Spending the day on your hands and knees

I spent this morning scrubbing the fridge, stove, and oven. I donned rubber gloves, used multiple cleaning substances — which hopefully will not kill all my brain cells — and scraped mystery goop with a toothpick. I sweated. At one point, I prayed the aforementioned stuff would just come off already!

Work that has meaning

But it was okay. Why? Because it was for a purpose. If I know that I want a kosher-for-Passover kitchen, I’ve got to work for it. If I want it finished before the kids start vacation so I can actually enjoy their company, I’ve got to work for it. And when I reach those goals, I will be satisfied and happy.

Writing is like that. Sometimes, you’ve got to work hard. Sometimes, it ain’t pretty: you’ve got to scrape out the goop and use every trick in the book to do so. But when you work hard, and pray for success, you’ll USUALLY end up with something you can enjoy. And you’ll get more pleasure from it as a result of all that effort.

Have you ever enjoyed something more because it only came with effort? Please share in the comments.

One week until seder night! How to keep focused and full of joy

Here’s today’s teeny post:

Getting through the long, hard slog with a smile on your face.

Passover is just a week away, but if you’re cleaning your house like me, scrubbing mysterious substances off of flatware and appliances you intend to use during the holiday, it can get hard to think beyond getting the house chometz-free. To get myself in the mood, I listen to lots of fun music while I clean (Jewish, classical, and jazz) and attend classes about Passover with local rabbis and teachers. I enjoy practicing singing the seder songs with my kids during carpool, and we usually read I.L. Peretz’s “The Conjuror” at some point during the week.

Writing can be hard work like that, too. What do you do — either while Pesach cleaning or while plugging away at the keyboard — to give you inspiration and focus?

New wacky Passover poetry

I’m not going to have much time to post in length before Pesach hits next week, but I’m going to try to share something small every day to make up for it.

So here’s your tiny morsel of Passover-related kookiness for today:

(throat-clearing)

You cleansed the windows of mud

And you scrubbed all the toys in your tub

But you still won’t be through

When Pesach is due

If you don’t clean chometz off the rug.

 

Free writing tip…don’t be afraid to write bad poetry. And if you’d like to share your own corny/hammy/couldn’t-hechsher-if-it-tried Pesach poetry, just add it in the comments.

Clean your file cabinets for Passover: Yet another piece of wacky advice from yours truly

So, in the Klempner household, preparations for Pesach — Passover — are in full swing. We’re vacuuming and scrubbing the house, the car, and the van like crazy. I’m muttering things like, “Why do I let them eat in carpool?” and “How do you get cookie crumbs in sock drawers?” under my breath.

Photo by Pptudela and available through Wikipedia Commons

One of my favorite parts of Pesach cleaning is finding things you’ve lost: the missing token from a game you’ve been wanting to play on rainy days, spare change, receipts for purchases you’ve been meaning to return, missing socks.

I’m not suggesting you pull out the 409 and start scrubbing down your file cabinets (although, if a toddler has access to its drawers, it might be a good idea). I’m suggesting that you flip through some old stories — ones you discarded incomplete, or complete but not yet ready for prime time viewing — and revisit them.

Continue reading

Passover looming ahead: Not quite panicking yet

Due to the onslaught of housework, etc., that Pesach entails, as well as some nifty work assignments, I’ll be posting less for the next month or so. However, I do want to share with my readers several bits of good news: Continue reading

4 Questions for author Tamar Ansh about her new Passover cookbook

I recently conversed via email with the enormously popular author, Tamar Ansh, about her new cookbook. Let My Children Cook! is her first cookbook for kids, and it tackles a particularly pertinent area of Kosher cuisine for this time of year: Passover.

ansh book cover

Tamar Ansh’s latest cookbook, out in time for Passover!

4 Questions:

Rebecca:

What made you want to write a cookbook for children this time? And why specifically one for Passover?

Tamar:

For this book, Let My Children Cook!, Hashem sent me the inspiration from a totally unexpected angle. Continue reading