Friday, February 19, 2010

OMG! What a Week!

If you are reading this on Facebook, slideshows and videos are often attached. Click on this live link to my blog: if you would like to get the full experience.
If you are reading this at already, just ignore.

Many years ago, I read a children’s story that helps me deal with life’s adversities and serves as a parable for the Conservative view of an all-powerful God as opposed the to the Reform or Reconstructionist view that God has set the world in motion and now commiserates with us, but is powerless, when natural laws arbitrarily cause pain and suffering. It is a story of an exemplary rabbi whose fondest wish is granted when he is permitted to travel the world with the prophet Elijah as he goes about facilitating the work of God. The one caveat he is given is that he may not question Elijah’s actions. If he requires an answer, Elijah will explain, but then they must part company. To try to make a long story shorter, they encounter four situations in which Elijah intervenes to change the outcome. In each of the four situations, the rabbi is appalled at the unfairness of Elijah’s actions and finally can no longer contain himself. He questions, receives the explanations, and then must part company with Elijah. In each of the situations, the full explanation of what has occurred reveals true justice and mercy. You can click on this link if you want to read the whole story.

On a more personal level, I had a very bad week, but I am consoled that it all could have turned out much worse, and some of the events that appeared to be really disappointing, might have even saved our lives. The worst began with a phone message on both my home and cell phones from Abington Hospital that they needed me to return for another mammogram and ultrasound. When I finally reached them after frantically and repeatedly dialing the number they had left, they said that they had seen a “mass” that bore further investigation. I have now spoken with a number of women who have received these kind of phone calls. Universally, it can be said that your heart stops and your life stops at the initial shock. After scheduling another appointment over a week later (the earliest appointment I could get), I left a message at my doctor’s office to please call me as soon as possible. When he did get back to me, about two hours later, his first words were “Don’t panic!” “Too late,” I said. Mercifully, he then patiently gave me about six reasons why I should not be too alarmed. Many of you reading this may benefit from knowing that many diagnostic centers have changed from film to digital and so are able to pinpoint problem areas that were not visible before. I had waited two years since my previous mammogram, and breast tissue changes over time, not necessarily in a pathological way. Because of recent changes in law, both a human and a computer look at everything now and either one alone is capable of triggering further testing. My doctor also said that in my case they should not have called it a mass. It was calcifications that he said could have been caused by something as simple as a bump to my breast. Needless to say, I was very relieved after my conversation with him, but not so much as to put the thought of cancer out of my head for over a week. The funny thing is, about an hour before the phone calls, I had been clearing off my desk and I had just been glancing over a very detailed, glossy brochure that had been handed to me after a synagogue board meeting by my friend, Janet, who is a hospice nurse. I had not wanted to refuse it, as she had taken the time to write a cover letter and prepare a presentation about breast cancer. Just before the phone call came, I had decided not to toss it into the trash bin, buried it at the bottom of a stack of papers to be filed, and said a little prayer in my head that I would never need to look at it again. After I spoke with the doctor, I retrieved it and read it from cover to cover. As it turned out, yesterday, after undergoing the additional mammogram and ultrasound, I was given a clean bill of health and was told to return in six months for another test just to be sure. I was very lucky this time, and I will never go two years again without a mammogram.

Our friends, Laura and Marc were able to be plowed out after our second major record-setting snowstorm on Tuesday night and Wednesday just in time to meet us on Thursday evening for dinner at The Drafting Room to celebrate Saul’s and Laura’s birthdays. We never seem to be able to settle on a date to get together, but when we finally do, we have a great time! Friday afternoon, after I waited at CHC for Saul to finish with meetings, we headed out for Baltimore/DC in our more snow-worthy SUV with Izzy’s 30-inch-tall Cat in the Hat birthday cake secured in the back. Alex had brought his parents down for the weekend, and we were joined by his sister Naomi and her husband Matt, sister-in-law Stacey, with her three children, and Ari for Shabbat dinner. Alex had prepared a delicious baby artichoke appetizer served on ciabatta bread and a huge amount of beautiful, varied and tasty sushi, arranged attractively on large platters. We had brought with us a variety of homemade cookies and cakes that had been taking up space in our freezer since December to make way for the hamantaschen to come. For dessert, everyone seemed to have a different particular favorite, from the lime-anise biscotti to the chocolate toffee squares. We had decided to leave Izzy’s birthday cake in our car until Sunday to keep it chilled and to protect it from the dogs. Before Ari drove us to DC that night, Saul dutifully remembered to give Jessica the keys to our car, just in case it needed to be moved.

Saturday evening, we all decided to get together for dinner in Baltimore. The small restaurant, Thai Arroy which is providing a vegetarian cooking demonstration for Jessica’s Pearlstone Center on Sunday, agreed to seat 10 of us at 6:30 p.m. We let the chef choose our all-vegetarian menu and were extremely pleased with the service, presentation and taste of all the varied dishes, among them, green curry, crispy fish in tamarind sauce, and mock duck. The girls were extremely pleased with the chocolate mousse cake for dessert, while the rest of us were wowed when we sampled their unlikely signature desserts of gingko nut and sweet taro mousse, and pumpkin custard. By the time we left, people were standing in the doorway waiting for our tables. Baltimore was virtually buried in snow, and we were lucky to have found parking. It took us a long time and back-ups into various driveways to negotiate our way around the streets which were only plowed enough for one car at a time going in one direction to traverse down them. In all the excitement and brouhaha, Saul, who had moved our car to allow everyone out of the driveway, forgot to leave our keys with Jessica. On the way back to DC, we hit a bad pothole hard, but were very lucky that the tire did not go flat and we were able to continue on our way home.

On Sunday, the day of Izzy’s 6th birthday party, we decided to go by way of College Park, Maryland, where there is a kosher shawarma restaurant, Pita Plus, that we love. We brunched on great laffa shawarma, picked up extras for Jess and Alex to enjoy, and headed for the party so that we would be there in time to retrieve the cake from the back of the SUV. As we were about to pull into a gas station to fill up, about five minutes down the road, we hit a really big pothole extremely hard. As we pulled up to the gas pump, the tire pressure lights went on and we could hear the air escaping from the tires as we opened the car door. We had flattened both tires on the passenger side. Ari called his free Mercedes Roadside Assistance and discovered that they could not assist us as they could only put on a spare, or bring us gas, or perform other minor services to get us on our way. We tried putting air in the tires, hoping that we had only knocked the air out, but discovered holes in both side walls. Our AAA Plus services were much more helpful and we were able to arrange a flat bed truck to transport us and the car 18 miles in the wrong direction to the only tire store we could locate that carried the specially-sized tires we needed. They only had three in stock altogether. The man who came to rescue us with the flatbed, after we had waited about an hour, looked at the tires and told us that a third tire had a big bubble in it and should be replaced also. If it had blown out on the highway we were about to enter, we very likely would have had a serious, if not fatal, accident. So we called the tire place, NTB, and told them to hold all three tires for us. The bill came to about $700 including the insurance against further blowouts (a good deal considering the number of potholes looming ahead because of the blizzards). The flatbed guy also advised us that if we were willing to wait, the township might reimburse us for the expense of the tires because of the pothole.

Hearing our predicament, Jess and Alex arranged for AAA to come to unlock our SUV so that they could get at the birthday cake in time for the party. AAA came to them by 2:00 p.m., a half hour after the party began, so the cake really made a grand entrance. The party was well attended despite the snow. The kids came in costume, dressed as storybook characters. They made scarves, decorated Pinkalicious cupcakes, rolled sushi, and made animals from toothpicks and raw vegetables and fruit. We sat, disappointed in the crowded waiting room at NTB for about two hours, but we were very cognizant of the fact that our situation could have turned out much worse.

We had some dinner with Jess and Alex when we finally arrived, and watched Izzy open her presents, most of which are being donated to Ronald McDonald House. This had been prearranged on the invitations. Then, we headed for home, dropping off Maury and Elaine in Cranberry, New Jersey, and bringing Sami along with us for the week as her Waldorf school was closed this past week.

We all had a wonderful time together this past week. Unfortunately, as warmer temperatures finally arrived and the snow began to melt, a serious problem arose. On Tuesday evening, I happened to look up at my dining room ceiling and was frightened to see wet spots developing along all the cross beams behind the drywall. We went to bed wondering what we should do about the problem. By morning, water was dripping all along the ceiling onto the hardwood floor below, the drywall had cracked, and flakes of it were starting to fall. We feared that the ceiling might collapse and I hastily mopped, put out buckets, and moved rugs, furniture, and curios out of the way. I spoke with my brother, who recommended I call our friend, Isaac, who does home renovations. He was able to send some workmen over by 1:00 p.m. who gouged out the ceiling to let the water run more freely to prevent the ceiling from collapsing, and hacked away the ice that had lifted the roofing tiles slightly, allowing ice to creep under the flashing, which then melted and ran down the beams.

Ari was supposed to come in this weekend, visit his friends Shira and Josh, who were celebrating the birth of their new little girl, and take Sami home on Sunday. Around Wednesday, Jess called to say that the parents of Sami’s class had decided that the program for which she had practiced to read Torah (which was cancelled last week due to the snow), should take place anyway on Saturday. So we all changed our plans midweek, and left for Baltimore/DC late Thursday afternoon after my happy mammogram and ultrasound. Adele came to stay with Sami while Saul accompanied me to the diagnostic center. After dropping Sami off at home in Baltimore, we met Ari after work for a late dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in Bethesda and had a great view out the window during dinner of a very talented crew scooping vast mountains of snow from the street below us, loading it onto dump trucks, and driving it away.

I left the house with large buckets under my dripping ceiling, not knowing what I will find when I return home. But, I am with my family, we all seem to be in relatively good health, Yona cut her first tooth and began crawling on the same day. Sami and I baked hamantaschen, painted on canvas with acrylics, watched movies together, and I taught her how to make origami cranes, to which she attached real feathers from my sewing box and made a mobile. It may have been a week filled with adversity, but despite all that, I feel truly blessed.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And the Big Story this Week is… The Snow!

If you are reading this on Facebook, slideshows and videos are often attached. Click on this live link to my blog: if you would like to get the full experience.
If you are reading this at already, just ignore.

The blizzard did not actually begin here until about 7 p.m. on Friday night. All week, though, the weather predictors (or guessers, as Saul calls them) have been saying that we were about to get what might be the storm of the century. We were supposed to be in Baltimore/DC this weekend. Sami had been practicing to read Saul and Maury’s bar mitzvah parashah for her fifth grade class on Shabbat. A preview sample on the phone had both of us wiping tears of joy from our eyes. It was just a coincidence that all three had learned the same parashah—Yitro. The realization hit us both in an instant that we had had the privilege and luck to be alive and well to hear such a thing from our grandchild. Unfortunately, the weather prevented the actual performance.

Earlier in the week, I had my yearly mammogram. Mom and I had always gone to the lab together for this test, and because of her illness last year, I had missed a year. Sitting there in the waiting room, I felt like it had only been a few weeks since we had been waiting there together. Major renovations to the facility were almost at the point of completion while I was there, and I was grateful that I had not come earlier while it was still under the real chaos of construction. Afterward, I stopped at the new Fresh Market to check it out and use up a gift certificate that had been given to me. I was absolutely appalled by the prices, but I found a bunch of esoteric products that I have not seen anywhere else to buy. These included elephant garlic, which I used to get at the local supermarkets, but they no longer carry it for lack of demand; Maldon salt; smoked paprika, chipotle in adobo, Medaglio d’Oro instant espresso powder, watermelon radish (which I used as a striking garnish on the Israeli salad), and heirloom tomatoes. I managed to use up the gift certificate and another $27. For dinner that night, Saul and I had only an heirloom tomato salad with hand-thrown fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper. It was a taste of summer in February and very good for the diet and the spirit, if not for the carbon footprint.

We were going to make the trip to DC anyway, despite the storm, and get snowed in together with Ari, but then we realized that we would have to dig out two cars. They were predicting as much as 40 inches in the Baltimore/DC area. Ari does not have a garage, and even if we had left the car in Baltimore, Alex would have had to dig it out. By staying home, our cars stayed clean in the garage, and eventually our lawn mower guy will come with a plow and plow out our driveway. Since I did not have to pack, I attended my Thursday morning class with Faith where we discussed the influences of Ezra and the Saadia Gaon on Judaism.

We invited Beth to bring Ilsa and Manuel, her housemates, to Shabbat dinner. Larry stayed home, fearful of having to deal with the predicted storm. I had used up the last of my homemade chicken soup and decided that it was time to make another huge pot. After Saul and I got it cooking, we met Adele for lunch at Wegman’s to pick up from her the specially-shaped pans I need to make Izzy’s Cat in the Hat cake for her sixth birthday party next weekend. For Shabbat dinner we had challah and chicken soup with dumplings, all homemade; romaine salad, Israeli salad, black and white rice, baked fennel and potato casserole, raspberry and herb-glazed boneless chicken breast, fresh fruit and chocolate.

We awoke to at least a foot of snow on the ground and did not venture out of the house yesterday as the storm continued into early afternoon. We are feeling very cozy and well-fed, but a little depressed that we could not be with the kids this weekend. Although another storm is expected in a few days, I am planning to be with them next weekend for sure.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tu B’Shevat, Jewish Arbor Day, and Marianne’s 80th

If you are reading this on Facebook, slideshows and videos are often attached. Click on this live link to my blog: if you would like to get the full experience.
If you are reading this at already, just ignore.

My friends picked a much better week than we did to vacation in a warm climate. Roxy is off in Hawaii this week and Laura is in Puerto Rico. They missed one of the most bitter cold weeks ever, here. Saul and I have been Hawaii dreaming all week, especially Saul, when his arthritis starts giving him pain from the chill. Luckily, last week we decided to exchange our planned Williamsburg vacation during spring break in March to a 10-day vacation on Kauai. For my sixtieth birthday, I will be spending the entire day on an airplane winging my way there. I wish they could just beam me up! Each time I arrive there, I don’t want to come home.

During the beginning of the week, I suddenly became aware that Tu B’Shevat, our Jewish Arbor Day, was beginning on Shabbat eve, January 29, this year, so the focus of our week was the scavenger hunt to find all the exotic fruits and nuts needed to make a beautiful seder. Tu B’Shevat is also known as Rosh Hashanah L’Ilanot, the new year of the trees, and falls at this cold time because the sap is just beginning to run in the trees about now. I invited a bunch of friends over for Shabbat dinner and tuned up our seder script a bit from sources on the Net. Saul and I made the rounds of various stores on Thursday afternoon and evening (in bitter cold weather) to gather supplies, but we were somewhat disappointed with Assi Market this year. Usually, it yields such great and exotic produce as fresh rambutan or lychees, but this year, I could not even get a good mango or persimmon there. We did, however, find a sabra, which was quite exotic to a few of our guests and which allowed us to make a sheheheyanu over a new fruit. We had great fun and had eaten way too much by the time the seder was over and it was time for dinner. We were glad we decided to use grape juice rather than wine for the four cups, or we would not only have been full, but falling off our chairs as well.

Joining us for dinner were Larry, Beth, Terry and Gene, Faith, Elaine, and Sister Lisa from Chestnut Hill College. During the seder, one is supposed to eat at least 16 different fruits and nuts, four from each of the four categories. In the first category, fruits or nuts with a hard, inedible shell that are completely edible inside, we had: pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts and almonds. In the second category, fruits with an edible rind and a pit or pits in the center, we had: olives, dates, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, apple and Asian pear. In the third category, fruits with a tough, inedible skin on the outside but sweet fruit within, we had mango, banana, sabra, pomegranate, and orange. In the fourth category, fruits which are soft throughout and are completely edible, we had figs, grapes, raisins, kiwi, starfruit (carambola) and blueberries. As appetizers before the seder, we had guacamole (celebrating the avocado) with chips, and Comté cheese with membrillo (celebrating the quince). For dinner, we had homemade challah, chestnut soup, Israeli salad, vegetarian meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and maple-glazed Brussels sprouts. For dessert, we had carob cake and mini chocolate shells with ice cream and whipped cream.

I have included the text of our seder, which I have gleaned from several sources, and which can be modified at will to suit the occasion. Much more elaborate (and time consuming) versions are possible as well, and may include appropriate songs/prayers, 10 modern plagues of the environment, and other ecologically-conscious points of discussion.

Tu B’Shevat Seder
In the 16th century in northern Israel, in the spiritual town of Tzfat (Safed), the Jewish mystics created the Tu B’Shevat seder. They recognized the many and varied dimensions of God’s creation and used the fruits of Israel to symbolize the nature of these dimensions of existence.
The Torah characterizes Israel as being blessed with seven varieties of produce: “A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olives and honey. (Deuteronomy 8:8)
In Israel, the holiday is always marked by the planting of trees. School children are taken on field trips especially for the purpose of planting trees, and great importance is placed on this simple act for many reasons. The pledge to make the desert bloom is part of the overwhelming desire to ensure a rich life in the “land of milk and honey.” In modern times, the burning of forests by enemies of Israel has strengthened the resolve to maintain and beautify the land to assure our continued presence there. In the diaspora, the concern of Jews for the land of Israel is expressed through the purchase of tree certificates from the Jewish National Fund. A certificate is purchased which indicates that a tree has been planted in memory of or in honor of someone. In addition to the planting of trees, these monies are used to maintain existing forest.
Hand Washing
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav,
v’tzivanu al netilat yadayim.

Blessed are You, Source of all life, Who commands us to ritually wash our hands.
The First Cup of Wine
This cup of white wine or grape juice symbolizes winter, the dormant stage of nature and the mystical dimension of atzilut, or emanation, at which God’s energy infused the creation process with initial life.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam borei peri ha-gafen.
Blessed are you, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
For Adonai your God is bringing you into a good land. A land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths springing forth in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land wherein you shall eat without scarceness, you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you may dig brass. And you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless God for the good land, which is being given unto you (Deuteronomy 8:7-10).
The First Fruit
Fruit that has a hard or inedible shell or rind on the outside and is soft and completely edible on the inside, such as walnuts, coconuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans.
The hard shell symbolizes the protection that the earth gives us and by representing the physical being as a soul covered by the body, also reminds us to nourish the strength and healing power of our own bodies.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
The Second Cup of Wine
This cup of wine or grape juice is mostly white, with a little red mixed in, to symbolize the beginning of spring, the earth’s reawakening and the mystical concept of formation and birth, often associated with water.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall you be in the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, and the fruit of your cattle, and the young of your flock. Blessed shall you be in your basket and your kneading trough. Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out (Deuteronomy 28:36).
The Second Fruit
This fruit is soft with an edible rind and a pit in the center, such as olives, dates, peaches, and apricots.
They symbolize the life-sustaining power that emanates from the earth and remind us of the spiritual and emotional strength that is within each of us, of the heart protected by the body.
The tamar, or date palm, has a further symbolism. In Bereshit Rabbah 41, the rabbis compared Israel to a date palm because it is a tree of which every part is useful.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
The Third Cup of Wine
This cup of wine is mostly red with a little bit of white added representing the full arrival of spring and the mystical concept of beriah, or creation.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Then God formed the human from the dust of the ground, and breathed into the nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).
The Third Fruit
This has a tough skin on the outside but sweet fruit within such as mangos, bananas, avocados, or sabra, a desert pear, fruit of a cactus plant.
They symbolize the mystery of the world and our study of Torah. We are constantly seeking to uncover her secrets, and are continually nourished by her fruits.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
The Fourth Cup of Wine
This cup is all red, symbolizing the full glow of summer, the mystical concept of fire and the idea that within all living things dwells a spark of God.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
And the angel of God appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and Moses looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed (Exodus 3:2).
And God said, “let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit trees yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth,” and it was so. (Genesis 1:9-13)
The Fourth Fruit
This fruit is soft throughout and is completely edible, such as figs, grapes, and raisins. This type symbolizes the highest form of spirituality, God’s omnipresence and our own inextricable ties with the earth. The tasting of this fruit may be followed by the tasting of wheat in the form of cake, bread, or cookies.
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-etz.
Blessed are You, Source of all life, Creator of the fruit of the tree.
Closing Prayer
May it be Your will, our God and God of our ancestors, that through our eating of the fruits and drinking of the juices, which we have blessed, that the trees of Israel will renew themselves by blossoming and growing. May the trees we have planted in Israel add to the beauty and blessing of Zion.
We pray that this seder celebration of Tu B’Shevat will inspire in us a deeper sensitivity to nature’s gifts. May the day soon come when we can plant a tree ourselves in Israel in fulfillment of the Commandments.
At this special Shabbat Tu B’Shevat seder, we pray for God to guard us and watch over all the Jewish People everywhere, in Israel, in the United States and in all the other countries where they live, some in freedom, some still in servitude. Our greatest hope is that all people will be free to live in peace everywhere.

Services at MBI-EE on Saturday were followed by a congregational Tu B’Shevat seder, one that was more elaborate in its scope, and then a luncheon. Arriving home, before our Shabbat nap, I completed the previous Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle, which uniquely involved folding the finished puzzle ala Mad Magazine to reveal a new abridged set of words within the circles—quite clever. It reminded me of an old, true story, covered once in Philadelphia Magazine, about some too clever boys at Akiba Hebrew Academy who were delayed from their high school graduation as punishment for having surreptitiously designed, and gotten published, a yearbook page that folded in like manner to reveal an x-rated drawing and message.

On Sunday, Adele, Saul, and I attended an incredible birthday brunch upstairs at the Wm. Penn Inn to celebrate the 80th birthday of our dear friend Marianne (Mom’s hospice volunteer) which was arranged by her children. We were delighted to meet in person many of her family and friends about whom we had heard so much. They were an extremely diverse, creative, intelligent and interesting group—a beautiful and cohesive family—not surprising at all considering the warmth and appreciation for life with which Marianne views the world, and this after having come through the Holocaust. Her remaining children, John and Margie, had made a trek to New Brunswick, New Jersey, which evidently has a large Hungarian community, to pick up delicacies from a special shop there so as to please their mother and to give their guests a taste of the family’s special Hungarian foods. Margie made a number of the desserts herself. Marianne’s birthday cake, a Dobos torte, was so delicious that calorie-counting went out the window for the afternoon and we will just have to begin again today. The brunch at the restaurant, even without all the extra treats, is truly exceptional. Many of our family celebrations have taken place there amidst the elegant ambiance and extraordinarily attentive service, not to mention the delicious and abundant variety of beautifully presented food on the well-maintained buffet. At the end, we were greeted by our old friend, Ian, now a manager at the Inn, who used to work with us there when we were in our teens. We assured him that our entire experience that afternoon had been stellar.

After another long nap, Saul and I alternated watching the over-the-top performances at the Grammy awards on television with work on our computers. The long commercial breaks allowed us to get quite a bit of work done. With the help of TiVo, we even had time to fish out our 3D glasses, saved from many years ago, to view, as it was meant to be seen, the 3D presentation on our big flat screen t.v. I love 3D! I am as excited for the proliferation of 3D viewing in the future as I was as a child when we were the first on the block to have a tiny color television screen. I hope I live long enough to be able to see holographic presentations.

Today, we are back to calorie counting in Lose It! and cutting back, trying to figure out just how many calories we have consumed with all the unusual treats we have had in the last few days.