Posted at 12:28 am , on September 20, 2018
“Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” she said upon waking, a childhood ritual taught to her by her English grandmother. Folklore stated that saying rabbit thrice on the morning of the first day of the month would bring good luck. She was no longer a child but figured it couldn’t hurt and she could use some good juju on the long drive ahead.
She was playing her harp at a wedding gig in Napa and decided to drive up the night before so she’d be rested before the mid-morning ceremony. The highway was clogged with weekend travelers and she was barely moving. The mechanical voice on her navigation app notified her of another route and she took the next exit to follow it.
Posted at 3:15 pm , on September 14, 2018
Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath. It begins every Friday at sundown and lasts until sundown on Saturday. It is the central observance in Judaism and although there are weekly services in the the synagogue, it is first and foremost a family celebration. In traditional homes, work concludes early so the house can be cleaned and a special dinner prepared. No work is performed on Shabbat; just as God rested after six days of creating heaven and earth, we take time off to rest and enjoy family.
Posted at 10:36 am , on September 13, 2018
After morning prayers and pages and a cuppa, I took the pup on a slow walk contemplating my New Year Intentions of daily practices of prayer and exercise. Praying is easy when you need something from God, but it takes a bit more work when all is good. That is the time to send prayers of thanksgiving. I like to think of it as “putting prayers in the bank.”
Posted at 8:56 pm , on September 12, 2018
On my way home I caught this amazing sunset over the marina. My instant reaction was “God is Good.” That has been a running verse in my mind the past few weeks as so many of my prayers have been answered.
I’ve been mulling over “Intentions” for the New Year. Setting “Intentions” is similar to setting resolutions but, in my mind, less intimidating. Perhaps it’s just semantics. I prefer the softer feel of “intending” rather than “resolving.” I’m trying to be kinder to myself lately; not cramming so much into a day, reserving time for “me” things like writing and walking and reading, and allowing myself to simply “Be” with my Beloved. So I’m going to be gentle and set “Intentions” for 5779.
Posted at 10:30 pm , on September 11, 2018
Rosh Hashanah is full of symbols and customs and like most of Judaism, there isn’t any “correct” way to observe the holiday. It is a happy holiday, a celebration of the New Year and God’s desire for the world to continue to exist. I’m a Reform Jew, so my observance is fairly liberal, as compared to the Orthodox and Conservative movements.
There are a few customs that are celebrated universally: listening to the blast of the shofar, reciting “avinu malkeinu” and attending services, lighting candles and enjoying a festive meal featuring apples and honey. Thanks to the internet and the world wide web I did all of these yesterday, with the exception of visiting a synagogue. While laying in the hammock I watched a video of the sounding of the shofars (ram’s horn) across Jerusalem and listened to a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Barbra Streisand’s “Avinu Malkeinu.”
Posted at 11:00 am , on September 11, 2018
Braised Lamb Shanks, Smashed Potatoes with Gravy, Roasted Garlic Heads, Herb Salad and Apple Challah Pudding with Rum Sauce
Oh my goodness … this was one delicious dinner! It does require a whole lot of chopping and measuring preparation and then a long time in the oven, but the results are melt-in-your mouth amazing. The lamb is extraordinarily mild and tender, pairing well with the crisp and tart salad. The nuttiness of the roasted garlic complemented the yukon gold potatoes perfectly. And the dessert … by far the best I have ever created! I love the texture of challah in bread pudding and the carmel sauce was indescribable … rich and thick and sweet and could be eaten on it’s own with a spoon.
Posted at 5:26 pm , on September 10, 2018
Today is Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish New Year. It began Sun., Sept. 9th, 2018, at sundown and ends on Tues., Sept. 11th at sundown. This is the first year since I converted in 1994 that I am not attending a service at a synagogue. Hubby and I took a mini-vacay during this time because the dates fit our schedules. We both really needed a get-away from everyday life so we traded the tranquility of the marina for the Anderson Valley vineyards.
Posted at 5:55 am , on September 6, 2018
It was a difficult pregnancy with morning sickness well into the third trimester, swollen ankles and constant back pain. The labor was hard and lasted almost 24 hours before the baby girl came screaming into the world. She didn’t take to the breast easily and fussed the entire stay in hospital.
“Don’t worry, it will change once you’re home and she settles in,” the nurses told Beth.
But that didn’t happen and Joy didn’t live up to her name. She refused to sleep longer than two hours straight and cried during most of her waking time. There were no sweet coos of contentedness, no smiles and no joy. As she approached her first month, Beth and her husband, Michael, were at wit’s end.
Posted at 12:05 am , on August 30, 2018
Mashed potatoes are comfort food in our family so I make a big batch and almost always have leftovers. This is a quick recipe for a savory breakfast dish which pairs nicely with fresh melon and sausage or bacon. Take the potatoes out of the fridge to bring to room temperature while you are having your morning cup of tea or coffee; this will make them easier to mix and cook evenly.
Posted at 9:22 am , on August 28, 2018
Walking down the dock
hours beyond Sun’s fiery exit
minutes afore Moon’s zenith
sepia tones of the not so distant past
caught in awkward stillness
for a heartbeat, a blink, a moment.
cement over water
masts and spreaders and rigging
night herons on swaying lines
focused on a midnight snack
shades of muted ivory, slate gray, jet black.
Under my weight she dips slightly
welcoming me home
murmur of water set into motion
waves leave our island, set to sea
touching distant shores … gold, orange, crimson
with a breath, a sigh, dreams.
August 27, 2018
Written at almost midnight after an evening at Bay Area Generations‘ 60th month anniversary reading. The poets rekindled my childhood love for poetry as I walked down the dock to Sonho and took in the still beauty of the night.