Category Archives: Smile


Poem With No Name

Dedicated to the New Year.  Inspired by Dr. Seuss

"Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're real quite lucky."                                                Dr. Seuss

I like my coffee in the morning,
I like to read good book and glam.
When kids are marching and saluting,
respond to everything: ”Yes, Mam!”

I like when Maya wags her tail,
to bury nose in her fur;
with all the worries, mind-games
to part on distant travel tour.

When handsome men, a husband type,
would make some tea to share a cup.
He warms my feet, and brings me snack.
Let’s leave my married life at that.

The candles lit, and wine in hand,
the sweet aroma wraps my head.
With happy family and pet,
“Why”, would you ask, ”You write this crap?”

To put my “better person” hat!
Does someone have an app for that?

I want to live in better world,
to look for harmony, not gold.
But like good stuff… What should I do?
Too bad I am not a kangaroo.

To join PTA committee, but don’t have time.
Oh! What a pity.

To be politically correct;
not easy-feel the disconnect.

To cast my vote, but for who?
These people talk like kangaroo.

To come to terms with inner self,
I need a life coach, who can help.
I need a psychic and beautician,
And just a fix-it-all technician.

I need a lot, but what the heck?
The life is just plain pain in the neck.
It doesn’t go the way I planned,
I will just stick my head in sand!

Don’t blame me for the “crap” and “heck”
I have teen monster in my sack.

I am sure things will come around.
Isn’t it what New Years is about?
The sun will shine; the sky will clear;
the future looking bright and near.

The dogs will bark, the kids will laugh,
the husbands stick through good and tough.
Just try to be your own boss.
Enjoy your life on planet Earth!


No electronics? Not cool, mom, not cool!

Can you imagine living in the house where every room has a big screen TV, a computer (preferably a gaming one), an I-pad, a tablet and a smart phone?   Imagine yourself lying on a comfy coach, drinking some chemical-induced liquid, while being entertained by the hilarious U-tube videos.   If one device goes out of charge, you can just grab another one.  By the way, can someone also work on making them recharge automatically, so that you don’t have to worry about sticking the cord back into the outlet?  Lifting your butt from the coach takes away a valuable time from watching U-tube – inexcusable.   What all these geek dudes in Silicon Valley are doing? They need to get their priorities straight.

Staring at TV while playing a video game on your laptop is not easy, but with perseverance and determination you can make it possible.  Multitasking is a mandatory skill for your future success.   You can even acquire new friends and learn to socialize; and all of it without getting up from the coach.  Isn’t it efficient?  See; electronics are not bad for you.  They provide you with a lot of information and an essential skill set.   Without it we would be stuck in the dark ages, where people had to read books, go for pointless walks and talk to each other – by talking I mean actually saying words.  It’s not cool, mom, not cool.

Homework? Oh, yea.  But I need to finish watching this first – only another 30 minutes.  Review for the test?  I can always do it on the bus, or at my lunch period – it won’t run away, will it?  Plus I know everything anyway.  And this episode may not be running tomorrow.

The house is quiet, except for occasional bursts of laughter and requests for food.   After hard day at work, isn’t it every parent’s dream?  Do I really want to start arguing with my kids over it, scream (they can’t hear otherwise-earphones), threaten, negotiate, possibly compromise?  All other kids are doing it, and their parents don’t make a big fuss over it.  Why do I have to stress myself out?  I’ve allowed them to purchase these devices after all.

I honestly don’t have an answer to this question.  Academy of Pediatrics does:” Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.”  However, my kids are good students, not in danger of obesity, and don’t engage in risky behaviors (at least not that I know of).  So, by the method of contradiction, I don’t have to worry about it.

But every single day I engage in a fierce fight with these rectangular, flashy, seemingly harmless objects; and even if I conquer an hour or more, I declare a victory.  Some of my achievements in this area also include no TVs in the bedrooms, no electronics at the table and a time limit on computer/video games.  “So, what do you, evil, wicked, borderline abusive woman want from your poor children?” you may ask.  I want an impossible; I want them to prefer reading books to watching TV, going outside to U-tube, playing board games to Minecraft; and ,most importantly, talking to their mother to all of the listed above. In my simple, unscientific motherly heart I believe that there are more to experiencing life than electronics.  I am 100% certain that you can learn more from real people than from U-tube experts;  that kids’ should be taught to solve the problems, and deal with the issues in a real life environment; and that sitting in front of the screen for long periods of time is harmful in general.  I know I am not getting everything I want; I will take what I can.

The Scarf


Don’t ask me how I got myself into this situation.  It’s one of those “I should’ve known better” scenarios.  Everything started innocently enough with my son saying his favorite three words “permission to purchase”.  As always I told him that I did not want to talk about it, but he persisted.  For the past few months he was watching the show on BBC called “Doctor Who”.  Apparently, he liked this Doctor so much that he had to have the scarf he was wearing.  ASAP.  The scarf was no laughing matter – 12 to 14 feet long depending what Doctor he wanted to resemble (there were at least 10 of them as far as I know).  The exact replica could be bought only from some British website and cost a lot of money in pounds (I was scared even to convert it to dollars considering 1.6 rate).  Since I could not deprive my son of the happiness the scarf would bring him, I came up with the alternative solution – to knit the “bloody” scarf.

Within the next 10 minutes, the complete and thorough research was completed, which produced few pieces of paper describing different versions of yarn color palette that could be used (7 colors), and exact measurements in inches of each color stripe.  The next step was to go to Michael’s, and pick up the exact colors I needed.   Next lunch hour I spent in the Michael’s torturing the sales people for no reason, since they did not carry these colors anyway.  After work I’ve delivered devastating news to my son.  Clearly upset, he did not give up.  He found the exact specifications of the yarn and the stores in our area that carry it (I’ve always known he was bright).  On Saturday we drove 25 minutes to the store with the yarn we needed – or so we thought.  Apparently, they did have a contract with the manufacturer, but they could order only by box.  Nobody except for us wanted this yarn, so it did not make sense to order, plus we didn’t have time for that anyway.  We compromised to get the colors that resembled the ones we needed the closest

Without further interruption the knitting began the same night.  Since I had other things to do (not as important as scarf, of course), like work, cooking, laundry, shopping, checking homework, etc. I could not spend as much time as required based on my son’s timeline.  I compensated by knitting while waiting for my kids from swimming, watching TV, driving (in passenger seat).  Not one free moment could be spared.  My son was watching.  He was watching and measuring – every half an hour.   First he measured the color stripe I just finished to see if it was the right number of inches (it was critical since it could affect the look and the length).  Then he measured the whole scarf in regular position and stretched, followed by a mental calculation of how long it would take me to finish if I work in the current pace, slower pace, faster pace.  His  Mathlete batch for participation in Math Olympiad was put to a good use.  The speed of his calculations increased as the scarf was progressing from about 2-3 minutes at the beginning to 30 seconds or less at the end.   What was not accomplished by his math teacher with 20 years experience was accomplished by the scarf.

The Haloween was coming and my younger son decided to be Doctor Who.  He needed a scarf to complete the look.   It was getting dead serious; I had to finish it in one week.  I re-grouped; I got organized; I set my mind to not give into pressure.  It was getting intense.  At 11:00pm on Monday night, two days before Haloween parade, I closed up the knit, and started working on the tassels.  My older son was there to help.  I asked him to cut each color yarn the same length and put them together to make the tassel.   It took me half an hour to explain to him what needs to be done, but the yarn somehow never ended up being the same length.  I guess his cutting skills are not as good as calculation.  When he came out from the shower, the scarf was done.   The hugs and kisses were followed by my mostly naked (dressed only in underwear), water-dripping son modeling the scarf, admiring it at every possible angle.  I guess it was all worth it at the end.

P.S.   He did wear the scarf to school few times, but then decided that it was not the right match to his pea coat , plus it was too big to put in his locker anyway.   He promised though to wear it on other occasions as the weather gets colder.

Dave Barry and all this laughter

76713Check out the books by Dave Barry.   He is a comedy writer and has a bunch of books based on the column he is writing.   I could not stop reading it, so I took it on our family car ride to Brooklyn.   Kids asked why I was laughing, so I read a few excerpts aloud.  One of the chapters dealt with Dave getting a stress test, a procedure my husband went through just a few days ago.   He confirmed that description was quite accurate, yet the account of events in the book was hysterical.    After reading the chapter about buying the car experience, I’ve decided to stop, because all this laughing was distracting the driver.

Sex, Drugs, & Gefilte Fish

9780446504621-1This was the classic case of judging the book by its cover.  Please don’t judge me for judging the book by its cover.  I had to read it.  We are a chosen nation.  We don’t do sex and drugs, we do prescribed meds and procreation (most jews don’t even like gefilte fish).  Our primary goal is to increase the jewish population on Earth, not to engage in various not approved by Rabbi activities.

It is a collection of stories by Jewish writers and comedians about their personal experiences in different aspects of life related to being Jewish.    It is hilarious, yet tender, and will make you blush and cry at the same time.   From the story where a 15 year old was confronted by Israeli soldiers during his first sexual encounter, to a proud mom organizing her son’s Bar Mitzvah on a limited budget in an upscale neighborhood, to a writer trying to persuade his 80 something grandma to vote for a black President; each story is filled with love and family values.

This book is a very enjoyable read, whether you are Jewish or not.