Thursday, December 24, 2009




What do you do on Christmas Eve? Go to Church - celebrate the reason for the season.

Maybe after Church you have family over - eat dinner or have delicious cakes and cookies for dessert.

My family goes to Queens, NY for a true Italian Christmas Eve with the 7 fishes. There are shrimp, bakalou, lobster, crab, white fishes, made in every delectable way, after which there is complete chaos opening gifts.

Me? I would prefer to stay at home and watch the movie - It's a Wonderful Life. I have watched this movie every year since I can remember. It is a movie about a guy who decides that perhaps the world would have been better off if he had never existed. Clarence, an angel, comes to show him what his world would be like without him and it seems that everyone is so much worse off without his help. He returns to his life and is eternally grateful for his family and friends and for Clarence, who finally receives his "wings" for helping this guy realize he wants to live. Every time an angel gets his wings - a bell rings.

It is just a wonderful, sappy, happy story and just gets to me every single year. Spending Christmas Eve, with Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and the Lord. Can it get any better? Yes, it probably could - spending it with my family and the Lord - but right now this is the way it is and I am grateful.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Last Wednesday, Jenifer, my 37 year old daughter woke up with a very high fever and sicker than she has ever been. All of a sudden, I was back to being mommy and taking care of my sick child, along with her two children, my grandsons. I made phone calls to the doctor, he prescribed an antibiotic over the phone. With all of the sickness going around, even the doctors don't want the patients coming into the office. Back in my day, as a child, the doctors used to make HOUSE CALLS. I remember our family doctor coming into the house carrying his little black doctor bag. His visits almost always brought on that dreaded shot of penicillin and a prescription. I used to have to take my capsules with applesauce.

Jenifer became the child again, needing her mommy. I made chicken soup as well as MY mother sending chicken soup. All of a sudden, what were Jenifer's chores, became mine. Had you asked me before this if I thought I was capable of all of this, I would have said no but through the grace of God, I had the strength.

Jenifer is on the mend now but not 100% so I am continuing to take care of her. I think that this is a turning point in our relationship even if she doesn't know it yet. You see, all this time, she figured she was so grown up that she didn't need mommy for nurturing, but guess what - she surely does. As long as our moms are here with us, we always need her to take our temperature and make us chicken soup in bed.
About 3 lbs of chicken on the bone cut up with skin on.
6 large carrots
2 leeks
some pieces of turnip
some dill
a couple of pieces of celery
6 to 10 red potatos (if desired) small potatoes cut in half
salt & pepper
Cut the carrots and celery in chunks
the leeks,turnips and dill can be bought at the store in a package called soup greens or bought separately.
put the chicken -carrots-soup greens in pot and cover with water until there is about a couple inches over the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until the chicken is falling off the bones.
You might have to skim the top of the water and also try to get as many bones out after the chicken has cooked. The bones give the soup a good flavor. Do not put the potatos in yet because the best thing to do is after the soup is done - put the whole pot in fridge overnight and take off the "fat" from the top in the morning. The fat rises and forms like a crust and comes off easily.
About an hour before serving put the cut up potatos in the soup and cook them until tender.
Remember to taste the soup before adding too much salt or any other flavors you desire. I happen to love my chicken soup bland and therapeutic but my step dad likes a little kick so he adds other things.
Serve and enjoy.

Monday, November 23, 2009


This Cooper Hawk sat outside my bedroom window for an hour which is very unusual for them. I always feel that this kind of visitation is a reminder how awesome our God is. I took as many pictures as I could through the window, knowing if I opened it, he would fly away.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Here is another family recipe that has been in our family for generations. While most people that I know are eating cornbread stuffing or bread stuffing, we are eating matzo stuffing which can also be called a 'kugel'. I didn't even know that any other stuffing existed until I went out into the world and saw what others made. Even though I do love all types of stuffing or dressing, this remains my very favorite.


1 box of matzo

3 eggs

2 lbs of white button mushrooms

2 or 3 stalks of celery

1 large onion

tons of butter

cut up the mushrooms, celery and onion in pieces about 1"x 1"

take at least 1/4 lb of sweet butter and put in pan and slowly melt - then put the mushrooms,celery and onions in to sweat - not saute.

break up the matzo into pieces - not teeny pieces but about 2 X 3

put them in a large collander and just run water over them to soften a little.

Place the matzo in a bowl -

beat the 3 eggs and put in the matzo

pour the vegetable mixture in the bowl

melt at least 1/4 lb butter again or 1/2 stick of butter and pour over mixture and mix everything together. You want you mixture to be moist but held together.

Put in a buttered casserole dish and bake at 375 until firm and looks cooked to you. DO NOT DRY OUT.

This recipe is just another that should not use any substitutes such as yucky margarine because margarine contains water and just tastes different.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it at least once.
Please check out my creamed mushroom dish a few blogs down. Another very old family recipe.

Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have a Christmas Cactus on my desk and part of the miracle is that it still lives. I have never had a green thumb so therefore, all of my house plants never make it past the age of a few months. My good friend, Helen, gave me this about 2 years ago and it just keeps giving me the miracle of life.
It has survived falling on the floor, sitting on the window sill getting chewed by the cats, over watering, under watering. This Christmas Cactus is a true gift from God via Helen.
Just recently I noticed that another flower was budding so I decided to take pictures in its glorious stages. 
The praises can only go to One.

This original post was done in 2009.  
I am re-posting because this same Christmas cactus has 10 new flowers this month.  A miracle.

Please scroll down for the comments.♥

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have been trying to feel inspired to write in my blog and it has been a couple of weeks now.

I have been trying to sell a custom designed card for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in order to raise some money for a Christian sister named Anastasia. Her mom has terminal cancer due to breast cancer and she is in hospice care.

I realize the economy is really tough now and spending is difficult but I just keep hearing in my head, that the Lord gives back ten-fold.

I am a seller on and have had very little sales which is fine by me but when it has something to do with giving - I am there.

I belong to an online Christian Women's group on Etsy called Team Christian Artists and Crafters. What a wonderful group of women and if you need prayer - this is where you go.

You might already know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 at the age of 50. Being new to all of that, I went along with a lumpectomy, chemo therapy and radiation. I was angry the entire time and it might have been my anger that pulled me through all of that. Three years later I was diagnosed once again and this time, knowing more, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy, after which the lab came back to tell me that there were no cancer cells in the breast tissue. My oncologist suggested a little chemo therapy, to which I replied "there is not such thing as a LITTLE." I put my faith in the Lord and the lab results and I am a breast cancer survivor now for 10 years.

Not everyone is as blessed as me and I believe that the Lord has plans for all of us.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Food and recipes have always been a crucial part of our family. Sophie was my great-grandmother, the person who I was named after. She had passed away before I was born. She came here to America from Lithuania with my great-grandfather Jacob, probably around the late 1880's. Along with her came these delicious recipes, one being creamed mushrooms on toast.

I follow this recipe exactly as written even if I think I could skip a step because I am afraid that it might not taste the same. One time my cousin tried to jazz it up with spices - WRONG! big mistake. These are the most scrumptious creamed mushrooms you will ever have.

5 lbs white button mushrooms

2-1/2 lbs eastern potatoes

1 whole onion left whole

1/2 lb(2 sticks) Breakstone sweet butter - NO SUBSTITITUTES

3 pints heavy cream or enough to cover mushrooms & potatoes in the pot

cut mushrooms into pieces about 1 inch sq. and clean with water put in pot-cover with water and bring to a boil - strain out water

put mushrooms back in pot with whole onion-cover with water-bring to a boil-strain water and take out onion. Add the potatoes

While the mushrooms are being boiled to oblivion and these are the steps that you THINK you can skip(but DON'T) peel and dice the potatoes raw.

So, in the pot you now have the mushrooms and the raw diced potatoes, add the heavy cream to cover them and put in the 2 sticks of butter.

I never said that this recipe was for the feint of heart or dietetic!

keep on a low light and allow to simmer. The butter will melt. You can add salt and pepper to taste. while this is simmering, gently squash SOME of the potatoes - up against the side of the pot to thicken the cream. We really can't say exactly how long this will take but I have been known to have this simmering on a low light for a few hours. STIR every so often because you don't want the bottom to burn! The following day you can add a little milk to loosen them up for re-warming, if you want to.

serve over toast. YUMMY!

This is a dish that we have always saved for special occasions but my family wishes we could have it a lot more often.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back then we did not have computers or video games. An interaction with the TV - if you had one - was sending away for a plastic sheet to put over the TV screen and a magic crayon. The show was WinkyDink and You. Singing along with the Merry Mailman, waiting in gleeful anticipation for Howdy Doody or drawing along with John Gnagy with charcoals that were also a mail purchase.
I love purchasing things that come in the mail even now, even for my grandsons because they wait with such excitment for the item to arrive.
On rainy days, I got to stay in the apartment with my mom and make yarn dolls. That was so much fun. My brother played with his boy toys such as his Davy Crocket everything collection. We even had leather jackets with fringes. Weren't we the envy of the neighborhood. Boys ran around with their coon skin hats and coon tails.
Roller skating meant putting them on your shoes with a skate key to tighten them. Then roller skating on the cement sidewalk. I can still feel the vibration. What fun!
But the best fun of all for me was when I got my Ginny Doll. Every week my mom took me to the "Hobby Store" which a toy store was called back then and bought me a new outfit for Ginny. She was the Barbie of the 50's and I loved to dress her up. Her clothes were so pretty. I still have her. She is cherished.
So today there are computers and video games for my grandsons and Noah has his portable Nintendo DS. I know that we have to be careful about what games to get for him, not too violent. Davy Crocket carried around a rifle but that was to kill a bear, not a person.
I love that Noah has his action figures to play with and uses his imagination. Back in the 50's we used a card table covered in a blanket to make a play house. I have made that suggestion to Noah and much to my excitment he loved the idea.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Has a little voice in your head stopped you from being in harms way??

I have my angel encounters that I wish to share with everyone.

I am sure that there have been many but 3 stand out in my head.

I have to go back to 1969 when my sister-in-law Jean and I were driving on Route 17 in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. She was 8 months pregnant and she was driving. At that time there were many traffic lights on this highway and the light changed just before we got there. She slammed on the brakes in order to stop. We heard screaching brakes behind us and when we looked - there was an 18 wheeler there with not even an inch to spare. He jumped out of the cab - with a wild look in his eyes. He said that "something" told him to put his brakes on because he was just cruising along. If he had not, his truck would have crushed us.
The next encounter was also vehicle related. I was driving on Route 80 and veered off to the right to go down the ramp to the exit for Route 17. There is no stop sign so you just merge. Coming down the ramp at a good clip, "something" told me to stop. Just at that moment a truck came flying by. If I had merged without stopping, I would have been hit.

In 1998, I had a bilateral mastectomy. Having had numerous surgeries before that, I have always been afraid of the anesthesia. When they wheeled me into the surgery room, I prayed to God that He would send His angels to be with me during the surgery. When I woke up in the recovery room, there was a fleeting moment that I felt that I was in the presence of angels. It was the most amazing and calming feeling. I even had a vision of what they looked like. You can believe this or not, but I found pictures of what they looked like to me. I am posting one here. I did ask the creator of this sculpture if this was intentional and she said that she had a vision of what angels looked like to her.
There are angels among us.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I believe that we all live with our priorities but have we ever really wondered if they are messed up?
I have not seen my mother for months now. She lives in a garden apartment which has 4 flights of stairs. Having degenerative arthritis I cannot climb those stairs.

She will not come to our home to visit because she does not approve of our way of keeping the house clean. It is a bit cluttered and she refuses to see past the clutter in order to come see me. The only way that I can see her is to meet at a restaurant somewhere but life is always getting in the way so we can never seem to agree on the day or time.

I can remember so many times when something interfered with getting my mother's full attention because other things were always taking priority. Yes, I know that this might sound a little self-centered on my part but I can't help but wonder if HER priorities are just a bit messed up.

I remember back when I was 35 and decided to get a teeny tiny tattoo on my wrist - it was about 1/2" round. The family went to my mom's for the Jewish Holiday meal that particular weekend and when she noticed it, she just closed down and everyone suffered because she could no longer function. I had to leave in order for her to serve the meal.

When my mom's best friend's husband passed away, we were all waiting for my mom to get there so they could continue on with the funeral. She had a little fender bender on the way, so when she did get there, she was taking all the attention because she had a dent in her car, never mind that Estelle, her friend for 50 years at that point, was burying her husband.

So, my mom is now 86, and not seeing her for 5 months is a long time.

Should clutter and a little dust keep you from your loved ones?
I am including some pictures that we took of the kitchen which is wide open to the living area. Comments are welcome.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Burdens Are So Much Lighter

Romans 12:21 NIV
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

A friend of mine posted about this in her blog this morning and I was just thinking last night how much better I feel that I am not angry all the time. It used to be a way of life for me.
Angry at the man in the deli for not wearing gloves, angry at my kids for not picking up their rooms, angry at my husband for not meeting my expectations, angry at my now adult children for remembering what a crappy mother I was, when I thought I was a good mother, angry at my friend for flirting with my husband and luring him away, angry at my mother for not meeting my expectations.

That is a lot of anger and I am sure there is more to add if I think about it more BUT........
The Lord's words are in my mind and my heart now and the anger has turned to forgiveness and my load of burdens have lightened and it feels really good.
Someone said to me that just because you forgive, does not mean that you have to intelligently forget how you were hurt but when you forgive, it just becomes a faint memory stored back there in your brain.
Like my friend blogged, when someone hurts you, give them a kiss on the cheek and tell them you love them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Colors inspire me so I am typing in the color of the desert to speak about my friend, Barbara. We have been friends for many years and 3 years ago she moved out to New Mexico to live in the desert! Not isolated in the desert but desert just the same: tarantulas, rattle snakes, scorpions - you get the picture.

If I decided to visit it would have to be in the winter because all of the creepy crawlies are hybernating - HOPEFULLY.

To me it takes a brave woman to just pack everything up and just move to another State, leaving behind a great job, friends and a brother. Not with the intent of NEVER seeing them again but not quite as often as before.

She did have her beloved horse, Gato, brought out there with her and was able to spend some wonderful quality time with him because he could now live on the same land as her home. She got to ride him more often and see him every day, whereas here in NJ he had to board at a horse ranch.

Gato was old and unfortunately passed away but now Barbara has 2 more horses name Chibella and Salvadore. She also has 2 doggies named Sabado and Domingo (for those of you who do not speak Spanish that translates to saturday and sunday).

I am posting pictures of Barbara's family as well as of Barbara.

I am very happy to have her as a friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I want to speak about my Beauty doggie. She left us in February 2009 and I miss her still.

It had to be sometime in 1998 that we brought her home. About 3 months before that my friend's brother brought her to his house in Paterson,NJ and said that he found her. I believe she was about 6 months old at that time and he thought she was a full pitbull. She actually turned out to be a mix of pit and black lab. He was not very nice to her and I started thinking about asking to take her home with me. God must have intervened because my friend's brother left and Beauty was left with his mother. About a week later, I came to visit and there was Beauty, running around loose in the street. I rescued her and drove straight home with Beauty's head on my lap. We bonded at that moment and we have been bonded ever since.

In Beauty's lifetime, she survived being hit by a car two times and surviving Cushing's Disease. I know that each time she was hit, nothing was broken but the impact caused her pain later in life. The Cushings was horrific but I prayed to our Lord to give us a few more years together and He did. Then she began to go downhill, slowly but surely. It seemed that this time no amount of prayer helped so I knew that she would be leaving me. I delayed it as long as I could but eventually had to call the vet and ask him if he could come to our home to do the task. He did and Beauty was able to leave with her dignity in tack and in the comfort of my arms. I miss her every day and tell her I love her every night in my prayers.

We had a private cremation for her so we know that the ashes we have are hers. I want to be with her forever so when I leave, my ashes with be combined with hers. I only pray that I will be able to meet with her again at that Rainbow Bridge.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


For some reason the ritual of the ancient eskimos keeps coming to mind these past few days. They used to put their "aged" on a slab of ice and float them out to sea, never to be seen again.

I am not much of a political person but the new ideas are scaring me because it will come down to this: if you are a 70 year old in need of a hip replacement, the new medicare may not want to pay for it because they won't want to spend the money on you because you are too old.

Everything that we have accomplished in our lifetime will come down to a decision made by our government as to whether we can continue our lives with dignity or not. Frightening.

When I was a youngster, and I keep going back to that these days, I was taught respect for elders. I spent a lot of time with my grandma and my great-great aunt Ida. She lived alone in the Bronx, never marrying but I loved to sit at her kitchen table and listen to her stories and eat her delicious food. When my mom said that we were going to visit an older relative, I was always excited.

It seems that in today's world, that privilege is gone and will be permanently gone if we are placed on a piece of ice and sent out to sea.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Do you remember where you were when your heard that a plane crashed into the Twin Tower in New York City? I am using the word plane as singular because I heard it before the second plane hit.

I was sitting in my car, waiting for Jenifer to come out of the eyeglass store. I was holding Noah, who was only 3 months old at the time. Jenifer came out of the shop, leaned in the window and said that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. My initial reaction was one of disbelief and almost thought she had to be mistaken. I turned on the radio and someone was saying that a second plane hit the other tower and there were rumors of other planes that were going to attack. Then the Pentagon was hit and the other plane crashed into a field. Then they said that they believed that the White House was a target.

I was in shock, as I am sure, everyone else was. I was worried about Cole being in school. We live in New Jersey and being so close to NYC, I was frightened. We went home and felt okay at that point about Cole but the day and the days after were horrific. I am not going to get into the whys, and wherefores, but I do know that we all felt that America was immune to attacks, especially after Pearl Harbor. We all thought we were protected.

My opinion is that only God can protect us and if it is in His plan, there is nothing we can do. If God wanted us to know about it and stop those planes then He would have done that.

My heart prays for the families of the victims of 9/11 who will live this pain over and over again. While it is important for us as a nation to remember, how hard it must be for these families to be reminded every year. I know that while I am sitting here typing, there are 100's, if not 1,000's of people standing in the rain at the site of the Twin Towers, giving honor to those who died that day.

God save us all.