Showing posts with label Grateful. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grateful. Show all posts

September 29, 2019

Positively Jewish New Years

Coming into the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) tonight. 

Lets everyone stay positive folks--we all have so much to be grateful for and please G-d to look forward to!

Positive is greater than negative (as the shirt says). LOL

Shana Tova!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 5, 2019

Swimming In Florida

In lovely Florida.

Hit the swimming pool.

About to do my laps.

I got my gear and ready to rock and roll.

Please G-d, we'll spend the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (commemorating when we got the Torah) together here as a family.

What more can I ask.

Happy and grateful. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)
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April 16, 2019

(Maybe) Stop Complaining

So this past Shabbat, there was a wonderful guest speaker at Aish, Rav Gav(riel) Friedman. 

He was a very lively speaker and with a lot of worthy teachings for his lucky audience. 

One thing he said that really stuck with me is about people that complain. 

People have hard lives!

As he said, "I don't know what each of you has been through."

But one thing that can help us cope with our challenges is our perspective.  

And then he said the following:
We need to be glad that we have something to complain about!

Huh, what does that mean?

Well, think about it...

- If you complain about your spouse, thank G-d that you are married (and have a life partner) to complain about. 

- If you complain about your job, thank G-d that you have a job (and income) that you can complain about. 

- If you complain about your food, thank G-d that you have food to eat (and sustenance for your body) to complain about.

And so on and so forth. 

Whatever we complain about, think about what you actually have (the big picture) and what you are complaining about (usually the little picture). 

Really, we have so much to be grateful for that we can easily just forget or take for granted. 

So next time your complaining, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE that you are complaining about--you might stop yourself from complaining.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 1, 2018

Bad Little Mousey

So a colleague told me about an awful experience at work. 

They came into the office and had a big surprise. 

I won't ask you to guess what it was. 

I'll start off by giving you a hint.

It came from a mouse. 

Yep, they actually had what they called, "mouse poop" on their desk. 

Have to laugh even at the term...

But this is not what you want to have to deal with first thing in the morning, or anytime for that matter. 

What can you do though?

We share the world with other living creatures and if they want to poop on your desk--what are you really gonna do about it? 

I suggested setting some traps, but they said they want to see if it happens again. 

That's two too many times for me.

Now though I learned to be grateful if my desk is poop-free. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 21, 2017

Welcome To Israel Henna Party

So we arrived in Israel for our daughter's wedding. 

It was amazing to me to see how the Holy Land has so developed from when I was here last over 25-years ago.

It is a thriving nation in every sense of the word. 

Just as G-d has promised, the land and it's people have blossomed under His blessings.

I am grateful to G-d for helping me to reach this wonderful and happy time. 

Tonight, we had a wonderful dinner with the in-laws and there was a henna ceremony as well--for good luck (Mazel Tov)!



Little did I know, I thought this bowl of henna was chocolate fudge and part of dessert--good thing that I didn't take a staining bite out of that

How would that have looked in the wedding pictures? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 6, 2017

Mazel Tov On Jerusalem

Today, Jerusalem has been recognized as the capital of Israel--Mazel tov!

- 70 years after President Truman instructed the State Department to support the U.N. partition plan.

- 50 years since the Six Day War in which Jerusalem was reunified.

- 22 years after the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed for relocating the U.S. Embassy to the capital, Jerusalem.

Everyone has been patient and waited a long time for this.

As President Trump stated, we are recognizing the reality, the obvious, and "it is the right thing to do!"

Yes, Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine their own capital as every nation does. 

And Jerusalem is that capital today as it has been historically from the times of the Bible. 

We are blessed to be witnessing in our time the miraculous fulfillment of G-d's promise for the quintessential return of the Israelites to the Promised Land, and toward the ultimate redemption.

From the ashes of the Holocaust, G-d has resurrected and brought us alive again.

Many that I have spoken with today express genuine fear about the ramifications of this announcement of recognition. 

But as President Trump displayed today, we must all go forward together courageously and in celebration. 

The State of Israel is blooming from its agricultural fields to the incredible medical and technological innovations that are helping people throughout the world.

We must never forget that it is only with G-d's blessing and under his watchful eye.

May we all pray for peace and security, and let their not be war or terrorism anymore! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via WhiteHouse.gov)
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November 22, 2017

It's About The People

The older (not that old) that I get, the more I realize that life and success is all about the people. 

Whether it's our families, friends, and colleagues--it's how we treat people and the relationships we form that count--and that enable us to achieve success together!

Many people just count their money instead of counting their blessings of hearts and souls. 

But while we certainly need a certain amount of $$$ to live, we really need ❤ to thrive. 

Today, before the Thanksgiving holiday, I just took a little time to walk around and talk with people here, thank them for their good work and friendships, and wish them a good holiday. 

It was such a little thing, but honestly I felt so good doing it. 

I am thankful for so many things this year, including all the wonderful people in my life who do so much to make my life joyous and fulfilling, but I am also grateful to G-d for continuing to open my eyes to what and who(s) that really count. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 7, 2016

Now You See It and Now You Don't


Took a little hike on Sunday through Sligo Creek. 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. 

Walking along the creek, we saw a mother and child wading in the water. 

(Not sure that I would do that based on how clean or not it is, but they seemed to be cooling off and having fun). 

Then crossing a little footbridge, we came across someone tossing this pretty big bolder over the side and into the same creek. 

There was another guy at the bottom who seemed to be looking out for the big splash (or perhaps anyone happening by who would get clobbered by this thing). 

Anyway, this was just a stark juxtaposition of people (including children) having fun in the water and the potential hazards from above.

This is life, one minute everything can be sunshine and roses, and the next bing bong!

Got to be grateful for every minute of peace, health, and prosperity-they are truly gifts and nothing is owed to anyone from the Almighty. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 22, 2015

Ocean Waves (Take 60 Seconds To Enjoy)


I took this video of the ocean waves coming unto the sandy beach (some seaweed included).

60 seconds of pure calm and peaceful tide. 

Today, they finally took down the purple flags that indicate dangerous marine life, so we were able to go in the ocean and really enjoy. 

The rhythm of the ocean waves, the sun tanning our skin, the warm relaxing water, and the people playing and laughing (and some kissing).  

Thank you Hashem for this wonderful day and the beautiful world you created for us to partake of--blessed are thou! 

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 29, 2015

Beautiful Spring Day

Washington D.C. on a beautiful Spring day. 

Thank you G-d for the changing seasons, the warm sunshine, the soft elegant standing flowers, and the vibrant colors. 

(Source Flowers: G-d)

(I am merely the photographer)
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June 20, 2014

Love, Strength

This has been an enormously tough year with the loss of my mom, my dad going into assisted living, and my hip replacement and complications.

I have found myself torn from my normal routine--my structure, my discipline--and thrown instead into a world of unknowns, hopes, and definitely prayers. 

Throughout, my family and close friends have stood by me--as I gave the eulogy for mom, as I moved my father out of his loving home, and as I growled in pain with the osteoarthritis and then joint replacement.  

When my daughter took my hand telling me all be well, when my youngest drove me to the doctors and PT, and when my wife fought for my care--I feel eternally grateful to have these people in my life.

With all the technology in the world, there is nothing like a human being to reach out and grab a hold off. 

One of my colleagues asked me what I have learned from all of this, and I'd say three things:

- Take time to reflect on the direction of your life and work to make the tough changes while you're able.
- Empathize with the plight of others, be merciful and compassionate, and help where you see the slightest opportunity. 
- Be sincerely grateful for everything you have and remember who is the Master of all. ;-)

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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April 20, 2014

Swim ~ Splash ~ Swim

At the pool this morning, the fresh clean water was pouring in.

Swimming in the hot sun, I headed straight for the cool splash.

The water was frothing white against the blue background.

As it hit the pool, it created this amazing bubbling beneath the surface.

I swam under it a number of times and came up through the bubbling fresh water. 

Sort of felt like I was swimming in a waterfall in the Amazon or something exotic like that. 

Hey, I can imagine...but it really was amazing with the water, the sun, the air--felt so alive!

I am thankful to G-d for allowing me this wonderful moment today to feel his beauty in the world. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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September 21, 2013

Restoring Hearing Using Bionics



A mother wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the miracle of Cochlear Implants.

Lydia Denworth described when her 2-year old son, who is deaf, got these implants and how now he is now able to attend 5th grade in a "mainstream school" and is "nearly indistinguishable from the other children."

These implants allow her son, Alex, to have a conversation with another child about the hearing device that "can open up the world of sound and spoken language."

Denworth states at the end of the editorial, "Moments like that make me deeply grateful for the technology."

For me, reading this was an opportunity to go learn about the amazing bionics that has already restored hearing to 320,000 people!

While hearing aids amplify sounds and make them louder, they don't resolve permanent damage to the inner ear. 

A cochlear implant bypasses the damage by receiving sounds in a microphone, digitizing them, and converting them to electrical impulses that are sent directly via implant to the auditory nerves-- bypassing damaged or missing sensory cells in the ear--in a way that the brain can understand.

I am in awe of the inventors--Graeme Clark, Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake Wilson--who are being recognized for their pioneering research leading to the development of Cochlear Implants.

Hopefully, soon we can do for sight, smell, taste, and touch what we can do for hearing and restore the impaired to fully functioning again.

We are living in a time of great miracles--thank you G-d!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Bjorn Knetsch)
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July 4, 2013

Even The Buses Celebrate

A great Independence Day it is.

Even the buses celebrate with the flag proudly mounted and displayed. 

What does Independence Day mean to you?

- Freedom 

- Human rights

- Democracy

Important ideals to appreciate. 

We are so fortunate to be independent. 

All values worth fighting for. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 24, 2013

My Beautiful Mom

This is a picture of my beautiful mother. 

My daughter Minna found this picture in one of our old albums and made it new again with her wonderful photography skills. 

Although my mom has aged and is not in the best of health anymore, she retains a glowing inner and outer beauty that radiates throughout the whole room--wherever she is. 

I love my mom and am so grateful for everything she has done to raise me and help raise the grandchildren too. 

She has always been there for us and we love her dearly. 

Thank you mom for everything--you've done a great job by Dad and all of us who have depended on you, and we will never forget your kindness, generosity, and love.

May G-d bless you, always. 
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June 12, 2013

The Money Pit

So I'm visiting this absolutely delectable Italian bakery in fancy-schmancy Las Olas.

The Sicilian pizza by the way is amazing.

We are there for a while enjoying the food, conversation, and ambiance. 

My wife offers to take a picture of me in this great place. 

The lady behind the counter is so nice and let's me join her behind the counter for a moment.

In comes an obviously wealthy customer and as he sees me going to take a quick photo, he makes a big "Hmmmmm!"

The lady graciously says "Just one moment sir."

And irritably waiting for just this brief moment, he blurts out, "I'm the customer and my money comes first!"

When he said this, another lady in line made a huge shocked face--as did we all.

It is incredible how some people's money goes to their head and they don't realize it all comes from G-d and can just as quickly be taken away.

Wealth, health, our loved ones, and happiness--they are ephemeral and we should be ever grateful for them for as long as we have them.

Being arrogant and thinking we are better than the next guy--that we are somehow more deserving or above it all--is a huge fallacy and G-d sees all. 

Maybe this rich guy's money comes first to him, but I imagined the Master Of The Universe hearing these words and having the last eternal laugh. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 24, 2012

Never Thought I'd Be Up There


Somewhere between 600-1000 feet up in the air. 

Suspended by a parasail wing (like a parachute).

Teethered to a moving speed boat. 

With a birds eye view of the beaches, hotels, ocean, clouds, sun, and more.

I had always thought of myself as afraid of heights, but I guess it turns out I'm really not. 

It was calm--peaceful up there--like sitting in G-d's very hands. 

Before we went up, I asked my daughter if she was scared. 

She said to me: "No Dad. I am fearful of G-d. He is all powerful. But I have faith that He will protect me."

I appreciate her faith and adventurism, but while encouraging her to learn new things and have fun, I also caution her to be careful and use good common sense.

I guess that's the balance in life that I strive for and that I try to teach my kids--push yourself past your comfort zone to learn and grow, but not too far that you fall on your face (or in the ocean)!

In the end, it is probably my wife and kids that challenge me to be "more"--they've gotten me to do things that I never thought I would--and this was one of them.  Believe it or not, blogging is a close 2nd!  ;-) 

Anyway, we're already talking about (and looking forward) to the next adventure--please G-d it will be wonderful as well.

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August 5, 2012

Goodbye Mr. Yaffe

Last night, my dear friend lost his father--Mr. John Sommer.

He was known to many as just Mr. Yaffe--a twist on an electrical business, Yaffe Electric, that he owned for many years. 

John Sommer was a good man--he was a holocaust survivor who came to America, married his dear wife Yona, had two boys--Danny and Harry--and worked hard in his business for his family and his community. 

Yona, was a saintly woman, who died about 11 years ago from cancer and John carried on into his upper 80's with many an illness--finally succumbing on Friday night into a coma, and last night, he passed.

John and Yona were wonderful to me--as I was friends with their sons--and their home was like a 2nd home for me. 

I always felt like I had a place at their table and they made me feel like one of the family.

I remember saying the table prayers before and after meals there, talking about religion and politics, playing board and video games, watching movies, doing homework, and more. 

On the Jewish holidays, the Sommers invited my family to join them, and they joined us on the Sabbath at times, and on Thanksgiving, we meet at the restaurant together. 

The Sommers sat just two rows behind us in Synagogue, but that didn't stop some friendly banter between us all--G-d forgive us. 

Regularly after synagogue on weekdays, John Sommer would say let me give you a lift home--he was always willing to help others.

For the community, he frequently gave his electrician services to the synagogue for free and sponsored the kiddish (meal) after the services. 

The Sommers were at my Bar Mitzvah and my wedding, and I always remember their friendship and generosity. 

Losing good people is very painful--there are not enough of them in this world.

I pray that John is now with his wife, Yona, in heaven--and that they are at peace and that their legacy of good deeds continues long after. 

Good people should not suffer, but these people did as so many do--it is not easy to live or to die, but I have fond memories of what they gave to me and I am grateful to them. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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