Monday, May 31, 2010

Don’t Read the Small Print

If you only read the MSNBC headline, “10 Die in Israeli raid on Aid Flotilla”, you would think that the Israeli army wantonly arrived to massacre Salvation Army grandmothers trying to reach the Gaza strip. So if you want to be anti-Israel, be sure not to read the small print.
Today, as I arrived at ceramics class, I heard the women talking about 10 foreign aid workers having been killed, and some Israeli soldiers being wounded. Eager to get some information, I called up my soldier-son and asked for details. He mentioned how the soldiers boarding the ships had been met with knives and hatchets, and I understood that an international incident had been created.
But who wanted this incident? Read the small print from the MSNBC article:

“Al-Jazeera earlier reported that the ships initially changed course to try to avoid a nighttime confrontation, preferring a daylight showdown for better publicity…..
Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza and had offered to transfer the aid to Gaza from an Israeli port. Israeli naval commandos raided the ships while they were in international waters after ordering them to stop about 80 miles from Gaza's coast, according to a pro-Palestinian activist in Greece involved in the aid mission.
……Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that after a security check, permitted humanitarian aid confiscated from the boats will be transferred to Gaza through authorized channels. However, Israel would not transfer items it has banned from Gaza under its blockade rules. Palmor said that for example, cement would be allowed only if it is tied to a specific project.
…..Israel had expected the operation to end without bloodshed and had prepared tents in an Israeli port for detainees.”

Unfortunately, we have had experiences that have proven to us that ships to Gaza often carry dangerous weapons. We have a right and a duty to protect our citizens. If the ship organizers were truly interested in humanitarian aid, they had no reason to fear or protest an Israeli inspection. It is too bad that people were killed, but I am sorry, it was their own fault.I wish that Israel did not have to make such inspections, but my wish not to have bombs falling on Israel is even greater.....

PS It COULD be that the situation should have been handled differently, that they should have taken into account the possibility of resistance. However, it is also very easy to say such things after it has happened. Once the Israeli soldiers were in the situation, they had no choice but to defend themselves, and I trust that they did no more than that.
PSPS: The Israeli forces were trying VERY hard not to over-react, and the soldiers kept telling each other "don't fire..." until they returned fire after 40 minutes of being continually assalted.

From the Other Side of the Looking Glass

I don’t know about other parents, but when my children (including Ricki), act up in public, I will promptly correct them. But, often, when it is Ricki, people tell me, or otherwise indicate through an expression, or a wave of the hand, that it is not necessary; they understand and forgive. If they look insistent, I will mention that it is necessary for me to rebuke her, for her own education.
But is that REALLY the reason?
I have recently been teaching math to an older teen who has Down syndrome. This young man seems to have a decent self esteem, and has no hesitations about speaking his mind. His mother, at least in my presence, seems to be intent on correcting every mistake as soon as possible, and sometimes I have to motion to her to give the young man time to think, without pressure.
A week ago, as they were leaving, she urged him to tell me “goodbye”, and in typical teen style, he refused. She tried again, and he mumbled “She’s a stranger”. The mother insisted that I was not a stranger and I FELT like making that “It’s OK” motion with my hand, although I didn’t. I simply spoke directly to the young fellow, and said, “Well, I DO want to wish YOU a good day!” At that, he said “goodbye” , and headed down the stairs.
Now WHY did I WANT to make that “It’s OK” sign? Because, as much as I understood the pressure she felt, that maybe she would feel less capable as a mother if her son acted out, I wanted her to realize that I was not insulted, that she could talk to him about it at her leisure, and certainly not in front of me. I was calm about it as well…
Oh, but if Ricki had done this, I would have probably reacted much as my student’s mother had, and I would NOT be as calm or collected as I was when it was someone else’s child. So I suspect that much of my reaction IS due to embarrassment, and not solely for “educational” purposes.
It was very enlightening for me to see the difference in my reaction, and I think that next time Ricki misbehaves in public, I will try to imagine how I would feel if I was a bystander, and not the mother, and react purely in a way and tone that will be beneficial for her education. It’s perhaps a tall order, but one worth perusing….

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Miss Independent and the Umbilical Cord (or Not?)

Whenever I go with Ricki to her exercise class, she wants to sit on the bus alone, and not with me. I understand that this is a need of hers, to feel independent. But if I start to dose off on the bus, she comes over to wake me up. And it’s not that she doesn’t know where to get off. She knows very well.
Then, when we alight, she streaks off as fast as she can, apparently also needing to walk alone. And yet, after she runs ahead about 20 strides, she will stop running, and continue at a more leisurely pace. But every once in a while, she glances back, looking to see where I am. At first I thought that “Miss Independent” needed reassurance of my presence, an “umbilical cord” of sorts. But last week I realized that in all probability, she is checking to see if I am catching up to her, necessitating an escalation of speed on her part…..

Friday, May 28, 2010

Already my Life is Safer

At nearly 30 kilos off my highest weight, I can confidently claim that my life is safer. Why? Because I can fasten the seatbelt in friend's cars when they give me a lift somewhere. Before, I often couldn't, and pretended to fasten the belt as I prayed that there would not be an accident.....

Walking Notes…..

Wednesday night I succumbed to eating a VERY fattening piece of cake, so I decided that I would “walk it off” today. And I did, walking over 18,000 steps (11,000 of them aerobic). In addition, on walker tracker I had joined a “competition” where I was challenged to walk 60,000 steps in 5 days. Knowing that I would not walk that amount on Saturday, I decided to “pre-empt”, so I had a second reason to “hit the pavement”. (Though now my veins hurt and I don’t think I will manage the 60,000…..)
But walking back from the park I had gone to walk in, I suddenly thought: “60,000 steps in 5 days is a lot. At 10,000 steps daily, how long would it take to reach six million? The answer is a whopping 600 days!
Today I walked half an hour to a park, walked an hour there, and half an hour back. I did my housework, and I walked Ricki to her swim class and back. I walked and walked and walked. If I walked that same huge amount daily for 11 months, I would reach six million. All those 11 months of long walking equals the number of Jews killed in the holocaust. Suddenly the staggering enormity of the number hit me. Before, it was just a number, and one that I really did not comprehend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Ceramics Teacher: Saying “Thank-You with a Smile

On Monday evening, as I was returning from Ricki’s exercise class (or at least, from 2/3’s of it),
I received a phone call from the teacher of my ceramics group. “I found the bowl that was missing. And yes, it WAS fired, and is ready to take home…”
Me: “Oh, gee, when are you at the classroom? Maybe I will walk over to pick it up, getting a bit of exercise in the bargain…”
-“Oh, I’m there now, until eleven this evening…”
And since the class is not that far out of the way from a quick bus ride from where Ricki and I were, I decided to pop over, Ricki in tow. We would then walk back home, about a twenty-minute walk.
I was wondering how the teacher would react to Ricki, and was pleased to see that she gave us a big smile when she noticed that I was accompanied by my daughter. I took a few minutes to explain to Ricki what this place was, and showed her a package of clay.
Suddenly the ceramics teacher suggested that I take a bit of clay home for Ricki to try. . She can make something, and next week you can paint it for her in class.” So I started to lop off a smidgen of the clay, but she laughed. “Why so little? Take more.” So I took a little bit more, and again Tami the teacher urged me to take a larger amount.
Now I am planning to try and “settle accounts” with Tami next week, but knowing her, I suspect very highly that she will refuse any compensation for the clay. Maybe she is hoping that I will enroll Ricki? I doubt it. I think that she is simply trying to be nice to a child, a teen, who has an intellectual disability.
Things like this used to bother me. I didn’t want Ricki to have “privileges”. I wanted her to earn her own way, be on an equal footing with everyone else. Today, as long as it is not a “pity party”, I simply say “Thank you. Thank-you very much….”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Special Exposure Wednessday- Ricki's Exercise Class

[image: Ricki at Exercise class.]
I know that this LOOKS like a music class, drumsticks and all, but the exercise method the teacher uses is "drums alive"....
You will find more of "special exposure wednesday" HERE.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Missing Keys and the Exercise Club: A Portrait of Educational Consequences

Monday afternoon Ricki has an exercise class with several other teens and young adults with Down syndrome. She has been attending this club for years, and it is the highlight of her week. [I originally enrolled her in this club so that she would be exposed to other girls with Down syndrome, in the anticipation that someday she might need to leave her inclusive school setting.]
Since I have my ceramics class on Monday mornings, this makes Monday a rather hectic day for me. I barely return from my morning class, prepare lunch, and have a nap, and it is time to leave for the exercise session.
Yesterday, I was all ready to go, and Ricki headed out the door ahead of me. “I’ll wait downstairs…” I gathered my bottle of water, and the knitting I was planning to progress a bit with while Ricki was exercising, and started fishing in my purse for the keys to lock the front door.
But they weren’t there. After a few moments of half-hearted groping, I sat down and emptied all the compartments of my purse.
Still no keys.
I checked the table, my bedside table, and the kitchen counter. I KNEW that they were in the house, as I had used them to unlock the door on my return from ceramics (and a side trip to the vegetable store) at noon.
I went to the window, and called my daughter: “Ricki, did you take my keys?”
-“No, I don’t have them….”
I repeated the entire search, realizing that we were missing the bus that takes us to the class (which is in a neighboring suburb). Finally, I had the magical brainstorm, and went to check Ricki’s school bag. Sure enough, I found the key chain in a side pouch of the bag.
Leaving the keys in the bag, I called outside: “Ricki, come upstairs we can’t go to class today!”
Ricki came trodding up the stairs, protesting vocally, “Why can’t we go to the club today???”
“I’m very sorry, but I can’t find my keys, and we can’t leave without locking the front door.”
“The keys? OMG, I know where the keys are!”, and she quickly fished them out of their hiding place.
Now I was gratified that hopefully Ricki had learned something, but the lesson was far from over. Usually if we are running late for her class, it is my fault, and I will take a taxi to get there in time. And occasionally, if we are really late, I will skip the class altogether. And I was sorely tempted to just drop the extra excursion, and get some housework done instead. But I felt that it was important for Ricki to feel the consequences of her actions in a way that was a bit stronger. If I simply cancelled going, she would see that decision as a punishment that I had imposed (ie., MY fault), and not that being late for the session was a result of her own actions.
“Do you have money for a cab?” I queried.
-So then we will just have to go by bus, because we are late because YOU took the keys, and I am not paying for a taxi. We will be late….”
-“Oh, no, we will arrive on time”, asserted Ricki, not yet really comprehending everything.

In short, we waited a long time for the bus, and we did arrive late. And I hope that the lesson of consequences sank in a little bit……

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Little Down syndrome “Promotion”

Ricki’s foibles are much more interesting (in general) than her ordinary, more mundane, actions. HOWEVER, I feel that this fact sometimes gives a bit of a negative slant towards Down syndrome, so I thought I would balance the picture a bit today.
Last week, we had lots of company, all with babies in tow. One day Ricki’s sister visited, and Ricki relieved her sister of all baby-related tasks sans diapering. She fed the baby a bottle, burped him, and kept him entertained with smiles, coos, and gentle holding.
On the weekend, one of Ricki’s brothers came with his family, including several children. Ricki helped with getting out (and putting back) age-appropriate toys (she checked the “recommended age” panel on the boxes). After the meal, she completely cleared the table, piled up the chairs, and swept. That evening she helped with washing the dishes.
So there is more to Down syndrome than overindulgence in chocolate (see yesterday's post) and jewelry heists……

Blog Awards!

Thanks to Batya, of Meander for giving me the "Versatile Blogger Award". I really liked her description of my blog. A real complement. Thank YOU!
It just so happens that I, like the nice lady who sent the award to Batya, am a bit of a cynic when it comes to blog awards. If readers were giving them, that's one thing, but as it stands now, usually blog awards are simply fellow-bloggers patting each other on the back......
But then my self-fawning would-like-to-believe-I-am-good side counters with the undisputable fact that many of my readers ARE fellow bloggers (which sometimes I think is also prompted by trying to drum up readers....). But since I DON'T often reciprocate (I don't have TIME to read blogs very much, thank -you) they may actually be interested in what I write. And , as much as I am mostly a two-subject blogger (Ricki/diet and self improvement), I'd like to think that the fact it is NOT all about Ricki (as it was originally)makes me versatile.....
And if not versatile, at least I try to be honest.
The rules of the award are:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award. Definitely!
2. Share one thing about yourself readers might not know otherwise.
3. List (with links) SIX bloggers you think are fantastic, and why.
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award
So here goes:
Something you might not know about me:
As a child I loved ballet, took ballet classes (something like an elephant in a china shop) (told you I am honest!), and still have a very soft spot in my heart for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

VERSATILE Blogs I love (which I have probably nominated before, but good is good, and as I said, I don’t have that much time to read blogs….):
1. Belinda’s Picture Blog , A Journal In Photos
A feast for the eyes…..

2. Melody’s Slurping Life
Words and Pictures, honestly, with soul

3. Treppenwitz
Often political, but much more. Definitely versatile…..

And I am leaving this list at three.(Because if it is more than three, it is not such a recomendation.....)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Twenty-five Grams of Chocolate

Thursday afternoon I entered Ricki’s room, and she hurriedly thrust about 10 grams of chocolate into her mouth, and handed me one 25-gram square from the 200-gram bar of cooking chocolate which she had apparently snitched from the kitchen.
I quickly investigated, to see if any had STAYED in the kitchen, but none had. I thus deduced that she must have downed a full 175 grams of chocolate.
The problem is that this same incident, in almost identical fashion, had occurred the week before. Somehow, at that time, I was delusional enough to dream that expressing my displeasure would be enough of a deterrent. Thus, I repurchased a bar of chocolate (to have on hand for cooking), and had left it in the same closet.
Well, holidays are over, so I can postpone purchasing baking supplies. But when I do, believe me, the chocolate is getting displaced to a HIGH kitchen cabinet.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Down Syndrome and Deforestization

Lately I have generally been taking a surreptitious glance into Ricki’s school bag each night, in a clandestine effort to prevent “export” of any valuables from the house. (See HERE.) Last night, as I glanced into her bag, my initial reaction was “Thank G-d we don’t all have Down syndrome, or the world would be deforested in no time…..”
Inside, I had discovered two empty cereal cartons, each packed to the gunnels with reams of paper, scribbled friendship letters to her school friends. Further wastage of the world’s resources was the roll of scotch tape encircling them.
But then I thought--- on the other side, wouldn’t we all be better if we would let our friends know, as Ricki often does, just how much we care for them?

Maybe we DON’T need to have Down syndrome to do that.
So today, maybe call a friend to reconnect, to say “Hi”, to say “You are important to me”.

And please go easy on the paper. Bad enough that Ricki is deforesting……..

A Nice Link from DS Alert

HERE is a nice link about a young man with Down syndrome, which I picked up from Google's "Down syndrome Alert"

“Miss Cohen”

I have mentioned before that Ricki has, on occasion, used the name “Nita” instead of “Ricki”.
THAT was bad enough, but lately she has been insisting that her last name is “Cohen” (which it isn’t). She signs her schoolwork “Cohen” (her teacher asked me when we changed our name….), an has even scribbled her “name” on the wall in the hall. But today was the height of this new fallacy...
Today I received a wedding invitation, and being unable to attend, I wrote out a reply with a check enclosed. As I was about to mail the letter, I suddenly noticed that my name on the return address was no longer “Rickismom last name, but “Rickismom Cohen”.

They wouldn’t even known who had sent the check.

Guess who REALLY got a piece of my mind….

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Just Can’t Make Her Over…..

As I have said before, I am NOT one of those parents who am so grateful that my child is retarded that I would leave her unchanged if a cure were to be discovered. Oh No….
In fact, in a way, I have been trying to change her since she was born. All of our work with Ricki, over the years, has been, in effect, an attempt to help her, despite her disability, to fit into and manage along in a non-disabled world. And, of course, we were only partly successful.
Yes, Ricki can do a lot, and manages many things very well. She can take a grocery list to the store, read it, collect the items, and list them all for the cashier. She can ride any bus route that she is familiar with. She knows how to compliment someone else’s cooking. The list is endless.
But even more endless is the list of things that Ricki still needs to learn in order to live an even halfway independent life… and as she gets older, the distance between her and the remainder of society grows and grows. I realize that I need to help her while simultaneously come to grips with the fact that in many areas I will NOT be able to help her effect a change.
G-d just showing me my limitations, again!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Quick Post….

Ricki has a new expression: “Oh, she’s doing it for ‘psychological’ reasons…....”
Sorry, too busy to post at length. Hopefully will be "back" Thursday!
A happy Shavuous to everyone!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Two-Sided Girl!

My dear son and his family were here for Shabbat; we had a wonderful visit.
When I got up after my usual shabbas afternoon “recover-from-the-whole-week” nap, my daughter-in-law started to excitedly share with me how Ricki had cleared the whole table, putting the food in the fridge, swept up, and, in short, had really done everything possible to keep the living room neat. I started to comment, “Yes, she can be SO grown up at times.”, when my daughter-in-law suddenly stared at Ricki’s leg.
“What is THAT?” she queried, pointing to the wad of toilet-paper-“bandage” (see HERE) lying under Ricki’s hose. I laughed, continuing, “Yes, she can be SO grown up--- and so NOT grown up, all at once!”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SOOC- The Potter

[image: 2 hands shapping a piece of clay.]

This reminds me of the Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year) prayer, relating how we are like clay in the hands of the master -potter! As we go about our lives, dreaming that we are in charge, often suddenly something comes along and we realize that all can change in an instant. Our "normal" can turn upside down, and all we can do is choose to cope with those changes. (No, nothing terrible happened this week. But haven't we all experienced this at one time or another?)
You will find more of SOOC HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

“It IS Ridiculous, Isn’t it?” (School Bag Muddle, part two)

The night after I found the picture/popsicle (see yesterday’s post) in Ricki’ school bag, I awoke in the middle of the night to find Ricki sleeping on the floor next to my bed. I made her get up and return to her bed, which she did.
The next morning, Ricki told me that she had dreamt that a police car had come and taken her to prison.

A pause…..

“It IS ridiculous, isn’t it????”

I assured her that it was. I guess she was feeling guilty……

Thursday, May 13, 2010

School Bag Muddle

Ricki’s school bags are generally in a state of disarray, and by Ricki, “the more the merrier”.
However, yesterday she went with only one bag, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this was the result of a protest from her teacher. [I suspect this because the day before yesterday she went with a record score of 2 school bags AND 5 big nylon bags. (Isn’t she lucky that she goes to school by car, and doesn’t have to schlep them by hand…?) On the few occasions that she misses the car and I walk with her to school, I refuse to help her carry her stuff, on principle.]
An additional facet of this muddle, is the items that she tries to take to school. [See HERE and HERE.]
Recently I framed a picture of Ricki’s older sister and her husband, to add to my existent collection of wedding photos in our front hallway. Ricki kept stowing this picture into her school bag, despite my protests and removal thereof. (As soon as I wasn’t paying attention, back into the bag it went....) So I decided that I better act fast and hang the picture up on the wall, before Ricki would manage to haul it to school. And I did so.
That evening, as I passed through the front hall, I suddenly noticed that one of the pictures was missing.
Yep, it was back in her school bag. Along with a half-melted popsicle…..

(To Be continued tomorrow….)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Bandage- Special Exposure Wednesday

[image: Ricki's hand]
If you look carefully at the above picture, you will see a so-called “bandage” on Ricki’s hand, made of… toilet paper.
Ricki is utterly adamant that each and every injury that she sustains be dressed with a full bandage, or at least with several Band-Aids. Even if the sore is closed, invisible to the naked eye, she is insistent. The other day Ricki had the beginnings of some athlete’s foot fungus, and she requested that Band-Aids be applied. My explanation that the sores would heal more quickly WITHOUT Band-aids was utterly irrelevant in her eyes.
So sometime last week, when I refused to apply a dressing to a sore I could not even see, Ricki improvised one of her own. She only removed it when I threatened not to unlock the front door to go to school…..

You can find more of "Special Exposure Wednesday HERE.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Non Ending Supply of “Milky” Spatulas

[Explanation for non-Jews: Observant Jews who keep kosher have separate dishes for milk food, meat foods, and usually some general (NOT milky or meaty) utensils which are “pareve”.]
Kashrus (keeping kosher) with a teen with developmental disabilities in the house can be problematic at times.
First, let’s talk about what Ricki does RIGHT:
Ricki knows the milky/meaty sides of the kitchen and understands that you stay on one side at a time. She checks eggs for blood spots*, and sifts flour** like a pro.
So what are the problems? When anything new occurs. For us, recently, that was (is) our new kitchen. In the old one, the pareve silverware was on the (enclosed) porch; now these items are located in a drawer NEXT to the milky silverware. So, in the past two weeks, Ricki has made my pareve spatula “milky”twice. I have bought a third one, making sure (as I did with the second one…) that it looked entirely different from our milky one, and explained AGAIN the location of the “milky” spatula I am hoping that she finally got it. At least it is a spatula, and not a pot!

* blood spots are forbidden to eat
** to be sure it contains no bugs (which are NOT kosher!)

...Make that three times. She did it again!

PSPS (Monday evening: So I bought another spatula today. I decided to put it somewhere out of reach for at least a few days, until Ricki gets used to the need to open her eyes and look a bit around for the milky one.....

Monday, May 10, 2010

The List of 27……

1)a tomato
2)SEVERAL pieces of (clean) toilet paper
3)Small Band-Aids
4)Wrappers, torn, from bigger Band-Aids
5)Several pages of A-4 size ink-jet suitable stickers
6)One good earring
7)A bra
9)2 clothes hangers
10)Empty cassette cases
11)Several disposable cups, both clean and dirty
12)A disposable plate
13)A book
14)A booklet
15)Several advertising catalogues
17)a vest
20)pieces of matzah
21)paper from (for) the computer printer
22)printed pictures from the computer
23)regular processed photos
25) a pencil sharpener
26) a playing card
27) hair ties

Oh, you ask, WHAT IS this???
…. Its what I found behind the computer and bed in Rickie’s room. So I made a list, and without telling her what it was, made her read the list. (Ricki: “What is the connection?!?? WHAT IS IT!??!”)
Than I informed her that she will be 27 days without computer.

Later, I found something NEWLY thrown on the floor of her room, and added another day……..

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Small Signs of Maturity

Slowly, ever so quietly, I am seeing tiny buds of maturity start to take root in Ricki.
On Thursday, Ricki and I went swimming, and coming home I needed to run an errand. As we neared the house, I told Ricki to go home, and I would continue on to my errand. Ricki, happy for the chance at independence, charged forward. And as I followed at a distance, I could see that she was completely unaware that I was in reality just a few steps behind her, on the parallel side of the street. As she neared the grocery store, I half expected Ricki would go in, but she didn’t. She continued on without a backward glance.
And a few mornings ago, she was ready for school a few moments early, and eagerly sat down to do a puzzle that she liked. I mentioned that she would need to go down soon. Ricki paused, and commented: “I don’t have time for this now…” And without further a do, she put it aside, and gathered up her stuff for school.
So along

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Life That You COULD Live

Most People have some challenge, of one type or another. Some we can act to improve, and those that we can’t do anything about, we can act to learn how to live with the situation. In any case, we are able to take action to improve on our quality of life.
All of us have character defects. These also just won’t disappear on their own. Our character will improve only if we take a pro-active action to work on our personality.

Angry people need to work on anger.
People who believe in the need to pray may need to increase the concentration that they bring to the effort.
Overweight people need to start their three-pronged program.
The problem is, KNOWING that we need to do something will not necessarily lead to doing it. But at some point, a person has to realize that if he does not, will not, take charge of his life, he will miss out on the life he COULD be living.
Time does not stand still. It keeps flowing. Our lives are slipping through our fingers second by second. Let us take charge while we can, and reap the type of life we aspire to.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Jewelry Heist

As I have mentioned earlier, Ricki has a tendency to haul TONS of stuff around with her. Her school made a campaign , originally to bring all that she needed in ONE bag, but very quickly that became, somehow, only a campaign to bring what WAS needed at school.
So at periodic intervals I go through her bags, separating the “grain from the chaff” , insisting on the amount taken being limited to two bags.
What is AMAZING are the things she deems necessary to take. First, any newly made craft, or new disc, or new photo or possession needs to be taken to school to “share” (ie, show off) to her classmates. But not just one day: she will take on a continuing basis until I put a stop to it.
But what was MOST surprising was the day I inspected her bags and found some of my (good) jewelry within…..

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday- Golden Oldie #3

[imgage: Ricki , age almost 4, feeding a chick]

This is a picture from nearly twelve years ago, when Ricki was almost four years old. She is BRAVELY dropping some food to the tiny chick living in the carboard box. Mind you, it took her about five minutes to get up the courage to do it....

You can find more of "Special Exposure Wednesday" HERE.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Who Is Strong?

Our Sages ask: “Who is strong?” And they answer: “He who conquers his evil inclination.”
In today’s “feel-good” society, we don’t hear too much about conquering evil impulses. Instead, society feeds us with an expectation that we should run after lust, fame, and money… and food. Oh, they will talk about dieting, but “Jumbo size” , “king Size”, belies all that.
But our wise men say “No. You can be strong.”
So how do we become strong enough to fight our urge to overeat (or do anything else)? Just exactly the same way you become physically strong: by exercise. But rather than exercising with weights and barbells, we want to exercise our spiritual muscles. One “No” at a time.
So say “No” to your bad urges today, and be strong.

Little Miss “I Can Do It Myself”

Ricki today noticed that there was some water accumulating on the bottom of the fridge. This happens a lot by us, as hot humid air enters the fridge when the door is opened, and as it cools that water vapor condenses.
So Ricki gathered a few rags and dried it up, as she has seen me do numerous times.
She also hung out wet laundry on the clothes line, saying “I can di it myself.”
And she can!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Suitcase Lock

As I mentioned in a previous post Ricki had not discovered after the Passover holiday my new place for storing bread, and therefore was eating CONSIDERABLY less. (Suddenly we went from a “buy-2-bread-daily family to a one-bread-daily one.)
Well, the inevitable happened: on Thursday she found the bread-shelf. And her consumption promptly resumed “bread-monster”-devouring proportions!! So I bought a suitcase lock (that works with setting a number code), and a small chain. Now she is locked out! I just couldn’t envision myself allowing her to return to her previous consumption level…..

Happy Lag B'Omer!

Lag B'Omer is here!In this first image you can see several bonfires burning in the lot a minute away from our house.

The shul below us (their building is connected to ours....) lights every year-- which makes for easy viewing, but LOTS of smoke!
[image: Lag B'Omer bonfire]

Saturday, May 1, 2010

SOOC Saturday

[image: a pretty lovely flower next to a power-line pole.] Flowers growing from cracks in the sidewalk are usually stomped on before they get too big.... But this tall fellow found a safe haven next to a power-line pole! You will find more of SOOC HERE.