Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Mayonnaise Jar

My dear friend Karen sent this to me and I thought I would post it to share with everyone. Karen and I met in Israel in 1985 and by some miracle we have managed to keep in touch for the past 19 years. She lives in England with her husband and 2 children and they are planning to move to Canada next year. At least we will be on the same continent then.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar...and the coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed."Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life."

"The golf balls are the important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.The sand is everything else-the small stuff.If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner.Play another 18.There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

"One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

And the rain pours down

September 29, 1987.........Today marks seventeen years since my dad died. Why does it seem like only yesterday? Trauma is odd like that. I think either you block it all out or remember every single painful detail.

As I look out the window, all I can see is the grayness between the raindrops as they hit the ground. I feel gray today. Just blah and sad that I have lived without my father for the past 17 years. It surprises me how quickly the tears fall whenver I think about him even after all this time.

I love you and miss you, Daddy!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

My Bad Blind Date Experience

This is the story of "my bad spice rack/blind date experience"

When I was about 27, my mom's friend fixed me up on a blind date with her neighbor's son. I should've known it was bad at that point. He was a pharmacist (I was thinking, Oh he has a good job.Ok. Probably a geek with a pocket protector though.)We talked on the phone to make a lunch date on a Saturday. I drove to his apartment to meet him. Oh what a surprise when he had a pocket protector in his shirt. How do such things become a stereotype? Hmmm, I wonder.

So we went out to lunch and he proceeded to tell me how his mother had been cheating on his father with a neighbor (my mom's friend???? who the hell knows? who cares? I was already asleep in my salad at this point.) He talked so damn fast. A conversation looked like this. Picture a poodle on speed when you string all this yipping together.

"So my muthah, ya know my muthah,she was like goin out all the time, ya out, and like my fathah was like wantin ta know where she like was and so he goes and follows her but like my sistah, ya my sistah she like didn't know like why he was following her and like I was so pissed, you know pissed about this whole thing so I like yelled at my muthah......."

At that point I was so willing to go to the bathroom and never come back but damn didn't we come in ONE car!! After lunch we went back to his apartment and he said "Come into the kitchen. I like totally want you to meet my spice rack." Meet his spice rack? I have my own spice rack. It's a rack. With spices. Uh huh. Did I have to meet the stove and dishwasher too?

So he leads me into his microscopic kitchen and stops in front of the spice rack. "Ya know before I got this spice rack when a recipe called for tarragon or basil or garlic I just left it out cuz I didn't have it and it tasted bland you know bland? but now that I have the spices whenever a recipe calls for a spice I can like put it in and you know it tastes good now. So here is my spice rack....this is Thyme, Tarragon, Celery Seed, Basil.............." where is the steak knife? I need to kill this dork boy!! When that torture was over I was just about to end it with a mad rush to the door when he took me by the hand to sit on his naugahyde couch. Ya you read it correctly...NAUGAHYDE!!!!!!!

"Guess how much I paid for this at B'nai B'rith" (Oh did I have to mention he was Jewish or did you get that on your own?????????) Then he starts in ..."Guess, go ahead and guess just take a guess how much, how much,how much do you think I paid?? Just try...try to guess go ahead." I looked at this pitiful crappy couch and said, "Uhm...$25??" He almost slid right off the couch!"$25??????$25?????? Are you crazy???? It cost me $200 and THAT was a good bargain. $25? You don't know anything!!"

I thought,"Ya well I know you are a loser and my mother's friend is SO DEAD!!!!!!!!!!! Who thought this guy was interesting??????" So FINALLY I said it was getting late and it was the first night of Chanukah and I needed to light the candles with my family. He walked me to my car and asked, "Can I kiss you?" Please give me a round of applause for not laughing out loud and spitting on him. I said, "Oh gosh darn it ...I have a strict policy of not kissing on the first date. Bye!" and off I went!

You know the feeling when you have to pee really really bad but you're not near a bathroom and then you finally can get to a bathroom and the relief is indescribable??? That's how I felt driving away!

Did you ever have a really bad blind date?

Friday, September 24, 2004

More visits to the nurse

Lillianna has been to the school nurse several times this year and she has only been in school 4 weeks. Last year her visits were mostly for wiggly teeth and Mrs. A would take a look at the hanging tooth and offer to pull it. Lillianna always declined. I think she went for reassurance.

A few times last year she went because she "didn't feel right". Once it was due to eating fruit and milk at lunch. It just didn't agree with her. A trip to the bathroom at home fixed the problem. When I hear the reasons she is running to the nurse, sometimes I worry about her. She doesn't seem to complain as much at home. I am a very compassionate mother so I don't think she is looking for the attention in school that she doesn't get at home. She gets all our attention. She is our only child!

The other day Mrs. A called because Lillianna fell off the bars at recess. That, at least, was a good reason for going. This morning Rich told me that Lillianna went to the nurse again yesterday. I was stunned. "For what, now?" I asked. Rich said,"To loosen her ponytail elastic."
I almost fell over. I saved this discussion for the drive to school. Lillianna explained she went to the nurse for a headache and Mrs. A loosened her pony tail and she felt better! It was a miracle! It reminded me of all those bad "Mommy Mommy my ponytails are too tight" jokes from my childhood. Couldn't her teacher have loosened the elastic? Did it really require a trip to the nurse.....again?

I gave Lillianna a speech about The Boy Who Cried Wolf,Hypochondria and Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome. I threw the last one in just because the chat on hypochondria reminded me of it. Basically I tried to focus on the boy and wolf story so that if she actually has a medical problem she will be taken seriously. I ended it by saying, "Because after a while your teacher may not believe you and what if you are really sick and you throw up in class?" Lillianna didn't miss a beat when she anwered, "Well if I do throw up in class, I hope it's on a boy."
I think I got my point across......didn't I?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Phone call from school

At 11:30am this morning I got a phone call.
"Hello Mrs. P. This is Mrs. A the school nurse."

(Deep's probably just another wiggly tooth.)

"Is Lillianna ok?" I ask calmly

"Yes, she's fine. She fell off the bars at recess and she got the wind knocked out of her. She landed in the soft sand and she scraped her elbow but I checked her for bumps and bruises and she's ok. Would you like to speak to her?"

I said I would. Lillianna got on the phone.

"Hi Mom! I'm ok."

I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up or stay the last 2 hours of school. She said she'd stay even though her back and elbow hurt. She sounded surprised that she fell but she didn't seem concerned about her injuries.

When I picked her up at school at 2:00pm she seemed just fine. I was kind of surprised that this didn't bother me that much except for the initial feeling of dread when I found out the school nurse was calling me. I don't want to make a big deal of out these things because then every little thing will become a theatrical event.

She went to dancing school this afternoon without any difficulty at all. She did complain of some elbow pain after dinner and a few minutes with an ice pack seemed to relieve that problem. I tucked her into bed and she fell asleep almost immediately. All is well.

Have your kids had accidents at school? How did you react?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Today I wore a sweatshirt

I suppose that doesn't sound like such a big deal but for those who know me in "real life" you know that is quite an amazing statement since I am always hot. Well, not hot as in "Wow, she's one hot mama!" but hot as in, "Holy moly!!! Someone put the a/c on in here before you have to call 911 and I am hospitalized for heat stroke!"

I drive my co-workers crazy some days because we are in a small room with one window and I am always sweating in that place. I wear short sleeves most of the year and I am still hot. Poor Bobbi, she is usually wrapped in a coat and blanket when we work together because I am not satisfied until I make it cold enough to snow. She will approach my desk with her blue lips and chattering teeth and ask sweetly, "Do you mind if I turn the heat up a little bit?" I usually feel bad for causing her such discomfort and I reluctantly say, "Uhm, ok." As she passes my desk she says, "Feel how cold my hands are." I reach out and hold her hand as her eyes open wide in surprise. In her southern drawl she exclaims,"Damn! Your hands are HOT!"

When I took Lillianna to school this morning I put on my zippered sweatshirt. As we got in the car she said, "Mom, please, no air conditioner this morning, ok?" I answered, "Here's a helpful tip. If Mommy is wearing a's cold out! There is definitely no air condtioner today!"
When Rich was getting ready to leave this morning he asked, "Is it cold out?" I replied, "I wore a sweatshirt." No more explanation was needed. He grabbed a jacket.

Are you a hot or cold person?

So much whine and no one to share it with.

I would whine loudly today if I could talk! It seems that the little cold Lillianna caught in school and decided to share with me has created a bad case of laryngitis. My famous post nasal drip has made a comeback. It went on retreat five months ago and I haven't missed it one bit. Now my throat is irritated from the drip and I can't talk and I can barely swallow. I had to cancel my dentist appointment for 9:00am today since I can't recline or I will cough. I waited three months for that appointment and I really needed to go today. I left a message on their answering machine at 7:30am but when I was done Lillianna asked, "Do you think they could hear you?" I wasn't sure so I just had Rich call back and leave a new message at 8:50am to make sure they got the first one. Luckily I can rest and relax today. Tomorrow is another story.

I am supposed to work from 7:45am-5:00pm tomorrow and if I can't talk then I can't work.My whole day consists of talking to patients and doing eye exams. It is especially hard with the elderly who have hearing loss. Hearing loss plus laryngitis equals huge frustration. Since I am per diem I have no benefits which means no work, no money. I am in a panic over the possibility of not being able to work tomorrow.

Usually this illness which I get 4-6 times per year lasts for 7-10 days. The last time I had this it somehow turned into pneumonia and I was sick for 2 months. That was unbearable and frustrating. Everytime I went to the doctor he gave me new meds and nothing ever seemed to work except time and rest! That should be so simple to do but it isn't. I can definitely rest today but tomorrow.....sheesh.....what am I going to do?

I will keep drinking my tea and eating my home-made soup and hope for the best.

Well, I guess I can whine with laryngitis. Thank goodness for blogs!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Calling all mommies.....calling all mommies!

My dear friend, Cheryl, called me last Monday night to tell me the wonderful news. She is pregnant. Cheryl and Jeff will be married 3 years next month and this was a very planned pregnancy. They are very excited. I needed 3 tissues to get through this happy news. They are going to be the most wonderful parents.

I told Cheryl that for the most part, women will tell her all the horrors of pregnancy, birth and the first 18 years. I never understood this phenomenon but it happens time and time again. I have a different plan and here's why I need all the mommies I can find. I would like to share good experiences with her and I am hoping you can help. If you have a wonderful story or a special secret about your pregnancy or your baby's first few months then please share it with me and I will send them all to Cheryl. Also, what was the one thing you couldn't have survived without the first few months after your baby was born?

My secret confession is that when Lillianna was a newborn I couldn't wait for her to wake up every 2-4 hours for a feeding. Some nights I would miss her so much I would pace the hall waiting for her to realize it was time to get up!! I loved waking up to feed her ,change her and snuggle her until she fell asleep again. I actually slept more during that time than I do now.

The item I couldn't live without was cloth diapers that were worn over the shoulder for burping time. Loved them!

Thanks for your help!


Kara took Lillianna apple picking with Peter and his daughters, Lena and Bella today. Lillianna started to get a bad cold (sore throat, runny/stuffy nose and cough) on Thursday. Last night when I spoke to her from work she sounded quite congested and I didn't want her to go apple picking today since there was a torrential downpour last night and I figured the orchards would be sopping wet. I left it up to Rich and Kara to decide. Guess what they decided?

I am very happy that Kara loves Lillianna and enjoys being with her. She includes her in every fun activity she does with Lena and Bella. Lillianna adores Kara. I just wish Kara and my mom took my concerns seriously. I found out that Rich fed Lillianna Dunkin Munchkins and orange juice for breakfast. She ate 3 apples while they were apple picking. At Peter's nephew's 1st birthday party Kara offered Lillianna a piece of pizza but when she declined, had no problem allowing her to eat a piece of cake. So basically she has eaten sugar today. Good way to help her immune system fight off this illness.

During dinner Lillianna said that she and Lena had run ahead in some maze at the orchard while Kara, Peter and Bella were in the middle of the maze. There were hundreds of people there. I am not happy with 2 little girls not being with grown ups. I just voiced my concern to my mom and she said in a snippy tone, "I wouldn't worry about it. She's fine isn't she?" Then I said I was upset that Kara didn't try to feed her. Mom said, "She didn't want to eat. What should we do, shove the food down her throat?" I said, "No but I would've said if she didn't eat a slice of pizza then no cake!" I just asked Lillianna and she said if that was her choice she would've eaten the pizza. They don't even try with her and then they make it out to be that I am insane and overly protective.

Sometimes it's frustrating to always have a different opinion than my family.

Friday, September 17, 2004

A nice thought for the day

A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought it was worth posting. I am the first one to say "I hate people" because sometimes they really drive me insane. I know I have to have more patience but it's been 41 years of trying and I am not sure if I have made any progress.
This little prayer gave me something to think about.

Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed,disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, that the scary looking bum, beggingfor money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job)! is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enoughto share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Have a great day, everyone!

Breakfast chatter

Lillianna goes to school at 7:50am which leaves Rich and I, one hour to enjoy breakfast together before he has to leave for work. I would like to share today's conversation with you.

Me:(taking a bite of toast) Mmmm. This new bread that I bought yesterday is so yummy.

Rich:(looking curiously at my plate) Is that the bread you used to make my toast?

Me: Uhm, no. This is my expensive low carb bread.

Rich: (pretending to be outraged) Oh! Oh! So you get the expensive bread but I get the cheap stuff?? What's my bread made out of, wheat, mud and sticks?

Me: (laughing) No of course not but why waste my low carb bread on your toast?

Rich:(doing his best impression of me) I wouldn't even feed this bread to ducks but hey, let's feed this bread to Rich! Oh, why stop at the bread? What is the bacon? Squirrel? When you invite friends over and you are giving them breakfast and they reach for the wrong eggs do you say, "No wait stop. Don't eat those eggs. Those are the eggs I give Rich. I don't want to tell you what animal is in those eggs but if you saw what animal actually laid those eggs you wouldn't want to eat them. There are raccoons that wouldn't eat those eggs."

Me:(trying to point out what a good wife I am) I made you a nice bologna and cheese sandwich for lunch on a yummy fresh roll.

Rich:(glaring at me) Well we all know what's in bologna, lips and ass! And the cheese isn't actually cheese,it's just something you found wrapped in foil in the fridge and thought, "Hey, I'll slice this up into squares and throw it on a sandwich. It's not moving so if I cut it really fast it probably won't bleed much, whatever it is. And the mustard, well, it's not really mustard. It's old mayonnaise that I left out to curdle but after I added paprika for color it looked like mustard. Rich is so stupid, he'll never know the difference!"

At this point I couldn't even stop laughing. Finally I said,"You know I take good care of you and give you the best of everything." Rich said, "Ya, I know."

How was your breakfast this morning?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Sweet Traditions

You can read this post at DotMoms. L'shanah tovah to everyone. Let's hope we all have a sweet new year!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A joke

My friend Karen sent me this joke and I laughed so hard I decided to post this.

My Girlfriend's Family

I was happy. My girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year and so we decided to get married. My parents helped us in every way, my friends encouraged me, and my girlfriend? She was a dream! There was only one thing bothering me, very much indeed, and that one thing was her younger sister.

My prospective sister-in-law was twenty years of age,wore tight mini skirts and low cut blouses. She would regularly bend down when near me and I got many a pleasant view of her underwear. It had to be deliberate. She never did it when she was near anyone else.

One day little sister called and asked me to come over to check the wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived. She whispered to me that soon I was to be married, and she had feelings and desires for me that she couldn't overcome and didn't really want to
overcome. She told me that she wanted to make love to me just once before I got married and committed my life to her sister. I was in total shock and couldn't say a word. She said, "I'm going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want to go ahead just come up and get me." I was stunned. I was frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs.

When she reached the top she pulled down her panties and threw them down the stairs at me. I stood there for a moment, then turned and went straight to the front door. I opened the door and stepped out of the house. I walked straight towards my car. My future father-in-law was standing outside. With tears in his eyes he hugged me and said, "We are very happy that you have passed our little test. We couldn't ask for a better man for our daughter. Welcome to the family.

The moral of this story is: "Always keep your condoms in your car."

Monday, September 13, 2004

Common sense in the supermarket

This is to the mother in the supermarket with her 5 or 6 year old son yesterday.

What the hell were you thinking? We were all standing at the deli counter waiting for our number to be called. Yes, it was a bit more crowded than usual. I held #56 and #50 was being served when I got there. It was 4:30pm on a Sunday afternoon and perhaps you had an extremely stressful day with your children. That is still no reason to allow your son to do whatever he wanted while you waited to order your deli. I know children are impatient. I am impatient too. You have to draw the line somewhere!

You saw him climb out from under the shopping cart where he was sitting and jump onto the bread rack in front of the deli counter. I watched as you helped him get his balance on those metal racks which displayed packaged sub rolls,onion rolls and party rolls. What made you think that the consumer would be happy with your son's foot print indented on each and every roll? I know that I enjoy fluffy rolls for my sandwiches not squashed rolls that are as flat as pita bread. If I want pita bread I just buy pita bread.

So he marched back and forth in front of you as if he were stomping grapes into wine and you said nothing. When you noticed several people glaring at you and then at your child you finally guided him back to the shopping cart. That's what it took to get you to stop this deplorable behavior? A few stares? Where is your common sense? Why haven't you taught him that this behavior is unacceptable? He was 5 or 6 years years old. He should have learned this 4 years ago. Don't you know that this is wrong? If this is what you allow him to do in public then I can't imagine what you permit him to do at home.

Here's a tip for you: jumping on the bread rack is not proper supermarket etiquette for you or your children!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

A beautiful story

Rachel Ann had this link on her blog and I definitely thought it was worth posting here. If only we could put aside our differences and realize we are all people with families who just want to have a safe and happy life, maybe war wouldn't dictate our lives.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Where were you?

Tomorrow is September 11th as we are all well aware. Since I will be at work from 7:30am-9:30pm I decided to post tonight.

Whenever anything horrific happens, we are always able to recall where we were and what we were doing at that exact moment. The day my dad died I was wearing teal shoes. When I got the news from my uncle over the phone I screamed and then threw myself on the living room rug screaming hysterically and my right shoe went flying across the room. I can't look at anything teal without thinking of that moment.

On September 11, 2001 I was driving Lillianna to pre-school at 9am. I heard something on the radio but I couldn't comprehend what the news guy was saying. Something about a plane crash? I got out of the car and brought Lillianna into school. Some of the moms were talking in the hallway but we still weren't clear what had happened. When I got back into the car I turned up the radio and began to hear as the horror unfolded. I wanted to throw up. I needed to be with someone to try to process this news.

I drove to Kristy's house which was only 5 minutes away and we stood dazed in front of the tv watching the unbelievable happen. We couldn't even sit. Who could sit on a comfy couch as people were jumping out of buildings knowing they were plunging to their death? Out of all the things I had seen in my life this was the most tragic and outrageous. Kristy and I couldn't believe such a scheme could have been successfully orchestrated by anyone. Hate and envy are strong motivators and our enemies were well equipped with both.

Three years later and our country has survived and become stronger. We have lost our innocence thinking we were safe on our home turf. The enemy lives among us and befriends us under false pretenses in order to kill us. We are wiser, I think, and I hope this wisdom is enough to win the war against terrorism.

To all those who died on this day, I hope you are at peace. We thank you for your courage and strength as you looked death in the face and still tried to save others. You will never be forgotten.

Where were you on September 11th?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Five and a half hours...were does the time go?

Lillianna is in school every day from 7:55am-1:55pm. I leave to pick her up by 1:30pm so that leaves me five and a half hours to myself on a morning when I don't work.
Gosh, that seems like quite a lot of time, in theory. The reality is that it is now 11:08am and I feel like time is flying away too fast.

I ran to the supermarket as soon as I dropped Lillianna off at school. We were out of milk and no one bothered to tell me that yesterday when they used the last of it. I never drink milk so I rarely acknowledge the bulky bottle of moo juice on the top shelf unless it is my regular food shopping day. So, I went to the store for milk and bacon and came home to make breakfast.

Apparently Rich forgot to wake up while I was gone so at 8:15am I yelled, "You had better not still be in bed!" Rich staggered out of the bedroom sputtering, "I'm awake. I'm awake." (ya, right!) He plodded into the shower while I started breakfast and made his lunch.
Finally at 8:30am we sat down to eat breakfast. He kissed me good-bye and headed off to work at 9:00am.

I began to clean the kitchen then I stopped suddenly to check my email. Kind of like a cat when they stop and then dash into the next room for no reason at all. I just had to check the mail at that moment. Then I noticed it.....all the paperwork I had gathered on the ironing board so that I could go online and dispute Lillianna's bill from May that my insurance company refused to pay. Deep sigh. I scooped it all up and went online. More circles without an end and no resolution. I decided to write a letter instead. One hour later it was completed.

The phone rang and it was my mom. We chatted about having Rosh Hashana at her house next week. I told her I had to figure out Lillianna's birthday party plans by tomorrow when I get the invitations. I am trying to plan this on a weekend but I don't want to take time off of both jobs on a Saturday so I want to have the sleepover on Friday night. That way I can still make it to my other job at 1:00pm.

I got off the phone and called Papa Gino's. That is where Lil's party was last year before the sleepover. That's what she wants this year too. I was told that they only do kid's parties on Saturdays and Sundays. Ouch! My brain began to throb! Now what? Think! Think!

Then I called her pediatrician to schedule a well visit. That was easy. We go next Monday and no shots for a 7 year check up! Thank goodness!

Now time is a's 11:27am. I am almost done with this post and then I am off to straighten up for one hour,mark all new appointments down on my calendar, make my lunch, eat, pack up dinner for work and get Lillianna at school and then drop her off at my mom's so that I can be at work by 3:30pm.

Five and a half hours.........shot to hell!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The cave (a story from long ago)

I originally wrote the following story on June 5, 1992.After several bad relationships I thought I had finally met "the one." When he decided to dump me because I didn't golf (ya right..that's guy code for "I am too shallow to tell you the truth{whatever the hell it may be} so I will make up some crap and hope you buy it. I don't want to date you but I don't want to be the bad guy either so....I will just lie and hope it works.") I felt like I needed to put my confusion and fear of starting over into a story. The result was this inspirational tale called "The Cave." I hope you enjoy it.
The Cave

"Enter into the cave," the voice said to her.

"But I am afraid," she replied.

"How will you find the hidden treasure if you don't take a chance?" the voice challenged her.

"But the last time I went into the cave I was attacked by a bear. I almost died. The time before that I was bitten by a snake." she explained.

"This is a different cave. Go in. Take a chance." the voice urged her.

"I'm so scared," she cried.

"You'll never get the treasure if you're scared. Don't you want to be happy?"

"Of course I want to be happy but what if the treasure isn't there or if I get attacked by a wild animal?"

"But what if the treasure IS there?"

She took a deep breath and cautiously entered the cave.
"Oh, it's quite bright in here. Usually is is very dark. I'm not so afraid now." she said calmly.

"I told you this was a different cave.You just had to believe." the voice explained.

"Yes, but it's always so difficult for me..........Oh look! The treasure! See how it sparkles? It is just so beautiful. I can't believe how wonderful all of this is. I've never been this happy.All my prayers have been answered. I'm so glad I took another chance and went into the cave again.
Thank you for inspiring me to have faith. Now I have everything!"

She was so content that she curled up next to her treasure and drifted into a glorious dream of the future. While she slept peacefully, free from fear at last, the bear returned and ate her!

A laugh for the day.

This quote was on Henry's blog over at Desert Raspberry.

If you sometimes feel a little useless, offended or depressed - always remember YOU were once the fastest and most victorious little sperm out of millions.

Doesn't that just make you laugh???

Monday, September 06, 2004

When life gives me lemons, I throw them at someone's head!

This post is for b4b.jpgBlogging for books The subject this month is to write about a struggle to adapt to a major change in my life. This is my very first entry in this competition.

In June of 1985 I said good-bye to my mom, dad and 11 year old sister Kara as I headed toward the El Al terminal. I was 22 years old and I was heading to Israel for a three week stay on a kibbutz. There was always the option for me to stay longer but at that point I didn't know for sure. I had been going through a hard time personally and I just needed a break from reality for a while. The communal lifestyle of the kibbutz was the answer to most of the stress in my "real life" back in the U.S. Two weeks later, I called my mom and asked her to pack up my winter clothes and send them to me. I was staying.

Israel was wonderful. I loved everything about it: the food, the people, the history and especially the language. My heart soared with each and every melodious word. My big regret was that I didn't speak it fluently. After two years I decided to sign up for a six month intensive Hebrew course so that I could fulfill that dream. I had also decided that I wanted to work in a hotel in Tel Aviv. I had gone to college for hotel management and I was still interested in that career. How wonderful to combine my love of Israel with my dream job of managing a hotel. Everything seemed to be coming together.

At the end of August 1987 my mom called to tell me that the court case for the car accident I was in when I was 19 was finally going to trial. The lawyers wanted me! I had two days to pack,try to postpone my Hebrew course until I came back and say good-bye to my boyfriend. Within 48 hours I was reluctantly on my way back to the United States. My plan was to return as soon as the trial was over. Hopefully, within four weeks.

While the lawyers tried to get it all together for the trial I enjoyed my visit with my family. I hadn't realized how much I missed them until we were all back together again. Nana and Papa lived with us too so it was a great reunion. No matter how independent I thought I was and how much I loved my friends and boyfriend in Israel, nothing compared to the love I shared with my family.

After dinner, on Monday, September 28th, the whole family gathered in the living room. I sat on my dad's lap,threw my arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. I was suddenly overwhelmed with how much I had missed him. "I love you, Daddy," I said as I planted a few more kisses on each cheek. Nana laughed and asked jokingly, "What do you want from him?" I answered simply, "Nothing. I just love my father!"

The next day, September 29th, my father had a heart attack at work and died. He was 51 years old. My mom told me that I wouldn't be going back to Israel. I had to stay home and help her raise my 13 year old sister. I never questioned her. I just did what she needed me to do.
While the pain of daddy's death was still an open wound to my heart I had to plan a new life for myself. My life in Israel died along with my dad. My dream of speaking Hebrew and working in a hotel could never be pursued. My boyfriend and friends would have to be left behind. My life had to be exchanged for some uncertain future I didn't have any interest in discovering. I wanted my daddy back. I wanted my old life back. I wanted to go back to that time when my life was beautful and the possibilities for happiness were endless.

For the first month after daddy's death, I was a zombie. I cried all day, everyday. I couldn't believe that no matter how much I cried there were always more tears. I thought it was a miracle I didn't dehydrate from the crying. I couldn't figure out how to live. I wanted to run far away and forget that my life had been destroyed. How could my father die at the age of 51? It wasn't fair. I was sure it was a mistake. I begged and pleaded with God to bring my father back but if he had anything to say to me I wasn't listening. I was pissed at God anyway.

I am not the type of person who looks on the sunny side of life in a bad situation.It is more likely that I will assess the situation and immediately say, "There is no way this is going to work. I might as well give up!" The old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is too unrealistic for me. It is more than likely I will be pitching those lemons at someone's head!

Even as I looked for a job I don't think I realized I was never returning to Israel. My whole life was there. How could I be here? I cried for losing my dad and losing my dream. I didn't mean to be selfish. I knew my mom and sister were dealing with this loss too. I wanted to be helpful but I couldn't find a way to move past the pain.

Eventually I got a job and began accepting my new life. I didn't like it one bit but I knew it was what I had to do. My mom and sister needed me to be a functioning member of the family. I still cried every day, usually in the car, to and from work, but things began to fall into place once I stopped fighting the change. I like to think that my helping mom with Kara made being a single parent a little bit easier for her. I took pride in the things the three of us accomplished together. It was an extremely bumpy journey down the road to adulthood for me, but I arrived safely with only a few cuts and scrapes to my heart.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Lion King on stage!

Today Lillianna and I went with mom, John, Kara(my sister),Peter(Kara's other half), Lena and Bella (Peter's daughters, ages 6 and 4 respectively), Linda (Peter's mom) and Tom (his step dad) to see The Lion King on stage in Boston. I wish I could describe how this show was done but alas, my writing skills are not up to snuff in that area. It was a phenomenal and mind boggling performance. The actors were a part of the animals and characters they portrayed and it was such an awesome experience all I can say is try to go see it if it comes your way.

This was the first time Lillianna had ever seen a professional musical and she loved it. She sat in between Lena and Bella so I was 3 seats away from her. We actually switched all our seats around when 3 tall women sat right in front of us and our small children couldn't see anymore.
Lillianna's laughter could be heard through out the theater. She was really amused by the comedic lines which were definitely more humorous on stage than in the animated movie. The famous Timon and Pumba lines:
"What's a motto?" "Nothing. What's a motto with you?" or "What's eatin' him?" "Nothing. He's at the top of the food chain." Lillianna laughed so hard I thought she would fall out of her seat.

Even now when I just read this to her she is in hysterical fits of laughter! I hope she doesn't snort milkshake out her careful, Lil!

I was hoping Lillianna would write about her experience today but all she had to say was, "The musical was a hit!" I guess that says it all!

Lying in the bed you made

Read this post over at DotMoms

Friday, September 03, 2004

Where did our neighbors go?

We live in a very large complex with over 500 apartments in it. I only know a handful of people here: the people that we always see at the pool and the moms of the kids from Lillianna's kindergarten class last year. Other than that I know a few people in my building but I rarely see any of them.

When *Ray and Deborah* moved in across the hall last year we were happy to have nice neighbors. Deborah was pregnant with their first child and she was very excited.
Whenver I bumped into Deborah we chatted for a while. She was very sweet and I enjoyed talking to her. A couple of months ago I saw Ray in the vestibule getting his mail and he told me Deborah went into labor 5 weeks early and they had a baby daughter. He was absolutely thrilled to be a dad. I congratulated him and said I couldn't wait to see the baby.

Two weeks later I saw Ray again and he said Deborah was in the hospital after emergency gall bladder surgery. She almost died. When I saw her in the parking lot a month later she looked great and she had the baby with her. What a cutie pie.
Now that Deborah was home with the baby, Ray was the only one working. I would see him leave at 6am and I never knew what time he got home at night.Like the rest of us, they were doing the best they could.

The company that owns this complex doesn't care what situation we are in. Rent is due on the first of the month and that's that. If you don't like it: MOVE! I think that's their unofficial motto. A few months ago Rich had an unexpected car expense of $500 a few days before our rent was due. He needed the car to go to work to make money so we paid the car repair bill. When I paid the rent I enclosed a note explaining about the unexpected car emergency and paid most of the rent and said the balance would be paid the following week. That's just what I did. The very day it was paid I found an eviction notice in our door. The total amount was paid on the 8th of the month but apparently that was still cause for eviction.

I was livid! I sent a note to the office saying that even mortgage companies don't foreclose on a house for a payment being 7 days late! I explained why the payment was late and it had never been late before! I was not surprised when I didn't receive a reply. We weren't evicted and we never heard another word about it.

A few weeks ago I noticed an eviction notice in Deborah's door. With all that had been going on I could understand why her rent might have been late. Today we received a note in our monthly newsletter to all the tenants.
"We will be sending out late notices as a courtesy on the 5th of the month. If we still do not receive your rent by the 7th of the month, you will be receiving an eviction notice."

As Lillianna and I carried our groceries upstairs around 5pm this evening I smelled paint. Then I saw Deborah's door was propped open a little bit. I asked Rich about it when he got home. He looked in. It was completely empty! Our neighbors are gone. We never heard them move. They must have moved on Tuesday because that's the day we are both at work all day and Lillianna is with my mom after school. Wow! Gone!

I know business is business and we don't know the whole story but if they were evicted because their rent was late I think it's a shame. Sometimes you do have to listen to the reason why someone's rent is late. Having a baby 5 weeks early and then having emergency gall bladder surgery is certainly unexpected. I am tired of everything being so impersonal around here. Life is difficult at times. Sometimes you just have to care about people even if you are a large corporation.

I am feeling very sad about all of this and I just needed to vent. Thank goodness I have my blog!

{* I changed the names to my favorite "Everybody Loves Raymond" cast to protect our neighbor's privacy.}

I don't think I will sign that, thank-you

Lillianna came home yesterday with the emergency contact sheet that always gets sent to parents within the first week of school. It had the typical information: student's name and address, mother's name, address, home phone#, cell phone #, same thing for the father.
Then it will usually ask for 2 or 3 contacts in case the parents can't be reached. Someone we would trust to go pick Lillianna up and take care of her until we could get her.

This year it states:
"If my child is ill and I am not available, please send him/her to person(s) listed below, by taxi, if necessary."
WHAT?????? My 6 1/2 year old daughter put in a taxi by herself, and sent to my friend Kristy who is 10 minutes away or to my sister Kara who works 1 hour away from Lillianna's school? Trust some unknown driver to safely deliver my sick child????? Are you insane?????? HELL NO! Don't you dare put my precious child in a vehicle and let her leave the school!

If she is seriously injured (G-d forbid) then send her by ambulance to the hospital but make sure someone reaches me or one of my relatives to meet Lillianna in the emergency room. I don't want her to be alone. Would you want your child to be alone?
I decided to fill in Kristy and Kara's name on my sheet with their phone numbers. I crossed out the part about the taxi and beneath it I wrote: "You may call the people listed above but do NOT put my child in a taxi!!"

The final bit of insanity was the fine print on the bottom which stated: "I will not hold the ( name of school) district financially responsible for the emergency care and/or transportation for said child." Ya, well if you put my child in a taxi for a one hour drive which I am not authorizing , I am definitely holding the school district responsible.

Would you have signed this sheet?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Well, what do you know? I did it!

Well, I read the Hewlett Packard directions on the computer and I cleaned my printer. Yup, I sure did. Now it prints! It prints!

At least I got something accomplished this morning. Now I will attempt to put the laundry away. This is so weird to have time by myself. Lillianna is in school for 3 more hours. Tomorrow I will focus on writing. Today: cleaning!