Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mark's Favorite Salad

From Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Feeling: Happy

This is Mark's favorite salad. The beauty of this salad is it not only very good, but very filling and you can add whatever you like for your enjoyment.
A bed of Baby Spinch or Spring Greens (these have more flavor)
1 large tomato, thin slice.
1 small pearl or red onion, thin slice (I like both)
1 large cucumber, thin slice
1/2 red, yellow and orange peppers, thin slice
2 hard boiled eggs, thin slice
1 cup of feta cheese
1 cup of a mixture of red, green and black olives, whole or sliced.
2 cans of kippers, oil drained.
Greek salad dressing.

On a chilled platter layer it with the spinach. Then layer the veggies, cheese and kipper in the order that is laid out. You can replace the kippers with salman or tuna. Lavish your salald with Greek Salad dressing, then sprinkle a little Dill and then allow to chill for an old before serving.
Vary; If I use chicken, I do not use the cheese since this would be mixing dairy with meat.
Serve with a white or pink blush, or white grape juice. Also very good with Ice Mint tea.

Preparing For Shabbat

From Feb. 27, 2008

The Highest of the High Holy Days.
The joy and the beauty of the Day isn't dim because it is celebrated once a week. Shabbat is a weekly foretaste of what Paradise, the World to Come, Heaven is going to be like.
Today is the day I turn my full attention for preparing for Shabbath.
Today, I do any grocery for the Sabbath meal today. This includes what is needed for making Challah, Shabbath wine and fresh candles. Check table linens. If I am decorating the Oneg room (oneg means delight) for the Sabbath meal @ Synagogue, then I will take the table linens with me to Torah study this evening, for I can get the room ready the following day.
Mark and I have special clothes we set aside for the wearing of Shabbat. On this day I make sure my dress, skirt/blouse is clean and good repair, that I have fresh stockings, knee highs or socks.
Place my menu. There are several dishes that I make only for Shabbat. So today I will decide what I will have for supper. This Sabbath I am making a lovely salad that Mark. It is an Mediterranean Salad that is Mark's favorite and it makes me feel closer to him.
I will share the recipe in the next entry.

I also make sure the bed linen is clean and ready. We even have special bedsheets for Shabbat. Again, the purpose is to say that this day is different, set apart from all others.
It is a time of joy for Mark and I. We often decide who we are going to invite for Shabbat or if it is going to be a nice, quiet evening.
During Mark's deployment, I have to find the joy. It is still a Day of Rest and Peace. Whether Mark is home or not.
But he is home; home in spirit.
And at the Shabbat table, I include his picture.

Mummie's Birthday

Sunday, February 24, 2008
9:33:23 PM EST
Feeling; Happy
Watching: The Twight Zone: The Mask

In our family, birthdays are a big deal. A celebration.

Sometimes big and spalshy. Sometimes it is a quiet affair.
Either way, we take the whole month to celebrate the birth of our loved one and to thank G-d for the life of the one He has given to us as a gift of love. The idea was my mum's.
My younger sister's birthday begins about the beginning of April while my is close of June. Eileen's birthday would seen to fly by whereas there was always a build-up to mine. So, mummie came up with the idea for the whole month to be celebrated, that way it would be a special time for both of us. It has since become a family tradition.
This month, we celebrate the birthday of my mummie. Her 74th. Her best gift; her beloved son Mark's phone call from Iraq to wish her a Happy Birthday.

This afternoon, mummie, a dear friend Anne (she and her husband were one of the readers @ Mark and mine wedding) had Mummie's birthday lunch @ Azar's.
Azar's is a wonderful dinning experiernce. The food is natural, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian, cuisine. It has something for every one, the service very good. Owe and run by a wonderful Lebanese family that still attends the church Mark and I met at, and it was Azar's that catered our wedding. If you ever come to Norfolk, you have got to stop @ Azar's.
I chose Azar's because not only is the food awesome, but because it handicap and senior citzen friendly. Therefore, it would be easy for mummie to walk about with her cane. And there is no smoking @ Azar's. Family friendly, and the service is very good.
Ann and I have know each other almost 12 years. She was a big help to me when mummie had her stroke and they, being closer in age, began quick friends. So it was nice to spend the afternoon with two of my flavorite ladies. And I did take pictures.
The gifts were; a shower gel with the scent of olive oil and orange blossems. A room flesher that was french, not heavy, but held Spring in its can. I have the same in candle form. A Chocolate cup and spoon, with a matching plate, for hot coco of course. Mint and Ginger tea. And last, but not least....
Yes, Elf Soap. While it is used to encourage children to wash their hands, it is a cute little gift for the "woman who has everything."Mummie loved it. She loved each of her gifts as well as her lunch.

But I was the one truly blessed; to have this remarkable lady I call mummie.
In many of my entries, I made my mummie sound perfect. She isn't; she is a human being. Our relationship was a rocky one; personality the same, but with different outlooks and talents. My mum has confess she didn't often understand me and thus made mistakes.

But don't we all as mums and dads?
My mum did the best she could with what she knew to do. I don't believe in "Mommie Dearest" tales; recounting the horrors of our childhood, even if the tales are true. It doesn't bring honour to our parents. No, judgement rest with G-d alone. Our relationship was healed and has become the thing of beauty you see today because;
1.Mummie admitted her own errors and failings, asking my forgiveness. 2. As I grew up, I realize that mummie was a human being and realizing my on mistakes and errors, asked for forgiveness.
Thus, in the same way G-d loves us, extends grace and mercy to us, we must be willing to extend to others. It is that is the healing balm that heals all wounds, broken hearts and relationships.

I have been blessed to still have my mum after her stroke almost nine years ago. She has been my greatest supporter, my loudest cheerleader, bigggest critic as well as my friend and big sister in the faith.
I know she shall never read this but: I love you, Mummie.

You know your soldier is deployed when...

From February 24, 2008

You know your soldier is deployed when...

1. You wear old sweatpants and sweatshirts to bed.

2. You can watch whatever you want on TV without arguing with him first.

3. You get up in the middle of the night to check your e-mail.

4. You sleep with your cell phone incase he calls in the middle of the night.

5. You love watching cute love movies because it reminds you of all the cute things he does when he's home.

6. You haven't shaved your legs in weeks.

7. The mailman knows you because you are always out waiting for him to come.

8. You start paying close attention in class when the words "military" or "iraq" are mentioned.

9. You suddenly have an obsession with anything military related.

10. You see someone wearing an army, navy, or usmc shirt and you get this overwhelming urge to talk to them.

11. You make friends with strangers online just because they are in the same situation as you and are the only ones that can truely understand what you are going through.

12. You can't decide what to wear when you meet him at the airport because his flight comes in at a rediculous hour in the morning and you want to look cute, but not too cute, because your cutest outfit you want to save for your first full day together.

13. Your first Christmas together is.... apart.

14. You find yourself checking your e-mail every fifteen minutes.

15. You know all the time differences between where you are and Iraq, Ireland, Kuwait, Italy, Germany, Korea, and every state in the U.S.

16. The highlight of your day is getting a letter that was mailed a month ago.

17. And if you don't get a letter, the highlight of your day is writing him a letter that you know he will be able to read in a month.

18. You realize that HOMECOMING is so much more than a football game.

19. You want to hit any happy couple you see together.

20. You get excited about "unknown" phone numbers calling you.

21. You've exhausted every idea a brain could have of what to put in a box.

22. You see a "support our troops" sticker on a car when you are stuck in traffic and you find yourself guessing about who they know that is deployed and thinking about their entire life story.

23. When the clock says 11:11, you find yourself wishing for the same thing everytime: a call from your soldier.

24. You get excited when its only 9 months until you see your soldier instead of 12!

25. You can't stand girls that talk about missing their boyfriends who live a few hours away. You just want to yell "drive and go see them them" because if you had the chance, you would jump on the first plane to go see your soldier no matter how far it is.

26. You don't know what teams are on top for football, basketball, etc.

27. You wouldn't dream of walking out of the house without the cell phone and every number you have is forwarded to that cell.

28. You find yourself randomly crying from just looking at a picture of the two of you together.

29. You find yourself randomly crying and you sometimes have no idea why

.30. You stay on the internet for hours searching for anything and everything about the military.

31. You talk to your friends about him so much that they know his full name, birthday and even his favorite color.

32. You are reading this and smiling and nodding because you know it's so true!*********************************************

You know You're Married to the Military when......

From February 23, 2008

You know you're married to the military when......

you don't mind a phone call waking you up at 3 a.m....

you tell people that ask that he's "only" been gone a month....

the smallest contact (even a short email) from your man makes your entire week!...

you cry over an email that says nothing more than hi and I miss you....

those recruitment commercials on TV make you cry because you are so proud!...

your sentences start containing more acronyms and numbers than actual words....

you sleep in PT attire, cuddled up in a poncho liner, because it's the closest you can come to being with your military man....

you're sitting at home and you realize that you haven't talked to your husband in over a month....

you get super excited just knowing that your husband tried to call but wasn't able to get through....

the first ball you go to as a girlfriend your name tag says "Mrs.. Is that a self fulfilling prophecy or what?!?...

when your favorite 'man' to see everyday is the MAILMAN (what a love/hate relationship that is)...

when you refer to everyone not in the military or dating someone in the military as a Civilian, you can rattle off the time in perfect military time without having to think and finally you get excited when you can name the assault rifle correctly....

you stop shaving above the knees. What's the point? ;)...

a 30 second phone call after no calls from him for a month leaves you full of joy and happiness, ..."No news is good news" becomes your motto....

the motto "no shore too distant " becomes your life....

you could wait forever for your loved one to return home into your arms....

you feel yourself growing more and more in love with your military man even while he's so far away....

planning letters/ care packages and putting them in the mail is more exciting then going out for a night on the town with the girls....

you don't mind tripping over combat boots left in the middle of the bedroom floor....

you find yourself learning phrases in foreign languages from letters, and aren't surprised when you realize you know how to say, "Throw down your weapons and lay down on the ground!" in Arabic....

you hold off on seeing certain movies so you can see them with your military man when he comes home....

you want to roll your eyes when you hear someone say, "I haven't seen my boyfriend/husband in a week!"....

you can go from being happy, to sad, to lonely, to angry, to proud, and back to happy in a matter of less than an hour....

you sleep with the phone right next to you, just in case....if he's deployed you don't care how your hair looks nor care about wearing make-up, and the people at your work ask about your husband every day to see if you've heard from him....

you start saying things like "Wow that is a really nice box. Are you going to use that for anything?" to total strangers....

you can give the rates for all the long distance calling cards on the market without hesitation....

the sight of any other man in a uniform makes you miss your husband MORE than it makes you drool, and when you try to explain to civilians what your husband does for a living, they give you a blank look because they don't understand a third of what you just said....

you feel lucky for each second granted to the two of you....

every new watch you buy has a two time zone feature....

you are half a world apart and you don't notice the time difference and talk until 1 p.m. his time and 2 a.m. your time on a school/work night....

Going 3-6 months without seeing your man seems like a drop in the bucket compared to other women you know and what you have been through before. know and what you have been through before....

you haven't heard from him in while and you find yourself reading the old letters you have received because it's something that makes you feel closer to him....

you don't bat an eyelash when he say's "Uh, Honey they changed when I'm supposed to return home, yet again."...

you find it romantic when your military man serenades you with cadences.

BUT MOST OF ALL....You know you're Married to the Military when you can stand next to your man and feel a pride you've never felt before and know that some people will just never 'get' it.

Flowers For Sabbath

From Friday, February 22, 2008
7:36:18 PM

It is almost Sabbath. But this was a story I wanted to share before t.he sun goes down.
It is a tradition for Orthodox Jewish men ( for most anyway) to bring flowers home to their wives on Friday afternoon. Yes, very romantic as well as a wonderful touch for the celebration of Sabbath. Having told Mark about this tradition in the beginning of our relationship, since the first weeks of our marriage, Mark has brought home flowers to me for Sabbath.

And I love it.
And it is one of the things I miss with Mark being in Iraq, I have not recieved Sabbath flowers. Yes, it is a small thing. But it is one of those things one misses when one's spouse is deployed.
But this afternoon, coming home from the store, I watched the flower delievery van park outside our apartment building. A huge smile spread across my face and I ran upstairs, knowing there were flowers waiting for me.
The Delievery Man was at the head of the stairs smiling. He is use do delievering packages from Iraq and knew how much this meant to me.

There were Red roses and white Lilies. Already my house smells like heaven.
The card read in part: "To the only woman I can truly ever love, Good Sabbath."
It is now.
Animated Flowers

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Love the Candles

From Thursday, February 21, 2008 11:35:55 PM EST
Feeling: Happy

Blessed are you, L-rd, our G-d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Shabbat.

As the woman of the home, it is both my duty and my honour to kindle the Shabbat lights. Each Ere Shabbat, I have the blessing of lighting the candles and saying the blessing our mothers have uttered for hundreds of years.
There is a moment when after I light the candles, spread the light and joy of Shabbat to all about me and then hide my eyes.
That is a moment so blessed, so holy for it is my moment with G-d, a moment of sweetness, a soft kiss. During this sweet moment I ask G-d to bless my husband, children (the ones we believe G-d to give us one day) friends, family.
Then when I uncover my eyes, that is when Sabbath begins. For when I see open my eyes and see the lights, I smile and my husband says it is my smile that says; "It's Sabbath."
Right now, I kindle the Shabbat lights, knowing Mark is doing the same in Iraq. I send him to Iraq with the candlestick holders I used when I was still single, when we started courting, then engaged and finally married. Something of home, something to remind him of the sweetness we enjoyed on Shabbat.
I am happy to know that mark hasn't been welcoming Shabbat alone. That sometimes others join him.
Sometimes he calls me just before the sun goes down in Iraq, to wish me a good Shabbat. I have set aside one set of candleholders to light at @ 9a.m because it is 6pm in Iraq. This way we can light them together.
In our home, I have candles Mark brought a while back that are rose and jasmine scented. It makes me think of my beloved.
There is a softness and calm that comes when I kindle the candles.
The peace of G-d.

How We Do V Day

From Wednesday, February 13, 2008
7:01:28 PM EST: Feeling Happy
Hearing: Fox News

This day of love, chocolate and flowers is a very special day in our home. For it is the time Mark asked me to marry him. Three years ago this evening. And though he is in Iraq this year, we still send each other cards and gifts. And I recieved 12 long stem roses, a build-with-love-bear and a small box of Godiva chocolates.

Like all of the Celebrations of our lives, we also decorate our home for Valentine's Day. This year, I will save the decorations for when Mark comes home. A belated Valentine's Day.
These are pictures from our first Valntine's Day. I was just getting over the flu, but I wasn't going to miss this special evening.