• Bringing lost lambs home

    I  remember the first time one of my children got lost.

    She was maybe 2 and we were in a department store when I blinked or sneezed, and in that nanosecond when my eyes were closed, she disappeared.

    She was only gone for a few minutes, which was long enough for me to imagine the worst. So, I did what all mothers who think their kids are lost do, I panicked.

    But she wasn’t lost. She had ducked underneath a rack of clothes to hide from me.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 9/6/2014: A look at Jewish education traditions

    While many of the students in our Southern states have been in school for a few weeks now, across the country, September is “back to school” time. For Jewish parents, sending their children off to school is an important function of being a good parent, and it is a value instilled in Judaism itself. Wherever Jews have lived and wherever they were permitted, Jews always sent their children to local schools. Where this was prohibited, there were Jewish schools to fill the void.

  • GRACE NOTES 9/6/2014: Learning to fling our cares away

    When we moved to Florida from California 23 years ago, we did so with only the things we could fit into two vehicles.

    That meant getting rid of 15 years’ worth of possessions to start over, which was both sad and exciting.

  • The laughter of the redeemed

    In 1998, I had a bad week.

        It began when my neighbor, Sandy, had asked me to feed her dogs, let them outside in the fenced-in yard during the day and put them in their kennels for the night while she was out of town.

    Any idiot can do that, I thought. Except one day I forgot the part about letting them outside and only remembered later when I discovered one of the dogs had eaten Sandy’s couch that was on the porch. 

  • GRACE NOTES 8/16/14: Every church needs a red door

    One day last week I heard some people on a podcast talking about celebrities’ lifestyle websites, like Gwenyth Paltrow’s “Goop.” 

    Not being interested in what celebrities think I should buy/eat/wear/read, mostly all I heard was a bunch of blah blah blah — until someone said that in the 1990s Cher had a lifestyle catalog.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 8/16/14: Our daily bread

    It has been called the Staff of Life, and for good reason. It nourishes our bodies, as well as our souls, and is a staple in the diet of cultures all over the world. It can take many forms: rolls, crescents, loaves and can be soft or crusty, white or dark — but whatever form it takes, bread remains an important part of our daily food habits.

  • Ode to the Greatly Offended among us

    One night several weeks ago, my husband said good night, ran into the bedroom and locked the door — something he’s done dozens of times, always in a playful, good-natured way, always unlocking it within seconds.

    I usually laugh, except when I don’t, like that one night several weeks ago.

    That night, for whatever reason, I decided to be Greatly Offended.

  • Smiles for sultry summer

    Those hot, sultry dog days of August are upon us. What better way to beat the heat than to sit back and enjoy a few jokes?

    A few weeks back, a friend of mine sent me the following gems, which supposedly came from a Catholic elementary school Bible test. Though the source here is clearly not Jewish, laughter knows no boundaries and I wanted to share them with my readers. Pay particular attention to the spellings! The comments in parentheses are all mine.

  • God answers prayer, right?

    In 1999, I wrote a book, “Prayers God Always Answers.”

    I had scribbled that title on a piece of paper a few years before that because I was pretty much convinced that God had put in earplugs whenever he saw me getting ready to pray.

    Back then, and truthfully even now 15 years later, I didn’t and still don’t understand how prayer works. Like, if I’m praying for rain and you’re praying that it doesn’t rain, how does God decide whose prayer wins?

  • Wantology 101

    Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun, something new comes along.

    There’s a new field of psychology called “wantology.” It’s an actual field of expertise where “wantologists” help people discern or define their wants and desires and then help them work out a plan to achieve them.

    That’s what I want — a wantologist!