Archive for August, 2007

We’re all together again …

Maya came home yesterday, looking healthy, happy and full of stories of camp. She appears to have loved every minute of it, as we predicted. Sometimes, parents really do know best (she didn’t want to go for years, this one included, but we basically told her this year she had no choice, because we knew it was the right thing for her).

It was the same camp her dad attended, and all the cabins, activities and events are in Hebrew, which means that the rest of us don’t understand what they are talking about.

I figured she’d be tired, without anyone to demand she go to sleep for 3 weeks, but what I didn’t know until yesterday is that on the last night, they don’t bother with a curfew at all, and she stayed up all night. I have never voluntarily stayed up all night. I have forced myself a few times in university and have done so since when attending a birth, but I would never do it for fun. As far as I’m concerned, that’s akin to taking an ice cold shower for fun,  or fasting all day for fun. But Maya has never found sleep very appealing.

That being said, it caught up with her in a big way. She dozed off before dinner, I woke her to eat, and she dozed off after. I put her to bed at about 8:30 pm. When I need to go to the doctor this morning, I woke her at 9 am and immediately realized I was being an idiot, as my cleaning lady/mother’s helper/wife had arrived and would be staying until I returned. I apologized to Maya and asked if she’d like to just go back to sleep. I didn’t hold out much hope, as she’s the sort of kid who, if accidentally awaken at 5 am by the birds, won’t go back to sleep. This time, however, she just rolled over and closed her eyes.

She finally got up at 11 am. Fourteen and a half hours sleep. Now, we are doing laundry. Much laundry. Thank goodness for front loaders.


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Maya is coming home today. She sent us 6 letters from camp, all going on about the lovely time she had, and giving some nice detail about her friends, the food, the canoe trip she went on. But my favourite letter is the one where she describes her older cousin’s new mohawk and how he now looks like a complete idiot and she has decided he is no longer related to her. What I like about this letter is that I then went online to see if they’d put any new pictures up, and they had. The timing of the letter and the event pictured meant I’d get to see pictures of my nephew’s new do. And sure enough, there was my nephew … looking just the same as before! She scammed us! And did a darn good job too, because we were completely sucked in.

Jasper is waiting in the car for his walk at the off-leash park (he goes out when J takes the kids to camp and insists on getting in my car to wait – afraid I’ll forget him, I guess. So now I will just give you some of the gratuitous photos I spent yesterday uploading.


Last year at this time, we brought home a stray cat who had been hanging around our cottage all summer. We’d named her Shahora (Hebrew, basically meaning Blackie). She was a lovely, friendly girl, but knocked up and we figured that some irresponsible owner had dumped her in the country upon figuring out her condition. I refused to leave her there when we left at the end of the summer, so we ended up with a hugely pregnant cat in our basement (keeping her separate from the other cats who live here).

Shahora had five kittens. We found homes for all of them quite quickly, including mama cat. And we still get to visit three, as my brother took two and a close friend took one.

We – meaning the kids and I – loved watching the kittens grow, and I can’t believe it has already been a year. I was looking through some photos of their kittenhood (I have only about 70 thousand) and figured I might as well toss a few up here.


This is Harry, named after Harry Potter because of the lightening bolt. Harry was then Harriet for a while, but is now back to Harry. He hurt his leg somehow and couldn’t walk. He used to lie like this and swipe at whatever sibling came by, still managing to get into battles without being able to walk. Because of the injury, he wasn’t getting his fair share of nursing, and I had to supplemental feed him until he healed.


At back is a fully black guy (like his mom) we named Sam. Harry and Stormy are sparring in the front.


Stormy is trying to convince mama to let him nurse. He was the biggest mama’s boy.


He convinced her, and the rest followed suit.


Stormy, snoozing.


Lucy, the only girl, finds a comfortable (?!) place to rest.


Sammy, all tucked in by Boo.

The only one missing is Cookie, who was actually my favourite.

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 I realized this morning that since the piece I wrote on the overview of conversion isn’t actually going to be published until September, it wasn’t very smart of me to put it in my blog now. So I made it disappear. I’ll bring it back when it comes out in the paper. It isn’t like I have a massive readership here, but still, it seems unprofessional and I am sure the editor would not have been delighted.

And so, instead I will talk about me. Me, me, me!

I mentioned a while ago that I had decided to wean myself off the painkillers I’ve been on for my Fibromyalgia, so I thought I’d update that, since some people have actually asked.

It hasn’t been as awful as I feared. I’ve cut my dose in half at this point. Going down the first quarter of a dose was really easy, and I started to think it would be a snap and I’d have it done by the end of the summer, but then the next quarter took about 4 times as long. It wasn’t so much the traditional withdrawal symptoms that got to me, but my Restless Leg syndrome.

RLS is a bizarre annoyance, where one had an irresistible urge to move one’s legs. It sometimes affects other limbs, in my case, my right arm is the worst. My mother has it, one brother, and I’ve noticed poor Asher twitching his legs as he falls asleep lately, telling me, “I just need to move them.” The weirdness continues to another generation.

Anyway, RLS is worsted by some things, like pregnancy (it was awful) and – surprise! – opiate withdrawal. My arm makes me so crazy at times that I want to punch a wall. I twitch and wiggle it non-stop when it is bad, and then when it fades, I’m left with sore muscles from the constant movement. I have, at times, literally had my arm fling me into consciousness when I’m in bed at night.

But, other than that, it really hasn’t been too bad. I’m delighted to be taking so much less, and I can actually imagine doing this successfully now.

You know what I want to know, though? I want to know what opiates feel like to those not taking them for pain. I adjust my dose slightly depending on a full or empty stomach, or the degree of pain, and sometimes I overshoot a bit. When I do, I get a dull ache in my head and my skin itches. I dislike this. I get no sensation of feeling high and it certainly isn’t pleasant. I cannot imagine that those people taking stuff like Oxycontin for fun feel like this. But clearly, this stuff will never feel fun to me. Anyone out there want to fess up as to what feeling high on opiates feels like, just to satisfy my curiosity?

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I got the 1000-word piece in Friday morning, at 1007 words. That’s pretty good. Okay, there’s more to writing than coming in right on the word limit (or almost right on). It is often required that the writing also not suck. We’ll wait and see about that one. J thinks we’ll get flack because conversion in Judaism is a wee bit of a contentious subject and I am no expert, except that I actually did convert. I pointed out that journalists are rarely experts. We just do some research and then throw the article together with a 2-day deadline. But no doubt we’ll still piss someone off. I look forward to seeing who.

(I removed the rest of the post. See above.)

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Well, Maya is still at camp and, at last report, is still having a marvelous time. We’ve actually received four letters from her, all happy and full of detail. She seems to  have inherited her mother’s letter-writing ability.

Asher and Boo are also happily at camp – daycamp – for this week and next. My goal for these three child-free weeks was to make significant progress on the book-writing and decluttering the madhouse. The decluttering is going better than the book.

Mostly, this is the fault of the editor of our local Jewish newspaper, who asked me to fill in for a columnist who took the summer off. I guess he liked what he saw, because he then asked me to write a three-part feature for the next three papers. The first one, a general overview of converstion, is due Friday. He said, “Can you do 1000 words by Friday?” I said, “Sure!” And I can too, but it means not much happening on the blog, or the book.

And that is why it is quiet around here.

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Thirteen Things about just making it up. Not much time to write, as I am still madly decluttering with my mother’s help. Thank goodness for mothers, especially mothers with energy, because even though I have none left, she just keeps me plowing through it. So, in honour of the decluttering, 13 things I’ve gotten rid of so far:1. a zillion baby toys.

2. functioning but battery-hogging walkie talkies.

3. a pile of books.

4. Tons of kids’ artwork and old schoolwork.

5. A big bag of old clothes.

6. all the kindersurprise and Wendy’s toys I could find.

7. Many dried out markers and broken crayons.

8. A big annoying plastic bowling set J thought was a good idea.

9. Two baby quilts my mother made, that she declared substandard.

10. Several baby sweaters my mother knit.

11. Several perfectly good and intact games my children never play with (to a consignment store – I can’t bear to throw out perfectly good stuff, which is part of my problem).

12. All the baby noisemakers musical instruments.

13. My will to live (because decluttering in this heat is hell and there’s still so much left to do…).

Links to other Thursday Thirteens:
1. Pass the Chocolate

2. Bring Your Own Cheese

3. Burnt Offerings

4. MamaArcher (kindly put me in her 13 favourite Thursday Thirteens on motherhood.)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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