Friday, July 30, 2010

The Ocean

Yesterday Ricki and I went to the ocean. We jumped in the waves and had a grand time! While there, we ran into the "aide" that she had in kindergarden at age six. She was then an unmarried twenty; now she is a mother of FIVE! Heavens, how time flies!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

“Superwoman” and the (Negative) Power of Criticism

Lately I have been feeling a bit like a “superwoman” who would like to be a bit less perfect, or at least under less pressure. Two people in my life have been rather unhelpful, yet feel comfortable dishing out suggestions, criticisms, and pointing out in general all the things that are wrong in our house/town/country. There is almost no way to cook for the family in a way that will please both; last week I made two separate menus for Shabbas morning in an effort to please both. The week before I made two separate batches of Challah (homemade bread). It would have been nice to receive a compliment or thank-you, but neither was forthcoming.
In addition to keeping Ricki occupied during the vacation, I have to put up with all sorts of “helpful” hints about how various things need attending to. And if I dare suggest that said person could “pitch in” a bit more, or if I protest the criticism, all I get is more verbal abuse as a result, or denial of the blatant reality that this person barely lifts a finger to help.
I am getting a bit fed up with all this, but at least I am trying not to take it to heart. These persons have their own reasons why they speak the way they do; apparently better behavior is beyond them at this point.
What this does show me is the tremendous negative effect of constant, even well-intentioned negative comments. [And I realize that unfortunately I have not been perfect in this matter myself.] Recurrent faultfinding (even if meant for the good) begins to grate on one’s soul after a while.
What keeps me afloat is the wonderfully positive upbringing I had, the knowledge that my parents, especially my Mom, valued me for what I was. The positive self esteem that I received years ago is what helps me, even today, to see that the problem of the subtly negative people surrounding me is a problem of THEIR own personality’s manufacturing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Eyeglasses and Hearing Aids (Special exposure Wednesday)

[image: Ricki coloring, without her glasses, and obviously having trouble seeing the page.]

A week and a half ago Ricki lost her eyeglasses again. This is already not “news”, as the new pair we ordered will be the third pair in a two-month period. When she was in school, she was apparently being influenced by a friend but now that Ricki is home on vacation, she readily wears her glasses. (We actually found the second pair after we had ordered the third. The third pair has now been stashed away in my closet for the next “incident”……)
But there’s even something better. I have been making a “campaign” for Ricki to wear her HEARING AID, each day that she wears them earns her the “ultimate” prize (“borekas” potato puff pastry). And the campaign is working; she has been wearing the aid every day, and is even apparently coming to realize that she has been missing out a lot by not wearing them. I am hoping that she becomes acclimated enough to them over vacation that she will REALLY want to wear them. It will take a real leap of courage to send her to school with them. I can not afford 3 sets of hearing aids the way I purchased eyeglasses…….
More of "special Exposure Wednesday" can be found HERE.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Play

I took Ricki to a theatrical performance last night (taking her was easier than finding a sitter), and she enjoyed the play , although the story was WAY over her head. Most importantly, she behaved excellently.
The play was about a woman with postpartum depression, and although the subject DOES need more publicity in our community, I felt that the story was misleading in some ways. Worst of all, the woman gets miraculously better when a social worker is called to investigate her suitability as a parent. Note that she makes instant recovery, under pressure, with out medication, treatment , or help. Now that is NOT very realistic, is it?

Monday, July 26, 2010

On a Positive Note

Today I was thinking that I have really been letting my readers down. My writing as late has not been up to par, and I simply “grab” whatever negative things Ricki has done that day, and plop it on the cyber-page of the blog.
And that’s not rally fair, not to you, and not to Ricki. Because there are a lot of positive things that Ricki does, that I take for granted, and never get noted here. And that really gives you a rather negative and one-sided view of what Ricki is like. So I am bli neder (without promising) going to try and change that. And I will start right now.
Yesterday afternoon Ricki and I went shopping. And those of you who are veteran readers know that shopping with Ricki used to be akin to entering a combat zone (well, not quite!).
Ricki requested several items over the course of the hour and a half that we were out. Some I purchased; most I refused. And with a disgruntled sigh, she accepted my vetos. She was interested all along about which store we wer5e going to next, and would ask me more than once if the answer was not clear to her.
In the end, as we reached the bottom of the building, I told Ricki that I was going to take an hour’s walk, and could she please take all the purchases upstairs and let herself in with the key?
Yes, she could, would, and did.

Which Season????

When I first noticed Ricki wearing winter clothing in the summer, I assumed hat it was due to the lower number of buttoned on the blouse, making getting dressed all that easier.
So I made it “jolly well clear” that she did not have to be so lazy as to wear winter pullovers in the summer heat, and she could button the summer blouses….
So now I am trying to figure out this incident from Friday. I entered the living room, to find Ricki ensconced in her winter gloves and a woolen hat. I told her to remove them.
Then, maybe an hour later, I see her again, this time in her swimsuit. I had NO idea why should would be doing this, but she was listening to a tape, and it seemed as if she was trying to stage some type of performance.
I DO wish I knew what was going on……

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SOOC Saurday/ Sunday

[image: another sunrise photo]

Have a nice day everyone!
[You will find more of SOOC HERE.]

Friday, July 23, 2010

Losing Battle…..

This morning when I awoke, I heard rummaging around in the kitchen, and went to investigate. I discovered Ricki stuffing miniature soy cutlets onto a plate (the equivalent of about 3 full portions). I intervened, confiscating the contraband, and urging her to get dressed, etc., before even CONSIDERING eating.
So a half hour later I enter the kitchen to find her with 4 slices of brad, and a fried egg. Two slices were on the plate with the egg, and the other two she was lathering with chocolate spread. When I queried her about why she had taken such a huge amount of bread, she answered in a tone which made it clear that to her it was obvious: “two slices to eat with the egg, and two slices to have with chocolate”.
I suspect I am fighting a losing battle (but I am not giving up yet….)………..

Shabbas Walking

Usually on shabbas, I DO walk (pre-counted walking "paths"), but a bit slower than normal and I don't push myself if I feel I am getting tired.
This last shabbas, I ran into a friend who sheepishly started telling me that Rav Feinstein said that someone who enjoys "walking" is allowed to on shabbas, and so she does down the street and back (about a fifth of what I have been doing as of late). I laughed, showed her my water bottle, and said "Why in the world do you think I am out so early in the morning????"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Hard Lesson, Hopefully Learned

Ricki (like many teens) doesn't particularly like to deal with her bra. She can put it on, but like full-button down blouses, she tends to lose patience with it, and tries to get away with not putting it on. I try to remember to check in the morning if she actually DID don one by running a finger down her back. Yesterday morning she protested, saying “You can’t touch me.” And she is right, so I didn’t. But I warned her that if she hadn’t put her bra on, she must do so. Incidentally, she went several times to her room in the ensuing half hour, changing blouses until she found one that she wanted to wear.
Fast forward two hours. We had gone downstairs, and where leaving to go to the supermarket. Suddenly I noticed that her blouse’s buttons were done up crookedly (wrong button to wrong buttonhole), and I indicated to Ricki that I wanted to fix them. She agreed, but as I was fixing them, I realized that she was braless.
To make a long story short, I sent Ricki home to put on a bra, and as I was running late, I went ahead without taking her. (I also went without her because I felt she needed to learn that when I say something, I MEAN it.)
So she didn’t listen, and she lost out. It was a hard lesson for her (she had really wanted to go). I hope it was a lesson learned.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

“I’m Fasting…”

Yesterday morning as I entered the living room, Ricki announced to me proudly “I’m fasting…” But as I walked into the kitchen, I noticed several rice cake crumbs on the floor. So as Ricki continued, , saying “I didn’t eat anything…”, I knew that she was not being totally honest. That she said “I’m fasting” was OK, as at that moment, she WAS. But the lie that she had not eaten before, disturbed me, and I told her so. So she sheepishly simply said “Now I am fasting..” And I said, “Yes, Now you are.” Again, as two years previously, her perception of what everyone is doing is an overwhelming shaper of her behavior..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Service dog video /Ricki's Tishe B'Av Fast

If you haven't seen this video (Service Dog to SURFice dog), click on it to go to You Tube. It is great.
Mind you, this does not mean that we do not TRY to help our kids with special needs succeed "normally". What they can do, we will help them learn. But in the end, we need to be satisfied with what results.

For example, I wrote two years ago (the Tishe B'av post mentioned yesterday)how Ricki fasted much of the day. This year, Ricki was adament that come morning, she WOULD NOT FAST. And I was OK with this. But after a few rice cakes today, she fasted the entire day until about an hour before the end of the fast. Now Ricki's sister, seeing everything in the "ALL OR NOTHING" light, rather disregarded Ricki's accomplishment. But I witnessesed how she was struggling already three hours before the fast 's end, and think that she deserves REAL CREDIT for making the effort. Who says that she has to be 100% ????????

Blog Closed Tishe B'Av Fast Today-Links

In liew of a post today, I am posting a few links to pertinent previous posts that you may not have yet read.

Two and a half years ago, it was thought (later shown to be not sure) that someone with Down syndrome had been used by terrorists as a bomber. In liew of similar news this week, HERE is my post on that topic.

A post-Tishe B'Av post from two years ago on fasting/dieting is HERE.
(PS This was posted with a time lapse, in advance.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Tortoise and the Hare

For a long period we have been dealing with certain negative behaviors of Ricki. I have tried behavior modification plans, rewards, and punishments, to little avail. But I reevaluated everything, and felt that the plan I had in place was correct, and should theoretically work. I suspected that it was simply a matter of waiting for Ricki to slowly absorb the knowledge that correct behavior was in her best interests. Finally yesterday I saw some progress.
We live in a world where we expect a quick cure, a fast fix, and it just always doesn’t work like that. Sometimes things simply take time. Give it time… and don’t give up!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Shnitzl Story

Things you need to know to understand this post:
1. Shnitzl is the Hebrew tern for fried chicken cutlets
2. The first nine days of the Jewish month of AV are days of mourning over the destruction (almost 2000 years ago) of the second temple, culminating in the fast of Tishe B'Av.These nine days are called "the nine days". (This year Tishe B'Av falls on Monday night to sunset Tuesday.)During the nine days, one does not eat meat, except on Shabbas (sunset Friday to sundown Saturday).
3. I usually do not have any cooked meat in my freezer. I do not cook in bulk, generally, and use up leftovers in a day or two.
* * *
Before the nine days I considered carefully what type of meals I would cook for the two Sabbaths which would fall in the nine days. Not wanting leftovers (which could not be eaten during the week) I finally decided for the shabbas that fefl a week ago to cook beef, and for this last weekend to make shnitzl. Everyone in the family loves shnitzl, but I prepare it rarely, due to the high caloric count that it has. I knew that with shnitzl there would be no leftovers.
A week ago, there were some leftovers after shabbas, so grudgingly I froze them.
Friday night this week we had baked chicken, which, since I made slightly small portions, got finished without problems. The shnitzl for the morning meal was in the back of the fridge, hidden from the eyes of my teenage sons.
In the morning, I was carefull not to put the shnitzl to warm up too early. I was afraid that if I did, Ricki might swipe some, and we would be a bit short. So finally at 10:30 am I went to the fridge, in order to extract the meat.
It was gone.
5 out of 6 portions had disappeared, explaining the crumbs i had noticed that morning on the counter top. Ricki had polished off nearly the entire amount.
Amazingly, I had that frozen meat from last week to fall back on, although Ricki got a real earfull from everyone who had been anticipating a rare treat.

And of course all that fried food did nothing good for Ricki's digestive system, but I think it better to stop here.....

Friday, July 16, 2010

End of the Year

Ricki finished school for this year today. So finally I was able to empty her schoolbag of ALLSORTS of junk. Although she protested: "I have to show it to _____"(a friend)[mind you, she's taken some items nearly every day for a year for that reason...]I kept reminding her that there is no school tomarrow.
I think that next year I will make a list of what goes into the schoolbag, allowing ONE unessential item only. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Downside of Routines

I mentioned yesterday the pluses of routine. Today I want to touch some of the downsides of them.
First, having a set routine can be stagnating and boring. Even the best walking track gets boring if done absolutely the same way day after day, and even a two-week "diet paln" can leave one feeling after a while that one is not living a "normal" life. But worse than that, if a routine becomes so important that it is unbreakable and unflexible, we have become prisoners in a jail of our own making. When asked to do a favor for someone which infringes on our regular routines, we may often be tempted to refuse without even really considering if the request is feasible.Perhaps we could, with minor adjustmants to our schuedules, accept the opportunity to help another, but servitude to our "routine" my cancel our logical thinking. (In extreeme cases, this can be downright dangerous.)
We need to be able to alter our routines when change is called for (as I did by sleeping in on Tuesday), while keeping in mind that regularly-done tasks may be more difficult when not done in their regular way. (If I had given myself an extra incentive, or perk, for walking, I probably would have done so despite the novel I was devouring.But I underestimated my evil inclination....)
* * * * *
It is well-known that children, teens, and adults with Down syndrome often have "scripts", or "grooves" : routines that they will keep, almost no-matter-what. These routines give the person with intellectual disability the security of knowing what is expected of them, what they need to do, and what comes next. It is definately worthwhile to occaisionally purposely alter the standard schuedule of the day, starting from when your child is young, in order to teach them possibility of flexibility.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Routine- It can be a Big Plus!

I have a routine set -up for most of my days:
-Walking in the morning
-Getting Ricki ready for school
-Prayers,breakfast, normal straightening of the house
-housework/errands/ other things that need doing/ make lunch
-late lunch
-time with Ricki/housework/ make soup for supper (most days)
-computer time

Of course, there is a lot more, and many variations. But in general, there is a certain set-up to my day.

However on Monday night after returning home at G-d-knows-what-hour from Jerusalem,and feeling extra tired (ie, EXHAUSTED) due to the pain the bus ride had entailed, I decided that:
1) Ricki could go late to school the next morning
2) I would "sleep in", and do my walking on Tuesday in the evening. (On arising it would be too hot already...)

Well, my intentions were good. And I really did need that sleep. But I was hungry as could be in the morning (exercise reduces appitite, except for swimming), and although I stuck to my diet, it was difficult.
But the real problem was that when afternoon arrived, I decided to finish a book that I have been reading (effectively postponing housework, as I felt exhausted from the heat wave we were having). And when sundown arrived (and the time to "make up" my morning walk), the book won out over walking for over an hour.
Routines usually develop because they WORK. Having a set pattern eliminates wondering what to do next, and helps us tackle those chores you may not enjoy. [If cleaning the toilet is a regular "have-to-do-it job" for Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, you are not likely to skip it, even if you can't stand to do it...]
And for those of us with children with intelectual disability, routine is an effective way to help that person learn and know what needs to be done, and what is expected of them. And they also will find unenjoyable chores more palatable is that is "the way things are done".

[G-d willing, the downside of Routines tomarrow]

Computer Troubles

My computer is down. I DO have acess to my son's computer, but it is not 100% either.
Add to that the fact that I have been terribly busy, and you have a situation where I may be posting less than usual.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Rant and a Hug

First the rant. I had a terrible/wonderful day yesterday. I went to Jerusalem yesterday with Ricki, to visit two of my sons, and their families. THAT was great. BUT… I discovered within a few minutes of sitting on the bus, that my leg muscles are still VERY sore from a week ago.
You see, last Tuesday I went rafting with a group of women on the Jordan river. I was excited to try this, it being a commonly-done sport here which I never had tried. One of my sons warned me that “It’s not for you, not yet”, but I innocently thought “What in the world can happen? I know how to swim. So my arm muscles will be a bit sore for a day afterwards….” So I dreamed……..
I and my partner, T., were amongst the first to set out. Later we heard from others that when they got stuck in the shallows, there was staff there to help them. Well, we didn’t see that staff, and we had to exert ourselves very hard several times to get unstuck. And amazingly, my arm muscles did not hurt that much afterwards. But my leg muscles have been in extreme pain, from sitting on the floor of the boat for two hours. For a whole WEEK! Yesterday I thought that they were better, but the bus ride each way today was uniformly painful.
Then to top it off, I wanted to treat two of my grandsons with a trip to the Kotel (wailing wall) and we got there to discover a demonstration in progress. We were stuck almost there for an hour, and in the end were forced to return without actually going to the holy site.
End of rant….
* * * *
On the bus coming, Ricki noticed me almost in tears from the pain… and reached over to hug me. She made my day…..

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beneath the Wings (a Poem)

[image: potter] I wrote this poem over a year ago, about something that was going on in my life. But I think that it is appliciable to the feelings one could have with any "test" we find difficult.

G-d, please shelter me,
Comfort this heart,
Be as a wall around me

My life is torn asunder
The dream is dead
Yet I stand
I survive.

The Hope is gone
A cataclysmic hole
In my soul.

I have none but You
To hold me
Beneath Your wings,
To heal me,
And soothe
This battered being,
In a world gone crazy.

My life has cascaded down,
Like a house of cards
Strewn in the cyclone’s winds…
And only You are constant,
Only You, Beneath Your wings.

For in Your shadow
A soothing stream of Love
Cocoon around my soul,
Wrapping the ache and searing pain
And tho’ I never will be whole again
I turn to You G-d
To support my stand
To enable me to fly…..
For I roost
Beneath Your wings,
Caressed by the soothing hand
And even a sometimes hardened hand…

The firm grip of the potter
Fashioning my life, my being

But His is a grip
That will never desert me.

His hands shaping the clay
Of my existence
Day by Day
Even if I do not see it,
Beneath the Wings

[PS The image of a potter is not my idea. It comes from the litergy of the high holy days.]

Sunday, July 11, 2010


KOSHER COOKING CARNIVAL - Number 56! The Nine Days Are Here Again!

A “carnival” is like an online magazine, with blog articles on a certain topic grouped together. This is the 56th (!!) issue of KCC- the Kosher Cooking Carnival, managed by Batya. It is not only recipes, but anything connected with the Kosher Kitchen: kashrut in Jewish law, reviews of kosher restaurants and cookbooks, Shabbat and holiday menus, and kosher recipes.

Everyone, including my non-Jewish readers, may find the following usefull: Batya presents Eating Kosher, Much More Than Hot Dogs posted at me-ander.
You will find more on Dairy-free eating and kosher foods HERE.

Yisrael Medad presents Factoid - Munch On It posted at My Right Word.

Chabad World Headquarters presents Local Chabad Center Leads Challah Baking Workshop for Deaf posted at Chabad-Lubavitch news site.

Yisrael Medad presents Man, Oh Manna posted at My Right Word.

Batya notes the ironic two-sidedness of countries outlawing shechita in Cruelty to Animals, Shechita (Jewish Animal Slaughter) and Hunting posted at Shiloh Musings.

Soon the wedding halls will be running full steam, after the nine days, and in an important article, Jerusalem Kosher News talks about “kosher” events that are catered, sometimes without full supervision.


Where I come from, blueberry muffins are breakfast foods, so this is where I am listing G6’s presentation of Food Photo Friday - The Season's Bounty posted at Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. (BTW, this can be Milky or Pareve.)

Yisrael Medad presents The Americanization of Hummus posted at My Right Word. Believers in pure hummus are in for a shock……(As he noted in the “Carnival comments”: “OMG. Look what is happening to hummus.”)

Batya presents Colorful Salad Recipe sans Picture posted at me-ander, which sounds delicious. You don’t have to be on a diet to enjoy this!

Suitable for the Nine days, Mottel presents Gourmet Mottel: A Dinner posted at Letters of Thought.

Batya presents an interesting use for leftover celery root in More Ways to Use Celeriac posted at me-ander.

I was reminded of my Russian-speaking ulpan roommate by Mirjam Weiss’s story of ulpan roommates.; She presents in addition a chicken recipe in Age Old Friends posted at Miriyummy.

Perfect for the nine days, Mirjam Weiss presents A Fishy Story in Two Parts posted at Miriyummy.

TRADITIONAL FOOD- SHMALTZ (This artery-clogging concoction belongs in a category of its own )
Mirjam Weiss presents Shmaltz - The Sequel posted at Miriyummy.

A story of “adoption” along with (at the bottom of the post) a butterscotch cheesecake recipe is presented by Miriyummy Dulce Dog Days of Summer posted at Miriyummy. She also gives us a honey muffin recipe; see Oh Didi Honey posted at Miriyummy.

For anyone feeling the summer heat, Gloria Kobrin presents Simple Apricot Sorbet--No Ice Cream Maker Needed!! posted at Kosher Cookbook App.

Anyone looking for cake, birthdaycake or not, need look no further than Mrs. S., who presents Birthday cake, as nature intended it posted at Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress.

G6 presents (looks delectable, but not for my diet!) Food Photo Friday - Streuselkuchen (German Crumb Cake) posted at Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.

For those with a sweet tooth, Mirjam Weiss presents Lambs to the Daughter posted at Miriyummy.

Chana Rubin, a registered Diatician, talks about reducing the salt in our diet.

And last (but not least, Rickimom (that’s me) writes about some kitchen gadgets.

That concludes this edition. Thank you to Batya for managing the Kosher Cooking Carnival.. Offer to host an upcoming carnival by contacting Batya. Submit your blog article to the next edition of kosher cooking carnival-kcc using our carnival submission form. Past editions can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

SOOC- Tiberias

[image: Line of Palm trees along street in Tiberias.]

I decided to finally post some pictures from my trip last week. Our hotel was about midway up a tall hill, not far from where this picture was taken.

[Image: Early morning sunlight on the Sea of Galilee.]

The first morning there I took a walk down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and back up to the hotel.

[image: view of part of the Sea of Galilee, and the surrounding countryside, from hillside in Tiberias:]

The next day I walked up from my hotel to where I took the following picture, and then down again. So I effectivly walked to this height from the seashore (and back) over the two mornings.... It is actually not that much of a walk, but in the not-so-early morning, it was hot, so the walk seemed longer.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cooking Gadgets

A few months ago I passed by a branch of COOKSTORE, and intrigued at the name, went in. What I discovered was a plethora of every type of cooking pot, appliance, and gadget that can be imagined. The items are good quality, but expensive. The temptation to buy items you may not really need is great. But I did find a few items that I felt were worth the investment.
[image: cooking supplies]

The three items I purchased were:
1) A nifty plastic cup and cover for microwaving an egg (shelled). In seconds you have a perfect soft-boiled egg; perfect for hectic busy mornings
2) A spray bottle for oil. I originally bought this for Passover, as there is no oil spray with a certification for Passover that I use. But in the end, I kept it for the entire year, for spraying olive oil on salads, fish, etc. To get enough pressure to spray you have to “pump” it a bit; it is not as convenient as the commercial sprays. However, if you (or someone who is your guest) uses only certain chechshers (kashrut supervision), this can be a G-dsend. And long term, can result in saving money as well.
[image: salad]

3) The third item was a nifty “fine Julianne” peeler. Using it is rather labor-intensive, so it is not practical for large amounts of vegetables, but if you want a bit of thin carrot strips to liven up your salad, using this peeler sure beats having to drag out the food processor!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pigtails and Kerchiefs

The other day Ricki came home from school wearing a paper kerchief- the type one would expect as an accessory to a school performance of four year olds. Just as in the case of the balloon and streamers last October I felt that the outfit was entirely inappropriate, and certainly not for the street. Since for the summer program there is a different (younger) teacher, who had not yet heard my diatribe on teens with Down syndrome NOT being little girls, I went to the school to calmly yet emphatically voice my objections.
Then this morning, Ricki asked me to braid her hair into 2 “pigtails”. Here in Israel this type of hair style is rarely worn by teens, it is considered “babyish”. So I tried to convince Ricki that it was not all that appropriate, but she insisted anyway. In the end, I acquiesced, as SOME teens do wear braids.
All of this leads to the question of how much do you enforce your opinion on a child with intellectual disabilities, in the name of education, and how much do you “let it go”, because they need to make their own choices. I would be interested in your opinions.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kosher Cooking Carnival

The Kosher Cooking Carnival is a monthly blog carnival (sort of like an online "magazine"), which is posted around Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of each Jewish month.
It covers:

Kashrut in Jewish Law
Jewish Food traditions
kosher recipes
anecdotes about Jewish Food
Jewish Holiday Food
kosher restaurants and cookbook reviews
anything kosher!

This is a reminder to send in posts! Submit HERE.

And those readers who are not Jewish will also find some good cooking ideas here next Monday (hopefully).

Sorry About Tuesday

I have been away for a few days in Tiberias. I will post photos, hopefully, in a few days. (As well as my experiances rafting in the Jordan river!) But here are two small vignettes for now, quickly, before I go to sleep:
I took my morning walk today (I pretty much kept my exercise/diet requimes while vacationing), and I saw an adult pushing/pulling a teenager with some type of disability (I suspect autism) onto a school bus. It was a bit disheartening; I would like to see better methods used. But then, barely twenty steps further, I was pleased to see a young adult (age 18? 21?)with Down syndrome sitting at a bus stop, backpack on, obviously managing very well on his own.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Don’t Have Alzheimer’s Yet- Part Two

I wrote Friday Morning’s Post (see HERE) on Thursday morning. Later, I discovered the missing box, torn open and ruined, but contents intact, on the laundry porch. It was easy to conclude that Ricki, having seen the box on my closet shelf, and a picture of a camera on the box, had taken it, and on discovering that it did NOT contain a camera, had discarded it. “Well, at least I don’t have Alzheimer’s yet…” I comforted myself. So, now that I had the battery recharger in hand, I went to fetch the battery from my camera.
Imagine my horror when I realized that Ricki had also tampered with my camera, breaking off the battery cover, and then (when the camera stopped working) had quietly returned the camera to its place. The only hope was that a small metal piece remained, and if I could find what had fallen off, perhaps it could be fixed. After searching the area where the cameras are kept, and where I had found the box, I was still empty-handed. So I asked myself “Where would Ricki take photographs?” The answer was the living room, so I searched there, found the small metal piece, and (thank heavens!) was able to piece it all together.
And, by the way, if you tell me that you have a "normal" child who wrecks destruction, gets into your makeup, etc., it is not the same. Usually this "normal" child is a toddler, or maybe a five or six year old. It is not your teenager (who IF he is chutzpadik enough to take something without permission, will usually at least not break it), who can reach your high shelves. My husband always says "So put it out of her reach." But if I have to put everything so high that I have to go climbing to reach it, how practical is that?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

Do those of us who are American really appreciate the rights that we have? The freedom of the press, the right to disagree with the government, the ability to be a bit different than everyone else, and still be part of a pluristic society?
Look at the world around us? There is no shortage of countries with theocratic dictatorships, evil and ruthless overlords, and life-sapping poverty.
HOWEVER… I also see America as becoming very much a consumer-oriented society, an environment steeped in the desire to “have it all”. And I am sorry, but the resources we have are not enough for everyone to live like a monarch.
Maybe the time has come (and actually the time came already quite a while ago…) for us to be willing to do with a bit less. And to stretch ourselves a bit for the betterment of our society.

What can YOU and I do practically… some small thing… to help those whose lives are not as fortunate as yours and mine???

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Facing Myself

Some of you may wonder why I never appear in any of the pictures here. And, actually, why almost no one besides Ricki does. The main reason is (as regards others), most of my family value their privacy, and do not want their pictures up on the net. For me, although that is the main reason, my feelings about being overweight have also played a part.
But then, one early morning about a week ago, I was feeling good about the way I look, and I found a creative yet modest way to capture myself on film: [image: my shadow on a stone wall.]
Than, tonight, while looking at other entries to SOOC, I came across the "Facing Myself" challenge( see HERE), and decided to join.

SOOC- Greenery

[image: blossoms] These flowers are next to a nather old and delapidated building. Someone really cared to show that they wanted the house to look nicer.

You'll find more of SOOC HERE.

[images: leaf]

And NOT SOOC (straight out of camera is this reworking of the photo

Friday, July 2, 2010

The 45 minute “Toss and Turn”

Last night, I was working on the computer, giving out points for those who had succeeded in losing weight over the last month-plus of a weight-loss competition I had initiated on Walker Tracker. (See my sidebar.) At the same time, my internet connection was poor, and kept conking out on me, so it took longer than I had expected. So I went to sleep a bit late.
However, I had planned to get up at about five AM, in order to get out by 5:15 for an early morning (cooler) walk. In the end, I decided to do so anyway, and to plan to take a nap at about 1 or 2 in the afternoon.
So this morning I was out with the early morning birds (I hear a cackle of them in a certain tree which I pass each morning….), and returned in time to get Ricki ready for school. [On my return, my husband, for once realizing that I had been out walking for over an hour (usually he sleeps at this time), asked if I am trying out for the Olympics next.] After getting Ricki out to her bus, it was 7:20, and I sat down to say my morning prayers. Suddenly tiredness swept over me like a steamroller.
At this point, I had two choices (at least). Either I could continue the day as planned, fighting that urge to eat or drink something sweet in order to get that “energy high” that I am so used to, OR… I could listen to my body, and take a nap RIGHT AWAY. I opted for the second. And while I lay down for only 45 minutes, and not an hour, and it was more of a “toss and turn” than a nap, I DID have my feet up and my eyes closed. And what about all those things I needed to get done? Well, after those 45 minutes, I was rested enough to tackle them much more energetically and efficiently.

A Suitable Place

Alternate Title: I Don’t Have Alzheimer’s Yet- Part One
Several months ago I purchased a good camera for myself. This was before Passover, when I was busy, so I stuck the box with all the accessories onto a bookshelf in the living room. Weeks passed, and finally I found a suitable place to store the box.

Now I just wish that I could remember what and where that “suitable place” is……
Does this ever happen to you?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh, Really….

[image: the beach]

Today the girls from Ricki’s school are going to the ocean. We are near the Mediterranean, and I, for one, am glad that she can go to the beach without me taking her. (I probably will take her myself a few times later in the summer.) Last night we carefully packed her bag, and this morning she got dressed with alacrity.
As she was leaving, I couldn’t squash that mother-hen instinct, and I told her “Ricki, be sure to listen to your teachers….”
Her reply was the same as any teenagers:
“Oh, really…” with a big sigh and a roll of her eyes.