Category Archives: slice of life


I had to make a quick trip to the local ER yesterday. Never-ending migraine plus dehydration from vomiting and not drinking enough due to the migraine. They pushed fluids into me, along with 4 different meds.

Feeling very shaky today, still nauseous, but there are less drums playing in the orchestra inside my head. This counts as progress. Sigh. I have stuff to do, darn it!

The hospital where I was treated, well, it was the hospital where my Dad died 19 years ago. I wonder if I will ever be able to enter that hospital and not think – this is where I last saw my father, this is where he died. I guess it’s all just part of life’s journey. I never thought in a million years I would end up living in Monsey – and here I am, raising my kids barely a couple of miles from where my Dad lived all those years ago.


Look Up!

Today’s Errands Included Trip to Police Station

I am home, I am fine. Shaken a little, but fine.

I was on my way to the allergist for my weekly shots. I was stopped a few cars back at a light (on Spook Rock, corner 59 for those that know Monsey) waiting to turn right. A guy tried to open the passenger door as I was waiting for the light to change. A guy, who I did not know nor recognize, tried to get into MY car without my permission.

Luckily my car doors automatically lock when I am driving, so he couldn’t get in. But he looked at me through the window as if to say “open the door, let me in”. I shook my head no and luckily the lights changed and I was able to drive off. I was shaken and non plussed – why had he tried to get into MY car? Who is he?

I texted the KoD to tell him what happened once I had arrived at the allergist and he immediately responded that I should call the police. My FB peeps told me the same thing. As soon as I was done at the allergist I popped over the road to the police station and reported it.

Why was my first reaction not to call police? Initially, I didn’t feel too threatened. Was it scary? Yes, but I didn’t feel I had been in huge danger. There’s lots of guys that try to hitchhike in Monsey – generally, tho, as soon as they see I am a woman, they step back. I had thought that perhaps this guy (and yes, he was dressed in Hassidic garb) mistook me for his ride, or for someone else. Perhaps it was an honest mistake. I was also thinking that there is no way they are going to be able to distinguish between all the Monsey guys that are bearded and wear glasses and wear white shirts, dark pants and a dark coat!

It bothered me though that when I was making my police report that they specifically asked if he was Hassidic. It made me feel awkward, informing on a fellow Jew. But if he is a scum bucket, it doesn’t matter what he looks like. And if it was an innocent mistake, no harm done.

The police are doubtful of finding him. If similar stories crop up, they will be in touch. No CCTV cameras here, and my description of him was so generic it was really pathetic. But it was the right thing to do to report it. I should have called 911 immediately.

The police officer was so helpful and personable. I was worried they would think I was wasting their time. Not at all. He was there to help.

Some safety tips:

  • NEVER put your purse / laptop bag / wallet on the passenger seat of your car. If you are stopped at a light, and your car doors are unlocked, someone can open the door and steal them faster than anything.
  • Lock your doors once you start driving if your car doesn’t do it automatically.
  • Do not text and drive.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Wear your seat-belt.
  • Make sure you know how to set off the panic button on your car alarm if you have one.

Do you have any tips to add?

Parental Supervision Ends at What Age?

I just took the ChatterBox out for pizza – he earned a free slice and a free ice cream through a learning program at school. While we were there a group of four girls came in, not one of them more than seven years of age. No parent with them. One girl went up to the counter, stood on tippy-toe to order,  and paid with the money she had been clutching in her fist.

The food was ready, the girls ate and chattered and ate and ordered ice cream. Then left. Again, alone. Now, I didn’t see where they went after leaving the store – perhaps a parent was waiting in the parking lot, perhaps they live just down the street. It just struck me that I would never allow my NINE year old to hang out in a public place without a parent present – yet these girls were without parental supervision for a prolonged period of time. I worried for them – if anyone wanted to walk off with one of them, it would not have been difficult.

Am I over-reacting? Is it OK for a group of 7 year-olds to be alone in a pizza store? At what age would it be ok? Am I coddling my 9 year old by not allowing him this kind of independence?

Please weigh in.

Modesty in Teaching?

In many yeshivas, the boys call each other by their last names, to the point that sometimes they don’t even know their friends’ first names. There’s been many a time that I have answered the phone and been asked if the kid on the other end can talk to “ExLastName” – “which one? there are four?” -“The one in my class” 🙂

But that’s a boy thing, apparently. I recently heard the following. In a local boys’ school, for the higher grades, one of the secular studies teachers happens to be female. She has told the parents of the boys that she will NOT call their sons by the first names because it would be a breach of tzniut, modesty. Calling them by their last names only apparently adds a few degrees of separation – especially with 7th and 8th graders. Even when speaking with the parents she uses the last name for the boy.

When I go to a parent teacher evening, or speak to a teacher on the phone, if they referred to my kid by his last name only I would be offended. I cannot control what happens in the classroom, but when you are talking to ME about MY kid you had better know his given name.

Is this ridiculous? Or understandable? Your thoughts please.



I was just at the pharmacy to pick something up for my son. Loooong line in front of me, and the pharmacy has a very small counter area. Six people can fit, barely.

Guy ahead of the guy ahead of me is asked for his birth date. He tells the pharmacist that he’ll write it down. Said that people can use this information to steal his identity. Fair point, I hear it, but I wouldn’t necessarily have thought that way.

Guy ahead of me was picking up antibiotics for his wife. Now I try not to listen in because well, it isn’t my business. But when people talk in loud voices in a confined space, you cannot help but hear. Fellow (a religious guy) was told that his wife needs to use a secondary method of birth control while taking the antibiotics. Guy says “my wife isn’t taking any birth control, thank you very much” and the pharmacist says “our records state that she is on the Pill”. Dude is getting very embarrassed and asks to pay so he can leave, and told the pharmacist off for his lack of discretion.

I was appalled. Obviously this guy didn’t want it advertised that his wife is on the Pill – rightly so. He did, however, need to be informed that antibiotics can render the Pill temporarily ineffective. There should have been a way for this to be transmitted without causing any embarrassment to the customer.

I am surprised the guy didn’t make a scene. He seemed so upset…

An Oasis of Calm

I don’t know about you but lazy hazy Sundays are a thing of the past. I spend most of my Sundays carpooling my 4 boys to 3 different schools. First carpool is at 7.15 am, last is at 8.30 pm.  On the lightest Sunday, I still have the earliest and the latest to do. There is never a break.

I dream of sleeping in on Sundays (by sleeping in, I mean past 6.30 am). It has happened once or twice, generally when they boys are in Montreal visiting their father.

Today I was up before it was light, by 9 all the kids were at all their various educational establishments and I wanted some time to myself. Time away from the chores that awaited me at home. Laundry and dishes can always wait!

I went to the gym. I left my phone in the car on purpose. I took a book with me, propped it up so I could read while I worked out on the elliptical. I lost myself in the story for a good solid half an hour, was not aware of my surroundings, my legs were moving rhythmically without much thought going into it. It was bliss.

I want to try for a half hour of similar bliss every day – and not necessarily at the gym. Just time to be myself, to be uninterrupted by technology, to just breathe and just BE.

Do you carve out any me-time? How?

Of flu shots and allergists

So, I have a confession to make. I have been seeing someone. An allergist. He’s really good to me. His goal as he told me early on, was to make me feel good, to make me feel better. Sigh.

I went through a battery of allergy tests a month ago – I resembled a human pin cushion, but the results showed that I was allergic to trees, ragweed, mold, pets, lots of stuff. As if my high decibel level sneezing was not an indication of that! (I sneeze in sevens, I am weird like that).

We started medication and put in to play some of the allergist’s suggestions of making the house as low in allergens as possible, and I am feeling heaps better.

Today was my follow-up, and apparently my nose looks great (from the inside…) Doc Allergist wanted me to have a flu shot. I told him I always get sick from them, no thank you, besides they hurt!! But, it has been years since I had one, and he told me they are improving on it every year, what’s the harm in it? The harm is it’s me getting the flu. But I’d probably get it anyway from the kids – they share all the germs they pick up at school. I hemmed and I hawed, and told him to shoot me up. It’s no longer intramuscular. He didn’t tell me that. There would have been no hemmage or hawage. I don’t like pain. And this shot was a tiny prick. No pain at all.

So, of course, driving home my throat felt scratchy and I was sure my body was starting to ache – I am such a hypochondriac sometimes. I am fine and nothing really hurts, but oh the mind is a powerful thing.

Did you have the shot? Did you get sick from it? Did you have psychosomatic symptoms?

Modesty in the Hospital

A few people have mentioned this topic to me, or asked me what my modesty plans were with my upcoming surgery.

Do I plan to keep my hair covered all the time in the hospital, will I be wearing a hospital gown with my posterior peeking through the back, do I even care about being modest in the hospital?

So here are my thoughts. Of course I will try to keep myself modest at all times. However, I honestly don’t believe that it needs to be my primary concern. I will try to make sure my hair is covered if I have visitors but honestly, if I am in too much pain to care about it, so be it. If I am in that much pain that I don’t care, I won’t want to see anyone anyway.

I know this is different than giving birth, but I remember the first birth. I made sure that my tichel was on my head every second of that 38 hour labour. It didn’t matter that below the waist was uncovered. I spent so much energy making sure it was covered and it was just ridiculous. No one was looking at my head! I soon learned that you leave modesty at the door when giving birth in a busy hospital. There is no way to give birth and keep everything covered at all times.

My health is my priority. Will I try to be modest? Absolutely. Will I allow it to drive me crazy? Absolutely not.

What are your thoughts?

Chicken – it’s what’s for dinner!

Last night’s chicken dinner was awesome. In fact, my 15 year old son said to me, “no offense Ima, but this tastes better than anything you ever made”. Ouch. But that was after he said “Mmmm, this chicken tastes………DEAD” so you can’t necessarily trust his opinion.

I did technically cook the chicken – but it came from Empire Kosher. And I cooked it in the microwave. It’s great – it’s a whole 3 lb chicken, pre-seasoned (garlic and hhhhherb*), you take it out of the packaging, pierce two small holes in the special microwave wrap that’s around the chicken, put it on a plate, in the microwave, press 20 minutes and DONE. No muss, no fuss. Easy Shmeasy. The way I like it! For busy parents, this is an easy dinner on a school night – just throw together some sides, and you have a great nutritious meal in TWENTY MINUTES.

Very soon after I put the chicken in the microwave, the delicious aroma of the cooking chicken wafted through the house, bringing boys running from all quarters. By the time that chicken came out of the oven the boys were salivating.

It really does look like that. Except no grapes and greenery!

I carved up the chicken – juices were leaking everywhere, which is a good thing! I served dinner – the chicken along with starch and a veggie, and we dug in.

The chicken was moist (“Wet” as one as the kids said…oy) and tender, flavorful and just plain perfect. Seriously. The only problem was that there wasn’t enough of it. It’s a 3 lb chicken. I have a husband, THREE teenage boys with hollow legs, and a nine year old. Plus myself – and we all know I love to eat. Luckily the oldest teen wasn’t here, or there would not have been enough.

The verdict was unanimous. Delicious and please can we have it again tomorrow.

So here’s what I have to say to the folks at EMPIRE. Awesome product – thanks for sending it to me. My kids had a blast telling their friends that we received a chicken in the mail. I am so thrilled to hear you have a BBQ version coming out soon – we plan to try that one as well. I hate carving chickens and turkeys and ducks – could you perhaps use the same awesome microwave technology and sell these fine fowl in pieces? Also – for those bigger families – can you sell bigger chickens – like 5 lb-ers – so that there is enough to go around?

Folks – this “microwaveable” chicken retails at around $10.99 in my area – which is good value seeing as it is pre-cleaned, pre-seasoned, pre-prepared and all you have to do is press a button or two on the microwave.

So from us here at the Hearts / Diamonds Palace – five thumbs up! (or should that be ten?)

*there is an H at the start of HERB – it needs to be pronounced.

Note: I was given this product free of charge. My review expresses my honest opinion and I was not paid in anyway for it.

AWESOMENESS – was just informed that this fall / winter season there will be microwaveable cutlets available – cook for 2 minutes 15 seconds each.  Those will be perfect for my son that eats lunch and supper in school!!