Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scent of the Season (more Dec. views, too!)

Latkes frying on the stove. 

Sephardic orange cake, rich with orange and apple and cinnamon and anise seed.

Chanukah candles burning low.

And lower still.

And clementines to wash down chocolate gelt won in rousing games of dreidel. Look! You've won! The dreidel landed on gimel.

Long after the visions of glimmering lights and sounds of resplendent carols have faded, the Scents of the Season will be with me. Sputtering wicks and the savory aroma of frying onions and potatoes will whisk me back to this light and love-filled season.

Thank you, Michelle, for the opportunity to share. I haven't had a chance to journal all of this, but the memory is here waiting. Now please go to the latest GPP Street Team Crusade. More Scents of the Season await. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008


"The times when each one of us becomes aware that we are awake and alive, that we are no longer dreaming but that this is real Life — we are in these moments experiencing the Other Consciousness, the Power we call God. This Consciousness is unblinking and constant, welcoming, familiar, full of acceptance and hope. 

"It was in moments of awareness of this Consciousness that Abraham heard God’s voice, that Moses encountered a tree lit by a Fire that did not consume, where Buddha Gotama stood his ground until the Truth revealed Itself, and where Jesus Christ walked with the Father as His One True Living Metaphor. Christians celebrate the conception and birth of this Consciousness at Christmas, and it’s victory over darkness and death on Easter Sunday morning. All religions, in fact, celebrate this on their high holy days.

"And one day we will all wake up and realize that the sorrows and sufferings of this world are over and the fearful dragon that threatened to devour us in endless trauma has evaporated like a nightmare does in the sound and light of a new day. We will then find each other and all hold hands and laugh and sing."

-- Charles F. Tekula Jr.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Man in the Suit: Dec. views

Tonight is the night!

My dears, I know you will be waiting for Santa tonight.

Don't worry a bit about the rain making our snow soft and mushy. He will come.

I have made Snickerdoodles for you to leave out for Santa. A Christmas present from your Jewish auntie. You will remember to include a glass of milk and carrots for the reindeer, won't you?

The reindeer get hungry flying all over the world. You can check here to see Santa's progress. Say, is that Rudolph?

Look! I see Santa's footprints.

Yes, I think he's near. You know that Frosty returns with him each year.

There he is! It looks like he's checking his list and trying to figure out where to go next.

He's coming! Quick! Off to bed!

Merry Christmas to all my Santas, big and small, who have gifted me in so many wonderful ways all year. May your Christmas be merry and bright.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Light the Lights: Dec. view

A bit of the white stuff fell softly this weekend as we ushered in the Winter Solstice and Chanukah.

On Sunday we lit the first candle of Chanukah and will light an additional candle each night. Eight glorious nights of illumination as the days begin to grow.

Eight days but nine candles. The ninth is the shamas, the helper that kindles the others and allows them to shine. A lovely metaphor, don't you think?

If I have been your shamas this year in some small way, I thank you for the privilege. And to all of you in Bloglandia who have been my shamas, and there have been many of you, my heartfelt thanks. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More to Sea: Dec. views

The morning I drove to the seawall to take my beach photos.

I couldn't resist photographing the surroundings. This is Skateland, once a mecca for teeny boppers.

A relic of a different time.

Blind to the beauty outside its door. 

Wild surf being held in check.

But just barely.

I decided to treat myself to breakfast with a view, hoping the formidable armor on the exterior wasn't a barrier against a hot breakfast.

The classic Mom-and-Pop diner, named for Mary and Nick and still run by their family.

The interior is like a movie set dressed by childhood memories. The waitresses make conversation. The perfect place for a sun-drenched, seaside breakfast.

"Oh, look," said my waitress placing my pate on the table. "Your toast looks like a heart. Maybe it means you're about to find love." 

Monday, December 15, 2008

From Sea to Shining Sea: Dec. view 2

If you drew a diagonal line across the USA, from New England to Southern California, you would see how far it is from the Commuter's Journal station to the Land of Lost Luggage

And yet, we both have beaches on our doorsteps. Well, a 15-minute ride from our doorsteps, but for those of you in land-locked areas, that's pretty darn close, no?

I love my wild, New England beaches. So Byron-esque with their thrashing waves, sense of danger and cold, blue gaze.

Inhabited by the ghosts of summers past and those crazy seagulls, still hoping for a stray french fry or errant blue crab.

A bit confused why neither shows up in the middle of the street.

And oblivious to the seawall, as it resolutely holds back the churning water.

Well, maybe not all that oblivious. I look forward to summer, when the seawall is transformed into a balance beam for small, sandy feet.

One icy New England beach full of  treasure. In nature, in art and in transcontinental friendships made possible by the Internet and Web logs and in the amazing happenstance that we can watch the surf roll in on the same day on opposite sides of the same country. 

Thank you, Julie, for agreeing to share our beaches. Please go to the Land of Lost Luggage and see what a California  beach looks like in December. Imagine, you can fly from Connecticut to California in less than a minute. Even Santa would be jealous.

Edit: Show us your beach! Click on the link to Julie in Luggage Land and send her your link to the photos of your own beach. Let's keep the cross-country tour going!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soaring: December view 1

The Congregational Church, soaring into the New England winter.

Fully assembled, labeled, then disassembled and shipped to Connecticut by train almost 100 years ago.

A piece of art in the center of our town.

Watching over its small, Victorian brick neighbors.

A grand and elegant lady, now taken for granted by the residents hurrying by.

No matter. Her day of glory draws near.

To see more views of December, visit DJ Kreutzer HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Even More Squirrely

They've been nibbling on these. Here is the evidence.

And not a pumpkin made it through the fall intact. Not even these beauties.

The result? Obese squirrels. I hear from friends across the country they've never seen their squirrels this big. Could they have been frightened by the recent economic news?

Or should we expect one of THOSE winters? No matter. The pantry is stocked and my Man Child is getting thermal socks for Chanukah. 

The squirrels have spoken.