Happy 18th Birthday Barney!

Today is 4 years since Barney came to stay with us as a foster at 14 years old.

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I don’t think I have smelled anything that bad in my whole life.

I brought him home.

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I told him he would never have to worry about anything again ever.

Thanks to Dr White and his wonderful staff at Port Salerno Animal Hospital.

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Poll: Florida Legislators reading list. Yes there will be a quiz.

Poll: Florida Legislators reading list. Yes there will be a quiz.

Thanks to everyone that gave me such good suggestions. I have to create a poll so I’m just doing environmental books. So please vote so we can have the top five books and we’ll take it from there.

books

 

Happy Rosh HaShanah! L’Shana Tova! Doing services in my Moose jammies.

Tonight is the beginning of  Rosh Hashanah and I’m sitting and watching the sun go down. I am, again, in my little house on the hill by the lagoon with Barney my dog and MeMe my cat. Trying to go anywhere is impossible. I’m not upset about it. It is what it is. I was on call all weekend. I sat in my house and waited for the phone to ring. I do as much as I can in the house. I guess I could do more. Like clean instead of writing. Like purging things instead of editing video. The most important thing is to not do anything that will jinx the quiet. For two days once a month I’m a hermit. Which is fine.

What I miss is the past and that’s not like me. I am so firming standing in the present which is the other reason I’m sitting here by myself. I totally forgot about Rosh HaShanah.I thought it was next week.

Where I live if I meet someone Jewish I usually say “Oh your the other one!”

The fictional character Black CIndy is a better Jew than I in this respect.

I forgot to take tomorrow off from work. Way back when I always worked a few hours on Rosh Hashanah seeing patients who were home bound and could not get out. It always upset my mother. I would explain to her that back in the day when people  lived in little villages the family would automatically go visit the old and infirm just like we did on Rosh Hashanah when we walked the streets of Beachmont visiting older relatives.

L’Shana Tova

So as i’m writing this and I click on the Facebook Page of Temple B’Nai Israel  and this is there just waiting for me and I am in a puddle of tears. What a gift!

templewindow

Julius is my grandfather and Max was his brother. When I was young and we went to temple we sat in our row with my grandfather’s name looking down at us and I always felt him there. Grampa Jack.

I have not been to temple in years. I found this online. The Central Synagogue and its streaming live. I can do Rosh  Hanshana in my moose jammies. They even have a prayer book that you can download.

http://www.centralsynagogue.org/worship/live_streaming

Then I found this. Live Streaming and a chat room.

http://www.ourjewishcommunity.org/videostreaming/streaming/

So what is Rosh HaShanah?

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה‎, literally “head of the year”) is the Jewish New Year. The Biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (Hebrew: יוֹם תְּרוּעָה‎, literally “day [of] shouting/raising a noise”) or the Feast of Trumpets. It is the first of the High Holy Days or יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. Tishrei is the first month of the Jewish civil year, but the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year.

The earliest origins of the Hebrew New Year are connected to the beginning of the economic year in the agricultural societies of the ancient Near East. The New Year was the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest, the latter marked by its own set of major agricultural festivals. The Semites in general set the beginning of the new year in autumn, while other ancient civilizations such as the Persians or Greeks chose spring for that purpose, in both cases the primary reason being agricultural – the time of sowing the seed and of bringing in the harvest.

The day is said to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of humanity’s role in God‘s world. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.

The Hebrew common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is שָׁנָה טוֹבָה “Shanah Tovah“, which, in Hebrew, means “[have a] good year” or similar greetings.

The Food

As we heard from our friend Tova (Black Cindy) the food is an important part of the Holiday. Being together and eating together was so important and I have a years of wonderful memories of meals in my Nana’s House and then my parents place in Boca Raton.

“The blessings have the incipitYehi ratzon“, meaning “May it be Thy will.” In many cases, the name of the food in Hebrew or Aramaic represents a play on words (a pun). The Yehi Ratzon platter may include apples (dipped in honey, baked or cooked as a compote called mansanada); dates; pomegranates; black-eyed peas; pumpkin-filled pastries called rodanchas; leek fritters called keftedes de prasa; beets; and a whole fish with the head intact. It is also common to eat stuffed vegetables called legumbres yaprakes.”

I have to say I’ve never had a black eye pea in my whole life. My mom loved the apples with honey. I have no memories of fish heads. My mom did make  a mean tzimmes. My favorite was brisket with potatoe kugal on top. YUM.

“The use of apples and honey, symbolizing a sweet year, is a late medieval Ashkenazi addition, though it is now almost universally accepted. Typically, round challah bread is served, to symbolize the cycle of the year.[25] Gefilte fish and Lekach are commonly served by Ashkenazic Jews on this holiday. On the second night, new fruits are served to warrant inclusion of the shehecheyanu blessing.”

http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/Rosh-Hashanah-Food-Customs.htm

So we had the apples and the honey, gefilte fish, chopped liver, mazol ball soup, tzimmees, brisket, potaoe kugal, sometimes chicken. My mom would have a story about everything. Honestly, I think she made half the stuff up and for desert she would make some wickedly awful thing with jello with things inside that would totally gross me out. It’s like brownies with nuts. Leave my jello alone. That was probably for the new fruit. As much as it grossed me out I would do anything if she was here to make this for me.

She also made cakes. I’m sure she made a honey cake. Here is a recipe. I’m not sure if it was her’s or one of my aunts.

recipe

The other part that I loved was the music. Our cantor growing up had the most amazing voice. It was like being in the presence of angels.

I bet you never heard anything like this.

I watched the second streaming and there was a nice Rabbi talking about how are always busy and we don’t stop to reflect. So I turned it off and now I’m enjoying the silence, the thoughts, the memories.

L’Shana Tova to my friends and relatives! Rosh Hashanah is for everyone.

Golden Retriever Riley: The Real (Iconic) Hero of 9/11(From the Land of Pure Gold)

From the land of Pure Gold – our friend Rochelle Lesser! I’m so happy your a wordpress blogger. I’m reblogging this post.

Land of PureGold Foundation

This one photo has never left my mind, heart, or soul as the images
from such a tragic day tend to be indelibly marked.

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The post below originally appeared on May 28, 2007, sad news from Riley’s dad, Chris Selfridge, prompting many heavy hearts. Although I never got to meet Riley, I loved him as did so many other folks who had been glued to their television sets after the attack on the twin towers.

On 2/26/10, Riley passed away. He was our family pet, my friend and partner. Riley was 13 in November. He lived a good life and taught me many lessons during his time with me. He will be greatly missed. I love you Bub!

Dog book author, Susan McCullough, has included Riley in her upcoming book on Golden Retrievers and learned more about his final days.

While Riley had aced a physical this…

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Florida Legislators: Here’s your reading list!

#writing101

Florida Legislators: Here’s your reading list!

This past year has been very telling. Not only did these people ignore us but they ignored their job and couldn’t seem to get it done.

My assignment for writing 101 is to make a list. I’ve been wanting to make THIS list so its win-win.

We need to know our legislators actually understand the issues and problems with Florida. We cannot take for granted that they know anything.

I’d also like to hear from you guys about what you think and we can keep a running list.

I knew what books I wanted but decided to go to the wisest people I know. My circle of friends.

circle of friends

This was from my friend Marjorie.

Marjorie Shropshire : Oh, I have a whole long list LOL… But I think I’d start with Craig Pittman’s book on wetlands mitigation, and then move on to Ecosystems of Florida” so they could gain some kernel of understanding about how things in this state work; This Changes Everything, for some insight into what might be done about climate change; The Social Conquest of Earth, The Diversity of Life, and The Creation, all by E.O. Wilson for an overview of how humans fit into the world and can’t survive without natural systems; The Swamp, which we all know is the best explanation of the mess we’ve made of water management in Florida’s southern half; Priceless Florida, so they can see what we are losing; and finally, An Everglades Providence, a biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, to teach them what it means to do something bold, instead of sitting on their assess and eating out of the hands of their keepers.

I love Marjorie. She’s is very quiet. But when she speaks she is mighty!

I think we all agree on the Swamp and Craig and Matt’s book “Paving Paradise.”

So here I go

  1. Paving Paridise

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  1. The Swamp

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the end.

No only kidding.

I’m going to list them out by name because everyone had good choices.

3. Ecosystems of Florida

4. This Changes Everything

5. The Social Conquest of Earth E.O. Wilson

6. The Diversity of Life E.O. Wilson

7. The Creation E.O. Wilson

8. Priceless Florida

9. An Everglades Providence

My friend Richard suggested

10. “The value of life” by the 4 Americans left in Iran

Cris suggested

11.  The Lorax

Mike G suggested

12. Haricari 101 for dummies  (Which I don’t even think is a book but just a suggestion.)

Shelia suggested

13. Term Limits by Vince Flynn.

Lisa Suggested

14. My Florida” by Ernie Lyons

Rick suggested

15. Any book on civics

Linda suggested

16. Reading the constitution. Followed by a written test. (She also suggested The Swamp. )

Victoria suggested

17. The Everglades: River of Grass” Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

18. “Mother of Florida Forestry”

Robin suggested

19. Oranges and Inlets by Nathaniel Osborn. ( Will be out in book form soon)

Phyllis suggested

20. The Shack. By Robert Young

21. Golfing with God

So here’s my list.

Any other suggestions leave below!

Forever Young : In our minds forever

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forever Young.”

At usual not the blog I was going to write but the one that happened. I WAS going to write about what I did when I was getting divorced to stay sane. I went to look for a video I made and then I remembered last weekend I suppose to send my sister the link to my brother Marks Bar Mitzvah compilation that I had made so my nieces could see it. They just went to A Bat Mitsvah in Boulder of a friend and  the teacher was the Adventure Rabbi.

You should check them out it looks like a lot of fun.

I’m Sober, Now What?

Guest Blog: Thank you Darcy Flierl!

I’m Sober, Now What?

by Darcy Flierl

Don’t ask me what to do when you become sober. I’ve yet to successfully give up anything. Rather, I’m a “replacer”.   I gave up nicotine last year, I replaced it with walking and eventually I replaced it with food. Now, I’m struggling with what to replace my poor eating habits with and it’s looking like I’m replacing it with research on how to eat better. I don’t know if I’m actually eating better, but I sure can tell you a lot about it.

An old friend suggested I write about how a recently sober person can manage the first year of sobriety, how to manage the discomfort and emotion that comes up when one gives up their drug of choice. First, let’s review the difference between use, abuse and addiction. We also need to clarify that drug use, abuse or addiction is all about dopamine and that our drug of choice can be prescriptions, weed, alcohol, heroin, sugar, coffee, sex, porn, exercise, even a person or relationship!

“ In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine systems are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of several other important hormones.” (Desai, Vishal. “Role of Copper in Human Neurological disorders”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved 15 Aug 2015.) Basically, whatever your drug of choice is, you are searching to increase your dopamine levels. The danger of some drugs is that when consumed, you are increasing your dopamine levels to unnatural states that are impossible to duplicate without the drug.

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So, what makes an addiction anyway? Last night I had 2 drinks. I used alcohol. Five years ago, during my divorce, I was consuming a bottle of red wine a night, I was likely abusing alcohol to avoid uncomfortable feelings.   When you “use” your “drug”, you get some personal enjoyment, a nice dose of dopamine, but no one gets hurt because all returns to normal and you are back to living your life and your brain is accepting of that. Abuse is shakier ground. Likely you are seeking out that dopamine to avoid feelings, thoughts or responsibilities. When you abuse a substance, you may be doing it unconsciously, but it truly is a choice, on some level. When we “abuse” our “drug”, we begin to suffer some negative consequences. This IS the crossroads. This is the moment one does or does not cross the threshold into addiction. I’ve never crossed the threshold of addiction with alcohol or anything else I may have dabbled in throughout my life, with the exception of nicotine. Nicotine, taught me ALL about addiction. Nicotine is almost worse than other drugs because although no longer considered “sexy” and even with the grim reaper effect, one doesn’t suffer social consequences like jail, so it makes it much easier to continue the addiction.

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