Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Perfectly Busy Winter Day

I can hardly keep track of all the things we did today. Eyal had a lovely lie in while the kids went to Hebrew school and I indulged in a quietly solitary hour at Le Pain Quotidien.
I read the paper, ate organic oatmeal, drank organic coffee and chuckled softly to myself that the word 'organic' appeared in every menu item.

The kids were learning the Sh'ma today. Emily sang it for the whole class with a strong yet quiet pride. We sing it now as part of our bedtime routine and the children love it. If we ever forget to sing it with them they call us back to remind us.

I had to pick Emily up to go to a bowling birthday party, dashed into Cock-a-Doodle to pick up fabric for a Bar Mitzvah quilt idea I had (don't you love that relaxed, excited feeling you get when you have an idea on the hook?), ran home to quickly start playing with my fabric, picked up Zach, picked up Emily, went to Dufferin Grove to the temple skating party, ate lunch there at the lovely little "Zamboni Cafe", ran into Walmart, went to visit Granddad, and came home to relax for an hour before going to a Chinese New Years party at a friend's house.

Tired yet? I hope the kids can manage to stay relaxed and happy through the rest of this long but fun-filled day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Seriously Easy Craft

While blog surfing this morning (and into this afternoon, if I'm going to be completely honest) I got the idea to use craft punches and repetition to do a picture. Unfortunately I don't have the beautiful Martha Stewart butterfly punch that the blogger used for her picture and I've lost track of whose blog I found it on!!! The guilt is terrible.

These are the little frames I've made to decorate my sister's Gala Inauguration Breakfast Ball tomorrow morning. In other words a few friends and family gathered around the t.v. getting all weepy and generally mocking the proceedings in equal measures.

After the party Zachary can have them in his bedroom if he wants. I love the way they combine Canadian and American iconography.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Making a Jewish Museum

The kids are learning about making a museum in Hebrew school. They were asked to bring their parents and a Jewish object that is important to them and their families to school this morning.

Thinking about what to bring with us has been a great opportunity to take a mental inventory of what we have and what emotional connection we have to the objects that we surround ourselves with. The first thing that came to mind is the Tallit we used as a Chuppah for our wedding. First of all, it would be nice if we actually knew where it was! I hope Eyal didn't use it at shul some time and then leave it behind, thinking that he had borrowed it!

I wanted to bring the gorgeous and meaningful Ketubah that Eyal and I made ourselves at the time of our wedding. Eyal felt that that was too personal, and he was not comfortable with the idea of it leaving the house.

He suggested that we bring one of my Star of David quilts, the one that Emily is using for her American dolls. We'll also bring Zach's Shofar since he's been playing it since he was four years old. Neither Eyal nor I can get any sound at all out of it. I wonder if he'll turn out to be a trumpet player!

It really makes me think about objects I've seen in the Jewish Museum in New York City. Many of the families whose treasures are on display never had a choice whether the objects were too personal. They never had a chance to tell us their own stories.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Special Delivery

What a joy it was to deliver the first batch of quilts to the NICU yesterday. I know, I know, I said I was going to do it back in February but have you ever tried to park at a downtown hospital so you can just run in for a minute? Anyway, I had Eyal with me yesterday and we were able to find a meter right at the front door of Women's College Street (now known as Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre - now that's a mouthful), the hospital where I was born.

The doctors and nurses were thrilled to receive my gift of blankets for the newborns and took me in to see the gorgeous babies who would be getting this first bunch of quilts. The babies are so sweet all bundled up in their brightly covered receiving blankets, preemie hats and incubator covers. It looks like there are lots of busy volunteers making gifts for the babies to keep them warm and protected.

There are 42 NICU beds at Sunnybrook and Women's so I have my work cut out for me if I want to make quilts for all the babies who go through there! Any help would be very gratefully appreciated.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rise Up My Love

My song has made it to the shortlist of Obama's Play list over on CBC! You can help make sure that it gets onto the music sent to Obama in honour of his inauguration by heading over here to list B to cst your vote. Each person can vote once a day all week.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yoga People

I must now learn how to add a photo from a website. Other people manage to highlight their favorite merchants all the time and I just haven't figured out how to do it. Please let me know if you know how.

At any rate, you must check out these yoga gingerbread people! They are beyond adorable and they look delicious too. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Obama's Playlist

Today I was finally inspired to suggest a piece for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's playlist of 49 pieces composed or performed by Canadians to send to Obama in honour of his inauguration. This is a copy of the email I sent:

"Healey Willan's "Rise Up My Love" piece is achingly beautiful. I fell in love with it when I first sang it in High School. I sing a snatch of it every year at our Passover seder table as we read the beautiful words of the Song of Songs. One of the highlights of my professional singing career was having the opportunity to meet the lovely and talented singer Kristine Anderson and introduce her to my brother. It was my honour to join a quartet of friends and family in singing this piece at their wedding. Imagining it being sung at my own funeral (an atypical choice, I'm sure) brings me solace. It is a heavenly piece that represents Canada's rich Choral tradition. And I don't doubt that Obama, as a deeply spiritual Christian who is clearly deeply in love with his wife probably appreciates the beautiful poetry of the Song of Songs."

I hope you'll give it a listen and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

David S. Avert Your Gaze

Your quilt is ready and (almost) on its way. David is an old friend, colleague and travel buddy who was kind enough to sign up to be one of the first followers of this blog. He asked me to make a quilt that made me think of him. I answered that the best I could do was to think of him 'while' I made the quilt and maybe when he got it it would make him think of me! He accused me of taking the easy way out!

I used up scraps from my black and white challenge quilt and added some Christmas fabric I received at our Guild Christmas party.

So David Think of me
think of me fondly, when
you get your quilt
remember me
once in a while, please
promise me no guilt

We never said
our love for Mickey was
as unchanging as the sea
but please promise me,
that sometimes
you will think of me

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Freecycle Fabric Windfall

Debbie of Blankets for Canada was kind enough to drop off three bags of fabric when she picked up the scrapbooking magazines I was getting rid of. I also took the opportunity to pass on the red and white preemie hats I made a couple of years ago when I thought I was going to send them to Afghanistan. But that's another story. I hope the hats help to keep some sweet babies warm this winter and I hope Debbie finds the magazines inspirational.

Although I promised to make "snuggly uglies" with the fabric she dropped off I've been thinking that it would be a great idea to use some of the fabric to make morsbags to put the stuff that I give away on freecycle into. I haven't made any yet but the instructions for how to make them are terrific.

I'm so pleased to be taking part in this blogger version of Pay It Forward! Here's the deal as far as I can tell: Caroline has committed to send me and two other players a handmade gift sometime in the next 365 days. I am now committed to send gifts to three players who will each in turn commit to make and send gifts to three more players within 365 days of signing up. Sound like fun? Leave me a comment, link to this post, add the Pay It Forward button to your blog, and sign up your three players. It's as simple as that.

Happy New Year

The seasonal decorations have been put away. The treats are (mostly) eaten. The resolutions have been made. The children are (almost) ready to go back to school. Now what?

Tomorrow I will begin my Yoga training in earnest, in hopes that it will help me decide if I am going to start the three year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training in September. I love to teach and I love yoga. What I don't love is school, science and memorization. I'm a little terrified of alll those Sanskrit terms, and all the anatomy. I even set myself the task of learning the Invocation to Patanjali to get my brain in shape over the holidays and I think I may have mastered line one! Hold on let me check... nope.

My problem with memorization presented huge challenges for me as a professional singer, as you can imagine. I was in awe of those singers who could be 'off book' after a couple of rehearsals, when I was still making memory errors in pieces I had sung for years. It makes me want to cry as I think about it. Unfortunately I've forgotten what I did with all the self-help "Learn to Remember Anything" books that I used to buy. What I found hilarious was that you were supposed to remember a bunch of mnemonic tricks to help you remember all the other stuff in your life better. As if somebody like me would be able to remember the tricks!

In an effort to be grateful and to look at the bright side of things I will admit that I learn concepts quickly and that I have good instincts when it comes to teaching. As my Mom would say "If I put my mind to it, I can do anything."