Category Archives: Lorri’s Blog

Bare and Beautiful

barren copy


Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.
-Anton Chekhov

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
-Henry David Thoreau

Even if I knew I would die tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today. -Rabbi Hillel

Shabbat Shalom!

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Filed under Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Photography, Uncategorized

Curving Road


My life is one long curve, full of turning points. -Pierre Trudeau


The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream. -Tommy Hilfiger


Filed under Lorri's Blog, Photography, Uncategorized

Review: The Heavens Are Empty

Avrom Bendavid-Val has written a concise, compelling and historically relevant book, regarding the town of Trochenbrod, Ukraine, with his compelling book, The Heavens Are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod.

It is a work of non-fiction, written with fantastic prose that evoked vivid word-imagery in this reader’s eyes.  The initial description of the street was filled with in depth details that fascinated me.

The town/village had one street about two miles long.  It was an agricultural town, and, so, behind the houses and/or shop fronts, were acres of land, owned by Jews.  Those Jews had managed to carve out a living for themselves, and live totally unburdened by “gentiles”.  From leather goods and tanning, to produce and milk, the Jewish community fended for themselves, and managed to live decently.

The entire town was made up of Jewish individuals, except for one or two adults.  This was amazing, in and of itself.  Those adults were the ones who lit the lights during Shabbat, took care of the ovens, did the things that the Jews, due to religious traditions and beliefs, were not permitted to do on Shabbat and on the Sabbath.

The street was constantly filled with “mud”, as the reader is informed throughout the pages of witness statements.  It was almost comical how often “mud” is mentioned.  It left a deep impression, decades later, on those who had lived there, in more ways than one.  It also left an impression on me.

From documents and data, to witness statements, the foundation of Trochenbrod is detailed with information that needed to be told.  It is a poignant story, often heart-wrenching, yet one that is an important story in the realm of history.

For those of you that wish to understand the history of what once was, and no longer is, The Heavens Are Empty is the perfect book to educate yourself regarding the events that unfolded.  Not only were the events horrific and filled with contempt and the murderous rage of thousands of Jews, but they led to the obliteration of Trochenbrod off of the face of the planet, literally.


Filed under Book Reviews, Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Non-Fiction, World War II

Sunflower Trio

Autumn, the time the sunflowers seem to flourish, illuminate their beauty and showy blouses.


Like us, the sunflower’s youthful looks seem to appeal more. Yet, within the external beauty, lies the internal pods, pods that burst, with sunflower seeds that are plentiful.

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We, as humans, wither with age, our bodies change, and like the sunflower, we appear differently to family, friends, and others. For some it is a slow progression, for others it moves quicker.


I find beauty even in the decaying sunflower. It is the natural order of things, of the life cycle. The beauty is still there, still vivid, if one takes the time to notice.


Filed under Lorri's Blog, Photography

Monarch Migration!


The photograph above was taken several years ago. I am posting it, because this time of year sees the migration of the Monarch Butterfly to Pacific Grove, CA.

The three photographs below were taken in November 2013, while I was at the Monarch Sanctuary, in Pacific Grove. I tried getting captures of individual butterflies, as opposed to a photo of massive numbers of butterflies on trees and flowers.


The beauties begin in late October, early November, and can be seen up until February. You can read all about their migration, here, at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.


To be amongst the natural order of life, and within the migratory pattern, was humbling, to say the least.


I hope you have a lovely rest of your Sunday!


Filed under Lorri's Blog, Photography

Sunday Scenes: October 4, 2015

dairy and vegg

In all actuality, this ‘Sunday Scene’ occurred on Friday evening the Synagogue. The first part of the evening saw a lovely ‘Shab-BQ’ dinner, as I stated in my previous post. Yes, our congregation had the dinner beforehand, unlike some synagogues where the dinner is held afterwards.

The above photo shows a small portion of the vegetarian and dairy dinner items. The beet salad was scrumptious, as were the barbecued potatoes, the latkes and applesauce, the dates and figs (not shown), the egg salad and other items not shown.


Once the dinner items were entirely cleared and cleaned, the tables were folded up and put away.


Then chairs were arranged in the Succah, for our Shabbat Service. During the service the addition of the Yaaleh Veyavo was sung by the congregants, as were other prayers related to Sukkot.


All in all, it was a meaningful and lovely evening.


Filed under Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Photography