Friday, March 12, 2010

Ranting in the Rain

After a few days of beautiful sunny weather and temperatures in the sixties (this a week after the "snowicane"), it is now gray and rainy. As I went about my errands, there were many opportunities to rant today. After the post office (we won't even get into the oxymoron of "Postal Service"), I did the recycling because I couldn't stand the accumulation of plastic bottles. I guess I could throw them away, but then I would feel guilty because I was not being environmentally responsible. Which goes to show you can never win. A bigger question is why my city can pick up newspapers and glass at the curb, but not plastic bottles and cardboard. We do not put out glass, but it's interesting to drive around on recycling day and see how much alcohol our neighbors are consuming.

After recycling, I went to a Childrenswear Centre in Clifton. People come from all over the area to shop at this place for the prices. I'm thinking we graduated from this store. I used to do really well on clothes size 4T and under. They do have a good selection of uniform stuff, so I got my DD (darling daughter) some new white shirts (Peter Pan collar, no embellishments). I really wanted to get son #2 some pants, but they did not have one pair of size 8 pants in the store. They had tons and tons of size 18, but not size 8. Can you tell this bothered me?! I also wanted to get DD a spring jacket, but they did not have any. I saw a Rothschild fuschia raincoat, but it brought back memories of my mother buying me things she like that I hated, so I passed that one by, even though it was a bargain and very cute. After my annoyance at the store, I went to see my mother in the nursing home. She was doing pretty well, and it was nice to sit for a while and talk with her. Then it was on to Shoprite to pick up a few last minute items for Shabbat.

For Shabbat, I must always serve the same thing or the natives get very restless: chicken soup with vegetables, baked chicken, potato kugel, steamed vegetables. The only thing that can vary is the dessert. This week is "secret recipe pie." The family knows by now that anything with a "secret recipe" is made with a mix and incredibly easy. So I got a shortbread crust and filled it with vanilla pudding, on top of which I added sprinkles. Anything with sprinkles or on a stick is always a big hit, too.

Then onto the bane of my existence: carpool. Dismissal is at 12:45 PM on Friday, so I have to get there by 12:35 PM to get a good spot. I usually bring a book or cross-stitch, or I call friends, so I don't mind the wait. It's the other drivers. People stop in the middle of the street, block you so you cannot pull out, cut you off, park facing the wrong way, park illegally on a corner so you cannot see oncoming traffic, etc. The irony of this situation is that I am picking up from yeshiva. As we pay through the nose so that our children can learn how to be good Jews, we are setting a poor example of consideration and respect for others. We'll leave it at that because I could write a mini-series about the dichotomy between theory and practice here.

My last shopping event was online at This website sells remainders, and I've gotten great bargains, including beautiful journals and autographed copies. I always check out the Jewish books, and I was kind of torn as I spotted these bargains:

Runaway Dreidel by Leslea Newman - $6.99
The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman - $6.99
New Year at the Pier by April Halperin Wayland - $6.99
Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen - $6.99
Across the Alley by Rich Michelson - $7.99
Raizel's Riddle (softcover) - $2.99
Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky - $7.99
Kibitzers and Fools by Simms Taback - $7.99
Letters from Rivka (paperback) - $2.99

Also Goy Crazy, Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa, and Penina Levine Is a Potato Pancake.

As I saw these books, I remembered when I first read them, and how much I enjoyed them. I can't believe that New Year at the Pier is on the list, and I'm very surprised about Hanukkah at Valley Forge and Across the Alley because I think both books have universal themes and great illustrations. So I'm conflicted. I'm not so happy that these books are remaindered or overstocked, but they make excellent gifts and prizes!

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