Friday, May 21, 2010

Pitching A No Hitter

The second night of Shauvos, we accepted an invitation to dinner. I'm not crazy about going out at night, as the meals run late and it's hard for the kids to walk home.

Our host is also my son's Boy Scout troop leader, and his parents were there as well. I got to talking to his mother, and I'm not sure how we got on the subject of baseball, but we both agreed that it was a boring game that doesn't seem to end. Then our host's mother told me a story.

Many years ago, she took some boys from a Boy Scout troop, including one of her sons, to a Dodger's game. Not only was it boring, but the team's pitcher actually pitched a no-hitter. She found out later that the pitcher was none other than Sandy Koufax.

My mouth fell open. "T-h-e Sandy Koufax?" I asked. Possibly the greatest pitcher ever? The man who refused to pitch a play-off game because it was Yom Kippur?

I ran and found my host, who was helping prepare food in the kitchen. "You saw Sandy Koufax pitch?" I asked. He looked at me like I had just brought proof of Big Foot's existence and said, "what?"

"Your mother took one of her sons to a baseball game pitched by Sandy Koufax. Was it you?"

Surprisingly, it was the first he had ever heard of his mother, or any member of his family, attending a baseball game pitched by Sandy Koufax. He dashed from the kitchen into the dining room and asked her about it.

"Oh, maybe it was one of your brothers," was all she said. Nothing more. My host and I exchanged glances of disbelief.

I brought up her watching Sandy Koufax pitch to a few other people that night, and all were equally impressed. But not my host's mom. She took it in stride. Frankly, her lack of excitement at something so exciting was the most impressive thing of all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is It Just My Imagination

I wonder sometimes - is it me or am I really busy? Here's my day:

Left home at 7:15 am to take my son to his school, got on the road to my school, arrived at 8:15 am, said Tehillim, studied for my quiz, went to class at 9 am.

Left early (10:15 am) to volunteer at the senior center serving meals until 1 pm, drove to get paperwork signed, picked up a chocolate energy bar, exercised on the treadmill for 45 minutes, spoke at length to my son in Israel.

Went home around 2:15 pm, showered, ate a late lunch, did carpool, skipped dinner to work on homework.

It's now 10 pm, picked up my son from Yeshiva 20 minutes ago, ate a piece of cheese, went back to work on homework. I'm not planning on going to bed for at least another hour.

I supposed we can all list out our daily lives like this. And today is pretty typical - some days I have even more on my "plate."

Which only makes me appreciate the quiet and tranquility of Shabbos. Thank you Holy One, for imposing a day of rest, a recharging of batteries. It's how I make it through the week. It's TGIF in real time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just One More

I was about to shut off my computer when I saw this headline and thought - hey that could be me!

California women earns college diploma at 94

To make matters worse, this woman got beat out by a 98 year old woman who just got her Master's degree.

Oy vey - that sinking feeling!

A Break From The Past

Actually, my title should read, "A Break From The Past Few Posts," as I am getting away from food in this one. Goes to show that my new diet and exercise program has left me preoccupied with eating.

In truth, I've been walking on the treadmill on average of 3 days a week for 45 minutes each time. I'm happy. Usually, I read Tehillim (Psalms) or study notes from class. Sometimes, when I'm at school, I watch the TV shows which are subtitled, or when I"m at the senior center, I'll tune into Good Morning America.

This past Friday, I did all three, paying little attention to the treadmill itself. When I looked up, I noticed that I was just a few feet away from the gym wall, which seemed very strange. When I looked back, I realized that my treadmill had traveled a good four feet from its starting position. I cried out to my fellow exercisers to take a look and everyone had a good laugh.

But how did that happen? Literally, the only thing that kept me from going to the wall itself was a chair - the extension cord was long enough to actually keep me going even if I had broken through the wall.

What's the message? Put the brakes on, or at least slow down? Pay attention to the world around you? I'm opting for having a good laugh at life's adventures. Thank you Holy One, for a moment of diversion from a hectic life.

Vegging It

I accepted a last minute invitation to Shabbos lunch from a dear friend who is a vegetarian. She instructed me and my family not to eat meat before coming to her home because there would be dairy food on the table and she wanted us to enjoy everything.

I took her advice. I stayed away from meat, but wondered what there would be to eat. I was getting kinda hungry.

Oh my gosh! The lunch table was laden with homemade eggplant salads, roasted pepper salad, eggs in all varieties mixed with vegetables, enchiladas, cabbage salad and more. Add to that a spicy bean cholent that had my daughter begging for more water.

My family wasn't the only guest. Another dear friend was there, a gourmet chef in her own right, and I say this because I've eaten many a meal in her home. Even she was amazed at the cuisine.

I asked the hostess over and over again - did you make all this food Friday? Frankly, I'm surprised she didn't hit me over the head to get me to shut up. I was so impressed. And quite full. I think veggie fare fills you up quickly, even when you leave room for a brownie topped with real chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. More likely, I ate so much and so fast because it tasted great.

Today's experience took spiritually and vegetables to a new height. Thanks D, for a wonderful experience and for making by Shabbos so special. Now if only I could find the time to make some of that delicious food. . .

Friday, May 14, 2010

Life's Little Pleasures

I made a date with a good friend of mine to eat something I haven't tasted since the 80s. Frozen yogurt. That's because when I decided to follow Jewish dietary laws, there were no "kosher" frozen yogurt stores around.

Let me clarify something. What I mean is, cholav Yisroel kosher yogurt stores. Frozen yogurt made from cows' milk whose processing was supervised by a Jew. That's right - expensive. .

The store is called Yogo and they sell their frozen stash by the pound. I picked up Debbie, we drove over to the store, found parking right away and then joined an entire girl's high school class already enjoying a snack. It was standing room only.

Which didn't deter Debbie and I - nothing has ever stood in the way of our pursuit of something good to eat - and we grabbed paper bowls, sampled every flavor but coffee and piled on the toppings. Debbie opted for chocolate syrup, and since it wasn't hot, it was bitter. I choose nuts, fruit and chocolate chips. Amazing.

So Debbie and I sat out on Melrose, a street in Los Angeles not usually associated with revealed holiness*, and ate our kosher yogurt. The girls left, and the boys from yeshiva showed up, along with bubbies and zeides taking the grandchildren for a walk.

Welcome Yogo. Ten purchases and I get one free. Even counting in Shavuot, when the store is closed for two days, I might just get my free yogurt before next Shabbos. That's how good it is. In the end, I can only thank the One Above for having planted the idea for frozen yogurt in someone's mind so the rest of us can lie to ourselves about eating healthy. Because next time, it's double chocolate chips. Oh yeah.

*Revealed, yes. Holiness, no.

Monday, May 10, 2010

WIC is the Way

I spent four hours today working for WIC - the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children. I loved it! I was truly in my element. Kinda made me think about my decision to work as a Registered Dietitian in a clinical (hospital) setting.

I didn't do much, just observe, put forms on clipboards and hand out their amazing cookbook. I plan to take a Spanish class this summer, and hope that will help me communicate with the overwhelming majority of people who frequent WIC services.

Of course, that could all change, but I have a feeling it won't. I'm more of a one-on-one person, and I love kids, which were in abundance today.

So I'll take a deep breath, finish my classes, and then apply to WIC. I'll let destiny take it from there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bidding My Time

Going to school on the quarter system has its moments, most notably, when the quarter is over. When classes last only 10 weeks, unless you're uber organized, you tend to lose track of time and fall begin. Guess what's happened to me?

If you guessed I've fallen behind, you're right. So now I'm in the process of making a spread sheet so I don't get bit in the butt by assignments. Imagine, a spread sheet for homework. Is that sick or what?

At least I have my sense of humor back. I had all but given up hope of ever enjoying myself after working 10 hours on a class presentation on hypertension. In fact, I think I ended up with hypertension in the process.

And that's what has brought me to the spreadsheet. If I had been paying attention to my assignments, I would not have dallied on the presentation and ended up with literally sleepless nights trying to get it done.

Just goes to show you - organization has it's place. The anarchist in me is finally laid to rest. What can you expect from a gal who spent the 80s wearing the pin "Question Authority?"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lag B'Omer LA!

This past Sunday the Jewish world celebrated the 33rd day of the counting of the omer - the 49 days between Passover and the giving of the Torah on Shauvot. Here in LA, we did it with a parade. Here are the photos. Enjoy!!!