Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January Thaw on East Coast. How Will It Last? Illusions, Music, Parties in Israel. Henna Party...

Let's start with the weather today!

There is some snow still in New England.
But not very many other places on the East Coast.

As we can see from the sites on ...
No snow today but over the next five days a bit more.
Mostly in the West coast but that will move East in time?

That frost/freeze line inches North again.
It will in time descend again towards the South.
It's a seasonal dance that goes on every year.
If you want snow go to Colorado or Maine
That simple.
Also the storms in the NW continue.

sat_wv_east_loop-12.gif (640×512)

Rivers in the atmosphere dancing.
Spinning, turning, twisting, moving.
In the North Atlantic is a tightly wound storm.
Not a hurricane but a strong low pressure system.

Watch it spin on the water vapor loop.

So I'm going to point out the obvious here first and discuss the weather. You know the "January Thaw" going on in North America ....that continent far away from where I am typing this in Israel. January thaw means you will thaw out and then as it implies it's gone again. It's a temporary illusion of Spring, before the snow falls and coats everything in white again.

Illusions are funny. I've always been nervous when my kids were in Israel and I worry a lot as most parents do. I do feel safe and yet I know that's an illusion much like thinking winter is over. Then again anything can happen to you anywhere. At moments I think "what if" while here and then I push the thoughts away as fast as they come. Like that saying "dance as fast as you can" I just keep going and listening to music, watching the sunlight and wishing the houses had more insulation as 50 degrees here feels like 70 in Raleigh.

Many online have put out forecasts for this coming Hurricane Season based on the predictions concerning El Nino or no El Nino and I'm just not going to play that game. Honestly, it's way too soon to tell. There is a "warming" much like the "January Thaw" going on in the Pacific and if the recent past is a good measure it's worth waiting to see what it is like in April. The La Nina appeared and disappeared just as fast and can reappear as again as well. Maybe this is a "Neutral" year which really should be called "Normal" but nothing is normal about tropical weather forecasting.

Just too soon to tell and for me to start to wax poetic on any predictions would be as reliable as if I posted an astrological forecast for this coming year based on the positions of Jupiter and when it moves into Scorpio or if Saturn is in Sagittarius square Mercury at some point. I know how many of you would feel if I did that. Saying what June will be like today is more like guesstimating or wish casting for me to give a prediction currently based on a not reliable El Nino or La Nina signal. Understand? I mean I'm sure there is some Gypsy tea leaf reader here in Israel, as there are people from everywhere, but I'm not going to read tea leaves nor am I going to predict next season by weak signals currently inconsistent. As the old magic 8 ball says...................."ask again later"

I'm cold. I keep saying that but I've been told it's the lack of good insulation and that makes me think the summers here must be hot. But, it's a beach city here with a good breeze constantly blowing so that breeze must be nice in the summer.

As for me I went to a party last night for my daughter the bride known as a "Mikvah Party" or a "Henna Party" depending on how you look at it and in this case I'd say we had a Mikvah Party with Henna at the end.  Henna is for good luck and I'm not in an European area but here there are mostly Jews from Arabic and Persian countries and their customs are different than what you see in say Brooklyn. Persians do the Henna Party which is a custom. We don't paint henna, but it's smeared at the end of the party on your hand and you leave it on for about five minutes or more before washing it off before it dyes your hand. It smells heavenly as it's made from Henna stuff... (looked like dark whole wheat flour) and a tea made with what we would think of as spices for Pumpkin Spice Latte. Heavy on the cinnamon and cloves and Lord knows what else was in it. So... the house now smells from the spicy mixture as if someone spilled a gallon of Chai Tea onto the floor last night.

They place candles in the henna in a bowl.
Then dance around with the bowl distributing the henna.

It was a lot of fun. A few of my daughters were in town as was the baby grandson. Other's were changing planes in Rome or Istanbul so my mind was at times elsewhere until they arrived safely in Israel. Of course suspending all concerns about being in Israel and happy they are out of the Istanbul airport. Priorities ya know...  We danced to mostlu Sephardi music (sounds like a cross between Belly Dancing and Spanish Jazz) and I learned a few new dance steps that were Yemenite and looked really Arabic. I'm pretty sure most the dance moves are the same, but what do I know? I used a few of my Bollywood moves and they were very impressed. I know that as they started clapping their hands and doing this "LALALALALA" thing they do and it sounded a lot like "OLE OLE" in Hebrew. But its hard to keep up with them as they are always dancing and the music is ALWAYS playing here and they all dance beautifully. The older generation listens to Hebrew songs and the younger generation learns English from Beyonce and JLO. Really.

There was of course a lot of food and I'm praying the dress fits as I have yet to find the exact phrase that means "I'm sorry it looks really delicious but I'm trying not to eat carbs or anything fattening until after the Wedding when I'll eat ...really" but the next thing I know a plate filled with chicken or fish or hummus is in my hands and let's all pray I didn't gain 20 pounds in five days. My sons have eaten and traveled their way through Israel on tours where they walked enough to impress their Fitbits and well suits are so much more forgiving than gowns. I understand why people wear robes in the Middle East...............

Before the party I took a walk for some exercise.
There's a "Shuk" down the block. Think store..

I actually bought some as well as pistachio halvah.

Late in the day when it's not as busy.
Where am I?
Hard to keep remembering.
Even the Hebrew sounds strange.
So many accents....

Candy, jams and much labeled in Russian.

 These pictures were taken a few blocks away as I was walking over to the marketplace called the Shuk here in Netanya. They have a bigger, fancier one in Jerusalem that is a real tourist attraction as well as where the locals shop. In Netanya it's more for the locals and while walking through it just a few blocks from the fancy hotels you feel like you might be in Turkey or Romania but it's Netanya. Note that much here is in Russian as well as Hebrew, Arabic and English so you kind of feel like it's a Mini Russia. Big fancy, shmancy condo going in there. Views from the higher floors will be water views as the beach is a few blocks away.

There is a tremendous amount of construction going on here. Feels a bit like Miami where they knock down most of the block and rebuild. And there are hibiscus as in Miami Beach. Where am I?

Olive Oil in Israel. Extra Virgin in English....

This part of the market looks like I could be in Brooklyn.

Picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the wall...
...and black hat stored up high.
Looks like Crown Heights.

So much fish I feel like I'm in Seattle.
But of course it's all Hebrew.
And of course olives that seem bigger here.
All the colors seem so much more intense.

So from Israel with Love...

Tonight is the wedding.
Will see how that goes...
Fog and bubbles... 
Lights and lasers during dancing.
Israeli style after the religious ceremony.
Or so I've been told.
And a bunch of my kids who came in..
..and love to dance.

So ....they are baking chocolate treats again.  much food, smells heavenly.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps Pray the thaw lasts til I get back on Sunday.
I'm traveling through Boston... 
Miami daughter made that arrangement ;)

Enjoy an Oldie Goldie I grew up hearing.
A classic.... always.

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