Fridays with Manny


Where to Find Love

On my way to taking Max to his dog sitter a few weeks ago, I drove through Golden Gate Park. While driving, I noticed a man photographing a small tree covered with white flowers. After dropping off Max, I decided to return to photograph the same tree.

The grey sky created the perfect light for taking photos. I took a short walk close to the Japanese Garden and faced not one, but quite a few trees covered with spring blooms. While trying to find the right angle I moved closer, and I lost my sense of time. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with emotions and my eyes became watery. In my heart I felt love.A love for the trees, flowers, nature and the beauty it brings to my life. 

Flowers will not last for long, but we are always surrounded by nature. Just go out and fall in love. In the meantime, take a look at the flowers I photographed for you.

Enjoy and Share with a Friend!

Fridays with Manny


What is a Moveable Feast?

While doing some research online, I found out that the Easter holiday belongs to the “moveable feast”. It got this name since Good Friday and Palm Sunday are celebrated on different dates each year, as the date is connected with the celebration of Jewish holiday, Passover. 

In one of the articles I read titled, “The Ancient Math That Sets the Date of Easter and Passover”, published in the Atlantic, Robinson Meyer shared a lot of interesting facts. Turns out that in AD 325, during the First Council of Nicaea, the Church leaders decided to set the date of Easter on the first Sunday following the first full Moon of Spring. Thus, instead of following the Gregorian calendar, the holiday follows a lunisolar calendar, similar to the Jewish calendar.

There are many traditions connected with Easter, such as the Easter Bunny. I found three of them in my neighbor’s yard.

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Fridays with Manny


How to Get Out From a Narrow Place

At sundown tomorrow, Saturday, March 27, Jews in all parts of the world are going to celebrate the first night of Passover; which, according to Orthodox Judaism, took place in 1312 BCE. In the spring of that year, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, after living there for 215 years (just for comparison, the United States is celebrating its 245th birthday this year). 

In Hebrew, Egypt is called Mitzrayim, which literally means narrow place. The place where thousands of Israelites were trapped to serve their Egyptian masters as slaves. Though thousands of years passed, the slave mentality is still with us. It is very difficult to get out from the narrow place in our minds because of perception, memories, habits, and even political influences. 

The Story of Exodus, which is repeated year after year during the Passover Seder (which means order), serves as a reminder that to feel free is not easy, even when God is trying to help us. Sometimes when you are in a narrow space, just read one of the jokes in “42 Encounters with Laughter” or look at the beautiful flowers.

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Fridays with Manny


Spring Is Back

I did not have to look at the calendar to find out that tomorrow, March 20th, is the first day of spring. The flowers in our garden informed me about it.

Spring of 2021 is not only bringing flowers; but also, a hope that soon our lives will get back to normal. However, for most people it cannot be normal in the same way as it was in the spring of 2020. Flowers were there as well, but a Coronavirus, which under the microscope looked like a flower, changed everyone’s lives all over the world. Suddenly, we could feel other people’s pain and suffering. We had to pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well. At the same time, last year gave many people the opportunity to evaluate their lives and perhaps even change their old “normal” ways of living.

While you are still waiting for a vaccine, for schools and businesses to re-open, and to be able to remove your face masks, you can still go out and enjoy beautiful flowers, like these three images of blooming magnolias.

Enjoy and Share with Friends.

Fridays with Manny


Vosoma Marta

When I was growing up in Riga, Latvia, one of the important holidays was Women’s Day, which was called by its date March 8th, Vosmovo Marta in Russian. It was a good excuse for men to drink vodka while toasting to women’s health.

Only after coming to the United States, I found out that this is known as International Women’s Day, and is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City on February 28th, 1909. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, March 8th became a national holiday. The Feminist movement adopted it in 1967 and then the United Nations began celebrating the day in 1997.

Similarly to Valentine’s Day, some women are receiving boxes of chocolates and flowers. Since I celebrate Women’s Day every day including today, Friday March 12th, I present you with my three bouquets of flowers.

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Fridays with Manny


Laughter and “The Silent Killer”

Have you heard about Dr. Steven Gundry, the Founder of Center for Restorative Medicine? His new book, “The Energy Paradox” is going to be available this coming March.

A friend sent me a note recently, from Dr. Gundry, which I am going to quote.

“In the United States, heart disease, also known as “the silent killer”, is the leading cause of death for both men and women. But I have good news for you – a simple and fun way to help reduce your risk of developing this dreadful health problem is LAUGHTER!”

You know that old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”, right? Well, it applies to heart health as well. And it helps on many levels. But laughing works especially well for dealing with stress. So in a funny twist, new research is showing one solution to the hazards of stress on your heart is… to simply laugh!”

And if you need help, just read one of the jokes in “42 Encounters with Laughter”. I hope that these three dancing flowers will bring smile to your face, which is an easy way to laughter.

Enjoy and Share with A Friend.