Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's a GIRL!!!!!!

Thank heaven for little girls
For little girls get bigger every day!

Thank heaven for little girls
They grow up in the most delightful way!

Those little eyes so helpless and appealing
One day will flash and send you crashin thru the ceilin

Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all,
No matter where no matter who
For without them, what would little boys do?

Thank heaven . . . thank heaven . . .
Thank heaven for little girls!

Ad Biyas Hagoel - Bimhaira Biyameinu

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

May Cause Dizziness.....

...that's what it said on Joey's bottle of Percocet. Joey had major oral surgery yesterday and he's not a complainer but he's not a glutton for punishment either. So when the bottle said take one or two tablets every 4 hours, he went for the two. BAD MOVE. Green and swaying is not a good look for him....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Approaching the 3 weeks

This sunday is Shiva Assar B'Tammuz, which for many, ushers in a period of contemplative mourning - the three weeks leading up to Tisha B'av. For my family and I it signals as well the approach of my father z"l's yahrzeit.

The only yahrzeit mentioned in the Torah is that of Aharon HaCohen on the first of Av. I have always thought it quite appropriate that my father shares this yahrzeit. Aharon HaCohen epitomized the characteristic of a rodeph sholom. My father was a peace loving, modest man. He served Hashem with all his talents and never desired any recognition.

My father was also an artist. He dedicated his creative energies to the service of Hashem. He lovingly produced all manner of publications to enhance the service of Hashem. He fashioned beautiful Mizrach signs. He created for himself a yahrzeit light built with a stone he collected from the rubble of his own shul in Manheim's bimah. He designed and built a triangular seder plate that harkened back to one he remembered from his childhood.

Sadly, many of these treasures have been lost to me this year, as sad fact that I must come to terms with. After the petirah of my father I still had tangible reminders to ease my grief. Now I am faced with a new sense of loss - a further distancing. But still..... I REMEMBER. OTHERS REMEMBER. My father made a difference in the lives of many and in their service of Hashem.

Hachover Raphael Naftoli ben Hachover Yoseph Aharon Halevi
Yehi Zichro Baruch

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Grass is Always Greener....

... I must admit I am partial to the green on Central Park's Great Lawn.
We went again last night to the New York Philharmonic's free concert on the lawn, followed by fireworks. The crowd around us was much more subdued this time and we were able to hear the music - how novel :)
In any case, we met a lovely couple on vacation from Biarritz, France. Now that's MY idea of a great vacation spot!

Monday, July 14, 2008

If it's the only non-fasting Sunday in Mid-July it must be....

Here's a riddle for you.
What takes one and a half hours going up and three hours (if you're lucky) going down?
If you guessed visiting day - you win the grand prize.
What is the grand prize, you ask?
Ooooh let's see.... a trip to Walmart, perhaps? Where you can wait in line with thousands of other parents who made the trek up for one of the myriad of sleepaway camps' visiting day to buy unnecessary tchochkes for your child as if sending them to sleepaway camp isn't enough of a gift?
I guess I should count my blessings. My daughter's camp has sympathy on the parents and offers a sumptuous (truly) buffet lunch for all visitors gratis. So we didn't have to brave the lines and pushing (why do these parents push like that? Don't they worry what message that sends to their children??) at the local pizza stores.
All kidding aside, it was quite enjoyable to see Jen so well adapted to camp and to get the tour of what the camp has to offer. The campus is really quite lovely but I got a little sidetracked with some grafitti on the ceilings of a few of the older buildings... as with many other camps today, the grounds were purchased from previous "Borscht Belt" camps of old, and some of the grafitti went back to the 30's and 40's.... fascinating!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lester is coming! It's time to re-learn English!

As many of you know, dear Lester, an indescribable entity of a Dutch, free thinking, croc-wearing young man, was, albeit unwittingly, the shadchan for our dear children Moshe and Erica.
Sadly, since they married last August, he has relocated to his home town of Amsterdam. We miss him greatly.
Happily, he just informed me this morning that he is coming for a visit - JUST IN TIME for the new baby!!! We zijn zo blij. Welkom terug Lester!
Now that I've worked on my Dutch, I must admit, Lester needs to reaquaint himself with the English language. We were IM'ing this morning and he asked me how it feels to have two "out of wedlock children" :-O Yesterday was my 24th wedding anniversary! Two of my children may have found spouses for themselves this year Lester, but I certainly had them while I was married. (Oh and to answer your question, it feels great and lonely and blessed all at the same time)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah...

Hello Muddah, hello Fadduh,
Here I am at Camp Grenada
Camp is very entertaining
and they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.

I went hiking with Joe Spivy
He developed poison ivy
You remember Leonard Skinner
He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators
And the head coach wants no sissies
So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.

Now I don't want this should scare ya
But my bunkmate has malaria
You remember Jeffrey Hardy
They're about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh muddah fadduh,
take me home, I hate Grenada
Don't leave me out in the forest where I might get eaten by a bear.
Take me home, I promise I will not make noise
or mess the house withother boys,
oh please don't make me stay, I've been here one whole day.

Dearest fadduh, darling muddah,
How's my precious little bruddah?
Let me come home if ya miss me
I will even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me.

Wait a minute, it stopped hailing,
Guys are swimming, guys are sailing,
Playing baseball, gee that's better,
Muddah Fadduh please disregard this letter.

Thankfully, we did NOT receive a letter akin to this from our dear Jen. Nor did we receive a "the cast comes off tomorrow" letter. SHE'S HAVING A BLAST!!! {exhale now}
The only problem is ... she has no time to write or call her mother.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Camp Daze

After months of shopping, planning, labelling etc. my baby, my little Jen, went off to four weeks of sleepaway camp for the very first time in her decade long existance. Armed with a knapsack full of bus letters (yes, everybody came through... gold stars to Michael and Chana for being the first ones!), stationary, nosh, 'get to know the others' activity books and lots of bravado, she waved us off with a cheerful (and a bit tearful) smile.

I hope that it will be a wonderful growth experience (am I talking about for her or for me?)...

What I learned today:
  • From the cases and cases of water bottles being lugged into the hold of the bus by ponytailed, long "Junee" skirt clad, teenagers, I'd say the water up at camp is pretty foul.
  • From the several people loading full sterilite drawer sets into the luggage hold of the bus (kind of clever except no handles...), I'd say there isn't much shelf space to speak of in the bunkhouses.
  • From the fact that the mother of Jen's 18 year old counselor whose been to this camp for 13 years came to the bus stop, I'd say that you are never to old to need a mother's love and consequently a mother's job is never done.

Now if I can only get over my vague sense of nausea and make it until Friday, the first day she is allowed to call and let us know that she is having a fabulous time and never wants to come home, we'll all be good :)