Five Question Friday: December 8, 2011

Today I have no time. :-(  I submitted a final paper this morning at 1:00am. I have another final paper to write and submit by Sunday midnight, and Shabbos/Sabbath begins tonight at 4:30ish. I have a lot to do between now and then, but I didn’t want to completely ignore 5QF. Soooo, here are the questions. Maybe I’ll have a chance to come back early next week and answer them properly. ;-) At any rate, have a go at it and I will see you all later. (This time next week I will be a free woman! The fall quarter will be over. Maybe the winter quarter that begins in January will be easier, kinder, gentler than this one has been. Who knows, but one can always hope! :-D )

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here next Friday. ~

1. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

2. What’s your favorite holiday movie & why?

3. Is there a gift that you bought for your kids that you wish you hadn’t after they opened it?

4. What is the messiest room in your house right at this moment?

5. What is the furthest you have driven for the holidays?

Five Question Friday: December 2, 2011

What do you know? It is DECEMBER already! This is a huge holiday season in this country and around the world (but believe it or not, NOT in EVERY part of the world). Before Thanksgiving day draws to a close, many people are busily sifting through boxes of decorations and adorning their homes ~ inside and out ~ with festive decking. What a beautiful time of the year. We imagine snow (although most of the USA won’t see measurable snow until January, if then) and “dream of a white Christmas.” Carols fill the air where ever we go, and I do mean whereEVER! Trees are cut and bundled to occupy every vacant lot as they await the moment they are chosen to decorate someone’s home or office. Don’t you just love the smell of evergreens? What a wonderful fragrance! Ahhh . . . tis the season. :-)

One problem, though. I don’t do Christmas. We don’t do the x-mas shopping thing. The music that fills the air is not “ours.” And covering one’s home in blinking lights is a bit strange, but it is pretty most of the time. I really don’t like the gaudy stuff, but that is a matter of taste and everyone’s definition of “gaudy” is unique to them. Soooo . . . what about this Christmas “season” stuff. There is a big effort afoot (has been for years now) to make this a politically correct “Happy Holiday” season. Folks are astir that President Obama lit the “holiday tree” this year rather than the “Christmas tree.” Imagine that. Many are suggesting that he is eliminating religion from the holiday. Really? I didn’t know that the religious aspects of this holiday were dependent on having “Christmas” trees. Hmmm…. Learn something new every day. But that is to be expected. Christmas is not my holiday.

(Picture a decorated tree in this spot. I don’t have a photo, so use your imagination!)

(I take the above statement back. Found one!)

Having said all of that, I for one, am not offended about the ubiquitous “Christmas” holiday cheer and well wishes. Nor am I offended with the “Happy Holiday” greetings and trees. Personally, I enjoy watching the hustle and bustle, driving around to see the many colorful and cheerful lights, and watching the “happy” part of these holidays. After all, my holiday is coming up, too. Chanukah is a holiday commemorating miracles and light. (I will be writing about that more as the days draw near.) But I happen to live in a country that is predominantly Christian (or claims to be), so seeing what y’all do to celebrate your holidays is rather fun. It does not detract from my observance of Chanukah. Come to Jewish enclaves in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Toronto, and yes, even Cleveland, and you will see menorahs in a window or doorway of every home. It is truly beautiful. I hope you have opportunity at some point in your life to observe a Chanukah-kind-of-neighborhood. Or, visit Jerusalem during Chanukah. I hear it is magical. Someday I will be there and see for myself. This year we will light a simple, inexpensive chanukiah (menorah) that can be picked up in our nearby Kosher market because our beautiful menorahs are still packed in some box in a storage unit miles from where we live. But that is ok. The lights will still be beautiful, and it is the miracle of the lights that we celebrate, not the menorah itself.

So why this discourse about Christmas and Chanukah? Because the closer we get to Christmas and Chanukah, the questions for Five Question Friday will include more and more questions about Christmas. It makes sense since the vast majority of readers celebrate Christmas. For me however, that means I will share more and more about Chanukah. I will leave the Christmas questions in the post for those of you who read this blog and respond with your answers. It is fun to compare our answers, and it gives me the opportunity to learn about you, too. With all of this in mind, consider this part of the blog as my answer to questions one and two below. I look forward to seeing how you answer the questions.

As to question number five, it is another one of those that I will slash to insert one of my own. You will see why.

Now, on to the questions! Enjoy.

1. What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?

See above!

2. Do you finish your Christmas shopping early or are you a last minute type?

See above!

3. When do you turn on your heat?

When it gets cold. (Hahahaha . . . I couldn’t resist that one!)

I am one that does not particularly care for “artificial” heat or cold. I will wait until it is almost frigid cold outside before I turn on the heat. We need our furnaces running in very cold weather in order to live, but I prefer to stick with the natural order of things for as long as possible. The same goes in the spring of the year; I open windows and turn on fans to avoid using the air conditioner  . . . until we are sweltering. And even then, we set our thermostat at 80 degrees farenheit, and continue to use the fans. My husband is not quite as drastic as all of that, and we definitely have to negotiate the issue, but in general, that’s the way it runs in our home. :-)

4. Do you ever wish your blog was private?

No. I am one who believes that nothing we post on the internet, either private or public, is truly private. So, I watch what I post. If I wish to write about something so private I don’t want anyone to see, or only certain people at most, then I use the old-fashioned method of putting pen to paper. Actually, that method is oftentimes quite cathartic, and I still keep a leather-bound journal where I record my private thoughts. I don’t write in it nearly as often since I began blogging, but I continue to keep it close at hand should I need to hand write my musings.

5. Do you put your deodorant on before of after you put on your shirt

I don’t understand the reason for this question. I don’t want to offend anyone, but the banality of these types of questions give me pause at times, and it is in those times that I consider dropping 5QF. But, as in the past, I will substitute a question of my own choosing. So here goes:

C’s choice: 5. What is the first thing you do every morning when you get up?

My mornings are “ritualized” (is that a word? ’tis now!). Before my feet even touch the floor, I say the “Mode Ani . . . ” This is a statement of gratitude for having survived the night and awakened to a new day and new possibilities. Then I stumble to the bathroom half-asleep to wash my hands and wake up a bit more to say another “thank you” for the spirit within me and wisdom for living, and for this body of mine which is wonderfully made and houses my spirit while I walk this earth. (Isn’t it sad how much time we spend hating our bodies, yet we must live in our skins for a lifetime! That’s like hating our home. This “house”, our body, carries us everywhere! Without it we could do NOTHING! Better to be thankful for it. :-) ) That is followed by the morning prayers, a formalized prayer time when we “daven,” or pray for every thing on earth. It is quite beautiful. Then I put the coffee on to brew, have a little breakfast, and finally spend time in quiet just observing the morning around me and outside my living room or dining room window. This is a time I move into the spontaneous prayers and “chat” with G-d. THEN, I’m off to the races (so to speak!)  But this is how my day begins every day. This is why I really don’t like to be bothered by anyone for any reason during my first waking hour. This quiet time of gratitude and prayer sets the mood for my day. :-)

So, there you have it; another five question Friday. I hope your day and your weekend is magnificent and filled with gratitude for life! Seeya next week!!! :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

I like to be creative when I participate in the photo challenges, however sometimes it is best to just be straightforward. I had a wonderful visit with my family over the Thanksgiving holidays. Unfortunately, with all of the pictures we shot, not one included the whole family. NOT ONE! What were we thinking? We were so busy talking, hugging, laughing and simply enjoying being in each other’s presence that we failed to shoot more formal shots that included everyone. I did however, get one shot of the three kids and myself which I will post here. Of course, the kids are all adults now, but still “kids” to me. Others assure me that they will forward photos my way, so if I have an inkling, I may add photos to this post at a later date . . . maybe. But here is a photo of my three children and myself. There were many many more family members around, but this represents my most immediate family. (We didn’t even get a photo of Richard and me!!! What were we thinking!?! Missed the photo of each of the children’s families as well. Oy vey . . . )

Time for the Holidays!

No photography today. I’m too busy. Wow, never thought I’d say that about photography, but this evening Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, begins at sundown. I am busy cleaning, cooking and preparing for this and the other holidays to follow. We will feast on apples and honey and honey cakes for the next three weeks as we wish each other a sweet and prosperous new year. I will go missing for a few days each week as we celebrate and observe the holy days, and I will get behind in visiting your blogs. It can’t be helped. I will be back in a few days and I’m sure there will be lots to tell. Until then, L’Shana Tovah!