A southern girl in the Pacific Northwest

Things I Love (pets are a given!):

1. Grinding my own coffee beans
2. Getting good at a new art/craft
3. Sunsets over the plains
4. Dad & Joy’s back porch in the early morning
5. My bed
6. Flavorful healthy food
7. The anticipation of a new book
8. Geese flying overhead
9. Moss growing on trees
10. Red kitchen accents
11. Birds
12. Birkenstocks after they’re perfectly molded to your foot
13. Matching pajama sets

I watched youtube videos today and am teaching myself how to crochet. The problem of course is that there’s no one here to look at what I’ve done and correct it, because undoubtedly I have/am making mistakes. Still, it is a start.

I bought a book on the history of chowder (A History of Chowder: Four Centuries of a New England Meal) for some lighter fare aaaaaannndddd now I think I need to make it my mission to make as many different chowder recipes add I can. This could very well be The Winter of Crochet and Chowder. (Doesn’t THAT sound like the title to some “women’s fiction”!)

Sooo, if you have a good chowder recipe, please share!

I spent pretty much the whole day with Shanon, watching football and eating and talking. It was great! Waking right up at 6:30 and not being able to go back to sleep was less great, but I was able to make the breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls before the game started at 9. We won, too, although it wasn’t because we played spectacularly, that’s for sure.

It’s drizzly and chilly here tonight. I pulled out the oil radiator and turned it on low for Stripey, who has been the ultimate lapcat all day. I have not turned the heat on in the house though!

[protected post] Shabbat and the single girl

http://www.kveller.com/mayim-bialik/how-many-shabbat-candles-does-a-divorced-woman-light/

This won’t probably interest many of you, but I was fascinated by the question: how many Shabbos candles does a divorced woman light? (Halachic answer: two, although she doesn’t give a source or a reason. Although on the other hand there may not be a reason other than rabbinic interpretation.)

Anyway.
I was not aware that single women should only light one candle. I don’t recall specifically learning that; I always light 2. I always considered it to be one light for me and one for my partner, (if I have one) or one for my fellows. (As a conservative convert I am astonished I didn’t learn about this, but possibly I just missed it?) When I light the candles when M & E are over, I light 2: one for me and one for them. In thinking back, I was partnered when I finished my conversion, so maybe they taught me to light two for that reason and I didn’t pay attention to the “single girls” part.

As a Jewish feminist, I’m interested in the possible feminist interpretations of the number of candles lit, and the reasoning.

Anybody have any thoughts about this?

As a side note, I really like Kveller, even though it’s for parents. There are a lot of interesting discussions that transpire, and I often learn something new or come upon a perspective I hadn’t considered. I think it caters to orthodox parents, but there are lots of very liberal attitudes represented in both the articles and the comments. It’s really a good mix.

This afternoon I fell down the rabbit hole of my entries for this year and… like 7/10 entries were about anxiety, exhaustion, frustration, etc. I am STUNNED that I felt that way for so long. I feel SO MUCH BETTER now; the contrast is profound.

Not to mention, oh what a delight I must have been to read! So much angst.

Well anyway. This year of being 40, of the new year (in Jewish new year terms) is already very different. I can’t believe I wasted so much time feeling so shitty. Once again, I give thanks to better living through chemistry, for Wendy, and for you guys for sharing your insight and encouragement. Holy moly!

Ever onward, ever upward. Ad astra per aspera!

It’s good that I don’t have any cheesecake, because I can tell you it would be a bad scene. And by bad, I mean “totally amazing gluttony of the first order.”

I’m pretty much ready for bed, but both cats are asleep in my lap. The trials of being a catmom, I tell ya.

I got shipping confirmation for all of the prints I ordered of the various photos from the trip. I also got my fall Scenstys ordered, as well as the groceries. Lunchtime sure does speed by when you’re doing personal administrative work!

I’m unbelievably tired and I know it’s partially (along with “jet lag” and other factors) because my diet sucks again. Starting Monday I’ll be back to living the low carb life. I’m also going to begin eating some meat in small amounts. Lowered carb eating is incredibly difficult with fish, nuts and eggs as the only major protein sources, so I’ll be buying small amounts of chicken and turkey, from the butcher, to ensure local, small farm operations are supplying the meat. I’m not happy about this decision, but I think it is the right thing for me to do for a limited period of time.

To help assuage my guilt about this, I went through the bathroom and kitchen and systematically replaced non-compliant items with animal-cruelty-free items. It’s not the same, but for the time being, it is all I can do.

Sometimes I really wish I didn’t know what I know, and/or didn’t care. I would probably save a lot of money and emotional angst and not sound like some sign-wielding, uber-righteous activist, or a neurotic woman with food issues.

Well, anyway. It’s sukkot! To celebrate I have neither built a sukkah nor do I have the four elements to waft around the sukkah I didn’t build. Nor do I have any festive meals or etc planned. I really am the worst Jew possible.

I miss the fam. I went to bed really early the last two nights, but still have not slept very well. My bed is a MILLION times more comfortable than my very very old bed at Dad & Joy’s, so that’s a plus, but I have been hot and restless and Stripey has been yodeling at various points throughout both nights.

Annnnyway.

TV update
NCIS – two thumbs up!
NCIS:New Orleans – yes! And thank god they’ve gotten Scott Bakula’s “accent” tamped down. I realize that maybe a lot of people don’t have an ear for the nuances of the southern dialects, but his attempt was very bad, and didn’t even sound cajun, let alone anything more pronounced (like yats and dems). A suggestion of an accent is so much better than faking it, especially since the other guy, the one from Alabama, is actually FROM Alabama and so has a perfect accent. Anyway, it’s getting going and I’ll keep watching.
TAR – yes!
The Goldbergs – yes!
NCIS:LA – yes
Scorpion – the first episode was wildly unbelievable, but the premise is good. I will give it another watch.
Madam Secretary – yes! This one is a keeper.
Forever – enjoyable and a keeper.

I’m back to work today, with only about a bazillion emails to go through. One of them was from Griffin, who told me that he and his ladyfriend are moving to BARROW, ALASKA (pop ~4,000) next fall. I’m … I don’t even know what I am. Glad he’s found someone he feels is worth going to such an extreme for, I guess? Glad it isn’t me? Etc, etc. I haven’t responded yet, but when I do it will be along the lines of “Good for you! Go forth and adventure.” I mean, Barrow is way crazy super duper remote, and quite the antithesis in pretty much every conceivable way to San Diego and the southern California lifestyle, which he seems to enjoy tremendously (it’s all sailing sloops and flying planes and surfing and wearing aviator sunglasses and topsiders these days). To each his own, I guess. (p.s. I realized he might have told me about this move via text a while back and I forgot about it.)

In that same vein, I have a lot of thoughts about my visit back to Oklahoma and some ideas and possibilities I took away from it. I’m still trying to hash it all out at the moment.

As to books: I dumped Discovery of Witches and picked up The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater… and it was EXCELLENT. I started The Dream Thieves (2nd in the series) in one of the airports along the way home and it is also fantastic. Really unique and interesting, and the characters are just amazingly well-drawn. Finally, books to get lost in.