Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thankful Thursday - People Who Make Me Laugh

I'm so thankful for people with a good sense of humor.  My daughter and son-in-love are just such people.  On our recent trip to the Smoky Mountain, we bought them these sleep shorts.  His says, "Wanna Moose Around?"  Her shorts say, "Don't Moose With Me."  Amanda's face says it all.  It cracks me up every time I look at this picture.  I asked them if they'd mind me sharing it, and they said, "Sure!"  We also got their son a pair of house slippers with little moose on them, but I forgot to take a picture. (Sad Face...)

Amanda has made me laugh every since she was born with her antics.  Example: "Mama, can black-eye peas see me?"  


They were over for a visit last week, and Jona-FUN made us laugh . . . as always.  He comes up with some of the most profound statements.  They're more like lectures, really, that begin with, "Did you know . . ."  or  "Actually...".and usually involve something to do with science, technology, engineering, or math.  Here's an example:

Him:  "GiGi, did you know that the square root of (I can't remember the number) is . . . "  followed by a lecture about math.
Me:  "Wow . . ." (All of this is way over my head, so I just nod because I can't think of anything else to say.) 

Amanda said it's not a bit funny when he wakes her up at 5:30 AM to explain all of this because he's just so excited.  She's excited, too, but would appreciate it more if he told her after coffee..

His father, William, told us that morning epiphanies are common with Jona-FUN.  Recently, he was awakened at 6:00 AM with Jona-FUN's request to explain the fourth dimension.  William is fully competent to explain it, but told his son it was a bit too early and he had to have coffee first.

Having a good sense of humor is priceless when living with a brainiac.  G-d surely gave him the best parents in the world.  They're doing a great job of homeschooling him.

And this memory always makes me laugh:

Me: "Jona-FUN, what makes you happy?"
Him:  (After a long period of thought.) "Conveyor belts."
Me:  "Why is that?"
Him:  "Just the way they work, moving one object to another place, makes me happy."

He loves to play chess with his pawpaw (Rabbi Jem) and beats him on a regular basis.  Jem gave him this book (Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess) and button and I don't think he'd have been more excited if he'd gotten a new Nerf gun.

When they play,  Jem spends time teaching him about chess moves, and showing him how to beat his opponent.  Jona-FUN listens, and then quickly beats Jem with a whole different move. I always laugh about it.  Jem not so much, and that makes me laugh, too.

My sweet husband makes me laugh every day of my life.  I've never known anybody who sits around thinking up jokes.  That's what he does, along with silly songs and funny stories.  People at the synagogue ask me if he's always so hilarious and fun-loving.  I tell them, "This is his serious time!"

Both Rabbi Jem and William love Monty Python type humor.  In example, they play a game where they choose an object and then ad-lib funny stuff like pretending a banana is a telephone.  Then the next person has to make the banana something different.  When they get together, they are always cutting up, making jokes, and playing off  each other.  Jona-FUN is following in their footsteps with the same sense of humor because he always joins in the jocularity. 

What are you thankful for this week, Gail-Friends?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sabbath Music - Create In Me A Clean Heart

It is Shabbat - well, almost as I type this post.  I've been listening to harp music this week.  I love this artist's channel on YouTube, titled Peregrinnatti - Calming Harp.  He teaches how to play the harp, and also sells his music at his website.   This song is based on Psalm 51 

This psalm is a good one for Shabbat. It is a reminder of Yeshua's sacrifice for our sin, and of the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father when we repent.  Let's meditate on His forgiveness and praise Him with clean hearts on this day of rest.

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Psalm 51

For the music director: a psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he went to Bathsheba.
Be gracious to me, O God,
according to Your mercy.
According to Your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions
and my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You are just when You speak,
and blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was born in iniquity and in sin
when my mother conceived me.
Surely You desire truth in the inner being.
Make me know wisdom inwardly.
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
10 Let me hear joy and gladness,
so the bones You crushed may rejoice.
11 Hide Your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
12 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
13 Do not cast me from Your presence—
take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me.
14 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and sustain me with a willing spirit.
15 Then will I teach transgressors Your ways
and sinners will return to You.
16 Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God—
    God of my salvation.
Then my tongue will sing for joy of Your righteousness.
17 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
18 For You would not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it,
nor be pleased by burnt offerings.
19 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
A broken and a contrite heart, O God,
    You will not despise.
20 In Your favor do good to Zion.
Build up the walls of Jerusalem.
21 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

Shabbat Shalom and I pray you all have a blessed and wonder-full week ahead.

**graphic from A Little Perspective used by permission.


Thankful Thursday - Mountain Trip #3

After our visit to Flat Rock, NC, we headed out to visit the Cradle of Forestry.  It was a beautiful drive and we came upon a gorgeous waterfall.  This is another thing you don't see in Florida.  We stopped to explore.

It was quite a walk to get to the falls, but there were stairs.

Good exercise going down and then back up.  While there, I spotted this beauty.  Isn't our Creator amazing?

There is so much beauty all around if we'll just look for it.  While there, we overheard a woman say she was from Florida.  We talked with her and were surprised to find out she was from our town!  Small world!

We continued on our way through the beautiful forest, filled with glorious color, stopping to take pictures of mountains, streams, and scenic heights.

Then, we arrived at Chimney Rock.  You can see why it has that name.  It's at the top of that mountain in the photo below.

 We drove up and up and up and finally reached the parking lot.

I thought we would have quite a climb.  Jem was telling me how he hiked and climbed all the way to the top (years ago).  This is me when I thought about climbing all that way.

Ummmm.  I don't think so. . .

This is me when I found out they had a gift shop . . . AND AN ELEVATOR!!! YAY!!!

So, we went up to the top and saw the glory of that fabulous view.  Jem is standing here to show me that he climbed up the rocks behind him (years ago).  I was impressed.  Where we were standing was 2280 ft up.

Gail-Friends, it was cold up there, too.  This Florida girl only wears her heavy coat once or twice a year, but it got lots of wear on this trip.  I enjoyed the cool weather in the mountains, but really and truly, I prefer my winter a day at a time, interspersed with several hot days in between.

After Chimney Rock, we headed east to visit our dear friends, Eddy and Carlleen, in South Carolina.  She had prepared a delicious supper for us and even had a birthday party for me.

Carlleen is so creative, and made me this shadow box with the poem, "Touch of the Master's Hand."  I treasure it.  We had so much fun talking and catching up on the happenings in our lives.  She and I are real "sister friends" and our husbands enjoy each other, too.  We spent the night at their lovely home, and the next day riding around their town and then out to lunch.  I only wish we could have stayed longer.  We never run out of things to talk about - especially politics.

That evening, we spent the night in Charleston and rode around the old, downtown area the next morning.  We were in a time crunch and had to start heading back home.  Here are a few pics from my favorite Southern town.  All of the houses are unique.

So many of the homes have flower boxes - something I want to add to Golden Cottage this summer.

I love Charleston's horse-drawn carriages.

And dog friendliness.

And her gardens.

And porches and doors.

There's so much to love in Charleston.

We rode down to the bay and saw this.  Jem had to stop and talk to them, of course.  They display the flag and talk to passers-by about Southern history. Charleston's where the conflict started, you know. They had a great talk, and it was good to meet some proud ol' rebels.

We made one more stop on our way home - to see one of my loves and have a hug.  Don't I have a pretty daughter?  I'm so thank-full for our time together that day.  She's so beautiful - even without make-up.  I love my girl.

Well, that's my mountain vacation story, and I'm thank-full we were able to take it.  We had such a lovely time.  We were planning to go on up to Gettysburg, but snow was predicted.  So, that's on our agenda for our next trip.

I hope to show you some pics next week of our big renovation here at Golden Cottage.  It is finished and I'm so happy!!

What are you thankful for this week, Gail-Friends?


Friday, January 18, 2019

Sabbath Music - The Song of Moses and Miriam

This week's Parsha, B'shallach (After he had let go) is an exciting one to me, not only because it is a great reminder of the mighty power of Hashem, but also because it includes two songs.  The first is in Exodus 15:1 - 19 and is the song of Moses.  Here is a video with beautiful graphics of this passage, which I think is perfect for meditation on the Sabbath: The Song of Moses

Also in the Parsha is the song of Miriam (Exodus 15:20-21), which says Miriam took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing as Miriam sang to them.  Here is a song to use while you are praising Hashem with dancing this Sabbath:  Miriam's Song

Have wonder-full, worship-full, peace-full Sabbath, dear Gail-Friends. . . and I hope you dance!

** graphic by MiYAH Music used by permission

March for Life 2019

Today is the March for Life in Washington, DC.  You can watch LIVE at this link: MARCH FOR LIFE

I am so very, very thank-full for a pro-life president AND vice-president.  You can here their remarks today at this link:  Pence and Trump at the March for Life

President Trump said he will VETO any legislation that does not protect LIFE FOR THE UNBORN.

Oh, Haleluyah !!!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thankful Thursday - Fun in a Graveyard?

In my last post, I said I was thankful for a husband who makes everything fun - even in a graveyard.  So, today I'll elaborate on that.

After we left the Smoky Mountains, we visited the St. John in the Wilderness Church in Flat Rock, NC which is the oldest in the western part of the state.  This beautiful Episcopal church was built in 1836, and it surely was located in a wilderness at that time.  The reason for our visit was for Jem to do research related to a book he's writing about the Civil War.  He specifically wanted to get information about Lt. Col. Charles de Choiseul, who fought in the Seventh Louisiana Regiment of the Confederate Army.  We visited his grave and that of his wife.

Jem's main focus for the visit was to get information about a flag that was donated to the church by the French government in honor of DeChoiseul.  We visited the chapel and were delighted to find it on display in the foyer.

We visited the church office and found a very helpful staff person who looked up historical records for us.  We also bought a book there that had good information about the church and the area.

We went back to the cemetery and Jem did more research while I took photos.  I was fascinated by the old tombstones that had beautiful, sentimental messages about the deceased.  Here are a few examples.

I think it's sad that these kinds of messages are not used on graves today.  We should all aspire to be described and remembered in such glowing words.

Jem found some interesting headstones, too:

This grave is right next to the church and is of great historical significance.

He pointed out this headstone, which was made to look like a tree trunk.  There were several, and are for the Woodsmen of the World.

There was so much beauty in this place, I'm thankful we visited. . . and I did have fun.

Next week, I'll share some photos for the remainder of our trip. 

Have a good week, Gail-Friends, and I'd love to know what are you thankful for this week.