December 2009: Is the Year Over Already?

barebranchesIMG_0247Yesterday (Sunday) the sun was bright and the air was warm, so I sat on our patio and took this picture of the tree opposite our patio. It is lovely even when bare!

December is often a time of stress because of the pressure of the holidays. Now, not only is there Black Friday, but we also have Cyber Monday. Since I celebrate Hannukah, the stress is less, since we only give small gifts of Hannukah gelt (money) and don’t have huge holiday dinners, just some potato latkes (pancakes) with applesauce.

Jay, my son-by-marriage, brought the nicest gift for his sister when he came for Thanksgiving.  He took all his mother’s and grandmother’s favorite recipes, as well as some of his own, and put them in an album that he created online. It was a gift of love and time and we all swooned over this wonderful piece of memory. Jay made his mom’s noodle pudding recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, and Penny, his sister, made her grandmother’s famous chocolate cake recipe. So we got to eat some of the gift.

While I don’t have those two recipes, I do have another one that Penny made, which I call Simply Squash. Because it is so easy, I hesitate to call it a recipe. But I want to share it because it was so easy and so delicious, I can’t not share it. It will appear later this week.


Penny’s Simply Squash

Although the end of December is holiday time, there are two other dates that need mentioning. One is December 1st, World AIDS Day. My volunteer work at MANNA  keeps me in touch with HIV/AIDS, since many of their clients have HIV or AIDS and receive free meals because they are homebound and/or can’t cook for themselves. Because the immune system is heavily compromised, I decided to review a cookbook for December called The Immune Support Cookbook by Mary Hale & Chris Miller. The subtitle is called “Easy, Delicious Recipes to Support Your Health if You’re HIV positive or suffer from CFIDS (chronic fatigue), Cancer or Other Degenertive Diseases.”


Additionally, here is information about World AIDS Day that I lifted from Since tomorrow is Dec. 1st, I am including it on my Home Page. This year’s campaign links it with Human Rights Day on Dec. 10th.

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

The vast majority of people with HIV & AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.


Last month I lobbied at Robert Casey, Jr.’s office concerning three human rights issues. This  was part of an Amnesty International effort to discuss three major issues, one of which I hope to post here. I usually write letters as part of the Urgent Action Network, but this experience was very interesting. To learn more in the meantime, go to More on that in about one week, closer to December 10th, Human Right Day. But no need to wait to start to write your own letters.



Finally, I hope to profile a local artist who does memory quilts and makes many other interesting items from fabric. The name of her company is Ei of the Needle. Her first name is Eileen, so the name is apt!  Here is Eileen choosing fabric from our mutually favorite fabric store, The Cloth & Bobbin. She makes beautiful gifts from beautiful fabrics. Great for gift giving. If you can’t wait until I profile Eileen, you can reach her at


Eileen of Ei of the Needle is on the left, and Johanna, owner of Cloth & Bobbin, is on the right.

I know I will have more posting during the month, but after 10 days of non-stop company at our apartment, before, during, & after Thanksgiving dinner, I can’t think past what I wrote tonight. I will end with a photo I took this morning, November 30th,but will call it December Dawn, because that’s close enough!


2 thoughts on “December 2009: Is the Year Over Already?

  1. Beautiful photo of December Dawn! Good infomation – sad but true. God Bless you

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