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Bread crumbs in a Bowl, OR, otherwise named Challah! Holla!

Sometimes I forget its okay, to do, nothing …

This weekend was sooo busy, I wasn’t even able to turn a computer on, I was temporarily interrupted from my immersion of book reading and writing goals, and, I didn’t get to read any of the blogs I so enjoy. I feel quite disconnected to the internet world I have come to love so much… I didn’t even know that my big sister had changed her ENTIRE blog and website(s) ‘til this morning! I have a lot of catching up to do!!!

Let’s start with Friday, shopping for an item specific list, silkwood scrub-down of my house, followed by the setting of the holiday table. Seemingly, normal chores… however, this table setting didn’t involve paper, plastic, or disposable products, like every other day I set the table. Oh, no, this was a holiday table, and real people were coming to my house.

I single handedly dragged out of the hall closet, the two (very large) and (very heavy) solid wood leaves to insert within the dining room table to reach maximum extendable capacity. (One of the moments in my life where I wish I had a husband, lifting heavy objects or assembling anything…or any bug killing) I ironed the crisp white table cloth, the burgundy hand sewn embroidered placemats and linen napkins. Hand washed and dried Manga’s white Bavarian china, polished the real silver and capped off the table with glass gold rimmed sparkling spotless matching stemware.

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picture OF the table should be HERE, but my father
forgot to bring his camera and I do not own one, YET
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By the time I was done cleaning and setting, it was closing in on 1:00am, since I had been up since 5:30am, I was awake and working HARD for close to twenty-hours. Instead of reading, like I wanted too, I was defeated by exhaustion.

Saturday morning I woke up at 7:00am, brewed coffee, finished the last load of laundry (like anyone who was coming over would know or care that there was laundry in the dryer.) I took out the garbage, finished the final touches in the house, achieved perfect pillow placement and raced to my doctor’s appointment.

DRS appointment:TOTALLY OFF TOPIC: I have unwanted sh*t on my face that needed to be laser treatment-ed off immediately (wrinkles and acne) which is NOT HOT on a 32 year old. I’m too young for these wrinkles, and way too old for the acne.

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picture OF the FACE should be HERE,
but I do not own a camera, YET
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So, I digress, after having my face burnt off, for new skin to come in (by next week?) cuz, I am red / raw now!

Then, it was back to the house and squeeze in a NAP so I would be able to handle serving, cooking, entertaining and hosting a real live family gathering. The proverbial holiday torch had been officially passed to me. This time, it was at my house! This year, Rosh Hashanah was my responsibility, my job, my duty… which, I was glad, even proud, to do for them, as they have always done for me.

I was woken up at 2:00 pm in the after noon, by a ringing phone and my mom’s voice on the other end… “Did you take out the chopped liver? Have you started the Matza ball soup? Where’s the turkey… still in the fridge or in the oven yet? What temperature are you using?” Mind you, there were no pauses for me to answer, had there been, I would have said… “I’m sleeping, gimme ten.” But alas, she fired off questions; I wiped the sleep from my eyes, rolled off the couch, shoved a cigarette in my mouth, went to the kitchen, gripped a cup of coffee and strained to pay attention to the directions. I agreed with whatever my mother said (having no idea) hung up the phone, sat and looked around my kitchen.

Ok ok … I am supposed to do what? When? What time was everyone coming? Maybe I should take a shower now…. no wait…. I will finish everything then shower… ok… okay…um, lets see.. What am I doing? Right… food out of fridge, what’s even IN these containers?

Apparently, I have been paying attention to my mother all these years, because I knew just what to do with everything. I knew what dishes to use to serve, what utensils went with certain side dishes. I heated up the oven, slid everything in its place, (except the turkey…I left that for supervision from mom-in-person) and surprised myself with how smooth it was all going. I had one hour left before everyone was supposed to arrive and with that I jumped in the shower.

Adam and Traci arrived first; I was still fussing with my unruly curly hair, Justin graciously opened the door and let them in, then, ran into my bathroom shouting at me (as if the siren buzzer didn’t alert me to their presence) “They’re here!!!!!!”

Hello’s kisses, hugs, greetings, and unloading of deserts and Pellegrino were completed, when Justin’s impulse drove him to grab his shiny new brass trumpet from its once sealed container and showcase his “abilities” to the new group of people he had to impress.

Mom, Dad and Poppa-Sye arrived next…. mom made a beeline for the kitchen and to her glory, and mine, everything was (still) under control, she didn’t even have to ask for a knife and cutting board, I had already placed it neatly underneath the Challah bread for her to cut.

We all sat around my living room chatting about this or that, Traci is back to teaching 8th grade and inundated with paperwork, back-to-school-night, ect, while my brother Adam is a free-lace substitute this year having just graduated with a 4.0 in June.

During the conversations there was some discussion as to weather or not we were going to throw bread on the water. The traditional thing to do (or what my family has done) is to cast away pieces of bread onto running water (lake, river, pond) to symbolize each sin we are asking g-d to forgive us for. I don’t remember how or why we came to the decision not to throw bread on the water this year, I was distracted in the kitchen, but I do remember feeling like something wasn’t right.

I over-heard my brother Adam say something like this, “Yeah, well, none of us really have anything that we have sinned over this last year, we don’t have to throw the bread.”

I thought to myself, I do, I have sins… and then I said that, out loud.. “Speak for yourself!”

We all laughed it off jokingly… but, I wasn’t kidding.

You see, I am not what you would call a “practicing Jew”. In fact, I wouldn’t identify myself as Jewish, at all, really. I don’t speak Hebrew, I didn’t attend Hebrew school, nor did I have a Bat-mitzva. But, somewhere along the way, when I was growing up, my mother decided to embrace that religion. My younger brother was raised and receptive to Judaism while I spent more time mocking and rebelling against it. I don’t know the history, or any of the stories, I am never sure what holiday means what, until my mother explains (every year) what it is and why we are celebrating it. I have gone to every Jewish holiday event, not for a religious or spiritual connection, but, to be with as much of my family, in the same room, as often as possible, for any reason.

(Quick Family history: My grandmother, my mothers’ mother, MANGA was Catholic, most of my uncles, my cousins and relatives are Italian Catholic. My grandfather, my mothers father, POPPA-SYE is Jewish. My mother, Pam was raised with both, allowed to choose which religion she wanted when she grew up. (My bio-father, David, I have no clue about) My mother chose her religion when I was young and my brother Adam was younger, he was agreeable, I was not. I didn’t live with mom and brother for much of my life, as I was out by the age of 13. My mother remarried her high school sweetheart when I was 17. My step-father was raised Catholic, but, he converted in his previous marriage and raised his son my step brother Lee Jewish. But, his whole family is still Italian Catholic. So, My Mother, my step-father and both of my brothers and both of their wives are Jewish, the rest of my family is Italian Catholic.) I stand alone in the “I believe in g-d, I do not believe in religion” point of view.

That being said, it struck me as odd, when I felt the urgent need to throw bread on the water. What!!? We weren’t doing that this year? Why!!? What happened? I am the one who is supposed to care less? Why are you guys acting like bad Jews!?!?

Oh well, I thought, whatever, and it was time for soup. I served n’ plated each setting and called everyone in to be seated.

Dinner was lovely, went off without a hitch in fact. Food was great, serving it was a breeze, and conversation was plentiful. (Even though it wasn’t about me! boooo)

After a lengthy diner, and not so easy for me clean up, I had placed all of the food along with a row of containers on the center island in the kitchen so everyone could take the containers and fill them as much as they could with whatever left-overs they could get their hands on. (Good idea mom)

After clean up was complete, coffee was served, desert was on the table, the men: Dad, Poppa-Sye, Adam and Justin played poker, while my mother Traci and I looked in to me maybe getting a cat (via “good read” previous post) and shopped on-line.

Would have been a great time to take PICTURES with a CAMERA…. I don’t have yet
Would be really nice to have a BUNCH of digital pictures RIGHT HERE

As the night came to a close I hugged and kissed everyone good-bye and good night, happy New Year lingered in the air. Happy New Year I kept thinking … I have no idea why.

I did a surface clean, ran the final load of dishes and went to bed (it was after midnight again) except that I could NOT fall asleep. I could not fall asleep.

I couldn’t get comfortable; I couldn’t get out of my own head. I kept thinking about the fact that I had done wrong this last year, I felt bad about a lot of things, which can be considered “sins” and I did nothing to absolve myself of them. You’d think, with a belly full of Xanax and Turkey loaded with heavy gravy, I’d have been in a comfortable coma… Nope!

It was somewhere around 2am, when I decided I would do my own version of “bread on the water.”

It was a joke, I had made with a girlfriend of mine. I am forever busy and forever tired, instead of going though the actions of ripping bread, for each individual sin, in an effort to make things even easier for me, why not use croutons, as they are form of pre-ripped and cut bread (ha ha) that turned into, well, if I really want to save time, energy and effort, a handful of breadcrumbs should suffice. (ha ha)…

No, not ha ha….At 2am, I was a Jew for a night, filled with Catholic confession guilt…WTF!!!….I went in to my kitchen, grabbed the Progresso can of breadcrumbs, and headed into my bathroom. I sat on the cold tile floor thinking of all the things I have done to myself or others, that weren’t nice, or things I felt guilty about. I played with my hand in the container like it was sand from a beach, thinking, then, confessing everything to my g-d out loud. Finally, I took a handful, and threw it in the toilet bowl. (That’s running water alright).

I didn’t cry …I didn’t have some magical epiphany… or vow to make amends to anyone, but, I did feel better.

Although I did miss another night of reading or writing !!

Sunday morning, we got up LATE (yippee!!) Justin and I were starving. Hmm….. What should we have? I am so sick of everything, then, I remembered my sister-in-law Traci saying she was going to make Challah French toast for her and Adam.

? Um…. Ooo, good call? Let me try to make that… since I was feeling like brand a new Jew with the breadcrumbs in a bowl, why not go all out and have a jewish-y-breakfast to seal the deal? And I did, and it was delicious. !!

Normally, I hate breakfast food, all of it. I hate cereal because it gets too soggy, I hate eggs because they are to gassy, I hate pancakes because they sit in your stomach like lead all day long and never fully digest, I can’t with breakfast.

I will say Challa French bread toast with butter and honey, is soooooo good, it deserves a HOLLA! Yeah that’s right, I just got ghetto, on Jewish bread… I dare you to eat it and NOT “holla!”

Around noon-ish on Sunday I was feeling pangs of restlessness, I hadn’t read, I hadn’t written, I hadn’t blogged… I was too tired to focus or concentrate on anything.

I did finish cleaning the house, I did finish the dishes, I completed the JCH learns “how to heeley and play the trumpet video blog.

Justin came up to me and wanted to watch Happy Gilmore on TV, so, instead of reading or writing, or IM-ing, or emailing… I sat, with JCH, and watched a movie. Quiet, unexciting, peaceful moment.

I finally DID NOTHING…

I found it easy to sleep Sunday night. I was content. I had done a good job, I had given back to my family, I had given extra time to my son, and I had even given myself a little something becasue of it. Happy New Year.

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  • Anonymous

    Leave it as is… Very original…

  • Anonymous

    As always, … your writing flows smoothly… If only you were more book smart, I could see you writing historical novels…. If….


  • Leslie

    Mel, you’re the best. 🙂

  • meleah rebeccah

    HISTORY SMISH-TORY… And, I am working on that “book smart” thing!

    Thank you…I love you back!!!
    I’m getting “better” huh?! practice practice practice
    write write write!

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