♦ Letting Go, Moving On

Dear Shaina,
I was almost ready to put this blog to rest, but I just couldn’t do it. If nothing else, it tracks the trends of our lives in ways that help me remember our meandering journeys.

I just went to our site and to my HORROR, it’s expired. It hasn’t been renewed. If I had any ambivalence about continuing, it’s gone. I am not ready to let go. I didn’t even know it could expire, never to be seen again!

I started writing… I stopped… and now it’s a few hours before Rosh Hashanah and we have company coming for dinner. I’ve been cooking (something I don’t do very often in Portland) and Dad’s been cleaning (something he has gotten very good at in Portland). I am determined to finish this and send it off before the setting sun brings in the New Year. That means no editing, no obsessing over every word and no angst about the message.

2017 has been a whir of activity; travel, weddings, house repairs, farm renovation, physical therapy, more travel and more weddings! Having you home for 6 weeks this summer just amplified the pace and the speed of time passing. It was all good. And it’s Rosh Hashanah again! Where did this year go, again!?


Tomorrow you will arrive in Portland to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with us, to see our little Portland home and to share some time together. Dad and I volunteered yesterday to help set up for services at the event center where our urban temple holds services every year. It’s a major undertaking and we’re beginning to feel a little more at home in this community. Having you on the West coast, for however long you’re here, makes it even easier to allow myself to settle in.


It feels like there are big (or maybe small) changes coming in our lives this year. A new job for you and who knows what life changes for us. I’m feeling the need to go through our Birmingham house and sift through the trash and the treasures and lighten the load. I have even had the thought that it may be time for you to do the same with your childhood room. I can already hear the commentary from friends and family. “Long overdue.” It’s about time.” I actually don’t quite understand it myself, this desire to somehow maintain the illusion of permanence in things. I am going to start slowly, maybe in the attic where I am already removed from whatever stuff is up there… if for no other reason than to lighten the burden for you. And who knows, maybe letting go will propel me toward what ever changes await.



Ok, back to cooking and cleaning. Your bed is made and your room is ready! Cant wait to see you tomorrow night.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year…  a year filled with success and growth, reason and truth, peace and hope and love throughout!

Shana Tova,


Rosh Hashanah Dinner in Portland

Cooking and entertaining in our teeny condo is a challenge, but I think I am mastering it. A simple dinner is the key. We’re starting with Mocked Chopped Liver, then on to a gefilte fish loaf I made served with Horseradish.


The salad will be topped with roasted sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts and pistachios so it counts as a veggie, too. The main course will be a one bowl meal of chicken soup with chicken and carrots and matzo balls and noodles. Not too many dishes, but still counts as a holiday meal.

I was inspired to create a new honey cake recipe based on what I had in the house. I will let you know the reviews, but at least it looks a lot like Bubbe’s Honey cake. Of course, there will be Challah and wine…as always! You’ll get the veggie version tomorrow night!

Esther’s Honey Apple Cake


Yield: 2 9” loaf pans

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 2 t Baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1t salt
  • 1/2 Cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 Cups honey
  • 1/2 Cup date syrup
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup strong coffee
  • 1Cup orange juice
  • 1T lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 2 apples peeled and chopped into small pieces

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together oil and eggs. Add honey, date syrup and sugar and mix together. Add coffee, juices, zest and thoroughly mixing together.

Add dry ingredients too liquids and beat thoroughly by hand until well blended. Add the chopped apples and mix together.

Pour mixture into greased loaf pans and bake at 350° for about 50 minutes or until top is browned and toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and enjoy a sweet New Year!

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