A South African, married to an American, finally adapting to my adopted country. I love life, laughter, good friends and the warmth that my two kids have filled me with. I glory in the colors of my life and am grateful for the gray days as they allow me to appreciate the rainbows.

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Location: New York, United States

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kids and camp

Tomorrow my girls leave me for 4 WHOLE weeks. I have not stopped eating. Josh and I live a low carb lifestyle, I have done so for years and he for the past 2 years. Not so for the past 3 weeks. Camp is around the corner and I am so stressed out, I can't think about it without being teary eyed. My girls. These little cratures that I adore, away from me for solong. Can't bear the thought of it. I am so happy for them for the adventure that awaits them - I loved my days a Habonim Camp.

My friend Loren and I were consoling each other about the impending departure of our babies and she said there must be a support group for mom's whose kids go to sleepaway camp - I said there is. Really she wanted to know - yes, its called Overeaters Anon :)

Its funny because it goes so against the common culture here, in NY, people can't wait for their kids to go to camp and while I have to say I barely have any free evenings until they get back I feel lost without them. Loren and I both work crazy hours and there is a good part of everyday that is devoted to juggling and organizing our kids and their lives between all that we do. My brain automatically goes there even when they are far away. There are also those early morning shnuggles, little people, little bodies, pressed against me, just hugging and loving - until Nikki gets a bout of mommy kiss-a-litis and she covers my face in tiny soggy kisses. It would be a lot better if it was not at 6am but it is my favorite thing to do. Shnuggletime. Guess Josh and I will have that shnuggletime, although he knows full well that he takes his life in his hands if he dares to wake me up in the morning :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Far too long....................

It's been a long time. A very long time. Unable to dedicate time to my blog for so long. Been almost a year actually. When I returned from my trip to South Africa, my trip to the motherland, I put the time and effort into my kids and my home that the computer was taking from them. I never realized how much time I spent on it until I unplugged for 6 weeks and reconnected with my girls in a way that will hopefully bond us forever.

That trip changed my life in so many ways. Before I left I hankered for my beloved country, I longed for the sights and sounds of Africa, for the warmth of her people and the beauty of her lands. Before I left, Josh was annoying me, I hated Long Island, NY (where I live) and my house was a dump. I went on the trip, could not wait to come home, the place I loved and longed for was gone, finished, I came back, My house is a castle, Josh is my prince and I never want to live anywhere else. I let go of the dream and embraced my reality and life has soared from there. I have made amazing friends and have the social life I missed for so long. The summer is accounted for and it hasn't even started yet - I love that!

The girls are getting bigger. They are such delightful little souls, I can't believe how much fun we have together and am so grateful for our trip, two years ago that changed the course of our lives and attitudes forever. Its funny, my feet are firmly planted in NY, they had a taste of Africa and they yearn to go back, talk about it often. I am not sure if its the place as much a sthe idea of 6 weeks with Mom, just us. 6 weeks of being able to be a kid in a way that America does not allow them to be? Or maybe it's just the magic of South Africa, that still captures everyone who steps into the warmth of its weather and the people who have weathered so much?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The long road to recovery............

I hate whining but whine I gotta. Its been a rough few months. The hardest being my dad was finally discharged after having a triple bypass. The poor guy was in hospital for 3 weeks!!! The bypass operation was a success but he had some urological issues that had us hitting our heads against a wall. I swear he bled for 4 days before the Urologists would come and see him and when they did (after begging, pleading and screaming on my part), it was an itial cursory visit follwed by many phonecalls, no response and then having to deal with the shmuck of all shmucks a Dr. Bloom who had a negative bedside manner. Such a nasty little shit - just wanted to bang his head into an already used bedpan!!

So he home, still urinating blood, still passing blood clots, still in excruciating pain. G-d dang these dr's. We did change groups and got a much better response.

The cruise was ok - we left with heavy hearts as my dad was still in the hospital, when we left we knew he would be ok and was being discharged but hated leaving. But my dad was insistent and the kids were looking so forward to it, I did not want to dissapoint them. My dad only started bleeding once we were away.

I did not like the fact that the trip was all about food, all we did was eat and when we weren't eating we were talking about what we wanted to eat at our next meal or scouring the buffets for a nosh, and nosh we did.

The kids did not love the camp, the staff was exhausted and really not the warmest friendliest bunch. My sister said out of the 5 cruises she had been on this was by far the worst. The kids had a blast, I got to spend time with my sister and nephews - it ws really great to see them. We had such a heavy heart about my dad so we could not really give ourselves over to the experience completely.

Thank you for all the prayers, for all the love, for all the support - it really helped.

Take care.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer Time.......

The Summer started with a bang. It's funny (not ha ha) but Memorial Day Weekend is not the best time of year for Josh's mom, 3 years ago she had a stroke on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, which saved her life, as they diagnosed her with stage 4 lung cancer. Not being a lady who takes particularly good care of her health (understatement at best :) she would never have known about the cancer. The doctors at Sloan-Kettering in the City are amazing and she beat the cancer into remission, left with one lung but managed to feel better. The stroke was a harder recovery process then the lung cancer.

This year the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. Josh and his brother accompanied his mom to the city where the Doctor told them that May has brain and Spinal Cancer and they had given her less the 6 months to live. I was so upset that I could not sleep that night.

That Friday I had a crazy day at work, had Shabbat dinner at my folks and dragged myself and the kids into the car, Josh had to run to Fairways as we were expecting 60 people for a braai/BBQ on the Sunday. As the girls and I were getting to the top of my street my best friend Deb was arriving home (she lives at the top of my street). I pulled up next to the curb to say hi. Her daughter and my kids started chatting and making plans. I told them that I was exhausted and not a chance was I getting out car. the pleaded for 20 minutes. I said no way!! They prevailed, Deb offered to make some coffee and we could sit out in her magical backyard - she is such a talented gardner and has created such an oasis back there. She has huge wicker rocking chairs with gushy pillows that you just want to nap on. We sat down for literally 5 minutes, when I hear this blood curdling scream. Nikki had fallen off the monkey bars. I could tell straight away that her arm was broken. I grabbed her and rushed her to PM Pediatrics it's an unbelievable Emergency Room which caters to kids. I did some real low flying! Poor nikki screamed every time I flew over a bump.

We were there for ages, they confirmed that her arm was indeed broken, the put a soft cast on and told me to go to an Orthopedist on the Wednesday after the holiday. I came out called 2 of my friends who are unbelievable dr's and they both told me to take her to Schneider's Childrens Hospital for a second opinion. We picked Ry up from Deb, dropped her off at my folks and we ended up at the ER (again), until 1am. They confirmed the diagnosis.

Poor kid had such a rough night. I ended up spraining the muscles on my hip when I carried her, so Saturday was spent with me helping little Nikki and trying to get my Chiropractor to sort out my hip. He is such a gem and he did. After a full day on the Soccer Field he met me at his practise. Thank G-d.

The next day we had our big bash - it was so great to see everyone, we were so exhausted but had a great time. I looked fabulous in my hip brace :) and Nikki with her cast, what a pair we made :) There is nothing harder on earth then trying to get my overzealous, energetic little Nikki to chill out and not run.

Monday we had plans to go out with my M-I-L for lunch. We got to pick her up. Ring the door bell, no response. Ring again. Nothing. We got scared, luckily I carry her key with me, Josh went in, found her on the ground, she was weak and had fallen trying to answer the door. He picked her up and put her into bed. He was a freaked out and did not want to stay with her by herself so I told him to take the kids to my folks house. He came back, we spent the rest of the day with her and she seemed weak but better. I told her that the kids ahd got a bit of a fright knowing that she had fallen and I just wanted to get them and show them that she was OK. She said fine, I got the kids, we picked up dinner for everyone. We hung out together. My M-I-L needed to go to the bathroom, I helped her up and was helping her walk there, once in the bathroom she collapsed. I was stuck holding her, she was out cold, she is not a very overweight woman but definitely weighs more then me. I shouted to Josh to help me and for Ryan to call 911. She did such a great job, kept her cool and made the call.

Josh managed to get his mom to the bed and I grabbed the phone. Such a great mom, all I wanted was the kids to know that she was OK and they end up having to make calls to 911. I told Josh I was getting the kids out of there as I did not want them to see the ambulance and all the stress that goes on with assessing his mom. I called deb and told her she had two extra kids for the night. Dropped them, met Josh at the ER. The only positive was by May falling against me the way she did, she snapped my hip in the other direction and righted me. They stabalized May.

Two days later I was at the supermarket. I called my mom to see if she needed anything. I could hear a lot of noise in the background. I asked her what was going on. She told me that they were watching they house burn down - WHAT???? Yup they had an electrical fire and there two car garage went up in flames. Luckily the maintenance men saw what was going on and took the cars out of the garage. My folks were home and had no clue what was going on. Thank G-d they were ok.

Its been a crazy summer, my folks are still displaced, May is hanging in.

I was expecting a slow summer and have been really busy. The kids are at Gan Israel Camp, a Chabad camp that I was dreading but had turned out to be the best thing ever. Its a fraction of the price of the other camps and the kids are having a blast!!!

In a week and a half we are going on Cruise with my sister, her kids and my brother-in-law for 5 days. The kids will go test out Sleepaway camp at the end of the summer. It was a crazy start but the summer has been good since then. We have had some unbelievable parties, had 5 birthday parties for Ryan - including a sleepover party which was wild - she had the best time.
Its been crazy but all in all, its been good.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Been so busy. All good though. Work has really taken to me to places and to people I never though possible. Its ben a good year. I have made some great friends and am so grateful for the path I am on. The kids are doing so well. Ry found her wings last year and soared to heights I never imagined for her. I swell with pride just thinking about all she has accomplished and how far she has come. It has been no small feat and I am so grateful to my folks, the staff at the school and I guess my own tenacity and her, well my strong sweet butterfly. She is just a special strong girl with a world of possibility at her pretty little feat. Nikki had a bit of a tougher year, placed in a mediocre class surrounded by not the nicest kids, she managed to do what Nikki does so well, she weaved her magic, connected with the boys and made it a real fun year for herself. I am so proud of them, so thrilled that I learned to unplug and be a present force in their life. Its so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about being present in their lives. Its all good and I thank G-d everyday for all that I have. My husband, my parents, my friends and these two precious jewels, these flowers that fill my heart and my life, my girls.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Back for a bit .............

Its been a crazy few months. All good. I am finding my connection with the girls so much deeper with me switching off the computer and being present. Their computer died so I have not had access to mine for months on the weekends which is when we allow them to be online.

I got back last week from a very special trip. My dad took my sisters and I along with our families to an amazing place in Germany called Bad Tolz its a magical place where we spent many a vacation in my youth. Its a real pain to get to, it took us 28 hours door to door but was worth the trip. Its the first time we have been together as a family without cellphones, without agenda's on neutral turf. Our one responsibility was to relax and enjoy each other's company.

It is so nice being in a place where people are not neurotic, the kids had so much freedom and had a blast, we literally did not see them all day they would go off and play and check in with us to let us know that they were OK. There was so much to do for them to do and I got uninterrupted time with my parents and sisters. My brother-in-law is a big kid so he spent most of the time on the water slides with the kids. There is something to be said for a country that serves beer with breakfast!!

The kids loved London, we spent most of the day at the tower of London - they lasted for 4.5 hours and we had to leave because we were meeting friends in Covent Gardens for lunch and then my parents at Hamleys. It was a lot of fun, I think it made it easier that they were there last summer and that Josh and I know the city so well.

The only negative was Weight Watchers flew out the window at record breaking speed and has not been seen again since - especially with all those British candies - all my favourites. I am dying to do more travelling with the girls I realy have so much fun with them.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Clear and present.................

Happy Holidays to one and all. Hope you had a wonderful time filled with love, family, friends and all the good food that goes with it! Its funny since my trip to South Africa, I have not been a great blogger or e-mailer, I used to be fanatical, checking my blog most days, e-mail sometimes twice a day. In South Africa I survived without e-mail and blogs. I connected with myself, my kids and my friends there. Once back on American soil, I no longer craved the ding of my in box, no longer needed the cyber connection that kept me whole for so long. Its not that I don't want to know whats happening with my online pals or those I love around the world, I do. I just made an unconscious choice to be more present in my day to day life. It is rare for my kids to see me online when they are home, they spend more time on the computer then I do. I often don't check my e-mail for days, sometimes weeks. My days are spent at work or connection with Deb or my friends in the neighbourhood when the kids are at scholl and I am work-free. Its all good. Last year was not a great year financially but I still feel rich for the milestones we have passed for how far Josh has come as a person. For all we have done and all we strive to do. I am grateful to have people in my life that I need, most of them too far to have a cup of coffee and a laugh with, and I do crave your news and your company but I have had to come to terms with the fact that we will never live around the corner from eachother, our lives are worlds apart, our bonds are great and will tie us together for as long as we live. I think going back to SA and picking up those long-term friendships from where we left off just solidified what I guess I never really admitted to myself, those we love, never leave us, we just carry them in our hearts until we meet again. Sometimes in cyberspace, sometimes on the phone, hopefully soon in the flesh. How grateful am I to all those of you out there who make me feel like I matter. Happy New Year to you all, forgive my cyber absense I am off living the life I have chosen and my world wide web does not have legs yet.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Back in time ...............

I took a trip down memory lane today, Ry's friend Ashley turned 9 and celebrated at United Skates of America. I was transported back to the early 80's, when Cresta roller rink was the place to be in our neck of the woods. We would all get dressed up in our mini skirts, head teased up high, sporting huge shoulder pads. Honestly wish that butt pads were more in fashion, those mini skirts showed off many a bruise. The slimiest Michael Jackson immitators would strut their stuff. They have not dissapeared completely, I was lucky enough to be hit on by slime in a black leather jacket, he watched me strut my stuff, and I have to say after 25 years, I still have it. Today Cresta is a huge Shopping Center, the Roller Rink is long g one and as for me, I am tapping at 40's door, inspite of that I had a blast. My kids pooped out early, shocked at what their mom, could do - if only they knew :) Plenty more surprises where that comes from.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Unleashing the Beast...........

Last Tuesday I was in a pissy mood and have reached the stage in my life where I make no bones about it. My buddy Deb called me in the midst of me throwing my toys out of my cot (crib), I told her that I was in a bad mood, I was not even going to apologize for it and thats just the way it was and I would speak to her tomorrow.

I growled at everyone, got the kids ready for bed. Next thing the doorbell goes, in walks Deb with a big King Kong balloon, two huge grocery bags brimming over - can I just say it was FREEZING cold outside. She tips the bag on the table and in it is one of every weight watchers dessert that they make. Two trashy magazines I have never read before and a container of sugar free coolwhip. She hands me the balloon, says unleash the beast and have some dessert to make it alright. I burst out laughing, the beast set free, and we chowed down on some yummy desserts - bet they were worth at least 50 points. We looked through the magazines and laughed at how pathetic it was. I must say it really calmed me down. She is a real keeper that Deb. The next day her beast reared its ugly head so we went out shopping, said screw weight watchers and went for yummy Dim Sum -it was so friggin' good! We had such a great time. Unfortunately the only thing that lost weight this week was my wallet.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Is this considered Grave Robbing????

I think I need a new title. The recycler! The User! Or perhaps the Grave Robber!! A while back I helped a friend clear out his mom's house after she passed away, if you want to read about the start of my new title, you can do so here.

This past weekend I helped my friend Julie, who is the woman I have slated to be Josh's second wife, if anything should happen to me. Julie and her partner met a week after Josh and I did, Josh and Julie have been really good friends for a long time, and it was only natural that the 4 of us would bond. After we all got married, within a few months of each other, Julie's wife slowly started distancing herself (and Julie along with her) from all Julie's heterosexual friends. We were sad to lose the friendship but moved on. About two years ago I got a call from Julie letting me know she had left Valerie and she would like to pick up the friendship again. We welcomed her back with open arms and her daughter, who is the same age as Nikki (my youngest), has a great relationship with my girls and we have a great bond once more.

While Julie and Valerie were together they were made joint executors of a friend, Luisa's, estate who passed away awhile ago. It is quite a large estate with many properties and has been a long drawn out process. They finally closed on the last of the properties and this past weekend we went to help clean out the place. Boy we barely made a dent, you see Luisa used to own a 5 and dime store in the 60's. She closed shop in the early 70's and never threw a thing out. Julie came to collect clothes, never worn, still in their original packaging from the store for the Boys and Girls club near her. I have never seen so much shit shoved into 3 levels before. There was no room to walk but I have to say we made out like a bandit. The B&G's club scored big time and so did we. The house was filled with antiques and other amazing goodies. A lot of shit too, this woman threw NOTHING out! Ryan scored a gorgeous bedroom set, Julie and I got brand new coats, still in their original packaging, straight down memory lane from the 60's, I got a Mouton and three curley lamb coats - I just love them. One of the joys of living in a cold climate is I get four complete wardrobes for the 4 seasons. We took boxes of never opened costume jewellery from the 60's diamante. faux pearls, etc. All for goodwill, they are so stunning and I bet will make some families very happy over the holiday season. I also got the hugest scale, it is made out of marble - it is so huge, I have no idea where the hell it is going to go in my house, but all I know is I could not leave it to be thrown out with the other stuff they are going to have to get rid of before the new owners move in.

I guess the question of the day is, how many old ladies homes do I have to clean out before I am officially termed a Grave robber??

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bygone Era..........

I was fortunate to spend time with J's step-grandmorther this weekend. She is a remarkable woman, who take life in both hands and lives it to the maximum. She savours every moment of everyday and is an inspiration to all who meet her. She started iceskating when she was 80, always up for new experiences, what a very special lady she is. The one thing that struck me as we were sitting sipping tea yesterday afternoon, was here I am a late 30's woman, in good health, fairly good shape, and the best I could come up with for an outfit was sweatpants and a sweatshirt with sneakers. Here is a 93 year old woman who took the time to have her hair done, put make up on, dress impeccably. She squeezed her feet into uncomfortable shoes, sporting a broken toe, all because they completed the outfit. She looked great, fragile, old but well put together. I was reminded how she is the end of that era, Dee's mom is part of that too, I have never seen Pauline with a hair out of place, or J's friends mom, whose home I cleaned out when she died and how each of her pocketbooks had a hankerchief with her initial embroidered on them tucked inside each one of her considerable handbag collection. That generation is coming to an end. The fast paced lives we lead and the need to simplify that only ends up making everything more complicated has taken that elegance, that sense of style out of everyday life. I am sad to see it go, all the while relieved that I can throw my blue jeans on and head for door, without even a pocket book.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving...............

Thanksgiving is by far my favourite American holiday. I have found it really trying hanging on to the inner peace I discovered while in South Africa, I did not realize that once I attained it I would have to work so hard to keep it, and it is a real chore, but one that I need and am so very grateful to have. I feel blessed for this life, the people who surround me, the friends I have met, both here and online and through the course of my life. I feel so profoundly grateful, not for the journey, but for the place it took me to. I still can't even really think about what it took from me and those 10 dark depressive years but I relish the day and the daylight and am amazed I came through it without drugs, free and unscathed. With my kids, my husband my parents and all of you. I am so very grateful, every day is Thanksgiving but this year I get to surround myself with family and toast our thanks for all that is good in the world. Hope you all have a happy one. Deb gave me one great birthday gift, we went Jean shopping, looked so hideous in them that we joined weight watchers the very next day, so this year my table is laden with weight watchers core food, no sweet potato pie, no green bean casserole. No none of those delectable treats will be adorning my table this year, and I only allow myself once a year to even eat them, guess it will have to wait until next year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Human at last............

My birthday came and went in a whirlwind. Dee, Loren, Wenchy and Broom Girl thank you so much for all my thoughtful goodies and Deb well thanks for my own price is right show with my choices and the day of spoiling that had me in tears - tears of happiness but you sent me over the edge with your well thought out day and all the ways you showed me how much my friendship means to you. Ditto babe.

The weeks since then have been so hectic, work unraveled which for me means, oh fuck, got slammed with a $3,000.00 fine we could not afford to pay to start off with. Guess I got too smug for too long and too confident, guess its a reminder that I am human - how could that be???? Me? Human??? Nahh far too fabulous for that :) So friggin' fab I screwed up big time. To compound that little beauty every closing I touched went bust - big-time, I spent a week of working long crazy hours in weird wacky places and earned bubkah's for the effort. Ah well, just the nature of the real estate market in NY, it really is teetering on the brink of I am not sure what. Scary. I don't even dare utter the words. I have seen shenanigans (sp??) that make me doubt people in a big way, from attorney's who make up powers of attorney's to suit their needs and then are flabbagasted when I blow the deal up because I won't take their bogus documents in for recording. The other attorney at the closing is taking her before the Law Board. Slime of the earth, makes one feel like one needs a shower in dettol/lysol when one is done. Thankfully I carry a small purrell with me wherever I go. Oh swell, only 40 more shopping days to go before people can lock in their rates and get their tax write offs for this year. Lets hope its me residing over their closings. I have 3 grand to recoup and then some!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Love and hugs from SA - Thanks Jax and Wenchy - you guys are amazing!! Thanks so much for my piece of Africa!!

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