granola bar dilemma and other rebbitzin tales

Some of my biggest challenges happen in the supermarket. Will they have the fish that I want? Will the lines be unending? Will I have to see people I really don’t want to see? Will people who don’t want to see me have to endure the sight of me?

Sigh.

Yesterday, I was trying to get through the store aqap, but I was stymied in the granola bar aisle. I usually purchase some bars of some kind for travel. But I end up feeling all Goldilocksy–some are too soft, some are too hard, and, to be honest, I haven’t come across the just right ones, but I was looking to see if there were any new options.

I noticed someone who I know in the next aisle over on the phone and we waved. I figured that would be safe enough and I wouldn’t have to talk to him. But of course, a few minutes later (while I’m still Buridan-assing over the granola bars) he comes over. He says to me, “I’m sure you hear this a lot, but your husband is amazing.”

Actually I don’t really remember what he said exactly, because I don’t want him thinking I really know why he’s saying it, so I’m trying to feign ignorance. That’s not really hard for me. I don’t really know why he thinks that, but I also probably know enough, only because of the amount of phone calls back and forth between them. So I play along.

“Thanks. I just stand back and let him do his magic.”

Which is true. But yes, we all know that magicians need their assistants, so I guess sometimes I do assist behind the scenes. I’m so happy to let him be in the spotlight.

And then I shared my dilemma of the granola bars and he wished me good luck with my search.

A few minutes later, we caught up again in the next aisle.

“What did you decide?”

“To make my own.”

And so I did.

Banana Oat Bars from thekitchn.com

Makes one 9×9-inch pan

2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped nuts — such as walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with olive oil or butter.

Peel the bananas and mash their flesh in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas should be essentially liquid. Stir in the vanilla, if using. Add the oats and stir them in. Stir in the salt, dates, and nuts.

Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to crisp up.

Place the baking pan on a rack to cool. When the pan is mostly cool, cut into bars and enjoy with a glass of milk or tea.

Shall I tell you now what I changed or do you want to guess?

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silver linings of polio and other travel tidbits

While searching for some travel items on Amazon, look what I found! I typed in “travel accessories”, in case you want to try it. I’d be curious to see if you come up with similar items.

Product Details

Simran SM-60 Universal Power Strip 3 Outlets for 110V-250V Worldwide Travel with Surge/Overload Protection by Simran

(Okay, that makes sense, but not for my needs. Let’s continue.)

Rick Steves Travel Gear Clothesline by Rick Steves

(Again, okay. I’m skipping the photos, since you get the picture:). It’s a rope.)

iPad Mini 5-in-1 Accessories Bundle Rotating Case for Business and Travel, Green by Gearonic

(Ditto.)
Product Details

Classic Accessories Fairway Travel 4-sided Golf Car Enclosure (Fits most two-person golf cars) by Classic Accessories (Jan 12, 2009)

(Hmmm. What else is there?)

CTA Digital PS Vita Travel EVA Protective Case with 4x Game Storage Pockets by CTA Digital (Mar 5, 2012)

(Boooring.)

humangear Gotoob Travel Bottles 3-Pack Medium 2 Ounce by humangear

(Boooring. Wait–I need that.)

Product Details

Pinterest by Pinterest, Inc (Aug 15, 2012)

  • $0.00
  • Available instantly on your connected Android device
  • Get inspiration from DIY, Travel, Food and other categories.
  • Apps for Android: See all 5 items

I think I’ll stop here. I’m not pinterested. (Sorry.)

I did order a few things for myself in preparation for my travels next week.

I made the reservations back in August, but it’s really hard to wrap my head around it that I’m actually taking off. Now, how to pack for over 2 months with one suitcase and lots of different weather possibilities? Australia was a breeze compared to this.

Israel is a complex country, in case you hadn’t heard. (I’m not going to discuss politics now. Enough people are doing an awful job of it without me joining in.)

Even the weather is complex. It can be gorgeous in the winter; it can also snow. We pray for rain in the winter. I will be there for long enough to have to really mean it. So I have my waterproof boots and shoes (yes, the 7 1/2 in the Land’s End actually is the right size, thankfully). I have layers. Enough to make an archaeological dig.

But I think I’ll skip the golf cart enclosure, although perhaps, if it rains enough, I may regret my decision.

Oh–the title?

Of course, you may have read about a polio outbreak in Syria and in Israel last month. I did, too, but I didn’t actually process that it may refer to me. Even though the Israeli healthcare system (the US should really take better notes) has taken care of it pretty well, it still could be lingering in certain areas. And should I take a risk or not?

I called my doctor and asked should I get a booster shot for polio? Does my blood work show if I am immune? Do you have on record that I had polio as a child? Please make sure to tell the doctor that fact–am I more susceptible because of it, like chickenpox/shingles, or does it create immunity?

Well, in the realm of the added unexpected, the nurse called back to say that the doctor said I was immune because of having it as a child.

Woo-hoo!

Who ever thought that would come in handy some day?

Torah, rabbis, and outfits

A humorous note because it looks like we’ll need to find the humor this week.

Today, after ISHI’s first dvar Torah (sermon) of the day, given in honor of an upcoming wedding tomorrow (which we will miss due to the funeral of our SIL’s grandmother), the mother of the groom asked how he came up with such great speeches that really fit every occasion. I told her first thanks, and then proceeded to reveal that it was really like getting dressed for an occasion. You look at what you already have, figure out what’s the best fit for that day, and then accessorize to make it special. Because really, most rabbis have a handful of basic ideas that they re-clothe to suit the event.

Oh! Suit. I see that works, too!

Sometimes, you treat yourself to a new outfit for really special occasions. But as you get older, you realize that’s not really necessary at all.

After all, there’s nothing new under the sun.

 

 

is kugel the secret sauce?

First, I saw this:

Braun Food Processor

  • Kugel Blade
  • Stainless steel blades offer efficiency and durability
  • 600 Watts of power for a wide range of tasks around the kitchen

This is on a site for a company that sells 220v appliances, the kind you need for Israel. I was looking at it for my daughter and family. Granted, it’s a company that’s selling for this particular niche, not for other ethnic groups.

But still, an odd description, wouldn’t you say so?

And then I saw this article from the Jewish Week about a young woman who traveled from being raised as a Neturei Karta-nik to becoming an artist:

“Since I can remember,” she says, “I always felt like I was born into the wrong place, the wrong family. I always knew I wanted to be different. I wasn’t sure I could do it. It was my dream.”

Frequently, she thought about running away, but didn’t think it was possible.

“If you leave, you have to give up so much: your family, your community. It’s really scary; you’re born again. But you’re not a baby, and no one is taking care of you.”

Asked what she misses, she says, “Kugel, food. A sense of community is nice. Other than that, I don’t miss anything. Nothing about that part of my life was good.”

And then there was this thing about:

An Indian-American boy won a national spelling contest after correctly spelling a Yiddish-derived word.

Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., won the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by spelling the word “knaidel,” a traditional Jewish dumpling.

The NY Times says this here:

But the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, which created the standard Yiddish transliteration now used in libraries around the world, holds that the correct spelling is “kneydl.”

Kugel, knaidel, kneydl.

Has our mamaloshen become so ubiquitous? But who is telling our story and do we want Yiddish so sold out?

Dara Horn, in the NY Times piece, ends with this:

A famous Yiddish song, “Oyfn Pripetshik” (“On the Hearth”), describes children sitting in a schoolroom learning how to spell. Toward the end, the lyrics say: “When you become older, children / You yourselves will understand / How many tears lie in the letters / And how much weeping.”

And then I got an email from a marketing expert, John Haydon, in his newsletter Inbound Zombie, about some ways to maximize your non-profit’s Facebook presence:

 …let’s talk about storytelling.
Telling an emotional story that truly moves people is no easy task. We both know that. But what’s ironic is that we are emotional animals first, and logical animals second. Our very existence depends on our ability to feel another person’s pain! In fact, scientists believe that storytelling is part of our evolution as a species.
But judging by the most recent fundraising emails I’ve received, sounding witty is far more important then telling simple stories that move people.
Is it that we’re afraid to feel deeply when we communicate with our community? I mean, they’re people – just like you and me – who feel sadness, joy, anger and hope. Plus, feelings are precisely what drove them to begin a relationship with our nonprofit in the first place!
  • Are we afraid to cross “the line” with words that have tears behind them?
  • Are we afraid that coworkers will judge us if we put colossal passion into our work?
  • Are we afraid that the cause is much more personal to us then we’d like to admit?
  • And are we afraid to lose our identity by investing our entire heart in the work we do?
Finally, are we afraid to realize the power we truly have?

Granted, he’s talking about a community of donors. But of course you can extrapolate from here to anywhere you want.

Or dare.

I am not at a loss for words about what should be a good community, but at what makes one work. I know that people judge us/me, even if we do nothing, so you might as well do something that you are passionate about and make it meaningful. We are definitely more afraid of not living up to our potential, so we’d rather do nothing.

That way, we haven’t failed; we just haven’t given it our best shot.

I’m not talking about others, by the way.

My daughter is getting ready, as I mentioned, to move to Israel. They (perhaps) have mixed feelings about leaving the states, but I won’t talk for them. She also doesn’t understand how people can blog, and I won’t write for others. I do it because I find something valuable stating what I can’t say in other settings. I’ve written about this plenty, so I’ll just continue writing that I do feel that if I left my community now, I would not be missed (okay except for just a few people). The jobs that I do in the community could be done by others without a problem; they have before and they can be again. Do I bring more passion to what I do than others? I hope so.

Is this necessary?

Clearly not.

Should we be encouraging people to feel more connected?

Yes.

But maybe someone else should be doing it, since I just don’t know if I have the right recipe.

Last week on Memorial Day, we took the kiddies to the neighborhood parade. It was quaintly nostalgic of what Americana should be–the people lined up with their lawn chairs to watch; the politicians waving bravely; the marching bands; the strange assortment of others, always with people you would not expect. I was touched by the purity of the simple. It’s what community should be, the coming together and celebrating the collection. To the outsider that I was, that was enough. My daughter didn’t come. She stayed home to finish planting the flowers we had bought.

That was also community.

I’m still thinking of what it all means, but hey, I did take some photos that I’ll share now.

DSC_0242 DSC_0256 DSC_0258 DSC_0261 DSC_0264 DSC_0267 DSC_0270 DSC_0275 DSC_0277 DSC_0286 DSC_0289

freedom!

While trying to sync up my Google calendar for traveling, etc., I was going through my emails for our upcoming trip.

Shalom
on my confirmation email I now always have at the bottom a link to the luggage policy i have it here again
you are allowed per person 1 carry on and two check in suitcases 50 pounds each and the domestic flight should accommodate
same policy i also spoke with the airline to verify this

Stop.

(Doesn’t it remind you of the old style of telegrams? Hello? Anyone remember those? Or at least in the movies?)

But whoah! This is amazing! Yes, we can bring the car seat! Yes, I can bring the We Are In a Book Book!

We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

But much more importantly,

I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HOW MANY SHOES I CAN BRING!!!

Or do I????

someone messed with my lists

There’s nothing wrong with making lists, is there?

Yom Kippur is a day full of lists. We go over all the things that we have done wrong publicly. And by that, I mean, we sing them out loud in public for what we may or may have not done publicly. In repeating them over and over, it’s like the police questioning a suspect, breaking down their defenses (from what I know from books, TV, and movies only, of course).

So lists can be very helpful. I make many, often. I have them on lots of different media–on my computer as reminders, emails I send to myself, notes on my phone, and then the old-fashioned way with lots of little pieces of paper.

For marketing, I put them in my coupon holder.

For other shopping, I put them in a particular pocket of my pocketbook.

For general ones, I put them in another pocket of that same pocketbook.

Here’s one I made for today.

Yes, I was going to get a vacuum cleaner at Costco, but ordered one through Amazon instead (for $100 off!).

I of course got a whole lot of things other than what was on the list.

For example, I ran into a friend at Costco and he told me stories about his mother and her realistic view of life as she has gotten older. She has told her family about her extra-ordinary adventures after the War in Israel and how she defied the British soldiers without blinking. And yet, she refuses to tell them about what she went through during the Holocaust in order to survive. It is her way to maintain her dignity. At what cost is her silence? Some therapists would say it’s impossible to hold that in. And yet she and many others have survived because they have not told, they have not shared. It’s really the unwritten chapter about the Holocaust, what we will never ever know.

And all of that conversation started because I shared that my father really wants to pick up and go to Australia, if S#2 and DIL#1 (since they were married before S#2) have a boy. Someone from the family has to represent, if there’s going to be a bris…

I think I convinced him that he shouldn’t go, not because it would be too much for him to travel to Australia, but because he didn’t go when they named their daughter after my mother…Guilt usually does win out.

And that he can’t give into the fact that running to Australia would be too much for him at his age because that’s what keeps him young.

So I’m not sure it’s a bucket list for him, but it’s what keeps him looking forward.

I guess the only thing wrong with lists is not completing them.

Or forgetting where you put them.

Or someone messing with them.

Which leads me to my other list that’s missing.

Someone (okay I know who it is but I’m not saying, but um it happened yesterday, so the suspects are limited) took my prayer book yesterday and took out my scraps of paper that I have accumulated. I found 2, but one is missing. On those papers I have names in Hebrew of people I know or who I’ve been asked to pray for their healing.

I can remember 3 of the names but not the last one.

I guess I have to hope that Someone else is taking very good care of that person.

so, does the scuppernong deserve a shehecheyanu?

Did I get your attention yet or did you think that my auto-suggest went nuts?

Actually, I’m very old-fashioned. I do my post writing on my computer, and WordPress surprisingly does not have auto-suggest. They just redline everything. (Like redline. And scuppernong and shehecheyanu:).)

I was at Whole Foods today buying up in preparation for Rosh Hashanah. I bought dino kale (so we should have a dinomite year) and baby bok choy (so our babies should be chock full of love) and apples and pears and dates for the sweet year (ISHI doesn’t eat apples, even if they’re organic). And then I saw them.

Some muscadines in a bowl; the green ones are scuppernongs.

And they’re organic!

But what are they?

I bought them. Should I refrigerate them?

Are they fruit? They look a lot like tomatoes.

Or grapes.

And for our purposes, are they a new fruit, so can we say the blessing of a new fruit for the new year with them?

In the meantime, D#1 was on the lookout for a new fruit, too. She sent me this photo from her store in Teaneck that was looking out for its customers by offering the following:

I did some research on these, of course.  This is what I wrote her:

The rambutan looks interesting http://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Rambutan but too difficult to eat, so skip that one.

Monster fruit –probably too difficult to get a ripe one.

The fruit may be ripened by cutting it when the first scales begin to lift up and it begins to exude a pungent odor. It is wrapped in a paper bag and set aside until the scales begin popping off. The scales are then brushed off or fall away to reveal the edible flesh underneath. The flesh, which is similar to pineapple in texture, can be cut away from the core and eaten. It has a fruity taste similar to jackfruit and pineapple. The unripe green fruits can irritate the throat and the latex of the leaves and vines can create rashes in the skin, because both contain potassium oxalate: that’s the reason why the fruits have to be consumed when the scales lift up.

I’ve had the dragon fruit in Israel–not really tasty, and they were ripe. Just no taste. Not a good sign, I think.

Tamarind–“tamar indi” Indian date. Supposed to be very mature before it’s good. So are they? It’s high in calcium, which is odd for fruit.

So…either the monster fruit or the tamarind?

So I was not sure about what she would discover, so I was on the hunt for something different today. This definitely fits that category. But does it fit the definition of a new fruit?

Google to the rescue (Don’t worry, D#2, I’ll get to your stroller search later)! Here’s what Auman Vineyards have to say about them:

Scuppernong is the original variety of bronze muscadine discovered growing in the wild. Today even though improved bronze varieties such as Carlos and Magnolia have been developed for commercial plantings, most southerners still refer to any bronze muscadines as Scuppernongs. Purple or black varieties are commonly called muscadines.

Scuppernong & Muscadine History

The Earliest Accounts

North Carolina is the home of our nation’s first cultivated grape. The earliest written account of the “White Grape,” as it was called by our colonist, occurs in Giovanni de Verrazzano’s logbook. Verrazzano, the Florentine navigator, who explored the Cape Fear River Valley for France in 1524, wrote that he saw “…Many vines growing naturally there…”

“Grapes of such greatness, yet wild, as France, Spain, nor Italy hath no greater”

Sir Walter Raleigh’s explorers, captains Phillip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe wrote in 1584, that the coast of North Carolina was “…so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them…in all the world, the like abundance is not to be found.”

In 1585, Governor Ralph Lane stated in describing North Carolina to Sir Walter Raleigh that “We have discovered the main to be the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven, so abounding with sweet trees that bring rich and most pleasant gummes, grapes of such greatness, yet wild, as France, Spain, nor Italy hath no greater…”

Of Muscadines and Scuppernongs…

Of the bounteous store of natural gifts that have rolled forth from the Horn of Plenty upon the soil of North Carolina few have been more celebrated than the scuppernong grape. It is a sport of the species Vitis rotundifolia, commonly called muscadine, which is native to the southern states and grows nowhere else save as an exotic. The muscadine, it is no exaggeration to say, could well be substituted for cotton in the first line of “Dixie” if one were to bow to botanical realism. The scuppernong variety of muscadine has a tough skin and is bronzy green in color, rather than black or purplish as were its ancestors. Its size, to use traditional Tarheel parlance, is “about that of a hog’s eye.” As is the case with all muscadines, the fruit does not grow in conventional bunches, and when ripe it can be readily shaken from its vine. It’s abundant juice is so deliciously sweet, with a kind of musky, fruity flavor, that when it’s unusual color attracted attention, in the general vicinity of present day Columbia, N.C., possibly toward the end of the eighteenth century, specimens were transplanted or seeds or cuttings sown on neighboring farms and gardens whence in time its reputation spread throughout the botanical worlAnd then there’s this from the Wikipedia article on muscadines:

Although in the same genus Vitis with the other grapevine species, muscadines belong to a separate subgenus, Muscadinia (the other grapevine species belong to subgenus Vitis), and some have suggested giving it standing as a genus of its own. Some taxonomists have also suggested splitting two additional species off from Vitis rotundifoliaVitis munsoniana and Vitis popenoei. All have 40 chromosomes, rather than 38, are generally not cross-compatibile with other Vitisspecies, and most hybrids between the subgenera are sterile.

That’s enough for us! They are like grapes, but different enough to fulfill the requirement of being its own fruit. And it will get the brachah of שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ, that we are grateful to being alive and being kept alive in this new year.

And I also bought a papaya last week, just in case.

 

i’m no fan of football or gangs, but this is ridiculous

Did you see this yet?

IIlegal procedure: Student penalized for wearing No.18 Manning jersey

Not everyone is ready for some football.

Ahead of Sunday’s opening game between Denver and the Pittsburgh Steelers, one Colorado school district has decided to gang up on an 8-year-old student who was prohibited from wearing Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s No. 18 football jersey to class.

The Weld County School Systems is sticking to its guns – or a policy – that prevents No. 18 on clothing worn in school because it is believed to represent gang affiliations.

“They told me I couldn’t wear 18 anymore because it’s a gang number and I had to take it off,” said Konnor Vanatta, during an interview with FOX31 Denver before Sunday’s big regular-season game, the first for Manning since his trade to Denver in the offseason after a hall-of-fame-worthy career with Indianapolis Colts.

A spokesperson for Weld County District 6 explained the policy has been around for more than three years and applies to the numbers 13, 14, 18, 31, 41 and 81.

“Peyton Manning’s been my favorite football player for a long time,” said Vannatta, who wore a No. 61 jersey the following day to protest the policy and was met without restraint.

His mother, Pam Vanatta, also thinks the penalty is uncalled for and should be further reviewed.

“I’m pretty upset the schools have come down to this and I think they need to start paying attention to the education the children are getting rather than then what they’re wearing,” said the student’s mother.

The school is standing by its call.

“We’re Broncos fans ourselves, it has nothing to do with that we’re just wanting to set a consistent solid, example,” said spokesperson Roger Fiedler. “We do try to really discourage and take a stance on any sort of clothing or display of gang-affiliated material or signage.”

Pam Vanatta said the family is all for school safety, but this time the No. 18 should be celebrated, not feared.

Okay, so why is #18 feared? Who knew? Why, Wikipedia, of course!

18th Street gang, also known as M18, Calle 18, Barrio 18, La18 or Mara-18 in Central America,[2][8][9][10] is a multi-ethnic transnational criminal organization that started as a street gang in the Rampart area of Los Angeles, California.[1] They are considered to be the largest transnational criminal street gang in Los Angeles and it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of members in Los Angeles County alone.

18th Street gang members are required to abide by a strict set of rules. Failure to obey the word of a gang leader, or to show proper respect to a fellow gang member, may result in an 18-second beating, or even execution for more serious offenses.[14] According to the FBI, some factions of the 18th Street gang have developed a high level of sophistication and organization. The 18th Street gang is of Chicanoorigin and was formed by Mexican-American youth who were not accepted in the existing American gangs. 18th Street gang members often identify themselves with the number 18 on their clothing and sporting clothing from sports teams such as the Los Angeles DodgersLos Angeles Lakers and Oakland Raiders. 18th Street will use the symbols XV3, XVIII, 666, 99,(9+9=18), and 3-dots in their graffiti and tattoos. 18th Street colors are black, blue. Blue is to represent Sureños (despite being a non-Sureños affiliate), the gangs from the oldest barrios in Southern California, and black is to represent the original color for the gang. The 18th Street gang is occasionally referred to as the “Children’s Army” because of its recruitment of elementary and middle-school aged youth.[15]

Oh…

Still…

Greeley, Colorado?

Oh, mymymymy.

And why do I care, in the first place? There’s all kinds of other garbage going on that I don’t comment on. But the truth is that the number 18 is considered a special one in Judaism, since it is the numerical value of the the word Life–חי, with the ח being the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the י being the 10th, so 10 +8

And if you have to ask why Life should be a value, well, then, we’ve got much bigger problems.

 

why are chocolate chips such a big deal?

In case you haven’t heard, there’s been a huge hullabaloo here in the states about Trader Joe’s trading in their status of favorite store of many observant Jews due to the change in the status of their chocolate chips. They used to be certified kosher pareve, which meant that they could be used for either meat or dairy dishes, but due to stringency on the part of the kosher supervising company, they’ve now been certified dairy, even though they still don’t have dairy in them. It’s a bottom line bottom-line thing. Cost. They can’t wipe down the equipment between runs anymore like they used to. Well, they CAN, but…

So now we have to see if they can because the cri de coeur is so deafening.  After all, not only was there a petition sent all around through change.org, but it made the Wall Street Journal today. As always, the comments were telling. One person pointed out the value of the pareve status for those with dairy allergies. Their lives literally depend on that. Of course, I know that those who are in that position also find out when dairy is really not dairy at all, such as Oreos. So who’s willing to be the guinea pig on this one? I guess someone with a lesser reaction, but I wouldn’t want to play that part. I like playing it safe.

Some complained about religious nonsense and much ado about nothing. And that’s perhaps true, except that, after all, this is a business paper addressing a business issue.  So whether there’s a value or not to the issue, it makes sense for them to investigate.  And after all, if we wouldn’t dare object to the restrictions of Halal for the Moslems (as much as it’s become politically correct to make fun of the Mormons and their food restrictions–see this article, if you’d like, about their issue with coffee), then we should be honestly accepting of all faiths’ food taboos and limitations.

And yet…

Why is it such a big deal?

Yes, they’re tastier and less expensive than other brands. That’s not a little thing. But it’s only chocolate chips, after all.

So why?

I think it’s because we like to be normal. All we’s. We who keep kosher, we who have allergies, we minorities of unseen things. We like to be able to go to a regular store and buy our things and pretend, for a moment, that we are all the same.

Of course we are. Really.

One of my favorite things that happened a few years back was going into a Trader Joe’s when travelling through the middle of California and finding kosher wine. We had to take the main highway while travelling from San Francisco to LA due to the wild fires along the coast. Really–the middle of nowhere!

And not the not-so-good-though-kosher wine that they sell now, but Herzog wine! Now that’s convenient luxury! We bought a whole bunch of bottles, for sure, just to show our appreciation.

Is it the luxury of convenience or the convenience of luxury?

But being able to buy our little luxuries makes us all on the same level. And that’s a good thing. We need to be able to know that capitalism is the great equalizer.

Or it could be, all things being equal.

But they’re not. And so those in charge are making us understand our limits.

So what am I going to do?

Make brownies instead of blondies.

And hope that I can keep things in perspective.

forget about who moved the cheese*

I want to know was it worth it?

I shop at a few different supermarkets, depending on time and direction and weather. So this one market has been out of my loop for about a month, I guess since they started their redecorating process.

The good news is that this obviously is a sign of good economic times for them, that they thought to expand. The bad news is that it makes things very difficult for us consumers.

I realize that my post yesterday means that it is good to mix things up. I know that it’s good for the brain. But I just didn’t want that exercise today, thank you. A very nice (older) woman offered me her list of aisles and items.

“Thank you, but that would mean that I would have to look at the list and where I’m going. And that would also mean I should know what I wanted. That’s really okay. You can keep it.”

You see, I know what I came to get, but I didn’t know what else I might find. Eyes open and all that.

I really didn’t need any cheese, so that wasn’t a problem.

They didn’t have soy flour. I didn’t find any organic potatoes. They only had blueberry kefir, not plain.

I’m not sure what else I didn’t get.

But I’ve already found I’ve got what I need.

* I just saw that they actually made a version of that silly book for kids.

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? For Kids

Maybe that’s the target audience for the original. Sorry if I offended anyone who liked it.

Or at least maybe I should be. Convince me , if you want.