Monday, November 30, 2009

First Thanksgiving Away from The Everitts

Fourteen yeers ago, ven ve came to dis cuntry.... OK, we were a little younger and with no accent, but we had dreams as big as any pilgrim and we had coffee parties instead of the tea one. Ours had cakes, some more wobbly ('cause I made them with my special system of 'ready or not, it's time for you cakes to go out!') We had them in California, too. But all that don't matter because we had them with our family away from our own families and they became our family.

This is the story of us and the Everitts. Laurie would tell you things as they are and would always be there to advise, comfort and just bitch around; Nolan has lots of patience, great at explaining things, is a wonderful artists, fun to be with but lucking on the bitching. We miss them a lot.

Nevertheless, the holidays must go on, so we had our Bostonian friends over (no tea in site), grandma Sharon's stuffing, one un-pardoned turkey, ultra expensive dish wear from Swoozies (never buy there again?), roasted potatoes (never try new traditions when you're away from home), home-made corn bread (Trader Joe's is half an hour away, unfortunately), homemade cranberry sauce (I made it and it was yummy), one great chocolate mousse by Ora and two egg less pies (did I really forget the eggs or was it an attempt to free us, once and for all, from the bad cholesterol?). Best of all - I made Laurie's best dish of the holiday - carrot Jello:)

We went around the table saying our thanks and it was quite nice, but Everitt-less.

The ultra expansive yet good looking dishes and napkins awaiting the crowd...

Chef Arnon drove all the way from Boston to rustle our turkey, accompanied by the singing sous chef Stav....

Gaby and her favorite part of the turkey....

Let us all dig in...
Arbel and the balloon....

Memory match....
Screens, screens, and nothing but the screens....

Happy holidays to you all, keep celebrating and don't forget to count your thankings....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kids Talk

It's evening, two kindergartners in the back seat, one of them mine and one is shuttled home after a play date. I'll call them Miss Cutie (AKA pre-Barbie) and Mr. Handsome (AKA pre-Ken), here is the conversation:

Mr. Handsome: "What do you want to be when you grow up, Miss Cutie? What do you want to be?"

Mr. Handsome: (can't wait to state his future profession) "I want to be a policeman guard in the museum"

Miss Cutie: "I'll be a firefighter"

Mr. Handsome: "you can be anything you want, you know? I might be a planet scientist who lives on planets"

(upgrade! good for you, young Mr. Handsome! we should make an appointment with your parents and sign the engagement agreement before he changes back to security guard)

Miss Cutie: "there's no such thing as a planet scientist. You can't get there! right mummy?"

Mum-me: "you can research planets, and maybe when you grow up you'll be able to live on one too" (just not too far, mummy doesn't want to fly coach all the way to Mars)

Miss Cutie: "I want to be a mom"

Mr. Handsome: " just a mom? (auch), you should be a babysitter, yeehhh!"

I stopped listening. Gazing carefully at the road ahead I thought, 'the kid has a point'. An average 20 something babysitter makes anywhere between $15-$22 an hour. A mom makes a complaint and a grudge, drawings for the holidays (with lots of good intentions, of course, and a healthy dose of smiles at breakfast). Conclusion: babysitter waaaaay cooler.

Conclusion #2: I need an out of the home job, quick. It looks much better when you dress up nicely, shove everyone out the door, into the car and aahhhh, the workplace! An office all to yourself, computer station without partners or other sharing-parties, a coffee mag to call your own and the wonderful recycled air! I might even have a window!

Indecisive? Confusing? True. I opt to read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and dream of greener future for me and for my daughter, 'couse being a mom is wonderful, it's a life time commitment that oftentimes dictates your lifestyle but it always seems not enough....

Comments anyone?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


We unfriended (new word, check it out at Urban dictionary) our old car. Now I have the all-too-gadgety Acura. I still look for my white Nissan in the parking lot... than surprised to find someone has left me this mighty car instead (thanks Yuvali:). Wouldn't it be wonderful if such trades were to happen with any unwanted chore? The laundry pile, ironing, job searching, unhappy/groggy kids? You'd walk away and come back to find everything smoothed out, tucked away, and happy to see you!

When my new car observes me, it bows its headlights and greets me with a jolly beep, window wipers flattering gently. The seat, mirrors and whole ambiance of this Acura adjust to my specifications, cell phone frees itself to my convenience and the kids breath the new-car scent, immediately relaxing into a meditative stage provided by the SPA channel, at XM satellite radio. All of us descend into a world of quiet, tranquil existence.... for the duration of the car ride, of course.

This car is voice activated, button operated and easy (if you read the 500 page manual) to use. It can read into my phone contacts and I suspect, with a little bit of help, will be able to guess my mood and pick the right music for the occasion, push the panic button and a butler will show up with my drink of choice, read us a bed time story and lullaby us to a heavenly sleep on the heavenly leather upholstered adjustable chairs. Who knows, maybe it can paint my toenails while rushing to take care of business.

Hitting reality now I realize we have to pay for it. Any employment opportunities you want to share with me?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Job Seeking, Bird Watching

I saw a group of birds flying atop the trees today. Magnificent site, yet they seemed to be flying in circles. Beautiful structure, great movement, light flying, excellent aerodynamics, but circles. Surely they know what they're doing, I thought, veteran birds like them... and than it occurred to me, they are catching waves, airwaves, you know, those spiral hot air waves can propel them in the direction they need to go. And I, with my un-birdsy mind, trying to row forward, one strait line, great time management, maybe I'm circling a spiral propelling wave now. Maybe there's a great job at the top of all these spirals. I just need to take care and not get too close to the sun, right?

Monday, November 9, 2009

California Dreaming

We spent 4 magical days in sunny California this week and I have mixed feelings, both happy and sad. On one hand I got to see some good friends, got reassured that our friendship knows no geographic boundaries. On the other hand, everything was too raw. With memories picking from every street corner, I didn't want to drive by our old house.
I love my friends and am sure we'll keep in touch, seeing each other here or there; but this time I really said goodbye, mentally collecting the memories and stacking them in my mind-album. I went to my favorite places, buying things, seeing and feeling them again, separating and preparing to cherish those treasured moments I've experienced there.
I discovered that it's hard separating when you don't know what awaits you on the other side, but this time I knew. I have built a new home, new friends, new treasury of favorite places here, in New Jersey and New York.
I have moved on while still loving and appreciating our old friends and experiences.
So now something in me mourns the fact that Orange County became my past, memories that will exist only as memories, moments that will not get experienced again, therefor not reassuring themselves anymore as 'life', as 'present'.

On the way back we saw the movie "Into the Storm" about Winston Churchill. I chose a few quotes of his for you:

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."

"Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."

Stay healthy and happy,
Sara Browne.

Monday, November 2, 2009

K is for Konceptual Skills

I had my first conference of the year today with my daughter's Kindergarten teacher. Ms. Alpern is teaching ways of thinking, conceptual skills and other life long skills. She teaches my daughter how to wash her hands thoroughly (illness prevention); Small and large motor skills (cut with scissors, jump rope); space awareness (your privet space vs. others, 'before, under, on top' etc.); Social skills (of course) and, what I found most impressive, is the 'how do I do that' skill. See, Ms. Alpern thinks out loud. She leads students through a thought process so they learn how to walk through it on their own later on. She utilizes the things that were learned before to concoct a whole new assignment. She then takes those components and builds a whole new thing with them, teaching students to be resourceful, to build on what they already know, build confidence in their (already acquired) skills and do it in various ways so skills are constantly used in various ways to show their durability.
So, next time they tell you "Everything I know I learned in Kindergarten" - you better believe it!
Plus, it's another thing I like about New Jersey - so there!