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A Tribute to My Father on his YahrTzeit


What do you say when someone asks you for information that is readily available on the Internet? Google it! That’s code for “Look it up. Figure it out. You can do it….” My siblings and I reminisce that my father would encourage our independence in learning new things, by telling us to  “look it up.” In honor of  the yahrtzeit or anniversary of my father’s passing two years ago, I write this blog post. This one’s for you, Daddy. Shalom Stern, or Shalom ben Shlomo (the son of Solomon) Halevi (a descendant of the Levites) passed away after a diagnosis 14 years earlier of Parkinson’s Disease. My father passed on September 28, 2014 but the Hebrew date falls on today’s Hebrew date which is the day after Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year). Today we lit a candle that lasts for 24 hours and my brothers recited kaddish in my father’s memory. My father was a paradigm of punctuality. Descending from German ancestors, his motto … Continue reading

10 Things You’re Doing that Drive Your New Daughter-in-law Crazy….and How to Fix Them


I originally wrote this post for my website page that offers help exclusively for mothers-in-law on how to cope. I launched that page in 2013 and this was my first broadcast I sent out. Well, I’ve come a long way since then. Many people have corresponded with me through that site with questions on how to cope. I have tried to answer their queries to the best of my abilities based on my own and on others’ experiences shared with me. However, I sometimes wonder whether I have fallen behind in some of these skills. Having had several more sons get married thank G-d, increasing my number of daughters-in-law to four (and counting!), I’ve had some tricky scenarios occur in our family(and no, I will not share them in this post!). I can picture my daughters-in-law reading this and thinking, “Hmmm…” Yes, confession: I have broken these rules (from time to time!). Rereading my own tips leads to me realizing I need a tune-up and some studying of … Continue reading

Life is Grand at the Old Ballgame


It’s a week or two before the Jewish New Year, with lots to do in preparation for this auspicious time of year. Still, it’s a good a time as any for  my husband and I to spend quality time with our grandchildren. Since every summer we have a tradition to take our two young grandsons (now ages 5 1/2 and 8 1/2) to watch a ballgame, we found time to do that last night. Admittedly we were a bit delayed with the ritual due to our older son’s wedding a few weeks ago. But, we did end up finding a good time on our calendar. And so, my husband – whose favorite childhood pastime was baseball- and I  headed off last night with our baseball fan grandsons to Dodger Stadium. Last night Los Angeles Dodgers play against the San Francisco Giants. Even though both teams are from our home state, we naturally rooted for the Dodgers. One of my grandsons wore his fun  Jackie Robinson shirt with “Brooklyn” scrawled across … Continue reading

They’re Just Married: A Mom’s Muse


A few days ago I received a text from my newly married couple. Two words: “We arrived.” Those two words told me everything – they had arrived at their new apartment a week after the wedding and the ensuing celebrations. Although I would have liked just a bit of a longer text (2 words? Come on?), I understood that they were busy and needed to get on. School, work, life. They have things to do. And there’s another piece here. After a couple gets married they need space from their parents in the first weeks of their marriage. Actually, the first year – known as “shanah rishonah” in Hebrew is a time for the new couple to bond. The couple needs settling and so do we, the parents. Our family recently celebrated the wedding of our fourth son (mazel tov!) and it takes more than a few days (weeks?) for us as the parents to settle back into what was pre-couple … Continue reading

In-Law Boundaries Then and Now

When I was expecting my first child, I once overheard my mother-in-law sharing with a friend of hers that I was pregnant – in the early months. I was so upset; I thought she had violated my privacy. Looking back, I know what I was thinking, but I also know what I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t thinking about the other side of the picture. I wasn’t realizing that all in-laws want is to be a part of their children’s life. So she slipped and shared with her two friends about my upcoming event. Big deal. Boundaries  with in-laws were always a thing, except we didn’t call them that in the old days. If you crossed boundaries or were over-involved with your kids and in-law kids, you were a meddler, a doter, and interfering parent. If you talked too much, you were a yenta. When I got married we had a particular preference with our parents and in-laws (which was hardly ever followed because we didn’t enforce … Continue reading

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