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Showing posts from July, 2013

What? No etrog?? What will we do? – WE DIDN’T HAVE AN ETROG

Hard to think about Sukkos (aka Sukkot), but believe it or not, we have less than 40 days until Rosh Hashanah now and you-know-what can’t be far behind.  I’ve always found this to be a yom tov without a lot of fun stories for the early elementary level… so I created one and called it We Didn’t Have an Etrog!   It’s been out for a while now, but I thought I’d take a few minutes to show it off here because life between now and then is going to be crazy-time for us.  :-o It's just not Sukkot without a lulav AND etrog! These children have worked hard to grow their etrog... but even hard work isn't enough without a bit of patience and some help from Hashem! Sample page views from We Didn’t Have an Etrog! (click images for larger version): To order now – in time for Sukkos! – click here !  I also have a number of other books available through CreateSpace.  and, of course… Because you’re not ordering directly from me, your order will NOT get caught in all our aliyah cra

The Journey to Motherhood, with illustrations by Naomi Rivka, age 7

(she’s 8 now, but I found this in an older notebook…) One day I became really tired and lazy.  “Please tell me why!” I yelled but I already knew, I was expecting a baby! Nine months past [she means “nine months passed”], I stayed home from class.  The day had come at last! I took a year of [off] from work, to hang out with my little baby girl, Veonica!  I named her Veronica Elizabeth.   The story actually goes on and the main character becomes a grandmother, and then a great-grandmother.  And nobody in the family wears more than a bikini, because – of course – they’re all mermaids.  There are no males in the story.  Yet I find it oddly (very oddly) touching. Going through a ton of paperwork because the journey is well and truly underway now.  In twelve days, we will be en route to our new home in the Holy Land!!!  Please follow our adventures over here at my aliyah blog if I’m not around here at this blog much…

Never put off…

… ‘til 16 years from now what really ought to be mailed today.  Isn’t that how the quote goes? Whoopsie. Seated on the floor Tisha b’Av morning, sifting through 30 years worth of papers (highly recommended for the occasion as both a saddening and deadening kind of occupation), I came across a small stack of thank-you cards from YM’s upsherin… ie, the upsherin we held when he turned three. Yes, the same YM who is turning 19 in a month and a half. I still really like the “logo” I designed for his upsherin – a blue scissors, open, with “YM” from top to bottom one way and the Hebrew letters yud and mem the other way.  I mock-airbrushed it with my set of “Blo-Pens” – a truly kitschy-but-cool craft supply if ever there was one.  I used cutting-edge scanning & colour-copying technology to apply the logo to everything from the invitations (in fridge magnet form!) to the program (yes, there was a program) to, well, the thank-you cards I don’t think anybody ever got. To be very fair, b

Thtupid-Word Thursday: It’s a twofer! “Shinny” and “Snuggly”

Two words that make me bananas – and not in a good way.  I’m including these both here to save time, and because these are similarly misused words – due to their inadvertently doubled vowels – that both keep popping up everywhere I turn. So!  Snuggly vs Snugly.  Anyone??? This nut is something that fits “snugly”: This teddy bear, on the other hand, is kind of “snuggly”: Well, okay, it isn’t really very snuggly.  But it’s “Dydee Bear!” the official diaper-service mascot bear that my sister had as a baby. This “data center knowledge” article is another example.  Aww… it’s snuggly! As for the other. Shinny vs Shiny.  Really, unacceptable. These are shins: To be fair, these, too, are shins: And this is shinny: An informal game of hockey, often played in the streets. This ring is nice and shiny: This is nice and shinny:   <- So, clearly, this hair product does not make “hair look so nice and shinny,” as one reviewer mentioned. Neither does this one.  ->  

Fwd: Old note to myself, which I am throwing away.

Ah, the things that amaze us with Kid #1. On a packet of Duncan Hines Cookie Mix in the grocery store: "YM loves the idea that there are brands of things... he's 5 years old, doesn't know very much, so he looks for those names he knows like beacons on the supermarket shelf." Throwing away their report cards today, now that they've both graduated from high school and we are purging like crazy.  Actually, I am purposely NOT throwing away their report cards:  I have turned them over to their rightful owners.  If they want to throw them away, so be it. One child agreed, the other said I'm supposed to keep them, presumably cherishing them forever.  The truth is, if we were staying, I probably would.  But we're not staying, and it feels good to pass them on. Have an easy fast , world.

Devarim, Chazon and Aliyah: My Thoughts

Almost every year, my mother corners me to give a dvar Torah at a ladies’ Shalosh Seudos (Seudat Shlishit) our shul organizes at different homes around the community.  She always hosts the one closest to her birthday, which happens to fall out this week. Weirdly, even though I have done it a bunch of times, it always seems to happen on a different parsha, so I cannot just reuse another one from a previous year.  (Would I do it if I could?  Um, heck yes?) So here’s this year’s.  If you are within walking distance, please come to my mother’s place for party sandwiches and more.  But if you’re coming on Shabbos, please don’t read it!  I wouldn’t want to ruin the wondrous moments of shock and surprise (mainly when you realize just how long this thing is going to be and decide to stay away…) Here’s a list of previous summer divrei Torah, in case you’re vastly curious and/or slightly masochistic: Parshas Re’eh Parshas Chukas (2009) Parshas Chukas (2011) Shavuos ----- This week

On sale now: Poems for all occasions!

Because I don’t have enough to do… I’m selling poems on fiverr!  Click here to see my gigs.  You’ve read ‘em here for years… you’ve bought ‘em on … and now you can OWN one of these fabulous masterpieces! For $5, you can buy a short (4-6 stanza) poem for anyone, on any topic.  (If you’ve never used fiverr before, it’s tons of fun to explore anyway). Because we’re moving in just a few weeks, this is just a “trial balloon.”  If it works out, obviously I’ll start it up again once we’re within wifi distance of a computer with a keyboard. Just figured this is something I’m good at that’s easy and fun to do.  Some people knit or sew masterpieces and sell them on etsy… but I don’t.  So if you’ve got a birthday or special occasion coming up, consider giving the Gift of Heartfelt Poetry… :-)

Two NU books –?

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, they’re not EXACTLY new… but they are “nu?” in the sense of “Nu???  We knew these were great poems and we are thrilled that you had art done and are releasing these as books!!!” Although these poems exist on the hard drive and were originally written for this blog, they are far from ready for prime time.  Every time I open something up with the intention of putting it together in book form, I shudder and wonder how I could have put it out there in the first place, even just on a blog.  Believe me, there’s a significant amount of re-writing involved in putting any of these together.  Rewriting and frustration and head-scratching and making everything absolutely perfect . Here are some page previews. First, We Didn’t Have An Etrog! , a long, awkward title for a book about two kids waiting for their esrog to ripen.  I know, I know… I CALL it an esrog in real life, but after flipping and flopping I went with Sephardic pronunciations.  By the