Monday, 24 September 2012

Pictures of Autumn

These are pictures I took last friday during my morning walk.
One of the quiet streets in our neighourhood.
A fig tree about a block away from our home.

Monti enjoying the fig tree.
Guess who?


New Beginnings

This morning, I awoke with a sense of new beginnings.
After all, it is a new year, a clean slate, a fresh start.
And I can only pray it is the same for Mark and I.
Well, it is.
Last Friday, Mark finished the last of his week long tests and came home with a huge smile on his face.

I am now married to a Jewish Carpenter.
Today, Mark begins four days of internship at a local millitary housing community. If housing manager likes Mark's work, then he will be hired. So we are praying that this is the job. If not, then somewhere else.
This friday, I shall go and see my beloved graducte from the Building School. I am so happy for him. We could pay off our bills with that million dollar smile.
So while Mark is off at work, Monti and I are falling into our own routine.
I have pulled two hoodies to wear along with my sneakers, placing them where Monti's lead's hangs. This way when it is time for the morning outing, I am ready to go.
One of our neighours has placed us onto his internet account until we get ours back, so I can once again blog.
I also begun my Fall cleaning. Placing Monti for a long walk in the morning, means I can clear in peace because Monti will be asleep on the love seat and not getting under foot.
Last friday, I took my cameria with me as Monti and I walked, getting some wonderful pictures of our little guy.
Monti was hanging around this tree when I placed him into the hallow at the base. Knowing I was going to take his picture, he stood still so I could get this picture. So now, whenever we go for our walk, Monti stands next to this tree and waits for me to bring out the cameria.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Preparing For Yom Kipper; Teshuvah

Yom Kipper is the day of reconciliation, when Hebrews strive to make amend with their fellowman and to draw closer to closer to G-d.
The days leading up to Yom Kipper is known as the Days of Repentance. During this period we are encouraged to seek out anyone they may have offended and to sincerely seek forgiveness. If the first attempted is rejected, we are to try another two times. It just may be that person we hurt really needs to know was are sorry and this isn't just some religious duty.
The hebrew word for repentance is teshuvah. It means more than "to turn around." Teshuvah means to turn around from going your way and walk back to G-d and His ways. While walking in an unholy, sinful matter, we hurt others, cause offends. When we make teshuvah, when we respond to G-d's call to return, on our way back home, we stop to make peace, mend fences and even if need, repay those we have wronged. Because the the Day of Atonement is between G-d and man alone, we make a point of making very effort to reconcile with other before attending and participating in the Yom Kipper services.
Eight years ago, I remember a rather nasty fight I had with a good friend. It seems someone told lies about me and my friend believed them.
Once my friend learnt the truth, he asked my forgiveness.
I confess it was hard. I was not only very hurt, but could not believe my friend would believe such lies about me.
On the morning of Yom Kipper, I still struggled with forgiving. But I also knew the motive of the lie; to end out relationship. My friend was just as much a victim as I.
I remember just before going to the services and saying to Mark; "I forgive you. Please forgive my anger."
That Yom Kipper eight years ago, my beat friend and I reconciled.Our relationship was not only healed and restored, but the following year we attended the Yom Kipper service as man and wife.
Ah the beauty of forgiveness.


Friday, 21 September 2012

A Cup of Tea


It is the first day of autumn. I confess, for all of my love of summer, autumn is really my favourite time of year.
My thoughts often go back to Boston during this time, back to my school days. I remember the new clothes and shoes for school, new books, pencils and crayons. My penny loafers crumbing the leaves under my feet. The air, crisp as an mackintosh apple. Chicken soup for the after school snack.
Big, chunky sweaters and colourful socks that by the afternoon are covered with the dust of leaves.
Autumn is just as yummy here in Virginia. Though the leaves are already turning colours in New England, we still have a few more weeks before the full blaze of colours.
I find our little Monti also loves autumn. He actually smiles as he and I walk out the door. We do have some leaves on the ground and Monti not only loves to roll in the leaves, but actually jump into a pile. It is so cute.
So now I carry my camera with me for I can catch these moments.
But it is also a bitter-sweet time.
For my friend David also loved autumn. I think of him today. As much as I love my Starbucks, David and I often would share a cup of tea to bring in the autumn season.
It has been a little over a month since David's passing. I haven't been able to drink tea; ice or otherwise.
Tea reminds me of David.
But today, I shall, this afternoon set out the tea set and a pot of tea.
In hour of autumn.
For David.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Readings For the Days of Awe

One of the customs for the lead up to Yom Kipper is various readings, prayers from Psalms.
One that Sephardi Jews read daily, starting the first of Elud to Yom Kipper is Psalms 27.
Rich in Promise of the coming of Messiah, we hope onto the hope, the truth that HaShem is truly our Light in this darken world.

  HaShem is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? HaShem is the Strenght of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
  One thing have I desired of the L-rd, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the L-rd all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to seek Him in His temple.
  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in His  pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the L-rd.
  Hear, O L-rd, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
 When Thou saidst, "Seek ye My Face; my heart said unto thee, Thy Face, L-rd, will I seek.
  Hide not Thy Face far from me; put not Thy servant away in anger: Thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O G-d of my salvation.
  When my father and my mother forsake me, then the L-rdwill take me up.
  Teach me Thy way, O L-rd, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
  Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for  false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of theLord in the land of the living.
  Wait on the L-rd: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the L-rd.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ten Days of Awe

It is a cloudy day here in Virgina.
Yesterday while taking Monti out for his walk, it began to pour. I had said to Mark over coffee that morning Monti needed a bath.
During our brief walk, he got it.
Actually, we both did.
So this morning, when we go for our walk, we shall be wearing rain gear.
We began the New Year in a quiet fashion. Deciding to share the turning of a new page with my mother, I made a goodie basket of apples, honey, challah and cheese cake.
With Monti in toll, we headed out to Hope Haven.
The brief visit with my mum, singing the songs, enjoying dipping apples into honey for a happy and sweet New Year, along with cheese cake, lifted my depression for a few hours. Watching Monti eating bits of apple was the highlight of the evening.
We got home and had fish and chips for supper. The depression slowly returning.
I really do need to have my medication increased. But with Mark now looking for a next unit (he had to leave his old unit, there was no major slot) we lost our health insurance unit he joins another unit. So now I have to look into community health services. Not that I am complaining; at least I have this option and I would be quite foolish to pass it up.
Today, I start going through my autumn clothes, getting out the jeans, sweaters, sneakers and socks.
Socks. I have maybe three decent pairs of socks.
That's not good. More about my love affair with socks later.
The Ten Days of Awe.
The ten days begin with Rosh HaShannah and end with Yom Kipper are known as the Days of Awe. Also known as Yamism Noraim and the Days of Repentance, this is a time of serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kipper.
For Spehardic Jews, we actually begin in the last month of Elud. While not found in Torah, it is traditional to prepare for this Day with deep reflection, repentance and asking those we have wrong for forgivness. My uncle Oscar Blackman (of blessed memory) referred to Yom Kipper as "dress rehearal for the Final Judgement Day."
Amoung the customs of this time is to seek reconciliation with those we have wronged during the year. We are to "put down our offering and make peace with our brother (sister) and then offer our gift to G-d." Since Yom Kipper is between Isreal and her G-d, believe each of us and our Maker, we want to be at peace with our fellowman before coming to into the Presence of G-d.
Someone asked me where they could find the Ten Days of Awe. It isn't there. Or is it?
No, you will not find the Days of Awe in Torah, but the heart of the tradition is there. The thought that if I wrong you, before I go to our Creator, I need to make peace to you. After all, during the time of worship, the Holy One will bring to my mind the wrong between you and me.
"Go to your brother...sister....your boss...your wife...your husband...your child...your parnets..."
That is Torah.




Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Shalom, Ya :)

First Happy 5773 (Jewish New Year)
May you know a happy and sweet New Year.
Thanks to the Food Stamps we are still receiving, Mark and I were able to enjoy a wonderful load of rounded Challah, apples dipped in honey and of course cheese cake with my mother.
While he couldn't have honey, Monti did enjoy a few slices of apple.
A neighbour is allowing us use of his Internet, so I am able to catch up somewhat on what is going on in our lives.
So, what has been happening recently:
Mark has one more week to go in school, this week he takes his test, next week he begin a week internship with a military housing next us. If they like his work, he will be hired. There are several other company's interested in Mark as well.
Monti is great. He has not only regain all the weigh he lost during his illness, he has put on a few extra pounds. But it is good for him. He is as happy and active as ever. And yes, I have many Monti stories to share.
Though Mark is still going to school, there is still little to no money coming in. Yard Sales have helped little, we have sold many of our things and still find ourselves now three months behind in the rent. We have gone to and through every agency we can think of and find. All will help with one month's rent, but we have to pay the other two months first. With so many Veterans like Mark out of work and in need, resources stretch just for far.
We go to court October 9th for an eviction hearing. We are praying for a miracle.
I still believe in miracles.
Last month, we lost my friend and big brother David; he is with his Creator now. While I had been praying the Father would take David to Himself, David suffered so much and his death was expected, it still hit me hard and I am still reeling from the blow.
With all that is going on, I am facing The Dark Soul of the Night.
Depression sucks.
More later.
It is good to be back