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    Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 5:26 PM [General]

    It's been a while so I'll keep this somewhat brief. 

    I am truly starting to see the 'troubles' of this life as opportunities to learn and grow, and it truly does make you feel more blessed.  No matter what it is, I know my Creator can carry me - and it makes my day go even that much better, even when I'm tired and grouchy, my feet and back aching.  I've been given another day to serve others and I am grateful - just as I'm grateful to get away from others at the end of the day, too!

    There is a profound negativity invading my workplace, no doubt due to some of the financial problems.  I hear co-workers spewing their negative attitudes about everything from life and work to politics.  I use this as an opportunity to be a light in this proverbial darkness of lack of perspective - because that's all it is, when it comes down to brass tacks, isn't it? The thing that gets me is that every last one of them are the very same Christians who are always trying to convert me away from my Judaism.  That's a poor witness, people.  I thought that they were supposed to be practicing faith in G-d, but instead all I hear is whine groan moan. 

    Why would I want to convert to your beliefs when you always seem miserable?

    The world is what it is - perhaps that's the philosopher in my blood - and we are here to learn and to make the most of what we are presented.

    Sholom and Blessings to All.

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    Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 3:14 AM [General]

    It's good to be back; it's been a bit of an extended vacation for me, what with family funerals, estate sales, etc and so forth. Life moves forward, and so shall I. 

    I've been studying the book Everyday Holiness. I have usually been good about seeing the blessings in even simple things, but it brought to my attention that even our breath is a gift from our Creator and we should be grateful and thankful for everything. (though I have a hard time feeling grateful when I'm tired and the new computer system at work does not quite work right... but I have faith that it may work eventually...)

    I recently started getting in touch with sisters from my late father's first marriage - wonderful women who I never met before - and that's another blessing to consider. It unfortunately took a couple of relatives dying for some of us to start pulling together and coming to know each other. 

    That's about it for now. Blessings to one and all!






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    I Am Peaceful...So What's With My Friends?!

    Sunday, June 27, 2010, 1:52 PM [General]

    As the title states, I am peaceful and content. Things are going pretty good for me right now. I have a job, I have a roof over my head and clothes and shoes, I have food in the cupboards, I have a very cheerful little pet finch waking me up every morning with his 'The Sun Is Up' song... There are parts in my life where things are a challenge, but that happens to everybody.

    In the meantime I have two or more friends who would swear in front of a judge that G-d has abandoned them and has chosen to dump on them. A mutual friend of ours died and my friend D has taken it really badly - along with a very sick little cat friend who died of cancer, for which he's blaming G-d and everybody else, himself included. I sat up with him until almost 4am this morning trying to be supportive and I finally had to get stern and tell him to pull himself out of this slump or he'll end up destroying himself. He could not remember the last time he gave G-d a thank-you and some praise - he cannot see the good in his life that surrounds him.

    The same goes for my friend L, who gets more and more negative and depressed - and mean - every day her lawsuit goes on. She has a lot going for her, as does D; and yet both say time and time again that G-d has dumped on them, abandoned them, does not listen, why should they even bother believing...

    That scares me more than anything, to simply not believe in something. Hey, I've had my down times; we all have. It's part of the way things go sometimes, and we need to lean on G-d to help pull us out of our slump (hey, it works for the Cleveland Indians from time to time, right?).  I've lost pets, a parent, other family members and friends; I've been out of work and worried. I've needed shoes and clothes but could not afford them. And yet through it all there is a part of me that just cannot let go of my faith. It sustains me.

    I feed my faith by following the Cherokee practice of thanking and praising my Creator more often than I complain and beg. The praise and thanks lifts us up and the stuff making life unpleasant seems to diminish somehow. There is always something to be thankful for.  Complaining never helped me and neither did begging; I try to remember to ask G-d for things like an obedient child would ask a parent, and accept that G-d works in a different time than I do. It builds patience and I always feel the better for it, as my Creator knows what I need better than I do.

    My friends L and D both ask me why G-d listens to me and talks to me, why I'm so blessed - and I try to explain but it falls on deaf ears. It's all in the attitude you bring to the Throne.

    That's all for now...

    Sholom and Blessings to All!

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    Hark! The weekend is coming!

    Friday, June 18, 2010, 1:03 AM [General]

    The thought just occurred to me that this is the first weekend in which I have next to nothing planned.  A little garden work, taking a friend out to dinner for her 40th birthday, perhaps reading a good book and calling my mother...

    How did THAT happen?!

    It means that I have time to breathe, to think - to make a couple loaves of sourdough bread using a 150 year old starter and enjoy the feel of the flour and the dough as I knead it and shape it. I sometimes close my eyes when I do this.  I seldom eat any of it, I mostly make it for other people.  It's something that I enjoy doing, much like cataloging records for a local struggling small business or helping a friend tame blackberries. 

    There's something inside me that likes to be useful, to work with my mind and my hands.  The work itself is the payment for me.

    Have a blessed, prosperous weekend - and support your local record store and small business, they need you more than some big box store does!


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    A Poem/Brave New World

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 10:04 PM [General]

    Sholom! A song made me think and inspired me to write a poem yesterday. I named it Brave New World (thanks to Styx - rock on, brothers!)

    There is a line in the sands of time.

    I have crossed it,

    And it has disappeared behind me.

    I know not what is before me;

    I see an unfamiliar and curious horizon,

    Full of color and mystery.

    I step carefully at first,

    Unsure of the terrain,

    Not knowing what is beneath my feet -

    Then I begin to run.

    My endurance grows in bounds

    And the wind picks me up and carries me.

    Before me a new world is unfolding.

    I embrace it with open arms and wonder;

    I am a child again with the sun and moon above me.


    Blessings to all!



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    Helloooo, Out There...

    Thursday, June 10, 2010, 1:37 PM [General]

    It's a soft rock 1970's kind of day. If I could I'd be at home in my comfy clothes relaxing with a good book and a hot pot of tea and a fluffy biscuit with honey butter, but alas - we have to work sometime.  I'd put on some warm vinyl from my collection - perhaps some England Dan & John Ford Coley or Gordon Lightfoot (yes, the 'old' stuff) and spend some time just relaxing.

    That being said, I need to remember that I can 'just be' wherever I am.  That is all that is asked of me, to just BE HERE NOW, doing what I am supposed to be doing. That's a great thing, to just be, to stop judging yourself and just appreciate you as you are, isn't it?

    Blessings to All...

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    Monday, June 7, 2010, 12:29 AM [General]

    I think I'd like to do the 'other stuff' entry first.  I have of late been volunteering at a local used/new music store, my dream since the teenage years.  I get to sit there surrounded by vinyl, CD's and cassettes while I play music as loud as I want, drinking my iced tea while I get to gently handle and clean vinyl, lovingly admiring the cover art, before storing it in safe plastic covers and entering it into a computer. For some this would be boring, I imagine. But for me, it's restful - it's something I know I can do well and it helps somebody else out in the process - a small struggling business owner/friend, which makes it even better. I found myself in an almost zen-like tranquility; I had an opportunity to just be and do, a chance to admire the process and pay attention to each step and keystroke.  I didn't get bored at all, even after a 6 hour shift.  I even got there early to dust and clean up a bit, water plants, the little touches that bachelor store owners don't seem to think about. It was 'me-time', one of the things that I can do to help somebody else that in turn makes me feel good.

    Now, onto prayers and family.  In the midst of my bliss there has been a hubub of activity around a sick aunt and uncle in aging years and declining health, and all of your prayers (especially on my aunt's behalf) are greatly appreciated. It has made me realize as I lay back here in bed and type that at 40 I am entering the time of my life when the torch is being passed on. What will I pass on to my nieces and nephews?  It makes you think about all of those precious family stories (and knowing my auntie tall tales) that get passed down.  What will we pass down when it is our turn?  It makes you stop and think.  The torch is in your hands now, so what will you do with it?

    Peace be with you all.

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    Saturday, May 29, 2010, 1:51 PM [General]

    I'm staying at a little rental trailer somewhere on the north Oregon coast.  Those I care about the most - my mom and two dear friends - are here with me.  It's a foggy day but the sun is starting to burn through the clouds, and I'm getting ready to go to a really good book sale (to benefit a local library).

    Have a great weekend, everybody - and remember to honor the memory of those have served before us and are with us no more. (Hi, dad and gramps! Thank-you for your sacrifices!)

    Shabbat Sholom

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    Friday, May 28, 2010, 6:19 PM [General]

    I agree with a comment that I received (thank-you, by the way!) that asked if it had to be just one day, and as this Memorial Day weekend is upon us I couldn't help but agree.  How about a three day I FEEL GOOD weekend? Or a week?

    I know how I'd start mine.  I would start with a long and honest prayer of gratitude - thanking my Creator for everything and anything that comes to mind, no matter how small.

    Then I'd bake a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and have a piece of it almost right out of the oven, with a hot cup of tea (or coffee).  I'd take a hot bath with the nice foamy lavender bath salts, get into my comfy clothes and walking shoes, leave the watch at home, turn off the laptop and the cell phone, and spend some time outside.

    I'd make a point to send a note of appreciation - by 'snail mail', not e-mail - to the people in my life who make a difference.  There's something so much more honest about a handwritten note.

    Then I'd go to the Oregon coast and walk on the beach - that really makes me feel good!

    How would you spend your I FEEL GOOD day/weekend?

    Shabbat Sholom - and blessings to all!

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    Thursday, May 27, 2010, 4:58 PM [General]

    I'd love to create a new holiday - one not based on war or theology or some explorer or a civil rights leader - not that there is anything wrong with those special holidays.

    I'd like to declare "I FEEL GOOD" day, a day in which we simply celebrate the things and special people who lift us up and make us feel good.  It's a day of love, of friendship, of hot baths and comfort food, of favorite movies and outdoor activities - things that are simple (and legal, and safe) that make us feel good.

    What do you think?

    Blessings to All!

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