Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm your Mommy's mommy.

When you think back to the first time you truly understood the concept of who your mother's mother was, how old were you?
My delicious grandson is four and last night for the very first time when I asked the question: "Who is you mommy's mommy?" he pointed to ME!
No, he didn't come up with the formula for splitting the atom, but he knows who I am. I'm not just a woman whose name is Grand-mama, I have a family tie to him.
He now not only recognizes who we are, but what relationship we have to each other and him.
In the world of a four year old it is a very big concept to grasp, and I'm just jazzed I was there to see it.
Ahh being a grandparent . . . . it rocks!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Big Love and Polygamy

I am a huge fan of the HBO show "Big Love". I love the complexities of multi-marriages and all the hoopla as they try and keep it a secret, while concurrently trying to mainstream it.
That said-I have strong opinion of Polygamy . . . I am all for it! BUT AND THE BUT IS BIG: no children are to be born from these unions. Why should children be brought into this mess. And I don't care what those women who don't mind sharing their man and having a once or twice a week booty-call say . . . . this isn't good for kids! I also think that the women should be no younger than 21 to get married. Anyone below that age isn't mature enough to make such a monumental commitment.
I have a question, Why would any woman want to do this? I understand that for the man this is Utopia, but for the woman WHY?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A college professor understands my family

A professor understood and appreciated my family . . . who'd of thunk it? (ME).

This work is noteworthy, and Ms. Katzir deserves commendation for probing the less visible psychoemotive scars and behaviors resulting from terror and privation, and for committing them to paper. She presents to the reader the fears, the resilience, the compartmentalization of life (the former life and the present life) which characterize the lives of survivors; she hints at the complexity of assimilation; and always she shows the humanity of the survivor.

Katzir honestly describes the impact such scars had on the children (the broken birds) of survivors. Without apology and without sparing the reader, Katzir describes the loving but often fractious relations between parent and child, sibling and sibling. Significantly, these tensions (found in all families) often result in fractures, fissures which may be irreparable...And the source of these "broken" relations? Well, as the Irish would say: "that would be tellin.' "

A marvelous work which should be included in the catalogue of Holocaust literature; additionally, also in any college course designed to exam human behavior.

Karol Jordan, Professor, Physiology and Sociology

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Diet Saboteurs-They're everywhere!

I have just started my diet AGAIN and am trying very hard. Yes I understand that I've only been trying for two days, but they feel like two years. When a person is trying to diet, it is so difficult when the person you live with, i.e. my husband, behaves like a diet saboteur. Today he went to Costco, he brought home humongous bags of meat, chicken breasts for a hundred and a large, oversized, delicious box of Hagen Daaz chocolate covered bars . . . rolled in nuts. They are 22 grams of fat each bar, and for those of you who don't understand fat grams . . . a small bag of potato chips is 5 grams of fat. How am I supposed to lose my weight when calling my name, day and night is ice cream. Now don't you dare say, as he does, just use your will power. Bullshit, if I had willpower would I need to lose 30ish pounds? It's bad enough that Starbucks are everywhere, but now in my own home there's ice cream. He could have done me a favor and brought home strawberry, which I would never ever touch, but no, he brought back something I'd love to eat. Well we'll see who wins, the ice cream bars, or me?

The darn food diary

Alright, I give up. My doctor has asked me one million times to start keeping a food diary, to help me in my failing attempt to lose weight. I've done so for one day and it works. No I'm not necessarily staying on my diet perfectly, but the idea of writing down what I've eaten - that I shouldn't, (like cheese on my taco) has made me nervous about being told that cheese is a big NO NO, so I am behaving myself. I have a homemade cheesecake in the fridge and I am staying clear of it. I also am not making an endless line of grilled cheese sandwiches, which I have to admit I would have, if it were not for that darn food diary. For any non-human people who don't have to worry about dieting, it's really difficult. Weight gain is horribly insidious and the phrase" I'll start tomorrow" becomes your mantra, BUT I want to live long enough to see my grandchildren marry, so I will try again using the darn food diary to help me out. Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Are you a Big Picture or Detail person?

I was chatting with a friend (Nora) and as we spoke I realized that she was a detail person and I was a big picture person. She is the kind of person who goes over things repeatedly, making sure they are as perfect as possible. This is a great trait, unless "Perfection" remains an unobtainable goal. I, on the other hand seem to be on some kind of self-imposed race. This blog is an example of my big picture-ness. This is my 2nd draft, having felt the need to return to add more depth to what I was speaking about. In my first draft, I wrote too quickly, seemingly trying to answer the overall question of what kind of person I am, but answering too quickly didn't seem to answer the question at all. I find that much of the time I am in such a rush to get the job accomplished that I overlook the small stuff. I am a photographer and many times the big picture so captures my heart that I can't seem to see the smaller things . . . the things that made the shot so spectacular to begin with. It wasn't merely the waterfall and the trees, it was the way the water flowed when the gusts of wind blew it, and it was what the branches, which were was overloaded with snow, looked like . . . It was the details. Being able to slow down, concentrate and realllllly see the small stuff is paramount to good photography. I am also a fledgling author and hurrying through chapters, without spending the necessary time to truly expound on people's feelings and thoughts, might get you to the end of the book, but it only weakens the writing.
I am now committing myself to slowing down, looking around and placing the issue of small details up with the big picture to hopefully improve my photos and writings . . . and my life.
Why am I hurrying?
It is we, the big picture people, who see the end of the story before it is written . . . It is just all those pages in between we have to slow down and perfect.
I guess if there was a lesson for me to learn before 2010 ends, it is that I don't want to be a big picture or detail person, I want to be an all around person . . . . and in 2011 I will be.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My two favorite childhood movies are . . . .

Tori, the daughter of a close personal friend posted her favorite all time children's movie and I got to thinking about which one was mine. For the longest time it was 101 Dalmations. There was something so wonderful about the first part of the film when they save that poor pethetic pup by rubbing the life back into it. Then when that horrible DeVille lady steals them to make a coat (Which anyone who wears fur needs to stop!), my heart ached until every single puppy was returned. BUT times change, I grew up. I still don't like fur at all! but I think I am now taken with the mother ape who befriends a little lost boy, teaches him all about mother nature and loves him to the end. Tarzan, yes that is my favorite, but I do have another . . . Disney's Fantasia. I like the movie, but I love the scene where the beautiful Pegasus mare opens her wing and displays her young foal . . . Love that part. So it is Tarzan at number 1, followed by that scene in Fantasia. What's yours?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday - Part 2 (I'm not that Scrooge-like)

Christmas is an odd amalgamation of feelings. The holiday decorations and twinkling lights are all very pretty, and there's supposedly Peace on Earth - Good Will Toward Man, and yet . . . . . When we pulled into the mall, there was a $5.00 sur-charge to park ground level. Christmas spirit . . . I think not. It was just the mall share holders soaking us for a little more cash.
Sales were everywhere, but were they real? I once told my brother that what sales REALLY are is jacking up the price then slashing it down so the customer FEELS he got a deal. I think what the mall were doing was price cutting their winter stock, which they needed to do anyway. Sales personal were non-existent and yet people were spending like there was no tomorrow. Bing Crosby was crooning his all time best selling song White Christmas over the mall's sound system, and if you paid St. Nick a couple bucks you could have your child's photo taken with the man in red. BUT is it really about the birth of Christ. . . . I think not. I think its about getting caught up in the euphoria of a shopping. It's the "Gotta that personal a gift" insanity that comes with this holiday period. It's the endless subliminal priming we get with the non-stop Christmas music, which I am already tired of hearing, and the twinkling lights on every street corner and in every window, be it a bagel shop or shoe store. I wonder if Christmas would have ever survived as the holiday it is today if the merchandising industries were removed from the picture . . . I think not.
Baa Humbug . . . And happy holidays, and to all a good new year.

Black Friday - Part 1

I really tried to fend of the impulse to participate in Black Firday. I don't want to brave irate parking lots filled with shoppers chomping on the bit to spend spend spend. I don't want to try and find my size in understaffed mall department stores, but I couldn't do it. I will go out and navigate my way through Macy's, Target and all the others in an attempt to save money. I hate that the peer pressure has worked and that I have weakened, but what can I do, a sale IS a sale.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Airport Scanner Protest

We are on the verge of the Thanksgiving travel rush. We all want to get home and sit with family and friends, so what is all this hoop-d-doo about being scanned? Have we forgotten that they bombed the twin towers? Have we forgotten that they've tried to smuggle bombs onto planes in shoes and underwear. If I were traveling, which I'm not and some jerk held up the line, just to be obnoxious and I missed my flight home - WOW, would I have something to say.
I have the answer . . . . For all those that don't want to be scanned or x-rayed, we'll set aside a special airplane just for you. You get on that plane and I wish you well . . . you and Johnny bomber. But don't you complain when all hell breaks loose and you hit the ground quick.
No one likes the travel situation we have, but thank you lunatic bombers, our world has forever changed . . . for the worse.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Christmas tree virgin . . . . NO MORE!

Today, I helped trim my first Christmas tree! So what you say . . . well it was my very first one. I am a Jew, married to a man from Israel, so a lovely smelling Christmas tree is out of the question. Christmas has always been one of those holidays I coveted. Channukah, which is the miracle of lights, was fine but come on, Christmas with the tree and the decorations and wreaths is pretty spectacular. And if you could remove the religious overtones and the buying frenzy, it would be a neat holiday for everyone. Back to my inaugural tree trimming experience. Two friends and I are writing a children s book and we are participating in a Christmas tree Boy's & Girl's Club of America charity event. For anyone who has not decorated a tree, let me tell you that to make the tree spectacular and professional looking is no simple task. We didn't simply toss strands of tinsel and call it a day, OH NO. In fact there was no tinsel on our tree at all. Garland, filler - consisting of silk poinsettias, glittered picture frames and ornaments of every size covered almost every inch and branch of our tree. The ornaments were a fabulous assortment of gold, red and green, and came in a variety of shapes and designs. We had to be so careful to make sure that it was balanced and there were no large spaces of emptiness. We couldn't have too many of the identical bulbs hanging, lest it be boring and the small figurines were difficult to hang so, and don't tell anyone this, we wired them using their necks as the anchoring spot. After a few hours, I wandered around the hall which housed a plethora of yet-to-be auctioned trees and I have to admit ours was one of 3 of the best there. So for my very first tree, I'd say I did pretty darn good, but it helped that the other two knew exactly what to do. Thanks Nora/Daryle Ann for making my first experience such a lovely one!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Vacations

My husband hit the big 6 ohhhhhhh, and in addition to an impromptu birthday party, the family went up to Big Bear Mountain for the weekend. The cabin was small, but charming and it fronted a duck and coot filled azure blue lake. I don't know about the kids, who are all grown up, but I had a wonderful time. Cooking blueberry pancakes, learning how to jump and strike in a game of Wii, and playing Boggle . . . my favorite board game, which my son beat me with the word 'rosin'..., might sound trite, but it was complete bliss. When the kids were young, I was so frightened that one day they would no longer want to travel with their old, out of touch parents, but time after time, they surprise me. Everything about them surprises me. They are intelligent, self assured, confident persons in their own right, but then they still love their Mom's vegetable soup and pancakes. The world might be going to hell in a handbag, but my family rocks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hitting the big 6 -Ohhhhhhhhhhh

Today my husband hit the 60 year old milestone. Thank god I have a few years left. Think back to when we were in our teens and early 20's. Sixty years old might as well have been 100. Persons of that age were: Over the hill . . . At the end of the line . . . Older than sin . . . Too old for words . . . Ready to die. Now that I am an eye blink away from sixty, the number no longer feels the same to me. I look at my husband, and he doesn't seem THAT old. While my brain feels 30ish, I can't deny that my body continuously shouts from the rooftop: "Hey, you are getting old!" Adventures are now tame by comparison. Excursions, even if left relatively unplanned, have perimeters of order and safety to them. When did this happen? When did we crest out of the "Anything goes" state? I don't know, but I do know that as they say in the old musical - Bye Bye Birdie, we got a lot of living to do. Happy Birthday to my man!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Husbands are difficult

My husband is celebrating the big 6 0 this month, and knowing him, as I do, I began planning a fabulous birthday party for him back in January. I designed a special bingo set with cute little words that described him. I put together a wonderful movie-ish slide show about his life, and I started decorating the house.
THEN he told me "I don't want a party."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"I'm sure."
Like a dummy . . . I believed him. I planned a nice intimate dinner at one of his favorite eateries, for family only, and we were good to go. UNTIL yesterday.
"I have decided to invite a few more people." The word few more people doubled the guest list to 40. In my world 40 is a party.
Switching the party back to my house wasn't possible, because after being told there wasn't going to be a party at our house, I slacked off thinking we had plenty of time and no reason to rush. His favorite eatery can't accommodate 40 on his exact birthday, and the other locations he would be willing to eat at, don't have television sets, so they can't play the slide show I made for him.
Why are husbands so difficult? Why did I listen to him? When will I learn - husbands don't mean what they say!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Elections . . . Schmections

So the elections are finally over . . . yeah! No more commercials slamming this person or that. A blissful end to the lies about what the initiative what they meant or don't mean. It's over and the winners have won and we the public are stuck with them. I am a pessimist, and sadly know in my heart that it won't really matter who is in the government. Politicians are not there to help us, they are there to make connections and have their palms greased. We had a democratic majority with a democratic president and nothing special happened. We also once had the republicans in power, and still nothing really happened except our economy tanked and we all suffered and continue to. I guess in two years, when nothing good happens, we'll have another election, and as long as Palin is nowhere to be seen I'll be ok, and I'll vote yet again, and have nothing happen . . . . yet again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Anticipation of a great movie H.P.

In my opinion most movies, as well as a majority of television shows aren't worth the cost of admission or the time to watch them. BUT everyone once in a while there is such a movie that I MUST go to see . . . and I must do so on opening day. Harry Potter, Part 1 of the 2 part finale, is such a movie. Here is a movie that stars actors who never remove their clothes, never bump and grind in some dirty alley, where there is constant action, good versus evil and a wonderful secret world that exists simultaneously with ours, without our knowledge. Don't get me wrong, I love a good "R" rated movie, but films like this particular franchise are wonderful. There were the movies about that Hobbit fellow . . . I liked it, and I know many of you found it superior to Harry Potter, but you're wrong. While they were both written for children, the Hobbit movies had long and glorious (IF YOU WERE A MAN) fight sequences. I enjoyed those for 5 - 10 minutes, but come on, 25 minutes? On November 19th, I will be sitting center stage in a movie theater, knowing it was worth the wait.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scary movies of my youth

With Halloween only 24 hours away, I gave some thought to which movies had scared the be'gibbers out of me. I instantly came up with two: House on a Haunted Hill was number 1. I saw this film with I was young. My older brother and I attended an afternoon matinee. House on a Haunted Hill was one of the first movies that you had to wear 3-D glasses to really appreciate. There were 13 ghosts who were invisible unless you dawned on the cardboard glasses. I don't remember much about the plot . . . other than it scared my brother and I so much, he got hives, and I spent the night awake. One scene in particular was of a beautiful lace covered canopy bed and a person blissfully in dreamland. THEN the music swelled and the canopy came down. The person woke up, but only long enough for the scene to end. YIKES!
#2 Tales of the Crypt. I'm not talking about those remakes . . . I'm talking about the original. Two girlfriends and I (Nancy and Donna), were in the mood to get scared, so we went to see it. Again, I don't remember much of the plot. There were three short stories, but one of them was about a person who was granted wishes. This sounds lovely, but think carefully. There was an accident and someone was dying. The person who was granted the wishes wished that the injured person would not die . . . and they didn't. BUT the wisher forgot to ask for a healthy recover, so the victim remained in horrible pain FOR ETERNITY. When the three of us came out of the movie, we interlocked our arms and filled with terror, walked to our car.
I don't watch scary movies anymore. Life is tricky enough.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Giving my house an up-do

There are those persons who love to redecorate. They enjoy visiting endless tiny little shops, picking up just the perfect this or that to enhance their home's beauty. THAT'S NOT ME! But, even I have to admit that my house, circa 1980's needs a re-vamp. So earlier this year, January to be exact, I began repainting, re-upholstering, re-everything my house. There were those who said that my goal of completion by November would be NO PROBLEM. To them I say YEAH SURE! The plaster man showed up when he felt the urge, which held back my painters. When the walls were finally ready, the painters came in. Now, the painters, who are doing a great job, are soooooooooo slooooooooowwwwwww. The upholsterer, who is very good, finished covering my old, out of style living room couch beautifully, BUT the family room couch, which she is building from scratch won't be done until Thanksgiving. And there still are other rooms to tackle. But I am tired and will take a few months off to rest. For those again who are contemplating fixing up their homes, tread carefully.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My husband and his blackberry

I want preface this by stating that I love my husband and understand that he works very hard. And that work occurs all times of the day and night. BUT, he and his blackberry are attached at the hip. We can be out with friends, in a movie, having dinner, playing with our grandchild and that darn blackberry makes it's sound and he is no longer truly with us. He is reading, texting and forgetting all about those around him. But he is not alone. How many of us, and I too sometimes overuse my iphone, will stop speaking during dinner conversation, only to allow a virtual someone to substitute the living person who is seated across from us.
I love the electronic world that we all live in, but I do remember a time when we weren't so accessible. And sometimes, I miss those days.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ice cream, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Ice cream - with the exception of a few (odd) persons, who doesn't like ice cream? Ambrosial, delectable, heavenly, mouthwatering, yummy frozen stuff.
Why do I bring it up? Well . . . a Facebook friend - a male photographer - was giving in to a craving for a scoop of Mint Chocolate chip. In a flash there was a flurry of support from others who were joining in with this tantalizing suggestion, and now hoards of people were off to Baskin Robins for an ice cream scoop of their own.
I've always been partial to Jamoca Almond Fudge. My daughter likes chocolate chip, but actually prefers Thriftys because their chips were smaller. My grandson likes green ice cream. And let's not forget Gelato, which I have to be honest is only truly available in Italy.
I guess we develop our taste for cone or cup when we are young. Sometimes frozen yogurt can be substituted, but it will never replace the real stuff.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween - I love it!

We all know why children adore Halloween . . . Snicker bars, M&Ms, Almond Joys(my favorite), but it's more . . . much more. There's the great costumes, the walking around and knocking on doors of strangers. There are throngs of people everywhere and the decorations. WOW!
But why do adults love this holiday? I can only answer for myself.
It is the abandonment of my inhibitions, not that I am all that inhibited. I am permitted to wear overdone makeup in obscene colors, rat my hair, if I want. Put on a black cape and try my hardest to scare children.
When my own children were young I would dress up as a mixture of Vampira and Morticia Adams. I wore a black vampire outfit and had my son's black and white rat scurry up and down my arm. She was friendly, but children were caught off guard. Years later when the rat died, kids would ask for her, but I would have to tell them gently that the rat was no more.
My sister and I even tried to replicate a Halloween scene from Roseanne. She'd hid in a box with only her head popping up from under a bowl that I kept lifting whenever a child would come to my door. She'd scream . . . the kids would scream - it was great.
When else can do you this . . . never! Just during Halloween.
I want to wish everyone a happy, scary, chocolate filled Halloween.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am proud to say I am a Grudge holder

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine and she told me that interesting, pivotal, enjoyable blogs reveal something about the writer. So far I have been telling you about what the writing process is like. Cheryl, my friend, told me that that wasn't what readers wanted to read. You wanted to see how I differ from the mansy-pansy other writers who are out there. She reminded me that I am SLIGHTLY opinionated and asked why I wasn't showing that portion of me. Well, get ready to meet the inner me.

I thought I'd start with a trait she mentioned I have, that she wished I didn't . . . Grudge holder.

I don't know why people say holding a grudge is bad. In this world, where there are so many people do we really need to turn the cheek over and over again? I say no.
I say that when a person has been selfish, inconsiderate, uncaring and just plain mean that we dump them and remember the reason we discarded them. Some call it a grudge, I call it culling the herd.

I am fifty plus (Sad to say) and really, how much time to I have to waste on those that are just takers? I want equal, supportive relationships, so when someone lets it be known that that is not one of their traits, I kick them to the curb.

I guess the GRUDGE portion is that I won't allow for change. That's because change doesn't simply come from talk . . . it takes action. Show me first and then I'll think about reconsidering, but I have to say . . . I've not been proven wrong yet.

The flip side of a grudge holder, in my case, is that I am very very loyal. And I think a loyal person can have a side to her that is grudge filled.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Down time and Writing

I had a procedure to remove a bump on my forehead which means I had to say fairly quiet for the past few days. Not wishing to waste time, I've watched endless repeats of Glee and the Michael Jackson special. That might not sound like good motivating background for writing, but as a person who need noise and chaos to work in, I have written like a fiend. I am working on a fictional prequel to my first book and I have to say I am having a blast. There's something about writing anything you want. Allowing the story to kind of come alive in your brain and have the characters do whatever you want them to do. It will demand lots of revisions because I follow no pre-determined story line, so I have to go back and make the beginning match the middle and they have to match the end. I am about 2/3rd and I can't wait to finish and begin the real meat and potatoes . . . . the re-writes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What's in a name . . . . alot

I know this is premature, but I am beginning to mull over titles for my next book. But what to name it. Pint Sized Partisans was a working title, but I was told it wasn't catchy enough. How do you capture the essence of a book in a handful of words. In that handful how do you create instant interest? Wow this is a hard one. If you have any ideas I'm more than willing to listen.
The book in a nutshell if the fictional prequel to Broken Birds. It's about a young girl who is a partisan in the forests of Poland. She comes of age, falls in love . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah. I can't tell you everything, you wouldn't want to read the book.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Article is in the S.D. Jewish World

The last generation fought, but the new one has found each other

By Jeanette Katzir

NEW YORK — In 1960, he was 5 and I was 6. That was the last time I saw my cousin Paul . . . until this past week.

Some people are blessed with large extended families. Holiday tables spill out into other rooms with an almost endless line up of chairs and a bounty of dishes. There are grandparents, uncles, aunts, and lots and lots of cousins. For our family, the table was small. My mother and her brother, my uncle, were the only two members of their entire family to live through the Holocaust. With gold hidden in the heels of their shoes, they boarded a ship and made their way to New York City.

My memories of a 1959 Brooklyn are filled with snowmen I built with my brother David, the swing sets of Milestone Park in Bensonhurst, and subway rides to everywhere. There are also images of a forest-covered Woodridge in upstate New York and the Ferris wheel in Coney Island. I can remember the delicious flavors of potato knishes that I shared with my cousin Paul and how my mother would talk in Yiddish to my uncle Isaac.

My mother had a falling out with her only brother, and my father suggested we go to the west coast, where the sun always shined and snow never fell. We moved away from New York, leaving behind the only extended family we had.

I don’t remember our parting scene at the New York airport, but I do remember the family’s final trip to Coney Island. It was May, and the salty smell of the ocean drifted up through the planks of the boardwalk. My older brother, my cousin, and I feasted on thin crust pizza and potato knishes, promising to write, and write often.

My family moved into a rental home in Boyle Heights, California, and we tried to get used to the never-ending sunshine. As promised, I wrote Paul every week. “When are you coming to visit?” I drew a small heart in the lower corner of the envelope and waited for his response.

Weeks turned into months, which turned into years, and then we just stopped writing. I never did go back to New York, and he never came to Los Angeles. I got married and had children, and he got married and had children.

Whenever I’d ask Mom for their address, she’d always conveniently forget to give to me. She felt it was best to keep the two families separate and even refused to tell my father where they were. Mom had a strict code of loyalty, and her brother had breached that code.

In 2004 she died, and with her died the contact information for our family on the East coast.

This past year, I have been contacted through Facebook by some old friends, with whom I’d lost touch. Out of the blue an email would appear, and a friendship that had been allowed to silently fade away would be rekindled.

If Facebook could lead people to me, then why not use it to find my cousin? The last I had heard, he still lived in upstate New York. His name wouldn’t have changed, so I did a search. There were five persons with his name. But when I added the state, the choices dwindled to three. I posted an open letter to those Facebook accounts, telling them who I was and asking if he was the son of my uncle.

The first days . . . nothing. Then, I got an instant message. “Call me now.”

Contact had been made. Paul and I spoke for about an hour, trying to catch up and reason why we had lost touch. Speaking with him felt good. It felt easy. It felt natural. Listening to him made me smile—his accent reminded me of Al Pacino—and I wondered what I sounded like to him.

I probably spend too much time on the Internet, but the world is now at my fingertips, and every so often . . . something really good happens.

“We’re arriving September 9th, do you think you can pick us up from the airport?” I asked Paul.

“My brother and I will be waiting for you.”

I was anxious as I stepped off the plane. What if Paul and his younger brother Berni, held us responsible for our parent’s actions? What if time had separated us so much that we wouldn’t be able to bridge the gap? What if we couldn’t go home again?

We saw each other through the glass. “There they are!” we all said simultaneously. A moment later, we were together again, and it was all good.

We spoke about our mother (their aunt) and how she died 6 years ago. Then we spoke about their father (our uncle) who died years earlier. I brought a DVD with all the old family photographs I had. How young we all were once. How handsome our uncle was and how beautiful Mom looked back in the day. “You look just like your mother,” Berni told me.

Paul rummaged through his parent’s things and pulled out black and white pictures of our family. There were more snippets our past, more pieces of our family heritage puzzle to see. I could see both my sisters in my mother’s photo, and the cousins remarked how handsome Dad was.

Three days later, we left the serene beauty of Woodridge and journeyed to Manhattan, where the lights were blinding and the crowds unending. And even though it was raining, it did not deter four cousins from this journey back through time and into the future. We had dinner in one of those old delis, and over corn beef, tongue, and egg salad sandwiches, which could feed a small tribe, we talked even more.

We visited our childhood home in Bensonhurst. My brother was even able to locate the exact apartment. We walked up to our old front door, but didn’t knock. Memories quickly came back. I could see all of us walking down the street next to the wrought iron fencing and playing in the park near our old brownstone. I remember playing on the teeter-totter and sliding down the ever-so-tall slide.

Coney Island was another must see. I remember eating knishes with my cousin while my brother went on the steeplechase ride. The ride is no longer there, but the memories of that park and being with Paul and Berni made me smile.

As the trip started to wind down, a sadness about our upcoming parting quieted the air. We had just reconnected, just retold some of our stories and heard others; we weren’t ready for the trip to end, but it was time to go back home.

“Come for Passover,” I said over and over again. “Hurry, Dad really wants to see you.”

This trip, our cousins and NYC were better than what we could have hoped for. Once again, thousands of miles would separate us, but we will keep in touch by phone and post photos on Facebook. And hopefully they will come out west for Passover and share matzo ball soup and gefilte fish with the entire family.

Katzir is author of Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rainy Days and Hot soup

It's been raining here in Los Angeles for the last few days, but today it's really coming down (For Los Angeles). I really enjoy rainy days. It brings back memories of hot tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Of staying inside and baking cookies with sugar on top. Or of jumping into the puddles until I was soaked to the bone. The rat-tat-tat sound on the roof and the need to wear socks and warm pj's. It cultivates a feeling of safety and warmth, family and fun. I love the rain.
But HEY, this weekend it's supposed to be 90ish, so we'll be outside for bar-b-ques and t-shirts. Ahhh Los Angeles.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Missing your mother

Six years ago my mother died after a stroke placed her in a coma. The reason I bring this up is because tonight's episode of Glee touched on this very subject. God and death. It was poignant, moving and wonderful to cry to. I loved it and will watch it over and over again. Having music from Yentle, my all time favorite musical didn't hurt and Curt's solo of I want to hold you hand, had me to grab a hankie more than once. I love really good television!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Without my TV for 5 days

We started painting the upstairs portion of my house last week, and my husband disconnected the tv box. The house is unusually quiet, and I habitually walk over to the remote controls. I go camping and there's no television, but is seems wrong not to have one at home. I don't necessarily watch the tv, it just provides me with white noise. I am one of five children and need noise. Luckily I have a pandora on my computer so I listen to music that way. Some people like peace and quiet. I like noise and tzuris (Uproar in yiddish).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

I don't like the rash of reality shows, BUT I do enjoy the recaps of Dancing with the stars. Now I'm not a skinny minny, but I didn't know that neither was Sarah Palin's daughter.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Fairs and 107 Degrees

This past weekend I spent (WASTED) a Sunday in 107 degree heat at a book fair.
IF you are a buyer, it is a nice way to spend an afternoon (As long as it's not 107 degrees). You can purchase books at show discounts. Actually meet some of the authors etc. BUT for authors who aren't famous (YET) have no agent or publisher behind them (YET) It's not worth the cost, the time or the effort. In the future I'll be a purchaser and not a seller.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I got a new review!

Broken Bird – The Story of My Katzir Momila Jeannette

"Broken Birds" by Jeannette Katzir is based on a true story based. It begins with the stories of the Holocaust author parents, describing their meeting in New York and their lives together raising Jeannette and her four brothers. If the mother dies Jeanette destructive legacy of the Holocaust fractures of his family.

Channa Perschowski Baranavichy was born in 1929 in a small town in Poland at that time. It had come to a happy childhood until the Second World War. The JewishPeople were allowed less freedom and less, and soon could not leave the house without a coat with a star on it. When Hannah eleven German soldiers came to his father. She never saw him again. The rest of the family were forced from their homes and live in the ghetto. Channa and her brother was a partisan. When he returned home his family was gone. His brother is married Isaac and Hannah, Isaac and Leja migrated to America a new life in New StartYork.

Polczer Nathan was born in 1926 in Uzhgorod in what was then Czechoslovakia. Nathan's family was forced from his home and an abandoned brick factory was their new home. After two months were put on cattle trains and shipped to Auschwitz. Nathan has been separated from his family and never seen again. Finally he was transferred to Dachau. Towards the end of the war the Germans, the prisoners were in cattle cars, while having to do with them. When some of thethe Nazis to their places of Nathan and the others fled. With his death the family decided to start a new life in America. On January 29, 1948 entered the port of New York.

Jeanette Kazir parents who lost everything during the Holocaust. With a lot of spirit and courage have survived unspeakable horrors. The author goes on to say how they were married in New York, and raised five children, met – Shlomo, Jaclyn (author) Shirley, Nina and Steven. If the mother died the family Kazirshocked to discover that they have bypassed her husband and left the home of his son. The family had once said that Channa was now divided.

With the author's powerful writing I was drawn in the history of Channa and Nathan, and their children. It 'a reminder that an attractive and has had the courage to write. Kazir speaks openly about the tensions between the survivors in their marriage and their children. Like their childhood experiences affect the rest of their lives andfuture generations. This is a story of family, parent-child relationships and sibling rivalry. The scenes capture the vivid period of time more effective than any history book. It 's a story that will stay with you long after the last page viewed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

9th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair

I'd like to begin reminding you that on Sunday Sept 26th, I will be participating in the 9th annual West Hollywood Book Fair - 647 N. San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, Ca . My booth is E70 - Located on the edge of the Mystery Scene.
Please come.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My opinon of EAT, PRAY, LOVE

I've finished the EAT portion of EAT, PRAY, LOVE . . . 3stars. The parts about her life are great - interesting - well written BUT then you hit the food part. I love eating, and I love Italian food, but there is too many details about each and every piece of food she eats, thinks about eating, has eaten, or will ever eat. Then there is the descriptions of Italy. I have been there and loved it. I would go back in a heartbeat, but is she the president or major stock holder of the Italian tourist bureau?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

50ish pages of new book

I've begun and I'm loving it. Writing fiction is so free . . . so creative. I am trying to write it all out quickly, then I will be go back and perfect, expound, etc. until it is done. I'm on my way and loving it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And so it begins . . . Book #2

Well, I tried procrastination, avoidance, housecleaning, self doubt and now I have gone back to the first 8 pages of my next book. I had written them a few months ago and then put them down. After suffering bouts of "I'll start tomorrow. . . " I picked it back up and, and after reading it again . . . DAM IT'S GOOD! If I do say so myself. Now all I need to do is write, do research and write some more. As for Broken Birds, I am still working hard on getting an agent and my book widely released.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Motivation vs/ Procrastination

When I wrote Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila, my first book, the words came to me quickly. Luckily I type really really fast. My motivation . . . pain. The hurt I was experiencing had to come out some place and they did on the pages of that book. I am now suffering from procrastination. My second book, which is totally finished in my mind, is coming up against procrastination. That long P word in reality is fear of failure. What if I can't write a "successful" book again? No I haven't sold millions of copies, I'm sorry to say, but the reviews are very good. What if I write this next book, and people don't like it?
If I want to write again, and I do, then I have to face my fear of failure and get down to some real writing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Out of the Transylvania Night

I was asked to review a book. It is a strange feeling to have someone seek you out to ask you your opinion of a book, but I was flattered and read the book carefully. Out of the Transylvania Night is a good book, a really good book. Aura Imbarus is a beautiful writer. She has the knack of writing it quick and to the point, yet description so you can see and feel what she writes.
Writing isn't easy, but she makes it seem so.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The writing process

Writing is hard word. It takes thought and certain discipline that sometimes comes and sometimes wanes. I don't know if it is the summer breezes, my grandson, Saturday night, but I just can't do it today. Every had a day like that???

The trouble with procrastination

I am on the verge of beginning in earnest my next book, but I am finding that I am procrastinating. This is not good and I will kick my own self in the buttocks to get me moving. Fear not. It will be done.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm #28 in Kindle books for Siblings

I am very excited. I have advanced to #28 in Kindle books regarding Siblings, etc. HAPPY ME!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tonight at 5pm is the time

I'll be interviewed on 7-21 Wed 5pm PST http://www.artistfirst.com/ w/Tony Kay www.brokenbirds.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A new website (Thanks Aaron)

It took Aaron (From the Apple store), and me a few weeks, but it is finished. Come look at my new website: www.brokenbirds.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

To Tell the Truth

"Tell the truth!" your mother always said to you, but in literature is it the right thing to do? I say yes, if you want the book to truly touch someone, deep in their heart, in their soul, in that place that they keep secret. If you lie than what is the point of writing it?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Please listen to my interview AND Yosemite

I just got back from Yosemite and while I was there I read a good book. Anne Frank and Me. It is a Young Adult book, but it really explained how I need to write the next book. Young adult readers like to jump right into the book, no build up, no flowery entrance, just throw the reader into the cold water. Deal with friends, love interest etc. I'm going to give it a go. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm going to be interviewed on the radio

On July 21, at 8pm (EST) I'll be interviewed.
Please listen in.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm number 1 in Kindle!!!!!

#1: Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila[Kindle Edition]
Written on June 22, 2010 by in eBooks

Broken Birds

Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila
Jeannette Katzir (Author)
Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 29,793% Sales Rank in Kindle Store: 282 (was 84,299 yesterday)
4.4 out of 5 stars (13)

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm in 4 different bookstores

I just wanted to mention . . . In case you don't know . . . my book Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila is available at: "In Other Words Bookstore" in Oregon, "Diesel Bookstore" in Malibu, "Chaucer's Bookstore" in Santa Barbara and NOW "Ellliott Bay Book Co.," in Seattle Washington. Go forth and buy a copy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My writing style

I had a very interesting discussion with someone about my book, and his sentiment, which was repeated by others, was not to change my style in the next books I write. BUT when I read books on proper writing techniques I see that there are many things I do wrong. I use too many adverbs, ings, and don't have a great pre-plan about my book's ebbs and flows. I have started the next book and am trying to incorporate some things I have learned via my books, while maintaining my own personal style. Let's see if I can do it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm in the Huffington Post


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wow - I love this review

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Jun 20, 2010
Category: Memoir

Since I launched HeadButler.com in 2004, most of the reviews I've written are about books. In those six years, I've received many self-published books. I've never reviewed one. Today is historic in two ways; "Broken Birds" is self-published. And I've never read anything like it.

When she was 12 years old, Channa Perschowski was fighting the Nazis in the woods of Poland. What she saw, what she and her brother did to survive --- she put all that behind her when she came to America in 1947. “There were thousands of people who were killed,” she'd say, when asked about the Holocaust. “And if thousands were being killed, I could bear the loss of my family.”

And when you're 18 and beautiful, even if you're an immigrant with an unimaginable past, New York is fun. Channa worked at Woolworth's, took English classes at night, went to the movies on weekends. And she kept at her real job: finding a husband. Channa had a good figure; in her two-piece bathing suit, she strolled the Coney Island boardwalk on weekend afternoons, hoping to meet a young, handsome man with a future.

Nathan Poltzer was that man. Three years older than Channa, he had survived Auschwitz and Dachau. When they met at a dance in Brooklyn, they both felt a strong attraction. His career wasn't what she might have hoped --- he was basically unemployed until they married, then he became a meat cutter --- but he was lean and muscular, with a neat moustache. They married in 1950 and began their life together in a third-floor flat. There was no honeymoon because they had no money.

By 1957, they had a family. And they had a dream --- a house with a yard, a life in the sun. They moved to Los Angeles, bought a Spanish-style house, enrolled their kids in schools within walking distance.

But there was no happy ending in their new beginning. You don't, it turns out, jettison the Holocaust --- or any searing childhood experience --- just by moving 3,000 miles. You carry it with you. And if you avoid facing it, dealing with it, accepting the damage it's done, you pass it on, in a new language, to the next generation.

Forty agents rejected Broken Birds [Kindle lovers, click here] because, the author told me, they thought it was a Holocaust book --- “and as soon as you say Holocaust, it's like they hold up the cross.” I understand; every Jew who survived the concentration camps has a story, and many have written it. Here the World War II childhoods of Channa and Nathan are the book's first hundred pages. I doubt that many agents, if any, read the next 275 pages.

What they missed is the equally astonishing story of a second Holocaust: what a loving but damaged mother does to her husband and her five children, both while she's alive and after her death, thanks to a will that is so irrational and cruel it inspires four years of litigation. Jeannette Katzir --- Channa's second child and first daughter, born in 1954 --- may not be a professional writer, but she's a natural storyteller. Determined to work through her shock and pain, she wades through every betrayal and abuse without any concern for her siblings' reaction. [She has, however, changed everyone’s name, hers included.] It’s a jaw-dropping litany, a world of hurt.

Think your family is dysfunctional? Step aside. Jeannette makes a good marriage to Gol, a hard-working Israeli who is completely devoted to her. How long do you think it takes for her less capable and, she says, less ethical relatives to want to be Gol's business partner? He can't say no. And how long do you think it takes for those relatives to grab customers for themselves and forget to pay their debts to Gol?

But it's the matriarch, not her children, who is at the center of this drama. To disobey Channa was not just to do wrong, it was to threaten the survival of the relationship. She was so needy, so afraid of betrayal, that she spent all the decades of her marriage worrying that Nathan --- who adored her --- was leaving her for another woman. His protests went unheard. He was not of her blood, he was not family. And this wasn't just rhetoric:

Mom routinely sat with Shlomo [her third child], spewing out poison about Dad --- how he was never to be trusted, how he was a chameleon, willing to side with any stranger, how he was gifted with powers of clairvoyance, which in Dad's case was not a compliment. She was sure that he knew when he loaned the money to her brother Isaac for the property up in the Catskills that Isaac would never pay it back.

Rarely do we meet a mother as loving, unconscious and destructive as Channa. When Jeannette was 19, her mother gave her advice about dating: “If you want to catch a boy, you need to look trashier.” When Jeannette married, Channa dispensed darker wisdom: “Don't invest yourself too much in your marriage. But don't you dare lose your husband, because after you have children and get fat, who will want you? No one. Always let him love you more, and never really trust him.” Decades later, she confided that Jeanette and Gol's business successes didn't make her happy:

“I need you to need me.”
I could not believe my ears. “But Mom, I will always need you.”
“But I can't help you. Your problems are too big for me.”

In memoirs about Christian families in America --- and in all the suburban novels I can think of --- dysfunction is smothered in a blanket of silence and denial. These Jews hold nothing back. Before he proposes to his girlfriend Brenda, Jeannette's brother Steve introduces her to his family. His sisters warn him: “She's not right for you. She'll crack your balls with her bare teeth.”

Next up for Steven and Brenda: a dinner with both sets of parents. Brenda’s parents wear tennis bracelets and Ralph Lauren, talk about their country club. “In Mom's world,” Jeannette writes, “if a single color was good, then a flurry of brilliant reds, blues and yellows was always better. For this meeting, Mom chose a vibrant polyester button-down blouse with oversized flowers. Her pants sort of matched, and her sandals coordinated with her purse…sort of.” Not exactly dressing for success.

At another pre-engagement dinner with another Poltzer sister, Brenda had too much to drink and unleashed opinions about her future mother-in law that were best left private: “I am so sick of hearing about the Holocaust.” And then Channa topped them all with some marital advice for Brenda: “In order to stay married, you must be willing to take a little abuse.” Physical abuse, that is. Which, she told Brenda, she and Jeannette and Shirley had all experienced --- a lie, and Channa knew it.

Other siblings, other problems. So their kids can attend better public schools, Jeanette and Gol ask her sister Shirley if they can use her address as their own --- an arrangement that works until Shirley rats them out to the School Board. Shirley’s explanation: “If you want your kids in this school district so badly, why don't you just buy a house over here instead of using my address?” Livid, Jeannette rushed to tell her mother. But Channa had a mantra for her kids' conflicts: Family is all-important, turn the other cheek. So she told Jeannette, “It doesn't matter. It is better your children are sad than to lose your sister.”

When Jeannette is 50, Channa dies. This is a family in which “love equals money” --- better believe that her children suddenly feel lost and are eager to lash out at one another. The final hundred pages of “Broken Birds” are thrust and parry, insult and body blow. It's nasty, nasty stuff, and yet I didn't turn away. And not because I'm a voyeur; in that game, I'm an amateur. But stories are life, distilled; as a collector of stories, I'm All Pro, and so, I'd bet, are most of you. And when the storyteller is gifted, our capacity to hear them expands.

A good book usually answers all my questions. Not this time --- I needed to talk with Jeannette Katzir. “I started writing soon after Mom died,” she told me. “I was in so much pain, I had to write while everything was fresh. Then when things started to go sour, I wrote and wrote.” When she was finished, she hired an editor, who pumped the manuscript up to 600 pages, and then another editor, who cut it. Last year, when no agent would represent her, she published the book herself; she found typos in it, pulped that edition, made corrections, and released it again. She's sent it to every Jewish book club she can find on the web and to a handful of reviewers.

Yes, but what about the ultimate reviewers: her family? “My father hasn't read it, and I'm not going to suggest that he does,” she told me. “One brother and sister have read it, and they couldn't be prouder of me. I think Steven and Shirley know about the book, but they're waiting. If it's successful, I think they'll swoop in and want money --- they'll sue.”

Six years have passed since Channa died, two since the issues of her will were resolved. Has the family healed? “These rifts --- it's not that they can't heal, they shouldn't,” Jeannette told me. “I can't trust Steven. And Shirley is too dangerous. She's my cocaine --- when I'm near her, I shake.”

Her conclusion: “The pull of family is so strong.” That’s a heartbreaking takeaway when a family is this dysfunctional. Yes, but the book left me more hopeful than despairing. First, it's a service to all those who suffer from sibling rivalry and unfair parents. It's proof that self-published books can be page-turners. And, most of all, this is a story of loss that becomes a story of triumph.

It's lonely for Jeannette without her toxic brother and sister, but having cut them out of the family, she's closer now to her other brother and sister. Her husband and children are a delight. She understands and misses her mother. And she sees more books ahead.

I can't help but think of the Lennon/McCartney song:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

The New York publishing world may not know she exists, but this is Jeannette Katzir's moment.

For Jeannette Katzir’s web site, www.brokenbirds.com

Friday, June 18, 2010

Over zealous fans

Why do sporting fans feel that destroying stuff is a happy thing to do? What is strange about this is if they lost they'd do the same thing. Shouldn't there be a difference in actions?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting screwed on the internet

Did you know that the reason that reserving hotels online is so much cheaper is:
You could be dead, in a pool of your own blood and you can't cancel your hotel room reservations if you made them on line. YUP its true.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A snippet of my book, Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila.

My momila, Channa, had five children, which was quite a feat because she had weak uterus muscles and was supposed to limit herself to only three.
Mom insisted on having more children for several reasons:
For one thing, she was chronically disobedient and defiant when it came to medical instructions. When prescribed any medications, she never took the recommended dosage. “The doctors just want to make money off you, Jaclyn,” she would tell me.
Second, my parents were “sloppy,” a term we used when we messed up in matters of importance. Birth control was clearly trivial.
Lastly, Mom and Dad were trying to rebuild the family they had lost in the war. Ultimately, I feel that this need to create life was the true reason they chose to have so many children.
This is the story of my parents, my four siblings, and me. Although this group has rarely all gotten along for any length of time, these people made me who I am.

I HURRIED DOWN THE hallway but stopped when I saw her. “Mom, why did you do this?” I cried. I stood there for a moment and studied her face. She looked beautiful. A white silky scarf was artfully wrapped around her head like a head¬band and she was wearing her favorite red lipstick. She was smiling at me and there was a twinkle in her eyes. “This could have all been avoided,” I told her. Waiting for a response would have been pointless, because photographs never an¬swer back.
The front door opened without a knock.
“Jaclyn, I’m here! Aren’t you ready yet?” Shirley, my younger sister, called out.
I slowly took my eyes away from the black-and-white photograph and headed down the stairs.
“I’m just going to grab a piece of toast and then we can leave,” I answered. Shirley and I had made a temporary truce. This was an important morning, and for the next few days, we were on the same side.
My cell phone rang as I got into the front seat of my sis¬ter’s car. It was Nina, the baby of the Poltzer family. “Re¬member, Shirley is still Shirley,” she reminded me. “So don’t tell her too much.”
The traffic on the way to downtown was its usual stop-and-go self, but we finally made it. We parked in the lot across the street from the courthouse and walked together into the imposing federal building and through the metal de¬tectors. Our names were printed on an informal sheet of pa¬per pinned to a board on the outside of a ninth-floor family probate room. Pushing through the double doors, we made our entry.
The walls of our courtroom were covered with wood paneling, and the floor was the standard government-issued marbled vinyl tile. A long wooden conference table with six chairs was set up for the attorneys and their assistants. At the head of the room was an elevated judge’s desk. It was flanked on both sides by flags, one for the United States, and one for California. Filling in the balance of the room were perma¬nently installed stadium seats with walking aisles on both sides and in the center.
Shlomo, the eldest among the siblings, was already seated in the first row. A bundle of frayed nerves, he had devised a method of handling his anxiety by placing a large, thick rub¬ber band around his wrist, which he planned to snap when¬ever he felt the need to yell. I wished he had brought an extra one for me.
Our attorney, Ken, walked in, exuding confidence. He stopped briefly in the aisle beside our seats.
“No making faces at Steven or the judge! No cursing, no mouthing words, no sighing, and no sounds of any kind!” he instructed us, but it was mostly meant for me.
A few moments later, Nina arrived. She came over to us and said a quick “good morning.” She was full of information she wished to review with Ken, so she took a seat beside him, up front at the conference table.
On the other side of the room was Steven, the remaining member of the Poltzer family. Piled up beside him were plas¬tic containers filled with files and paperwork. His laptop was turned on, but at the moment, he was concentrating on a document he was reading.
Five grown children on opposite sides of the aisle; Steven wanted it all.
Mom, what did you do to us?

CHANNA PERSCHOWSKI, MY MOMILA, was a beauti¬ful young girl with thin stick-like legs and wavy auburn hair. She was petite, but her spunkiness made up for it. Her eyes were soft brown, but when she looked at you, you could see she was filled with determination.
She was born on November 27, 1929, in Baranavichy, a small rural town in what was then Poland. Picturesque with its redbrick houses, Baranavichy was nestled amid thick woods that thrived in the country’s moist, dark soil. Beautiful blue lakes dotted the landscape, and rivers wound their way past ancient castles dating back to the eighth century. Turrets belonging to the Belarusian gothic-style churches competed with the dome-topped, wooden Jewish synagogues, but only in the context of old-world charm. It was a lovely place to live. However, my mother’s simple, idyllic life would soon be lost to the horrors of a war like no other.
Channa was the answer to her mother’s dreams. Eleven years earlier, Rachel Perschowski had suffered the loss of her daughter Sonya, who had been born with a hole in her heart. The fragile young girl was plagued with shortness of breath and weariness and had spent most of her time in bed. Rachel was a dutiful mother, never straying far from her daughter’s bedside. She spoon-fed Sonya bowls of hot, sugary semolina with large dollops of butter that slowly melted around the sides of the cereal. Despite Rachel’s tender care, Sonya died in her mother’s arms at the age of eight.
Her death was extremely hard on Rachel. She blamed herself incessantly, wondering what she had eaten or done during pregnancy that could have possibly caused her pre¬cious little girl to lose her life. She visited the graveyard often, spending much of her time sitting on Sonya’s grave.
Rachel’s only joy in those dark days following Sonya’s death was her son, Isaac, who was two years older than Sonya had been. Isaac had grown into a healthy lad with boundless energy. He had dark features and had inherited his mother’s worried eyes and prominent Jewish nose. He was a little short for his age, but was solid as a rock and strong as an ox. Even at his young age, he had a tender side and had loved his sister Sonya dearly, always treating her with gentle kindness.
Sonya’s death was very hard on Isaac. No one could give him the answers he sought or help him express the tremen¬dous sadness he held in his heart.
Whenever he was outside playing and he saw a lizard scurry by, he would remember his little sister. He’d remember how he used to catch the small reptiles in his hands and carry them into the house. Sonya would gently stroke the lizard’s back, and they would both laugh until their mother came into the room.
“Isaac, get that out of here!” Rachel would always say.
Isaac’s deep sorrow about the loss of Sonya was lessened with the arrival of Channa. He adored Channa, and, being the much older brother, took on the role of her protector. The bond between them would prove to be more important than either of them could ever know.
A few years later, the family was additionally blessed with another baby girl, whom they named Yetta. She was a happy baby with round, chubby cheeks. Her hair was light brown and full of curls.
Rachel worked tirelessly and bestowed a great deal of love and affection on her three children. Often seated on the cold wooden floors, she would play games with them for hours, ignoring the cooking and the cleaning. On days when the weather kept her younger children inside, she would bake sugar cookies with them. She would carefully guide their small hands while they pressed various shapes onto the floured dough. Then she would patiently show them how to sprinkle sugar and cinnamon onto the warm cookies as they cooled on the counter.
Shlomo, the children’s father, was less patient. He worked hard, and when he came home, he demanded serenity. He had little tolerance for the children’s noise and energy, and at times, he could be quite harsh.
“Sit down and be quiet!” he often yelled. “If you can’t be quiet, go outside to play—and stay there a while!” When the children disobeyed his demands for silence, he would bang his fists on the table, causing them to run and hide under their beds.
Luckily for the children, Shlomo traveled extensively for business. He was often away for very long periods of time, which made Channa angry at him. She constantly feared he had abandoned them. When he was home, he never tried to earn their love, and they could sense their mother’s indiffer¬ence toward him. Neither she nor her siblings ever developed a close bond with their father.
While Shlomo might not have been the best father, he was an outstanding provider. He was in the schmate, or gar¬ment, business. He regularly journeyed to America with cloth¬ing patterns. These patterns were then turned into blue jeans and shirts to be sold to the American public. He would save up all the money he made and take it back to his family in Poland. With each homecoming came a bundle of cash, which was spent on a variety of things. The house and the barn always seemed to need repairs, and the children were always outgrowing their sweaters and shoes.
Channa loved the family home. The house had originally been built for Rachel’s mother as a gift from her father,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome to my Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila's blogsite

This is not my first blog, but since that was then and now is now, I have refreshed by blog site and will keep it much more current with Broken Bird talk. I invite everyone to pop in from time to time and see what's going on with my never ending quest to get my book out there and successful. Remember to go to the other blog for my daily entries.