my, how time FLYS!

I can’t believe today is the 22nd of December, and it’s almost 2015!

It seems like yesterday when we dropped off our freshman son off at college and my daughter left for her semester abroad to Australia (we got to visit her in November).

Remember when you were a kid. The school days passed by so slowly, and the summers ran by us full speed. Those days are just passing memories now.

First, I want to apologize for not being up to date on all your posts. It’s not for lack of interest! For some reason, my notification emails are not getting to me. I have looked, I still am following all of you, so not sure what is going on.  It really makes it easy when you have an email to click on! I just don’t get to my reader like I used to. I’m just too busy being busy.

I want to thank all my fellow bloggers for all the support over the years. I have (virtually) met so many kind, smart, interesting and helpful people in this blogging world.

Happy Holidays and a Healthy New YEAR!

CLICK ME

CLICK ME!!!!

If you’re interested to see this years pictures, click on the Holiday card!

happy PASSOVER

Tonight is the first night of Passover. When we celebrate the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Every year our family gathers together for a Seder. As a child I loved Passover. I was so fidgety having to responsively read the Haggadah. I wanted the Seder to be over so I could find the Afikomen. 5 kids running around looking for the wrapped up Matzah. The winner the lucky recipient of a crispy new $1.00 bill.  The night was always the same, people arrived about an hour before the Seder.  We started with appetizers in the Living room(so fancy), chopped chicken liver, potato latkes and gefilte fish.  Then we were herded into the Dining Room (I had to sit with my cousin on a bench, there never were enough chairs) for the traditional Seder.  It seemed like it lasted forever. After the Seder we finally got to eat.  I remember the food being delicious and abundant.  Chicken soup with matzah balls, brisket with carrots and potatoes, chicken fricassee and sweet potatoes with baked mini marshmallow on top. And, of course the obligatory Jello mold.  My mother always made an elaborate multi-layered mold of  jello, canned fruit and sour cream.  It took her hours to make, starting the previous day, so each layer would be able to set.

Fast forward to the present.  We still have our  traditional Seder, just with some different players.  I no longer have to sit on a bench, I’m the adult (kind of).  No jello mold and the finder of the Afikoman gets $20.00!  Maybe I will make a jello mold next year….then again, probably NOT!

Here is my contribution, a red velvet coconut macaroon cake. I found the recipe in The Forward.

Next year in Jerusalem!

i’m leaving on a jet PLANE

This time tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane to Israel. Last may I was at party, talking with a friend, who suggested I join her on a trip she was organizing for April 2013.

She invited me to come to an informal meeting at her home, to hear about the upcoming trip. So, my friend and I went to the meeting and agreed we would consider going.

This trip is a women’s philanthropy mission through an organization called Combined Jewish Philanthropies .

Here is their mission statement:

About CJP’s Women’s Philanthropy
Women’s Philanthropy provides an opportunity for all women to strengthen and shape their connection to the Jewish community and to each other. Together, we further CJP’s mission through educational, volunteer and philanthropic programming – developing and supporting programs that enhance the community and well-being of others.

This trip will take us to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and our sister city Haifa. We will travel for 8 days. There are 40 of us, all woman!  We will See, Learn and be exposed to situations we wouldn’t ordinarily do on a visit to Israel.

I’m looking forward to leaving tomorrow. My backpack is stuffed with 2 camera’s, 4 lenses, 20 cf cards 10 sd cards, a media reader, notebook, flash drive, external hard drive for extra space and tons of powers cords. And, of course, the all important power adapter/converter. My laptop will be the last thing to be added. Now I have to start packing the clothes!

I plan on posting daily. It may be pictures, a description of our day, or a piece written by me, or a fellow traveller. So…check in to find out what’s happening on our journey!

20130411-160809.jpg

not passover SQUIRREL

We are currently on the 6th day of Passover. There is a ritual observant Jews do before Passover starts.  They must clean their homes of all leavened foods.  The hebrew word for this is Chametz.

Looks like this guys found ours in the backyard.

3

This squirrel looks like the kids at the end of the Seder, is it time yet?

1Just imagine him holding a piece of Matzo….I found the Afikoman!

All the blue words are hyperlinks to Wikipedia which will explain the meaning of the Hebrew words much better than I can.

hanukkah fourth NIGHT

Tonight is it’s just me and the doggies.

I have chosen my childhood Menorah.  It reminded me of the year when my brother and I were fighting over who was going to get to light the candles. I’m not sure who won, but, I remember my hair caught on fire.  It was put out quickly and no harm was done.  Just a bunch of smelly smoke!

Anyone else have something like that happen?

menorah

third night HANUKKAH

This year is the first year that we are celebrating Hanukkah without our children.  With the help of technology we were able to light the candles together!

2 iPads $1600

2 iPhones $500.00

Celebrating Hanukkah together priceless!