same subject, there is a moratorium on hearing my opinion. Looks of disgust abound.

Matter of fact, there apparently must be a weight limit that has unofficially been applied to such conversations. I think maybe the 17th commandment applies here “Thou shalt only complaineth about weight gain when one’s clothing size is in the high double digits or higher”.

I have worked hard to get where I am (this time 3 years ago I was 55lbs heavier), and while not obsessed about my size or my weight, I do keep track. Am I not allowed to feel bloated or heftier when I have over-eaten? Does a skinny wench have no fat-feelings?

And telling me not to worry because I can afford to gain the weight – would I turn around and tell someone to worry because they could stand to lose some weight? NEVER.

Open season on the skinny wenches, apparently.

Pass the chocolate…..and the Grumpitol.

Beard Hairs??

I just got grossed out by something I read and I wanted to ask my male bearded readers this question. Is it true that there is a tradition that if a hair from your beard falls out, you are supposed to place it in a sefer (a book)? Where does this custom come from?

(Euw….euw….I have visions of siddurim and other books covered in scraggly hair. Ick.)

Timely Reminder

Last night as I was unpacking the last of the boxes (it’s driving me nuts to not have everything already unpacked, even though I do not have space to put everything), as I lifted one of my favourite fancy serving platters out of the box, I felt a stinging in my finger. I looked down to see that the platter was broken, and one of the jagged edges had sliced my thumb open. Blood was dripping everywhere.

I was home with two of the kids, the other two were at Maariv with the KoD. One of the kids that was at home doesn’t deal well with blood so I sent him out of the room after he brought me some tissues. I put pressure on the wound, and called up Lady Lock and Load, my neighbour, to come and help me. I wasn’t sure if I needed stitches or not.

Lady LnL was awesome. We finally stopped the bleeding, and no stitches were necessary. Hopefully I won’t have much of a scar.

But my subsequent conversation with her and the KoD once he had come home, was that I could have called Hatzoloh. However, being new here, I had no clue what their number was, plus I doubt I would have called them over something so minor. I was also worried, because in Montreal, whenever the kids sliced fingers open, or those kind of things happened (and believe me, with four boys, they DO happen often) it’s straight to the ER. Here, in NY, apparently you avoid the ER and go straight to the plastic surgeon – I think?!

When the children were little I remember teaching them to dial 911, and teaching them how to dial Hatzoloh too. We had drills, and tested it out, and I never had to worry that they wouldn’t know what to do.

Last night’s incident has reminded me that I need to learn the new (to us) number for Hatzoloh, and teach it to the children. We also need to have a conversation about emergencies and what to do. We need a new game plan as we are in a new environment. I need to make sure the kids have all emergency phone numbers on them, and know who to call in different situations.

Do you have an emergency plan? Do your kids know who to call in different situations? At what age did you start teaching them?

Family History

I got an email from my mum this morning and a Facebook message from my cousin, both about this article. My cousin is the author. I am fascinated by history, especially my family history, and it seems that even though I have heard thousands of stories about my great grandparents, I still haven’t heard everything.

So, click over here and read about my great grandparents, and my cousin’s “coincidental” finding of a book that led to him writing this article.

Realization hits!

This afternoon, a full five days after getting my visa / green card in my hot little hand, this afternoon it finally hit me. I do not have to leave my KoD to go back to Canada. I do not have to pack up the car and hit the I-87 and leave my heart here.  We are here. We are here to stay. This is now our real home. I no longer have to feel unsettled. I am about to start actively looking for work. I shall receive a social security number in the mail very soon. I am really and truly a NYS resident. I am a legal alien.

Cue Sting….. “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, I’m an English(wo)man in New York…”

I am so excited for this next chapter in my life. Well, I guess, this is a new book. Since the KoD and I married 19 months ago I was in limbo until the papers came through. Real life can now start. My mind is a maelstrom of emotions right now – relief more than anything!!

‘Twas the first night of Sukkot……

Wednesday night I lit candles, and snuggled up in the recliner to read (ie pretend to read while I fall asleep) and wait for the men-folk to come home.  Cocooned in our peaceful home I had no clue what was going on outside. The boys came rushing in about an hour later, telling me there is a lightning storm going on outside. I thought they were pulling my leg as I hadn’t been aware of anything!! I peered outside and saw the rain coming down in torrents, flashes of lightning were illuminating the sky and the heavy rumble of thunder was heard overhead.

We were eating out at friends that night (in fact we ate out for every yom tov meal in the last 3 days) and even though it wasn’t far to go we would have got drenched.  The rain eased up a bit, and we walked as fast as we could to our friends’ house. Every time the lightning flashed or the thunder roared I jumped and / or screamed, much to the boys’ amusement! I hate thunder. It scares me!! (Yes, I know, I am such a girl)

We arrived at our destination, not too soaked, thankfully. We wanted to at least be able to make kiddush in the sukkah but the rain was pouring at that point – however, we all went into the sukkah, our host made kiddush, and we continued the delicious meal inside.

Soon after we sat down to eat (in the dining room) there was a power failure. The power was off for about 15 minutes. I wondered if the ovens left on by many religious folk for the 3 day marathon of holiday and Shabbat would restart themselves, or stay off. Seems that most of them switched back on once the power was restored. Of course, every single electrical clock in our house was flashing a different time for 3 days, but that was the worst we had to deal with.

It was just so surprising to me that Sukkot started with such a bang. We had been expecting awesome hot weather, and here we were dealing with a storm!

The rest of the Sukkot weather (up until now) was glorious and perfect!! We had six amazing meals out – my friends are awesome people. Seriously – knowing that we had been in Canada for the immigration interview, then packing up the truck and moving our stuff down and unpacking – cooking for yom tov would have been an extra huge stressor on me. So our awesome amazing friends invited us so I wouldn’t have that extra headache. Our new community totally rocks – all of you people are so giving and generous and welcoming. So, thank you to the K’s, the J’s, the K2’s, the F’s, the Y’s and the T’s. I look forward to welcoming you all to our home for a Shabbat / yomtov meal – just not all at the same time 😉 !!