Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jenkinsons Beach

Went to Jenkinsons Boardwalk yesterday.

You know I must be a true Oregonian. I can't seem to get to the beach without it storming.

Didn't mind at all though, again, because I'm an Oregonian.

In Oregon, though, the beach is quiet, moody, rumbling softly and people are scarce.

In New Jersey, even on a chilly rainy day, it's all about bikinis, beach umbrellas and the boardwalk. Lots and lots of people. Lots of games. Lots of MONEY spent.

We had a blast. Played a lot of games and lost a lot of cash. ND knows how to do a slot machine now, if only to win tokens for prizes.

She also won a stuffed dolphin in one of those "fishing" games where she puts in the pole, gets a magnetic fish, then chooses a prize. Unfortunately, I think it got lost in our end rush for the car.

We didn't actually play on the beach except for maybe 10 minutes. Thunder would roll and lifeguards would send everyone in.

We ended our day playing golf on a rooftop in between storms. The lady refunded our money when lightning flashed and we saw another cloud was about to break. Got downstairs just in time and ND and I waited inside while U. got the car. She and I dashed through the torrent into the car and then we all headed home happy together.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

More Imagination


While I was cooking tonight, ND was playing in her Pack and Play in the kitchen. She asked for ice, but I could only find the package in which we keep the little gel pack I use for head bumps. She put a toy inside and had a doll on her lap.

I kept hearing her say "more more" but she didn't respond when I would engage her either to ask what she wanted or that we didn't have any more ice. Then I realized she was playing with her "baby."

"More more more more," "Yeah" she would say. I don't know which voice was "hers" and which the "baby"'s. I think the baby was asking for more ice and that ND was granting it. At the end of this each time she would then reach into the package and pull out the toy she was pretending was ice, put it on the baby, then put it back in the package and start again.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Squeak squeak

I type this with ND sitting next to me in her high chair feeding cereal to a toy dog. I guess imagination is starting to begin now.

Last night we caught a mouse with a live trap. I found him in there early this morning while U. and ND were still sleeping.

So I took him for a little drive to the woods.

I have been very very stressed recently... far more than I want to be. It's all about this camp I'm running and how much time and energy it takes and that I'm making less money that I should. I keep having long dialogues with friends and myself about how it's really OK because it's free camp for ND and I get to be with her which was part of my intention with it etc. etc. and of course I'm never bored. (Summers often make me feel guilty for being bored.) But something still isnagging at me so I can't resolve this yet.

Well, this little drive with mousy took me up to the Tenafly Nature Center. It was raining hard and I took the trap out and released him without even putting on a jacket.

30 seconds on a rainy morning in the woods is roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of tedious meditation.

I have been avoiding the woods because I'm worried about mosquitos which are horrific this year, and because I can't get very far with ND unless she's on my back. But now I MUST go back.

So quiet in relation to 7 toddlers in my house!

So quiet inside me.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008


I was the kind of kid who, when camp ended, cried to say goodbye to everyone (even though I wasn't friends with that many kids), vowed to keep in touch, and even DID for some time, writing letters and hoping to be friends for life.

As I grew older and lost touch with many of them, I learned that that was a natural progression in the world, that you cannot and need not stay in touch with everyone.

So I find it strange now to receive invitation after invitation to become a "friend" to people on Facebook that I never even SPOKE to in high school.

In the words of Spock, "intriguing."

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

So Many Gifts

G-d's just been sending me some awesome gifts lately, mostly disguised.

Here's the weirdest one right now.

I was SO tense last week and at the beginning of this. As I said before, I've taken on too much this summer.

However, I also have had this horrible sort of rash all over my legs and arms and even seemed to be getting on my face! I thought it was bug bites, but they didn't look right. I went to my primary care doctor who was afraid it was bed bugs! So even though that night I had another of my gifts (first chance I've had in ages to go to a yoga class), U. and I both freaked out well into the night trying to clean and worrying that it could be something EVEN WORSE and that I'd have to close the camp.

Oh no! Money would be lost! My assistants would lose the summer jobs they've counted on! I would feel horrible for having gotten my wish or more free time!

So when the dermatologist took one look at me and said "poison ivy" I was actually ecstatic! This I can treat! And it's not contagious either!

We have this slope in our backyard (fenced off from the kids) that I'd been climbing around in trying to find a bocci ball (bocci set was my birthday gift from U., speaking of gifts). Apparently it's deeply infested with poison ivy.

The doctor asked if I'm a city girl. I was shocked. "No," I said, "I'm just from the west coast! We have poison OAK there!."

Suddenly life seems more live-able. I awoke the next morning feeling calm and collected, ready to meditate, happy to face the day even though I hadn't had enough sleep.


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Monday, July 07, 2008


So this is my second and a half week into the summer.

I've been SO busy as shown by how I let over a week pass without posting on here. (That's my goal... posting once a week.)

I'm teaching a meditation class on Tuesday nights. I'm tutoring a child Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday afternoon is set aside for some curriculum meetings with my second grade team. Thursday is set aside to play music with a friend (me on flute, her on cello)...

And Monday-Friday, 8:30-1:30 I'm hosting and teaching a backyard camp from my house for six whole weeks.

Here's the idea... a summer with ND, but with structure so that I'm not anxious and bored during the day and I have fun stuff available to her. Meanwhile, I have 6-7 other kids per day and of course am getting paid for all of this.

Last week was the first week. It was fun but utterly exhausting and I'm wondering if I took on too much.

I have two assistants... one for 5 hours a day and one for just 3. I think I need to learn to hand over more to them so I can get some things done inside the house even for just 30-45 minutes during the day. Right now I don't feel able to because I'm very worried (typical Me Demons) about providing good enough quality teaching etc. On the other hand, I'm not making THAT much money, and the assistants are really doing a pretty good job.

In any case, it's a non-issue today because ND was so sick this weekend I closed the camp today (with much further self-deprecating worry about whether or not it was the right thing). Another day to take a breath, take stock, care for ND one-on-one and try to relax a little.

I don't remember how I spent last summer, but as I recall, I was not really all that bored even though I wasn't working...

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I promised myself a long time ago to send this link about The Story Of Stuff to everyone I knew.

Please find 20 minutes to watch it if you haven't already.