Showing posts with label Thankful. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thankful. Show all posts

April 19, 2019

Novel Passover Haggadah


Thought this was a pretty cool Passover Haggadah. 

Shaped like a wine bottle!

Sort of sets the stage for the four cups of wine at the Seder. 

I found this Haggadah in Israel, and I'm glad I got a few of them.  

Wishing everyone a joyous Passover and Easter holiday! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy 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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November 19, 2018

Happy Friendsgiving

So I learned a new holiday terms today. 

Of course, you know about Thanksgiving--when we celebrate with our family all the wonderful things in life that G-d has blessed us with. 

Well now there is "Friendsgiving."

This typically occurs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and is enjoyed with friends (instead of family). 

We are still grateful, but we just are thankful with a different set of significant others in our lives. 

To me there is nothing like my family--as my father taught me:
Blood is thicker than water. 

But friends are important in our lives as well, and good and true friends are so hard to come by--so we should celebrate them and with them whenever possible too. 

Finally, I choose this flower, "Bird of Paradise" for this blog, because I love it and it is something wonderful from G-d that I am grateful for. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving to All!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 3, 2017

Satisfied and Bless G-d

I loved Chabad Rabbi Schneur Kaplan's speech today in synagogue.

It was about how we can learn to be happy with what we have in life.

The biggest marketing gimmick is to say to the guy, "Look at what your neighbor has next door!"

Jealousy, desire, greed, having more and better than the next guy/girl...

That's what many people live for and how they think.

Some can have as much as the founders of Apple, Google, and Facebook combined and still it's not enough.

If just one person has something more...it can drive that person crazy.

Like Haman on Purim, who had wealth, power, large family and everyone bowed down to him...

Except one person named Mordecai who wouldn't bow.

And despite having everything, but missing that one thing drove Haman so crazy--it was his downfall!

When we eat, we can be satisfied with one slice of pizza and say grace or we can have four slices and still not be satisfied.

How do we look at things?

We can be grateful for whatever we have and say that G-d gave us just what we needed at this time and place.

Or we can look at what we don't have, and forever be bitter and unsatisfied.

What joy we can experience in life when we realize the graciousness for what G-d has bestowed on us and we are thankful for what we have. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2016

Walking It Good

Took a nice walk with my honey.

Down the Bethesda Trolley Trail.

Needs a little repaving work.

But it's nice lush green at this time of year. 

The exercise is good (and my diet appreciates it). 

And of course, spending time together talking and bonding is the road best traveled. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 20, 2015

It's The Way You Look At Things

It's the old saying, "Is the glass half empty or half full?"

You can be a positive Peter or a negative Nellie. 

Your choice--or disposition, perhaps. 

Last week one day when the weather was bad out and I was entering the indoor pool for my laps, someone said to me, "The worse it is out there, the better it is in here."

And he was right, you can complain about the weather or whatever, but you can appreciate having great indoor facilities or just a roof over your head. 

If you look up, you can be inspired to reach for the next rung, and if you look down you can be grateful for how far you've already made it. 

Also, however bad off you might be, there are always others who are worse off. 

As a kid, I remember hearing about the person who was missing a hand and feeling bad about themselves, until they meet someone who was missing both arms. 

I do recall in actuality riding the NYC subways and poor people would come through the end doors between the cars (not allowed on the DC Metro) to go begging from money through the train--the unbelievable thing was that they were just a stump of a body from the waste up (no lower body whatsoever!) getting around by sliding themselves on a skateboard inches of the ground--can you imagine that? 

Perspective...my father used to say, "Smile and the whole world smiles with you."

Sometimes just the motion (even if it's just an act) of putting on that happy face can actually transform you to being happier. 

No, not a placebo effect, but like the Jewish notion that from doing can actually come the feeling.

In other words, just try--there is so much to be positive about and thankful for--not just on Thanksgiving--coming up next week--but all year round. 

Life is a journey full of learning and growing--not a destination. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 11, 2015

Happy Chametz Time Again



Thank you to Congregation Magen David for a wonderful end of Passover party.

The family, new friends, music, singing, dancing, and food made for a truly joyous evening.

Happy and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it. 

Now counting up to Shavuot and the giving of the Torah. 

The Jewish people rock! ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 14, 2014

1st Day Post-OP

So surgery was yesterday around 11 am.

I was asleep under anesthesia before I ever even got to the operating room, so can't remember a thing, which is probably good since I hear that a lot of power tools are involved.

Right before, my wife kissed me and told me that the female nurses were all flirting with me--ha! 

After the surgery, I was groggy like crazy.

When the nurse asked me if I knew what year it was, I blurted out "1993!"

Aside from the general anesthesia, I had some sort of nerve block.

Thanks G-d that has made the pain minimal to zero even.

The nurse this morning gave me a percocet in anticipation of the pain with physical therapy today--so I apologize if this blog is a little loopy today.

So far, although very stiff around the surgical area, I have already sat up, got up, even walked a little down the hospital hallway.

Waiting for more PT and OT this afternoon.

I just want to say thank you to G-d, the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, all the nurses,  and my wife and kids and other family and friends for taking such good care of and for all their thoughts and prayers.

One friend, even called me the bionic man this morning. 

It's been a really tough year with the loss of my mom in January and my dad not being well in the hospital and now in a facility to get him back on his feet again too. 

And so far, my wife has been doing great keeping us going with only one big stress attack and trip to the ER to show for it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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November 22, 2013

Listening and Blessings

Two reflections from this week:

1. Listen to understand:
I heard a colleague talk about the importance of listening. There wasn't really anything new about that, except he went on to say, "Listen to understand, not to refute or resolve." The more, I thought about this, the more brilliant I realized this was. How often do we either not really listen to the other person? And when we do listen at all, aren't we most of the time jumping to either refute what they are saying or resolve their issue? The key though is to listen to understand. Ask questions. Get clarifications. Only once you really listen to the other person and understand what they are saying, can you begin to address the thoughts and feeling they are expressing to you.

2. G-d Blessed You:
Usually when I see people asking for help/money on the streets, they have signs--handwritten, often on cardboard or the like--that says something about their plight. Perhaps, they are homeless, lost their job, ill or disabled, have kids to support...and they are asking for your help and mercy. At the end of the sign or if you give them some change or a few dollars, they say thanks, but also "G-d bless you" in the future tense. And this is really nice to get a blessing in return for some basic charity and kindness. However, there is one poor person begging in downtown D.C., and he says it differently. His sign asks for help and says, "G-d blessed you" in the past-present tense. First, I thought maybe this was just a grammatical mistake, but then I realized what he was saying. G-d blessed you, so please give back to others. This wasn't a thank you wish to the other person, but rather a reason that you should give to begin with. Recognize how fortunate you are (and maybe you don't even necessarily deserve it), but G-d blessed you, so have mercy and give to others. 

Hope these reflections mean something to you the way they do to me, and have a good weekend everyone!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 29, 2013

Bathroom Kudos

Going to a restaurant the other night, I stepped into the men's room for a minute and noticed this sticker on the right of the mirror that said "Great Work" in big yellow letters on the red background. 

I wondered what a strange sign to put in such a private setting as if we need applause for going to the bathroom or washing our hands. 

Then again, if you've seen many men's bathrooms, it could certainly be a time for kudos when it is kept clean and people use good personal hygiene--hence, the other sticker on the left, "It's cool to care!"

The frog sticker in the middle, he's just keeping an eye on things and thanking everyone for the job well done. 

This is a funny commentary on our society these days where people seem to need a pat on the back for everything--even the highly mundane and personal. 

Presumably, going to the men's room will never be the same boring, uncaring event again--at least at this fine eating establishment. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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April 14, 2013

What Are You Staring At?

This deer and I had a staring contest this morning, and I lost.

The deer didn't let me get too close, before he ran off into the woods. 

A couple of other deer showed themselves and followed suit. 

Early in the morning, it was so quiet and peaceful on the way to grab a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven (their French Vanilla is a delicious favorite).

Thank you G-d for all the greatness that you bestow on us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 14, 2012

Sharing Some Laughter and Happiness

There are some cool articles in Mental Floss (March/April 2012) on laughter and in Harvard Business Review (January 2012) on happiness--hopefully an auspicious sign for us all. 

Some things to think about with laughter:

- "Babies laugh 300 times a day, while adults laugh only 20 times." --  Maybe we all need to be a little more babyish?

- Laughter is "used as a social lubricant; we use it to bond with others." -- This reminds me of something my father always said: "when you are with those you love, the joy is twice the joy and the sorrow half the sorrow."  In essence then, people help us deal with our emotions and our emotions help us deal with people--we all need one another. 

- Laughter is contagious, truly. "Hearing laughter activates the brains premotor cortex. preparing the facial muscles to smile and laugh in kind."  -- What a blessing to laugh and help others laugh as well. 

A brief history of happiness:

1776 -- U.S. Declaration of Independence declares right to the "pursuit of happiness."

1926 -- "Happy Birthday" song composed.

1963 -- Invention of smiley face. :-)

1977 -- Introduction of McDonald's "Happy Meal".

So it's only March 14 (National Pi Day 3.14)--and it already warm outside, the beautiful cherry blossoms are in bloom, and there is plenty to feel happy about, laugh at, and be grateful for in this world. 

Thank you G-d!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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