Sadness

Today there is sadness.  Sadness in the fact that two young precious lives have been devastated by cancer and will not have as many years on this Earth as they should.

One life is that of Stella, the wife of Yarden Frankl (of Crossing the Yarden) passed away today after a long battle with stomach cancer.  I wasn’t a reader of Yarden’s blog until late in their ordeal, but this update is heartbreaking to me nevertheless.  No young man should have to say goodbye to his wife and their children should not have to continue to grow up without their mother.  I can’t even imagine the pain that they feel right now.  All I can do is pray for them and for Stella.  Baruch Dayan HaEmet. May her memory be a blessing.

The other life I speak of today is the life of Sam Sommer, whose battle I have been following longer than Stella’s.  Sam is Superman Sam – an adorable 8 year old boy who has been fighting refractory acute myeloid leukemia for the past 521 days.  He won one round of battle with leukemia, then it came back and he had a bone marrow transplant in August, and it looked like it had worked.  Then I saw his mother’s blog post yesterday.  Not only did his cancer come back, but it came back in a form that there is no cure for, no treatment for.  This is another situation where I cannot even imagine how his family are feeling.  How to tell an 8 year old that there is no cure.  How to tell his brothers and sister that there is no cure.  What to say to your husband and your wife knowing that there is no cure for your child.  I can’t imagine the sorrow and the helplessness and pain.  There are just no words for it.  I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

I can only pray, and pray, and pray…pray for Stella’s soul, pray for Yarden, pray for their children, pray for Sammy, pray for his parents, pray for his siblings, pray for everyone else who is fighting their battle with cancer, and pray for the scientists and researchers and doctors who work every day to find a cure, so that no one else has to a lose a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a grandparent, a child, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle, a friend…anyone to cancer ever again.

Yom Kippur 5774

Yom Kippur 5774 (2013 in the Gregorian calendar) is a very different one for me than Yom Kippur 5773.  Last year I davened with my mother at the shul where she grew up in Philadelphia, Kesher Israel.  It’s beautiful and to me has always been the epitome of a shul.  I stood next to my mother and tapped my chest as we atoned for our sins and prayed to be sealed in the Book of Life.  This year I am 1,100 miles away, and tomorrow I will be standing next to my husband in our home on an Air Force base in Florida surrounded by the boxes that were delivered today.  I will still be praying and I will still be asking Hashem to seal us in the Book of Life, but I feel that the major thing I will be repenting for tomorrow is having too much in the way of the material and letting that get in the way of the spiritual and emotional.  I have been here in Florida for 13 days, and we were pretty much living with what my husband flew down here with in July and what I came down with in my car 2 weeks ago…and you know what?  We’ve been happy.  We’ve been blissfully happy just to be with each other.  So when the boxes arrived today, I just looked around and went…do we really need all this? Why do we have so much stuff?  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very, very, VERY happy to have a real bed (we slept on an air mattress until we had a futon and then we slept on that for the last couple nights), but the rest of it?  I don’t know.  My goal when I am unpacking is that, when I take something out of a box, before it is put away, I am going to be asking myself if I need that item, and, if I don’t need it, do I really, really, really want it?  If it fits in one of those categories, then I am going to find a place for it.  If it doesn’t, it’s getting given away or sold.  I loved seeing my house clean and empty, and seeing all these boxes around is driving me nuts and they’ve only been here for 8 hours.  I can’t wait to get this house clean and organized and set up so that we can enjoy what is really important – spending time together, having friends over, and just relishing every moment of our life together.  For everyone fasting, gmar chatima tovah, and may we all be sealed in the Book of Life for 5774.

Lincoln

My second movie of the night, Lincoln, was beyond phenomenal. Wonderfully told story, beautifully acted (in particular by Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones), heartrendingly haunting and inspiring score and incredible cinematography. Further, it did not focus on the death of Lincoln, but rather on his life and the unparalleled legacy he leafy behind. The values that he stood for are the ones I stand for, and, more importantly, the ones that my fiancé has sworn to protect with his life. I could not be more proud to very shortly be able to call him my husband and, as we come up on the birthday of our great nation, I could not be more proud to call myself an American. Please, please, please see this inspiring film. You will not be disappointed.

Election 2012

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST IS OF A POLITICAL NATURE.

If you do not want to read about politics, please check back for my next blog post.

If your politics do not align with mine, that’s fine.  Feel free to engage in civilized debate in an adult manner.

Insults or inappropriate comments will not be approved.

Ok let’s go!

ELECTION 2012

As some of my more faithful readers might know, I try to avoid politics because it just turns into a complete, well, shitshow.  People like to jump all over me because I’m a conservative, especially since bashing conservatives seems to have become the national pastime over the last few years.  Let me just briefly lay out my political beliefs, for those of you who immediately jumped to the idea that I’m some pro-life, anti-gay marriage, pro-gun, Tea Party person.  I’m not.  For anyone who has actually studied political theory, I am a conservative in the classical sense of the designation.  Simply put, I think the government should do as little as possible to keep this country running and leave me alone!  Small government, low taxes, let me keep the money I work so hard for, my body is my own, let me sleep with who I want, let me marry who I want, and, as long as I don’t cause havoc or hurt anyone else, just leave me alone.  That’s what a real conservative should be.  The Republican Party, in its current incarnation, is not a conservative party.  Quite the opposite actually.  Anyway, for the first 8 years I was a voter, I was a registered Republican, even though there was a lot of the party platform that I wasn’t too fond of.  Now, however, as of 2012, I am a registered Libertarian and I will soon be a card carrying Libertarian.  You can read the Libertarian Party platform here.  Anyway, that’s where I fall.

So, what prompted me to blog about this today?  I’ll tell you.  This: Obama Calls Romney a Bullshitter.  This just pissed me off so much I felt like I had to write a blog.  It might seem like a small thing, but I am disgusted by this.  There is no excuse for the President of the United States to call someone a “bullshitter” on the record, much less his opponent in the presidential election two weeks before election day.  He is the President.  He is supposed to be an example (*snort*) to the country and the world.  I don’t care that he was talking to Rolling Stone.  Never mind the fact that he probably should have been talking to…oh never mind.  He is snidely called the Hip Hop President for a reason.  I find him smug, disingenuous, egotistical, rude and dishonest.  Far from presidential.  He and the word presidential don’t even belong in the same state, much less the same sentence.  His behavior in the town hall debate was atrocious.  I couldn’t even watch it for more than 5 minutes without wanting to vomit.  If he is elected again, this country is in real trouble, and not just because he’s a jackass.  Financially, he’ll ruin this country.  In foreign policy, he is terrible.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a nuclear strike from Iran (not to us) if he’s elected again.

Furthermore, as a Jew and Zionist, I cannot fathom Jews voting for Obama.  I know Jews traditionally go Democrat, but how, how can you vote for someone who would chop your homeland up and distribute the pieces, doesn’t acknowledge Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and faults Israelis for the conflicts that are happening there.  His treatment of Israel and attitude towards them is deplorable.  It is ludicrous the way he, most of the rest of the world and the media treat Israel.  Granted, I know Israel can damn well take care of herself, with or without the support of the United States.  She will, too.  But that doesn’t mean that we should leave her out in the cold without allies.

I know what your next question is – how, as a woman, can I vote for a Republican?  I really hate that question and I really hate the statement that no woman in her right mind would vote Republican.  That statement says that the only part of me that matters to anyone is the part between my legs.  The Republicans are saying lots of stupid things about abortion and women’s rights, but let’s not kid ourselves, the balance in Congress means that the Democrats will never allow that to happen.  They will do to the Republicans exactly what the Republicans have done to the Democrats – keep them from getting anything done.  That’s all politicians do nowadays anyway – keep the other side from accomplishing anything.  Even in the most backwards, conservative states, ridiculous measures that limit women’s rights are more often than not defeated.  And, in other issues, in more states rather than fewer, marriage equality is progressing.  Is it a done deal?  No, of course not.  But it is progressing, much to the annoyance of intolerant people the country over.  Anyway, the point is, Democrats try to scare women with the “Republicans are going to take your rights away”, and Republicans try to scare women with “Democrats will abort a full grown fetus coming out of the womb.”  Either way, the only part of a woman that matters to them is the vagina, and it only matters to them as long as it helps them win the election.  Seriously people???  It is just as demeaning for Democrats to make the race about women’s issues, even though they support them more than Republicans do.  When Democrats expect the whole election to turn on women’s issue, that infantilizes me!  Yes, women’s issues matter, I’m not saying they don’t.  But they are in no way the only issues that matter to me.  There’s health care, the military budget, foreign policy, foreign aid, taxes, the deficit and Israel.  This election is not a single issue election, and don’t you dare try to make it that way.  Our future is at stake here, as is the future of this country.

So that’s my piece, that’s my political take for the season.  I’m staying away from politics for the rest of election season – I’m even getting my wisdom teeth out the day before the election so hopefully I’ll go to sleep on November 5th and when I finally come completely back to my senses a few days later there will be a new president.  Here’s to hoping.

Motivation

This morning was a pretty slow one at work. Only a few kids came in, so I got to spend a lot of time browsing through the FlyLady website, Forums and BigTent site (shhh don’t tell my boss *giggle*). It actually gave me a lot of motivation and now when I head home I really want to tackle my kitchen some more. I looked at it and I’m pretty sure I can have it back to a clean, organized state in a pretty short amount of time, so that’s my goal for the day. What’s yours?

FlyLady Day 1 and 2

Ok folks, as promised, here is my blog about my first two days of the FlyLady system.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to blog last night but yesterday was an unexpectedly looong day and I just didn’t have the energy after shining my sink.  I do, however, have some time tonight so I’ll write up my experience.

In Process

After reading the FlyLady’s instructions, I really thought that the Shine Your Sink process would be worse than it was.  It calls for soaking the sink with hot water and bleach for an hour, followed by scrubbing with an SOS pad (since mine is stainless steel), then scrubbing with Ajax, and finally a scrubbing with Windex.  Honestly, it’s not as bad as it sounds and my sink has not shone so brightly since I moved into this apartment.  Below right is a photo of the sink in process.  One side has been shined and the other is filled all the way to the rim with hot water and a cup of bleach.  FlyLady says that if the sink is two sided to do one at a time.  While the sink was soaking, I got to relax and watch some TV.  I was originally planning on doing some cleaning in the rest of my kitchen while the sink was soaking, but I was just too tired.  I didn’t fall asleep the night before until 4 a.m. and then didn’t get home until hours after I had planned, so cleaning the rest of it went by the wayside.  So I watched some TV, then shined the left side of the sink, then let the other side soak while I watched some more TV and then shined that side.  Boom, done!

Finished shiny sink!

When the sink was finished, I felt really proud of myself.  FlyLady says that every morning when you see your shiny sink, it’s like getting a hug from her and she promised it would put a smile on my face.  She was right.  When I walked into my kitchen this morning, my sink was shiny and perfect, and I got a little bounce in my step.  It seems like such a small, silly thing, but it’s true.  It really does start out as little steps and you build into the big ones.  I’ve tried so many times to get a handle on things and haven’t been able to, and now I guess I know why.  I tried to handle everything all at once, and it can’t be done.  It’s too overwhelming to do things that way.  Day 2 today wasn’t all that different from Day 1.  I have my sink still shiny and I was dressed to shoes.  Well I would hope so since I was working today.  I do take some issue with the idea that it has to be lace up shoes, though.  Most of my work shoes are actually Crocs, ergo, no laces.  Also, on the weekend, I consider flip flops to be shoes, and that’s something that’s never going to change.  So, I’ll buy the shoes thing, but on my own terms.  All in all, the FlyLady experiment is going well so far.  On to Day 3 tomorrow!!!

 

Best Part of My Day

The single best moment of my day today was something completely unexpected.  Actually, it started out as something where I thought I would be banging my head against the wall.  I don’t mind helping my Mom with technology and stuff (and even she will tell you that I’m more patient with it than either my father or my sister).  However, helping her when we’re in the same place is one thing.  Helping her when she’s 1,200 miles away in Florida is another.  Extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, we were able to do it, and I was able to talk to both her and my Bubby (Yiddish for grandmother) face to face.  My Bubby doesn’t come north much anymore, and really hasn’t for a while, and everyone being in Florida at the same time is rare nowadays, since I moved back to New Jersey two years ago.  Sidebar: two years ago???  OMG where has the time gone? So, my Mom, my Bubby and I haven’t all been together for a while, but tonight we got to be, at least technologically.  I know it’s not the same as all three of us being in the same place, but it’s a heck of a lot better than just a phone call.  Something I love about FaceTime is that you see not only the other person but yourself as well, so, in a bit of quick thinking, I told my Mom and Bubby to squeeze into the frame together and I snapped a pic using the screenshot feature on the iPhone (note: to take a screen shot, press the lock button and home button at the same time…boom!  picture saved to your camera roll).  So, in effect, I was able to take a picture of the three of us together even though we were 1,200 miles apart.  I look at that picture and get tears in my eyes.  It’s silly but I can’t help it.  I complain about technology sometimes, but there are some really wonderful things about it.  Getting to be “with” my Mom and Bubby tonight is one of them.