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Archive for March, 2010


I know that Robert Frost (or at least I think it was Robert Frost) said that “good fences make good neighbors”, but I don’t think that I necessarily agree. Sometimes fences are good, like for keeping your neighbors’ dogs from pooping on your lawn, but I digress.

I believe that getting to know your neighbors and being on friendly terms with them really adds richness to your daily life.

I live in a town of about 1500 families and that number is growing rapidly. The neighborhood in that town that I live in is a close knit community.

Out of the approximately 35-40 families that live on my block, there are only about 6 or 7 who I do not know. The kids in my community play outside together, they go to daycare, school and after school activities together.

We don’t think twice about borrowing things from each other. When our appliances break down, we help each other out until theya re repaired. When we need help or babysitting, we watch each others kids.

When there is a happy occasion or sadly when there is an illness, death or tragedy everyone bands together and lends a hand.

My life would be very lonely if it were not for the friends and neighbors I have in my community.

I have a hard time understanding how people can live next door to each other for years and not even know each others names. Maybe that is normal adn I am just lucky.

I think it’s not necessarily just my specific community because in the previous community I lived in it was the same way. I think I am lucky that I live in a country that is known for its warm hospitality.

In my case, being associated with a synagogue as well increases the sociabilty of the community and the feeling of togetherness.

Right outside my door is community of warm and loving people who care about each toher and the community.

I am lucky and blessed.

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This post was inspired by the prompt of “outside my front door” at The Gallery Week 5 run by Tara at Sticky Fingers.

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An upset stomach and diarrhea is not pleasant when it involves people. I now have the pleasure (NOT) of letting all of you know that an upset stomach and diarrhea when it involves dogs is most definately not pleasant. I am sure it is not pleasant for the dog, and I am now damn sure it is not pleasant for the people in company of said dog.

So a little tip for all of you who have dogs or for those of you who are taking care of other people’s dogs. When you are having a big family meal and gathering in your house and your dog has an upset stomach, leave him outside. Or at least leave him outside until the meal is done.

Last night was the first night of Passover. As is our custom, the extended family got together for the traditional Passover Seder and meal. We were 20 people staying over and being hosted by my sister in law and brother in law. They live on a kibbutz and while we all fit and are able to sit comfortably, with the amount of people we were there was not much room other than the seating during the meal.

My brother and sister in law have a dog, as do their married son and daughter in law. My niece and nephew went away for the holiday but left their dog in care of their parents. I now think that they went away and left the dog because of the fact that the dog was having a stomach and bowel control issue. (Just kidding guys. I know your dog is another kid to you and your plans were made in advance.) In any event, the poor dog was having terrible diarrhea.

We sat down for the meal and at some point both dogs came in and sat under the table. We were enjoying our meal with great gusto when all of a sudden we heard a great big wet fart. My 12 year old daughter looked at her father and laughed because she thought the noise originated from him. It hadn’t.

All of a sudden someone realized that the dog had made a puddle of diarrhea. Actually, I think everyone sitting at that end of the table realized it all at once because I have never seen a room cleared by an odor quite as fast as that room was cleared.

As soon as my husband realized that a pooing dog was the culprit, he jumped up because he thought the dog might have pooped on his shoes. Two minutes before the dog had been sitting right by him.

My poor sister in law and brother in law now had the pleasant task of cleaning up after their sickly “granddog”. Like it wasn’t enough housing and cooking for 20 people.

But we learn something from everything life throws at us. This has been a very helpful lesson and maybe someone else will be spared the same experience. Just remember if you have a full house, don’t let a dog with an upset tummy in.

By the way, in case anyone wondered. After the “incident” was cleaned up, it didn’t stop a single person from continuing to eat.

So does anyone else have pet mishaps they would like to share?

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A list

Like everyone else, I too am sometimes guilty of worrying about what others think. I too sometimes tailor my actions to something I think might be more acceptable to others.

I do have to say though that over the years I have learned to assign less importance to what others might say or feel and to do what I feel and think is right for me. I am not saying I ignore others or their requests or insights into my personality. (Though sometimes I do.) I am not saying I don’t like or crave approval and validation by others. I am human so of course I do. All I am saying is that when push comes to shove, in order for me and the people around me to be happy, I need to be true to myself and listen to my heart.

Recently I have been rather surprised by how so many talented writers/bloggers have been having an issue with what they write, whether their content is appealing to readers and their issues with success. Just the other day Josie wrote about her insecurities at Sleep is for the Weak. As usual, her doubting herself really had me stumped because she is an amazing writer and photographer and she has inspired many people with her writing workshop and prompts.

Mark Twain said “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”

3 of 8 Girl dances (jumps) at water's edge on Morro Strand State Beach
I have heard some other takes on that phrase that include:
“Live every day like its your last.”
“Love like you’ve never been hurt.”
“Work like you don’t need the money.”
“Live like heaven on earth.”
“Live like you give a damn.”

Josie, for you and for another good friend of mine who is an amazing writer and who also struggles with the whole issue of success I have now coined the phrase “Write like no one is reading.” Actually I wrote it a few days ago when I responded to your blog post, but still….

What I am saying to you and to all the other talented people out there who are doubting their way is this:

Write for yourself.
Be true to yourself.
Write what brings you joy and makes you happy.

Whether you are a singer, a dancer, a worker, a writer or anything else in life, do those things that make you happy. But most importantly do them for yourself. Not for anyone else. Not for anyone’s approval. For yourself.

When you are true to yourself and worry about doing what is correct for your heart and soul, you will blossom in all aspects of your life. You will achieve confidence you never had. You will truly enjoy the things that are important to you and make you happy.

Sure you may go through ups and downs. That is life. All I am saying is to have the strength not to lose yourself along the way.

And for those times when things are tough I have found this picture and excerpt from the photographer Todd.

“It isn’t how you’ve succeeded in life that matters, it’s how you’ve held yourself when things have fallen apart.”

I believe that if we are true to ourselves and live like no one is listening, watching or reading we will achieve everything we hope to and we won’t have too many moments where we feel things have fallen apart. Just be true to yourself. And Dance, Sing, Write and fulfill your dreams whatever they may be.

Images:

A LIST
© Miss Izs | Flickr Creative Commons

GIRL DANCES AT WATER’S EDGE
© Mike Baird | Flickr Creative Commons

WHAT MATTERS MOST
© Todd | Flickr Creative Commons

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I love being tagged with awards and memes by other bloggers. It gives you a chance to get to know other bloggers and for them to get to know you. It also at times gives you something to write about when you are struggling to find a light hearted topic, or sometimes any topic.

The way I write my blog, I have a theme. I try to blog about a lesson in life each day. Sometimes fitting memes into “a lesson” can be challenging.

I have done a tenth photo meme and I still have another one to do. I have done a 7 things you don’t know about me meme, and I have done the Happy 101 list of 10 things that make me happy twice. The first time I wrote about unexpected happiness and the second time I wrote about there being happiness in every day.

When I was tagged for the third time with the Happy 101 ten things that make you happy meme by Potential Mummy B at My Baby Adventure, I chuckled to myself. I wondered if I would be clever enough to come up with a new take and a new lesson on something I have done twice before.

I have risen to the challenge and I have decided to write about ten things I am happy I don’t have to do. How is that for creative?

So here is my list:

1. I have no more pampers/diapers to change. Sure I still have my little daughter’s cute little tushy to wipe, but no more smelly diapers.
Babies Stink.
(Photo courtesy of Miss O’Crazy)
(Unless of course you count the ones I change on adults in the ER. Hmmm, maybe I should qualify that and say I am happy to have no more baby diapers to change.)

2. I don’t have to find things to do with my free time to keep me from being bored. That’s because I have no free time. I have my family, my house, my job and now blogging. No, I definately do not have to find things to occupy my time.

3. I don’t have to iron with an iron that barely gets out the wrinkles. I have an amazing big humungous steam iron and when I iron it goes really fast. Unless of course I have two weeks worth of ironing piled up because I have been blogging…

4. I don’t have to work full time. Or I should say I don’t have to work full time in a paying job. I am thankful to be able to have the luxury of only working part time.

5. I don’t have to do all the housework on my own. My kids are big enough to help out and sometimes they even do a better job than me. My hubby is a great help as well.

6. I don’t have to fight my kids for computer time. Thanks to my amazing hubby, I finally have my own mac laptop. I am quite sure that he is regretting buying me one since I have been linked at the hip with it since I got it and definitely since I discovered blogging. mac-butterfly-3
(Photo courtesy of Spike)

7. I don’t have to think twice about picking up the phone and calling my sisters overseas. Or at least as far as cost I don’t. Them being 10 hours behind me can be a bit tricky if I don’t want to wake them in middle of the night or at the crack of dawn. I remember when the cost of these overseas phone calls were prohibitive and did cause you to think twice or at least keep your calls short.

8. I don’t have to go to parent/teachers meetings. Well I don’t know if it is true that I don’t have to but I don’t go because my husband goes instead of me because I really do not like going. So let’s just pretend that I don’t have to go.

9. I don’t HAVE to go to school. If I chose to go back to school to learn something it will be because I want to. I do feel bad for my kids sometimes when they are struggling with subjects that they really will never use.

10. It’s okay if I don’t have a number 10 for this list, because I can’t think of anything else. So I am happy that I don’t have to have a number 10 if I don’t want to.

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And now in blogging tradition I tag the following bloggers with the Happy 101 award and send them on their mission to find a list of ten things that make them happy. And if perchance they have done it before, they have creative license to change it around.

* Paula at Battling On
* Annette at Mammakerr
* Claire at The Life of a Twenty Something Mum
* Tara at Sticky Fingers
* Julia at What Will Julia Do Next
* The redhead at Deer Baby
* Snaffle’s Mummy at Snaffles Mummy
* Vicki at Vegemitevix (Because I would like to see how she manages to come up with another list when she only managed one on the list she just did. LOL-with friends like me who needs enemies?)

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Today my husband and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. Twenty one great years as husband and wife, 5 wonderful kids and 5 different houses on two different continents.

I was lucky to have found someone special to have shared my life with from an early age. We have grown up together. (Although he is the older man three years my senior which at 16 was probably more than enough to freak my parents out.) I have been married to my husband for more than half of my life.

Our marriage has been a wonderful journey. And like any journey it has had it plateaus, peaks and valleys.

We have agreed and disagreed. We have fought and we have made peace. We have spoken calmly and we have yelled. We have spent time together and we have spent time separated by thousands of miles. We have read each others minds and we have been clueless about what the other was thinking. But no matter what, through it all, we have always loved each other.

Marriage is about constantly working at improving your relationship. It is about learning to appreciate things the other cares about. It is learning to take balance your own feelings with someone else’s. It is about mutual respect and it’s about communication. It is about growth and about love. Above all it is about true friendship.

Honey, it’s been a wonderful and exciting journey so far. I am looking forward to many more years of getting to know you better and better.

And if these pictures each taken before we met don’t prove that we were meant to be together, I don’t know what will. (Hope I am not in trouble now.)

Happy 21st Anniversary Hun! And I think you are romantic as well.

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Today my husband and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. Twenty one great years as husband and wife, 5 wonderful kids and 5 different houses on two different continents.

I was lucky to have found someone special to have shared my life with from an early age. We have grown up together. (Although he is the older man three years my senior which at 16 was probably more than enough to freak my parents out.) I have been married to my husband for more than half of my life.

Our marriage has been a wonderful journey. And like any journey it has had it plateaus, peaks and valleys.

We have agreed and disagreed. We have fought and we have made peace. We have spoken calmly and we have yelled. We have spent time together and we have spent time separated by thousands of miles. We have read each others minds and we have been clueless about what the other was thinking. But no matter what, through it all, we have always loved each other.

Marriage is about constantly working at improving your relationship. It is about learning to appreciate things the other cares about. It is learning to take balance your own feelings with someone else’s. It is about mutual respect and it’s about communication. It is about growth and about love. Above all it is about true friendship.

Honey, it’s been a wonderful and exciting journey so far. I am looking forward to many more years of getting to know you better and better.

And if these pictures each taken before we met don’t prove that we were meant to be together, I don’t know what will. (Hope I am not in trouble now.)

Happy 21st Anniversary Hun! And I think you are very romantic as well.

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I am sure that we have all come across people who are so closed minded or unsmart (I know that is not a real word but I really don’t like to say stupid..oops, said it anyways) that there is almost no point in having any type of conversation with them. Or at least any conversation that involves them changing their own personal narrow minded point of view.

My kids are especially lucky to have been gifted genetically on both sides with stubborness. But even with all the stubborness in my immediate and extended family, when push comes to shove with my family if you actually have a good point you can reason with them. Sometimes you can even get them to agree with you.

Then there are people who are brick walls. They are as thick as one and as deaf as one and talking to them is actually like talking to a wall but the wall is probably more intellligent.

red bricks wall
(Photo courtesy of ezioman)

As you guys can guess, I had a frustrating experience with one of “them” the other day.

I have been debating about whether or not to write about this because I don’t like to label or judge people. I also don’t like talking negatively about people or making fun of them. I debated about it quite bit and decided that the point I will get to in the end is important enough to make.

So back to the story. I was working the other evening. The ER tends to bring out the worst in people whether it be patients, families and even the staff. People are stressed, feel ill, worried, anxious and of course impatient. I am generally patient but I am human and sometimes things do affect me. For instance the 10th time in 5 minutes someone asks me the same thing. I digress though.

The other evening there was an old woman in who was in pretty good shape for her age. She came in with her two grown sons. Forget about the fact that they were told numerous times that each patient can only have one person with them in the ER and they kept ignoring the guard and finding their way in.

That wasn’t even the problem. The sons’ mannerisms, manner of talking and choice of words really bothered me. Where I worked that evening is a kind of closed cubicle with me on the inside and the doctor and patients at the mouth of it. Basically a really unsafe scenario because if a patient gets violent I am cornered.

At one point one of the sons got into a shouting match with the doctor and said “So what should I do? I should slaughter the doctor?” As you can see really inappropriate.

IMG_9038
(Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind)
When they came over to me for blood tests, I started a conversation with the son while I was taking care of his mother. I first bought up the insight I had had about myself just a few days earlier when I had realized how some phrases I use I should be more careful about. I then tried to gently tell him how his choice of words was really not appropriate. I ended up talking to a brick wall.

Now I understand that when people are under stress they are less receptive, but that was not the issue here. This was just a very angry, slightly unsmart and close minded person. After about a minute or two I just gave up. Especially after he said that things only started moving for his mother in the ER once he started yelling and saying things like he had. (Little did he know that I held up sending his mother’s blood tests for a really long time because of that comment. Yup, the stubborn not nice part of me rears its head once in a while. I am sure I will have to pay for that karma at some point.)

Initially I found myself getting really upset at his guy. I mean come on man, I am giving you my time and words of wisdom, don’t you think you can just listen and take it to heart? I joke but being honest I think it did bother me that I really had a good point to make and something that if he took on board would make his life better and less angry and confrontational and he wanted to no part of it. He barely even acknowledged my words.

I also don’t like the bullying attitude where people think they get their way better or faster by yelling. Which is probably why I said something to begin with.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination......365/365

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I would love to educate the world and help everyone live their lives better, I know that I am not going to change everyone. I also know that I don’t know everything. Not by a long shot.

That doesn’t stop me from trying because I have found that pointing something out to someone in a friendly way often makes them pause and think before they do the same thing in the future.

And then there are times that I just give up when I see the conversation is going nowhere except for getting on my nerves. A conversation like I had with “that” man. Times like that are really just a waste of your breath because the person is either too wrapped up in themselves or not intelligent enough to have a meaningful conversation. Or maybe they really are very narrow and close minded and see the world only through their own point of view.

We see the inability to carry on a productive conversation with all kinds of people and often times with people who are hateful or rascists. I had gotten a rather hateful and shocking comment on a previous post of mine. A comment that I chose not to air on my blog because the person writing it just spewed hate and one sidedness.

What I have learned from both that incident and the work incident is that there are just times where no amount of reason, goodwill or nice words will help. There are people who don’t want to hear a point of view other than their own and have no interest in change.

So sometimes it is better to just walk away and remember that there are people who cannot be reasoned with. Or at least people who don’t want to be reasoned with. You cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. Remember that the only thing you can do is to change your own reaction to them and their behavior. And you can be thankful that you yourself have the capacity and desire to reason.

Have you ever been in this kind of frustrating situation?

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