Monthly Archives: August 2011

Lice Check

My elementary school kids have to have their heads checked for lice before they are allowed to start the fall semester. I get to pay $35 for the privilege of having my two younger boys checked. It goes toward the school Women’s League, and they do lots of great stuff. We stand in line, they get checked and their names are crossed off.

In order to get checked you have to present your admission card for school. If you haven’t made the correct financial arrangements, no admission card, no education at this specific establishment.

They don’t check the boys for lice at any other time of the school year. My high schoolers are presumed to be lice free….

So I was wondering – do your kids have to go through this before school starts? Please provide ages and whether they attend a public or private school. Do you guys also have admission cards and if so, are they really collected on the first day of school or not? Is there anything your particular school does before they admit the kids that you haven’t seen anywhere else?

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

Quick and Kosher – My Debut

As you guys know, I work for Joyofkosher.com. We recently put together a whole bunch of new and informative how-to videos.

Our first one went up this week – my official debut on the Quick and Kosher video circuit.

Enjoy.

How would you have answered?

Just dropped off a load of dry cleaning at my local place. We know the lady well – KoD has been going there for years, and she was thrilled when we got married and when the boys and I moved down.

Anyhow, as I was leaving the store she told me “you’re as skinny as a chopstick” – now, I wasn’t sure whether I should be insulted or not. I threw a “thank you” and a smile over my shoulder…. but hmm. I know she probably meant it as a compliment, but chopsticks have no shape. I have shape. I have curves. I am not a stick.

What would you have answered?

EARTHQUAKE!!

I am sitting here in my room, working, and I felt the house shake around me. I thought perhaps I was imagining things. I popped a pain pill an hour ago and thought it was having an interesting effect. But my mirror was shaking along with my blinds.

KoD came in and asked me if I felt the house shake – I was glad to hear it was not just my imagination running away with me. Our neighbour is building an extension and they just started excavating. We thought that it had something to do with that.

I glanced at Twitter – everyone was tweeting about an earthquake in VA. And we felt it all the way here?

Hope everyone’s ok.

Doing things differently

My ex-husband and his wife had a baby girl today. My boys all knew within minutes of her birth. They were in three different locations, but they all found out almost instantly. Within an hour they had all seen pictures of her – totally adorable.

This little girl has SIX older half-brothers to watch over her and drive away potential boyfriends. She is probably going to be spoiled rotten (and if I know him well, the apple of her father’s eye).

When my two half-siblings were born I had no idea. I did not even know they were on the way, let alone that they had been born. I found out when I arrived in the US on vacation from the UK. We came every summer to visit my dad and grandparents. One summer, my dad got married before we came. We didn’t know about that in advance either. The next summer there was a newborn baby. A few years later, another one came along.

I fell deeply in love with both of my half-siblings. I don’t recall there being any weird feelings on my part. These were my little brothers and I loved them dearly. I changed diapers, I rocked them, I hugged them tight – my time with them was so short, yet I cherished every minute of it. Unfortunately times change, and people grow up and grow apart, and families being what they are, estrangements happen. We’re no longer close with either of them. Sad.

I want my boys to be close with their sister. There is a big age discrepancy. Lenny is 16, Squiggy turns 15 tomorrow (wow), HockeyFan is 13 and the Chatterbox is 9 (and no longer the baby. Important to him that that’s noted). However, even though the boys have yet to meet her, they are already besotted with her and have promised between themselves to always look out for her.

This is harder that I thought it would be. I always wanted a daughter. Growing up I was sure I would be the mother of daughters. Hardly any girls on my father’s side of the family tree, but I had my dreams. However, I seemed destined to only have sons.  I was so sure our second child was a girl…. But Squiggy came along instead. The pinkitude was not meant to be. I thought I had made my peace with it.

This baby is not mine to love, yet my boys love her with a fierce passion already – what kind of room do I have to make for her in my life? One of the boys asked me today what she will call me. Will I be Auntie H like I am to so many of my friends’ kids…. Or will just “Hadassah” do? We have a while until she starts talking…. But the kids assumed she would have a place not just in their life, but in OUR life – and that kind of threw me.

There have been some tears tonight (from me too, privately) – even though the boys know 100% that they can be happy and talk about the baby in front of me, I am sure it feels a little strange for them to do so. I am still in the process of sorting out my own feelings – how can I help them with theirs if I am still confused?

I posted an update on my Facebook wall and the mazel tovs felt uncomfortable. Would I be feeling different if this baby would have been a boy?

Deep thoughts.

Thankfully the baby is healthy and has already brought much joy. May she continue to bring nachat to her parents and grandparents and allllll her brothers.

Calling all Challah Bakers!!

I am looking for at least 40 challah bakers* this Thursday to bake challah and daven for my very dear friend Leah Miriam Bat Shoshana – her kidney transplant surgery is scheduled for this Thursday – we may not be surgeons or nurses, but thru prayer and the mitzvah of challah we can truly help. Sign up below. Tizku leMitzvot!

* there is a tradition that if you have a chain of 40 women baking challah all davening for the same purpose, then that prayer has higher merit. If anyone knows the sources please feel free to share them with us.

LAUNCH OF THE G-D PROJECT

LAUNCH OF THE G-D PROJECT

A Web Space Devoted to Mini-Documentaries on Jews, G-d, and Spirituality.

A project of PunkTorah.org and sponsored by the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund, The G-d Project is a social media platform dedicated to Jewish questions about God and spirituality. The website serves as a free, online, evolving documentary and tool for Jewish learning. Our goal is nothing less than to help Jewish people talk about God and spirituality in an open, honest way.

The heart of the project is a series of mini-documentaries interviewing Jews across North America and Europe with different backgrounds, affiliations, and lifestyles in order to discover how people live and believe Jewishly in the post-modern world.

The G-d Project is uploading a video a week right now, but all videos will be officially dropped onto the site on September 12, 2011.

Fine the The G-D Project on FB and Twitter!

We know you’ll have questions, and we hope these will answer them. For more FAQs, please check out the website or shoot us an email.

Why do we spell God as G-d in our project title?
God in Jewish tradition has had many names: G-d, HaShem, Adonai, and so on. Therefore, calling this website The G-d Project reflects the Jewish identity of the The G-d Project experience. Additionally, having the space in the middle of G-d is an artistic statement: that the God concept is different for all people, and that we “fill in the blank” with our own ideas about what God is and how we experience God in our lives.

How can I submit my own video to The G-d Project?
There are two ways that you can be highlighted in The G-d Project. The first would be for our producer/director to come to your area and actually film you and your community. We are always taking inquiries from communities that are interested in participating in the project. Our travel budget is limited, but if we are able to get enough synagogues, non-profits, schools, or community centers in your area interested in the project, then we will work with you to schedule your filming and fly to your area. To invite The G-d Project to your community, simply email us (patrick@punktorah.org).

Also, you can submit your storytelling video online at http://theg-dproject.org/tell-your-story/ We can assist you via email, phone and/or Skype to help make this process easier for you.

PunkTorah, founded by Executive Director Patrick Aleph in 2009, is a Jewish non-profit that develops web-based tools to enhance Jewish life and promote independent Jewish spirituality. PunkTorah’s other projects include the web-based independent minyan OneShul, the Jewish food website NewKosher, the Community Siddur series of crowd-sourced liturgy and the flagship project, the PunkTorah.org blog.

Battle Picking is an Art Form

Sigh. During the school year the boys get up at the crack of dawn without a whimper. I wake them up, they get a 5 minute grace period (if the coffee is excellent, maybe 7 minutes) and then they know that Ima is coming. Fate worse than death to have Ima nagging in the morning, so up they get.

Summertime and the living is easy. When you’re a kid. When you have no bills to pay and no work to finish. Getting up becomes difficult.

I don’t expect a lot from the kids in these lazy days of summer – shower often, wear deodorant, keep your room clean and go to shul morning and evening. I don’t expect them to make the 7 am minyan (prayer service), but the 8 am – for sure.

It’s been a struggle for them, and while they were away for 3 weeks it was not my problem. But my house, my rules. We feed and clothe them, they have all the necessities of life handed to them on a plate ( a luxury or two as well – ice cream…) and we expect little in return other than respect, peace and harmony. (Ha!)

So this morning I had a conversation with the middle two – oldest one is working out of town – about making it on time for davening (praying) and staying for the whole service. The boys agreed that I had a point and from now on will make more of an effort.

Great.

Except. I went grocery shopping this evening. I had a fever, my head hurt, my neck was in agony, and I was as cranky as ever (Right KoD??). I called on the way home that I would be home in ten minutes, please come outside and unload the car for me. But Ima, says the teen, by the time you get home we will need to have left for mincha / maariv (evening prayers). I wanted to just respond that honouring your mother by unloading groceries was more important, but really – was it?

Insisting that they stay home to help me would totally have negated everything I had said this morning. But I needed their help. I had a conundrum.

I cogitated the whole way home. Got home and phew, they were still there. Between the two of them they emptied the trunk lickety spit, and then I drove them to shul, getting them there just in time.

It all worked out in the end, but how do you teach a child that yes, God does come first, but sometimes, Ima has to come first too?

Devastating News from Israel

Gunfire and anti-tank missiles targeting civilians in Eilat – 5 reported dead, many wounded.

Haaretz

Jerusalem Post

When will it end? Will it ever end?