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Showing posts from June, 2010

Me, a la Magnadoodle

Elisheva sketched this while waiting to say Shema tonight.  Even on GZ’s tiny little magnadoodle screen, she’s clearly quite talented – right? So why does GZ have a magnadoodle? It turns out he loves to draw, but does NOT love making pictures.  Maybe he just enjoys the process? He’s always said no to crayons, markers, etc (he will paint, but mostly just paints with his watery brush instead of using the colours).  But one day he got ahold of one of Naomi Rivka’s wipe-off writing notebooks and, flipping through it afterwards, I noticed he’d coloured in every single HAT in the entire (10- or 12-page book).  That’s  a lot of hats! And my theory is that he was willing to colour because he knew it wasn’t permanent .  Which is why, on a hunch, I chose him a magnadoodle with his gift card from Aunt Sharon while we were in Ottawa last week… and darned if I wasn’t right.  He loves the little magnetic sketchpad and the simple “how-to-draw” pictures of Toy Story characters in the book th

Wow, wow, wow… and mazel tov!

The TWO FAMILIES who were waiting for babies in this post two days ago had their babies today.  Both boys, I think.  Both posted on facebook within 10 minutes of each other. I do miss the old-fashioned thing of getting a phone call when someone has a baby.  These days, I guess that’s just for people who don’t have email, aren’t on facebook, etc. I am so happy for these families, and for their lucky, lucky little boys (I think they are both boys) who are long-awaited and will be so unbelievably loved. If either of you families is reading this, however, quit it!  Get back to bed, get back to your baby, sleep while the baby sleeps and remember not to neglect the bunny/big sister in the weeks and months to come or he/she will have Issues.  I know a good psychologist, though.

Shabbos Food

I want to be super-organized this Shabbos because I’m doing kiddie Shabbos Party again on Friday morning and also because we’re supposed to be hosting another family, though I haven’t heard back yet to finalize (so if you’re reading this and it’s you, please confirm!). Oh – also because stores are closed tomorrow. Happy Canada Day!!! (in the lists below, crossed out means we have done it as of bedtime on Thursday – ie 1 am Friday morning) Supper (w/R. family, maybe Sara?) Challah Soup Cabbage Rolls Apricot-sauce chicken only with marmalade because no apricot jam Rice Carrots (maybe tinned, Naomi's request) Corn Oven-baked egg rolls Desserts Lunch (w/R. family) Challah Teriyaki Salmon Cholent Slicey meats / bologna on rye/pumpernickel Leaf salad Ted’s nice potto salad Desserts Shalosh Seudos Dunno yet! But if we’re hosting people for the entire Shabbos, I guess I’d better think of something instead

Hey, wow. I made “chicken”!!!

Yup, genuine, homemade (inexpensive) seitan fake-chicken for tomorrow night’s vegan stir-fry.  How did I do it??? Since the process was astonishingly bread-like, I decided to post it over here on my bread blog .

I won!

Over at ! I won $25 in hair accessories, or hair-covering accessories, just for adding two entries to the site’s hair-covering glossary . Here were my winning suggestions: Bumpit A plastic insert used to add volume to the bangs or upper portion of one's hairstyle.  Very trendy in certain girls' schools; scorned in others. Wig Fall A partial wig used to add length or volume to the back or other area of one's hair.  Can be worn under a hat to give the illusion of natural hair. I know… nothing earth-shattering here, but since I rarely win anything, this was kind of a fun return on a late-night email.

Waiting for a baby

Waiting, waiting.  There is nothing more happy or hopeful than waiting for a baby. Two friends, or rather, one friend and one acquaintance, are due this week, so someone is bound to pop any second. Not much to say, to do, to think, but I feel anxious, fidgety, twiddly of thumbs, waiting and waiting for these two new people. One of them is a first baby, and I feel overwhelmingly sad, thinking of the week or so while we waited for YM (waiting for YM while he takes his own sweet time seems to be a pattern; at least, it was this evening when he went swimming with a kid from school instead of phoning and telling me he was going swimming). Thinking, specifically, of one special dinner and a movie night we were planning, at Milk n’ Honey; I don’t remember what the movie was.  Life had been so crazy-hectic:  he was due the first day of Sukkos, and with finishing school and then the yamim tovim and everything, I hadn’t really had any “me” time. So two days after Sukkos, that was the p

(Kosher) Menu Plan Monday #20: 16 Tammuz, 5770

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! We are a Jewish family of 6 (2 parents, 4 kids) and all our meals are kosher. Newcomers, you can read my MPM intro here which tells you all about who we are and what we eat, or just visit my super-duper-list-tastic itemization of Everything We Eat (as well as the rest of this blog, of course).  I’ve skipped a week here because last Monday we were in Ottawa.  Had a pretty good week there, food-wise, but now it’s back to the old supper grindstone. Monday (today):  Homemade perogies (if I can find the pasta machine; if I can find a pareve dough recipe – apparently, traditional Polish pierogi are made with sour cream IN the dough!) They turned out beautifully!  I have made perogies before, but these ones held together stupendously well compared to others.  I used chicken-broth flavoured instant mashed potatoes, with some cut-up cheddar along with garden chives and parsley.  I meant to sprinkle fresh parsley over the top, but forg

It’s SOOPER funfair day…! :-)))

Thanks to a couple of dedicated mamas, our first (of many, I hope) neighbourhood funfair took place at a small local park very close to our house. I ran a Kosher Bake Sale table , selling buns, muffins, brownies and Ted’s famous Triscuit mini-pizzas, and surpassed all of my wildest expectations, selling just about every baked thing I brought to the park.  I was glad there was a kosher presence at the funfair – that’s why I volunteered to do it.  They were asking people to contribute 10% of their profits to cover the park permit and expenses, but I gave a little more than that, plus I paid Elisheva something for her tremendous and cheerful assistance all afternoon.  (you can see her behind our table in the photo above:  she’s the one in the white ballcap and long pink skirt) My plant sale went a little less well, but I did sell a few potted daylilies and tomatoes.  Forgot to write the varieties on the pots and they got all mixed up – oops! The mamas running the event were SO org

Look what I came home to!!!

Oh, I am in LOVE.  The garden was at its absolute BEST of the year when we pulled up at home yesterday.  A little sun, a little rain… PERFECT! In this photo:  shasta daisies, bee balm almost ready to flower, five “The President” clematis blooms (near the top left of the archway), daylilies in the foreground and too many other wonderful things to possibly name.  There are even a couple of fuchsias visible in the basket hanging off the garage.  Really, the shasta daisies steal the show.  It rained all Shabbos, so they kind of drooped, but I hope with sunny weather tomorrow, they will still perk up. Yarrow with bolted bok choy flowers (okay, not every flower is a wonderful thing, but these are still kind of pretty together!): Stunning bee-balm and daylily together in the front bed: Raspberries bursting wherever we looked!       Even a few tomatoes, coming along slowly… Milkweeds, doing their job of attracting butterflies and other pollinators – plus, smelling fantastic

Six-Word Saturday: 16 Tammuz, 5770

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Join the parade:  highway of heroes Driving home yesterday afternoon, every single bridge between CFB Trenton and Toronto was lined with firefighters, paramedics, veterans and civilians, waving Canadian flags or “Support our troops” banners, all waiting for the procession accompanying the body of Sergeant James Macneil, 28, who died on Monday in Afghanistan.  According to the news, he just got engaged on Sunday.  This was his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan.  More details here . I had heard of people lining the bridges for the processions, but didn’t quite realize the magnitude of the phenomenon.  It really did feel like we were participating in the world’s longest parade; quite festive, in a weird way.  Many of the firefighters were standing on top of their trucks.  Lots of other people were just pulled over by the roadside, including people in military gear, I guess so they could salute him as he went past. It was hard to expla

Dispatch from the road

Well, not really, because if you’re reading this, I’ve found a WiFi connection, which probably means we’re home. I was hoping Ted’s brother Richard would have WiFi at home, where we’re staying, given that they have the best of everything out here. But they don’t really have the BEST of everything… just a comfy middle-class sort of everything. Their ranch-style single-level home on a huge property is very, very comfortable (I’d imagine) for two, and not too difficult to imagine being quite comfy for even all six of us, were we to have to live here full-time. But we won’t, because the only catch with this house and huge property is that it’s about 45 minutes east of Ottawa – well, that and the mosquitos. To my kids, this must feel like unbearable wealth, but to me, it just feels middle-class, the type of thing I grew up taking for granted that my children do not: matching towels, clean dishes, everything sorted and in its place. Oh, and a LOT of fire extinguishers, CO2 detectors

Six-Word Saturday: 8 Tammuz, 5770

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! What to call Ottawa folks: suggestions? Seriously… I still haven’t found a satisfying answer. Ottawanians? Ottaweenies? Ottagonians? (no, silly; that’s what you call people from Halifax!) This is an ongoing quest… ideas are welcome! p.s. We are away in Ottawa ‘till Friday, in case you hadn’t guessed.

The lemons are exquisite!

Last year (Spring 2009) , I vowed to stop fighting two garden menaces that I simply could NOT get rid of:  tenacious grapevines growing in the backyard, and a prickle-weed in the front foundation bed. I had learned a bit more about growing stuff and plant life cycles, and realized that everything flowers.  I hadn’t seen the prickle-weed’s flowers because I kept cutting it back so viciously, but had begun to suspect it might be a rose if only I would let it grow. So, I figured, “if life gives you lemons, I will make lemonade.”  I should leave these two obnoxious plants alone for a season or two and see what they could do for me (read about it here – scroll down). Well, this week, the “prickle-weed” has finally bloomed.  They are lightly scented, semi-double miniature roses in what I think is a rather-beguiling shade of red.  If anybody happens upon this post and wants to tell me what they’re called, I’d be grateful. Now, this is not at ALL a plant I would choose for myself.  It

First raspberries!

I don’t remember them being so HUGE before.  Most are not ripe yet, and whatever we don’t pick on Sunday will probably be overripe when we return from Ottawa next Friday.  :-o No bugs, by the way… and they were DELICIOUS!

Shabbos Food

Going to Ottawa on Sunday, so we’re keeping it low-key… but delicious!  My mother made the brisket because she felt like brisket.  I love when that happens! Dinner Chavi’s Perfect Balance Challot Soup w/kneidlach Brisket made by Mommy Potatoes made by Mommy Kishka made by Mommy Gravy made by Mommy Green bean casserole Corn Cookies Brownies – mix, by Elisheva Lunch Chavi’s Perfect Balance Challot Ted’s honey-mustard salmon Blintzes Salad – hydroponic lettuce Rhubarb crisp I dunno, I dunno.  My ongoing challah ennui has extended itself and today I am full of Shabbos ennui.  Not for Shabbos itself!  Just the food.  Just the getting up out of this chair with the heat and the tired and MAKING the Shabbos food.  Guess there’s not much to make so I should just get up n’ do it.

The SBNR Epidemic

Gaaaack!  I didn’t know this thing had gotten SOoooo way out of hand until I read this post from Minnesota Mameleh , and googled the phrase “Spiritual but not religious” (try it!). Frankly, I was convinced the first time I saw a Reform rabbi write on a whiteboard: SPIRITUALITY and then, tidily, circle the middle of it, like this: that you can’t have one without the other. But then, I’m a sucker for “cute” proofs. And you know what they say…or maybe you don’t.  I’m not giving sources here, but Google the phrase to find the original sources of each of these memorable quotes. Being "spiritual" but not "religious" is like being literate, but you haven't yet chosen a language. Saying “I’m Spiritual-but-not-religious” is like saying “I'm a duck but I don't go near the water.” Saying "I'm spiritual but not religious" is like saying "I'm in love, but with nobody." Saying you're "spiritual but not

Naptime = Nopetime

Just about the hardest thing today was keeping Gavriel Zev awake as we tootled around town running various errands. With Baby #1, it seems (from watching other families, because I have no memory of this period in my life), everything revolves around naptime.  We’ve had guests miss Shabbos meals because their precious infant was sleeping; everyone tiptoes around, it’s a sacred moment:  naptime.  If workers are using jackhammers on the street, you feel like running out there and screaming at them:  “don’t you know it’s naptime???” Babies #2 and onward have it the other way around.  From birth, they have to accommodate the rest of the world’s schedule, so it’s the baby we scream at (or, if not scream, coax, wheedle, and urge) to stay awake just a bit longer.  “It’s not sleep time yet; aren’t you hungry?  We’ll have pizza!  Don’t you want to wait ‘till we get home so we can have nummies?  I’m turning off the music because it’s making you too sleepy.  Stay awake – hey, look, jackham

Cute Snakey Parsha Craft for Chukas / Chukat

Whatever you call it, there’s lots of snakey stuff happening in this week’s parsha.  Here’s a fun way to help kids remember, courtesy of Emily Shapiro Katz of ParshaProjects and Challah Crumbs .  It’s basically a cut-out spiral in a paper plate, and I happened to have some lovely, snakily festive paper plates left over from my mother’s birthday supper on Sunday. Both kids were fascinated that it still lies flat, like a plate, then “jumps up” like a real snake.  They’re a bit into snakes already because we’ve been reading Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (25 cent library clearance) and they also saw the movie last week. The snake above is Naomi Rivka’s.  I drew the spiral, she cut it out.  I drew the head outline; she filled it in and cut that out, too.  I did the hole-punching, attached the ribbons, and hung them from the ceiling where they can slowly spin in the breeze from the front door (mine has ripped a couple of times already!). Our G-dcast video this week is also snake-the