Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In Carolina...

Carol came to visit the week between Christmas and New Year's. We went to lots of parties and ate fine holiday fare. We also visited Savannah where we ate lunch at Paula Deen's restaurant - Lady & Sons. In the first photo we went to the Andrew Low House, father in law of the founder of the Girl Scouts Juliette Gordon Low. Next two photos are in Beaufort, a cute little town just 1/2 hour north of our home. Carol and I took a carriage tour and saw the beautiful old houses and trees. Lots of movies have been filmed here including The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Big Chill, and many scenes of Forrest Gump. Last day we drove to Charleston where we took another carriage tour and saw bigger and more beautiful homes. The largest house is a whopping 24,000 square feet on three floors. We shopped in the old market buildings and ate a fabulous seafood meal at Hyman's Restaurant. We ate at a table where Pat Conroy and Erma Bombeck had sat.

Carol flew home on the 31st and we spent much of the day napping and getting ready for New Year's Eve.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Aruba Farewell

Aruba was great! Thanks so much to Hinda and Marty Klinghoffer for their terrific hospitality. We spent a fun week touring, snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming, and EATING! There are a ton of really good restaurants on Aruba (pricey, but really good). We sampled as many as we could. Madame Janette's was probably our favorite, but Amazonia - a carnivore's delight - was right up there for me.

I replaced my lost wedding ring. My last one is at the bottom of the Schroon River where I lost it tubing last summer. We bought this one in Aruba because that is where we bought the last one. Of course I had to buy it when gold is at a record high, but what are you gonna do?

Coming back wasn't as bad as it could have been. We were delayed in Atlanta for about an hour due to the snowstorm up north, but there were travelers who were seriously stranded. So we have no complaints. It was easier to travel when we lived near a major airport instead of having to travel through a hub, but that's one of the costs of living in paradise.

Last night I called my very best childhood friend, Biff. (My BFF is Biff?!?!) I found out in Christmas cards from him and from his sister that he had a triple bypass last summer. He is mostly OK but has not been able to work since then. His spirits were good, and it was great to talk to him.

This week we will be going to a bunch of parties, and then - finally - the end of National Gluttony Month. Let me see. I already did my exercise for this year. I guess I'll have to start thinking about which exercise I'm going to do in 2010.

Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Fiddle De Dee

That's Judy playing the fiddle. (She is NOT playing violin; I don't care what it looks like!) The group is called the Mountain Strings and they play folk/bluegrass music. Though primarily a dulcimer group, there are violins, guitars, a bass, a dobro, and sometimes even an autoharp.

Most of the dulcimers as well as the dobro are homemade. A dobro is a type of guitar with a metal resonator. It is usually played in a horizontal position and a metal slide is use to change the notes rather than fingering chords. Jim Hoehl (back row, white shirt) is playing his homemade dobro. Doug Linn is standing in the foreground playing lead guitar and Jack Toritto is standing in the rear playing bass. Next to Judy (back row on left) also playing violin - er - fiddle is Arleen Melamed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oseh Shalom

The title song today is Oseh Shalom, Make Peace. Jeff and I volunteered to help run a service at Parris Island yesterday. Our Temple sends a team up each Sunday morning to perform this important deed for any Jewish marines or recruits who choose to attend. In the camp's ministries' building there are chapels for many denominations and all hold services at the same time. We spent a meaningful hour with two young men and our team leader Ken Rosenberg. Jeff and I will return next week and train another vounteer to lead the service.

It is our small way to say thank you to all the men and women who serve our country and we wish them all well and a safe return.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

You Are my Sunshine

Here I am on another kayak trip with a group of friends. This week we paddled on the May River and had a gorgeous weather day. No dolphins, but we saw some interesting birds and beautiful homes on the islands we passed. It is all part of an exciting weekend culminating in a dinner dance to honor our friends Sue and Bob Wiener for their love and service to Temple Oseh Shalom. They organized a lunch and this kayak trip yesterday and tonight is the dinner dance.

The weather here has been balmy and sunny and is such a pleasure for November. Flowers are still blooming and the grass is green. We love our life in the south.
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Here we are at the Testimonial dinner for our retiring rabbi - Rav Bob Wiener. What a great night with good friends, food and music. We all danced the hora, electric slide, macarena and more.
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Sunday, November 08, 2009


Jeff and I ran a program for our Bull Hill neighborhood called "Color Wars" just like in camp. The food committee had box lunches and the day ended with make your own sundaes. In between Jeff and I organized games like a marshmallow toss and had the guys put lipstick on each other while blindfolded. We had a trivia contest about Sun City and South Carolina and a mini scavenger hunt. It was lots of fun. Each person picked a colored bandana, that became the teams and they competed for medals, trophies and just to be silly and have fun.

In the top photo Jeff and our friend Laura Marks eat their lunch. Then the blue team performs their cheer. I am enjoying my three scoop sundae and Jeff sits at the judges table while they tally the scores.

A great time was had by all.
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Saturday, November 07, 2009


More critters in our back yard. Top is a large alligator who showed up last weekend. Then a blue heron who appears to be smiling and laughing. A group shot including a great white egret, juvenile ibis, wood stork and another egret. The bottom picture is a close up of a great white egret and the wood stork.
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Our back yard has turned into an animal sanctuary. Although the lagoon is full of algae islands, the birds are coming and we just love watching them. This a great white egret and there have been up to nine of them along the lagoon all week. This lucky gal/guy caught a small garter snake in the last photo and enjoyed playing before eating it. I'll post some more photos with other wildlife in our yard.
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Norwegian Wood

This is the end of our kayak trip. The same dead tree now has ibis on every branch. They are waiting for the tide to go out so they can look for dinner as there are oyster beds under the water. It is not Norwegian Wood, but that is such a great song.
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When You Wish Upon A Star

Today I finally went kayaking and couldn't have wished for a more terrific day. My friend Carol Rosenberg (third photo) and I joined a small group led by Sue Chapman of the Swamp Girls and we paddled out by the Pinckney Wildlife Preserve. Right away we saw a group of dolphins leaping out of the water and joyfully playing. Next we came upon this dead tree with an osprey on the top and a great white egret sitting on a lower branch. We continued on and saw flocks of ibis flying over the fresh water ponds in the preserve. It was a lovely, sunny day and the water was smooth and I had a great time. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ooh Baby, Baby

Jeff and I went for bike ride and saw this baby gator near the nature trail. At first I thought it was a snake, but it didn't move and was perfectly camouflaged amid the algae and fallen leaves.
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Friday, October 30, 2009


This is a double crested cormorant, but the Beatles song says, "Spread Your Wings and Fly..." This bird hangs around the lagoon near the pickleball courts. On land it dries it wings and look at those beautiful blue eyes.
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