Friday, November 23, 2007

Life's Conundrum #127

How come Joseph can get up and be out of the house at 4 a.m. on Black Friday but can't seem to make a 7 a.m. shacharis minyan on all the other days?!?!?

Monday, November 19, 2007

On Giving Thanks......

While Thanksgiving is not a traditional Jewish holiday, it certainly reflects many of our Jewish beliefs and traditions. It stresses the importance of Hakoras Hatov and family unity.

I have heard numerous times from people who seem to have very short memories for the fact that the United States saved countless Jewish lives during WWII and that gratitude for our nation is certainly in order that "Every day is Thanksgiving". Oh...... would that this were true!! How many of us truly take the time to give thanks each day for all our blessings? And even if we do, my answer to these people is thusly: Though we are commanded to remember Yetzias Mitzrayim EVERY DAY of our lives, Hashem still gave us a special holiday to commemorate it. (This proof also works similarly for Mothers/Fathers Day).

In order to make sure we are not appearing to schedule our "commemorations" according to a Christian calendar, we enjoy our turkey dinner on Friday night thus enhancing our Shabbos. Additionally, I am going to post a few things that I am thankful for this year prior to Thursday....
  • I am thankful for my family (both near and far...and the memories of those who are no longer with us)
  • I am thankful for Moshe joining us
  • I am thankful for my good friends
  • I am thankful for my community
  • I am thankful for my cyberfriends/community
  • I am thankful for good health
  • I am thankful for Shabbos
  • I am thankful for music
  • I am thankful for little everyday miracles
  • I am thankful for Hashem's artistic eye when creating the world
  • I am thankful that the 14 lb. frozen turkey fell ONLY on Avram's toe and nowhere else ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quotes Of The Month....

  • "Erica G. is NOT walking through that door!!!" {when "whatever" is not getting done in the kitchen.... apparently it's a takeoff on some sports quote}

  • "We put the FUN in dysfunctional!" {of course one of my kids says we put the FUNK in dysfunctional, but I prefer the first way}

  • ... and the newly discovered mantra, "Remember! As far as anybody knows we are a NORMAL family!"

Sneak Peak at Jen's Birthday Cake

Shhhhh..... don't tell her! It's for Friday night when the gang's all here to celebrate.

Erica and Moshe are coming, as is Oma. Eric will be joining us. Estie is AWOL... If anybody has heard from or seen her, tell her the search party goes out in the morning.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Parable of the Potato Kugel

Here's a question for you. Sometimes we give to people for purely altruistic reasons but in the end we realize that it doesn't have the positive effect on the other person that we thought it would. We tried .... we did not succeed.....

Sometimes we give too much and the people to whom we give don't have the capacity to appreciate and/or value what we do.

It's sort of like when we make potato kugel and we choose the wrong sized pan to load it into. What happens? It drips. It spills over. Is there something wrong with the recipe? No. We just chose the wrong vessel.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Where Everybody Knows Your Name....

I spoke to Binny yesterday. Binny is currently is South Africa on a kiruv mission. We met Binny when he was in Michael's 7th grade class and we adopted him as sort of a home away from home.

Binny has never forgotten. Neither have we. But today, believe me a day I needed it more than most, he reminded me of things long forgotten by me but not him.

He reminded me of weeks he had stayed by us , looseleaf labels I made for him, bundt cakes that I only frosted on one side because one friend of Michael's liked frosting and the other didn't (Hi Simcha! How's the new wife? :) ) and then he said the nicest thing.... He told me that our home always reminded him of the theme song to the television show "Cheers" entitled Where Everybody Knows Your Name. I almost cried. That's exactly what we go for here..... nice to know we succeed some of the time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Many Colored Crayons.....

After meeting and speaking with Louisa yesterday morning, I realized that I have never expounded in this forum on the theory of the many colored crayons.
We love to have Shabbos guests. We love to have many Shabbos Guests. We love to have many different Shabbos guests - and by different I mean those with different ideas, experiences, backgrounds and personae.
It's kind of like a box of Crayola crayons (disclaimer here: Neither I, nor anyone in my family is remotely related to anyone or anything Crayola... I just have very fond childhood memories of brand new boxes of Crayola crayons.... midnight blue, periwinkle and a whole host of other colors that have since been renamed in the interest of political correctness and/or the dumbing down of America {Show of hands... how many of you remember "Indian Red" [don't date yourselves...]}). But I digress..... the wonder contained in a box of crayons is precisely the VARIETY ensconced therein. I mean, how dull would it be to have an entire box of Navy Blue crayons.... what could you draw? What could you create? And yet, time and time again, I see people insisting on surrounding themselves with navy blue crayons or whatever colored crayons they perceive themselves to be. I prefer to put a whole bunch of colors together and see what kind of masterpiece can be created. Setting two different colors side by side in the box in no way damages the integrity of either color, which I think might be the fear of some. As far as I'm concerned - let's make that rainbow.....
{In answer to all your requests, I'll be glad to give you my opinion of which color YOU are in "private", though we all know as Moshe stated nearly two years ago, he is "whatever color Erica likes best".....and Lester is definitely Orange - no doubt about that.....}

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It Must've Been Another Snowglobe Shabbos....

....judging by the avalanche sink and snowdrift countertops that greeted me this evening.....

I've expounded on the concept of the Snowglobe Shabbos in previous posts and this week was yet another lovely example.
Erica and Moshe were here for Shabbos. Oma came for Friday night dinner as well. You might call the evening loud and long... I call it lively and spirited. There was a wonderful kiddush after shul on Shabbos morning in honor of the birth of a daughter to friends of ours. Out of town relatives we don't see often enough were in for the occasion and it was nice to do some catching up.
After two relatively quiet shabbosos following yom tov, it was nice to have the mayhem return. And it seems like it's here to stay. We're alraeady partially lined up for next shabbos and the following week is Jen's Birthday Bonanza!! Stay tuned for more details on that.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mother in Law 103

Erica and Moshe are coming for Shabbos.
The best part is that it was MOSHE'S idea!
It's a great feeling when you "give them wings" and they still fly back to visit occasionally.