this moments

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember



Oriah is a writer who lives and works in Toronto.  She has published several works and is perhaps best known for her book The Invitation which has been translated into over 15 languages.

From her website: 
The focus of her life and work has been an on-going inquiry into the Sacred Mystery. Her writing, teaching and personal journey all explore how we can each become the individual we are at the deepest level of being and how we can co-create meaning together in the world. Blending humour, insight and compassion for our human struggles Oriah encourages herself and others to be ruthlessly honest and infinitely kind toward our own strengths and our weaknesses.

I have been reflecting lately on relationships- thank g-d those closest to me, my husband, my parents and a handful of friends I've known forever- continue to be a source of happiness and solidity to me.  
As our life path has continued and changed people have dropped out of our lives.  I find myself not mourning the loss of these relationships so much as anticipating with excitement the people who will fill the spaces that are now open.  Transition has always been an exciting time for me.  I love the anticipation of traveling, going to new places and meeting new people.  

These words written by Oriah are inspirational- 
The Invitation: 
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

What or who has been inspiring you lately?


this moments

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


Crayon Art

I have been looking for fun craft projects to do with the monkeys using 'recycled' crayons.  My boys don't use them much anymore- preferring coloring pencils (or if you are Canadian Pencil Crayons).  A few months ago a friend of mine was cleaning out her play room and gifted us with a huge bag of Crayola crayons.  
We finally found a great easy project when Adele from Musings On The Simple Life posted her Melty Crayon Art.  The monkeys and I did this project in an hour and they had a blast- This is definitely one we'll do again.

To make you will need: crayons, canvas, glue gun, hair dryer and newspaper.  
Sort crayons and remove the labels.
Once they were done peeling the labels they played around with various patterns
before we glued them on with the glue gun

My younger monkey decide to follow a color chart and group like colors together

We glued them on across the top 

My older monkey chose to do an abstract pattern

We took them outside- laid out the newspaper and got the hair dryer ready

They melted quickly! 

The final result was something they were both proud of

Dr. J took one look at their art and asked if he could take them to his office to hang up!
Questions to consider while creating:
What materials are we using? Where do they come from?  What is it made of?
Is this recycled art?  Why?
What colors are we using? Are you making a pattern?
What are warm colors?  Cool colors?
Read the names of the colors- why do you think they named it that color? 
What direction will the wax melt? Will it melt with other colors to create new colors?
What does the silver crayon take longer to melt than the other colors?

What are some art projects you like to do with crayons? 


Wine Glasses

I know I shouldn't complain- I GET it that I am lucky to have Dr. J AND that he washes dishes- but early on in our marriage my dreams of having nice wine glasses was shattered.
Literally. One…after…the other.
I usually buy a box of Ikea glasses to replace and count myself lucky when they are broken while being washed and not straight after filling up with red wine.
I can still swoon over beautiful designer glasses like these by Calici Caratteriali 

Maybe we should stick to less delicate wine glasses like these: Govino Wine Glasses 

made from a proprietary, food/pharmaceutical safe PETG, only it is superior in that it reflects the wine's color and aromatics much like crystal. It is recyclable, but more importanly, it is reusable.

Do you use 'nice' (read expensive) wine glasses?


The Food We Eat- New Home Education Blog

I have been taking less photos of the food we eat lately- partly because we've been eating so many vegetarian Asian dishes which look very similar and partly because we've been so busy.
We just started home schooling (I'm trying to call it Home Education as I am not trying to replicate 'school' in the traditional sense).
In an attempt to keep this blog from getting over run with home education posts- I've started a new blog:
Making Men Out Of Monkeys

Here are some photographs from the last few weeks of the food that I did get photos of:
Egg on ham with spinach and fritki (Polish for French Fries)


Fish Taco's at my friend M's place
Ice tea
Cheese, chip, cracker and fig platter

The perfect bite
Veggies and Trader Joe's Flax Seed Chips! 
Tofu Indian 

Chicken Thai

Arugula, tomato and mozzarella salad
And we went to a baseball game where I had my first ever 'Fat Tuesday' hotdog
It was the best hot dog ever but I felt totally sick after eating it. 
Because it is still so hot here- we have not busted out fall flavored food-
It will still be another month or so before I stop using the Air Condition.

Have you had a Fat Tuesday hot dog?


Go The F*ck To Sleep By Adam Mansbach

Written in the style of a children's book, ''Go the F to Sleep'' unabashingly drops the F-bomb in the text-
Dina Santorelli

This is one of the funniest books I've ever read- 
The four of us laughed our A$$'s off when I read it out loud- over and over. 
My monkeys are just old enough to appreciate the humor and see some of their own transparent antics in play.  They also happen to think it is hilarious when an adult says the F word.  
(Having said that they know not to use it- at least in front of adults- I'm a realist and far from a saint).

The story is that the author, Adam Mansbach, was exasperated with his 2yo taking so long to fall asleep- 
He posted on Facebook "Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the — to Sleep"
and got positive feedback from many of his friends, so he wrote the book! 
I love: 'how it came about' stories like this!

Every page is 'the best' but this one rings particularly true for me: 

This one reminds me of my 2yo niece CP who we spent a few weeks with this summer
My amazing SIL, who's a much more patient mother than I, spent hours trying to get her daughter to nap- CP who was potty training at the time used this excuse often-

This one reminds me of my youngest- who needs a lot of 'friends' and Zombie Spray to sleep
Have you read this book?



Well this is some of the honey from Mr. Torres
Dr. J and I visited this Market- (the last photo is the booth where we purchased the honey lid and dispenser) while we were in the Czech Republic
I have been adding it to my coffee and love the taste. 


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


Artist: Carly Waito

Crystals have healing powers.  I am fascinated by them and affected by them.  I can feel the heat and vibrations from powerful ones.  Dr. J and I collect them.

Carly Waito is a Toronto based artist who is able to capture the spirit of a crystal in paintings. 
These are painting- not photographs! 

From the artist's statement:
In these works, diminutive specimens of semi-precious gems and minerals are rendered in meticulous detail, exposing the beauty and logic of their structural minutiae.

From the artist's information page:
Through curating minerals, photographing them in macroscopic detail and rendering them in oil paints, Waito employs a layered process highlighting the ties between mimesis and levels of value. 

For those based in Toronto, Narwhal at: 
680 Queen St. West 
is running an exhibition of her work, called Specimens, until Oct 2nd 2011
Check out Carly's blog

Do you love crystals?


Jerusalem Maiden By Talia Carner

I just finished this book last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.  
It is an epic tale that spans from the end of the Ottoman rule in Jerusalem in 1911 and ends after WWII and the War of Independence in 1948.
The story follows Esther a Jerusalem Maiden from a strict Haredi ultra- Orthodox family.  This particular sect of Jews maintain strict codes of behavior, reject secular influences and consider themselves the chosen among the chosen people.  
Esther's battle with her upbringing and artistic talent is a major theme in this novel.  The passion for creativity is a gift that she struggles to cultivate.  Ultimately it is also a love story.  

Author's comment: Inspired by my ten-generation family roots in Jerusalem, I wrote a "what-if" alternate life for my grandmother and her untapped artistic genius
Here is a link to The Story Behind The Story

Have you read Jerusalem Maiden?


Discovery Atlas

As some of you already know my family does not subscribe to cable- We do however enjoy watching TV shows and having family movie nights.  The theory is that we watch shows or movies that are thought out and not aimlessly found while channel surfing. 
We just finished watching a great series that we borrowed from our local library called Discovery Atlas- The series chronicles the lives, cultures, traditions and natural aspects of several countries.  
These documentaries contain stunning footage of both cities and natural landscapes and follows the lives of people who live in both rural and urban communities.  
In the Japan episode, for example, they follow the lives of a geisha in training, Ama divers, a family who competes in Robotics and a tuna fisherman.  
The countries include China, Brazil, Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Egypt.  
To see another great educational series we enjoyed click here.  
Have you seen any great educational series lately? 


September 11, 2001

We were living in Toronto.  Dr. J had been accepted to medical school and we were hanging out basking in the glory of our new baby while preparing for our move to another country.  
This particular morning instead of the three of us sleeping in as we usually did- I woke up early to get ready for my first Mommy and Baby Yoga class.  I put on The Howard Stern Radio show and putzed around the kitchen.  I don’t remember his exact words but I heard it from Howard first- A plane hit the World Trade Center in New York.  I remember walking to the TV and turning it on.  I was still standing in front of the TV listening to the confusion and conflicting reports when I watch, live, as the second plane hit.  I woke Dr J up.  We watched.  How can the buildings not fall I remember asking out loud.  
I went to my yoga class.  By the time I got back everything was down.  
I watched the replay of the buildings collapse hundreds of times over and over. 
Despite Toronto not even being in the same country, our city shut down.  
Our subways shut down.  Our Airspace shut down. Our finical sector shut down. Our city was solemn.  
I feel pain for the people who lost loved ones- People who wanted to believe with every fiber of their being- but knowing. 
Those last phone calls- they get to me.  
The decisions- so many hard decisions- decisions to go up, decisions to jump down- brave decisions.  
The emptiness of seeing empty stretchers, an over abundance of donated blood and rescue dogs laying idly- 
It gets to me.
Where were you? 
Please feel free to share links about your experiences.


Guest Post!

Lenore asked me to write a post while she was away from blog-land, getting hitched and taking some time off- I wrote about my thoughts on love and marriage-

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


Zion, Utah- The Narrows Hike

This is the second year in a row that our family has done the Narrows hike at Zion National Park and I believe that for us it is a spiritual pilgrimage.  The hike is strenuous and seemingly never ending.  There are countless obstacles and the farther you hike the less people you see.
I posted about our hike last year and offered a lot of logistical information and links.
There are waterfalls, areas of white water rapids and slippery rocks.  This year we hiked for two hours longer than we did last year- making the hike just over six hours.
The water levels were much higher this year and there were several areas where the water was above the monkeys head and that Dr J and I were walking with our packs held above our heads.

The Narrows is one of the most unusual hikes on the Colorado Plateau. Hiking is done largely in the river, as for a third of the route, the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall. The walls are vertical and sheer, and often red in color. While water levels change from season to season, most hikers will wade at least waist-deep, and many will swim a few short sections. The hike is 16 miles (26 km) long and is very tiring because it is in the river itself. Permits are required before hiking the Narrows from the top and can be obtained at the Zion National Park Backcountry Desk. Hiking in the river is strenuous. The water is often murky and the bottom of the river is covered with round, basalt rocks about the size of bowling balls. This makes foot protection and use of trekking poles or a walking stick essential. In the spring, The Narrows might be closed due to flooding while the snow melts off the upland areas to the north if the flow rate is higher than 120 cubic feet per second.

Walking sticks are a necessity for crossing the strong current areas and maneuvering the slippery rocks

The monkeys enjoyed catching tadpoles.

This moment was one of my highlights
Monkey number one took the jump

This was the exact spot were we stopped last year
We did it! And look forward to next year! 
There is a strong sense of togetherness with the hikers you meet along the trail.  Advice is always being passed along regarding water depths and paths to maneuver.  Despite this community the real dangers create a sense of survival mode that is very exciting.  I could not imagine doing this hike with children who are not strong swimmers.  The reality is that it is dangerous and far from help.

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