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Archive for September, 2011

Forgive and Forget

Today I participated in the Rosh Hashanah tradition of Tashlich (casting off). You cast off your sins from the previous year, usually through bread crumbs, into a body of moving water.

Zoe and I met a group from our new temple at Vally Green and threw sins, from A to Z, into Wissahickon.

But, other than feeding the ducks and geese there, what were we doing? Can we really give ourselves permission to have a clean slate? Can we just step forward into a new life, leaving behind an alphabet of sins (arrogance, betrayal, cruelty, doubt, envy, fear. . .)?

Putting aside the, IMO, controversial idea of “sin” itself, I wonder, not only if I will be forgiven, but I can forgive myself?

Can you? Can you forgive yourself for being human? I realize that sometimes we are no better than small children who don’t want to share, who need to get their way, and and who acts out when they haven’t had enough sleep or food or attention. So, can we, like a loving parent, reach down and gather up the imperfect child in ourselves and forgive her? Can we say to ourselves, “I love you and I understand living is hard. It’s okay and I forgive you.”

Let’s just recognize that we are not perfect adults. We have not finished growing. We can welcome mistakes as opportunities to learn. And we can also forgive our mistakes. As a friend of mine would say ‘”It’s in the past.”

 

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A link to my blog post at 40 Questions.

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Getting uncomfortable

There are a few things I am not loving about Philly. Probably the No.1 thing is that it is SO humid! And I grew up in South Florida, so I know from humid.

Our “new” house doesn’t have central air, which is typical for these old houses in the city. We have one wall unit for each floor and fans. But there are some places, like the stairs up to the 3rd floor, that I will emerge from just covered in sweat.

It is pretty gross feeling. I changed my shirt 4 times yesterday, each time trying to find something lighter and more breathable that would also soak up that ooky sheen of dampness that covers my body if I go more than 15 ft from a room with an air conditioner.

So, my house is one thing, but I now live in an old city where most of the buildings are gorgeous and 100+ years old, and they do not have central air. That includes Zoe’s music school and the public library. Last night we saw a movie at the library and it was HOT! In the library!!

You know me though, I usually try to find a way to spin things for the better. While bemoaning the need to wipe sweat from my upper lip while I searched for a Neil Gaiman book at the Free Library, I realized that this is what Ben Franklin must have felt like when he helped to establish The Library Company in 1731. “Look at me! Sweating just like Ben Franklin!”

And back in those days people were wearing layers (oh god, layers!) of clothing, and stockings and jackets and wigs. So, being disgusting and sweaty is very historical! It’s like my very own time machine back to the days of our founding fathers. I think it is really helped me get to know them better, to “get inside their skin’ as they say. Yes, I’m feel very authentic.

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We’ve been residents of Philadelphia for almost a month now. We are still in that “breaking in new shoes” stage, where we are not totally comfortable but we are happy with our choice and enjoying the process (not too many blisters so far.)

Zoe is almost set up in all her new homeschooling classes.

She is taking piano at Settlement Music School – Founded in 1908, it is the largest community school of the arts in the United States. I love walked down the halls at Settlement and hearing the low tones of the oboe coming from one room, the tin-tin of the drums from another, and piano from another. The school has two informal recitals, open to all students, twice a month. And several formal recitals a year. So my performing loving daughter will have lots of opportunities to play to the crowd, if she wants.

Zoe takes a writing class at the homeschooling co-op in a little stone building, built sometime before 1818, and used as a school house. It is on the grounds of a 150 year old church, and surrounded by a cemetery with graves from from the 1700s. (Can you tell I love the history here??)

So far, the writing class is Zoe’s favorite, along with her Circus Arts Class.

I am inspired to lose weight so I can take a class there too!

We found a nice homeschool group that meets at a nearby park and Z has made friends with a gaggle of girls around her age. She is already getting invited to play dates, hang outs, and sleep-overs.

I’ve met some people too. Mostly other homeschooling parents, but some neighbors, and people from synagogue. I am looking forward to seeing them again. But I am not nearly as social as Zoe, so I don’t need to have all my free time filled with other people. I am finding my “friends” in the trees and the river in the Wissahickon.

 

I am really happy with our neighborhood. Not only can we walk to the Wissahickon but I can walk to the library, several coffee shops, three organic markets, numerous restaurants, antique shops, two toy stores, and many other helpful (albeit expensive) shops. Pretty much every day I could walk somewhere, and I usually do.

My husband is happy with his job, the one that brought us out here. He is is very busy and the work is more intense but he likes that. Mental challenges energize him and there are a lot of opportunities for that here.

We are all still finding our way, seeing where we fit, trying things on for size, and exploring. It is an exciting time, because it looks like we are finding Philadelphia fits us very well.

 

 

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The Neverending Story

Goonies

The Dark Crystal

Studio Ghibli Films (I recommend the Japanese versions with English subtitles)

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Ponyo
  • Nausicaa
  • Spirited Away
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Howl’s Moving Castle

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Pippi Longstocking – starring Inger Nilsson

All the Harry Potter movies

Curse of the Wererabbit (and other Wallace and Gromit shorts)

Labyrinth

The Secret of Nymh

The Iron Giant

The Incredibles

The Secret of Roan Inish

The Secret of the Kells

Matilda

Willow

Whale Rider

The Princess Bride

The Wizard of Oz

Beauty and the Beast – The 1947 Jean Cocteau version

A few more, that might be for kids a bit older

Pirates of the Caribeaan
Princess Mononoke
Lord of the Rings
Coraline
Legend
Edward Scissorhands
Beetlejuice
Clash of the Titans – the 1981 Ray Harryhausen version

Please add you own to the list!

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I don’t plan to just post pictures. I will have other content, I swear!

 

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I finally took Z to our neighborhood park today.

I finally took Z to our neighborhood park today
She was running by the pond and her croc flew off and flew into the water. She almost had to go swimming to get it back.


The park has a cute amphitheater too, bordered by a little waterway.


Isn’t this the best climbing tree?

This park was given two thumbs (and ten troll toes) up!

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