Hamentashen – they’re not just for breakfast anymore 

22 December, 2019            Hamentashen – they’re not just for breakfast anymore 

A few birds and animals first, as I especially enjoy spending time outdoors looking for them. I’ll get to the hamentashen and all that goes with it a little ways down. 

I took this owl picture yesterday at 12:45:

If you’re more alert than I was, perhaps you already noticed something besides the owl 

I was real happy to photograph that bird. It was 12:45. The dogs and I went for a great hike, and roughly half an hour later we ran into a slightly older couple who are much more alert than I am. We talked owls for a moment, and they said “Did you see both of them?” I said “Both? I just saw one.” They said “take a closer look. See if there are two.” So Lola and Luna and I looped back around to that precise spot, and exactly 60 minutes later I took this picture:

See them both? Now look back at the 1st picture – you can see the tail of the 2nd owl. Wild.

Isn’t that just incredible? You can get a look at them like that – and not even know that two are there. We just see (or I just see) what we expect to see sometimes. Fortunately my friends enlightened me!

The same two owls were there again today, to my great satisfaction. I also saw a medium large herd of deer but was only able to photograph one:

Good sized doe near Charlie’s Bridge this morning

A pair of squirrels on the edge of the lake at Deep Run this week:

Squirrel bookends on the edge of the lake at Deep Run

I got a medium quality image of a Red-shouldered hawk this week:

Red-shouldered hawk against a blue winter sky earlier this week

When I posted last week’s blog post about this time last week, the word “hamentashen” (plural form of the singular “hamentash”) was not in my vocabulary. But Evelyn’s mom’s birthday was this week, and there was some talk of bringing her hamentash. It’s a fun word to say – obviously. Try to imagine my joy – you’ll fall short, but try anyway – when the UPS driver pulled up with a box of these Friday evening: 

The hamantashen magic begins

Hamantash – it’s not just for breakfast anymore

The bakers obviously did not know me well, and mistook me for someone who delays gratification. This is what it said on the box:

As if I needed encouragement. I am so sure.

I noshed then, and several other times over the course of the weekend. I noshed for the final time (on that particular box) before I left this evening for the “19th Annual Chanukah on Ice Community Event!” Spoiler alert: I don’t ice skate. But I went anyway and it was so much fun. Next year will be the 20th annual event; I may even lace up a pair of rental skates for that one – there’s a really good chance. 

My upbringing was in a large Irish family and we were nominally Catholic in our youth. So I’m used to the whole “tacky Christmas sweater” phenomenon. Imagine my surprise and delight when I learned – less than one week after I heard of “hamentashen” for the first time – there’s a coexisting “tacky Chanukah sweater” phenomenon. Not to say they’re tacky, of course – that’s in the eyes of the beholder. Here’s one I particularly enjoyed: 

Tacky Christmas sweaters, step aside.

The first one I saw: 

The first one I saw. This guy was an awesome skater.

I may even get one of these; I love hoodies. And I love more light!: 

More light = better

I am not awesome at photographing actual human beings, so I don’t do it often. But when there’s a rabbi on ice skates lighting a menorah and I’m having so much fun I just can’t stop smiling, I had to get a picture:

First day of Chanukah, 2019.

Chanukah’s a great holiday, especially since it’s about (at least in my limited understanding) more light. Here’s how it was described on a calendar there:

Chanukah: “The best way to combat darkness? Ignite a flame.”

Well, I’ll close with dogs at the river. Since I took Lola and Luna yesterday and Mackey and Turner today. Yesterday: 

Lola (left) and Luna accompanied me to the river yesterday:


Sundays are for Mackey and Turner

Wow! I just realized – I dug up an old blog from Christmas 2005. This is me with Nicky (jumping up; he’s so happy) and Ivory (lying down, and equally or  more happy) in front of my parents house in Bridgewater, VA. That’s the same Subaru I drove to Pony Pasture yesterday and today with Lola and Luna and Mackey and Turner: 

Christmas 2005 and my mom and dad’s house in Bridgwater, VA with Nicky (black) and Ivory:

Have a great week! Happy Chanukah! Merry Christmas! Come back next week! All best, 


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
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6 Responses to Hamentashen – they’re not just for breakfast anymore 

  1. Jackie says:


  2. Laurie says:

    I loved everything you wrote in this blog!!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and happy Hanukkah as well!
    🙂 Laurie (Wilma)

    • Thanks Laurie! I’m glad you loved it! As you may have noticed, I really, really, really loved writing it. I can hardly wait until next year – but Hanukkah’s not even finished this year! Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to your and your family too! Have a great day,


  3. Jody Bambacus says:

    I especially like your “Steve from Blues Cues” shirt from 2005!

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