Five Question Friday: November 2, 2012

Good afternoon! First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the folks who were affected by Sandy. She was a fearsome storm that was felt even here in Cleveland, OH. For those who have lost loved ones, homes, prized possessions, please accept my condolences. If there is a bright spot to be found amidst the devastation, it is in how neighborhoods have rallied to help their residents, often stranger helping stranger. Support the American Red Cross because they are the ones who know what to do and how to help when natural disasters strike.

Following are the questions for this week. Have a go at it if you like.


1. What terrifies you the most?

The thing that terrifies me the most is the possibility of losing someone I love and being helpless to do anything about it.

2. Favorite fall/winter drink?

I am an avid coffee drinker. I have started my day every morning for decades with a cup of coffee. Sometimes I like to put a cinnamon stick in it to add just a hint of spice to the flavor. I drink it year around so I don’t really know if you could call it a fall/winter drink. In fall and winter I will occasionally have a cup of hot apple cider which is also very tasty!

3. Do you and your spouse have the same political views?

Yes, our views are similar. We both have a strong sense of social justice and concern. It pains me to see the vitriol in this country that is directed toward the young, the old, the minority, the unemployed, the sick, the ‘other’ whoever the other is, etc. I just don’t get it. Social conscience is not socialism, it is caring for those who fall on hard times, or who are sick or in need. I blogged about this a while back, Homeless in D.C. My husband and I are both concerned about the radicals who dominate the headlines anymore. When we stop caring about our neighbors, or lending a helping hand to those in need, we are headed for a fall.

4. What was the last book you read? Was it any good?

I’m not sure you want to know. Everything I read anymore is very academic. The last book I read was about Existential Therapy. It was excellent, I loved it and I learned a lot. But is it a book I would recommend? Only for others in the counseling profession. I can’t remember the last “fun” book I read. Hmmm…. not good.

5. Do you look forward to the snow each winter? Why or why not?

Not really. I grew up where the weather was sultry hot. I miss it. I hasten to add though, that when I lived in New Hampshire I loved the snow. Cross country skiing was a favorite activity. People there knew how to play in the cold and that makes a difference. Where we live now, we don’t play so much. And the cold temperatures seem to bother me more now than they use to. So, give me the hot lazy days of summer any time. 😉

That’s it for another week.


Five Question Friday: October 26, 2012

I’ve been so busy I forgot it was time for Five Question Friday! The fall colors are just past their peak, so I’ve been out shooting lots of photographs before the color is gone and winter sets in. I hope you have enjoyed the Autumn weather and colors as much as I have. For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, I can’t wait to see some of your spring pictures. 🙂

Here are the questions. Enjoy!

1. Who wakes up in the morning with the kids, you or hubby?

Many years ago when my children were still living at home, I was the one to rouse the household for the day ahead. I used to resent it at times. I wanted to stay in bed along with everyone else. Besides, I didn’t like being grumbled at when tussling one’s hair or nudging a shoulder and “cheerfully” encouraging each one to get out of bed, greet a new day, and get ready for school or work! But now I would give anything to wake them up again each morning and see those sleepy-eyed babes. Some blessings are not realised until they are gone. Sigh. Now they are the ones waking their families each morning and life continues on.

2. Do you watch the World Series even if your team isn’t in it?

No. We don’t usually watch sports on TV. Besides, we are hikers and prefer the sport of camping and exploring nature in nearby parks and arboretums. I do hunt . . . but only for shooting photographs.

3. What is the best compliment you have received?

I’ll have to think about this one. I respond to those compliments that value me as a person, or my abilities and capabilities the most, as opposed to compliments on how I look or what I own. One recognizes the person within, the other only sees appearances and/or possessions. There is nothing wrong with complimenting someone on a pretty dress, or how nice they look. But the best compliments, the ones that mean the most, are those that show appreciation for the person. Hmmm….I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time I pay someone a compliment!

4. Do/did you dress up to take your kids trick or treating?

Ahhh… another “no” answer I’m afraid. Even when my kids were wee tykes and all living under our roof, I did not dress up with them. It was hard enough work making/creating/whatever costumes we could gather for them. I will look for old photos to post here. Some are real gems!

5. Do you have a favorite bible verse? What is it and why?

The following has to be my favorite. Read and you will see why.

“I charge you: Be strong and resolute; do not be terrified or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1.9

There are many portions that mean a lot to me, but this is the one I go to when the “going gets rough.”

I look forward to reading some of your responses. AND, may this be a fun and glorious weekend for you. See you next week. 😉

Five Question Friday: October 19, 2012

Well this has been a week! I officially joined the “60” crowd yesterday so there has been some celebrating about that. Tuesday we slipped away to spend a few hours at the lovely Holden Arboretum. Leaves are in full color and the weather was perfect. Otherwise, we went about our business as usual!

Now on to the questions. I chose to answer all the questions this week even though a couple caused me to pause and scratch my head. But then I thought that maybe these questions were doorways to deeper thoughts, and sure enough, there is at least one rant here! …so let’s get on with it!  Enjoy! 🙂

1.  Where do you hide junk when people come over?

Everyone seems to have that kind of place in their home. We have a ‘back’ bedroom where we throw everything that we want to keep out of sight, or we are too lazy to put away at the moment. About once a week I go through and return things to their rightful places and we start the process over again. This routine however, is becoming monotonous. On the one hand it is nice to have such a place in one’s home so that we can keep the rest of the house looking more tidy. On the other hand, we bought a small bungalow because we wanted to pare down, live simply, get rid of our “junk.” Having a room like this, and one that repeatedly fills up with our “junk” , sort of defeats our purpose. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but it seems to me that here in the US anyway, we Americans have a propensity for accumulating JUNK! But then again, maybe it’s just a matter of organization. I’m not the most organized person in the world, and it is no secret that when there is an “outside” teaming with life and adventure and beauty, I’m out there enjoying and not in here cleaning!

2. Do political ads help you decide who you are going to vote for?

No. Fortunately we do not own a television. And I especially don’t want one during campaign season! Ads tell us nothing about candidates other than who has the most money to spend on sleek advertisements filled with innuendo, loud noise, twisted logic and downright lies! Every little gaffe is blown out of proportion and most of those gaffes have nothing to do with the substance of a person’s character or one’s philosophic leanings or abilities to lead a country. I have been a public speaker in my past, and misstatements happen, words get twisted, omissions are made. We have a laugh. We move on. Campaigns do not. Every candidate has stellar moments and good ideas. Every candidate makes mistakes and embrace some crazy notions. In the US, we as a people have no understanding–NONE–of what socialism, communism, or capitalism really means, or the nuances embraced in each philosophy, or how all philosophies have elements of social conscience in them, and all philosophies are corrupted by human greed. Political advertisements throw around terms (Nazi, Fascist, Hitler, etc.) with abandon without thinking of what those terms really mean. Outrageous. Political campaigns are little more than sporting events, each side trying to score the most points and win the game. Rah Rah Rah! Political ads tell us NOTHING about the candidate. Accurate information comes from checking voting records (that is found at, named for Thomas Jefferson, and which takes you to the Library of Congress), and speech transcripts, etc. But that takes a lot of work. When it comes to casting a ballot however, whether it for a local office or president of the US, it’s worth the work.

Forgive the rant. I could not help myself!

3. What’s your favorite holiday party to host?

Our holidays are primarily the Jewish religious holidays which involve a lot of work and preparation. I’ve written about those in earlier postings through the years that I’ve blogged. But one holiday that is important in our home is July 4, Independence Day in the US. My husband is a naturalized citizen of this country and this is one secular holiday that he likes to observe (unless it falls on a Sabbath.) He knows more about the history of this country than most citizens who were born here, history of the good, the bad, and the ugly! Having lived in so many countries in his life, he appreciates more than most, the liberties we not only take for granted, but are totally unaware we have. When July 4 rolls around we bring out the red, white, and blue, and we may have a cook out, or a cook in, but we always do a little something to observe the day.

4. You go to an island with your spouse and can only take one personal item. What is it?

A toothbrush. I’m a fanatic about good dental hygiene. I always always always brush my teeth. If we are out of toothpaste or baking soda, I will brush my teeth with a dry toothbrush. I don’t skip. In fact my husband has commented on how fanatic I am about dental care and maintenance.

5. If you found out your spouse was a Dexter style serial killer (only kills people to save others) would you rat?

Good question. But, yes, I probably would. I have never heard of a “Dexter style serial killer” but he sounds scary. Who made him god to judge and execute another? series of others?!?!?! He’s a SERIAL KILLER. . . . Sadly, I would rat him out if my husband were such a man. THANKFULLY I married a good person .

So that’s it for another week. Leave your responses, or share other questions that come to mind regarding these questions. I look forward to hearing from you. See you again next week. 🙂


Five Question Friday: October 12, 2012

I hope everyone had a great week! For me, this ends the first week of a new quarter in school. I have been busy but I still have time for  5QF! Some of the questions are a challenge for me once again but I will make an honest attempt to answer them. Join in the fun if you choose, and leave some of your answers here. Or, if you prefer, click on the badge to be whisked to the home of Five Question Friday to get the questions and add to your blog posts. What ever you choose to do, ENJOY!

1. Did you have any homecoming traditions?

There are many ‘homecomings’ that may have traditions associated with them. This time of year one may think of football homecoming games. Since I was never a big football fan, and since I seldom attended homecoming games, and since those homecomings were many many years ago for me, I don’t recall the traditions of those weekends.

Another homecoming, and one that has more meaning in my life, is the Thanksgiving Saturday family gathering we have every year. My family is spread out over the country and seldom do we all get together at one time. But on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, we have a big family pot-luck get-together out at a retreat sight in the country. It started years ago when our children were young . . . and so were we. My brother organizes it every year. The first year there were a dozen of us who gathered in his back yard for a cook out. I don’t think any of us intended at that time to make this an annual event but that is what happened. Over the years, as our family grew, our children married and then began having children of their own, we had to relocate to the retreat center. We feast, play games, take hikes, talk and laugh, sing songs and play instruments (usually the children who roll their eyes when parents push them into ‘performing’ for the family), and have fun. About 60 of us made it to the last gathering. Seldom do we have everyone there, but as many as can will plan our ‘homecoming’ around this family gathering tradition.

2. Do you ask your spouse before spending money?

I don’t think we ask each other before spending money, but we definitely discuss money and how we spend it. Fortunately neither of us are “shoppers” and we both tend to be frugal. Both of us like to invest, too. Once we buy a stock, or add to our IRA, we are extremely reluctant to withdraw it. We are not rich, not even upper-middle-class. But we are making ends meet and are content with what we have.

3. If you could be famous for something what would it be?

This is a tough question. I have no desire for the “hollywood” life. Nor am I interested in lots of material possessions. But if I were to be famous, I think I would like it to be for inspiring people to live more wholesome, authentic lives. I am of the opinion that most of the ills of the world can be attributed to misguided beliefs about what is truly authentic living. We search for it in material things that will decay and pass away, and fail to grasp the awesomeness and beauty of living simply, in the moment, embracing the natural and sustainable gifts that provide sustenance and meaning for our days. Actually, being famous doesn’t fit into my picture.

4. Have you ever seriously thought you were going crazy?

Yes. 😉 I won’t say any more on this one!

5. How do you eat your steak? Burger? (as in, well done, medium, still moo-ing…)

Kosher! (hahaha…. yes, I keep kosher. 🙂 )

Five Question Friday: October 5, 2012

I really tried to complete this post on Friday but as you can see, it did not happen.  This morning it occurred to me that the reason I struggled with this post is that the questions were not relevant in my life. For instance, question one refers to album/cd/downloads that I am embarrassed to admit I have. To be honest, I have very few of those things. I spend as much time out-of-doors as possible, and the time I do find myself listening/watching anything that is ‘wired’ has to do with blogging or coursework. So I’m ‘out of the loop on that question.

Another question that gave me problems was about purchasing Halloween candy. We don’t do Halloween in this household. I know it is a favorite American custom to hand out candy to little goblins and princesses who come knocking at one’s door on All Hallows Eve, but that is not our holiday nor is it our custom. I questioned what holiday we do observe that might be comparable, but the only thing I could think of was Purim, a fun holiday that takes place in early spring. In all honesty however, other than dressing in costumes, there is no similarity between Halloween and Purim.

The question about which chores I hate the most and why was too broad for me to answer. I do not like chores. Period. I do what must be done to keep the health department at bay, but life with all its challenges, adventures and mystique is too grand to fill with chores. Yes, I clean house but I’m never immaculate. Yes, I do yard work but I do that out of love and never consider it a chore. Yes, I have to buckle down and devote time to coursework (quite a bit of time, actually) but I ALWAYS make time to take walks in the woods, photograph frogs and squirrels and birds and such. Chores are so far down on my list of likes and dislikes that I find them hard to blog about.

Family closets? Please clarify. Coat closet, linen closet, storage closet ~ yes. Individual closets ~ yes. Family closet ~ ?.

And finally, about my spouse; one thing he does better than me? Only one???? We are so different this is another hard one to answer. He is a scientist, a nuclear physicist and engineer. I am definitely the artist/social conscience/social justice/etc. person in this relationship. We make an excellent couple. When it comes to numbers and matters of science, he runs circles around me. When it comes to empathic understanding and dealing with matters of human nature, I excel. We are both awed by the wonder , intricacy, majesty and magic of nature.

As you can see here, I struggled with this week’s questions but somehow managed to answer them in this explanation of why I did not answer in a timely manner. Following are the actual questions. What do you think? Feel free to respond with your own answers. Enjoy! 🙂

1. What album/cd/download are you embarrassed to admit you have?

2. What’s the one thing your spouse does better than you?

3. When do you start buying Halloween Candy?

4. Family closets – Yay or nay?

5. Which home/cleaning chore do you hate the most? Why?

Five Question Friday takes a Hiatus From This Blog: January 20, 2012


I’m finally doing it. After spending another night burning the midnight oil to meet another deadline I have decided that some things are going to have to be laid aside for a while. I could not bring myself to write a post on the five questions that were posed for today’s blog. I am beginning to streamline my activities so that I can expend my energies on  coursework and other pressing demands. So for the immediate future, I will not be posting Five Question Friday. If you are interested in picking up this feature for your blog, just click on the badge above and you will be whisked away through the blogosphere to the “mother site” to retrieve the questions, directions, and badge to add to your site. Good luck and enjoy!

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Five Question Friday: January 13, 2012


Welcome back to Five Question Friday. Don’t be spooked that this is Friday the 13th! It happens from time to time and I’m still here to talk about it. 😀 Hope you had a good week. Here are this week’s questions. Take a stab at it for yourselves and share your answers with the rest of us! 🙂

1. What’s the last thing you bought for yourself?

I don’t remember. It was probably a book. That is my weakness. I pick up a book of poetry and then I can’t seem to put it back down; it must go home with me. Or I’ll see a book on photography that I simply must have. Novels? I tend to check those out at the library. Then there are textbooks, and then more textbooks. My courses are going well but there sure is a lot of reading! (It’s a good thing I love to read 😉 )

2. What is your favourite meal on a cold winter day? 

A hot bowl of homemade vegetable soup or chili. Nothing beats it on a cold winter day. Nothing.

3. Have you started looking at swimsuits for this year, and do you buy a new one every year?

swimming pool
Image by freefotouk via Flickr

I haven’t bought a swimsuit in over a dozen years! I used to be quite a swimmer–was a life guard at Davis Swimming Pool at Fort Knox, KY, during my young years. Here I was a 19-year-old girl working as a life guard at a pool filled with GI’s in the early ’70’s. Viet Nam still captured the headlines every night. I actually went in the pool to pull someone out a few times during my tenure in that position. Ahhhh. . . that was a long time ago. But today I don’t swim. And I don’t know why I quit going to the pool. There is certainly opportunity. Hmmmm . . .  maybe another NoCZ-2012 challenge to consider! 😉

4. If you could be any candy what would you be and why?

Peppermint candy because I love peppermint. 🙂

5. What are you most passionate about?

Cecelia Futch SkyDiving!

Oh wow! This is a hard question because I am passionate about a lot of things. I would have to say that I am passionate about life! When I think of my passions, all of them have to do with helping people, improving life for myself and others, loving my children, developing my spirit as well as the spirit of the world, and the list goes on. But the one thing that these passions have in common is they celebrate life and seek to improve the lives of myself and others. So, I am passionate about life and living authentic lives.

Well, I’m done for today. I hope that one of these questions will spark your interest and that you will join the discussion. Have a great weekend and a wonderful week. See you next Friday!

Five Question Friday: January 6, 2012

Hello friends! I hope your Friday is getting off to a good start. Here we are at the first 5QF of the new year! Enjoy reading, and then if you like, answer the questions in the comment area of this post. Or better yet, click on the badge which will take you to the site where I pick up the questions, copy and post to your blog and start a discussion there. If there is a question you don’t particularly like, strike it out and make up your own. (I’ve done that a few times as many of you know.) So let’s get started! 🙂

1. What is the weather like where you are and do you like it?

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Love the photo ops, not so crazy about the cold!

2. When you’re sick what do you seek comfort from?

In my case, the question is ‘who’ do I seek comfort from? My husband! He is the best ‘nurse’ in the world!!! (Sorry Mom, but it’s true. What can I say?)  Richard’s mother was a nurse and she passed on her nursing expertise to her son. I am the beneficiary! Thank you Mrs. Rogow. 🙂 Richard hovers over me, making sure I have enough blankets, brings me advil or tylenol for fevers and aches, makes sure there is plenty of water by my bedside, checks on me regularly to make sure I have everything needed to stay as comfortable as possible. No matter how hard I try, I have been unable to match his skills when he is sick.

3. What do you need to do before the end of the month?

Oh my. I will let you know after I open up my course syllabuses later today. My “to do” list will be centered around course work for the next ten weeks. (Week 9 will have the added anticipation of my youngest daughter’s due date for her first child! Yes, I’m heading to Chicago for that regardless of end-of-the-quarter deadlines!)

4. Have you ever served on a jury?

A summons for jury duty in a United States dis...

As a matter of fact, yes I have. I’ve been called for jury duty three times, and a fourth time I requested out due to religious holidays. Personally I consider jury duty a civic responsibility  willingly serve when called. The only exception thus far was due to a religious holiday observance (I think it was Passover; can’t remember for sure.)

5. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

This is an easy one. Since I was a little girl I thought it would be great fun to be an otter.

Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) mother with nursing...

Why? Because of all the animals I saw that day years ago at the zoo, the otters seemed to be the ones who were having the most fun. If you google otters, you will see that they make everything they do into a game or play activity. And they love the water, as do I! In my youth I was a life guard in several different places, and it just makes sense that if I come back as an animal, it has to be a animal that loves to play in the water! What fun!

**Jury Duty Summons and Sea Otters are Wikipedia Images.

Five Question Friday: December 30, 2011

Wow! We have reached another Friday! Hope you had a wonderful week. Life was slow and peaceful for us as we celebrated the last few days of Chanukah. Thanks to all of you who followed my Chanukah posts at this site. I had fun refreshing my memory and then writing about the various aspects of this special holiday.

Now, back to a somewhat regular routine, and on with Five Question Friday!

1. What’s the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?

Well, that is a hard one. I am not a clothes horse and I wear clothes forever before discarding them, so all my clothing is old! Oldest? Hmmm . . . I would guess that a Guatemalan skirt I bought at a boutique in State College, PA at least 20 years ago is the oldest, or at least among the oldest garment I own. I still wear it. It still looks good! And I even get compliments on it from time to time.

2. How many random blog readers have you met?

Other than my family and friends, I have not met any “random” blog readers yet. I hope to some day. (Psst . . . Y’all come visit, ya heeah!)

3. Do you let your kids stay up till midnight on New Years Eve? (Or, if you don’t have kiddos yet, did you get to stay up until midnight as a child?)

When the kids were little I would put them to bed at their normal time, but then a few minutes before midnight we would wake them up to wish them a Happy New Year. I do not recall what we did when I was a child, however I do recall New Year’s Eve as being a great baby-sitting night! My favorite family (the Froelichs) would have me babysit, but they and their guests for the evening would return to their house around 11:30pm so that I could join them in ringing in the new year! AND, they were sober so I didn’t mind them giving me a ride home afterwards.

The worst nightmare I had was babysitting for a couple who didn’t return home till four in the morning, stoned, and they told me, a fifteen-year-old girl, to walk home . . . alone . . . which I did. Terrifying experience! My parents were none too happy either, and I was never allowed to babysit there again!

4. What are the gas prices where you live?

Too high! The prices range from $3.50 to $3.85 right now. We’ll see how high the prices are in the morning!

5. What is one resolution that you know you should do but are too afraid to try?

Oy . . . I’m not into resolutions because I always feel like a failure when I fail. On the other hand, I’m a sucker for a challenge. Challenges are easier for me to follow through with, and if I don’t meet the challenge, for whatever reason I don’t feel like a failure, rather I feel successful for having at least tried. And with a challenge, I usually learn something about myself (i.e. NaNoWriMo, I learned that I am not a writer, an avid blogger, yes, writer, no!) In my next post you can read about the 2012 Challenges I chose to take on!

On the other hand, one resolution I always work on is to be a better person, kinder, more accepting of differing opinions, more respectful of the ones I love.

There you have it! Next Friday we will be in a new year, a year I pray will be mentally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically prosperous for each of us. Blessings to you all.

Five Question Friday (Sort of): December 23, 2011


Not surprisingly, no questions were listed for today. Therefore I’m doing things a little different than usual. Instead of answering five questions, I thought it would be nice for each one to share five holiday traditions that you celebrate in your home. You can elaborate if you choose, or not. You decide. Since I’m writing each day about our observances during Chanukah, I will just list five of our customs and let you read more detailed descriptions in the holiday posts that have already begun to appear here.

My best wishes to all of you during these days and holiday observances, however you choose to celebrate . . . or not! Have a great weekend and I hope to see you back here next Friday. 🙂

Five of our Chanukah traditions ~

1. Lighting the Menorah each night for eight nights.

2. Eating latkes and applesauce (explanation coming soon)

3. Reading an inspirational Chanukah story after lighting the chanukiah each night.

4. Playing dreidle (explanation coming soon).

5. Learning Torah lessons for Chanukah.


Happy holidays everyone!