Thursday, February 28, 2008

So, what's new with you?

Wow, 3 posts in one day! What some people will do to avoid doing their schoolwork!

Seriously, though, haven't filled you in for a while so thought I'd whip up a quick post.

A week and a half ago was Presidents Day Weekend when Americans celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln. Why only those 2 presidents? Or as someone in my office said, "Let's celebrate ALL the presidents' birthdays. Then we can start on the vice presidents." Well, apparently, it's still called Washington's Birthday, at least as far as the Federal government is concerned.

Anyway, we wanted to go away for the weekend - Arthur wanted to go to Northern California and I wanted to go to Los Angeles (you know me, always cold and looking for warmer places to be) but Maor vetoed both ideas. I believe her words were something like "I am NOT sitting in a car with you guys for 5 hours." She had already made plans with 2 friends to go see a movie on Sunday. So we compromised and Sunday afternoon after doing homework she went to see Definitely, Maybe and Monday we went out with friends, a couple with 2 sons. We drove up to Calistoga to see the Old Faithful Geyser of California, which is an underground river that erupts at regular intervals when the water is heated by hot molten rock underground. To get there we drove through Napa and passed beautiful wineries which of course we couldn't check out.

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Afterwards, we headed over to The Petrified Forest, where we got to see... petrified trees (duh). Over 3 million years ago a volcano erupted and the force of it knocks down the trees and covers them with lava and ash. The trees remain buried and over time minerals and silica in the ash replace the living molecules in the trees turning them into rock. Eventually the ash erodes and the now petrified trees are discovered. Pretty cool. Below are some pictures from our day out.

Other than that, life is routine. Arthur is traveling (currently in North Dakota), Maor is doing okay in school except for one teacher who all the kids hate, and I am having a good semester in school. I am taking a class in medical informatics through the University of Pittsburgh which is really interesting and the teacher is great. I am also taking a class in web design which is tons of work but also a lot of fun and also with an exellent instructor. My third class is in reference librarianship which I think is important for any type of librarian although I don't think I'll actually work as a reference librarian. My instructor in this class is also terrific - I had her for a previous class so I knew she's good.

Yesterday in the supermarket I saw them unpacking and setting up the matzoh display which always makes me so happy knowing that Pesach is getting close. We're not sure yet what we're doing for Pesach. Besides suffering through 2 more 3 day yomtovs. Why didn't I check the calendar before I agreed to come here? I totally forgot about this awful phenomenon. If ever there was a reason to make aliyah, besides the cost of Jewish day school tuition, that would have to be it.


Baila said...

Hey, you guys look great. That's the first time I'm seeing you, in well....let's just say its been a while.....

I haven't posted any pictures of me and the family on my blog; I guess I'm scared the boogeman will show up on my door step. Also, my girls have forbidden it, and hell noone wants to see me!!!

Do you do the three day chag? Why? You do intend to come back!

Fern Chasida said...

Hey Baila,
Good to hear from you! Maor sometimes complains and she has just requested the link to my blog so I'm afraid she'll start making demands like your daughters. I try not to trash her too much (LOL). We do the 3 day chag (and it almost killed me during the chagim. It took me till December to recover) because it's hard to be part of a community and not do what everyone else is doing. I also think it's kind of hokey and believe that if you're in chul you should keep 2 (or 3 days) and in Israel one day, irregardless. Just call me Rabbi Fern. I'm starting my own religion.

Baila said...

Don't give it to her! You'll never be able to write in peace again!

And I'd be a "Ferna" chassid any day!

muse said...

Looks great.

I was sure that I'd never have a three day yontiff, having made aliyah, but as soon as we arrived we had one of them with Rosh Hashannah. Oy

RR said...

We're so spoiled by not having 3-day chagim here (except for the occasional Rosh Hashana+Shabbat) that we complain when we get a TWO DAY deal, like Pesach is this year :-(