Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Totally tubular


This picture has nothing to do with anything except it's my daughter snuggled up with another mammal who has equally distinctive ears. 

My daughter had her fourth set of tubes put in on Monday morning because there was apparently a wall of infection behind her ear drums. Delightful. She's gotten so accustomed to this routine that she woke up, put on something comfy, came to give me a kiss goodbye and said, I'll see you after my ear surgery mommy. Just as casually as if she was saying, I'll see you after preschool. But this time she felt some of the nasty side affects of anesthesia. Namely the nausea. She was vomiting and had to stick around for a while. But by the afternoon she was awake again and in good spirits and retelling her ordeal to her brother - how she threw up on the nurse and in the toilet. Then she asked for matzoh with Nutella so we headed out to the porch to enjoy a mid-afternoon treat. And during our conversation she turned to me and asked why we were yelling. I guess she can hear now. And all of my yelling over the last few months has been medically validated.

From my tabernacle to yours

In the middle of all of our house and life chaos I was asked to create the artwork for the To Life Festival. The one I participated in for the first time last October. The one where my husband built a TABERNACLE in the middle of California Avenue in Palo Alto. That one. They had seen this piece in process (the second one) on the blog and wanted something similar that REEKED of Jewish life, music, culture and celebration. They didn't specifically say they wanted a ram at the top of the tree, but what's a Jewish celebration without a sacrificial ram? Am I right?

Admittedly, there's a lot going on here. Maybe too much. Perhaps a reflection of my own current state. Hopefully they will love it and it will draw people from all over the world to Palo Alto on September 18, 2011 to eat falafel, hear klezmer music and buy Jewish art. And now that we're staying in town a while longer, they can even buy my Jewish art. Straight from my tabernacle.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


That ghostly figure in the background might be Elijah the Prophet.
The two bottles of wine in front of my husband are definitely empty.

I think it was Eisenhower who said something like Planning is essential. Plans are useless. Boy if that doesn't just smack of reality right now. I don't even know where to begin, except that on Monday we had an offer on our house - one that annoyed me because we had already lowered the price considerably and the offer was even below that. But we took it. It was the first night of Passover and all I could think of was redemption from slavery. And we had become slaves to this house over the last three months. So it felt like the right time to move on. Dayenu.

And we had an epic seder that night. Elijah the Prophet showed up and the kids went wild. This time all I could find was a twin fitted sheet and some kind of head wrap plus Mr. Rosen's tallis. So we wrapped up my oldest brother and he danced in all hunched over to cover his bare chest where the sheet didn't quite fit, drank some wine and got out of there before any of the kids realized that Uncle Aaron and Elijah never seem to be in the same room at the same time. And on my mom's suggestion we each wrote some Passover poetry and read aloud at the table. All attempts were well received and some made me cry laughing, mostly my brothers teasing my husband - a family pastime.

It went mostly over his head though because by then Mr. Rosen was quite drunk on the four (maybe seven) cups of ceremonial wine. But he had good reason to drown his sorrow, and not just because we were once slaves in Egypt. In fact on the way over he had received a call from our agent to say that there was a complication with the offer. The buyers were pulling out because the property was misclassified at the county. Two years ago, in a panic over our home value and soon to expire 5/1 ARM, I had asked if it was possible to change the designation from a condo to a single family home since the property is half a duplex and the only other people in the Home Owner's Association are Fred and Susan, owners of the other half of the duplex. A nice, pushover man at the county said that was fine. He never bothered to mention that it was for county tax purposes only and that the legal description of the property would remain a condo. And so would the records at the city level. So our buyers were very concerned and rightfully so. It was a clusterfuck of biblical proportion. And might require parting the Red Sea to undo.

My husband only mentioned all of this the next day so that my family could enjoy what may be our last seder together for some time because that is the kind of ridiculously awesome person that he is. And the two days after that were spent making calls and going down to the county to ask for records to be changed so that all legal documentation could be matchy matchy. Our buyers agreed to submit a new offer but at a much lower price. We tried to negotiate, because that's what we do. We're Jews. But this couple couldn't take the pressure anymore and withdrew their offer completely. No counter. Nothing. Apparently their parents, who were bankrolling the 50% deposit, were not happy with all of the hoopla and the young couple who adored the house crumbled.

And we couldn't be more thrilled. Because it's over for the time being. We get to have our baby in this amazing little house and stay here until all is settled down and we are mentally prepared for our next move. The stager came on Friday and took all his stuff away and the sign came down. And we spent the weekend putting a few things back in our house and enjoying all of the space. We also stayed home all weekend. No open houses. No showings. No previews. I didn't even make the effing beds. We played music and ate Nutella on matzoh on our porch and didn't give a rat's ass about the crumbs. We even planted sungold tomatoes from the farmer's market which we'll be enjoying all summer. In our home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. 
A.A. Milne (via Eeyore)

I've been trying to walk most days to keep my blood sugar down and my hips supple. They seize up on me every morning. Something about widening to make room for a baby's head to get lodged in there. The walking helps. This is a shot of my favorite garden in our neighborhood. I remember when the woman planted it a few years ago and now it grows more enormous every year. That's because it's mainly weeds. Like these beauties. I think they're called Milkweed and they grow huge. They don't say kids grow like weeds for nothing. This is just a tiny corner of the garden but the rest is mostly more of the same - a lot of bordeaux and lavender mixed with chartreuse and other yummy shades of green in a kind of cabbagy melange. Delish. And it wouldn't be a garden in my neighborhood without a few orange California poppies which, even if you hated them, though you never could, they'd find a way into your soil (and your heart). Happy spring.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In case the belly alone wasn't noticeable

Seven months

This is what seven months pregnant in the snow looks like. I don't have any maternity ski clothes. I'm not even really sure anyone makes maternity ski clothes in this litigious society since it seems a little reckless to ski when you're T minus two months. I had thought I would just wear my ski pants unzipped for our weekend in Lake Tahoe, but it became clear that would not be an option when I could not get them over my ass. So I wore my jeans. But thankfully on her last visit my mom brought up a giant jacket that we have kept all these years for no reason and here I am in it. It was gifted to me by an old friend from Jr. High who later went to Georgetown and was somehow involved in traffic control for Bill Clinton's first inauguration. It's pylon orange, as you can tell, and, knowing that I always had a thing for orange, he let me have it. Or maybe I took it. Not important. It's size extra-large and since I am now extra-large, you better believe it came in handy on this trip.

On a side note, it reminded me of when I was a senior in college and Greg had graduated early to go do a service project in South Africa. We actually wrote letters to each other on those flimsy blue airmail trifolds. Once he sent me an orange beaded bracelet from Swaziland that I adored. I showed it to my boyfriend at the time and complained how come he didn't know that orange was my favorite color. I was obviously looking to pick a fight, as was my way at the six week point of any relationship. And he said, because this guy has known you since you were twelve and I've known you all of two months. He had a point. Which is why I kept him around for three more months before I had to let him go.

Where was I? Yes, trudging around in my gigantic orange jacket all weekend. We took the kids skiing and tubing and sledding. And they ran around the house in their long underwear playing made-up games with their cousins. Sixty degrees and 20 feet of new snow thanks to our most recent storm, the one that lasted forty days and forty nights and officially ended California's drought. EPIC.

Ski Racer
Junior has a thing for orange too.