Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I hope you won't think any less of me (than you already do) after reading this. I offer it as a cautionary tale. Also, as a reminder that lists might be a helpful thing and something I endeavor to keep in the New Year. It's on my list here somewhere.

Our hapless office assistant Narnia (name changed to protect us all) is big on gift giving. I have never once been able to use with any enjoyment a gift that she's given and I am quite easy to please. I also believe the act of giving transcends the item...usually. It's just the items that she has chosen (or actually bought in mass quantity and told me about) are never something that are well, to my taste or are useful. For example:

- a polyester Christmas ornament scarf that I have absolutely no use for as I don't actually celebrate Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas, it's just I'm Jewish and even if I weren't, would still not have such an item in my wardrobe. Off to the donation pile.
- a scarf that has some gold thread through it that itches me like sandpaper. I won't give it away as I wouldn't want to subject this on even the neediest human.
- this year it was a tea light holder (sure, sounds promising) with the word "HOPE" emblazoned in big letters. My first thought was "I hope she'll stop giving me gifts."

"I gave one to my best friend too!" she proclaimed. Right to the garage sale pile.

With these evil thoughts dancing through my head, it was my just comeuppance that I totally blanked on buying Narnia a Christmas present. I bought for the teachers, various school related people - everyone on that list in my head, except Narnia. When did I discover this? As I showered before leaving for work yesterday morning. There must be something to the ole shower waking you up thing as I jumped into reality. What to do? Narnia doesn't go to Starbucks, so a gift card there was out. This was my only option as no other stores were open before my arrival, except the newsstand. Today's paper? "Look Narnia, what a great horoscope you have for today!" Magazines? A bag of Skittles? Come on - think woman, think!

The only viable option was to gift something of my own. Horror of horrors! I looked on the shelves in my room and saw a little silver bird that I always liked and then another little glass paperweight-ish item that I had a perfect gift bag for as it turned out. I held them up to Scissors, telling him of my predicament and asked his opinion on which I should give.

"Give her the bird" was his reply. After I stopped cracking up as funnier than his actual advice was the fact that Scissors didn't really grow up in the States and did not at first realize what he had just told me to do. I gave her what I sold as a paperweight and is currently resting comfortably on Narnia's desk where I can still have visitation rights.

I called my friend Jennifer to tell her of my predicament and had tears streaming down my face laughing as she asked between her own laughter "You gave her something from Montauk? Was it some crappy souevenir item with Welcome to Montauk on it?"

"Yeah sure", I continued "here Narnia, I bought this in the summer thinking it would be a perfect Christmas gift for you. Enjoy!"

I assured her that I scoured the item to make sure it made no mention of its souvenir origins. Once certain, I polished her up and wrapped it.

I believe a list may have saved me this predicament, but then again Narnia would have had to make the list. Maybe I'll start that list now, while it's fresh on my mind.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Monday, December 24, 2007


Twas the night before Christmas
and this family of four
had baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies
and were eyeing one more.

The Christmas Story marathon
played on the tv all night
and served as the backdrop for the
brother and sister to fight.

The brother finally collapsed
in a heap on the floor
when they heard the jingling
of bells outside of their door.

The Dad cracked the door
as the Mom felt fluish
and there sat Santa looking puzzled
"you know with Christmas story playing,
you don't sound Jewish."

The Dad pointed up to
the mezuzah on the door
and to the dreidl still spinning
from Chanukah on the floor.

They gave him a plate of sufganiyot
or jelly donuts to you
The mom wrapped a blanket tighter
did we mention she had the flu?

Then we heard Santa exclaim as
he drove out of sight
Never mind those cookies and milk
It's these donuts I like!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Well this blogging for a year and a half has its benefits in the form of reprisal of old posts, or traditions as we like to say. This was from last Christmas Eve, but what the heck - it was fun!

So Merry Christmas to my friends and best of everything in the new year.


Sunday, December 23, 2007


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I hopped on the subway with the kids and landed in Grand Central Terminal where we enjoyed their laser light show that is on around the Holidays through December 31st. They're an easy crowd - Julian just was happy to ride the trains and Tali wanted a hot chocolate from Starbucks. I wanted to buy a few gift items from an African craft booth in Grand Central's Holiday Fair. With only that, we killed four hours this afternoon.

Scissors stayed home with Louie who is recuperating from a delicate surgery. He was neutered. No more making time with the cute beagle or the cocker spaniel with the pink bows in her hair for him. He's recuperating quite nicely though.

Just a quick note to say hello, not much else. Just want to get my little blog here up and running for the last week of 2007.

Some items from the craft fair:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Visit to the Nursing Home

"I can't bear the number of funerals you go to once you get older. I have to find a way to adjust to loss or sentence myself to a life of grieving. So I focus on the immediate, on my children." Jack Nicolson in an interview I read online earlier today.

I understand how my Mom felt attending the funerals of close friends and relatives. It's hard to watch your generation disappearing. It's harder becoming the older generation. After the last of my father's brothers passed away a couple of years ago, a cousin from that side said "Now the top shelf is gone, no more Johhnie Walker Black. We have to go to the middle shelf." Always the alcohol references on that side of the family, but pretty funny just the same.

I miss my Mom - she loved to hear stories about the kids and so many times I've thought "oh I have to tell Mommy that..." or "Mommy's going to laugh at that one..." and then a tear or two forms. It's sad, but necessary - all part of the grieving process. But then I smile. Smile at the memory and our conversations which often centered around the kids.

On Monday I received a call at the office that Julian had thrown up at school. I made a couple of calls and arranged to have him go to my mother-in-law's home until either I or Scissors got home. He stayed home from school yesterday even though he was quite fine. I took him to the nursing home to bring some things for Grandpa. The residents are getting to know Julian although they don't always remember him. He's taking to pretending he's one of the residents and using Grandpa's long shoe horn as a cane and walking the halls talking. I then found him outside one resident's door ushering the resident into his room with a sweeping motion saying "come in." We then went downstairs to the sitting room before we left whereby Julian pretends that he's talking to Louie our dog on the payphone. It's just Julian and myself and Grandpa and one other little lady resident who seems quite vexed that Julian is on the payphone as witnessed by the following exchange:

Resident (sitting stonefaced with a grimace frozen on face): "He's going to hurt himself with that cord."

Me (the uncaring Mom): "It's okay, he's playing pretend."

Resident expression tightens. Julian runs back over to Grandpa and I, then back to the phone.

Resident: "Holler at him! He should hang up that phone!"

Me (the slightly off kilter visitor): "I'm going to holler at you if you keep yelling at my child." Mutter under breath "old crank".

Resident makes a pffft noise at me. Notice that her grimace has turned to a slight smile.

We both feel better now that we've gotten that off our chests and Julian off the payphone as it turns out.

You see why I need to write a blog? Not because I have such great stories to tell but because if I'm not kept off the streets, I may be harassing little old ladies in nursing care facilities.

No good can come of that.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Tonight marked the start of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. It's a joyous, fun and fattening holiday celebrated with anything drenched in oil. Um ummmm. Latkes, soufganyot (jelly donuts), and pretty much more of the same.

So Happy Chanukah and enjoy!

I've done a couple of posts over at Central Snark which explore the proper spelling of Chanukah and a little rap about playing dreidl. Do stop by, it gets lonely and I end up eating all of the gelt myself.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Rabbit Rabbit and good luck in December.

Today is Tali's birthday. She turns 10. We also determined (in that same birthday aging conversation that we were having with Julian) that next year we'd have to go to the toes to count her age.

I was attempting a video upload but something isn't cooperating and I've got to cut my losses as I have to decorate, wrap, and go to bed. Instead I've put in the still photo of the video. Maybe later?

Each year I think that my heart would burst if it swelled with any more pride for my children. But each year it doesn't and each year my pride just continues to grow with good reason. Tali, have the happiest birthday and the most wonderful year. May you be happy a good percentage of the time, have grand school lunches, continue to play and practice your violin, and just enjoy. But I don't need to tell you that, for if anybody knew how to laugh and see the fun in life, it is you.

Happy Birthday to the girl who makes most adults look scatterbrained on a good day - our own Noopsie, Tali Rose.

Apparently Tali's video did upload, so let's see (she'd like to showcase a more polished piece, but I thought this was just grand anyway):

Note: The Birthday/Rabbit illustration is a print from the shop of Spiral Forest Studio in Etsy