Thursday, February 25, 2021

Happy Purim!

Purim is here! 
Tomorrow we mark Queen Esther risking her neck and standing up to the wicked Haman. 
Another celebration of good against evil. 
Purim this year, on the Jewish calendar, also really marks a year since the world stopped spinning. Last year, I decided to not to shul on Purim. Social distancing was just becoming a thing and the thought of all those people crowded in shul as Boston saw its first cases spooked me into staying home. 
Now here we are. Masks aren't just for hiding our identity on a fun holiday but a daily occurrence to keep us safe. A strange twist of life indeed. But! Onto happier things. 
This Purim may still look mighty strange, but I made my best batch of Hamantashen in years. I even learned recently that my go-to jelly Bonne Maman is a company that during the Holocaust hid Jews to save their lives. Goes along well with the Purim tale, don't you think?
Please Gd, next Purim we will celebrate together. With masks only used to playfully mask our identities not shield us from the virus. Sharing mishloach manot will be done without a thought, we'll host our friends for our Purim feasts, and we won't need to unmute on Zoom to hear the graggers during the Megillah readings!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Frozen Hudson

Mom and I were up in Beacon over the weekend, about an hour's drive from us. We were north enough up the Hudson River, coupled with the snowy cold weather lately to get to see an icy river! It was pretty cool to see.
I love this kind of wintry scenery - reminds me of the frozen Charles River in Boston. It was a beautiful waterfront park, even in the white tundra. We made a plan to go back in warmer weather to explore even more!

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Monday, February 22, 2021

The Good. The Random. The Fun. v. 8

The Good:
Soup season is going strong with some fish chowder for these snowy nights. 

The Random:
There is a book exchange shelf in the basement of my building. If you are looking or a light read, try the can of sauce...?

The Fun:
We have the best security guys at school. I am at the gate once or twice a week with them and they're so fun to talk to and get to know!

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Scav Hunt Sunday: Tickets and Tile

 Picked:
Pick a number...

Duo:
Is there a better duo out there?

Far Away:
All the way on the other side of the tunnel. 

C is For:
Citrus. One of the best seasons. 

Red:
Holly winter berries.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Snowy Central Park

When I was in the city last week for my 2nd vaccine, I took advantage of my day off to head across the east side to see a snowy Central Park. It was almost 0ยบ with the windchill, but the scenery was so worth it! The park was blanketed in a sea of white with perfect crisp blue skies up above. There were tons of runners and people with their dogs and it was such a wintry oasis from the busy morning streets.
I wandered from the Grand Mall to a very snowy Bethesda Terrace and then around Bow Bridge and over to Strawberry fields. Everything was frozen solid -- pretty cool to take in the park in all seasons and types of weather. If I were to ever live in the city, I would need to be in close proximity to Central Park. It was just so peaceful and pretty!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Science Rocks!

Gov. Cuomo prioritized vaccines for educators in Phase 1 of the rollout, so in mid-January I was able to sign up for my shot! I will admit, the whole signing up process was more like the rush to get concert tickets, but thanks to our amazing HR person at work I got an appointment at Hospital for Special Surgery down in the city. 
HSS was probably the best place to go - so efficient. I was there for an hour from parking to being back in my car (and that would have been shorter, but I always show up way too early and they were sticking to the scheduled times). I registered, showing my proof of eligibility, and was given my blank CDC card -- that was surreal!
I was taken to the next waiting area and when a nurse was ready, I was called back. I was screened and given my shot. It barely hurt going in -- my allergy shots which go in the same part of the arm hurt more. Once she was done I went to the "sit and wait out a reaction area." They aren't messing around with the risk of reaction (which are so few and far between) and there was a very well stocked crash cart sitting next to me! After 15 minutes I was feeling great and was free to go! 
It was a really powerful experience! I said two brachot (blessings) as she injected the vaccine. One that thanks Gd for bestowing us with something good and one we say to mark a special occasion - usually ones that come once a year or for the first time. I was really euphoric all day afterward - it's not a get out of COVID card - but it felt like a new chapter. 
By that evening my arm was a touch sore - nothing bad and some Tylenol took care of it. I woke up the next morning with a pretty sore arm - but nothing worse than the flu shot or tetanus shot and Tylenol made it barely ache. I did have a bit of a "groggy" headache which I do not typically have in the morning. So I just pushed fluids and by afternoon was feeling normal. 

3 weeks later it was time to get this vaccine party finished! It was an even more efficient ship then before. They only had 2nd dose appointments at a certain time so less waiting. Walked in, showed my CDC card, and 2 minutes later I was vaccinated. 
Another 15 minute wait in the "don't have a reaction" section and I was good to go with new little anti-bodies coursing through my veins! The nurse monitoring the area was the same one as before and she even remembered me which was fun.
It's pretty amazing that 11 months to the day from the last time my life was "normal" I was vaccinated. The day of my first dose I felt euphoric, this time it was more immense gratitude to have made it 11 months without this sneaky virus getting me. I am grateful that I stayed safe knowing my asthmatic lungs could have been hit hard. 
Reaction wise this go around, I had a tender arm later in the day but Tylenol worked wonders. I slept great, woke up to a minor ache in the arm and a very minor headache. Once again fluids and Tylenol did their job. Had it been a workday I would have been at work, zero problems!
These two shots are by no means a get out of jail free card. I will continue to mask (I now double mask at work) and practice all the various mitigation efforts encouraged by the CDC and trusted doctors in my circle. This effort takes a village, but right now I am so thankful for this little vile of modern medicine (Avi mailed me an empty vile after volunteering at a clinic!). Here's to a new, healthier chapter for us all!

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