New Page-New Day

Practice may make it perfect

Christmas is really coming. I know this because our orchestra conductor passed out sheet music of holiday songs. Maybe they aren't songs, they are holiday music. I would not be able to hum some of these songs. I really like Christmas music. I used to sing them in school. I just didn't say the J word or the C word. 

This sheet music that we got is not singable. In fact, I am having a hard time finding the melody. Playing second violin does that to you. I know that we will sound good when we put the parts together, but practicing is difficult. I have to be sure to watch my timing or it is just a bunch of notes with no movement or feeling. 

If we played Silent Night, I could do that. This will be my new challenge. Maybe after awhile, I will be able to get the music in my head. I do better when I know what it is supposed to sound like.

I better get better ! We are going to be playing in a Church the Sunday before Christmas. That's exciting for me. I'll get to wear my concert black and white. I feel so professional when I do that.

It's never too late to get excited about learning something new and having a new experience. I'm working on waking up those sluggish grey cells in my brain. Way to go cells. You can do it.  ( a little encouragement from management)

an evening to be savored

I appreciate how fortunate I am. Last night I spent the evening with my family of choice. These are people who are a notch above friends. We all have friends outside of this circle. This family is just that, a family of  many different personalities, political agendas, levels of religiosities, interests.We cry together, we laugh , we give unsolicited advice, we give unbounding respect and we don't come with years of blood family issues. It's wonderful.

How did we get so lucky to be adopted by these people. We just did. What did we all share that made us fit so well?  Maybe I shouldn't even try to analize this . Just enjoy it. I was just overhelmed by these thoughts when I realized that I had just sat for 5 hours around a dining room table and no one was making an effort to go home. 

It's never too late to set another date to get together and share ourselves with this family of choice and yes, Cricket, I'm coming. Just hold it.



There was a question asked today. When, at services, do you feel most spiritual ? I gave this some thought. And since I am not sure what Spirituality is, I don't think I have had one. Being. chairperson has put me in a different place. I go to services and I worry. I worry that the candle will fall out of the candle holder when it is being lit. I worry that the person saying the blessings will get stage fright.  I worry that the silver crown will topple off of the Torah while it is being crried through our congregation. No, I don't think I have a moment when I feel spiritual. 

I do have moments when I am " there". Those " in the moment" moments.  That , for me, are those few minutes before services when I go to page 120 and just let the jabber around me fade. I read the blessing for lighting the candles and I flash back to my Grandmother doing this in her home in New Orleans. Did she do this in Russia. Did she remember her Grandmother doing the same ? This isn't a Spiritual thought. It is a continuity of family thought . It's enough for me. 

It is strange to me, that a Grandmother who never spoke to me , would have so much influence on my Religious life. I must have absorbed more than I realized. So maybe I haven't had a spiritual experience that I recognize as one, but It's never too late to be open for one when it comes. I think that I'm almost there.

sing a happy song

I have this song running through my head and I can't seem to be able to replace it. We do this silly thing in our house. I will try to pass the song on to Bob. That some times works. But this time we both have the same song stuck in our head. It is the song L' chaim, L'Chaim, to life. A friend emailed me the cutest video of a wedding celebration where the Dad surprised the guest and newly married couple , with a wonderful rendition of this song. He arranged a whole production of a group of the men to sing the song . It is so joyful, that I sent the site on to my daughter and to my Grandson. If he would let me, I would get a group of cousins together and do this at his upcoming wedding. My daughter loved it, I haven't heard from grandson, yet.

While I was walking Cricket and humming the song, I had a brain smack. Wouldn't it be so special to have both Grandpa's walk the groom down the aisle. The total ages of the Grandpa's is 180 years. That is enough to celebrate. And both of these men are important in the life of this grandson. I haven't heard back about this idea  either.

Walking Cricket can be a dangerous thing. It gives me space to re- work the world. It's never too late to share a happy song.

Do you want me to sing it to you?

all of the news

It's been 2 weeks and we haven't missed getting our Newspaper. I didn't think it would be this easy a transition. I learned to read by reading the headlines of the Times-Picyune in New Orleans. After Katrina, the paper went to 3 day a week printing. More people were reading it on line than buying the actual paper. 

After I married and moved to Chicago, we read the Chicago Sun Times. And sometimes the Chicago Tribune. I think the Sun Times had some financial problems, leaving the Trib with more readership. The call letters for the TV and radio station that theTribune owns  is WGN. That stands for "World's Greatest Newspaper". That's moxie for you. 

But our subscription to the New York Times was our favorite. Their slogan is " All the news that's fit to print". They also think highly of themselves.

I am really surprised that I haven't even missed the daily activity of reading cover to cover of the paper. The content didn't always stick in my head, but it did fill up a lot of time. 

I admit,I haven't filled the time I am saving with anything worth while.I should work on that.

It's never too late to learn how to read the "paper" on the internet. I wonder how you turn a page.

Don't say it

There are some responses that bother me. 

I cringe when I hear a refusal to participate in some activity because " i've been there and done that" . So what!  That is such a narrow view  .It's a lazy way out and It keeps me from learning from your past experiences.  No one is asking you to do the same thing in the  same way. Grr.

Then people tell me as they walk away," have a good one". A good what . I can guess this means day, but finish the sentence.

All of this whining came about because someone said to me that midwesterners end their sentences with a preposition. Like,  " you want to go with ?" I guess we do.

 It feels like home when I say , to just a single person, "Hi, you all". It's a southern endearment .Louie Armstrong says that  " how do you do" means " I love you". He could be right.

I was also thinking about hand shaking. I don't remember my Mother's generation doing that. Men shook hands. It was a manly thing. A woman gave a delicate hand to be caressed. or not. Now it is common to see women shaking hands. I think it means, "I will remember you better because we touched , flesh to flesh.

Thank goodness we are not dogs and need to get a scent of each other. Ugh.

It's never too late to get this off of my chest and out of my head. I need to make room in my head for more positive thoughts. I only have so much room in there and it was getting crowded.

See ya'.



a name

Monday night is football night. It's a carry over from Chicago. I don't care who is playing and I usually fall asleep before the game is over. I only care when it is the Bears or the Saints. Two teams from the two cities I most care about. Any thing positive that the Saints do is a good reflection on a city that has it's problems with poverty, unemployment,graft and education. Chicago isn't far behind ,but add gun violence to the mix and you get an accurate picture of the city.

What I was thinking about as I watched the game last night,was the   first names of some of the players. These guys weigh over 200 lbs., are built in the shape of a square and their Mom's at birth gave them names like Zavier, Adrian,Eli,Hakeem,Darrell. What happened to names like Bill, Bob, Peter, Barry.. No wonder these are guys who can come out on top of a pile of players. They have probably been fighting since they were kids on the play ground. Can you hear the taunts..Adrian, Adrian , two by four, can't get through the kitchen door. It was fight or flight. Playing football was meant for them. And they get paid big bucks to sit on other players. 

It's never too late not to think so much about the psychology of the game, just watch until it lulls you to sleep. What about da Bears.

arm chair VS reality

I went to " You Tube" yesterday and searched Ikea in Isreal. There were multiple entries. I took a virtual tour of the store and for a moment, I thought that I was in the store I knew in Illinois, or even the one in Tampa,Florida. Everything was the same ,except the menu was in Hebrew. That is amazing. The world is getting so small. I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing.  I guess that I wouldn't need to travel if I can just go on a virtual tour. Or go to a sporting event if I could watch it on TV and get a better view because of close up shots. The whole world can be reduced to the size of my screen. 

We have a large, coffee table National Geographic picture book. I could never see all of the things in this book, but I feel that I know these animals, know these castles, know the tribes of colorful people, even if I have never been any where near them .

In giving this some early morning thought, I don't think this is a good thing.  Nothing can replace the excitement of planning a trip, of going shopping for appropriate clothes, or getting there and smelling the country, eating the food, experiencing the weather. This sounds good to me and I'm ready. 

It's never too late to check the date on my passport and when the opportunity comes, go.

Just like here

I read my Nefesh B Nefesh egroup mail this morning. I am addicted to it. The messages today concerned the Ikea store in Israel. The consenses is the same as here. It's a great place to spend a few hours, don't go on a school holiday and the food is tasty and Kosher.And have your large purchases delivered and assembled. That's going to be a destination stop for me when I go next time. !

The last times that I went to Israel, I did the tourist scene. That was wonderful and I learned and felt a lot. This time that I go, whenever that will be, I want to go to a grocery store. I judge the prices in grocery stores by how much dog food costs. That's a constant in my life and the only thing I buy regularly, no matter where I live. 

Another thing that I learned this morning, reading the NBN mail was about transferring planes . Seniors should make arrangements for a wheel chair transport if they have connecting flights. I feel dishonest about doing that, but it sure sounds good. On my last trip, I had to change planes in Paris. That sounds like fun but it was rush through security because the gate was in another terminal, maneuver through construction, and follow the herd to  the gate. I wanted to get a taste of Paris in the airport, but that didn't happen. The next time I travel, If I need to make a connection, I want it to be in Amsterdam. With a few hours to sight see in the airport.And eat.  They even have a museum in their airport. So civilized.

One article that I read had to do with having a baby soon after making Aliyah.Will you have out of pocket charges or are you insured. Step off that ElAl plane with a NBN flight, where during your flight, all of your information was electronically transmitted to the proper agencies and you are home free as far as insurance and citizenhip is concerned. Good to know !

Some day, I will put all of this knowledge that I am accumulating from reading these emails to use.It's never too late to be an informed consummer.



good bye show

I stayed up past midnight last night to watch one of my favorite T V shows . It is "What Not To Wear". I don't stay up this late on New Years Eve. I'm not sure how to catagorize this show. Is it a " how to " , is it a inspirational show, a series ?

"What would Stacy and Clinton say" has become part of my vocabulary. Especially since I shop a lot at Goodwill. 

Bob watches episodes of reruns every lunch time. He appreciates their message of taking women and giving them power by giving them confidence . I like the show because it takes an ugly duckling and makes her a swan. And she gets a suitcase full of new clothes to take home.

It makes me a little sad that I never got called to be on the show. That either means 1. I don't dress that horribly or 2. I don't have friends that will send in my name.

Now I will worry about what Stacy and Clinton will do as a job. They are too young to retire. I' m thinking they will go into private consulting. Maybe I can make an appointment to see them then.

It's never to late to add meeting these two to my day dream list. But , it's probably up there with winning the lottery. I've got to buy that ticket !

foods of childhood


it's a wonder that I like vegetables. I grew up eating canned vegetables. Spinach was a nasty green color. Peas were the fat kind. I never tasted a fresh asparagus until I was married. I thought that asparagus only came in a can that had " open other end " printed on the lid. And were served in a salad with mayo.! I did know Creole tomatoes, eggplant ( fried), okra, and mirlitons. I think they have another name,now. 

I remember the first time I had a bowl of Lipton's chicken noodle soup, made from a package. It was love at first spoonful. I grew up on canned soups, canned vegetables, store bought pies, and I even remember Spam. No wonder  I learned early on ,to cook and save recipes.

Lucky for me, we had live in help that cooked our dinner.  Red beans and rice with the secret ingredient ( ham hock) , fried cat fish , shrimp etoufefe, gumbo. Grits and liver with bacon. That was good eatings. We ate what ever our live in's knew how to cook. It was very democratic. And good.

I miss the foods of New Orleans. I need a food trip. I miss the french bread. I just cannot find bread like Leidenheimer bakery makes. I've tried to have them ship me loaves of bread, but they won't. Then there are Boston Cream Pies . Is that really from Boston, or is that what we call them ? Sounds to me like I need to take a road trip .

It's never too late to remember all of the good meals I had and to acknowledge that even if my   Mother wasn't a great cook, she was smart enough to find someone who was.

just a thought

I am having a difficult time deciding how to spend the money that I just know I will win when next I buy a lottery ticket. I keep rearranging the amounts that I plan to give away. And the strings that I will attach to the gift .I think that Bob has a one dollar ticket in his wallet. I can't remember when we bought it. We may be rich , even wealthy . Some how I doubt this, but it is fun to think about. 

I am seriously thinking about a new roof for our Congregation. I'd want our name on it, of course. When we would drive through the country side when we had our cottage, many barn roofs had the farmers name ,written with the shingles in a different color. If they could fit names like Neilsen and Braash, they can work with our name. I just remembered, our Congregation has a flat roof. This may be a problem, but being so rich, we can work it out.

I have to give the lottery credit. It provides me with a basis for dreaming. knowing that the reality is that I have a limited income, make believe allows for big , unrealistic dreaming.

I can change the amounts I give away , I can reward different agencies, I could probably even buy a Congress man. Or better, I could pay someone of  them to resign. Now I am really excited. However, now I have to think about who I would put in their place. Maybe my family. But only the ones who think as I do.

It's never too late to think about the next election and remember the voting history of those running again. In Chicago the battle cry was "vote early and often". Does that work in Florida ?

half smart

Watching the news last night, the announcer spoke of the fifth Estate. I know that journalist are refered to as the fourth Estate, but what are number one, two, three and five.?  No need to go to the library any more. Just Google . Now that I know what these estates are, I hope it comes up in a conversation. One is Clergy, two is nobility,three are citizens, four is the journalist and five , the masses. I guess I am included in the masses.Although I could probably pass as a citizen.

It is so easy to find answers with all of these electronics. Pull out your smart phone, iPad and soon smart watch, and you have an answer. I used to be concerned that kids wouldn't know how to tie their  shoes because of velcro, or how to tell time because of digital watches or use the Dewey library system, but I can stop worrying. The replacements for these things are opening up all kinds of avenues for us.

I look at a person now with new respect when they can actually get all of these electronic wonders to work. We live in a very exciting time. Everyone can be smart.It's never too late to keep those grey cells moving by using every electronic devise available to me. I gotta get a smart phone.With only an iPad , I'm only half smart.

Bettye 28.10.2013 09:20

We are just lucky!

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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.