• Tradition

    9/11, a Tradition, and a Question

    In 2012 I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance, which I’ll get to in a minute, after I add a personal take on this 20-year anniversary of 9/11. A couple of months ago, Jim and I visited Naperville, Illinois. It was our home for more than twenty years, and where we were living twenty years ago today. Naperville has a 9/11 memorial adjacent to the river, downtown. On our recent visit, Jim and I took a walk and visited the memorial. As we approached, I noticed that the plaque described the reason for the memorial, to honor the approximately 3,000 people who died on 9/11.…

  • Confessions,  Family Fun,  Tradition

    A Thanksgiving Like No Other…But Still Pretty Great.

    If you know me well, you know that holidays really aren’t “our thing” in this house. Jim and I like holidays, sure, but we don’t decorate for any of them except for Hanukkah, and even so we do that one very minimally these days. We don’t make a big deal over the holidays regarding family gatherings; while we enjoy being with family on holidays if it happens to work out that way, we’ve always stressed that there is great enjoyment in appreciating any random day during the year when our family is all together. On those days there is the absence of perfection pressure and, frankly, we don’t need a…

  • Spreading the Bloggie Love,  Tradition

    The NaBloPoMo Game (Hear Me Out: I Have an Idea!)

    National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is something that most of us old school bloggers looked forward to every November. We published a new post every single day during the month and, just as importantly, we read the words written by our friends. Blogging has changed a lot since those early days (monetization had a hand in “killing” it, as did Facebook and other elements; don’t get me started). Over the past couple of years, I’ve asked who wants to participate in NaBloPoMo with me and the number of respondents has decreased dramatically: so much so that this year I didn’t even have it on my radar. (Probably also because 2020!)…

  • Am Reading,  Best Thing Ever,  Family Fun,  Food,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting,  Tradition

    My GoodReads Reading Challenge Goal was Thwarted by…a Book.

    Last year I decided to spend more time doing something I had let fall by the wayside since I was a kid: read books. I got active on GoodReads and made a fairly ambitious (for me) reading challenge goal for 2018: 26 books. I fell short, reading “only” 22 books but was proud just the same. I probably hadn’t read 22 books in the ten years before that, all put together. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading; I just used my free time for other creative pursuits. I decided to keep the same goal for 2019 and was projecting to achieve it easily when I took at look at…

  • Jew Stuff,  Tradition

    Christmas Traditions

    Most of you are super busy today with all the cooking and wrapping gifts and either getting over-the-top excited about or possibly psyching yourself up to deal with the time you’ll be spending with family members tonight and tomorrow. Maybe you’re doing things the same as last year; maybe you’re mixing it up. I know one thing for sure: Jim and I are doing exactly the same thing we always do for Christmas (I’ve reminded you here every single year for more than a decade): Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate, Happy Hanukkah to my fellow members of the Tribe, and Happy Tuesday night/Wednesday to everyone else! No…

  • mail merge
    How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  Tradition

    A Note To Future Melisa Re: Mail Merges

    Dear Future Melisa, Mail merges, huh? They’re hard for us, for some reason. Each and every year when it’s time to get the holiday cards done and out, we pull up the handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet that has all of the addresses on it, updated throughout the year, and get ready to create labels in Word. And then, we go through an infuriating ritual. Looking it up online and then still messing up the process somehow turns what should be a joyful task (“Holiday cards to loved ones! Yay!”) into an absolute chore (“I am going to scream and possibly toss my laptop across the room if I can’t get this…

  • Blessings,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Tradition,  Writing

    Eleven.

    I completely missed my eleventh “blogoversary”, which happened last week, on October 28th. It’s funny how, in the early days of blogging, the annual anniversary of our first post was a huge deal. The community was different back then; each of us bloggers had our own little community of readers within the larger community as a whole. People actually commented on blog posts and we found new blogs to read by checking out the sites belonging to our commenters. Facebook was fairly new back then and word of mouth was how we grew our sites. The fact that I didn’t even think about my anniversary on the day it happened…

  • Tradition

    We Can Rebuild Her…

    By “we”, I mean “I”, and by “her” I mean “Aunt Jemima. Those of you who have been reading my stuff since the beginning (Ten years! Thanks!) will remember that an old glass Aunt Jemima bottle that was stuffed full of twinkle lights at some point back in the 1960s is one of my most-prized family heirloom holiday decorations. That says a lot, by the way, because if you’ve been here a while you also know how much Jim and I despise decorating for holidays. (Exhibit A: one of my very first blog posts, back in 2007. Wait, don’t read it. It’s horrible.) Aunt Jemima is one of my favorite…