Monday, November 19, 2012

Keeping Busy

I guess ranting paid off. Saturday evening, my blog was listed as one of's Top 10 "Movers" in the Living-->Family list! So Cool!

That certainly puts the pressure on, though. Now I have to come up with something interesting and worthwhile, to keep my status.


Ok, news report here at home: David and Micah both have a bit of a tummy bug today. Micah stayed home, but of course David went to work. I think Micah will be fine tomorrow. I'm guessing David...not so much...

We had our extra Sam this weekend, who is always a pleasure. He used to be great friends with our Sam, but now he and Micah do more together as my 13 year old sinks into sullenness. So Saturday evening, the two younger boys went down to the basement, and brought up an old Mac Quadra "pizza-box" computer. And proceeded to take it apart...and put it back together. They were incredibly excited about doing this. And very efficient. I did not find any spare parts on the kitchen floor.

David came home from San Diego late Saturday evening, so on Sunday we took the three boys and Sofia to the rock climbing gym in Worcester. Our Sam had a fabulous time, and wanted to stay much longer. The younger two boys did not have as much fun, because they were too young to belay (be the person holding the rope on the ground while the climber goes up). Since only Sam and David could belay, they had to wait their turns a long time.

I spent the two hours chasing Sofia around. She wanted so badly to "climb" using the ropes, but in reality, she is just about as afraid of heights as I am. When I took her over to the Boulder wall (the kind of climbing wall where you don't need ropes), she could only climb about 1 foot up before she got too scared. So it was a long afternoon for me!

Had choir rehearsal last night. I'm in the Temple Israel choir, and we have performances coming up. First we are singing at the New Members Dinner on Friday November 30. Of course I forgot to sugn up for the dinner, and now it's sold out. Which means I have to find a Shabbat dinner where I can leave the kids in the middle of dinner and go over to shul to sing. Which is probably what I wanted to do subconsciously, since going to a communal dinner with my three children when David is traveling is NOT my idea of fun.

The second concert is the following Friday night, during services. Mostly we are doing the same pieces, with one or two being held in reserve for the second concert. Some of the pieces are really nifty. I especially like the Applebaum "Funky Dreidel". But this is the first time I've ever been in a non-auditioned choir, and it makes for an interesting sound. I'm trying hard to keep the sopranos on pitch (yes, I'm a freakin' soprano! Yikes!), but it doesn't always happen. I think the audience will like it; I just don't feel it's the best thing I've ever been involved in. The standards set by The Zamir Chorale are difficult to overcome, and I was there for 10 years. We do have several other former Zamirniks, and I think most of us are having the same attitude.


Gearing up for this weekend. I ONCE drove home on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I will NEVER do that again. So Wednesday we are here, and all the kids have a half-day of school. I have a foot doctor appointment in the afternoon, but otherwise I don't know what we'll be doing.

Thursday we head to CT for the day. Dinner is at my sister's house, although she will be on call at the hospital the whole time. So her husband and one of the twins are doing the cooking, and Sam has decided he wants to go down early and help. Which would be lovely except that my brother-in-law doesn't want all of us coming early.

So maybe we'll go see my sister-in-law (David's sister), or maybe my in-laws. Or maybe we'll just go down later, and Sam can help me cook here in the morning instead.

Friday we are back here for a party at my friend R's house. Haven't seen her in too long, so I'm looking forward to it. And I'm TRYING to plan to see my in-laws on Saturday, but they are not capable of making a decision this far in advance. So we might be free for the weekend. Not sure. I am skipping my 30th high school reunion, though. I don't want to be a yo-yo, going back and forth to CT every day. Too much driving.

At school, I'm still wearing multiple hats. Mommy. WebMaster. Tefillah Coordinator. Preschool Program Teacher. Tefillah Teacher. It's getting a little frustrating. Tomorrow David and I are meeting with the Head of School, and perhaps we can get some better answers as to how much value I am adding.

But meanwhile, I do the work, because face it, I DO love it! Today I got to show the first grade teacher how to make an email list, and I made a video slide show for tonight's event at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, and I updated some web pages, and I continued archiving photos, and I planned a Tallit Workshop for the Eighth graders to do while the 6th graders are at Teva next week.

We decided to do another Tallit workshop because right now the 8th graders are not using the tallitot (prayer shawls) they made in 6th grade. They each made their own very unique piece, and all was good until the Rabbinic Intern who was running the workshop then made them put the atarah (neck piece) that they made together on each tallit. The materials for the tallitot were all very soft and flimsy. The material for the atarah was a very stiff canvas. Totally busted the project.

So now I make Sam bring his big tallit (the one he got in Israel for his Bar Mitzvah) in for All School Tefillah, but otherwise he doesn't use one. And none of the others use one at all, although I know they have them.

So this time, we are aiming for a little more conformity (I know, the irony, right!).

Plain cream-colored material, all with the MWJDS logo, but then all made individual by each child. And they can be left in school. And they should be used in school for daily tefillah. We'll see how it goes.

I'm excited by it, and I think the workshop at least will be fun. Whether the outcome is what we want remains to be seen.

In other news...

My Facebook feed has been chock-full of wonderful support for Israel. Lots of positive messages, along with a few pointing out some blatant lies the Palestinians and several major news organizations are selling to the general public. The most interesting has been the recycled photos. Apparently, the Palestinian news organizations are taking photos from the conflict in Syria, photos published several weeks ago, and recycling them as photos from Gaza. There are several shots of a man holding a small injured child. Touching, I'm sure, but the same couple is shown in the exact same picture on news reports from Syria weeks ago!

So while all my Jewish friends are posting about supporting Israel and about how the Palestinians are lying, staging "news" reports (another shows the injured guy in the first frames then getting up and walking away in later frames), once in a while one of my non-Jewish friends posts something. And that has been...interesting.

Not chilling, at least. But certainly not as clearly supportive of Israel.

Which is making me want to "share" more of these links that my other, more activist friends, are already posting.

Which is not my regular style.


Ok. If I don't get back on here before Thursday, I wish everyone (in and out of the country) a sweet and happy Thanksgiving. And I pray for PEACE to come to Israel speedily and in our day. And please, keep all my friends and Temple Israel "family" members who live in Israel safe. I'm especially thinking about two young men who made aliyah last year and are now serving in the Israeli Army. Please, keep them safe!