My last post, well, actually, the one before the last post, was on September 26, 2006. The subject matter and the time was the Jewish New Year. Much has happened in my life since that time and the present, and as time passed, it became increasingly more difficult to think about returning to the blog. With each passing day, it felt more and more overwhelming to try to catch up. It is almost 5 months later and this is my attempt to do just that.

I got married in 1979. I met my husband in Israel and brought him back with me to the US to get married. Since that time, I've had two children, a beagle, a career as a

Speech Pathologist working mostly in Early Intervention with children, birth to three, a great deal of travel, often to Israel, frequently to Paris, sometimes to Montreal, on occasion to New Orleans, San Francisco, LA, Cancun, and some Islands, including Aruba, and we have had a multitude of holiday observances, American and Jewish, birthday and milestone celebrations and most of the family events were centered around our house. Dinners, and family celebrations were common occurrences, mostly due to the abundant hospitality and excellent cooking of my husband. This is all to say that I can not complain about my life for the last 27 years. It has been rich and full and in many ways fulfilling..

Having said all that, during the days between the Jewish holidays of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, 5767/2006, I prepared for and on September 30th carried out a momentous decision, one that was the result of years of thoughts, feelings, tears, therapy, journaling and contemplation. I packed my bags and moved out of my house into my own apartment, thus officially separating from my husband. It was a most scary, hectic, exciting, bittersweet day. It took courage that up until that point, perhaps that very day, I had been unable to summon.

From October 1, until the present, I have spent many an hour and even more dollars, purchasing items for this new apartment, that would bring me not only a sense of accomplishment, but of well-being. My first big purchase (perhaps the first really "big" purchase I'd ever made with my own money), was an Italian leather loveseat, in a pretty sage-green color.

My next big purchase was the rug for the living room. As luck would have it, upon driving to my house one day, I passed a Persian rug store, Rugs of Eden, that was going out of business. Having some experience with the age old tradition of haggling for the best price (having been a frequent shopper in the Arab Market of the Old City of Jerusalem), Ramin Aziz, the proprietor, and I arrived at a price for a beautiful, modern designed, hand made in India, rug. It was smaller than I wanted, at 5'x8', but that, at least, made it possible for me to carry it home and shlep it up the stairs to my apartment by myself.

Meanwhile, I had been making frequent stops at a store, in our area, called, Homegoods, (perhaps this is a chain in other parts of the country, I'm not sure) to see what new things they'd gotten in. This is one of those stores that if you strike it right, you can find things for your home that are sometimes unique and often at very inexpensive prices. Well this one day I found something that was perhaps not all that unique and definitely not inexpensive, AND something that I didn't really need, but that I loved at first sight. After returning to it a number of times, I decided to buy it and buy it I did, as well as an iron and rattan table to put it on and a matching table to complement the first. The silk flowers were purchased at another time in another store.

The living room was shaping up beautifully and all I needed was a coffee table to put on my new rug, home office furniture and to bring my book cases here from the house to the apartment. With the help of Pier 1 (the coffee table and a wine holder ), my son and his girlfriends' father and truck (one of the book shelves and a few boxes of books) and a special friend and his truck (the second book shelf and some more books) I managed to put it all together.

Oh, wait, that is not the whole living room story. There is the office furniture, purchased at Staples and after a long wait, finally delivered. This furniture comes in huge boxes in which there are a myriad of pieces which have to be put together by no one less than an engineer, and I just happen to know one; that would be my husband. I've mentioned that he is unbelievably hospitable and a great cook, but didI mention that he was also a wiz at putting things together and as it turned out quite gracious and for lack of a better phrase, a good sport? So, with the promise of bringing in Chinese for dinner, he came over one evening after work and meticulously put together my new desk and on a separate occasion, the hutch, which I bought at a later date. And now, my living room was complete!!

My only problem was that during this mad and crazy buying frenzy, I was sleeping on a borrowed Aero-Bed (thank you, Lynne). Granted, it was a queen size aero-bed, raised well up off the floor and very nearly like a real bed, but it still was not the real thing and besides, it needed to be returned. So, out I went on my bedroom furniture search. Luckily I found it at the second store I went to and that was a good thing because as much fun as I was having furnishing my new abode, I was, at the same time, growing a little weary of it and my hours at work could not keep pace with the number of dollars it was costing. I decided to go with a whole different look than I'd had for the many years of my marriage and got a chest instead of a bureau and black instead of wood color. I was very happy with the results.

Fortunately I'd brought over a few snack tables and folding chairs from the house because I still didn't have a dining table and chairs. Craig's List took care of that (oh, the wonders of Craig's List!). I managed to find someone selling a nice wood table and 2 dining chairs for a hundred bucks and he also delivered it to my house....What more could I ask? I brought over some of the art work that I had at home and had a few other works framed and began the hanging process, at first with the help of my brother and his partner and later on my own.

I will post a short blog following this one that will give an example of one of my success stories. Here is a "teaser".

In any case, the apartment as a whole was comping together quite nicely and to my satisfaction. All I really needed now were more rugs, not only to warm the floors, but also because there is a condo associationrule that says that 80% of the floors are to be covered with rugs or carpets. I don't know that I have quite covered that much, but put down rugs, I have done.

As for the kitchen, I bought a microwave, toaster, red teapot, a kitchen cart and assundry smaller necessities of a kitchen. The fact is that I don't do much cooking that doesn't involve one of the pre-mentioned items, so the kitchen is pretty well set.
The only thing missing from it and all of the other rooms is what we "home decorators" call, window treatments, but they will either have to wait or more probably be missing in this otherwise most comfortable, self-styled abode, one which feels to be most authentically "me".

So, what does "What's Love Got To Do With It" got to do with it? I separated myself from life as I knew it for over 2 1/2 decades to a new life that I've wanted to try on for many, many years, a life on my own, as myself, one that would fit me as authentically as a life could fit. My new apartment has become a conceptualization, a representation, an embodiment of that new life. This, as I see it, was/is an act of SELF-LOVE. My husband, who was not at all in agreement with what I did, has so far, managed to rise above his first reaction and personal dissatisfaction, and help me in concrete ways with the move as well as helping me to continue our family traditions in terms of our children, our extended family on both sides and our "concept" of family. I believe this is his own brand of LOVE. And finally, moving out, living on my own in my own personalized apartment is giving me the opportunity to know what it is to live alone and to succeed on my own. It has given me the time to reflect on myself in regards to relationships with others and with myself. So, if this helps me to love myself better, I know I will be prepared to love another better.

And that's what LOVE has to do with it.



It has been a very long time since last I appeared in this world of blogging. I can not say why with certainty. I simply have not felt motivated. Time and again my good online blogger friend, Diane S of A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door would lovingly try to cajole me back to the blog world, especially when she would receive an email from me that she thought particularly blog-worthy. And I considered it, I really did. Another of my blog friends, Ricardo of
FREE SPEECH 101, has been in contact frequently and asked me where I've been, as he missed reading my blog. Joe Vogel of FREE SPEECH 101 also contacted me in those many months in whcih I was silent and he like the others told me I was missed. I can't say how much I appreciated that these friends let me know I was recognized for my small contribution in blogging, but I still didn't feel the pull to come back.

It wasn't until another of my blogger friends, Robert of,
It's Lonely Outside the Box did something that truly rocked my world, my "reality" world, and that ultimately got me to return to this cyber-world in order to tell this story. I sent him an email from which I will be "borrowing" and I hope he doesn't mind.

A Letter to Robert:
Dear Robert,
You not only made my day, yesterday, but my week, my month, maybe even my year. Let me tell you how the day went.
Yesterday, Wednesday, happens to be my day off from work. So, I slept in a few extra hours and left my apartment at about 2:45 PM to go to my therapy appointment. No sooner had I opened the outside door, than the Letter Carrier (known as the mailman in earlier non-politically correct days; I'm one of the few that likes most of the PC terms) was just about to ring my upstairs bell. My appearance at the opened door startled him and he broke out into a huge smile, saying , "oh, are you the person who lives upstairs?", to which I answered yes, and he said, "I didn't think anyone would be home, what a surprise. Well, I have something for you that has to be signed" and he proceeded to climb back up into his mail truck. It seemed to take him quite a long time , each second made longer by the freezing cold temperature and I was going to be late for my appointment, but he had been so friendly and I couldn't even imagine what he had for me that required a signature, so I waited patiently.

He brought out a good sized box and said with obvious excitement in his voice, "it's from China!; well no, not China, Taiwan. It has Chinese written on the box!" I guess this was a rare occurrence in the Morris County, NJ postal route. His mention of Taiwan jogged my memory and I said to him, "OH! It must be the DVDs from Robert", and I went on to tell him about this online friend of mine who is also a blogger and we visit and respond to each other's blogs and yada yada yada so, he offered to send me some political movies, if I didn't mind sharing my address with him. Obviously I didn't. The postman laughed and said, well, I hope he's cute (this comment somehow suggests postman rather than letter carrier) and I responded, "Oh, he is, but he's married and has two kids" and we both laughed. I smiled as he drove away and brought the package with me to the car, set in on the passenger's seat and didn't think much about it until I got to the therapist's office. It didn't occur to me that the box was rather large to contain only DVDs, regardless of how many there may be.

I went to my appointment and spent the first several minutes explaining with excitement and enthusiasm about what had just transpired; I did this by way of explaining why I was late (I always feel guilty when I arrive late to my therapy appointment). I went on to other things and left an hour later. Rather than go directly home, I stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond for no other reason than that I had a 20% discount card and I figured there must be things I needed in the store. Well, about 3 hours later and with a rolling basket filled with many things I must have needed from the store, I gave the clerk my coupon and left the store, a few hundred dollars poorer Now I had not only the box to bring up the 14 or so stairs to my apartment, but several bags of stuff.

When I got into the apartment, though I hadn't worked, I felt exhausted (shopping can do that!) With all the bags from the store, I almost forgot about the package. Before slicing the box open. I carefully removed the label with my name and address, your name and address (Robert's) and Chinese characters which I am certain said something postal in nature. Having gotten the box opened, it seemed that it was stuffed with lots of paper, newspaper and such, and as I began digging into it, I felt something inside the paper; so I began to carefully unwrap. No sooner had I unwrapped the first one, that I began to feel like a child in a candy store, literally. Now, Robert, I have to stop and tell you that there are two things I really love in life. One is to be surprised - NO ONE is ever able to surprise me - and two is CANDY. So, to my UTTER SURPRISE and delight what I found were treasures, each wrapped separately, to be discovered, one by one.

I stood there in my little kitchen hardly able to contain the mile wide smile on my face. There was a gold Hindu Goddess, which I believe has chocolate inside and several small golden containers, marked with Chinese characters on the top, each looking like some kind of little treasure which when opened, contained pieces of chocolate. I felt like I'd won the Taiwanese lottery. The next few goodies turned out to be those decorative hanging red thingies, one with what looks like
peppers on it, another with a fish and the third and largest with pictures of Chinese masked men, Ninja types...kind of scary looking. They are all hanging in different locations around my apartment.

Inside another wrapping was a beautiful little container, like an ancient pot on three legs with dainty handles.

It is on my living room cocktail table.

And then there was more CANDY. Sucking candies, and these white nougat looking candies that has both Chinese characters and English which says Super Milk Candy. I haven't quite figured out how to get the thin layer of rice like paper off of it. I tried washing it, but it became kind of soggy. I tried picking off pieces, but this took forever and still it had the paper on it, so I decided you are supposed to eat the paper and I did. It felt funny, but the candy was tasty. There are also these rod shaped, red containers, with little Chinese figures on them and gold and on top a gold string. I am not entirely sure that these are not firecrackers, so I have NOT tried to open and eat what's inside, even t hough I did shake it and hear something is inside. I've never seen a firecracker up close though, so I am leaving them as decoration next to the candies in a bowl on my cocktail table, until you, Robert, tell me otherwise. Oh , I forgot to mention the Wrigley's Airwave Sugarfree, Soothing Action Honey & Lemon Chewing Gum....I love it. I took a few other pictures I'll send you at a later date.

And then, finally, at the very bottom of the box, after all the paper-wrapped goodies were removed and opened, I found the envelope with ten or eleven thin DVDs. They are nice. I'm sure I will enjoy watching them and I very much appreciate your sending them to me, but mostly because they were the guise for sending all those other Taiwanese Treats. Nothing will EVER compare to the PRIZES and SURPRISE of receiving all these little gifts from Taiwan, which taken in total amounted to you, Robert, reaching out your hand in Taiwan and me, Sherril grasping it in gratitude and friendship here in New Jersey. I guess it's what those Disney folks mean when they say....It's A Small World After All.

Thank you for making it so.
With Love & Gratitude,