Saturday, January 29, 2011


Today is my 4th blogiversary and I can surely tell you that when I started this venture, I never expected the hundreds of daily readers that I seem to have attracted. I created this blog for me, myself and I only, but I've had a lot of fun with it in the intervening years.

My goals for the future of this blog? I'd like to have more giveaways. (Two are already in the works - stay tuned) I'd also like to publish more serious pieces that will impact the Jewish community and get them thinking and talking. I have a few anonymous guest posters working on material as we speak, but welcome submissions and if I feel that they are relevant to my audience, I may post them.

Now we have reached the "present giving" portion of the post. (You knew that was coming, didn't you?). Since it has been 4 years, I figured I'd give you 4 ways to celebrate with me:
  1. Leave me a comment telling me what you enjoy about my blog. For some reason, getting you all to comment is the most difficult thing. I know how many of you read the blog because my statcounter tells me. Only the tiniest fraction of you comment. AND I LOVE COMMENTS!
  2. If you know me and read my blog and don't think that I know that you do, come over to me and tell me or send me an email. (Chances are pretty good that I already know you are a reader anyway)
  3. Send me a photo that would be appropriate to include with this post. I couldn't find anything that hit the mark. C'mon! Get creative! You know you want to !!!!
  4. Keep reading! Keep enjoying!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Day - We've Broken The Record! Can It Stop Now?

Eric sent in these wonderful shots of Overlook Terrace. The arc of trees is particularly beautiful.

I guess he had time to take them because he sure wasn't DRIVING anywhere. That's his car!

Thanks Eric!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Administrative Note

I've updated several posts from the past couple of days tonight and added photos and videos.
If you receive my blog through Google Reader, or similar aggregator, I encourage you to scroll back to see what's been added.

Snow Days Bring Out The Best In Some People.

I don't normally post about my job, because believe it or not, there ARE some things that I keep private ;), but I'm going to make a quick exception to publicly thank all the people who came out to help me at the Senior Center today.

I'd like to thank Scraps, Yekke Wannabe, Mrs. Michael Westin and others without blog monikers, for calling and coming in with offers to volunteer and/or deliver meals.
Your community mindedness is truly touching.

And hey, anything that gets Joey in a plastic apron serving soup is a good day for me :D

Bad4's Snow Day - Good For Sculpting

Bad4Shidduchim sent in these wonderful photos of her snow day to share with my readers.
Here's what she had to say about them:
"The snow this time was pretty awesome. I made a snow lioness who looks a little more like an overfed snow jackal or a capybara with a long tail. The artist in me says that it merely embodies the essence of guard-animal-ness in snow sculpture form. Clearly I have a ways to go until I sculpt my David."
Thanks Bad4!

She's unstoppable! Look at this photo of her masterpiece lit by snow lantern tonight!

And for those who'd like to try this, here's a video tutorial on how to make a snow lantern. If you try it, be sure to send me your photos - or better yet VIDEOS!

Happy Snow Day Everyone!

Please take care of yourselves today in the snow.
Check on your neighbors - especially the elderly and infirm.
Offer to volunteer at local agencies that service the elderly and infirm.
Make your day matter.

Thanks to SL for sending in the first snow pic of the day.
Keep 'em coming folks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Cousins With The Lord

.... Lord Jonathan Kestenbaum, that is.

Baron Kestenbaum took his seat in the House of Lords following a short introduction ceremony this afternoon, London time.

The introduction ceremony must take place in the Lords Chamber before each new Member is able to take their seat in the House.

During the ceremony, new Members either swear an oath or solemnly affirm their allegiance to the Queen; they also sign an undertaking to abide by the House of Lords Code of Conduct.

It was a great Kiddush Hashem to witness Lord Kestenbaum don his yarmulke before taking his oath.

I hope to post the video as soon as it becomes available.
Try this link for the time being and click "watch from start"

Here's the video of the meeting

Wednesday's Wacky Signs - Auto Translate Run Amok

Gotta be very careful about Terumos, Shemitta and What??!?

Featured first on: Mostly Kosher Blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Frum on Jeopardy!

A frum woman named Gitta Neufeld - a "Judaic Studies Teacher Trainer" from Far Rockaway, won over $18,000 on Jeopardy! tonight.
She entered the Final Jeopardy round in second place, but upon seeing the category was "Old Testament", she bet all but $100.
Smart move.
She knows her Iyov ;)
Good for her.
Mazel Tov.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

GWC2D Artful Sunday

This could become a post about your refrigerator.
What has it become the repository for?

In my house it holds house keys - mine and assorted neighbors' (I sure hope they never come to collect because I'll be darned if I know whose is whose....), upcoming wedding/bar mitzvah/assorted function invitations (sorted in date order - closest date on top), coupons (only ones I'll never use for, some reason....), photos, recipes, shul "time" tables and of course family artwork.

Or this could be just a post about art. I took these down from the dissarray that is my refrigerator so that you could fully appreciate Jennifer's work.

NOW go back and tell me what you've got on your refrigerator door (and if it's a recipe - please share ;) ).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Food Photo Friday - A Day Early In Honor of Tu B'shvat

I hope you enjoy looking at this dried fruit flower arrangement that we made as a project with the seniors at our Center today as much as they enjoyed making them.
And a bonus shot of a dried fruit platter that I made, which let us just say didn't last long looking like that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Public Service Announcement - For The Safety Of The Children

I'm fully aware that today's style of parenting is quite different from how it was "way back" {eye roll} in our day. I know, parents try to give children more "freedom" and less discipline than we did, but if we're going to call a spade a spade, sometimes this "freedom" is just an excuse for parents to shirk the responsibility of watching their children every moment and under some circumstances, it can lead to great danger.
I witnessed something very disturbing at a bris this week. During the speeches and the subsequent benching, many of the children were running/crawling around unattended (forget the fact that I actually had to lift a (one year old?) tyke out of a mud soaked puddle that somebody's boots had tracked in and hold her up for claiming by her mother who was deep in conversation with a friend and had no idea (or care) that her child was at the other end of the hall). What frightened me enough to warrant this post was that most of these children were congregating around the coffee and tea table. There were lots of sugar packets and spoons to play with. Unfortunately, there was also one of those old fashioned coffee urns - the kind with HOT SIDES and absolutely no safety on the spigot - perched precariously at the edge of this table. And NOBODY SEEMED TO CARE OR NOTICE.
Boruch Hashem, nobody got hurt, but that was an accident just WAITING to happen. Burns from hot water urns are no laughing matter. Parents need to SUPERVISE their children at simchas where child safety is not the caterer's main priority. If it's too difficult to do this - hire a babysitter and keep the child home. Who is getting anything out of a child's presence at such a simcha? Certainly not the child! But whatever you choose, please know where your children are at all times and remove them from unsafe environments, EVEN IF YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF BENTCHING. I'm sure Hashem will understand.......

Food Photo Friday - Talent Night Melava Malka

A pasta dish with creamy garlic sauce, paired nicely with puff pasty pizzas (both florentine and plain) and dairy stuffed mushrooms. Chips, salsa and crudite topped off the menu. Great finger food!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Say Goodnight, Gracie ....."

Jennifer has given me permission to post her Variety Night performance, where she stepped into the role of Gracie Allen, of Burns & Allen fame. Aside from her amazing ability to memorize lines, I was rather impressed that she captured the signature straight-faced ditsyness of Gracie, without ever having seen her perform.

I hope you enjoy this bit as much as we did.

Special thanks go to Eric Freeman who, as always, helped SO MANY of the performers with their acts that night.

Now if we can only get efrex to finish up his parody........

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Further Forays Into Technology

I remember vividly sitting on a bench with my grandfather in Ft. Tryon Park on a particular Sunday in my early twenties (Sunday mornings back then were leisurely affairs that always involved bringing the children to spend time with their great-grandparents up in the park - When did they become all about household chores such as laundry and shopping? Oh, right! When I stopped being a stay at home Mom ;) ).

In any case, the conversation in question centered around my grandfather's recounting of how in his youth, he had built his own transistor radio. He told me of the sheer excitement and magic of discovering and being a part of this new and wonderous technology.

We began discussing all the changes he had seen in his lifetime. Then, in my youthful foolishness, I said to him, "But Opa - I'm never going to witness these kinds of things, because there's nothing left to invent". When I remember that moment - and I often do - I don't know whether to cringe at my naivete or laugh at the irony.

You see, I've become the old grandparent on the bench. Not only have I witnessed unimagined technological advances in my lifetime, but I've watched many of those breakthroughs fall by the wayside and become utterly obsolete. Needless to say, I've adjusted my opinions a bit since that sunny day in the park. Radio? Records? 8-Track (please, please don't say, "Huh? What's that?"), cassette, walkman, CD, discman, ipod, iTouch, iPhone.....

I recently got an iPhone. One of our young Shabbos guests sweetly said to me, "Wow! G6! That's so wonderful!!! Not everybody your age would be so brave as to try to work with that!!!!" (Feeling old much, am I?)

But I must tell you that although I'm not in the slightest bit daunted by it, I AM pretty impressed with certain features though.

Who knew that the iPhone actually learns your lingo? The more you use it, the more it learns. Its built in auto-correct feature will offer to finish typing words for you when it thinks it recognizes what you are typing, in order to save you keystrokes. Less than a month and my iPhone already recognizes all the names of my family members and ... what else...? The word Shabbos! :D

My iPhone knows exactly where we are. Even when I don't. It can give me directions, point me towards mizrach and give me all the zmanim on any given day for the exact spot I am in (MY FATHER WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS!!!!).

I can't wait to deposit my first check via the iPhone! (Seriously, I'm all aflutter.) I will simply photograph the front and {signed} back of the check and send it off! Now what's coming next?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Birds And Fish Are Dropping Like Flies....

Could somebody please explain to me why although thousands of birds are falling out of the sky and thousands more fish are going belly up, there is so LITTLE press about the whole thing and all the "experts" insist that this is just a perfectly normal deviation.

Dan Cristol, co-founder of the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies at the College of William & Mary, told the Associated Press that the Louisiana birds may have been ill or startled from their roost, then hit a power line. Frankly, I can't get past the fact that CMW has an Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Talent/Variety Night at the G6's

If my posts have been spotty lately, it can be blamed partially on a heavier workload and partially on the fact that I was busy rehearsing for our (not quite) annual talent/variety night.

Last night's melave malka was arguably the best one ever! It turned out to be equal parts Gilbert & Sullivan and Lewandowski, with a bit of Burns & Allen and Alex Trebek thrown in for good measure.

I may be biased, but I think that Jennifer once again stole the show. She really has a feel for timing and humor (and can memorize 8 pages of script like nobody's business).

Videos may or many not be forthcoming, depending on permission from the performers.

Of course efrex and The Lovely Wife (tm), still owe US ALL a video - and we're not going to let them off the hook, are we folks? Illness prevented them from completing their parody of Allan Sherman's "Harry Lewis" with regard to this very blog. I hope to have something to show you soon :)

Oh, what the heck.
Start with these: