THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS Gratitude I always have, faith now and then. Hope is the bridge that keeps me going. When the leaves are scarlet and gold and the sky is blue, gratitude flows from my heart as fluently as a brook in spring. When the sky is gray and the weather chill but family and friends are gathered at my table savoring tasty food that I have been blessed to prepare, I beam like a small...


CELEBRATION! This weekend in our lush and verdant backyard (yes! I watered and it grew!) we held a bridal shower for our beautiful daughter Hope. (See the picture if you don’t believe how beautiful she is.) Hope’s loyal and loving friends, cousin Annie Petsonk and best-friend-since-kindergarten Danielle Winter created and conducted an amazing International Wedding Blitz, with wedding customs from around...


FATHER’S DAY FOR DAUGHTERS 6/10/2014 Father’s Day last Sunday and the fifth anniversary of my father’s death on May 28 got me thinking about how many strong women are strongly influenced by their fathers. Physicist Marie Curie followed in the footsteps of her father, a math and physics teacher who brought lab equipment home and taught his children how to use it. Nuclear physicist Faye Ajzenberg-Selove,...

Women of Spirit

WOMEN OF SPIRIT (new name for blog) May 26, 2014 Dear Friends, All the people I love know what a terrible correspondent I am. One of the things I long for and never do is to keep in touch with you at a level of sharing and understanding both what is deepest and what is most ridiculous and shrug-worthy. I have this vision of doing this on my blog at www.judypetsonk.com – of introducing to each other the...

Wise-Hearted Women

An Invitation: My new blog, at www.judypetsonk.com, is called “Wise-hearted Women.” Please participate and invite your friends. The Biblical book of Exodus tells how “Wise-hearted Women” helped build a sanctuary for the ancient Hebrews wandering in the desert. I hope we can build a sanctuary for each other, whatever our faiths, whatever our experiences. We “Wise-hearted...

2,000 Years of Money and Politics

2,000  YEARS of MONEY AND POLITICS   Huffington Post: Koch Brothers, Allies Pledge $100 Million At Private Meeting To Beat Obama  Money has been talking for thousands of years. Even Jonathan, the brother of the Jewish freedom fighter Judah Maccabee, starting in 152 BCE, was persuaded by promises of military honors, government power and the high priesthood, to use his guerilla troops to back three...

GORY STORIES: Hellenistic rulers off their own

GORY STORIES: Hellenistic rulers off their own There was enough blood and intrigue in the Hellenistic courts to satisfy even a 21st century TV audience. Incest went hand-in-hand with murder in the Hellenistic dynasties of Egypt and Syria in the first and second centuries BCE. POTBELLIED EGYPTIAN KING With unseemly relish, the Macedonian rulers of Egypt, enthroned in Alexandria,  adopted the Egyptian Pharaohs’ practice of brother-sister marriages....

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