Holidays, Judaism

It’s hard to say goodbye to the High Holy Days

I love the Jewish High Holy Days. While we have a lot of holidays on the calendar, I’ve been practicing Judaism long enough to know that Yom Kippur is my favorite holiday. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is joyful and celebratory, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is serious, somber, and breathtakingly powerful. This year was especially poignant because I attended the Yizkor service, which honors those who have died during the previous year and comforts those who are mourning.

Yom Kippur is about ensuring that we have righted our wrongs so that our names are inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.  Continue reading “It’s hard to say goodbye to the High Holy Days”

Home

The new centerpiece of my home!

Ahhh! Our new piece! Isn't it spectacular?
Ahhh! Our new piece! Isn’t it spectacular? (Click on the image for larger resolution.)

More than 24 hours later, I’m still kind of in shock. Yesterday, we went to the Josephine’s Redeemed Revival Spring Market at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds to shop for vintage/reclaimed/antique art, collectibles, and household goods.   Continue reading “The new centerpiece of my home!”

In the kitchen

Challah-lujah

When I started making challah nine months ago, I did so because it was one way that I could acknowledge and participate in this faith with which I was falling in love.

I wasn’t new to bread making. About eight years ago, I was very much on a homemaking kick and wanted to do as much as I could from scratch. I made bread every week and even made homemade dog biscuits for the dogs every Saturday. Over time I got away from it because, let’s face it, making bread can be a real pain in the tuchus. And I’m not a neat cook. Making bread usually meant flour everywhere – even places where it made no sense as to why flour ended up there at all.

So when it came time to start making challah, I cheated. I’d buy frozen yeast rolls, let them thaw and raise, and then I’d roll them out and make challah rolls. From there, I used those pre-made yeast rolls and started braiding a small challah loaf.

Continue reading “Challah-lujah”

Family, Holidays

Becoming Jewish: the Christmas conundrum

Me + Christmas tree, 1981
Me + Christmas tree, 1981

Lately, my conversations with my mom have gone a little like this:

Mom: “I sure would love to come out and visit again.”

Me: “I’d love for you to see western Washington in the fall.”

Mom: “I’d really love to come out and celebrate Christmas with you.”

Me: “No more Christmases for me, remember?”

Mom: *sounds of crying into her iPhone*

OR

Mom: “I saw the cutest thing I wanted to buy you for Christmas, and then I remembered that I couldn’t…”

Me: “Hanukkah starts on Christmas Eve this year, Mom. You can buy gifts if you want.”

Mom: *cheerfully* Okay!

Continue reading “Becoming Jewish: the Christmas conundrum”

In the kitchen

In the kitchen: Smoky Lemon Chicken Stew

This recipe is AIP (autoimmune protocol) friendly.  All ingredients are rough-chopped, taking into account that many people on the AIP diet, as I am, suffer from joint-related illnesses, making it hard to spend time finely dicing veggies. An added bonus is that this recipe is also kosher if you follow Jewish dietary laws.

This was made utilizing leftover chicken that had been smoked/grilled the previous evening. We have a Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Grill/Smoker/Roaster and it has literally changed the way we eat. We grill out practically every day, have become wood chip connoisseurs (hickory is the way to go if you’re curious), and are always experimenting with grilling. If it can be put on a grate, wrapped in foil, or put on a skewer, we’re going to grill it!

Continue reading “In the kitchen: Smoky Lemon Chicken Stew”

Home

Before and after – the evolution of our property

We bought our cute little cottage-like house in Port Orchard, Washington last October.  Her insides were perfect and needed no updating, but the outside was in desperate need of some love.  Seven months later, the work is 95% complete and I am so happy with the outcome. I’m more in love with my cute little quarter-acre of solitude than ever.  So – some before and afters shots below!

Continue reading “Before and after – the evolution of our property”

Home

Re-purposing old furniture into a vegetable “Victory” garden

I’m impulsive and driven by nature. Once I get an idea in my head about something I want or need to do, it won’t leave my brain until it’s either in my hands or it’s done. We’ve recently undergone (and are still undergoing) a lot of changes to the house we bought six months ago.  We’ve painted the place, gutted and rebuilt the front porch (which is now beautiful and needs to be shared on my blog), demoed out our deck and finished off the privacy fence, and our outbuilding is currently being re-sided with fiber cement board.

Demoing the old, rotten deck was great, but it left us with a problem – what do we do with the 16’x16’ patch of dirt where the deck used to be?

Continue reading “Re-purposing old furniture into a vegetable “Victory” garden”