Apr 26, 2013

ECF - Dancing Girl Edition

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to a Bar Mitzvah last weekend.  That's where I took this video.  I've watched it over and over since then and it's kept me smiling. 

For those of you who I know on FB, this was immediately following the video I posted there.  Nobody was bothering her anymore and Miss M was happy trying to figure out the "big Kid" moves and danced her little heart out.


Apr 25, 2013

Blowing Glass

As much as I wanted to stop the world and cry for a few days when my grandfather died, the world doesn't work like that.  It moves on.  And with active kids around there is never any shortage of stuff to do.  So after the funeral last Friday we went to Pennsylvania for a Bar Mitzvah and then on to Baltimore where we met DQ's Girl Scout Troop for glass blowing.  How freakin' cool is that?

We had planned to drop her off and run but I was mesmerized.  I've always wanted to see how it was done so I couldn't resist taking my camera out.  Then, since we were there (and another girl cancelled at the last minute) they asked if Stinkette wanted to try.  Ummmm... YES!!!

So this is what it looked like. Lots of pictures - few words.

Cooling the tools... they get really hot!


Adding a bit of color.


Smoothing it out.


Heating it up again.


Lindsey shaping her vase.


Daria shaping her pumpkin. It's red hot!


Check out that pumpkin.


And the pumpkin gets a cute, swirly, stem.


We couldn't take them home the same day because they needed to cool and harden properly.  I hope to share finished pictures when we have all three pieces.  Yup!  I got to do it too.  Lucky me!

Apr 24, 2013

Broken Hearted

We lost my grandfather, Larry Fyman, one week ago at the age of 94. It was not quite six months after the passing of his beautiful and brilliant bride Bess and it would not be wrong to say that he died of a broken heart.


I’ve been thinking about how to write this post for the past week and I still not sure I can do it justice. There just aren’t words to express how we all felt about my grandfather but I’m going to try because I wish you all could’ve met him. You would’ve loved him as we did.

My grandfather was extremely outgoing and gregarious right up until the end. The last time I saw him was in February and I took him to a discount store where he rode one of those carts around, lauging with people as he went about what a bad driver he was. He never met a stranger and he was always ready with a joke – preferably an off-color one. He left me with one that day and I’m struggling to recall it.

My grandparents with my mom
Young Fyman Family

He was active. He drove like a Queens native (which is to say aggressively) until about 2 years ago. He loved long walks and danced at every occasion. He played games with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved to go to see a good baseball game, especially his Mets. He’d call my husband and discuss gripe about players he disliked or crow about a game they won. Sometimes he’d clip an article from the NY Post and send it to Bruce because he thought he’d enjoy it. He liked having someone to talk sports to.

My grandfather with Lindsey
DQ and grandpa

To the rest of the world he was Larry but to us he was Laurie (a holdover from his boyhood in Leeds, England), grandpa, or Zayda. He loved that last one which is Yiddish for grandpa. That’s what the great-grandchildren called him. He had 12 of them and the oldest was my Lindsey. You never saw anyone as overjoyed to change a dirty diaper as when he changed hers. And years later, when he had the pleasure of attending her Bat Mitzvah he told me afterward with tears in his eyes that it was the best day because he never imagined he be here to see a great grandchild grow up. That made it my best day too.

My grandfather loved everyone and supported us all. I’m proud to say that when Canada legalized gay marriage my grandfather called my cousins and told them he was ready to hit the road. He was ready to drive them to Canada to get married immediately but they waited until it was legal closer to home.

My grandparents favorite picture of them.
The Fymans - Young and Gorgeous

One of the most notable things about my grandfather was his selflessness. He gave of himself tirelessly to his friends, family and community. He drove relatives to doctors’ appointments and bailed out granddaughters who made bad choices. Most of all he loved my grandmother and never stopped putting her first. For more than 70 years he gave her credit for all the good in their life. He never wanted more than her happiness and, to that end, insisted that we celebrate her birthdays instead of his and give her gifts instead of him. It was always all about his Bess, the smartest and most beautiful person he knew.

The world is a better place and I am a better person because of my grandfather.  He inspired me to do my best  and when I succeeded he is the person I most wanted to share it with.  There was nothing quite like knowing he was proud of me.

If you’ve made it to the end then I thank you for allowing me one last opportunity to share my favorite person. I really do wish that you could’ve met him. He was extraordinary!

Apr 12, 2013

ECF - 2013 Cherry Blossoms Edition

So we went to see the Cherry Blossoms On Wednesday night.  Of course I brought my camera and took a picture or twenty.


I think that I like this one best because it's different than most of the Cherry Blossom photos I see which look more like this.


Although, truth be told, I like that one too.  It's kind of classic.

Apr 11, 2013

In the Kitchen

DQ is in Israel now, after a week in Poland.  This is the part of the trip I kind of dreaded because it would be so easy for her to fall in love with that country. I know that she'll come home a week from now but the big question is - will she be pining for Israel. Only time will tell. Right now she's having a fabulous time.

Although we miss DQ terribly, we're having fun too. The four of us have been super busy with school events, festivals, concerts, sports and family fun.  Dinner last Saturday night falls into the last category.  We made personal pizzas and it was so much fun.  Daria helped Miss M make hers. They were so sweet to watch.


Then my youngest was back to her old tricks. She is very familiar with the freezer and knows it as the keeper of ice cream and waffles and ice.  We all drink ice water in my house and now Miss M does too.  But hers is in a sippy cup.  She is impatient and independent so she helps herself.


We teach them to love their ice young.

Apr 9, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Things You Always Bring on Vacation

This is the time of year when I'm busy planning ahead for summer and fall vacations but it's so hard to think about that stuff when winter just won't go.  This past weekend is seems that we turned a corner.


The weather warmed up just in time for Stinkerbelle's team to debut their new uniforms.  Not only did they look sharp, they played well too.

  1. My camera - gotta take lot's of pictures
  2. A swimsuit - especially if I'm going to the beach
  3. A bunch of ziplock bags - they are handy for so many things
  4. A good book - actually I'd bring a few.  Reading relaxes me - what better for a vacation?
  5. A knitting project or seven - Heaven forbid I should run out of knitting to do although I rarely even make a dent.  It's truly pathetic.
  6. An old pillow case for my laundry.
  7. A tour book or other guide - I love seeing new things
  8. Maps - so I can find my way around without technology.  I'm a little old school.
  9. My ipod and ipad - one is for surfing and the other for chilling but both are absolutely essential.
  10. Way too many clothes - I tend to pack for all the what if's.  You never know!

Apr 3, 2013

Vital Voices and Voices of the Future

Last night I had the incredible privilege to attend the Vital Voices 2013 Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center.  You can put the Kennedy Center on the list of eleventy-million reasons I love living the DC area.

My oldest daughter found out that we could attend for free as part of the Girl Scout delegation and had to go.  Hillary Clinton was going to be there!


Mrs Clinton was a wonderful speaker and it was very cool to see her in person but, surprisingly, the presenter who I enjoyed the most was this guy.  Our Vice President is a wonderful and entertaining speaker.


Did I mention that security was very tight at the Kennedy Center last night.  Secret Service checked my car thouroughly. As I waited for them to finish searching the engine area one agent walked up to my window and asked if I had any bombs in there.  He was grinning so I replied "Nope, I left them home tonight."  That's me, livin' on the edge.

There were many other presenters there last night and you can see most of them in this picture taken at the end of the event, lined up on the stage. On the right, in white is Ann Curry, On the left in the white top is Hillary Clinton with Joe Biden next to her.  The lady next to him with the reddish hair is Diane von Furstenberg.  Some people can make anything look good.  She was wearing a lovely little black dress accessorized with a sling (for her arm recently injured in a skiing accident) in an equally nice black and white print.  Classy!


The focus of the event and of the awards handed out were people working to help women around the world.  There weas a doctor helping women give birth safely in Somalia, a police chief from Brazil who is trying to end domestic violence there, and three brothers working to end human trafficking in India among others.  They were so inspiring. 

As I mentioned, we were there with the Girl Scouts as part of their delegation of Rising Voices.  I'd like to think that I was sitting with our leaders of tomorrow.  Maybe even escorting one of them.


The reason my girl looks so pained in this picture (aside from the usual teen impatience with embarrassing parents) is that she still had to finish packing for a big trip when she got home.  As I'm writing this my daughter is embarking on the trip of a lifetime, the March of the Living.  She will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day in Auschwitz and help to clean a Jewish cemetary in Warsaw.  She is carrying with her letters from 3rd graders at our synagogue to place in the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  It's a trip that she desperately wanted to make and feels deeply about.  I can't wait to hear about the ways that it inspires her and what form that inspiration takes.