Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Weekend in the Life

Emily is sitting cross legged on her bed writing a story. She is using the lap desk that Sharon gave her (how many years ago?). Zachary is in his bedroom reading his Geronimo Stilton library book. "Mam, I need your help." I go to his room to explain what 'taunting' means. I'm curled up against the headboard. Coley (my thirteen year old Black Lab) has his head on my thigh. "Mama, how do you spell "How". How do you spell "Here"". I can't wait to read her story. It's the second one she's written this weekend.

The children have had a tremendous weekend.

Writing Stories (Zach for school, Emily for fun)
Revising Schoolwork
Playing 'baby monsters' with all the stuffies, the American Girl bed and the AG tent under the piano
Dance class
Soccer Skills (if only we could persuade Emily to participate - she's a natural)
Hebrew School
Lunch at 'Jerusalem'
Visiting Grandad
Pink Panther II (Eyal and the kids all gave it a Zero. Zach said "There was no funniness!")
Practicing Piano
Watching t.v.
Playing on the wii
Playing with their cousins

How would they answer the question "What did you do this weekend?"?

I was absent for much of the weekend, although it didn't feel that way since I stage managed so much of the children's activities.

Yesterday I took an all day (at least a couple of hours too long) Yoga workshop with Andy Orr to learn how to develop a home practice. Today I did my practice as soon as I woke up (after a crazy 11 hours of sleep). Had a lovely breakfast with Eyal and Pain Perdu after dropping the kids at school, blogged, went to my Yoga enrichment class where we discussed the Yoga sutras of Patanjali, had lunch with Eyal and the kids and went to visit my Dad, and finally had a three hour rehearsal of "Four Strong Winds" before returning home to a couple fo hours of homework, practicing, making dinner and an extended bedtime. And this is supposed to be the weekend!

I told Eyal today that our life is perfect (except for all the clutter).

I've sung the Sh'ma to Zachary. I'm waiting for Emily to finish writing and then I'm going downstairs to watch the Oscars with Eyal.

Slumdog Millionaire Rocks OK!

Searching for a name.

I'm pleased with this quilt so far. I'm pleased with the creative process. The way one idea led to another. the way it came together to honour the Bar Mitzvahs of Shlomo, and Simon, of our marriage and of my conversion to Judaism. It's being quilted by Sandy Lindal now. We spent an hour or so choosing and designing various patterns for the quilting of the concentric stars using the ideas of flames and flowing softness as our inspiration.

I had originally intended to make three of these quilts in a series. I would give one to Shlomo, one to Simon, and keep one for myself to enter in shows and to display for classes. Maybe I would make a fourth one to donate to my shul if they had a place they could display it. But as I worked, stitching triangle after triangle, I became too attached to this quilt. Zachary came downstairs a couple of times as I worked on it and asked if he could kiss it because he loves it so much! Emily would like to see it displayed on our dinner table but worries it might be damaged. I reassured her we could take it off before we set the table for dinner. All in all I'm not ready to part with it yet. I will take it to Kingston to offer as decoration for the hotel party room where Shlomo's Bar Mitzvah will be held if I have the binding sewn on in time. I'm intending to try to use a bright, bright turquoisy blue to be like the tips of flames. The quilt also got pretty big for a wall hanging, it's original intention. It's now 72 inches square (if it were square). Emily is very proud that it was her idea not to fill in the area between the points. I will add hanging triangles to each of the six points and buy thin, flat, light slats to keep it taught if I'm going to hang it on the wall. Simon and Shlomo will get smaller quilts made from some of the many extra triangles I cut.

But now I need a name. I was thinking of something in Yiddish since this first quilt would have been for our family's first native Yiddish speaker in at least a couple of generations. But then it started to be for Simon and for Eyal and my thirteenth wedding anniversary, and for the thirteenth anniversary of my conversion.

Suggestions so far are:

Heart of Judah
Yiddishe Kopf
Ah gute neshume
The Fire Within
My Path
The Rainbow Star
Magen Dovid
Mosaic of Love (or Fire)

Your suggestion here:

Thanks!! XOXO M

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jonesin' to Be a Late Bloomer

I dreamed of a post that I wanted to make today complete with photograph and headline. The problem with dreams is that they are by their very nature ephemeral. Instead I will have to write about an article from the Globe and Mail that caught my eye this morning.

Scratching the "Jones" Itch by Jonathan Pontell puts into words the feeling I've always had about being born a little too late to be a boomer and a little too early to be a member of Generation X. I won't start complaining about the ways I have always felt just a little too young or a little to old. Suffice it to say that Pontell gives me permission to be an idealistic late bloomer and for that I am grateful!

For more on Generation Jones check out his website.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Celebrations, visitations and lamentations

The fabulous 8th birthday is drawing to a close. The celebratory trip to NYC was a huge success - shopping for toys, visiting family, admiring the Art at MOMA and skating at Rockefeller Center were just a few of the highlights.

The party (that we said we weren't going to throw) was thrown and enjoyed by lots of family and a few friends. Wij the magician delighted and amazed everyone as we sat on quilts and cushions on the floor of my basement studio under Iyengar's beaming gaze.

The festivities continued today with visits to both schools. Emily's class was presenting their "Toy-seum" - a fabulous display of toys and games from the personal collections of the children in her Grade 2 class. I will return tomorrow to read "The Magic Toy Shop". It's her school's tradition to have a parent read a book to the class and then donate it to the library. We thought this book, which I have had since I was a kid, would be a perfect selection since they have been focusing on toys this year.

At Zachary's school he was able to share Clown cookies from Amazing Donuts - the nut free bakery - with his friends in honour of his birthday. His friend Jack's mom brought a gluten free treat for him so he would not be excluded from the celebrations. The times they are a changin'!

I dropped in on Zach's Music class to offer some Musical Theatre coaching for a song that they're preparing from Oliver! and then was given a tour of the Science Fair by a very excited Zachary. His project, with his good buddy Ben, was a Knex ferris wheel. They were very proud of the work they had put into it and were able to describe the potential, kinetic and momentum stages of energy that it displayed as the chairs went up and around.

After school they went to Yoga with Emily's best friend Calla, and then to dinner with their Zohar cousins for one last Birthday Hurrah! We whisked them home and threw them into bed a half hour past their bedtime after a discussion of the fact that bedtime will finally get to be moved later next year now that we're going to be sending them to school so much closer to home.

Spaking of changing schools, it has been a very sad day for me. I told the principal of Emily's school and the administrator of Zachary's school and many of our friends and family that we are moving them to our local public school next year. The decision was made particularly difficult by the wonderful learning demonstrated by both of their classes today.

Calla's Dad just called to let us know how sad his family is and to teasingly ask us to reconsider pulling the kids (or at least Emily) out of the private system next year. We believe that strong friendships will last and that this is the responsible decision for our family to make in this tough economic environment. But it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.