Back to the Land of the Living

My days now start with morning services.  I took my camera this morning to catch the weak early morning light.


I have been slowly trying to emerge into the world of the living. I have been writing thank you notes to all of the people who have been so kind to us. Mostly I am exhausted. I am not sure if this is simply being tired after all of the stress of the past several months or if my grief is expressing itself as deep exhaustion.

I promise not to make this blog all death all the time.

Either way, I thought it would be a good idea to try to get some stuff done.

A dear friend invited us for dinner. I made sorbet.


Yes, it does look a little dreary. If I were cleverer, I would come up with a flavor for this sorbet. maybe you have a good idea. I made a simple syrup and then candied a finely sliced orange in the syrup. I used that syrup to make a custard with coconut milk, pomegranate molasses, walnuts dates and cardamom and ginger. if I were serving this just to my family I would call this vaguely Middle Eastern sorbet. I might have to come up with a fancier name before dessert is served. It is despite the fact that it looks like khaki pants in frozen form really delicious.

My husband and I had planned a three week vacation starting last Tuesday. Clearly, we cancelled our plans. one of our first stops on the vacation was visiting the newest member of our family.

Today, I made her a dress.


The cotton is vintage batik given to me by a friend. The batik may be older than the mother of the baby.


I sort of used this downloadable pattern.


I made the bodice wider. I realized that the cute little dog ears are actually too short to tie as the pattern suggested.

I decided to add snaps on the shoulders.


The snaps allow for a bit of size adjustment. A friend had given me the snap tape eons ago. For some reason I was afraid that they would be too difficult for me to use.  I was wrong. Snap tape is brilliant stuff.

The insertion


Was purchased in a giant roll from a local thrift store. It adds a bit of class. I added box pleats to the skirt of the dress. I hadn’t bothered to see if the dress pattern came with skirt directions, so I faked the skirt.

I do promise to snip all of the loose threads after Shabbat. this baby is not getting a thready dress.

It feels good to slowly emerge back into the world.


Shabbat Shalom!


  1. Treasures/Riches of the Desert? Are the dates in little chunks? Too late right now probably, but somehow I think it wants little crystallised bits of brown sugar sprinkled over the top that will slightly glisten like gems.
    Love the cheerfulness of the dress for the baby with the slight touch of 'heirloom' with the lace. The sort of twist on things that you are very good at!
    Thinking of you.

  2. We ended up not going with a name for the sorbet..but it was good.

    Adding the insertion I was a little worried about having it look a little too "Grandma in 1972" I remember dresses from my youth with mod fabrics paired with old fashioned nylon lace - not a good look.I think that perhaps the sewing grandmothers of my friends had spectacularly bad taste. But the print sort of repeats the pattern of the insertion but on a grander scale. So I think it works without looking like a bad afterthought.

  3. Caring for Mother (or any dear one) in the final hours is at once a blessing and incredibly difficult. Your traditions of Shiva & Kaddish allow you to remember that your are truly in a transition, and need time to rest and heal. It was months before I overcame the tiredness after my Mom's death & only those who had cared for someone themselves understood the transition from caretaker to mourner and back to every day life. Be kind to yourself.

  4. I really appreciate your words of wisdom. I am truly exhausted, bone tired. I thik that this is the shape that my grif is taking...and I just have to muddle through it. I am achieving small goals. I am writing thank you notes, I just made an eye appointment ...some stuff is getting done...just not all of it. I really appreciate the wisdom of friends who have been down this road before me.


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