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Showing posts from September, 2009

Stormtroopin' the Fair

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If you have never been to an official Star Wars costumers 'troop', then let me enlighten you. It's an absolute blast! Especially for those who like, love or are obsessed with anything and everything Star Wars.

This time it was the three Sundays of the Puyallup Fair, aka the Western Washington Fair. One of the top ten fairs in the country, it is a must-do if you live in Western Washington. Many, many families have this on their yearly event calendar, to be sure.

Now, in amongst the fair goers, families, fair workers, friends and foes, throw some Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, a few Imperial officers, a Jawa and a smattering of Jedi. Now, that's an interesting mix! I was amazed at the fact that most everyone comes to the fair, or anywhere else for that matter, equipped with cameras. Most with cell phone cameras but a good many with straight-up cameras ready to snap pics with the Dark Lord and his croanies. As a Jedi, I was curious to see who approached us for pics,…

"Are those sirens for you??"

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Yesterday was Yom Kippur, so all our congregation was at shul and getting ready to study the book of Jonah when we got the call...then heard the sirens. The boys, my Alex and Padawan's Jacob had gone for a bike ride; something they do regularly around our shul. Unfortunately, this time something went terribly wrong and they crashed.

Here's a summary of what happened...I sent this message to my friend Ann earlier and they are praying for swift recovery for Jacob. Alex is a tough guy, but didn't hit as hard as Jacob...
You have probably heard by now that the boys (my Alex and Lisa's Jacob) were biking down a curved hill by shul, lost control and careened into the guard rail, flipping over. Alex is OK, surprisingly after going airborne and doing a rather extreme face plant. Jacob landed harder and has a 1% compression spine fracture in the middle of his back (at the base of his ribs) that is going to take some time to heal.

It was rather traumatic, since it was at th…

Beautiful, Repentant Souls

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Our G-d and G-d of our Fathers
may our prayer come before You.

Do not ignore our supplications,
for we are not so bold
and obstinate
as to say before You, Adonai
Our G-d and G-d of our fathers,
that we are righteous
and have not sinned...


A Day on Rainier

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Two drivers, one navigator, six teens and one dog make their way around Mt. Rainier on a beautiful day - the first day of fall, actually. I have to say it was easier to get good pics of the dog than it was the teens!

Word Clouds

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I have just recently been introduced to interesting things called word clouds or word tags. Apparently originating for marketing or analysis of text or data, this Wordie* finds word clouds very, very interesting indeed!
1. word clouda grouping of words from a blog or site (usually tags) with the most-frequently-used words in the larger, bolder font. the visual effect of the grouping is that of a cloud.

Example: David was mad when he saw your blog's word cloud. It showed "David" in a small font, and "Bob" in a large, bold font. David knows you don't blog about him as often as you blog about Bob.
~Urban Dictionary
So, I went to the word cloud site, www.wordle.net, to check it out. Immediately I was thinking of a gazillion things I wanted to input and turn into clouds. But, my enthusiasm dampened substantially when I realized I couldn't save it to my computer. What?? The site gave some sort of lame solution of taking a screen shot, which I could not ge…

The Days of Awe

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I am not Orthodox, but might be considered as such by some within the Messianic community. It has been said that our shul is one of the most 'orthodox' communities in the country, but I don't know, to be honest. When I see other congregations or hear of their celebrations, it makes me believe that it is somewhat true, however.

We are truly blessed with our own resident Torah scholar, Mr. Tim Hegg. I cannot thank HaShem enough for bringing him into my life. (Wow, that was an understatement!) I have 'sat at his feet' and learned from him, in good Hebrew fashion, for about seven years now and I feel pretty well versed in the ways of Torah. We discuss everything, including the ways of the various sects and observances of Judaism, which leads me to the Days of Awe.

Sandwiched between the festivals of Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah) and Yom Kippur (Yom HaKippurim) are the ten Days of Awe. In this time period we are to be preparing ourselves for Yom Kippur with introspect…

The Jewish Buddha

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Pretty funny stuff from Barry Ritholtz...The Jewish Buddha says:If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life; with the first sip, joy; with the second sip, satisfaction; with the third sip, peace; with the fourth, a Danish.

Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health, or a life without problems. What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Oy.

There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.

The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and a…

The Day of Blowing Trumpets

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The festival of Rosh Hashanah starts this Friday evening at sunset. Rosh, meaning 'head' and Shanah meaning 'year', is the start of the Jewish calendar or the 'head of the year'. In Scripture, the festival is called Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets.


Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.’
Leviticus 23:23-25

On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate with sweet, round foods: sweet, to bring a "sweet taste" to the year to come, including good health and happiness; and round, to signify the circle of life and the renewal of the seasons. The traditional challah for Rosh Hashanah is round, in the shape of a crown, instead of braided into two loaves as usual.



The shofar, a well known symbol of Rosh Hashanah, is one of the earliest instruments used in Je…

Dare we hope?

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One of the many 'driving shots' on the Biggest Field Trip Ever, '08.
Notice the bug splats?

Planning has officially commenced on our next big road trip! The finances are always an issue, and we have been praying diligently that all the money details will fall into the right places to make another trip across the country possible. Since we all traveled so well together the last time, once again the Landersons (or is it the Hendrys?) will be seeing the country together; me and my three teens, Morgan, Alex & Taylor (the Hendersons), along with Lisa and her teen son, Jacob (the Landrys).

My justification is simple, really. I need to take the kids down to see their Grandmother (aka Meemaw) in southern Mississippi. She is in her mid-seventies and has really come to the realization that she is not much of a traveler anymore, which is so sad. She and I had such a wonderful time going to Israel together that first time - she is a wonderful travel companion. Since that trip i…

Cake Show 'n Tell

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Sometimes it amazes me what reading someone else's blog will inspire. This afternoon I was excited to see the recipe for Kaaren's Marshmellow Fondant on her Kaaren's Kakes blog. Not sure I'll decorate a cake with it, but I like the idea of having the recipe close at hand just in case the mood strikes. On Kaaren's blog sidebar, a pic from another blog she follows caught my eye, Cake Wrecks.

The blog featured pictures of absolutely stunning wedding cakes. As we, Lisa and I, were looking at those beautiful creations, I realized that I couldn't remember what my own wedding cake looked like, which prompted me to dig and find a picture of it. Well, that was a trip down memory lane I wasn't expecting!


I loved my wedding cake which was decorated with lovely cream-colored frosting to match my dress. I wanted tiers, but still a little unconventional. And, an added bonus, it tasted great, too! (Oh, and before you ask, I didn't make it myself.)


Thanks, Kaaren,…

We will miss you, Janet.

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Blooming Flowers has left us, leaving only memories.

For her it's not the end, but only a beginning.

We will miss you, Janet.

Would you?

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If I died today, would you remember me?

Would you truly know who I was, who I wanted to be, who I longed to be?

Would you know my loves and my heartaches...would you know my heart?

Would you remember times spent together laughing or crying?

Would you go to a memorial service for me? Would you recognize me from the things that people said there?

Would you miss the sound of my voice or smile when you remembered my laugh?

Would you remember how my eyes looked when I was sad?

Would you remember what I loved to do and what was dear to me?

Would you see me in my children?

Would you remember my faith and ponder it again?

Would you think of the time I freely gave to others?

Would you read my writings and think about them again?

Would you know how deeply I loved, how I longed for friendship?

Would you really know me?

Would you?

Or would you remember me as arrogant and a know-it-all?

Would you remember me as someone who always has to be right, never to admit a mistake?

That I wasn't perfect, as well as inf…

I will never forget.

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“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “
- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001


“Today, we gather to be reassured that God hears the lamenting and bitter weeping of Mother America because so many of her children are no more. Let us now seek that assurance in prayer for the healing of our grief stricken hearts, for the souls and sacred memory of those who have been lost. Let us also pray for divine wisdom as our leaders consider the necessary actions for national security, wisdom of the grace of God that as we act, we not become the evil we deplore.”
- Rev. Nathan Baxter, Dean of Washington National Cathedral


"All of a sudden there were people screaming. I saw people jumping out of the building. Their arms were flailing. I stopp…

A Tour of Mount Baker

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Yesterday Lisa, Netanya and I had an absolutely wonderful day exploring Mount Baker. We managed to snag eight (yeah, eight!) letterboxes, enjoyed hiking the trails, snappin' pics of the beautiful sights, and ooooh and aaahhh'd at the fabulous colors. The only thing we didn't get to see was Mount Baker...can you believe it? Unfortunately, sometimes those mountains like to be covered in clouds. At the highest point, we were graced with being covered in clouds, too - which made for some interesting hairstyles, that's for sure!

Here's what I saw - enjoy the tour!

September Rainbow

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"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow,
but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work."


"In order to have friendship you must look past the color to the soul,
because within the soul lies a rainbow of many colors."


May God give you...
For every storm a rainbow,
for every tear a smile,
for every care a promise
and a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
a faithful friend to share,
for every sigh a sweet song
and an answer for each prayer.

~An Irish Blessing

What do you know about Labor Day?

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Yesterday I briefly tuned in to the news to catch up a bit while I ate my dinner and was intrigued by the words of the talking head featured at that moment. He was saying that most Americans have little idea what Labor Day is about or it's beginnings. He didn't go into any details of the so-called holiday, so I decided to find out for myself, as I'm obviously one of the ones he was talking about. Labor Day wasn't really on the public school celebration list, except for a day off, and neither of my parents were in a union of any type by the time I could question the day.
The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed thr…

itteh bitteh...

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This makes a Jedi smile!

Vegetarian Gumbo Soup

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Feel like another recipe? It is tradition for food to be prepared prior to the start of Shabbat so everyone can have a day of rest, even the food-preparers. So, for dinner today I have prepared one of my favorite soups - perhaps you will like it, too.


It is a little on the spicy side, of course, being a Gumbo soup. Vegetarian, though, so it doesn't include any meat (un-kosher or otherwise!)

Vegetarian Gumbo Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
1 C chopped green pepper
1 tsp chili powder
3 C chopped (stewed) tomatoes
2 C veggie broth
1 C water
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp basil, dried
1/4 tsp thyme
2 tbsp white rice
1/4 tsp salt


Saute onion, celery, green pepper in olive oil until soft. Add chili powder, stir. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occassionally, for four minutes or so. Add broth, water, bay leaves, oregano, Tabasco, basil and thyme. Bring to a gentle boil then add the rice. Simmer 20 minutes or until rice is so…

My Challah Recipe

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Henderson Challah for the bread machine

Add your liquids first:

7/8 C lukewarm water
1/2 stick of melted butter
2 large eggs
1/4 C honey

then add the dry ingredients:

1 tsp salt
4 C Better for Bread flour
2 tsp yeast for bread machines

Set bread machine for dough cycle and let it run. After the cycle has completed, I let the dough rise until it reaches the top of the canister.

Remove dough and split into two lumps. Split each lump into three strands and braid (I do a simple braid, but you could do more fancy multi-strand braids, if you wish). Place braids on baking stone or pan and cover to let rise. I usually let it rise for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an egg wash (one beaten egg plus a splash of water) and brush over braids. Bake 35 minutes or until golden.

Shabbat Shalom!

The Curse of the Restless Spirit

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just a pic taken out of sheer boredom...

I have a restless spirit, it's true. I want to go, see, experience and live new and different things...gosh, all the time! I get bored easily and that's not really a good thing. I have a friend that claims that boredom is a sin, but I'm not sure that Scripture bears that out, to be honest. *smile* I'm hopin' not, anyway, because I would have been in sin the majority of my life!

It's not that I don't have a lot going on, of course; most everyone does. But, don't you just get tired of what you are doing, or supposed to do, and long for a change? OK, that was a rhetorical question...of course you do. I think of my dear husband who has to get up at the earliest of hours every morning to go to work at the same place, with the same people and the same routine every day. Day in, day out...arrg! I respect him for his perseverance, that's for sure. But, I wonder how everyone else does it seemingly without com…

Transitional Check-in

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Queenie-Gracie oversees the Bionicle construction

Thought I'd better check in, since I haven't posted in a couple of days. It's a strange time of year; that transition time between go-go-go summer and busy-busy-busy fall.

I don't really feel like we got much summer around here, but when I say that I hear, "but we had a heat wave a few weeks back!" Sure, we enjoyed (well, some of us anyway) a couple of weeks of hot, summer weather. It was glorious! But, mostly it would seem that we have had grey, albeit warmer, summer weather this year. I'm totally not ready to move into the grey, cooler weather of fall. (Someone suggested they liked the 'crispness' of fall...well, whatever. I'm glad someone enjoys feeling cold!) That's it, I'm buying one of those sun-lamps for people with S.A.D. and installing it in my craftroom!

The fall festivals are coming soon, and it's just about the deadline for me to order the etrogim & lulavim for …