The Saturday Simcha

Yiddish proverb:

Even in this world, one can taste the joy of paradise. Afilu in dem velt, eyner kenen tem di freyd fun ganeydn.

Today, was a mitzvah (nice thing, good deed) for our family. We went to my machatunim (in-laws) (no, they are not ‘those kind’ of in-laws — I am so fortunate) with kinder (children) and Gatsby in tow. We always enter wearing our own coat of chaos and clamor. The maideleh’s (sweet girls) cross the threshold of the doorway, and they are starving like we never ever feed them kind of starving. They are so hungry, they are challish (faint)Nona, she is always ready for them to ess a bissel (eat a little something). She even has choices. Within moments, they inhale large slabs of thick tomato pie. Their cavernous bellies yearn for more. Next up, olives. Gorgeous gourmet kalamatas, and giant green greek beauties stuffed with gorgonzola cheese. Still, the hollows of their kishkas (intestines) cry out, “more please.” One may surmise we only feed them at Nona’s house… Bagels, cream cheese? How about some tuna and bean salad? Nona, a sincere balaboosteh (gourmet cook, cleaner, gardener, caregiver, efficient and loving too — Martha Stewart, she would be impressed, and would learn a few things from our Nona) she whips it all up in minutes. Chips? Who wants chips? Finally, the rumbling bellies begin to bloat. Success.

All the while, amidst the boisterous banter, the barking boy and the pure joy of seeing and feeding her bubbellah’s (grandchildren), Pop Pop, he sleeps soundly in the front room — a den recently turned bedroom. There’s been such tsuris (troubles, worries, grief) with his declining health of late. Our Nona, with a heart of pure gold, she deserves a little frailecheh (happiness).

So once the din of lunch was complete, and the starvation was temporarily sated, Nona, My Mrs., Little, and Big left for some much-needed, light and happy time together. I happily stayed behind, with Gatsby and Pop Pop. And hopefully Nona, she knew he was in good hands/paws with us, kaynahorah (with some good fortune). She can for a time, take her nurse’s hat off and put her sun hat on. Feel the warmth on her back and in her heart.

After about an hour and a half, he woke up. We chatted a little. I brought him his medicine (because Alexa, she told me he had must take it), his lunch (which of course Nona had already prepared) and some fresh water. I helped with the TV channels when his large fingers couldn’t navigate the proper buttons, and Alexa couldn’t make out his voice, now fainter than normal. I gave him a yummy chocolate chip cookie. We watched some golf together, quietly. Talking, not so much.

A bit later, an explosion of noise was welcomed as they all poured through the front door. Smiles on happy faces. Squeals of love and hellos to their Pop Pop, now awake. Joy in their eyes. Joy in Nona’s eyes.

Our Nona’s joy, priceless. Happiness is found in the heart…

And you’ll never guess… The kinder, they were hungry, famished even. After a nice nosh (snack), we headed outside to play. Scooters, hula hoops, and fun.

Joy for Nona, priceless.

To all, a bi gezunt (be healthy).



The puzzle that is time

Where does the time go… 24/7 is our new normal? Oy, fraig nisht (don’t ask). Eighty-one years is the average age of life on this planet in the U.S. its probably much less with mrt at the helm to live. If you’re a man, you get an average of 78.7 years. How many heartbeats? How do we spend our time? What makes us happy? What constitutes a life well lived? These answers change from person to person, and I have been doing a lot of mulling this over of late. So much so, my head hurts (se tit meer vay der kop).

Everyone’s road is different. Life, it is filled with zillions of invisible tugs of war, pulling and tugging at us — some good, some not so much. Sometimes we fly through tsuris (trouble) with ease, other times, we need more agility — extra adeptness, newfound compassion, empathy.

Can we get balance among the commotion? When do we know what feels good and what hurts, pains us? What about ethics, morals, values, pain, conflict, money, love, empathy, gratitude, compassion…is there a pattern? There is no manual, I do know that…

If our time is finite, we probably should handle it with care. Even when our email is full and voicemail is no longer accepting messages If our energy is fixed, we should do our best to expend it wisely. If we crave healing, we should actively seek restoration. If we desire love, let the heart sing. Can we afford to bargain at this table? I don’t think so… and yet I know I have danced along the ledge. I was young, pained, not yet so wise… So what? (Iz nu?) 

Tseitn derlaibt! Oh, the times we have lived to see! 

May there be many more tomorrows for us all…


My recipe (note, I’m no cook!):

  • Do work that is meaningful
  • Follow your heart
  • Always, always, always, be kind to others
  • Live out loud


Are you living your life well?  It’s never too late to change things up a bit. Tell me how you do it?


You gotta have heart


Oy. It’s only Tuesday and it’s already been some week. Little and Big, they are getting a little bit of shpilkes (like ants in your pants when it’s the littles) as summer winds down. The Mrs., and me we are a bit unnerved to say the least. These little shana maidels (sweet, beautiful girls) of ours, truly are wonderful little humans. And like all of you out there, we have our moments. You may have read about our dinner table tsuris (troubles) a couple of posts back. As they say, a work in progress? Nu?

I understand now why all adult characters on the Peanuts, you know, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus, they all sound like,”Wah wah wah wah wah, wah wah.” It was an actual trombone they used to make the sound. That trombone is what our voices sound like to the kinder (kids)! Charles Schultz, he knew this way back when, that the kids drown out our voices with selective hearing. Snoopy is now 66 years old and lives in a retirement village with Peppermint Patti in Boca.

Until yesterday, it has been 192 degrees in the shade. Walking from the apartment to the car was enough to make you plotz (faint, or even drop dead). The water at the pool was near boiling, less than refreshing. My Mrs., perhaps inspired by the Olympics, she set up a gymnastics area in our hallway here at the Manor. The mini indoor trampoline leads into the ‘exercise mat,’ also known as the bottom of the trundle bed. The girls, they bounce and jump and kick and land in cartwheels, somersaults, flip-flops and triple double axles. It’s a lovely release of energy, a heart-starter and somewhat quiet in comparison to the,”Wah wah wah wah wah, wah wah” that has been going on, and ignored. My Mrs., a genius!

Mittendrinnen (in the middle of everything), I have been experiencing heart palpitations for the past thirty-six four months. It’s not enough to just have chronic pain and all the joy that comes along with that… I had to go ‘all-extracurricular’ and add a new medical ‘–ist’ to the team line up. After meeting yesterday with the cardiologist, they ran some tests, looked at my blood and ordered a halter monitor for me to wear for 2 weeks. Things look okay, but who’s to say? The doc, he says, “Do you have a lot of stress? Are you sleeping well?” What a jokester he is!

Ven tsores laigt zikh nit oifen ponem, laigt zikh es oifen hartsen (When distress doesn’t show on the face, it lies on the heart).

Apparently, I’m a chaleria (nervous, anxious wreck) on the inside only, from this thing called life, or at least the last couple of years. And it may be manifesting in the lub-dub, lub-dub of my very own Tell-Tale Heart. I get a call a few hours later from the heart monitor people who are setting up my delivery. They tell me my out-of-pocket expenses after insurance for this little device will be only $860 and change. Are they fucking nuts? We don’t have that kid of loot! This baby is a beauty, she records every blip, 24/7.

Elizabeth, this is the big one. I’m coming to join you!” (For all of you non-baby-boomers, this is a television reference to Sanford and Son.)

The 'Post-It Note' model, easy and affordable
The ‘Post-It Note’ model, easy and affordable

This fabulous pain point delivered directly to me from my brand new –ist! Is he kidding me? Who makes this MCOT unit, Rolex? What’s a frugalista momma to do? I dry the sweat from my forehead and dial-up Dr. Fancypants. I have to ask if there is another option? Of course, he has left for the day. Nu? I speak with his nurse and she tries to help me out. Lub-dub, lub-dub. A few moments later, I get another call from the monitor people. I’m still breathing, barely, and they tell me what good news they have for me! There is a cheaper version! Azoy (really)! It’s called the ‘Event’ monitor. It only records when there is a not so hotsy-totsy incident, like a skipped beat, added beats, or maybe a flat line. This one, a real bargain at only $187. Oy vey iz mir.

A bei gezunt (as long as you’re healthy). Lub-dub, lub-dub.





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I can fry a couple of eggs on my abdomen, can you?

sizzle, shmizzle
sizzle, shmizzle

I can also pop corn on my face. Pretty impressive you’re thinking, ha?

Warning to all male readers: I am about to delve into the anatomy of a hot flash. This may mean talk of lady parts (though doubtful), cycles that coincide with the moon, and all things related to estrogen, and the natural biological process of what I call, estrogen-not.

You’re still here. Nice. After all, you have wives, moms, and daughters. You’re a real mensch (good-hearted person) for staying! So, as I was saying, my body has run cold my entire life. Blue fingers and lips when it’s 89 degrees in the shade…no joke! I wear many layers of clothing all year round. And yes, I’m at that age where that mysterious metamorphosis  materializes.

I remember back in the day, getting happy when I got carded before entering a bar. It’s the exact same feeling now when the doctor or lab technician says, “Do you still get your period honey?” Go Girrrrrrrrrrrl!

It’s crazy, from the moment that first red dot appeared, I despised it. My parents, they made such a taka mitziah (big fucking deal) out of it – took me out to dinner? My mother, she told the waitress. Attention Judy Blume: you, God and Margaret did not help me to prep me for a scenario like that. “I’ll have the nova platter with an everything bagel, toasted lightly, cream cheese on the side; Morty, he’ll have the stuffed cabbage, and my daughter, she got her period today!” That was a long time ago, but the memory is etched in my brain.

And now, look at me, saving energy by cooking on my sizzling body parts! I’m finally one hot momma! At first, I had maybe 3 hot flashes, and that was it. I thought, well that was easy! Today, I get my schvitz (a deep, heavy sweat) on maybe 8, 9, 23 times a day (and night). This schvitz emanates from the subterranean parts of my core and rises both up and out simultaneously. Toxins and impurities run scared from every molecule of my being.

While this little body convection oven starts cooking, my heart, she races. Archetypal fight or flight heart palpitations, like the saber-toothed tiger is running after me, mittendrinnen (in the middle of ) every fucking thing. My fingers, they tingle (which is good, because I have to flip the eggs to cook evenly). And a perfect coating of sweat covers every single square inch of my person, from the waist up. I’m lichticheh (lit-up) and radiant. They don’t call this a flash for nothing! As quickly as she starts, she’s over. After, I get a little bit chilly. Oy vey iz mer.

Does this mean I’m an alta kocker (literally, the term means an old shit, but over the years, pleasantries have reduced the term to more akin with, ‘old fart’)? Hell no! I think age is a just a state of mind. My Little and my Big, they keep me young. I’m reliving the childhood I missed get with them, and loving almost every minute of it. And, I gotta stay young to take care of my Mrs.

For now, I’ll make eggs, or pop popcorn, and take solace in knowing that I am still being responsible and frugal for my family. Spa, shmah! For a schvitz like THIS, it would cost an arm and a leg.

Note: no eggs were harmed during the writing of this post. And Alannis, isn’t it a bissel (little bit) ironic that when my eggs cease to produce, I can scramble, poach, sunny-side up and over-easy like a pro right atop those ovaries? Next up, omelets. 




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Rant, Shmant…Well maybe this week, it’s a lament

The Tooth Fairies find us at the Manor
The Tooth Fairies find us at the Manor

Shhhhhh: therapy game is ON: Week 12

For the past several weeks/months, Big has had a very sleepy, jiggly, wiggly loose front baby tooth. Keep in mind, she is 8, and has only lost two teeny teeth (the lower front biters) to date. Big, just like the Mrs., is very sensitive. I have joked, “Big will need crutches before this tooth untethers!” Eating has become fascinating. All foods must be cut narrow and thin, to slide in on the right side, so as not to aggravate or exacerbate said upper left tooth. My shana madelah (beautiful little girl) was tolerating little cuts to her right cheek, trying desperately not to let anything come anywhere near the incapacitated dental vicinity.

Well, while on our family spring break, Little somehow gives Big some kind of unexpected zetz (a George Foreman like punch) in maxillary central…and don’t you know, both front baby incisors were now flapping in the wind like laundry on a clothesline. Oh the tears. Little and remorse? Not so much. We were all ferhklempt (choked with emotion).

So what do we do? Like all good Jews, we nosh (eat a little something). A few scoops of ice cream later, she was back and ready for vacation action.

Fast-forward a few days, add another zetz (from you know who), and Big comes begging me to end her toothy tsuris (troubles).

“Mommy, Mommy, please! Just pull them out! I can’t take it anymore!” I cupped her sad, teary face and said to my bubelah (sweet heart), “Honey, are you sure?”

“Yes! Please! Just do it!”

And without even a tug, with barely a touch, her two front teeth fell gently into my hands. I hugged her, we all cheered and kvelled (oozed with pride) over her bravery. A regular Merida, she was. This simcha (joyous day) will bring the much-anticipated tooth fairy here, to the Manor!


And as I welled up with pride, and looked through the tunnel, now fully opened in her newly formed smile, I winced with a venti-sized dose of shpilkas (anxiety/pins and needles). My Big, our first bubelah (sweet little girl), she is growing up.

Wasn’t it just ten minutes ago when she was born?

And there in lies my lament.


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