Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

 

 

 

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The Beginning of October

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It is difficult for me to believe it has been about a year since the last time I wrote a newsletter. I’ve been quite ill but I am beginning to feel more like myself lately. I suspended my Internet store, boxed all my items and store them in a bedroom until I felt sure that I could provide decent customer service. I hope to restore my website and start offering inexpensive items for the holidays.

October arrived here in Northern New Jersey with a stark reminder that Fall as also arrived, with bleak, cold, rainy days. But that is okay with me because it is great weather for working on the Internet and organizing closets etc. The stores are filled with Fall flowers, pumpkins and of course Halloween costumes and loads of candy. I love this season, one holiday after the other, and one excuse after the other to get together with family and friends. I am looking forward to all fuss and work involved in preparing for the various holidays this year.

This is a very short note to all of you, but I plan to start writing more often and have a lot to write about in the month of October.

We will start with the Jewish New Year because Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest holidays in the Jewish faith and occasion for families and communities to come together begins at sunset on October 2, 2016 and ends nightfall on October 3, 2016.

SHOFAR

 The central 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.

Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include: a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings. b) Blessing one another with the words,”“May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” c) Tashlich, a special prayer said near a body of water (an ocean, river, pond, etc.), in evocation of the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.”

More to come soon.

 Till next time—Carolee Z

 


About Memorial Day

thF1NSCSVJI have wonderful childhood memories of Memorial Day celebrations at my grandparents’ home. Never one to allow us to sleep late, on Memorial Day Grandma awakened us particularly early. She wanted to make sure we were all sitting on the front porch by the time the very first person came past our house.  She loved living on the main street of town because she never had to leave home to enjoy the celebrations.

Although the entire family was and remains very patriotic, it was Grandma that put the celebrations together. She prepared the food and organized the work to ensure everything was done correctly and on time, and did a better job than then any corporate executive.

Although Grandma did not complete Fifth Grade, she was a talented pianist and avid reader. Although trained in classical music, her love for John Philips Sousa enabled her to learn just about every single patriotic song written in this country which she played often. She also made a point to learn details of the history of this country and actually taught me more than I learned in school.

After the parades, store sales, the large picnics and family gatherings, the family would gather around the dining room table and talk about their own experiences and the many events in this country. Now that is the best way to educate your children. Sit them down, make them be quiet and listen to the elders of the family as they reminisce and debate past and current events. And believe me; our children need such an experience. I am abhorred by the misinformation published on the Web and worst of all what people who are believed to be accredited write for popular publications that are void of facts.

On this day, one day after the celebrations and four days before the actual date, I decided to write a little about the history of Memorial Day.

About Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.  People all over the country started honoring the more than 600,000 fallen soldiers that had fallen on both sides during the War Between the States in a variety of different ways. In l868 Major General John A. Logan, the 3rd Commander-in-Chief of the settled on May 30 as the official day of remembrance to decorate the graves of those who lost their lives in defense of their country during the war.

The North and the South had different days of remembrance for their fallen soldiers and this generated a tension between both sides even after the Civil War was over. Between this and the passing of many Civil War veterans, Memorial Day became a less and less observed holiday. However, World War I and World War II reignited the national support for the holiday. It finally became an official holiday in 1968 and it’s been going strong ever since.

In 1966, Congress passed a unanimous resolution recognizing Waterloo, New York, as the birthplace of the holiday where an 1866 ceremony honored local Civil War vets.

During the Vietnam War, a White House Special Projects Aide, Carmella LaSpada, organized a USO tour to Southeast Asia with her friend, the journalist and humorist, Art Buchwald. Visiting a military hospital, she met a battle-injured medic who had seen 35 men in his unit die before he himself was mortally wounded. The young man asked that she promise to do something so that his comrades and their grieving families would be remembered. She agreed, accepting from him a black scarf, a symbol of his unit, to seal her promise.

No Greater Love (NGL) is an American humanitarian, non-profit organization founded in 1971 by Carmella LaSpada and is dedicated to providing programs such as wreath-layings, remembrance tributes, and memorial dedications, for those who have lost a loved one in the service to the country or by an act of terrorism. To date, NGL has dedicated 11 memorials located in Arlington National Cemetery and sponsors numerous other programs. The name is derived from the verse John 15:13 from the Bible.

As Executive Director of the Commission on Remembrance, Ms. LaSpada and Congress created a national moment of silence at 3pm; local time, across the country in 1997. It’s a time when the country stops baseball games and parades, and during that time the National Grocers Association and Food Marketing Institute asks shoppers to pause for a moment of silence in stores around the U.S.

If you are one of those who did not realize how important it is to honor those who gave the most to the country and their families who also gave as much, perhaps on the actually date, May 30, you can pause for a moment at 3 p.m. and say a silent prayer or thank you in gratitude for the freedoms and opportunities you have in this great country their sacrifice provided you.

Till next time —–


The History of Nepal

The history of Nepal has been influenced by its position in the Himalayas and its two neighbors, modern day India and China. This beautiful and diverse country has fascinated travelers and explorers for centuries.

Due to the arrival of disparate settler groups from outside through the ages, Nepal is now a multiethnic, multicultural, multi-religious, and multilingual country. The national and most spoken language of Nepal is Nepali.

Nepal experienced a struggle for democracy in the 20th century. During the 1990s and until 2008, the country was in civil strike. A peace treaty was signed in 2008 and elections were held in the same year. In a historical vote for the election of the constituent assembly, Nepalese parliament voted to oust the monarchy. In June 2008, Nepal was formally renamed the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal when it became a federal republic.

43085221_oNepal is primarily a Hindu country, with more than 80% of the population adhering to that faith. However, Buddhism (at about 11%) also exerts a lot of influence. The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born at Lumbini, in southern Nepal. In fact, many Nepalese people combine Hindu and Buddhist practices; many temples and shrines are shared between the two faiths, and some deities are worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists.

Smaller minority religions include Islam, with about 4%; the syncretic religion called Kirat Mundhum, which is a blend of animism, Buddhism, and Saivite Hinduism, at about 3.5%; and Christianity (0.5%).

Nepal is associated with the Himalayan Range including the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest. Standing at 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) Everest is called Saragmatha or Chomolungma in Nepali and Tibetan.

Southern Nepal, however, is a tropical; monsoonal lowland, called the Tarai Plain. The lowest point is Kanchan Kalan, at just 70 meters (679 feet).

Most people live in the temperate hilly midlands of climate zones than those places. The southern Tarai Plain is tropical/subtropical, with hot summers and warm winters. Temperatures reach 40°C in April and May. Monsoon rains drench the region from June to September, with 75-150 cm (30-60 inches) of rain.

The central hill-lands, including the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, have a temperate climate, and are also influenced by the monsoons. In the north, the high Himalayas are extremely cold and increasingly dry as the altitude rises.

Despite its tourism and energy-production potential, Nepal remains one of the world’s poorest countries. The majority of commercial activity takes place at small, family-owned shops or in the stalls of sidewalk vendors. With the exception of locally grown fruits and vegetables, many products are imported from India and, to a lesser extent, China and the West. Jute, sugar, cigarettes, beer, matches, shoes, chemicals, cement, and bricks are produced locally. Carpet and garment manufacturing has increased significantly, providing foreign exchange.

Since the late 1950s, tourism has increased rapidly; trekking, mountaineering, white-water rafting, and canoeing have drawn tourists from the West and other parts of Asia. The tourism industry has sparked the commercial production of crafts and souvenirs and created a number of service positions, such as trekking guides and porters. Tourism also has fueled the black market, where drugs are sold and foreign currency is exchanged.

Nepal is heavily dependent on trade from India and China. The large majority of imported goods pass through India. Transportation of goods is limited by the terrain. Although roads connect many major commercial centers, in much of the country goods are transported by porters and pack animals. The few roads are difficult to maintain and subject to landslides and flooding. Railroads in the southern flatlands connect many Terai cities to commercial centers in India but do not extend into the hills.

Visit my website, Carolee Specialties.com to see some of the crafts from Kathmandu, Nepal.

multiethnic, multicultural, multi-religious, and multilingual country. The national and most spoken language of Nepal is Nepali.

Nepal experienced a struggle for democracy in the 20th century. During the 1990s and until 2008, the country was in civil strike. A peace treaty was signed in 2008 and elections were held in the same year. In a historical vote for the election of the constituent assembly, Nepalese parliament voted to oust the monarchy. In June 2008, Nepal was formally renamed the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal when it became a federal republic.


HAPPY ST. PAT’S DAY- ERIN GO BRAGH

Green Rose March 17-St Patrick’s Day is The Feast of St Patrick. It does not matter where you actually come from, where you live or who you are, on this day each and every one of us is IRISH. It is a day to celebrate with parades, lots of food and drink, music, friends and just good fun.

Who is St Patrick? St. Patrick is the Patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. It is said that he was born in Britain around 385AD of Roman parents. At age 14 he was captured and taken to Ireland where he spent 6 years in slavery herding sheep. He returned to Ireland at age 30 as a missionary among the Celtic pagans.  He is known to have driven the snakes out of Ireland. It was common for Pagans to use the snake as a symbol or even worship snakes When Pagans converted to Christianity this practice disappeared. ‘

Erin Go Bragh-IRELAND FOREVER

Want to know why the Shamrock, Who are the Leprechauns? A few facts here:

CloverThe Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland. It is believed that St. Patrick used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

st patricks dayWatch out for the Leprechaun, a tiny old man often with a cocked hat and leather apron. Solitary by nature, he is said to live in remote places and to make shoes and brogues. The sound of his hammering betrays his presence. He possesses a hidden crock of gold; if captured and threatened with bodily violence, he might, if his captor keeps his eyes on him, reveal its hiding place. But usually the captor is tricked into glancing away, and the Leprechaun flees.

St Patrick’s Day, traditionally a Catholic Holy Day, was originally celebrated in Ireland, solely as a religious holiday. People prayed at home or at church services. Parades and the current celebrations originated in the United State.

The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was held not in Ireland but in New York City in 1762, and with the dramatic increase of Irish immigrants to the United States in the mid-19th century, the March 17th celebration became widespread.

 

the United State.

The first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade was held not in Ireland but in New York City in 1762, and with the dramatic increase of Irish immigrants to the United States in the mid-19th century, the March 17th celebration became widespread.

 


Will Spring Ever Arrive?

It may be difficult to believe but yesterday was FINALLY March 1 which is also, by the way, the metrological first day of spring. So we experienced frigid temperatures, snow and ice. I awoke in the early hours of this morning to the all too familiar hums and scraping sounds of snow plows working their way down my streets.

But have no fear everyone, this too shall pass and soon we will be enjoying the morning chirping of birds, bright warm sun and the arrival of green spouts and buds that will soon turn to burst of bright colored flowers. As proof that March celebrates spring the delicate, yellow flower, the Daffodil, is the month’s flower and the birthstones are Aquamarine and Bloodstone.

March, the third month of the year, was named after Mars the Roman God of war. March was originally the first month of the year in the Roman calendar because of its association with the first day of spring. The vernal or March equinox falls during this month between the 19th and 21st. This year, the first day of spring is March 20. Also known as the vernal equinox (equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning equal night) because day and night are each approximately 12 hours long on this day.

March is a very busy month. Several organizations have chosen to name it the month to celebrate their particular cause. I will therefore attempt to write often this month telling you about the various causes we take time from our busy days to remember and consider supporting.

Of course, my favorite holiday this month is St. Patrick’s Day when we celebrate the pride of the Irish. But soon I will be writing about the many other days and many special causes that are noted during this month. However, tomorrow I will be experiencing the fourth and final surgery on my eyes in the past 18 months or so. I set aside most of my work until this is resolved and I can finally spread my wings and be available on an “as need” basis to my friends and business associates. \In addition to writing about March and all the many events it brings to us, I hope to provide you with ideas for making your life and the lives around you a little brighter.

Till next time,  Carolee


February, Mardi Gras Etc.

Monday is President’s Day. Originally celebrated on Feb. 22 to coincide with the birthday of the country’s first head of state, George Washington, Presidents Day was later shifted to the third Monday in February. Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the many achievements of the U.S.’ greatest leaders, thinkers and architects of democracy.

This federal holiday is often associated with days off from work and school, retail sales and travel deals, but it is actually about patriotism and remembrance.

This coming Tuesday, February 17 is Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday. (Shrove comes from Shrive which mean to confess. People confess their sins so they are forgiven before Lent begin).  It is the the last day of Mardi Gras also known as Carnival (Carnival comes from the Latin Carne vale meaning farewell to flesh) when people get all  the partying out of their system before starting the 40 day period of fasting and penance of Lent

Carnival starts shortly after Epiphany, the twelfth night after Christmas, which recognizes when the wise men came to see the baby Jesus bringing gifts. In the 18th and19th century, the celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans centered around the King Cake. It turned into a tradition where the presentation and serving of a cake accompanied parties and balls. The king cake’s religious meaning is not only by the shape, a circle representing the wise men’s journey, but also through the colors; Purple represents justice, yellow equates to power and green stands for faith.

The tradition developed putting a bean and, eventually, a small baby figurine inside the cake, whoever found the baby in the cake would be declared king of the ball and that, of course, left the baby as a tradition of bringing the next king cake.”

Mardi Gras was introduced in Louisiana when the French established their first permanent settlement and brought the festivities with them. Carnival was not designed as a tourist attraction. There is a huge degree of resident participation in Carnival and a huge range of traditional practices, many of which have never been discovered by tourists.

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.. Catholics around the world attend church to receive ashes on their forehead to signify an inner repentance..

Want to know more about the month of February?

The month of February was named after the Latin Februm meaning Purification. The purification ritual was held on February 15, (full moon) on the old Roman Lunar Calendar, February is the shortest month of the year, the only month with fewer than 30 days. The month has 28 days in common year and 29 days in leap years. The birth stone is amethyst which symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom and sincerity. The birth flower is viola .However, we can always count on that fact that nothing is permanent and be assured that soon the climate will change and we will soon be celebrating milder temperatures, the return of the birds and spring flower.-

This has been a particularly difficult February with heavy rains out west, bitter cold temperatures ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast. Boston is experiencing a record snowfall, the winds and bitterly cold temperatures makes cleaning it off the streets next to impossible. Luckily for most of us the schools and many businesses are closed this Monday which will keep us bundled up in our warm homes. But February is far from finished at least for us on the east coast as snow is predicted for two days this week along with the zero and below temperatures.

However, we can always count on that fact that nothing is permanent and be assured that soon, as always,  the climate will change and we will soon be celebrating milder temperatures, the return of the birds and spring flowers.

Stay warm, stay safe until next time—