Of Interest – April

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Did you miss me? I was probably in the kitchen. Or Toronto. Or Pesach. I don’t know. The last month has been such a whirlwind, and I’m not sure my feet have entirely touched the ground yet.

Here are some things I’ve found lately (though, honestly, I haven’t been on the internet all that much these past few weeks):

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra had a peace concert yesterday, a free concert in support of the community in Baltimore. Because the BSO is amazing. This isn’t a sefirah-friendly clip if you’re holding the first half. The music doesn’t really start until 1:19, when they start playing the Star Spangled Banner. 

I received a couple lovely pieces of jewelry this month. One was in my StichFix order (I am absolutely planning to review my experience with StichFix after I’ve received a couple more fixes from them).

The other was this sterling silver bracelet from Laurel Elliott dvb New York, which has Mom in thirty-two language on it. Thirty-two languages! They are: English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto (!!), Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Irish Gaelic, Japanese, Italian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Poruguese, Russian, Spanish, Serbian, Swahili (!!!), Swedish, Tibetan, Urdu.

And, despite all those words being used, the bracelet is still slim and dainty. Just look at it:

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IMG_6915A fitting present for Mother’s Day, am I right? And, as someone who is a little obsessed with language, it’s perfect for me. Bonus!

The little card which came with this lovely braclet told me this:

The word for mother is similar in totally unrelated languages. Many believe this is because the vowels and consonant sounds that make up the word for mother are the first to be mastered by children and so the sound of the word to identify a mother is almost universal.

How beautiful is that? I’m having feelings.

Laurel Elliot also has a collection of Jewish-themed jewelry which I found beautiful and tasteful, and they have jewelry for various other heritages, plus quotes and inspirations, and, well, just go check them out already because you can probably find something there you will like and then you can subtly (or not so subtly) encourage your husband to get you for mother’s day. Or just get it for yourself. Or for your mother. Or mother-in-law. Whatever works.

Nina Badzin continues to field all your friendship-related questions over at the HerStories Project. If you have any relationship-based question, you should absolutely submit it. She’s got great advice.

Over at Hevria, two things that really resonated:

1. Chaya Lester knocks this one out of the park. I’ve long had a wary relationship with the word “should,” and she puts it so much better than I would have. Also, there are exercises you can do! Also also, the title “Couples, Stop Should’ing All Over Each Other!” is the best. Just the best.

2. RACHEL KANN HAS A NEW POEM. I’m gonna make some music for it after Lag B’Omer.

And here are some pictures from the wedding:

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Finally, I have a post up on Kveller right now with some of my thoughts on how I would talk to my children about what’s going on in Baltimore. I struggle with my own thoughts and reactions when civil unrest rears its head, and with it happening relatively frequently, I felt that it was time to ask myself “what can I learn from this situation?”

The dinnertime dilemma

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For my entire married life (all seven plus years of it) my husband has had an erratic schedule. Over the years, we developed a system where he would call me when he was ready to head home so I would know when to expect him.

The range, on days when he worked a “normal” shift of eight in the morning to seven at night, varied considerably. Some evenings he would come home early, maybe around five. Other evenings his shift could stretch on past eight.

Throw in the overnight shifts and the afternoon shifts and the midday shifts, and the only thing I could rely on for scheduling my day is that anything could happen.

His new job (which he’ll be starting after his brother’s wedding this week), promises more stability in the scheduling part of our lives.

Hooray!  But now, a new strategy needs developing.  Continue reading

The Best Kind of Mess

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The first days of Pesach have come and gone. The four cups of wine were poured and consumed, the mah nishtana asked, the front door opened to greet Elihayu haNavi. Our new home was filled with the sounds and smells of family and holiday togetherness.

It was wonderful. Continue reading

Of Interest – March

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We’re moving tomorrow.  Tomorrow! So you’re probably not going to hear from me for a little while, because of all the things that are happening in the fairly immediate future.

In the event that you have free time (I can hear all my Pesach-preparaing friends laughing maniacally at that), or if you want to take a much-needed sanity break (always a good idea), here are some things from around the web that I found interesting: Continue reading

On Endings and Beginnings

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Seventeen days

That’s all the time we have left in Charm City. The movers are coming on the 24th to pack all our possessions into boxes, and they will return on the 25th to load those boxes, and our furniture, into a big, probably enormous, truck. We’ll pack our children and immediately needed possessions into our cars and drive to Cleveland. Sometime in the following days our stuff should arrive.

We’ve been talking about moving for about a year. My husband looked for a job for six months before finding the one he accepted. His current job requested six months notice so they could find a replacement.

Six months is a considerable amount of time to get comfortable with the idea of moving. It was an unusual state of being, maintaining my normal routines of grocery shopping and making Shabbos, of checking out library books and DVDs and returning them (once they’ve finally been located in the black hole which is my house).

“We’re moving, just before Pesach,” I would tell people. But it was still months away, so it didn’t yet touch my life. The move existed only in the abstract.

“Have you started packing yet?” people started asking me recently. I hadn’t. I hadn’t even thought about it, actually. I’d been busy having a baby, and then getting a little sick, but, more honestly, the move still existed somewhere far, far in the future for me. It wasn’t real, not yet.

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That’s a little over two weeks

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A Purim Experiment

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Today I’m happy to introduce you to Revital, a mother of five boys who lives in Israel and blogs for Jewish Journal, as well as doing writing and creative work at aJudaica.com. She sent me an email back in January, and we’ve been in touch many times since then. Meeting people is one of my favorite parts of blogging, hands down. Blogging just makes the world so much smaller, in a good way.

Revital is sharing a little Purim experiment she and a friend did with their kids, and what she learned from it. Speaking of Purim, I also have a post up on Kveller about how my habit of calling Purim the “Jewish Halloween” does a disservice to Purim, and why Purim is so much better. Head over to read that when you’re done here.

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