Thursday, January 29, 2009

Everyone Should Have A Best Friend Like Mine...

Those of you who have been paying attention might know that I am preparing to perform in a sisterhood play (to those of you who weren't aware of this... I'm changing your seats tomorrow).
What you may not be aware of is that this play is scheduled for NEXT Sunday night (ready or not (not!)... here we come....).
My best friend just called me up and said that she figures I'm going to be busy all next week at rehearsals (not really - only Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, Motzoei Shabbos, and ALL DAY Sunday) so she invited our family for a meal of our choosing next Shabbos.  
A best friend doesn't just help you out when you need it most (without fanfare, I might add) - she anticipates your needs.  I'm so very lucky.......

[So Anonymous commenter from my blogiversary post, I heard you loud and clear, but you're gonna have to wait just one more week for those meal plans ;) ]

It's my blogiversary!

... and you're all invited to celebrate with me.
It's been two years since I started this blog, essentially to keep track of the numerous guests who came and went through our front door - what they said, what they liked to eat, who they came with.....
My blog, much as we all do, has evolved and grown.  Sometimes I say too much, sometimes I say not enough, but always I try to be "real".  You, my readers, have shaped the content of my blog more than anything else.  The feedback you give me via comment posts, emails or when you pass me on the street has given me insight into what you like to see and read the most.
Although I primarily do this for myself, I am fully aware that you all add untold dimension to the experience - so THANK YOU. :)
I've gone back and reread some of my earliest posts and I'm happy to say I like them and can still recommend them to anybody who has not yet read them. Much like the "good old days", these "older posts" are far less political, warm and wonderful.

Now comes my favorite part of the celebration .... present time!  I'm going to tell you what I want (and you don't even have to wrap it!) .... post a short comment.  Tell me that you read this blog (and if you aren't too afraid to, tell or hint to me who you are if I know you). Tell me what you like.  Tell me what else you'd like to read. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hang In There ... Shabbos Is Coming

For those suffering from the midweek blues..... A Pre-Shabbos treat for those who like voices from the past.
How about Shabbos zemiros sung by my family in 1932 in Mannheim, Germany?
If you like it and there's demand for it, I have a second part.

(Thanks Louisa for the inspiration ;) )

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Are You Calling Old??!?

The following email exchange occurred between Erica, her father and myself today, after she thanked us profusely for doing her the tiniest of favors.....

Email from Mom to Erica & Dad:
Dear Erica,

You really gotta keep in mind how much us "old fogies" like to feel
"useful" to our grown children.
Helps us not feel quite so obsolete ;)

Love, Mom

Email from Dad to Erica & Mom:
Speak for yourself, old fogies indeed! Sheesh!

Email from Mom to Erica & Dad:
Coming from the guy who can't even HEAR.....
p.s. Got your reading glasses on right now to see this, dontcha???
I thought so ;)

Email from Dad to Erica & Mom:
Ha ha, very funny. Of course I have my glasses on. :)

(Erica is now saying to herself "Okay guys leave me out of this!")

Email from Erica to Mom & Dad: guys are funny tho :)......i wouldnt go so far as to say old foggies just yet - old foggies would be when you're at [insert name of unspecified, lovable friend who thankfully doesn't read blogs... but has been thinking about buying a "flaptop" for a while now...]  stage in life (i met her on the subway last week) when you're admitting that your outing downtown consists of going to get your left hearing aid tuned :)

Email from Mom to Erica & Dad:
So what do you call it when you are so old that a funny email from your daughter
makes you laugh super hard out loud and all you can think about is making sure
not to lose bladder control.....


Email from Erica to Mom & Dad:
i call that - oy vey!

It's a good thing that at our age, the likelihood of us remembering this exchange by tomorrow is quite slim....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hang in There Shabbos is Coming...

Have I mentioned how much I love our magnetic vases?  They were a birthday gift to my husband from Eric (yes, my husband actually
LIKES a gift like this... and his good friends know it).  They were created in Israel and I think they are super clever.  They look as if they are precariously perched on the table when in reality, they have ultra strong magnetic bottoms that attach to little square plates that are positioned under the tablecloth. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Presidential Inauguration Sound Bite.....

(Excerpted from Barack Obama's Inauguration Speech)

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

...but in this case it is worth at least two words.
Thank You to JoeFlix for once again including one of my photos (this one taken on Chol Hamoed in Central Park) on his blog.
I only discovered his blog a short while ago, but I really enjoy it.
Check it out if you have a chance!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Help! Help! My Son the Doctor is Drowning!"

My high school principal, Rabbi E. Weldler z"l, was very (very.... VERY.....) fond of the joke about a Jewish mother who was at the seaside with her son who recently passed his medical exams. Within minutes of entering the ocean, he gets into great difficulty under huge waves.

The Jewish mother's pleas? 
"Help! Help! My Son the Doctor is Drowning!"

I know just how this mother felt.
As of last week, my daughter is a Registered 
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.
Her name looks so pretty with all those fancy letters after it.
(C'mon...a little kvelling is an earned right after suffering through all those years of 'Jewish Mother's Guilt!')

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hang In There, Shabbos Is Coming....

No, this post is not dated incorrectly.
Yes, you are right. That is my usual Friday title, but I want to highlight something about my approach to Shabbos, and this is the best way.
I try to do a little something in preparation and/or contemplation of Shabbos every day of the week, whether it be inviting guests, planning and shopping for meals, or actual cooking.  Today I did all those things (it's a pity you can't smell that soup!), and each thing I did reminded me of the beauty and serenity of Shabbos and gave me a little something to look forward to in the days ahead.  Making Shabbos a part of every day of the week, allows for just a little bit of that holiness to be infused into a "chol" day.
The family gets excited too.
"Who is coming?"
"What special dish will be served?"
Long ago we started setting the Friday night table on Thursday. This fosters the illusion that Shabbos is ready (whether or not that is truly the case) and keeps all those tense 'racing around' feelings at bay.
So while it may be six long days away - SHABBOS IS INDEED COMING!!! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lines You WILL NOT Be Hearing at This Year's Sisterhood Play

For the past 24 years, I have been an active participant in my local Sisterhood's annual charity play.  We've done some wonderful things, my favorite being "Don't Drink the Water", along with "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", "The King and I" and "Me and My Girl". There were many other wildly successful performances, but over the past few years, with society's seeming "mad dash" to the right, the 'editing' required to make our plays 'suitable', has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Of course we have attempted the requisite "Gefilte Fish Play", a term I coined for these Jewish themed plays because in these productions the mother is always in the kitchen cooking gefilte fish (never lasagna or meatloaf).  The problem is that although these plays were of course 'kosher', they were seldom well written.

Now don't get me wrong - I fully understand the need to edit out anything offensive or inappropriate when presenting a play to a group of frum women and girls.  What I DO NOT understand, is the purported "need" to put our minds in the gutter and look for things that could possibly be construed as offensive in the name of maintaining purity.  I say it accomplishes exactly the opposite and sullies our souls.

To what am I referring?  Let me give you some examples:

To begin with, nearly every male character has been changed to a female, with the exception of one character who marries (late in the play) a character that was changed from a male to a female, thus necessitating a minor character's switch from female to male. With me so far? Somehow, it seems more 'acceptable' for two women to be overly enmeshed friends and travel around the world together, than to have a married couple do the same. If you are confused, don't worry, so am I..... and it gets worse!

Now here comes the fun part. We all know that the devil is in the details so here's where little changes in wording will make ALL the difference (for those of you who's mind's are still pure and you don't see any problem, look for the double entendres):
  • Daiquiris will be changed to punch. (don't ask me....)
  • A fox hunt will be changed to a horseback ride. (I'm still at a loss....)
  • Rum will be changed to grapefruit juice.
  • The Virgin Islands will be changed to Martinique.
  • A bunch of screws and nuts will be changed to a group of eccentrics.
  • There was an attempt to remove the word cockeyed, but I think that was allowed to stand
  • In a previous play loving cup was changed to trophy (love has long ago become a "four letter word")
A pivotal moment for me came at last night's rehearsal when it was suggested that perhaps we alter a line in the script that contained the word asinine. Touche to the cast member who responded, "That depends.... can you walk to Amsterdam Avenue? Can you have dealings with Rabbi and Mrs. Lipschitz?".

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense  (Shame To Him Who Evil Thinks.....) [motto of the Order of the Garter - England's highest order of knighthood]

Believe it or not, this is not  my soapbox post...... :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Soapbox Warning

As much as I shy away from it, I may need to get up on my soapbox very soon...
I wish I didn't have to, but sometimes our conscience dictates that we get up and say something.
Choosing NOT to say something is a choice in and of itself.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hang In There Shabbos Is Coming

As many of us prepare to sit down with our families in the comfort of our homes and celebrate the peace and serenity that comes only with Shabbos, our thoughts and tefillos go out to our sons and daughters who are unable to do the same.  May Hashem watch over you and protect you this Shabbos and always.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Some Things Are Hard To Put Into Words

From the increased amount of traffic this blog has received over the past two days, it is apparent to me that some visitors are waiting for me to comment on the mournful loss of our dear "Uncle Jerry".
The most important things that needed to be said, have been said, by people far more prestigious and eloquent than myself. He was like no other in his dedication to Klal work and his kovod horav. They don't make them like that any more.
He will be missed - by all...
On the more personal side, what will *I* miss about Uncle Jerry?
  • I will miss seeing him every Shabbos morning as I exit shul. He was always the first person to offer a smile and a personal greeting.
  • I will miss the smell of black pepper ;)
  • I will miss receiving gift boxes of personalized spices (with labels reading, "packed especially for G6").
  • I will miss watching Uncle Jerry stopping every little boy in shul as they passed his seat - one of a dying breed of people to remind the youngsters how important a handshake and a "Good Shabbos" really is....
Yehi zichro boruch

{Oh, and I will miss getting a good chuckle hearing him called up for brochos at weddings as "Alte Fetter Gavriel"....}

Thursday, January 1, 2009

There Are No Words....

... to fully describe how amazing last night's Talent Nite was!
This was due, in very large part to our guests - every single one of whom got TOTALLY into the concept of the evening and performed their hearts out.
There was singing, there was piano playing, there were violin(s), there was magic, there was comedy, there was a group "build a better mousetrap" competition (you had to be there... suffice it to say, my team cheated won).
I laughed, I cried and i got all incriminating evidence on video ;)
Unfortunately for you, in order to do my act I had to hand the camera off and sadly, there was a glitch and it didn't record ( REALLY, I promise). 
Instead of posting that, I'll let you see Jen's act, because truthfully, hers was way better anyway - and I was totally SHOCKED.  Who knew my daughter had such talent? I think for 11 she's got great attitude.  It's a pity that by next year she'll be bas mitzvah (Eric says we should hold next years party in October...).

More updates may follow (pending signed releases.....) ;)