Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Those STINKING Caterpillars!!!

Rob and I went up to VT this weekend. A little relaxation and seeing family over the long weekend. And we had a great time. Relaxing, fun, very enjoyable. Except for the caterpillars that is. The tent caterpillars. THOSE STINKING TENT CATERPILLARS!!!!! They're defoliating much of VT and other states in the region, especially southern VT where we were. Whole mountains without leaves. Its horrible. There were thousands just on Rob's brother's property. On the walk, on the garage, in the driveway, in the pool.... It was really yucky. I stomped on hundreds. From what I understand there aren't many if any natural predators. EXCEPT FOR ME!!!!! I killed as many as I could. Not that the few hundred I killed made a HUGE difference in the zillions of them out there, but I figure I saved at least one tree.

Here are some more links about this tragedy in nature.

Vermont Division of Forestry

From the Bennington Banner

From the Burlington Free Press

Wikipedia article on tent caterpillars


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pictures From The Darfur Rally April 30, 2006

They're in a bit of a random order, but here are some of the pictures we took @ the Darfur Rally. You can sort of see how many people were really there, the support that was there, some of the tshirts, people from all ages. And me and my hat with the SAVE DARFUR sticker.

Robs Blog has some of the same some different pictures too.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A New Zealand mountain climber who lost both his legs to frostbite has become the first double amputee to conquer Mount Everest, despite breaking one of his artificial limbs during the ascent.

The amputee, Mark Inglis, 47, called his wife, Anne, on Monday night to tell her he was standing on the summit of the 29,035-foot peak, the world’s highest mountain, the New Zealand Herald reported. b“He’s dreamed of this all his life, probably. He’s over the moon,” the the newspaper quoted Inglis’ wife as saying.

Media reports said one of Inglis’s carbon-fibber legs snapped while climbing at around 6,400 meters and he was forced to repair it with spare parts.

In 1982, Inglis lost both his legs from below the knees due to severe frostbite suffered after a blizzard trapped him and a fellow party member in a cave in New Zealand’s Mount Cook for 14 days

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark hailed Inglis’s climb. “To reach the summit of Everest is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for any climber, but for Mark Inglis it will be even more satisfying,” she said in a statement.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I Saw a GREAT Bumpersticker the Other Day...

How Can You Be Pro-War And Still Be Pro-Life??

That gave me a smile :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Rome or Florence.
Which one to visit and why?
I can only choose one.

What do you think???

Save Darfur

Two weeks ago, April 30th I took my first trip to Washington DC. I didn't go there to sightsee, but to participate in democracy and protest/rally. Rob and I joined people from ours and other local synagogues rallying on the mall in fromt of the capital to Save Darfur.

Where's Darfur? SO many people have asked me that. I didn't know myself until a few months ago when Rob told me about it. It's a complicated political history of the conflict but basically it's a region in the Sudan where people are being killed, women and children raped and taken from their homes, villages burned, people killed for no reason whatsoever... It's basically a genocide that's going on while the government allows it and the rest of the world ignores it.

After the Holocaust we siad never again. But then Bosnia Happened. And Rwanda Happened. And now Darfur. Hundreds of thousands killed for absolutely no reason except that they exist. Never again has turned into again and again and again. When will never again mean never again? So we joined about 75,000 people in Washington to rally against this tragedy. To make the government aware that something has to be done to help stop the murder and starvation of thousands of people.

President Bush wrote on the margins of a report on Rwanda "Not On My Watch" Well, it's your watch. Let's do something instead of ignoring it. Let's save lives instead of harmong them.

It was an amazing experience. A LONG day, but amazing to be with thousands of people all there to support the effort to rid genocide from the world. The practicalities of it were about what I expected. Standing on the mall with thousands of people listening to different people give different speeches saying the same thing for 3 hours. But in a sense it was so much more, jsut being there and feeling like you were a part of something, that you're trying to help in whatever small way you can...

A lot of people gave great speeches. Elie Weisel, Barak Obama, Al Sharpton, Ruth Messinger, and leaders of many other religious and cultural organizations from across the spectrum. it was really great. Unfortunately we had to leave to get our bus back to CT befor it was over, it ran late, and I missed hearing George Clooney. But it was worth going and a really great day.

I can't give a ton of information right now and I want to post some pictures but until I can here are some websites you can go to to learn about the rally and the effort. You can send a postcard to our President, and letters to your reprisentatives in Congress. We need to stop genocide. Help make Never again MEAN NEVER AGAIN!




ABC News Article of Rally

Photo album to ABC News Article of Rally

NBC News Article of Rally

NY Times Article of Rally

You Throw Like a GIRL!!!!!

I joined the Hospital's women's Softball team! Never mind that I've never really played softball before this…. I'm pretty impressed with myself actually. I usually would NEVER do this kind of thing. Join a group with people I’ve never met before who all have a skill I’ve never done before and who are really good at it… It’s kind of scary. Not like my painting classes where everyone is learning and starting out on the same page and just working for themselves. More is at stake here, it’s a team sport and we’re actually playing in a league. But I’m doing it.

I figured it's something new, something mobile, something outdoors, and something to get me out of the house and meeting people. And I need all of those things. I need to get over worrying what I look like and being scared to do things. So I’m trying to force myself into these types of situations so I can learn and grow. I need to do that, even though I’m totally scared and uncomfortable. I once got a beautiful card and it said, “Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” I have it pinned to my desk at work. And I’m trying to follow that advice.

It's been weird so far, I haven't been able to make it to any practices for one reason or another, and I finally went a week ago Sunday, and they're all really good, all have been playing for years... And I'm the amateur. But they're all really nice, and helpful, and all that. One of the coaches was yelling @ the other, (the one who recruited me to join the team in the first place) that he was upset that he recruited someone who has never played before. So that freaked me a little. But I stuck with the practice and made it clear I’m willing to learn and work and be taught and have fun. Which I am. So they taught me. And I’m learning.

At one point I was told me that I throw like a girl. And one of the other players said “SHE IS A GIRL!!” That made me laugh. One it’s true, and two it was nice that she was sticking up for me. But I sort of expect to be yelled at a little by a coach. And when I got up to try to bat he was teaching me as best as he could because I’m a lefty. I guess it’s hard for a righty to teach a lefty though I don’t exactly understand how. I’m never sure when I try to bat which way I feel more comfortable. So he told me to try lefty. And I was doing pretty well. Getting contact with the ball, not hitting too far, but all were fair balls, and it was nice to know I could actually hit the ball. And then for the sake of trying he told me to try it righty. And I did just as well righty if not a bit better than I did lefty. He asked me which felt better and I told him I felt equally uncomfortable on both sides. So then he got all excited on how he was going to turn me into a switch-hitter and what an asset that would be for the team when I really learned what I was doing. He was really excited. And then I reminded him that an hour ago he was complaining that I didn’t know how to play. And everyone’s response what that he ALWAYS complains about everything and can’t keep his mouth shut. And whoo hoo for me for calling him on it. J

So that was my first softball practice. All this week I’ve been breaking in my glove and practicing catching. I still need help throwing, distance and accuracy, and definitely hitting, but I guess I’ll learn with time. I’m trying not to be intimidated and just have fun. I have my first game tomorrow night, so we’ll see how that goes…

And that’s that. Any tips by the way on how to throw a ball, hit, things to do to practice or get stronger or better, or someone who’d like to throw a ball around with me, I’d love the advice. And wish me luck at my first game tomorrow…. J

Friday, May 12, 2006


Today is the 14th of Iyar on the Hebrew Calandar. Which means it's Pesach Sheni. Which ALSO means it's My Hebrew Birthday! And once again I forgot and it was a Belsky who reminded me. THANKS STEVE BELSKY!
And Happy Birthday to you! And Alan too!!!

My Secular birthday is Sunday the 21st. So almost Happy Secular Birthday to me!!! :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I Need to Start This on a More Regular Basis Again...

I guess thing have been just too hectic.
I haven't had a lot of time to BLOG and I haven't been making a conscious effort to keep it up. I want to, but there are a lot of things I'm wanting to do so this has gotten put aside. As you can see, I started this short BLOG message almost a week ago.... And today is May 14th....