Monthly Archives: May 2011

Trust Set Up for the Shuter Family

After a long battle with lymphoma, Barry Shuter succumbed to complications from multiple pneumonias last week, leaving behind his wife, Amy, and their 7-year-old triplets. Amy and the triplets will need continued financial help as they learn to live without Barry. The expenses are significant, and they will continue for years to come. To ease their considerable financial burden a trust has been set up that will help with both immediate and longer-term expenses such as bar/bat mitzvahs, tuition, weddings, etc. Please contribute. Checks should be made payable to “Barry Shuter Family Trust.”

Please send to:
Adam Hofstetter
441 Oak Avenue
Cedarhurst, NY 11516

Please let me know if you have any questions. And please pass along to anyone you think could help.

Thank you so much for your help.



Who is Culpable?

(alternative title – How Do I Get the Stains Out?)

In between car pools this morning I figured I would throw in a load of laundry. When I got back and took the load out of the dryer I realized that someone had left a black pen in a pants pocket which had leaked all over the place. My new pink shirt that I have worn once is covered with black splotches. My pink, black and white check shirt that I adore – stained. My tan skirt – ruined. Seems my clothes bore the brunt of the damage. I have no clue which of my progeny was responsible for the errant pen – but was it my fault too for not checking the pockets thoroughly enough? Of course, none of the kids will own up to it being their pen (I found the pieces of the disintegrated pen within the laundry) – and their clothes haven’t really suffered. So who is at fault? What if I do find out who the culprit is – what kind of consequence is appropriate? Buying me clothes to replace the ones that are damaged? What if the kid doesn’t have the money for that?

Part 2 – the dryer drum has ink smeared all over it. Any ideas how to get that off before ruining another load of laundry? Is there anything I can do to rescue my ruined clothes? Or is baked in ink the kiss of death?

Help me here – I am trying to tell myself these are just clothes, no one got hurt, it’s no big deal, but I cannot help but be upset. (Perhaps a little mad at myself too…) – is it possible I can salvage anything from this?

Put it back!

Seriously folks, I was taught that if you take something out and use it, you put it back in the same place. Open something? Close it when you’re done.

I get very frustrated when I go to my local supermarket. People load up their shopping trolleys, shlepp their spoils to their vans, unload into the trunk, and just leave the carts there, or just nonchalantly give them a little nudge so that they cross the parking lot and end up bumping into the sidewalk in front of the store. How hard is it to walk it back to where you took it from, outside of the store, all line up ready for other shoppers?

I even shlepp it back in the snow and the rain (ok, if the boys are with me, they shlepp it back). It’s called being considerate. It’s called doing things the right way. Am I a dying breed? Do people not even care about the small things?

It’s good that he reads

Really. It’s a huge gift that the boys love to read, and that they are most relaxed when curled up with a good book.

I am trying to finish off a few projects for work after tucking the little one into bed (only five times tonight at the last count). But, he keeps finding words that he cannot pronounce or doesn’t understand what they mean.

After about the 7th interruption (I should know better than to try and work while it’s quiet in the house) I told him that I am NOT a dictionary.

He thought for a second and said “You could be. You are full of words.”

What on earth did he mean by that? Was it just an innocent statement or was he saying I talk a lot? Is that a bad thing? Is it a good thing? Do I need more chocolate as I ponder this?

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs


My friend Barry Shuter is in worsening condition. I first wrote about him here. His wife Amy sent out a request for Emergency tehillim for Eliezer Baruch Chaim ben Rochel Leah. The hospital had just  called her to say he was failing.

Please take a moment to send up a prayer on his behalf. Thanks.

Follow this link for which tehillim to say. Daily Tehillim

UPDATE at 1.13 pm Baruch Dayan HaEmet – Just heard that Barry has passed away.

He Turns Me to Mush

I am talking about ChatterBox not the KoD although he certainly has his mushy moments too. ChatterBox is turning NINE (how on earth did that happen so fast) this coming Shabbat and wanted to have some friends over and a cake and candy etc. So we were discussing who and what, and I asked him what type of cake he wanted me to pick up for him. His answer? Ima, I want you to bake me a cake, because nothing you buy will taste as good as your own cooking.

How on earth can one resist such deliciousness? I think this shmoozer has a career as a politician or a lawyer in his future – or maybe a car salesman….

Now to get creative….

Quick Driving Poll

When you learned to drive – did you learn stick shift or automatic?

Where did you learn to drive?

How old were you?

If you learned automatic – did you ever learn to drive a stick? Do you want to?

“It’s not even pre-cancer”

I was at the dermatologist earlier this week getting certain globs of yuck zapped from my face (oh the perils of aging) and heard those scary words “this concerns me”. The derm asked me if I had ever had a sunburn as a child. Um, yeah, I grew up in the age of “let’s go to the beach, don’t forget the suntan oil”. Yeah, you young ‘uns, oil not lotion. We’d bake to a crisp. So yeah, doc, I got sunburned. Mind you, with my lily white English rose complexion it does not take much to burn. These days I am much smarter and avoid the sun and tanning beds. I like being so pale I glow in the dark!

So the doc says he’s gonna take a scraping from this bump that I have had for years and send it to the lab, just to make sure. He’ll let me know in a few days what they say. He was remarkably low key and not panicked so I took my cue from him. Although, it’s no fun having the doc scraping one’s forehead with a sharp implement.

I came home with a red-raw-soon-to-scab-over area on my forehead (thank G-d for bangs) and tried to sit on my hands to stop them from googling. Cyberchondria is a real illness, you know. I googled skin cancer eventually and got so skeeved out that I stopped. Coincidentally, not that I believe in such things, I read this post (and the comments) from Marinka which gave me pause to sit and take stock and not worry. It also made me laugh so hard that I snorted coffee out of my nose.

I have been vaguely concerned all week, but trying not to obsess. The doctor’s office called me just before with those sweet sweet words “it’s just sun damage, it’s not even precancerous”. Thank G-d, right?! Relief. Thank you very much goodbye. I hurried to hang up the phone.

Not quite. I must take care of the said sun damage otherwise nasty and nefarious things might happen. I am to pick up a strong powerful cream from the pharmacy that will leave my skin looking raw and red and kinda ugly. “But I am so vain” I whined to the secretary – she told me she understands, and now would be the time to have a fringe / bangs. I am not that vain that I would refuse to treat this damage. I just don’t want to be walking around looking red for a week or two. But I am happy to pay that price, because it isn’t anything worse. Thankfully, also it’s on the forehead so I can cover it up with hair or low brim hats or something. No make up allowed…boo hiss!

Now, where did I put my sunscreen?

Linked In

Anyone who is in business and who is online in some professional capacity has heard of LinkedIn. It’s a place for professionals to connect and exchange ideas. I recently joined, and have connected with many people. I am still learning what it can do for me, and how to use it, btu I know it to be a great tool.

One thing that frustrates me is that daily I get messages that someone wants to connect with me – and I have no clue who that person is, or how they came across my name. They don’t include a message introducing themselves. Why would I accept their request when I don’t know them or how connecting could be mutually beneficial?

How hard is it to day “hi, my name is X, we met last year at the Y event” – or “Hi, I am a coworker of Z, and she suggested we connect”. Is that really so tough?

If I wanted random people connecting with me I would be on Twitter. Oh yeah. Right. As you were….

Yes, folks, I am having that kind of day…..