30 miles further up the Kitsap peninsula from my home is the enchanting little historic town of Port Gamble, Washington. This morning was our first trip to this town, but it will not be our last. As we strolled down its main street (which is literally one block long, goes in one direction, and has a 10mph speed limit), I had visions of characters reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. It reminded me of the river towns of my youth due to its position of sitting on a small hill overlooking the mouth of Hood Canal, which is part of greater Puget Sound. The little town is preserved and pays homage to its history in the logging industry, and it’s filled with cute little shops, antique stores, and even a museum and cafe. Take a look at this cutie-pie town – there is a reason it’s on the list of US National Historic Landmarks!
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!
If I’m being honest, the hardest part about giving up Christianity was not the preaching or the Sunday services (or…you know…Jesus), but the music. I’ve been a massive fan of the contemporary Christian genre since I was in the sixth grade and listened to Michael W. Smith the first time.
The other genre I’ve always adored, thanks to both my father and Ricky Skaggs, is Bluegrass. I have sought out great Bluegrass for years, even when I was in my early 20s and my cohorts thought I was insane for jamming to “Country Boy” while they were listening to whatever ear-bleedingly awful pop song was popular at the time. With the new Broadway musical Bright Star out right now, Bluegrass is getting in front of fresh ears, as well as reigniting my love for the genre.
These past eight-odd months, first when I was distancing myself from Christianity and then later, when I realized that Judaism was it for me, I missed Christian music because, naturally, I gave it up. But a soulful melody has always been like a religious experience to me, and while I was finding snippets of music here and there that I liked in the Jewish world, I had yet to find something that made me sit upright and yell with glee.
What happens when you combine Bluegrass and Jewishness? Well, you get the self-titled debut album by Nefesh Mountain, and it is nothing short of MAGNIFICENT.
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?
It’s time to go au naturel again when it comes to deodorant. I became lazy and started using Shaklee’s cream deodorant and even some ladies Speed Stick, but the itchies have returned. I went with some different ingredients this time, as opposed to the first time I made it.
I have a new obsession. Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star, which is currently running on Broadway. I’m a lifelong lover of bluegrass thanks to my dad, and I got to see Steve, Edie, and Steep Canyon Rangers in concert a few years ago in Indianapolis. It was ahhhhhh-mazing. I’d heard a few snippets of the music from the show, but the cast was on the Today show this past week and performed one of the songs from the show.
I am now 1000000% hooked and can’t wait for the original cast recording to be released this Friday, 4/29. I haven’t been this gaga over a musical since RENT. I’m also planning a quick in-and-out trip to NYC so that I can see this show! I HAVE TO SEE THIS SHOW!
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!
“Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach.” – Mother Mary Angelica
The quote above is one that has stuck with me for almost a decade. Mother Angelica, a cloistered Franciscan nun who became the founder of EWTN, the global Roman Catholic television network, died today at age 92. It is fitting that a woman as devout and holy as she would pass on the day of the resurrection of her Lord.
I left the Catholic Church years ago, and anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m not in a good place with Christianity and the faith and beliefs I’ve held my entire life, especially since I’m considering converting to Judaism, but saying goodbye to this extraordinary woman hurts.