New Page------New Day

Day dream

I was taking my usual morning walk with Cricket and it occured to me that I haven"t seen a rainbow in a long time. That might be because we haven't had a lot of rain, either. Then my thoughts went to Israel and what kind of a day it might be there. I do think about how I would be spending my days . I'd start by taking Cricket for a walk around the neighborhood. I hope that they have leash laws there. I don't want to meet up with a dog who is jealous of Cricket. I have never been afraid of dogs, I've just become more cautious. Especially since my lower leg was eaten by a very small dog.

What would I do with the rest of my day.?  I've read of some interesting programs for Anglo's. That would be my new identity. Anglo. I like that better then ExPAT.There are English speaking communities in Israel. I may be more comfortable in one . Especially with my slow learning curve with Hebrew.

I saw a notice in the Nefesh B Nefesh email about a day trip to Ikea. Count me in. I'd do that now, if anyone would set it up. Then there was that trip to the Dead Sea to float away your stress. That sounds good, too.

Then a trip to the open market . I think I would buy everything but meat there. I've seen the refrigerator case where they keep the meat in the open market. I'll pass. I guess I still have some things to get over. Like sanitation. This might not be fair, but I'll let you know.

That sounds like a good start of a day. Maybe I'll see a rainbow .That would be for an extra blessing. It's never too late to day dream , but I just remembered, Cricket is still on the other end of the leash.



I quized myself from a book that I have on whether or not I was spontaneous. I'm not. I barely made it to a score of 16. They started keeping score at 20.The test wasn't that revealing. I know that I am not that spontaneous. I have a life plan. It doesn't always go according to my plan, but some things are just out of my control.

I feel a little defensive. I have my moments of being spontaneous. What I decide to do, may be a little different than what one would expect from me, but I am not without a plan. Here are the things that I always do: I make reservations when we travel, I like to meet new people, but keep my friends close, I repeat dishes that I know, I do go to different resturants and then go back several times to the same ones. There is a certain comfort in being predictable. I know what to expect from me.

Being spontaneous is a luxury. It sounds like fun. I think I will do something spontaneous. There are a couple of streets around me that I have never gone down, maybe I will start with doing that. It's never too late to be spontaneous, now that I know how to spell it.


We don't usually get a week end paper. I need the break from all of the bad news. At first I thought I just didn't want all of those sheets of newspaper all over the house. But now I have a sense of relief that I don't have to read all of that bad news . I haven't read a paper in two days and I feel lighter. When I was a kid, the Sunday funnies were what I read. I had my favorites and the ones that I never read. My favorite section was and still is the section that has the wedding announcements. In New Orleans, which is my home town, the social system was so unique that this section was called the Society Page.The debutaunts were noted.Their Daddy's were noted and their Momma's were identified by which Mardi Gras organization they had been Queen of. In the "old days", many Jews left town during the Mardi Gras season because they were excluded from the social scene and they saved face by taking that time to travel . Some system!

Today , in the New Orleans one remaining newspaper, The Times Piciyune, wedding announcements are just that. They record what is now reality,man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, white and white, black and white, black and black.

I do like to read the paper, I just wish the news was happier. I guess that isn't going to happen, so it is never too late to read the paper but not to let it ruin my day.


Printer, again

I have good luck with men (translated man) but terrible luck with appliances. I recently overspent on a printer that doesn't do as much as I was able to do with my old printer. And to add insult to this , I can't get it to print something I downloaded. I was so frustrated that I had to put in a call  to some friends to print what I needed on their computer. Then tonight, as I was putting away the difusser from my hair drier, I read the small print on the side of the difusser. It cautioned against using the difusser on high speed. Well, that's what I bought it for. I've used this difusser for a couple of years and I never read the caution. I will have to rethink this appliance along with the printer problem I am having.

I have decided to donate the old printer (which isn't so old) to my Congregation. For $19 more, I will get a printer that does everything that I wanted, including faxing. How cool is that. Now, for the once or twice a year that I fax something, I will be prepared. When someone asks if I have a fax so that I can send them something, I will be able to say , proudly, yes.

I usually go to a UPS store to do that.They won't miss my business because I use them often to ship stuff to my kids. I'm on first name basis with the two dogs who belong to the owners of the store.

It's never too late to cut my losses and just get the printer that I seem to have always wanted and I might want to recheck the caution on my hair dryer. It sounds dangerous.

Night Stand

I have a number of books on my night stand. Sometimes I wonder about the eclectic selection I have. Then I wonder why I choose these particular books. One I have is "Southern Living Christmas in the Kitchen". This book has some great recipes, from cookies to dishes that will feed a crowd. It's Ok for a  nice Jewish girl to have a Christmas CB.

To balance the equation, I have a new book that I just got. It's called"Angels at the Table, a practical guide to celebrating the Shabbat". I have a problem because I want to be able to go both ways. Observe the Shabbat and go to my music rehearsal. The rehearsals won, and I justify it to myself, that I am doing something special by making music and making me happy.

Another book I have on the night stand is "The True Brew Handbook, A beginner's guide to home brewing". It's a must read now that I am making my second batch of beer. The first batch was quite good and now I am working on my next batch. Today I  recieved a huge box of beer supplies. I just wish that the company had been more discrete and shipped it in a plain brown wrapper. Now UPS, the neighbors and who ever drove by and saw this huge box with HOME BREW written on, knows that I am a beer drinker. Not to worry, it could be worse. It's never too late to finish reading these books and finally take them off of the night stand so that I can start another night stand collection.

come into my kitchen

Ever have a combination of people for dinner and it just worked . Everyone was chatty. The company was good.The food was good. Just right. Tonight 3 of us cooked dinner together in my small kitchen and it was fun. About the only apparatus I don"t own is a pressure cooker. In my small kitchen, I have just about everything else. I have to sometimes look where I hid something, but I do have it. We shared the jobs of onion chopping, can opening, wooden spoon stirring, tasting -more cumin(?). We were very democratic, we all did our share. We almost forgot to put one of the dishes together, but one of us, realized that we had ingredients , but what were we to put them in. She figured it out by looking at the pictures in the cookbook and looking at the food products we had, she put the two together and we had another dish.It was the dish I liked the best,too.

When the men joined us, it was relaxed, it felt like family. Probably better than family because we were'nt trying to please Mom. I never thought that we could throw 6 people into a mix like this and it would turn out so nice. We agreed to do it again. It's never too late to open your kitchen to try something new and share this with friends.

Just do it !

This may be getting to be close to crunch time. Daughter met with a representative from Nefesh B Nefesh, the organization that helps you transition in the Aliyah process. They talked dollars and cents and sense. It turns out that we, on our fixed (sorta) income puts us in a better position than wage earners. That’s a new concept. Now does that mean instead of the elderly parents going to live with their children, those kids come to live with us.? Who would have thought.

I saved a list of jobs available in Israel. It is impressive. Here are some of the job openings.

Seeking Scientist, seeking System Administrator, seeking German/Italian/Swedish/Norwegian speaking Sales Representative, seeking Registered Nurses, seeking Attorney with ERISA Litigation experience. Heavy duty stuff here. Fill these jobs and Israel wants you.

When we went with our Congregation to Israel. We would see a lot of men (usually men) sitting in cafes, drinking coffee and reading the paper. We were curious why there were so many men doing this. Didn’t they work during the day. It turns out , they do. But since the country is so high tech and they do business all over the world, they are not working on Israel time zone, but the US, Asia, European time zones. Cool. Have another cup of coffee, you won’t be late for work.

Living in Israel won’t be easy, it won’t make us richer in a monetary sense, but it will be a spiritual wealth, an adventure , a vision experienced. It’s never to late to be cautious in my expectations, but to take that leap and just do it.

Try it. you'll like it

I am going to be cooking with a younger friend this week. She asked me to do a Moroccan meal. No problem. I have several cookbooks on Moroccan foods and I have done this before. I look for ways to use the tagine I schlept home from Morocco. It usually just rests in my breakfront. I planned the menu, nothing extravagant, just dishes that I think would be a good introduction to the spices and tastes of the country. Then I heard that my friend doesn’t care for two of the spices that the country uses lavishly. Learning this won’t make cooking any less fun or the food any less good, but it did disturb me. How can you have an adventure, cooking or otherwise, if already you put your boundaries on the experience. Be open to adventure. Take the chance. Take a bite of life.

In today’s NY Times, in my favorite Monday column, Metropolitan Diary ,someone wrote in about always taking the opportunity to say yes to an adventure, because as a child, she had an opportunity for a once in a life time invitation and because she was timid, she said NO. She vowed never to do that again and didn’t.

My advice is to take a taste, tweak the results until you get the taste you are happy with, go for the challenge and experience everything. It’s never too late and you might find that you do like the spice.

We like living where we do. We live between two highways. If there is a need to evacuate, we have it made. But we can only go North. If there was a weather emergency, we shouldn't go South. We would fall into the Gulf. North is our only exit. Living where we do, we don't have the option of East or West. East we reached the Atlantic Ocean. West we go to the Gulf,again. It's North or no where.

When we lived in Illinois we had choices. North to Wisconsin, East to Indiana, West to Iowa, South to Missouri. Lots of choices. When my sister had to evacuate from New Orleans, she chose to go West to Texas. East would have brought her into Florida, South and she would have be at Lake Ponchartrain. I wish she had chosen North.The outcome would have been better.

Living between two highways, makes for a quick trip to Sam's Club or a nice resturant . We didn't know we had made such a good choice of where to live when we decided to live here. We've always lived near public transportation. And we used it. It's something we miss . In my family, I have the distiction of being able to ,via public transportation, get from LaGuardia airport to our daughters home in Brooklyn. My record has not been broken. I even took a bus and a street car when I went from the New Orleans airport to my neices home on St. Charles Ave. I consider it a challenge to be met.

It's nice to know that we can get out of the city if we need too, but it's never too late to figure out how to use public transportation. There might be a time when I need to use it.

Shabbat Purse

I now know of two other women who have a designated Shabbat purse. A woman Rabbi is one and at services, I met another woman who has a Shabbat purse. With me, that makes three of us. I bet there are others who haven't come forward yet. I need a Shabbat purse, because it is a conscious act for me to leave stuff behind when I go to services. I don't need all that I have in my every day purse. I don't need stuff in my purse or in my life, at least for the next few hours. My purse has become something of a filing cabinet. I have things to bring here and there, an envelope with a check for some event, a magazine to bring to someone, check book (just in case) a pen, date book, cell phone, multiple keys. I don't need these things for a few hours.( I'll take back the cell phone.It's a safety thing.) It's liberating not to have to carry all of these things I feel I need for my every day existance.

I have a small silver mesh purse that I bought at Goodwill .It is so special that it can only be appropriate for Shabbat. It's so unlike anything else that I have and it is so small that It has to be considered special.. Shabbat only special

It's fun to have this bag, it's never too late to be special.

Things to save

I see the residents in California who have to grab what they can and leave their homes due to spreading wild fires. That is scary. I've been in Colorado when slurry planes are traveling low overhead to drop their retardents on brush fires. That is scary. I've seen my Colorado daughter clear the bushes from around their house as a preventive measure. That is scary. I try to think what I would grab if I had to leave in a hurry. Because I am a product of stories that I've head about Jews who wouldn't leave their possessions, I have sworn that I would never get in that position. Interesting how I think this has shaped my ability to walk away from "things". I left behind a house full when we sold our home. It's furniture and stuff. I am not sentimental. I've sold jewelry that was given to me when I no longer wear it, I throw out cards after I read them. I enjoy the moment, but I don't need the reminder. It is in my heart and head.

I have decided that what I would take if I had to leave in a hurry ,is the top drawer of my file cabinet. That has everything that I need to continue my life and to provide for it. Photos are highly over rated.I haven't decided about that yet. In my file drawer, I have one folder designated "Things I want to keep. The folder isn't too crowded. I control myself. Even with this hard nose side of me, I cry at commercials, I cry at happy times, I cry with other peoples misfortunes. So I know that this part of me that lets go of things is still sensitive to people and to feelings., just not things. It's never too late to clean out your file drawer and hope you never have to pack it up.

The last dance

The saddest song that I know is a country western classic. “Can I have this dance for the rest of my life?” I’m not sure that is the correct title, but it makes me cry just thinking of the implications . I can hardly dance with another man. It doesn’t feel right. Dancing with my spouse, which we do not do enough of, is an intimate act. It is comfortable. I know which foot to go with, I know which direction we are going to go. I know we love to be this close. Close dancing is a dance for co-habitators. " Can I have this dance” is slow and close and dark. Like a good marriage. I don’t know why this thought came to me this morning while I was walking Cricket. For no reason that I can think of , this song just popped into my head.

It’s never too late to dance close because I pledged this dance for life.

Listening at the table

I some times wish that I were something I'm not. I don't do "small talk" well. I don't give good advice. I don't know what to say, when you are supposed to say something soothing or politically correct. I can not be what I am not. Maybe that is why I don't like the phone. At a computer, I can think about how I want a sentence to "sound". Face to face or ear to ear, you have to think more quickly and some times my brain is frozen. You have to listen to clues from tone of voice, or body language. The computer has exclamation marks and question marks for emphasis, but mostly you read the words and use your own experiences to make out what the sentences are telling you.

I can sit at a dinner table and really enjoy hearing others tell tales,express opinions, tell jokes. I am capable of doing some of this myself, but I rather listen and watch. I don't think that I make anyone uncomfortable. I am enjoying myself and them. I appreciate their ease at "conversation". I am not what I am not and it is never too late to understand that and just let my friends know that I love them at the table.

Dubious honor

I am getting better with my violin. I almost played 3 whole selections at rehearsal last week. I only got bogged down when the rest of the orchestra kept up with the timing, but I couldn't . I'm working on it though. I can play Jesus, Ode to Joy, slowly. Every day, I get a bit faster. If anyone gets married and asks our group to play at the wedding, I'm almost on it.

There is a great feeling that I get when I play , actually reading the music. I just never dreamed that I could ever do this. That is why, I feel I must encourage a new friend of mine that confessed that she always wanted to play drums. What's keeping her ? No one is discouraging her, she just hasn't done it . I will keep after her to just do it.

One day, I woke up, said I wanted to play an instument, and the next thing I knew, a friend gave me a violin. I think I decided to go to nursing school the same way. I just happened to say one morning, "You know. I think I would like to go to nursing school". It was like that. I filled out a few applications , got accepted to several schools in my area and I was on my way to being the oldest member of my nursing class. I'm probably the oldest student my violin teacher ever had,too. I like the distinction of being older than anyone else. It's never too late to stand out , no matter how dubious the honor.

Seven years

I have cut down on my activities and it feels good. The major holidays are past and I have already started arranging for the High Holy days, which come very early this year. But now, in the middle, I am taking a breather. It's my Sabbatical time. I have this on my mind because this Friday, in the absence of our Rabbi , I will do the English readings while our capable Cantor does the Hebrew and tells me what to do. I've never done this before and everyone should do something they have never done before , at least once.

The Torah portion is about letting the land rest every seven years. There is much more, but the concept of letting things rest every 7 years appeals to me. I am ready to embrace that thought. Politicians should only be able to serve 7 years, you should give yourself a special treat every 7 years. You should clean out the car every 7 years. Don't they say that dogs age 7 years for every one they live. No wonder Cricket is starting to seek sunny spots. She is middle aged. You should lose 7 lbs. every 7 years. You should empty all of your stuff out every 7 years. Remember the 7 year itch. I won't go that far, but 7 years is a good time to stop and reflect on things that are important and not so important.

It is never too late and you don't have to wait seven years to take that break in your life and just sit back and breathe deeply. It's all good.

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Latest comments

01.12 | 14:15

Safe travels. See you soon. sally

04.07 | 12:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

22.05 | 12:38

so glad youre here mom!

29.08 | 17:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.