Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Different Kind of Other

never other
as a girl
in the in group
doing fine
happy in my class of 20
opportunities to shine were plenty

Hungarian grandmother to give me esteem
never experienced anything mean
approval, encouragement was mine for keeps
in the loop
in the heart
in the midst
of IT.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Nine Things I Wonder About Other Bloggers

This post was inspired by my bloggie friend Nina Badzin, whose post was in turn inspired by Kristen Ploetz.  Here are 9 questions that us writers wonder about other writers.  Here are my answers.

1. Do you share your work with your spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet? I rarely show anything to anyone before I write it.  I write spontaneously and usually share instantly. On rare occasions, I'll ask my husband if he thinks I should blog about something before I do, because his sense of caution is a good balance to my spontaneity.  
2. How much of your family and/or closest “friends in real life first” read your stuff…let alone give you feedback about it? My mother, mother-in-law, one sister, and one sister-in-law (I have a lot more than that) read regularly.  Sometimes I will get feedback - usually not.
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Monday, January 5, 2015

The Post-Post

When you write a blog post with a lot of personal revelation, several things happen.

First, you get flooded with incredible feedback.  Texts, emails, Facebook messages, WhatsApps, even - wait for it - phone calls.

Second, you walk around wondering Who Read It and Who Didn't.  It's a little weird.  And wondering if people feel weird about how to act toward you or mention it to family members or what. A blog post, once released, becomes an organic entity all its own.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014

Happy new year and goodbye to 2014. I will not miss you.

2014 was tears. Grief, sadness. For many things, some not for the blog.

In 2014 our beautiful little sweet boy, who never lets me hug or kiss him, or even say I love you, was diagnosed with Aspergers.

And anxiety. Social anxiety. Which we didn't understand for a long time.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Shining a Light of Chanukah

Hey readers,

So the bald truth is that I've been too busy to blog.  Oy, the honesty!  Nevertheless, I'd never abandon you in your moment of need.

Here are some Chanukah laughs, and here are some ideas (too late for this year, no doubt, but just to kick yourself about how smart you could have been).

I wrote an article for the Jewish Women's Renaissance Project, the [insert insane hyperbole here] organization that sponsors the women's trips to Israel I've been running since 2009 - and going again in April - woot!  It's got some grammar glitches cuz I wrote it in a rush (oy, the honesty!) but I think it's still passable.  It's something I feel strongly about, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
The Chanukah story is Judaism’s classic lesson of finding a bit of light amid the darkness.  As the famed Kotzker Rebbe said, “A little bit of light dispels much darkness.”  The iconic tale of the small bit of oil that lasted eight days serves as inspiration for us in the darkest days of winter.
The Jewish people have been the victim of so much darkness of late.  Hate crimes, terror, world denouncement and prejudice have all become the new normal.  How to react, how to cope??  How can little old me deal with all this?  The only way is to resolve to just shine a little bit of light and make a difference in that way...read more by clicking here
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(Oh, and I'm pretty sure I misattributed that quote.  It was Shneur Zalman of Liadi.)

On another note, by ebook is coming along nicely thanks to my detail-oriented fellow grammar-nerd daughter, whom I've hired to edit it.  And my prayer book is, like, 75% written.  We're progressing, people. Patience.

Happy reading.

Happy Chanukah.

Love,
me
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Hair Covering: The Women Speak

For part two of the hair covering discussion (can you say "controversial"?), I've polled women of all kinds on their feelings on hair covering - why they cover, or not; with what and when; and how it makes them feel.  I still have not heard from a woman who does not cover her hair as to why she doesn't, so open invitation for that, but here's a sampling of the responses I've received, including a woman who isn't Jewish (see Kajsa's response at the end).

Note: the word "tichel," not to be confused with "kichel," is a Yiddish word for kerchief.

The Questions:


1. Do you cover your hair?
2. If so, why?
3. If not, why?
4. Did you always know, growing up, that you would?
5. What is your preferred method of covering your hair - wig, scarf, hat, baseball cap, or any old thing will do?
6. What influences your answer to #5?
7. How has covering your hair, or lack thereof, impacted on your identity as a Jewish woman?


The Answers:

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hair Covering: My Midlife Crisis part 1

It seems I'm hitting my midlife crisis early, and it's called "wrapping."

In my community, covering one's hair is de rigeur for married women, and mostly that's done with a wig.  Lots of us cover our hair more casually, like with a chenille snood or pre-tied bandanna, but that would be akin to changing into your sweats.  Like, if you're "dressed," you're also wearing a wig.

But in my recent trips to Israel, I've become more and more gaga over these beautiful scarves that women wrap their heads with.  They are just magnificent.  No yoga-pants-look here.  These women are dressed.  There is just something about the sheer authenticity of covering one's hair with a scarf that grabs me.  And so, with the help of Wrapunzel and their cool YouTube tutorials, I'm wrapping more and more.

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