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.

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


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.

Monday, July 04, 2016

How life changes...

So this year so far has been...complicated. Some good, some bad. My Grandmother passed away in March, the day after Purim. It was a very hard time for me, because I was very close to my Grandma. From about age 8, I would go to her home for sleepovers and loved spending time with her. In more recent years, I loved taking my children to see her. Her face would light up and she was so proud to introduce her "granddaughter, grandson and THESE are my great-grandchildren." My daughter, who I gave birth to the day before erev Pesach is named for her. I sometimes tear up, remembering that she will never get a chance to meet her. My mother's dog, Mariner, who was like part of the family was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before my grandmother passed and he passed away the day after Pesach. My newborn, the daughter mentioned above, was in the hospital (with me) for 2 1/2 days during Pesach for a UTI. As I said, a complicated year...and it's only half over!

Monday, January 25, 2016


Are blogs dying out? Supposedly not, if you're "good at it." Those who can make a schedule and keep to it. Those who review products or offer opinions others really want to hear. Those who, in other words, can make some sort of money blogging.
What about regular blogs? Blogs like this one which are a mish mosh of random thoughts being poured into a computer and placed out there for the world to see. Or not see as the case may be. A lot of the blogs I used to read when I first started my own are either no longer updated or no longer in existence, having since folded up and gone home. I too, took a hiatus and no longer blogged.
Life gets in the way, or you lose focus, or feel like there is no longer an audience, so what's the point? Why continue? Why even start up again when no one is likely to look or care that you have returned? Maybe because, even if it is like shouting into the abyss, there is still the small, faint hope that someone out there will still hear, and find interest in what I have to say.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


So I have 2 kids. I always find it interesting to watch their different personalities emerge. You'd think, given that they both have the same mother and father, they would have somewhat similar personalities but nothing could be further from the truth.
 My children have very different personalities. My son is very much in his own head. He is willing to engage others in whatever is going on in there, but he can also play by himself for hours. My daughter loves to be around others and involved in whatever interesting thing seems to be going on around her. My son is willing to put up with hugs, but is generally very passive about them. Rarely does he initiate. My daughter just loves hugs and any kind of touch. Constantly needing to have some kind of contact throughout the day.
And as they grow and interact with others more I see more facets of their personalities come to light. One thing is for certain, it is never boring when there are kids around!