Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hang In There... The Invasion Is Coming...

We are very much looking forward to Moshe, Erica & Kayla coming in for ALL OF SUCCOS (insert "woo hoo"s here) and Michael, Chana & Eliezer joining in on the fun for the last days of Yom Tov.

The meat is cooked, the soup has simmered, the tongues have licked their last, and it's too early to be chopping vegetables and poaching fish.

So that is what had me fingering through the cutest little baby argyle vests (and matching socks!!!) at The Children's Place last night, followed by me settling in to an attempt to assemble this:

Looks simple enough, right? Well let me tell you, that this lovely item arrives in more pieces than it would if King Kong stomped on it. Oh, and dare I mention the six washers that are included in the 1,634,227 pieces that are nowhere to be found in the four page instruction sheet, which, by the way, was obviously designed for today's illiterate society. There wasn't a word on it. Only diagrams. A word or two for those of us who got past the first grade might have been appreciated.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

גמר חתימה טובה

This photograph was taken a couple of years ago at Khal Adath Jeshurun (Breuer's), right after the completion of Neilah on Yom Kippur.

Wishing everyone a גמר חתימה טובה and may all our tefillos be answered for the good.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Points to Ponder

I like to think this is a user friendly blog. I appreciate audience participation.
I encourage comments and emails in support of this blog.

I received an email recently (from someone who has yet to grace this blog with a comment) containing a suggestion for an עשרת ימי תשובה post. I will repost here verbatim. Your thoughts, as always, are most welcome:

I thought I'd share with you my favorite Yomim Noroim inspirational quote:

"Pray as if everything depends on G_d. But prepare as if everything depends on you."

Do you know which great "rabbinical" figure came up with that? James Harrison, linebacker from the Pittsburgh Steelers, on how he prepares for football games.

But it really fits for Yom Kippur, no?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday's Wacky Signs

Technically not a sign, but the feeling is so universal that you've got to admire the gumption of these people....

Has anybody actually walked out after waiting for service?
Feel free to share your stories....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random Thoughts.....

Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that in some very popular Jewish songs that tug at our heartstrings and uplift us, there are some MAJOR plausibility questions that through their tears & cheers most people don't seem to notice???

If you are unfamiliar with these songs, please listen to them before reading my commentary.
The first one is Lev Tahor's Deaf Man in the Shteible.

The second one is Journeys The Ninth Man. (I apologize that I was unable to find a good video of this one without extra stuff.... skip to 2:08 on the video where the song begins. It ends and around 6:08)

OK.... are we done?
Were they moving? Inspiring? Touching?

Let's start with The Deaf Man in the Shteible -
Did it bother ANYBODY else that nobody in the whole shteible, (including the rabbi!?!) had the slightest CLUE that the father of their chazzan WHO DAVENED WITH THEM EVERY SHABBOS was niftar??!?! Didn't anybody go to the levayo???? Yikes.....

Let's move on to The Ninth Man -
Wow! What a Rebbe, right? He sure saves the day, doesn't he? So here's my question. As everybody else is cheering on the rebbe as the team completes the game, WHO THE HECK IS TAKING THE KID WITH THE BROKEN LEG TO THE HOSPITAL?!??!

Details, details.... the songs were good, right?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rosh Hashana Wrapup - Uplifting All Around

Let me begin by saying at the outset that our Yom Tov was positively awesome and awe inspiring.

We began on Friday night with guests who have joined us for many a Rosh Hashana meal in the past. The table was resplendant draped with a tablecloth that belonged to Avram's Great-greatgrandmother. The apples were sweet, thanks in large part to the lovely honey dish on Avram's side of the table and supplemented heavily with the "Shalom Bayis" honey dish on my end. You see, Avram (who serves the challah/apples/figs/dragon fruit/pomegranates/rambutans) believes in the "tiny dip" method, while I ascribe to the "slather it on" mentality. This used to cause some tensions in the G6 house, until said second honey dish solved all the problems. Isn't compromise a wonderful thing :D ?

We davened at the minyan where Avram was Baal Mussaf and I must say that this contributed greatly to my kavanah. The tefillos were uplifting and dignified (kudos to Dr. Greunkern for his beautiful shacharis).

I kind of missed the shofar on the first day, though I did hear rumblings of people not sorry to hear a bit fewer "Avinu Malkeinus" ;)

We had many enjoyable meals with family devouring all the special yom tov delicacies.

To update you on the שהחינו fruits:
  • Dragon Fruit makes a stunning presentation when cut like this. It tastes like a very bland kiwi. Nothing offensive.... nothing delicious.
  • Rambutan taste a lot like lychee nuts (or very bland grapes with a seed inside....). I liked them.
  • Figs were deliciously sweet as usual.
  • My pomegranate was not the best I've ever seen once cut, but as my mother always used to say, "I don't sit in it...". Truthfully it tasted fine. I've just seen looking nicer ones.
After mincha on the second day, we all embarked on the uphill trek to make Tashlich. Though I've lived in the same neighborhood my whole life, the favored location for discarding sins has changed over time, due in part to the changing demographics of the neighborhood. The spot we've been going to in recent years though, has quite a bit of foliage blocking my view of the water when just a few short blocks away, you can see this. I gingerly mentioned that perhaps we should consider this new destination since I'd hate to have my sins ricochet off the trees and "thunk" on to the highway below. "But nobody goes there!", one child exclaimed. Did I miss something in 'Sefer Hilchos Tashlich'? Apparently people are the critical factor... water? Not so much...... Who knew?? Compromise saves the day once again. We walked up with "all the people" and passed our usual spot as we walked on to my suggested location that was, lo and behold, full of people as well! An easy shot for my heavy load.

Well, that's it in a nutshell, coming from my food-starved brain...... and as the Yekkes say, "Beis Gut An".... (break your fast well).

If you're still looking for more, Frum college girl has a nice wrapup post of her own. Head on over there for more "feel good" sentiments.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shana Tova

Wishing everyone a sweet new year, filled with good health, peace, happiness, prosperity and joy.
May all our tefillos be answered for the good.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

Every year, on the second night of Rosh Hashana, it is customary to eat one or more "new" fruits, that we have not eaten all year and make the aforementioned bracha.

Along with the "old standbys" each year, I try to buy several fruits that I have never eaten at all (and more often than not, never want to eat again...). I was very excited this year to find a plethora of exotic choices, though my favorite green figs are not yet in stock.

Extra points for those of you who can name all three fruits in the photo (the lighting doesn't do their brilliant colors and textures justice).

Ruby Tuesday - Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown this Friday night. It is customary to serve apples dipped in honey, symbolizing our hopes for a sweet new year ahead.

Here's wishing just that to all my readers - a sweet new year filled with peace, good health and much joy.

Visit Ruby Tuesday for links to more red themed photos.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Me Monday - The Insomnia Chronicles

This is not a recording of my house at 2 o'clock in the morning.

I DID NOT haul myself out of my comfortable bed to retrieve my camera at said unseemly hour in order to make this video.

I certainly did not convince the offender that permission to post this clip was fair compensation for having to suffer through it in the middle of the night.

Now, head on over to MckMama's blog and see what hasn't been going on in other people's homes this week....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm a Kreativ Blogger

Fellow blogger Staying Afloat has bestowed upon me the coveted (a girl can dream, can't she...?) Kreativ Blogger award. I was very touched by her gesture, but even more so by her words:

"G6 at Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Everyone needs a mentor. I look at G6's blog and I see a window into a household I'd be privileged to be running when I reach her stage in life, as a mother of older children. She's got a beautiful balance of aesthetics, spirituality, common sense and humor that really works for me. And she's got an inspiring pride in her culture and hometown. Plus, my family loves the recipes and the pictures of the Shabbos and holiday tables :)."

These words, coming from somebody who doesn't owe me any money {grin} and has never even met me, make blogging feel very worthwhile.

Now I guess I need to "play along" with the rest of the award requirements, don't I? Sheesh.... This is not my favorite part. Here are the rules of the award:

• You must thank the person who has given you the award. (check)

• Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (check)

• Link to the person who has nominated you for the award. (check)

• Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting. (arggghh!)

• Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers. (gotta think...)

• Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate. (no problem)

• Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated. (will do...)

Seven thing about me? Really??? Haven't you had enough with the blog already???
  1. My vision is complicated by "off the charts" astigmatism which my eye doctor postulates could have come from a difficult cesarean birth (they squeezed my head 'til my eyes popped???!?!??).
  2. When I was a little girl, I used to watch "Wild Kingdom" on television and the first career goal I ever had was to be one of those people who went off to Africa to tag the animal's ears and then monitor their migration patterns.....
  3. The closest I ever came to this goal was perfusing chickens in college (if you have to ask - you may not want to know.... and definitely not over dinner...)
  4. I'm slowly discovering that many of the things they told me I "wasn't good at", when I was a child, I'm pretty talented at after all.
  5. I don't take out the garbage...... EVER.
  6. Currently, my Google Reader subscribes to 88 blogs and 'news' sites (Wow... that many? Yikes.).
  7. I don't tell anyone about my blog - even my closest friends. You've gotta find it on your own ;).
Now.... drum roll, please..... on to the nominations.

I'm going to bend the rules a bit and not nominate 7 blogs because I can't afford to have seven bloggers irritated with me all at the same time {grin}.
I will however, mention a few blogs that I find interesting and leave the decision whether or not to participate in the continuation entirely up to them.
  1. ProfK over at Conversations In Klal, pens probably one of the best worded, best thought out, and most enjoyable blogs that I currently read.
  2. Citizen of Brooklyn North gives regular exercise to my funny bone and reminds me that laughing at ourselves is very healthy.
  3. Shosh at Day By Glorious Day makes me feel like a member of the family and exalts in the joys of everyday living with a house full of young'uns. What a precious time that passes all too soon.
  4. Ilana over at In the Nuthouse because I don't want any sibling rivalry between her and Shosh .... JUST KIDDING!!!! She's an absolute scream. To call her funny would be an insult.
  5. Something Different really stays true to her name over at A Blob of Something Different. To borrow from Forrest Gump, her blog is like a box of chocolates - - - you never know what you're gonna get.
  6. And last but not least, I want to give mention to a fledgling blog, Mo's Arch. Mo has just started his blog, so there's not a whole lot of content as of yet, but I look forward to reading about his adventures in architectural school and I do already enjoy his "word of the day". I encourage you to check it out now and again once he's fully up and running.
OK.... that's all for now....
What are you still doing reading? Don't you know that Yom Tov is coming????

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shabbos Wrap Up

The autumn winds blew in a fresh crop of students, singles and young people moving or contemplating moving into the neighborhood over the past few weeks. That is how we ended up with such a lively Friday night table.

For the purposes of this post, I will name our guests, "Tuedsay", "Wednesday", "Thursday" and "Friday (afternoon)", based on the point at which they secured themselves a place at our table.

"Tuesday" appeared at my door shortly after I lit Shabbos candles, on his way to shul with rivulets of water STREAMING down his forehead due to the torrential rain outside. In his hand he triumphantly held up a platter of brownies and zebra cookies for dessert. This because after he mangled his finger last week while preparing his Shabbos, I commented that men shouldn't be allowed in the kitchen. Though his offerings were tasty (I'll hand him that....) I must remind all my readers that his finger was still secured with not one but TWO Band-Aids.....

"Wednesday" spent the early part of the meal flaunting his knowledge of our family's inner workings and idiosyncrasies. We like our guests to feel right at home and he seems to have managed that quite admirably.

"Thursday", listening to "Wednesday", kept asking, "Are you sure he's only been here once before??".

"Friday (afternoon)" just sat there in the beginning with an impish grin on his face, a bit overwhelmed. But what else can you expect from someone who doesn't seem to get the pattern that Shabbos comes the same day every week ;) (just kidding "Friday". We really enjoyed your company and hope that if you choose to move to the Heights that we will be seeing more of you).

But seriously, once everybody got going the atmosphere was amazing and the cross talk was deafening.

All in all, it's been quite a while since we've had such a lively mix (did it have something to do with the three empty wine bottles now in my kitchen? You decide....) and the lights stayed on the whole time and NOBODY fell asleep!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday's Wacky Signs - Only In Brooklyn

I had to make another trip to Brooklyn this week for [insert 'Game Show Master of Ceremonies' voice here] "all my family's yom tov needs".
I have begun referring to this borough as the "place you love to hate".
I'm so glad that there was something there worth chuckling at (it certainly wasn't the meat prices or the fact that I spent so much money on my credit card that the Fraud Protection department over at Chase declined the transaction until I gave them every bit of personal information up to and including the shoe size of my firstborn child.....).

To be filed under "Things That Make You Go "Smirk"....."

(Thanks again to Hadassah for allowing me to steal starting me off on this theme. You know how much I love a pretty Shabbos table. Go check out this recent post of hers. The fish knives alone win her honorable mention in my book!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - Mid-life Crisis Car

This is what I call a mid-life crisis car. What is it about men and racy cars?
And no......... it isn't ours Smiley Faces
But to Avram's great delight, it was ours for 3 days. We had rented a nice practical economy car for our vacation up to Newport, RI. Unfortunately/fortunately, the rental place was out of cars, so they upgraded us to this lovely vehicle.

P.S. His birthday's coming up real soon......

Visit Ruby Tuesday for links to more red themed photos.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reason #1 Not To Hook Your Senior Citizen Parent Up With High Speed Internet....

.... you know that DSL line you got her?
Well, she's telling everybody that her children got her LSD!!!!
You might wanna do something about that Smiley Faces.

(it's on a whole new level from the other senior lady I know, whose children are in the process of buying her a "flaptop")

Wednesday's Wacky Signs

Hadassah over at
In the Pink has a great recurring theme titled Wednesdays Wacky Signs, which I thoroughly enjoy.
Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I thought I'd post this sign and plug Hadassah's interesting blog at the same time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How We Prepare For Yom Tov

There are many things spiritual to be done in preparation for any Yom Tov, but as Jewish women all over the world know, there are also quite a number of more mundane, physical arrangements to be made.
In contrast to previous generations, larger and larger numbers of women are in the workforce, necessitating a careful juggling act in order to pull everything off without a hitch.
I'm so glad that the heat has abated somewhat. It makes marathon back-to-back challah baking sessions just a bit more bearable.
Ten pounds of bread flour later, I am feeling very accomplished ;)