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Family, Random

All I Can Muster

Some days the most I can muster is a microwave dinner and a shrill command to play outside. Somedays all I can muster is a shower. Somedays all I can muster is being there, quiet, watching them play without intervention, without judgement.Muster_1

Somedays all I can muster is a photo, so I can go back and revisit the moment at another time. Muster_2

This was one of those days. They ate that microwave dinner (scarfed it), they played outside (happily) and no one noticed my greasy hair.Muster_3
They never judged me for any of it, why should I?Muster_4

I’m going to click “publish” on this post wondering if I’ve written enough.  If it’s good enough.  If people will be upset that I didn’t do more.  Then I’m going to let that go.  This was all I could muster today.Muster_5

And it was awesome.


Shabbat Shalom

At school today our 5-year-old Pearl was the Shabbat yelda, which means she enjoyed special privileges all week. This morning we joined her for more special treatment in the sanctuary and classroom. Pearl likes to plan her shabbat like a party. She brought flowers, books and a snack of broccoli, strawberries and sugar cookies. These are health savvy kids so I made the cookies organic with turbinado sugar and snuck in a little protein by using garbanzo bean flour.Shabbat Shalom_1

One of her friends held up the cookie skeptically and asked, “Does this have any corn syrup or artificial coloring in it?”  See what I mean? Continue Reading…



Is she sick or isn’t she?  She hasn’t been herself. She’s been complaining of a sore throat for 5 days with no other symptoms. My grandmother died, maybe she’s freaked out that her own body will fail her?  Maybe it’s hypochondria?Nothingitis_1

But what if it really is something? It’s the last day of Spring Break and I do not need a sick child at home for another week. Worse, you’ll all think me a bad mother if I don’t take her to the doctor. Get in the car kids. Continue Reading…


2 Brides And A Broom

Yesterday our dear friends Jenny and Candie came over. During dinner we asked about their wedding plans. The good news— their ceremony will be held in the Redwood Forest! The bad news—the guest list will be limited to close family. I nodded my head encouragingly and said we understood. We were there once, too. If we invite these people then we have to invite those people and then we won’t have enough space for these other people… Still, I was bummed we wouldn’t be celebrating with them. I like me some wedding.2 Brides_1

Then, during dinner Jenny mentions that they set their wedding date for exactly one year from today. My ears perk up—what a perfect excuse for a dry run! Get the dress up clothes, girls! Continue Reading…

Family, Random

A is for Alligator Lizard

Last night LAFD employed 2 large firetrucks and 8 heroes to rescue me and my family from a wild animal. No one was injured and the animal was removed and returned to its natural habitat. My home, however, will never be the same.Alligator Lizard_1

Let me explain.

The children were in the bath. My husband, at work. I was in the dining room picking the spaghetti dinner off the floor when suddenly I was face to face with a ferocious… snake?  Iguana? Small Japanese dragon? Continue Reading…

Family, Holidays

Orchid Easter Eggs

My grandmother died yesterday. She had many visitors the day before, including a goodbye visit from my mom and me via iPad. Then, in the peace of early morning with my super-hero grandfather by her side, she passed.  Yupadee lived a long, rich life:  60 plus years of marriage, 5 children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.Orchid Easter Eggs_1

These Easter eggs are in her honor.My grandmother’s English wasn’t great (OK, it was terrible) and my Thai isn’t great (OK, it’s terrible) so we didn’t have long meaningful conversations about life.  When I wanted her to teach me how to sew she’d shake her head and say, “Go be doctor.”  When my weight pleased her she’d say, “Good shape” and if not, “Shape no good.”  Still, what she liked to communicate to me over and over and over was how much I was loved.  “You mother love you.  You father love you. I love you.” Rinse, lather, repeat. She also liked to tell you how you felt, “You love you mother. You love you auntie. You love you cousin.”  Sometimes it was more of a command, sometimes it was in the form of a question—like she was just checking to make sure I did.  It was annoying.  I was annoyed by the repetition, and I was annoyed that these mantras were the extent of our relationship.  I was annoyed that we didn’t have anything in common. Continue Reading…

Family, Things To Do In L.A.

This Place is a Zoo

It’s Spring Break. The house is a mess. Perler beads all over the floor. Half-eaten cheese sticks mixed in with the Legos. Something sticky on the door knobs. I gotta get these kids outta here. Where should we go? I know! Let’s join the entire city of Los Angeles at the zoo!  Yes, the ZOO! The cages! The crowds! The horror! LET’S DO IT!

Am I the only one who loathes the zoo? Fortunately we had a few nice moments.  I’m going to tell myself the animals enjoyed our company, too.This Place_1

Way to start the day—my mom’s very first SENIOR discount!  Woo-hoo!  You go old girl! Continue Reading…

Family, Holidays


When my sister-in-law Luann called and said she (and my brother-in-law Dave and nephew Moses) were coming I did a little dance. I did. I was in the middle of the 3rd Street Promenade and I did a little two-step. It’s a rare and beautiful thing to feel this way about a visit from in-laws, I know.  But Luann is not like thosein-laws.  She’s smart and crafty. With knitting needles in hand she cannot be stopped.  Let her into your kitchen and she’ll whip up a delicious pie customized to your specific allergies and preferences.Passover_1

Well, OK, maybe she’s annoying in a she-always-does-everything-so-perfectly-and-effortlessly kind of way. Here she is knitting an egg for the seder plate. (Moses is allergic to real ones.)

A month ago Dave accepted a job in Silicon Valley. ‘Hams East as we once called them, packed up their life in Massachusetts and moved cross country to Northern California. Just like that we went from being ‘Hams East and West to ‘Hams North and South. We’d been in the same state for a month already so we were due for a family playdate. Continue Reading…