Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Morning of Mourning

It was a busy Friday morning, I was piling all the kids in the car, and keeping an eye out to see if I could spot both of the kittens that had taken up residence in our yard over the past few days. I saw Oreo, the brave little black and white kitten almost right away. She was busy playing on the path, doing kitten things. Glancing around, I noticed the form of the black kitten, lying in the bushes. I crept up to the kitten, hoping to get a little glimpse in before the kitten jumped up and ran and hid, as she usually did. Unexpectedly however, she just looked at me and let out a little hiss, but didn't make a move to get up. Staring at her for a moment, I reached my hand out to her, ready to grab it back if she took a swipe or jumped up and ran, but aside from another hiss and a plaintive meow, there was no reaction. I cautiously scooped her up, to more hissing and meowing, and tried to bring her to the water bowl, thinking she was too dehydrated, but she would not drink. I felt alarmed and determined. We had already lost one cat because I hadn't tried to save her, I wasn't going to have it on my conscience again if there was something that could be done.
 I called my husband, and told him what I had found, and that if it was possible, I would try to help the kitten. He sighed and gave me his blessing, but warned me we couldn't spend more than $100. I agreed and went to the first place that might help, the Humane Society. I got there and asked a volunteer where I could get the kitten looked at, she told me to bring the kitten to the clinic. After getting all the children out of the car, we were told that the clinic does not treat sick animals, it was only a preventative clinic. Getting everyone (and the kitten) back into the car, I sat a and pondered my next step. I decided to take the kitten to the vet at Petsmart, and see what they would say. We drove over there, and all got out from the car again, and grabbed a cart for the baby and the kitten. After inquiring about their services, they said they were also primarily preventative care, but agreed to see the kitten in any case. 
After a lot of waiting, and a quick examination, the vet informed me that they couldn't tell what was wrong with the kitten, but would have to order blood tests and other things. I asked how much it would hit me in the packet, and it turned out to be close to $200. By this time, I had called my husband again, and he pointed out it would not be feasible to take care of the kitten inside due to our son's allergies. I sadly agreed and had to tell the vet we would not be proceeding with testing. My oldest daughter (5) started throwing a fit that she wanted to bring the kitten home and take care of it. I had the joyless task of trying to explain to her that that would not be feasible and not be happening. She was not happy to hear it.
So off we all went, again, back to the Humane Society to drop off the kitten. I went inside myself, thinking it would be a quick affair. It turned I was right, but not for the reason I thought. Apparently, this Humane Society would not take sick animals, but handed me a paper of two places that would. The first was all the way in Dural, about a 40 minute drive away, and not near any kosher stores. I hadn't yet even started my food shopping for shabbos, never mind preparing! The second location looked more promising as it was closer, although it was in another county and relatively close to a kosher food store. After driving another 25 minutes, I finally arrived. I closed my eyes and the looked down at the soft fur of the black kitten that had been quietly lying in my lap as I drove all over the place. I had to believe this was the best thing for her. I had done everything in my power. I gathered up my strength, told my kids to tell the kitten goodbye, and went to give her away. Unfortunately for me, since we lived in a different county than where this shelter was, they said they would not be able to accept the kitten. 
At this, though I had been holding myself together for the sake of my children, I burst into tears. (My children were in the car and not in direct line of view)I explained through my sobs that I had been driving all over that morning, and there was no possible way I would be able to take this kitten all the way to Doral, and also still buy food and get ready for our shabbos. If they could not take the kitten, I would be forced to leave it to die next to my porch since I could not bring it in because of my sons's allergies. I soon gathered an audience of about 4 workers, watching me as a I bawled out my sad story, and then they told me they would work something out. I was so glad, I was able to get a hold of my emotions and try to start calming myself down. While I waited for them to figure out a way to bring in my kitten, another woman came and sat next to me. She had rescued a kitten who was wandering around an intersection, and was dropping it off at the shelter. She struck up a conversation, asking about the little limp bundle in my lap. I picked up the kitten and showed her, the kitten meowed in protest. Looking at the kittens flickering eyes, the woman said it looked like the kitten had brain damage,and was unlikely to recover. In an odd way, that comforted me. I had done everything in my power to help the kitten, and now I could give it up to those to either help it, or more likely help ease it's passing. But the choice was no longer mine alone. After saying my goodbyes to the kitten, when they finally came out and said they were ready to accept her, I walked back to my car deep in thought. I was relieved to be free of the burden, and yet saddened that I could not have done more. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Saga of My Washer and Dryer Part 2

We left off, my landlady promised I would get my washer come hell or high water,and she delivered. Or rather the washer was finally delivered. It was ordered 3x, but the first two times did not take. Then, once they finally took the order, they tried to deliver it on a Saturday, at 11 am. Do you know where we are on Saturday at 11am? Here's a clue: NOT home. So, we needed to have it rescheduled. It finally arrived on Wednesday, got all installed in blah blah blah. Finally! Let's put up our first load of laundry, right? Get this sucker going. I start the machine, and walk away. Next thing I know I'm hearing Glug, glurg, splash and there is water all over the floor. The water is pouring out of the pipe behind the machine like a fountain, only the fountain is currently in my living room. Great. Peachy. What could have gone wrong? Maybe we put too much clothes in, after all, this was our first time doing laundry in weeks and there are a lot of clothes. So I put much less in the next load. Unfortunately for my floor and walls this did zip, we still ended up with glurg glug splash and washer vomit all over the floor. Fantastic. Called up my landlady and informed her of what was going on, and she sent over her handyman son. He looks around, hems and haws, and it turns out that since this washer is so much bigger than the last one, the whole in the ground is not big enough, so it's all backing up the pipe when the washer was trying to drain. Cue about a day or so of digging, and we have a hole halfway to China in our yard, but hey, at least the washer won't back up again. Cover up the hole so no children are in danger of falling in and we are ready to roll! Thus, the Saga of the Washer is over, the Dryer was a whole 'nother story.
To Be Continued....

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

THE SAGA OF MY WASHER AND DRYER

Why is it a saga you ask? What could be so fascinating about a Washer and Dryer? They're just there to wash and dry clothes, not all that interesting to watch. All of this is very true I must admit. What makes this a saga however, is how we got them and actually got them to work.
We rented a house. Beautiful big house, loads of space for our 4 kids, 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, awesome kitchen, all the great stuff. Before we moved in the landlord was promising all the things. But most importantly, a new washer and dryer. I was so excited about this new washer and dryer, since for the last almost 8 years, I had been shlepping all of our laundry over to my mother's. And as our family grew, so did our loads of laundry, Finally, at last I would have a washer and dryer of my own!
Comes moving day, we move in ALLL our stuff and...no washer, and no dryer. What's happening here? Why am I being deprived of my much longed for washer and dryer?
So I called up our landlord's wife, who is a very kind and understanding woman, and told her of my plight. She promised she would help see us through and I would get my washer and dryer.
Part 2 to come later...

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Story prompt - Chapter 1

It began like almost every other day, like almost any other job. Check in at work, check the e-mails. see if anything urgent needs dealing with right away, drink your third coffee of the day. The office is filled with the hum of quiet conversation, the soft whirring from computers and the sound of the air conditioner as it fought to keep the room at a cool 68 degrees, at odds with 120 degrees outside.

This was no ordinary job, however. This was Area 51, or A51 as the locals called it. In bunkers buried many hundreds of feet underground there were many scientists at work, keeping the world safe from the knowledge of what really lay out among the stars. A lot more landed on earth than most people were aware of, and the tabloids had more right than they knew. Of course, none of it could ever be confirmed. Deny, Deny, Deny. That was the baseline.

The screen flickered over the keyboard as you looked through your e-mails, marking as "urgent" or "put off till another day". Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you notice something unusual. Your boss, the steadiest person you have ever met, who wouldn't blink if presented with a Gundian Thoraitor (and those things are SCARY), was pale. Very very pale. She had been on the phone, but slowly lowered it and it fell from nerveless fingers.

She swallowed, and trying to regain some of her composure, beckoned to you.
"My office, NOW." She turned on her heel and strode to her office in the back of the bunker.
Though she tried valiantly to hide it, her hands were still shaking.

Getting up from your desk, abandoning your half finished coffee, you quickly follow. Despite her shocking display of vulnerability, it did not do to keep the boss waiting.  She was known to make heads roll for lateness.

After traversing the space from your desk to her office, you knock a little on the open door.
"In! NOW!"
Boss lady sounds a little more herself, which is now somehow more worrying than before.
"SIT!"

You quickly seat yourself in her uncomfortable , "the minion must always be at un-ease" seats.
She glares out you, her dark eyes flashing, seeming to measure you up. She quickly nods, as if coming to a decision.

"I have received a call from one of our Outer Allies."
Receiving a call from one of them was nothing new. In fact, it was part of the agreement made that they would check in once a week and give a heads up on anything unusual that was incoming.

"What we will soon be facing, is nothing like we have ever come across before. I don't know that we are equipped to handle it quite frankly." She braced herself against the desk and looked at you soberly. She handed you...a pink sticky note. You looked at it, confused. All that was written on it was a bunch of random letters and numbers.

"We are calling in a big favor now. We are calling HIM. You are authorized to offer anything. No holds barred. He is the only thing standing between us and certain destruction." You looked up at her, entirely shocked, and could feel the blood leave your face. Deal with Him? And you the "lucky" one chosen to the task? Well; bugger.

-






The Abyss

As you stare into the abyss, so the abyss stares into you.
Are you strong enough to take it, or do you avert your eyes, shaken to the core?
Will it strengthen you, bring you to the brink and back again, or shatter you beyond all reason and hope?
Will it toughen you, make you more sure of yourself and ready on your way, or will it break you, and leave you in a shivering heap?
Will you leave with your back straight, your head held high, or will you trail, never looking up from the ground, bent almost double?
You determine your worth,
You, and the Abyss.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

To go or not to go?
Shall I plunge into the abyss, never to resurface, and seek an end?
Or shall I stay, and in staying, create more memories as well as more songs to fill the world?
To end it all, and leave, not telling anyone where I have gone?
Or to abide, and continue on with this life?
To depart, create a new life elsewhere, with no one to hold me down?
Or to linger, and keep on living in this place?

(Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, it's just one of those things that popped into my head.)

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Dystopia

I read a book recently, called “Station Eleven”. Originally, I thought it was about the future of humans in a space station, but it turned out to be the future of humans … on earth. The book follows several people through several years. Mostly through the end of the world as we know it. Most of humanity dies from a pandemic of the swine flu. Like 1918 Flu but a hundred thousand times worse. 
One of the characters estimates that about 99% of the earth’s population died.

Honestly, I was very tempted to put the book down was I realized it was a dystopian book. I find these kinds of books to be incredibly depressing and quite frankly, scary. I am blessed (sometimes I feel cursed) with a very good imagination. So when I read about these things, I have very vivid images in my mind. The sight of people lying in the streets, gasping for breath, alternating between shivering and sweating. Finally, so much death, so much stillness. The streets practically empty, those who are left are just trying to survive in a world that is entirely changed.

Then, I put myself in the book. Would I be one of the ones who had died? Would all my family be gone? Or would I be one of the survivors? Would my family survive or just me? Could I continue to go on in that kind of environment? I don’t know which idea is scarier. That I’d be alive or be dead.


I am not a fan of dystopian books or movies. I find it all too easy to feel myself in their positions, to feel their fear and terror. I find it all too easy to drop myself into that world and then…I find it very difficult to resurface. I look around me at everything we take for granted and think about how very quickly it could be gone, vanished in some disaster or other. The ones where it is a natural disaster that we cannot hope to ever stop (or even foresee) are the most terrifying to me. Because….what if it does happen? 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Parenting is HARD

I have 3 kids. One would think, that with three kids, I would have this parenting gig down and be secure in my decisions. But every day brings new challenges and new choices, and I wonder if I am completely screwing up my children for life. Are my kids going to bed to late? Is my lack of enforcement on bedtime ruining their sleeping patterns forever? How about school? What if I send them to the one that isn't the best fit for them, but we can't afford one that is? What if I home school some of my children, but not others? Almost every night before bed, I have these and similar questions swirling around my head.
However, is my parenting really the be all, end all? How about the child's nature, that plays a role too. Is one parenting style that works for one kid, working for another, or are they feeling too stifled or too left out? Am I being too strict or too lax? Does time-out really work? If not, what alternatives do I have? Potty training is a whole other post.
This parenting thing is hard...

My 2nd VBAC Experience

     I went in for my 41 week appointment on Wednesday, 3 days before Pesach, expecting to be in and out as usual. I was in no way prepared to be told that my blood pressure was too high and I was being admitted to the hospital until I had my baby. I had no bag, no phone charger and only 20% left on my phone. Not only that, but the doctor who was supposed to deliver me wasn't on call and wouldn't be until Friday. I couldn't wait that long to have the baby, and the doctor who was on shift was not VBAC friendly. The midwife told me to hang tight and they would find a doctor who was VBAC friendly.
      In the meantime, I called my husband, told him there was a change of plan and we would be having this baby, if not today, then tomorrow for sure. He had to pick up the children from school/camp and bring me a hospital bag and a charger. Then, I called my mom, who was my birth coach and told her what was up. She was still at work and since nothing was actively happening, she said she'd be over in a couple of hours and to keep her in the loop. I also texted my doula to let her know what was going on, but told her not to come just yet.
      After that was taken care of, I sat and watched TV in the delivery room and realized I was feeling contractions like I had been the past few days. But these were slightly more intense. After sitting there for a couple of hours, the nurse came in to check me and I had progressed in those hours from a 1 to a 3! I was thrilled, I was avoiding being induced!
      I called my mom and husband with the info. About an hour later, my husband came over with the kids and my bag and charger and they hung out in the room until my mom arrived about a 1/2 hr later. Then, after a whole bunch of shuffling about I was left alone for a little bit longer. Then my mother came back with my birthing ball and my doula showed up soon after. My contractions had gotten a little more intense and I was breathing through them, shifting into different positions.
      At around 9 or 10 pm it was determined I was at a 4. I was elated. With my last birth, I had not progressed past a 1 before I got an epidural, I had made it to a 4 now! I decided to get the epidural placed so I could get some sleep during the night so I would be well rested for giving birth (my births do not go quickly). They had finally found a VBAC doctor, who came in, introduced himself to me quickly, checked me and explained the possible risks of a VBAC, all of which I was well aware of.
      So, we settled in for the night. After an episode of the sink almost overfilling in my room and having to be switched to another delivery room. There was a fold out chair, I of course was on the bed, and another chair was brought in for the doula. We woke up at around 6 or 7 am the next morning and my mother went out to get coffee for herself and the doula. I was checked again and found be at a 7.
      For most of the morning, the nurses left us alone and let me labor in peace. Since I was numb from the waist down, trying different positions was out, so I stuck to trying to breathe through the contractions instead. At around 11:30 I was checked again and was at a 9. The last hour and a half before my baby was finally pushed out was the most brutal. All the contractions were so close together it was just one long, incredibly painful contraction.
      Finally at around 1 pm they folded the bed and starting coaching me to push. After pushing for around 10 minutes, out came my beautiful baby girl. After holding her a moment, she had to be rushed away to be checked and and have any meconium she swallowed suctioned out.
     After that, they whisked her away to the nursery, where they kept her until my blood pressure went down. Which it finally did about 5 hours later. In the meantime, right after I had her, I called my husband ( who was in charge of our other children and waiting for our son to get off the bus) that the baby had been born. After he got the kids, he came over to see how I was doing and meet our baby for the first time. My mom had to run, after all she still had to cook and prepare for Pesach, since we would be there and it was in less than 2 days!
So, that is the story of my 2nd VBAC. It was hectic and crazy in ways I can't even convey, but B"H at the end of it all, we brought home our 3rd child, our beautiful baby girl.