Giving thanks and seeking hope UPDATE

More reason to give thanks today, Nov. 4. It seems all of our relatives have been accounted for. Thanks for your prayers and please keep in mind those families not so fortunate.

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We felt great relief and gave thanks this morning on learning that many of our relatives on the New Jersey shore are in the dark, but OK, with roofs and walls intact.  Like many others who have their family, friends, hearts and homes in places hit by Hurricane Sandy, we worry for the ones we aren’t able to contact. Please keep them all in your prayers. It’s going to be a long recovery.

Blog posts from those in the area:

Perspective on Sandy from posted at Wired:

SANDY — Sandy’s size gets some perspective on this “blue marble” photo.

Weekly photo challenge: Summer (I)

Summer? Sandy Hook. Wildwood. Monmouth Park.  Mungo Jerry. “Close to You.” Water pistols and nickel punks. Bikes with baseball cards flap-growling  in the spokes. And when it got really hot,  we begged Dad (the man in charge of all things lawn-related) to deploy that ultimate weapon against the July heat: the sprinkler.

SPRINKLER — It just wasn’t summer without the oscillating sprinkler on the front lawn and a trio of giggly girlfriends running and jumping through its streams.
DROPS — What summer fun looked like if you wore glasses.

Don’t miss these visions of summer:
Arizona hot:
Another sprinkler fan:
Happy beach umbrella:

THANKS to everyone who has liked our blog! Thanks for taking time to stop by.

Super moon!

We were blessed with mostly clear skies tonight for the astronomical double-header: a super moon and a meteor shower.  Armed with two Canon DSLRs, a Sony and the Panasonic, the Sony got the shot of the night.

Earlier, folks on the Jersey side of the Hudson had a spectacular view. Check out the photo.*

SUPER MOON! — A beautiful night for a moonrise.

*Do you have any idea how many great pizza joints you can see from Eagle Rock Reservation?

Pizza: the quest

Finding foods from the homeland, or food that tastes like the stuff you grew up with but can’t duplicate in your own kitchen, is an endless quest. For our family, that culinary holy grail is finding a pie that tastes like it came from the ovens of the Star Tavern in Orange, N.J., or the Starlite in West Orange, N.J.  Pizza, cheese only, was a meatless Friday tradition in our house.

Among Jerseyans and New Yorkers, there is always discussion about whose neighborhood joint makes the best tomato pie. When Jerseyans and New Yorkers are separated from their home soil, wherever they congregate, the discussion inevitably evolves into what place comes closest to making the perfect pie of their memories.  For us, it’s that mysterious combination of  sauce, cheese and crust with burnt spots, all imbued with that taste that only a half-century or older oven can make. (One final test is whether or not there is “pizza juice” that runs out over the crust and anoints the paper plate as the pointed end of the slice is lifted to the lips.)

In San Diego, Bronx Pizza [Motto: “Just like back home.”] is one of those places whose name is whispered in hallowed tones among former New Jerseyans and New Yorkers.  At lunchtime, the kitchen moved fast, and the line of customers did too.

TOMATO PIE -- Ready to eat.
PIZZA DRESSING -- No pizzeria table is properly set without parmesan and red pepper. Oregano at table is a plus.
SLICES TO GO -- Counter offers a bevy of choices for the two-slices-and-a-coke-to-go crowd. (Note: In the South, "coke" is a generic term for all carbonated soft drinks. Don't call it "soda," and please don't call it a "pop" unless you're using it to wash down a salted nut roll or lefse.)