Posted in 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!

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Posted in 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!

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Posted in 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!

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Posted in 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?

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Posted in Home

Finished my sewing project (and a small update)!

I found pretty jewel-toned fabrics squares with the Star of David on them over on Amazon, and I knew I just had to buy them. Once they arrived, it took me a while to come up with a pattern, but I’m happy to say that my sewing project is now complete.  I made this mini runner to sit beneath my Shabbat candlesticks.  I sewed the pieces together by hand, and then quilted in five Stars of David – one big in the center and four small in each of the corner pieces.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out!

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Posted in Home

Let this indoor girl OUT!

As Jack Dawson described Rose DeWitt-Bukater, I, too, am an “indoor girl.” Historically, if I had to choose an outdoor activity versus an indoor one, especially in the heat of summer, I would always choose the activity that let me sit in the air conditioning and avoid mosquito bites.

I vividly remember our brief, brief foray into camping a few years ago. We were living in our little rental house in Acton, Indiana and we suddenly (and inexplicably, now that I think about it) decided that we were “camping people,” so we went out and bought all the stuff, and I mean all the stuff.  Tent. Sleeping bags. Lanterns. Matches. Bug zappers. Bug spray. Bug netting. Collapsible camp table. Everything we could possibly need for a night of tent sleeping in our own backyard.

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Posted in Home

Terrarium rejuvination

I’ve had two terrariums for the past several years, but the moss keeps dying. The fact that I can’t even keep moss alive isn’t a surprise to me, but it’s still frustrating. Last time my terrariums died, I lived in Indy and had to order moss off Etsy. I rebuilt the terrariums with North Carolina moss and documented it here. Now that the NC moss has bit the dust, it was time to restore them again. Lucky for me, I now live in a state where moss covers everything that doesn’t move. Literally.

What a sad state of affairs for my 1945 Times Square kissing couple.
What a sad state of affairs for my 1945 Times Square kissing couple.
My farm scene was a hot mess, too!
My farm scene was a hot mess, too!

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Posted in Home

My dining room is complete!

Slowly getting this new house decorated.  Ever since I bought the vase now sitting on my new dining room table, I envisioned a maritime theme for my dining room.  I went to Olde Central Antique Mall down the hill in Port Orchard today and came home with the decorations I needed to complete my theme. I love it! Next to finish is the guest room, which will be done in a Pacific Northwest theme.

Come check out my dining room!

Continue reading “My dining room is complete!”