songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, October 21, 2017

So he deleted everything I said ....

Lesson of the day:  don’t try to help someone who refuses to listen.

Yes, I know I’m being a bit vague...

But when a lawyer gives you free legal advice, even if you don’t take it, the response should be “Thank you for your concern.”

It should NOT be “I deleted all her comments from my blog because I’m tired of the negativity.”

Lord help him if those chickens come home to roost.

I’m sure he will find a way to blame me.

Friday, October 20, 2017

#skywatchfriday Sea and Sky

Thursday, October 19, 2017

from mourning to rejoicing

So, as I mentioned, my father passed away two years ago this month.

In Jewish tradition, the anniversary of a loved one's death is called a yartzeit. As in, my father's yartzeit is in October. My father's yartzeit is the day after a joyous holiday, Simchat Torah. (Yes, it's calculated according to the Hebrew calendar, not the secular calendar.) Very easy to remember.

There are two traditions associated with observing the anniversary of a loved one's death.

The first takes place at home --  lighting a yartzeit lamp.  If you go to the kosher foods section of the supermarket, you will see votive candles, glass tumblers filled with about 3 ounces of wax, that are designed to burn for 24 hours.  Those are yartzeit lamps.  There is no special ritual, you simply light the canlde and medidate on your loved one's life.

The second tradition takes place in the synagogue, with the recitation of the Kaddish. Kaddish is one of the prayers that requires a minyan, a quorum of ten adults. I think part of the reason forthat requirement is so that the community can comfort the bereaved.

Kaddish is said at the funeral, then every day during the period of mourning (a year if the deceased is your parent, 30 days for all other relatives), and then once a year on the yartzeit of your loved one's death.

My father's yartzeit was on Saturday, but I wasn't able to go to synagogue that day.  I planned to go on Monday, weekday services are short and sweet.  But when it came time to leave for the synagogue, I couldn't find my keys.  They fell behind my dresser, and by the time I found them...well, I had to reschedule.

So I found myself in synagogue this morning. 

And there was a bat mitzvah.  Or rather, a b'not mitzvah.  Two girls.  I don't know if they were twins, or merely sisters close in age, but they were celebrating the occasion together.  (The children in our synagogue get to celebrate twice, first on a weekday morning, then a much bigger celebration on Saturday.)

And then an image popped into my head, of my father, the proud grandfather, dancing at Jen's bat mitzvah.  And dancing at Becca's bat mitzvah two years later. He reveled in being a grandfather, he loved my daughters so much.

Sweet, sweet memories.

Miss you, Dad.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I can't even...

My father has been on my mind lately.  Maybe it's because  he passed away two years ago this month.

I remember when we were planning the funeral, the funeral director asked if we wanted military honors.  And we said yes, of course we did.

At age 18, my father did what every able-bodied man of his generation did: he entered military service, donned the uniform of his country, and proudly served.  It wasn't his choice to join the Army, he did so at the behest of the draft board, but he served willingly, and with honor.

And 70 years later, the United States Army sent an honor guard to his funeral.  Two soldiers, in full dress uniform, who took the flag that draped my father's coffin and carefully folded it, then presented that flag to my mother, along with the condolences of the President of the United States and a grateful nation.

Proud tears rolled down my cheeks.

My heart goes out to the young widow, whose husband died in the service of our country, who was reduced to tears by the hurtful words of the current occupant of the White House.  Your job, sir, is to comfort the families of those who willingly give their lives to protect us, not to cause them additional pain.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jones Beach after all

I didn’t get down to the beach for the breast cancer walk.  But I did manage a visit on my own.

Saw three friends:

A bit of autumn color:

And the changing dunes:

Interesting incursion of the sea, this “creek” runs parallel to the shoreline:

Pigeons on the lawn.

Whoops, I startled them!

That was close:

And away they flew.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pink out ... not

I was supposed to go to the breast cancer walk at Jones Beach yesterday.  

I woke up in pain.  I hate sciatica.  I could barely move.

I feel terrible.

I expected to post photos showing a sea of pink today.  


I went back to the Halloween house, this time in the afternoon.

I found out the house is owned by ...get this ... a taxidermist.  He’s got a shingle out, and it’s not part of the holiday decor.  

But the decor is ... interesting.

The green thing on the roof ....

And the yard:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

weighty issue's time to talk about a weighty issue.  Specifically, my weight.  From March 2015 until October 2016, I lost a significant amount of weight, 75 pounds. I felt a lot better, I was a lot more active.   And then, even though I had a lot more weight to lose, my weight loss efforts stalled.  I guess I got a bit sloppy about monitoring what I ate.  First it was vacation, then the holidays, then my birthday... I figured that as long as I was maintaining my weight, I was OK.

And then I hurt my knee....

And in the last few weeks, I've started to gain a bit of weight, and I am not happy.  And the holidays are approaching.

Well, I can't use my knee as an excuse anymore. 

I started physical therapy this week.  It involves a lot of stretching my legs.  But the therapist also had me doing exercises -- squats, heel lifts, toe lifts.  And then he had me use an exercise machine.  A seated elliptical. 

I had been afraid to use any sort of elliptical because I thought it would hurt my knee.   

My fears were unfounded.  I actually enjoyed using the machine.  It's much better than using the recumbent bikes in the fitness center at the JCC. 

And then I realized where I'd seen a seated elliptical before.

The building where my office is located has a small gym,  employees have access to a small gym in the basement.  I use that gym when I'm too lazy to drive all the way to the JCC.  The gym has a few treadmills, two standard elliptical machines, and a seated elliptical. 

No excuses.  I've got this.

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