#RRBC 30-DAY #BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY 30

This is day 30, the last day of the blogging challenge. It has ruled my life for the past month, and I will feel lost without it. The challenge achieved its purpose: to bring back my love for writing. I haven’t written poetry or my book for the past year and needed an outlet to inspire me. Writing every day for thirty days has shown me that I can do it. And I will do it.

In my blog posts, I returned to events I remember most fondly.

Vacations with my daughters in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Vacation in Jamaica with my oldest daughter and son-in-law.

Vacation with my younger daughter and son-in-law in the Dominican Republic.

Visiting with family.

Happy days when Nounous was healthy.

People I loved and lost.

People I will never forget.

People I respect and have come to love, including the Rave Reviews Book Club members. They have become family to me, reading and responding to my long-winded posts.

Thank you, my new family, for participating in the RRBC Blogging Challenge, and a big thanks to Nonnie Jules for organizing this fantastic event.

Please visit my fellow RRBC bloggers at https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/rrbc-member-chat/

#RRBC 20-DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY 23

One of my favorite vacations was with my daughter, Ashley, and my husband in London, England. It was June years back, and my husband said let’s go to London in August. I feared it wasn’t enough time to make plans and book hotels and flights, but we had promised Ashley a European vacation instead of a Bat Mitzvah, and I wanted to take her before she graduated college, so I agreed. I yearned to see Paris, but my husband was leery because of the unfriendliness American tourists encountered there. Thinking back, I regret not visiting Paris since it was only a boat ride away.

This is our hotel according to their brochure: “Situated in the heart of London on the bank of the River Thames, Plaza on the River provides 90 generously sized suites with exquisite views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. A short walk from Vauxhall Station, our South Bank hotel puts guests within easy reach of the famous West End, the financial district, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Tate Britain, and other beloved attractions.” 

In reality, to reach Westminster Abbey and the other sites, there is a long walk to a bridge and then more of a walk once you cross it. It would have been much easier if we had stayed on the other side. Since we didn’t book a tour, we spent time on buses and trains.

Ashley was with me, so it was worth the swollen legs and feet. Lymphedema and walking don’t go hand in hand.

To see London’s sights, we walked across this small bridge. We were on the same side as the London Eye but never made it there.

Ashley at Westminster Abbey on our walk. Behind her, there’s a statue of a man riding a horse.

Wherever we went, there were statues. Some elaborate and a few strange ones.

The statues served as great rest stops on our walking tours. The gold one was near Buckingham Palace.

I believe the goat statue stood in the quaint town near Windsor Castle.

We walked passed this statue on our walks across the bridge.

This statue gave me a good laugh since it stuck out like a sore thumb among London’s serious architecture and sculptures. I never learned the purpose of the blue rooster. Was it the year of the blue rooster somewhere?

The following two pictures are of sculptures at the London Tower. I’ll share photos of the London Tower in my next post. I found so many images of statues in my album that I wanted to share them separately.

Does London have a statue fetish? I only visited a few sites but found more statues than anything else. I’ll let you be the judge.

#RRBC 30-DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY 21

I’ve reached Day 21 of the challenge and received a 20-day banner. This banner has the mighty responsibility of pushing me to finish the challenge.

Today, I will go back in my memories to the brief time that impacted my life the most by helping me grow into an adult away from my parents. In the summer of 1976, I traveled to Israel with a group called Yavneh. I subtracted and realized it was 47 years ago, and I was 17 years old.

This is our motley group. Our leader was the Israeli woman at the back standing beside the tall man, who might have been her husband. There goes my spotty memory again.

Here we are at the Kotel, or Western Wall. It was never crowded like the pictures I’ve seen in recent years. I returned to Israel with my parents the following year since my brother bought us a vacation, where we stayed in 5-star hotels, not youth hostels or sleeping on the sand like with Yavneh. I haven’t been back, but I hope to revisit Israel one day.

At the Kotel, the men and women pray separately, with a divider between them. There is a custom of placing your wish on a piece of paper and shoving it into the cracks between the rocks. I can tell you my wish since it didn’t come true. I had asked for my mother’s vision to return and my family’s health. Lately, there have been breakthroughs in Retinitis Pigmentosa but too late for my mother. The disease causes the retina to degenerate, and I heard of a man having a lens implanted to help him see.

I spent most of my life afraid I’d go blind. My brother didn’t, and I didn’t. My mother always told me it was a recessive disease, so I was hopeful. Then one day, when I asked about my relatives, my mother told me her parents shared relatives. I was confused and asked how that could be. That’s when she told me her parents were first cousins. A light bulb went off in my brain: that’s why my mother is blind. I’m not afraid anymore of becoming blind, but I still hate the dark.

I’m standing at Maarat Hamachpela with my friend from home.

I Googled to explain the holy site:

“The cave of Machpelah, in the West Bank city of Hebron, is the burial place of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah. According to Jewish mystical tradition, it’s also the entrance to the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve are buried.”

I went to Yeshivah for 12 years but never heard of Adam and Eve buried there. It might be true since girls didn’t learn Gamarrah or the Torah through word of mouth when I attended school. I wanted to know what the boys were learning since I always wanted to do what I was told I couldn’t.

I was sitting here thinking Jacob had two wives, Rochel and Leah. Then I remembered Rochel was buried separately at Kever Rochel or the Tomb of Rachel.

“Located just outside of Bethlehem, along the road of the forefathers that connects Nablus and Hebron, Rachel’s tomb is where Jews and Muslims believe the foremother Rachel was buried. Rachel was the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin, and the burial site is holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians.” Google

I also stole this picture from Google. I don’t remember if we visited the Tomb; it could have been one of the places we couldn’t see because it was too dangerous, even though we had armed soldiers.

This is the cave where I learned I had claustrophobia. Dark and small places terrify me. I’ve walked out of 2 MRIs, 1 Catscan, and even a bone density test. I’ve never been able to jump into a swimming pool since I always need to feel the bottom with my feet. So, here we are, walking into the narrow opening of a cave. We go some way, and one of the soldiers announces we’ll have to stoop since the cave gets narrower. I start feeling dizzy and yell for everyone to back up. I hear a lot of grumbling behind me as people back out. Finally, I ran into the daylight. Everyone returns but me. I’m left outside with an old Arab man and his goat. Now that I think about it, how safe was I with no soldiers? Our two soldiers, with their rifles, returned to the cave.

Israel is a beautiful country, and Jerusalem holds a special place in my heart.

Tomorrow I’ll continue my journey through Israel, where I will face and conquer another fear.

#RRBC BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY 20

Today, I heard Macy’s is closing more stores. This saddens me because Macy’s played a significant part in my life. My excursions into Manhattan with my friends always ended with a stop at the big store. Macy’s brought a smile and a lift to your step no matter what was happening in your life at the time.

And who doesn’t remember the rickety wood escalators? They had them until recently at the back of the store. They rumbled and shook as they took you to shoppers’ paradise.

The holiday season wasn’t complete without Macy’s lighted windows.

I spent the day with my daughter, Ashley, at Macy’s a few years ago. We had coffee at the shop behind the women’s clothing that I didn’t notice before.

There was a flower show that day where we took pictures. Memories like these can never be duplicated but taken out and remembered on rainy days.

Now, I remember where I took pictures of the colorful flowers I used for my book banners.

Another trip to Macy’s is needed before the flagship store closes. I pray it doesn’t.

#RRBC 30-DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY 17

For the blog challenge, I will begin reliving my vacations before Covid. I’m not yet ready to travel on a plane, even with a mask. Today, I’m revisiting the Dominican Republic, where I vacationed with my daughter, Ashley, my son-in-law, Chaim, and my husband, Lee, at an exclusive resort.

This is the four of us going for our first meal. The resort was spread apart with many buildings and individual condos. We rented a small house with a backyard and pool. We had to move twice since there were problems with the condos, one lost water, and the second flooded from the rain. Each time, they gave us a more extensive and prettier house.

The grounds were beautiful and so extensive we used golf carts to drive around. Each section had its own pool, and we tried them all.

Palm trees were everywhere. We chose this exclusive resort because it offered kosher meals, which we didn’t realize at first that we paid for on top of everyone else’s fees.

This is the pool in the kosher section, which is the smallest one, but always deserted.

The pool in our last condo was the biggest and I was able to do laps.

The views were spectacular. I miss the beaches and pools and definitely need a vacation.

A THANKSGIVING SPIN

Source:holidazehalloween

A THANKSGIVING SPIN

Sweet and tasty it may be.

It does not come for free.

Life was given up

For this group to sup.

What are your holiday wishes?

And what could be the side dishes?

Some sliced fingers on a crystal plate

May satisfy your cravings of late.

Enjoy.

RRBC’s 6th Annual Writers’  Conference & Book Expo

Join me at RRBC’s 6th Annual Writers’  Conference & Book Expo.


There will be games, prizes, surprises and other goodies. Be sure to visit each Author Booth, take a look around, and then leave a comment for your chance to win each Author Booth’s door prize.

 
There is a Scavenger Hunt Game to play, a 2 Truths & a Lie Game to play and more. In each Author Booth, you will find a clue. If you find the correct answer to all the clues and are the first to submit your answers, you could be the winner of an awesome prize.

  
If you’re into BINGO, purchase your BINGO cards and join us for a game or two.


And what we wait for every year – our RAFFLE– is back.  We raffle (7) $100 Amazon gift cards, and this is open to the public. Raffle tickets are only $5. Some of the cards include additional goodies like other gift certificates, ebooks, and more.  Enter for your chance to win one or more of these $100 Amazon gift card gift baskets.  The more tickets you buy, the greater your chances of winning.


This year for the first time ever, we’ve added our BEST BOOK COVER CONTEST. Share your comments with us and let us know which one you think is best. Meet Me In Maine is entered in the contest.

https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo21.wordpress.com/rrbc-wcbe21-book-cover-contest/

Click for a full ITINERARY OF EVENTS!  

THE DEAD GAME TRILOGY

Double the trouble – Vampires & Werewolves

Triple the fun – THE DEAD GAME TRILOGY

FLORIDA FUN

No vampires in the hot sun.

It’s Florida’s playground for fun.

The nights are their chosen den.

Come and frolic in their playpen.

♦

THE DEAD GAME

♦

by Susanne Leist

http://amzn.to/1lKvMrP

http://bit.ly/1lFdqNj