Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for March, 2011

Medical School Essay/Application


The Professor, my second son, was working on his applications to medical school.

He was still shell-shocked from taking the MCATs,  now the dreaded application process.

He had to write an essay for each application.

The Professor sat with me in our backyard.

He mainly spent this time with me to organize his thoughts.  Nothing was required of me but to sit and listen.

He had written a brilliant technical paper highlighting the research he had done with a doctor who he interned with.  Everyone who read the paper felt it showcased my son’s strong intelligence and understanding of difficult concepts.

It was really  good.


The Professor had written a second essay.

It was a story.

The story of how the Professor helped a friend,  we’ll call Jon.

Jon had dropped out of high school. His sister had taken her own life as Jon’s  spiraled out of control. He became addicted to drugs and lived on the streets. Somehow the Professor met and befriended him. Through their friendship the boy regained a sense of self-worth. The Professor began teaching him all the material he would need to know to get his GED.  Jon eventually took the test and called my son to thank him when he  passed.

“In my whole entire life this experience with Jon has had the greatest impact on me.  It’s why I want to help people.”

“The way you helped Jon was great, but is this the kind of material that medical schools expect to see on the application?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” He moaned “I don’t know what they want!”

I advised him to keep the “Jon” story for his personal use and send the other essay out to the schools.

The Professor sent out all the applications and the waiting  began.

To make this  long story short,  the Professor was asked to  interview at a prestigious school before final admittance.

He told me about this interview. The dean of the university was there as were the heads of the medical school and research department. The Professor said they asked him various questions about his academic career.

The dean stood up, the interview was over.

As the dean shook the Professor’s hand he said to him,

“We think you would be very happy here.

But tell me, how is Jon doing?”


This is a true account of the Professor’s application and interview before medical school.

He has almost completed his first year of medical school.

(From what I hear Jon continues to do well)


This is gmom,

peace out.

My Brother Climbs Trees

Tree Climbing

Image by tonyhall via Flickr

Jeff climbs so high up into the tree of our backyard I can barely see him.

When I was growing up we had an enormous tree in our backyard.

A glorious climbing tree. Perfect for kids to climb with big sturdy branches flared close enough together to make easy footholds and steps up to good heights.

But my brother Jeff was ridiculous. Our house was a full 3 stories and he would climb past the roof where I would watch him from my perch on the third floor fire escape.

“Jeff, Jeff you’re so high!!”

I don’t recall his ever answering, probably intent on getting ever higher in the tree.

I was content to climb to maybe 15 feet up where a few branches made a neat and comfortable seat where I could see all the neighboring yards and hear my mother’s putterings from the kitchen window.

But my brothers and especially Jeff he was a climber par excellance.

Going up up up to that point where a sister,

who looks up to a brother,

can see how awesome he really is.

Flower Children, Still Blooming.

Back in 1979 I first saw the musical “Hair” about a farm boy named Claude Bukowski on his way to New York City for his army induction, only to bump into a hippie “happening”.

He falls in love with the beautiful Sheila, befriends the pacifist George and his band of pranksters and takes a walk on the wild side. The story ends in a shocking twist of fate when George makes a last effort to rescue Claude from going to Vietnam.

The movie version has some distinct changes from the original play.

But whatever revisions it has undergone it is still a wonderful comment on the generation of love.

I am proud to say I was one of them.

I was of the time period.

I sang in Central Park and did Tai Chi when the spirit moved me.

I traveled overseas.

I sought out God to match my love.

I escaped convention.

I awoke to love the sun shining on a foreign city. I loved a bearded boy seeking wisdom of his own in ancient texts.

I grew children, lived poorly and romantically.

I bought food in open air markets  accepting handouts from strangers who saw my tattered clothes and my distended belly.

We gathered with friends and played music by candlelight.

I was happy.

“Hair” defined our generation. It was the way we lived.

30 years have passed me by and we are still living for love.

China, my daughter born in those days. The flower child now a mother herself of little Li.

“How has being a mother changed you? ” I ask her.

“I never needed a child. No burning urges for a child. But now that she is here, I would do anything for her. Every breath I take is for her, every thought is for her.”

…and she kisses the baby over and over.

“I knew you would say that.” (I say)

“Then why did you ask?” (says China)

“I wanted to hear you say it.” (I answer)

Because It all started in 1979, or thereabout.

In an apartment overlooking a foreign Old City.

With a band of pranksters who we ran with, and danced with every Saturday night.

We grew babies in love under the beaming sun and God’s love.

Me and my bearded boy, now 30 years together.

Today on the eve of my 50 birthday, I remember a generation of flower children like us.

See the grown children we raised wearing peace sign t-shirts and tie dyed skirts.

China sings innocently to Li, “Good morning star-shine, The earth says hello.

You sparkle above us. We sparkle below.”

…and they do,

oh but they do.

This is gmom,

Peace out.

Chocolate Truffles by The Teenage Gourmet And Rose

Sammi’s back with a brand new rap…..

I had to try her vegan truffles.

She’s my all time favorite overachiever youngin’ (next to my Rosita of course).

Check this sweetheart out!

3 ingredients, no cooking and she said they were the best (and they are healthy!!! I desperately want to believe that!).

So Rose had some time between college and work so I corralled her into the kitchen for another go at a recipe.

10 ounces of chocolate

3/4 cup of  full fat coconut milk – MAKE SURE II”S FULL FAT!!!

Break up the chocolate into small pieces.

Simmer the coconut milk on the stove.

Put the chocolate into the coconut milk and stir until combined.

Refrigerate for one hour or until the mixture is set enough so you can form bite size  balls with it.

Roll  each bite size chocolate ball in cocoa powder.

Shake it shake it shake it!!!


Sammi was right!

They are amazing.

They taste like a high-end truffle.

Vegan tofu pie next!!!!

Thanks for the fun Teenage Gourmet!

This is gmom and Rose on a sunny Baltimore afternoon.

High on truffles.

Peace out.

When You’re Weary New Mothers:Verse To Carry You Through

“Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

This verse carried me through many hours of countless sleepless nights while rocking the tiny despot to sleep.

The first baby. The angel I eagerly awaited, finally born.

There must be some mistake!!!

“The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”

I definitely..MOST DEFINITELY ordered a baby that came with a circadian rhythm!

Not only was she the clear winner in the “most crying ever done by a newborn”,  contest she was not cute…at..all!

The first picture I have of her and me shows both of us red eyed and distinctly unhappy.

My little ugly crying baby.

But I loved her.  I tried hard to learn everything I could that somehow didn’t come naturally to me about babies.

Getting pregnant and being sweet in maternity clothes was light years away from holding a real live ‘ Enfant Terrible’.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul.”

I don’t know when life began to change from one endless unthinkable level of exhausted despair to one of watching her pick a neighbor’s green heirloom tomato and deposit it cheerfully into my lap.

When the neighbor whose name was Eden, I kid you not, yelled over “Mrs. Gmom, please get China out of my garden!” It was not a hard stretch for me to pretend I had lost all grasp of the English language spoken at normal decibels.

China, she grew beautiful and smart and never learned to sleep well.

But I learned to accept her for who she was.  Independent spirit, frugal with her smiles, and the girl who at 5 made sure her hairclips matched her panties.

She survived my inexperience, uncertainty and youth.

She is a mother now with a little Mussolini of her own.

I’m happy to offer my well honed patient hand to rock her little one.

I know the little girl will be beautiful like her mom.

I know she will teach her mother all she needs to knows about patience, endurance and love beyond reason.

Because that’s what her mother taught me.

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,

and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;

and a little child shall lead them.”

This is gmom,

Peace out.

Easy and Fast Curry Chicken wings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons white sugar
salt to taste
18 chicken wings
1 cup parve sour cream
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1.Pan fry chicken wings for 10-15 minutes until almost done.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until lightly browned. Stir in curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, sour cream, and coconut milk.  Pour over chicken wings and stir to coat. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Stir in lemon juice. Simmer 5 more minutes. 

You can use yogurt or regular sour cream which is better. I use soy or parve because I keep a kosher kitchen and don’t mix milk and meat.

Saute the onions, garlic and ginger root.

It tastes better than it looks.

Pour curry over wings and stir to coat. Continue simmering wings stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. You can also put them in the oven on 350F (175C) for 30 minutes.

Serve over medium wide egg noodles or jasmine rice. If you want to go all American a crispy bunch of fries go well under these wings as well!

Happy weekend bloggers.

This is gmom and kids kickin’ back.

Peace out.


Priorities Escape Me

Mothers and Daughters Part Two


I could not believe it!  He just rammed into the back of my car!

He pulled around me and sped off.  I gunned after him.

Rose riding shotgun saying, “Slow down Mom slow down.!”

“We have to get his license plate, quick find a pen!”

“Please Mom slow down!”

Almost there. He’s just ahead.

I call out the license number to Rose who scribbles it on the back of her hand.

Hit and run. I don’t think so, jerk I’ll get you!

My car trunk is flapping noisily up and down, I pull into a parking lot.

He’s long gone now.

But I got it! I got his license!

I call the police to report the accident and wait.

Rose sits quietly.

How do I explain to the police that I am now almost a full mile from where the accident happened.

I ‘fess up, I chased him. I am not proud.

An ambulance comes. I’m fine, a little sore but fine.

The EMT asks Rose if she wants to get checked over.

She agrees. “You’re okay right?”

“Yea Mom I’m fine.” Okay.

The police run the license in their system and tell me that it is an unregistered plate.

They won’t be able to find him.

But I’m not listening anymore.

Rose is sitting on the bumper of the ambulance.

They are checking her vitals. They are feeling her neck.

I’m getting cold and weak with regret. What have I done.

My baby, my heart, my Rose. The one I always profess is everything to me.

I walk away from the rambling officer.

Rose stands  next to the ambulance,  her arm in a sling,

Eyes searching mine. I walk to her  silent, reach her.

Catch her.

But I don’t know if she is falling into my arms or I am falling into hers.

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