joy, pain, sunshine, (no) rain

Again with the weeks between posts. What is going on???

Excuse, the first: I’ve been working.

As a professional writer/editor, I find that my blogging mojo gets zapped when I am using my powers for good in other areas. Been working on brochures, websites, donor appeal letters, newsletters, magazines, and online dating profiles. But not my blog posts.

Excuse, the second: The world is a messed up place.

I’ve been sad. Sad that it’s as warm as a So-Cal spring in Nor-Cal November. Sad that TSA needs to subject people to radiation or molestation in order to travel anymore. Sad that so many people are exploited for the profit of a few in our “free” economy.

No answers, just more questions


The post I’ve been writing in my head for two weeks goes like this:

Title: dry, dry, wet, wet, dry

We’ve entered an exciting stage. Many nights now, Jonah wakes up to go potty, and/or wakes up dry in the morning. He got it into his head that he didn’t want to wear a diaper at night anymore and we obliged, since signs were promising.

Many loads of laundry later, sometimes twice in one night, but not as many as you would expect, we’ve convinced him to bring back the diaper – just in case. And today he woke up dry. And so it goes. Outlook: Good. No expectations of when this phase will end. Just generally pleased to have gotten this far.


Still life, post-Halloween:


Brain development continues. I really need to take notes and video in order to convey the stunning nature of his recent discourse.

I have this tidbit scribbled down from a conversation in which we were trying to convince Jonah that only freight trains have cabooses. (We don’t know if this is true, but we do have Scott’s old model train set from his childhood which we were setting up to display in the dining room for Jonah’s enjoyment and the set has two small steam engines, a number of passenger cars and freight cars, and one large steam engine. And only one caboose.)

Jonah said, and I immediately wrote down so I wouldn’t forget:

“You know, Daddy, in this world, passenger trains and freight trains BOTH have little red cabooses.”

Which just goes to show that this world can’t be all that bad.


The holidays are coming. Thanksgiving, Jonah’s 3rd birthday, Hannukah, all within one 10-day period. I’ve made a big decision not to throw my big Hannukah shindig this year. Since about 1996, I’ve been inviting upwards of 100 people to my home each holiday season and frying approximately 25 pounds of potatoes to feed latkes to the 50 or so who show up. I skipped the year Jonah was born for obvious reasons. And now, three years later, as Hannukah pops back to the front of December – due to the capricious nature of the lunar leap year – I find that the two events are again too close together for me to deal with both.

But I am going through withdrawal at the thought of it. The adulation I receive for my greasy fried frisbees of love, the love that I spread by inviting so many wonderful people from all different parts of my life to come together. I’m sad to lose that.

Blame it on the moon. And the recession. I just don’t have the energy to spread around. In some ways, the whole world is contracting, conserving, doing less, going inward. Small is the new big. And it may not be temporary. 1996-2009 may have been the Reagan Years of Hannukah. We’ll see how next December looks when we get closer to it.

And, here is the recipe again, in case you’d like to take a stab at anointing YOUR home with oil:

Potato Latkes

4 large russet potatoes
1 large yellow onion
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup matzo meal
4 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
oil for frying

Grate the potatoes and onion (Cuisinart is best for this, although some say skinned knuckles add a certain flavor). Mix in eggs, matzo meal, baking powder, salt and pepper.

Scoop mixture into palm-size patties, press flat to squeeze out excess water. Drop into hot oil, about 1-1/2 inches deep in skillet (18/10 stainless works better than cast iron in my opinion). Fry to a pleasing orange-brown color, turning once. Keep warm on paper towels in a foil roasting pan in oven on lowest setting. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

2 comments for “joy, pain, sunshine, (no) rain

  1. Leanne
    November 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    My thoughts:

    1. yay, a new post! but being busy doing good is awesome, especially when…
    2. yes, the world can indeed be a messed up place.
    3. “in this world” — Jonah is awesome.
    4. Near the end of summer I made zucchini latkes (Smitten Kitchen recipe) — a lot of work, but damn, they were good. Don’t think I could make them (or potato latkes) for 50 though.
    5. Take care of yourself, whatever you need to do…

  2. Judith
    December 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    ” Sad that TSA needs to subject people to radiation or molestation in order to travel anymore. Sad that so many people are exploited for the profit of a few in our “free” economy.”

    Not mentioning if you attempt to leave the seurity area they hold you again your will until a $10,000 ransom is paid.

    According to the US Dept of Commerse, Sexual Assault includes unwanted touching. So it is treaten bodily harm(radiation), sexual assault, or kidnapping. I wonder how many people could get away with this.

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