Monday, September 29, 2008

Rosh Hashanah Meals

Rosh Hashanah Meal Plan








Round Challah (fresh?)


Leftover Soop

Blintz Loaf thing







                ~ Pomegranate

                ~ Dates

                ~ Apples

                ~ Fish head

                ~ Carrot

                ~ Beets

                ~ Bee nest honey




Round Challah

G fish (tricolore)

Pumpkin/Cider Soup

Cabbage Rolls

Honey Cake

David Lantos / Doueks



G fish?

Soup – leek & tatoe


Zuqueemi w/Garlic

Ace Bread

Pumpkin cheesecake!



Leftover lasagna

(if there is




To shop for RH:

·         Chrayn

·         Ground beef

·         Pomegranate

·         Zucchini

·         Sticky Rice

·         Frozen Bodek Spinch



Birthdays a'comin' up...

So, like I always tell the kids... "you could celebrate your English birthday - if you were English."
Elisheva's is a little weird because she was born "between the days" (after the sun starts to set, but before it is completely finished), so we observe it on the 8th of Teves.
And here's a great "bulk" calculator that lets you do a bunch of dates at once!
So here are ALL our dates to 2018 - print and cut and paste prominently to be sure you don't miss even one! (I like this because it becomes very clear that our birthdays are on the SAME day every year...):
Fri 10-Oct-2008 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Fri 24-Oct-2008 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Sun 04-Jan-2009 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Wed 14-Jan-2009 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Sun 08-Mar-2009 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Sun 23-Aug-2009 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Tue 29-Sep-2009 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Tue 13-Oct-2009 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Fri 25-Dec-2009 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Mon 04-Jan-2010 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Fri 26-Feb-2010 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Fri 13-Aug-2010 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Sun 19-Sep-2010 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Sun 03-Oct-2010 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Wed 15-Dec-2010 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Sat 25-Dec-2010 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Wed 16-Feb-2011 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar I)
Fri 02-Sep-2011 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Sun 09-Oct-2011 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Sun 23-Oct-2011 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Tue 03-Jan-2012 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Fri 13-Jan-2012 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Tue 06-Mar-2012 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Tue 21-Aug-2012 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Thu 27-Sep-2012 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Thu 11-Oct-2012 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Fri 21-Dec-2012 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Mon 31-Dec-2012 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Fri 22-Feb-2013 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Fri 09-Aug-2013 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Sun 15-Sep-2013 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Sun 29-Sep-2013 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Wed 11-Dec-2013 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Sat 21-Dec-2013 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Wed 12-Feb-2014 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar I)
Fri 29-Aug-2014 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Sun 05-Oct-2014 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Sun 19-Oct-2014 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Tue 30-Dec-2014 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Fri 09-Jan-2015 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Tue 03-Mar-2015 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Tue 18-Aug-2015 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Thu 24-Sep-2015 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Thu 08-Oct-2015 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Sun 20-Dec-2015 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Wed 30-Dec-2015 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Sun 21-Feb-2016 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar I)
Tue 06-Sep-2016 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Thu 13-Oct-2016 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Thu 27-Oct-2016 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Fri 06-Jan-2017 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Mon 16-Jan-2017 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Fri 10-Mar-2017 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Fri 25-Aug-2017 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Sun 01-Oct-2017 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Sun 15-Oct-2017 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Tue 26-Dec-2017 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Fri 05-Jan-2018 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)
Tue 27-Feb-2018 NR's Hebrew Birthday (12th of Adar)
Tue 14-Aug-2018 TM's Hebrew Birthday (3rd of Elul)
Thu 20-Sep-2018 GZ's Hebrew Birthday (11th of Tishrei)
Thu 04-Oct-2018 YM's Hebrew Birthday (25th of Tishrei)
Sun 16-Dec-2018 EC's Hebrew Birthday (8th of Tevet)
Wed 26-Dec-2018 JM's Hebrew Birthday (18th of Tevet)

So we're gearing up for Rosh Hashana tomorrow night; it's going to be an interesting one. We continue having "normal" family meals with my parents every few days - the only difference is my father doesn't / can't eat. My oncologist friend says she'd be very surprised if he made it a year (I don't have many doctor friends - nothing shocks or saddens them and they're so brutal sometimes...).
Oh - he offered me his mortgage broker business; I politely declined... zero interest in real estate, from any angle. So I guess they'll get financial people to wrap up the business and not do any new investments.
Sara is dating a holistic nutrition consultant who is recommending some unusual therapies. I do not like him, not that anybody asked. Altogether too mellow for me, and much too talkative about the subject of "remineralizing" the acidic cancerous body and healing through food supplements. I think I'm open to a range of therapies, but he really seems SO not qualified to even talk on the subject.
Sara, however, is utterly smitten and believes he has a wealth of expertise. I dunno... maybe he has counselled many, many people through this exact same thing. I doubt it. I'd love to meet survivors, but as she pointed out, few people throw themselves wholeheartedly into that type of approach, so maybe there are none - just dead skeptics.
And Eli is Eli - he believes everything is his fault and started literally wailing at supper tonight that nobody understands what he goes through.
Which made YM cry, so I went out and gave him a big hug.
While Abigail immerses herself in her new life in the English Department at McMaster.
And my mother cooks and cleans.
We are all like that story of the blind men and the elephant, groping in the dark and coming up with our own answers about what the heck the big wrinkly grey thing is in our midst.
I'm the one in the back, collecting manure for the garden. ;-)))
Tov Li falafel.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

SO relieved!

Called the dentist and there was no answer, but I just checked back here and my first appointment isn't until October 28th... yay! I have now written them on the new calendar - hooray!
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Oven still broken

But things are somehow looking a little less bleak on this warm, sunny afternoon. Here are some pictures of our happy family from this past summer!

Meanwhile, yes, the oven is still broken, and there's no way we can pay for it before Yom Tov, so there it is. I sure do hope the downstairs one still works. Ted is turning on the gas and testing it when he gets home (late) this evening.


Tuesday: Chili with cornmeal plus bisquik biscuits baked on top, Eden brand refried beans, mushroom barley soup from a tin that was so awful... that was the day YM & I went to the allergy doctor. More on that later.

Wednesday: OMG, omg! The best, best, chicken stir-fry ever. Made a not-too-sweet stir-fry sauce based on fresh squeezed orange juice and chicken soup. Plus oven-baked fried rice, which was when I discovered the oven was broken. I made the oven-fried rice with mostly sticky rice and a little basmati - YUM! It was so perfect!

And then, tonight (Thursday):

Ted's working late, so...
Leftover - chili from Wednesday night - it was actually amazing chili, with beans and Yves fake ground meat and a couple of tins of tomatoes and taco seasoning. Super, super easy and very impressive. Plus, lots of cheap food to go around.

Oh, plus some kind of corn soup from my mother that I will doubtless have to doctor because it's from a tetra pak with some creamed corn thrown in. My father refused to eat it... like he does with most things these days.

She seems depressed because he's not eating anything. Fair enough; I think I would take it very personally, even if I completly understood the underlying medical condition. I take it personally if Ted has a stomach thingy and can't eat for a couple of days: can't imagine what it would be like if he couldn't eat my food again ever. Yes, I know it's immature, but I'd sure get mad. Food is love, right?

Well, it is, isn't it?

Okay, don't answer that.

I love this picture of YM because it's rare that I get to see how his body is developing (ok, gack, cliché coming) into manhood. And I don't take enough pictures of him because, honestly, he gets on my nerves sometimes.

But he pointed out last week, there hasn't been any screaming from him since he started school, and I think it's worth taking some time (here) to stop and note that, as well as telling him (which I did) that I was proud of him (and appreciated his pointing it out because honestly sometimes I'm too busy to notice one less fly buzzing around my head, even though his yelling was a BIIiiiig fly).

I keep telling him, these long school days are very very good for him. I think most kids in high school have too much time on their hands and either want to get jobs (ie disposable income to spend on disposable stuff like phones and mp3 players) or hang out getting into trouble. Well, the kids at his school kind of get into trouble anyway, and it does worry him, because it's his first exposure to high-school-aged kids after the past two years in a very sheltered environment. His idea of trouble is smoking. My idea of trouble is pregnancy: not much chance of that in an all-boys' school, right? I know bad stuff does happen in yeshivos and Bais Yaakov schools and everywhere... but I think there's enough supervision, plus smoking is really the most minor thing compared to what could be happening.

Oy, enough. Must go reseed the lawn. Maybe I'll take pictures and post them here later; it's coming along great...! I believe the grass is even rooting through the newspaper, though we will see in a couple of weeks...

Our neighbour Pianist Paul, who always blesses our things as he walks past (he never fails to utter some kindness towards our garden, our trees, our lawn... even when it was 93% clover!) tugged on one of the grasses the other day and said he believed it was holding. We'll see.

Today, as I was pulling in from taking Naomi to Morah Ilana (Gavriel Zev was sleeping so he stayed here with Ted), carefully avoiding the stack of trash at the end of the driveway, he blessed my driving skills, saying he has no idea why they say women are bad drivers. He looked awful today, though. Ashen and gray. I hope he's alright. There is a white-haired man who also walks up and down the street... I just figured out a couple of months ago that they are partners.

That's my mother's word - "partner." I don't like to say "partner," as it makes the whole thing sound like a shady business deal. Husbands... a little too mainstream. Boyfriends... a little too giggly. Anyway, they live together. And I just figured it out. I mean, I've known he was gay always... he used to play piano somewhere with my mother, though I never know if he knows this when he stops to chat and offer his daily Yard Blessing.

And after 3 years of us living here, it's a bit too late to mention it, because then you have that awkward "I know that!" conversation. That everybody seems to have when I try to fill in one of these "backstory" type connections. Am I the only one who doesn't remember the past?

I realized this morning that we haven't visited Sara's cats in about a year, maybe more. I was thinking of taking Naomi down there tomorrow morning when Ted's off work. But first I have to make sure I don't have a dentist appt, which means I have to call the dentist's office and find out when I made all those appointments for, which I have been putting off all week... okay, biting the bullet, and thenI'll go overseed the lawn.

<3 J
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oven's broken! And a ballerina comes to call!

Oy, the oven is broken after working fine last night and I was going crazy trying to figure out what was for supper and I finally decided oven fried rice - ah, the irony.  Everything works except the BAKE feature - self-clean, broil, etc.  That can't and won't be a cheap fix and we have NO MONEY at the moment at all.  My mother pointed out we have an oven in the basement... oy... maybe get Ted to light the pilot at least so I can accomplish some Rosh Hashana baking.  It's not even kosher down there.  :-(((
Meanwhile, Naomi Rivka didn't sleep at all after being exhausted after lunch and finally I was about to get her up and she said I should change her diaper because she had a "kakkie" in it (who knows how you spell that???  weird that I've been using the word for however-long and never stopped to spell it out...).
Anyway, I went ballistic because she'd been awake the whole time and could have asked to go to the potty.  Which I said to her:  "Naughty girl - you sat on Elisheva's bed and made a kakkie?!?  I don't mind if you do it when you're sleeping, but if you're awake, that's very naughty!"
At which point, she looked really sorry, and said, "it was a ballerina!"  Like that explained everything.
Umm... what?
I pictured some kind of torpedo poo sliding out of her gracefully... so I softened a little and said, "umm... what?"
"What's it called when it comes out really fast?" she asked.
OHhhhh.... DIARRHEA.
"Okay," I said... "let's go change your diaper."
She will never, ever live this one down.  :-)))
<3 J
Oven-fried rice
Chicken stir-fry
Leftover Shabbos chicken soup
I hope.
The oven-fried rice is in my mother's oven now.  Bagh.
They all look so dumb.
Ted's on his way home... must produce something resembling food.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Replacement wheels for Perego Carriage

Found at the curb! But one of the wheels is totally not useable... waaah!

Letter w/attachments to Peg Perego Canada:

I'm attaching pictures of a lovely old-style pram/carriage that has been
passed along to us. The only problem is - as you can see - the wheels
are in rough shape, and one doesn't hold air at all. I'm wondering whether
it would be possible to purchase new wheels - or, even better, used wheels from
old, broken carriages - at your Pickering location, and if so, how much they'd

(p.s. Would it be possible to find out the name of this model to help me
locate the wheels I need?)

Thanks in advance!

Jennifer M.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My garden mood

This is my Garden Mood right now, by the way... everything's dying, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

That's why I'm loving this Jamaica Kincaid book. She hates winter, too. Loves the other three seasons, but just does not see the point in straining to find "winter interest" when the things that are interesting in the winter are mostly bleak and depressing. Glad I don't live in Vermont like she does - I imagine you'd be more desperate than even we are here...

Off to watch more House, M.D. :-)
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I should read this thing more often!

Turns out I already mentioned the Ottawa trip the other day. So disregard where I explain the whole thing all over again. You're nice that way; I'm sure you'll understand.
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I am only slightly miffed that my mother is terrified of catching my cold so she didn't offer to help out with the baby or anything today.

I don't know if "miffed" is the right word. Annoyed, definitely. Somewhere between "miffed" and "po'd".

Honestly, she has a right - she has to keep herself healthy; I know that. Would have been nice if she'd offered, though. Or if somebody had. A fairy godmother: "I see you're feeling crappolish. Want me to take the baby for a walk for an hour?"

It was a beautiful day. It would have been a nice walk - for somebody. Instead, I took him, and it was fine. I'm just whining. But that's what blogs are for, right??? :-)

<3 J
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P.S. I was too sick

to enjoy my Shabbos alone - gack.  My regular allergic stuffiness and sniffling has been replaced by the extreme sneezing and snottiness of a cold - what a delightful change of pace.  So I was all alone with the baby all night and all day and too miserable to enjoy a nice late night of reading... :-(((
Had to pause there and sneeze a bunch of times.  Must run now to sneeze some more.
Achoo.  At least the constant sneezing keeps the baby amused.
He heard someone sneeze yesterday and signed NOISY, which he also does for trucks going past, etc.  He has also spontaneously signed BOOK and CHEESE.  He signed CHEESE when I served him some, even though I hadn't served it in a while and hadn't signed it first.  He also signs BIRD and DUCK and uses two fingers for DUCK so it looks different from BIRD.  (he uses the top fingers only, so BIRD just looks like a wiggly pointer finger) 
He also says "duck" and his pronunciation of a few other words ("cat") is getting better too.
He is much more confident on his feet, and usually only needs one finger plus another object to haul himself around.  And when sitting down, he is loving the scooting motion of his tushie to get himself basically anywhere.  We are all being super-careful with the Down Door now that he can get over there... he is very interested in doors in general.
I love this baby, but on Thursday, when Naomi slept in Elisheva's room because they were leaving for Ottawa in the morning, he cried and cried for literally three hours.  Last night was a bit better, but tonight he has been wailing off and on.  He really misses having her in there, I think.
Okay, this is kind of backwards since I've already referred to it, but Ted & Naomi Rivka left for Ottawa with Bobby (Ted's brother) at 6 a.m. yesterday.  Naomi asked me Wednesday night what colour Bobby's car was, and I guessed it was white - and I guessed right.  Naomi was thrilled to be on her way, even though it came as a surprise.  Just hopped right in without a backwards glance.  Sigh... my baby... and all that.
I talked to her briefly before Shabbos.  My biggest worry was the Shabbos thing - the two of them being an island of Shabbos in a family of definitely NOT Shabbos.  But probably everybody was so busy with the wedding (Ted's nephew) that they won't have been around much.  I hope Ted got a chance to party with his nephew a bit after Shabbos went out.  And how lovely for everybody to enjoy Naomi.  Is that super-conceited of me, or what, to assume that everybody enjoys my children every bit as much as I do???  But why wouldn't they?  She's lovely!  (despite crying and whining all the time)
Hope Ted comes back with some serious Ottawa bagel action... :-)))
Thursday - Freezer supper!:
~ Blintzes
~ Fish (sole fried in pan)
~ Creamed corn
Sara was here, and I was going to have an easy Shabbos because I felt crappolish so when I drove Elisheva up to her friend's house, I went over to Sobey's to buy prepared side dishes etc... only to discover... no %$@ BANK CARD.  Drat, drat, drat.  So I came home and made Sara fry up some latke mix and did sweet potatoes and I made shake n' bake boneless chicken thighs and in the end it was okay.  Everything was delicious, we had a nice supper with the baby.  Surreal and maybe a little awkward having the whole house to ourselves.  I kept apologizing for feeling yuck when I didn't feel the least sorry, just antisocial.  But it's nice having company for Shabbos; keeps me from cracking open a novel with supper and forgetting about Shabbos altogether.
Gut voch!  (YM made havdalah in Ted's absence, which I think puffed him up a little... though I forgot and sent him to brush his teeth, and then he had to rebrush them after havdalah)
<3 J

Posted at the Library website

"Loving my current book - My Garden (Book) by Jamaica Kincaid! It's a
fascinating and nuanced reflection by this well-known author on her garden and
many related subjects.

HOWEVER... despite bearing a Dewey number 635 on its
spine (being a gardening book, hence the title), and despite my frequent
haunting of our library's gardening section (Dewey number 635) I would never
have found this book if it hadn't been sitting on a cart. Why?

Because the author is black - so it's shelved in the Black and Caribbean
Heritage section. Not only does this totally defeat the purpose of the
Dewey classification, but seems to reflect the worst kind of paternalism (ie
"black people need their own section of the library to feel confident and

I feel betrayed by the discovery that I may not find excellent books
by black authors in the "regular" sections of the library. What if I'm
looking for a book of guidance on a medical topic, but some authors happen to be
black? Where would those books be shelved? What about
Communications, Cultural Studies, Meteorology? Are all black authors
relegated to the BCH section, regardless of their subject matter?

I understand the rationale behind the special heritage collections. Yet,
despite the Jewish Mosaic collection, for example, there are many fine books by
Jewish authors throughout the library. I'm not sure what the criteria are
for "ghetto-izing" certain books by black authors, but in some cases - as with
this particular book - that policy should probably be re-examined.

I'd be interested in understanding this policy, and the decision to shelve this book in
the BCH section, a little further. Thank you!"
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's been... one year

Well, it will be one year, anyway.
That's what the oncologist said, though my mother said she introduced herself as a medical (as opposed to surgical) cancer specialist.

My father's always told us he never had grandparents, so I guess it's like Dr Laura always says: you get two chances to be in a parent-child relationship (or, in this case, grandparent-child)... once when you're a kid, and once when you grow up to be a parent (grandparent). So if life gives you lemons - in this case, the holocaust to take away all his European relatives - my father has spent the last fourteen years making the most fantastic grandfather lemonade. Ugh. What a lousy, strained metaphor.

I thought it was an empty cliché that they actually tell you how much time you've got left.
I feel like I can barely complain; I mean, one year sounds like a ton of time.
One more Rosh Hashanah. One more Chanukah. One more of everybody's birthday.

I told YM - without specifics - to enjoy the time and memories that he has with his zeidy, and to cherish them for the littles, who will probably not have the memories he does... just as I remember my own grandparents in a way that Sara and Abigail never can: vigourous, independent, not-so-old people with interests and quirks of their own.

On the other hand...
In this family, it takes hours to say goodbye after a simple Sunday-evening supper. We're going to need every minute of that year, I suspect.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When wasps attack

At the Children's Garden tonight, it was getting dark too quickly to have storytime and I was cutting up the watermelon for Claire, quite distracted by the thousands of annoying mosquitos swarming around my head when all of a sudden Naomi started screaming & crying. I went over to find out what was wrong with her, and felt a shudden, sharp bite on my arm... and then all hell broke loose as every single child began screaming and crying.


Every SINGLE one of the dozen or so children there burst out in screams and tears, erupting from the garden, some shedding clothes as they went.

It was a wasp hive, apparently lurking in the composter, that had gotten both angry at having weeds dumped on top of them throughout the evening and perhaps riled up by the scent of the watermelon circulating in the garden.

The wasps embedded themselves in some kids' clothing and a couple of adults' hair. Claire is very allergic to wasps... luckily, she didn't get bitten.

And by some weird miracle that nobody else seems to think is amazing, NONE of the babies got bitten: Daniel, Gavriel Zev, and there were even two newborns there, they all got out without a single bite. I mean, almost every single person got bitten except them. Maybe there is some smell that babies have that wasps don't like? Maybe we can put it in a bottle for next week?

Ha ha... as if Naomi's going back next week without a fight. She's been scared to go out at night for weeks because of the bloody mosquitos and now THIS...

On top of which, she already has a bloody, bruised lip from tripping and falling at Mrs ViKi's, just at the moment that another mother was teaching her the rule about NOT RUNNING INDOORS. Which, to me, is a pretty arbitrary rule, because you're allowed to run outdoors even though there are harder surfaces and more tripping hazards.

Ted's mother called him this evening to tell him his brother was in the hospital with chest pain. And the way everything's going this week - oh, Nanny's in the hospital again - I naturally assumed the worst. But then it turns out he was only there for a couple of hours this morning, and he's been out for hours and just didn't tell his parents because he didn't tell them he was AT the hospital in the first place. Somebody must have leaked the news to them in the morning, when he went in, and then forgot to unleak it when he left in perfect health.

He's going down there this weekend with Naomi - as long as she stays healthy. It's his nephew's wedding... don't ask me which nephew. I guess it's my nephew's wedding also, but a) we can't afford another Family Trip, and b) the big kids have school on Friday and YM has school on Sunday. I think it will be a wonderful adventure for Naomi to go on a trip alone with her Abba... as long as they can find a way to make it Shabbos, even in Granny & Grandpa's very non-Shabbosdik house.

I told Ted it's okay for him to keep Shabbos alone when it's just him, but when there are kids involved, you really have to make it FEEL like Shabbos. For one thing, I think she'd feel totally ripped off without the entire Shabbos experience. He's planning to walk with her to a park. The no-eruv thing will be weird for both of them. Well, okay, the whole experience will be weird for both of them.

I did wonder briefly about exposing Naomi to their perpetually smoky house, but a) they've both cut down quite a bit, I think... the house was very tolerable when we were there in July. And also, b) it's only two bloody days... and the possible health repercussions of two days of secondhand smoke are far, FAR outweighed by the benefit of her spending time with Granny and Grandpa.

Tomorrow I must round up Granny-selected outfits to send along with Naomi so Granny actually gets to see the clothes she picks out, not just pay the bills for them.

Oh - impulse decision I may regret: in the car on the way home from shopping today, we were listening to Yom Tov music on a CD and I told Naomi she could have a Sukkah Party and invite her friends. We made eight invitations for the Sunday of Chol Hamoed and delivered them all today. She is over the moon with excitement, and kept saying, "we have to invite MADELEINE, MADELEINE, MADELEINE."

I suspect Madeleine has become a somewhat exotic, unknown quantity now that she's a great, big kindergartener and not just another 3-year-old. She is just another 3-year-old, for another month, I think, but she's ALSO a kindergartener and that makes her very, very mature in Naomi's eyes. She also said we could invite Mrs. Duke from down the street and Claire from the garden, plus Bubby and Zeidy. So of the 8 invitations, only five went to actual children: Anthony, Madeleine (of course!), Ma'ayan, Jacob down the street, and Yakira. I will also mention it to the parents of Eliyahu, another boy her age who lives nearby.

Anthony & Madeleine aren't Jewish and I was somewhat terse with both mamas; they both asked me what a Sukkah Party was and I admit, I didn't feel like explaining. Partially, it is annoyance that everybody knows what Chanukah is and nobody ever asks about any other holidays... although then I was too annoyed to answer when they finally did ask about Sukkos. I feel like slapping everybody and saying, "this holiday that our government has the chutzpah to schedule an election for is WAY more important than Chanukah ever was." Baah. Maybe I'm just grumpy today. And inarticulate, too...

I will explain better tomorrow. :-)

Nuff said.


<3 J

P.S. Elisheva's going to Ricki's for Shabbos, and with Ted & Naomi away, I suggested that it might be a good week for YM to sleep over at Elijah's house. I've already invited Sara, and my secret fantasy is a just-us-two dinner for me and her (well, the baby can stay up for kiddush and a bit), with a bit of talk and then she leaves and lets me get to the serious business of READING into the wee, wee hours!!!
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Let us return

To the Shepherd's Pie for a moment. I just want to mention that this was absolutely knock-your-socks-off Shepherd's Pie... fabulous! I know it doesn't look appetizing at all in the picture here, but I used two secret ingredients, in addition to starting with ground turkey because Fortino's had no other ground meat. Secret ingredient #1 - a big jar of babyfood squash (Stage 2, if it makes a difference), and Secret ingredient #2 - little tiny cubes of mango. The weird thing is, I asked Ted to name the secret ingredient - and then I couldn't find a single piece of mango. There was a WHOLE mango in this thing, all cut into cubes, and every single cube simply vanished, leaving behind a subtle yellowy sweetness. Very subtle, because it was a pretty underripe, nasty mango. I used it basically because I wanted to see if I could grow out the pit as yet another Winter Gardening project. :-)
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Week in Suppers!

Sunday: BBQ at parents' place

Monday: Shepherd's Pie, garden beans

The tomato seen here is from the garden but I don't remember what it is... Gaaah! Maybe Purple Cherokee??? No idea - how horrible!
We had two of the Blanche Beauté tomatoes on Sunday evening at my parents' house. I read somewhere online that white tomatoes just taste pale but to me, they tasted delicate and quite nice. However, I am totally into the dark, smoky, black and purple tomatoes at the moment. Not enough of them ripening to keep me happy - aaargh. They're just sitting there, shivering their bunnies off.

(whatever that means)

Tuesday: Broccoli quiche, farmers' market Fingerling potatoes, split pea soup and - yes, more peas, frozen ones this time, on the side.

Wednesday (tonight): Salmon loaf with basmati rice and tinned french-style beans, crispy cinnamon oven-baked tortillas afterwards.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

And the green grass grew...

...All around, all around...
And the green grass grew all around!

7 days to germination! Not bad, compared to up to a month for some lawn grasses...

What look like snowy patches around the grass is actually bare patches where the soil has washed away during the past week's rains. Let's all hope there's enough soil for the grasslings to start rooting. And that I didn't make the newspaper too thick and the grasslings can push their nice strong native clod-busting roots through it and not just fade away because it's too shallow. Ugh, I'll never forgive myself if it all dies out within a few days.... :-(((
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Farmers' Market Supper - Wednesday

I know it's a few days late, but I just realized I had these pictures in my camera...


Farmer's market supper: orange "cheddar" cauliflower, corn, potato-leek soup, Ace bread, and milkshake!!! The cheddar cauliflower tastes nothing like cheddar, but retains most of its lovely orange hue. I roasted it with curry powder and olive oil... delicious!


Family supper: Mommy took Nanny down to the hospital, so Daddy and Abigail came here. I made the world's most delicious pasta sauce with a medley of Children's Garden tomatoes... then wasted it on a bunch of Fettuce. It came out tasting overly dry and exactly like tinned tomato sauce. Not bad, just not stunning, the way the sauce was on its own. Quel Disappointing.


Family again! With Mommy and Sara here this time. Standard issue. Chicken (shake n' bake sugary bbq sauce flavour, which was a huge hit!), kugel (undersalted), corn. Oh, mushroom crepes were the outstanding hit of the evening. Could not find the beets I'd bought at the farmer's market intending to roast them for Shabbos. Half were here but the other half, still stashed in a hat from when they'd been in the bottom of the carriage on Wednesday, were mysteriously ABSENT. Finally found them today (Sunday) tossed, still in the hat, into the laundry bin. Elisheva denies responsibility, but she was the one who cleared the coffee table and sofa, so I'm suspicious...

Naomi's finally asleep, must go do something productive. Oh! The grass is up! I'll post those pics first.

<3 J
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Baskin Robbins Coupon Debacle Incident

Submitted at the Baskin Robbins Canada website:
"My husband & I filled out the online survey at and received two $1 off coupons.  Today, we took two of our children with us to the Yorkdale Mall BR location.  I placed my order and then handed the server one of the coupons.  Despite the fact that the store was actively promoting the "fill out the survey, receive a $1 coupon" offer, she refused to honour them, saying she'd never seen them and her boss wasn't there.  I asked her to phone her boss, and she refused, insisting that we must pay the full total until finally, we walked away, leaving our ice cream on the counter and our kids very disappointed.  I have never received such awful customer service in a BR location - ironically, in return for reporting a rave review about our treatment at our LAST BR visit (at Woodbine Centre), and I wanted to let you know how very upset we were by this incident - your comments about this incident would be appreciated.  Thank you,"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

tHE other thing -

Hey - I just noticed yesterday:  Eli has teeth.  My goodness, it makes a difference to one's appearance to have upper front teeth.  They're implants.  I'm so happy my parents could afford them and my mother followed through getting them for him.
So it's malignant.  I'm thinking I'll tell the older kids pretty soon - they'll notice anyway - and wait a while for the younger ones because they're pretty clueless.
Blah.  I'm making everyone a big pot o' fettucine to cheer them up, though.  With children's garden tomatoes.
This development - the tumour, not the pasta - ought to keep my mother busy.  She's constantly busy caretaking the entire family.  Between Nanny, Eli & my dad, she's always running around looking after somebody.  (which, when I'm feeling immature, pisses me off about when I'd just had the baby & could barely walk, let alone do the laundry, and she didn't have a minute to come take the other two off my hands - we have lived two blocks away for over three years and she took Naomi out exactly ONCE)
<3 J
P.S. (when I'm more mature, which is ALL of the time, I acknowledge that they do so much for us every single day that it's really crummy to even think such things...)


With my lousy battered-by-babies brain and memory, the only thing I remember about September 11, 2001, is arriving at my desk and then the phone started ringing... it was Jeremy (up early in Calgary time!); the world was ending and something felt very right about that call... we talked for a long time, watching the video stuff on the Internet as the second plane came in... and wondered how it was all going to end.
Baby awake, parcel here,
<3 J

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Find the spider

This is a wonderful spider who turned up in our front garden. I only noticed it after I watered and saw that the water droplets had beaded up all over her web... beautiful.
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Or maybe

I can punish Ted more effectively by making a faaaaabulous supper with delicious fresh veggies from the marmers' farket.

Not sure exactly how that would punish him, though. Unless I told him he couldn't eat any.
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Cheerful baby, miserable me

Oh, no... SO tired. Woke up stuffy & miserable at 3:30 for the 120th time in a row and then it took over an hour on the sofa to fall back asleep. THIS HOUSE IS KILLING ME... just not fast enough; it's taking its time, little by little.
And then the baby woke up at 5. He doesn't wail in the morning now, just kind of whimpers - it's a low-grade crying, so hopefully that means he's getting used to the idea that 6 a.m. is the absolute earliest we will have anything to do with him.
Anyway, after I took him into the bed at 6 and nummied him, of course I fell back into the most deep and precious sleep. So then didn't get up with the big kids, and I felt SO sick I got entirely pissed off at the universe.
Ted's job is awful, but at least he gets sick days. Oh, and a paycheque. MY job is the closest thing to slavery that exists in this country... long hours, hard, active days with ZERO compensation and ZERO benefits; including no right to call in sick if I feel as lousy as I did this morning. I hate hate hate this.
Anyway, Ted couldn't stay and left saying, "I know this isn't what you want," like it was my personal preference to lounge about in bed snacking on bon bons and he wasn't going to indulge my silly whims any longer. When really I thoroughly doubted, and still doubt, my ability to look after these needy little children SANELY throughout the course of this awful, awful day.
With me still in bed, he locked Naomi in her room, left the baby in the Exersaucer and walked out.
So I got up and had a shower. Slavery was abolished long ago, and like Dr Laura points out, at least I have some control over the course of my day. We're heading down to the Nathan Phillip's Farmer's Market to meet Sara at 11... hope that cheers me up a bit. They have Starbucks there, so it should.
<3 J
Supper last night (Monday):
Perogies and delicious homemade tuna patties, frozen corn & garden beans

Supper tonight:
Nothing! I'm going to make Ted suffer.
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Toddler Word o' the Day: "Vominating"

As in, "Is he vominating, mama?"
You can always count on a week of everybody being sick (last week, and not me, thank goodness!) to expand her vocabulary in new and interesting ways!

(it came up today because I was whispering something to the baby and I guess that's what she heard me saying... which I take as testimony to my calm, cool exterior under very strained circumstances - that the baby could be puking all over the bed and all I do is calmly whisper something to him and wipe him up with a towel!)
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Monday, September 08, 2008


p.s. my father has a tumour.
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Naomi, on finding a bunch of change in the laundry

Me: Let's take it upstairs and put it in the pushke - if we find money in the laundry, it's not ours, we put it in the pushke.

Naomi: If there's an old man in your house, you can give it to him. If there is an old man in your house, you puuuuuut it in the pushke, and then he takes it out!

Okay, then.

Since last Sunday, she's gone totally off brisses, her fascination of the last almost-one-year... she's now making weddings. She'll walk in and announce "I'm getting married!" And everybody had better pay attention OR ELSE.

She seems to think a kallah is the most pedantic kind of teacher, because her weddings always come off sounding more like an ultra-bossy circle time. Where she gets to stand on a steppy-stool and announce repeatedly, "okay, guys - guys, okay!"

Elisheva said she doesn't think they say "guys" that often at a real wedding. Her weddings can also get very loud. Oy.
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Sunday, September 07, 2008

My latest Papier Mache project!

Okay! Maybe the FOURTH time's the charm. If this post works, I'll fix up the formatting later. Not like anybody reads these things anyway... sigh.

And by the way, I $#!% hate Picasa because this is my second time typing this in and the interface is so buggy it crashed in the middle of my longest, most heartfelt post in a LOoong time... >:-((((

SO: here's what I did today - besides hang out at Riverdale Farm for their annual Fall Fair (no, it's not fall yet, but it was a good fair anyway and we really must go back next year... although there are so many things I say that about and then we never get around to doing it.)

Full album here:
I cannot believe all that green stuff is gone. I mean, it wasn't grass, but now we don't have it at all. Keep your fingers crossed... can one say tehillim for a lawn?

Supper: We had the O'connors, and as my mother says, they were delicious. Chicken things on sticks, marinated in coconut milk, delicious with plain basmati rice and stirfried garden beans and mixed peppers. If I sound irked, please remember I typed this all in one time before and then lost the whole bloody thing.

Amazing, seeing their twinnies and Gavriel Zev together - the two month age difference really doesn't seem like all that much, though they are both walking nicely and GZ seems light-years away from mobility.

Speaking of accomplishments, he said "dance" yesterday, and did a little dance as if to prove his point. He must have a 20-word vocabulary by now... would be nice if he chose to include some of the more mundane words like Mommy and Abba at some point. ;-)

I think there was more, but like I said, I'm irked, and tired, and it was very heartfelt and my heart stopped when Picasa crashed, so I've just typed in the basics and maybe I'll have energy to do more tomorrow.

Oh, two things I just remembered I forgot from the original post.

MY accomplishment: Last Thursday, I took the Littles to do our weekly family grocery shopping. Ted has been doing it just about forever, but it's totally not fair to him and I hope I managed to save him a little time, because it was %#!% bloody hard on my own with the kids. Not too bad at the store but then they were so hungry - well GZ was hungry - by the time we got home... NOTE TO SELF: prepare lunch ahead of time!!!

Also, last Thursday, took the kids to a playgroup at the Temmy Latner Forest Hill Jewish Centre. Naomi's a bit too old - the average age seemed about 6 months older than GZ... But she didn't seem to mind, and it provided a lot of the Jewish content I feel is crucial for her at this stage. Reminded me also of how little I know in terms of Jewish songs for holidays, etc. Hopefully I'll learn something there, too. I plan to go back as the time is not too inconvenient.

Anyway. Remember I said I was tired and irked?I'm only posting here because I haven't in so long. I sure do hate Picasa at this moment. Aaaargh. The blogging interface is so crude and buggy... I really hope there's a new release in the works. The kids say about our collection of mostly found-in-the-trash carriages that you get what you pay for. I guess that's true of photo management applications as well. :-(((

Did I mention I hate picasa right now??? >:-(((Grr.


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