----New Page-----New Day

It's Never Too late
leona uchitelle

They just don't make them like they used to


Today at 5:36 AM
My present vacuum is being held together with duck tape. It is a machine that is one big piece of plastic. It is the third machine that I have purchased to replace my original vacuum cleaner. Now , that was a vacuum cleaner ! It was metal, it was sturdy, it worked until it could serve us no more. I bought it from a house to house sales man when we were first married and lived on base in Mobile, Alabama. It was an Electrolux vacuum. I had that machine through four children , at least 4 dogs,several moves and finally , to it's resting place, our cottage. By that time, I had replaced the motor once, had it serviced several times and had given it a few knocks and dents. We finally had to let it go. When we retired it to our cottage, we only used it occasionally, as befits a retired member of the family. We left it for the next family.
Our kids , when they were little, used to sit on it and get pulled around. The vacuum never complained. Our dogs would bark and attack it for no good reason. It never complained. Our neighbor in Evanston, borrowed it every Christmas to suck up her Christmas trees dried needles, because her vacuum couldn't or wouldn't do the job. Our vacuum, although Jewish, never complained. I really miss that vacuum. It's never too late to think about how they just don't make things to last these days. And how we don't have house to house sales men, either. Do we?

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Pumpkin carving 101

I am carving pumpkins tonight. I've only done that a few times in my life time. When I was growing up in N.O. Halloween was not a national holiday. We had Mardi Gras to get crazy over. I never gave a thought to dressing up or going "Trick or Treating". We did Mardi Gras. Of the two, Mardi Gras is so much more fun. But now I am making up for the times that I didn't carve a pumpkin. When our kids were at home, we may have carved a pumpkin or two, but it wasn't as important as going out for "Trick or Treat". They would come back with enough candy to hoard for a year. When they were at school, I am now confessing , I would snitch one of my favorites. Or two, they were small.

It wasn't until the kids went away to school that I found out that grown ups go crazy over Halloween. College kids even riot. They should go to N.O. and see how to really celebrate a happening. Costumes, beads, booze,music, inhibitions to the wind. That's a good time. None of this asking for treats of candy. That's for kids.

I missed out on carving a pumpkin as a child, so I want to start making up for that right now. I bought a pumpkin, a knife, and some markers in case I want to paint my pumpkin. It should be messy , but not as messy as cavorting in the French Quarter with a bunch of frenzied adults. It's never too late to catch up on all of the things that I might have missed as I grew up in N.O. Carving a pumpkin can now be scratched off of my bucket list.


It's NeverToo Late
leona uchitelle

Belly laughs, good for the soul

I had lunch with a friend yesterday, and I lost myself in the moment. The resturant was  filled with people who had that POWER look. The ladies looked New York cool and the men carried brief cases to lunch. I had no problem fitting in. Even though we were two little Jewish women, who asked for take home boxes when we were finished eating.

My companion is a gifted story teller and even telling about getting a speeding ticket turned into belly laughs. I have to laugh more often. It felt good.

I had to come home and retell the funny stories, but somehow, they didn't sound as funny. Story telling is a gift as important as playing an instrument or painting a picture. I wonder why we don't include it as an art form.Not everyone has the talent,or ear for storytelling. It should be recognized and developed. I certainly appreciated the few hours that I spent with this friend. I was the audience and I came away from lunch refreshed and ready to look tomorrow head on.

Can you tell that I really enjoyed lunch ? It's never too late to take my take home box, a few belly laughs  and not be intimidated by the suits. They probably wished they could have been at my table.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

I am not a gardener

I am lamenting that I am not a gardener. I have two earth boxes .I can move them around to follow the sun. When I remember. And there is a reservoir to hold water, which if I remember to fill, is supposed to self water. But I am a failure at gardening. I am making a public statement that I will revert to plastic plants. I was never a gardener. At our home in Evanston, we had grass, a mulberry tree, a flowering tulip tree and a great hedge of bridal wreath. I grew children. At our cottage, we had a rock garden. I didn't have much to do with that. Occasionally, I added a rock.  We would brake for rocks. If we saw some interesting rocks piled in a farm field, we would stop, ask the farmer if we could take some. The kids would become frenzied and try to take the largest ones they could find. Some were small boulders. We'd put them in our VW bus and bring them back to our rock garden. Crazy, but we had a tiered rock garden that held up our hill that went from the beach to our cottage.And the farmer could tell his neighbors that these crazy city folk just took 4 of his rocks. Go figure.

But now, without rocks, I am tired of killing my plants. I am well meaning, just forgetful about watering. I will do the humane thing and pull up my dead plants and give my boxes away. I am their second home. Someone gave them to me. I should have been suspicious about why I got them. Probably for the same reason that I am getting rid of them.

Don't worry cricket. I won't give you away. It's never too late to admit that I can't grow plants. I admit it publically. I hear that some plastic plants look really quite natural.

It's NeverToo Late
leona uchitelle

They love a rainy day

In Israel,rain is so important that my favorite Nefesh B Nefesh group email wants to know where was I when the first rains came to Israel. I remember where I was when Preidents Roosevelt and Kennedy died. I also remember where I was on December 7 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. I remember where I was when the World Trade Center was attacked. But where was I just last week when it rained ? That's how important rain is to Israel. Now I am glad that I will be there in February when I expect it to rain, or even snow.I feel that I can add my voice to where was I when it rained in Israel. When I was there one time in January, it was cold and windy and it snowed . Now I know how important that was to the crops and to the water table, I can stop complaining about it having rained on my parade.

It's never too late to be part of a family that Honors rain. I guess it is important to have your parade rained on sometimes. I'll just bring an umbrella.

It's Never Too late
leona uchitelle

Put on a sweater and just walk

What a wimp. That's me . My morning walks with Cricket are a little cooler, thanks to lower temperatures and dryer weather. And I  feel cold. It's been so long since I felt cold on a morning walk. It is refreshing. But , I hurry Cricket because I'm not  used to it. What will I do when I am in Israel and the temperature is really cold. I've forgotten what cold means ! Today, cold is 67. Cold in Israel will be 50's. Can I take it? I took down my sweater box. I really don't have a cold weather sweater. A trip to Good Will will fix that. They always have rows of sweaters. Bob, who is aways cold, has a bunch of sweaters. He is set.

Maybe I can just borrow one of his. But I haven't been to Good Will in awhile, so I should go and see what is available. I don't need to make a lot of purchases for our trip. I have a coat,gloves, hat and scarf. Bob has the same. In fact, I'll be disappointed if the weather isn't cold and rainy. I'll be so ready for bad weather. And what will I have to complain about if the weather is sunny and warm ? It's never too late to be ready for anything. Since I understand that I am a wimp about the weather, I should start desensitizing myself to cooler temps. And who wants to hear a complainer, anyway. Cricket has heard enough.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

A change of music books

I'm taking a break from scales and exercises that I play on my violin. My teacher gave me a book of "Fake Popular Songs". They are songs from Broadway musicals, old time slow dance music. I am having such fun playing my instrument. I know these songs. I can sing them. I even know the lyrics to many of them. It's a wonderful break from scales  and exercises. I will do this for a month and then go back to scales and exercises. There is a problem, though. The tunes stay in my head for hours. I can be doing some thing and all of a sudden, "Maria, Maria, I once knew"... you get it. It's not a bad thing, it just pops up when I least expect it. This doesn't happen when I am doing arpeggio scales.

Wouldn't it be good if we could take a month break from every challenge that we have before us. I expect that at the end of a month, my fingers will know how to move into third position and I will remember that on my violin, at least in my head, when my teacher says move down the string, she means physically move your finger up. Yea, that simple movement is hard for me. Down is up and up is down the string. It's all of my Mother's fault. If I had taken lessons as a kid, I would have been a sponge and just absorbed it all. That's what kids do. As an adult, I have to over think it all. It's never too late to enjoy playing pop music and folk songs, but I am looking forward to going back to scales. I was getting good at them.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Can't wait

I just checked my calendar and no matter how many times that I count the weeks,it is still, for this week, 14 weeks until we leave for Israel. It feels like it should be closer. Now that I know that Wells  Fargo can mail me shekels,and I have a reservation to be met and driven from Tel Aviv to our apartment, I can almost relax .

I really don't want to relax. It's exciting to be enthusiastic about our trip. Much to my surprise, Bob is getting into the planning. He pours over the travel book. I definitely want to be invited for Shabbat to a home. And generously, a friend has given me a name of their relative in Jerusalem. Then ,our last house guest, the young woman from Israel, had her Mom invite me to stay with them when we tour in their area. This is getting to be very special. 

I hope that I want to come back to Venice after I have all of these experiences. It really is never too late to want to try new things, meet new people,learn a culture, experience the minutia of living with people who are like me, but different. I have a vision of me with one of those "old lady" pull carts, filled with groceries, walking along the street in Jerusalem to our apartment. I look pretty happy. Why not. The only thing that would make it better is if Cricket was attached to my wrist. Then it would feel like home.That will be a real reason to come back to Paradise.I miss Cricket already. It's never too late to change my mind about bringing her with us. 


It's Never too Late
leona uchitelle

Avoid Murphy's Law,learn before it happens

Did you ever think that you could buy shekels in Venice, Florida. I learn something every day. This revelation opens up all kind os possibilities of what is available, in my back yard, so to speak. I hear that a bank will Fed Ex shekels directly to your home. The exchange rate doesn't matter, but the convenience is worth it. I was concerned about how we would pay our taxi driver when we were picked up at the Tel Aviv airport. I know that some Israeli will take dollars,but I was still worried about being left on the street some where with Bob, two suitcases and carry on stuff. And do the drivers take credit cards like they do in N.Y. Now that is the greatest convenience, ever. You even put your tip on it. Israel is not a third world country, so what ever I am used to, is probably what I will find. Now I have another question relating to my travel. Are we arriving on EST or Israeli time. Is 5 o'clock EST the same in Israel. Help, somebody.

It's never too late to learn as much as you can before the Murphy Law takes effect. I know it will happen, it always does.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Family, says it all

I watched a video of a young Rabbi trying to explain what it means to be Jewish. After saying all of the things that it doesn't mean, he concluded that it means that we are a family. We are all related because of Jacob, who was given the name, Israel. We are all Jake's kids. I love that. 

To further strenghten that concept, a few days ago, in my NBN group emails, there was a plea from a new Mom asking for everyone to pray for her newborn daughter, who was gravely ill and wold be undergoing serious surgery. People wrote in words of encouragement. Today, it was posted that the baby died. As a family would, people having been sending in notes to the grieving family. We don't even know this family.This is what made the words of that Rabbi so meaningful to me. We don't think alike, we don't act alike,but we are a family of people. I really do like this. It's never too late to join up and be a part of my family. 

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

No more Brussel sprouts for me

Brussel Sprouts 2,Me-0. That's the score. Brussel won. I bought a branch of Brussels because I thought they looked cool. I oven roasted them and unfortunately,the house reeked of them. So much so, that I had trouble going to sleep. Then the next night, last night, I reheated them and ---I burnt them. I lost to the Brussel sprouts. That is why the score is 2 to 0.I will stick with cabbage and broccoli. I never thought that I would meet a veggie that was so controlling. Everything about it took control.Watch out for those little innocent looking green ,cute orbs. They pack a punch. I am sure that ounce for ounce they are a potent , anti oxidating vegatable, but I am taking them off of my prime, go to veggie list. They will always remind me now of my short comings. Who needs this. I always thought that there was not a thing that I couldn't cook. I have made croissants, souffles,even a puff pastry(once) and home made pasta. Now I know that I was only preparing to cook Brussel Sprouts. They won. It's never too late to admit it. I can't cook everything.A simple ,little green orb taught me humility . I bow to its powers. Beware of small packages.They are tougher than what they seem.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Too much of a good for us thing

I had a reallly hard time falling asleep last night. There were two, unrelated reasons. One was that Cricket, who usually sleeps on the floor, after staying up on the bed for a few minutes with us, had a very restless session. She stayed almost all night up with us and she must have had too much stimulation at the pet blessing. Her little legs were twitching and she was making whining sounds and little woofs.She was restless enough to keep me up. She had never been with so many dogs before. She doesn't go to the doggy park. The few times that we have taken her to the beach doggy park, she sits on top of the picnic table. She is an observer. She spent most of the blessing time on our laps, watching the 25 other dogs sniff each other. She's asleep right now. Quietly, in her bed.

The other reason why I didn't sleep well is that my house reaked of brussel sprouts. I oven roasted a lot of brussel sprouts and the odor permeated the whole house. Way into the night. I had bought a whole branch of sprouts, because they looked so interesting this way. I had to use them before they spoiled. Although, I think , I could have been less ambitious, and done small amounts until I used them up. Now that they are cooked and the house smells like cabbage , I'm not sure I even want to reheat them to eat. This was a mistake and I will not buy a limb of sprouts again. I think we ate a total of 5 sprouts between us. A  classic case of my eyes being bigger than our stomachs.

It's never too late to learn a lesson in quantity control. It just seems to be taking me longer than it should.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Pet Blessing

Today is a big day for Cricket. She is going to a Pet Blessing. I always wanted to see how these blessings were handled. Since Cricket is Jewish, I didn't feel right taking her to a church blessing. But today, she gets her chance to be blessed by a Rabbi. Will he make a sign of a Jewish Star over her,put his hands on her head. Maybe just say a Blessing in Hebrew. She already knows the Shema. Or at least  she should. I repeat it to her every morning. I don't wait for her response. She seems happy when I say it out loud to her. I know, she thinks it means "let's Go". I humor me.

Yesterday, I looked at a few shelter dogs. Just like I get a vibe when I enter a house that we are looking to buy, I have to have that same feeling when I get a dog. I didn't get that feeling yesterday. Which is good, because I am not ready to get another dog. With a trip to Israel in 16 weeks, this definitely is not a good time to take on a second dog. But I am always tempted.

It's never too late to confess to being concerned about Cricket's feelings to being an only child. I shouldn't give her anphromorphic tendencies, but she does think I am her Mom.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

I loved my first and only home

I watch these how to programs on TV and I have to say, I get annoyed with these people who aren't happy with what they are seeing. I look at the rooms that they are seeing, and they look pretty good to me. Does this mean that I am willing to settle for mediocre. Maybe I am too accommodating. I should be more demanding. Good. From now on I will be a demanding, high maintenance person. Already, I don't like me. 

That will never be me, so forget that. It's not so hard to be me. I think those rooms that these people are viewing are beautiful. But those places are not for me. I am the kind of person who buys a house by the vibes that I get from the first time that I walk into the house. That's how we bought every place that we have owned. It must be a good way to do it, because we lived a long time in each place that we belonged to. We really did belong to the houses that we lived in. Our first house was not only our first home it was our only home. From that , we went to condo's and that isn't the same as the home you raised your kids in. It's a house, but there is nothing like the first time home. It's never too late to know that those demanding people will probably never be satisfied with what they have. For me, what I have now is what I want. 
It' Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

It's a Holiday,somewhere

I woke up thinking that today was a holiday. I even asked a fellow dog walker if today was a holiday and if we would have mail delivery. Then I saw the garbage man and thought how nice it is to have pick up on a holiday. Yes it was a holiday. It was Yiskor. I am confused. Am I already in Israel time with the Jewish holidays replacing secular ones. I had to laugh at myself. Won't it be unique to celebrate as a whole country every holiday . Here, I pick and choose, or the sales at the stores help me pick which holiday to celebrate. I do the 4th of July because I love picnics and you really only have to put a flag out. Then Labor Day is not much in the way of celebration. maybe another picnic. Thanksgiving, I won't give up. I am always thankful, so I will do the turkey, the dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry, black olives from a can ,thing. I think they sell turkeys in Israel. I know they raise them because one daughter worked on a turkey kibbutz when she was there, many years ago.She said that they were mean.

Holidays are important and I want to celebrate every one. Holidays always mean special foods and who would want to miss out on that. When we go to Israel in February, I don't think that there are too many holidays. I hope that someone invites us for a Shabbat Dinner, though. that could be fun.
It's never too late to celebrate. Every day is a celebration .


it's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle


My cup run runith over. My mini computer is back home. I'm not completely satisfied with it , but another phone call, or two, to my guru guy should fix that. I don't understand why Apple feels the need to make changes. Most of my problems came with upgrading my computer. Change can sometimes not be a good thing.

I have changed  tremendously in the last years. This a good thing. I read somewhere that our cells ,in 7 years, are all new. To bad we can't do that for body parts. My parts seem to be in good shape, but it would be good to know that I had a spare some 
place. If I found that I couldn't use them, I could lend them out . It would be unethical to sell them,just like selling a kidney is today.
If I could change anything about me , what would it be ? I'd have to go back and change my whole family dynamics. That's not going to happen. We would be a world full of perfect zombies if that happened. Sounds terrible. That's why reinvention works for me. I only have to change me. It's never too late to make changes to yourself. It is definitely harder, but worth it. Look at all of the new possibilities that are out there, just waiting for you to try. What should I try first? I am thinking I will try being a computer technician. I've never done that before. And since my mini computer started all of this discussion, it seems the right thing to do.


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Latest comments

01.12 | 14:15

Safe travels. See you soon. sally

04.07 | 12:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

22.05 | 12:38

so glad youre here mom!

29.08 | 17:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.