(Re)Kashering The Kitchen

Kashering The Kitchen

So with all the 613s that we and are our friends and family are seeing, we are taking these as a sign and important message. 


Yesterday, I posted that I would show you today how it is personally affecting us.


So one of the things that we are doing is (re)kashering our kitchen. 


New and separate dishes and cooking utensils for meat and dairy meals.  


We got these beautiful French Perle Lenox in gorgeous lilac and ice blue (of course, no one better actually use one and break it). 


Being more a part of the synagogue and community now, we are hoping to host more people for Shabbat etc.


There are other small (and large) ways that we are coming back to more of our traditions, but we are far from perfect. 


Sort of a blend of the secular world, the religious one, and just being ourselves. 


But that is our road, and we strive to do better in all aspects of our lives and pray for G-d’s mercy and blessings all along the way and at the destination.😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Heading Down The 613

613 Road

So today another amazing mystical and holy 613 (commandments in the Torah).


This one is a country road between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


How apropos to be on the 613 road!


Tomorrow, in my next post, I hope to show you where this road is personally taking us now.


But wherever 613 leads that is where I want to be.😉


(Source Photo: With gratitude to my dearest sister, Roz Blumenthal)

This House Is For The Birds

Birdhouse.jpeg

Beautiful simple birdhouses in Downtown DC.


We all need to live somewhere.


Too many people in shelters and on the streets. 


Started giving money to some of the homeless on the way to the Metro. 


My friend’s father used to say, “If they ask then they need it.”


Perhaps what’s needed is a little more kindness, TLC, and compassion for all G-d’s loving creatures. 


While it’s nice to look up to aspire and climb the next rung of life, it’s as important to look down and remember from where you came and where you can still go again.😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

All American Chair

All American Chair.jpeg

Got to love this all American chair. 

Red, white, and blue. 

And stars and stripes everywhere. 

The only thing that I seriously wonder about is whether this chair was manufactured in the U.S. 

With the U.S. losing 35% of it’s manufacturing employment between 1998 and 2010 (from 17.6M to 11.5M), due in large part to outsourcing, there is a good chance this chair was made overseas. 

Now manufacturing makes up less than 9% of total U.S. employment

Also noteworthy is the loss of 51,000 manufacturing plants or 12.5% between 1998-2008.  

Together, agriculture and industry make up only approximately 20% of the entire U.S. economy

Manufacturing are agriculture are strategic capabilities for this country and any country. 

It’s not just what you know, but what you make!

Sure we can make things faster and easier with automation, but at this point there is a serious skills shortage (with millions of jobs going unfilled), and we need to safeguard the strategic knowledge, skills, capability, and capacity to make things vital to our thriving existence.

We need to be a more self-sufficient nation again and not a one-trick service pony. 

We need to use information to be better innovators, creators, developers, and builders. 

Information is great, but you can’t live by information alone.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Silence Or Violence

Communication.JPeG

So when it comes to “Crucial Conversations,” they unfortunately frequently end in silence or violence.


When the “stakes are moderate to high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong” that’s when communication really seems to break down, rather than achieve their goals of working things out. 


Like when our lives are in danger and we have the adrenalin rush reactions to fight or flight, similarly with potentially “dangerous” communications, people become aggressive and abusive or shutdown and withdraw. 


When your afraid of a negative outcome, either you start hammering others with your ideas and opinions or you exit the conversation and seek safety. 


Either way, at this point, there’s no real common ground, negotiation, compromise, or win-win to be easily had…in this pressure cooker poor excuse of a dialogue, it can basically become a tragic win-lose situation.


Perhaps, that’s why there are mediators and neutral third parties that are often brought in to make people feel (relatively) safe again, help them be understood and to understand, and to find a negotiated peace or settlement. 


And what happens when even this doesn’t work and communication and diplomacy fails?


Well that’s when people and countries bring out the big guns and they essentially go to war to win what they hoped to achieve with dialogue. 


Now words are no longer the only choice, but all options are on the table, and that’s when benign words can quickly turn into more drastic or deadly deeds (aka the children reframe of “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me.”


And there is always the thermonuclear option–people supported it with Japan in WWII and they say they would support it with a Tehran that violates the very generous nuclear deal they received.


Words are a prelude to a possible peace or an unwanted war. 


They can be the last chance to work things out the way we hope for.


And if words alone can’t resolve the issue, then blood and treasure is spent and spilt to resolve the otherwise unresolvable.😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Love Is Like Cows

Cows

So had three funny instances today of the tales of woe when it comes to love.


The first was when someone was telling me that they are trying to meet women through online dating. 


But he goes, “No one gives anyone a chance anymore.”


It’s like if there is one thing wrong, it’s over.


He said, one lady wrote in her profile that if you are a fan of XYZ sports team, do not even bother contacting her.


Another was like if you’re of ABC political affiliation, forget about it!


He said people just don’t seem to want relationships anymore. 


Then I was talking coincidentally to someone else, who I knew was going out with someone already. 


I politely asked how things were going. 


He said, “Fine, but she is pressuring me to marry her.”


I said, “So if you love her, what’s wrong with that?”


And he responded, “Well then my whole life will change. I won’t be able to go to parties or on vacations anymore.”


Basically, he’s just happy being with her but on casual terms.


Then I told him (considerably younger than myself) how years ago mothers would warn their daughters about men’s thinking of “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.”


This guy was laughing like crazy when I said that. 


Finally, someone at the kiddush today told the joke about the Rabbi or Priest who lost his umbrella in the synagogue or church. 


His first thought was darn it, one of the congregants stole my umbrella. 


So he decided that for his sermon he would lecture the people about the Ten Commandments, one at a time from the beginning. 


But then when he got to the sin of adultery, he stops and says, “Oh forget it, I just remembered where I left my umbrella!”


Funny day for love and relationships–it’s something in the air, maybe cow patties.  ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Beauties

Purple Flowers

What beauties these purple flowers are?


Tall on the thin green stem. 


And then ballooning and budding out into these futuristic spherical lattice-shaped flowers. 


Almost like soft clouds that we can reach out and touch (and touch too hard, and the flowers just fall off into the breeze).


But think again with technical imagery and these can be an advanced interconnected living neural network that with “big data” can solve all our information and artificial intelligence needs. 


Each flower computing, sensing, processing, analyzing, and problem-solving. 


A swarm of living and dying nodes and sprouting forth again with a natural processing function. 


A gorgeous flower, but you can imagine it as so much more.😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)