Wednesday, March 31, 2010

High Rivers & Flooding, At Least The Rain Has Finally Stopped

Now that the rain has stopped we are able to enjoy a bit of the outdoor world once again, including Dolly. Dolly it seems is a sensitive pup with sensitive skin, "oye". My poor dog is suffering from a fungus infection due to all this dampness. I brought her in to see the Vet the other day, & two cultures were taken. Yes a bit of Dolly's fur is in several test tubes as we await the results. Meanwhile she's on an anti fungal/antibiotic/cortisone cream, twice a day, & we are hopeful that it will do the trick. This situation is not a pretty site, ringworm in dogs, "Oh my"!

My super, duper watch dog is barking right now, it must be a herd of deer that she is hearing. As pretty as they are, & though they were here first, these beautiful creatures are not a welcomed site, as they are my main garden munchers & cause a lot of destruction. Cookie Monster would be much more welcome.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Night That Was Different From All Other Nights, With A Beautiful Seder At Hyde School*



Last night was the first night of Passover with Seders taking place all over the world, by doing this we remember & honor our heritage. Jewish people of all ages have a place at the Seder, retelling the story, commemorating miracles, remembering blessed acts.

The Passover story, "The Exodus Out Of Egypt", is a major chapter in the history of the Jewish People going forth. We of course can't help but have our modern day interpretations, & commentaries of what this event means today.

"Why is this night different from all other nights?...... " Is a series of questions that goes on in four parts, & with four separate replies. The fact that we are no longer slaves, & can live & breathe in relative comfort, is a major answer to one of those questions, of which we love to ask each & every year, of our youngest at the Seder, as they read from the Haggadah.

For me, "Why was that night different from all other nights?....", so very special? Last night I ventured a bit out of my personal comfort zone, [as I do have my shyer side too], to offer my help & to participate in the Passover Seder at the school that I work at. I work at Hyde School in Woodstock,Ct. Hyde School is a college preparatory, independent, character based school, with a student body representative of all backgrounds. Hyde offers a very unique approach to educating young people, as it is the whole person that is taken into account, including each student's family, with the main aspect being "character of person". To go off to college & to prepare for a profession is all very well & good, but with the spiraling trend of our society, if character is built on, developed & fortified, at this stage of life, then good character throughout a lifetime is possible to maintain, & pass on.

Sitting at this table, for a beautiful Passover Seder, with such spiritually in tuned young people was truly a blessing to experience. I am so very proud of our students, our teachers & headmaster, for encouraging these young people to prepare & conduct this Seder, by doing so they share the beauty of an ancient heritage, which in turn fosters understanding, tolerance & discussion, which helps us in our journey, on the road towards peace.

At this time of year I especially remember my grandparents, my father's parents, who would host the Passover Seders for all the extended family. In the beginning it was the Lower East Side of N.Y. that I remember traveling to. That brimming, tenement apartment, all of us sitting around the table in my grandmother Anna's kitchen. Truly, it was priceless.

Due to such love that goes beyond our time, this season always fills me with the hope of possibility, even as these torrential rains come forth, for days of sunshine in their own time will come again to nature, of which we are a part.

A Healthy & Happy-- Passover, Easter & Naw-Ruz, the holidays of family & friends, of this spring season.

*Amen*



Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Bit Of The World Through The Eyes Of My Eleven Month Old Pup*

Yesterday was Dolly's first day of attendance at a Socialization Class for dogs. At first she was overly excited & a bit hyped up, but once she felt comfortable with the other dogs, with them allowing her to sniff them & she letting them in turn sniff her too. All in all, it was a productive day in dog ville, for afterwards I took her for a long walk along the river in downtown Putnam. The Quinebaug River was still rather high, but no more white water as of yesterday, yet a beautiful, peaceful, meandering walk all the way to the ancient, rod iron, railroad bridge & back. Walking one's dog on a beautiful sunny spring day, along with socializing with the other pet owners & their dogs, does allow one to think those deep, deep, thoughts which helps to figure much out.

The afternoon was 61 degrees, sunny & bright. Today it's in the mid 40's, gray, windy & feels cold. What a difference a day makes, for all of us, & that includes my young dog too. Hang in there Dolly, we'll be getting you "Invisible Fence" for your Birthday soon, so everyday can be a delightful, dog day afternoon. We're getting there, all in good time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Honoring Passover In My Life--

The above photo is of a special Passover card that my brother's family sent us many years ago. It hangs on a high beam in our kitchen with it's forceful positive message inching me on, step by step, each & every day....

Monday night is the first night of Passover which will be celebrated all over the world in the remembrance of the Jewish People having left Egypt, of which we were enslaved for hundreds of years. Hundreds of years after the passing of Joseph. Joseph of the-- "Coat of many colors.", Joseph. The son of Jacob. Jacob of the famed song-- "We are climbing Jacob's ladder." Each & every year the people of my heritage are to-- "Regard ourselves as if we had personally gone out of Egypt."

In our modern day world there may no longer be Pharaohs, but there are still higher archeries, of all sorts; in countries, governments, businesses & places of work, educational settings, neighborhoods, & the like. As a specie it is designed into us to be pack & tribal members & leaders, the ones we were born into & later the ones we seek out.

It does get complicated, our leaving Egypt, even in the 21st century, it remains a complicated process, our leaving behind the old & negative patterns & attitudes of a comfort that ultimately may be enslaving us. It is for this main reason that Passover remains an integral part of my living experience. It is quite the challenge to balance-- being true to the self, one's dignity of a person / with the selfless, ego less self. These two at times must work very hard to make a lasting peace.

*Amen*

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Special Birthday*

Today is our son's 27th Birthday, & as all parents it is a time of fond, loving memories. So from here, & into the "blogg-is-phere"-- "A Happy & Healthy Birthday To U" , & to the the rest of us-- "A very happy unbirthday to you, & you..."

{I've decided to wear one of my handmade peace pins on my sweater today, a mom's birthday wish to her son of-- "World Peace, & Health & Happiness".}

*Amen*

Monday, March 22, 2010

Water Our H2O, Nothing Quite Like It In This World--

Clean, abundant-- water, air & soil, all of the good earth, but the fragile words here are "clean" & "abundant". Why is that, we may wonder? I think we all know the answer to that "why". Too bad for us, that the lasting solutions are seemingly as vast as the sea, & not quite what nature intended. [The embedded video at the conclusion of this post, has a bit of static to it's sound, probably from the wind, nonetheless the awesome power of our Atlantic Ocean will never bore.]

"Water symbolizes the life force & our responsibility to replenish the earth." Adapted from- "A Liberal Haggadah", UC Berkeley Hillel. My sharing of this quote, is in honor of our springtime religious holidays. Thank you "S" & "P", for these inspiring words, as Passover & the story of Moses being drawn from the Nile, who later with, God's guidance parted the Red Sea, fast approaches. Passover is my favorite holiday, it's when each Seder's participant will joyously sing-- "Day, day, yenu..." "Dayenu dayenu".
video

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

As The World Turns To The Promise Of Spring-- To Our Brethren Of The Emerald Isle, *A Blessed St. Patrick's Day*

A favorite time of year, emerges, & with that feelings of love, hope & renewal present themselves as we go forth--
With promises also comes destiny. Who creates this we may ponder? For some the answer is that of a higher power & that of God, who created all of our natural world, including all of us, & our inner natures. Problems continue to remain, of our striving & our struggling with our abilities & inabilities to get along with one another. Even in our congregations of; houses of worship, where it's congregants read, & listen to "the word". Even in those sacred places, where each person examines their own heart & soul for acceptance, forgiveness & understanding, is it truly practiced to the extent of what we are taught all of our lives? It is in these chapters of human interactions & behaviors that we are made to see our own imperfections & flaws, our own selves & others, face to face.

Being this is a hopeful season, I too shall remain so, by refusing to sit awkwardly on the fence, choosing not to see what is so visible, to the invisible eye. War is never a good thing, but being a warrior can be, as a prepared warrior carries a shield which can protect themselves & others from the onslaught of hurts; the spears & daggers of that emotional, invisible, world, by providing an understanding & dialogue that will, in turn build bridges & pathways of communication.

This is so necessary as how else do we learn? For if we don't practice these teaching from our own sacred texts, & instead choose to fortify walls & turn away from the harder exercises of compassion & humility, then who are we ultimately hurting?

Springtime is hope, & renewal, & in this sweet colorful season I too will remain hopeful that the lessons & teachings of these upcoming religious holidays, impact the hearts & minds of it's practitioners, so the main true lesson, it's essence, is practiced & not ignored, as we live our truth.

*Amen*

{Additional note: The other day when my husband & I were viewing a movie about modern day Tibet, there was a scene when the Dali Lama was visiting in Washington DC & meeting with the various Representatives from our Government, my husband exclaimed, "There's your friend from high school, there he is.!" My husband was referring to a classmate of ours who is an excellent Congressman & has been serving for several terms. When I finally caught the scene, there he was, just having shaken hands with the Dali Lama. "Oh my goodness he touched the hands of the Dali Lama.", was my response. I then quickly said, "I would like to someday meet the Dali Lama", & then it just flowed out, "I am my own Dali Lama.", & that's the truth, for when we read the book Sid Hartha, written so very long ago, by-- Herman Hess, we are reminded, that yes we are our own Dali Lama, that the soul of a Buddha, or as some would say, our soul, that this is, the part, that is given to us & then again, reconnecting us with God. So many different religions, innumerable traditions & ways of faith, but all leading to "One". It truly is, our imperfections that make us truly human, "so help us God".

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Betty Crocker & This Family Of Cupcakes Says It All--


After making sure I had all the ingredients on hand, yesterday I enthusiastically made a Betty Crocker recipe with some of the Heart Smart Bisquick I had on hand. All the ingredients were fresh & properly prepared, there's still a hint of garlic on my hands even a we speak. The dish was described as a Garden Bake, & all I can say is, Betty only fares a C from me. She's certainly excellent for the cupcakes, brownies & treats, but for dinner fare it's best for me to start with a good proven recipe, & forget any of Betty's convenience dinner type ones. Though my efforts were all good, the flavor, texture & overall quality, was nowhere near the hit I expected, & definitely, not a dish to be shared.
For decades I haven't been extremely big on cooking, but I still enjoy it once in a while, this effort was truly a disappointment, but with cooking, as with painting, there is always that possible element of surprise. I'm certain of it now, I prefer my other realms of art, including cupcakes!

So much for me & Betty Crocker, sorry Bet.

{The above photo of cupcakes, were those of our gourmet talented grandchildren. On this one, thank you Betty Crocker for an A+ baking event!}

Friday, March 12, 2010

How I've Been Spending My March Break*


There's nothing like a good book & this one is "excellent". If I could be granted a wish, it would be for all my cousins, of our extended fam*, to read this one, so we could discus our impressions & our different view. This book would also work well for a book group, as it's topic is vast.

Happy reading, *All.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Woman Within Ourselves, What Is Our Ideal--


This is such a hugh topic, & I will only scratch the surface of it for now, but besides our always being judged from the outside, of what of ourselves is viewed by the world, we also are most critical of our own selves too. It all does become rather complicated.

It all began so very long ago, & the products in the marketplace prove it, from corsets to girdles, makeup, & skincare, hair care & styles, to ideal weights & fashion, it just goes on, & on & on... Women have been exploited it seems from the beginning of time in that once famous Garden. In many regards it must have gotten better for each generation, after the last, but as we can see some of the same problems of exploitation still exist, & as time has past, some of these problems have really crystallized into real health concerns, such as life threatening eating disorders, & the plastic surgery sell with it's various tucks, lifts, & lipos & other addictive disorders & procedures. Women of course aren't the only ones to fall prey to this, but our gender does head the list on some of these topics, as Hollywood continues to do it's hard sell.

Glass ceilings are being shattered, day, by day, year by year, but it's what goes on in the home that adds up, & depending on where any individual gal was raised, & where the power or non power structure was positioned in that home, it is that, that will have a lot to do with her choices & the eventual outcomes.

We all walk a path, some more windy & storm ridden then others depending on much that was initially out of a person's control. As we heal ourselves, we in turn help to heal the world, that is a biological role deemed to us as early as our embryonic development shift. The pure fact that our gender brings forth life, has made it so. These are certainly modern times, & women have the opportunities for far more choices, than what was biologically bestowed upon us originally, but it is important to note, that the far reaching legend of a Mother Earth, has innumerable truths to continue to heed, & to take care of, in this our present time.

{To think it's the continual delima of my life in relationship to my hair, that has provoked me to write down these thoughts, the joys of oyes & to this, "They own self be true.", but ultimately I must give credit to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, of who's book I am still reading-- "36 Arguments For The Existence Of God", for the inspiration of some of these deeper thoughts, in my reflections & reviews, of the lifetimes instilled.}

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Grandchildren Are Something Special*



Today was another beautiful day with less wind. I spent a good part of the afternoon with my six year old granddaughter, we had lunch together & did a bit of fun time shopping of which we got some rawhide toys for Dolly & a coloring book each for her & her seven year old brother. After that it was time to pick up my grandson, & then we all headed back to their house for an afternoon snack, & a game of "Candy Land", one of our favorites. On my way back home it was necessary to replenish Dolly's food, so now we're all set again for tomorrow morning. Hope you like this variety Dolly, it sounds tasty, as it has some of the omegas, for your skin & fur, & being it was a cold harsh winter out here, this should help.

Time does fly, as we continue to make headway towards spring.

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{*Post Script Of The Day-- Being yesterday was, "International Woman's Day" & March is, Woman's History Month-- a thought just came to mind; As I mentioned in today's title, yes of course grandchildren are special, & we are so very blessed to be living in these times & moments. To think in this fresh new century every girl & boy can not only dream of, but can be president, no more glass ceilings in that department. I have a button which is a reproduction from the Suffragette Era that states "Votes For Women", we have certainly come a long, long way, all of us babies!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Almost Spring & Looking Forward, On March 8th International Woman's Day, As This Is Woman's History Month*



Well here it is a beautiful Monday morning in our neck of the woods. The sun is out, the sky is blue, & the glistening of this gentle morning on the branches of the wooded trees, is quite the jewel. I'm on break from my job until mid way through the month, so if I don't fritter away my time, I should be able to delve into my "To Do List" of boring details & get a lot done. Boring details, not a strong point of mine, but since there's so much that really needs my attention, I will forge forward.

Passover is early this year, the end of the month, with Easter of course to follow. For starters today, I will begin by putting away the snowman items, one is a rather cheery, yet tired flag, & the other is a plastic image of one which I place every year in the original Peace Garden, among the other assemblage sculptures.

In all honesty I think I'm a bit bummed out, regarding the details of the contract writing, for our up coming book. The idea of it, & the creating of it, with all of our characters, is far easier then dealing with the business end of the thing. I know we will make it all happen, but it does at times become rather tedious, & exhausting. Therefore the blue sky, the comforting March sunshine, & the hopes & goodwill of all our family & friends, will get us through yet this other hurdle. Compared to crossing the Red Sea, or wandering for forty years, which was a most extensive chapter of our development, the one we face now, so much simpler & some day in retrospect to be considered child's play, for two inexperienced children's book writers, as we are so in tune with what our goals are. This too shall be worth the journey, which of course could not be done if we hadn't left Egypt in the first place. The business part of our book must be proper, balanced, & totally fair, as we've come much too far, to settle for any less. Sensitive artistic type that I am, I have to work real hard at not allowing myself to become upset regarding this hurdle as it can be an energy block, which again becomes another hurdle. Now that I've walked upon this earth for the multiple decades that I have, at least I can say I know the triggers, & I will definitely stay focused, & balanced on this & continue to ask those that are close to us for their input & advise, as we are so close, but we want all of it done right. We haven't signed anything yet, & nothing is written in stone, for now we are presented with a rough draft contract, that is heavily weighed to one side, & are goal all along is balance. Time will tell.

On another note; I just put Dolly out. I will in fact, have to share some of the tales she presents from our walks together, as she's quite the investigative adventurer! There's nothing quite like a sweet, devoted pup to bring a smile & a hearty laugh out loud, to this puppy's adoptive mom. "Yes", puppy therapy, it works, I feel better already, just ask any dog owner, & we're in the millions, I just know.

*********************************************************************

It's almost 3:30pm, now & for a good part of the day [between the task of applying myself on that personal, "To Do List"] I've been reading Rebecca Newberger Goldman's book-- "36 Arguments For The Existence Of God". It is subtitled-- "a work of fiction", & a very good one I must add, as it's a page turner & a challenge to put down, but before this day looses the beauty of it's sunlight, I must again go out, as windy as these March winds are, too much indoor time for me is never good.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"The Lady with All The Answers", Ann Landers

We have tickets tonight to an extended performance of "The Lady With All The Answers", at TheatreWorks in Hartford. I so look forward to it, as I can't count the times that I wrote these dripping, heart felt letters to either Ann Landers or her sister Dear Abey, as a teenager. My letters were just too, too, long, one could just image, as they would go on & on & on... So intuitive of a writer I was from age 7 on, that I just knew enough, to not send them. I mean really, who would bother with them, then. So, here I am now of future decades. I sure hope my editing has developed somewhat since those teen aged days; blog, blog, blog, blog, blog.... [Ok, I'll behave.]

Talk to you again soon, as this play promises to a good one.

************************************************************************************

11:18 pm
We just got in about an hour & a half ago. This one woman, two act play was quite a kick to see. It is a comedy that was written by, David Rambo, & the part of Ann Landers was played by Charlotte Booker. Charlotte even looked like Ann. The production was done by, TheatreWorks at City Arts on Pearl, in Hartford. In the broadside program the play is described as a "warm hearted tour-de-force" & so right they are.

Ann Landers what a gal you were. A gal most definitely, ahead of your time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Has Come In Like A Lion, But I Will Think Of Spring*


So here we are March 1st, & we too are marching along....

It's taking a bit of ambition here, to get myself outside for a walk. The day has become quite gray-- sky wise, & it's been really satisfying to catch up on some good articles. The one I just finished reading is in my husband's recent issue of The New Yorker, & is excellent for anyone interested in the psych. profession, [from it's not so distant history, to the present] & I highly recommend it, written by-- Louis Menand & entitled, "Psychotherapy under siege". Yes from Freud to the "pharmaceutical present", & all the tones in between. Definitely, no shades of gray there. No matter the class, no matter the profession, this topic definitely affects people of all walks of life. Mental illness, so like the ocean's fathoms are deep, murky & untold, with many a hidden storms.

Providing proper care & healing for victims of that war would be the one to wage. Over the centuries, & even the recent decades, we've seemingly come a long, long way, but that is so-- "the illusion", as the main catch is that seemingly, "out of site, out of mind" approach, & when we give it some good, deep, thoughtful, thought, really, we do know how that's working. They walk among us, as-- we march to our own beats, marching together.

{The above photo was taken by my son. Several weeks ago I developed some problemos with my little point & shoot camera, & I really messed up the field of vision aspect. He of course corrected it in just a few minutes. The above photo was taken by him, "he tried it, & I liked it." So there they are, my daughter in law's flowers from their home to the Peace Garden. Thank you "T" & "J".


*Always On My Mind--

The photo on view was emailed to me yesterday by our son. I downloaded it, then found it in my recent documents file, uploaded it, for this entry & here it is-- a *most appropriate message!

Thank you "Z".

*{Slowly, but surely this computer logic is sinking in, "turtle I am".}