Sunday, February 7, 2016

Walking in LA

Well, I'm overweight (nee, obese) and I've can't take it anymore.  I do belong to a gym, just like my 300 millions fellow Americans.  But like 298 million of them, I can't find the time to get there.

So this morning I woke up to a beautiful day (that's right - 75 degree F) and decided to walk to the Farmer's Market, which is about 1.5 miles from my house.  I ate my blueberry waffle (that's a story for another post) and went for it.  Of course, I wasn't alone.  My husband promised to pick me up if it got tuckered out.

Twenty five minutes after I began I was there.  The place was jammed, so I had to suck in and dive between people to get my sprouts, which is all I came for.  I thought it would take forever, but 10 minutes later I was done (yes, I did want to buy those earrings, but what the heck - $14 for studs?  Not today!).  So I walked home.  The whole event took an hour.  And I feel great!!!!

Every Sunday I plan to go for a walk.  Every day I plan to make time for a walk.  Especially after eating.  Gotta lose weight, gotta get healthy.  Gotta take my own advice.  I'm not a Registered Dietitian for nothing!!!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Good Morning LA!

Sunrise in the City of Angels is 6:55 am and here I am driving on the Hollywood Freeway (101) just as the sun begins to show itself.  Despite the bumper to bumper traffic and the insanity of the attempt, I shot three photos with my I-phone.  You know G-d with with you when you can take your eyes off the road in such heavy traffic and survive in one piece.  Thank you, Holy One, for sharing such a wonderful morning.  You know, I love G-d and I love LA!!!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Feeling the Love

My parents died one year and 4 days apart, so it isn't hard for me to know when their yahrzeits, or death anniversaries,  are.  It usually falls out on the same week.  It's interesting, as well, that my brother, sister and I all thought Mother would pass away first.  She was sick with terminal cancer, and Dad, while aging, still exercised regularly.  Strange that he would get pneumonia, have a sudden heart attack and pass away two weeks later.  Mother, on the other hand, stayed the course of the cancer and died just before entering hospice.  Now, so many years later, it's mother's yahrzeit that is first and Dad's that comes after.  Just weird how things work out.

On my Father's yahrzeit I met some dear friends for breakfast and then had to race across town to pick up my daughter.  I knew if I went to pick up my daughter, I would never get to the graves of my parents, which is between the two sites. Time would never permit, as our family spends the afternoon with my mother-in-law.  I made a quick decision and detoured to the cemetery.

As I entered the gates and headed towards their graves, I realized I didn't have the paper with their site numbers and couldn't remember it other than in general terms.  I spoke then to my parents, out loud, as I headed towards them.  I said, "Mom, Dad, I've got to pick up Devorah as soon as possible.  I don't have time to look for you.  Help me."

Vaguely aware of where they were, I stopped the car, got out and started walking among the headstones.  And there they were.  Not two minutes from the car.

I didn't stay long enough to start crying, but enough to tell them I love them, miss them, reveal the litany of problems I need help with.

But I felt them so clearly with me.  I have never found their grave sites so quickly, even with the exact coordinates.  They were there, guiding me along. After all these years, still feeling the love.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Nine Days

As I sit here fasting for Tisha B’Av, I’m looking back on one heck of week.  During the saddest 9 days of the Jewish calendar, commemorating the destruction of not one, but both Temples in Jerusalem, Iran gets a free pass to bomb the world, my daughter’s host in Boston has asked me to bring her home early, I had dental surgery, and found out my driver’s license is expired.  Oh dear.

What can we say about Iran?  The greatest hope is that these people extinguish themselves like the banned VW terrorist bomb ad.  We wake up one morning, and the leadership is gone.  Oh goody. Let’s go clothes shopping.

My daughter’s best friend moved to Boston last year and they’ve been skyping and texting and who knows what all year long.  Finally, here comes summer and the chance for the two to be together again.  I was hoping it would last a month, but instead it took about 2.5 weeks for them to start arguing.  For some reason, no one thought to plan any trips or activities.  The girls, both 13, were home together all that time.  Needless to say, the friendship suffered.  So when I got the call requesting I bring my daughter home early, I scrambled to make flight arrangements – but we don’t fly during the nine days.  Add to that aggravation the fact that my daughter is stuck in a place where she’s not wanted until after today’s fast.  I’ve been a wreck about it since Tuesday.

Ok, my teeth are bad.  Surgery-bad.  Had the right side done in April, right after Pesach, and now the left side.  My dentist only works on Tuesdays so I had to pick the first Tuesday where the healing process wouldn’t interfere with teaching at the university. That, unfortunately, was during the nine days.  My mouth hurts, but not enough to stop me from eating cake, which constitutes a soft food.  The struggle continues.

Just before the nine days I bought a new car.  My three year lease with the Ford Fiesta, a wonderful car but not the right one for me, ended and now I’m the proud owner of a Honda FIT.  However, I wanted a better detail job on both the interior and exterior, a driver’s manual (pushing buttons is scary when you don’t know what it will do) and the GPS tracking system which is listed with coming with the car but didn’t.  My appointment was Thursday, the 7th of the nine days.

A note about that dental surgery: the dentist used a “roofie”( Flunitrazepam) to put me out.  I woke up Wednesday morning at 2:50 am not knowing where I was or how I got my bra off.  Wednesday night, I couldn’t sleep a wink, and woke up Thursday morning in a daze, knowing I had a 7 am at the Honda dealership.  I got there at 7:15 am.  In one piece, thank G-d.

But the car would need to be there all day and a loaner was lined up.  All I needed to do was show proof of insurance and a driver’s license.  The driver’s license expired 4 days ago – surprise, when I turned 57 years old.  No renewal reminder, no renewal.  Complacency is a bitch – I just assumed Big Brother was watching me.  He is, but not sending out the notice to renew. 

I ran out of that dealership so fast and got to the closest DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) with one eye in the rear view mirror looking for the Highway Patrol.  In less than an hour (a miracle in Hollywood) I was good to go.  No GPS, no driver’s manual, no detailed car.  But safe from prison, which is kinda makes up for the loss.

G-d protect, grant us good health, long life, a new leadership in Iran, and remind me to floss more often.  Amen.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Message From Above

I've been blessed to hold a Lecturer position in Nutritional Science at my Alma Mater this past year and I've met some wonderful people, including students.  But a year-long lecturer position requires a review for competency, and I am clueless, to say the least, as to how to go about preparing for it.

Since the Department's Management Services Officer (MSO) has transferred to another unit, I have no one to help me but the person responsible for all campus-wide faculty reviews, who kindly agreed to plug me into his busy schedule.  I was all set - his secretary gave me a date next week and I planned to prepare this weekend.

That is, until a dear friend, also up for review, sent me a text this morning asking if I knew how to put our review binders together.  No problem, I replied, join me when I visit the Administrative Dean to review my binder next week.  Next week, she asked - it's due next week.  Isn't that cutting it close?

Which was really a good question, and one that inspired me to call the Dean's office and inquire if the appointment date could be moved up.  But what did I find out?  That my appointment is for THIS Thursday, not next Thursday.  In other words, TOMORROW!

I wrote my friend, who's even dearer to me now than ever, and advised her to meet me tomorrow.  I also thanked her and told her the truth - she saved me from missing one the more important appointments of my teaching career.

But why did she contact me today?  Why not tomorrow, or even Friday?  Because the Holy One wanted us to make this appointment.  My dear, dear friend was His messenger.  Message received, loud and clear.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

When Your Boss is Boss

My family and I recently moved (3 days ago) and it was traumatic.  Not the packing and the moving part, just the realization that I have so much stuff.  How can a ONE person have so much stuff?  I feel like I'll be dealing with my stuff for the next six months.

But the real story isn't my stuff, or the moving.  The real story is how one person with a heart of gold helped me make it through today.  That person is my boss.

I've had many bosses in my LONG life, and most of them were jerks.  Power hungry, insensitive people who were in charge simply because someone else was not. But in the last year my luck has changed.  So when my boss asked me two weeks ago if I could work today (Sunday) to give a co-worker a longer holiday break, I jumped at the chance to help out, not realizing that my moving date was coming up soon.

That's because we put a deposit down for the rent back in October, and then the landlord decided to remodel.  We've been waiting nearly 3 months to move, and I saw no reason to believe January would be any different than December.

When I realized that I would have to work on a day when boxes were literally blocking the front door, I spent the Shabbat in prayer that something would happen and I'd be free to address the mess in my brand new living room.

When Shabbat ended, I grabbed my phone to see if there were any messages, but nothing.  I was resigned to working today.  But right after Havdalah (prayer officially ending Shabbat), my phone rang.  Another co-worker was asking my permission to work today in my stead.  I starting crying, thanked my co-worker profusely, and rejoiced at my sudden good fortune.

I could not only see the Hand of G-d in this, but also the hand of the best boss ever!!!  I truly feel blessed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kindness On Loan


For the past few days I've been getting these annoying phone calls from my government student loan coordinator.  When I looked online to see what was happening, I noticed that my monthly payment deal with the government mirrored Obama's current relationship with Bibi - filled with misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and dead as fish out of water.

So I called the government office that holds my loan, prepared for a battle over my meager income and my not so meager loan debt.  What I got instead was a warm, wonderful, considerate woman who not only wished me well in my home move (after 16 years, we're off to a new domicile just around the block), gave me amazing advice on how to make my meager loan repayment count, and wished me a wonderful new year.

I started crying - unexpected kindness, coming at a time when I'm stressed out (guess who hasn't packed yet and the moving van comes tomorrow!), and thanked the woman at least 20 times.  I do feel ashamed of myself for having girded for a fight when common sense should have ruled the day.  But then again, two years in and this is the first person (government representative no less) to explain that all the money I've paid so far went to interest, not principle.

Oh well - the bad news was coupled with the antidote to remedy the situation.  G-d bless this young woman, who really cared about a number -my social security number that is, and made my day so much more bright.