Tag Archives: holidays

Goodbye TwentyTen

New York Times Square New year celebrations in...

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Not sure if I will ever get used to the ‘twenty’ thing in the date. I guess I have the rest of my life to adjust to it.

I am never one for big New Year’s celebrations or resolutions. For me, if my desk is clean (it is, along with my desktop that finally has the current operating system) and my kids are happy (they are) and we are not staring down the business end of a full-blown crisis (we aren’t) I am relatively content at the end of the year.

2010 has had it’s moments; some good, some not so much – all part of the roller coaster of living. We have learned to live with ever changing expectations and to realize that what you think is going to take you down probably is not the one that will. But watch the hell out for what you least expect. Be nimble. Laugh whenever possible. Cry, on Tuesday’s of course. And most of all, appreciate the people in your life. Those who believe in you are your best assets.

So as we roll the calendar over to the new year, I will take this moment to thank all of the people in my life for being the PEOPLE in my life. And I thank the cosmos for always throwing out things to amuse me, even when I don’t think that I can be amused.

Oh, and Happy New Year to you all. May you turn the calendar to find what you have been looking for. Or better, maybe something that you haven’t.

 

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Filed under current events, holidays

Those Crazy Sconnies

Having two kids in Wisconsin I am always on the lookout for interesting Wisco news. I was scrolling through twitter tonight looking for blog fodder and @tsand did not disappoint. I can always count on him to point out the more outrageous things going on in the world. Certainly in Wisconsin!

It seems a 57-year-old woman bit her 79-year-old husband’s tongue off during a kiss, then went outside to sing Christmas carols and blow a New Year’s horn. Fa-la-ooo-la-la! This babe is one wacky Sconnie!

She is being charged with felony mayhem. Felony Mayhem?! WTF, I love that charge. I want to know what other sort of thing falls into that category. Ok, so I could not resist a little googling around for the definition. Here is my favorite definition from The Free Dictionary:

Noun 1. mayhem – the willful and unlawful infliction of injury upon a person, esp (formerly) the injuring or removing of a limb rendering him less capable of defending himself against attack. Crippling, disfigurement, or mutilation of another.

Certainly incapable of defending himself in an argument at this point. Poor guy.

The victim said his wife had been acting strangely in recent days.

Ya think!!

I am still wondering how he could tell them that without his tongue.

Just another Bobbit-esque crime of passion, I suppose. Only milder. Lest we not forget this other famous Sconnie story where the scorned wife Crazy Glued her hubby’s member to his stomach. Do you think she was acting strange the few days before that?

Can’t make this stuff up.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, magnet for the absurd, wisconsin

Time to Cry Tuesday – If these walls could talk

Home. It’s more than just a house. Sometimes it is not even the ‘right’ house. Certainly not the dream house. But definitely home. With its drafty windows, ancient kitchen and not enough space… I still take comfort within these walls.

This is the place where the kids came home from the hospital and now come home from college. Where I walked the floors with them as teething, croupy, bronchitis babies and walked the floors again alone waiting to hear that garage door open when they started to drive.

And now this house – that has been so quiet these past months – is starting to come back alive with laundry and the smell of bacon. One kid home, first with a stomach virus and then a with her boyfriend. (21-year-olds get better quickly). And the other kid will be home before Tuesday comes to a close.

Not only have my children been gone, but their friends have been missed almost as much. I cannot wait for the door to open to those man-boys who love yodels and hug me till I almost fall over. Who initial the fruit and leave notes in the cup cakes and whose humor keeps me laughing all night long. I long for a foyer full of big sneakers and the shouting of video games in the basement. I can’t wait to have a late night kitchen full of  young women who want to bake and hear all the plans of the lives they will soon enter when they graduate. I am thrilled to line this house with air mattresses and make breakfast for the masses.

There is now life in rooms that since the summer laid silent. And if these walls could talk they would tell the tales of a family that has grown up here. The years seem to echo in these walls, and as I walk through them things catch my eye that make me smile. For instance, the photo above brings me back 20 years. That would be a drip of Baby Tylenol on the wall in my daughter’s room. We have painted it twice since then, but it would appear that Tylenol trumps Benjamin Moore and it keeps bleeding through. It is a reminder of the strong will she had as a baby that serves her so well as a young woman.

If these walls could talk they would tell you that maybe this family never got to upgrade their house, but they have certainly built themselves a warm, solid place filled with love that they can always call home.

To my beautiful kids: don’t believe what they say…. You can ALWAYS go home again.

Happy Thanksgiving all. May you and your families feel at home no matter where you may be. And may your turkey not be pink when you carve it.

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Filed under college, danny, family, gary, Jana, Time to Cry Tuesdays

A Sweet New Year (and the funny thing about mashed potatoes)

There is an odd phenomenon surrounding the making of mashed potatoes. There is truly a fine line between the perfect amount of milk and…

well I would have to say:

wallpaper paste.

Yes, you guessed it. I was there. They were really perfect. But I could not leave well enough alone and had to add that one little drop more of milk. And the next think I knew I was preparing boxed rice pilaf (on a holiday, that’s simply a crime!) and dumping those potatoes before Gary got home to witness my failure.

But here’s the thing. It’s not about the mashed potatoes. Or the rice. Or the fact that you find yourself cooking chicken soup and brisket on labor day as if someone pulled the switch on your summer and sent you tumbling down the Days of Awe water slide.

It’s about stopping and taking a deep breath and remembering that even though it is 85 degrees out and you have a Chambers Stove from the 1930s that is causing your kitchen to feel like a sauna; traditions, community, family and friends are what the whole thing is about.

Like the friend that picks up your parents’ synagogue tickets for you because you were too harried to get there yourself. Or the one who wakes up to remember that she is out of flour but she always bakes you a challah and makes sure to get to the store early enough to make you one again this year AND have her son deliver it to you. Or it is sitting in Synagogue (yes in that state of post ruining the potatoes shame) and looking to your left and right to see not just both your parents, but both of your in-laws as well.

So to all the members of the Tribe that read this blog, L’Shana Tovah. May you have a good, sweet year.

And just a tip, go light on the milk in the mashed potatoes.

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Filed under family, friendship, holidays

Lazy is the new productive

I made this my Facebook status today and it was immediately well received. Made me ponder that maybe I was on to something.

Think about it.

All year long we race around, make lists, disappoint ourselves with never completing everything we set out to do in a day. Why? For what reason do I set myself up for hyper-productivity? Like I am a better person if all the laundry is done and my closets are cleaned at the end of a weekend day? Yeh, right. Who cares if maybe the blueberries in the fridge are a little on the fuzzy side (ok, maybe my daughter since she did mention tossing them) — we could think of them as pets instead of food. Kind of like domestic multi-use.

I worked with someone once who told me a clean desk was the sign of a sick mind. Maybe everything done and in order all the time is not such a big deal. Maybe it is actually a losing a battle. Maybe an ever evolving to-do list is ok. Maybe sometimes we need to shut up and shut down in order to rest up to push that bolder back up the hill when we have no other choice. Perhaps the doing nothing piece is a way of letting the brain slow down to gear up again. This is a completely different way of thinking for someone like me. I am usually a moving target.

I won’t lie, lying around is not usually my thing. If I am not productive for too long a period of time I start to feel lousy. But there is something to be said for lounging in bed and reading a book, staying in your pajamas till 3:00 (or 4, or 5), drinking a little too much (define ‘too much’) and just hanging out. Hey, my kids seem to think that it is a full time job. I wonder what they would do if I moved the couches out of the house.

My point? I guess it would be that having a couple of weeks at the end of the year to lose the scheduling and the frenzy and just be lazy can have its benefits. First, for someone like me, at the end of all this I am dying to be productive again. But while I am still in it I am starting to take some pleasure in being a slug.

My family, on the other hand, wants to know why we don’t have any ______ (fill in the blank) left in the house.

Hey, you guys all drive…

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under holidays, work, work habits

Time to Cry Tuesday – The family you choose

We are very fortunate Jews; very fortunate indeed, as we are invited to a most amazing Christmas every year with our dearest friends. I wrote about this last year but I can’t help but post again about an evening that is so very special to our family.

Seated in one room were  members of four families, one friend of the boys and the boyfriend of my girl. The ‘kids’ table was now populated with 14 to 20-year-olds!

As we all took our seats, the vision of all those young adults took my breath away. Some in High School, others about to go off to college, still others scattered in universities across the country, some about to go off on semester abroad adventures, were the finicky eaters and meltdown whiners of Christmas’ past. Was it not just yesterday that the girls put on their famous dance show in front of the fireplace while the boys bounced balls incessantly through the house? Did we not pajama the kids before we went home a few short years ago?

And it’s amazing how we don’t look a day older. (ok, we had a lot of wine with dinner).

It is never a bad idea to count your blessings during the holiday season. So much time is spent on rushing around to make it all perfect, when the truth is, by nature of the players it already is.

Thank you once again to my dear wife friend, Joanne, who makes a holiday like no other. Go figure that the skinniest, most fit woman I know would also be the best cook! She gave me the little framed picture above this post long ago and I keep in on my desk to thank my lucky stars for the day her husband brought her into my life (and believe me, he dated many women I would not have been all that happy sharing my life with, most of whom I remember and he does not).

I am doubly blessed to have a real family that I would choose anyway and an extended family of friends that I would throw myself in front of a train for.

Happy holidays to you all. Count your friends as your blessings for without them nothing is all that important.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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From a Jew on Christmas

Ho. Ho. Ho. Or for you kvetchy jews out there like the lady on the deli line in the market yesterday: Oy. Oy. Oy.

Forget religion for a moment and let’s talk about the holiday season and what it does to people. To that crazy lady:

What the hell were you thinking yelling at that little old lady behind you?

Granted she might have been crowding you a bit, or perhaps she might have been a little cranky, but your outburst was embarrassing to me, I would hope it was to you afterwards. And then it spawned another little scuffle at the head of the line. Sorry, call me old-fashioned, but no matter how old I get I am still from the school of respect your elders, no matter how much they may annoy you.

PEOPLE, what is up? It is the holiday, you are in an upscale market in a beautiful suburb and you can afford to shop here and hopefully your ‘stress’ is probably just how you will get all that food on the table hot. So catch a grip, chill out and grab a little holiday spirit and perhaps a drink or two to calm that mood and try to enjoy! And act civil to one another, for G-d sake!

Ok, so perhaps she had more stress than the hot food thing. And maybe everyone is a little edgier trying to make believe life is all warm and fuzzy in these not so warm and fuzzy times. But this woman? Yikes, what an outburst. Kind of like that Network, “I’m as mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!” kind of thing.

My reaction? I turned to the woman behind me and promised not to fight with her. I told her I would never use that tone with anyone I was not married to. It gave her a good laugh and we of saner (and I use that term loosely) temperaments went on our merry shopping way hoping to learn from this lesson that we should do unto others and all that crap.

I can only top this with the facebook post from my friend Amy S yesterday:

Person ahead of me with a “Choose Civility” bumper sticker on the car just cut someone off and ran a red light.

Yeh, there are all sorts of hypocrites out there.

So to all my friends who are not hypocrites but instead wonderful people who appreciate all they have and would never yell at little old ladies (unless perhaps they gave birth to them), here is wishing you a Merry Christmas if this is your holiday. And if not, I hope you are as lucky as we are to share the holiday with friends.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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