Category Archives: Monthly News

November 2016

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Little does it matter what the calendar tells us, fact is that Fall has arrived by house during the last couple of days. Hard rain, strong winds and chilly air and trees and shrubs filled with colorful leaves that often flutter down to the ground for clean up is all I need to convince me Autumn Season has arrived.

My fondest childhood memories are the fall days when the entire family worked to clean up the leaves and enjoy a cup of mulled cider to warm up when the job was finished. The mums we received to wear with our cheerleading outfits and the excitement of attending school football games, the cheers, the music and the lively but good natured competition with the other schools

I was pleased that I was the one chosen by both my husband’s and my own family to cook and bake for the family each special holiday. (not to mention the many weekends in between) Thanksgiving is the day when we stop and take the time to give thanks and when I looked around the crowded table on that day I am most grateful for all the wonderful people, past and present, that shared my life over the years.

And now I am happy that my daughter accepted the responsibility of preparing and serving the family feast on Thanksgiving and gladly relinquish that honor to her. It will be great to be one of the guests!!!!

Earlier this year I closed my Internet Gift Shop because I was concerned that my health problems had increased to the point that I would be unable to properly service my customers. I was not spending a lot of time on the Internet either.  Lately, however, I have begun to feel better and I am determined to provide you with the opportunity to purchase the merchandise I kept packed neatly in boxes in my house since I closed my gift shop. The small mall where it  was located is now a rather fancy grocery store. Anyway,  I recreated my store website at caroleespecialties.com and decided to launch the site in time for Thanksgiving to give everyone the time to browse through the items and hopefully find some things for themselves and presents for others.

Please take some time to browse through the pages on my website and return often because I will continue to add products frequently. I would love you to liberate my lovely products from their solitary confinement in the boxes in my home to use and enjoy them.

If you live in or close to our location in New Jersey and wish to pick up items you purchase to save the time and cost of shipping, contact me by email at caroleespecialties@outlook.com to make arrangements.

Remember if you do not live in New Jersey you may not have to pay Sales Tax, contact us for an adjustment of your Invoice.

Any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to send me an email. I try to reply as quickly as possible.

Have a GREAT THANKSGIVING !!!!

Until next time =——Carolee

 

 

 


September 2015 Jewish Holidays

SHOFARRosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah begins sunset on Sunday, September 13, 2015  Ends nightfall on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The festival of Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a Day of Judgment and coronation of God as king.
The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance.
And as with every major Jewish holiday, after candle lighting and prayers the kiddush (a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays) is cited and make a blessing on the challah (a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and Jewish holidays).

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur begins sunset on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 and
ends nightfall on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, the day on which we are closest to God and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement-“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before God” (Leviticus 16:30).
For nearly twenty-six hours, from several minutes before sunset to after nightfall, we “afflict our souls”: we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations.
Before Yom Kippur we perform the Kaparot atonement service; we request and receive honey cake, in acknowledgement that we are all recipients in God’s world, and in prayerful hope for a sweet and abundant year; eat a festive meal and give extra charity. In the late afternoon we eat the pre-fast meal, following which we bless our children, light a memorial candle as well as the holiday candles, and go to the synagogue for the Kol Nidrei service. In the course of Yom Kippur we hold five prayer services
The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it: a joy that revels in the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that God will accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and seal our verdict for a year of life, health and happiness.

Sukkot

Sukkot begins sunset on Sunday, September 27, 2015
Ends nightfall on Sunday, October 4, 2015
The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, “booth” or “tabernacle”, which is a walled structure covered with plant material such as overgrowth or palm leaves. A sukkah is the name of the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting, a fact connecting to the agricultural significance of the holiday stress
Sukkot is an eight-day holiday, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals. The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshana Rabbah (“Great Hoshana”, referring to the tradition that worshipers in the synagogue walk around the perimeter of the sanctuary during morning services) and has a special observance of its own. Outside Israel, the first and last two days are celebrated as full festivals. The intermediate days are known as Chol HaMoed (“festival weekdays”). According to Halakha, some types of work are forbidden during Chol HaMoed. In Israel many businesses are closed during this time.[4]
Throughout the week of Sukkot, meals are eaten in the sukkah and the males sleep there, although the requirement is waived in case of rain. Every day, a blessing is recited.
Building a sukkah [edit]
The sukkah walls can be constructed of any material (wood, canvas, aluminum siding, sheets). The walls can be free-standing or include the sides of a building or porch. The roof must be of organic material, known as s’chach, such as leafy tree overgrowth, schach (palm leaves, bamboo sticks or pine tree branches) mats or palm fronds. It is customary to decorate the interior of the sukkah with hanging decorations.


September 2015

AcornsSeptember always feels like the beginning of the year to me. It is the when school begins for most areas and the time of year when businesses start new projects or promoting new ideas. For many, however, it is the time of the year to lament the end of summer and fun at the beach and in the mountains. But September’s cooler air is great for hiking and camping as well as the many other good things offered by the beginning of fall.

September is the ninth month of the year but its name was derived from the Latin Septem, (seven) because it was the seventh month of the Roman calendar. It marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere and the vernal or spring equinox in the southern hemisphere occur on dates varying from 21 September to 24 September

Flowers 005September’s birthstone is the sapphire; flowers are the forget-me-not, morning glory and aster. The zodiac signs for the month are Virgo and Libra.

This is the time of year when the theater and concert seasons begin, museums have special exhibits and of course there are many festivals and fairs, let’s not forget it is the football and soccer seasons as well.

Although spring is usually considered the traditional season for weddings, September can be the perfect time to get married. The cooler temperatures provide more choices for gown styles, longer sleeves, fabrics such as heavy satins and velvet. And don’t forget the choice of shawls from soft pashima to delicate lace to keep the wedding party warm and add a little flavor to their dresses. Floral arrangements of rich blues and purples to dark yellow and burnt oranges can decorate the rooms. On nice days it is still warm enough for garden ceremonies, but perhaps by the end of the month one can wed before the fireplace. In addition to weddings, September is a wonderful month for any type of event from corporate seminars to personal parties.

Labor Day is held on the First Monday of September and honors the American Labor movement and the workers contribution to the prosperity of the country.

Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year Begins sunset of Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ends nightfall of Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yom Kippur begins sunset on  Tuesday, September 22, 2015 and

ends nightfall on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sukkot Festival  is September 27 thru October 4-7 day Festival

To learn more about the Jewish holidays click here

Miss America Pageant will be held on September 14, 2014 this year

Do you know that The Miss America Pageant began in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a bathing beauty contest? For many years since its origin the pageant has been held in other towns in the United States. But, Atlantic City, NJ is considered the birthplace of this pageant, which is held either in September or October for one week every year.

This is also the month in which we start making the many preparations for the soon to arrive many special holidays from Halloween through the way we welcome in the New Year. We will be searching for many ideas to share with you as to how to make the coming holidays special.

Till next time ………

Carolee


The Month of June

jANINA-DSC01010-1June is the month that brings the first step of change in many ways. Filled with events ranging from weddings to showers, from Preschool to University Graduations, these events truly represent major steps in life.

The month derived its name from the Goddess of Marriage, Juno, or luniores, the young people, appropriate names for the events many experience during this very busy month.

 June is the month with the longest daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest days in the Southern Hemisphere. Birthstones are the pearl, moonstone and AlexandritelFlowers are the rose and honeysuckle. Zodiac signs are Gemini and Cancer. Strangely, no other month begins on the same day of the year as June

To date, this has not been an easy month for most areas of our country, events ranging from floods to a water crisis on the west coast. Our priorities change when we experience these types of events but we are also a strong, determined group of people in this country and we will be okay in the end.

As for me, I believe I am finally turning the corner and getting back to my old routine of working to help artisans and small businesses. I hope that those of you that read my Newsletter will find the products I offer interesting, and something that is just what you were looking for as a gift or something special yourself.

Store-2Over the years, especially when I operated my small gift shop, I purchased a variety of items from the artisans in Nepal. I kept the unsold items neatly packed in boxes at my home hoping I could return to selling items once my health problems passed. The events last month brought the small country of Nepal a great deal of hardship, so I unpacked the items; handmade note cards, beaded and silver jewelry, handbags and Pashmina and silk shawls, to name a few, and will be posting them on my store at carolespecialties.com, as well as the social media sites, (Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter), in the hope that you will not only purchase something but also refer me to others.

There are other products those sites and everything I sell is acquired from small businesses, in the United States, Nepal and sometimes other areas of the world. My goal is to help small businesses and, of course myself, but I would also like make enough income to share the profits with those in need in Nepal and my very pet project, The Wounded Warrior Project. I hope that you will help me in these endeavors. Just donate money on your own if you do not find products you want to purchase from me.

Till next time, Carolee

 


How I Fell In Love With Nepal

I majored in Commercial Art, but ended up supporting myself working in the mortgage, finance business during most of my life. Fortunately my Grandfather urged me to minor in business administration and those courses provided me the skills.  My creative needs were delegated to home and school projects for my children.

However, once my home computer was hooked up onto the Internet, I created a Community Page and invited crafters and small business owners to join. Within a year those working with me urged me to represent them so I created a website and eventually opened a small gift shop in a local strip mall. Sadly, a couple of years ago the mall renovated and many of the original stores, including mine, were eliminated. But that is a story for another day.

43085196_oOne of the people I connected with on my community was a young man in Nepal, Prakash. I saw his note cards on the Internet and sent him a message admiring his work. He told me that he was taught Batik painting as a child by a European woman who was living in Nepal at the time. He sent me samples and they are not only beautiful but very special and extremely different from anything we have in the USA.

We developed the habit of talking frequently, very early in the morning, before I left the house for my full time day job, due to the time difference. He told me that his goal was to form a business that would enable him to provide his country people with much needed employment. I soon learned that the people in Nepal had many talents and truly wanted to work to support their needs. During the next few years, Prakash provided me with pashima, silk and cotton scarves and shawls, beaded jewelry, silver jewelry, silver and beaded trinket boxes, cotton and beaded handbags and he was always able to locate someone who could supply any product I suggested I wanted to sell.

After my store closed, personal and health issues caused me to take time off from work. I have not been in touch with Prakash as often as in the past. Needless to say I was very concerned for his welfare as well as the safety of his family and friends when learning of the earthquakes. I was able to get a message to Nepal on FaceBook and have been told by a friend that he is safe. Pictures such posted on Facebook explain how busy they are in Nepal.

Now that I am starting to feel better and feel strongly that we have to so what we can to help the people of Nepal put their lives in order I am starting to post some of the inventory I carefully packed and stored at my home when my store closed and will sell these products over the Internet and through networking with my friends. I hope that I can accumulate some cash to send to Nepal from the proceeds

I learned a lot about Nepal and the wonderful, creative and hard working people in that country. If you are interested in learning about Nepal Follow us for my article About Nepal.


January 28- Our Winter

WinterbirdIn rear of my apartment building the tenants created a lovely garden where we can sit and watch the birds and small critters feast on the food we provide them. No winter storm prevents these little guys from enjoying their meal and playing or bickering with each other. I love starting my day at my window, holding a mug of coffee and watching them frolick in the garden.

The East Coast was experiencing a rather mild winter until this week when everyone panicked over the prospects of the arrival of a huge storm. The panic was certainly not abated when the Mayor of New York City warned that we were about to experience a storm unlike any we ever experienced. The New York area got lucky once again because the storm ended up a normal winter snow storm. However, Long Island and the eastern portion of Massachusetts really got hit with heavy snow and strong winds.

SbiwnabAlthough everything was closed down, even roads and bridges, I, for one,  has to admire the people of Boston, news reports showed them walking the streets and romping in the snow as it piled up around them.

The past year as been a rough one for me, (and it appears the rest of the world).  Minor health problems forced me to take a break from working on the Internet or meeting with customers. What I hope with be the last and minor bout with surgery is scheduled for early March. I anticipate being back to my normal lifestyle shortly thereafter. Meanwhile I am enjoying spending more time with my friends and family, honing my skills and learning new ones.

Here is a quick  look at some of my favorite products—–

DSC01912 If you are interested in giving a unique present to the special gal in your life visit my store site at nd take a look at the small heart, cupid, flowers and butterfly soaps and containers of soap petals we  offer along with the Pashima and silk scarves and shawls in a variety of colors.

Flowers 004 If you want to make your present special ask us to wrap it for you and top the box with our special floral arrangements.

The floral arrangements are made with a variety of silk flowers and in many sizes. They can be used to top a present, as a wall hanging or low centerpiece. Just tell us the colors you prefer and we will do the rest

I promise to try and write again soon. I skipped my usual breakdown of favorite days of the month this time but will return to the usual format soon.

Remember our Veterans and do what you can to let them know we appreciate all they have given to us.

Till next time,—-Carolee


My Personal Heroes

 

Today, Wednesday, November 11this Veterans Day. This holiday began on this day in 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I, and was known at that time as Armistice Day  (My Grandma often noted that this was known as the “war to end all wars”.

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance. Then in 1938, November 11 became a national holiday. In 1954 President Dwight D Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day to honor all American wars.

Military Service to this country goes back several generations in my family. However, these are the people I that were closest to me. My Grandmother’s brother, Bill and his wife, Evelyn. They both served in World War I. Uncle Bill in the Army and his wife, my feisty Aunt Evie, was a Navy Nurse. (Yes, look it up, (Yes. Look it up, Congress Officially established the US Navy Nurse Corp. in 1908),

Lou in ParisMy Father was an MP in the Army during World War II. He guarded and drove officers all over Europe in a Jeep. He got to see England, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France and Germany. A soft-spoken, gentle man, he  surprised me when many years later he handed me his Silver Star for my oldest son. It was only then that I learned that he saved the life of an officer by pushing him out of the Jeep and jumping on him just seconds before a Grenade exploded the vehicle.

 

Gram and UnkMy Mother’s Brother, my Uncle Charlie, served in the Army Air Force during, and for several years after, World War II. While serving in the Middle East his plane was shot down and he was missing in action for several months. Fortunately he was rescued and cared for by Iraqis who found him in the desert and later brought him to a hospital in Baghdad.  After a brief stateside leave, uncle Charlie returned to active service in Russia. Later he went to German to work with the Berlin Air Lift and Radio Free Europe in Trieste. He completed his stint in the Air Force as an Instructor in Texas.

These men were not exactly the heroes you see in the movies, they were soft-spoken, gentle men who loved their country, their family and God.

If you knew them you would wonder how they managed to survive all they experienced in war. One never knows if there is a hero among them. That is the major reason I feel so strongly about finding ways to help these young people who have given so much of themselves for our country.

A long time ago I decided to donate a portion  of any money I earn to The Wounded Warrior Project. However there are many other organizations to support, such as The Fisher House Org., K9s f0 for Veterans, Org.

Whether you give money or time, or better still both, please do not turn Veterans Day into a one day affair where we pay respects and then go on our way. Let’s take a small portion of our lives and do what we can to help these great young people and their families who so willingly gave to us.

Till next time,

Carolee