What We’re Watching Now

I love it when my kids introduce me to something great. I believe that there is a place in Times Square in New York that people can go to to record their stories. You can go to a site called Story Corps to listen to them. They are mostly just audio. Another website called Vimeo has some of these stories which have been turned into animated tales. The voices that you hear are the actual voices of the people telling their tales. It really speaks to the beauty of every day life. My kids warned me that this one would make me cry. They were right, but it was so beautiful I just had to share it with you. Sorry for any tears.

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Simply Happy

Tomorrow is moving day.
There is dust everywhere.
There are workman everywhere.
The only working toilet is in the basement.
Nothing is completed 100%.
My foot is still slightly swollen and distractingly itchy.
I don’t care.
We’re moving back into our home.
The children will regain their social lives.
We won’t have to wake up as early.
We won’t have to commute to and from the cottage every day.
We are back in before Rosh Hashanah.
I am very happy and very grateful.

There’s a What in My Where?

You know, I consider myself a pretty lucky person. I really don’t have much to complain about. I love my life and I love my family. For the most part I even had a happy childhood. Things are not perfect but they’re pretty darn good.

Yet it seems that every now and then something happens that makes me think “This could only have happened to me!” I’ve already written about a few of those things, like taking out my rear car window, getting all my Passover groceries stolen, the car accident on another Passover buying trip etc. I have not had a chance to write about the latest ‘it could only happen to me’ event. This is truly a flukey kind of thing.

On Friday as I was putting on my shoes to go pick up my daughter from school I felt something really sharp go through one of my toes. My first thought was that somehow one of the workmen doing our home renovations dropped a nail in my shoe. My next thought was, how lucky for me that I just got my tetnus vaccine on Wednesday. I pulled my foot out of my shoe expecting to have to pull a nail from my toe except there was no nail. I then saw a hornet fly out of my shoe. What the, what the! Wow do hornet stings ever hurt!

I picked up my daughter and the secretary from her school gave me ice for my foot – no ice at the house, no fridge just workmen. We then drove to Toronto and you know my foot still kind of hurt. The next day we had a Bar Mitzvah to attend. My foot was kind of swollen and itchy. Heels and panty hose did not feel so great. Have I ever mentioned that I’m sure that pantyhose must have been invented by a man. What woman would come up with those things? I feel the same about high heels. The only thing that distracted me from my itchy, stinging and swollen foot was the novelty of being in a Reconstructionist service and the excellent job done by the Bar Mitzvah boy.

Sunday, forty eight hours after the stinging incident my foot is still swollen, the stung toe looks like it belongs to someone else’s foot and I now have a rash as well. The shoes that I brought with for the weekend don’t fit me now (well, one of them doesn’t fit). Add to that the fact that I have zonked out on Benadryl my kids think that my foot looks weird and they are freaked out that I’m having trouble staying awake – even more so than usual.

Well it’s now 72 hours later and I’m still swollen and maddeningly itchy. I’m managing to stay sane by submerging my foot in cold water whenever I can. Wasn’t that a treatment for the ‘insane’ in the old days?

How long does a hornet sting last?

Do you have any unusual sting stories to share with us?

There’s also the one about the bumble bee that flew up my husband’s bathing suit. He swore that they don’t sting – he did a project on bumble bees in grade six – and then it stung him! Maybe this is pay-back for laughing about the bumble bee.

Satelite Thoughts

On one of my many drives to Toronto this summer I was listening to the satelite radio in my husband’s car. Satelite radio is a real treat for us. The three hour drive is filled with pockets of space in which the regular radio cuts out due to the rock formations not to mention that very few channels are available. So with the mix of oldies stations available to me on satelite radio I am a very happy woman. It really helps the drive pass quickly. Shall I mention that I find it amusing and mildly offensive as well that the music that I listened to in my teen years is now considered “oldies”? What would they call Frank Sinatra?

Where else but on a satelite station could you hear George Harrison (Beatlesless) and the Monkees? When I was little I loved the Monkees. I used to eat Puffa Puffa Rice cereal just because it had their pictures on the box. I got to eat my cereal dreaming about Mike and Mickey and thus mentally prepare myself for a day of chasing the boys around the kindergarten playground trying to get a kiss.

The song Dust in the Wind by Kansas came on the radio and I thought what a perfect song to get me in the mood for Rosh Hashanah. Then Rod Stewart’s song Tonight’s the Night came on and I changed the station to another “oldies” station. I never got the Rod Stewart thing. His voice sounds like gravel and he’s androgynous looking. But, that’s just my opinion.

I decided that all Chicago songs sound alike and they must be the easiest group to arrange a medley for.

Cat Stevens got some airtime with Moonshadow. You know, If I ever lose my legs, lose my arms lose my eyes and I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if you lost your mind Cat? Cat Stevens, what a loss to the world of music. I hope he’s happy and peaceful – remember the Peace Train Cat.

It amazes me how a song can transport me back in time and before I know it I’m feeling everything that I felt when I was a teen.
Except, now it just makes me smile, even the angst.

What do you enjoy listening to?

Reflections But No Apologies

This time of year always becomes highly reflective for me. Even amongst the chaos of house renovations, back to school and cottage commuting I can still find the time to examine my behaviour over the previous year. I think that I am a stern judge because I always fall short of my expectations. As I stand in schul reading off the Alcheits and giving myself a good little knock on the chest for each one I remain steadfast in my knowledge that I have never demanded usurous interest nor have I ever RUN to do evil. All else seems open to interpretation to me.

But right now I want to travel in to the past. Roughly 35 years ago I had a wonderful hebrew teacher. I don’t know how this orthodox rabbi ended up teaching Sunday school at a conservative synagogue, but I was lucky enough to end up in his class. I drove my parents crazy that year with the constant litany of “Rabbi B… says…””

One lesson that stuck with me was the need to apologize before Rosh Hashanah to our friends and family for any unintentional slights or hurt that we may have caused them. So every year I resolutely asked my family and friends for forgiveness. My closest friend in high school would laugh indulgently as she granted me her yearly forgiveness.

One year it all changed. When in my twenties I asked my dad for forgiveness. He shocked me by saying, “No, it’s not up to me it’s up to G-d to forgive you.” Stunned, I reminded him that he alone could forgive me for my sins against him. He remained firm in his decision to abdicate all forgiveness to G-d. I have to admit that this threw me into a little tail spin. I sat and reviewed my behaviour for the past year trying to figure out what had changed. What had I done that was unforgivable? Of course I’m not perfect, but unforgivable? By a parent? At that time my husband and I were dating and we did go away for the odd weekend together. I knew that my dad did not approve, but again, was this unforgivable?

It was at this point that I changed my attitude toward forgiveness. While I still try to apologize if I realize that I have hurt or wronged someone I have since decided that just as I freely forgive those I love for any uninintended slight to me they can do the same for me. I am also strong enough that if someone has truly hurt me I can speak up for myself and address the situation. I expect those I love to do the same with me. Either speak up or let it go. Are our relationships so precarious that we can’t speak freely to eachother of our feelings? I don’t think so. I certainly hope not.

When I told my girlfriend that I was no longer asking for forgiveness she laughed and responded with, “Good”.

Let’s just know that we love and forgive one another and move on to a sweet and healthy year.