Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thanks Giving

Mark and I had a wonderful Thanks Giving with my mum. Actually, we were gald we didn't go to Williamsburg as plan; this way we could bless my mum.
The Assistance Living Home is a wonderful place. It is a run by a Christian Group and they take awesome care of those who live there. My mum is very happy here and the staff treats each of the residents as if they were their own mum or dad. They had place cards for us at the table. These lovely people even had an lunchen in Mark's honour just before he went to Iraq.
The food was a Traditonal Turkey Dinner, including Pumpkin pie.
The staff makes a point of making everything as homey as possiable. I wish all Health Care Centers and Homes treated their patients in the same matter.
Such a lovely table and the whole center was just as feastive. After the blessing was said, we ate and then spend some time with mummie before she kicked us out so she could get her nap.

After our nap, we headed off for the Syngogue for Mark's Torah practice. He was so good, his voice rang throughout the room. It was awesome.

The Torah

I was so proud of my beloved yesterday. He took hold of that which is the Jewel of our faith. The Torah.
I watched Mark's face as he glazed upon those holy words, words given to Moshe from G-d Himself. I know many do not believe that the Word of G-d is Divine or Inspired. Written by mere men, not G-d. Theses are facts we do not believe. To us the Torah is Holy and fill of awe and I saw it upon Mark's face. As he chanted those ancient words, they became truly a part of him. Just as Iassac and Rebecca had to trust G-d, we are in that same place right now. And we chose to trust Him. His voice rang throughout the Syngoguge, the words clear. I knew all heaven was listening, that the Holy One was pleased.
It is funny how our lives have chanced since we began to study the Chantations of the Torah. How the Words have gome deep into our hearts, how they have darwn us closer to Torah, to each other and to our G-d.

Mark Chants the Torah

As Laini said; this was my day.

What a day it was!

When I entered the synagogue on Shabbat morning, I was greeted by my friend Howard with, “The Chabad House is located on Colley Avenue. I have the address if you want it.

Of course I said, “No, I am in the correct place.” He was joking with me because my dress in black and white made me look more like an Ultra Orthodox rabbi, and he could also see that I was a nervous wreck.

I entered the hall, greeted everyone with, “Shabbat Shalom,” and asked, no I pleaded with Howard to pull the Torah out one more time so that I could practice my portion.

Howard sighed, “I guess so,” he said jokingly.I successfully chanted two of the verses, and thought that I might make it for three with a little more practice, so I pulled out my cheat sheet and started reviewing over and over.

It got to the point that my Beloved had to take the cheat sheet from me, daring me to go into her purse to retrieve it. I would not even think of it as I wanted to save my life!

She kept saying to me, “Remember who you are doing this for. Trust in Ad-nai, which is ironic because that is one of the major themes in Toldot. In this portion, we see Rebecca, and Jacob, deciding that G-d needed help moving his plan along. They were successful, but it came at a very heavy price. Just before the service began, Laini and Howard sang the Soul Train version of the Torah Service for me so that it would help to reduce my nervousness. If a person did not know Howard, they would think that he was the most sacrilegious person in the world, but he actually loves the Torah and Ad-nai very much. He just likes to make people laugh so that they will relax.

He did it for my Beloved last year. She was so nervous that Howard thought she would pass out, so he started singing the Torah Service to the BeeGees song, “Staying Alive.” She laughed so hard, thanking him for his help, but she was about to kill him later when she started singing, “Staying Alive,” on her way to the Bemah. She had to shake her head and will herself to remember what she was about to do. It worked so well for her that he decided to do it for me today. It worked. We finished the litany portion of the service and started the Torah Service. Howard and his daughter approached the Ark and began the different chants that are part of the service. Then Howard called for Jezreel, who ascended the Bemah while Howard’s daughter opened the Ark. Howard took hold of the Torah and lifted it out, lovingly placing it on Jezreel’s shoulder. Jezreel then walked the Torah to the microphone and began the Responsive Shemah. Afterwards, he began the Torah procession while I made my way to the back of the synagogue. After the Torah was brought up to the reading table, Howard called out my name: Yamod Yehuda Dovid ben Ya’acov la Torah... That means, “Yehuda, come approach the Torah.” Almost without thinking I made my forward, praying all the way that Ad-nai would be pleased with my efforts and would bless them. Now I am at the Bemah, the Torah is uncovered, and Howard showed me the start of my portion. I took my tzitzit , touched the scroll, and brought them to my lips, kissing them. I grabbed the handles, and that is when the nervousness hit! I forced myself to concentrate. I had worked three weeks on this portion. I read the blessing; I belted it out loudly and clearly. Then I took the Scriptures and read the portion in English that I was about to chant in Hebrew. Laini smiled, handed me the Yod, and shook her head in affirmation. There I was, pointing at the Torah, trying to remember how the chant began, and then... When it was finished, everyone told me that I had chanted my portion beautifully, and they really liked the tune I used. Whew! Baruch HaShem! Thank you, Ad-nai

The Chauffeur

Billy Graham was returning
to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.
As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.
'You know' he said, 'I am 87 years old and I have never
driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?'
The driver said,
'No problem. Have at it.'
Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off
down the highway.
A short distance away
sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.
The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.
The trooper pulled out
and easily caught the limo
and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.
The young trooper walked up to the driver's door
and when the glass
was rolled down,
he was surprised to see
who was driving.
He immediately excused himself and went back to his car
and called his supervisor.
He told the supervisor,
'I know we are supposed
to enforce the law....
But I also know that
important people are
given certain courtesies.
I need to know what
I should do, I have stopped a
very important person.'
The supervisor asked,
'Is it the governor?'
The young trooper said,
'No, he's more important
than that.'
The supervisor said,
'Oh, so it's the president.'
The young trooper said,
'No, he's even more
important than that.'
The supervisor finally asked,
'Well then, who is it?'
The young trooper said,
'I think it's Jesus,
because he's got Billy Graham for a

Friday, 28 November 2008

A Day of Tears

I will be sharing about our Thanksgiving soon. It was wonderful. This morning we mailed off our Hanukkah gifts for the Troops sserving overseas.
We are in tears here. The news of the murders in India hit us hard. We both know people from India, our community has been rocked with the deaths of some our own.
We thank G-d more were not harm and trust G-d to bring Justice.
As Mark says, we must not give in to fear or dismay, but continue to pray for peace.
And as long as there are those who feel they have the right to terrorim the world. men and women like my Mark will always have a job.
May the dead rest in peace and May G-d comfort those left to mourn.

They Were Murdered

Well, Terrorism strikes again.
A man sitting in a Cafe with his 13 year old daughter were gun down. They were from Virigina, praying for peace.
Mosihe was to turn two years old tomorrow. His parnets were killed the day before. The young couple was from Brooklyn New York, wishing to help rebuild the struggling Jewish communty. Many in India were killed, singled out for the crime of being Amercian or British.
To quote the Rabbi of The Chabah House of Crown Heights, all Governorment must do all they can to fight terrorism, for it affects us all.

Prayers Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka

Friends and family worry over rabbi and wife held hostage in Mumbai BY MATTHEW LYSIAK AND JOTHAM SEDERSTROM DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Friday, November 28th 2008, 2:01 AM

Moishe Holtzberg, 2, has been released. The fate of his parents are unknown.
Israeli rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka are among several hostages in Mumbai, India.

For a second excruciating night, the Brooklyn family of a Crown Heights rabbi and his wife held hostage in Mumbai waited to learn their fate.
Photos showed little Moshe Holtzberg, the couple's 2-year-old son, being carried to freedom from a besieged Jewish community center in India's financial capital.
The child, his Indian nanny and a third person were led out of the Chabad House early Thursday. Moshe's pants were soaked in blood, but he was unharmed.
His father, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and wife Rivka, 28, were still inside as commandos staged a daring raid early Thursday.
As gunfire crackled, the troops were dropped onto the roof of the Chabad-Lubavitch center, where Holtzberg is the chief liaison to local Jews.
The goal was to capture the holed-up terrorists who stormed the center Wednesday evening.
"It was terrible," said the Holtzbergs' nanny, 44-year-old Sandra Samuel. "There were explosions everywhere, gunfire - they tried to shoot me."
She said she last saw the rabbi, his wife and two others "unconscious," lying on the floor.
Since Moshe's rescue, there has been no news of his parents, who were born in Israel and raised in Brooklyn.
"In the evening, his mother always puts him to sleep, and now he doesn't understand what's going on," said Samuel.
In Brooklyn, the news left the rabbi's mother stunned.
"I don't know what is going on inside the building," said a shaking Freida Holtzberg, surrounded by family at her Crown Heights home.
"All the lines of communication have been cut off," she said. "I haven't heard his voice since last week. I don't know if my son is alive. I don't know anything."
Rabbi Holtzberg has both Israeli and American citizenship. CNN reported Israel was sending its own security team to help resolve the crisis.
A purported call from inside the center from a female hostage said the Islamic madmen were demanding their imprisoned counterparts be sprung from jail.
A man identifying himself as a spokesman for the terrorists made the same demands on local television.
"Ask the government to talk to us, and we will release the hostages," he said, according to Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news service.
"Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir?" he asked, referring to a disputed region on the Pakistani border where Muslims and Hindus have clashed for decades. "Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims? Are you aware how many of them have been killed in Kashmir this week?"
Meanwhile, friends and relatives of Holtzberg waited.
"We are speaking to people on the ground and then telling the family," said family friend Dovid Zaklikowski, who was getting updates from businessmen friends in Mumbai who had ties to the Chabad House.
"We don't want the family to have false hopes," added Zaklikowski. "We want them to have accurate information."

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

It's The Night BeforeThanksgiving....

i's the night before Thanksgiving.
We had to go out for a bit and Mark brought me home since he could see my hip was starting to hurt.
We picked up some things to send out to the Troops to help make their holiday a little brighter and some decorations for Hanukkah. This year, I plan to have a Hanukkah party since my Honey-Bear is home.
We also dropped off some collard greens for Mark's dad. It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Collard Greens.
We also brought some REAL Hot Chocolate mix (with shavings of peppermint mixed in) for our movie night.
Tonight's double feature is Animal Farm. Both the 1950 and the 1990's version. Mark has read the book, but never seem either movies, so he is in for a treat.
So now, I have to finish up our Thanksgiving preparations: laying out our clothes for my mum's. I will make a the Tradition meal for us as well to munch to this weekend. Just a smaller scale.
So, from the Reel House to yours; May The Holy One Bless Your Day of Giving Thanks. May He bless you and your loved ones with a wonderful, joyful celebration Thanksgiving Leaves .

Happy ThanksGiving

The History of Thanksgiving
Well it is the day before Thanksgiving.
I love Thanksgiving.
I remember the house being abuzz with activity; cleaning the house for family coming in. Preparing the various dishes for our Dinner. Making Thanksgiving Baskets for the poor and delievering them before we sat down at our table.
Turkey, home made pumkin and sweet pototoe pie. Cranberry sauce, pototoe salad and Mac and Cheese. And of course collard greens. It would not be Thanksgiving without mum's collard greens.
After we watched the Parade, we went to Church for the Thanksgiving Service and then come home.
Mummie always set a place at the head of the table for Yeshua. As the Head of our home, it is from the Hand of G-d we recieve our blessing and He was the Guest of honour.
I remember the "children's table" and when I was four-teen I was old enough to join the adults. Each would share what they were thankful for and then after the Blessing was said, we ate.
Thanksgiving Friday was movie day: we would go see whatever new movie was out.
Leftovers were eaten Thanksgiving weekend and those four were filled with laugher and games, joy with our family and friends.
When I shared my childhood with Mark, we adapted them as our own as well as came up with a few of our own.
We enjoy visiting both sets of family and then coming home for a nice quiet afternoon of movies and Turkey sandwichs.
This year, I am thankful that Mark is home safe and sound. Our friend Dane came home from Iraq Monday, so we know this will be a wonderful Thanksgiving for them as well. For those far away from family, we pray G-d's protection and that next year, they too will be with their loved ones.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Do You Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Leaves
For the past few days, Mark and I have been asked: Do you (Jews) celebrate Thanksgiving?”
“It’s an America holiday. We qualify, don’t we?”
In the Torah, there is a Thanksgiving Offering, and it is the one the worshipper partakes of.
It’s an American holiday with origins in a persecuted religious group who makes an exodus and finds its way if not to a promised land, then to a land of religious freedom.
Ring any bells, dinner or otherwise?
Some think Thanksgiving feels much like Sukkot. Both are harvest holidays where thanks and praise are given, and mass quantities of food are communally shared. Each involved a wilderness pilgrimage. Each has origins in makeshift living accommodations.

It is a time to gather with our family and friends, giving thanks to G-d as a nation for the blessings we share.
Yes, we celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Carving
But in our home, there is no Football. The T.V (after the Thanksgiving parade goes out) is off as we enjoy time with loved ones.
This year, because my mum cannot manages stairs anylonger, Mark and Iwill be going to the Assistance Care Home where she lives. This way she will share the Day with her family.
And I need to make collard greens. I don't dare show up without collard greens.

Second Day of PT

Boka Tov (Good Morning);
This morning was my second day of PT. Leanne said she can feel my hip beginning to loosen, moving a little better.
Mark was concern about the increase pain, since last night I had to see my doctor and receive pain medication. He included a nerve medication to help with the cramps and I actually slept through the night with no pain. But because of my pain level, my doctor told me to keep my activity limited and use the crutches.
The doctor also ordered X-rays of my hip.
Anyway, because Mark had an appointment, I had to walk to the Center. It is only ten minutes away, but boy did my hip hurt!
The Therapist allowed me to rest before she applied heat and then do the therapy. I love this Center. There is no feeling of being rushed or hurried. It is peaceful and calm. And they take the time to talk to me about all that concerns my treatment.
I start a new project tonight. A friend has asked for a Tapestry for their living room.
I am working on a pattern of the City of Jerusalem.
It is so nice to get paid for doing something you love.

Monday, 24 November 2008

The Bat Mitzvah Girl

It was a lot of work preparing for my girl's day. Even sadly some angry words and tears.
Friday evening was the only time we had to setup for her party after the service. And we had to wait until after the Congregatianl dinner to do so.
Then after we rearranged the tabes and chairs, we were told we could not move the table, that we had to change everything back! I imforme those in charge that this was what the family asked for. But I was told it didn't matter. And since there is no written guidlines as to how to setup the Social Hall (I have suggested this for years) how was anyone to know if they had broken a rule.
Plus this rule had just been made.
So to say I blew up was an understatement. It was wrong, it was rude and now I had to explain to Howard why the plans we had discussed were not excucted.
Thankfully, Howard came in, showed the room request form he had filled out two months ago (I was told he hadn't) that showed the room arrangment and the approval of the plans.
Yes, I recieved three apolozies.
But to see the smile on my girl's face when Mark and I came into the Syngogue, when she saw the Social Room, it was all worth it.

May The L-rd Bless you and Keep you, May the L-rd make His Face Shine upon you and be Gracious upon you and give you His Shalom.
Mazol Tov!

Operation Mash Pototes

And for those who doubt we made 30 pounds of mash is the proof....
Mark said he didn't peel this many pototes in Boot Camp.....But it was for a good cause....
As you can see, we had to use our living room for Operation Mash Pototes. But it was for a good cause.

Isn't She Lovely?

The proud Papa, Howard. What a wonderful day. He had taught and prepared so many of our children for thier day and now, he had the honour to see the first of his two daughters reach this day.
Isn't she lovely? Our little sweetheart, Stephie, now all grown up and a Daughter of the Torah. At 15 years old, she is one of the most mature, spiritual young ladies I know.
And she did a great job chanting her portion of the Torah.
We are so proud of her. The Pearl Kipper she is wearing is a gift from Mark and I. It is to remind our girl Who is Always watching as well as Who is Gulding and Gurading her.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A Nice Surprise


This morning, I opened our e-mail to read the following: good morning Laini/Mark; I left you an award on my journal; come see me when you can :) From Betty (a corgi ) we have been honored to receive the Marie Antoinette Real People/Real Blog award.
We are both deeply honoured and humbled to be chosen.
Our journal is a simple one; about the life of a Army Reservist and a Tapestry Maker who's life together is one long Honeymoon.
Our journal began to keep family and friends informed of Mark's deployment to Iraq (LoveFromIraq) and sharing our love for one anther and our faith. This grew into three more journals: one about how we met and our wedding ( We Made Our Huppah) one that celebrates the special moments of our lives(TheSimhaofOurLiv...) and of course the one your reading now.
About the award:
This is an award for those that write about real things, not necessarily on every entry, but those who share information about themselves or where they live, what is happening in their area or in the world. What a wonderful way to give some recognition and appreciation to those who write and share a bit of their lives with us. This award is for sharing so be sure to pass it on to other people.
Here are the rules:
1. Please put the logo on your journal - Real Blogs/Real People.
2. Place a link from the person, from whom you received the award. (
a corgi )
3. Nominate as many as you want (2-10, with 7 being ideal).
4. Put the links of those on your journal.
5. Leave a comment on their journal to let them know.
6. Put the award on your sidebar, if you want.

Now comes the hard part; choosing. There are so many journals I love and enjoy, I wish I could add them all. One day, I will.
1. First there is my Starbucks buddy, Marty. I love to read his journal, Heard at Starbucks about the goings on at his local Starbucks as well as his travels, with his faithful carmeria by his side. Never an dull moment at 7th and Montanta.

2.Then there is Janis who writes A Little Bit of Soule, telling the story of her two little blessings. Two sweet little girls, giving Mark and I hope we will have a child of our own.

3. We military wives have to stick together and Robin, a Air Force bride is a true delight to read Yellow Brick Road

4. Like a good story? Then Vagabond Journeys is a must. Full of wit, wisdom and colour, you will laugh, cry and even think.

5. As military wife, I need to give a major shout out to Kathi, for her and Tom's support to our Troops. We are for thankful and grateful for men and women who Support Our Loved Ones as they serve this nation. Her step-son is serving in Iraq, so remember them in your prayers. Mail Call!Supporting the Troops

6. And how can I forget my fellow shutter bug, Clyde, who lives just across the water from us Olde Towne Photos

7. I asked Mark to name his favorites. So he picked his favorite:My Big, Fat Messianic Jewish Wedding Shalom to al... and his favorite corgi; a corgi

I hope you will and enjoy each of these journals as much as Mark and I do. Each are like a yummy box piece of Turkish Delight.

Winter is Here!

The past few days the weather has changed. Into the closet has gone the sweaters and out has come the winter coats.
Winter has finally come to Virginia.
Makes me long for a nice, stone fireplace and hot chocolate.
before Mark went to do the laundry, he made hot chocolate.
We went to visit for a few minutes some friends, dropping off the last of the mash pototes.
Yesterday we celebrated my niece becoming Bat Mitzvah and we made 30 pounds of mash pototes. And I have the pictures to prove it.
The last ten we decided not to make; there would be enough food and there was.
So last night as I took a nap, Mark cooked some of the pototoes (knowing I did wish to see another bud) and the rest this afternoon. We are freezing some and the rest we took to some friends we knew would love them.
The Service was wonderful yesterday and our girl did an awesome job. Pictures forthcoming.
But Auntie Elayne is still recovering.....

Friday, 21 November 2008

And So It Begins

Boka Tov (Good Morning)
I awoke this morning feeling better than I had in days. Mark and i had to switch sides of the bed so I can do my morning stretches. I mention to Mark I hadn't been sleeping well and he said my side of the bed might be too soft. Since we have an adjustable bed, we can change the numbers to suit pressure points. So Mark adjusted the bed and I slept much better.
Since one of my morning stretches is I have to place my right feet onto the floor and I sleep on the left, this means for the next two weeks I will be sleeping on Mark's side of the bed.
The first stretch was fine, but when I Laid my leg down, I screamed. The cramp rean from my lower back, hip and into the leg. I couldn't move to do the stretch to work out the cramp. Mark got the heating pad and we had to warm up my right leg before I could continue.
Let's just say I wasn't a happy camper this morning and sadly the mood wasn't very nice in our happy little home for a few hours.
Frankly we are both scared of what this could mean and once we faced it-together-we were able to confront our feelings and now face whatever this is together.
So we are picking up the apartment and getting ready to make forty pounds of mash pototoes.
Why forty pounds of mash pototoes? We are celebrating my niece becoming Bat Mitzvah tomorrow and she asked for Aunt Laini's Mashies.
So when Mark gets home from picking up the Challah and Starbucks (he says its a Starbucks morning; he likes to live) he goes on KP.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Not Good New

Well, I had my first view with P.T.
It isn't good news. It turns out the pain and cramps in my leg is coming from my right hip. It appears that the Presidone affected the hip joint and may have begun to wear it away. We are going ahead with P.T. But working with the hip first. I also have home stretches I am to do before I go to sleep and get up in the morning.
If there is no improvement or worse pain, I am being send back to the doctor for an x-ray.
We are believeing that the P.T will work.
Along with Prayer.
We stopped at Starbucks to have a coffee and treat.
It made me feel better. We decided that we are going to take this thing one day at a time and Thank G-d for our blessing instead of whining.
But I was handed back my crutches. I am back on restricted activity.
That's why I needed Starbucks.
As my late friend Phil Insoe would say as he would shake his head: "Your life...."

I Saved a Human Today

I rescued a human today.
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels.
I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.
I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.
As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage.
I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today.
Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past.
I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.
She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me.
I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her.
Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.
A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.
I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.
So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors.
So many more to be saved.
At least I could save one.

A Change of Plans, P.T and Other Stuff

Well Williamburge will have to wait a week or so. Last night Mark remembered he was being called to the Torah that weekend and he has a practice chant Thrusday evening. So we will be remaining in town.
So, we will go and have Thanksgiving with my mum and she is thrilled. It isn't the plan we planned, but that's OK. It will be a blessing to my mum not to spend the day with just the nice folks she lives with.
I start P.T. for my leg in a few hours. I am looking forward to getting full use of my right leg back. I don't use the crutches much. But after my first treatment this afteroon...I'm taking them with me anyway.
I have already started getting ready for Shabbath since we will be busy with the Bat Mitzvah celebration Friday. While we do not work on Shabbath and it is the Highest of the High Holy Days, the only exceptions are the welcoming one into the Covenant; bar/bat Mitzvah, a Brit or the Naming of a Daughter.
So I wish to have my own house in order before I go and take care of my niece.
That is one of those life lesions from my mum:
When I was nine years old, I was in charge of the house while mummie was at work.
I hated housework. But I love working in the garden.
We had an elderly neighbor who had a huge garden and needed help. I loved to work with this lady, I loved the stories she would tell.
But of course the fun would end when I heard mummie's voice. I can see her even now calling me.
One day, I asked why couldn't I hepl Mrs.Lady(I forgot her name) in the garden. Reminding her in my own smart nine year old way that she taught us to serve others, to willing to help an older person.
Mummie said that is true. But 'before you clean up someone else's home, take care of your own."
What mummie didn't know is that this was a Talumdic (writing of the rabbis and sages) that says: "Before you save the world, make sure your world is safe)
Which means, I better get back to my own home Cleaning The Toilet

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Always An Olivia

Taking my clues from other jounrals, I decided to do a Theme day.
I have so many interest, it was hard to decide.
Finally I decided to do Wednesday as Book Day.
Today's book is a Children's Book (I love to read children's book). My friends Debbie and Sturat gave me this book as a gift, after the authur came to their Synagogue to speak. Debbie told Ms. Herron about my background and said our family story is similiar. Ms.Herron was kind enough to sign my copy of her book. It is a beautiful story that crosses faith and colour lines and is highly recommended. And then as I was researching for this review, I came across Ms. Herron's picture. Mark looked and the Laptop screen, then me, then the laptop screen....

Always an Olivia by Carolivia Herron.
A Review by Kar-Ben Publising:
Written byCarolivia Herron. Illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau
An elderly black grandmother passes on the story of the family’s Jewish origins to her young granddaughter, Carol Olivia.
As family members flee the Spanish Inquisition, are kidnapped by pirates and eventually sail to America, one daughter in each generation is given the name Olivia, from the Hebrew Shulamit meaning “peace,” to honor the Jewish part of their ancestry.
Critically-acclaimed author Carolivia Herron (Nappy Hair) shares this engaging, multicultural tale is based on her own family's heritage. "This beautifully illustrated offering skillfully shows the diversity of the American Jewish community." –School Library Journal"...written in colorful, poetic language that would capture even the youngest readers."–Library Media Connection"Enhanced by the colorful illustrations, this historical fiction picture book realistically portrays the exciting life of this family....Jewish tradition was kept alive while it could have been easily forgotten and cast aside." –AMIT Magazine

From One Marine's View

Boka Tov:
This is from a weekly news letter from One Marine's View.

I adore this guy. He is one of this nation's heroes and knows first hand what it is to be away from heart and home to serve and protect our nation. And because he is a Marine, he has his own....colourful of putting things.

So here it is.....

Something cool that Xerox is doing
Posted: 18 Nov 2008 09:04 PM CST
If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.
How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! This is a great site. Please send a card. It is FREE and it only takes a second.
THEN, get yer butt over to to pick out a warrior of your choice to support. C'mon gang, they are in the freaking desert!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Brrrrr! Baby It's Cold Out There!

Today was a big step for me. I went shopping without my crutches. I am limping right now, but I am doing much better.
This afternoon Melissa, her two girls and I went shopping for Stephie's Bat Mitzvah this weekend. We are all so excited and look for to our girl's big day.
Stephie wants an 80's theme, so we had a blast shopping for the things we will need. Becausae of an conflint that weekend (one not worth getting into) we cannot decorate until Saturday morning. But this one of those times it would please G-d to make this Daughter of the Convenat Day Special, so we shall setup things up Shabbath morning.
But my was it cold today! It felt more like winter Shiver than autumn Tree So when I got home, Mark was out to take care of a few things before supper, while I make tea.
Ah tea. G-d bless Great Britian Big Ben , India Taj Mahal and China for tea leaves.Great Wall Of China

Monday, 17 November 2008

Laini Chants Noah

Home Safe

Well, my guy arrived home safe.
And so very excited.
I think he is ready to move to Richmond.
The interview went well and mark felt good about it. Then he visited the Synagoguge nearby by and said it is an old historial building and I would love it. The Rabbi we met a few years ago and it took a few minutes, but then he remembered Mark.
So, we have had our supper and he is now taking a warm bath.
I'm warming the massage oil too.... Wink
Hey! we're married.... Fireworks

Waiting For My Man to Come Home

There is an opening for a Sceince teacher in Richmond, Virginia, so Mark had an interview this afternoon. Richmond is four hours away.
This means he is hitting traffic right now.
So, since Salmon doesn't take that long to prepare, I am waiting supper until he gets home.
The pay would be better in Richmond. So we should know something in the next few days.
Poor thing. His Drill weekend wasn't even 24 hours out and already he was on the road.
But he gets to sleep in tomorrow morning.
Tonight, a good meal, a warm bath and a massage from his favorite lady.
It's a full-time job being the Captain's wife.
And as Mark would say: I am builded just right for the role.

Things I Miss

My beautiful sister Eileen, sharing a sister moment....

Boka Tov (Good Morning)

This morning I recieved an e-mail from A Little Bit of Soule .

If you haven't seen this journal, it is worth a peek. Unless you don't like babies. This jounral is about a lovely family that G-d has blessed with two beautiful little girls. In fact, Elizabeth is not even a week old. Theirs is a beautiful story.

As I viewed the pictures of big sister holding her infant sister, I fought back the tears. Yes, we wish children of our own, but the tears weren't because I'm not preggiers (yet).

It is because there are no such pictures of my sister and I. I am older by 20 months and the pictures I do have (thanks be to G-d) are of us older. But none of me holding my little sister.

There are few pictures of us.
Many years ago, I asked my Aunt Lucille before her passing of pictures of me as a baby. I am so blessed that she send them I wish she had send more.

Including the only one with me sitting upon my daddy's lap.

As I get older, I realize more and more how important such memories are. They are really treasures we not only past onto our children, but treasures we give ourselves.

Pictures remind us that while we may never be Kings or Queens (even Queen in peoples' hearts) Presidents, Pastors or Indian Chiefs, we matter and we made this world a little better place for our passing through.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Avraham's Tent

בראשית 18:1 xוַיֵּרָ֤א אֵלָיו֙ יְהוָ֔ה בְּאֵלֹנֵ֖י מַמְרֵ֑א וְה֛וּא יֹשֵׁ֥ב פֶּֽתַח־הָאֹ֖הֶל כְּחֹ֥ם הַיֹּֽום׃

And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. Genesis 18:1

I received an e-mail from someone today. That isn't surprising: I often receive e-mail from people who don't for, whatever reason chose not to leave a comment.

That's cool.

But this letter surprised me. This person was surprise to find Mark and I are "religious." That this is a "religious blog."

Hmmm, Mark and I are Messianic Jews and we have not tried to hide that, Nor have we tried to 'convent' anyone.

That's G-d's job.

Yes, G-d, our faith, is the center of our home, our lives, our marriage. But if one doesn't like what they read, they are free to move onto the next journal.

This Shabbath, the Torah portion was about the above: Avraham opening his home to the Three Angels. One of Them, the L-rd Himself.

So here comes the "religious part:" The Scriptures place a high value on hospitality and breaking bread together. The banqueting is the focal point of that hospitality. For it is at this time we truly get to know our new friends as well as family.
Isn't that why meal time is a wonderful time for the family to gather, hear about each other's day and reconnect? Isn't that why Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Shabbath, etc. are important times. That we celebrate Weddings and or events in our lives?

In Genesis 18:1-3, our Father Abraham is the first person shown opening the door of his home to others and in this case, it is to the L-rd Himself!

The meal, hastily prepared by their standards, is unusual in that Abraham does not even eat with them! Why? Because one does not eat with a King unless invited to, even in one's own tent.

We often feel that we cannot spare the time to do such things, but here is G-d, The Creator, Who finds time in His infinitely busier schedule to sit and wait while Abraham and Sarah prepare a a banquet for Him! The point, however, is that food and eating is a focal point of Abraham's hospitality. Important events frequently occur on such occasions.

And on this jounral, hospitality is our Hallmark. We wish all who visit our little Tent to also feel welcome, to find food for thought, inspiration, encouragment, a laugh and yes, the Scriptures.

Yes, we are religious.

At least it keeps us off the streets....

A Word From Moshe and Avraham

Shalom Everyone;
Moshe (The Mouse) and Avraham (The Bear) here;
Yes, we know that it has been a while since many of you have heard from us. But we have been around, enjoying Abba (Mark) being home, seeing Imma's (Laini) smile again and of course, going to StarBucks.
The house is full of Hebrew as both Imma and Abba work hard not only learning Hebrew, but chanting portion of the Torah. It is so beautiful to hear.
Today, while Abba is at drill, Imma is updating the Love From Iraq journal. She is now adding our letters and it is fun reading them again. Though we are glad that Abba made it back home safely.
This week Imma and Abba plan to go shopping for holiday gifts for the troops who are still in Iraq. Abba says a gift from home, a card, really does make a difference, it brightens a soldier's day. So he wants to be the same blessing others were to him.
What they don't know....we're going along for the ride.
After all, when there a shopping trip....there is always a stop at Starbucks.

Dog Logic

Boka Tov: This just came in the morning e-mail and I love the thoughts behind them. Not all of the pictures came out, so I will have to share them with each entry. It would be nice introduction. So, Koda this one is for you:
Dog Logic
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. -Anonymous
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. -Ben Williams
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. -Josh Billings
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. -Andy Rooney Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. -Anonymous
Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. -Franklin P. Jones
If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise . -Unknown
My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money. -Joe Weinstein

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. -Robert A. Heinlein
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. -Mark Twain
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. -Phil Pastoret

A Very Good Idea

Boka Tov:

I am so glad to read the letters of those who have agreed to pray for Mr.Obama.

Again, I am not surprised that there was an upswing of the hatred simply because of the colour of one's skin. Yes, we have come a long way as a nation. But sadly we still have a long way to go.

But Marty put it best:

"Yes, I pray not only for the President Elect, but for an end to the insanity that leads to such threats to begin with."

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Please Pray For Mr, Obama


Yes, I did not vote for Mr.Obama. But I do not wish him or his family any harm. And I confess, I am not surprise to read this support. So I am asking all who read this entry to remember our new President in their prayers.

Threats Against Obama Unprecedented

WASHINGTON (Nov. 14) - Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before.
The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president's security is so sensitive.

Earlier this week, the Secret Service looked into the case of a sign posted on a tree in Vay, Idaho, with Obama's name and the offer of a "free public hanging." In North Carolina, civil rights officials complained of threatening racist graffiti targeting Obama found in a tunnel near the North Carolina State University campus.
And in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into "The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool," saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner," said the sign, since taken down.
In the security world, anything "new" can trigger hostility, said Joseph Funk, a former Secret Service agent-turned security consultant who oversaw a private protection detail for Obama before the Secret Service began guarding the candidate in early 2007.

Obama, of course, will be the country's first black president, and Funk said that new element, not just race itself, is probably responsible for a spike in anti-Obama postings and activity. "Anytime you're going to have something that's new, you're going to have increased chatter," he said.
The Secret Service also has cautioned the public not to assume that any threats against Obama are due to racism.
The service investigates threats in a wide range. There are "stated threats" and equally dangerous or lesser incidents considered of "unusual interest" — such as people motivated by obsessions or infatuations or lower-level gestures such as effigies of a candidate or an elected president. The service has said it does not have the luxury of discounting anything until agents have investigated the potential danger.
Racially tinged graffiti — not necessarily directed at Obama — also has emerged in numerous reports across the nation since Election Day, prompting at least one news conference by a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Georgia.
A law enforcement official who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly said that during the campaign there was a spike in anti-Obama rhetoric on the Internet — "a lot of ranting and raving with no capability, credibility or specificity to it."
There were two threatening cases with racial overtones:
— In Denver, a group of men with guns and bulletproof vests made racist threats against Obama and sparked fears of an assassination plot during the Democratic National Convention in August.
— Just before the election, two skinheads in Tennessee were charged with plotting to behead blacks across the country and assassinate Obama while wearing white top hats and tuxedos.
In both cases, authorities determined the men were not capable of carrying out their plots.
In Milwaukee, police officials found a poster of Obama with a bullet going toward his head — discovered on a table in a police station.
Chatter among white supremacists on the Internet has increased throughout the campaign and since Election Day.
One of the most popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day, according to an AP count. The site,, was temporarily off-line Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received after Election Day. On Saturday, one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed."
It is not surprising that a black president would galvanize the white supremacist movement, said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who studies the white supremacy movement.
"The overwhelming flavor of the white supremacist world is a mix of desperation, confusion and hoping that this will somehow turn into a good thing for them," Potok said. He said hate groups have been on the rise in the past seven years because of a common concern about immigration.
Associated Press writers Lara Jakes Jordan in Washington and Jerry Harkavy in Standish, Maine, contributed to this report.

Nasty Weekend :(

Sam didn't make as we had hoped. The weather has been rainy the past few days and the roads are awful. Sam's interview lasted longer than he had thought and he had to hit the road back home straight away (home is North Carolina)
It cleared up a bit for us to go to the evening service. Which is good, since we weren't going to the Shabbath service.
1.Because Mark has drill this weekend.
2.We are not in agreedment with what is happening this weekend.
Without going into a lot of detail, our worship service was turned upside down, finally thr time changed so that we can have a Day Conference.
Now, while I am not against a Teaching Conference, Shabbath is not the day to do it. There are six days in the week for work; Shabbath is a Day of rest.
But those of us (most of the congregation) who spoke out against it were overruled and so I enjoyed a nice, quiet, peaceful day at home.
With no drama.
Mark will be home soon, so I will finish this entry, heat up some veggie stew and while Mark takes his nap, checkup on the other journals we have going.
I really would like to finish Lovee From Iraq and We Made Our Own Huppah, some tiem this year.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tis The Season.

Beth wrote the following in her jounral todayInfection Connection .
I have say 'well done.'
Tis the season: flu season. And if you haven't recieved your shots, do so. I have a chronic lung disease, so my doctor makes sure I recieve my shots.
I also know how deadly the Flu can be.
When I was six months old, I had the flu and almost died from the disease.
In 2002, I lost a dear friend, a woman who was very much a mum to me, to the Flu. She was in her 70s.
So the Flu is nothing to play with.
So please, if you have not recieved the Flu shot, do so. The life you save may be your own.

Happy Birthday HRH Charles

The longing on the job training on record......
I wonder if that is Starbucks in his cup....
After The Princess of Wales death, I stopped following the Royals. Though I do like to pop in from time to time to see how Charles and boys are doing.

LONDON (Nov. 13)- Talk about an apprentice. By the time he turns 60 Friday, Prince Charles will have spent a lifetime in line to become king.
That's put him in quite a bind. The longest-waiting heir in British history only ascends to the throne when his beloved mother dies or decides to step down.
Queen Elizabeth II was hosting a birthday party for her son Thursday at Buckingham Palace. The Philharmonia Orchestra, of which the prince is patron, is due to play for invited members of the extended royal family and assorted society figures. Charles' wife Camilla was throwing a more private bash on Saturday at the prince's rural estate, complete with a performance by sexagenarian rocker Rod Stewart.
But the queen won't be giving Charles the present many believe he craves most — the crown. The queen has indicated informally that she plans to keep the job for life and some people think the 82-year-old monarch intends to live forever, or at least as long as her mother, who died at 101.
"It can't be easy," said historian Andrew Roberts. "Most of us can look forward to our new jobs, but the circumstances under which her reign comes to an end means that he can't, emotionally and psychologically."
If the queen remains in good health, Charles may be nearing 80 — or past it — when he fulfills the unique destiny that was his at birth.
Britain's next-longest monarch-in-waiting was Queen Victoria's eldest son, who became King Edward VII in 1901, aged just over 59 years and two months.
But shed no tears for old Charles and his predicament. He has made being Prince of Wales a pretty good thing.
Experts, associates and friends say he realized decades ago that he would make his mark as Prince of Wales rather than as an octogenarian king, and so decided to expand that undefined role and use it to pursue causes dear to his heart.
Roberts said Charles has transformed the traditionally weak role of Prince of Wales — which the historian compared to the vice-presidency of the United States — by using it as a bully pulpit.
"He's made a real job of it," Roberts said. "He's spoken out on what matters most to him, championing organic food over genetically modified crops, backing architecture that is human in scale, pursuing better relations between the Islamic world and other faiths, and starting the Prince's Trust, which has helped many young people in trouble."
The princely role offers a few advantages over being monarch. Some say the money is better, because the Prince of Wales controls the lucrative Duchy of Cornwall, the 55,000-hectare (136,000-acre) estate established in 1337 by King Edward II to provide income for his heir. Official accounts show the prince's property and investments brought in 16 million pounds (US$24 million) last year.
And a prince is much more able to speak his mind than a king or queen because of constitutional restraints placed on the person heading the House of Windsor.
Patrick Jephson, former private secretary to Princess Diana, said Charles' income from the Duchy of Cornwall allows him to spend a "colossal" amount of money building his empire and pursuing his interests and causes.
"In effect, he is king now in his own kingdom," said Jephson. "He has all the trappings and enjoys all the perks and one might argue none of the responsibility. This takes some of the sting out of having to wait. You can say it's awful because your promotion depends on your mother's death, but we've all had parents die and not benefited so spectacularly from it."
Jephson finds Charles arrogant in many ways. But he has some sympathy for the aging prince.
"He is trapped between an immovable object, his mother, and the ever rising profile of his photogenic and sexy children," Jephson said. "That's all the more reason to feather your nest while you can and enjoy being master of all you survey."
There is no doubt that Charles is less popular than the queen, who commands wide respect throughout Britain for her unswerving devotion to duty for more than half a century. She became queen on the death of her father George VI in 1952. Charles, the eldest of her four children, was not yet 4 years old.
Charles' many detractors see him as a slightly potty eccentric who talks to his plants and is so committed to environmental causes that he converted his vintage Aston Martin to run on surplus wine.
Some still fault him for the spectacular flameout of his marriage to Princess Diana and his not-too-carefully-concealed extramarital affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, now his second wife.
His image has been hurt by unauthorized leaks about his gilded lifestyle, including reports that one of his aides squeezes his toothpaste onto his toothbrush for him.
This negative view has led a boomlet of support for the idea that Charles should forgo the chance to become king at an elderly age and instead pass the crown to Prince William, his dashing eldest son.
But that idea will never fly, said Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at Oxford University who has written extensively about constitutional matters.
"That's not possible without legislation in Britain and 15 other Commonwealth monarchies," he said. "The monarchy is not seen as something you can choose to accept or not."
Bogdanor concedes that Charles' reputation was at a low point after his disastrous divorce from Diana, and polls show he remains less popular than the queen. The Daily Mirror newspaper summed up many Britons' feelings Thursday in an editorial. "Happy birthday, Charles," it said, "but long may the queen reign over us."
But Bogdanor said the public view of the prince has improved since then. Charles has lectured around the world on the environment, championed interfaith dialogue and channeled millions to good causes through his Prince's Trust charity, which helps young people get education, work and training.
"He's the first heir to the throne to find a role for himself," Bogdanor said.
"He's connected with outsiders the politicians sometimes ignore. I think now people appreciate what he's done. He could have sat back and done nothing."

Oxford Researchers List Top 10 Most Annoying Pharases

I confess; I use 'with all due respect,' often. I happen to like it Wild & Crazy

Oxford Researchers List Top 10 Most Annoying Pharases
By John Scott Lewinski
Not all University of Oxford researchers are uptight and humorless, "irregardless" of what you might think. In fact, a bunch of them compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions in the English language -- just because we needed one.
Though maybe "you could care less," the scholars in question keep track of linguistic mangling and overused buzzwords in a database called the Oxford University Corpus. The voluminous record keeps track of books, magazines, broadcast, online media and other sources, watching for new overused, tiresome phrases and retiring those that fade from use (or misuse).
The great hierarchy of verbal fatigue includes:

1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/710 -
It's not rocket science

This had me thinking about my.
For me, I don't care for slang. It was never permitted in my mum's house when we were growing up and frankly, I think it is a sign of lazy thinking.
And quite annoying to listen to.

Building Update

As I share a few weeks ago, the building where we worship is going through a major remodeling. Once a Christian grade school, it still had that feel up until a few weeks ago. For awhile, it had the feel of Noah's Ark.....

Last week, the dry wall was placed and now it is time to paint. So last night all classes were cancel due to the strong paint fuelds....
This is Chuck. It is his crew that is doing the remodeling of the Synagogue. Chuck is staining the doors and I love the colour.
The walls are being painted a warm cream colour. Once dry, the new rug will be laid. Mark and I will not be at Synagogue, so we shall see it next week.
The Ark, Housing the Torah is wrapped in plastic to protect it.
Chuck and his crew are doing an awesome job.
Mark and I looked about us, feeling like this is what G-d is doing in our lives.
And I can't wait to see what it looks like when He is finished.