Hot Pastrami.

One of the “bad” parts of immigration is losing your heritage. We try so hard all these years to assimilate, to lose an accent, to find a good job, to fit in and then one day  we realize we achieved that, but in the process of it we lost something so dear to our hearts and to our  souls,  we lost something irreplaceable.

Last night I felt the loss of my heritage in such a raw way, so much so that I wanted to cry out and tell every single immigrant to stay connected, stay rooted, and that one day you will be the only link between old and new, between your grandmothers and your grandchildren.

It’s in particularly hard for us no, for me ( I don’t want to speak for everyone) an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. The Soviet Union does not exist anymore. Now we have countries, which once upon a time were tied together by the same rules, same ideas (bad or good, it’s not what this post is about), same songs, same books. …and it’s particularly hard for Jews.  See, a Lithuanian can go back and visit Lithuania, it’s their homeland, an Armenian can go to Armenia and an Ukrainian can hopefully go and visit Ukraine one day. But where would Jews from the Soviet Union go? Being Jewish in Soviet Union wasn’t a religion it was your being. We were always on someone else’s territory. We assimilated to that territory, we adopted their language, their songs, their traditions.

I grew up in the Moldavian republic, which at one point was part of Romania, then it was part of Soviet Union, and now it’s a separate country.

Moldavian culture along with Jewish culture had a  very strong presence in our home. My mom and dad both spoke Moldavian language along with Russian and Yiddish.  I am still holding a grudge at my parents by not teaching me Yiddish. My grandma used to sing to me Yiddish songs and if she forgot a word or two she would substitute them with Moldavian words.

The reason I’m writing all of this is because last night I went to see a local band ” HOT PASTRAMI”, who traveled to the Romanian and Moldavian country side looking for their heritage and collected Yiddish, Romanian and Moldavian songs – those songs that my grandma used to sing to me.

hot postrami

How funny it is that everything what I ignored growing up, everything what I wanted so desperately to forget trying to build my perfect life, came rushing back to me with these wonderful folk songs.

All of a sudden I’m 12 again listening to my baba Pearl’s velvety voice and feeling a sense of loss ……

 

 

Posted in Family, immigration, Judaism, My life, Religion, traditions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

#TBT

I’ll be brief . Today is Thursday, that means internet will be screaming with #TBT’s – Throw Back Thursdays, I am creating my own  #TBT today  and I am calling  it Throw Beef Thursday.

Here is my beef:

Why can’t we be just like the rest of the World and move our clocks forward at the end of March, or maybe not to move our clocks at all, like some  other parts of the World.

And just to keep in the theme of time – here are the pictures I took few years ago, when I first time visited Basel Watch Fair – #TBT

Picture 004 droid pictures 142

 

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Brain + Beauty = Harmony. TBT!

It has  been the longest and the hardest winter that I can ever remember. We have not seen the ground since October, everywhere you look you see piles of snow covered with ice,  but no I am not here to complain, instead I am here to  make everyone feel better by bringing warm and happy memories back.

Last year on our annual trip to the world renown  Michigan winery we found this wonderful sculpture made by a local artist .

It says: “I am the vine – you are the branches”.

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I am the vine you are the branches

I am not sure I feel like a vine,  more like having some wine at this moment to keep my self happy from inside out,  and I wouldn’t mine to try some of the wine from this rack:

Vintage – more wine anyone?

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More wine anyone?

So why this title:  Brain and Beauty.  I am not sure, it’s so cold outside it’s hard for me to use my brain, (see my previous post), but despite the cold if you guys decide to use the  brain anyway please add some beauty to it. You will feel harmonious, just like my older son when he  jumped off the plane last July.

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Harmony or Stress – what do you see?

 

..or my younger son, who against his will joined high school marching band and went on to winning the 1st place in the state.

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Proud Moment

 

and also preformed on Thanksgiving day half-game show between the Lions and the Packers. What makes it even sweeter is the fact that the Lions (our team) won!

Stay warm people – use you Brain and Beauty to create Harmony no matter how cold it is outside!

Posted in Memories, My life, photography, Ramblings, Uncategorized, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Conversation

Me: Max, please do something other than playing a  video game.

Max: Like what?

Me: Maybe you can do something intellectual, like  read a book, or check if you have some work from school, do something good for your brain.

Max: Why, I am on the break and so is my brain.

Should I be worried?

 

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The story of an old rug.

So way, way back in the old country none of us had much of anything, some of you who read my old posts know that everyone had kind of the same stuff, so to speak.

The biggest difference in peoples’ apartments was the amount of books they owned. Some of us had big libraries, some had none and its not because they didn’t want to collect books , it’s just they probably did not have room in their tiny rooms, but there is one more thing…..

….Rugs! Yes, Rugs. Every Soviet family had to have a Persian rug- either on their floors or even better, on their walls! To hang a rug on your wall meant that you finally made it and you have a certain status.

My beloved grandma Pearl was very upset that her only daughter doesn’t have the rug on the wall for everyone to see. She was saving every penny for years and finally one fine day I came home from school and saw a beautiful rug on a large wall in our main room (mind you we only had one bedroom apartment, where my parents, my brother and I lived), which served as a living room, dining room and my parent’s bedroom. Yes, grandma was happy now, as her only child finally had a a status! She made it! She had a rug on her wall just like everyone else.

Lets move forward few years, I am getting married and once again there is a question about the rug.

- Kids are getting married – my mom said and we are getting them their own Persian rug. I will stay in line for months if necessary, but my daughter will have a rug just like everyone one else in the family.

-Mom, we really don’t care about it, we love our hardwood floor and we don’t want

to cover it! – I tried to reason with her.

- It’s not for your floors, you will hang it on your main wall!

- I don’t like rugs on walls! – I tried again.

-You don’t know what you’re talking about, papa and I are getting you a rug.

Who am I to argue with my parents?

We were the lucky one, we didn’t have to wait half of our lives just like our parents. We got ours right away as a wedding gift, look who has a status now?!

Proudly we laid it on our floors in our studio apartment and yes and to my moms horror we walked on it….

By the time we were ready to move to the USA the poor rug was stepped on, peed on by our newly born and seen some pretty nasty stuff by lots and lots of friends who happened to stay in our place when we were away.

- Mom, can we sell our rug, we don’t need it in America? – I asked .

-What? Do you know how hard papa and I worked to get this rug for you?

-Do you think there are no rugs in America? -I was trying to be a smart ass about it.

-It’s not the point! This is your wedding gift and we are packing and shipping the rug with the rest of our belongings.

To my moms disappointment, every apartment in America had carpet. We rolled

our wedding gift and put it away with the rest of the stuff we brought with us

like bedding sheets that don’t feet American beds,  towels…..and…whatever else…

My mom still proudly lays her Persian rug on top of her carpet and then complains to me that she has developed dust allergy.

- Mom, did you ever consider to put the rug away, maybe this will help you with your allergies- I asked her once, twice few times, but she wont listen to me.

Our rug for the past 20 years was rolled up in the basement, but recently it found a new

home. My son found a brand new love for our Persian rug, he maybe inherited some of my grandma Pearl’s genes, he took it with him when he moved to Chicago.

- Hey son, be careful with it! It’s my wedding gift!

rug

 

 
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How not to sell items on eBay.

Honestly, how many of you have tried to sell your old stuff on Ebay? I am sure if I ask all of my followers, I will probably get a dozen of raised hands. And how many of you actually sold anything? Were you satisfied with your Ebay selling experience? Let me repeat the question: were you satisfied with your selling (not buying) experience? Really?! You were?! Hmm, interesting.
Let me tell you about how I was trying to sell stuff on Ebay and give you few tips of what not to do on Ebay. Hopefully in the future it will help you to run your own successful Ebay shop.
In my young and worry free days I was a shoe lover. I bought and bought and bought and before I knew it I had a closet full of shoes that were worn once or twice. Believe me I am far, far away from Imelda Marcus or Carrie Bradshaw (remember them?), but I was bad.
Now that I am much wiser and thriftier, I kicked my habit of buying shoes for no reason and with my friend’s encouragement, I decided to sell some of them and get at least some money back.
Here is my story:
One gloomy winter afternoon I decided to clean my closet and boom- I found about 5 pairs of shoes that were worn twice or even less and are now just sitting in their original boxes and collecting dust. I shared my excitement with my hubby. Needless to say he was less excited plus he accused me of being an over-spender, blah, blah, blah. All of my attempts to explain to him how I got a good deal on my shoes and how I enjoyed them failed… To win his love back I promised him that I will sell my old new shoes on Ebay and get my money back.

All my shiny Stuart Weitzmans lined up on my basement floor – pictures taken and downloaded to my laptop. Time to set up an Ebay and PayPal account, but with some little difficulties, done! Phew! I feel so computer savvy. Tip number one – don’t ever think you are computer or Ebay savvy, especially when you are doing this for the first time.
With my last “good bye” I listed all of my shoes and waited for bids. I knew bids would come right away, who wouldn’t want to buy my shiny “babies”. I’ve waited for a day, two, three – nothing, finally at the end of a week I received a note that all my shoes were sold for 99 cents. Tip number two – see tip number one!

Shut the front door! I am not selling them for 99 cents! Now I am involved in the long and nasty “conversation” with the bidder who is not budging and keeps telling me that it’s my fault I listed my items at this price . She threatened me with negative feedback! Wait a minute lady, I am just a rookie, I don’t even know what feedback is, or how to list my shoes for more than 99 cents. Please don’t explain it to me now – I figured it out. Once again see tip number one!
To make this long story short, I decided to wait for a few months- after all, who needs strappy shoes in February.
I re-listed my shoes again in May, June, and now July, plus I added a trumpet – do you guys need a shiny trumpet, it’s beautiful and you can play music on it, I paid fees to Ebay by using their services, I fought with another bidder, I got negative feedback on my page, I listed all of the above items on Craigslist and yet nothing is sold. My husband lost faith in my entrepreneurial skills, but I am not defeated next stop – donations for tax refund – buhaha.

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Posted in blogging, humor, My life, Ramblings, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Go jump off the bridge.

Growing up how many times did you hear parents saying, “So, if your friends jump from the bridge, you will do it too?” – did you just roll your eyes and feel stupid about whatever it is you did prior to having this conversation with your old folks?
How many times did you say the same thing to your kids hoping that now it’s their turn to feel stupid?
Well, times have changed – I am still feeling pretty stupid.

bridge 2

bridge 1

Posted in happiness, humor, motherhood, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment