Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2010

The worst

The STINK of laundry, forgotten in the washer too long (over 24 hours) and gone to mildew.  Not in itself too bad, and if I had caught it, that would have been the end of the story.  I wasn’t the one to catch it, though, and it was all helpfully tossed in the dryer.  Now it is not just STINK, but cooked STINK.  Sigh… to rewash in the morning. Now I am finished the laundry (whatever didn’t rot in the machine, that is), but afraid to walk around the house putting everything away because of the scritch, scritch chewing noises from the kitchen. Now I am tired, and everything aches.  It will not feel much better in the morning.

One more shlep back to shleppington, aka Yom Tov Menu

At long last… Yup, one more go-round, at a time when I feel less like eating than ever before.  I am dying for more of that nice, fresh cantaloupe my Aunt Dorothy brought last week.  (hint:  Sara, if you’re coming on Thursday, maybe try to score us a nice melon from the market!) Sukkos (Last Days) Meal Plan 5771/2010 Meal Wednesday Thursday Friday Shabbos Day   YIZKOR M, Sara – dairy (no meat, no dairy) Roasted garlic potato bread Pea soup Main?  Pareve mushroom crepes??? Green Beans Salad SIMCHAS TORAH Just us – dairy   Challah Honey/mustard salmon Pickled salmon from Homemade pza bourekas Sala

Parsha Poem: Bereishis / Bereishit / בְּרֵאשִׁית

בראשית / Bereishit / Bereishis / Genesis 1:1-6:8   Our mother brought us presents, Back from the presents store. She said, “Don’t look, don’t touch… You know what they’re for.” We knew our birthdays were coming, We hoped we’d see them then; But still, we wanted them right NOW, “Just to see if it’s a pen.” The presents were stored way up high, Teetering up on the shelf. “Don’t touch them or you will get hurt,” she said. But I did it all by myself. And look, we did it safely! Neither of us was in pain. I pulled down one of the presents, And climbed on the chair once again. This time I wasn’t afraid at all, I knew I wouldn’t fall down. We knew that our mother was wrong about that And now she had gone out downtown. The second present tumbled down, With a boom and a crash from above. Wrapped in little hearts paper, This gift from our mother with love. “Let’s look at this one first,” you said, So I climbed down to take a look; To peek at

Parsha Poem: V’Zos Habracha / V’Zot Habracha / וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה

דברים / devarim / Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12 Torah tziva lanu Moshe – Moshe taught us, so let’s all draw near. Morasha kehilas Yaakov – Yaakov’s great-grandchildren dear, Our mothers were Rebecca, Rachel, Leah and Sarah; Their actions endure, through every era. Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov led first, Through times that were good and times like the worst. Through oppression and idols, through struggle and sorrow, They pointed the way to our Jewish tomorrow. Then Yosef in Mitzrayim, the years of slavery ‘Til Moshe and Aharon and their bravery. Torah tziva – commanded from above Lanu Moshe – to us, from Moshe, with love. Morasha – to inherit, but only if we’ll live it, Kehillas Yaakov – one family when Hashem chose to give it. With those lessons, with those words, it was time to say farewell, Moshe had long been our leader and done his job well. But now we wept and said goodbye; he went off all alone, We never saw just where he went; no-

New Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

Yay!  Got a mention in this edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival .  Lots of other great links there as well, and it’s hosted at the Holistic Homeschooler , a blog I actually read regularly.

Kinda Sukkos-Related Edible “Yummy Dough” Craft

Inspired by Mommzy’s Lulav and Etrog Cookies Craft , I decided to make mini edible lulav-and-esrog sets using some stuff I happened to have here called “Yummy Dough.” Ted recently bought a package of 3 boxes of this stuff at Costco.  He says he paid around $12, probably meaning $15 but he doesn’t want me to know.  So about $5 a box.  Ish.  Each of the 3 boxes contains: 4 packets of Yummy Dough mix (blue, red, yellow, green) 20ml syringe dough “cutter” a la playdoh instructions The ingredients list seemed fairly innocuous – mostly flour and icing sugar. Step by step: 1)  Pour out one packet of mix into a large bowl.  (hey, it’s white!) 2) Add exactly 20ml of water – yay, they provide a cool syringe to make sure you do it right!  See how the colour emerges right away?     3) Stir until crumbly.  Mixture will feel WAY too dry, but do NOT add more water! 4) Gather and knead until it forms a smooth ball.  Yes, it WILL happen!     5) Repeat for the o

Dear Mr. {Jewish prospective City Councillor}

Dear Mr. {Jewish prospective City Councillor}: I just got a phone call from your campaign letting us know about your sukkah party and how much you have done for the Jewish community during your time as School Board Trustee.  It's too bad we don't live in your ward (we're south of Eglinton:  Ward 21 St Paul's, where we're voting again for Joe Mihevc )... if only because now I won't be able to inform you that your random solicitation phone call has LOST you our vote.  I never vote for any candidate who disturbs us with automated phone calls, and I hope there are others in your own ward who have a similar policy. Regardless of the religious connections we may share, it is in extremely poor taste to use the lists of shuls and other organizations within the Jewish community for the benefit of your own personal political campaign.  I welcome certain automated calls when they are of community-wide interest, but in this case, simply find it rude in the extreme.

Sukkos crafts: gourd & apple decorating

Our annual chol hamoed funfest!  I always wonder if something counts a s a “craft” if all you’re doing is going at whatever-it-is with a sharpie.  Like the challah covers two weeks ago.  Sharpie crafts are NOT really crafts.  But they are easy, fast and fun…so there. (plus, they are great for the SHORT attention span of the busy busy teenage set) If you try this, do take a few minutes ahead of time and use Liquid Paper / Wite-Out to define the eyes and/or mouth.  It makes a big difference – the marker colours totally “pop” against pure white in a way they don’t right on the gourd itself. Ted’s – the best, of course: Elisheva’s glittery pink gourd: A couple of mine (I get all the ones nobody else wants):     Naomi’s little pumpkin (foreground): For a change of pace, I also carved an apple head.  I just have to be patient and wait 2 weeks while it either dries or attracts an infestation of fruit flies.  Given our history here, it will probably be the latter, but I

Menu Plan Monday #31: 19 Tishrei, 5771 (Sukkos)

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Other “weekly memes” I participate in that may or may not interest you: Six Word Saturday Homeschool Diary 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 . Ugh.  Flat tire so we can’t do any chol hamoed outings and I am SO burnt-out from cooking over Yom Tov. Sunday:  Takeout Chinese in Mommy’s sukkah (rebuilt thanks to Ted!) Monday:  Chicken on the BBQ Tuesday:  Chili w/cornbread (vegetarian, no vegan meals this week!) Wednesday – Thursday – Friday:  Sukkos – see Yom Tov food plan ! Sunday:  YM’s birthday – sloppy joes?

Chol Hamoed Fun Fun Fun!

In which your trusty blogger learns one of those exciting Life Lessons:  How to Change a Spare Tire. Every moment is a homeschool moment, right??? Ted wanted to call a tow truck.  He said it would “only” be $50.  #1, no WAY is it only $50 to come and tow the car to the dealership out on St Clair.  And #2, we’re going to be paying enough to replace the TWO TIRES that got busted yesterday (coincidence, or sabotage ???)… why not take advantage of the FREE spare? There are so many things around the house that he’s not afraid to tackle that terrify me – like plumbing.  But I’m not afraid of a little car tire…

Great Alef-Beit / אלף-בית learning site!

I came across this page/game/site tonight and I am incredibly impressed so far. And believe me, I am tough to impress.  Most Israeli kids’ sites have some kind of weirdness, but this one is just mostly kind of cute.  It’s tough to find, however, from the main page, and I fear the site may go under at any time… it has an unstable kind of feel.  Like, the buttons at the top of this alef-beit page take you  out to a totally blank home page. Still, what a lot of fun I imagine this set of online alef-beit/reading lessons could be for someone around Naomi’s age… and you earn these neat prizes when you finish a few easy exercises for each letter. There are apparently corresponding printable worksheets, but I can’t find them on the “Hop” site.  They are available here (scroll down) but only for alef-through yud.  I checked everywhere I could on the Hop site to find out if they are there somewhere, but given my language barriers, I could have missed it. I emailed the site to try

Six Word Saturday: 18 Tishrei, 5771 (Sukkos)

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Other “weekly memes” I participate in that may or may not interest you: Homeschool Diary Menu Plan Monday Aaaaagh! I’m not gonna take it anymore!!! (yup, that’s 6 words… cuz “aaaaaagh” is a noise – not a word) I’m sitting here, doing nothing, when there are THREE sinkfuls of dishes waiting to be done. And we only have one sink, so that’s quite an accomplishment. I’m okay with that – or, as my mother has been saying incessantly since before yom tov, “it’s all good.” (Sounds like she got into somebody’s ganja when she says it… she’s not usually the “mellow” type.) For the first time EVER, I think, we had three days of Yom Tov, and guests at EVERY SINGLE MEAL. Even the guest who called to cancel on Tuesday (“You’re going to kill me.”) showed up unexpectedly today (“Okay, yes, you’re right – let me kill you NOW.”) Every single meal was delightful, if I say so myself, and for the first time, I think we hit the perfect

When Christians celebrate “Biblical Feasts”: Take 2

Other posts you may or may not want to read: When Christians celebrate “Biblical Feasts” Part 1 When Christians celebrate “Biblical Feasts,” Part 3: When is Pesach? I have been incredibly naive.  Because I thought there were a FEW of these sites; a few fringey Christians scattered here and there who were selfishly appropriating Jewish symbols, language. It turns out there are thousands of “Torah Observant Believers in Yeshua,” as they like to call themselves.  And many – perhaps because they don’t fit within mainstream Christian schools – are homeschoolers. First reaction?  I feel so sad for their kids.  I won’t post links here, but one site has a video of two little girls who have obvious spent weeks memorizing Psalm 23 (Mizmor l’David).  They look so proud of themselves, but their pronunciations are so non-standard as to be unrecognizable by a Hebrew speaker, and, like all of these folks, they insist on pronouncing any Godly names they come across in

Every year, gettin’ better…

Ted’s sukkah philosophy is to improve it in increments, a little bit each year.  Three years ago, when GZ was born, we had a smallish 8x8 sukkah.  Since then, he’s added another four feet, making it 8x12, plus a special “schach” beam system that makes it a little more kosher, a door on the front, plus, this year, a FRONT WINDOW.   Looking back (not great pictures, though).  Our little Sukkah in… 2009 2008 okay, nothing older than 2008.  Perhaps on backup CDs somewhere. Here’s my parents’ sukkah, circa 2008.  Forced jollity.  And you can see why if it was up to me, I’d go with Lubavitch on the issue of decorations…   I just love the look of a bare sukkah!

Garden Visitor, suspicious hole in pepper leaf…

Crankier: The Scientific Establishment Bites Back

Well, I must be not at my best, because the Science Centre honchos have not collapsed in a puddle of contrition over their upcoming discriminatory Community-except-the-Jewish-Community Day this Saturday. Here’s what they wrote back, and my reply: ----- Original Message ----- Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 1:03 PM Subject: Re: Fwd: Community Day this Saturday Hello Jennifer, My name is {bleep}. My position at the Science Centre is Director of {bleep}. First allow me to say thank you for taking the time to send us your question regarding our upcoming Community Day, Saturday September 25, 2010. By way of background, the OSC's  Community Day, is held annually on the Saturday which occurs closest to the "Birthday" of the Science Centre, in recognition of our opening in 1969. We select Saturday as the day for the event because it is most accessible for General Public and their families, as the next day is not a school day.  Please f

Cranky Complaints-Lady Takes on: the Scientific Establishment

One of my favourite attractions in the city and it’s FREE – this Saturday only.  Urgh.  So:  a kvetch, my first in a long time!   ----- Original Message ----- Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 8:33 PM Subject: Community Day this Saturday As a family of 6, we don't get to visit the Science Centre often enough.  With a price tag of $82 per visit, our single low income makes it almost totally inaccessible (we visited a couple of times with free passes through the Toronto Public Library). I was excited to hear about your upcoming Community Day .  However, I quickly discovered that, as observant Jews, we will not be able to participate, because the event is being held only on a Saturday. I'd like to know whether we can arrange a free or reduced-price visit on another day.  I'm sure your intention wasn't to exclude an entire segment of the community simply on religious grounds, and I really hope it will be possible to make other arrangements. Th

A Poem for Sukkos / Sukkot / סוכות

Note:  this online version is written with Ashkenazi pronunciation because that’s how I say it.  You can download either pronunciation as a printable PDF here:  Ashkenaz or Sefard . I also have a printable Sukkot/Sukkos copywork sheet available here . We didn’t have an esrog, no, we didn’t have an esrog, With Sukkos drawing near We had the other minim three, But no esrog had we here. Our esrog was growing, yes, our esrog was growing, High up in an esrog-tree We had to wait for it to turn As yellow as it could be. We had a lulav, yes, we had a lulav, And hadassim, three, two, one, With two aravos, waving proud, But our esrog simply wasn’t done. Our esrog was special, yes, our esrog was special, Grown from esrog seeds Planted years ago when Sukkos went out, Watered and cared for its needs. We built a sukkah, yes, we built a sukkah Topped in branches green and steady, We decorated it so fine, But our esrog was still not ready. We cooked a m