Tag Archives: Facebook

Camped out.

I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty all week because I’ve been reading Facebook posts of friends pining for the children away at summer camp and well…. I haven’t felt the same sense of desolation and longing.

A friend walked up to me late in the week and asked, “So, how are you holding up?” I quickly scanned the dessicated corn husk that used to be my brain and tried to think of some big event I’d forgotten.  I was seconds away from launching into my soliloquy about the Sopranos and the golden age of television, when the friend said:

“You know, how are you holding up without Bennett?”

The final shot of Tony Soprano in "Made i...

The final shot of Tony Soprano in “Made in America”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, that.

Efram left today, a full week after Bennett and yes, the house is quiet and boy-less. And yes, we miss them. But damn it, I don’t think the missing quite rises to the level of a sad Facebook post.

And I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about lots of things.

First, Efram got a buzz cut this week to prepare him for his two weeks away. “You know,” said another mum. “This way you don’t have to worry about brushing it.” Efram shot me a look. I don’t think I’ve ever brushed his hair, and I know he certainly hasn’t. Does one need to brush a boy’s hair? Why has nobody told me that? It’s too damn late now. Even though I physically throw him in the shower on an (almost) daily basis, Efram is on the weekly shampoo program. His head smells like the bunny cage.

Then, someone asked me if I packed a reading light for Bennett at camp. Come again? Last time I checked, a reading light implies reading. I spent most of my childhood with my face in a book, and I’m almost certain I didn’t read much at camp (with the exception of Judy Blume’s Forever, see page 110). I packed some books of fun sports facts and an extra flashlight. Moby Dick will have to wait.

To recap: I don’t miss  my kids enough, I’ve never brushed either of the boys’ hair, and I’ve sent them both to camp with all the accoutrements to play a long round of candy poker, but there’s nary a novel in sight. (Ok, Efram did pack half the library in one of his bags, but that had nothing to do with me and I’ll eat my shoe if he reads a single book.)

And I really do miss Tony Soprano.

Now that we only have the 3 girls at home, M and I are taking off alone for a couple of days (I do realize that parenting three girls six and under who generally speak in whine, may not seem like a freeing experience, but believe me when I say that everything is relative).

I pulled out this adorable little cross-body purse I’ve been saving for an occasion when I don’t have to carry my entire life around with me. I took out my shopping bags (can’t leave home without those unless you want to pay for paper bags here in Seattle), pacifiers, Polly Pockets, notebooks, barrettes, and other random detritus.

But I couldn’t squeeze this in:


M pointed out that ladies who carry cute little cross body satchels probably don’t need to carry round several pounds of dried fruit with them at all times. Oh, really? I can’t imagine that among all those satchel-toting women there isn’t one of them who can’t get through a day without a healthy dose of roughage.

If you see someone carrying an adorable purse that won’t quite close because three pounds of dried apricots are forcing their way out, please wave and say hi.

It’s probably me.


Filed under children, fashion, parenting, Summer, summer camp, Uncategorized

Will Mrs. Patmore Bake My Hamantaschen?

Purim is around the corner — the closest thing we Jews have to our own Halloween. We dress up, give out treats, and wait for treats to be given to us. Of course there’s a whole story behind it: a Persian king got rid of his wife because she wouldn’t dance naked for him and his creepy friends one night. He replaces her with a young hottie who may or may not have been betrothed to her cousin. The cousin convinces her to hide her Jewishness and marry the king and save her people from the plottings of an evil madman. We won. The end.

To celebrate our victory, we eat hamantaschen — these triangular cookies stuffed with fruit, chocolate, and sometimes poppy seeds.  Because I live in a community of cooks and bakers, each year I am inundated with Facebook uploads of trays and trays of perfect hamantaschen. I think I may have tried to make them years ago but it was a complete and utter disaster and I haven’t dared try since. But the kids are off school today and I thought: “How hard can it be? Are my children missing out on the experience of stuffing jam into rolled out dough? Could I be doing more?”

So I spoke to my sister (another accomplished baker), got some advice, and dove in.

I made some fillings:


I got out my tools, made the dough, and dove in.

The result:


Even if you don’t know what hamantaschen look like, you can probably tell that they are not supposed to look like exploding brains. Jews may eat some pretty crazy stuff, but even we are above eating exploding brain cookies.

Luckily, you do not have to bake well to be a Jew. (My Mormon pals tell me I’d be all but excommunicated by now.)

I’m not even sad about it. I used up all my sad last night watching the Downer Abbey season finale. While the show was grim and cruel, my biggest takeaway from the entire episode was watching the downstairs crew prepare the family for the Scottish sojourn, and thinking: “Really? These people don’t even have to pack for themselves?”

Forget baking these bloody hamantaschen. I’d never have to remember to pack pacifiers, bathing suits, and toothbrushes for seven ever again.

Sign. Me. Up.


Filed under children, downton abbey, food, parenting, Uncategorized

Resolutions 5773

Jewish new year is next week and I’m so big on resolutions I’m going to commit to some now, and then again in December, when I’ve botched these ones royally. I’m thrilled to have two bites at the resolution apple.

1. BAKE LESS: This week I felt like a superhero when I baked blueberry muffins before work. A sad, wan looking carton of berries sat in the fridge and I knew I had to use them or lose them. So, I whipped up a batch using the muffin recipe I’ve been using for years from my battered copy of Joy of Cooking. And then I forgot to spray the pan, so I went from superhero to ginormous loser in 12 minutes flat. Which is why I ought to bake less. I’m no good at it, I don’t enjoy it much, and usually it leaves me feeling hollow: either I mess up and leave out an ingredient (often the eggs, I have no idea why), or because I succeed and the sheer predictability of the outcome bores me. Adieu baking.

2. BRING THE LIST: Ok, if you’re not in the mood for mundane, skip this. But although I am a happy maker of shopping lists, unless I make them on my phone, they never make it to the supermarket with me. Which leaves me wandering the aisles of the store trying to remember what I wrote. Or just buying everything I see in the hopes that something I bought is actually on the list.

3. DO NOT HAVE A BABY: Less mundane, perhaps. But when Sidney turns 2 next month it will be the first time I have a two year old and am not about to burst with child, or nursing a tiny baby. I have blocked Facebook friends who insist on posting cute baby pics (those with ugly babies I can handle) and am steering clear of newborns in general. I am convinced that if I can make it to January, the urge will pass and I’ll be in the clear. Stay tuned.

4. Stop losing at SCRABBLE by more than 100 points.

5. FLUSHING: No lavender-scented-plug-in in the world can do battle with the smell of a giant turd that’s been festering in the bowl for 12 hours. I taught them to read, I’ll be damned if I can’t teach those buggers to flush.

6. Avoid YENTAS: There are mean girls everywhere, but nobody is more vicious than a town gossip.

7. Stop THROWING things to make a point: I tried to give up yelling, but no-yelling is so 5772. At this point I’d be happy just to stop throwing toys around to demonstrate to the kids what an enormous mess they’ve made, knowing that I’ve just given myself more to clean up. I’d also like to stop throwing books they refuse to read and food they won’t eat.

8. Make peace with the fact that my girls’ hair is only going to get better than mine.

9. Stop hating on SEATTLE. Alright, nine out of ten ain’t bad.

10. I’d like to learn how to speak Spanish, how to preserve lemons, and how to swim a mile in open water, but for now I’d be really, really happy if I could learn how to stand in front of three stacks of coffee-cup lids and just know which one fits my cup. It would be nice not to make a fool of myself by trying all three, until I finally get the right one and getting subsequently scowled at by Seattlites who fume when they think of those used, unsuccessful lids sitting in landfills for an eternity.

And of course, there are the usual suspects — run more, read more, write WAY more, and wear better underwear.

Not in order of importance.

Happy new year everyone.


Filed under parenting, Seattle, Uncategorized